Author: traveling4numbers

Work trip to the UK (Leicester)

In my ongoing effort to catch-up to the present day I bring you a quick photo report of my business trip to the UK in Spring 2016. My client has a location in Leicester that was deemed important enough for us to spend a week reviewing procedures so plans were made and tickets booked. In order to sample more products I booked Delta Business Class (ATL-LHR) on the outbound and Virgin Atlantic Upper Class (LHR-ATL) on the return. This was also done so I could visit the Virgin Clubhouse at LHR.

From London, I took a East Midlands train to Leicester the same day of arrival and then 5 days later on the return. Hotel options aren’t great in the city center of Leicester so I booked at the MERCURE LEICESTER THE GRAND and the final night in London was spent at HILTON LONDON METROPOLE. The Mecure property was OK but was definitely starting to show its age. The Hilton Metropole was a pretty standard big-city Hilton property. I wouldn’t go out of my way to stay at either property in the future.

One really cool aspect of the trip was that Leicester City was one week away from claiming the EPL title. The city was alive with team spirit and was quite enjoyable to experience the pride the city felt in the team. To this day, I will support Leicester City when I happen to turn on EPL.

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Delta Business Class seat. Booked last minute so got stuck in a middle section on the older hard product. I know, first world problems.

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View from outside looking in to St Pancras Station in London. This is where the East Midlands train departed to Leicester.

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Brick Lane Market. The London Marathon was going on the day I arrived so a lot of areas were blocked off due to the marathon route. This was a really cool market scene with lots of good street food and great people watching.

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Shot of the Tube in London.

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Another view of St Pancras Station.

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City center of Leicester. Overall, pleasant enough city for a work trip but not much to see for a tourist. In the evenings the city center felt pretty empty.

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Pedestrian road (New Walk) in Leicester. Used this path each day from the client location to the hotel.

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Near the University of Leicester campus. Passed through on the way to lunch one day from the client location. On a slightly unrelated note, the weather was ridiculous. During the span of 1 hour it snowed, rained, and was sunny.

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Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

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Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse

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Christmas Trip to Chicago

Another quick hitter post to get closer to catching up to current day. Wife and I took a quick (2-night) trip to Chicago during Christmas, 2015. We stayed at the Ritz-Carlton on points and got cheap roundtrip flights on Southwest. Flew from New Orleans (MSY) to Chicago (MDW), with a connection on the return in Nashville (BNA). Highlight of our trip was dinner at Girl and the Goat on the West Loop. Fantastic food and great atmosphere, can’t recommend enough.

Chicago

Looking down the Chicago River

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Cityscape

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Daytime view from Ritz-Carlton Chicago

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Christmas Market in Chicago

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Enjoying our Glühwein

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Nighttime view from Ritz-Carlton Chicago

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Random picture of Trump Tower. Little did I realize what was to come.

Quick Washington D.C. Trip

A couple of years ago (prior to baby #1), my wife and I took a weekend trip to Washington D.C. Spent 2 nights in the city (1 at a generic Marriott and 1 night at the Park Hyatt). We managed to secure an upgrade to a suite for $45 same-day at the Park Hyatt, more than worth it!

We flew Southwest non-stop from ATL both directions as we managed to secure a really cheap flight. Nothing special to report from the flights.

Some pictures from our trip:

George Washington University

GW Campus

White House

Scene from behind the White House

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Street scene from Georgetown

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My wife and I in front of the U.S. Capital

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Bedroom of our suite at the Park Hyatt D.C.

Park Hyatt Washington D.C.

Living room of our suite at the Park Hyatt D.C.

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Bathroom of our suite at the Park Hyatt D.C. Deep tub to the left and stone surround shower on the right.

Overview of ATL

View of Atlanta on descent into ATL

Really fun weekend with some great food and 1 really nice hotel (Park Hyatt D.C.) + 1 mediocre hotel (Marriott Washington – Georgetown). Some of the restaurants we enjoyed:

-Mintwood Place (Dinner – Really solid)

-Le Diplomate (Brunch – Highly recommend)

This was our last trip before baby #1 was born, little did we know how our life would change (for the better!).

2 days in Koh Samui

To finish our trip through Thailand we spent 2 days on the island of Koh Samui. One night at the Le Meridien and one night at the Conrad Koh Samui, both on points. Given this was the end of the trip and we were exhausted we spent very little time outside of each hotel as this was supposed to be the “relaxing” end to the trip. The pictures can speak for themselves but I don’t know if I would go back. The hotels were incredible but the island itself was haphazardly developed and the beach / water at both places left something to be desired. If I was going to choose a beach destination in Thailand (based on our experiences) I would go with Krabi.

Le Meridien Koh Samui

Main pool area of Le Meridien

Le Meridien Koh Samui

Beach outside Le Meridien

Le Meridien Koh Samui

Narrow beach in front of hotel

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Lazy rivers that flow throughout the property. This shot was taken right outside of our room, ability to swim up.

Le Meridien Koh Samui

Another view of the lazy river from inside our room.

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Sunken tub in the room.

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The hotel does a nightly lighting of traditional Thai lanterns in the main courtyard.

Conrad Koh Samui

Entrance to the Conrad.

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View from the lobby of the Conrad. Our villa is on the 3rd level from the water on the far right hand side of this picture.

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Entrance to our villa.

Conrad Koh Samui

Infinity pool in the villa.

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Massive tub and awesome bathroom in the villa.

Conrad Koh Samui

Another view of the infinity pool and view from the villa.

Unfortunately, this concluded our wonderful time in Thailand. A few pictures below of the journey back through Bangkok to Seoul to Atlanta. Can’t say enough how amazing Thailand is, both the destination and the people.  Would love to return again in the future, maybe skipping Koh Samui on the return trip…….

Bangkok

6 hour layover in BKK.

Seoul

Waiting for our flight to ATL in ICN.

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Planespotting at ICN.

 

Trip Report: South Korea and Thailand – Day 6: Krabi

After a wonderful two days in Chiang Mai it was time to head to the south of Thailand to spend our final coupld of days relaxing by the beach. Our first stop was Krabi. We flew Air Asia non-stop from Chiang Mai to Krabi but unfortunately it was an early (emphasis on early) morning flight. I think the blurriness of the picture below completely captures the moment perfectly.

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Early morning departure from Chiang Mai

We had pre-booked transportation from the hotel and the driver was waiting for us outside of baggage claim with a sign for the hotel. Loaded into a van with ice-cold air conditioning and cold, bottled water for the ~30 minute drive to the Sheraton Krabi. On the return to the airport a couple of days later we used a taxi which ended up saving about $5 per couple.

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Arriving into the Sheraton Krabi

The entrance to the hotel may look familiar; that is because it was the lobby featured on Hangover Part II.

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Sheraton Krabi: Open air lobby

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Sheraton Krabi: Beach

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Sheraton Krabi: Beach

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Sheraton Krabi: Infinity Pool

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Sheraton Krabi: Grounds

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Sheraton Krabi: Beach at low tide

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Sheraton Krabi: Grounds

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Sheraton Krabi: View from lobby

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Sheraton Krabi: Grounds

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Sheraton Krabi: Pool

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Sheraton Krabi: Beach at high tide

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Sheraton Krabi: Reminder of the danger present

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Sheraton Krabi: Pool

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Sheraton Krabi: Grounds

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Sheraton Krabi: Morning yoga

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Pulling away from the Sheraton Krabi towards Railay Beach (approximately a 45 minute boat ride)

On our second day in Krabi we decided to rent a boat to travel to Railay Beach; about 45 minutes away by long-tail boat. I can’t recall exactly the price we paid but I think it was in the neighborhood of $30 USD per couple.

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Railay Beach, Krabi

The beach and surroundings were pretty cool and I would recommend spending a half-day there. Biggest issue was the crowds; it was difficult to find a place to spread out on the beach.

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Railay Beach – Long-tail boats

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Spicy Papaya salad on Railay

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Beer on Railay

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Lunch on Railay

One thing I do want to point about the Sheraton is that it is a long ways from Krabi Town and we never actually ventured into the city. However, there are several restaurants within walking distance of the hotel and a 7-11 right outside the hotel gates. One place that I cannot recommend enough is the Indian restaurant below (Gajanana). It was some of the best Indian food I have ever had.

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Sheraton Krabi: Nearby

After an extremely relaxing, pleasant 2-night stay at the Sheraton Krabi it was time to head on to our final destination in Thailand, Koh Samui. We had booked Bangkok Airways non-stop flight from Krabi to Koh Samui leaving during the middle of the day.

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Krabi Airport

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Boarding Bangkok Airways at Krabi to Koh Samui

Up next: 2 days in Koh Samui with one night at the Le Meridien and one night at the Conrad.