Lowell/Chelmsford MA


A typical quick trip this week, heading out on a Wednesday and back Thursday night.  I left work around 2:00 pm, stopped at my apartment to grab my roll aboard, then to the SYR airport to pick-up my rental car.

It’s pretty much a straight shot down the NYS Thruway and Mass Turnpike to Chelmsford MA, which was an uneventful 5-hour drive.

Why not fly?
This is about the furthest I’ll drive without seriously considering flying.  Back in the pre 9/11 days, I probably would have flown to Logan Airport in Boston, but these days with long security lines, over-sold flights, and the airlines charging enhanced prices for business travelers, I opted to drive.  I’m also not tailoring my trip to match flight schedules; if I finish early I can head home, and I don’t have to cut out of a project early to catch a flight.

Courtyard Boston Lowell/Chelmsford

This was a pretty standard Marriott Courtyard, although from the layout of the hotel, I’m guessing it was originally launched under a different brand with colonial touches throughout.

One difference from other Courtyards was the restaurant/common area.  This property still has a standard buffet breakfast instead of the Bistro model that most other Marriott Courtyards have adopted.  So you can get in and out for breakfast fairly quickly.  The restaurant only serves breakfast, so if you’re looking for dinner or a drink/snack in the evening, you’re going to have to head someplace else.

The room was the same basic layout as other Courtyards; my room had two double beds with the wardrobe/dresser/TV/desk unit.  Zero issues with the cleanliness of the room.  Basic tiled bathroom was clean with no broken/worn fixtures or tiles.  The water is very soft here, so you find yourself rinsing a bit longer until you’re sure you’ve washed off all of the soap.

Come on, not that bad.

My only real complaint about the room was the iron and ironing board.  The ironing board had a super thin pad, so my shirt ended up with a slight waffle pattern matching the mesh of the ironing board underneath.  Annoying, but not the end of the world.  My tie covered the bulk of the problem and you had to look close to actually see it.

The weight/exercise room was also very typical with two treadmills, an elliptical, recumbent bike and a rack of dumbbells and weight bench.  I’ll save it for another post, but virtually every hotel exercise room has a recumbent bike, which is the most useless piece of exercise equipment there is.  It was pretty busy in there Thursday morning, with everything in use.

The return trip

90% of the trip home consisted of heading east on Rt 90.  Negligible construction and it was clear and sunny.  Unfortunately heading East in the fall also means you’re going to drive for a ways with the sun in your eyes, adjusting the visor every time there’s a bend in the road, but it beats the same drive at night.

Sort and sweet, there and back again in a little over 24 hours.


  • Nights from home: 1
  • Miles driven: 509 miles
  • Flight miles/segments: 0/0
  • 2016 nights on the road (so far): 51


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