The holiday, story of the first 2 days

Its funny, how when you expect to have problems, everything goes smoothly. Pretty much sums up yesterday’s journey here.

OK, fine, the roadworks on the motorway getting to the airport was a pain, but in all honesty, I got there with time to spare, and walked to the booking in counter, in about 15 seconds flat, from the queue. The challenge of security…absolute stroll!

Plane took off pretty much to time, landed much the same. Funny point, I started the journey with a double seat to myself, then a few hours in, a man excused himself, and moved in next to me. Said his viewing screen wasnt working, but anyway…Fine, it must have been that, as he went back to his original seat about 30 minutes before landing. Ah well…

Then, the only low point of the whole trip, Philadelphia Immigration. Seriously, they are the main reason I dont travel more with US Airways, they are awful. Transatlantic jet arrives, hundreds get off, and 2 Immigration officers are on! Eventually, and I do mean eventually a couple more turn up, I get through, and… you have to go back through security after clearing customs, and generally at Philadelphia, thats as much joy as going through Immigration. Yesterday, sailed through! I was actually at the other terminal waiting for the Albany plane 20 minutes before boarding, instead of dashing on at the last moment. Hey, I even went to the rest room, got a coffee, and…amazing stuff.

Met at the airport as planned, and a smooth journey to the hotel. Hey, I suspect I even spotted the Albany hotel I stayed at in 1988, but dont quote me on that. But it was in the right area, had the right colour sign, so…

Hotel is very good, not that I expected anything else from Best Western, to be honest.

This morning I went across town, to meet up with James for a short while, then back into town, a bite of lunch, and currently, a little NFL. Oh, the lady in Dunkin Donuts loved my accent!

Tonight, I wont go too far to eat, just tossing up between the restaurant here, or a pub/restaurant about 2 doors up.

Tomorrow, off to New Hampshire overnight, to be hypnotised by an expert, and see what develops. I’m pretty sure, at some point, I will believe I’m Jean Harlow! Still, more of that on Tuesday, I suspect.

For now, a video that sums up how things have gone so far

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Planes, and buses, and thinking I’m Jean!

So fine, lets start this off with the news that I will be getting to ride the bus, but only one in each direction, instead of two. Yes, the past life regression, and other matters will be happening, on Monday, all sorted and confirmed! So its fair to say, that regardless of whether I really was her in a past life or not, on Monday, at some point, I will be thinking I’m Jean lol. Of course, there is that one in a million chance that I really was, but…

Anyway, more on that nearer the time, and definitely after the event, either from me, or from Jean, depending on who I’m left thinking I am. Me, I’m sure, but…I suspect I will get to see life through her ‘eyes’ at least.

Before then, I get to have the long flight to Albany, via Philadelphia, with US Airways. Should be fine, but that 2 hours or so connection between planes, dealing with Immigration, Customs, and a walk back through security, before a bus ride to the other terminal, it will be tight, I suspect!

I’ve been to Albany twice before, in 1988, and then again, a couple of years ago. Neither time have I seen a lot of the city, something which I plan to put right this time around. No, I suspect I will not get experimented on at the Nanotechnology building, but if I do…Even with the side trip, and all, I hope to get to see a few of the landmarks there.

But principally, the big thing for me on this trip, is my first ever Thanksgiving dinner. My huge thanks go to James for letting me experience this, should be amazing. And no, I have no intention whatsoever to go shopping on Black Friday! Thankfully, given the current weather, I’m going nowhere near Buffalo!

Fine, to the video, and yes, its Jean. I was tempted to make it from Saratoga, given that town isnt a million miles from Albany. Sadly, she never managed to complete that film before her death. it was completed using doubles, and the like, by public demand. But as I used that elsewhere, lets have a snippet from Bombshell instead.

Even if I get to think I’m Jean, I’ll never be the bombshell she was, thats for sure!

Gold flight status (almost)

To be honest, apart from my twice yearly flights to the US, I really dont fly all that much. Certainly not for work, call centre operators arent generally required to fly the world for their company! I do the odd domestic flight to Ireland, or as earlier this year, to Jersey, for breaks, but thats about it.

But despite that, I tend to join the airline, and hotel reward schemes, because lets face it, it always puts you at an advantage in their eyes, should the need arise. But lets face it, because I share my love between 4 airlines, depending on where I’m flying to, and who has the best fares, I never thought I’d do enough to hit gold status on any of them.

But then, US Airways, and American Airlines decided not just to be friends, but to become one company. And in time, sometime early next year in fact, their 2 mile schemes will be combined. And then, combined with the trip next week to Albany…Yes, you’ve guessed it, I will have enough miles for gold status! Now, as they are saying that this will happen in the 2nd quarter of next year, I have no idea whether I will get these privileges in time for the Hollywood trip. If not, it might be September when I enjoy them, if I head to Idaho, or it might be next year, if my body suggests a trip to New England is the wiser option, as I would then fly with Aer Lingus.

Of course, if Delta/Virgin offer me a cheaper option to LA, it might be delayed anyway!

But little me, a gold status passenger, wow!

The video, just thought this was a fun choice

US Airways, take on me

Yesterday was progressing just as a Saturday generally does at work, in a sports related industry, it was busy! But I was getting by, waiting for 10.00 to come around, especially as I had the next 2 days off, when an email arrived in my box, from home.

Seemingly, in their wisdom, US Airways had decided that the plane scheduled to bring me back in November, from Albany to Philadelphia, was no more, so Expedia were desperately trying to contact me about this. Fine, even in these times, on a Saturday afternoon, there is a good chance that people will be at home when they call, not slogging themselves silly at work. But in my case…

Thankfully, calm logic is a good point with me, even with news like this, so I dived onto US Airways website, to check for myself, and yes, it was gone. At this point I had 2 lines of thought. One, the serious one, was that there was a lunchtime plane on the same route, with vacancies, so there had to be a good chance of getting on that. The less serious one was the thought that would US Airways be duty bound to offer me a job in the area, if they couldnt get me home?

Yes, fine, I know the answer to that!

Anyway, this morning, I took on US Airways, rang Expedia, and sorted out the whole matter, I’m on the lunchtime flight. In a sense, the inconvenience is minimal, as I would have to have been out of my hotel room by 12.00 anyway. Now, for a 1.35 flight, I have to be regardless. I gather the main reason they needed to get hold of me was because the difference in time change was over 3 hours, and I had to authorise it.

But yes, US Airways took me on, and lost of sorts, though some might think that 6 hours at Philadelphia airport (my fate now on the return route) suggests I was the one that lost. Delta Airlines (just 3 weeks), dont get any ideas! Because for you, I will demand being set up as Jean Harlow, or Harlean Carpenter, spinster of Kansas City, complete with job! 😛

The video, a wonderful spoof on the A-Ha video suggested in the title, by the British comedic genius, Harry Hill.

All good things come to an end

Including seemingly, my holiday. Yes, I dont fly out until tomorrow afternoon, but its certainly on the last lap, thats for sure. Its been a lovely break, but now its back to work, and the insanity that creates on Monday. Ah well…

Funnily enough, despite saying goodbye to each other this morning, both Kate and I are still in the vicinity of Richmond. Me, here, her, near the airport, as not for the first time, US Airways have failed to provide a decent service, and Kate got stranded this morning.

But beyond that, I’ve had a lovely time here, just relaxing and chilling out from work. Oh, and also buying an expensive flapper style dress, just because! 😛

I’ll be honest, with US Airways, I wont relax until I’ve taken off from Philly, on the way back to Manchester. Until then, fingers will be crossed!

Finally, I’d just like to thank Kate for inviting me over, and look forward to seeing her again next year

The video, well as the end is near, what could be more apt?

Lift me up

Yes, back to the old system, the clue to the video is in the title!

39 days from now (volcanoes and everything else permitting), I will be lifting off for the US again, eventually heading back to Virginia, looking forward to it. I just hope US Airways are on a going day that day, not always the case with them for me!

The funniest thing this weekend though, was watching the US PGA golf (mainly for work, partly for me) coming live from Rochester, NY, where I was in April. So alright, the golf wasnt happening down the main street, just outside the city at Oak Hill, but close enough. Funny thing is, that so far at least, the Rochester Red Wings baseball team are having a great year, and top of their division. Not that they would remember the ‘old biddy’ sat in the front row, on a freezing cold Sunday in April, but anyway…I was there! Equally uniquely, they were playing the Red Sox minor team from Pawtucket that day, and the last home MLB stadium I was at, was their parent team in Boston. Also, top of their division at present, though given the year I saw them, they totally collapsed in September, lets not count chickens yet!

As far as I know, the next MLB game I get to see live, is ‘your guess is as good as mine’ country, given my plans for September, and next year, which dont seem to tie in all that well. On TV will be an improvement on present, now that I no longer have ESPN, but live baseball is always fun, just not sure where, or when the next time will be for me.

I dont really remember anything about Richmond, 13 years is quite a time, and I suspect a lot has changed anyway. Not that I remembered any of Rochester, beyond the lake, but at least that was 25 years! but I’m getting old, memory is going and all that, so…

But given I’ll be flying there, this video seemed sort of apt

Oh, and this evening, I received my first royalty statement for book sales. Amazon in July, brings me $23.69! No, I wont be giving up the day job, especially as August sales have been awful so far, but fingers crossed. Even more so as I wont get paid until October! But if you’d told me that I would ever get paid for writing, I would have laughed at you, but look at me now. Yes, another Geri Halliwell video, but lets leave it at one for tonight.

The Gardener I know the best.

I do wonder if she’s been pleased, or disappointed up till now by the fact I havent done a focus on her, but lets put that right now.

Now, I say she’s the one I know the best, but thats pretty much because we shared a wonderful week together (of sorts) very recently in, and around Boston. And got on so well together that we plan to repeat the experience next year. Yes Kate, or should I say kbug, your turn has come!

Its funny, until about this time last year I’d never really considered actually meeting anyone from the Forums, but then the idea of a trip to Boston became possible budget wise, due to considerable help from James in finding somewhere at a ‘price I could budget for’ to stay at in the area. Soon after, the idea of having a ‘companion’ for at least part of the week was suggested to me, and I decided to go for it. Has to be said, it was the best thing I’ve ever done on holiday. had a great time.

Kate is a redhead of Irish extraction, I’m currently a blonde of Irish extraction, so all in all…and yes, the craic was super, as you might suspect. And despite any self deprecation on her part, she neither looks, or is insane in any way, as James will also bear witness. Kate and I also have one other thing in common, a great ‘love’ of US Airways lol! Thankfully I mainly get to fly with American Airlines nowadays, cant think why!

Lets pick one wonderful day, you will see why when you get to the video. Normally I go to the baseball on my own, sit quietly in one of the cheaper (not the cheapest though) seats, enjoy the atmosphere, and then go back to the hotel. This time I went in luxury to Fenway Park with an avid baseball fan, and oh my, wasnt it fun! Pictures taken before the game, lunch in luxury, and then take our seats. It has to be said that some of the drops by Boston fielders, well, I think Kate or I would have fancied our chances of holding them. And yes, this was part of the by now infamous Red Sox September collapse, so you can guess the result.

But I had been told that Fenway Park was an amazing place to visit, and thats so true. And the fact that its set downtown just makes it even more so. Thanks for taking me there for such a great day, made me feel a right lady I must say.

Ah, the mention of the word Fenway! Some might think the park is the most famous thing with that name, but I know a dog that would disagree. Sadly I never got to meet the famous doggie this time around, but hopefully thats another thing I can put right next year. ‘His’ emails are entertaining, the spelling is interesting, but all things considered, not bad for a doggie lol! Mind, there are rumours that ‘Mommie’ helps him write them, but I’m sure she would deny that? 😉

I’m so glad I went ahead and met Kate, she is a lovely person on the Garden, even nicer in real life. And yes, I’m really looking forward to meeting her again next autumn, and watching the Bills beat the Pats in New England. Well, alright, maybe not win, but… 😉

The video, well its Fenway (or is that Fenway’s) Park, though not for Baseball, couldnt find a musical piece for that. Its the NHL  Classic game last year, a group singing ‘I’m shipping up to Boston’, something I plan to do again next year, and really looking forward to it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghYrYXvy2wY&feature=fvst

I’m so saying nothing about the name of the group performing!