Posts Tagged ‘hotels’

The Ritz-Carlton treatment

laelene Posted in photo blog,Tags: , , , , , ,
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While Panda was away on travel, he got a chance to stay at a Ritz-Carlton property. When he left, he realized that he could not find his power adapter, so he contacted the hotel and they were unable to locate it. Weeks later, he was supposed to return to the property but plans got changed and he had to stay at a different hotel in the area. When the hotel staff found out, they offered to send the replacement adapter they got him and delivered it to his new hotel! Not only that, but he mentioned he wanted to get something from the gift store – a rubber ducky – and they even brought that all wrapped up at no charge. Now this is the type of service I’ve heard of from this establishment and it’s great to see it in action. They made his trip that much better with their extra effort and kindness. 🙂

ritz-carlton gift box with white wrapping paper and red ribbon

The gift box, all nicely wrapped.

ritz-carlton rubber duckies inside box

Turns out they packed two ducks!

ritz-carlton rubber duckies

Now we have these keepsakes from their hotel.

universal converter/world adapter gift from ritz-carlton

And this wonderful replacement adapter for future travels. 🙂

Working remotely in Hawaii

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I spent a week out in Hawaii while doing everything to make it seem like I wasn’t even gone work-wise. It was a last-minute thing: when I realized Veteran’s Day was the following week, I had asked Panda what our plans were (anticipating taking Monday off to enjoy a 4-day weekend). Instead of the type of answer I was expecting, I discovered that would be the week he was slated to go to Hawaii for work. I was so disappointed because I was really wanted to enjoy the weekend with him, but work travel meant he’d be leaving me Sunday morning. In other words, what I thought would be a long weekend would actually only consist of Saturday. For the first time, I was actually serious about joining him on a work trip. I really didn’t want to lose out on making it a holiday weekend worth my time.

So, once it was confirmed that he was going, I decided to make a decision and book tickets too. I’ve never planned a trip like this on such short notice, but it was one of those things I knew I’d regret for ages if I didn’t go for it. I figured I could still get all my work done at the normal EST hours I work and then I’d have the afternoon to enjoy the surroundings in Hawaii. Just like that, we found tickets for times I felt were reasonable and least interfered with work. By Sunday, we were off on our journey to spend a week out at the North Shore.

turtle bay resort at north shore hotel room with king bed

My office for the week.

I woke up daily (except Veteran’s Day and the weekend) at 4:30 HST to start work. I joined meetings remotely, answered emails, and worked on projects. Before I knew it, the sun would be rising and people were going off to lunch. I’d usually have a late “lunch” break and go enjoy the breakfast buffet downstairs. I savored the meals and watched the waves coming in as the heat began to build outside. Then it was back to the room for more work, which flew by pretty quickly. I found myself to be more productive (or at least it felt so) working from the hotel. This was probably because I had very few distractions. I hardly even got up for a drink or restroom break whereas usually at work I’m up at least once or twice an hour.

view of sunrise from turtle bay resort hotel room

Being awake for the sunrise was pretty cool.

view of turtle bay beach and ocean from turtle bay resort hotel room

The daytime view was pretty awesome too.

breakfast spread from breakfast buffet at turtle bay resort

A typical breakfast halfway through the work day!

I tried to finish my day around 1, but it usually went past that, though for the most part I was able to stop working by 2. At that point I had the choice of beaches to play at. One day I went the less traveled route and happily caught dozens of hermit crabs, snails, and even fish. Another day I found other crabs lurking by the rocks and swam around in the bay following a variety of fish around coral reefs. Yet another day I caught more critters and had a staring contest with some ghost crabs. I kept meaning to go to the banyan tree everyone checks out, but there were so many distractions along the way that I never quite made it there. I did have fun filming storks taking off in slo-mo, getting super close-ups of the creatures I caught, and generally basking in the sun.

clear plastic cup with a fish, hermit crab, and sea snail

Just the beginning of my catchings.

As the sun went down, we’d search for dinner and my night would wind down. I’d shower off the sand from the day and spend some time online before calling it a night. I tried to sleep around 8, but oftentimes it was closer to 10 when I got to bed. And then the day would start anew just past 4 as my alarms began to ring. It was much easier to wake up at that time than I thought it might be. I was quickly alert and ready to go! On our days off, we’d sleep in until 9 or so and then grab breakfast before embarking out on some adventure. Panda didn’t get the weekend, but luckily was free on Veteran’s Day and had some opportunities to leave work for a few hours. We went to Waikiki twice, hiked Diamond Head, visited Pearl Harbor, and even swung by the Dole Plantation. Not bad for a working vacation!

365great Day 358: hotels

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , ,
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365great day 358: hotelsAfter a long day out, my weary legs were so happy to arrive at the hotel. A nice hotel is wonderful to stay in, with comfy beds, lush towels, and all sorts of amenities. Hotels generally mean you’ve been traveling, so a hot shower and clean sheets are probably the best thing to happen for you at the end of the day. I enjoy staying at hotels because I don’t have to worry about cleaning and I get to stay in a city I normally wouldn’t. If I have more time, I like to make use of their pool, spa, or other amenities. Why not take advantage of all those features, right? It’s certainly a welcome reprieve from a tiring day out, where I can get a little peace and rest up. Waking up the next day feeling refreshed can’t be beat! Hotels are a great place to stay away from home.

UK Vacation Day 3 Recap

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses, photo blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Check out my UK Day 1 recap and UK Day 2 recap, then read on for Day 3! We spent about half the day prepping for and traveling to Cardiff, then got a chance to explore the city in the afternoon and evening. It was a nice quiet, yet active time together in this beautiful place. 🙂

view of victoria station in london from nearby hotel

From our hotel, we could see Victoria Station, so it was very easy to get to the train!

interior of victoria station in london with skylights and british flags

The interior of Victoria Station is nice and airy, with plenty of natural sunlight.

bike parking area with dozens of bikes inside victoria station in london

There were a ton of bikes parked there.

delice de france baguette display at victoria station in london

Before boarding the train, I browsed the selection at Delice de France for my lunch.

chicken chorizo baguette sandwich from delice de france bakery

I ended up getting the chicken chorizo baguette to eat on the train and it was delicious!!

pink and blue striped circus tents beyond railroad tracks

Along the way, we saw the circus in a town.

first view of the streets of cardiff

Hello Cardiff! I’m finally in Wales!

dog standing with large piece of tree branch in mouth

What an ambitious dog, carrying around a giant tree branch.

grouping of flower pots in tree shape

The flowers make the street all pretty.

congratulations message written in chocolate on plate with vanilla buttercream cupcake

Yay, celebration!

heavy cloud coverage over buildings in cardiff

It’s sunny but it’s gloomy ’round these parts.

view of cardiff castle from nearby hotel

Got a view of the Cardiff Castle from the hotel lounge.

small garden with maze-like design in cardiff

A fun little garden area across the street.

collage of executive lounge snacks including fruits, desserts, condiments, cookies, and sugar

The executive lounge provided a variety of snacks!

pink gumdrop station in cardiff for recycling gum

Haha, can’t say this is what I imagine when I hear “gumdrop” but it’s a nice way to discourage gum where you don’t want it.

small purple flowers

We walked through an industrial zone that was intimidating, but at least there were pretty flowers!

swan on picturesque river in cardiff wales

We tried walking to this Cardiff Bay we heard about, but couldn’t quite figure out what there was to see. It was pretty along the way at least!

white swan swimming on river in cardiff

So many swans around here! I love it.

As we were walking along the river, we heard a splash and saw some movement out of the corner of our eyes. We thought it was a bird diving into the water to get a fish, so we watched and waited for it to come up. A few minutes later, what did we see? A GINORMOUS FLYING FISH! I mean, it was like a foot and a half long and propelled itself out of water better than salmon swimming upstream. I tried to get a video of it but we never saw it again. Sad times.

brains brewery across river with silver tanks and colorful tops

After giving up on going so far, we headed back and I wondered what those colorfully-topped silver canisters are for.

yellow flower on stem in slim vase centerpiece

We stopped for dinner at an Indian place, with pretty yellow flower centerpieces.

glass of clear sparkling lemonade drink with lemon slice inside

This was not what I expected when I ordered lemonade, but it was amazing. I want more!

appetizers at indian restaurant in cardiff wales

Yuuum, enjoying our appetizers.

plates of indian food including naan bread

We both enjoyed our dishes and the garlic naan. Wonderful meal together. 🙂

church clock tower against blue sky in cardiff

I enjoy the little alleyways and cobblestone streets, and of course the architecture and beautiful blue skies.

red flower floating in water as centerpiece with mug of water on table

Back at the hotel, we enjoy a little break in the lounge.

layers of dark clouds with thin bright area in middle

The clouds are moving in!

fridge and shelves with small glass bottles of sodas and drinks

Oooo yes, I love these little glass soda bottles!

free bottles of wine in executive lounge of hotel

In the evenings, the executive lounge offers free wine here. I’m sure that made some folks happy.

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