Dear Hotels,

Dear Hotels,

Black people want wash cloths for their hotel rooms. No not a hand towel… no…not a body towel.  A WASH CLOTH!

washclothsWashcloths are little square sized cloths about 5 inches by 5 inches.  We typically like two per person. One for our face and one for the rest of our body.

We use them in conjunction with the soap or body wash. We don’t apply the soap directly on the skin, because someone else may be sharing that same bar of soap. (And that is nasty!)  So we suds the cloth with soap and water and use the cloth to wash.

Also, the cloth acts as a light exfoliant, which is probably why you always compliment us on the smoothness of our skin.  Now you’ve been informed why #blackdontcrack.

I’ve never been to another black persons home where they did not offer me a wash cloth and a full body towel. It is just how we roll. So please do not come back with every kind of towel BUT a wash cloth the next time we ask. I know you have them in your inventory. Because Susan gave me one two days ago.  Now why the housekeeper took it and didn’t replace it with another washcloth, is a whole other post.

-Sincerely annoyed hotel guest

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Our Disastrous Flight to Paris (EuroTour 2015)

Getting to Paris was a huge ordeal. Flying on EasyJet meant leaving out of Gatwick. Which was estimated to take roughly an hour from our London hotel.

We had an early morning flight so we reserved an Uber, but apparently the Uber arrived and couldn’t find our hotel so he canceled the ride. The hotel front desk clerk tried to help us find a taxi that could fit all four of us and our luggage at 6 AM which was not an easy task. After working out the logistics for our huge bags and ourselves in the taxi, we were on our way.

taxitrunk

Eventually we had success but along the way I had to stop at the ATM to get enough pounds to pay the cab driver which also cut into our time. We finally arrived at Gatwick to the longest line I’ve ever seen.  We broke our group of four into two in order to speed up the check in process.

I had tried several times several days before our flight to check in online and pay for our checked bags to no avail. The baggage option was not available to pay in advance, perhaps after completing the online check-in.  Once we finally arrived at the counter we had to pay a lot more. This slowed down the process, but eventually myself and my one friend finished checking in and she and I proceeded to go through security.

Of course this is the one time I get stopped and have to empty out my bag and combine/condense all my liquids into 1 quart size bag. I had to throw out my hand sanitizer, shaving cream and a few other things that I only didn’t check to ensure my bag wasn’t overweight.  Each airport and each airline’s security terminals abide by different rules…sometimes they’re really strict & sometimes they’re really lenient, so you just never know what you’re going to get.

My friend also had security go through her belongings. By the time we finished and looked up at the board our flight’s gate was listed as CLOSED. We decided to check at the gate to see if they would let us on.  We ran for dear life it must’ve been 2 miles from the security checkpoint to our gate.

We went up and down escalators and long hallways…I had shin splints, and I was out of breath by the time we made it to the gate which seem like it took at least 20 minutes. And we were nervous because we did not see either of our other two friends pass through the security line.

Once we arrived at the gate, the lady asked my name and told me that we were the only two people left.  Reluctantly they opened the gate and let us board the plane.

Still worried because the two friends had not made it through security by the time that we had. But to our surprise they were in their seats on the plane when we boarded. #wonthedoit

Apparently they had gone through another security gate and also had to run for the plane. I said a long prayer of gratitude that we all made the plane in one piece because it was one heck of a trip just getting there.

Lesson Learned:  If you are flying out of Gatwick get there really early, it is almost as bad as Heathrow.

Read about the awesome time we had once we arrived in Paris next.

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England 2015 (EuroTour Leg 1)

The three of us arrived in London, Heathrow on a Wednesday morning and awaited our fourth party’s arrival flight.  Luckily after an hour we realized her flight was delayed several hours.  We went to our day room not too far from the airport and waited for her to arrive.

My Godbrother picked us up from the hotel and we went back to his house about 2-hours away not too far from Cambridge, UK.  Although the original plan was for us to stay with him, we ultimately got two rooms at nearby hotel (Worlington Hall Country House Hotel).

 
The room I stayed in was a suite, a 2-level apartment almost, looked as though it hadn’t been rented out in months, had a slight smell of mildew/mold and it was outside of the rest of the hotel.  It was sooo cold we slept in our clothes but because we were unsure of the cleanliness we slept on top of the sheets.  Man I almost froze that night. I woke up congested and irritated.

He came to get us after we ate the traditional English Breakfast at the hotel and we went back to his house to shower and get dressed. There was no way I could shower in a room that cold.


After 4 women got dressed we were off to Cambridge to sight see. We visited a museum had lunch at Revolution Bar and took a ton of selfies and usies. Here are some pictures of our afternoon.

The next day my bro grilled the best chicken wings and later we roasted marshmallows and s’mores on the fire pit at his house. We booked a different hotel for that night.  After chatting with the manager we thought that it was 2 double beds and because the price was so high we agreed to make it work (2 in each bed). But when we later got to the room, we realized it was actually two twin beds pushed together.  They had given us the keys earlier in the day but told us the room would not be ready until much later.   Four women in what is essentially a queen size bed was NOT fun!  I didn’t sleep much at all.On the third day we went to London and got another hotel.  We dropped off our bags at the hotel before heading out to sight see.  We saw Big Ben, London Bridge, and Buckingham Palace.  We followed that with dinner at an Irish Pub where most of us got the Fish and Chips, which was much better than the first time I had tried it years ago in another England Pub.


  

We had planned to go out to the club scene that night but were pretty tired by the end of the day so we just headed back to our hotel for the evening.

The next day we would be leaving for Paris but that didn’t go quite as planned…

 

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Booking the EuroTour

Actual travel dates were August 4-16, 2015.  It took weeks to solidify the entire trip. But ultimately it was decided to do a roundtrip flight from Philadelphia to London and piece the rest of the trip together from London.

Although I know waiting just a bit longer to purchase the that flight would have been much cheaper, the majority of my friends had the money ready to purchase this trip and wanted to get that leg of the trip out of the way. In hindsight, I should have set up a shared account or had them just send me the funds via Paypal and purchased the ticket a week or two later when it dropped by $100 dollars.

Unfortunately, I purchased our tickets at $985 USD direct from PHL to LHR on British Airways. I love British Airways because they serve free alcohol.

The next step was booking the intra-Europe travel. After searching across flights and trains it ended up being cheaper to take flights for most of the remaining travel. (At least the upfront travel costs…) in hindsight, it is really important to calculate baggage fees, baggage weight limits and the cost of the airport hassle when doing this comparison.

I was able to score a flight from Gatwick, London to Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris for $66 USD. But it ended up being cheaper to take the train from Paris to Amsterdam at only $39 USD.

From Amsterdam we flew to Ibiza for $69 USD. But finding a decent priced flight to get to our return flight out of London from Ibiza was a bit more difficult. I waited a few more weeks to book that flight and got it for $186 USD.

So let’s recap for travel:

  • $985
  • $ 66
  • $ 39
  • $ 69
  • $186

Total $1345 for travel.

We had a few hours layover in Germany on our way back to London from Ibiza.

Here is a snapshot of our travel path for the trip.
Screen Shot 2015-10-04 at 12.02.09 PM

In the next post I’ll detail our lodging and recommendations.

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