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About slidergirl

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    Exactly where I want to be

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  1. Be absolutely sure (CALL THE HOTEL) that it will allow smoking out on a balcony/patio if not in the room. Hotels I have worked for, including my current hotel, did not allow smoking on the balcony/patio of a room. It seeps into the room (trust me), and wafts up/down to the other balconies/patios to the displeasure of those guests. I got a perverse joy out of adding the $250 "smoking fee" to the folio of a guest who tried to sneak a puff. It does take a lot of extra cleaning for a smoking room - extra cleaners, an "ozone filtration" fan to try to remove the stench. I've had guests refuse rooms even after we've done our best to clean. If your DH needs to smoke, best to go outside, at least 25 ft. from any entry. Don't smoke in the room, or balcony. Or be sure to leave an extra-nice gratuity to the housekeepers who will have to spend double the time cleaning that room... OK. I did a little quick Google for you: there is a website called "smoketels.com" where you can find hotels that have smoking rooms (supposedly). I plugged in Fort Lauderdale and the "Days Inn Fort Lauderdale-Oakand Park Airport N" popped up.
  2. It was always tit-for-tat. Nothing more. Not to bring up politics, but the dropping of the visa for US citizens may be due to the similarities in political leanings of the new Brazilian President and the current US President. Their press conference when Mr. Bolsonaro visited Mr. Trump was pretty close to the lovefeast when Mr. Trump met Mr. Putin (birds of a feather...) It was brought up at the conference by Trump that Bolsonaro was considering this.
  3. Trust me - it is BAD. I'm not sure how we got into the Southern Comfort thing. So seriously sicky sweet - that must have contributed to that "side effect." Could be part of the reason that I cannot stand any whiskey (well that, and the 3/4 of a bottle of Jim Beam I drank one night of partying by the creek with other camp counselors)
  4. I got my first GE card when they came out. At the time, the closest place to me for my interview was Las Vegas, a 7-hour drive. I decided to make a weekend of it. The interview and all took maybe 10 minutes. I spent the rest of the time lounging by the pool at Mandalay Bay, having some good dinners, and playing craps. Won enough to pay for the trip! Back then, the TSA Smurfs somehow thought that only Drivers Licenses and Passports were legal ID for them. When I'd show my GE card, I did get some pushback. I'd just ask for their supervisor and ask the supervisor to bring the book which listed the legal IDs. I'd direct them to the list and show that GE was like #4 on the list. I haven't had any encounters with ignorant/untrained Smurfs in awhile. But, I'm always willing to assist in their training... I always carry my GE card in my wallet. If anyone asks for ID, it's what I show. It doesn't have all the PII that a Drivers License has, so I'm more comfortable with it. I have had some savvy travelers use their GE card as ID at the hotel - I nod knowingly.
  5. I'm of that same age 😉 Fortunately, this particular Club Med was one of the new ones at the time. It definitely was not the all-day/all-night drunkfest. Lots of actually good activities. Yoga every day, group runs, trips into Cancun proper, trip to Tulum. Learned how to windsurf there. Definitely not the hedonistic atmosphere like, say, Club Med Bora Bora or the ones on the Greek Islands. My group did their "not exactly high class" trips out at Lake Mead, with lots of beer and Southern Comfort (nothing like a Southern Comfort hangover...). Waterskiing and camping on the far side of the lake. No queueing in line for food there!!!
  6. Well as someone who majored in Sociology and Social Geography, any place where I can observe behavior among various settings and cultures IS interesting to me. The non-queue for the buffet made sense there - all went fine. But, maybe because it was majority non-Americans and those of us there adapted to the majority.
  7. I have used carabiners since the early 1990s to secure my purse, backpack and luggage zippers. All different kinds, from the "S" ones to a few that have screw closures. A quick solution to a common problem. I'm a nay on a fanny/bum bag. There are so many alternatives now to them. If hubby is only taking some cards and a little cash, those travel pants with zip pockets would be less of a signal of "here I am, I'm a tourist, come and try to get my bag." And, he could wear the pants anytime, even not on vacation. Could he say that about the fanny/bum bag? 😉
  8. When you do ask your family health care provider, ask if something like a ginger candy would be a good first try. Sometimes kids will take anything if you call it "candy." NOT offering to take this, just to mention it to your HCP.
  9. Sorry - I just got off of work and saw your query. Yes, you can walk around the Square without a problem. My mind had gone straight to going inside the Basilica. I had done a night walk around the Square the evening I did the nighttime Vatican Museums visit. It was virtually deserted - maybe 30 people around. The next time I visited Rome I decided my one big thing was to into St. Peter's. The difference in the number of people in the Square was astounding. And, yes, I had that 90 minute wait to people-watch!
  10. The crowd at Club Med from Europe were Spaniards, Germans, French, Italians. So, that was a pretty good representation to me. Club Med was a great place to observe behavior of other cultures 😉
  11. "A quick look at St. Peter's" - dream on! Unless you are there when it opens up for the day, expect a long queue in unshaded St. Peter's Square. When I went there a couple of years ago, I got there about 11am. I ended up waiting 90 minutes in a queue that wrapped all the way around the Square (I started out where the trailer is for the Vatican Post Office) before I got to the "mag & bag" (metal detector and bag check).
  12. I don't mind. And, I think it's a matter of geographical custom. My anecdote: Back in the 80s (before I traveled to Europe), I went with 2 girlfriends to Club Med in Canun. First lunch after arrival: all the Americans were lined up like dutiful sheeple at the food line for the buffet. The Europeans were darting in and out, getting what they wanted and moving on. The next day at lunch, everyone started doing the "darting" maneuver - no one yelled, no one got indignant, and it seemed like no one waited longer than usual. When I finally did a trip to Europe, I notice that the breakfast buffet at hotels seemed to work the same way - dart in and out. If you've ever been to a European ski resort, sometimes lift line queues are just a suggestion... Since then, I'll do a quick observation of the line and do what I see I can do. If some loud-mouth American says something, I can say "I don't understand" in several foreign languages 😉
  13. Trust me - I don't have a beach house, could NEVER afford one. I work hard for my money and still live hand-to-mouth. And, I am still environmentally conscious. Not every environmentalist is an elitist. Going to my medicine cabinet to empty the rest of my anti-depressant meds into my mouth...
  14. Yep. Or, bring your own... Sometimes, what we thought was a good idea ends up biting us. When I cruise or travel, I bring my own cloth bags or those really cool fold-up nylon bags to put souvenirs or other things I buy along the way. I have my own water bottle that I bring and fill. I don't do excursions, so I don't use that gas/diesel fuel. You can usually find me wandering around on foot or using public transportation in a port (I haven't had a problem yet with that).
  15. Not being Canadian and not overly familiar with Canadian politics: what potential tax cuts could be theoretically done to combat climate change? I know that there is a big battle right now about building the Energy East Pipeline. Plusses and minuses abound. It could stop some of that pollution caused by the need to have the oil shipped via ships from the Western Provinces and also cut down on the need to buy oil from foreign countries and have it shipped. But, as we have seen with other oil pipelines here in the US, when they fail and rupture, land, flora and fauna are destroyed. I've got some very pro-pipeline friends in Alberta and I do respect their opinions.
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