All those great trips you went on pre-social media

If you’re a travel blogger in your late 30s and beyond you possibly rue all those amazing trips you had in the 90s/early “noughties” that you couldn’t blog/Instagram/Tweet about as social media didn’t exist back then!

Me with some Hula girls in Hawaii

Me with some Hula girls in back in 2002

I hadn’t really considered this until I stumbled across a photo album back at my parent’s house and a trip I took to Hawaii via Los Angeles back in 2002. It’s a red coloured, sturdy bound album containing 100 6×4 glossy photos held neatly in little see-through pockets. It was rather nostalgic having something tangible to hand that I could actually see and hold, rather than finding a random memory stick at the back of a drawer that’s now obsolete anyway as you’ve updated your laptop a few times since you last inserted it. Either way this was a trip I’d love to go on now as it would allow me to blog/Instagram/Tweet about it to my heart’s content.

At the top of Diamond Head in Oahu Hawaii

At the top of Diamond Head in Oahu Hawaii

It made we think about some recent well-written articles, published by young 20-something bloggers, that might give the impression they were the first travel bloggers to properly explore such destinations. Possibly because of there being few existing posts about certain places? Well kind of “yes” as we weren’t technically travel bloggers back then when we visited, but kind of “no” as lots of us have been to these places over the last 20 years, it’s just we didn’t have the opportunity to tell a wider audience at the time.

Learning to surf on Waikiki Beach

Learning to surf on Waikiki Beach

So with that in mind I’ve cherrypicked four photos from my trip to Hawaii that I would have loved to have blogged/Instagramed/Tweeted about back in 2002 if only I’d had the tools to do so. My two week trip started out on the famous beaches of Oahu, moved onto the active volcanoes of the Big Island, before ending on the mountainous and quite spectacular island of Maui. The highlight for me was learning to surf on Waikiki Beach and driving a 4.0 liter automatic Jeep along Maui’s famous Hana Highway. It’s just very scary to think that I did this over 15 years ago now!

Driving a 4 litre Jeep around Maui

Driving a 4 litre Jeep around Maui

What wonderful trips have you been on before social media came along?

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Was the ‘Dream Hotel’ a dreamy NYC experience?

Even though this was my 5th visit to New York City, a stay in town is always a complete pleasure and I realise for many people it is still simply a “dream” to be able to visit. Feeling like I had the whole of NYC to choose from I chose the Dream Hotel just off Broadway on W 55th Street due to its proximity to Central Park (just 4 streets away), Times Square (8 streets away) and its Midtown location (which I generally know better than any other part of Manhattan). So was it a dream experience?

The view of the Dream Hotel on 55th Street

The view of the Dream Hotel on 55th Street

The hotel doesn’t have a sweeping, set-back entrance so its frontage is up against the sidewalk but once through the front doors you are welcomed into a dark, marble-floored reception area along with a stylish floor to ceiling aquarium.

The Dream Hotel frontage

The Dream Hotel frontage

The aquarium in the Dream Hotel foyer

The aquarium in the Dream Hotel foyer

The hotel also doubles as a hotspot for the ‘PHD Terrace bar’ located on the top floor and in the evening one of the three lifts serves as an express lift straight up to it. It was nice to know as a guest it was my “local” bar and the party had come to me without me having to go to the party. Arriving late on the Saturday night there was a small queue of beautiful looking people queuing up in the right-hand side reception of the foyer patiently waiting their turn to visit the roof. In the summer months it’s fully exposed but as it was March temporary plastic covers draped down from the roof to keep away any chills. Only the next day for a quick post work drink did I have a proper look around over a bottle of Samuel Adams Boston lager and it certainly ticked the cool NYC rooftop bar tickbox.

Enjoying a Samuel Adams beer in the PHD roof terrace bar

Enjoying a Samuel Adams beer in the PHD roof terrace bar

Attached to the side of the hotel is the ‘Serafina’ restaurant and on the opposite side ‘The Rickey Bar’, dimly lit in the late afternoon slot when I visited so presumably even darker at night time.

I appreciate carpeted bedrooms and hallways as they tend to feel more homely and the Dream Hotel didn’t let me down. The room was small but perfectly formed with an opulent bathroom off towards the foot of the bed. The view out of my window was of … another hotel’s window but the cosy, dark feel of the bedroom’s décor didn’t warrant the need for me wanting to open the curtains anyway.

my-dream-hotel-bedroom

My cosy Dream Hotel bedroom

 

My tastefully decorated Dream Hotel bathroom

My tastefully decorated Dream Hotel bathroom

So dreamy? Location wise you’re located right in the centre of the action. No distance at all to the Broadway theatres, and an equal stone’s throw to both Times Square and Central Park. For those who love Midtown or are visiting NYC for the first time and want a luxurious bolthole to explore the sights by day, and to have a cosy, romantic setting on your return, then the Dream Hotel is just for you. For those who love to lounge in a cavernous, brightly-lit reception allowing you to people watch, read the newspapers and watch the world go by then this place probably isn’t your cup of cafwee. Have a nice day! 🙂