Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

Dear Brits,

I love you. You know I do. As I recently found out thanks to the results from the Ancestry DNA kit, I have at least 18 percent of you in my system (the geography nerd in me is a little confused by how Scotland and Wales are somehow marked separately from Great Britain, though). Look here:Anyway, I’ve always been an anglophile, thanks to my burning desire for Adam Ant.

So when I needed time away to complete a project I’ve been procrastinating on for a year and a half, I chose your chilly, tea-soaked environs. Thankfully, I had a Delta voucher, vacation time available, and two long-time friends who live within 20 minutes of each other.

These are a few of my favorite things:

1. The pubs. Within a one-block radius in Uttoxeter, for example, I worked on my project at The Black Swan, The Old Swan, The Old Star, Ye Olde Talbot and The Vault. The Guinness was spectacular at all.

2. Coffee. I have no shits to give about tea (sorry), but you have proper coffee. I love that you feel free to order cappuccino at all times of the day.

3. Friendliness. You love Americans like mothers love their weird, wayward sons. I was a source of curiosity in every pub I visited to write. Many of you wanted to know what I thought about Donald Trump. (I try not to think about him.) Many of you were pleased at my beer of choice. Every pub played American music, which amused the crap out of me as I am the biggest fan of the Second British Invasion.

4. The TV. No one does television better than you. There is no way anyone else (except maybe the Dutch) would have given the world “Naked Attraction.” The promo line? “A daring dating series that starts where some good dates might end — naked.”

It’s not pixelated at 10 p.m. on a weeknight. I’m shocked. And hooked.

5. The language. I’m tickled at your phrases. The terms of endearment alone sold me (“Duck,” “Shug,” “Love”). I’m definitely “sorted” at the moment. I’m using “straightaway” instead of “now.” I’m in love with “posh” (the word, not the Spice Girl).

I could listen to you all day. And did:

“She wants a wee!” — said by Man One to Man Two as I was trying to slide past Man Two to get to the ladies room.

“We’ve replaced you with someone far more attractive. You weren’t doing your job, so we’ve sacked you.” — Man Three to Man Four as I was sitting in his seat at the pub.

6. Your bluntness. Take this sign, for example.

Harsh. I feel sorry for the Simon Howie haggis. They can dream, I guess.

Anyway, thank you for being you. I hope to see you again soon.



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Dear (M)all of ‘Murica:

I’m writing to request information regarding your return/exchange policy on The Donald that we received Nov. 8 as an early Christmas gift.

Some background: We tried to order The Hillary, but were told there was a problem with the email server.

It appears, however, that The Donald has this same glitch, among other problems.

Voice command override:
We tried to program it numerous times with numerous voice samples, but it refuses to respond.

False warning signals:
This model tends to beep for no reason beginning around 3 a.m. We are hard-working Americans who want to get some sleep. We can’t have The Donald bleating codes such as “MERYL” and “NYT” over and over.

Security issues:
The Donald was billed as a unit that would keep us safe. However, I’m more worried about break-ins than ever before. The unit is inside barking, “Come at me, Bro!” and “Cash me outside; how bow dah!,” which I think is egging on those with bad intentions. Plus, it won’t let in the people we invited.

Failure to work with existing systems:
Almost immediately upon arrival, The Donald refused to work with other units already in place. It overrode the sensors on various technology and tried to shut them down. Some systems are back up and running on alternative power, but others still are refusing to connect.

Low energy efficiency:
The Donald was billed as a unit that that would increase energy efficiency and protect the environment. However, the model has two pipes that could start leaking oil at any moment.

These are just five of the many problems with this model. We would like to return The Donald as it clearly is as defective as we had heard prior to receiving it. The limited warranty expired Jan. 20.

Line 25 of your operating manual gives some guidance on your return/exchange policy, but I’d like more details, a timeline and information about a replacement.

I know you have The Pence in stock, but I’m not interested in that model because its features are limited. The Ryan has numerous reported defects. I’ve heard The Sanders is on back order and The Kasich is out of stock indefinitely. What other options do you have? Do I have to wait for The Libtard 2020 or The Snowflake 2024?

Please respond at your earliest convenience. We are losing long-time friends because of The Donald, and it is scaring the children.

Eagerly awaiting a resolution,
Beth (and 65+ million others)

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Dear Delta,

I thought we were exclusive. I thought you cared. But then you wanted a three-way with WestJet.

It’s not OK.

I’m monogamous. I’m loyal. I booked my trip to be with you.

But then you were all, “I have this big project in L.A. and I can’t take you to Vancouver. WestJet will take you.”

And WestJet is the college roommate whose tooth got knocked out in a bar fight. And he might have herpes. And toe fungus.

WestJet had a few screws loose — literally.

WestJet did not inspire confidence. WestJet treated me like some random person when I’m used to the special treatment I get from you, Delta, because you recognize how much time and money I spend with you. WestJet turned on the air and wanted to charge me for a blanket. Delta, are you listening to me?

Yes, I know: #firstworldproblems.

But I care about our relationship, and I want to make it work. Make it up to me: Take me out, treat me well, and we can forget this ever happened.


Loyally yours,

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Maybe he just likes to share

Dear Sir:

You look like a well-put-together gentleman ready for a day of traveling with meetings upon arrival. You’ve taken pride in your appearance. Your shirt is crisp, shoes shined. You look like you have some sense.

I’m beginning to think that looks can be deceiving.

Why are you watching videos on your phone with the volume turned up as loud as it can go? You are aware that this is a public place, being an airport and all, right?

Please sir, use headphones or wait until you are alone. Match your wits to that sharp appearance. Your fellow travelers will thank you.




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Dear Embassy Suites Baymeadows Management:

My friend Tammy and I stayed at your property recently. I made the reservation via the hotel website, which indicated that the atrium was under renovation. I didn’t understand this to mean your hotel is a full-blown construction site. 

The atrium, such as it is

View from the breakfast table

View from the room

I really don’t think you should be open during this renovation.

I certainly don’t think you should be hosting an anime convention AND trying to accommodate regular guests, all while under construction. 

Furries saunter through the atrium

It was like an anime prom: high school kids chaperoned by beleaguered parents

Complete with dance party

And puppy pile of those too exhausted to dance

For “regular” guests, there was nowhere to go for peace. The pool was even overrun by a pack of hormonal teen boys.

It was an … interesting experience. It wasn’t one I’d like to repeat. So please post this warning on your website to spare others the discomfort we felt:

Warning: Hotel is a construction site that may be infested with teenagers high on testosterone and/or the thrill of trading Pokemon cards.

That should do it.

Thanks for your consideration,


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67517_600Dear USPS deciders-in-chief:

I think I know why the USPS is in trouble.

  1. I went to my local post office to mail Christmas cards at the beginning of December. They did not have any holiday stamps. None. What’s up with that?
  2. In the middle of December, I requested a mail hold for a three-day span. Two days after it expired, I still had not received my mail. I called my local post office to find out the mail’s whereabouts. The woman on the phone seemed to have no understanding of how the online mail hold request system worked, no idea where my mail was, or how to reach my carrier. She said they don’t have cell phone numbers for carriers because they are not allowed to contact them while they are out. Um … what?!?
  3. I needed to mail a package to my brother-in-law at the end of December. My local post office printed a label for Priority Mail at a cost of $55. Shocked by that price, I balked. The woman told me that there was nothing she could do because she already printed the postage sticker. I had to pay the price.

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.
— inscription on the James Farley Post Office in New York City

Yeah, well, crappy management might.
— Beth, consumer

Is this just December craziness or evidence of a larger problem? I’m inclined to choose the latter because of this:

I need to renew Dominic’s passport. As he is a minor, he must come in person to an authorized passport location, along with Eddie and me. There are only two post offices in Savannah where you can renew minor passports: The main post office on Fahm Street and the Eisenhower branch.

The process took fewer than five minutes last time. The agent had to look at the identification for all three of us and sign the form.

Yet now you require an appointment. An appointment! And when I called to make this appointment, I couldn’t get one for three weeks. Really?!? Is that your bright idea or does it belong to some genius at the U.S. Department of State?

Also, there are no Saturday appointments, so that means I have to pull Dominic out of school, and Eddie and I have to take off work to go to this appointment. Brilliant.

If you’d like to stay in business, you might want to consider customer needs a bit more. Just a thought!


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Dear Men:

I am so angry right now. I need to vent. Why?

Because you don’t live in fear of being attacked and raped like women do. It is a part of our lives and it sucks.

Tonight I had a scary encounter as I walked back from having dinner at a delightful Ethiopian restaurant. (Side note: One of the perks of my constant travel is that I can eat where I want to eat. I can’t ever find anyone who will eat Ethiopian food with me. Eddie said the bread reminds him of human skin.)

My friends know me as a tough chick. I am well traveled and rarely afraid. Of course, I don’t put myself in risky situations either.

I learned the hard way that women are easy targets after one night in college when I was assaulted in downtown Atlanta. So I know to be on guard.

After dinner tonight, I walked back to my hotel on a bright, heavily trafficked street. An older gentleman who appeared to be drunk walked toward me. When I passed, he turned around and followed me. I stopped, turned around and made eye contact. He stopped and started walking the other way. When I began walking again, I could hear him begin to follow me again, his shuffling picking up speed as I walked faster. It was like “The Walking Dead.”

When I had nearly reached a populated crosswalk and he had almost caught up to me, I turned around again and backed up to a building to let him pass me. He looked at me and tried to stop to talk. I waved him off and said, “Go on. Get away from me. You’re giving me the creeps.”

Two fellows pulled up in a white sedan and asked if I was OK, was the guy bothering me. They offered me a ride. They looked perfectly normal, but I declined.

Luckily, my hotel was only a block away and I made it back without further incident. I’m safe. (Clearly, as I’m able to write about it.)

Here is the truth, Men: I didn’t want to stay on the street with a weird dude but I also didn’t want to get into a car with two men I didn’t know.

Imagine if you had been me and the people you encountered were women. I doubt any of you would have been concerned about either scenario.

It pisses me off that women have to worry about these things on a regular basis. It’s not freakin’ fair.

Yeah, I know: Life’s not fair.

I blame Obamacare. And penises.

(Maybe I should thank that disturbing dude for curing my blog writer’s block.)

Safe at last; safe at last,


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