Yes, I know, this normally requires 2 blogs, to keep them at sensible lengths, but I think 1 will probably do this year. 2015 has been a funny year, highs, and lows, and not much in between!
I must admit, if you’d told me back in January, when I learnt of the redundancy offer from Hills, that I’d still be job hunting at the end of the year, I’d have laughed at you. Fine, I’m not laughing now, but I’m still standing, for now at least. I was offered an option to stay on, but given it was the third time in 6 years that they’d made me redundant, and the offer was very good, I decided to go for it. One of the main issues for staying on, apart from being worn down by shop staff, was that I’d have to get myself home after 10.00 finishes, and buses dont run late enough for that around here. So I went for it, and took the chance to up my April holiday from 7 days, to 10, in Hollywood, as I wouldnt have to worry about holiday allowances by then! I actually left at the very end of March, having also managed to do the last escalated agent shift, a little while earlier.
Ignoring most details of job hunting efforts (you’ve suffered enough of those over 9 months), the big event in April was that first visit to Hollywood, the 10 day hotel based adventure. As you know, I fell in love with the place, but more of that later. Yes, its a crazy place, and thats not usually my scene, but for once…Fine, I soon discovered that even 10 days wasnt enough, and pledged I would have to return some day, not realising how soon that would be!
Pretty much nothing exciting then happened, until the end of August, when I decided that unless I did something to break the sequence of frustrating job interviews, I was going to do something crazy, or just go crazy. So, I did something crazy! I looked into, and ended up booking a 4 week stay, starting at the very end of September, in a rented apartment in the Hollywood Hills. It was going to make the money issue ‘more interesting’, but I could do it, needed to do it, so it was happening!
Earlier in September, I’d had booked, for quite a while, a week on Cape Cod, with my wonderful friend, Kate. It was a lovely break, and teaming up with her again was wonderful. Then it was back to the UK, for a whole 10 days, before setting off for my Hollywood apartment! Again, the details of the trip can be found in the blog, so lets focus on the other issues. All my travel to the US before, has been staying in a hotel. But I discovered that having your own little apartment is pure heaven! No, I wouldnt do that for a 7 day stay probably, but anything longer than that, absolutely! Oh, and to a slight degree, even a combined total of 38 days in LA isnt enough to see everything! Fine, one thing I would love to have seen (Harlow’s home in Easton Drive) was out of range of a non driver, but otherwise…
Oh, and one thing got delayed, because of the 2 close together trips to the US, the change of name, and in passport terms, the change of gender. But immediately after I got back, the name change request went through, and in the last 10 days (because I’ve been using my old passport for ID), the passport change has finally been arranged, and as the fee has now been taken, I’m now definitely known as Harlean (other than those who are so used to using Steph/Stevie/Stephanie at least), and I’m definitely female, with an extra bit, for now at least. I cant see me removing it, unless need really arises, but never say never…Really looking forward to moving forward as Harlean, and no gender issues related to passport.
Fine, lets not mention that awful job choice I made in December, when I could have been on a research trial, OK? Live, and learn, I guess?
The video, what I seem to have been this year, judging by the amount of time I’ve spent there (about 45 days in all!). A clever video, for a song too old to have had one.
Yes, I know, its been a while, but in all honesty, there hasnt been a lot of wild excitement to report. But in the sense of what I needed in a break, thats been the perfect situation. Another good reason why nothing has appeared in a week, might be the fact that I would have had to write it, with the laptop perched on my lap, and thats not the best way to do anything like that. Wonderful hotel resort, but the socket positioning was a little interesting lol!
Fine, lets go back a week, and get started…
Last Friday, the trip to the overnight hotel went fine (not sure what went wrong with TPE?), beyond the taxi driver overshooting at the roundabout near the hotel, and going the wrong way round (very briefly, as there was no traffic around), rather than circling around, as most sane people would! Meal was fine, room was fine, so…Oh, amusing moment, I paid just over £56 for the room for the night, good value at the price. So I checked for the night before I fly to Hollywood, just in case, got quoted £141! Wtf! I know its a Wednesday, not a Friday, but even so…Ah well, if Nicole cant get me there, I’ll book a taxi from home on the Wednesday morning! Seriously, I dont mind paying a little extra, for a bit more sleep, but seriously…?
Saturday started fine, and stayed that way until I reached JFK. Yes, I’d read a few bad reports about Immigration process there, but even so…it was shocking! 95 minutes, seriously…? Getting back through security wasnt quick either, and it was about 2 hours in all before I was back in the terminal, waiting for my flight to Boston. Thankfully, I had nearly a 3 hour break, so…phew! Trip on to Boston was fine, met up with Kate as planned, and eventually my case turned up. Actually one of the first, but it took forever for them to start coming through. Then on to Cape Cod, and our hotel for the night. Internet was err, patchy, but otherwise, not too bad.
Then on the Sunday, on to the delight that is the Pelham House Resort, at Dennisport. Seriously, a room with a view over the pool, out on to the ocean, a real delight, as were the rooms. Apart from the esoteric placing of sockets in the room, and (for me at least) the lack of a coffee machine, the place was heavenly. As was the result of the Buffalo Bills game lol.
The rest of the week developed into a wonderful period of gentle travel, and lots of relaxation, just what I needed in fact. Oh, and excellent company in Kate, too. Plenty of food, a delightful massage, and generally just a totally relaxed state of mind, heavenly stuff. Yes, a couple of weeks time, when I’m selling myself in Hollywood wont be quite as relaxing, but this trip has got me in the right frame of mind to really go for it then.
Today, we’ve come back to Boston, as both of us are flying out tomorrow. Her to the Mid West, me back to the UK, though her flight is at a much more crazy time than mine, rather her than me! In fact very soon after I finish this, it will be our last meal together, the final farewells etc, though I’m sure we will talk regularly when I’m in LA. Yes, I know, 11 days after I fly back to the UK, I cross the Atlantic again, to the other side of the country. Maybe if both had been planned at the same time, I might have done things better, but anyway…its all part of the fun!
So thats it, no wild happenings, just a really wonderful, relaxing week, with a great friend. Absolute heaven. Now behave, or I’ll get back to writing blogs whining about job hunting lol, for 10 days or so!
OK, the video. A suitable song, with a neat connection to the Republican Presidential Debate, I, err, experienced on Wednesday, see if you can work it out
Yes, lets get in the holiday mood tonight. Fair thing to do, as looking at matters, this is likely to be the last blog from the UK for a little while. Tomorrow is getting my body ready for the trip day, which at my age, is going to take a while. Friday, I will need to pack, get to the overnight hotel, and not be too late to bed, given I will have to be up reasonably early the next morning, for my 10.15 flight. So yes, next blog should be from Cape Cod.
I have been there once before with Kate, I think it was 3 nights, spent at 2 different hotels, in the same group. Why, because the first hotel had internet in reception, but not in the rooms, not much use for either of us. So they moved us along the coast the next day, to a hotel that fitted our needs, and that was that. A trip to Martha’s Vineyard, a trip out whale watching, and some nice places, and thats about all I can remember. Ironically, this time will also be 2 hotels on the Cape, one for the first night only, as we couldnt get in the planned hotel all week. Then back to a hotel near Boston Airport for Friday night, after a relaxing week.
Yes, a relaxing week. Its fair to say that both Kate and I need a break, though for differing reasons. Her, because work has been crazy, and me, because job hunting has got stressful in the extreme! I must say I’m looking forward to the company, and the break.
And then, after that, get ready for part 2, more of which after I get back.
The video, an absolute oldie, found via a You Tube search
Hi there, and whether you like it or not, the next 3 postings including this one, are going to be holiday related. At least it gives you an idea of events lol.
Saturday was the hard bit, getting here. Though to be fair to Aer Lingus, they did a brilliant job, good service, good food, so all in all, praise due. Somehow I got past Kate at the baggage claim area, possibly because I wasnt expecting to find her there, and possibly because I was too concerned with fginding carousel 3, and hoping it worked. It did, very well, if you cared?
No, no idea where we were going, though heading south suggested it wasnt Maine, Vermont or New Hampshire lol. Soon looked highly likely to be Cape Cod, not the biggest shock in the world as we talked about staying here last year. Find myself eventually at this beautiful place with its own beach, and very nice rooms too. Only snag, as Kate found out first, they had internet, but only in the lobby, not much use to either of us. Otherwise, the place was perfect though.
So, Sunday, we head down to Hyannis, a hotel within the same group, across the road from the harbour, with equally nice rooms. Park the car there, even if we cant check in just yet. Not a problem, head across to harbour, and head off to Martha’s Vineyard, a wonderful place, and a super lunch. Fast ferry out, traditional back, both fine, especially given how lovely the weather was. My arms prove that! Evening meal, downtown Hyannis, with great company, and yes, Kate, I do mean you! Come back, get on internet, catch up on things, while watching San Francisco see off Detroit in the NFL. Well, alright, I’d moved to my bed before the end, a real luxury, TV in bed. Not that I’d want it at home, but…
Today, top secret, and all that, until we are virtually on top of our destination. Alright, I might have had a clue, as I was told to put a long sleeved top on, which I didnt when I first saw her this morning. Been watching Whales, and indeed dolphins too, a truly wonderful experience. No, not Wales, where the men play rugby, and the sheep are nervous, but Whales, that glorious creature of the seas. A brilliant day, but one at sea has taken its toll, I’m definitely tired tonight. Oh, and full, a really good meal again.
Tomorrow, well we head off to Albany, to meet a wonderful, and very kind gentleman, who might just be blushing as he reads this, which I’m sure he will! Something is planned for Wednesday, I have no idea what, though no shock, Kate does! You will find out just what, in part 2, hopefully at some point on Wednesday, though dont quote me on that!
The video, absolutely obtuse selection here, though it has 2 very loose connections to things mentioned here. If I didnt give a clue in the tagging, you’d have to click the button