The second-to-last week of March, 2023, was a busy one chez Drayer!
Monday morning, 2am, we rolled back into our Portland home to a rapturous welcome from our pets after a weekend away at TokenCon 2023. Exhausted, we showered away the aeroplane grime then feel into bed.
George slogged through a gritty-eyed Monday of work, while I forced myself to rest. I didn’t have much choice, my body was pretty clear – it was not a time for racing around doing other things, it was puzzles and kitty cuddles all day. Tuesday was much the same, except for the packing of another suitcase, because Wednesday morning, I was back at the airport, ready to fly to another new-to-me state, Massachusetts, for PAX East in Boston!
Attending a PAX event has been on our wishlist for some time, especially for George, but we had to make some tough calls – much as we love Jamie, we couldn’t afford another week of specialist house-sitting, and George didn’t have enough time off work available, so we decided I was going to most of the conventions this year on my own, PAX East being the first.
I love to travel, but it’s been a really long time since I travelled alone, and I particularly love to travel with George. There’s nothing quite like sharing an experience with another person. So it was a new challenge for me to travel without my best friend! But at least he could drive me to the airport.
After a much more civilised start, compared to the 2am alarm the week before, I was on my plane ready for a 10.55am take-off, with BYO snacks because the meal pre-orders closed while we were still recovering from OKC. I had an aisle seat, so I wasn’t trapped by strangers, but I was also forced to lean far out into the aisle because my neighbour in the middle seat was one of those completely oblivious people who leaves no space in their world for anyone else. It was a packed flight, there was nothing I could do, so I waited it out and did puzzles on my phone until it was over.
Landing in Boston was NOT interesting – again, my row-mates were inconsiderate and kept their shade closed throughout landing, so I couldn’t actually see Boston, but I was able to crane around and see a little of it through the window across the aisle and behind me. No photos, though.
Once arrived, it seemed as if the airport was one very long corridor. I was told by the PAX accommodation help email team to take the Silver Line as it was a free airport bus service that would take me directly to my hotel (according to their Omni Hotel contact, “we have an on-site station” on the Silver Line) which was at best misleading – while the station is close to the hotel, it’s not on-site. For a few minutes, as the sun set and I stood there with one more wheeled suitcase than I could manage comfortably and no idea where I was, I thought… Is my husband going to find out what happened to me on the news?
Spoiler alert: I made it to the hotel.
It was quite a slog to get up several escalators within the station and walk around the whole hotel to find the entrance. It felt particularly bad as the sun was setting rapidly and I was very tired. But at least I got there, and the hotel itself was very nice.
My room at the Omni Seaport was a studio room – very small but well-designed, if a little strange – the bathroom and bedroom were in the same space, with the vanity bench containing the sink and the fridge as the only real table in the room. It made for an interesting challenge – I basically arrived, showered, changed, and needed to get straight online for my weekly Meeple Syrup Show appearance, but where to put the laptop? In the end, I balanced it on the bench next to the sink and sat a bit awkwardly on the bed.
It was too late after the show to get any real food, and the room service fees were exhorbitant, so I raided my store of convention snacks and made do. It was lovely to lie on my bed and look out at the lights of Boston from the 18th floor, especially as sleep was a long time coming.