Category Archives: Travel

Philadelphia, DC, Herndon and LA

As you probably guessed from the last post, Philadelphia was a breath of fresh air compared to New York. The hotel was so much better, and we managed to find a nice Irish restaurant that we went to a few times, as well as discovering TGI Friday’s, adding another potential string to our restaurant bow.

The day we arrived in DC was the hottest day so far on the trip, and coupled with the traditional DC swamp heat, meant that it was a bit uncomfortable doing all the sightseeing that we did that day. I also managed to pick up a very sunburnt foot (only one though oddly), which has thankfully browned nicely now. The hotel was alright, but the restaurant had dreadful service there, and upon asked the question of what came with our burger, the waitress handily forgot to tell us it was layered with mushrooms underneath the cheese – a fact which incurred her Mark’s wrath! We were also rudely awoken by the sound of dance music at 9am from the pool, which our room looked over, being played on huge speakers. The pool was, of course, not even open yet, as it wasn’t Memorial Day (which was the 27th May).

After two days, we travelled to the town of Herndon, Virginia via the airport (which was a farce in itself) as there was a free shuttle from the airport to the hotel. I can honestly say that the hotel in Herndon was one of the nicest hotels we’ve ever stayed in – free breakfast, free coffee in the lobby 24/7, free soft drinks on one of the evenings (or beer/wine if you wanted them) and just a generally nice place. It also had a free laundry, which was very welcome given the price of some of the coin laundries over here!

On the 22nd, we flew from DC (technically the airport’s in Virginia) to Los Angeles, the sixth busiest airport in the world. The flight was decent, although my MP3 player had gone walkies (luckily it was just hidden in my bag!) and I had to sit next to a deeply odd woman, who insisted on falling asleep before Mark or I had got there, meaning we had to wake her up, brought a very pongy fruit bowl on board for the journey and wore both ear plugs and an eye mask for 90% of the journey, disturbing me for a great deal of the journey.

Once we got to the hotel (thankfully only about a mile from the airport), I discovered that the TSA had left me a delightful note that they’d rifled through my bag when it went through Dulles airport. Obviously, there was nothing in there untoward, but I’m still puzzled as to what they thought looked suspicious! The hotel was nice, but didn’t even offer free wi-fi. The hotel also served as the starting point of the tour, but very few people seemed to know anything about the joining instructions (as ours had been cut off, and I found out later that they’d changed the plans anyway!) so we actually didn’t know what on Earth was happening until we checked out and the lady handed us an ATI envelope with luggage tags attached.

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Boston & New York – The Tale of Two Cities

We’re in Philadelphia at the moment, the third stop on our tour around America.

Boston was really cool (yes that word was chosen given Mark’s birthday card from Annie!), with a beautiful location, especially the view from our window, free wi-fi and a traditional American breakfast of pancakes. The weather was top notch, as well. The fish & chips in the pub in the hotel was exactly what we needed after about ten hours on the road, and we ate there four of the five nights.


New York, however, was a bit of a catastrophe. The hotel was lacklustre, with wi-fi only available in the lobby, surly staff, dreadful food in the cafe, and just an awful awful area, the sort where you just don’t feel safe after about 6pm. The hotel was more Bates Motel than Hilton Hotel. It says a lot when the highlight of that part of the trip is a choice between a tour where you can’t take pictures (which was still very interesting!) and going to see the Unisphere and getting caught in a storm.

Philadelphia so far is a much better hotel, with wi-fi in the rooms and much more light and general enthusiasm so far.

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