Heather and I generally travel well together. We do our research, weigh our options, and come to decisions that we both feel good about. On trips we often praise ourselves for the fine job we did planning such a spectacular vacation. (Sadly, that’s true. We actually do.)
But, nobody’s perfect.
We have made our share of travel mistakes. We share them here in the hopes that you can avoid them on your own travels.
1. Traveling North for New Year’s
Our most recent oops. Last month we reviewed our impressions of Montreal. The city certainly has a lot of destination appeal. However, amid a record breaking cold snap this appeal plummets. We thought: how much colder can Montreal be compared to Boston at New Year’s? Answer: Nose snapping instant frostbite colder.
There’s a reason that people in the Northeast go south in the winter. I accept the logic now.
Montreal is one of the most complex cities I have ever visited. It is culturally rich, steeped in history, and ground zero for French-English bi-culturalism and its attendant debates. It is also an industrial port, forged by its strategic location on the St. Lawrence river. It’s modern and international yet traditional and insular. The beautiful and ugly co-exist in single perspective views of Montreal as in few other places.
I have been to Montreal 5-6 times in my life and three times within the past two years with Heather. Our recent sojourns were driven by initial curiosity about the poker scene after seeing the Playground Poker Club on a televised tournament. It turns out that the Casino Montreal also has a decent poker room. Enjoying both, and the fact that Montreal is only a 5 hour drive from our house, we have returned twice in the summer and most recently over the New Year’s weekend.
However, I must admit I am still divided on Montreal as a vacation destination. Let’s start with the positives.
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As we ponder our Poker Pilgrimage, we need to decide where our year of travel will take us. We have three basic criteria for places to earn a spot on our journey, a location must either have a poker room (or rooms: Hello Las Vegas!) we want to visit, be a spot that we have never been but would like to go (such as Charleston, SC), or be one of our favorite cities, and thus worthy of a return trip. Today, we thought we would share our five favorite cities and start to pin some way-points on our journey.
Boston is an easy one. We live in the Boston area, and thus this is where our journey will begin. Boston has history, museums, culture, natural beauty, and sports teams galore. For the first time visitor we would recommend the aquarium, the science museum, Faneuil Hall, a walk down the Freedom Trail, a walk along the Charles River, taking in a game (Celtics, Patriots, Red Sox, or Bruins depending on the season), and a visit to any of the many historic and beautiful outlying towns. Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun, and numerous New Hampshire cardrooms are within a couple of hours if your poker jones needs to be fed. If you’re looking to save on attractions, you can Save 45% or more on Boston’s 5 best attractions with CityPASS. The Boston CityPASS allows you to save on such attractions as the Aquarium, Museum of Science, and the Skywalk Observatory. These are all must-visits on our Boston list.
Welcome to Poker Pilgrims! I am Heather and I have built this site with my husband Paul in order to share our thoughts, experiences, and research as we work toward a grand adventure in poker travel. If you have ever dreamed of a future in which you travel the country, this site is for you.
Paul and I are both avid poker players and travelers. It has long been our dream to travel the country for a year, playing poker along the way. As our youngest children approach college, we can see this dream within reach and are now getting serious about planning for our journey. Our target date is September 2022. It feels so close, yet so very far into the future. [Ed. note: We are now thinking about a mini-pilgrimage down the west coast in the fall of September 2021 when the little ones are Freshmen. In other words, we can’t wait!]