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Hotels (MOAR vacation ramblings!)

Sometimes my desire to plan gets carried away. :p I'm heading to California with brannonb at the start of September, and we're staying right across the street from Disneyland because he likes convenience. For my October "Theme Park Halloween" trip, I want to stay someplace a little nicer, with lots of room to spread out (since I'll be there for awhile, there's a decent chance I'll want to chill at the hotel some time)--which generally means further away, unless you're staying at one of the Disney hotels (which I'm probably not unless I find a crazy deal between now and then). Last year the decision was pretty easy--this year I'm making it harder on myself by de-prioritizing price (though not so much that the Disneyland Hotel looks like a good idea, heh). My current candidates for my 5 night stay are:

The Anabella Hotel. This is where I stayed last year--a great mix of price (the 4th night is free!), quality, and distance from the park. They even have two pools, one with poolside dining so I could have a drink while lounging! I have a reservation here, and will be fine if I repeat last year's stay, but I still find myself wanting something...different.

The Doubletree Suites by the Convention Center. A Hilton chain hotel--the same chain I stay at every year for Norwescon, so I'm very familiar with the style. Very close to a ton of restaurants (including a Carl's Jr!), and one of the offsite Disneyland parking lots with a constant shuttle, which would make up for the extra distance. I have a reservation for a spacious King suite, which is a big plus regarding "nice place to hang out for awhile," but otherwise this is a very ordinary-seeming hotel.

Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel. this one is about the same distance from Disneyland as the Anabella (just from the other direction), with gorgeous-looking pool and grounds. Their regular rooms are oversized, and some of them have been renovated and are apparently awesome--so long as you actually get one of those. The reviews are really hit or miss on this one, plus there's not a whole lot else in the area in regards to restaurants or grocery stores or anything.

Decisions decisions--but at least you can look at the pretty pictures while I ponder. ;)

Second half of 2016 trip musings...

The travel bug has bit me--more than that, the "I want to do things that sound cool" bug! Ed"s 2016 Magical Mystery Tour--or, Is there such a thing as too much Disneyland, the sequel!Collapse )

[DW] Magician's Apprentice thoughts

Rather than make a long post on FB, I'll write something up here, and then post the link to FB.

Spoilers...Collapse )

Things to do in London...

(Blows dust off his LJ)

Still planning on going to London--especially after seeing that I can take a loan out from my 401k if necessary (which means, barring sudden unemployment, I'll have the funds to do this on top of probably having to move and other expenses that are coming up this year). I have a room reserved at a converted college dorm, though I still need to buy my plane ticket--that'll be the real "go/no go" moment, as that's the sort of thing you can't get even a partial refund on. :P

The point is that this is becoming more real so, even though it's still months away, I'm starting to work on my list of "Things to do while in London." Here's what I have so far--additions from the audience are welcome!

  • Attend Olympic games (obviously!)--check out the different Pavilions while I'm there to practice my people skills (and by "people skills" I mean "drink and flirt with women from all over the world :P)
  • Attend a Phantom of the Opera show (I want to see a production where the theater has essentially been completely given over to the performance!)
  • Visit the Society for Psychical Research facility and browse their library (compare to Capitol Hill's Museum of Mysteries for bonus points!)
  • Visit the Doctor Who museum (even if it's in Cardiff by that point) (note, pack scarf)
  • Hang out with ashkitty (possibly at the school-themed dance club she's mentioned...)
  • Visit the British Museum and Library
  • Visit Cambridge or Oxford (and entertain post grad fantasies)
  • Shop at Camden Town
  • Visit the Sherlock Holmes museum at 221B Baker Street (and roleplay with whatever recreationist is there!) (note, pack deerstalker, even if it's not really canon)

    I'll add to this list as things occur to me! And, of course, I'm flying from London to Gencon after the Olympics, so I'll need a whole other list of things to do at the convention! ;)

    2012 Olympics!

    I never made it to Europe during college, unlike several of my friends who did the study abroad thing. As much of a literary and scifi anglophile that I am, I've always wanted to get over to England, at the very least. A year or two ago I decided that I wasn't getting any younger, and the 2012 Olympics might be a good excuse for crossing the pond (even though visiting one of the busiest cities in the world during the Olympics may qualify me for mental health care, heh).

    Today i finished the first step, by purchasing individual tickets for a half-dozen Olympic events. I decided to go towards the end of the Games, as that's when most of the events that looked cool to me are held. They are:

    • 8/8/12: Athletics (1000-1340, Olympic Stadium)
    • 8/9/12: Women's Basketball (2100-2300, N Greenwich Arena)
    • 8/10/12: Canoe Sprint (why? It was the only thing I found for that day that looked interesting, and the ticket was $44--that's why. :P) (930-1155, Elton Dorney)
    • 8/11/12: Sailing and Tawkwondo (1200-1800, 2000-2315, multiple)
    • 8/12/12: Modern Pentathalon (800-1800, multiple)

    I ended up spending a bit more than planned, but that's a pretty sweet lineup I have to say. ;)

    This, however, is the easy part. Next I need to save up money & vacation time for however long I spend out there. Then I have to book a plane ticket. Then I have to figure out where to stay. I'm hoping ashkitty and her friends are planning on spending time at the Olympics the same time I am--that would be handy, heh. Maybe we could take over a house for a couple weeks! ;)

    Home update

    I've pretty much decided to go forward with selling the place--or, more likely, short selling. Recent HOA snafus have not made me any more fond of the idea of staying here, it has to be said. :P

    This means I need to get my place ready to show, which means getting my master bath repaired (there's water damage behind the shower enclosure walls). I was hoping to use the general contractor who's done work on this building for over 20 years, but he's going to be renovating a house for a couple months, and I don't want to wait that long. If any of my NW readers have any GC recommendations, I'd love to hear them! Here's a list of what I need done:

    Tear out shower enclosure walls & shower pan
    Repair/replace water damaged studs, then completely replace the shower enclosure (faucets, walls, tile, pan etc).
    Retile the bathroom countertop to match the shower
    Replace ceiling fan (hopefully just a straight swap with the newer version of my old fan I just purchased).

    Drop me a line if you know anyone who does good work without gouging the customer!

    Bathroom remodel, take 2

    I finally got a chance to talk to the contractor who does a lot of work around the building--his rates are really good, and he apparently does a lot of bathroom remodels, so he's the obvious choice for fixing up my master bath. We spoke about what I wanted done, and he gave me a shopping list of things to gather.

    What I need:

    Tile (for shower stall and countertop, unless I see a one-piece countertop I like and can afford)
    Shower door
    Shower pan
    Sink (he recommends a rectangular one as being "modern" :P)
    Shower & sink faucets
    Bathroom fan

    Home Depot or Lowe's are obvious shopping choices, of course. For tile I want to look at Art Tile down Roosevelt way. And I have a custom bathroom/kitchen place across the street if I want to look at fancier fixtures or single-piece countertops (instead of using the same tile on the counter as I do in the shower).

    Anyone have any other places they think I should look, for any or all of the items I need?

    2010 wrap-up

    I was telling a friend recently that I almost want to consider 2010 a "lost year," due to all the time spent in front of my computer working/thinking of working. But that really wouldn't be accurate--a lot got done, even though it sometimes seemed like nothing did. :PLet me explain:Collapse )

    Thanksgiving at Masala's!

    2pm this Thursday, several of us are having a Thanksgiving feast at the Northgate Masala's! RSVP ASAP if you're interested in joining us!