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Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

Dear Delta Airlines:

It sure would be great if you made sure each seat pocket contained an airsickness bag. I found out the hard way that you don’t.

No one wants to be awakened from a nap with a whack on the leg by a kid saying, “Mama, I need a barf bag!”

Luckily for my nauseated son and the lady in the seat in front of him, I have cat-like reflexes and the mom instinct to save the bag I got when I bought bottled water (no filtered system, Boston Logan? Come ON!).

I also have a titanium stomach and a broken sniffer. My other son, well … not so much. I almost needed two bags.

So much for you being ready when I am.

It was a good thing I found the stray diaper disposal bag in a different seat pocket. The bags one gets with purchased water apparently are not leak proof. It also was a good thing the sick son wasn’t sitting next to his father.

One more thing, Delta, could you please tell your flight attendants not to sneer and recoil in horror when a customer asks where she can dispose of said double-bagged goodness? It’s not something I’ve ever had to ask, so how would I know I had to dispose of it myself in the lavatory?

Your slogan, “Keep climbing,” seemed more like “Keep moving” for them. Not very hospitable.

Anyway, my son is fine, thanks in advance for asking. I’ll remember to bring extra bags for next time in case you don’t heed my advice.

Yours in preparedness,
Beth

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Dear America:

It’s almost your birthday, so I’m giving you the gift of information. This info might help answer a question I’ve been asking since I began traveling throughout the rest of the world:

Why do Americans resist bidets?

There are various commercials that address the perils of paper. Here’s one example:

And various products to help clean up your hazardous waste site:

But tissue is troubling in general. Why not solve the problem in a less wasteful way?

The French get it. The Japanese more than get it. You practically need a user manual, but your special bits will be spic and span.

Americans don’t get it.

And I don’t get that.

Everybody poops. EVERYBODY. (If you don’t, you have a real problem that I can’t solve.) Don’t you want to be as clean as possible afterward?

If you do, here’s a solution: Tushy. It’s an aftermarket, easy-to-install bidet. (NOT to be confused with the anal porn website in HD [!] that I found accidentally when looking for the bidet link.)

I’m happy to be a paid spokesperson if asked.

Come on, people. Let’s get it together. Save some trees. Save some septic tanks. Save your sphincters some friction.

Unless you are into that sort of thing. (And according to that website … nevermind.)

Yours in booty health and wellbeing,
Beth

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Yep, that’s a moonshine still (and a guy named Bullet Bob). Welcome to the South!

Dear Liquor Lovers:

Though I am mostly a beer and wine drinker, I went on a mission that you would love: a trip to the Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery.

For someone like me who likes to go on adventures and write about them, this had all the elements of a good story:

1. An interesting setting
The distillery is next door to Dawsonville City Hall, which is also home to the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame. The distillery is connected.

It’s a short walk to the Food Lion if you need vittles before or after.

2. Colorful characters
Inside, I met “Rocket Man” and “Bullet Bob.” That’s how they introduced themselves. Here’s Rocket Man with his wares:

And here’s Bullet Bob with the grain mash on the tour of the (about 20′ x 20′) distilling room:

And here’s Richard, the stuffed Raccoon, otherwise known as “Dickless,” according to Rocket Man:

Hando will be disappointed that he missed meeting his brethren.

4. Snappy dialogue
Me (introducing myself because I felt I had to as I was the only person on the tour): “I’m Beth.”
Bullet Bob: “Where are you from?”
Me: “I grew up in Stone Mountain.”
Bob: “I once drove up the mountain in my jeep on a double date.”
Me: “Was that the last date?”
Bob: “No, I married her. That didn’t last long.”

Rocket Man (at the tasting, pouring me a pink potion): “Ever had Sex on the Beach?”
Me: “Yes.”
Rocket Man: “I mean the drink.”
Me: “Har har.”

4. Believable conflict or peril
After a tiny taste of the White Lightning, I had to keep from screaming “Motherf—–” at Rocket Man and sprinting to the Food Lion for a jug of milk. (Moonshine that is 109 proof will do that.)

3. Compelling plot
I drove an hour to a city I had never visited to take this distillery “tour.” I put myself in great danger (Atlanta roads, moonshine tasting, jar of raccoon penis bones next to the tasting cups), all to get presents for friends (and a good story).

Peter Piper picked a peck of trash-panda peckers.

The tale also had a great resolution: I came away with an understanding of how moonshine is made, more information about “Awesome Bill from Dawsonville,” the aforementioned gifts, and this blog post.

And perhaps new items for the must-drink list for you boozehounds.

Salud!
Beth

The devil in a jug

*Apologies to Will Smith for changing his lyrics.

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One more cruise post. I promise this is it.

Dear Royal Caribbean:

My family and I are veteran cruisers, yet our vacation this month was our first foray into the Royal Caribbean world. We won’t be back.

Here’s why:

Oasis of the Seas is a massive boat that holds about 6,200 passengers. We paid much more than we would have paid on our go-to line, Carnival, chiefly because there was more to do on Oasis of the Seas (a rock-climbing wall!).

However, that makes no difference if the activities aren’t open on a regular basis.

But that wasn’t the only issue. I have comments/suggestions, if you want to read them:

1. The comedy club only holds about 120. That means only about 2 percent of the people on board can see a show. That’s a problem.

2. With the exception of the cabin stewards and the buffet and some dining room staff, the staff are unpleasant, unfriendly people. Either hire people who can be friendly despite the crappy hours they work, or give them better schedules so they don’t become crabby.

3. Fix the microphones in the Opal Theater. The orchestra overpowers the singers at every show.

4. If a party of 11 calls a year in advance, they should be able to sit together at dinner.

5. Accuracy counts in your description of excursions. If you show a water slide in the image of the water park excursion, the slide should be included in the water park excursion. If you say you will be going to a reef and that reef no longer exists thanks to a hurricane, then you need to remove that part of the description and drop the price.

6. Please put chairs and tables along the sides of the pool for nonsmoking adults who want to get together to play Uno. The smokers had the best setup: alcoves with plenty of tables and chairs.

7. Don’t accidentally put salt instead of sugar in the meringue on the first day. That puts people off the desserts for the rest of the time.

8. If you go to the trouble of having an “authentic” British pub, then have the decency to have Guinness on tap. Do not serve it in a can.

9. If you want to entice people to come to the spa, locate it near a window. No one wants to spend money for the steam rooms/hot seats if they are going to be staring at wood paneling. Also, train your masseuses to give an actual massage. If I want to have someone just pat me a few times on the back, I’ll hire one of my kids (and it will only cost me permission to buy a Fortnite battle pass.)

10. If you say you are going to have a volleyball tournament, then you need to have that volleyball tournament. Some people (Not naming any names, Patrick) plan their whole day around it. Don’t make people have to get loud on vacation.

 

11. Please require hairnets or hats for all those who handle food. There were too many hairs in the buffet to count. (And that’s just gross.)

The moral of the story is this: Bigger is not always better.

Sorry, Royal family.

Calling Carnival for next year’s trip,
Beth

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Dear Cruise Buffet Patrons:

Unlike most people apparently, I do not go on a cruise to eat. I go on a cruise to turn off my phone without guilt and spend time reading magazines and playing Uno with friends and family.

Some of you live for the food. That is clear from your behavior during the times I did visit the buffet for sustenance.

Unfortunately, you left your manners back in port (if you had them to begin with).

Let me offer a refresher on proper buffet behavior:

  • DO wear shoes. Yes, this goes for your kids too.
  • DO pull up your pants. Ass crack is not appetizing.
  • DO take advantage of the hand sanitizer at the door. No one wants your germs anywhere near the food.
  • DO understand that there is enough food for everyone. I guarantee it. No need to shove. For example, just look at this mound of bacon:

At least one pig was more than harmed in the making of this pork pile.

  • DO say “thank you” if someone hands you the bacon tongs. DO NOT be a jerk.
  • DO say excuse me if your belly nearly knocks over a child. It’s just the right thing to do.
  • DO be nice to the wait staff. They work 10 hours a day for seven months with few breaks.
  • DO take small portions of the things you want to try. The best thing about a buffet is that you can go back for more if you are still hungry. Otherwise, you are throwing away good food.

    So much food goes to waste on a cruise.

  • DO chew with your mouth closed. You should have learned this by now.
  • DO NOT, under any circumstances, start talking if you have food in your mouth. Please.
  • DO NOT eat your steak with one hand while you walk around the buffet area with your plate in the other. (True story.) It’s shocking I would have to remind you that good manners dictate that steak is to be eaten at the table with a knife and fork.
  • Really, DO NOT eat anything off your plate or the buffet in the buffet area.

To be honest, this list goes for all buffets everywhere – not just on a cruise. If necessary, print this list for future reference. Your fellow diners will thank you.

Sincerely supportive of sneezeguards,
Beth

 

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Dear Readers:

Every year, we go on a weeklong cruise with friends.* Four different families are involved, but not all families go every year. This year, three families spent a week on the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas. There were 11 of us: six adults and five kids.

Families present:
Patrick, Petra, Ryder (13), Mia (9)
Edgar (aka Eggy), Sophia, Ava (9)
Eddie, me, Dominic (13), Gideon (12)

Here is the week in quotes (all accurate, I swear):

DAY ONE: Port Canaveral
Setting: Four adults and four children are walking in a single-file line down the narrow stateroom hallway on Deck 12 to make way for an old lady on a scooter.
Patrick: “Excuse us.”
Hag: “It’s too late for that now.”
(Note: Were we supposed to spring to the ceiling like spider people to make more room?)

 

DAY TWO: At sea
Setting: Breakfast at Johnny Rockets
Server to Eggy: “You want omelet?”
Eggy: “Sure.”
Server: “Hamchee?”
Eggy: “Hamchee?”
Server: “Hamchee omelet. You can have ham and chee. Or plain ham with chee. Or a little chee with some ham. Ham and chee.”

Setting: One of the many pool areas on Deck 15
Patrick to me as I’m peacefully sipping a fruity drink: “You paid $12.95 for that?”
Me: “Yes, but there is a souvenir glass!”

Setting: Same place, but about 10 minutes later
Server to me: “You want another one?”
Me: “Yes, please.”
Server, holding up rum bottle: “With medication?”
Me: “Lord, yes.”

 

DAY THREE: At sea
Setting: Outside Patrick/Petra’s cabin as we are getting ready to go to lunch
Ryder: Gideon and I just heard a guy knock on the door like this: [Ryder says “Room Service, Room Service” while rhythm knocking on the door]
Gideon and Dominic start doing two different dances from Fortnite: Orange Justice (Dominic) and the Floss (Gideon) while chanting/singing, “Room Service, Room Service.” This becomes a refrain for all of us the rest of the week.

Setting: The first formal night
Angry old guy walking down hallway: “I’m not dressing up for nobody.”

 

DAY FOUR: Philipsburg, St. Maarten
Setting: Our cabin where a medley of children and adults are playing Uno. Dominic is gnawing on candy that just appeared in the room.
Me to Dominic: “Who bought that candy?”
Patrick: “I think Petra did.”
Me to Dominic: “Of course. You never use your money to buy anything.”
Dominic: “I would if you’d let me access my funds.”

DAY FIVE: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Setting: Breakfast at the Windjammer buffet
Me to Sophia: “I realized I didn’t bring enough pants. I guess I’ll just be Pooh-ing it up the rest of the trip.”

Setting: Still breakfast
Server to all: “You want sticky bun?”
All (with variation): “No, thanks.”
Ryder and Gideon using the “Room Service” rhythm after the server leaves: “Sticky Bun, Sticky Bun!”

Setting: Deck chairs near sports pool area after we leave San Juan
Patrick to me: “You aren’t getting a drink?”
Me: “No, it’s $12.95, and there’s not even a souvenir glass.”
(Note: What a difference a few days makes.)

Setting: Evening at the lobster dinner
Patrick to all: “Should we meet later at the Windjammer? The ass jammer?”
Me, after misunderstanding Patrick: “The ass chamber?”

 

DAY SIX: Labadee, Haiti
Setting: Beach after the water park where we were not allowed to bring hats, sunglasses, coverups or a magic cave in which to hide
Patrick to me: “You look a little lobster-y.”
Petra to me, five minutes later: “Uh oh, you got some color.”

Setting: Dazzles bar where the six adults are playing Joking Hazard
Petra to all: “There’s not enough dick talk in here. We should create our own rude game.”

 

DAY SEVEN: At sea
Setting: Breakfast at the newly christened Ass Chamber buffet
Eddie to no one in particular: “I’m getting into the wine at 2 today.”

Setting: Low-stakes blackjack table at the casino
Me to Eggy and Patrick: “Do you want me to get out [of my seat] so you can play?”
Patrick**: You play your game, girlie.

 

DAY EIGHT: Back in port
Setting: The pool at the hotel where we had to stay over before going home
Dominic to Eddie and me: “I’m not going in the lazy river anymore.”
Me: “Why?”
Dominic: “Some kid peed.”
Me: “How do you know?”
Dominic: “You don’t just go up to your sister and say ‘I just peed’ if you didn’t pee.”

More cruise posts to follow, including one about the buffet. (I know you can’t wait!)

Love,
Beth

* Luckily I had paid for this when we were flush — long before our Savannah house sat on the market (and sat and sat and sat). (I haven’t written about that because it is still too painful. Not at the funny point yet.)

** There’s so much from Pat here. It’s because A) he’s funny and B) we are the two in the group who love to play games, so we are together more than most. Most of the others like to work out. Shudder.

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Dear Sun,

I’m glad you exist, but we need to talk.

I spent a week at the beach but DELIBERATELY tried to avoid you. You may have noticed that I’m a white girl. Very white. Milky even. And I try to stay that way.

I’m married to and have birthed brown people. Go hang out with them. They love you and have no adverse effects.

I, however, am traumatized by my experiences with you.

Remember how you harassed me in the Dominican Republic when I tried so hard to escape you? I was in the shade of a building, wearing sunscreen, a one-piece bathing suit AND a cover up. Somehow I still got burned. On my stomach. (For real.)

There are two kinds of people who go to the beach: People who want to “lay out” to worship you and people like me, who enjoy the scenery and experience but need a cave.

Here are examples of the first:

And here’s my cave:

My chair is the one completely in the shade.

Here’s a lady who is in the second category but thinks she is in the first. (Lily White is going to be in so much pain.):

And here’s a velvet bikini, because I didn’t know such things existed:

Anyway, despite my best efforts, you attacked me again. My arms and chest are red. HOW? The only time I emerged from my shady haven was to visit the loo.

I probably should have set up camp UNDER the pavilion like these people:

Now I need aloe.

Thanks so much, friend.

Warm SPF 100 wishes,
Beth

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