No Cure for the Travel Bug

Posted: January 23, 2017 in Midlife Crisis in Maryhole

Devoted followers , and even casual stalkers, would know of my love of travel and my desire to drink on many different continents. Even by my lofty standards the next 12 months are looking rather special

First up next month is Seattlandia or the Twin Cities of Quirk if you like. Portland and Seattle may not have great weather at that time of year but I asked Kellyanne Conway and she gave me some alternative facts so feel much better now and just packing thongs and shorts. Hmm, yeah ok maybe some footwear too. Like many of my ideas this was a spur of the moment idea as 2 yrs seemed too long between trips to USA and there was a 24 hr flight deal on. Honest. It may be a little different to previous trips with less “must see” attractions and the impact of weather but all travel is good especially in these stinker QLD summers. Mostly one massive pub crawl to be truthful but if get a clear day plenty to see in Seattle at least. Staying in a B&B mansion in Seattle which should be something a little different. As always did all my planning months ago so have put this trip to one side as start planning next. Basically, I find the planning of the trip most of the fun because after that you just have the long wait until you actually can go! As such it is nothing for me to get an idea in the morning, do up a 3 week spreadsheet with accommodation, flights and tours by afternoon tea and then decide to go somewhere else over evening drinkies. To be fair I do my best thinking over evening drinkies.

This is a solo trip of course. CLP and I still go OS together every 2-3 years and in between have a nice holiday in Aussieland. This year is Uluru and Adelaide for 2 weeks in early September. Basically gaze at big rock at sunrise, go back at sunset and gaze again and then spend $1000 to stay in any resort that doesnt involve pitching your own tent. A half day trip here and a half day trip there and pretty soon you have filled in another day. Maths eh. Then onto Adelaide and a week driving around the Epicurean Way visiting wineries etc. Well, mostly wineries to be fair but there is a vast selection in a relatively small area. Great time doing same thing in Hunter Valley this year and I always say see Australia first. Or at least after USA and Europe

Now a lot of this next 12 months planning hung on a rather biggish event in Feb 2018 when I officially become an old fart. Nothing like a well hung plan I say. A lot of thought went into where I would like to be on my 60 th birthday. First choice was “above ground”. After that the serious planning started and for at least 3-4 months it was a USA visit with drive from San Fran down the coast to San Diego and then onto Las Vegas. Plenty in between including even a visit to famed Pebble Beach. As the 12 months out approached we were getting close to looking at flights . And then last weekend happened. As I go to USA a lot it is an easy country to visit solo and not totally convinced sweetpea is as enamoured as moi but rather doing what I wanted as my birthday. So, slowly came round to thinking that as a couple we should go back to Europe and see Budapest, Cinque Terra and Lake Como for starters. Now, February is not the best time to visit Europe necessarily but what can one do. So was putting together a rough plan including ice skating on said Lake Como when decided to take a break for morning tea on Saturday. I played my game and CLP read her paper as we do. She said ” a few weeks on the 3 Queens sounds like fun” Hmm, certainly different I grant you but not sure I am that adventurous ! I then realised she was reading the Escape section and was referring to the 3 Cunard ocean liners. Whew! I have been on two liners in my life – once at 12 and again at 22. I had mentioned cruises a couple of times in our tenure together but rather clear CLP not a massive fan, at least of the P&O variety. It seems hob nobbing on the Cunard variety may appeal though šŸ™‚ A quick look at itinerary indicated the dates didnt suit and really a bit long when one of us is still working he he. So put to one side with the possible thought of looking into something similar for her 60 th when I just happened to check one item. Cunard cruises in Feb 2018. Hmm, one leaves San Francisco on Feb 5th and arrives in Sydney on Feb 28th. Spooky. Its the Queen Elizabeth and on the way visits Honolulu , Tahiti, Moreea and New Zealand. Thats something different and also birthday and Valentines Day at sea – pampered twice in a fortnight! We looked at the sums – not cheap – but still doable. We wanted to find out prices of shore excursions and whether you could choose you own cabin so started a “dummy” booking process. We chose a cabin for fun (after a deal of research) and noted some already taken including the prize one on that deck. We looked at each other and both thought at same time – “well the best cabins go quickly, what do you reckon? Only a $600 deposit” Hit submit and the rest as they say is history.

So next year we are going on a 22 day cruise into the unknown. Literally. Some more research (apparently usually done before booking!) indicated a lot of extra costs and naturally many poor reviews as you expect from the general whining public. There were some great reviews too of course. It seems we could well be the youngest folk on the boat which is not necessarily a bad thing but pretty fair to say cruising has changed a lot in 35 years! We will let this settle in for a few days and do some more research – afterall only $600 in the hole at present. Of course , not a lot of planning to do now and cant even look at shore excursions until 100 days out. Our cabin has a private balcony and meals are in a dedicated dining room with casual times so that part is good. The prospect of being stuck in middle of the ocean with the great unwashed masses is always a concern and much more so now then 35 yrs ago! I suspect we would look at a Pearl Harbour tour ashore but the other ports will be mostly sit on the beach looking at the glorious water and work on suntan. Look for airfares to SF soon and will spend a few days there prior to cruise so accommodation needed but looking like a totally new experience awaits and all set up in under 24 hrs. Scary shit

I do have one bit of bad news though. Communication onboard seems either very limited or very expensive or both so devoted fans may be disappointed with lack of daily trip reports to enrich your dreary lives. In the meantime sit back and get ready for Seattlandia in a tick over a month. Or do what I do – go back and read the old ones:)

Life is good

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