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Monthly Archives: May 2014

Brooklyn Bridge

“The best, most effective medicine my soul has yet partaken—the grandest physical habitat and surroundings of land and water the globe affords—namely, Manhattan island and Brooklyn, which the future shall join in one city—city of superb democracy, amid superb surroundings.”  The Poet, Walt Whitman 1878.
View of Brooklyn Bridge : Wikipedia commons licence

View of Brooklyn Bridge : Wikipedia commons licence

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. Completed in 1883, it spans the East River connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn which were at the time two seperate cities. It was the first steel-wire suspension bridge constructed. Today, the Brooklyn Bridge is well worth a visit for it’s panoramic views. It has a wide pedestrian walkway open to walkers and cyclists, in the center of the bridge and higher than the automobile lanes. In 1971, a center line was painted to separate cyclists from pedestrians, creating one of the City’s first dedicated bike lanes. Continue reading..

Falling for the story hook, (air)line, and sinker : Problem in finding the story behind the headlines

SouthWest Airlines: Copyright Roads-2-Roam.com

SouthWest Airlines at Lovefield: Copyright Roads-2-Roam.com

According to ABC headline “Airline Hiring Taking Off as Travel Zooms“.

“It’s getaway day for millions of Americans with the start of the Memorial Day weekend. The travel industry is set to enjoy its best summer since 2007, just before the recession hit. The airline industry is slowly adding jobs after shedding workers in recent years. And more hires are likely in the next few months. The U.S. Transportation Department says passenger airlines employed more than 383,000 full-time workers in March, up nearly 1 percent from last year. Delta Air Lines added the most jobs, followed by US Airways, American, and Jet Blue. Spirit Airlines and Allegiant Air grew fastest in percentage terms, both posting double-digit gains. United Airlines and Southwest shed jobs.”

And that was it. Throw out a morsel to whet the information appetite but give no meat. Continue reading..

Riders on the storm: Taxi drives 1,500 mile journey only to find passenger has no money

Taxi-tv-seriesThis story is a great American story. A story about how someone goes from Rags to Riches against all odds? Nope, the other kind: The ‘only in America’ kind that would make a great episode for a TV comedy. 

  • A taxi driver picks up a fare Matthew Blackhanson aged 25, who says “Take me to North Dakota”.
  • Taxi driver -Enaytayullah Hoseny-has never heard of the State and looks it up on GPS.
  • Agrees to the ride for a price of $1200.
  • Blackhanson coughs up $240 with a handwritten ‘contract’ for the rest.
  • 1,500 mil later in Mandan, North Dakota, Blackhanson’s fiance no shows for the rest of the money.
  • Cops are called and it turns out Blackhanson was wanted on an outstanding warrant.
  • The taxi driver –  – is ‘forced’ to spend a night in a homeless shelter and has to borrow food/gas from store that he was going to drop Blackhanson off.

Continue reading..

Showering me with (hot and cold) Love

1960-PSYCHOThis morning, I jumped in the hotel shower and darn nearly scalded myself. This was a power shower that almost blasted me out of the tub, and every knob I turned, took it from too hot to freezing cold. Needless to say, it was a quick shower with a mix of Ahh, to ohhh exclamations.

I’ve not been having much luck with hotel showers recently especially when I’ve ended up with accessibility rooms that had a shower only.

In one  Crown Plaza, the shower head would slide back down every time I raised it to head height. Since my family were already unpacked and staying for one more night, we just lived with it. I did say something to the hotel desk when I checked out, but since I was otherwise satisfied with the stay, it was along the lines of hey you may want to get it fixed.

The other was in a pretty high end hotel and when I went to use the shower, the hose was split. There is no way anyone had used that room in a long time. Since I was already cutting it fine to get to my work appointment with no time to get it fixed, I had to improvise and  use a cup to capture the water spray, to wash my hair. I was going to complain to front desk but the check out line was long and I checked out over the phone. Add this to what I thought we extortionate charges for parking in a city that has a ton of space, the decision was not to bother again with that hotel.

Next week I stay at another hotel: “Bates Motel”. Anybody heard of it?

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly : False reviews on TripAdvisor

Travel-rating service Trip Advisor is being investigated in Italy over concerns the site is not doing enough to prevent fake reviews.

The Italian competition authority said it had had complaints from consumers and businesses about the website.

Source BBC news.

Trajan had this on his creative backlog, to investigate TripAdvisor in more depth to gauge the objectivity of their reviews. This was based on our own personal experiences of using the site to select a hotel.

Last November,  Houston was booked up due to a week long conference so there was no availability on his usual corporate preferred hotels. What was around was slim pickings so we ended up in a motel on first night.

For the second night, hotel availability freed up somewhat and based on reviews from Trip Advisor, we ended up selecting an Extended Suites America Hotel.

After checking in, we couldn’t believe the contrast between the room and the reviews. Admittedly, it was smoking room that we had been warned about at checking, Trajan was nevertheless shocked by the room. There was no way that this hotel was a 4 out of 5 star rating despite what multiple people had claimed. Continue reading..

Magic Kingdom of Disney Lands a Disney World of increases

So Disney raises it’s ticket prices again that includes the suspension of the Southern California Passports.

This raises a shrug here in Roam as it is way down the list of places a Roam’n Emperor would go to. However, many are clearly p’off if you look at the comments in the news sites but we suspect it will be short lived. The demand is there.

What’s that you say, time for a song?

Who’s the greediest of the club
That’s made for you and me
M-A-K-M-O-R M-O-N-E-Y

Hey there high there No there
You’re as welcome as can be
M-A-K-M-O-R-M-O-N-E-Y

Makmor Money (Dontgiva Feck)
Makmor Money (Dontgiva Feck)
Forever let us hold our prices high (high, high, high!)
Now it’s time to say goodbye
To all our company

M-A-K, See you real soon
M-O-R, Why? Because we stiff you
M-O-N-E-Y

It’s a small world after all.

Reviewing the Reviewers

Roam's Janus: God of beginnings and transitions.

Roam’s Janus: God of beginnings and transitions. He has two faces, one to the past, the other to the future.

Just as there are two sides to every argument, so there are two sides to every review. One person’s “Must see” is another’s “Get me out of here now”. What may be scenic view with tranquility in the countryside is another’s boring place devoid of nightlife.

Just remember that travel information: What you think you read, maybe not what you get with travel experiences. That Ying may turn out to be a Yang. The Wunderbar maybe a Mein Gott.

Here in Roam, we will try reflect that and attempt to see both sides of a place / attraction.

Recently were looking at booking a cruise and saw mostly positive reviews. However the few negative reviews we saw, made us realize that we would hate that particular cruise offering. Don’t  automatically go with the crowd on the reviews. Be your own independent judge on what you looking for.

 

 

 

Misery Loves Company..Airline Companies that is.

Screen dump of Bloomberg Article on airline customer satisfaction

Screen dump of Bloomberg Article on airline customer satisfaction

5/19/14: Bloomberg had an interesting editorial today that says that US air Travelers have never been more satisfied with their airlines.

What. The..

Yes, the story quotes a J.D. Powers and Associates  2014 North America Airline Satisfaction Study and that “overall passenger satisfaction with airlines is at a record high.”

Oh my. Time to sit down even though I am already sitting. However, expecting to see the unexpected piece of news that air travel was now a pleasurable experience, the writer brings me back to reality:

On their face, the data seem to contradict a prevailing sense that U.S. airline service standards have been in decline for years. But dig a little deeper into the data, and something else becomes clear: Americans have finally begun to accept the idea that in an age of cheap, deregulated airfares, they get what they pay for.

I believe sociologists called this the Stockholm Syndrome. From wikepedia

..These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness.

Holding out for a Nero

NeroRoads-2-Roam is pleased to announce an addition to our Emperor team : Germanicus Claudius Caesar Elvius Jonpaulus Georgio Ringo Edwardo Van Nero.

Nero will joining in the role as Roam’s Music editor, where he is a bit of a musician himself: he wrote a song about Pompeii called “Eruption”.

Nero will also be our leader for Festivals, concerts and music venues.

Watch this space: Coming very soon will be his song lists related to Travel. As Bowie said..

Oh we can be Neroes,
just for one day.