New England

Day 1 Thursday 2 June

Having got back from a day at work, we left home to drive to Heathrow. The M56 was busy until about Runcorn, but cleared after that. The M40 was a different matter, and we were delayed by over an hour behind a lorry fire at Warwick. Arrived at the first Holiday Inn at about 10pm and the correct one at about 10:20. After getting a non-smoking room rather than a smoker, we had a club sandwich at about 11:15.

Typical Holiday Inn room, but very quiet considering it’s location on the main A4

Day 2 Friday 3 June

The shuttle bus took us round several other hotels on the airport and eventually to T5. Surprised at the lack of lifts to get to departures, we arrived at exactly the right time to check-in. Unfortunately, the auto machine let us go through the whole process and then claimed that that there was an error. Still, the woman at the desk sorted things out and took the bags.

T5 isn’t a bad place to hang around. Found that Dixons really do sell cheap M9s but not as cheap as before.

Had to wait an extra hour for the plane to leave after smoke was found in the hold. Zara Phillips and her fiancé were on the flight.

Economy seats really are pretty tight on a BA 747. The woman in front of me reclined her seat back so that her seat was about 10″ from my face. The guy behind me got up several times and was a “lean on the back of the seat in front” kind of guy, so that wasn’t great either.

Food poor.

Got through immigration without too much hassle (Ann was frisked twice on the way out) and found car hire place. As expected, what you thought you were going to pay is about half what you actually pay, but we did get a Jetta as opposed to a Yaris, with no power steering or windows…

Boston traffic is terrible. They should tell you that the first thing you will come across is a toll booth, and the signage is rubbish. We ended up heading out west before getting on the ring road and eventually heading south. Arrived at Plymouth at around 5 pm

Radisson Hotel isn’t that bad – definitely not as bad as TripAdvisor would have you believe. Big bed. Comfortable. Quiet. A bit hot, but then again, it IS a hotel.

Walked around town for half an hour and then got the last table at Patrizia’s Restaurant, an Italian place that is very popular with locals and with good reason. A cichetti to share, pasta and canollis, with a bottle of $30 wine was less than $100, excl tip. Total cost was about £70, and one of the nicest meals we have had for years. Recommended.

Room quiet and bed at about 9pm local time.