Boston…Tom watched a Vikings game…They lost…How unusual?…New laptop for Tom…Costco, here we come!

The entrance to One Bistro Bar and Restaurant at Four Points by Sheraton Norwood. Excellent!

Within minutes of checking into the fabulous Four Points by Sheraton Norwood near Boston, we turned on the high definition TV so Tom could watch his first Minnesota Vikings game in almost a year. 

He missed four of last season’s games when the app he’d purchased to view games wouldn’t work in South Africa no matter how hard we tried. How ironic that the Minnesota Vikings were playing Boston’s New England Patriots yesterday. Too bad Minnesota lost once again, not surprisingly so with the loss of Adrian Peterson.

There’s never been a restaurant that we’ve visited worldwide that better accommodated my way of eating as in last night’s dinner at One Bistro at Four Points by Sheraton in Norwood, MA. We hope for one more dinner before we depart on Wednesday. 

In any case, he was thrilled to watch the game while I stayed busy getting a few toiletries out of the smaller bag that we’ll need here in Boston over the next few days. We have no plans to unpack the large bags.

The long impeccable hallway to our huge room, the largest, most well-equipped hotel room we’ve had in two years of travel.

Today, Cousin Phyllis offered to drop off our laundry when there wasn’t enough time yesterday. Almost completely out of clean clothes, we’re wearing the same clothes we wore yesterday, not an unusual occurrence in this crazy life of ours.

While at the cruise terminal, we dropped Tom’s laptop bag and his already broken screen finally took its final hit. He needs a new laptop. Today, we’re heading to the closest Costco to renew our old membership and purchase Tom a new laptop.  I’ve decided to live with the HP laptop I’d purchased in South Africa after I, too, dropped the old laptop, breaking the screen. 

The lush garden veranda at the hotel. 

In the past few days, we purchased a new camera on the cruise which was priced better than the online price at Costco, a Canon Power Shot SX50 HS, priced at US $369 (cost of the camera was not included on yesterday’s total bill for the cruise). I never imagined I’d purchase digital equipment on a cruise when everything they sell is usually overpriced. 

The camera, tax, and duty-free were priced at US $30 less than the competition resulting in an overall savings of approximately US $60. Let’s face it, every few years, we’ll need a new camera and laptops with the tough wear and tear in traveling the world. 

Another view of the veranda.

A more expensive heavier SLR camera is not necessary to achieve the quality of photos we find to be acceptable for our site.Plus, the lighter weight camera prevents me from upsetting my now healing shoulder injury of many moons ago.

Quickly, I’m learning to use the new camera and its zillions of settings. I enjoy experimenting using more advanced settings other than always using selecting “auto.” Now that I’m learning to take moderately decent photos, it’s fun to play around.

It’s late in the season for blooms but, I managed to capture these.

As for the new laptop for Tom, he prefers another Acer Touchscreen with a 15.3″ lighted keyboard. He doesn’t save much on his hard drive so he doesn’t require the giant specs that I do. We should be able to find him a perfect solution under US $700. His laptop lasted almost two years.

Other purchases today? Yep, embarrassing as this is to say, I need to purchase two new bras. I’ve owned only two bras these past two years, rotating and washing them often. They’ve finally bit the dust. Today will be my first foray to Victoria’s Secret store in two years. In any funny way, I’m kind of excited.

Let’s face it, the USA is opulent in ways we’d long ago forgotten. We’re enjoying our time at the hotel in awe of all the things we’d taken for granted when we lived in the US.  It doesn’t inspire us to return but, as in many places we’ve visited, we relish in the surroundings.

After that, we’ll make a quick trip to a Walgreen’s, which I’ve also missed, for a few toiletries, new power toothbrushes, and a few cosmetic items. It’s been difficult, if not impossible, to purchase some of the simplest products while outside the US these past 20 months.

How do we feel to be back on US soil? I’d expected to feel elated or, if nothing else, a little in awe. Instead, we both agreed…we love our simple life in often remote locations. The traffic, the noise, and the commotion we encountered at the cruise terminal and later at the car rental area at Logan Airport only confirmed our decision to live differently than in our past life. No offense is intended for those who live in big cities or surrounding areas. We all strive to find our “place in this world” wherever that may be.

The sun was filtering into the hotel lobby early this morning.

We aren’t the people we used to be. Although, we must admit that when we entered our huge modern hotel room, our mouths were agape at the amenities that have been far removed from our reality these past few years. We don’t require as much as in the past much of which years ago, we easily took for granted.

Last night, we dined at the hotel’s highly recommend restaurant, One Bistro, with Cousin Phyllis for the best meal I’d had in ages. (Contact Kelli Boyer at Four Points by Sheraton for conventions, parties, and group functions). Fabulous food!

The beautiful breakfast buffet in the hotel.  Perhaps, we’ll try this on Wednesday before we fly to Vancouver.

Phyllis had so sweetly left an awaiting gift bag of goodies for us at the desk to receive when we checked in.  Filled with nuts, cheese, bottled water, and magazines (to read on our upcoming flight on Wednesday to Vancouver), we couldn’t have been more appreciative. She knows exactly what works for us as she too, reads our daily posts. 

Hopefully today, we’ll see 95-year-old Uncle Bernie, spending quality time with him and Phyllis over these two short days in Boston. Photos will follow of our time with them.

We won’t have time for sightseeing while we’re in Boston. Someday, we hope to return when the time comes to tour the US but, that’s way down the road. We still have so much world left to see.

                                       Photo from one year ago today, September 15, 2013:

It’s hard to believe that it was a year ago that we dined at Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant in Diani Beach, Kenya. For details of that date, please click here.