Friday, 11 January 2019

NL19 - Assen BSB - CANCELLED

Not the BSB meeting itself but Devall attendance.

From April I will change contracts to a teacher style "term time only" contract.  That means that all my holiday is in school holidays but I get twelve equal monthly payments a year.  I'll lose a few pounds in salary but will have more time off.

As a result, if it don't happen when I am off I can't go. Neill has decided to cancel as well as he doesn't want to go on his own and may go to Aragon for the MotoGP instead.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

FL19 - Things

So here we are in the new year. It's 2019 and I have a small list of things that I need to get sorted as soon as possible.

The hotel in Miami for the first night is booked and that was done ages ago. I like to check on booking.com or indeed Trivago to see if any  more come online that offer the same ratings for a better price.  None so far!

When we are in Weston for the second week, I have been looking at places to go.  Weston isn't the most exciting place!  We both like the Keys but even in April the hotels are pretty expensive. I guess the northerners are all still there escaping from the cold in the northern states? So that's something to look at again over the next three months.

Car-hire. Always on the update list.  The rental prices seem to ebb and flo like the weather.  One day expensive, next not. I found clearing cookies from the laptop or desktop seems to alter things too.

Travel insurance is still to look at. I am sure I still have the current Worldwide policy until late May.  Another thing to check!

Flights of course booked.  Another check is Claire's ESTA.  I am still on a VISA and it has a few years before it expires.

So what is left?



Thursday, 29 November 2018

FL19 - The Keys

In 2014 when we were last in the south Florida area we had a few nights in Key West. We stayed in the Blue Marlin motel. A place that harks back to Hollywood of the 50's.

I had a search around the net for a weekday or two during the second week we are away.  The Blue Marlin came out at £192 a night.  The lowest price anywhere in KW is £166. This is a night mind you.  Mmmmm. Maybe start to look for other places to visit during the Weston Week.

We also like the Gulf Coast. April should be hurricane free so the choices should be pretty much as good or not better than when we have been in May and October.

Gulp.  Back to the drawing board.


Wednesday, 28 November 2018

FL19 - Car hire revisited

Still smarting from the last look at Miami car-hire I have delved back into the murky world of the web to have another look,

Confused? You will be.

Different comparison sites seem to have different rates for the same companies.  I usually book direct with National via there own website and have had some pretty decent offers for full-size cars.  

When in the US, be it Florida, NY or Arizona, why have a Toyota that is smaller and more cramped than the car I own at home? I want to drive American.  

Okay, like the Ford Mustang we had. The "hood" didn't look as though it was the right size for the hole.  It covered the engine okay and didn't fly up as we drove along and the gap at the front of the doors looked a little wider than really necessary...... But!!!

It's all about insurance and the level of cover.  For the past few years we have gone National. All the cars have been reasonably new and in decent condition.  

The only blip on the radar was the Ford Fusion we had that looked like a couple of muddy dogs had lived in it for a few weeks and that the cleaners had got rid of the smell but not the dirty seats.  I think these dogs had at some time pee'd and ate their dinner off the velour too and maybe had a milkshake!  I did complain but got absolutely nothing back. I should have take more pictures of the Fusion. We didn't get charged any excess though but that's not the point.

This year I will take a full video of the car before I drive away. It's not that I have had any problems in the past but simply making a mark against an outline of a car, that looks nothing like the one I hired, on a piece of paper simply ain't gonna cut it in 2019.No sir it ain't.

So.  What about a Dodge Challenger? Not cheap but ought to have some grunt. It's with Hertz but they have not replied to my email asking for details of what model they have in Miami. Anyone know?

I was happy with the Dodge Charger we had in Arizona.  Superb car. Seemed well built and pretty economical. Topping 40mpg on R66 after Hackbury with cruise set to 60mph!!!

Or maybe one of these from Sixt?



Tuesday, 13 November 2018

R66 shirts!

When we were driving the Arizona section of Route 66 I didn't really think about a t-shirt.  Okay, we didn't do it all from Chicago to the Pacific but some of it.  And we took loads of photos.

Sadly, not on a bike but in a Dodge Charger.  So when I saw these at a clearance price on Fat Skeleton's website I had to get a couple, especially with an extra 15% discount. One for me and one for my (now) BMW megabike riding brother, Neill.

At the time of writing I am probably going to keep the winged one.


And give him the other one! He has done the whole thing twice, once on a bike and once in a car.

Friday, 2 November 2018

FL19 - Car Hire

Going through the motions of checking to see what the rates are.  For some reason National who I have been using for years appear to have hiked their rates up and for the "full size" bracket the quote is about 50% higher than last October (2017)

Will look later. I prefer the idea of booking and not paying until I am face to face with the counter clerk! But too many are pay now.

Friday, 12 October 2018

FL19 - Aer Lingus

I had an email from Aer Lingus.  They have re-timed the outward flight to Miami from Dublin.  It is now an hour later.

It shouldn't affect the car hire or the overnight hotel by very much.

NL19 - Assen BSB

We enjoyed our weekend away so much, even with the traffic difficulties, that I have made a booking at another local hotel for the same race weekend in 2019.

This one, Wapen van Vries,  is actually almost opposite the pizza place we went to this year in Vries.  It's maybe five minutes further along from the motorway than this year's place.  

It's all free cancellation and no prepayment so we can cancel if need be. It's also some €60 cheaper for us, although I don't think Neill will save much, if he comes.

Hopefully after her operation in October 2018,  Claire will be back on the bike and not in the pain she was the last time and we can make a more sedate holiday out of the trip.