[The title of this post is a little ‘in-joke’. I am fairly sure I’ve never seriously called a fellow human-being “baby” in my life!]

Fenway Park

Hello World! It’s me again, Dave, and I’m resurrecting for my holiday blog. This time it is, as the observant among you will have already surmised, Boston. I’m going with Nick, my brother, so this trip will best be sub-titled “Beer ‘n Baseball V” (or VI? VII? – I’ve lost count for sure!).

To be brutally honest, there isn’t a lot more to tell at this point. We fly on Thursday (12th) and there are only two fixed items on our schedule (well, three, if you include our return flight on Tuesday 17th). They are a game at Fenway on Saturday afternoon, when the Red Sox host the Houston Astros — which we’re both looking forward to immeasurably — and a hire car which is booked for Monday and Tuesday to take us north to tax-free New Hampshire.

Otherwise, it’s a blank canvass. We are staying, at least for part of the trip, in the Seaport District (a first for me) and so are within a stone’s-throw of the Harpoon Brewery; making that a Must Do item. Beyond that we are pretty much at the mercy of a ’T’ Pass and the Silver Line. I am quietly confident that we will be re-treading some familiar paths and I expect some of the usual suspects such as the Prudential, Lechmere, Harvard Square and maybe even Red Bones will feature in the narrative (not to mention Quincy  Market and Faneuil Hall – which I am mentioning here as a ready-reference for myself as how to spell it!).

Stay tuned for more exciting news Real Soon Now™


New York, New York

Brooklyn Bridge at night - a classic NYC view taken by yours truly on a previous trip.

I have mentioned (or in most cases, shamelessly plugged) this Blog to many people – especially at my two recent retirement do’s. Almost always it was ‘sold’ on the basis of my Great Escapade around the world beginning in May. Before then, however, there is the small but significant matter of a week in New York. I’m very conscious that this trip isn’t what many of you will have signed-up for, and to those of you I ask you to bear with me and, hopefully, come back in May.

Writing a diary, or more recently a ‘blog’ has been a family tradition for many years, and I intend to carry on with that for New York 2013. Primarily I am writing for me – or more specifically, me in ten years or so in the future. For that reason, the casual observer may find some of the subject matter fairly mundane. There have been unsympathetic souls in the past who have dismissed my holiday narration as simply a count of all the burgers I’ve eaten. So be it.

All that said, if any of my friends, family, or anyone who happens on this by accident, get even a small amount of joy from sharing my rambling, then that makes it all the better.

I’ve been telling everyone that this week in New York is a way of earning brownie points with Kay on order to go off around he world for three months or so in summer. The truth is not only has Kay been incredibly supportive of my travel plans anyway, we would be having an early spring holiday somewhere, no matter what. That it is New York is simply a bonus all round.

We fly at lunchtime on Thursday, but to take any M25 stress out of the plans, we’re going down to Heathrow on Wednesday evening when Kay has finished work. We land at JFK around 21:00 and hopefully will be checking in to the Marriott Marquis on Times Square not too much later. I’m still in two minds whether to get the Subway or splash out on a van ride, still time to decide before we get there. (We did it by Subway last time we went to New York, arriving at the same sort of time in the evening. Whilst the journey wasn’t entirely smooth sailing, it worked, and the moment of surfacing onto the street to be assailed by New York in full force is among the most memorable moments of my life).

So long as you won’t be expecting Bill Bryson, please feel free to tag along for the vicarious ride. It all starts on Thursday.

The Great Escapade 2013

 It’s a cliche, I know, because we take a “trip of a lifetime” almost every year. This, however, is truly going to be a trip of a lifetime…



Click the image to see the full route…

This is The Great Escapade. So named as that’s the Round The World ticket I’m using, a ‘code share’ arrangement with Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand. As if a RTW trip wasn’t special enough, in true Once-In-A-Lifetime extravagance, I’m doing it First Class.

The outline itinerary is as follows…

  • Wednesday 1st May, I fly on a Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 from Heathrow to Singapore, arriving the next morning.
  • Saturday 4th May, I leave Singapore for Perth, Western Australia, arriving in the afternoon.
  • The next day, around lunchtime, I board the Indian Pacific train for a marathon four day (three nights) journey overland to Sydney, arriving Wednesday morning.
  • I then spend a month in Australia, enjoying the company of Carl for as much of the time as his schedule permits.
  • The remaining dates are booked, but the ticket is flexible and allows changes at minimal cost, and so may be subject to alteration.
  • Monday 3rd June I fly on the Air New Zealand ‘hop’ to Auckland, where I will spend a week.
  • The following Monday I take NZ002, one of their newly refurbished Boeing 777s to LAX.
  • The USA is then my proverbial oyster. I intend to follow my nose, using plans, trains and automobiles as the fancy takes me. Places I particularly want to include on my tour are Portland OR, Seatle WA, Denver CO, Auston TX, Memphis TN, Chicago IL, and then on to the east coast. The only fixed element in all this is that my homeward flight is booked from Boston MA, nominally on 8th July… after the Independence Day celebrations.

Of course I will be blogging extensively and you’ll read all about it, if you care to, here on Are We There Yet.