Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Crowne Plaza Downtown Dallas Hotel Review

I've just gotten back from the most amazing trip to Texas. I booked the trip about two months ago and have been looking forward to it for weeks. My friend Sarah was doing some work this summer in California and we were looking for somewhere that we could meet up that would be kinda equidistant between the East and West Coasts. Luckily, our friend Jessica just moved back to Dallas after finishing her degree so we thought it would be a great place to go. I wanted to review our hotel, the Crowne Plaza's Downtown Dallas Hotel, as we thought it was great. We found the hotel on which is my favourite way to find great hotels to stay in. 

The hotel was super easy to get to from Dallas Forth Worth airport, we hopped on the orange train for about 40 minutes and got off at a stop that was a two-minute walk from the hotel. And the ticket only cost $2.50. Definitely, the easiest airport-hotel journey I've ever taken on public transport. The location proved to be fantastic and we were never more than a 20-minute walk from the attractions we wanted to see and restaurants we wanted to eat at. After an easy check-in we headed up to the elevator to check out our room. The room had two double beds which were fantastic as I've been sleeping in a single since moving to the US so I fully appreciated the opportunity to lounge around. 

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Tips for Flying Alone from an Anxious Traveller

If there’s one thing that I seem to have done a lot of over the last few months, it’s solo flying. My first introduction to solo flying was when I went on my big North America trip last year. I flew from Edinburgh to Dublin, Dublin to Toronto, Toronto to Boston, NYC to Manchester and finally Manchester to Edinburgh all by myself in the space of two weeks. Then when it came around to obtaining my US visa I had to make a solo trip to the US consulate in Belfast. When I went to Riga with Becky we flew in from different airports so again was myself for my flight. So I'm pretty aquainted with being alone in an airport and I've realised a few things that really help me.

Leave yourself plenty of time to get to the airport.
One of my biggest worries is missing a flight so I always make sure I have plenty of time to get to an airport. When using public transport I always make sure that I could get the next bus/train if I miss the one I’m intending to catch. I’d rather be early where possible. Most airports recommend arriving 2 hours before your scheduled department time but it doesn’t hurt to arrive earlier at large airports with lots of international flights (JFK I’m looking at you).


Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Brunch at Greens Eggs Cafe, Philadelphia

There have been a tonne of brunch reviews on my blog recently - sorry not sorry. When I was visiting Philadelphia recently the Green Eggs Cafe was recommended to Lila and me by her brother, a real Philadelphia foodie. There are 3 locations but we went to the most central: 212 S 13th Street. We visited around 2 pm on a Sunday morning after visiting the Eastern State Penitentiary. We waited around 15 minutes for a table but there was seating whilst we waited and it gave us the chance to ogle everyone else's food to help us make up our minds. The menu is huge and has so many amazing options.

It took me a while to decide on what I wanted as I was really strung up between ordering salted caramel banana stuffed French toast and cookie dough stuffed French toast. First world problems! In the end, I went for the salted caramel and banana which was amazing. The french toast is made with challah bread, a traditional sweet Jewish bread, which is probably the best bread for it. The three huge slices were layered with creme brulee batter, bananas and salted caramel. The portion sizes at Green Eggs Cafe were huge so unfortunately, I had to take some home. That meant I got to eat this for breakfast the next two days. 

Sunday, 3 September 2017

August Reading Wrap Up

August was a weird month for me. After reading a tonne of books in July, I thought I'd read a lot in August too. But August turned out to be a really busy month for me with trips to both Boston and Philadelphia. Whilst I had free time on the train, I didn't actually read which is usually how I get a lot of my reading done. I hadn't read a single book up until the last week of the month where I did all of my reading. So it may look like I read a lot this month but it was all in the last week of the month. Hopefully, September will be good. My trip to Texas will provide me with 8 hours of flight time plus travel to airports so I wouldn't be surprised if that helps me get a book or two out of the way.

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
This is a fiction novel about a young couple from the Middle East who become refugees after their home city is torn apart by war. This is a story about a couple but it isn't really a love story. In this book, portals appear over the world which allows en masse immigration. It discusses attitudes towards refugees and speculates what would happen if there were no barriers to stopping people fleeing war torn and poor areas. The writing was rich, deep and exquisite. It was thought provoking and brutal and I haven't really stopped thinking about it. 5/5 stars, you need to read this book.

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