Category Archives: Seattle

Shambles in Seattle

Thankfully my bed at the hotel was so comfortable that I was never Sleepless in Seattle (sorry, couldnt resist) even with my coffee drinking habits! However, when it came to Sunday, and Seatac (close enough to Seattle) Airport, things did get a bit shambolic.

There was a good, logical reason for having the extra night in Seattle when away, the fact that on the Sunday, I could get a direct flight back to Manchester from there, rather than having to start out at a silly hour, and changing somewhere. Silly thing is, it was cheaper to pay for 1 extra night at the hotel, than the difference in air fare I could save by doing that! Yes, the inaugural direct flights from Manchester, to Seattle, and back. However…

Check in desk went fine, and directed towards the place where disability passengers needed to go, to get taken through by wheelchair. Only thing was, after about 20 minutes of waiting, they decided they werent the ones dealing with Thomas Cook passengers, and advised to go try one of the other teams, and see if they were doing it. Another said no, and I have no idea about the 3rd one, as no one ever turned up with a wheelchair, and numerous people had been there longer than me!

So anyway, after about an hour of wheelchair denial, I took matters into my own hands. As I sadly couldnt find a Davros wheelchair, or even better, a Dalek carrier (I could have exterminated a few, happily, by then), I gave up, put my brace back on (I take it off for security check, as its very like a bomb belt), and headed for security myself, as best my legs would carry me! I got there, explained I would fail the security scanner, and why, and suggested maybe they wanted to do a check in privately, as the sign suggested. They took the other option, got me to go in the scanner, and fail (the security person was laughing as she told me she knew I was going to fail), and then they did the standard pat down thing. I then moved on!

The next amusing thing was, someone turned up at the gate, and asked if I needed a wheelchair to get me to the plane! I was tempted, but passed on that, as it would be a straightforward walk to the plane, and on board, no issue. Also, he probably would have expected a tip, and I was in no mood to tip them by then! Only snag was, walked down to the passageway, then waited, and waited,…and 5 minutes later, finally got to board the plane. Thankfully I hadnt removed the brace, so I hurt, but I survived.

After that, in truth, the whole journey was very straightforward. Even more amusing when one of the stewards on board the plane remembered me from last September! Hey, I’m not really a celebrity yet, honest. Unfortunately there was a child sat next to me, who literally screamed for 95% of the flight home, making sleeping on the plane even more impossible than normal.

In truth, this end of the journey was very easy, and I’d given myself plenty of time on my advance ticket to get the train, given we’re always the last ones off the plane, so if it had been at all late, it might have been a close thing. Nope, at the station just over an hour ahead of my booked train! I was not surprised to see that the incompetence known as Trans Pennine Express hadnt improved their service as claimed, the opposite in fact, and the train about 2 minutes later than my arrival there had been cancelled! Anyway, there was another between that, and mine back to Huddersfield, so I put on my best ‘disabled old lady’ routine, and asked if he would pass my ticket so I could get the one in between, and get home a bit earlier. To my amusement, he quoted the almost infamous line that ‘it was more than his job was worth to do so’. Irony is, if I’d been 30 minutes late, he would have had to do it, condition of the ticket!

Last fun item, I’d told Eric, at home, that I would ring him when I got back to let him know I’d safely arrived back. Phone rings, numerous times, no answer! No, nothing serious, he’d just gone out on the buses for the day, and had forgotten what I’d said I would do. Men!!! Yes, I was in bed about 8.30 last night, and apart from a bout of cramp in my leg, I slept for nearly 12 hours in all. Fine now, in that sense at least.

Yes, I’m sore, but recovering. Taken a normal days meds today, for the first time since flight day out, and even now I have a mild ache, despite that. I also seem to have damaged another toe on my left foot, I only hope its not broken, like the next toe along, and just painfully sore from wearing new shoes while away. But other than that…

So thats it, for the holiday blogs for now. Crazily, the next short trip away is at the end of next week, to Blackpool, but more on that Thursday. After that, September to Inverness, and then, November, to…? Well, it will begin with F, for sure, in one sense at least! Will have to wait for a wonderful lady to fill me in on that one! So watch out for that…

OK, video. Mainly in tribute to the ‘Wheelchair Pushers’ at Seatac Airport, though I guess a member of rail staff at Manchester Airport should be included. Less so though, he was strictly doing his job, at least, which is more than the Seatac folk were!

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Big wheel keeps on turning

Right, and so to complete the posting from Seattle scene…

Thursday, I decided that the little toe on my left foot wasnt going to stop being an issue anytime soon, so decided that was the day to ride the full length of the Seattle Light Rail, up the other extension since I was previously here, the one up to the University of Washington. I have to say that the extension at this end of the route (to Angle Lake) has been an absolute boon, as its nearer than the Airport station to here, and walk-able. Well, in perfect health, maybe, but I survived. There is one killer (but thankfully short) uphill stretch on the walk from here to that station, which I wont be missing now!

Coming out of the University station, I rather expected to be on the edge of the University grounds. Ah well…What I was very close to, was Husky Stadium, the home of the University football team. Well, seemingly in these days of glorious sponsorship, its now called Alaska Airlines Field, but will always be Husky Stadium to me! I hobbled a short distance further, didnt find anything more than sports facilities, so gave up on that idea. When I got back to the station, I did find a map, and the grounds were relatively nearby, but decided I wasnt going to push my foot by setting out again, in a totally different direction. So, defeated, back into town, earlier than planned. So I headed for a landmark with memories for me, that I knew hadnt moved, the rail station. Wrong time of day to see the Empire Builder train, though I did see a goods train trundling through the station, heading south. One of these days I will do another long distance train journey, though whether it will be the repeat Empire Builder again, or more likely, Los Angeles to Chicago (via Kansas City, please note), I have no idea. In theory, I could do a ‘Clara Johnson’ and travel by train from Oklahoma City, via Texas, to Los Angeles, if timed right, but I wouldnt put good money on that one. Requires a change in Texas, a slightly shorter one than I suspect Clara did!

After that, I headed down to the front again, and ended up seeing the city from on high again, this time from a giant wheel, hence the title of the blog! The last time I did one of those was the London Eye, with my mother, and that would be about 25 years ago! This time, it wasnt just one turn around the wheel, but 6, but then again it was a lesser radius, which probably explained why! Blonde moment, I realized eventually that I’d only looked in 1 direction for about 5 turns, so turned to take in the other side, and that was when the wheel stopped at the bottom lol! Ah well…

Yesterday, day time at least, was relatively quiet. Went and did the holiday shopping for others, and also found myself a new (much needed) handbag, that certainly looks vintage, even if it clearly isnt! I also found a gorgeous dress in another store, very 30’s, but a bit pricey for me (about $60, plus tax, however much that might have been), and was only a medium size, so I talked myself out of it. Hindsight to that, I discovered I wasnt quite as impoverished as I thought I was, so I decided to go back today, and see if it actually fitted, or not, and probably buy if it did. But no, someone had already beaten me to it, not surprised, it was gorgeous. Macy’s did also have some nice period dresses, but with them you’re talking over $200 each, plus tax, so didnt even consider it, way beyond my purse!

Yesterday evening saw the return to Safeco Field, and the Mariners, this time, all went far more smoothly. I also have to thank Melissa for the Goody Bag (not that she will see this) that was provided too. Must be a lucky mascot, mind, as I saw them win twice! Hobbled back to the Light Rail station just in time for a train to pull in empty, and run back from there, to Angle Lake. Still got my commuting skills, got a seat, no idea how!

Today, beyond the failed shopping trip, was the farewell tour. I didnt go right down to the water today, its a steep route down, and more critically, up, as I discovered on Thursday, so settled for a seat at the top of the steps, and looked out over the water from there for a while. Then back to the Light Rail, the ride out of town, and for now at least, the final farewell. In theory, if nothing changes in my life, I’ll be back in 6 years time (my post retirement trip), as this place will be my stop off point to Alaska. In reality, the way my body is currently falling apart, I wouldnt put good money on being in strong enough health for that, even with breaks en route, but we will see. Thats one thing I have realized, west coast trips really are going to be a no go, very soon, if not already! There will be 1 more, even if I have to drag my shattered body to LA, it will happen at some point! But Seattle…?

Tomorrow, I fly back home, back to work on Wednesday, blessed with a bank holiday this week, which enables me to do it this way. Covering as Team leader again for that week, should be interesting, once I’ve caught up on work emails at least! 2 weekends from now, is Blackpool! Then, as far as I know, thats it until a few days away in Scotland in September, couldnt afford more at present, anyway! Especially as, maybe in November…? You’ll have to wait on that!

Right, video time. Big clue in the blog title, absolutely! Live performance, nearly 50 years old, now I really feel old!

Going high and low

Well, technically one of those is stretching things a bit, but lets just say the high is height, though the low is just geographical. And the high was only just over 500 feet, still waiting on that deep space alien flight at this time lol. Oh, I wish!

Yesterday morning, I woke up to discover a new physical issue, a muscle in my left calf seems to have given up the battle, limiting my ability to walk even more. Seems a bit less of an issue today, but still pretty uncomfortable, all the same. So my original plan for yesterday, to do some walking around the University grounds went out the window. So I went for plan B, a trip up the Space Needle, which is where the high bit comes in. No, 520 feet doesnt get you into space, really, but provides a nice view of  Seattle from the observation deck. Its actually a bit of a construction site at present, but you can see most of the way around (more than sufficient), and there is a small price reduction, so…

Oh, and you get your picture taken before you go up in the lift. For those of a nervous disposition, scroll away now!

me at space needle

For others, its probably the only pic you’ll get from the holiday, so make the most of it! And yes, in truth, that was the only real excitement yesterday, took a very light day, due to the walking issues.

Today I headed for what will almost certainly be the geographical low of the holiday, down south to Tacoma. I managed the ‘perfect timing’ this morning, missing a bus by a minute or so, which left me waiting nearly 30 minutes for the next one. Still, at least the weather was hot (70’s), and dry, which helped. I admit it, I do the trip as much as to do something a little different, as anything else, and it gets me out for a while. Also, walking around that town isnt too stressful, so coped, despite my leg. Then back via Federal Way, and the shopping mall there, which seems to have a few empty units at present, but I gather thats a general non online retail malaise at present.

Then back here, via a different route to the one out, which was in fact the case for the whole journey. The express bus back was delayed a lot (made me feel at home), so got a local bus back to Federal Way, as well as another local bus back here. Got to see some different scenery at least!

Tomorrow depends on how strong my leg is in the morning. If its decent, I probably will do that University stroll, if it isnt, not quite sure. Repairing the body would probably be wise, but I really cant afford it at US prices. I suppose they can charge crazy prices as they know its pretty much on medical insurance, but for me… If Bill Gates reads this (lol), and his foundation want to help out, I’ve always fancied acupuncture done on at least some of my damaged parts, but beyond my budget now, sadly.

Right, the video. Not one of the better known A-Ha songs, but that doesnt make it a bad one, and its certainly apt!

Sitting in the lunchtime sun

No, I’m not promising a blog each day this week, but enough has happened for one today, so lets roll with it.

Today, for the 4th trip in 15 years (yes, it is the stat leader), I visited the center of Seattle. Fine, strictly it happened yesterday, but that was just a flying visit, to get the phone activated, whereas today was for real! Now its 2 visits where the way into town is by light rail, to match the 2 when there were only buses! Light rail has extended at both ends since last time though, which helps me at this end, and means I will visit the University at some point this week too. The other big change since that first visit, my first hotel is now gone, area is seemingly just another airport car park now. Other 2 are still there, though one seems to have had a change of name, and upgrade since my last trip.

My first stop, Westlake Center has changed too, and not for the better in my opinion, but maybe I’m just not a fan of change? I went looking for the food hall that used to be there on the top floor, but its gone, seemingly for some time, though I didnt stop to find out. Monorail is still there, so will probably use that to get to Space Needle at some point this week. Then to Pike Place, which seems to have had a makeover, but it so fits in with the old building, I found it hard to tell exactly where.

One other landmark of my first visit was a massage parlor, where some lady had worked on easing body pains in the past. Was still there on last visit, but that was nearly 10 years ago, but no sight of it now. Shame, as my body needs that massage even more nowadays!

Lastly, I found my way down to the front, where all the ferries, and cruise boats set off from. Yes, the stairs down (lots of them) killed me, but it had to be done. Well, it didnt, but more on that shortly! A walk along the front, I had lunch at a hot dog vehicle, who seemed to do pretty good business, and it was good too. Sat at a table, by the van, in the midday sun, by the bay…you might have worked out the video lol!

Anyway, rather than trying to struggle back up over 100 steps, I took a stroll along the front for further options, and found an elevator back up to the top, which was out of order! Thankfully, it directed me to one that was working, so I used that, and ended up back in Pike Place!

So, the last thing, yes, I heard back from the Mariners this afternoon. A phone call, a few questions about details of what happened (so they can discuss with worker), and where, and an offer of a ticket for the weekend, in an accessible seat. Somehow I suspect this might be a bit closer to the ground than yesterday lol! So yes, credit to Mariners for doing what needs to be done. Was actually offered 2 tickets for game on Friday (my preferred night), but as there’s only me, and I really dont know anyone in town, I said 1 would be fine! So I will go to the (base) ball, it seems, lol, though I have no plans on wearing ball gowns!

OK, video. As I say, you should have worked out this classic song, or at least I hope you have. Sadly, Otis Redding didnt even get to live until the end of 1967, dying in a plane crash. Video is a bit of a compilation mix,  due to the age of the song.

Just don’t tell Trump!

Firstly, a quick reminder for the newer folk around here, and numbers do seem to have exploded viewing this, so…I’m on holiday now, in Seattle. What this means for those lucky people who know to read both blogs, there’s no point, they just get copy and paste treatment, as most would want to know the same things, and besides, I dont have the time to write 2! So… Yes, I know, its been a while, but more on that in a moment!

Strictly, the holiday made an early start on Thursday, as I went into Am Dram mode again in Cookridge, with a couple of work friends. I would spend time praising the performance to the hilt, and telling you to go see it, but there were only 3 shows, its finished by now, but…It was really good, I must say, as was the meal before that, both the food, and the company.

I was going to post something on Friday re the reduction of stakes on the ghastly machines in betting shops nowadays, from £100, to £2, but firstly I ran out of time, having my hair done (shock horror, I’m not a natural blonde!), and then packing to come here. So it never happened. Mind, as the reduction wont kick in until 2020, I shall probably be rude about the betting industry before then!

Yesterday was just a typical US Travel day in so many ways, that I’ll only pass on the interesting details. Yes, Manchester Airport redeemed themselves this time, though they get one more chance to mess up yet. As does Seattle, where a lovely young lady not only helped me through, and got my baggage for me, she actually ran me over to where the hotel courtesy shuttles pick up, and I’m sure thats not in their job description. But the middle one… No, it wasnt bad, just the opposite in fact, really good service, but…

Every other airport I’ve seen in the US (even before I needed this ‘old crock’ service) has either had a separate line for wheelchair passengers, or mingled them into the crew column, or a mix of both. Ah, but this is Vegas, so…Its not the biggest International sector, I suspect it doesnt need it. So there is a crew column, but access passengers…no! Seems we, regardless of nationality go into the US there, in the US citizen queue. So yes, lol, dont tell Trump, but I’m a US citizen, of sorts! Not really, but yes, it was amusing.

Today has been relatively quiet, as I gave the body chance to recover in advance with planning. In truth, with the warmth here, less needed, but anyway… Just to say, for those who care, I now have an active US cell phone again, until next Sunday, so if you wish to talk, for any reason, just ask for number. If I dont know you of sorts, tell me why you want to talk to me, OK? Not saying I wont give it, but just curious, thats all. Only works for 8 days anyway!

OK, there has to be a down point, doesnt there? Yes, there is one, though hopefully the Mariners will sort it out, they have been emailed already. The game was great, the only snag being that the seat was up more than a few stairs, which didnt help, but I got there eventually, with only minimal soreness. No reason they should have known, I’m not obviously disabled (brace is under top/skirt, and fact not mentioned), so how would the poor guy picking my seat know? I did come down after 7.5 innings, I needed to go ‘somewhere’, and never went back up. Actually found a more comfortable seat for the other 3.5 innings, as it went to overtime. Then, after Seattle had won…

Given I was sore, and given there was a sign for a disabled elevator nearby, I decided to use that to get downstairs, rather than struggling down a large number of stairs, in a large crowd of people. Unfortunately, the lady in the elevator had either failed her disability training, had never been given any, or just didnt think it applied to anyone in less than a wheelchair! So when I, and another lady who said she had walking difficulties got into the lift, she bluntly told us that the lift wasnt meant for ‘people like you’, and pointing at a couple of mothers, with buggies behind us, said, “Its meant for them!”. I have no objection to them using it, but it does say its a disability elevator, so… Complaint email has been sent to the Mariners accordingly! Do I expect anything more than platitudes from them? Probably not! But put it this way, not that they will care, but I had planned a second game at some point Friday, or Saturday, but certainly wont be bothering now! I know, whats 1 customer to them, but all the same…

Fine, video time. I couldnt think of a song that really fitted in with all this, so just made a random choice of an under rated Soft Cell song.

A cricketing dream

Well, when I first saw an Ireland cricket team play live on TV in 2007, I still wasnt expecting this to happen 11 years down the line. Thats not to say that it was the first time I’d ever followed cricket scores for Ireland, as I’d been doing that for a few decades, generally fairly meaningless matches, other than perhaps the rivalry games with Scotland, and the odd knock out game against an English county, but otherwise its fair to say some of the teams they played were of the less than quality standard. Then, in March 2007, having qualified for the World Cup in the West Indies, they conjured up a tie against Zimbabwe, but its fair to say thats not the match anyone really remembers. No, thats the next one, when against all the odds, they beat Pakistan, and history was made. Another win in the second stage (Bangladesh), and the Irish legend was born. Fine, a few of those players werent actually born in Ireland, but if you’d ever accused any of them of not being Irish, well, it wouldnt have been a wise move!

In recent years, its been fair to say that 2 non test playing nations stood above the rest, Ireland, and Afghanistan. Its also equally fair to say thats no longer the case, because they are now test playing nations! Yes, last year, in their ‘wisdom’ the ICC promoted those 2 nations to test playing status. And for Ireland, tomorrow marks the start of that first test, at Malahide, against, yes, you’ve guessed it, Pakistan!

No, sadly, I wont be there. Given I’d already booked to leave for Seattle a week on Saturday, before the date was known, I probably wouldnt have been able to go anyway. Now, with a damaged back, and only able to work a 4 day week, I have no chance of going, regardless. And of course, the first 2 days of the game, I’ll be working. Indeed, Day 4, same thing. I’m pretty certain that unless there are weather issues, it probably wont reach Day 5, but we will see. But hopefully, Sunday, on Day 3, I get to see some on TV.

Next year, I hope to be able to see the team play a test match (holiday plans are currently congested this year), though who against, no idea? Sadly a few of the ‘golden era’ players will be gone by then, some of whom were young players on that memorable day in 2007. Ironically, Ed Joyce was at that tournament, for England!

But yes, tomorrow will be a special day, and even if my first focus tomorrow needs to be on my job, I’ll be wondering how they’re getting on, in my breaks. Not that I’ll be able to look, being a member of the 1% club who dont own, or want to own a smart phone, with internet connection! And yes, my heart will be in Malahide, even if my old body wont be!

Go you boys in Green, though of course they will be in white for a test match!

OK, video time. Most will know, but for those who dont, the Ireland Cricket team is a united team, covering both the Republic, and Northern Ireland. Thing is, that causes anthem issues lol, 2 different countries (or part of). I think this was first created for the united rugby team as an anthem, but the cricket team quickly picked up on it as well. This is the full length version, not the one sung at sporting events. So tomorrow, 11 men cricketers will answer the call for the first time in a test match! Why do I say that? Well, the women played one years ago, but so far, just the one!

I’m old and grumpy

Well, in truth I have my moments. Oh fine, I have too many of them nowadays lol. But no, the inspiration today for my blog wasnt really me, it was my dear old laptop that I’m typing this on, with the emphasis on old!

Its not quite first generation, but its definitely getting on a lot, given I’ve had it for about 8 years, and that was second hand! Mind, given that the previous recipient of it never kept his for long periods of time before upgrading, I’d guess its about 10? I know, in laptop terms, a dinosaur! Just like me? Lets just say that in the case of a lot of the keys, its a good job I know where the letters are, because many are worn away, and others barely there!

Before anyone asks, yes, I have got a new one, again second hand, but about half the weight of this ‘goliath’. But fine, the convenience of an old friend, with everything loaded has lasted until now. In truth, the long walk at Newcastle convinced me that it was too heavy for me now, given the damage to my back. So I’d sort of decided I was going to be brave, and get Ella to get me running with my new, lighter one before Seattle, even if hopefully I wont have to walk too far carrying it, if things go to plan.

Anyway, the laptop settled the matter this morning for me! Tried to log on, something about not accepting User Profile, or something, anyway, I couldnt get in! Thankfully Ella called as planned this afternoon, and managed to solve the issue, something had got corrupted in an update last night, but its fine again at present. But yes, to say I’m a bit behind would be to put it mildly! So yes, even before me, this old laptop will be on its way out very soon, though I know I’m going to have nightmares with passwords when logging in on the new one! Lots of forgotten password requests, very likely! Ah well…

Oh fine, just to prove I’m old and grumpy too, and believe me, I am, let me complain about something that will be relevant to me in a few years time, the senior bus pass! Not so long ago, I’d have had one a month ago, now its nearly 6 years time, but thats not what I’m grumbling about. I know there is some sort of similar thing in US, though more often reduced fares than free ones, so…

Lets just say that the freedom to use these cards starts at 9.30 in the morning, after the rush hour. I leave here on the 9.15 bus, before that time, and am due in town just before 9.30. So, logically you would think that the people with the cards would wait until after 9.30, then do their travelling, right? Wrong! Quite often there is someone at my stop expecting to get on for free, who glare at the driver when he says they cant use it. Hey, its an automated machine, its going to get recorded if he did, dummies! The number of times the bus stops, because someone stops it, says, “I know I’m not really allowed on the bus yet, but…” to be told no, glare at the driver, and delay the rest of us, well, its a lot!

I swear that when I get one, I’m not going to even think of using it before 9.30 in the morning, honest! I cant see why they feel the need to try and cheat, they have all day after that to use it, lets face it! I suspect Seattle has some arrangement for Seniors to get reduced fares, but I dont know the age cut, and I’m sure you have to be local, so will be full fares for me, ah well…

Rants over, from the 2 elderly ones here, me, and my laptop! 😛

Right, video time. Twist on the concept totally, in truth. Yes, Clara Johnson worked on this, when they get to the girls coming round in sequence, she’s 2 before Toby Wing (main lady) reappears. Yes, young and healthy, definitely not me!

 

Why don’t you come dining?

To amuse some, the title is slightly tweaked tonight. And sadly, due to Sony getting feisty about the original video being on You Tube, this is a slightly cribbed version, but anyway…?

In truth 90% of the time I’m on holiday, in truth, being a single traveler is an advantage for me. No concerns about what others might want to do, and when they want to do it, which is great, most of the time. And even more so now, I dont have to worry about upsetting plans of others if I’m having back issues.

So now I’ve got you wondering about that other 10% of the time, perhaps? Some other fellow singletons may even have worked out what it is, its the evening meal, or more strictly for some, the main meal of the day, whether it be lunchtime, or evening. Yes, we single eaters tend to stand out like a sore thumb, lol. You know, that blight that take up a full table when 2 (or sometimes 4) people could be using the same space, double the profit, and the staff hoping, double the tip!

There is also the issue that while a couple are waiting for their meal to arrive, they can talk, hold hands, or whatever. Though hopefully not certain whatever’s with people at other tables lol. Mind, what I read in some stories, who knows whats going on underneath the table cloth lol! I’m pretty certain thats fiction, but…? Me, I usually have little to do, but sit and wait, and… No, I’m not buying a smart phone just so I can play with that while waiting, OK?

So, once or twice recently, I’ve put ads on Craigslist (or whatever its called?) seeking a dinner companion, and no more, just someone to chat with before, and during the meal, maybe? Even said I’d pay my share unless that was an affront to them, lol! No, I never got a reply, and seemingly I wont now! Because, as I discovered today, Craigslist have removed their personal pages, because of some new ruling, to try and counteract the fact that those sort of places were being used by the adult industry, to find sex, and little else. Ah well, no chance of sex with me, lol! Dont get me wrong, it would be fun being an escort for the night, as long as they didnt want sex afterwards at least!

So, this year at least, my chance to find out if there are any other casual meal sharers, in Seattle, with an interest in Baseball, Harlow, 30’s musicals, or indeed 20’s and 30’s movies as a whole, because my only route to do so is gone. Equally, I’m now not going to find the mad scientist looking for a guinea pig to turn into a robot either! Well, unless someone from Microsoft, with such desire happens to read this, while spying on my postings, lol… Mind, I suspect that a middle aged Trans woman, isnt everyone’s dream date, in the first place, lol. Not that its really a date, just dinner companionship, but…? Ah well!

But yes, if any of my US readers of this (and there seem to be a large number) blog see this, and feel crazy, and think they can chat about these subjects for a couple of hours, then let me know! Usual email address, stephmajor8@hotmail.com if you dont want to amuse others, might be best way to go. Please note, I will not have a US phone until 20th May (day after arrival), and will then be available until lunch on 27th. So if you dont want to die in the rush (ha ha), you might want to email me before then!

No, I seriously suspect I will be dining alone, and frustrating the waiting staff at my meals yet again, somehow! Unless…?

OK, video time. I’ve used this before, but as I say, Sony have pulled the original, a while back now. This version is someone videoing it off their TV at a guess?

 

 

 

The only way to travel at an Airport

The only snag for me with this marvelous way to get around an airport, is that its at Heathrow, which is an airport I never use, and the fact that it only connects from 1 Terminal, to the parking areas, and I dont drive! But fine, if this was at Manchester, and I had the time, I’d happily do a round trip, just because… 😉

Oh fine, it might be even more fun if the pod, once you’ve got into it, had some interesting options, like a swift brainwashing session, but I guess I’m probably the only one who would fancy that, anyway! Oh, you want to see for yourself?

Now if they had something like this, to get disabled folk from check in, to the plane eventually, I’d love that! I hope Las Vegas, Seattle, or maybe even Manchester can get something set up for May lol! If someone wants to tell me that one of the first two does have something like that, I’d be thrilled! Alright, the snag is, Las Vegas will only be transfer between planes (via Immigration and Customs), and Seattle, I wont need parking, but…?

I have done a ‘light rail’ type transfer at a few airports, Chicago, Atlanta, and if I remember rightly, Seattle, in the past. But all of those have been in busy trains, not your own personal pod!

But yes, if I ever have an hour or two to spare, at Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5, I’m giving this a try, even if its just a return trip, with no brainwashing device in the pod! Chances of that happening, pretty much nil, unfortunately!

Oh fine, you want a music video too? Given that we’re not actually ‘Leaving on a jet plane’ at this point, I’d better go with this!

Moving on up, my back cant stop me!

As I mentioned a couple of months back, I had actually managed to build up the funds to pay for my holiday next May, and at that point, normally I would pay for it, get the whole matter sorted, and in this case, look forward to Seattle. But yes, there was one thought nagging at the back of my head about whether the body was up to a West Coast flight, and stay in a hotel, given the state of my back. In truth, my biggest concern wasnt the length of the flight, though that doesnt fill me with joy, it was the idea that if I stay in a hotel, I will be expected to get out, at least for a while each day, and I had no idea how that was going to work out. In truth, in a sense, I still dont, as of course, I dont go out every day, just 4 days a week, and even then, the 2 days in a row leaves me a bit sore, let alone 7! In truth, I think the public transport is probably a bigger issue than the work, and walking around, though most likely, its a combination of all those things.

But equally, I said that, in January, I’d have to make a decision on the matter, and its now January! In truth, Thomas Cook have sort of twisted my arm by having a sale at present, so it makes sense to get in during that, if I’m going for it. Given that the back doesnt seem to have deteriorated further, I’ve decided to give it a go, and see what happens. Crazy? Yes, maybe, but if I dont try it, I’ll never know. Its not like I dont know I cant do a US flight, I did one with same issue in September! But that was East Coast, not West, a whole lot shorter flight.

Even more so, given that flying out, I will need to travel all the way down to Los Angeles, and then fly back up to Seattle. Thankfully, coming back, its a direct flight. Yes, Thomas Cook only start their new direct flight service that weekend unfortunately, or I could have done it both ways. I would love to have flown out via Las Vegas (gentler route on back, and would allow me to add Nevada to my States visited list, earlier arrival too), but thats £50 extra, and thats an extra too far on my new budget restrictions lol!

One thing I do know, that will be the only trip to the US this year, for sure. Yes, the second trip was always an interesting (but doable) budget challenge when on a 5 day working week, but on 4, impossible. Possibly for the better, less strain on the back, and all that, but sad news, all the same. I’ll do something in September, only over here, and just for a few days instead.

But yes, I’ve decided I will throw my back into the unknown, and hope it doesnt fail me!

The amusing, and some might say, annoying thing about my planned hotel is that as a ‘group member’ I get a discounted rate. Whats annoying about that you’re probably asking? Well, its the fact I can get said discounted rate for a standard room, but not an accessible one! Fine, I probably dont really need it, but extra mobility room, and a suitably designed bathroom might have been handy. But again, $17 per night, for 8 nights, just to get that, I dont think so!

So now, once the money has been transferred, I can get it all booked, and get my wheelchair rides booked! Yes, this time, no qualms about doing that lol, I am officially disabled, though thankfully just mildly!

If anyone knows anyone in the Seattle/Seatac area that I can use as a ‘support’ during my stay, I’d love to know. Positive I wont need it, but just handy to know that if one day I need a little assistance, its only a call away! I know, but no harm in asking?

Right, video time. As so often with me, big clue in the blog title!