Blackpool Illuminations 2011

So early last month I headed to Replay Expo to sample some fine gaming, fine beer and even finer food (seriously folks, the nicest curry I’ve ever eaten has been at the Jali restaurant in Blackpool). The day before the conference I was a little bit of a loose end, so took the long way back to the hotel via the Illuminations.

The Illuminations of Blackpool are famous, generating thousands of thousands pounds worth of tourism to the area when most of the rest of the area is drab as the UK enters Autumn. It certainly brightens up the area, at least! Here’s some photos from them:-

Got a little surprise for my Christmas Post, posted just before Christmas. I’ll leave you to speculate what it is!

Where the Hell is Matt? In Manchester

In my last post, I talked about Matt, from the internet viral videos “Where the Hell is Matt?”, visiting Manchester to record a new video. That was last night, which I attended.

I was running a little late (an epic game of Angry Birds meant I missed my tram stop) so missed the first recording, but by the second cut I moved into the background and followed the simple choreographed moves. The whole process took about 30 minutes, after which Matt signed autographs and copies of his book, as well as posed for photos.

It was great fun and a nice distraction from a cold Wednesday in early Autumn. The video will go on the internet in early 2012. I’ll be at the back, to the left, in a grey hoodie.

If I make the cut, though!

My American Adventure

I’m home!

Well I came home over a week ago, but after a weekend of chilling and finally kicking the jet lag I can now comprehensively put my thoughts on paper.

America was brilliant! So much happened, so I’m going to share my basic highlights from the trip, as well as a few of my favourite pictures from my jollies.

Highlights for me including:-

  • Conversation with a lady on the train into Chicago, who turned out to be flying back from a film premiere in France.
  • Staving off jet lag by drinking through to midnight, whilst desperately trying to impress the bartender with my Welsh.
  • The hospitality of my mate Nigel, who spending 3 days with was brilliant (even if I was laughing half the time at his comedic American accent.
  • Breakfast on the second day, which was huge, and watching this lady work her magic helping people cross the road (including loud shouts of “GET ACROSS THE ROAD YOU STINKING BRATS!”. Brilliant).
  • Seeing Chicago, and the Bean and all it’s wonderous sights.
  • The Chicago White Sox game at the US Cellular Field. I blogged about it more at You’re Supposed To Be At Home, as there was enough incidents in that game to fill a blog post.
  • Getting in possibly the WORST Taxi in Chicago – he didn’t know where he was going!
  • Finding a “British” pub in Richmond, Virginia. Owned by a Liverpool fan and having (amongst other things), an FC United Scarf on it’s ceiling.
  • Seeing Monday Night Raw live. It was an amazing episode, with Stone Cold Steve Austin & Vince McMahon making an appearance, Booker T wrestling and the first appearance on Raw for Zach Ryder.
  • Subsequently appearing on Zack Ryder’s Youtube Show for my sign! (1:05 minutes in).
  • Seeing the Apollo 11 Space module in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington. I’m a massive space geek, so that was pretty cool.
  • Seeing all the other wonderous things in Washington.
  • Meeting Rob (a long time blogger who’s sadly quit) in Washington for the first time, as well as him buying me lunch. He’s an officer and a gentleman.
  • Boozing in an Irish bar in DC with the vice governors (is that the right word) of Arkansas and Utah.
  • Eating in Katz’ Deli. Famous for that scene in “When Harry Met Sally”.
  • Visiting the Brooklyn Brewery, doing the tour (which was crap, apart from the guide who told us some great stories on the history of the place).
  • Accidentally giving money to the Mafia. They were nice people though.
  • Seeing the worlds most comedic midget in Brooklyn. He was short, had a moustache, a red hat, jumper and blue dungarees. He looked like Super Mario if he had been hit by a goomba & returned to original Mario.
  • Seeing Sara again. Always good hanging out with her and Daniel as well!
  • Going to see the New York Red Bulls play and be suitably impressed by the support.
  • Drinking with New York Red Bulls striker’s (and ex Shrewsbury Town forward) Luke Rodger’s dad.
  • Chilling in central park.
  • Hating the Yankees & Yankee Stadium.
  • Overnight bussing to Toronto, wondering if the girl sat opposite me fancied me or not.
  • Drinking Coolatas and having a huge breakfast in Toronto.
  • Flying back in Business class because JFK & American Airlines both messed up!

And generally having an amazing time! Pictures tell the story of a thousand words, so here’s some of my favourite pictures from the trip:-

So, where’s next? Well depending on how the Olympics debacle plays out, I may not do a huge holiday next year, with that said, I am going to Bulgaria on October with Wales, and then we’ll see what’s next next year!

Greyhound Buses – Why Won’t You Refund Me?

I’ve whinged before about Greyhound Buses before here, but it’s becoming that their refund policy is a joke.

After 2 weeks of hearing nothing, an email dropped into my inbox saying the following:-

Dear Mr. Wynne,

Thank you for contacting our office. We apologize for the delay in responding to your email.

We have received your request for a refund on the ticket with confirmation number 74411661. We need a proof of a new purchase in order to process the refund on the ticket that was purchased wrong. The purchase confirmation you sent was for the same ticket.

At your earliest convenience, pleas forward the proof of purchase of the new ticket and we will proceed with the refund on the wrong ticket.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us or call our department at 214-849-8966 from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm CST Monday to Friday.

Sincerely,

Mr. Lacouture
Customer Care Analyst

So by reading it there appears to say they don’t do refunds unless you buy a new ticket. Which is odd, but fine. I have bought tickets with an alternative provider (Megabus) who were actually sending buses on that day. I forwarded on the tickets to Greyhound and today I heard the following:-

Dear Mr. Wynne,

Thank you for contacting our office. We apologize for the delay in responding to your e-mail.

In order for us to process your refund, we require a proof or receipt of purchase of the new ticket. Since your original tickets are non refundable, they can only be refunded to the original purchaser  by showing a proof of a new purchase.

Please send us an e-mail  with  the original unused ticket(s) attach to the e-mail address below along with the second confirmation number the second ticket you paid. Please refer to the following Customer ID number when contacting our office.

Customer.Service@greyhound.com
We appreciate your business.

Sincerely,
Mr. Ramirez
Customer Assistance Analyst

I beg your pardon? Are you not refunding me because I’m going with an alternative provider? It’s not really a refund, is it?

It’s only about $50, It’s really not much, but it’s the principle!

Am I being daft? Or does it appear that Greyhound Buses have one of the worst customer support systems?