Posted in Food sparks

Bringing nonsense back

Hello, how are you? I hope you are well. It’s been a while since I’ve been here, but I thought I’d try to get back into sharing more nonsense. That was always the intention of this blog, really: noticing and passing on everyday sorts of sparks that I saw and liked. Because sometimes it’s nice to have a light diversion from normal everyday life, right?

So, here’s some nonsense that I found last week – an excerpt from the menu at the not-so-great Melbourne hotel I stayed in whilst in town for work. The other dishes sound normal enough, but WHY HAVE THE APRICOTS INTERCEPTED THE LAMB CUBS? And what actually are lamb cubs? Offspring of bears and sheep? WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?

The other dishes sound normal enough, but WHY HAVE THE APRICOTS INTERCEPTED THE LAMB CUBS? WHY?

Posted in Travel sparks

Mary Queen of Scots, my roomie

In London to visit my lovely friend Immy and I had booked a hotel online, which is always a bit of a gamble I guess. Turns out that it’s right across the road from the grounds (well, the back entrance) of Buckingham Palace, which is not a bad place to be. More photos of London wanders will follow, but this one is about my hotel room. On arrival, I was told that I’d been upgraded to a fancy ‘Royal Suite’…which, to be honest, was kind of wasted on me as I’m not a mad fan of the monarchy. But, whatevs, an upgrade is an upgrade and the promise of an exclusive VIP section, with swipe card access – “a hotel within a hotel” – sounded like I would finally be recognised as the Princess that I am inside.

That’s how I roll.
The Hallway was like something out of the Titanic. Contrasted nicely with my Converse and cargo pants, I think.
Passed by rooms for Queen Elizabeth 1, some Dukes and other peeps before arriving at Mary’s room.
Too much tartan is never enough, right?
Posted in Travel sparks

Our day in Galway

We’re over in Galway for a couple of days and here are some snaps from today. The county is in a bit of a state as they drew in the All-Ireland hurling finals last weekend and they have a re-match on next weekend. It’s a very big deal. We are staying at a fabulous hotel here in Galway – it was designed by famous Irish milliner Philip Treacy (you may know him as the guy who created Princess Beatrice’s hideous hat) and is very quirky.

Wandering around Galway…
Nothing says ‘welcome to the G Hotel’ like cupcakes. And they were delicious.
G Hotel’s reception hall & bar feels very Willy Wonka. Or Legally Blonde.
The strangest hotel hallway I ever did see. Pretty much pitch black, but for the little lights near the floor. (And this was taken during the day.)

And probably my favourite pic for the day is this slightly dusty looking politician who didn’t bother making too much of an effort for his campaign posters. I know ‘action speaks louder than words’, John, but so do photographs.

John’s the man. This sign was in a house window, along with a little kitten.
Posted in Sparks in the wild

Deeper Water

…is the name of my favourite Paul Kelly song, but that’s not what this short post is about. I first saw this on Bless This Stuff and thought it needed to be shared – it’s the hotel pool from the Holiday Inn, Shanghai. Yeah, whatevs, I hear you mumble – what can be so special about a hotel pool?

Well, this.

It’s a glass-bottom pool.

Hanging off the building.

At the 24th floor.

I checked and they also have a turndown service and deliver a free newspaper to your room each morning. No pets allowed.

Just don’t get confused and book the Shanghai Downtown Holiday Inn – they don’t seem to have a pool which makes their hotel seem, well, a bit crap in comparison.

In case you don’t believe me, or if you want to find out more, the original Bless This Stuff post is here and the hotel website is here.

Posted in Sparks in the wild, WWWhat?

Sea change

I am still not sure if this is true or an elaborate hoax left over from the 1980s (which appears to be when the photos on their website were last updated), but I present to you: Jules’ Undersea Lodge. It is apparently the world’s only underwater hotel, based in Key Largo, Florida. You enter the Lodge via a 21 feet scuba dive and the owners say that the lodge can accommodate up to six friends. Close friends, presumably, as it looks like a pretty small living area.

Whether you’re after a unique sort of venue for your wedding (or perhaps not many people approve of the match, so you’re happy to have just the celebrant and some fishy guests?) or you are one of the handful of people who loved Kevin Costner’s Waterworld and want an underwater holiday, this could be the place for you. They offer wedding packages (with too many great photos to include here) and a range of overnight stays – choose from the Luxury, European or Ultimate Romantic getaway.

Food is an important part of any holiday and don’t think that Jules has forgotten. On arrival, you are greeted with shrimp cocktail (of course!), fresh fruit and snacks. The European Package “comes with a generous portion of grilled chicken breast”. Ooh la la. And despite being surrounded by a seafood smorgasbord, they begrudgingly cater for you wacky vegetarians, who “may substitute your shrimp cocktail with humus and crackers or cheese and crackers.”  And it gets better – late night snacks can even include the underwater delivery of a pizza from a local shop.

I was confused about how you got in and out of the Lodge, but Jules explains all: A five by seven foot “moon pool” entrance in the floor of the building makes entering the hotel much like surfacing through a small swimming pool. Divers find themselves in the wet room, the center of three compartments that make up the underwater living quarters. Aha. And in case you’re interested, each of the bedrooms and the common room is equipped with telephone, intercom, VCR/DVD. Seriously? Surely you can do without technology for one night and LOOK OUT YOUR GIANT BEDROOM WINDOW AT THE WONDERS OF THE OCEAN. And one more thing, given the size of the cabin – WHO ARE YOU TALKING TO ON THE INTERCOM? Mysterious indeed, Jules.

The home page of the website asks Have you slept underwater lately? In the unlikely event that your answer is ‘no’ (but you answer ‘yes’ to the question, Do you even actually want to sleep underwater?) then check out Jules’ Undersea Lodge. And you too could be having as much fun as the couple in this photo.