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No Malaria or Cholera please…

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Gosh I love Paris!

Saying that I like to travel is like saying that Romeo was only merely fond of Juliet.

I loooove to travel… and the farther the better. Now that being said, I like arrangements in place and I like places that aren’t too extreme. My idea of roughing it is a 4 star hotel. I know an older lady who likes to travel with her husband. Last year they went to rural Vietnam and Korea and had no travel plans other than plane tickets. That is, no hotel plans, no idea where the nearest hotel even was, not knowing the language, not knowing where to eat, not knowing how to get around, nothing except their backpacks and some “fooler” items to trick potential muggers and theives. She called it adventure travel– I called it hell on wheels. She ate strange meats, drank unrecognizable concoctions, slept in dirty places and accepted rides from people on bicycles with their children tucked in the front basket as they navigated overcrowded dirt roads. She said it was the only way to experience the real feel of a country. I’ll take her word for it because I don’t want to eat any strange meats from critters that I may have had as a pet growing up, I don’t want to drink anything that was created with ingredients I’ve never seen before, and I don’t want to sleep in places that require me to be wrapped up in bug nets to prevent the possibility of life threatening diseases when I get home. But that’s her, and I digress.

I’m the kind of travel addict who books a trip and then is looking for the next trip before I’ve even gone on the first one – and that’s at a slow time.. sometimes I’m looking two trips ahead. It’s a sick addiction, I know.

"Excuse me sir, does this bicycle stop at the market?"

I’ve scoured, read, studied, disected, examined, and made enough notes to fill two journals from information I gathered from travel books, travel sites, travel blogs, and travel shows.

As of lately, I have been researching my next adventure and have taken into consideration health issues in the desired countries. Call me fancy pants, a chicken shit, or just overly cautious, but I prefer not to be infected with Malaria, Cholera, Typhoid, Dengue, Yellow Fever, or any other frightening health issue. (Keep in mind that I only have to hear a story about someone who has a cold and I get one.) I shy away from going places where I need numerous vaccinations just to gain entry into the country, or somewhere that I need to take bottles of prescription drugs just so I don’t get a heart disease, or somewhere that requires I go into quarantine before and after the trip so I don’t infect other people with the possibility of a communicable disease.

I’ve learned that after narrowing down the disease ridden countries, my earth-wide playground has gotten a lot smaller. Frankly, my travel zone is now the little piece of front lawn between my house and my car. Kidding.

My latest travel obsession is cruises. I’ve reviewed them all… from the bottom of the line to the high end and from Carnival to Windstar. Last year we had a wonderful cruise with Royal Caribbean, a real perfect getaway.  I’d gone with Norwegian years ago and frankly, I’d be happy to try many cruise lines in the next while. Mind you, at that time some 10 years ago, the 3 night trip on the Norwegian ship I was on was nothing more than an oversized rubber dinghy with a crew. Nevertheless, it had it’s purpose and it was a good taste of the cruise life.

As with most things in life, there is always one place that will nickel and dime you. While researching the possibility of one particular line, it was apparent there was a charge for everything. You want a balcony cabin? No problem. You want it on a deck that is higher than the ocean water level? Add $5.00 per person per day. You want the balcony door to actually open? Add $7.50 per person per day. You want to be able to go out on your balcony without having to step around a lifeboat? Add $9.00 per person per day. I’m guessing that when supper is served, it would be the same thing… You want your steak to be cooked? Add $4.00. You want it served hot on the plate? Add $3.50. You want a spoonful of potatoes? Sorry, we’re out of them, but add $2.00 just for asking.

After weeks of daily comparisons, we booked a cruise solely based on the itinerary which takes in four islands we want to see again, and two new ones. From the research I’ve done, it’s looking like this cruise line just might go “overboard” on features and amenities. No pun intended. ;o)

Oh, and in case you are wondering, yes, I’ve already got the next trip lined up!

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Road Rage-o-holic…

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I am a road rage-o-holic.  There, I admit it. (I’m also a choco-holic, cat-o-holic, dog-o-holic, pens-with-pink-ink-o-holic, animals-with-soft-fur-o-holic, and quite possibly now a blog-o-holic.) Isn’t the first step in any 12 step program “Admitting it”? Well then, buh-bye Step 1 I guess.

I sooo need one of these signs.

Why oh why are there so many bad drivers out there?? (OBVIOUSLY, I’m not one of them.) Everyday on my way to or from work I encounter some bozo who ticks me off. It doesn’t help that I encounter one of the many dumb roadway setups put in place.  Shortly after I leave home I come upon a section of roadway in which two lanes merge into one onto a highway on-ramp. That in itself would be fine if you didn’t have about oh-I-don’t-know maybe 1,000 cars all getting to the ramp at the same time each morning and trying to merge into two lanes of a highway whose traffic is moving at a pace similar to that of the max speed of the first car ever made. The problem is when you get car after car whose driver can’t merge because a) he/she doesn’t know how to and comes to a complete stop at the bottom of the ramp, or b) the traffic is at a standstill because the traffic already on the highway is all jammed up from the idiots trying to merge. It’s a freakin’ nightmare.  Nothing grinds my gears than the ass of a driver who blows past the rest of us patiently waiting our turn in the oh-so-long lineup and goes to the head of the line. All I can say is that those people better be in a mad rush due to a gastro-intestinal emergency.

Here’s my biggest tick-offs when I’m driving:

  1. The “green-light-stopper”.  This is the guy who sits at the light when it’s greener than grass and doesn’t move. You wonder if he’s waiting for either a darker shade of green, the second coming of Christ before he moves, or has temporarily lost the gas pedal.
  2. The “quick to cut off, but slow drive” type.You know the kind, the guy who pulls out in front of you at a quick speed like he’s in such a hurry that he couldn’t possibly wait for you to pass by but then as you get right behind him he slows down so much that you actually have the time to count scratches on his bumper.
  3. The “Slow poke until there is a passing lane”. This bozo pokes along like he’s out driving Miss Daisy, that is, until you reach a spot where you can actually pass him and then he hits the gas.
  4. The “Non-signal light user”.  This guy thinks that you have a crystal ball on your dashboard and you know his every move. This especially grinds my nerves when you are waiting to pull out of a spot and the guy you are waiting to pass decides he’s going to turn.
  5. The “signal light is on  continuously” person. Pretty self explanatory. The signal light has been on for the past 12 kilometres (read: miles if you are in the U.S.). And later that day when he/she decides to actually turn, they turn it off to make the turn.
  6. The parking space hog.  What’s worse than finding a spot only to discover you can barely squeeze in because the guy who got into the spot next to you has decided he needs half of your spot too.
  7. The parking spot stealer.  You’ve circled the parking lot at least four times, you see someone pulling out, but wait – as he leaves he blocks you, and the guy approaching from the opposite end of the lane slips into your spot.
  8. And lest we forget the “I’m not letting you in” jerk. You have to merge and the one car in the best position to let you slip in suddenly speeds up and blocks your way.

It's nice of you to drive Miss Daisy and all, but some of us have places to go...

Well, this list could go on and on, but I’ve gotta go dash to the mall. And no doubt Murphy’s Law will prevail and I’ll encounter at least two of these aforementioned tick-offs in the half a kilometer drive there. hahah

Hmmm… or maybe I should just walk to the mall. Nahhhh… I’ll burn more calories being angry when I come back from driving than I would from just walking there and back. hahaha…

;o)