Travel Planning – Transportation

I took a short three day trip to the Boston area to visit my very dear friend Kate. Kate and I have been friends since we were 15 years old! I am very blessed to have a friend for that long. We have literally grown up together.

We have shared crazy awkward and wild high school and college moments together. We have a lot of memories, good and bad. We’ve have experienced life together and it is absolutely amazing to share that stuff with a good friend. You don’t get to make friends like this as a middle-aged adult. You can have amazing friendships and develop new ones, but they will never know you like someone you grew up with. I don’t get to see Kate very often, but when I do, I know it will be filled with so much laughter that my face will hurt and we will exhaust ourselves with jokes, funny faces, and addictive giggling that will go long into the night.

Needless to say, I have been very excited about this trip for months. I will happily head into near arctic temperatures to see her because I know we will be sweating our asses off laughing so hard.

Anyway, what a boring topic, transportation. Transportation, how we get from place to place. We have so many options now. We can get to places by car, train, bus, airplane, boat, bike, walking. We have car categories such as taxi, rideshare options such as Uber or Lyft, this list goes on.

So how do we decide?

We have to consider the cost, time, and convenience of the transportation.

I had to decide if I was going to take an Uber, taxi, ask my husband for a ride, or drive myself. If I had a choice how I would get to the airport, I would have a ride from my husband right to the terminal, every time.

However, I am not that lucky, really ever. So, my next choice would be to pay for a ride right to the gate. Now, for a quick 3-day trip (see what I packed here), sometimes that is not the most economical option. I would consider myself a budget traveler and I try to maximize the trip and spend the least amount of money.

So, I chose to drive and instead of parking at the airport, I did a little google search ‘budget parking RDU off-site’ and found Fast Park and Relax website. With a name like that, I couldn’t go wrong right? I have used this lot before, but couldn’t remember the name. Not only did I find Fast Park and Relax I found that hotels nearby the airport offer very affordable parking as well.

For example, the Doubletree Hilton offers $4.45 a day parking and a free shuttle every 30 minutes! Amazing. I will definitely try that some time. This website culminates all the cheap off-site parking available in your area.

I played it safe and wanted peace of mind that it would all work out, so I choose Fast Park and Relax at $6.63/day.

This takes a little bit more time that parking at the airport because you need to take a shuttle and the shuttle ride is about 10 minutes, so you have to plan ahead and not be cutting it so close that you might risk missing your flight. I add an extra 30 minutes to my home departure time for this option, which is more than enough.

Ok, so you’ve decided how you are getting to the airport. What about when you land at your destination? I personally don’t like renting cars. I’d rather figure out an alternative. I research public transportation and the availability of rideshare services such as Uber in my destination.

I took a bus to get to my friend’s town in Newburyport, Massachusetts which is about 45 minutes northeast of Boston. I would not ask my friend to come in and pick me up during rush hour when it’s so easy and affordable to take a bus or ride share.

I take C&J Trailways, which is not your typical Greyhound. It’s a non-stop ride with wifi, power outlets, water, bathroom, comfy seats, the works. It cost $22 one way and it’s totally worth it. You can purchase tickets in advance on their website or if you don’t want to do this, you just get on the bus and they take your drivers license and you can pay for the ticket once you reach your destination. Wheww, I learned this as I ran to the bus pickup location just in the nick of time. Thanks, C&J!

If you don’t know what is available at your destination, again, turn to Google and search ‘XXX international transportation to XXXX services’ and you will typically get a bus, subway, train, rental car and private ride options.

Have all this figured out well in advance so that you can save a little money and aren’t scrambling at the last second and need to rely on expensive taxi’s to get you where you are going.

Ok, that’s it for now.

#ArtisanAngelaTravels

P.S. Are you interested in reading about what I did while I was there? Click here!

Like what I’m writing about travel? Check out my other travel posts below.

Travel Planning – Packing

Travel Planning – Group Travel

Travel Planning – Accommodations

Travel Planning – Packing for 3 Day Trip in the Winter

Three Day Trip to Newburyport Massachusetts 

 

24 Hours in Milwaukee

One of my long time friends, Andrea, celebrated a milestone birthday this summer. We have known each other for 22 years, unbelievable! We’ve had a total of 5 kids, multiple moves across the US, completed college degrees, career changes, the death of beloved pets, you name it, we have experienced it together. She was my first neighbor after I moved out of my parent’s house. She knocked on my door with a bottle of vodka in her hands and asked me if I wanted to hang out. Of course, I said yes! We share similar personalities, love for family, life, travel, and of course FOOD!

She now lives back in our home town in northwest Indiana and I was fortunate enough to see her multiple times while I was there this summer. We planned a 24-hour getaway to celebrate her birthday and chose Milwaukee. Milwaukee is a short two-hour drive away, right on Lake Michigan with the beautiful Milwaukee River running through it. From my minimal research, it looked like a nice little foodie city (nicknamed Brew City) with lots to do.

We checked into the Hyatt Regency about 12:30 pm. The hotel is conveniently located downtown in the Westown area across the river from Eastown and within walking distance to the very popular and trendy Historic Third Ward district. The staff was very friendly and they gave us a top floor room with a river view – score!

We immediately set out to find a quick lunch and then to explore the Historic Third Ward. We utilized Yelp and found a nice little deli/sandwich shop around the corner from our hotel called Milwaukee Waterfront Deli. They serve up panini sandwiches, coffees, fresh salads, and desserts. It was an adorable, two story old building that had an elevator/conveyor belt thing that brought your food from downstairs to upstairs! Beautiful artwork and giant old mirrors lined the brick walls. We sat upstairs outside on their little patio and enjoyed every bite of our sandwiches. We didn’t linger though because we only had 24 hours and needed to see what the rest of Milwaukee had to offer.

We walked along the river front via the River Walk trail and enjoyed watching the booze boats, kayakers, and other party folk enjoying the river. We made it to the Historic Third Ward where numerous shops lined the pedestrian friendly streets.  There you can find big brand shops as well as little locally owned well-priced stores. Some that we enjoyed were Free Bird, Buorsajo Boutique, Access Boutique (which

had a great selection of cat accessories – for people, not cats!), and ModGen a modern general store. I thought the ruler wall at Mod Gen was super cool!

A few more stops and we finally made our way back to the hotel.  While we were out they had brought up a bottle of sparkling rosé and chocolate cake to give the Chandon Pink Champagne and chocolate cakebirthday celebration a little kick start! Thanks, Hyatt!

We Ubered to dinner at the lovely Tre Rivali in the Historic Third Ward district. The restaurant specializes in modern Mediterranean cuisine. We were greeted with sparkling rosé to celebrate Andrea’s birthday (it pays to let people know when it’s a special occasion ahead of time!) We sampled many things from their menu including chicken liver mouse (our favorite), wood grilled artichokes, and the ribeye to share!  I highly recommend a visit to Tre Rivali if you are ever in Milwaukee. The restaurant is also attached to the Kimpton Journeyman Hotel.  The hotel has a rooftop bar and there was a line to get in, our server pulled some strings, and we were able to cut to the beginning of the line and go right up. Beautiful people, atmosphere, a DJ, and great service awaited us up there as well.  We enjoyed our roof top drink and then headed out to explore some more.

 

Our last stop of the evening was at the St. Paul Fish Market’s outdoor bar located right outside of the Milwaukee Public Market. We were looking for casual and fun and boy oh boy did we find it! What a gem. Lively bartenders, strong drinks, fun music, and great guests to interact with. The bar itself doesn’t have a name and only has outdoor bar stools set up against a bar with a thatched roof. We stayed until the wee hours of the morning before stumbling home happy with our night out in Milwaukee!

The next day we walked back to the Milwaukee Public Market for a late breakfast and some coffee. The market resembles the Seattle Public Market, although about 1/16th of the size. It has everything from fresh seafood to Greek pastries. I needed something to detox my system after a fun night of eating and drinking so I had a green juice from the Green Kitchen followed by a delicious savory pastry from the pastry shop right next to it.

We drove home happy, tired, and so glad we decided to explore Milwaukee. I can’t believe I grew up only 2 hours from this awesome city and never went to explore. I will be back!

#ArtisanAngelaTravels