A couple of weeks ago, I had the sad news of my mother's passing so I had to go to Britain to attend her funeral. The journey over was somewhat easier than the journey back. Not being in much of a mood to document the journey over, instead I documented the journey back.
Oddly enough, on the way from the station two weeks before to my parents house, the bus that I rode on didn't have WiFi but the other busses in the fleet did have WiFi. Things have progressed. Even Swansea itself looked cleaner and more prosperous since I last visited.
Having said it looked prosperous, I was somewhat disconcerted to see that just about every store in St Helen's road (a down at heel road always) now seemed to consist of brightly colored Arabic and Syrian stores with signs up in English and Arabic. It was equally disconcerting to find my favorite little cafe in the market had vanished and that I could hear Arabic being spoken openly in a town where Welsh used to be commonly heard.
Eventually we landed at Chicago where I transferred to another plane - this time to Charlotte. The airport had working USB chargers but the WiFi was set to cut out after 30 minutes with a demand for payment. Then I noticed the smallest soft drinks bottles I'd ever seen being sold for a massive $5 each. Clearly Chicago and Dublin airports are competing with each other to be the most ludicrously expensive!
After landing, I located the courtesy phone and arranged a room for the night. Being awake for already somewhere in the region of 26 hours, I was tired and in no condition to drive home. The hotel that answered and had rooms was the Quality Inn. The room was clean and odor free. It was quiet. I had a really good nights sleep.
After leaving, I went to write a review and read some truly horrid reviews. Reviewers were talking about hookers and drug deals etc. That was not the hotel I saw. It was clean, quiet and welcoming. There was some construction in the lobby but that happens at every hotel at some point. So, after dashing off to an appointment rather more hindered than helped by my smart phone's navigation, I eventually drove back home.
Hotel to avoid... Courtyard Marriott, Gatwick
Airline to avoid... Aer Linugs