Adventures in Manchester

I go to these conferences all over the country, and I typically like to get out of the hotel for at least a little bit. Go and see the city a tad. Get a feel for the place. That’s how I’ve seen things like the Mark Twain home and Wrigley Field. Manchester, NH isn’t exactly Chicago, but I wanted to get out of the hotel for an evening, anyway.

But what to do?

I wanted to eat someplace fun, so I found a Hungarian restaurant that had good reviews. It was supposed to close at 5, and it wasn’t far from the hotel at all, so I headed over at 4:30 yesterday. Got there at 4:40 to discover they’d already shut for the day. (When I asked why, the older gentleman behind the counter said, “People don’t come here after 4:30.” I debated arguing that point with him, but decided it wasn’t worth the effort. I went back this morning to pick up some goodies for Denisa.)

Since I’d struck out on that effort, I decided to try something a bit more geeky. I had the evening, and I was actually feeling like a walk, so I went to explore a comics/game store about a half hour away. The weather was lovely. The walk? A little sketchier than I had anticipated. While the area around the hotel was just fine, I picked a route without contemplating the idea that there might be areas of Manchester where a guy in a suit jacket might stand out.

I’m not saying I was walking through any active crime scenes. But I’m not saying I wasn’t. Thankfully, my height and beard managed to dissuade any would-be muggers, and I emerged unscathed at my destination. Of course, then I was distracted by shiny games and a slew of MTG cards. I blinked, and I swear I lost an hour and a half somewhere.

When I came to and was making my purchase, I realized it was dark outside. “What’s the safest way to walk back to the Radisson?” I asked, expecting the guys there to laugh at my question and reassure me that nothing ever bad happens in Manchester.

Instead, I got: “Oh! That’s a really good question. I’m glad you asked.”

Apparently the exact worst way to walk back was the way I’d come. I got a better route and made it home in one piece. So maybe my spidey senses weren’t too off about my safety as I was headed to the store. Go figure.

In any case, a fun time was had by all, and it was great to be able to get a bit of exercise again. Yay for feeling better!

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