mbernardi: (Default)

Wed 3 Oct
Up 5:15 tidied lounge! Caught 6:15 to Gatwick, met sis at North Terminal, zone G at 6:55 (took a while to recognise her due to fuzzy focusing), when she had to help disability assistance with the parents.

Through security (with 2 wheelchairs) by 7:25. Started boarding 7:55 (parents first) in last 20 on board 8:15. Free seating, at the back. Took off 8:40 only 15 minutes after scheduled.

Arrived Valencia 10:35/11:35 and through passport control to luggage claim by 11:50. Major problem finding the hire car company as an incomplete printout was made.
Finally left the airport at 1:00

Stopped to do some food shopping when nearly to Javea.

Got to Toscamar 3:15, reception shut so no water or electricity until it opens at 4:00!

Water and electricity turned on, fridge/freezer not working!

At about 5:30 left for beach, to get a meal at Scallops where we had three course meals with water and wine for €41 (with 3 bottles of wine to take home). I had spicy potato wedges, followed by steak pie and mash, with peas and carrots. The finish I had profiteroles. Back home for 7:45 and we were all a bed by 8:30.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

mbernardi: (Default)
So since last weekend I ordered a new Tefal Avanti kettle and matching toaster via Amazon. The kettle arrived the following day, the toaster the day after (while I got an email to expect it 4 days later!)

Prior to visiting my chiropractor I went to pick up my prescription inhaler (which I had ordered via Boots online website). It wasn't ready, on checking the site both this request and the previous one in May were still Pending! After this I went to the library to collect a reserved Ukulele song book (with CD), then to get my spine cracked!

I've also ordered a Raspberry Pi, power supply and Pibow case. I don't know if they will arrive before I leave for Worldcon or not. The current delivery times are 3-18 weeks! according to the websites.

As I ordered a Raspbery Pi I needed a keyboard for it, so I went to PC World and discovered they weren't stocking the model I wanted. It was a nice walk on a sunny day though.

I finally got my ticket confirmations, and have checked via US Airways that all is OK (it is). Except they have my name as Bernardi Bernardi which I will have to check in to before I leave.

I got a note from my ISP that my mailbox had reached it's size limit and I needed to delete some messages. So I downloaded the latest release of Pegasus Mail as it's the best took I know for email management. I downloaded all the mail on the server (which was over 3 year's worth) and deleted all but the last year worth.

Thursday was my parents wedding anniversary, so I planned to visit this week end, but then I remembered I have dancing on the last Saturday of the month! So I came over on Friday after work, we had a nice celebratory dinner then watched the Olympics Opening Ceremony from 9:00pm to 12:50am! I should be taking the number 23 bus back to Crawley in order to get to the dance at 7pm.
mbernardi: (Default)
I just checked my last post and the details of landing and getting home were missing.. So I left you hanging while I was trying to sleep, I failed and spent a while playing on my iPod. We were served a rather pallid breakfast an hour or so before landing. Touchdown was 6:55 and I found that it was foggy and snow was all around the verges. I got through passport control quickly, and had to wait quite a while for my bag to get ejected from the carousel. After a 20 minute wait it appeared at 7:45 then straight out through customs to the shuttle bus, (the connecting train between north and south terminals is being replaced) then to the train station. My train arrived a bit late at 8:23 and I got home just before nine. D then let me know that the UK had been under a foot of snow since I'd left. No traffic had moved until the thaw started two days earlier. There had been a leak in the kitchen, so it was a good thing he was around!

I was totally fried, not having slept much on the plane, and went to bed for 6 hours. I would probably have slept longer but I had a chiropractors appointment and had to get there by train and given the weather... In the event the trains ran on time and I got seen early.

On my return I hoped to have my normal Friday Fish and Chips supper, but my local chippy was shut ;-( So I had a microwaved shepherds pie instead! While in Atlanta I watched a number of episodes of NCIS, there are multiple seasons running on different channels there too. I did see the two most recent ones, so when I discovered that while away I missed one, I went searching on the net and found and watched "Faith", this year's Christmas episode.

It rained all day, which melted most of the snow, but I decided to stay in (especially as tomorrow's forecast is better). My Dad phoned to confirm that they had been snowed in and had to survive on food on hand. He also indicated he had suffered from a kind of snow blindness.

Most of my day was spent reading, but I also discovered that "Guards Guards" by Sir Terry was being serialised on BBC Radio 7 (and I was able to listen to the first 2 episodes via iplayer). The next one is on Monday. I also discovered that Wyrd Sisters was ending, unfortunately Episode one had expired, and I think I'd heard this version before.
If anyone has a paid LJ account and can create a bbc_radio_7 rss feed from http://feeds.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/bbc_7/popular please let me know, so I don't keep missing these sf&f gems.

While in Atlanta I was told that Pat C Wrede had started blogging, so I've added her rss feed pcwrede_feed to my friends list and am now plowing my way though her archive material. Well worth checking out at http://www.pcwrede.com as she writes on the process of writing and being a writer in an insightful manner.
mbernardi: (Default)
I just checked my last post and the details of landing and getting home were missing.. So I left you hanging while I was trying to sleep, I failed and spent a while playing on my iPod. We were served a rather pallid breakfast an hour or so before landing. Touchdown was 6:55 and I found that it was foggy and snow was all around the verges. I got through passport control quickly, and had to wait quite a while for my bag to get ejected from the carousel. After a 20 minute wait it appeared at 7:45 then straight out through customs to the shuttle bus, (the connecting train between north and south terminals is being replaced) then to the train station. My train arrived a bit late at 8:23 and I got home just before nine. D then let me know that the UK had been under a foot of snow since I'd left. No traffic had moved until the thaw started two days earlier. There had been a leak in the kitchen, so it was a good thing he was around!

I was totally fried, not having slept much on the plane, and went to bed for 6 hours. I would probably have slept longer but I had a chiropractors appointment and had to get there by train and given the weather... In the event the trains ran on time and I got seen early.

On my return I hoped to have my normal Friday Fish and Chips supper, but my local chippy was shut ;-( So I had a microwaved shepherds pie instead! While in Atlanta I watched a number of episodes of NCIS, there are multiple seasons running on different channels there too. I did see the two most recent ones, so when I discovered that while away I missed one, I went searching on the net and found and watched "Faith", this year's Christmas episode.

It rained all day, which melted most of the snow, but I decided to stay in (especially as tomorrow's forecast is better). My Dad phoned to confirm that they had been snowed in and had to survive on food on hand. He also indicated he had suffered from a kind of snow blindness.

Most of my day was spent reading, but I also discovered that "Guards Guards" by Sir Terry was being serialised on BBC Radio 7 (and I was able to listen to the first 2 episodes via iplayer). The next one is on Monday. I also discovered that Wyrd Sisters was ending, unfortunately Episode one had expired, and I think I'd heard this version before.
If anyone has a paid LJ account and can create a bbc_radio_7 rss feed from http://feeds.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/bbc_7/popular please let me know, so I don't keep missing these sf&f gems.

While in Atlanta I was told that Pat C Wrede had started blogging, so I've added her rss feed pcwrede_feed to my friends list and am now plowing my way though her archive material. Well worth checking out at http://www.pcwrede.com as she writes on the process of writing and being a writer in an insightful manner.
mbernardi: (Default)
Just before 9:00 the lounge, to gate 7 was called, dashed through the drizzle to the Avro RJ85 Flight KLM 2754 which was half empty, my seat 6F was a windowless window seat, be since the flight time was only 40 minutes I didn't bother trying for a different one, even though over half the seats were empty.

Take off was about 12 minutes late, but our arrival at Amsterdam was just after 11:15 local time. My flight on to Montreal didn't leave until 15:20 so I had over an hour to kill. Some of the time I spent viewing pictures from the Rijks Museum Amsterdam, Schiphol.

As I hadn't eaten anything since 5am , apart from a BLT roll on the plane, I used my visa card to buy a small cappuccino, a bacon & egg sandwich, and fruit salad cup which came to €12.30. After eating and drinking this I returned to gate E5 to await boarding flight KLM0671 boarding 14:05

When boarding we had to go through security at the gate, including x-ray and metal detectors. here doesn't appear to be any separation of airport general access and traveler only access.

The plane left of time and a dinner of lamb terrine with mashed potatoes and red vegetable mush (probably tomato) low sodium and served first! with couscous and dried fruit. Fruit salad to finish. drinks provided.I watched Quantum of Solace, and an episode of NCIS that I hadn't seen. tried to doze a bit, and even read a couple of chapters.

Arrived at Montreal around 16:30, through passport control, then baggage claim where I met 3 other fen (2 Dutch, 1 Scots) and we shared a limo to the Delta hotel 50$, which was cheaper per person than a taxi.

It was a lot warmer than I expected, last time I checked it was similar to that in England. Anyway I managed to dig out a map and find the route to my hostel, Le Sous-Bois. It was about as far from the main convention site as the Delta (in the opposite direction). The walk took about 30 minutes, and I went to reception to discover they were no longer using the website I'd booked with! Fortunately they still had beds free, and the daily price was less than originally quoted (189.63$ instead of 271.35$ originally quoted, so ven with the lost deposit it's cheaper). They also took plastic, so I didn't have to hunt an ATM to get cash. I found my bed, cleaned my teeth and crashed by 19:15 local time (but 00:15 my time) twenty hours after getting up!

I'll be taking pictures later as words can't convey the style of the building and it's environs. [I just dropped my PC and it rebooted loosing all my typing from this point! I must remember to save more often.] Each person is allocated a bunk, but it's also a mini room (like the Japanese ones).

I got up on Wednesday morning at 8:45 and left by 9:05 to go around the corner to the Tourist Information Kiosk. Where I got free map and instruction on where the banks were. I stopped off on the way to the convention centre to extract 2004 from my account. Registration opened at 9:00 so I got my goodies and badge. Badges were print on demand and the font used for the name was both large and legible. I discovered that my location was mis-spelt and a replacement was re-printed. The pocket program isn't, being about A4 size and over 100 pages. I was able to get a grid printed on A3ish sized paper, which was much easier to navigate but should have been provided in the original bag. I also had to ask for Jo Walton's Food Guide.

I was getting hungry by now so wandered downstairs looking for food where I met Jan and Larry (from yesterday's limo ride) and was able to pay Jan my part of the fare. Then to Tim Hortons for coffee, bagel and cream cheese, and donut (as the breakfast menu had run out). I felt somewhat disadvantaged not speaking French! Over breakfast scanned the program and ticked of those i wanted to see. Apart from the GoH speeches, masquerade and Hugo awards, art show and dealers room, nothing is must see as far as I can tell.

Found a quite corner with power and typed up the story so far. Now I have to find WiFi access. (the hostel has this so I may upload first thing in future.)

Left originally looking for lunch but got sidetracked into visiting Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal entry was 5.00$ but included a guided tour. Left after 45minutes, for the riverside and the Centre de Sciences de Montreal. Where I managed to get in free by showing my +Plus Science Museum card. normally 12.00$ The first program, for which the wrist band was valid, was called Aqua and started at 16:00, this was followed by Mars 2030 at 16:30, I spent the rest of the afternoon / evening at the museum leaving at 8:30 just before it closed.

Then walked back to my hostel via McDonald's where I had a Big Mac meal. There was supposed to be WiFi but i couldn't get on it. and so back to Le Sous-Bois.
mbernardi: (Default)
Just before 9:00 the lounge, to gate 7 was called, dashed through the drizzle to the Avro RJ85 Flight KLM 2754 which was half empty, my seat 6F was a windowless window seat, be since the flight time was only 40 minutes I didn't bother trying for a different one, even though over half the seats were empty.

Take off was about 12 minutes late, but our arrival at Amsterdam was just after 11:15 local time. My flight on to Montreal didn't leave until 15:20 so I had over an hour to kill. Some of the time I spent viewing pictures from the Rijks Museum Amsterdam, Schiphol.

As I hadn't eaten anything since 5am , apart from a BLT roll on the plane, I used my visa card to buy a small cappuccino, a bacon & egg sandwich, and fruit salad cup which came to €12.30. After eating and drinking this I returned to gate E5 to await boarding flight KLM0671 boarding 14:05

When boarding we had to go through security at the gate, including x-ray and metal detectors. here doesn't appear to be any separation of airport general access and traveler only access.

The plane left of time and a dinner of lamb terrine with mashed potatoes and red vegetable mush (probably tomato) low sodium and served first! with couscous and dried fruit. Fruit salad to finish. drinks provided.I watched Quantum of Solace, and an episode of NCIS that I hadn't seen. tried to doze a bit, and even read a couple of chapters.

Arrived at Montreal around 16:30, through passport control, then baggage claim where I met 3 other fen (2 Dutch, 1 Scots) and we shared a limo to the Delta hotel 50$, which was cheaper per person than a taxi.

It was a lot warmer than I expected, last time I checked it was similar to that in England. Anyway I managed to dig out a map and find the route to my hostel, Le Sous-Bois. It was about as far from the main convention site as the Delta (in the opposite direction). The walk took about 30 minutes, and I went to reception to discover they were no longer using the website I'd booked with! Fortunately they still had beds free, and the daily price was less than originally quoted (189.63$ instead of 271.35$ originally quoted, so ven with the lost deposit it's cheaper). They also took plastic, so I didn't have to hunt an ATM to get cash. I found my bed, cleaned my teeth and crashed by 19:15 local time (but 00:15 my time) twenty hours after getting up!

I'll be taking pictures later as words can't convey the style of the building and it's environs. [I just dropped my PC and it rebooted loosing all my typing from this point! I must remember to save more often.] Each person is allocated a bunk, but it's also a mini room (like the Japanese ones).

I got up on Wednesday morning at 8:45 and left by 9:05 to go around the corner to the Tourist Information Kiosk. Where I got free map and instruction on where the banks were. I stopped off on the way to the convention centre to extract 2004 from my account. Registration opened at 9:00 so I got my goodies and badge. Badges were print on demand and the font used for the name was both large and legible. I discovered that my location was mis-spelt and a replacement was re-printed. The pocket program isn't, being about A4 size and over 100 pages. I was able to get a grid printed on A3ish sized paper, which was much easier to navigate but should have been provided in the original bag. I also had to ask for Jo Walton's Food Guide.

I was getting hungry by now so wandered downstairs looking for food where I met Jan and Larry (from yesterday's limo ride) and was able to pay Jan my part of the fare. Then to Tim Hortons for coffee, bagel and cream cheese, and donut (as the breakfast menu had run out). I felt somewhat disadvantaged not speaking French! Over breakfast scanned the program and ticked of those i wanted to see. Apart from the GoH speeches, masquerade and Hugo awards, art show and dealers room, nothing is must see as far as I can tell.

Found a quite corner with power and typed up the story so far. Now I have to find WiFi access. (the hostel has this so I may upload first thing in future.)

Left originally looking for lunch but got sidetracked into visiting Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal entry was 5.00$ but included a guided tour. Left after 45minutes, for the riverside and the Centre de Sciences de Montreal. Where I managed to get in free by showing my +Plus Science Museum card. normally 12.00$ The first program, for which the wrist band was valid, was called Aqua and started at 16:00, this was followed by Mars 2030 at 16:30, I spent the rest of the afternoon / evening at the museum leaving at 8:30 just before it closed.

Then walked back to my hostel via McDonald's where I had a Big Mac meal. There was supposed to be WiFi but i couldn't get on it. and so back to Le Sous-Bois.
mbernardi: (Default)
So woke up 6:50 washed up, managed to stuff everything into my bags, stripped the bed, left sheets and towel on the landing. Just about managed to stuff the keys under the office door (as requested last night) and left for the last time at 7:30.

I caught the free mall ride at Civic Center Station, first time I did so first thing, and got to Corner Bakery Cafe, 1147 16th St by 7:47, updated blog and was eating Berry Almond Swiss (with both yogurt and cream) and coffee by 8:00.

[Contunued two weeks later!]
I left as it was getting to quarter to nine, and caught my final free mall ride shuttle bus to the Market St bus station. I originally thought it was some kind of underground train station (due to the sliding doors and electronic departure board) but is was actually an underground bus stop!

9:25 arrived an so did the bus. I stowed my back pack, paid my fare and started the journey to Denver International Airport. The journey took exactly one hour and once I'd disembarked I found the appropriate check-in (no queues at all) left my bag and found my way to the security check in. Once through the x-rays and metal detectors I found the correct gate by eleven, got my ticket and passport looked at, and as it was nearing noon bought a muffin to eat.

Took off for Cleveland, at 12:10 (only ten minutes late) and arrived two and a half hours later, a bit early at 2:35/4:35 local, due to tail winds and walked to the correct gate for Gatwick without any further security checks. Still a bit peckish so had a bagel with cream cheese. Read until the flight was called.

This plane didn't have personalised in flight entertainment systems so I didn't get to see a movie. I did read and try to get a bit of sleep. I got my special meal prior to everyone else, soon after take off, and breakfast was served just before landing, at 6:50 on Friday morning.

Got through passport control fairly quickly but it seemed forever before baggage re-claim started regurgitating luggage. Anyway I managed to get to the train station by eight and caught the train home, arrived back by 8:40 and then crashed in bed by 9:00 and slept most of the day.

Started catching up on the TV recorded while I was away!

NOTE: I did take some pictures during my stay, but not as many as I wished. This was due to two problems; the hinge on the compartment containing the batteries broke, and if it was not firmly held in place all the cells would fall out, making it difficult to compose pictures. Additionally somehow it had been set in the "photo finish mode", so that after the first picture, a further 4 shots were automatically taken. Until I realised what was happening and started to take advantage of it, I got 3-4 blurry pictures (I couldn't figure out how to switch it off either. My next digital camera must not suffer from either of these faults! I intend to upload the few pictures I did take RSN.
mbernardi: (Default)
So woke up 6:50 washed up, managed to stuff everything into my bags, stripped the bed, left sheets and towel on the landing. Just about managed to stuff the keys under the office door (as requested last night) and left for the last time at 7:30.

I caught the free mall ride at Civic Center Station, first time I did so first thing, and got to Corner Bakery Cafe, 1147 16th St by 7:47, updated blog and was eating Berry Almond Swiss (with both yogurt and cream) and coffee by 8:00.

[Contunued two weeks later!]
I left as it was getting to quarter to nine, and caught my final free mall ride shuttle bus to the Market St bus station. I originally thought it was some kind of underground train station (due to the sliding doors and electronic departure board) but is was actually an underground bus stop!

9:25 arrived an so did the bus. I stowed my back pack, paid my fare and started the journey to Denver International Airport. The journey took exactly one hour and once I'd disembarked I found the appropriate check-in (no queues at all) left my bag and found my way to the security check in. Once through the x-rays and metal detectors I found the correct gate by eleven, got my ticket and passport looked at, and as it was nearing noon bought a muffin to eat.

Took off for Cleveland, at 12:10 (only ten minutes late) and arrived two and a half hours later, a bit early at 2:35/4:35 local, due to tail winds and walked to the correct gate for Gatwick without any further security checks. Still a bit peckish so had a bagel with cream cheese. Read until the flight was called.

This plane didn't have personalised in flight entertainment systems so I didn't get to see a movie. I did read and try to get a bit of sleep. I got my special meal prior to everyone else, soon after take off, and breakfast was served just before landing, at 6:50 on Friday morning.

Got through passport control fairly quickly but it seemed forever before baggage re-claim started regurgitating luggage. Anyway I managed to get to the train station by eight and caught the train home, arrived back by 8:40 and then crashed in bed by 9:00 and slept most of the day.

Started catching up on the TV recorded while I was away!

NOTE: I did take some pictures during my stay, but not as many as I wished. This was due to two problems; the hinge on the compartment containing the batteries broke, and if it was not firmly held in place all the cells would fall out, making it difficult to compose pictures. Additionally somehow it had been set in the "photo finish mode", so that after the first picture, a further 4 shots were automatically taken. Until I realised what was happening and started to take advantage of it, I got 3-4 blurry pictures (I couldn't figure out how to switch it off either. My next digital camera must not suffer from either of these faults! I intend to upload the few pictures I did take RSN.
mbernardi: (Default)
I'm writing this on my eeePC in the Colorado Convention Center, in Denver on Tuesday afternoon. I don't know when I'll get access to a free WiFi hotspot to upload (as there isn't one in the CCC).

So I got up at 6am yesterday morning, not being able to sleep. Had breakfast and watched a programme I'd recorded on Sunday night. Left for Gatwick airport on the 8:32 train, arriving at 8:50. Started queuing at 9:00 and got luggage checked and all boarding cards by 9:30.

Security checking and x-ray was also quick and then I was waiting for the gate to board. The flight to Cleveland was "called" around 10:30 and started boarding by 11ish, We took off about half an hour late at 11:50. The flight was over 8 hours long and I managed to watch "Superhero Movie" via the on demand in-flight media system. Lunch was chicken, as usual when I get served a low salt option (before everyone else!) I also managed to finish one of the 2 books I took with me.

Cleveland is a small airport, which I recognised from an earlier visit, but I don't recall exactly which con I was traveling to. It was just after 9/11 and they hadn't quite got their security upgrades up and running and I nearly missed my connection. This time I had plenty of time before the Denver flight left. Met my first fans in the waiting area. 3 local Cleveland fans.

Arrived in Denver 7:15pm local time, 2:15am BST! Got through Customs, and baggage claim fairly quickly but decided I was too tired to navigate the vagaries of the local bus service and so took one of the hotel shuttles (an SUV direct to the Denver International Hostel).

Unfortunately I had a half hour wait before we had enough passengers to leave, (5 others made it to quota). It only took half an hour to drive to Denver, and I was checked in, paid $129:60 for ten nights, made my bed and crashed by 9:35pm twenty two and a half hours after I got up!
mbernardi: (Default)
I'm writing this on my eeePC in the Colorado Convention Center, in Denver on Tuesday afternoon. I don't know when I'll get access to a free WiFi hotspot to upload (as there isn't one in the CCC).

So I got up at 6am yesterday morning, not being able to sleep. Had breakfast and watched a programme I'd recorded on Sunday night. Left for Gatwick airport on the 8:32 train, arriving at 8:50. Started queuing at 9:00 and got luggage checked and all boarding cards by 9:30.

Security checking and x-ray was also quick and then I was waiting for the gate to board. The flight to Cleveland was "called" around 10:30 and started boarding by 11ish, We took off about half an hour late at 11:50. The flight was over 8 hours long and I managed to watch "Superhero Movie" via the on demand in-flight media system. Lunch was chicken, as usual when I get served a low salt option (before everyone else!) I also managed to finish one of the 2 books I took with me.

Cleveland is a small airport, which I recognised from an earlier visit, but I don't recall exactly which con I was traveling to. It was just after 9/11 and they hadn't quite got their security upgrades up and running and I nearly missed my connection. This time I had plenty of time before the Denver flight left. Met my first fans in the waiting area. 3 local Cleveland fans.

Arrived in Denver 7:15pm local time, 2:15am BST! Got through Customs, and baggage claim fairly quickly but decided I was too tired to navigate the vagaries of the local bus service and so took one of the hotel shuttles (an SUV direct to the Denver International Hostel).

Unfortunately I had a half hour wait before we had enough passengers to leave, (5 others made it to quota). It only took half an hour to drive to Denver, and I was checked in, paid $129:60 for ten nights, made my bed and crashed by 9:35pm twenty two and a half hours after I got up!

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