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I'm not a fan of airports or airlines, I get motion sickness....enough said!
However, I loved this airport!!!
We flew in from Amsterdam (starting in Manchester), we were through immigration quickly, I'm guessing that's because most of the travellers were American so international travellers queues were empty! Once we came through imigration we had to collect our luggage, they then promptly guided us to put it on a conveyor belt that would send it to where we were going. No queue, friendly helpful staff!
once into the main terminal our first stop was Chili's for some food...this is a typical American burger place, tasty food for a really good price!
Food over we had a look at the shops, they were really sweet, most of them seemed to be local and sold Minnesota merchandise, there were a lot of moose related products, that I loved!!!
Airport seemed pretty small but in no way felt busy or crowded. There were plenty of shops to choose from and a number of restaurants from basic burgers to Italians. The airport was spotless and the toilets were clean and fresh. We were on a connecting plane so didn't have any experience of getting to/from the airport/parking/getting a cab etc. There was a place for left luggage which would be a good idea if you fancied the Mall of America.
Now, if you have a decent amount of time at the airport then you can take a little train over to the Mall of America....I really wanted to do this but we didn't want to risk it with the timings, we did see where the trains left from and they apparently take less than 10 mins so we'll do it if we ever go there again!
Coming up to an hour or so before we were due to board we headed over to our departure area....it was all sort of open plan so you weren't trapped there with no hope of getting out like in some airports....on the way to the gate there was a huge wooden Moose...had to take a picture! more cute shops and places to get drinks. Airport didn't seem too expensive and it had a lovely atmosphere.....felt like you were in Alaska!!
We flew Northwestern from Amsterdam to Minneapolis then on an internal flight Minneapolis to LAX. (this was a code share with KLM)
It was quite a big plane and I think it was configured 2-5-2 we were in a 2.
This was excellent flight. Check in was easy as we had done it on line, just had to bag drop. Boarding was the usual queue of people that start a line before their section has been called but we were soon on and seated. There was a reasonable amount of leg room, I'm tall and was relived to be able to stretch out a bit. We left on time and had a very smooth ride.
Entertainment-seat-back tv's with movies and games on demand....this was excellent and it all worked I used my ipod headphones which was good as they don't normally fit airline sockets! Good range of movies, always something to watch.
Food-surprisingly good there were 3 choices, beef chicken or veggie, I had veggie which was a lovely pasta...I don't think i've ever used the term lovely to describe airline food before! Refreshements were regularly available and you could approach the kitchen if you needed anything.
Staff; older ladies mainly and a couple of men, all were very friendly and helpful.
Plane was fairly new and was clean, which is always good!!!
On landing the staff associated with NWA were all helpful and friendly.
Small plane configured 3-3
Plane was packed and you really felt it, this flight was getting on for 4hrs and it was cramped! Refreshments were limited which was fine.
I wasn't feeling too good, it was my 3rd flight that day and I just wanted to get to LA so I just tried to sleep.
No entertainment at all, staff were still good though.
Overall I was really impressed with NWA this is the first time we'd flown with them and would definitely fly with them again. The international flight was particularly good. I was very impressed!
All flights were on time and arrived early.
The Freedom Trail is a walk through American history. It's over 2 miles long and encompasses a great deal of the city, it's a great way to see Boston and learn a few things!
You can pick up the trail at any point, it's marked by a red line on the pavements and it leads you to many of Bostons tourist attractions: the common, Mass state house, Quincy market, Faneuil hall as well as graveyards that include the graves of Samuel Adams and even Mother Goose.
You can pick up maps of the trail all over the place, there is a visitor centre on the edge of Boston Common that has useful information. We picked even picked up a map in the Cheers bar at Quincy Market, makes a nice souvenir.
Boston is a lovely city and it has a lot to offer, by doing the Freedom trail you'll see things you may want to come back to another day, in fact it's about a 2 day tour if you see all the houses etc the great thing is the trail is free to do and a lot of the attractions are free too...the State House is well worth seeing and it's still in use so is really interesting. Paul Revere house cost a few dollars to go in but the guide in there was excellent.
You can't go to Boston and not do the Freedom Trail!!
We flew man-heathrow-boston and then back again in May
Well, the good points are that we got there and they even managed to bring us back!!!
Turbulence free flights both ways......yay
Other plus points...I got the window seat and they serve full sized cans of pop.
Not so good points
Inflight entertainment: non of that seat back tv malarky for us, just a big screen at the front and a few above the aisles...couldn't see ours very well and the headphones didn't work, replaced the headset eventually though.
Movies were Marley and me, great film but I had seen it before and knew how sad it is so couldn't watch it (not too much of a problem as couldn't really see anyway) and can't remember what the other one was...then they repeated Marley and me!
Seat pitch-not so good....I'm a tall lassie and my knees were up against the seat infront.
Food.....erm didn't really eat much of it, had a plain roll and a desert. OH said it was ok. Plane food in general is pretty rubbish so wouldn't be put off by airline food really.
staff, generally older ladies, one of the ones doing our section appeared to have recently had a chemical peel...she looked in a lot of pain! hardly any of the crew had a smile, quite unusual for American service staff.
Cleanliness of the plane.....well it wasn't that clean, loo's were very smelly early on in the flight, didn't go back in there so can only imagine how they were later on! The sick bag (I get travel sick so have to be prepared!) was missing from both mine and OH pocket and I was missing the evacuation procedure...there were also sweet wrappers in there.
All flights were on time...within 30 mins of stated times, however on landing at heathrow we had missed our slot and had to wait on the tarmac for over an hour, we nearly missed our connecting flight and our luggage went missing (got it back next day).
Overall, I would only chose to fly with them again if they are the only airline that goes to where I want to go, or, if they are a heck of a lot cheaper than the competition. One of the worst airlines i have flown with!
We stayed here for 2 nights over my birthday weekend. The hotel was well located (although I did worry that it was in a red light area when we first arrived...few dodgy shops on the street). We had a problem at checkin, I had booked through an online hotel booking system and had paid for the room in full when we booked, they didn't have this information and insisted that payment was on checkout, luckily I was able to log on to my internet bank in their business centre and print out proof...They were really lovely about it and they spoke to someone in their head office to get it confirmed. So we got upgraded to a great room with sofas etc. The room was spotless and really well maintained.
As mentioned the hotel has a small business area for computer use/printing. We didn't eat in their restaurants as we were always out.
The hotel is in a good location and you can take an easy walk to the centre and down to the river. There is a tram system which is so efficient, just look out for them as you're walking as they are pretty fast!
When we got back to the room on the day of my birthday the staff had left me a present of a big book of manet (which had once been an exhibition in Basle). I thought that was really sweet and thanked them. The staff really couldn't do enough for us during our stay.
The train station isn't far from the hotel and it's easy enough to do a trip somewhere, we went to Lucerne and had an excellent time.
All in all an excellent hotel with excellent service, all the staff we encountered spoke perfect English. There is also a small leisure area with pool at the hotel but we didn't have chance to use it.
We stayed at the Sheraton Anaheim as part of a trip to Southern California. We found the hotel to be good. The rooms were very large and I think most, if not all, were on ground level. There were 2 double beds in our room, the usual facilities tv etc. We could park the car pretty much outside the window which was good. The pool is really good, lovely size and plenty of room to laze around if you need a break from the sightseeing. There is a really good laundry facility by the pool so you can catch up with your washing whilst you chillout!
The beds were really really comfy here and all the bedding smelt really fresh and I didn't have any worries about it not being clean.
The lobby area is large with a stream flowing through with koi carp, they can be quite entertaining! there is a good little coffee shop that does lovely muffins etc for a quick breakfast!
there is a shuttle service to the Disney parks, this is good in off season not sure how good it is in high season though (we went in February).
Location is good, not far from the parks. Quite a drive from the airport and Universal etc, especially in rush hour traffic, which seemed to last all day! much quieter travelling at the weekends so recommend that if possible.
Bar was good, if a little on the expensive side, but it's a hotel so expected I guess.
Our room was next to the busy road but we didn't really hear any road noise.
Overall a good experience, could do with a lick of paint but nothing major!
Had a great stay here at the beginning of the summer. we had a king room with a view over a sweet brownstone street and a place of worship.
The service was excellent throughout our stay, the room was very clean and in a good shape. There were tea and coffee facilities a big flat screen tv a free safe (that was easy to use!). In the bathroom there were plenty of towels and crabtree and evelyn products. The AC was easy to use and pretty quiet.
The location was great for us.....if you cross the street to the Sheraton you can get in to the big shopping mall (prudential centre...that has the best Sephora store I've been in and I've been in a few!). There is also a nice gift shop in the Sheraton (it's not too dear either) much better than the Hilton one! Also car hire from here too......just along side the Sheraton is a really fab ice-cream parlour that is open pretty late and next to that there is a Cheesecake Factory....yum, we ate there a few times!
A lot of the people staying at the Hilton were on business as there is a big convention centre attatched to the Sheraton, however, this meant that the pool was quiet during the day. The pool area was fine, only used it once as we were so busy doing things!
You can get the red bus tour from outside the hotel which we did and was handy...look out for crazy Dave though!!
If you walk out the back entrance and head towards the fire station and turn right it takes you into some lovely streets with great shopping and restaurants. Hotel is also close to the Red Sox stadium if you fancy some baseball.
We absolutely loved Boston and want to go back again in a few years, we'd happily stay here again!!!
There is also free internet on the computers in the lobby, if they're full there are also 2 computers free to use in the coffee shop, we didn't notice these for the first couple of days! You are meant to limit for 5 mins a time but later in the evenings you can use the coffee shop ones as they are really quiet, there is also free printing for boarding cards etc there.
I was in Boston airport earlier this year, mooching around the bookstore in there when the manager asked which authors I like, I replied 'James Patterson and Sophie Kinsella' he suggested this book... (looking back I've no idea how those two authors relate to this book!) said I would love it, i'd never heard of it before so I was a bit unsure but I had enough dollars left so bought it, stuck it in my travel bag and forgot about it for a good few weeks.....then I remembered it and thought I'd give it ago, not at all convinced I'd like it.......I could not put it down!
It is one of the loveliest books I have ever read!
I don't want to say to much about the story apart from that it is set partly in recent times and partly in the 1920's during a time of prohibition and when circuses travelled the country in a big way. The story is based around a character Jacob, who is in his 90's (in the present day/20's in is circus days) he is living in a care home (set in USA) and still has his wits about him....one day a travelling circus sets up across the street from the home and Jacob is incensed by one of the other care home residents remarking that they used to carry water for elephants in the circus.......the story unfolds as to how Jacob came to be working in the circus, details the troubles of those times for circuses in the USA and the goings on of circus life as well as a love story.
Due to the excellent writing you can picture Jacob in the home and then in the circus, the life he lead and the things that were happening in that era. I enjoyed this book so much that I was really sad that it was coming to an end...there are very few books I hang on to but this will definitely be one of them!
I'd recommend this book to people who liked The Time Traveller's Wife as it is of a similar writing style, however if you too like James P and Sophie K then you may well like it too.
I had never smelt this perfume until my sister gave me a lovely big (100ml) bottle that she'd bought at the airport. i soon as I tried some I absolutely loved it, not at all musky or to flowery, just really yummy, makes you feel that bit special when you put it on!
The packaging is fabulous, the bottle is a gorgeous shape and looks great on the dressing table (especially as it matches my bedroom decor!) the little touch of the crown is really cute too!
Everytime I wear this perfume when I'm seeing people who don't see me everyday someone always comments on the fragrance and it's always positive and everyone wants to know what it is.
Price wise my sister paid $60 for this bottle I've seen it in big department stores for around £45 so it's worth getting it duty free if you can.
Overall I LOVE it!!!!
I received this phone as a gift and was more that a little concerned about the fact it had a touch screen. I had previously had a Nokia N95 which i loved but I was amazed at how quickly I got used to the touch screen. I don't like the dangly pointer so I didn't attach that to the phone and never use it, I think it may help that my nails are a decent length so can be quite precise when using the different functions.
The camera is really excellent for a phone, takes pics that still look decent when you upload them on to the computer. there are lots of functions, many that I don't use though. I use the internet on this phone everyday and it takes about 4 clicks to get on to my facebook page which isn't too bad. I've found the internet to be fast although I can't always use all the internet features (I can't log in to work webmail). I have had issues with the email system, I have set it up according to their instructions and some on the web but I still can't get it to download my email properly, it'll do my hotmail but it takes a long time and doesn't do it automatically (like i set it up to do).
I've now been converted to touch screens, they're fun and a whole lot easier to use than I ever imagined!
I bought this in America and had it set up in-store to be used in the UK. When I bought it I wasn't blown away by the looks until I got it back to our hotel and opened it up away from blaring lights.....the screen is glossy (not to everyones taste but I love it) and the keyboard has a metallic finish but feels really solid. I've only ever had computers with the pentel processor before so was a bit wary of this but I needn't have been it's faster than any laptop i've had before. The 320hdd is good too as I take a lot of high res pictures which are about 50mb each so I needed a decent hdd.
You can change the power save settings so that the screen doesn't darken when it's not plugged in to the mains which i find really handy, although does use power up quickly. I find my fully charged battery lasts around 2hrs on non power save setting.
Watching movies on this laptop is like watching on tv, excellent picture quality!
I have had a few issues with vista compatability but most of those seem to be ok now, there can be issues when updating windows online though.
It is reasonably heavy, i also have a dell 1525 and it is heavier than that.
i have also had issues with the sound.......it may just be me but the presets just aren't quite loud enough.
Generally I'm happy with this computer, hopefully it'll have a long life!
We visit Costco haydock every few weeks. I prefer this one to the Liverpool and Trafford Park branches as it tends to be a little quieter at weekends.
Some of the best things to buy are house wares...pictures/cutlery/pans etc all really good quality at a good price. My husband also really likes the outdoor equipment ranges that usually appear in the spring. The run up to Christmas brings a whole range of American style decorations and the crackers are really good value with fab prizes inside.
Jewellery is good too, I've got my eye on a ring and for the carat it's much better value than I've seen on the high street. They also have good prices on swaroski crystal, Chloe bags (still out of my price range but nice to look at!), some of the electrical is good but TV's always seem to be high. My OH loves the free taster that they have all over the store a the weekends...I like looking at the books and computer software, they don't have many games though. You can also buy magazines with a percentage off the cover price....30% off if I remember correctly.
Costco is also the only place we buy tyres as they are so cheap...we had 2 michelen recently for my little car and they came to less than £90 fitted and all the doo dah.
The best for me though is the photo printing, starting at 4p per picture (inc vat) the quality is excellent and the price for larger prints is also excellent, much cheaper than high st or anywhere else online that i've found.
Don't forget to add vat!
We gave in and bought a Dyson....after years of vacuum cleaners that worked well for a while then needed replacing we thought we'd pay the extra and just get one! We got a good deal on this one from Argos, £189 and £50 gift card, so didn't feel so bad paying out so much for a vacuum cleaner!
The dyson was easy to put together straight out of the box and we were up and running in about 10 mins. On the first vacuum round the living room we were amazed at how much it picked up off our 'clean' carpet. I found the Dyson to be of a reasonable weight so that it felt sturdy but not too heavy compared to other vacuums we have had. the brush on the front extends slightly at the ends so it gets right in to the edges.
I didn't think the extender would reach to the top of our stairs as it seemed really short, however, it expands amazingly and was so easy to do the stairs with (although the top one really was a bit of a stretch!)
The Dyson comes with two tools for stairs/corners, these attach to the front of the machine when not in use and they actually stay attached, unlike the daft ones on my old vacuum!
It took me a while to work out how to get the extender pole out of the handle, you have to press a button on the front of the handle, whilst this sounds simple the button is the same colour and blends right in to the handle...I managed to detach the hose a number of times before I figured it out! (probably should have read the manual!)
Can go fairly low under furniture, to make it go low you just have to lower the handle, when you get to a certain level the front raises up for ease of moving on to rugs etc.
Machine is narrower than my last vacuum and is good at getting under side tables etc.
Easy to empty, just one touch button. I didn't find it especially noisy either!
Definitely recommend this Dyson!!!
We've just had new carpets put in so hopefully the dyson will help them to stay in great condition.
I have had this camera for a few weeks now and I LOVE it!!! I have been using a 350d for the past few years so this seemed like a good step up for me. i bought the body only for £809 and there is a cashback sceme with Caqnon at the moment where you can get £75 back if you send in any old dslr/slr ends at the end of August though.
The body is really solid and quite a bit larger than the 350/450 d's, you don't notice it until you put them side by side. I've been able to use all my lenses on my new camera too so that's always a bonus!
The 50d is easy to use once you get used to the dial system. The camera automatically cleans the sensor every time the camera is turned on and off.
Performance is fantastic, I've noticed a big improvement in the quality of my prints ( I print fairly big pictures for framing).
The only negative thing I have to say is that the on off switch is too fiddly, I'm hoping I get used to this aspect though as I love everything else about the camera.
The menues are easy to navigate and formatting the CF card is unbelievably fast. The battery is really good, I've been out shooting a few times and have taken about 400 shots, the battery is still on max power!
Go and try this camera in the store before you buy, great camera especially if you can get a good deal!