Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Be Prepared.

Save the date - Strike Action. 

The Belgians are striking. Apparently they love Monday strikes because they are having them for the next three Mondays.

Tomorrow's strike will impact rail routes going to Germany. If you have a meeting in Hamburg, I highly recommend rescheduling. If you are planning to get to London, you are golden. If you want to get to the airport, I suggest booking a car service or cab. Nothing like getting all sweaty walking to the station to find out that the trains are also out of service and then having to fight someone for a cab.
Strikes can take a crap on your travel plans.

The next two strikes are predicted to be more severe. Eurostar services are cancelled, as are local and international services and the airport transportation will be shut down.  If you are planning on leaving on Brussels on the 15th, think again.

I appreciate getting the notice of these strikes.  The Italian railways announce strikes months ahead of time.  I feel like each strike needs a save the date card sent out with the information because you are likely to forget it. I recommend special ordering fridge magnets striking workers of the world for each action or in the case of the Belgians a set of three. They are really cute and handy.

Joking aside, I understand the need to strike and the consideration by those striking to allow others to make alternate arrangements, but does this lessen the impact of your strike?

What if you had a strike action that closed the airport and no one came?

Not always. Be prepared. Carry a good book, your charger, know your rights and always use the bathroom before you board your flight.  
On that note, always check with your transportation carrier ahead of time for strikes, flight cancellations, ticket cancellations (me,twice in this trip) and be a savvy traveler. No one is going to do you favors, even if you are super zirconium status. Your concierge may have taken the weekend off and you may be SOL.

Happy Trails my friends.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Keep Calm and Panic Later

Hoxton Station, way out there. 

Update - Hyatt has honored our reservation at their other property without any intervention on my part. I love the AndaZ and will talk about why in a new post. 

What to do when the hotel you have reservations at suffers an unfortunate kitchen explosion and has evacuated all guests until they can determine if it is safe or not.

  1.  Be happy that they didn't just say, oops and laugh it off and blame it on a pot of beans 
  2. Be relieved they have moved all guests into neighboring hotels and will not allow for occupancy until the hotel checks out to be safe 
  3.   Be relieved that while one person was seriously hurt, very few suffered injuries 
  4. Realize that your stay is two weeks away and a lot of things can happen in two weeks, so you should chill
  5.  Make alternative plans because even though you know they'll take care of you, you want to take care of yourself 
  6.  Not call the Customer Service line to bitch and moan because you applied an upgrade to your reservation and you will not accept a downgrade 
  7.  Read the frequent flyer thread on the incident with some amusement and realize everyone thinks their crisis is more important than their fellow travelers 
  8. Keep abreast of changes through the hotel's social media streams 
  9.  All of the above I

I'm going with all of the above.

There is too much other drama in my life and I can wait a little longer to make sure my stay details are going to change. Follow @hyattconcierge and @hyattchurchill on twitter to track the status of the Hyatt Regency Churchill reopening.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Single Payer System

Le Crillon, Dec. 2013. We are so fancy.

I love travel, loyalty programs and  I love eating. These are the three truths. I also love to plan. I would have made a terrible hostel goer or backpacker back in the day.  I am not a seat of the pants traveller either, I like to have a decent idea of where I'm going and what I'm going to see.

I also hate waiting in lines, all of them.

I'm a big fan of online reservation systems that ensure that I don't have to wait in line for food, museum exhibitions and ticket machines that only take exact change. For dining, I use OpenTable as much as possible to make restaurant bookings. I have even been known to fire up the app on the way to a restaurant just to ensure I'm not going to be hanging out in the parking lot with one of those ugly pagers.

Restaurants sometimes run promotions through OpenTable to get people to dine during off hours. Typically a diner earns 100 points for booking through OpenTable, but sometimes that bumps up to 1000 points.  Points start to add up fast when you book them at these odd hours and for those who love their points, it can mean convincing your loved one eating dinner at 545 is really a very late lunch.

What does this have to do with the Single Payer System?  Most of these promos require a party of two to get the 1000 points.  The solo traveller is just as likely to eat either earlier or late, but they don't qualify for the promotion.  Shouldn't we be getting at least 500 points?

I know that the restaurants pay to be part of the OpenTable program and it costs them x number of dollars to give out these points, but who is to say the solo traveller is not going to order a more expensive entree, a better glass of wine and perhaps linger over a cappuccino before heading back to their room to watch Dog the Bounty Hunter?

The same thing goes for restaurants that will not book tables for one. I use the French and UK equivalents of OpenTable to book restaurants and often times they will not take a solo diner.  I end up booking for two and bring my bear to lunch (Kidding, sort of) . Instead I'll sheepishly say that my companion was not going to make it and hope they don't put me next to the bussing station.

I think it is time for the single payer/diner to be recognized.  We can easily just order room service and sit in our pjs, but we choose to adventure out and try the newest kombucha on tap hotspot, so rejoice and give us our damn points for trying.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Throw back Thursday, the very tired and must go to bed edition

I bought a slide scanner earlier this summer and I am completely driven to scan all that I have to lessen my photo footprint. There will be more on that soon. These are a few of my memories of Rome, shot on film.

Finding beauty in all the right places, Rome 2000.

Passegiata, Rome 1997.

Not to scale, Ghetto, Rome 1997,

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The boring bits

Pain aux raisins at the Park Hyatt Vendome. These could be my most favorite things in the world. 

In October, I went on a modified Elimination diet. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't the bellyaching bitch fest that most folks seem to discuss on the social networks. Like most things in my life these days, it had a start and stop date. For four weeks, I stopped eating oats, wheat and wheat like products, some fruits and vegetables, sugar, eggs, almonds and dairy from my diet. I did not remove coffee and chocolate from my life because that was going too far, but didn't seek them out either. I felt great for those weeks. I had more energy and not as hungry as I had feared. I tried really hard not to bore people with my elimination diet. I travelled twice during the time and managed okay both times. Sashimi was my friend and I was glad rice and potatoes did not make the hit list.

 I learned that I could live without goat cheese and hemp milk wasn't as crappy tasting as I had feared.

 I added bunch of stuff back to "challenge" my system while I was in France. I felt okay, nothing really awful happened. It wasn't like a sat down and ate an Emmenthal and ham sandwich dipped in beet juice followed by an almond milk chaser. I tried a little of this (bread) with a little of that (grand mariner souffle) and some of this (cheese). The world did not end, I did not start raising funds for my elimination diet video channel and meal planning kit kickstarter. I listened to my body, gauged how I felt after each item was introduced and moved on.

 What I did realize was that I love my boring and predictable food choices and I'm happy to abide by them the 280 days a year I'm at home. I'll try some things when I'm out of my comfort zone, but really I would be much happier in my comfort zone. I could have walked 10 minutes from my hotel and gotten a juice bar experience or I could crossed the Avenue de l'Opera to visit Starbucks and get a soy latte. Instead I decided that my choice would be to skip the smoothie and have fruit instead. I drank more cafes than cappucinos and as TH has pointed out, the tisanes are a far superior to their coffee.

 I'm easing back into my home routine for the next two weeks. I look forward to cooking this weekend and my 3 pm hummus and carrots. It may be boring, but sometimes that is all it takes.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Expect the expected

Tomorrow is the first time in nearly  20 years I am flying British Airways westbound in Economy.  I'm not complaining, it was of my own choosing.  I wanted to get home fast. I have equipped myself with a good book, earplugs and a chocolate eclair from La Marquis de Laduree. I hope this and a decent cup of coffee at the airport will see me through.

I've flown American Airlines many times in the same class and with long layovers and survived. I've grown accustomed to the declining service, lack of edible food, vastly long layovers and non-personalized attention from my airline of choice. I think that is part of the problem - I have no expectations, I just expect meh service and to be exhausted when I get to Seattle.

I'm moving into new ground here with British Airways, wish me luck.

Friday, November 07, 2014

See something, Say something

I have learned a lot about myself in the last few years. One thing is that I am much better off confronting a situation that stewing for hours . It is better to face whatever is nagging or bothering me instead of losing sleep or involving others in my web of crankiness.

There is nothing like remembering a trip because of the one shitty thing that happened to you instead of the 300 awesome things which occurred at same time.

"I loved x, but all I can remember was the rude waiter, crappy valet, lack of turn down service or smelly seat opponent." 

Trying to turn this around to - "Greenland was amazing, I even enjoyed the surprise overnight visit to Disko Island thanks to the ferry running aground.  We got to meet some folks we would have never of met and saw way more icebergs because of it".  

So, not everyone has had  the joy of being stranded in Greenland, but I'm thinking all six of you who have read this blog post have gotten a sub-par room in a hotel and have either shut up and unpacked your suitcase or have bitched about the room to someone other than the Front Desk Manager.

Now, I just confront whatever it is that is bothering me - hotel rooms, inadequate service or ferries that run aground. If I get resolution, great. If I don't, I tried and can move on. Moving on is hard, but sometimes it is all you can do.

What about you?

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Guilty Pleasures

I'm sitting in the Skyteam Lounge at LAX waiting to board my flight to Paris. It is a really nice lounge, light and airy and spacious.  It is also very quiet, which is very unusual in this day and age.

It is also place with free wifi. I'm working but I'm also doing something else  - I'm catching up on my vapid television watching. I do a lot of that these days.  I have become somewhat of a tv watcher. I'm not proud of it, but instead of reading tattered copies of Redbook at the gym, I'm catching up on British shows and U.S. popular culture in 45 minute chunks.

What is my guilty pleasure? Picking a series and downloading a full season to watch on the trip.  The rest, I'll pick up on netflix or hulu, but spending that 19 bucks for 19 hours of entertainment is my guilty pleasure.

What is yours?

Monday, November 03, 2014

How to dress for success or how to dress yourself successfully

A room with a view, Hyatt Etoile, July 2014.

My life has taken some turns - mostly good.

I have started to dress like a grown-up. Maybe its that I finally feel like I can buy clothes that suit me. It might just be that I work right next to the Nordstrom shoe buyers and I feel like I have to up my game.
Whatever it is, it takes a little more effort that it did before to get out the door and that takes some planning.

I'm going on an eight day trip soon that involves air travel and a bit of driving. I have a short work presentation to a bunch of friendly colleagues who are more casual and then to Paris where I want to look nice and be comfortable. I'm not into wardrobe changes per se, but I could definitely get out of my rut and try a few things.

In my new found love of retail I have learned a few things that I would love to share with you. Here they are.

Always shop for clothes on an empty stomach - you'll look better.

If you can't take someone you trust with you when you go shopping  make sure you model what you bought for them before you rip off the tags.

Try and sit down and cross your legs, bend over, stretch your arms up in your new garments on a full stomach before you rip off any tags.

Cut those tags off, do not rip them.

Always save the receipt and the buttons that come with whatever you bought. You'll need them one day.

Oh, I hate Pinterest, but here is a board that shows you just what I'm thinking of taking.

Do tell me what you think.


Sunday, November 03, 2013

The best use of instagram to date

Today I feel like I am a terrible traveler. Partially its because I refuse to check a bag, and thus feel I must be a minimalist in what I bring.  Partially because no matter how many times I leave, it always seems that I have packed too much or not packed the one thing I need.

Typically I am found somewhere in the first world. I have a credit card. I usually have command of a language that is spoken by someone around me. I can cope.  

So tonight I am packing for two trips that are back to back.  There is a planned touch and go in the middle, but on the off chance I do not have fly back home to leave again, I am packed for both trips. The temperature range is approximately 30 degrees and the occasions requires some semblance of natty dressing. 

What does this have to do with Instagram?

A few months ago, a friend of mine, Kristy embarked on a thirteen day trip to the Eastern US and the Maritimes.  She was spending a few days in Boston and NY and then the rest of the time was cruising. Before she left, she figured out her outfits and then instavideoed her wardrobe.  I could not stop watching it,  it was brilliant.  

I wish I had time this trip to be this creative.  Instead, I'm going with one extra pair of jeans (mailed home from California, a pair of boots that I may regret, a pair of ballet flats that I am mailing home after my meeting) and a crap ton of grey t-shirts. No one messes with a girl wearing a grey t-shirt and a black cashmere sweater and jack purcells.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Paris for beginners - Part 2

1979, a bad year for fashion
The family M, 1979. Trip one of a million to Paris.

Continuing on the Paris theme, let's talk about food and eating in general.  My first trip to Paris was in 1979.  My brother and I were teenagers and suffice it to say, it was not a good scene food wise or hormone wise. As my trips grew more frequently, I ventured away from McDonald's to try couscous, onion soup, pizza and Campari soda. I felt so sophisticated.

After 40 plus trips to Paris, I still get intimidated by eating and ordering when I step into a restaurant.  I do a great job of researching where we'll eat, but then fret that I will order the wrong wine, not enough food (Hello McDonald's!), or just hate the food.  Why is something I love to do at home - eat out, seem so vexing while traveling?

Maybe because I am afraid I'm going to be identified as a tourist and given a menu in ENGLISH (quelle horreur!).

Here's my advice, relax and enjoy the food.  As with all experiences, you will have five good to one bad.  You will faint at the prices for some things and feel like you stole out of the cash drawer for others, it all ends up about the same in the end.

Breakfast - If your hotel has it, take advantage of it especially if you need to be fueled in the morning.  Buffets are full of protein as well as the boulangerie goods you think of when you think of Paris.  If you are lucky enough to have a in room breakfast, enjoy freshly selected and not picked over goods.  Skip coffee in the morning, have tea (usually freshly brewed for you) or chocolat chaud. 
If breakfast is not available, suss out a local cafe and if you love keep on going back. Conversely, you can find a patisserie such as Erik Kayser and have a sit down pastry and coffee, but it is usually not very comfortable.

Parisians love brunch. I don't get it, but TH loves one place in particular - Sésame - on Quai Valmy on Canal St. Martin. It is tiny spot, but the food is plentiful.  Des Gars dans la cuisine is also great for brunch and a steal at lunch!  I would rather eat a huge lunch somewhere and walk it off than mix eggs with  an open faced sandwich and a brownie at 10 am.

Lunch - I love lunch. I prefer lunch to dinner. Lunch is less expensive and easier to get reservations at some of the posher places in town.  In some cases, Michelin starred restaurants have great prix fixe menus for lunch.  Many courses for 100 euros per person.  Dinner at these places run three times that and you will be completely over catered to and stuffed and have to taxi home.  Bring comfortable shoes to change into after lunch and walk back to your hotel.  My suggestions include Taillevent, L'astrance and Le Table du Joel Robuchon.  Here is a list of other awesome places that I am going to hit on my next few trips.

I am not going to give you a million lunch suggestions, other than you can't go wrong with omelets, salads with chevre, steak frites and the daily dish.  Have coffee, skip dessert and go find a macaron to munch in a little bit. 

Dinner - One word of advice - if you are peckish or need to eat long before the restaurants open, by all means have a snack. Fake fact - bad decisions and meltdowns between loved ones happen between 5:15-7:15 pm when you are starting to get hungry and nothing is open.  Great time to run back to hotel, take a shower, drop off all your stuff and have a snack in your room or the hotel bar before going out.
I like to stay near the hotel for dinner. This can be challenging if you are in an area that is devoid of decent food (office parks, La Defense, the AIRPORT), but most folks are probably not in the category. If  I'm tired and cranky, I will visit a local cafe and order an omelet and green salad and call it dinner.  If that doesn't work and your hotel room can tolerate the smells of take out, go to a local traiteur (deli serving hot food) and pick up some noshes. I love the hole in the wall places off of Rue St. Honoré.

Smart travelers always bring a plastic picnic pack of utensils and use the towels for a table cloth.  If you want quick and filling, head out for felafel in the Marais or near the Sorbonne. I have no favorites, but others do.

If we are in the mood for fancy food, we try and hit a nice restaurant, preferably one that takes reservations. We like baby brother restaurants of Michelin restaurants or brasseries around the corner. A great concierge can take your requested list of restaurants and make all reservations for you. If you are lucky, the hotel will even have a list you can fill out on line. If there is somewhere you are dying to try, I suggest emailing the restaurant, the hotel concierge or Skyping them and requesting a table.  The more popular restaurants will require a confirmation the morning of your reservation, so make to follow up or you will be eating at McDonald's.

Finally, there is McDonald's. I am not saying it is my favorite place to eat, but they make a decent cup of coffee and have free WiFi.  If you are homesick and want to check in via the Internets or Skype, you can do it here better than nearly everywhere, including outside of the restaurant.

The important thing is to be flexible and have a plan at the same time. While this seems contrarian, it works. Have two options to chose from - somewhere close when you are tired and can't fathom walking or taxiing from your destination to the restaurant and somewhere further afield if you still peppy with energy.

Remember to take lots of discrete pictures, but spend your time loving the food and paying attention to your dining companion.  You can latergram your finds in your hotel room later that night.

Paris eating links I like - John Talbott's Paris
David Lebovitz  - Paris suggestions  
Phyllis Flick - Paris notebook

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Paris for beginners -Part 1

on the way up
This blog post is really for my friends M and A who are going to Paris for a week.  They are quite lovely people - well traveled and have an amazing perspective on the world. I believe the last time they were in Paris, they might have been roughing it a little more.

In any case, here is my best what to see in  Paris advice. Take what you can from it and throw the rest away.

Welcome to a city that is full of amazing stuff - croissants spilling out of shop doors, dogs clad in Chanel, millions of instagrammable shots everywhere you look and tourists, scads of tourists.
Be a tourist for a few days, take in the city by bites, there is no need to see it all in a purposeful way. Make it fun, not a trudge.

Paris is a bunch of cities in one. Pick a few things that appeal to you - gardens, fashion, art, technology,  revolution, food and focus on them. No need to be greedy. Paris will always be there. Focus on those things and do them well. 

Interested in gardens and adaptive reuse?  Visit Parc Andre Citroen, Parc de la Villette, Viaducts des Arts, Canal St. Martin, Bercy, Bois de Boulogne, Giverny spring to mind and don't forget the Jardins des Plantes.

Interested in Markets - pick three to see - one with a great view is the  Marche Au President Wilson, Posh Organic Market - Boul. Raspail, Ethnic Market - one on the Canal, Covered markets are worth a look as well... The Quai de la Mégisseries and others close by have great plants. From this you get a sense of how Parisians try hard to eek out a little green in the smallest of balconies.

Outdoor Art - Musee Rodin, Pompidou and the sculpture garden located at Quai St. Bernard on the Seine.

Understanding Hausmann - walk the Grands Boulevards, at least for bit - Start at Opera, look down the Avenue, go towards Madeleine, marvel at the square and the poshness that surrounds. If you are strong willed, walk up Boul. Malesherbes to see the grandness of the streets.  You can stop anywhere along the way to rest your feet.  Contrast this with the Marais and its medieval feel.

Find the best box of chocolates - you know my favorites - Foucher, Jean Paul Hevin, La Maison du Chocolat, compare and contrast.  Do the same for macarons - you don't have to order a whole box, it is perfectly okay to order one or two.

The maps that you get from the hotels are remarkably well designed and should be used in conjunction to those you use to navigate on your phone.


Thursday, May 03, 2012

Travel Thursday - Why bother engaging? American Airlines and Status Matching

Magnolia stellata
Magnolia Stellata on Rue des blancs manteaux, Paris, March 2011.

Your words can speak louder than your actions. Think about it before you put anything out there onto
the interwebs. I had to leave a conversation on twitter with @americanair because they were starting to make me cranky and it was not going to be pretty in the end.  To their credit, they do attempt to be proactive and engage with their best customers. In this case, they were just spouting the company line.

I am not currently very pleased with American Airlines, the legacy airline to which I have been chained to for what appears to be an eternity.  I originally stayed with them because they acquired TWA and all their elites.  They treated us well. I traveled a lot, some for work, and much for pleasure. I was lucky, I found  some decent fares, usually got upgraded and rarely was disappointed, until now.

The airlines have been hit by high fuel costs, high salaries and benefit costs, and shrinking networks. The results are downgrades to basic amenities such as clean toilets and nourishment on flights and fewer and more crowded flights.  Flying is really no longer fun, even in premium classes. I approach each trip as if I am going to Alaska to do field work. I pack plenty of snacks and carry an extra book. I make sure I have my phone charger and an extra pair of underwear in my carry on because who knows if I'll end up with an unexpected overnight in Cold Bay.  I am  grateful if my bag makes it to my final destination.

It is sad to see something that used to make me so giddy with excitement now fill me with dread. The new developments make it even more irritating. 

American Airlines is offering status matches to United Airlines/Continental fliers at a tier to tier match up.  I know this sounds like Urdu to some of you, but they are giving the same level of elite recognition to fliers with high elite status on one airline to another, including free domestic upgrades and eight international upgrades.  The fliers can choose to fly or not after being granted these perks.  While the perks are not allowed to be traded or sold, they can be "gifted" to friends and family; so there are now eight more opportunities for you to give your parents the trip of their lifetime. In the past, they have had to challenge (fly a certain number of miles or earn a certain number of points) to prove their mettle and dedication and still only granted the mid tier of status.  Matches have also been granted on a case by case basis, or done very quietly .  Social media and community forums have put an end to that -- everything is fair game and everyone can get in on the deal if they are eligible.

Its all so awesome, right? Bonus! Score! How nice of them! Fraternity! Equality! Liberty!

So what happens to the schmucks that either fly weekly for work, monthly for leisure or try a little harder and pay a little more to fly American?  They wait in the same queue as your newly minted elites and their families or "friends" for those upgrades that may or may not clear because there are now x% more of them than there were a month ago.

There as far as I can tell, no way to distinguish between the minted elites and the earned elites, unless AA's crack IT team can flag the reservations and the gods of revenue and seat management can work their magic and move them up in the priority queue. I don't have an answer. I would ask (nicely) that American Airlines think about how to retain their best customers by engaging them on or off line to figure out a way to keep them happy while courting the unhappy UAL/CO customer base.

It's just good business.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

in a word


Where I have been? In a word, everywhere. I have been stuck in a snowstorm in London, lounged in Rome, shopped for salt in Paris, ate pinxtos in Barcelona along with other comings and goings.

Never fear, my family still remembers what I look like and so does my dog.

I am participating in NaBloPoMo this month, partially to get myself back on track, but mostly because I need the outlet.

Bear with me.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009



I have been remiss. Sorry to my six loyal readers.

Its been a hard summer. For those of you who see me on a marginally regular basis can attest to my Pepcid AC swallowing and deep breaths. For those of you who aren't, you are not missing anything particularly pleasant.

This week I am pretending I'm somewhere else. Poutine, Molsons, bagels and a beaver will fill some gaps, but not all - including finally meeting Sherry, Graham and Sophie.

Well, there is always a next time and I'm a pretty lucky person these days, considering.

Happy September, the month could end now for all its worth.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

carrying on


Today I walked by myself before the heat of the day. My training plan has me at 10 miles today and eight tomorrow. I walked 7 before 8 am fueled by Aimee Mann, Franz Ferdinand, Cold Play and assorted tunes. I carried nothing but my ipod and my house keys.

It felt good.

Today was the first time in something like eight weeks I was able to go to the Farmer's market with TH, do the TJs run and assorted other errands. I think she liked it until I began to micromanage her purchase of goat cheese.

Then she turned to me and said "don't you have another three miles to do?"


While the mercury rises to 92 degrees today, I will start packing for my trip to Greenland. A few days ago at a lunch with a group of people that work with TH, we mentioned Greenland and one of the women at lunch mentioned she had just returned from a work trip to Ilillusiat and had her packing list.

This is a woman after TH's heart.

Greenland for seven days with one carry on and one personal item.

Her list is wonderful, informative and timely.

TH will probably carry on Boston and then surrender her bag to Iceland Air in hopes that it will show up in Nuuk. I am taking my chances that British Airlines will get my bag to Copenhagen in one piece- while I am a big fan of the no check/no worries of bags, this time I fly with a trekking backpack its just not going to work while going through the terminals of Heathrow. Its a given that Air Greenland will make me check my bag from Copenhagen to Nuuk via Kang, it just a weight and balance thing.

It feels good to carry on -- with life and with baggage, you just have to pick and choose which parts you can live without for the journey.

Friday, November 02, 2007

weekend reading

Geez, why not.

Actually, its four weekends or is it five until I go somewhere again. I should be happy. If I don't have my Holiday shopping done by November 15th, you can kiss my grits.

I'm in a contrarian mood today. I'm frustrated at the dog who had kennel cough and played with Ernest and whose owner was so gormless as not to tell us. I am trying not to be frustrated with Ernest, he didn't do anything but want to play. I am relieved in a way to be home as well, I have a presentation to put together for a meeting and now I'm not scrambling to get it done. TH has more time to work on her proposal as well, but still, beach, sand, sun.....

Ernest is also confused. He's not allowed to play with anyone for the next 10 to 14 days. That sucks. He's quite active, just sounding like crap. He doesn't know why he can't say hi to his buddies.

What is on tap for the weekend? I'm trying some new recipes, cleaning the now 10" pile of assorted papers off my desk to be filed, shredded and dealt with, planting 400 bulbs, deadheading and maybe a short walk/run in there somewhere.

I recollect signing up for some half marathon in November. I guess I should get ready for it.


Monday, June 04, 2007

I have nothing of substance to say, that is positive.

House next to us sold. Storage boxes are in place. TH and I are expecting the worse and hoping that it will be better. We're realizing that the never used driveway to the north of us will soon become a battle/construction zone and there will be a fence between us and our new neighbors.

That is of course, the worse case.

Something like this piece of crap that is currently behind and kitty corner to us.
Slated to go on the market for only $1.1 million! Just! The house next to it is no winner, but still.

So, we think of our contigencies, contact surveyors and pray that it doesn't get demolished.

Other than that, Ernest and I are painting the main floor bathroom. He has been very participatory. He escorted me to the hardware store to buy paint and tonight helped prime the woodwork.

Tomorrow, he gets to paint! I hope he likes bluebonnet for his ears.

I'm in the process of trying to find the least painful way to get my parents from Santorini to London and guess what, there is no way unless you want to fly Thomas Cook Airlines, so we'll all plod to Athens together and see what they can do for six or seven hours before they head back to London.

This travel thing, more than one person, is quite confusing. TH and I have it down to an art.

More on that later.



Thursday, April 26, 2007

Gawd, where did the week go?

I was merely looking at the availibility of flying from SEA to Paris on an award ticket to pick up some more Jean Charles Rochoux and I am off a week.

Damn skippy.

I need that week back.

Then again, I could just screw American and fly BA in club for the same amount of miles, but put myself through the torture of LHR.

Or, I could just walk to Frans and buy some chocolate.

More on this later...


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

the fourth day of MYR

Tomorrow, I am getting a car. I am going to take Miss Mony's suggestions and going to Brookgreen. I don't have my camera, but it'll be nice anyways.

There is a reason they hold meetings like this in places like this. You are trapped- free breakfast, hosted lunches and free happy hour. You have no reason to leave, you must spend the whole four days socializing with your peers. So much fun!

I still haven't figured out how I'm going to get a Waffle house mug.

I left the luau right after brick house.