Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Dominoes and dog-friendly accommodation

Life would have been so much simpler had the Airstream been on hand while I moved out of my house. But it wasn't. It was in Gloucester. Despite the fact it was all serviced and ready for me to collect, I simply couldn't afford the three days it would have taken to go pick it up. As it was, I ended up with long days and little sleep the week I had to leave the house.

After a week or two holed up at the parents' surrounded by boxes of rubbish, at last it was time to take a couple of weeks out and start establishing my new life in the Airstream. Only start, as I had a three-week trip to the Hebrides planned in March, and having been blown off the beach at Baleshare the previous October and going four days without sleep, I was doing it in hotels and cottages this time.

To complicate matters, it's not just me decluttering my life. A knock-on effect is that I'm helping my parents get rid of some stuff to, in order to make room for the little bit of stuff that I'll be keeping at theirs. It's a kind of domino effect.

They had boxes and boxes of vinyl records to get rid of. And fortunately I found them a good home with my good buddy Mat who was nothing short of delighted to receive them. But it meant I'd have to fill my car with records when going to get the Airstream, as Mat would meet me in Gloucester to collect them. So I could only take the bare minimum of stuff for my fortnight away in the Airstream. Which was completely empty and had nothing in it as I'd removed the stuff prior to the service to do the Dunster House Concordia project the previous November.


Have you any idea how much space a double duvet takes up in a car? Or a rat cage? Or a dog crate?

But it was lovely to see Mat, albeit briefly, and we had a nice evening in Gloucester.

Dougal the Dog is a new addition in my life, so now when I stay in hotels I need somewhere that is dog-friendly. But I also want somewhere affordable, clean, and comfortable.

Premier Inn? Forget it, they don't allow dogs. Travelodge? Well, they take dogs, but at a charge of £20. That can be more than the room.

So thank goodness for the Accor Group, better know by its hotel brands of Ibis, Novotel, and Mercure. Many of their hotels allow dogs, and the Ibis doesn't even make a charge.

Mat and I were both delighted with the Ibis Gloucester. Clean, smart, modern, comfortable, reasonably-priced, and wonderfully friendly staff. We were so impressed and comfortable their we even ended up eating in the hotel restaurant.

Natually it's a lot more spendy, and less convenient than staying in a caravan. Lots of trips to and fro the room unpacking and re-loading the car the next day. But when needs must, Ibis definitely gets the thumbs-up.

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