I am actually sitting in a hotel room, a very nice efficiency at a Candlewood Suites in Burlington, MA. Only $50 per night, which is a terrific deal around these parts. The place is very new, and has all sorts of amenities included in the price, like the full kitchen in the room, free washers and dryers, and free DVDs available for checkout from the desk. The only sort of normal thing that isn't available is wireless internet, but they hand you an ethernet cable when you check in. How do they do it? The one obvious thing is that housecleaning only cleans your room once a week, which is fine with me. That's still way more often than I clean at home. If you need clean towels, you can get more at the desk. The only negative in the whole experience so far is that the desk/table is a bit too high, maybe 36" or so versus a more normal 30", which makes typing or writing a bit uncomfortable. Some one shorter than me might need to sit on a phone book to make it work.
I am here on a little two-night mini-vacation while I attend Readercon 20. I could've just driven up each day, but while it wouldn't quite cost me $50 a day in gas, it wouldn't be a lot less, and I certainly wouldn't have to deal with the bumper-to-bumper on Rt. 128 like I did Friday morning. I did this last year, too, although just for one night. That was in a much shabbier hotel in Bedford, the next town over. The main reason I stayed there was that it was within easy riding distance of the north end of the Minuteman bike path.
Friday was spent at the con, which went well into the evening, so there wasn't much in the way of side travel. Saturday morning I was up bright an early, so I drove to Bedford to get in a ride on the Minuteman path. I rode as far as Arlington Center, where the path disappears for a bit. To get to where it starts up again for the rest of the trip to Alewife one has to ride along Mass Ave through an incredibly busy intersection (being the center of town and all). Been there, done that, experienced the terror, so I decided to skip that part.
Spent more time at the con, but apart for some special evening events (a rock concert, for one) I found myself with nothing to do after 4:00. This was the point last year when I took my ride, but since that was already done, I just drove around for awhile, and shopped. Got a 1 TB portable hard drive at BJ's for $80, which is amazing to me. Stopped in at the local Barnes and
Noble, and the local Borders for awhile. I also found a place called the "Used Book Superstore," where I picked up a copy of the Landmark Books edition of The Battle of Britain to add to my small collection of other Landmark Books I had when I was a boy. I also looked at netbooks and laptops at Staples. I'm typing this on Slick, a ten year-old laptop running Win98, and it's about time for a replacement. Slick has soldiered on for more years than I had a right to expect when I bought it, but it just can't handle a lot of modern web sites.
After that it was dinner in the bar at the Outback while watching the Royals play one of the worst innings of baseball I've ever seen versus the Sawx. The shortstop chucked a ball into right field, the catcher chucked one into center, and the left fielder, after actually catching a ball, began running in to the dugout with it thinking it was the third out. But it wasn't. Oops.
We had a rainstorm last night, but it seems to have cleared out. I will look at the con schedule again, but last I looked there was nothing there to interest me this morning. I may head over to Concord to visit the bridge and take a few photos, then perhaps stop on the way home at Blackstone Valley for a ride.