- August 15th 2011
I’ve been running the Park Ride Fly USA travel blog for a few years now and, though many may not realize this, I’m British by birth. I’ve been traveling in the US since my 20s and some of my relatives are Americans, so I’m pretty familiar with it, but every now and then I have travel experiences that remind me of my own cultural heritage. Here are some of the things I noticed on my recent trip to New Jersey, New York and Florida.
1. Dressing for Breakfast
Brits are generally pretty conservative (at least in their behavior to other people), so when coming down to a communal breakfast in a hotel, most of us wear something that loosely fits into the daywear category. While in Florida, I noticed several of my fellow guests from various parts of the US dressed in pajamas. I couldn’t quite decide whether I was appalled or envious.
2. Airplane Seating
Just as Brits will naturally form a line for any event, they also tend to stick to the letter of the law – that means sitting in their assigned seats on the plane. To my amazement, on a flight from Fort Lauderdale to Newark, several people just sat wherever they liked – at least until the air crew requested them to return to their proper seats. Interestingly, this included one woman who sat in an emergency exit row, but who moved quickly once the steward had explained that it meant having to help other people leave the plane.
How hard is it to shell an egg? The US is the first place I’ve seen pre-shelled, packaged hard boiled eggs. Of course, I bought some, and I will admit that I enjoyed not getting bits of eggshell stuck under my fingernails. This struck me as a good example of the ultra-convenience I take for granted when visiting the US.
Still on the subject of food, can anyone explain why a couple opposite me had two plates each for the all-you-can-eat buffet at Sweet Tomatoes?
In America, I use less cash than anywhere else in the world where I travel. It is so easy – you have no Chip and PIN, no need to enter a PIN and electronic signatures. This makes it easy for a shopping trip to go way over budget. And speaking of shopping, here’s something for my wish list: unified sizing by clothing manufacturers. While in some cases it was easy to work out US sizes (many clothes now include US, European and UK sizing), in others it was amazing that a Small was bigger than the Large I bought in another country. Go figure!
I’ll be writing about some of my other travel experiences over the next week or two. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the differences between your home country and places you’ve visited.
- February 24th 2011
A few months ago, I decided to take what was billed as a mini-cruise on a ship leaving Florida to go to the Bahamas. It’s an experience I don’t plan to repeat. Here’s why.
1. Getting Up Early
Our ship was scheduled to depart from Port Everglades at 8am. That meant an airline style check-in a couple hours earlier, which meant leaving the hotel early to get there and line up.
2. Too Many Queues
When I check in, I expect to stand in a line, but by my count there were three different counters to line up at before we could get to the holding area (I won’t call it a pen, though that’s what it felt like). There was one desk to show your paperwork, another to show more paperwork and a third to deal with baggage – seems to me it could have been done in one (airline-style). Read more »