Right at the start I can assure you, I’m not using similes, metaphors, or exaggerating. Me. Two kids. Murder hotel. Addis Ababa.
We have a Facebook page associated with the From Fresno to Timbuktu site, but you know that, right? You know that, and YOU HAVE LIKED IT, right? Go ahead, you can do that now. I’ll wait for you.
Now that you have pressed the like button and are perusing our offerings of witticisms, pontificating, and moments of sheer ridiculousness (often brought to you by over-tired children, over-packed husbands, and a cat that finds car rides a better elimination help than Senekot tablets), you can start liking some of our stuff as well.
And by “like”, I mean, “pick an appropriate emoticon to tell us how engaged you are with all this hoo-dee-do.”
I’m not sure how many people visit Kuala Lumpur and don’t stop by the Batu Caves, but I’m pretty sure that it’s required by international travel law that you see them when you happen to be in the neighborhood. And they are lovely – just absolutely lovely!
I love Trip Advisor – I do. I really, really do. And I never make a hotel booking without first checking what Trip Advisor contributors have to say about that hotel. There are always the odd reviews out where people have an ax to grind, but if you read the reviews with a practiced eye, you will get a very good idea of what to expect.
I’m sure you’ve heard that what you do on the first day of the year will set the pattern for the year to come.
Actually, you may not have heard it, and I may have made it up. I did try searching that phrase, but I couldn’t find a Google link, which seems to indicate that I just randomly decided that it is a thing. Whatever. It’s a good thing.
So there I am, at the bottom of The Peak Tram in Hong Kong. I’m soaking wet. I’ve managed to wrench my back somehow and am in the sort of pain only someone whose back lived through a pregnancy resulting in a nearly twelve pound baby can be. It’s raining. And worst of all – the won ton soup I had ordered at the top of The Peak had smelled like someone took the shrimp for a sun-filled vacation in a rotting sewer. It was sent back, of course. And I got no won ton soup.
Sometimes you have these days when you travel. “But!” I told myself. “Hey! I’m in Hong Kong! That’s awesome! And we’ll just take a cab back to the hotel, chill and dry, then get some won ton soup somewhere else! Really, I’m totally ahead on this!”
Little did I know that one does not simply “take a cab” when it is raining in Hong Kong.
Last night my husband broke into one of my nightly monologues (I feel the need to narrate everything that has happened that day to him, since he travels quite a bit for business) with this, “I know you’re really excited about our December vacation, but I honestly don’t really care what you decide we’re going to see. You’ve always chosen good places, I’ve loved all of our travel. I’m sure this will be wonderful as well.”
Dude. Buzzkill. I know that half-an-hour on this hotel vs. the other hotel might seem like overkill to the uninitiated, but I love figuring this stuff out.
It has come time for our family to visit our home. Home being, in this case, California. Which, to be fair, is most people’s idea of a vacation. So that’s kind of like winning the travel lottery, really, and it can be quite a money-saver when it all comes down to it.
We’ve traveled enough that we have definite airport preferences – because any traveler can tell you exactly how much an airport can make or break a good visit. Everything – from services, to concession hours, to cleanliness, to available connections, to the attitude of employees, to outside traffic, to the prices of rental cars – EVERYTHING in an airport adds up.
And when I say everything, I mean everything. Like Ebola hand washing stations. Those definitely add up.
Several months ago I went to hear a talk about travel. This one, one which I’ve had a chance to quote several times since, dealt specifically with the issue of travel safety. Plus, we got to play with some fun toys.
Because not every travel destination is the beautiful, safe beaches of Hawaii.
On the other hand, the vast majority of the world does not house terrifying specters of Jack the Ripper, just waiting to pounce on unsuspecting tourists and go all Sweeney Todd on their innards, either. Still, it doesn’t help to be prepared. But how does one do that?
I’m not going to lie, I’m THAT mom more than I’m comfortable with. I’m THAT mom whose kids melted down at the dinner table after a full day of sightseeing while other children sat beautifully and quietly in starched dress clothes and said things like, “Please, Mother, might I have a bit of cheese?” At least, that’s what it seems like the other kids are doing when I’m THAT mom at the restaurant.
I’m also THAT mom when my son chooses to run-off to the bathroom without telling anyone while we are checking our luggage at the airport and in a time crunch due to unexpected traffic. You know the one, THAT mom who loses her mind and marches her child, goose-stepping toward the immigration officers who look like they are caught between fear of bringing the matter up and causing an explosive incident and wondering if the flight will be safe with that much frustrated anger in one economy seat.
This time, though – this time I was the mother who should have been featured on Passenger Shaming. Specifically, this mother, although not really that mother, just one with the same sort of detritus left by my offspring.