Posts Tagged Hotel

Road Trip Day One

Well, I got out a little later on day one than I wanted to, my initial plan was to leave between 8 and 9 in the morning, but I was realistic in my expectations to leave between 8 and 11 in the morning, however, in my traditional family style, I left about 11:30. Why be on time?

So things didn’t go as quickly as I had hoped. First, I had to stop in Shrewsbury at my baseball team’s manager’s house to drop him off an iPad and charger that we use for scoring the games. While we keep a book, the iPad just makes the stats easier to see and thus easier for him to not have to calculate them, and he can get them uploaded to the website a little quicker. Plus, while I am gone I think one of my teammate’s 8 year old son is going to be doing a lot of the score keeping, and he is much better on the ipad than he is with the actual book keeping score.

So, got that dropped but it wasn’t a stop totally out of the way, only added about 15-20 minutes to the trip, the real problem was the traffic on the mass pike. It was brutal, way worse than I was expecting for a Saturday, if it had been Friday I could have understood, but was rather annoying, although it did help me get used to managing the weight of the bike with all the gear at slower speeds. Much easier to manage when traveling quickly and you have the help of the bike to keep things on the level.

Then, a little over halfway through CT the rain started, it was light at first but I pulled over under a bridge and suited up. My raincoat, my bright orange rain pants, and my full face helmet. Fortunately, I chose not to attach the full face to the spot under the seat because I would have had to completely unpack almost everything to get it off the bike, and that would be no fun on the side of the highway.

Boy did it really start to rain though, I charged on though, pushed and pushed, got wetter and wetter. I actually ended up stopping a little bit early in the rain because I realized it wasn’t going to let up, and my gear wasn’t actually waterproofed, so I spent $20 at a truck stop to buy a 4’x8′ tarp that I then folded in half and bungy cord tied it around my gear, there was a small opening on the top of the back, but I figured physics would help me out given that it wouldn’t be able to have much water fall into it with me traveling at speed, which is the same reason why even though my GPS is not technically covered, it’s within an inch or two of the windshield which means any water that falls behind it will end up hitting my tank instead because the GPS moves too far horizontally while the water is falling vertically, so there is a small triangle of space that never gets hit with water.

So, after a total of 6 hours or traffic, stops and rain I realized it was time to stop for the night, sadly I had only gone about 250 miles, a tad off from the 400-450 I was hoping to make the first day. So I vowed to make it into PA and then to just stop at the first Hilton brand hotel I came across since I could use points an it wouldn’t cost me anything.

There it was, Hampton Inn, my savior, but on top of being hard to get to because there were no signs and the roads were annoying, I had another problem. While I was pretty sure I knew the answer, I asked the front desk anyway; “Can I book with points through you, or do I need to do it online?” She responds, “you need to either call Hilton or o it online.” “No problem” I say as I pull out my phone and start to look for my Hilton app, which I apparently don’t have on my new phone, and then she interrupts me and says “but that won’t do you any good, we are completely booked up for the night.”

Say WHAT?!?!?

I was truly shocked that a Hampton Inn in this area would be sold out, any Hampton Inn really, but apparently there were 2 large weddings in the area, and many of the people going were staying there. Well shoot… alright… internet save me now!

I went to Priceline and did a local search to see what I could find for a place to stay, found a place that looked a little sketchy, but the price was a little higher than I wanted, but given the scarcity of rooms in the area, I just took the opportunity to get a place to sleep and dry out for the night.

Got there, got myself unloaded and then instead of using my bike cover, I just used the tarp I had to cover the bike and tied it down with those tiny little bungees with the ball on them I never think I would use, but can’t not put in my bag of stuff because they are so small they aren’t a hassle.

Then came the drying out of everything.

I cranked the heat and put the ironing board at a low level to help dry out my jeans while I hung out in shorts, and then I put the hair dryer into my boot to get that all dried out.

Then I just laid down for awhile to dry out my brain and my body.

Then I decided to repack everything to alter where things were based on what I would need to access during the trip and what I would need at night.

Then I slept… I slept really well!

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Crack Den Red Roof Inn

So I am in a crack den Red Roof Inn, although since this is the midwest right now, it is probably more likely a meth den more than a crack den.

The door to my room has previously been busted in by the cops or the DEA or someone since I can tell by the mark where the battering ram hit the door…..

I am pleasantly surprised at the time though, it only took me 9 hours to get here from Boston, and that included 2 stops for gas, and dropping off a kid in Hartford on my way.

That being said, i am pretty disappointed in the PT Cruiser I have as a rental, while it was excellent at doing donuts in the parking lot of the Red Roof Inn, it is very poor on gas, 2.5 tanks of gas to get here. I know my car could have done it in probably 1.5 tanks, this thing only gets about 23 or 24 MPG, pretty pathetic if you ask me!

I drove through PA on 84, and then 80 to get here. PA is pretty damn depressing to drive through in the winter. I hope it is better during the summer, otherwise I have pity on it.

ummmmm oh yeah… I felt kind bad for the girl at Subway in some PA town where I stopped for gas and got a sub for dinner, she was short and cute but you could totally tell she was pissed off at the two girls who were working the gas station register partially because they were doing basically nothing, and partially because you could tell they were the “popular girls” in terms of a high school type of thing, but that was only because they were probably ho’s, they looked like ho’s, and they had all the sleazy looking “gangsta” guys stopping by to say high and flirt with them.

I so wish I had a black light to check this bed out before I go to sleep in it… although it is probably best that I do not have that otherwise I would probably not sleep!

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The Saga of the Bag

Ok, so I could not post earlier for some reason, MySpace was being a douche….

So, at 9:45 last night I decided I did not trust Delta, and I went to target and bought some jeans, a shirt, some socks, underwear, and some Sudafed, and as I am standing there picking out my underwear, I get flashbacks to childhood where there are announcements over the intercom telling us that it is 10pm and the store is now closed, please take all your purchases to the front of the store. Not sure why that always happened as a kid, but I have a ton of memories of being at either Caldor or Bradlees with my mom, and the lights dimming and that announcement over the loud speakers the metal gate being half lowered across the doorway into the mall, but I have gotten off track now…

So, I got a call last night at 11ish from Tony The Flying Moose Delivery Service(I will leave the name alone, what can I say that can improve the humor in that?) telling me that he would be dropping my bag off to the Best Western on Main street in Watsonville in about a half an hour.

I felt the need to correct him, and tell him I was at the Holiday Inn Express, not the Best Western, and he looked at the slip and says “Oh yeah, it does say that doesn’t it”


So I go to bed….

3am rolls around and the phone rings, I wake up and answer it and don’t even let the person speak, I simply mutter the words…

“I’ll pick it up in the morning” and then hang up the phone.

So I get up, put on my new clothes and go down and check out and get my suitcase…. stick my dirty clothes in the suitcase in the target bag and then check out and go drop the suitcase into my trunk, basically untouched…

So that is that…

but I ended up coming back to the hotel tonight and checking back in because my work plans have changed and I am now here til Friday when I will be taking a red eye home…. so no New Jersey for me… Shucks… I am terribly disappointed…

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My Time in Mexico

Well, I have spent a week in Mexico and it was interesting to say the least.

I have discovered that immersion does work, as long as you have some sort of background, I was actually able to remember quite a bit of the Spanish I learned while in school that I normal cannot even come close to remembering, but since I was in it, it just kind of came to me which was nice, not perfect, but respectable.

My room in the hotel, was satisfactory, very small, but it did not need to be big to do it’s job, a bed, a counter along the window for a desk, a TV and a bathroom.

The bathroom was interesting, it had no tub like most hotels, but it had a shower, with a real door on it, a clear glass door at that instead of a frosted door or something else. Also, the toilet was interesting as well, the flush was attached to the wall behind it and there were 2 options, a light flush and a heavy flush. I am going to assume you can figure out the purposes of each.

Food was good, I had a decent wide variety while here, some tacos, some regular dishes, and I stuck mostly to chicken since I can be rather picky about my other meats at times, so chicken is usually the safest.

The company I was at is nice, very nice people and a comfortable environment. The one really neat thing was how they deal with lunch, anyone who works in the office versus out in the shops, gets to go to the “cantina” every day for lunch where the company provides them a lunch as part of their salary. The food was really good and the options and extra nice as well, each day was a chicken or beef option with a different type of rice and 2 kinds of soup as well. Then on the tables there are corn tortillas and bread, as well as a small salad bar with fresh cut fruit. I had Jamaican Water while there, it is made from a Jamaica flower and it similar to a fruit punch like flavor, only not so, if that makes sense.

Taxi drivers are insane, but I think that goes for anywhere in the world. The only gripe I have is that not a single taxi I was in had any seat belts in the back seat for me!

Walmart, Home Depot, McDonalds, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Burger King, Dominos all have a good strong presence in Mexico, not sure if that is good or bad though.

I watched tv most nights since I was told not to venture too far from the hotel, and I was able to catch some of “Latin American Idol” and wowsers…. the language doesn’t really matter, bad singers are bad singers no matter what the language.

There was a mall right next to the hotel, pretty typical like most in the US except for the Ferris wheel, and mini roller coaster in it, as well as a lot racing track for people to use. The only 2 major differences were the smoking inside the mall and in the food court, which is pretty non-existent in the US(at least near me) and the number of people, not teenagers, but people in general hanging out and making out with someone in the mall. To each their own I guess!

ummmmm there is probably more but I forget what….

and I did buy tequila! I have 4 bottles to share with people and 3 of them are mezcal, 2 with the WORM in it!

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Know When To Hold Em…

and know when to fold em…

and tonight, I knew when to fold em, although I wasn’t playing cards…..

I was playing craps, New York New York was the casino. I started with $100, I was up to $250 at one point, but then things turned bad…. I was down to $30… but, when all was said and done, I walked away from the table with $166, and gave the dealers $10, and then kept my $1 chip as a souvenir…

$55 profit on day one… not bad….

This place is nutty, if I wasn’t in the casino I would have at least 50 photos for the hall of shame my sister keeps, the outfits… what goes through people’s heads to think that this is OK to wear in public?!?!?!

Also, I need to find a store cuz my ass needs to buy some shorts, I knew it was going to be warm, but holy shit, it was 109 out today!

Ok…. more to come later….


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When in Houston…

At the hotel in Houston, I was down eating breakfast in the lobby and I heard the girl at the front desk call a room and say “Hi, Mr. So and So, the police wanted to know if you had called a wrecker for your car or if you needed them to call one for you”

then she called another room and said the exact same thing, I was puzzled and figured 2 people got into an accident in the parking lot, stupid idiots, but hey sometimes shit happens, even in a parking lot.

So I finish up my breakfast and go grab my bag and head out to my car to go to the customer site.

And what should my wondering eyes behold… 2 cars in the parking lot…. on cinder blocks… no tires…. with all the lug nuts from the tires sitting on the ground right by where the tires used to be on the cars.

So yeah, i guess it was a real safe area I was staying in, and I am guessing that it what the police were asking about a wrecker for, not because of any accident in the parking lot.

I feel bad for the guys, that just kinda sucks for them, glad it was not my car though…

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I’m Baaaack

Didja miss me?!?!?

So yes, in case you were completely unaware I was in Ireland for the past week. I was on vacation with my sister, mother, and my mother’s friend. It was an interesting trip to say the least.

Driving on the left was fun and entertaining, although not quite as much as the road speed limits, 80 km/hr was the speed limit on many roads, some of which had tons of blind corners and are barely wide enough for 1 car let alone 2 cars going in opposite directions!!

We were up in the middle of nowhere at the Renvyle House Hotel, we stayed in one of the Time Share Condo units, I liked it and I am sure it would normally be a wonderful place in the months of May through Early September, however in March it is pretty nasty up there.

We had some crappy weather, rain, overcast, wind, cold, as well as some great weather which was sunny, cool, and only slightly windy. I definitely want to go back during warmer months and do more exploring, we barely covered our little corner in the mid west coast of Ireland let alone the rest of the island nation.

I think 3 or 4 weeks with a mountain bike and good weather would be an awesome trip.

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So Very Nice Out Here

Very nice out here, but it isn’t Boston…

I think the drivers out here are actually worse than in Boston, I know people say Boston is the worst, but LA area has them beat as far as I am concerned, especially when dealing with 6 lanes of traffic!

Now what would a blog spot from me be without a reference to a meal I ate somewhere right?

Well I had dinner tonight in the Hotel Sushi Bar, and it was fabulous! SO much better than the sushi around the Boston Area.

I had….

California Roll(fitting don’t you think?) which was crabmeat and avocado with sticky rice in a seaweed wrap

Maguro which is raw tuna on sticky rice with a spot of wasabi

Hamachi which is raw yellowtail on sticky rice with a spot of wasabi

Sake which is raw salmon on sticky rice with a spot of wasabi

Ebi which is cooked shrimp on sticky rice with a spot of wasabi

Hotate which is scallops in a spicy sauce, baked briefly and then put on top of sticky rice with a seaweed wrap

Albacore Tataki which is albacore tuna, lightly pan seared but raw on the inside on top of cucumber strips, with a sesame dressing

All as very tasty and filling while not being too much food either. I really liked the albacore, it melted in your mouth and was practically falling apart when picking it up with the chop stix, the tuna and yellowtail were great as well, and salmon was so so, just confirmed that I am not a huge fan of Salmon in general.

I am gonna head back there tomorrow to try out some other things, Uni(sea urchin) and Tako(octopus) looked very tasty so they may be on the menu for tomorrow night.

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