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Old 6 Feb 17, 12:08 AM  
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Melanie R
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The Duchess does DLP - Day 0 The Journey Begins

So the day had finally arrived, travel day for my very first solo trip. For those of you who may be wondering why I'm travelling solo, my pre trip report explains all

I woke up on a bright Tuesday morning, all organised, documents prepared, cases packed and ready to go, house gleaming like a new pin ready to set off on my new adventure... - and then I realised that I'd been dreaming. The true reality was that as I wasn't due to leave until 1ish, absolutely nothing was ready because I had loads of time - right?

So I got up, washed, dressed, wandered leisurely downstairs and put the kettle on for a nice cup of tea, and started to plan my day.

I was heading to the airport to stay at the Radisson Blu as my flight to Paris left Manchester at the very ungodly hour of 6:30am, so I had made the sensible decision to stay over rather than have a 3am start to my trip - for those who know me, I'm not at my best in a morning! As I referenced in my pre Trippie, I wasn't actually returning from Paris by plane, so I couldn't drive to the airport as I would be leaving my car stranded, so I was taking the train from the local station about 10 minutes away. My sister had offered to drive me there, but plans had changed and she was unable to be off work, so I needed to book a taxi - I decided this ought to be my first task of the day, so headed to Google, found a local taxi firm and booked. I now knew that my taxi was arriving at 1, so I had 3 hours left to pack, sort my documents and tidy the house. Loads of time, so I made another cup of tea and had a pleasant 20 minutes on the Dibb!

Time was ticking on and realisation dawned that I really needed to get my backside into gear, or I would be heading off with the clothes I was wearing and my passport - probably wouldn't be the best idea, so I headed upstairs for the suitcase and started to put in the clothes I was planning to take. I'm not THAT unorganised that I hadn't already sorted and washed what I needed, so they were all ready and waiting to be packed up. Toiletries and footwear were next to be sorted, then I finished up with my trusty medical kit - I was planning on sampling the local cocktails so thought some painkillers for the "morning after" would be in order!

The case was soon packed, so I started to organise the hand luggage - nothing major, I had my Kindle, iPad, camera and various chargers along with some snacks and sandwiches for tea. I checked my passport was in my handbag along with my currency, printed my travel itinerary and was all set.

I checked my watch - still an hour to go - see, told you I had lots of time

I did a quick run round with the hoover, then put on my coat, gloves and scarf (it may have been a bright day, but it was freezing!) and was all ready when the taxi arrived a few minutes later.

Luggage was soon loaded into the car and it was an uneventful trip to the station, arriving in plenty of time for the train. So I was stood on the very draughty platform and noticed that my fleece was covered in pieces of fluff! It was then that I realised I had washed it ready for my trip, but had put it in the dryer with a very fluffy jumper, and so I was now covered in pink fluff! I had plenty of time so decided to pop to the station shop to see if they sold sellotape to get rid of it, when I realised the first downfall of solo travel - wherever you go, your luggage has to go too! So I made myself VERY popular, wheeling my rather large case around a tiny little station shop looking for sellotape of all things! Amazingly, they sold it, so purchase in hand, I manoeuvred my way out of the shop and back to the platform - I still had 20 minutes to wait and was freezing by the time the train pulled up!

I made my way to the correct carriage, and was about to heave my case up the step on to the train, when a very kind gentleman offered to lift it on for me - chivalry is alive and well in Preston

I took a seat close to the luggage store so that I could keep an eye on my case - imagine arriving at DLP without my Minnie ears because someone had pinched my case - nightmare
I struggle to read in any moving vehicle without becoming travel sick, so I had an audio book downloaded to my iPhone and plugged in my headphones to settle back and relax for the hour long trip to the airport, but after only a few minutes, I found I couldn't concentrate on my book as the young gentleman opposite was having a much more interesting conversation on his phone - I'm an incorrigible people watcher, and with nobody else demanding my attention, I could turn off the volume on my phone and listen in to my heart's content! He was clearly job hunting and was looking for a position in mechanical engineering - he was working and had completed his degree whilst in his current job, but wanted more experience. He must have had the same conversation with about 5 agencies whilst on the train, and although he wasn't particularly loud, he had one of those voices which just carries, so the whole carriage knew all about him by the time he got off in Manchester City centre - if by any coincidence he is a Dibber and he is reading this, good luck in your job hunting!

The rest of the journey to the airport was quiet and uneventful, and I was soon arriving at the airport - I heaved the case off the train and followed the signs to the Radisson - the location of this hotel just can't be beaten as it was less than a 5 minute walk before I was in reception and heading to the check in desk.

I had booked the hotel only a few weeks previous following my Christmas Day conversation with my dad, and I had booked a standard room. A few days before I was due to travel, I had an email offering me the chance of an upgrade for £20, payable on arrival if they upgraded me. As an upgrade would give me access to the Business Class lounge with free food & drinks, I thought it was worth a shot - the check in lady told me there was an upgrade available, so I handed her my card and she gave me my room key. What I hadn't realised was that my upgrade was to a suite! It was amazing, and totally unexpected, so I wandered round taking photos and making everyone jealous by sending them the pics, when I realised it was time for my pedicure appointment down in the spa.

I headed down and was soon ensconced in a dimly lit room with relaxing music playing, so I settled back in the chair looking forwards to some chill time to start the holiday in style. Then I met my beautician. Don't get me wrong, Claire was lovely and very professional, but she really was very chatty! I learned all about her childhood in South Africa, her family, her daily routine, what she had done for Christmas and anything else she could think of to tell me during my hour long appointment, so although I had an enjoyable conversation with her, it wasn't quite the relaxing chill session I had in mind! That being said, she did a great job and even took the scissors to a pair of hotel slippers to convert them to flip flops so that I could go back up to my room without smudging my nail polish, so I'm not complaining!

I headed back to my suite and noticed that I also had a complimentary bottle of Presecco and some cookies as a welcome - I love this hotel!

I decided to head to the lounge with my Kindle for a couple of hours, had a glass of wine followed by a coffee and some of the canapés which were available - well worth the upgrade fee - and then chilled in an armchair overlooking the runway.

It was about now that for the first time reality set in that I was actually doing this trip by myself, and I had a few minutes where the tears were threatening and the nerves started to kick in, then I reminded myself of all the positives and pulled myself together.

After an hour or so, I headed back to my room and decided I needed an early night as I had a very early flight the following day, so opening the Prosecco would not have been my greatest idea! I decided to pack it up and take it with me - a decision which would come back to bite me, but more of that tomorrow!

I headed to the most amazing shower and spent an enjoyable 20 minutes with the posh toiletries and just let the water take away the last of my worries before putting on my pjs and heading to bed.
I have to say the bed was the most comfortable bed I've ever got into - I can only describe it as being enveloped in a warm hug - it was truly wonderful and a fab way to end the first day of what was going to be a new experience for me - Disney as a solo traveller.

Edited at 01:00 AM.
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Old 6 Feb 17, 12:45 PM  
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What a lovely start to your trip - can't beat an upgrade
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Old 6 Feb 17, 12:57 PM  
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Can't wait to read more
And good for you for going solo 😊
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Old 6 Feb 17, 05:12 PM  
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Ooh that hotel room, I'm still jealous now! Really looking forward to the rest of your trippie (and not just because I'll be in it )

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Old 6 Feb 17, 06:40 PM  
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Sounds like a fab start to your trip!

Don't think our travelodge will be as glam on wed night!
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Old 6 Feb 17, 06:47 PM  
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Hotel room looks fab! Well
Done on your solo trip!
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fingers crosses!
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Old 6 Feb 17, 09:50 PM  
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That room is making me green. I love a nice decadent room.

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Old 6 Feb 17, 10:02 PM  
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We've booked our first stay at the Radisson - I'd love to think we'll be lucky too! Looking forward to reading the rest - so hurry up
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Old 6 Feb 17, 10:16 PM  
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Aw Mel! Bless you. But you are treating yourself and being pampered. Why not? You sound very organised and I suspect there are some good times to come. Bring on the rest of the trip!
Cancer -let's kick it in the butt!

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Cancelled because of illness.
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Old 6 Feb 17, 10:46 PM  
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A great start Mel, can't wait to read more. Hope you had a fabulous time and it's given you the confidence to plan more happy trips. You deserve it x
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