A recent comment from a reader who intended to insult me ended with, “Get a life, Stanley.” Get a life? Hey there, Maurice (probably not your real name), I do have a life — a very good one. And with the hopes of not sounding like I am bragging, I will tell you a bit about it:
Carol and I have been married for almost 57 years, and we have enjoyed many mutual interests which include the enjoyment of travel. Regular readers know that we love cruising. We just returned from a wonderful week aboard the NCL Escape — our 106th cruise.
We have two more sailings booked: a Princess this December and Royal Caribbean’s brand-new, soon-to-be-out Harmony of the Seas for Valentine’s week this February. You might remember me telling you about our Diamond Plus Status on Royal Caribbean. That entitles me to all the booze, wine, and beer that I can consume, free of charge.
That’s wonderful, except I don’t drink. No. Not at all. It’s got something to do with my deepest past. When I was seven days old, a bit of wine on cotton ball was placed on my lips, and my brain never let me forget what happened next. Ask your Jewish friends about that.
We have also traveled to many parts of this world, including Australia, Asia (many times), Europe, (also many times, of course), Israel three times, and a lot more, including my very favorite: a Kenyan safari. Carol loved that so much that we repeated it again the following year. Most travelers have never taken one Safari. We took two.
Maurice, have you ever gone hot-air ballooning? We have … three times. We have also experienced whitewater rafting, walking on the ocean floor with air helmets on our heads, and a lot more — including Alaska (and not just the two cruises, but exciting land portions).
If any of you decide to travel to Alaska, please let me take five minutes of your time to help you really enjoy your trip by telling you about the three different land trips associated with it. No! I am not a travel agent, and I have no intentions of selling you anything.
We still travel, but because of the dangerous world situation, we stick to cruising and motor trips across much of the United States. We fly into a city, rent a car, and spend a week or two driving through and enjoying much of the large cities and small towns that make up this wonderful nation.
We usually stay at mid-priced hotels like Hampton-Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Best Western. The fancy, shmancy hotels charge you a lot more, and the more they charge, the less they give you. You’ll have to pay for breakfast, parking, and wifi.
Besides the free breakfast at the Hampton Inn, the gal at the checkout counter will give you a bag of nosherie for the road, free of charge. The charge for a top-draw Hilton Hotel breakfast is outrageous.
We were at the Best Western in Daytona last summer. Free parking, free wifi, and a buffet breakfast that included ham, bacon, sausage, eggs, bagels, muffins, juices, fruits, and something I have never seen before. It looked like a copy machine, but when you pushed the start button, it delivered fresh, hot pancakes.
My cost for a room for two? Look it up. It’s well under a hundred bucks plus tax. You can keep your $300-a-night, big-name chains.
I am StanG