When it comes to holiday planning, I’ve always been one of those deadly boring people who plan out their travel details, and where they are going to stay months in advance! Its not even just a recent thing, because back in the 70’s, when my idea of a holiday was a week travelling by train, on a nationwide Rail rover, and staying at hotels each night, I was much the same then. I would plan the route, and book the hotels in the depth of winter, and then do the travel the next summer.
In a sense, to a major degree, nothing has changed. Well, my travel plans tend to be further afield than the UK, but as to having things thought through, well in advance, guilty as charged. Yes, if I’m being honest, assuming (as seems likely after next year) I only plan on 1 trip a year, I pretty much have my destinations sorted out through to 2024, and my planned retirement year trip to Alaska. Obviously now, given the state of my back, I’m not sure if I will still be able to do that sort of travel at that point, but we will see.
So I guess it will surprise no one if I say that the Seattle trip, for next May is pretty well settled on already. Got the flight plan sorted, got the hotel picked out, and I have the money saved up, so I could book it, but…it comes back to my back, and hotel stays. Did you realize, my last hotel stay in the US, that I booked, was April 2015? 3 trips since then, and the only hotels I have stayed in, was booked by somebody else (1 night in Boston, 3 in Mahopac, NY)! Yes, since then, all places that I’ve booked, have been rented out houses/apartments to stay, not at hotels.
Hotels have advantages for ‘old crocks’ like me. You dont need to go out for provisions, you have a coffee machine in the room, and lets face it, thats always a good starting point for me. Also, the one I’m planning to stay at has a breakfast included in the price. Basic, but in truth, all I need is there. There is also the advantage that the room gets cleaned, and made up for me, which will be a blessing too.
But actually, in that comment, is the biggest snag for me with hotels. Yes, the cleaning staff, quite reasonably expect the guests to go out for the day, so they can get in the room, and do their thing. In the past, thats been fine, I was active, and did so anyway. However, on both the last 2 LA trips (yes, I’ve been getting old for a while, in truth), and the Cape Cod stay, one of the big pluses for me was the fact that I didnt have to get out each day. Oh fine, Kate and I barely went anywhere, but that was perfect for me, because that was what I needed, and probably would still need to some degree.
Equally, apartments (and thats what I would rent, on my own, studio ones probably) do mean that if you dont want to, or feel unable to go out for a while, then fine, thats all you have to do. Relax, let your body heal a bit, and… Snag is, unless its very close to facilities, you have to provide for yourself, which means getting provisions on arrival. Last time in LA, I knew there was a supermarket very nearby, so not an issue, but that doesnt always happen!
So, swings and roundabouts…?
So being practical, its all picked out, no more looking for a hotel at least, but I wont be booking just yet! I’m planning to wait until January, or February, then see how the body is, and make the call. If, as I hope, I feel I can get out for a few hours minimum each day, I’ll book the hotel. All provided, no need to carry provisions, and so forth. But yes, if I know the body is going to need ‘long breaks’ between trips, I guess I’ll have to look at an apartment, so that if I need to stay in, one or two days, I can, but…
Yes, it hurts getting old lol!
The video, one of those Super Groups from the late 80’s. Sadly we recently lost another member of this group, and now, out of 5, we have just 2 left. Ah well, we all get old, I guess?
In these days when you can book everything you want online, even simply using a mobile phone, it might be hard for some of my readers to believe that when we had to do these things back in the 70’s, soon after I started work, things were a lot more complex.
One thing I enjoyed, before commuting became a serious part of my life, was travelling by trains. I know, but it was a lot easier back then, when there was just one company running everything, but fine, those days are gone, and I dont want to get political again! The beauty of one company running all the railways in the country, was that British Rail (as it was then) created something called a Rail Rover. Basically there was one for each region, and I had experienced it, as my mother had taken me travelling on the Southern Rail version, during School Holidays, but there was something that interested me far more, when I started work. Yes, the all line version! Basically it gave me the chance, with a lot of planning, to travel some of the more rural lines I would never get to travel otherwise, which was fun. The snag with those lines then, and indeed still now, is that there werent many trains a day on those routes to choose from.
The advantage now, is that if you want to plot those journeys nowadays, you just type in a few details on the National Rail website journey planner, and you plan accordingly. Back then, I had a very large (and I do mean large) paper version of the national timetable to work things out from, and that was it. Oh, and none of those hotel booking websites we have now, either! Me, I used an AA handbook, as my hotel guide. So putting together train routes, tying that into my overnight hotel, and…it was interesting! Oh, and in theory, I could have picked up the phone at home, and rang the hotels and booked, but it was the family phone, so I wrote, and sent letters instead! Now, you just go on a website, make a booking, and thats it, but back then, you’d send off the letters, hope you got a positive reply, and move on from there. In truth, probably because I was never looking for hotels in big towns, I tended to get in fine, but yes, doing workarounds, if you did get a rejection, and have to start again, ouch!
One of those lines I wanted to travel dearly, was just about as far from home as I could get, and stay on the mainland. Back then, it was just the line from Inverness to Thurso, and Wick, nowadays called the Far North line, which is a pretty fair description. As you can guess, both then, and now, not many trains to choose from, per day! One of my problems was, that if I travelled to either of the termini (back then, the train split at Georgemas Junction, in the middle of nowhere, now one train serves both) it would be very late at night before I got there. And fine, I was about 18, and that didnt appeal. So I looked for somewhere I could split the journey, and I found somewhere interesting.
Middle of nowhere, pretty much just the station, a hotel, and a couple of houses, and that was it. A tiny place called Forsinard. So yes, it appealed, and at least I didnt have far to go between train, and hotel. Yes, I stayed there. Yes, its about as remote a place as I’ve ever stayed in my life! After 40 years, I have no idea how busy the hotel was that night, all I remember is arriving mid evening, and leaving again the next morning, and that was it. An evening meal, a bed, and breakfast, and that was about the total of my stay!
Anyway, last week, out of curiosity, I thought I’d take a look and see what the current prices were to stay there, to find that it closed about 4 years ago, presumably lack of business? No, in truth, not totally surprised. There were no Premier Inns, Travelodges and the like back then, even not allowing for the limited market for somewhere like there in the first place!
Thing is, nowadays, I tend to stay in chain hotels, but yes, I guess I will always have a soft spot for those quirky little hotels, all the same.
OK, video time. The reason for the blog title is that Forsinard lays in what is now called Flow Country, a large area of peat bog. So, yes, I couldnt resist the pun!
Well fine, I still cant tell you what I got for Christmas, as I’m still the only one here at present. Having seen someone briefly on Facebook a couple of hours ago, I know they are about somewhere, but that could be anywhere between here, and London! I will actually have to go out for some supplies tomorrow now, as the milk is pretty much gone, and the 2nd loaf of bread purchased hasnt survived perfectly, but… Good job I’m not over concerned about what I am getting I guess, lol?
Anyway, what I started doing today, was to start looking at the final details of what I’m jokingly calling my present to myself, my 10 days in Hollywood next May! Given obvious budget limitations, then no, I’m not going to be staying at any of the swish hotels, unless someone else wants to pay! In truth, somewhere like here is probably more my end of the scale.
Or if I brave basic economy, mainly a leg issue, the money I could save would allow me something like this
which looks far nicer, is closer where I want to be, but yes, how hellish is that flight going to be?
The other option I’m considering, is what I did last time I visited Hollywood, and rent an apartment via Airbnb. To my surprise, I found a couple pretty close to Hollywood Boulevard that look decent, and are a reasonable price. For example
Which both look nice, and I could then at least save on food, as I could cook for myself, of sorts, some nights. So which route do I choose?
The advantage of hotels is that when I arrive, everything is there waiting for me. No need to go out dashing for provisions, everything is provided, well in a coffee making sense, at least! And the bed gets made, and in these cases, breakfast is provided, so… The disadvantage, you’re eating out each night, or even if you get food delivered, you’re paying for the privilege. Not that I mind doing so, but if you’re trying to budget…
The advantage of a rented apartment, the fact that you can save (for a few nights at least) by cooking for yourself, by buying cheap meals in a store, which is what I did last time. Main snag, the fact that when I arrive wonderfully jet lagged, I have to go out and buy basic provisions, almost before I do anything, if I want a drink, and the like, and I suspect I will! The other advantage is, if one day I get inspired to write (ha ha) instead of hitting the town, I can. Hotel, the staff want to do your room, you have to get out, and so…
I know, no one is going to give me an answer, or advice on this on here, but I can ask. So which would you do?
1. Fly in comfort (prem economy), stay in a pretty basic budget hotel.
2. Fly in economy (coach), stay in a nicer hotel
3. Fly in comfort (as per 1), and stay in an apartment.
At this moment, I’m tempted by 3, but I know I will not want to go shopping soon after I arrive, even if it should be late afternoon/early evening, not late at night.
The video. As so often, the clue is in the blog title!
Yes, I think if I was ever in a position to create my dream home, it would either look like something out of the 1920’s, or 1930’s, or it would look like something from 2030. Alternatively, if some wealthy person wants to buy me a ‘certain mansion’ on Easton Drive, Beverly Hills, and provide me with a self drive car, or something to get me around, I wouldnt say no.
But in truth, any home in the LA area, with a vintage feel would probably be heaven for me. Oh fine, nowadays, I’d need cable TV, and internet supplied, but otherwise, in truth, I could probably very happily settle into a 30’s lifestyle, and live that way.
Fine, but this blog is more about a couple of more futuristic places to lay my head at night, and in the case of one of them, to make home.
This morning, on one of those silly articles on MSN, that I read to many of, it was about quirky hotels. And fine, the crazy one that took my eye, is in Japan, no surprise there, I guess? This one
https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g298564-d6028872-Reviews-9_Hours_Capsule_Hotel_Kyoto-Kyoto_Kyoto_Prefecture_Kinki.html appeals to me, simply because of what it is, a pod that you climb into, and sleep in. Fine, I’d like to think of something being done to my mind, and body while sleeping in it, but I would imagine its quite an experience regardless. Sadly, I’m not likely to ever go to Japan in my life, and I have no idea if there are any in the UK, or not? Its probably one of those ‘just once’ things I’d like to do, but it appeals to me no end. Mind, I’d probably want to wear something in silver (ideally metallic silver) while sleeping in it, cant think why!
The other futuristic thing I’d love to live in, and apparently they are homes, is one of these
As far as I can guess, its one of the Futuro homes, designed in Finland, in the early 1970’s. Why I say its a guess, is because it looks in remarkably good condition to be one of the originals of those. So whether, its a rare, well preserved one, or whether its an old photo, or a modern take on them, I have no idea.
Yes, I know, it looks like a flying saucer. Great, in my eyes at least! As far as I can tell, from all reports, sadly, they dont fly at all, let alone at hyper speed, for deep space travelling. Still, I might be lucky with the one I get to go in, lol? I have no idea how comfortable those things would be to sleep/live in, but I’d love to give it a go, all the same.
Yes, I know, humour me, but I’m a huge sci-fi fan, and those 2 designs just appeal so much. If anyone can give me the chance of a visit/stay in something like that, or knows of a pod I can be
brainwashed sleep in, in the UK, please let me know!
The video, a Slade oldie, a rare live performance, of where I’d like to be taken, if it was one of these
…fall into a deep trance, just maybe?
Why, because today, I signed up to try a beginners course in hypnotherapy, and I might just put you into a deep sleep, and turn you into my entranced slave. Oh fine, yes, I’m kidding on the last point, honest I am. But put someone into a deep trance, and help them with something wrong in their lives, wouldnt that be wonderful? However, given that the course isnt until May, even assuming I get on it, I will be trying for other jobs in the meanwhile too.
But yes, what I’m trying to do, even at my age, is to maybe find something new, and challenging as the later years of my working career approach, and not just only go for roles in call centre, or data inputting. I know, its probably what I will end up doing, but for now…
Having been hypnotised a ‘few times’, I know what a pleasurable experience it can be, and I hope that at some point again, I’ll be the one deeply relaxed, and in trance. Especially if its in New Hampshire, and I get to find out more about my past self, by doing so. So yes, wouldnt it be lovely if I could be trained to do the same to others?
And no, honest, I wouldnt use my hypnotic powers to convince anyone to give me a job…Oh fine, I might, for the perfect job, if I’m really good at it. But if I’m that good at it, I’ll probably stick to being a hypnotherapist anyway!
But, if anyone really wants to be my hypno slave, then, hmm…angel.
In other news,
When I originally planned to spend some time in Hollywood, I was assuming I would have to fit it into my holiday allowance at work, so I only booked for a week. So now, under the circumstances, I’ve decided to be a little devil, and go for 10 days. I dont doubt I will find plenty to fill that time, and probably more, even without all the auditions to play Jean, from all the Hollywood studios lol!
The only fun. I’ve already booked my hotel for the 7 days I was planning to be away, booked in a non smoking king bed somewhere in Hollywood, and…the snag is, for the 3 extra days I now want to book, that room option isnt available. The 2 double bed room option is for all 10 days, as is the larger king size room, but…I dont really want to book one room at the hotel for 3 days, then move to another room for the next 7, obviously. But, the booking is of the non cancellable type, to get the discounted price open to members of the hotel group scheme. If worst comes to worst, I’ll do just that, but I have enquired by email, if it can be changed (seeing I still want to stay at the hotel), and just pay the extra as necessary.
Oh, and lastly, while talking of spending extra…I’ve decided to treat myself, and my creaky joints out of my redundancy fund. Yes, I’m going to fly to Los Angeles, not in economy class, but in premium economy, with Virgin. Yes, I know, but I’m sure my joints will appreciate the extra space, and luxury, lets face it. I would love to have gone business class, but I really cannot justify that much money when I havent yet got a new job lined up.
Anything will be fun, and a delight for someone who has never flown anything but economy in her life anyway!
I know, evil mind controller, sorry, budding hypnotherapist, but thats a while off yet, and I have to prove I can do it first.
Oh, sorry, I forgot, I was right, no valentine cards again this year!
The video, what my hypnosis patients will get to see, putting them into trance
As some of my readers at least will know, most of my holidays nowadays tend to be in North America, principally the USA, of course. Over there, I tend to try and select a room at the smaller end of the scale, but to be honest, most of them are as large as, or bigger than some flats/apartments I’ve lived in, in my time! All they’ve lacked is a kitchen, and…
Quite seriously, my room at the Walker Center in Boston even had some sort of kitchen too. Fine, most hotel rooms over there have a microwave in them anyway, so you could survive, but…
Of course, this time I’ve come to a guest house in Jersey, and though my single room isnt that small, it just feels so, by comparison to the accommodation I’ve got used to over there! Believe me, I’ve had plenty smaller than this in my time, but back then, I hadnt stayed in US hotels at all! Seriously, this is quite comfy, and sweet, and not a bad size at all. And being frank, some of those US hotel rooms are just too big! I know I shouldnt complain, but the one I stayed in, in Richmond last year was like having 3 separate rooms to myself! A work area, a living area, and then the bedroom. I know, they cater to the business crowd (indirectly why I was there) and they need space, but…
Lets just say you get spoilt by these things! Oh, and another thing I’m being spoilt by, the weather. Seriously, as I type this, its 72 here (23 for those who live by C?)! I’m looking for somewhere to eat tonight where I can sit outside! This is mid May, in the UK for heavens sake!
Oh, and a moment of amusement today. I know, I shouldnt laugh, but…
After visiting Corbiere, and enjoying the view of the lighthouse today, I decided to apply that well worn tactic of not coming back by the same bus route as I went out. Therefore, I got back on the next 12 (an hour later) and caught it to the end of the line, at Greve De Lecq, where it turns into a 9, and takes a different, and quicker way back to St Helier.
Fun started when the bus finally turned up, he didnt have the correct destination showing, he was showing St Brelades Bay, a point he had already passed through, instead of his destination. Apart from one couple, everyone listened to him, and all that wanted that route back to St Helier got off again. They didnt even realise until he was calling everyone off at Greve De Lecq! To be honest, they were ignoring him even then!
Finally he got the message through, or so it seemed, a bus to St Brelades Bay (a 9, turning into a 12) would be along in under 15 minutes, and after much discussion they got off to wait for it. Or so it seemed, because just as we were about to pull off, they jumped back on again. Despite again being told we were not going to their destination, they stayed put, and finally, about 10 minutes late, we pulled out.
I think they only finally got the message when we hit the main road to St Helier, on the front, and we turned left, when St Brelades was signposted right! I’m guessing that meant they would eventually get back home nearly 30 minutes later than if they had listened to the driver in the first place! Before you say anything, they spoke English, so should have understood what they were being told, but…all part of life, I guess?
The video, it hurts me to say that this is 50 years old