Tag Archives: lunar new year

‘Amtrak Downeaster’ From Dover, N.H. To Boston, North Station: Not Bad At All, BUT Slow & Expensive!

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE.

We are not strangers to Amtrak. We have taken Amtrak — and even the Acela — from Boston to New York (and back, and even once from Philadelphia) many, many times. But, the ‘Downeaster’ was a mystery — a service that I had never previously considered. Plus, it is strange, it is not something that readily comes to mind because I rarely see ‘Downeaster’ trains in action.

But, this last Sunday, heading to Boston Chinatown for the Lunar New Year celebrations I decided to give the ‘Downeaster’ a spin. It came up as an option when I was Googling bus services. Yes, I normally drive to Boston. I have no problems driving to Boston, though parking can be slightly infuriating. But, I had done a lot of driving in the past month — which had included trips to Boston, Rockland (Maine) and a number of trips to the Portsmouth area. I wanted to sit back and let someone else drive.

Given that there are three of us taking the bus, either from Dover or Concord, would have been cheaper. With the 50% discount I can get as a senior the $28 return-trip fare is definitely fair. But, when you are talking of a family of 3 or 4, even if you can get 50% off on all the tickets, it is expensive. Cheaper to drive, especially on a Sunday when you can park in Boston for ~$11.

But, I wanted to go by train. We haven’t had a proper train trip in 4-years. It was time. It was relaxing. It was nice.

It was not fast. I clocked it using GPS. Was doing around 55mph. 98 minutes from Dover to North Station. In a good day I can drive from home to Downtown Boston in 90 minutes. So, faster speed definitely is not factor.

Nice scenic route. Through tons of undeveloped land. Much more scenic than taking I-93 or I-95. That was a plus.

Good trip. Enjoyed it. I will do it again — mainly just for the love of traveling by train.

Related Posts:
Search ‘trains’.

by Anura Guruge

Lunar (Chinese) New Year 2020, Boston Chinatown — February 2 (Defying Coronavirus): In 36-Pictures & Few Words.

by Anura Guruge

Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution WILL be enforced.

It was FUN. It was festive. The Dim Sum at ‘China Pearl‘ was very good (though getting progressively expensive). It was busy but not crazy. Overall outstanding.

Yes, of course, we were concerned about exposure to the Coronavirus. We had already been to a Chinese New Year event, on Tuesday, at UNH. So, this would be our second flirtation with exposure. We thought about it long & hard. It was not something I was going to be cavalier about — especially with my 13-year old daughter. The day before the first case in Massachusetts was reported. Tufts Medical Center, the designated treatment hospital for the virus, is in Chinatown!

But, we live by the belief that life must go on and that you can’t live in a bubble and that you can’t let everything that is happening constrict your life. So we went.

It was noticeably more subdued compared to prior years and we have been going, yearly, for two decades. Definitely not as crowded. In a way that was nice.

I was surprised by the lack of masks. Very few and NONE among the staff at China Pearl. I was happy about that! I had not looked forward to being served by ladies wearing masks.

All in all, it was GOOD. Glad we went THOUGH I will be honest. I will be marking off the next two weeks!

Related posts:
Search ‘Chinese New Year’.

by Anura Guruge