Well after a hard year Michele and I are off on holiday that is long over due.
Our first attempt at being away in October was riddled with disaster. Firstly there was the issue of my ESTA (Visa to the US) being declined as Michele has incorrectly answered one of the questions on my application which resulted in ‘Access Denied’ being issued. The cure for this was a call to the US Embassy in London who suggested speaking to Homeland Security in Washington DC. Sorry sir we cannot change the result you’ll need to apply for a full visa. So we started the application as well as applying for a full UK police report on my previous history. That all came back clear and no sign of the fraud Michele had inadvertently answered yes to.
So the day after my brother and grandsons birthday I was preparing for a day in work for by a 19:00 train from Manchester to London to visit the US Embassy for my interview. But…….. On the way into work I slipped outside of my office in the rain on a polished granite surface and legged heavily on my shoulder. Rather embarrassed I locked myself up, went into work and cleared a couple of calls before deciding to go to the walk in centre for them to look at my shoulder. The triage nurse to one look and sent me of to the A and E unit, where the X-ray revealed a fracture to the right shoulder. That night I had bad night’s sleep as I couldn’t get comfy and I was anxious for the interview at the Embassy the day after. In the morning I headed off into the centre of London trying to protect my shoulder from his in the rush hour! The query at the Embassy want too bad and before I knew it I was inside (it it had been raining if have been wished as no shelter outside in the queue). The first lady I saw was a pleasant lady who apologised for making me have to stretch my right arm to get finger prints as she could clearly see the discomfort on my face having to raise my right arm. The second person I saw was also pleasant, not the usual stern looking border officers the US seem to have at all other places I’ve been too. He was chatty and when he asked for my police report I suggested playfully that all he needed to do was call my mother. His response was I’d take mom’s recommendation anytime. He then told me US 10 year visa approved.
However due to the fracture the to head to be cancelled as I want allowed to drive and Michele want brave enough to do all the driving in New England.
So we decided once I was given the all clear to travel to find some winter sun to cheer us both up. We spent a weekend looking at holiday brochures, looking at the internet and teaching advice from everyone we could bore to death. We looked at Europe, Caribbean, cruises, the US and finally found a two week break in Mexico. We actually finished work for three weeks as we’d only had 5 days of all year and as much as we both like our jobs we need the break!
We spent time with Lewis on the night before we flew as he had managed to get home reasonably early (sorry Keenan for hijacking any plans you had with him), Josh has his evening meal with us before going out and Sam, Harry and Nancy skyped us. We even had a Skype call with mum and dad. We visited Brenda at the care home, had a call with Warren before he went on nights and had plenty of messages off friends wishing us a pleasant trip.
The alarm went off just after 04:00 and the taxi (Conrad’s Executive Travel) was at ours at 04:50. The driver and people carrier are immaculate and we can’t speak highly enough of the service given to us. We were dropped off at Manchester airport in good time for our 05:50 (08:50 flight) check in time. Bags dropped off and up to the Escape Lounge for a couple of hours relaxation (oh and a welcome sausage harm, coffee and a couple of Amstel beers) Michele sneaked of to duty free while I read my book (Tom Clancy’s ‘Hunt for Red October’) then down to the gate and boarding.
We are traveling with TUI (Thomsons) aboard the ‘Dreamliner’ first impressions are it looks so laid out, we are sat in the third section towards the rear in the extra legroom seats (yes us in extra legroom!). It was delayed by 30 mins as there was an issue with one of the crew but we left a cloudy Manchester for an expected 10 your flight. We’d not been airborne long before we were offered a drink and I opted for a can of Brewdog Punk IPA. Lunch was a roast dinner (Tracey – you’d have liked it) with a glass of red and coffee to finish off. They just been found again with more drinks (yes Brewdog again ?). Michele has asked to have the heating turned up and I must agree it was the coldest I’ve been on a flight (now we’ve warned up) just waiting for afternoon tea.
Arrived to warm, but green landscape.
After a delay at the airport waiting for the transfer we arrived at the hotel at 17:10 local time, unpacked had a couple of cocktails, evening buffet then bed at 22:00