Ready Steady Pedi (& Nos)

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Ready Steady Pedi (& Nos)

Postby D and E » 18 Sep 2018, 10:31

Monday - The Build Up

D struggled up to the attic, reminding himself for the umpteenth time that he should really invest in a proper attic ladder, and fetched down the cases. E had the more complex task when packing and that’s before she started on her diabetic kit which this time has to be for three weeks. Whilst the fashion show continued upstairs D searched through iPlayer, Netflix and Prime to see what movies and entertainment he needs for the outward and return journeys - he misses the days of the inflight movie on European flights.

Being the lifelong public administrator D then checked that both the travel doc wallets have all the necessary paperwork although being a tech-head he relies more and more on the iPhone, universal WiFi & iCloud.

As we are flying EasyJet the luggage allowance is 23kg each rather than the skimpy 15kg that we had with Olympic back in May but then the bags still have to be lugged around ! EasyJet also offer onboard vouchers with a 20% discount so those are bought online, printed and that’s the G&Ts, Fizz & nibbles provided for.

After a lot of calling and a short wait Zoëcat appeared and so we took the opportunity to call the cattery and bring forward her check-in slot. As her normal holiday home, that is ten minutes from the house, is not available it is a 30 minute drive and whilst Zoë doesn’t like the car she is better than usual. This is her first time at this new cattery and whilst E researched the venue online to make sure it would be suitable what we found was 5 Star accommodation which Zoë took to immediately.

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OK One Last Game of Hide & Seek


We headed home booking a taxi for 08:30 the next morning to start the long haul to Symi. Unusual for us but we appear to be well prepared - one might think that after all this time that should be taken as read but it is unusual.
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Re: Ready Steady Pedi (& Nos)

Postby silverfox » 18 Sep 2018, 17:45

Looking forward to all your ramblings!

Thought you might have gone for "Pedi Cure" as the title.

:D
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Re: Ready Steady Pedi (& Nos)

Postby rockbottom » 18 Sep 2018, 22:18

Looking forward to reading your blog as we're really missing a visit to symi his year!
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Re: Ready Steady Pedi (& Nos)

Postby Gemma1 » 19 Sep 2018, 07:35

What a cute picture of Zoecat :D

Looking forward to following your trip - some of it from very close by ;) My suitcase is already down and half packed with the rest of my clothes hanging up ready to be packed on Saturday morning before my afternoon flight to Rhodes :)
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Re: Ready Steady Pedi (& Nos)

Postby D and E » 19 Sep 2018, 10:16

Tuesday - The Journey Starts

There are immeasurable pleasures living on the west coast of Mid Wales. But to fly from almost any UK airport that has decent priced flights involves a 3+ hour drive so a long time ago we decided that as soon as we lock the front door the holiday starts and staying over the night before a flight, as well as providing much needed peace of mind, is part of the pleasure of getting to Symi.

Previous journeys have seen us take up the Europecar Airport Connect Option where there is no doubling of the cost for a one way hire but when D enquired about that, the option was no longer available. Parking for 3 weeks would be quite pricey and trying to squeeze our luggage into our Smart Car would be another challenge so we decided to let the train take the strain. With our TwoTogether Railcard this proved to be a very reasonable and a very pleasurable option.

The taxi booked on Monday evening arrived 5 minutes early and we were having coffee before boarding the 09:30 Aberystwyth to Birmingham New Street train. We then changed to the 12:52 to Leicester and a final change onto the 14:38 arriving Luton Airport Parkway bang on time at 15:38. The shuttle bus took us to a stop beside the Holiday Inn Express and a short walk took us to the door of the Holiday Inn.

Checked in and settled we decided that having never visited Luton we would get a taxi from the hotel for the 5 minute journey into the town centre where we visited a couple of traditional pubs and D had an excellent pint of Adnams Ghost Ship (he does like his real ale). Taxi back, shower, changed and dinner in the hotel after a couple of G&Ts and glasses of fizz in the bar.

D started with a well spiced lamb kofta with a good chilli sauce and E had spicy prawns with Asian slaw. We kept the Asian theme going; D having crispy duck in a ginger & chilli glaze with pak choi and egg noodles and E going for the Asian sticky chicken skewers with corn on the cob and fries. E stayed with the fizz and D had a fruity Malbec. All in all very decent cooking for an Airport Holiday Inn.

First leg of the journey over.
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Re: Ready Steady Pedi (& Nos)

Postby D and E » 19 Sep 2018, 10:17

silverfox wrote:Looking forward to all your ramblings!

Thought you might have gone for "Pedi Cure" as the title.

:D


Like it : wish we had thought of it :evil:
:D :D :D
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Re: Ready Steady Pedi (& Nos)

Postby Gemma1 » 20 Sep 2018, 06:25

Great start and safe onward travels to Symi :D
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Re: Ready Steady Pedi (& Nos)

Postby D and E » 20 Sep 2018, 11:55

Wednesday - The Journey Continues

So often we have had to get up at some ludicrously early time. For example the 05:30 Gatwick to Rhodes flight or even the early morning flights from Manchester so it was a luxury to wake around 08:00 and just take stock.

We recall the days when we desperately tried to make Symi either the same day, which was very tough going, or as quickly as possible. But as the years have progressed a night in Rhodes isn’t all that bad and in fact can be very pleasant with the added advantage of feeling rested and fresh to catch a morning ferry the following day. Easy to say when we are looking forward to three weeks in paradise but we would feel differently if on one of our last minute “cheeky” weeks as our co-blogger, Silverfox, so ably described it.

We had the pleasure of a leisurely Full English buffet at 09:00 in the Holiday Inn. Then we did that last minute reorganisation of the packing and getting the liquids sorted in the hand baggage. Whenever possible we stay in IHG Hotels as we are part of their Rewards Programme and we have always been able to leave an overnight bag to pick up on our return stay-over; not so the Holiday Inn Luton Airport. We were given the “National Security” line which was a bit difficult to swallow when one thinks of the proximity of this hotel compared to the Crowne Plaza on Manchester Airport. So after some further enforced repacking in the hotel lobby and a very reluctant farewell from the hotel front desk we caught a taxi for the 2 minute run to the airport where we met some other irrational British “logic”.

Due to building works and maybe more “National Security” taxis coming into Luton Airport have to drop travellers some distance from the Terminal Building. However as we walked towards that building we saw a mass of taxis waiting to take travellers who have just arrived - we presume that the taxi dropping-off then has to get itself to the pick-up zone. Seemed irrational. Oh and the very pleasant taxi driver could not apologise enough for the £3 surcharge that the airport places on him for dropping off in the area that he regarded as quite far from the terminal - in fact it is quite a short walk but we saw his point.

So having checked in through the EasyJet App we avoided the quite lengthy check-in queues and just went to bag drop-off. Then through a quite quick and painless security where they treated E very well in respect of her insulin pump. Plenty of time then for E to visit Jo Malone and for us to have some fizz and as we were doing so Symi regulars J&M spotted us and it was so nice to see them both. Then the Right Hon. Andrea Ledsom MP decided to sit down next to us - of all the bars as D said !!!

We moved on to the main bar for one last glass of fizz before boarding on time and taking off some 20 minutes late. There was plenty of crosswinds to make the assent a bit more exciting than usual but it wasn’t long before we levelled out and we had a very calm flight.

D had taken advantage of buying EasyJet Vouchers thus gaining a 20% discount (born an Aberdonian ...... ) - £50 quid of vouchers for £40. He claimed he hadn’t read the small print but when E did she found that these could only be used for the bar service and not the aftershave and cosmetics that we normally indulge in. So we had the challenge of getting through the vouchers which are not transferrable between people or flights but thankfully we measured up to that and all was well.

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Using Up The Vouchers


D watched his downloaded movie - Mr Holmes which he gave a 5 star rating to.

We landed spot on time at 20:00 and passports were given the cursory glance whilst the Non-EU queue seemed to take rather longer : that will be us next year we sadly surmise. All the baggage carousels were in full swing with around seven or eight flights landing around the same time so it took slightly longer than usual to collect the bags. Enough time for the first Mythos from the vending machine.

We had thought it would be quiet but the taxi rank was manic. We were quickly put in a car and whisked to the Best Western Plaza Hotel by a young driver whose political dialogue proved most interesting. As we walked into reception bang on 21:00 there was our fiends L&S. We dumped our bags and joined them as planned for a few drinks and a general catch-up as it had been at least five years since our journeys had crossed. We had just missed the hotel buffet that closed at 21:00 but they were more than happy to provide a toasted sandwich in the bar and we Mythosed and Ouzoed away a few hours with our friends before hitting the pillows just after midnight.
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