Living With Our Rapido 963f Le Randonneur Motor Home.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Las Vegas, New Year's Eve.

Happy New Year!

We left at lunchtime on the 28th December for what is proving to be our most hectic and expensive travels to date. We travelled with two good friends, as a group of four and stayed overnight in an airport hotel at Manchester in anticipation of our 6am check in for our United Airways flights to Las Vegas via Newark New Jersey, a total of nearly 14 hours in the air and 21 hours in total travelling to our destination, the Luxor Hotel and Casino. I have to say that our United Airways flights were excellent, with complimentary alcoholic drinks service on the international flight as well as full internet access, allowing me to post this image to Facebook while at 36,000ft over Canada.

The Luxor Hotel and Pyramid.

They don't have cops like this in Manchester!

We arrived quite exhausted, but we have one of the most comfortable rooms we have ever stayed in for our three night stay here.

We wasted no time to start exploring the city the next day, and this is just an awesome place with fabulous sights, but now having the experience, have now concluded that it is possibly not our thing. We have though now done it and got the T shirt and had a fabulous time in the process, but probably won't return. It is full on in your face hectic, surreal, and expensive.

Yesterday we met Margaret's sister and her husband at the Bellagio buffet ($37 pp if taken before 3pm), before going on to take our 6 pre booked seats at the Jersey Boys show across the road at the Paris. That show was just fabulous.

Above is the Bellagio Hotel lobby.

Today, New Year's Eve, we wandered down to the Venetion Hotel, also spectacular, but have now made our way back to the Luxor early afternoon as the crowds start to gather on the strip for the celebrations, which could be up to 300,000 people out at the same time.

Tomorrow, we are off to New York City for a few days. How I will cope I have no idea, we are exhausted.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

High Days And Holidays

Since arriving home from Spain in early December we have been busy catching up with family and friends, as well as experiencing some of the worst winter weather that Britain has experienced. However, we have been lucky enough not to have had the miserable experience of flooded homes that many from this area have had to endure, and our thoughts are with them.

Now it was the run up to Christmas proper, and we were joined by our daughter for the holiday period, with plans to visit our son and his young family to share their Christmas festivities which were to be much more exciting than ours. This is their Christmas Eve fancy dress.

Our own Christmas Eve was spent with a baking session following recipes that friends had shared on Facebook.

Christmas Day and Boxing Day were hectic family events, with an explosion of Christmas wrapping paper as usual. I'm sure we used to be content with a few tangerines and some shiny new coins.

And trying out my new selfie stick, one of my own Christmas gifts.....

Now that all that is over, and the tidying up is done, we now approach the exciting prospect of spending New Year's Eve in Las Vegas. We have never done that before, and it could turn out to be one of those love / hate adventures.

Come back soon to see how we got on!

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Manchester Christmas Markets.

This weekend had been planned to visit the Christmas Markets at Bath using a rail tour on a vintage train. The start from Horwich was to be early, so we had arranged to stay overnight in a Premier Inn just 5 miles from home so that would be easier, and we could make the most of the weekend with a Friday night out in a classy restaurant also nearby.

However, as it turned out, and due to unforeseen overrunning works to the rail tunnels at Bolton, the planned rail tour could no longer pick us up from Horwich, and the hotel booking was non-refundable, so we chose to cancel the tour and visit the Manchester Markets by train instead.

Again, unfortunately for us, the British weather lived up to its current reputation and the forecasted heavy rainfall came in abundance during both Friday and Saturday. And it was also cold!

We didn't allow that to dampen our spirits though, and a great time was had by all. We left for Manchester on the line from Wigan to Piccadilly, which remained open and wasn't affected by the electrification works on the other line that disrupted our original plans. We left the train at Deansgate, and then made our way on foot across Manchester, visiting the markets and shops on our way, and calling for coffee at Costa off Albert Square.

Exhausted, we returned home on the same line, but this time from Manchester Victoria. We are now looking forward to our Christmas with the kids, and then our next big adventure which will take us to distant lands for the New Year, before returning to Spain to complete our winter in warmer weather after that.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

The Aftermath Of Storm Desmond

We flew home from Spain on the 4th of December to spend Christmas with the kids, and during that weekend Britain was hit by a further quick succession Atlantic storm named Desmond. It deposited a month's average rain for the north of England on northern Lancashire and Cumbria over a 24 hour period on top of weeks of "normal" rain that had already fallen. This meant the water dispersion arrangements could not cope, resulting in serious flooding once again. Lancaster, Kendal, Keswick, Carlisle and surrounding areas have all suffered devastating flooding. The last serious flooding in this area was in 2005 and was then supposed to be a "once in a century" event. After countrywide flooding last year flood defences had been strengthened, but once again failed after this unprecedented event.

Above is the Waterhead Coffee Shop, which has again become part of Lake Windermere.

Roads have also been blocked, or even washed away. Above is a road at Thirlemere, partially washed away and blocked by landslides.

Bridges that are hundreds of years old have been washed away. The one above is historic Pooley Bridge on the northern side of Lake Ullswater. Immediately after the event west coast mainline trains could not go further than Preston for several days.

Today the forecast is for yet more rain in significant quantities. Please think of the residents of this area who have lost everything once again just before Christmas.