From Maine it was on to Boston. I checked in at the Kimpton Ninezero. The location of this hotel is amazing, situated just steps from anything and everything it seemed. The pooch loved Boston Common and the Freedom Walk. I loved Newbury Street. I grabbed some chowdah for lunch at Beantown Pub and then some more at Boston Sail Loft along with a steamed lobster for dinner. Boston Sail Loft’s chowder was among the best I’ve had – clams galore and loads of fresh dill.
From Boston it was on to Orange, Massachusetts to visit with family. This tiny town offers solitude and rustic charm. A family hike up Tully mountain proved fun and exhausting and left us famished. This night became a highlight of the road trip as it was filled with deliciously fresh-grilled local food, tons of wine, and delightful conversation with loved ones.
The next morning began early with a thunderstorm as we headed on to Cleveland for more family time. We just so happened to be coming into town the day before the parade to celebrate the Cleveland Cavaliers victory in the NBA championships. The new Kimpton Schofield Hotel was our home base. This is a very new hotel that is still “in the works” in many ways. It was converted from an old office building and still has some of that industrial vibe. The restaurant is not yet open, so room service is out of the question. We went to a lovely roof-top bar for dinner and drinks and saw many people reveling in the Cavs victory. The next morning had us literally trapped in the hotel with over 1.3 million people jammed in the streets of Cleveland in preparation for the parade. This is my opportunity to give major kudos to the staff at Hotel Schofield. At one point in the afternoon as the parade was winding down, an active shooter was on foot nearby. The staff quickly secured the location and moved guests to safety. We thought all was clear and then it happened again. People on the streets were running and screaming. Everyone was freaking out, rightfully so, as this was on the heels of the Orlando terror attack. Again, the staff at the Kimpton secured the location and made sure that all guests were out of harm’s way. They even held a special happy hour (longer and more generous than the usual at Kimpton) as a means of debriefing us all. Just fabulous people all around.
A bit shaken from the Cleveland adventure, we headed on to Cincinnati and the Westin. Westin is another dog friendly chain, but in my opinion, not quite as welcoming (or interesting) as Kimpton. Skyline Chili, with its cult following, was a must. Tasty and sticks with you long after eating it, if you know what I mean;). The night’s events included a Cincinnati Reds baseball game and some much-needed rest in the trademarked “Heavenly Bed”.
The next morning had us on the road again to Kansas City. The hotel offerings in this area are somewhat limited, so we went with our usual dog-friendly back-up, La Quinta. This one was interesting, so to speak. But it was an adventure, right? On to Plowboys barbecue for dinner. We feasted on ribs, burnt ends, cheesy potatoes, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, green beans, and coleslaw. This was not the greatest barbecue I’ve ever had, but it was good enough that evening.
We awoke at 6am and headed out toward Colorado with Vail as our final destination for now. The pup and I are going to hang the leash here for awhile and immerse ourselves in the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. The overall message that emerged from this all-American road trip is that “America the Beautiful” is no lie!