amazonv: (TARDIS)
Wake Up! Sydney Hostel
Always seemed to be someone at the front desk, which was great. The staff were also all pleasant and helpful.
Free wifi in the lobby, pay in the rooms.
ATM in the lobby is handy.
I was able to check in early in the day and ditch my bags to make site seeing easier which was great, some places are very picky about check in time.
I liked how I got the key on a lanyard.
I had a 4 person room. It was clean, but the bed was a bit thin and it was set out with a comforter not a top sheet which was odd to me. The locker was a bit skinny and barely fit my pack.
The daily announcement is startling as it starts wake up! But it’s at 5 or 6pm.
There seemed to be one boys and one girls bathroom per floor. It got a bit dirty unfortunately as the day went on.
Each floor also had one laundry on each floor with 2 washers and 2 dryers. They only took 2$ coins and cost 4$ each (8$ a wash and dry total). Luckily the staff are always ready to makes change. There is wash powder in the vending machine for $1.
The location is super near public transit – Central Station is down the block. It is also near food and convenience stores. In addition they have their own café and bar as part of the hostel. When you check in you get a voucher for one free coffee in their café. I got a late and it was good. I also tried the bar for dinner. The burger and fries were good, nothing amazing but not a bad price (relative to local restaurants) and not bad quality.
amazonv: (TARDIS)
Greenlane Manor Motel Auckland New Zealand
Very nice woman at check in helped me check in and helped me figure out where to head for food and best ways to get transit about. She also offered me a glass/carton of milk. New Zealand likes milk.
In my room, which was very clean and a good size there was a great booklet of local attractions and restaurants.
It is located near a train station and near shops and restaurants.
In the room I had an electric tea kettle, fridge, dishes, cups, silverware, microwave, toaster and instant coffee and tea.
The location, at least my room was a bit noisy as it is near a road.
Warning: Limited front desk hours, a maximum daily MB limit on wifi
Overall I would stay here again and would recommend it.
amazonv: (TARDIS)
Atura Blacktown
I made a reservation at the Atura Blacktown through Expedia. On arrival I found it was not really that accessible by public transit (the bus stop is only about 1 km away, but there is a major highway in the way), so I ended up spending more than I would have liked on uber. I highly recommend using this hotel if you have a car.
As far as the staff – they were helpful, pleasant and I very much enjoyed them. They were happy to answer questions, suggest things, and call up a taxi as needed.
The room itself was clean, a good size, and had everything I needed. Please note the kitchenette is actually dishes, silver wear, drink wear, coffee maker, microwave and sink. There is a lack of fridge. There was not excessive noise or light and the bed was comfy.
I was amused it was cruise ship style lighting – you had to put your room key in a socket near the door when you entered to power up the lights, a smart thing but took me a few minutes to figure out.
The hotel buffet breakfast was a bit pricey – 27$ but offset by the green voucher (let them leave your sheets during your stay and get $10/day). I don’t eat much so I may have been better off finding a grocery and having breakfast in – but again no car. The food was good, but I find the breads in Australia a bit dense compared to the US. I had things like bacon, eggs, waffles, peaches and cream, tapioca and fruit, coffee, tea, Danish, croissant, potato pancakes, and some other cold porridge thing.
There is a pub and a drive in within walking distance.
There is a lobby bar – but I didn’t try it.
Overall I would recommend this place and stay again, but only with a car.
amazonv: (TARDIS)
2/10/17
8am breakfast at my B&B, so much good food! Fresh eggs (she keeps chickens), toast, fruit, bacon, tea and juice. Like a little Italian grandmother she had more food than I could ever eat.
Next up I put on sunblock and headed out to Bethells beach. I also got a Tupperware of the fruit I didn’t eat to take with me.
On the way down there were horse tracks and dog tracks, it made me think of tilly (the horse that played argo).
I arrived at High tide unfortunately, so I couldn’t go in the cave at the end of the beach, but I got a good walk around. When I got super close I sat on some rocks and had some water and the fruit. Sand is rough terrain :( and I am unfit, it was tiring. I did enjoy the look of the black sand beaches, but they didn’t seem to get hotter than normal sand to me?
I talked to a nice old lady on the beach for a bit and heard about her visit to San Francisco with friends, apparently they got odd looks camping in tents (being senior citizens) at the national park.
Next I tried to get to o’neil beach or bay and got soggy in the process. I thought I had gotten there but reviewing maps after I returned I had not. I had been to Waitakere Bay and seen o’neill bay. There were things (gates) that seemed to be blocking the way so I didn’t go down to the other thing I looked at. But, the walkways and are not clear (to me, not a camper or hiker) some of the walkways I took later had that same look but had skinny paths to the side for people the gates being to block things larger than a skinny adult.
I considered going back to the cave as the tide was lower, but my feet were soggy and I was very tired. So instead, I tried to get to lake wainamu. I walked in soggy shoes (from above adventure) for hours, they make you walk in a creek! At that point I was in for a penny in for a pound, already soggy might as well get soaked. It was supposed to be a 20 minute walk. Apparently (recon after I got home) I got close, but again I felt like I must have missed it, and I also couldn’t tell if there was still a trail.
Failure to properly recon, had intel but not enough. This was what originally inspired me to come in the first place, why I always wanted to go. And I failed.
www.loyaltoxena.com/XenaFilmLocations.html
I should have satellite view’d in advance, but I didn’t realize how bad wifi and (no) cellular would be out here.
My feet hurt, and I am tired, sand is rough terrain. I am out of shape and sad I need to fly away tomorrow.
I got home, showered, made pasta, had wine, cleaned the dishes, now plotting for tomorrow in wellington and writing up reviews in word in preparation for having internet.

My stomach grumbled as I wrote more day write-ups and place reviews so I ate the avocado, grown in new Zealand. It was good but not better than others I have had. Come to think of it same for breakfast, the kiwi I had was good but not amazing. Do all kiwi grow in new Zealand?

I rained a bit, quick shower, they need rain here though so I am sad it didn’t rain more. Snatched my wet sandy clothes off the line and popped into the tub.
That made me think of the avocado farmers, a couple, I met and chatted with at the Zealong tea plantation in the shop after the tour. They were very concerned over the lack of rain in the area.
amazonv: (TARDIS)
2/9/17
Woke up crazy early 4? 5? But hit snooze. Behind schedule!
Packed up and then took Uber to the airport. I then went to get my rental car, from thrifty. No GPS available. It was an MP Spark, I have never heard of one before. It is a tiny thing.
I was supposed to rent from enterprise, I had booked in advance, but when I called 2 days ago or so to confirm as I could not find the agreement in my email – the person said they could not find my reservation. So I panicked and booked through thrifty at a much higher price. It turns out I had made a reservation as 24 hours out I got my reminder email, I was forced to cancel and did write customer service.
Driving on the left hand side is weird, and hard to break habits. Also extra bad as I lack a left eye. I am glad to live in the states!
I drove to the Zealong tea estate, luckily my phone worked well as a GPS.

REVIEW to come

I drove back to the airport, and the phone worked less well but it was OK, I think it used a lot of offline maps.
On the way to return the car I stopped for groceries twice and fuel once. (washing powder, attempt 2 at hostel locks $10)($30 pasta sauce, pasta, water, avocado, wine) Getting fuel (20$+) was awkward. First I picked the wrong side for the tank. The car lacked the handy which side indicator that many rentals I have gotten has. Next I had to figure out with petrol it used. Then I ended up at a pre pay station, but had no idea how much I needed. I read the owners manual and moved to another spot, so it all worked out. After that nonsense I noticed it was on the keychain (which fuel to use), duh.
I returned car, but didn’t get a bill. I hate that. I handed them the keys and they were like OK, leave. This is one of the reasons I prefer enterprise.
I then got tickets ($18) for the SkyBus to downtown. There was awful traffic so it took much longer than it should (car fire on a bridge).
I then walked to the West train to Swanson (N) $7
The B&B owner got me at station.
I got in and settled in. Then I made myself a pasta dinner in the kitchenette, and ate it with a glass of wine on the porch.
I took a walk out to see where the lake path was, and then headed back. It was past 7pm already. I also read the Xena website and the booklet the B&B put together of local attractions to prepare.
I have to be careful of water use, apparently it hasn’t rained much and they are on tank water.
I was told to check out the southern hemisphere sky. But this being my night away from light pollution of cities, I couldn’t see the sky as it was cloudy. Such is my luck. I have not been outside at night much otherwise. Not that I’d see the difference anyway.
There is no cellular signal out here, either phone, and the wifi is spotty.
I went to bed. Sleep!
amazonv: (TARDIS)
2/8/17
Feb 8th
I woke up at or before 6 and had breakfast at hotel. I had arranged the night before what I wanted as my tour picked me up at 7:20 and breakfast started at 7. The hotel was very accommodating.

The great sights tour bus came and took me to Te puia geysers, thermal pools, and hot mud puddles. They also had a kiwi bird.
Next was Agrodome agriculture show, sheep, cows, dogs, not very exciting, a bit of comedy in there but really wasn’t in the mood. It did make me think of Mary.

Last on the tour bus was rainbow springs bird (kiwi) and fish sanctuary - i got some honey candy (manuka honey is a big thing here) and a small change purse since so much money is coins here. $15.4

I got dropped off at the Hobbiton shop, but had some time, so I went to get lunch at art cafe - porridge and smoothie $17.7. it was a HUGE bowl with sugar and bananas and cream. I enjoyed it.

Then hobbiton!
Apparently, Peter Jackson approached this sheep farmer to use the land, and the first time they did disposable / temporary hobbit holes. People still came to visit. So when they had to rebuild, they made them permanent. There is a staff that cares for them, sadly it’s a lead tour and so you can’t go at your own pace. I think I would need to go a dozen times to get a good look at all the holes. There are 44 different holes? Each has such attention to detail – it makes me think of the harry potter set tour – things in the window, each hobbit’s things hinting at a job (bee keeper, gardener, cheese monger etc). I very much enjoyed it. The tree over top bag end is fake, everything else is real, they planted real flowers and squash and fruit trees!
The tour finishes with a free cider or beer or ginger beer at the dragon’s inn – which is ADORABLE. I wish you could just go there, or they franchised replicas!
Apparently, in the film where they watched sunset, well it was sunrise (bag end points the wrong way) so it was an extra early morning on set to film it, and then use it in reverse.
The fruit trees were not plums, so peter Jackson had the trees stripped of leaves and fruit and put plum leaves and fruit on for some scenes!
The Shades of green on the fake tree were not to peter jackson’s liking – so they were repainted before filming, very close to, and there are thousands of leaves!
The inn was expanded twice so far for the tours as it is popular! They also seem to host events, and people apparently come there for pictures etc after they are married (we got to see one woman in her beautiful dress)
They are expanding – a new tour bus parking area and bathroom center, built into/under a hill (they pulled the hill down, built, then put it back on!), and there is talk of ripping down bag end and rebuilding it as a walk through.
All the hobbit holes are, as much of Hollywood, just space behind them for people to step into or out of. The interior buildings are on studio film lots.
Also - they got permission to knock down a hay barn that was behind either the party or green dragon scene, if they rebuilt it. but in the end the art department just disguised it as a tree!
After the hobbiton bus took us to a place to meet the Auckland bus.

then back to Auckland, got there at 8 or 9 pm? There was traffic and other nonsense.

I took a taxi $33 to my hotel, greenlane manor again.

I then popped off for dinner - post house again, ginger beer and chicken $22

no grocery open so back to room to do computer things.
amazonv: (TARDIS)
Tuesday
Feb 7
Woke 430
Had oatmeal purchased day before, and tea from the room. It was sad tea.
Took Uber to tour area, got in way early, go paranoia

Stopped by a coffee shop, cute place, remedy coffee
Got Earl grey tea with lemon in a cup that said red rabbit coffee co $4

Headed back to tour bus
Got fruit breakfast, wasn't expecting that

Headed to waitomo glow worm caves
Jen would be amused, caving for indoor cats. They added walkways, lighting, railing, and put ropes over entries that would be too small further on. Took two years I think I heard to map the caves.

Then got lunch on the bus to next stop.
Note picnic lunch is code for box lunch on bus.

The large group of Canadians and Indians are trouble. Always talking, not listening, running late. The Chinese bunch of pushy :(

Lots of cow
Lots of lamb
Some alpaca
They farm deer
The fields seem separated by hedgerow not fences

Cooler than Australia

Apparently big on selling racing horses?

Have not seen a kiwi yet (bird)

Saw kiwi fruit orchard

Apparently there is green, gold, red fruit

Air on buss broken :(

Checked into cute boutique hotel, The Princes Gate Hotel. No air (old building) luckily it gets much cooler at night

after check in was the Rotorua duck tour! the water was so amazingly clear, apparently you can just drink it....

the area smells of rotten eggs due to the sulphur - there is hot springs and mud pools

i wish i had time to try the spa - perhaps another country has similar and i can add that to the list - natural hot spring silica spa and mud

thats the bad thing you go on all these tours and you see things you want to spend more time on but there is a schedule, rush rush :( on the other hand i see lots of things

after duck tour was freaking out b/c called enterprise and they didn't have my car reservation - so found another (thrifty) - days later i actually get email from enterprise i had a rental but the person i called and spoke with insisted i didn't have a reservation.

then was dinner - Tamaki Maori Village
cultural information, presentations and feast.
it was interesting but too interactive too many people for me i was peopled out and hate being on the spot

got back, it was late, showered and collapsed

vacation is exhausting, and too much light pollution to see the sky so far, at night, but i doubt i'll notice the difference anyway

Fi not working well
had to reload ekit/jt travel $30
amazonv: (TARDIS)
Feb 6
woke early
grabbed free coffee at hostel

went to train station and had to help some swiss lady figure out the opal machiene, lost $3 in the process just to get her past the damn process and out of my hair (18 $ fair she had 15$ in correct currency rest wrong country)

took train to airport

apparently my bag is not carry on here, is in the states
reshuffled stuff, checked in wrong counter (damn operated by)
got to correct counter, checked in

went past security
was forced through backscatter, there is no opt out in australia apparently, and then got a pat down and swab anyway

growl

then icky icky bathroom

then free wifi and buying aussielent

then boarding plan

then naps
then food, apparently my flight came with food, but the guy next to me didn't, but i got economy? maybe b/c i booked through air new Zealand and not virgin australia? weird
listened to audio book
napped more

landed

security, such a fuss, they are super super anti anything coming into the country

then got uber to hotel

checked in, quaint thing, not very modern, then again this place itself (town) may not be

wandered to grocery for fruit and breakfast and water $12.93

went to pub called Post House for pint of stout and pizza $28

wandered back now on wifi rejiggering things for tomorrow

yet again picked place too far away from my end goals :(

i suck at hotel picking
amazonv: (TARDIS)
Sunday 5 February 2017

Woke early

rushed out to meet the 7:00 am pickup for Blue Mountains Tour with Activity Tours $116

So many tour busses, nerve wracking getting the right one

forgot to eat muffin

water i picked up was lime sugar water crap, ugh

we stopped at a small town for potties and a sandwich and bakery shop
I tried to order a PB&J
lady kept wanting to put butter on it
ended up with a "jam" sandwich
definitely language barriers and we both spoke english
also a chocolate croissant and coke

ate croissant and coke for breakfast (less than 20, more than 5)

Blue Mountains, Three Sisters rock formation at Katoomba

continued on to scenic world
http://www.scenicworld.com.au/
took glass bottom cableway, railway (STEEP), and skyway (39$)

then we went to a few scenic overlooks (2)
at once i bought a juice $5 (apple black currant)
ate my sandwich

then we wandered to featherdale wildlife park
http://www.featherdale.com.au/koala/
pictures with koala $20
and i got to pet a koala and a kangaroo!
it was a bit rushed as there was traffic

so hot and humid we were melting

finished with Fantasea ferry "Leave the magnificent Blue Mountains, crossing the Nepean River, and wind down with a relaxing river cruise from Olympic Park at Homebush along the Parramatta River, under the Sydney Harbour Bridge and back to Circular Quay"

tour guide was amusing old guy with opinions and a captive audience (he is very against the new international airport for example)

got off the ferry and was thinking about food, but decided to head back to hostel

Showered

Laundry $13 again

ate the muffin finally, and the candy, it got melty had to put in fridge and firm it up

Sushi $15

pack

sleep
amazonv: (TARDIS)
Feb 4
Breakfast - peaches and cream, coffee, chcoolate croissant, eggs, potatoe pancakes

I also ate a kinder egg! never seen one before so got one, cute

Checkout $679.50 Atura
Breakfasts were more expensive than I thought, i would have eaten more each day or something

uber $

kmart-to get flipflops and lock $14.5

boba tea on walk to train $4.80

$7 starbucks - chocolate green tea frappachino

$5 water

checked into hostel $112.44

$70 for attraction tickets

Sea Life
penguins! up close but not without barriers :(
Such bright and amazing colors in nature
$5 water

Wild Life
Butterfly garden like in canada
koalas!
$10 fries and water, were supposed to be rosemary fries but were plane, also "large" is not fucking around, and they keep being called chips
got the $25 pictures (resisted at sea life) of me since i really have no pictures of me so far

Madame Tousand-meh and sort of creepy

then wandered back to the hostel to do laundry
$13 for soap and wash and dry, sigh

next dinner and ATM and breakfast supplies

photo album: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipNAclyxWGS-RGoQH83MMkFCSRvbOZFBZqf6XYc1SLoiV6Pk8gzAsogYUaDaGz0YVw?key=dTdnVGFhNy1XeERrWk9RTUZCbHlnbmdSMFR4UW1n

update: had to pay for wifi

dinner i had in the bar at the hostel, $ they had no stout so i got a jack n coke and a burger, it was ok
there was a beer pong tournement going on and i think some guy tried to hit on me.

I also went to 7-11 for water, muffin and candy $ with the plan to eat muffin for breakfast
amazonv: (TARDIS)
Friday Feb 3

Woke up, checked email
Had breakfast at hotel, dense pastry, the bread here is just dense, bagged tea from T2, meh, but a tasty tapioca custard with fruit

took Uber to the train

train to city

wandered around looking for the office, had to circle the block
cute, small, free fruit, nice espresso machine (DIY) and some tea
very nice people

lunch - wine and kangaroo at the meat and wine company - it tastes like a deer cow. $77 splurge but good wine and a nice place.

ferry

zoo $40
I dislike the people at the zoo who make noise, tap the glass, etc. New one and shine light on sleeping or nocturnal animals. Growl
One sleeping penguin
platypuses are smaller than i thought
Tasmanian devils are tiny and cute
kangaroos are all sorts of sizes, and i got to see some with some emu without a fence! none came to get pet though
no koala :( i tried all 3 enclosures, bummed
condors are huge!
the zoo was like a ikea, hard to find my way around and confusing shortcuts
bought a water for $5

i read ads about paying and getting a free upgrade to the melbourne zoo, but since i got a discount i failed to be able to upgrade to the multi zoo pass for cheap

i had to reload opal transit card $40

ferry - motion sick, i don't normally get ill but after all the walking the rocking of the ferry got to me a bit

gelato $10? salted macadamia - very tasty

wandered the rocks shopping area
noticed many opals and pearls, i avoided buying any, i am a magpie i like pretty things but forget to wear them

got the train back to hotel
at train stop got some boba tea - honey milk with red bean, was debating buying a cup of corn for the same price $5 but went tea

got taxi $20 back to hotel

I am a sweaty mess, should shower tomorrow before checking out

still lack shower flip flops and locker lock
amazonv: (TARDIS)
Day 3 Friday

It's supposed to rain until noon :( and it's supposed to rain tomorrow :(

Going to check out the office today (plan; breakfast, uber, train, office)
then lunch (i wish to eat kangaroo)
then zoo

other items on the wish list were, but rain may ruin it
royal botanical gardens, aquarium
hello kitty restaurant

then off to auckland
amazonv: (TARDIS)
day 2 (updated) Thursday 2 Feb

woke up early
did emails

had to get an emergency pet sitter-roommates grandmother died (my emergency is more expensive, wee)

got the telestral phone working, happy i now have two, makes me feel like no matter what i'll have a phone

had breakfast
the coffee was meh, the waffles were dense the cold porridge was good
had to taxi to the DataCenter $47.78
visited the DC
got a cool tour-I love the organisation of the DCs
worked in the office, nice folks

got uber to mall

popped to a giant mall, i like the malls here
a fight broke out between school kids and security had to jump in while i ate my lamb wrap :( The wrap was from a place SumoSalad and was about 10$
I wandered into Target, MUCH smaller, much less items, shelving seemed shorter and everything displayed differently. I grabbed some chocolate (kinder egg, dairy milk bar) and a book (paper for when phone dies) then wandered around more. $17
I tried to find cheap flipflops and lock for hostels but all expensive
I wandered into Aldi - they have those here
I wandered into Coles - a grocery chain
The food here seems similar to US with different names, and more expensive, soda is 4-6$ for a small bottle. Also a lot of asian food (not surprised) Japanese, Thai, Korean
wanted boba tea but had to go get the bus

then had to uber from the bus

bad bad choice of hotel :(

talked to front desk and checking out early

nice (clean, hip, has microwave, has cups and plates and silverwear, big room) place but only if you have a car, uber prices are killing me

food prices are killing me
very expensive trip :(

and i already had too much on my credit card
the chips are going to fall
i am scared and worried
swapping to a hostel saturday and another hostel sunday and then off to auckland
tomorrow downtown office - half day? and the zoo or gardens

chocolate doesn't seem much better here?
didn't in london either
i am a tasteless american?

Australia

Feb. 1st, 2017 02:37 am
amazonv: (TARDIS)
10am january 30 the adventure started
it involved 2 hours of panic over my AU visa
$20 to re apply to visa, unplanned

I arrived ~32 hours later in Sydney
My knees were VERY unhappy on the trip, honestly not sure if i can do long plane trips again

delta kept giving us food and drinks and food on the flight (>12 hours) but i wanted to, and did mostly, sleep - i got pasta, egg sandwich, and pancakes, i wonder if i missed anything

$53+tip at beaudevin at CLT - i should have done cheaper and not splurged :(
$8.17 starbucks coffee and muffin also CLT
DTW i don't think i bought anything, super short layover
inquired about first class upgrade $12,000 - woah, nope
LAX water and snack bar $7.25

airport
$40 pearl card (like an oyster card, got at WH Smith even) already over half through it

took train to downtown
took ferry

wandered around chinatown
Paddy's market (knock off purses, misc. fruit, meat, etc)
bought 2 nectarines $.80
bought a USB-c to USB cord (b/c i failed to bring one, or own one) $10
(my power banks are usb out)

i forgot a hostel lock, but first place is hotel not hostel

i forgot a book but a friend sent me $ for books on amazon (more than i needed but i <3 books) so i listened to some harry dresdin on the flights here

my JT Travel sim card is NOT working, luckily my google fi is

Bought a pork bun and yellow lava (egg) bun and tea at a bun place in chinatown for lunch $10

i should have packed slippers for room/flipflop hostel showers, will buy some

I picked an awful hotel
it really is NOT accessible by public transit, so blew $10 connecting the bus to it (major highway i was not walking involved)
also the full kitchen = microwave and plates and silverware and cups, no fridge or heater
also no laundry services (self serve) just laundry service ($$$)

so for the first time i can remember, i washed clothes in the shower when i showered

I am a little hungry, very tired and shouldn't really spend more

luckily free working wifi

Update: my washing attempt only worked on the shirt and bra, the rest still smell, i blame the tiny sink? hopefully since i am cutting out early i can wash them at the hostel

Update: sim eventually did work, config issue
amazonv: (TARDIS)
For part of the vegas birthday celebrations i decided to go swanky, I like swanky.

I booked a room in October at the aria sky suites as it seemed to have good online reviews, and despite being the same chain as bellagio, where i has a sub par experience

They indicated not to bother (they seemed busy) booking dinner or details yet

so in December i asked for
a larger robe as one of the two people staying in the room was larger and the one size robes don't fit
i asked to book a birthday dinner

i got no response

they reached out for booking the limo pickup from hotel
i provided airport information and asked about dinner again
I got the menus for three recommended restaurants

in general the email responsiveness seemed lacking

the day of arrived. there was a slight issue with the limo pickup - me and the driver missed one another and i had to call to have them call the driver so we could meet at the same place. I had provided my cell so not sure why after a certain time period the driver didn't initiate a call?

the limo was nice and had water, and the driver was very friendly

we arrived at the private VIP entrance and went in to get checked in.

it was nice not having the long normal vegas check in line.

my room was not yet ready, but it was 2pm and check in was not until 3 so that was OK, it was the day after a holiday and i bet many people were sleeping in

again the staff was polite and friendly

i attempted to confirm dinner reservations, there was none, so we made one.

i then wandered to the sky pool (which was right next to the normal pool, without too much barrier, and outside so cold) and listened to my audio book and got a martini. there seemed no way to flag down service if i wanted it, luckily after the $20 martini i didn't want another

the pool closed at 4 so i headed back, they had taken my number and were supposed to call when the room was ready, and had not called, but i needed a reprinted m-life card anyway and the concierge said front desk (vip check in front desk) could do it. so i got that and found my room was available. i was disappointed i was not called.

i went and got my room, and my bag which they were holding was promptly delivered by a polite person.

i then checked on my companions flight and the time for sherlock - and decided to move dinner later - which was easy - again friendly staff

i then waited in the sky lounge with free wine and cheese and snacks. the wine was hard to get (low staffing) and although the water and snacks were replenished frequently they were not that impressive (as compared to ritz carlton or four seasons).

My companion arrived, when he arrived he got a line pass card (skip to the front of the cafe line, why did i not get one?) and his own cards

we enjoyed some snacks then went to unpack in the room

they did have 3 robes, however they were all the same size and none fit him. this was disappointing.

turn down service stopped by to offer chocolate and water etc.

we got a free bottle of champagne to celebrate our birthdays in the room and some cookies. that was sweet.

then we decided to head down and wander about, and get more snacks, snacks implied to change (wine to drinks) after 6, this was not the case as best i could tell. we then discovered ourselves locked out of the room as his card when issued deactivated my card. it would have been nice if they informed him of this.

we waited on security, which didn't take too long, and got let in.

we then watched sherlock then got ready for dinner

dinner was at sage

the appetizer and dessert were lovely, i found the entrees lacking - over spiced and not too special.

I also was not impressed with the drink "peat" it was not that peaty. the absinthe i wanted was also not stocked but on the menu, so i settled for something else.

The waitress was very attentive, our water glasses never got empty, everyone was friendly.

dinner was about 2 hours and we closed the place out. they indicated we got a free dessert, we got candles! as it was our birthday, the bill seemed a bit high for that but whatever.

we got back, and i set an alarm and tried to pre order breakfast.
it attempted to order right then and there. this seems a software failure.
we called and had it straightened out.
then we slept

the room itself was nice, clean, and large with a great huge bathroom and fancy toto toilets. great big windows to let in daylight and see vegas.

in the morning we woke up and room service came in, asked if we were leaving that day, then left. i found it not ideal that she was unaware that a) we were checking out that day and b) we had not yet checked out

room service finally came

my french toast was luke warm and not impressive - and the fresh squeezed orange juice was in a sticky glass with seeds. for a 60$+ breakfast i was not impressed.

during this time they called and asked if we needed luggage assistance, a hint i think that it was time to go

we then checked out and left

overall i paid 1500$+ for less than 19 hours with a room and two meals

The staff were friendly and polite, but not attentive to detail or really anything above and beyond.
The room was large and clean with modern furniture and appliances.
The food was not impressive and even mundane.

When you finish this off with the CRM (customer relationship management) issue i have with the MGM chain, i won't be staying at their locations again if i can help it.

--

CRM issue this time

I made the reservation
it was under my email
my credit card
i added my companion to the room so he could get keys / get past security

I was called Mrs his last name
My bags were checked under his name
etc

This could either be a FIFO issue or a alphabetical issue.

either way if it is in house software, it should be fixed
if it is 3rd party they should bother the 3rd party to fix it.

venting

Nov. 21st, 2016 07:39 pm
amazonv: (TARDIS)
Hacksburg

A hackerspace or makerspace https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hackerspace
aka a non profit membership based organization which is a crazy large garage of tools to work on projects and bounce ideas off one another

As a board member I tried to make sure we had diverse and frequent classes

we attended events and pitched for members and donations

Tried:
Meetup, posted paper flyers in starbucks, kroger, panera, facebook group,
advertised on facebook event, facebook, twitter, next three days, reddit, roanoke times calendar, craigslist events, CRC newsletter, DBI newsletter, partnered with Let's Code Blacksburg, patreon, give big NRV, amazon smile, kroger community rewards, paypal donate button

We have had no turn out to most classes

We have not netted new members through anything I tried

We have not really gotten any donations of equipment or money from anything i did

I am a fucking useless failure

Racksburg

I organize the annual bazaar which raises funds for Rack Gives Back
I did the normal
posted paper flyers in starbucks, kroger, panera (paid 25 to have it designed)
advertised on facebook event, facebook, twitter, next three days, reddit, roanoke times calendar (was printed in the paper), craigslist events, CRC newsletter, DBI newsletter

physical signs up outside as well

paid twitter ad, paid facbeook ad, plus paid table fee, all out of my own pocked

No one came, this is our fourth year, 3rd in same spot

how am i such a fucking failure?

failed to raise money for our turkey dinner drive and wasted the time of the artisans who attended, and their money

tea

The business is 4? 5? years old

I had to discontinue the tea of the month as it had few members and the work didn't justify the time and effort

it doesn't break even

i rarely get orders, and probably all my own fault I am bad at advertising, no idea how

people complained too many herbals, flavored, so i stocked pure, no one purchased them

I can't do anything right
amazonv: (TARDIS)
2017 hairbrained wishes

ham radio license
car demolition
learn to drive stick
Bobafett corset
wardriving corset (w/beacon bluetooth/ubertooth)
good princess leia costume
catch up on tea blogging
ubertooth sex toy research
getting to the range
gun PSA
tea and tits project
read books! i have so many books
maybe watch some TV shows - i have not watched TV in ages - suggestions?
-jessica jones
-braindead
-agents of shield
-agent carter
-new xfiles
-once upon a time
-alice in wonderland
amazonv: (TARDIS)
http://doyou10q.com/question/2016/10

Day 10

Q
When September 2017 rolls around and you receive your answers to your 10Q questions, how do you think you'll feel? What do you think/hope might be different about your life and where you're at as a result of thinking about and answering these questions?

A
depressed again
still in blacksburg most likely, but hopefully my no running things 2017 plan works out and i had more time to read, watch tv and get a ham radio license

bonus
predictions
A: none
amazonv: (TARDIS)
http://www.doyou10q.com/question/2016/9

Day 9

Q
What is a fear that you have and how has it limited you? How do you plan on letting it go or overcoming it in the coming year?

A
same as usual
fear of new things
fear of failure
who knows, have not succeeded so far
amazonv: (TARDIS)
http://www.doyou10q.com/
10Q

Day 6

Q
Describe one thing you'd like to achieve by this time next year. Why is this important to you?

A
Ham radio operator license, been meaning to get it forever and seems handy at cons and for RC drones.

Day 7

Q
How would you like to improve yourself and your life next year? Is there a piece of advice or counsel you received in the past year that could guide you?

A
Succeed in stepping back, not being in charge, and having time to read books and play games. keep with my goal of one new country and one new state annually.

Day 8

Q
Is there something (a person, a cause, an idea) that you want to investigate more fully in the coming year?

A
not at the moment

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