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A bunch of my friends and I were in Boston for the marathon. We met up at the convention center where the expo was being held. We went out searching for some place to have breakfast or brunch all together. There were about 15 of us. We wanted to find some place where we could sit all together. Probably not easy on regular days. But the city was crowded with people there for the marathon. We wandeded around the streets, stopping at places, and asking about available seating. Most of the places had no room, or there would be an incredibly long wait. Then we stopped at Charley’s Restaurant. They said they had room for us, though we would have to wait maybe 20 minutes. Sounded like a good deal.
The bunch of us waited in the bar area talking. After a bit, someone came and took us downstairs. We were seated all together. There weren’t any other people down here. It seems like they opened this area up to accomidate our group! How cool was that.
Service was very good, though the food was a little slow to come. That really didn’t bother us, and we were enjoying talking. A couple people had to leave, to make it to the Red Sox game.
The food did come, and it was very good. I had the “Newbury Breakfast” which consisted of three eggs any style served with an English muffin, fresh fruit, home fries and crisp bacon, sausage or ham. It was very good. My only complaint was that it was pretty light on home fries. Cmon guys, potatoes are cheap! The other people in the group seemed to enjoy their brunch meals as well. My wife, and a friend ordered the french toast, and they brought little tiny things of syrup. Not nearly enough for the friend toast. But a simple request, and they brought more. I would eat here again.
Charley’s Restaurant is located at 284 Newbury St, Boston, MA 02115. Their phone number is 617-266-3000. They have a website: www.charleys-restaurant.com

We were in town for the Boston Marathon and staying at the Doubletree Guest Suites. The night before a marathoin, runner traditionally will eat pasta for the carbs. We asked the people at the front desk about any pasta type restaurants in the area. As luck would have it, there was a pasta place across the street. We headed over, and found the place without too much difficulty. The entrance isn’t obvious. There are signs though.
We haad to wait to be seated, but that was mainly because there were six of us. But we didn’y have to wait too long. They were busy, and we could see many other people eating in there that were plainly marathoners as well.
The service was very good. My wife who managed restaurants for many years, was so impressed with the manager, that she approached him after dinner, and complemented him on the job he was doing.
The food was good andd plentyfull. I had spaghetti with meatballs. I was full by the time I was done. Some of our party didn’t manage finish their meals.
I would probably go here again. It is very convenient if you are staying at the Doubletree Guest Suites in Waltham.
Their address is 475 Winter St, Waltham, MA 02451. Their phone number is 781-684-0650.

My wife and I were staying in Waltham for the Boston Marathon. I also had some friends that were staying in the same hotel. We planned to go out for dinner. Not knowing any of the restaurants in the area, we looked in the little guide we got from the hotel. My wife and I wanted clam chowder, but beyond that, we had no real preference. We looked in the guide and found a seafood restaurant named The Naked Fish. It was right down the road. We headed there, and were quickly seated. Looking in the menu, I was surprised at the prices. $16 for fish and chips? This was not what I had in mind. We quietly left.
I set my GPS to take us into the main strip of Waltham. We drove down main street looking for some place to eat, but nothing jumped out. We went down another road, and spotted John Brewer’s Tavern. We decided to try it.
We were quickly seated. Service was very good, and we quickly had out drinks. The only thing I knew I wanted was clam chowder. My wife and I decided to share a bowl. As for the main meal, there were many things that looked good. I asked the waitress what she recommended. She recommended several things. Of her recommendations, I chose “Elaine’s Marinated Steak Tips”. My wife chose the Reuben Sandwich.
The clam chowder was very good. I have had better, but I have had alot worse. The steak tips were excellent, and my wife seemed to enjoy her Reuben.
One of my friends had the chicken pot pie. It had this big puff pastry thing on top and I was surprised how big it was. He seemed to enjoy it also.
If I qualify for the Boston Marathon again next year, I plan to stay in Walthan again, and I also plan to visit John Brewer’s Tavern again.
John Brewer’s Tavern is located at 39 Main Street, RT 20, Waltham, MA, 02453. Phone # (781) 894-9700. They have a web site at http://www.johnbrewerstavern.com

After I registered for the Boston Marathon, I started looking for a hotel. The first thing I learned was that hotels in Boston are very expensive! Maybe it is just around the time of the marathon, or maybe it is all the time. I don’t know. But I am talking rooms going for $200-$400/night being some of the cheapest I found.
But I have friend who have run the race before, and had some great tips. One of my friends is a local and suggested the Doubletree in Waltham. He said it was just over $100 a night, and was only a few miles from the T. We could take the T into downtown Boston.
I got online, and looked and sure enough, I got a room for $107.10/night for three nights. With the $31 in taxes, it came to about $352 for the weekend. That is about what it was going to cost for one night at some of the other hotels I looked at.
We arrived Saturday afternoon, and check-in was smooth. We even got a voucher for a free cookie. We made our way to our room.
The room was large, with a bedroom and a sitting room. The sitting room had a sofa, coffee table, dining table, chairs, and a TV. The bedroom had a king size bed, a desk and a smaller TV. Everything was clean. Something I noticed quickly was that one of the bedside lamps was missing the little plastic knob to turn it on. The other beside lamp had a CFL bulb that seemed to be going bad as it was very dim. Something else we discovered was that only one of the two room key cards we recieved, worked. I took the cards back to the desk, and they reprogrammed them. I mentioned the problems with the bedside lamps, but these were not fixed during our stay.
I checked out the pool. The pool area was very nice and included a hot tub which I planned to use after the race. The only problem I saw was that the pool was filled with kids. But I figured I would come down later that night after all the kids had hopefully had gone to bed. When I did come down that night about 9:30pm, there were still a few kids. I got in the pool to start swimming some laps. I wasn’t in the pool more than a couple minutes before a bunch more kids showed up and took over the pool. I bonked one on the head while doing backstroke, and freestyled over another one. After about 25 minutes, I gave up and went back to my room. Interestingly, the pool seemed to be salt water, and not the chlorine I am used to.
I checked out the fitness room and they had some very nice Precor equipment in there. The treadmills looked nice, but I was going to be running a marathon in a couple days, and they were not in my plans.
We were underwhelmed by restaurant which we visited on the last night. The food was okay, but not great. And the service was lacking. I had to ask multiple times to get my diet coke refilled. It was mostly ice, and I emptied it quickly, and I had to ask again multiple times to get a refill.
The desk staff were great. They day before the marathon, we asked how much it would cost to take a cab downtown on race morning. We were told they had arranged for shuttles to take people to Hopkinton for $20 a person. This was fantastic and saved us much stress, and allowed us to get more sleep.
There is not a lot of stuff right around the hotel, but there are some restaurants not too far away.
If I qualify for next year’s Boston Marathon, I would plan on staying here again.
The Doubletree Guest Suites Boston/Waltham is located at 550 Winter Street, Waltham, MA. The phone number is (781) 890-6767.

I was going to be travelling to Toronto to run a half marathon with a Canadian friend of mine. I asked her where she would staying, and she said she didn’t know. Her brother worked for some company where he could get discount rates at hotels. He was going to get her a cheap room. I asked if he could get me a cheap room too. It turned out could. We ended up getting a great deal on rooms right next to each other at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel.
My wife and I arrived on Friday evening, and pulled up to the entrance. They had valet parking. I asked if they had a parking garage, and the guy said no, but that there was one across the street.
He also mentioned the valet parking was like $40, and the garage was like $20. Um…that was a no brainer. I parked in the garage. The garage is connected to the hotel by an under-street tunnel which makes it easy to go back and forth.
Our room was on the 11th floor. It was nice and clean and had a great view of the marathon start and finish area.
The hotel has a great 25 yard indoor/outdoor pool. I enjoyed swimming my laps in this pool. It started raining a little bit while I was swimming, and every time I went into the outside part, I would feel rain drops hitting my back. This was an interesting effect. There is also a fitness room with really nice gym quality equipment. But they charged for it’s use.
There is a small shopping area under the hotel which includes a food court.
The hotel doesn’t have WiFi, but does have wired internet connections in the rooms. But they charge for the internet access. I wasn’t able to locate any free WiFi connections in the area, at least not from our 11th floor room, and with my laptop. Maybe a lower room, or with a laptop that has a stronger antenna.
We very much enjoyed our stay at this hotel. I would love to stay here again next time we are in Toronto if we could get the same rate.
Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel is located at 123 Queen Street West • Toronto, Ontario M5H 2M9. thier phone is (416) 361-1000.

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