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      12.01.2008 00:51
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      Getting away from it all.

      We went to Cornwall for a week in August a few years ago. We stayed in St. Ives in a two bedroom bungalow on a camp site surrounded by woodland and fields. My children loved it there. They could play outside with other children staying there whilst we sat and relaxed.

      We drove to our destination. We left at six in the morning and stopped for breakfast onlong our way. Then we drove as long as we could to get there and then stopping a few times for a break. It was a long drive, especially when you have young children in the car and it can get too boring for them. The views on the scenic roads are wonderful to look at so we stopped for ice cream and sat outside eating it and watching the view.

      The weather wasn't brilliant, but we still went out every day. The main thing was it didn't rain. We visited Land's End in Penzance on a very windy day for August. I can remember crossing the bridge over Land's End and it being so windy that the bridge was shaking. This bridge was like swing decking with nets on either side holding it up. I didn't like it, but the kids did. They thought it was interesting and exciting. Of course, some kids like a thrill of enjoyment when holiday.

      From Penzance Harbour boats go to the Isles of Scilly. We could have done this, but we decided not to because the weather was too windy and cold.

      Penzance is a historical town. Chapel Street is the most historic and it dates all the back to the 1800's. If you ever go to Cornwall walk down this street.

      We, also, visited St. Ives Museum. There we saw interesting exhibits on wrecking. Apparantly, many years ago artists would go to St. Ives to paint and now they are shown in this museum.

      The last few days the sun came out, so we went to the beach. The beaches in Cornwall are beautiful. The only problem is not enough sun. There is alot surfing at the beaches in Cornwall too.

      We visited St. Ives Harbour where we sat for a while eating ice cream again.

      Overall, I would recommend Cornwall for a holiday for anyone. There is so much to see and do. If you enjoy history then this is the place to go to. This is an ideal place to take the family for a holiday.

      This has also been posted to www.ezinearticles.com using my pen name Dee Lake.

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        12.10.2001 22:12
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        Just got back yesterday from another freebie from where I work. I work for Blakes Boats and because it's a brand new section we all had to test the boating holidays. A few weeks ago it was the Norfolk broads, this time it was the Grand Union Canal on a Narrowboat. Although some people will call the boats a barge, apparently real narrowboating fans, don't like this word. We collected our boat from Wyvern Shipping Company based in Linslade/Leighton Buzzard. It had took us nearly 4 hours to get there from Lancashire, so we were ready for some chilling out time. We introduced oursleves from Blakes Boats and we were shown their massive chart which they kept to check which boats were booked and which were vacant. Most of it were full. I quickly peeped in their guestbook and saw that people from Norway and Australia had booked their boats. They said they get a lot of overseas visitors. We had quite a chat then Mike from the boatyard took us to get our life jackets. He also provided me with waterproof trousers and a jacket because I didn't have any. The weather by now was awful, we were dreading the week if it was going to rain all the time. Our break though was for only Mon to Thurs so if it did rain, we weren't on there for so long. Mike took us to our boat , it was called Pearl and it was in a class of numerous other boats. If you book a boat and it's in a class, that means there are identical boats like it but under a different name. It was also a Blue Chip boat which is the best in the fleet. He talked us through the things we had to do everyday. He went through how to light the cooker, turning off the gas, using the shower/toilet, changing the oil, filling up the water pump, checking for tangled things in the weed hatch, etc. He was very thorough, and the chat must have lasted 3/4 of an hour. He then started the boat and took us to our first lock. With there being
        only three women on the journey we were a bit apprehensive of working the locks on our own. Mike stayed on the boat with Sarah, whilst Helen and I took a lock gate each. When we got to the first lock, another narrowboat joined us, the canal was wide enough to fit two boats into the lock so it meant double pairs of hands. We wound our paddles down with the windlass, ( a tool for winding the paddles) and watched the water gush through. I though that sarah was very brave to stay on the boat whilst we looked down on her deep into the lock. Once the water is at the same level as the next bit, it was time to open up the lock doors, they will only open if the level is right. We found it easier to push with our arms first, then when the gates had moved a little way from the edge of the canal, we pushed our bottoms against the lock levers. This made life so much easier. We were quite chuffed with doing our first ever lock. Finally Mike left us to return back to his base, then it was time to go solo. You are meant to do about 4/5 hours cruising a day to keep the battery charged up. There is a seperate spare battery for the engine just in case. I wanted a go at steering, as I had mastered it down the broads. We came to a straight bit and were doing a slow 3 mph, when Sarah let go of the tiller and let me steer. You have to push the tiller to the left if you want to go right and vice versa. At first I couldn't get my bearings right, I nearly bashed into a few trees, but escaped with Sarah at hand. She had been on various Narrowboating holidays before, but over 20 years ago. We only managed to cruise for about 2 hours when it started to go dark, this was 5.45 and we were scared of going any further and not getting a morring place. We moored outside The Globe Inn, and had a nice meal. The pub I thought was slightly overpriced, but was very handy for mooring, and a quick drink. We went back to the boat
        about 10.0clock to watch the latest on Bin Laden. We did have a small tv on board, but the reception was awful all week so we couldn't watch much, just listen. Our alternative was to listen to the radio, we had three radio systems, one on it's own, one with a CD Player, one with a cassette deck, we also had a video recorde, but we hadn't brought any tapes. If you do hire a boat with a video player on , make sure you bring your own tapes. The boat was large enough to sleep 6 people. Sarah had the double bed, which was already fixed up and stayed like that permanent, she also had a bathroom near to her. The bathroom consisted of a sitzy shower/bath, it was what I call a hip bath, you could always sit down in it and spray yourslef with the shower. It would be great if you had a little one. Also there was a vanity unit, with sink, a toilet with foot pump action. In each bathroom there were air fresheners provided plus two loo rolls. In the bedroom at the back, there were two single beds,if you wanted , you could make these into a double bed, by putting a piece of board across the aisle and putting the cushions over the top. Helen and I had a bed each, it was very cosy without feeling too claustrophobic. We had matching duvets, blankets and pillows. I slept far better on the narrowboat than a cruiser on the Broads. We also had a little vanity unit in our bedroom and a seperate loo. Sarah had another basin and mirror in her bedroom, and there was a door seperating the two rooms. We were thinking that all narrowboats were very open and not at all private, but we were wrong. There was also another chance to make up another double bed in the lounge. You could convert the seating area into a comfy bed. If you couldn't be bothered, there was room for one more person to sleep without making the bed up. This section also had a table for eating your breakfast and meals on. It pushed to o
        ne side without the need of dismantling anything. In there was a little wardrobe with a few coat hangers. We also had a wardrobe in each bedroom, and a couple of drawers. We even had an airing cupboard and radiators. They were great for drying out our wet clothes . The kitchen area was small but it had everything we needed. We had a full size fridge, full size oven and hob, loads of crockery, cutlery, all very clean and new looking. We had a bread bin, whistling kettle, cheese grater, four pans, frying pan, spatulas, etc. They even provide you with washing up liquid, Jif cleaner, brillo pads etc. There were even towels for the floor for when you have had a shower. All you had to bring was your own tea towel and bath towels. The boat was 57 ft, and there seemed plenty of space, if you were wanting some peace and quiet to read or listen to the radio. You could have your home comforts with you , videos etc. They provided a hairdryer which was only 12 volt, but it was adequate, remember these holidays are for mostly relaxation not pampering. I found the steering to be ok, it was much easier for me on the broads because the boats on cruisers have steering wheels, but the others in the group, found the narrowboats easier to manouvre. I was ok until I came to a bridge, we didn't pass that many people thank goodness, so I didn't barge, pardon the pun, any one out of the way. Over the four days, we went through 6 locks and we did it all by ourselves. Sarah said, with being wider locks, they were the hardest to go through, that's if no-one is sharing it with you. She was also very proud that we had done it. We were quite tired at the end of it, and I'm still swaying. We met a few people along the way, a couple of Americans and a couple from South Africa. Everybody shouts, good morning to you, even the anglers are friendly, the anglers wouldn't give us time of day on
        the Broads. We set off from Linslade, and got as far as Cosgrove, we didn't make it over the aqueduct as time was running out. We cruised the canals everyday from 9/9.30am until 5pm, and only stopped for half an hour for lunch and the odd time to fill up on water. We all took turns at steering and really enjoyed it. It would have been better if there were a couple more of us, this would have made opening the locks much easier. We had three locks in a row, and it would have been better if one group could have got one lock opened whilst the others went onto the next. Even though some paddles were hard to move, especially the short cranks, we did it. We now have arms like Arnie S. I have to point out that Helen and I are only small, so if we can do it, so can anyone. If you are careful and don't rush, locks are quite exciting things, we couldn't wait to get to our next ones. I would recommend this holiday to anyone, we saw young and old on the waterways. Most people even took their dogs at an extra charge of course. If you would like more info, please feel free to email me. We will be going live on air on the 1st of Noveember to take our first bookings. Blakes Boats are already in operation in Norolk but are relocating to the town near me. If you can't wait until the 1st you can always phone. 01603- 739-400 Bon Voyage.

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          28.08.2001 07:27
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          Having travelled around the country on numerous occasions, I have often found the need to find over night overnight accommodation. This can be a very hit and miss affair and the standard can sometimes disappoint. Hopefully this opinion will to point you in the right direction, should you need somewhere to stay in the UK. Travel Inns provide a good standard of rooms and services in this department and I would suggest them as your first port of call when travelling in the UK. I will use my most recent experience of this company as an example. But I would like to point out that the standard of Travel Inns is very much the same across the country. Planning ******** Prior to travelling it is often wise to pre-book your accommodation, particularly on bank holidays as places to stay can often become fully booked long before you even decided to travel. Pre-booking can save you a lot of time and petrol travelling from one hotel to another, quite literally being told that “there is no room at the inn!”. To assist you in this task there is an online booking service. Here you can track down the nearest Travel Inn for your requirements. Upon locating your chosen location on the website, the site offers further helpful information on local services and attractions.There are also some very useful directions and a printable mini-map, that can be taken with you on your journey. If you have decided that you have found a place you would like to stay, the website offers an online booking service which is simple and easy to use. Details and confirmation of your booking is sent out within 48 hours. ***Tip*** Although the information on their website is incredibly useful and pretty much up-to-date, I prefer to book by telephone by using the Travel Inn Central Reservation Service or by calling the individual Travel inn that you wish to stay in. This can save a lot of last minute hassles, giving you immediate confirmation on the availabil
          ity of rooms and if your chosen site is fully booked, they can look into near alternatives for you! My most recent visit ******************** My most recent visit to a Travel Inn was over the August bank holiday. Travelling around the country and visiting the local attractions. The first leg of our journey took us to the fairly new Travel Inn in Chesterfield. Parking ******* The car park at this site was absolutely hugh and more than adequate to cope with both the occupants and visitors. Clean and well lit, this allowed us to park our car overnight with great confidence. There are signs indicating that vehicles are left at the owners own risk, but this is pretty much standard where ever you stay, and shouldn’t cause any undue alarm. Checking in *********** With a choice of Smoking or Non-smoking , twin or double, the rooms are pretty much standard across the country. This particular Travel Inn is fairly new and the facilities were slightly more modern than usual. Rooms ***** All rooms are en-suite with bath/shower, sink, toilet, tea/coffee making facilities, colour television, dressing table and chairs. The cupboards and shelves are also adequate for even the most heavily laden traveller! My only criticism would be with the tea/coffee making facilities, they don’t give much and addicts of these beverages may suffer from withdrawal symptoms! ***Tip*** Asking at the reception will normally bump up your stock of tea bags, etc. But the tea/coffee is not particularly nice! I would suggest bringing some from home if you have the spare room in you bags! Food **** All Travel Inns are attached to a restaurant, and they will be one of the following: Brewers Fayre Beefeater Potters T.G.I. Fridays Slice David Lloyd Leisure club The standard of these restaurants does vary greatly across the country. Ba
          sically they all “attempt” to provide a similar service but you will have to decide how good or bad they are! Evening Meal ************ The restaurant attached to the Chesterfield Travel Inn was a Brewers Fayre, I will discuss briefly it as an example of what you can expect. In your room you will find a menu, this will enable you to decide what to order at your leisure and saves time when you visit the restaurant. ***Tip*** For evening meals, the attached restaurants can get very busy as they are catering for not only overnight guests but also visiting customers. Therefore, try to go for your meal after 9 o’clock if possible, when things get quieter as this can save you a long wait! The food at this particular restaurant was exceptional and choices include Starters, Main Meals, Salads, Snacks, Desserts, Childrens meals, Drinks and a Wine list. The choice of main meals was good with 24 options available including Chicken, Fish, etc and my favourite Sausage and Mash! However, vegetarians may feel a bit neglected with the limited choice for them. When entering the restaurant, you must choose a table to sit at. On the table is a number. Taking note of this number, you must go and and order your food at the food counter. The meal is then brought to your table by a waiter/waitress.. My only critcism of this system is that people who are dining on their own may find that their table has been taken over. You can leave a note on the table to suggest it is being used, but notes have been known to go missing, particularly if the restaurant is busy! ***Tip*** Take someone with you!!!!!! Breakfast ********* When booking in initially, you are given the option to book breakfast, you have two options, Continental or Traditional. Continental consists of Fruit Juice, Cereal, Croissant, Yoghurt and fruit. Traditional includes all the items in the continental plus bacon, sausage, eggs
          , hash browns and mushrooms. Both come with a pot of tea. We opted for the Full English breakfast and it was very good! Departure ********* All rooms must be vacated by midday. Having stayed at more B & B’s and hotels than I can remember, I find this quite generous! Additional information ********************** Cots, Hair dryers and ironing boards can all be provided subject to availability. There is a public phone available in the building. Pets are not allowed. All attached restaurants have bars, except those located next to motorways. Complimentary biscuits taste like card board!! Price Check *********** All rooms are £41.95 Traditional Breakfast £6.00 Continental Breakfast £4.00 Evening Main Meals vary from £4 - £8 Starters £2 – £6 Salads £5 - £6 Snacks £2 - £5 Childrens Meals £1 - £2 Desserts £3 – 4 Drinks £1 - £3 Wine £6 - £10 Helpful Information ******************* Online booking, www.travelinn.co.uk Central reservations service, 0870 242 8000, Opening hours mon-fri 8am – 6 pm, sat-sun 8am – 4pm. Summary ******* As always, I really enjoyed my most recent stay at a Travel Inn. You always get a good standard of service and value for money. The uniform standard across the country gives great peace of mind, you always know what you are going to get for your money. Their numerous locations across the country provide a good base from which to visit local attractions, family or to carry out business. My only criticism would be that they tend to be very sparsely spread in certain areas of the UK, like the Lake district for example. However, they are adding new Travel Inns all the time and I am sure this problem will be corrected in the future! I hope this information is helpful to somebody, pl
          ease comment if you have found it useful!

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            24.04.2001 03:07
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            For the past long weekend (Easter weekend) we went camping at a near by park. It was not far away in physical distance (about 40 minutes away). But a life time away, as far as a relaxing time. We cooked over the camp fire and paddled up the river in a canoe and took several short walks on nature trails in the park. Then we slept on an air mattress under the stars with sleeping bags for warmth. The weather was perfect. My husband and i really enjoyed watching our son, aged 3, discover so much about our beautiful world.

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