Cruzangirl Creations Website on Spoonflower
I am trying to add pictures to my spoonflower website. But it is not working.
Travel Tips: Hotels
I grew up in a child's storybook if not a fairytale. Since we lived on a boat in St. Croix, USVI, we got the "island fever" every summer and spent two months in a hotel somewhere on the mainland. For years we called The Essex House" our home. This hotel overlooks Central Park in New York City and is around the corner from The Plaza. It was more laid back and less expensive also. Money went farther fifty years ago. Looking back on this time in my life, it astounds me that we could have afforded such a luxurious hotel. Younger than ten years old, my brother and I had free run of the hotel. We knew almost everyone who worked there. I began every morning with a bowl of bananas with cream on top. My base of operation was the beauty salon. From this strategic venue I could meet many amazing women. Of course now I wish I had a diary or video of those encounters.
Spending so much time in hotels gave me a rather unique perspective on the different offerings available.
Many hotels used to be family run or at least owned and managed by the same company. These hotels were known to be unique to their region. In the last few years many of these landmark hotels have been purchased by investment companies.
The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, (built in 1913 & sold to Omni in 2013), La Costa Hotel in Carlsbad, CA, (1965 & sold in 2013) Little Dix Hotel in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, (1964 & sold in 2011) are a few examples of hotels that were known worldwide for their particular offerings. The Grove Park Inn built out of stone with the rustic mountain feel of Asheville was as much of a tourist destination as the Biltmore House.
If your only concern is money then use an app like Worldmate that gives you the cheapest hotel price right up to a cancellation deadline. Websites like Expedia will give you great prices along with points for future stays. Most importantly both Worldmate and Expedia keep track of which hotels you have booked.
The main reason I choose a hotel is not based solely on cost. I now stay with one hotel chain to maximize my points and am treated well as a Gold member. Why care about that? If there is an overbooking, non members get bumped. I get free wifii in my room. I am always put on the floor of my choice with my particular room preferences. Most often I am bumped up to the business floor where there is a lounge with free breakfast, evening happy hour and free sodas in a refrigerator. Complimentary breakfast and parking can save you alot of money. It is often cheaper to spend the night at a hotel that offers free parking for a week, rather than using airport parking.
I have had a concierge send a brand new coffeemaker to my room because he noticed I drank tea. When I had sinus surgery I could not be released without someone picking me up, so the hotel shuttle picked me up, brought me back to the hotel and assigned a staff member to check on me and supply whatever I needed. In India the new Head of food and beverage spent two weeks interviewing everyone who worked under him, to get to know them and their dreams. He then helped in anyway possible. This respectful attitude was reflected throughout the hotel.
Even though I can no longer afford ‘The Essex House’ level of hotel, I can still feel at home anywhere in the world in a Marriott.
Things to know.
Marriott (MAR) operated a total of 3,916 hotel properties in fiscal year 2013. Most of these properties were either managed, franchised, or licensed. Only a few of the properties were owned by the company.
A brand name does not mean what it used to. A Chinese group of investors purchased Little Dix in and also the "Rosewood" name because it was recognizable.
Less expensive hotels buy their carpet and furnishings from more expensive hotels.
Less expensive hotels may use old window air conditioners that can catch fire. If this happens demand a full refund and call the fire department. If you just change rooms, the problem may never be reported.
Remember to ask if your room is near a noisy ice machine or stairwell.
Do not stay above the 5th floor. That is as high as a fire ladder can reach.
Rooms above the first floor are less likely to be burglarized.
Keep the room key with your purse or wallet and hang on or place at the door. When a fire alarm goes off, people rush out without their room keys and then have to stand in a line to get a new key without the benefit of an I.D.
Always give a tip to the maid the first day to get great service and to make sure a supervisor does not take it.
I sign out on the clipboard so my room is only cleaned every other day. This helps the environment and the maid.
If someone is noisy, report it immediately. The hotel staff often need a complaint before taking action.
Always bring your extension cord, a clip to clothes curtains or hang clothes and an ice bag for headaches or to keep food cold.
Most importantly expect the best and treat the staff with respect.
Wherever you stay, have a great time.
My 10 Travel Lessons
I am a Gypsy born and bred. At 9 months old my family and I left our home in Amsterdam, Netherlands to move onto our boat in St. Croix, USVI. We traveled many times a year throughout the US and Europe. My father would tell everyone the story of how at age 2, I would not leave the boat without my purse and Jergens lotion. Well 58 years later I have not changed a bit. I never seem to stay in one place longer than 6 weeks. So my next 10 blogs are all about travel. Are you getting ready for summer vacations? Want to make the trip easier and more fun? Then please read these upcoming blogs and remember they will also be available in the travel section of my website at: www.littlelessonsforlife.com
What to pack in
What clothes to take
Organize your electronics
Communication including my favorite Apps
Tips & Tricks
My favorite airlines
My favorite Airlines is Southwest hands down. I love them for many reasons, but mainly because I love supporting a company that just makes sense. I took a summer course at Harvard once and Southwest was our case study. I already loved the fact that they did not charge a ticket change fee and had low fares, but after this course I was sold for life.
Did I mention that YOU PAY NO CHANGE FEE? YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR FLIGHT ANYTIME AND JUST BANK THE COST TO USE LATER. THEY DO NOT CHARGE FOR LUGGAGE. THEIR REWARDS PROGRAM IS EASY AND YOU CAN USE IT ANYTIME.
They have the best Flight attendants. Their earlybird program is cheap $12.50 and allows you to board early. I always pay for this and sit in an aisle seat in one of the first few rows.
According to Wikipedia, "Southwest Airlines Co. is the world's largest low-cost carrier, headquartered in Dallas, Texas. The airline was established in 1967 by Herb Kelleher and adopted its current name (Southwest Airlines) in 1971.The airline has nearly 46,000 employees as of December 2014 and operates more than 3,800 flights per day. As of 2014, it carries the most domestic passengers of any U.S. airline."
Southwest hired its first black pilot, Louis Freeman, in 1980. In 1992, he was named the first black chief pilot of any major U.S. airline. On March 16, 1995, Southwest became one of the first airlines to have a website.
For the tenth year in a row, Fortune magazine recognized Southwest Airlines in its annual survey of corporate reputations. Among all industries in 2004, Fortune has listed Southwest Airlines as number three among America’s Top Ten most admired corporations. Southwest maintains excellent customer satisfaction ratings; according to the Department of Transportation (DOT) Southwest ranks number one (lowest number of complaints) of all U.S. airlines for customer complaints.
On April, 14th 2014, a FORTUNE magazine article by Joseph Blasi and Richard Freeman stated that "Southwest Airlines announced workers will share in a record $228 million profit-sharing payout this year. That’s nearly double the $121 million payout a year ago, and an example to everyone of what American capitalism should be. Southwest has a long history of broad-based cash profit sharing, broad-based employee stock ownership, and even, for many years, broad-based stock options among all of its employees. One can look at the Dallas-based airline’s actions using a “small ball” perspective, and think they are simply incentives to get people to work harder, or that it’s just a story about compensation. But what Southwest is really doing is setting the example of how all U.S. corporations should behave in a capitalist system that is inclusive to employees."
I have traveled continually since I left Holland at 9 months old and I have learned to keep my suitcase packed with my travel items ready to go. I have worked in Africa for 6 weeks at a time carrying a small backpack and going from construction work clothes to evening gala events. The biggest mistake you can make is to start grabbing items you want and forgetting items you need.
1. Pack light. Choose 2 neutrals and 2 colors for your clothes. Choose pieces that serve double duty for day and night. Pick light weight clothes that you can layer. I use a lightweight winter jacket that fits into it's own case for my back pillow. I take a thin dress for my bathing suit coverup that doubles as a comfortable lounging outfit in the hotel room. I wear my yoga capris under a skirt on the airplane , with a long sleeve shirt and light wrap. Then I can remove the skirt for overnight flights. I wear gold flats that can be used for the evening also. I pack the same items for 1 week as for 6 months. Winter or summer, I just switch out pants for shorts. I keep a Columbia thin rain jacket with a hood in it's own pouch in my purse, to avoid trying to guess the weather. Remember that no one will remember what you wore only how you look. A black dress during the day with a pair of fun sneakers looks totally different at night with gold shoes and a red scarf.
Inform, Entertain & Persuade