The Best Room

By , November 7, 2004 00:00

Nee how! So I figure that I have stayed in a LOT of hotels over the last 5 years. You can pretty much figure that I’ve stayed in one of the nicer hotels in every American city as well as some very expensive places in Great Britain, Germany, France and Brazil. If you asked me yesterday, what was the nicest hotel that I’ve stayed in, it would definitely have been one that I’ve been to in downtown San Francisco. That’s all changed. Count that out. There is no way that I’ve ever stayed in a hotel as nice as this Marriott in downtown Shanghai (which I’m writing from at the moment). To adequately describe the service, the view and the room would pretty much be impossible, but I can try. When I first pulled up to the hotel in the private car they had waiting for me at the airport (with my co-worker), there were two people there on the curb to meet us. One of the girls immediately came up to me with a “Mr Allan, please?” From there, the personalized service did not stop with no less than two people attending to me the whole way until I was in my room with my luggage (no going to the front desk – that was all pre-arranged or something – will I have to pay?) and had a full meal and dessert sitting beside me. I have never experienced service like this. One disconcerting thing is when you have these people coming right into your hotel room with you, wanting to know if there is anything they can get me. It wasn’t in a bad way, just unnerving from a personal space perspective to have this attendant there.

Seeing as my room is on the 51st floor, there can hardly be, but an incredible view so I won’t get into that. I’ll just take some pictures and put them on the site when I get back.

Lastly, the room is beyond all other rooms. There is a towel that I used after my shower this morning (we’re +8 in timezone so it’s now Monday morning while it’s Lord’s Day night back home) that barely brushed the ground when I held one end up as high as I could. I’m sure it was 8’x4′ and a bullet could not have penetrated. Then ignore that for a second and move to the shower where there is 6, yes 6, shower heads pouring water on you from above and all around. Consider for a moment that two full walls of the hotel room (corner room) are fully open to see the city, and that includes the bathroom. (Being on such a high floor means that no one can see in.) Move outside the bathroom for a moment to a room full of soft lighting, four real bonzai trees, and piles of fresh fruit and water. Opening the closet, you will find the most luxurious bath robe, slippers, and accessories that I have ever witnessed. I’m sorry! It’s really hard to even hold any others up to this one. And did I mention the view …

So all this after landing in Shanghai last night at 20:30. Even after being up 26 straight hours, I wasn’t that tired and browsed a very “happening” street called MaoMing road. Very upscale, interesting and vibrant. I never really get hit with the jetlag much if I force long days like that, sleep when it’s dark and get up at normal time (08:00 this morning). Well, I’m out to do some exploring today and then some good dining tonight. Does all this sound fun? It is. But I miss Heidi and Newborn 1.0 terribly. Smile all!

Racing Home

By , October 17, 2004 00:00

Sorry. Were you sick about reading of rain? I think I’ve heard that from two people now. I suppose since I’ve been back from the bike trip now for quite some time, it’s about time to update this site. Obviously, we made it back from the trip without serious difficulties, although there were a few spills here and there. The race for home on Friday was a bit of a stretch with a 14 hour ride from North Carolina – Tennessee – Virginia – West Virginia – Maryland – Pennsylvania – New Jersey – New York – Connecticut – Massachussets and finally New Hampshire. I’m not sure that I’ve taken my bike out since then. (It’s actually getting a bit chilly now.) The cold weather has several impacts: higher gas bills (do I take after my father?), less riding, less diving, and absolutely gorgeous New England landscape. I don’t mind the first two that badly, but the diving is slowly getting more difficult because of less daylight and the water is cooling quickly.

We’ve had company non-stop for the last little bit and it finally caught up with me this week with a fever or 101. it broke pretty quickly though with lots of sleep and I was feeling better by yesterday. Speaking of yesterday, Heidi and I got to go to an all-day labour/delivery class. It was more than a little interesting. Did you know that labour and delivery really doesn’t hurt? It’s like stretching your calf muscle. We learned this and other astonishing facts (ask Heidi) so the trivia was good. (OK. So that last fact seemed a little over the top, but you can ask Heidi that this was how the class started.) Six more weeks. Smile!

Puddles

By , September 6, 2004 00:00

Rain! And lots of it. Mats, Reg and I are stuck at the moment in Roanoke, bringing back many memories of the bike trip from last year. This morning, Reg had several problems which led us to spending the night here rather than down in Jefferson and 120 miles further along the parkway as planned. The rain is supposed to continue through the week, so I’m not sure that things will transition to the nice beautiful week we had hoped for, but its still good to do some driving. Unfortunately, Heidi was not able to make the trip this year, but she was down in Woodbridge this weekend with me and is now spending a week of “sister-time” with Jen. You might think things are slowing down (and I’m sure they will), but for now, it’s all systems GO. Speaking of systems going, the little baby in Heidi is rolling and tumbling and twisting and turning more and more every day. It is very awesome. The doctor says it’s going to be big, so hopefully it won’t be coming late. Congratulations to Ted and Julie who are happy new parents this week. Smile!

48 Hours in Germany

By , August 30, 2004 00:00

News? Shmooz? One month after we’ve moved into the new house and I can’t really say that it’s even started. We did manage to paint most of the downstairs three times now (the first color didn’t quite work and then we needed two more for correction), but that is as far as we’ve gotten. The living room set and bedroom set hopefully won’t be too far behind, but neither have we found the right one that jumps out at us. Oh well … give us some time here. On the other hand, we’ve been picking up all kinds of things from ladders, to lawn mowers, to BBQ grills and Home Depot has been a second home for us. Dad and Mom were here this last weekend and we got another baby gift – a baby runner stroller. Our nursery isn’t even near completed, but the closet is slowly accumulating things at a rate equal to Heidi’s stomach. 🙂 I get to feel the baby kicking and rolling and moving and it is completely awesome. However, ask Heidi the same question in the middle of the night and her response is bound to be different.

Germany! Did I mention that I was in Hamburg, Germany last week? It was only for two quick days, but it was more than a little fascinating to wander around and take in the city. Although the city was largely destroyed back in WW2, the architecture has been mostly recreated and gives the old European feeling. If you ever make it over there, the one food you HAVE to eat is their cherry tomatos. They were truly incredible!! Smile all!

Expenses to Follow

By , August 2, 2004 00:00

I really should upload some pictures, but I’m not at home at the moment and if I don’t update now, I fear it shall be some time before I get around to this. I know it has been a while since there has been an update, but there has been much going on. Heidi and I were up in Toronto one week back relaxing at the cottage and generally enjoying some sunshine before the hectic pace of this weekend. It was wonderful to visit and to see little Jenna Barbara. Have you heard? She’s not really a baby, she’s the perfect never-cry child.

So there is other big news as well. On Friday of last week, Heidi and I moved into the new house that the Lord provided for us. We were very thankful for help from Mom Roach, Andrew, Sam, Nathan and Jen. While I can’t say that I miss our old apartment, it was a little sad seeing it so empty. OK. So that sad feeling only lasted seconds as we were finally able to move into our own home and do jumping jacks and cartwheels in every room. Woo hoo! The neighbors seem exceptionally friendly, and at least four different families have already come by (in two days) to welcome us to the neighborhood and ask if we need everything.

Now come the days of expenses and bills as we start to fill the house with things which we’ve been putting off for two years. Things like the fridge and lawn mowers really need to be towards the top of the list. Pictures to come … Smile!