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My Van Life: Day 40

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Somerville, MA – Boston, MA (Driving Tour) – Cape Cod, MA

Funny enough, today started much the same as yesterday. Unfortunately. Last night as you know the check engine service light came on as we were heading out of Planet Fitness, essentially erasing the 10+ hour day we spent at Mercedes in Somerville. Adam immediately sent a message to the Mercedes service center and we agreed we would take it back in tomorrow morning and get this problem fixed. The light wasn’t on prior to taking it into Mercedes so obviously something had transpired during it’s 10 hour stint in the shop that caused this to happen.

There was no way we were heading anywhere else until it was fixed. And for free. If we were to keep driving and not take it into the shop that would just mean taking it into another shop somewhere down the line and paying for whatever mistake the first shop made. Sigh. We were told it would only be a few hours so we packed up our day bag and headed to the business center in the Mercedes dealership to entertain ourselves for a few hours. Well, one trip to Dunkin Donuts and six hours of work later, they figured out the issue and finally the van was ours once again.

Around 2pm we headed out of the dealership – déjà vu don’t you think? – and popped into a nearby parking lot to make a quick lunch. Yesterday we had no choice but to stop for lunch but usually during the week we like to stick to our routine of meals in the van and only spend money on dining out on the weekend. Today we were back to it (aside from the Dunkin trip) but we were still technically out of our routine with no van at that point so it didn’t count. During our stint at the dealership this morning I had mapped out what I referred to as a driving tour of Boston. While our memories of Boston are quite tainted at this point considering we spent most of our time here in the inside of a Mercedes dealership and/or waiting for our van in Harvard Square, we were determined to make the best of it and see what we could see before venturing on to our next destination. Wherever that may be.

It was a driving tour because as you already know, Boston is not conducive to parking a twenty-four foot sprinter van let alone driving one. We started in the North End of Boston which is known as “Little Italy.” Bustling with Italian restaurants, cafes and buildings stacked on top of each other, this area is also home to the Old North Church where the infamous “one if by land, two if by sea” situation went down. We thought it was difficult to drive around Boston in the sprinter van, try the North End. Those streets made European streets look wide.

From there we drove by Faneuil Hall Marketplace which is definitely a place I wanted to be able to get out of the car and shop but nevertheless we were able to admire the beautiful building from the comfort of the van. After Faneuil we drove by Boston Common and admired the lush green park filled with throngs of people enjoying a beautiful sunny day. After admiring the city park, we drove through historic Beacon Hill which is a particularly exquisite area. It has the charm of the European influence seen throughout Boston but a bit more elevated. Fronts of buildings are covered in ivy, people are out and about enjoying an afternoon coffee and pastry, dogs are being walked, streets can actually fit two cars, side by side at any given time. If I had to pick an area to live, it would without question be that one. At least as far as I know given my very limited Boston knowledge, it would be Beacon Hill. However I'm sure the price tag on any kind of dwelling in Beacon Hill matches its exquisite charm and desirability.

After Beacon Hill we drove to Fenway Park and admired this beloved ball park before heading out of town. We didn’t time it exactly right as we were definitely battling rush hour traffic in Boston but nevertheless we bid adieu to our interesting time in this city and drove to Providence, Rhode Island. Upon arrival in Providence (only about an hour drive) we realized that there was really no place for us to stay and we had in fact passed Cape Cod which both of us were interested to see. We drove a bit to a rest stop to eat dinner before continuing the drive to Cape Cod. Like a lot of our favorite destinations thus far, we arrived in Cape Cod in the shadow of night so it will be a total surprise to us in the morning. Based on our limited time here driving through the streets to find a safe place to land for the evening, it looks like a sweet little town. Right now I’m just trying to find the best place to go shopping and explore tomorrow while Adam works and Coco sleeps. Just your typical Thursday.

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