~ Bertelson Bulletin ~

vacation of a lifetime here we come :)
March 29, 2010, 4:22 am
Filed under: Alice, travel
following is a long, unorganized regurgitation of my thoughts, excitement, itinerary, history ….

feel free to bail if you only want the bottom line …. which is
will be gone/offline for pretty much 4 weeks 🙂

SO…………………. I am leaving tomorrow for 3.5 WEEKS !!

I am so stinking excited, I am like a little girl and will probably not be able to sleep tonight!
So I will be spending 5 days with my Mum up in Cheshire first, get to see my long time school pal Christobel too. She lives about an hour away from Mum now, up in the hills of Diggle/Saddleworth – so pretty up there.
Then I am taking a train down to my sister’s, just outside Milton Keynes … spend about 24hrs with her family before my BIL drives my sister and I to Heathrow airport … we fly to the Seychelles on Easter Sunday … if you have google mapped the Seychelles by now (or watched Amazing Race tonight!) you will probably have figured it out that it is a long flight (another overnighter)
The Seychelles is 8 hours ahead of me here in FL (ie Eastern time) ….
Our cousin Mark, his wife Julia and 2 of their children Lianne (22 – who was the one on the UK reality show “Shipwrecked”) and Christopher (16) are going at the same time too … all 6 of us will be in one house that our other cousin’s daughter has set up for us …
She (Laura) is living there right now (before she starts her lawyer job in London in September I think) writing a book about the history of the Seychelles and the Dauban family which is quite revered there I hear, looking forward to star treatment 😉 … was tempted to make my sister and I T-shirts that said “I’m really a Dauban!”
My Mum was Valerie Dauban – her dad was French, Rene Dauban, born in 1897, his cousin Henri Dauban (born 1903) owned the Seychelles islands and I think sold them in the 60’s – anyway Silhouette is the island with all the Dauban history – a mountain, a river, a mausoleum … Laura is putting on an exhibition there too.
We will be there for 10 days  …staying on the main island Mahe in a house on Beau Vallon, that has a wonderful view of the island closest to it called Silhouette.
We will go to Silhouette for the day at least once, maybe twice, maybe more depending on how much we love it and how much there is to see on  …. staying ONE night at the only hotel on the island would cost my sister and I (one room) $1000 – WOW – yeah, so we will be taking the $30 ferry/boat over and back each day … that would be ALL my spending money for the entire 10 days gone in one night – I think NOT!!
If any of you are interested in reading or seeing more on the Seychelles, this website is fabulous www.seychelles.com
After we get back from the Seychelles, I will be in Reading with my old school friend Morag (actually Christobel, Morag and I all went to the same boarding school)
then …. Morag, her youngest Tallulah (of 4 – 3 girls, 1 boy, 1 girl called Madeline – sound familiar ? and we haven’t seen or spoken to each other for 30 years, reconnected on Facebook last year – ironic eh!) .. anyway we all will be meeting up with Harry & Charlie (plus younger brother Jasper, Dad Howard and Mum Shelley as well) – yes I am talking about the infamous siblings Harry & Charlie as in “Charlie bit me”  YouTube most watched clip family 😉
Then I get a train back up to Mum’s at the end of Saturday April 17th to spend another 4 days with her before flying back to Miami.
I then have ONE day at home to unpack, get over jet lag, wash stuff that I need and repack to leave the next day (Friday) for our big annual Crosswaves ministry camping trip

…AND hubby won’t be here, he will have already left on Tuesday to go up to the campground to set everything up.

I will hopefully be fitting in a Jan96 Mum’s rendez-vous with Alison and family on that Thursday (they fly back home on Friday, having been in Florida vacationing the entire time I was NOT in FL !! )
…. and my new job is AMAZING, I love working there, my boss is awesome, told me to take the full 4 weeks off and just come back the following Monday … the guy I work with is really nice too … I learn more each day and get more comfortable with the job each week.
I will be setting my cell phone so that incoming phone calls go directly to my voicemail (I tested it the phone doesn’t even ring) … and will change my voicemail to say basically “text me”

I called t-mobile and had a LONG chat with them about what each option cost while ‘roaming’ over there … yeah my data plan part will be TURNED OFF !!

LOL – it is $15 per MB of data transferred (while roaming) – so last month I ‘transferred’ $6000 worth of data (had I been roaming I mean) … since we have unlimited texting all INCOMING texts are free … outgoing is 35c per text, so I will keep my replies limited for sure.  Emergency phone calls, should I need to make a phone call in an emergency, then in UK it is $1.30/min and in the Seychelles $2/min ….
I will be able to use my Mum’s computer to check email and Facebook … but on the island I am not sure how it will be (though I did see an internet cafe is the footage of Amazing Race tonight 🙂  I am going to keep my internet stuff to a minimum, I am actually really looking forward to unplugging for a while and spending time with my sister and our cousins.

I will be waiting nervously for ONE text though … Maddie will find out on April 12th whether she was accepted into the Digital Media program at Alexander Dreyfoos High School of the Arts …. I hope she isn’t disappointed  … they only take 27 students out of the 250+ that applied for this program …

Nils will be off from the Fire Station pretty much the entire time I will be gone, the 2 or 3 shifts he couldn’t get coverage on, my wonderful MIL Joanie will of course step in and help ….
I have typed in lists and instructions and reminders for them all …. I am sure things will be forgotten and not done my way, but he’s a great Dad and fully capable of being in charge solo for a month …
The dogs know I am leaving and keep climbing onto me and or my suitcases with forlorn pleading eyes as if to say “Pleeeeeeeeeese don’t go” or “Take us with you Mummy, you are the only one who always remembers to feed us on time, let us out,  give up fresh water, …  I might worry more about them than the hubby and kids because they can’t don stuff for themselves !!!
I will of course be taking OODLES of photos but it will be while before I get to upload any for you all to see 🙂
WOW it’s midnight, I am wide awake 🙂

Remember the movie “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” ??
March 17, 2009, 4:03 pm
Filed under: Nils, travel

Welcome to Nils’ 2009 version – Nils just typed up the below of his nightmare return journey from Denver Colorado !!


Although I had the best snowboard trip of my life with knee high powder, great food and great friends I am sharing this part of the trip for your entertainment.

My flight plan was a bit of a puzzle but I really only have myself to blame as I clicked on the purchase button without looking at all the details. Although I look back and cannot figure why any travel agency would want to put someone through the hell that ended up happening to me as a result of their planning.

I booked the round trip ticket from West Palm Beach to Denver. The flight out was fine. American Airlines with one stop in Texas. No problem there.

The scheduled return flight went like this: Leave Denver at 11:55pm (United) to Washington Airport #1 (IAD – Dulles International airport) then get a shuttle to Washington Airport #2 (DCA – Ronald Reagan National airport). About 30 miles away, $ 40.00 AND I have to retrieve my baggage at IAD and take it with me to DCA as I will be on a different airline (U.S Airways). Then off to WPB and arrive at 11:30am Sunday. Total travel time 11 1/2 hours. WRONG…

Anyway after trying to reschedule my flight on the phone at Gary’s house to no avail I thought I would just get to the airport in Denver 8 hours early and talk to someone in person and maybe get a better flight plan.No luck here and my Nightmare begins …

It is 4pm, my flight leaves at midnight so I go find a place to sit and mess around on my laptop. (free internet) whoopie. Not an internet junkie (like my wife who can happily spend 8 hours on her laptop!) so that lasts about an hour. Off to get something to eat and try to nap. Had some food and a beer and found a nice comfy spot (NOT) on the floor to try and nap. Time dragged on, it’s around 7:30pm. I go to find another food and beverage place. Had a club sandwich and a couple Fat tires (good beer.) Time is now 10:15pm and I get the word that our plane has a broken window and we are going to be delayed…. GREAT!

United has now changed us to a smaller plane and they are over booked by at least 20 people. They are asking for volunteers to leave tomorrow. I’m game as you get a free round trip ticket good for a year to anywhere in the lower 48 states. No go for me as I have some funky ticket that utilizes 2 different airlines so I do not qualify – JUST my luck!

Now I am starting to get really tired, like I could fall asleep standing up tired. With all the confusion going on I just decide to lay behind the ticket counter and rest. Time is now 11:30pm I fall asleep for 25 minutes and wake up at 11:59pm. This is 4 minutes PAST the original departure time and our plane was suppose to be delayed. Well I look out the window and there is my plane backing away from the dock. OH NO! I wipe the sleepy dust out of my eyes and notice that I am the only one left in like the whole airport except for the 2 employees that are getting ready to go home.

I approached them and asked what do I do now. They felt bad as they usually double check on everyone who is supposed to be on the plane but with all the ruckus going on I slipped (slept!) under the radar. They began to work their magic. After a bunch of searching on the computer they came up with a plan for me.

I now have a new flight plan. But my baggage is still on its way to Washington airport #1. My first leg leaves for BOSTON at 8am. Time to find another really comfy spot to try and sleep some more. Very peaceful now as I am almost the only one in the entire airport except for a few workers that are vaccuming and cleaning and being very quiet NOT!!! I find a spot with no one working and set my watch AND my cell phone ALARMS and try and nod off.

Up at 6:30am and get an egg mcmuffin and a coke. 8am now and I am getting on an airplane to Boston. AHHH a nice comfy seat. I think this is the first time that an airplane seat in coach felt so good. 4 1/2 hours later we are landing in Logan airport. So I figure ok I am almost home one more flight. WRONG! …

I make it to the proper gate to find out my seat and they tell me that there has been some kind of change and I will be flying to Charlotte NC and then to WPB.

WHEN WILL THIS END? Flight to Charlotte is uneventfull and we are there in like 2 hours or so. Now I am headed to US Airways to find out which plane and gate I need to go to to get to WPB. Rush Rush Rush as my plane leaves in like 30 minutes. Get to gate C11 and wouldn’t you know, PLANE DELAY. IMAGINE THAT! Bar right next to the gate so I have a couple beers over the next hour while waiting.

Maybe a chance to make things worth while. The counter guy asks for a volunteer. I know what this means. I jump up and say YES I WILL VOLUNTEER!. They only needed one and I was it. I am already thinking of next year. FREE TICKET GOOD FOR A YEAR. Yeah that would make all this worth it. No luck. They made things work and all I got was to be the last one on the plane. The PACKED PLANE! Oh well at least I can now see the light and the end of the runway or tunnel. Whatever.

Last leg and I arrive in WPB at 9:15 pm. Alice picks me up (and BOY did he SMELL) and I am on my way home.

So there you have it. How to get from Denver to Florida in 30 something hours.

By Nils Bertelson