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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Girls just want to have fun

Augustus is watching Patricious at the hotel pool and Six teenage girls in pioneer Prairie dresses and braided hair, just walked past. They head into the hotel gym.

One started running on the treadmill running in lace up boots  and another was pumping weights. NOW THAT was was sight that you don’t see every day. I overcame my visual curiousity and got back to the interweb.

A few hours later, we are back at the pool. Augustus didn’t see them come back but he certainly heard them. MASSIVE SPLASHHHH !!!!  The same girls were back and they all jump bombed into the pool. Full clothed ! They displaced so much water, it went over some of the other parents sitting on the side. 

Not  only that but a gaggle of Texas Princes were walking past the pool and stood there gawping. The contrast between them in their ball gowns and full make up, and the ultra-conservative teenagers in plain clothes and no make up was memorable. Both groups enjoying themselves and being teenagers.

Like I said, not something you see everyday.

 

Bringing home the Bacon

I needed to be in Houston for Friday, so stayed at my usual Business approved Hotel on Thursday night. I don’t usually participate in breakfasts but on Friday, I decided to grace the breakfast room with my  Augustine presence.

Just as I was lifting the roll-top chafer of the hot buffet items to see what was inside, a hotel worker came by with a tray loaded with cooked crispy thin slivers of US bacon. Being surprised by the quantity of bacon strips considering it was 8:50 am and most business guests would be at work., I asked “How much bacon do you cook per day?”.

To which the man said “Yes, Bacon”, shutting down THAT avenue of discussion. So I watched the buffet container got topped off with ‘fresh’ bacon. (It didn’t need to as it had plenty but hey, they guy had his orders) and the remainder of the tray went back with 3/4 of the bacon strips on it.  If you are curious about it the bacon’s tasted like, it was crunchy but tasteless. I drowned it with ketchup to make a limp bacon sandwich.

For this trip, I would be staying in the same hotel for the weekend but on my own dime that I booked with hotels.com

On Saturday, Augustus I graced the breakfast room again. Looking in the buffet chafer, I paused at the first warm item: Where WAS the bacon? What was previously the land of plenty was now a bacon desert.

I looked around at the customer base now consuming the breakfast to get the answer.

  • The Weekenders are families who pay a room rate and if they have breakfast included, are multiple people getting free breakfasts. On Saturday much was being pilled on a breakfast plate and in many cases, considerable wastage.
  • The Weekdayers are typically business people but their breakfast load on the hotel is usually one per room. They don’t tend to pig out just because it is free.

I get it hotel: Your bacon/no-bacon decision is safe with us (and our readership).

ps: Having tasted their ‘bacon’, the hotel may be doing their weekend customers a favor!  It was horrible.

Tiger mom meets American Dad

A friend posted a funny story on his facebook where he was flying from Asia back to US.

When in the air, a Tiger Mom came up and asked if he wouldn’t mind swapping his seat for her son to have it.

Her Son’s seat was right at the back of the plane in a middle seat. Right next to the toilets. Oh, I almost forgot something else: Her son was about 32 years old.

Funnily enough, his answer was “no”.  Afterall, his seat was in upgraded economy. 

San Antonio : You Kid me not !

A friend of Roam, Saladin, asked us “What is there to do in San Antonio with Kids?”. They will be staying downtown during spring break / mid-March. We should have asked them how long they were going, but we presumed it is a long weekend.

For Kids, the key thing to do is the Riverwalk. While this is without doubt a tourist trap, it is a good one to see. Take a river trip and consider eating there. Food may not be great but it is for that atmosphere of it: Sitting at an outside table watching the river traffic go by is an experience especially for a young mind. Also note that there are river taxis that you can catch from the hotels situated near the riverbank. These are fun and a novelty.  Continue reading..

Chinatown

Chinatown is New York’s largest ethnic neighborhood and home to one of the biggest population of Chinese outside of Asia.

Famous for it’s grocery stores, gift shops, fake Rolex and it’s many Chinese restaurants, it is also a great place to visit for the Oriental Festivals. The best time to visit is Chinese New Year in late January/ early February. Continue reading..

Tired out : run flat tires and repairs

’Got one’s motor running. Heading on the highway. Looking for adventure and whatever comes one’s way’.

Until that is, a dashboard warning said the chariot had low air pressure in a tire. Surprising since the suspect tire was 35 PSI versus the other three having 36 PSI. Having been around since 63 BC, one knows that 35 PSI is not low. No way Scipio!

As I headed back down the highway, looking for adventure (actually heading to the bank), the warning now said 35PSI /34 PSI. Since myerrand was only for a few miles, I decided to persevere. The tires were run flat so one could ride around on them for around 200 miles or so. On the way back, the readings were now 33/32 PSI. What – All FOUR were deflating? Continue reading..

Highway Robbery : Local taxes on travelers. Who are the worst culprits?

While putting out a welcome sign with one hand, THEY are picking your pockets with the other.  What I am talking about, you ask? US Local Governments of course: As a traveler, you are being robbed with involuntary visitor taxes.

A Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) report studies this where the Worst 10 and the Best 10, are shown in the following two tables. (Note on the methodology is that it used same hotel rate, car rate and restaurant food bill to calculate the added tax).

400px-Al_Capone-around_1935

Alphonse Gabriel, role model for Local Govt. Tax policy on travelers.

Continue reading..