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  • Writer's pictureJoanna

Right through the Very Heart of it

Updated: Jun 16, 2023

I have to mention ZeeCee and Richard's arrival before I dive back into my Bucket List bonanza.

They flew from Paris... all the way over to the United States of America, just to celebrate MY 50th birthday with me.

Now, as much as I appreciate the love and value their friendship... I'm actually quite surprised they took the plunge...

Really I am.

I have to admit... I am not always the most stable person to travel with. I have a track record for mishap. Many that have known me over the years can attest to my numerous blunders and setbacks... and those who have occasionally ventured into my travel blog, know, very well, the many struggles I have encountered.

All self-induced struggles of course. My lack of patience and my own shortcomings in the 'attention to detail' department, has definitely played a insufferable part in accelerating most of my bad luck!

It was only two years ago, ZeeCee and I had the brilliant plan to drive through the Southern states of America for 11 days. Flights were booked, plans were made, vehicles were rented, hotels were scouted out and landmarks were pin-pointed. Much to our dismay, a global pandemic spun the world into chaos and subsequently, within mere moments, our plans were entirely obliterated. I think it took ZeeCee almost 2 years to be reimbursed from the airlines. It was heartbreaking, to be sure, watching our carefully laid plans hit the ultimate peak of international interruption, but the pure hassle involved in cancellation and attempting to secure funds, took us all to a whole new level of frustration. Although that was completely out of my control, it would have been enough to deter anyone from planning another adventure with me.

BUT... she jumped on another plane and met me in New York!

Who'da thunk?

THIS trip didn't quite hit the proportional jackpot of global plague, but there were challenges along the way. The airlines booked me on two separate flights, both different dates. That had to be figured out. Then they rerouted us. If that wasn't enough to drive someone over the edge, we had the luck of the Blakely Trip Advisor reviews.

That was where the real panic started.

And it didn't just hit me. It hit everyone involved.

Real trip frenzy.

Luckily for everyone else, most of our party decided to throw caution to the wind and ride it out. Me... not so smart, of course. You can read about my horror story with the NYC hotel right here.

What happened with my hotel?

Well... That's a great/non-so-great story.

What a web I've woven... What a web I weave.

I would like to point the finger in a few directions, but I really only have myself to blame.

So this happened...

Remember back when I was spending the night at the Gallivant with Nicole & Mike? The three of us had been thrust into the same room, under the false illusion of 'it's a fabulous family room,' which it absolutely was not. It was a tiny room, with 2 double beds and a bunk... and hardly appropriate or conducive to a couple and a third wheel.

I had already severed ties with the Blakely, due largely in part to the tremendous amount of bad reviews I'd read and the steady stream of negativity coming in my direction. When I should have kept a positive frame of mind, I allowed myself to follow the path of distrust, anger, frustration and pure panic.

All my friends (who kept the faith alive) arrived in New York City, checked into their rooms at the Blakely... and all was well. I knew, immediately, that my path of destruction had only caused chaos and devastation for myself. The hotel was perfect. Perfect for location. Perfect for amenities. Perfect in every way. Granted, it's a bit older, but what it lacks in state-of-the-art modern, it makes up for in charm and character. It's almost got an aura of magic about it. Each room is designed much like grandma's living room. The rooms are spacious, comfortable and nothing at all worth complaining about.

Not a cockroach in sight.

I am currently eating crow.

Due to my own private scandalous crusade, I have now become a refuge. Lucky for me, Stella and Stuart graciously offered to harbour a fugitive. Instead of paying gastronomical prices at the Gallivant, they suggested I bunk in with them. There is quite a spacious area at the entrance, with a rather large chaise lounge ~ perfect fine for poor, stupid me. I didn't feel quite comfortable at the The Gallivant. I felt removed from my friends and the hotel seemed to ooze a certain degree of frigid and inhospitality.

Stella and Stuart's offer was beyond benevolent... but I jumped at the opportunity to jump ship and join the rest of the crew.

To be honest, I was a little hesitant at first... for a few reasons.

1. Would the Gallivant hotel agree to let me go? Even though I knew they had overbooked themselves?

2. Had the Gallivant bill already been paid?

3. Would Nicole and Mike be able to retrieve the money they had presumably already paid for me?

4. Would the Blakely staff recognize me and catch me in my treasonous act?

5. If so, would I be tossed out onto the streets?

So many variables... so, so many.

It was hard to keep up!

As it turns out, the Gallivant was overbooked, so they agreed in a flash. I knew it!!!

Why do hotels do this?

Mike called the company he'd booked through and they refunded him immediately. I was out lickity-split, and I snuck myself back into the blackmarket underground of the Blakely, where I should have stayed in the first place.

I will be creating a few Trip Advisor accounts when I return home... and I will be praising this hotel to high heaven. I have to make good my bad karma. Definitely.

So that's the story.

There's no coffee maker and it took everyone two days to get a hairdryer... but they didn't have to sleep out on the streets, so there's a bonus. Phewf...

But seriously folks, the common denominator is me. I'm the bad luck travel tramp.

And... back to my buckets!

#6 on the Bucket List.

Eat Pizza. ✔️

Beside the hot dog desire, up on my bucket list of MUST-DO's was eat pizza.

Funny, I don't think a day has passed since my arrival that I have not eaten pizza.

I think I need a break from pizza.

I've actually eaten TOO much pizza ✔️

Regardless of how good it is... and it's good!

I know I originally said that calories don't count.

Yes, they do.

I can feel it in every step.

Every outfit.

Every selfie.

I also seem to have developed a hankering for Mozzarella sticks, which is odd... but what can you do. Maybe it's a 50 year old thing.

Did I mention we ran into Hugh Jackman?

Well... kinda...

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