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NSPW 2010: Location & Activities


NSPW 2010 will be held at the Colonial Inn in Concord, Massachusetts, USA.

Registration and rooms

Registration includes a room at the inn for the nights of September 20, 21, and 22. Checkin time is 3pm. NSPW will take care of the logistics of working with the Colonial Inn and assigning your room for those three nights. Attendees wishing to come early or stay late at the Inn will be able to get the conference rate of $169 a night. The procedure for adding nights to your stay at the Inn is:

  1. Register for NSPW via the link provided in your invitation.
  2. Send email to the local chair (mzurko@us.ibm.com) telling her you will be contacting the Inn to extend your stay there.
  3. Wait for her reply telling you that the Inn knows about you, so you're good to go.
  4. Call the Inn . Tell them you are part of the "NSPW room block" with a room rate of $169, and make the reservation for the extra nights with them.

There will not be an extra room charge to bring a friend. The charge for the meals for your guest (if you bring one) will be in the ballpark of $210 US and cover all of our meals.

All rooms are non-smoking by law. There is a smoking area on the grounds of the hotel.

All rooms have free wifi access to the internet.

We begin with a 5:00pm reception and dinner on September 20. Traditionally the workshop concludes with lunch on the third day (September 23rd). Three days of dinner, breakfast, and lunch are included in the registration (and are what will be provided for any registered guests, at a fee).

Travel

Directions to Colonial Inn. Boston's Logan airport is the recommended airport. Manchester, NH's MHT is an option as well.

From and To Boston Logan Airport

http://www.massport.com/logan/getti.html

Driving to and from Logan can be very variable since the highways are high traffic routes; particularly during rush hours (outbound in the evening; inbound in the morning). If you are going to drive at those times, allow a bit of extra time (at least 15 minutes).
Google maps estimates it at a 40 minute drive.

For financial aid planning purposes, $50US is a good estimate of what it will cost to take public transportation to and from the workshop from Boston Logan.

The Fitchburg MBTA Commuter Rail goes from Porter Square to Concord:
http://www.mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/rail/lines/?route=FITCHBRG&direct...

To get to Porter Square from the Airport, you'll take the MBTA. The Silver Line stops at all terminals, and connects to the red line at South Station. Then take the red line to Porter Square. Leave an hour for travel time once you have your luggage (it is sometimes 45 minutes or even shorter, but 1 hour is a pretty safe generalization). If you have luggage, leave at least 30 minutes from touch down to getting your luggage. If you are flying in from outside the US and will need to go through immigration and customs, figure 1 hour from touch down til you've got your luggage and are good to go.
http://www.mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/subway/

It's a pleasant 15 minute walk from the commuter rail to Colonial Inn, through the main street shopping district of Concord (it's a smallish towns; there aren't taxies hanging out or anything):
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Concord%27s+Colonial+In...

Pickup services are more cost effective than a taxi at this distance. The local chair uses Corporate Coach & Limousine in Westford, MA, +1-978-392-3430. I've never had a problem or mixup with them (knock wood), and the guy who generally answers the phone (Alan) is pleasant and knows his business. They are also more reasonably priced than some of the other services. It's about $92 US one way, for up to 4 in a car (assuming luggage fits; the cars are largeish). (additional modest charges if they need to work around traffic or work between midnight and 5am.) If you use them (or any car service), it's best to ask them for their estimate on how long the drive will take.

http://www.yellowbot.com/corporate-coach-limousine-westford-ma.html

Manchester airport in New Hampshire

Manchester is a lovely, small airport, about an hour's drive from Concord:
link

If you use MHT, renting a car and driving seems to be the only option.

Activities around Concord

We hope to have a group outing at the nearby Old North Bridge, a short walk away. We may also take in The Old Manse.

Colonial Inn's Warm Indian Pudding was featured on the holiday episode of "The Best Thing I Ever Ate". We hope to have it on the workshop menu. We hear from friends that their Pot Roast is pretty amazing as well.

Concord tourism information:
http://www.concordchamberofcommerce.org/concord_visitor-info2.htm

Minute Man National Park, where we hope to have a walk and an outing:
http://www.nps.gov/mima/index.htm

The local chair does some of her holiday shopping in downtown Concord. They have a number of nice stores carrying upscale crafts, cheeses, kitchen ware, and books.

If you've got a bit of time and a car, she also recommends Fruitlands:
http://www.fruitlands.org/

The Nashoba Valley Winery is about a 30 minute drive and has tours, tastings, and a nice restaurant:
http://www.nashobawinery.com/

Activities around Boston

If you like historical things and didn't get enough at the Old North Bridge, do the Freedom Trail in Boston. It's great; the local chair did it with her mother to celebrate her mom's 80th birthday.
http://www.thefreedomtrail.org/

If you like art, the Museum of Fine Arts is worth a stop.
http://www.mfa.org/

And the nearby Gardner Museum is a fine example of a home and personal collection made into a museum:
http://www.gardnermuseum.org/

The glass flower collection at the Harvard Museum of Natural History is cool. They were teaching aids originally.
http://www.hmnh.harvard.edu/on_exhibit/the_glass_flowers.html

The local chair uses the Frommers web site to suss out what the top attractions are in a new place:
http://www.frommers.com/destinations/boston/