MEVANS, for all your travel needs...

So...I like to travel..a lot! These are my stories.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Doth the lady protest too much?

Methinks not. Remember how I told you that aired my grievances to United/Continental? Well my friends, it did pay off! I got an email from the customer service manager apologizing greatly for my traveling troubles, and expressed her thanks that I took the time to write them on my customer service experience (for the record, I like it when people express their thanks, especially to me). So not only did I get some modest appreciation - I also got free travel vouchers from United! Come on now, how exciting is THAT.

With my recent jaunt to the Long Island wineries this past weekend, and my love for all things wine, I think a trip to California Wine Country is in order! 

Any travel plans anyone? 

xoxo mevans

Friday, February 17, 2012

Kickin' it in Cabo: Review of Hilton Los Cabos

I hope you enjoyed the update on the airing of my grievances. Let's move on to the real deal on our trip to Cabo. I'll start off with our stay at Hilton Los Cabos.

This is really the most beautiful hotel I have ever stayed at (and it helped that we used our rewards points). The lobby is airy and open. A big fountain marks the center of the lobby square. The rooms are spacious and well decorated.  The hotel is a mix of the traditional Hilton elegance with a modern Mexican flair. 
The Hilton Los Cabos will not disappoint. The staff is amazing! In every way this hotel is a 5 star resort, from the service to the accommodations. We even received a complimentary upgrade to an Ocean View suite upon check-in. Like seriously, I woke up to waves crashing on the beach every morning. That's the way to start any day, in my opinion.

The grounds are absolutely amazing. We spent most of our time lounging by the infinity pool, or on the beach. My pictures probably don't even do the place justice. It was pretty sweet. The food is TO DIE for also. You can sign me up for nachos and shrimp tacos by the pool any day. Oh, and frozen mojitos at noon every day? You can sign me up for those too.

Hilton Los Cabos gets the EE (Expedition Evans, of course) stamp of approval. If I ever visit Cabo again, this is the first place I will look to stay. I was very impressed with the service and the hotel in general. I'll let the pics speak for themselves:

 The Lobby (above) 
 View from the beach (above)

 Pool area (above and below)

(SIGH) I miss you Hilton Los Cabos!

xoxo mevans

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Airing of Grievances, Part Deux

So remember how I aired my grievances to United/Continental? Well, they did hear me. Just not as loud as I had hoped. It was wishful thinking that I would score some free vouchers or points or SOMETHING for my travel troubles. Alas, alls I got was a short, albeit polite email from Cindie (yes, with an "ie", pretentious much?), stating "we never want to disrupt your travel plans, however despite our best preparations, flight disruptions are sometimes unavoidable." Umm duh, didn't I say that in my original email and blog post? She seriously needs to read my blog. She did acknowledge the slipshod customer service though, so I guess she got the point in the end. 

On the flip side of the coin, I pointed out a mistake Hilton made on my reservation, and they awarded me with a nice amount of bonus points for pointing out their error. Once again, you rock Hilton!

Has anyone else aired any grievances lately?

xoxo mevans

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Airing of Grievances

Holla back 2012! This will be my first post since 2011. OK, I know, it's almost February. What can I say, I've been mad busy, yo! I just winged my way back from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico just a few days ago. If anyone is thinking of going there, it's awesome. I've never wanted to stay somewhere so badly in my life.

I have so many fun posts lined up, but I'm going to switch it up and start with the bad. I love traveling, but I hate getting to wherever I'm visiting. I guess you could say I'm not a fan of the transport.  Airfare prices are so high these days, and to get from Point A to Point B ain't so easy. This is my story of my flight home from Cabo - or, as I like to call it, the airing of my grievances to Continental/United Airlines.

After bidding farewell to our travel buddies (yes, there were tears), the attendant checking us in told us that our flight was 2 hours delayed due to weather. I checked the Continental website several times before leaving  and not once did it reflect the change in time for the flight. When I said that to the attendant, he simply shrugged and stated "you should have called." Bad move. That could have been two hours of extra pool time. We were now 5 hours early for our 5 hour flight.

After a very long and drawn out lunch (in a Mexican airport mind you), perusal of every gift shop, and a stop by the Duty-Free, our plane finally arrived. I'll spare you the details of my whining and disgruntled-ness. It was bad. By time time economy class passengers started to board (after Business and Elite customers had boarded), the airline staff had completely given up. It was a free for all. I was hit in the head by a passenger who was fighting to put his bag in the overhead bin. I thought people were going to go crazy.  

After settling in we learn that due to FAA union regulations, the flight attendants (who were the most unhelpful flight attendants I have ever met) might have to be put up in a hotel due to their working over 16 hours. A very nervous flight attendant got on the PA system and stated "we are crunching the numbers to see if we can even get this flight off the ground tonight for you customers". Seriously? Did you even go to flight attendant school? Talk about causing mass hysteria. I was about to pop open my travel size PatrĂ³n shooter. 

After said "numbers were crunched", we were able to take off around 9:00pm EST time, arriving to our destination roughly 1:00am. We were home at 4:00am. Ridiculousness. We left 3.5 hours after our intended time. I understand weather happens and there can be delays, but the Continental/United staff was in no way accommodating to their guests. It's not our fault the plane arrived late. At least they waived the fee on the DirectTV.
Best believe they got a complaint letter! Don't they know I write a really influential travel blog? :)

xoxo mevans

Friday, December 30, 2011

Out With the Old and In With the New

Wow! The last Friday of 2011. I feel like this year flew by. Someone once told me that after I graduated high school, each year would go by faster and faster. Even though I'm totally #readyfor2012, I couldn't let my previous post be the last post of 2011. I wanted to take some time to pay homage to the year we are all moving on from.

Although in some ways it was a stressful year comprised of all the "usual" suspects (i.e. personal, health, and other random worries), I've seen and done a lot of things. More than I ever imagined. At the end of each year I like to think of what I was doing last year at this time. At the end of 2010, I had just started blogging, and quickly fell in love with writing and sharing my thoughts with others.

In 2011 I have been blessed with being able to see such beautiful cities as San Francisco/Bay Area and London. London is my new favorite city BTW. I experienced the Irish Countryside in a way I never dreamed of. I witnessed Stone Hedge, Buckingham Palace, and took Bud to Disneyland for the first time. I met Rob Kardashian and ate the most amazing donuts in Los Angeles.  Might I remind you that I don't even like donuts.

As each year goes by I try to document more and more. Finally, a new digital camera for me in 2011! One lifetime is clearly not enough. I want to share my memories with friends and family forever. If this blog gives me a creative outlet to do that, then so be it!  

Lastly, I'd like to thank you all for reading and taking interest in what I have to say this year. I hope that 2012 brings as much Expedition Evans "awesomeness" as 2011 did. 

xoxo mevans

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

B&B Breakdown

Is anyone else #readyfor2012? Sorry, I love hashtags! Anyway - I rounded out the end of 2011 with a nice quick PA getaway. You know, one of those "I-need-to-get-out-of-here-for-a-little-bit-before-I-go-insane" kind of trips. A few months ago Groupon Getaways had an offer for a B&B in Lancaster County, PA - near Hersey Park but near-er to Amish Country. I later renamed it "Schrute Farms". A bunch of our friends were going and they kindly extended the invite, and you know I'm always up for a trip. 

This was me and Bud's first time staying at a B&B. I'm not sure what I really expected - when I think of B&B I generally think of old Victorian houses, with a porch swing, and, I don't know - lots of quilts - and for some reason teddy bears? Something kinda like this: 

Pic Courtesy of 

Upon arriving we met the Inn Keeper (you know, Master of the House? Keeper of the Inn? Am I the only one that finds that amusing?), who was just as bizarre as the rest of the experience. 

The accommodations were quaint, but there were random clown figurines and paintings everywhere, and it was creepy. There were even clown figurines in the bathroom and I felt like they were staring at me. I can just picture a black and white Rod Serling standing in the lobby with his hands folded saying something like "they checked in but they never checked out".

The rooms were decently clean, albeit a bit dusty and cluttered, but the accommodations allowed me to sleep a restful night's sleep at least. Our bathroom towels looked like 1500 different people had used them. On one of them I found long grey hairs stuck to it that were not mine or Bud's (after I had dried my face with it) <insert gag reflex here>. I'm gagging just thinking of it. 

Then at 5:00 am we get a knock from one of our friends - there's a gas leak and we all need to get out of our rooms.We grab our valuables and head down to the lobby. Our friends smelled the leak, and I'm sure if they wrote this portion of the post it would be much more entertaining, but sorry, you just got my side of the story folks! As we were gathered in the lobby, the local firemen, which consisted of 3 overweight middle aged men and a 12 year old, arrived and cleared the building. Now, where was the Inn Keeper during all this? Your guess is as good as mine, because after calling and practically banging down her door, she was nowhere to be found. We were able to go back up to bed around 6:00 am. 

She greeted us the next morning with "Did you all sleep well?" - to which we all muttered something under our breaths and told her the night's adventures. She immediately gave us some attitude and shrugged it off. I think I can say that all of us were thoroughly annoyed from that point on. 

Don't get me wrong - we had a great time. We loved every minute with our friends. Their company made the experience much better. We shared lots of laughs and played fun games (Monopoly and the Paper Game)! We enjoyed an Amish Buggy ride (or as we like to call it, "Teach Me How to Buggy") and I got to buy some strawberry jam. 

So, to sum up, it wasn't the worst place to stay, but not the best place to stay either. I guess it's true, if you are in good company, not much else matters. Shout to my friends that made the weekend wonderful! 

Here's some pics of our fun weekend!

Our Fun Sunday Night, I'm not sure who won though: 

An abandoned train line, AKA our view: 

The B&B

xoxo mevans

Friday, December 16, 2011

Planning Pains

So I'm trying to plan a trip to Italy. I usually devise the plans for our vacays with much ease (I'm nerdy like that anyway) - but I'm having a really hard time planning this trip. We've figured out when we want to go - but necessarily where exactly - Italy is a big country, and it's not really that cheap to get there and get around in it. I'm trying to figure out logistically how to make all this work on the budget and time frame that we have.

There are a few package deals out there, but most are for Rome, Venice, and Florence city tours. These deals aren't bad deals, just not deals that match my budget and my liking. The Trip Advisor reviews on some of these tours leave a lot to be desired. I believe the words "flea infested hotel" was found in one of the reviews. A-no-thank-you.

So if there's anyone out there that can provide me with some suggestions of at least where to start, I greatly appreciate it!

xoxo mevans