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Unread 9 Apr 16, 09:04 PM  
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scottishnellie
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scottishnellie's Reviews
DIBB Villa Reviews: 2
Pre-travel Day - Train To Manchester, TC Sundown Checkin, Clayton Hotel. April 2016, Scottishnellies


Finally – it is time!

I woke at 6 am and tried to get back to sleep but it was no use. My head was birling. I lay until 7 am trying to get back to sleep before finally giving in and getting up for a cup of tea. Kieran was up just behind me, and was wide eyed with excitement from the minute he bounced downstairs.

Kevin could hear me stripping Kieran's bed so gave up and got up too. This started us off on a morning full of final packing, checking, packing again, checking again. All whilst cleaning out the fridge, changing the beds and generally getting the house to be left in order. I have lists everywhere. I have lists of lists. Just as well mind you, as we averted a near disaster when I said to Kevin did he have his driving licence in his wallet, assuming it was a given. Only for him to say 'no I thought you would pack that'. Eh? Driving licence retrieved and into his wallet. I am wondering if it was a ploy so he wouldn't need to do any of the driving!



My Dad came to pick us up and take us to the local train station for the train to Glasgow, where we got our train direct to Manchester. Kevin wangled us an upgrade to first class again with our staff passes. Nice wee journey with the kids happy to snack on the freebie snacks and some sandwiches, and generally mess about on their phones and tablets in between spotting all the wee lambs in the fields along the way. I had 2 glasses or red wine followed by a wee power nap after my early start!

Arrived as planned at Manchester Airport just before 5pm. Up the ramp, used the lifts to level 5, and along to the far left check in desk to use the Thomas Cook sundown check-in. Up until this point I had had all the usual drama most folk have been having with seat bookings missing, then the Airtanker email, then the apology email so they have not exactly been instilling confidence lately. However, I had done API ages ago, checked in online on the way down on the train, and in the end the sundown was as much a breeze as last year, with our boarding passes printed with our originally booked seat numbers confirmed. Row 14, same as last year. Only difference was this year sundown check in was 5 per person whereas last year it was 5 per suitcase dropped. So we were 20 instead of 15. Still worth it to only be left with our hand luggage with our overnight stuff.












We went down in the lift next to the desk which takes you to the exit nearest the Clayton, only to be met with torrential freezing rain. It is not far to walk but I was not thrilled about getting soaked given none of us were wearing more than a cardi or fleece. A quick call to the Clayton and they told us where to get the free shuttle. It was there within 5 minutes, but to be honest I was freezing cold by now. Folk who know me reading this will probably be nodding. I am always cold even when other folk are fine. It's a running joke at work. Anyway, bus took us straight to the hotel and dropped us under the canopy so we were at least bone dry. Result.

Checked in. We paid 91 for the room booking direct with Clayton. No breakfast included this time but that's ok as we got the Escape Lounge tomorrow for free through Holiday Extras so will eat there. Room perfectly fine and thankfully nice and cosy! Got our things hung up for tomorrow. We have done the same as last year and worn things down on the train that can either be binned, or fold up tiny in a ziplock back at the bottom of our handluggage.



Headed down for dinner at 6 hoping to be back up in time to watch the final of The Voice at 7. We ate in the bar rather than the more expensive menu in the restaurant. Kieran had a Cajun chicken burger, Hannah had a pizza, Kevin had fish n chips and I had mushrooms and garlic mayo. Kevin had a pint, while we all had black currant juice 45 total. Food was ok, but service was pretty slow and despite only having mains we missed the first 45 mins of the voice.

The hotel is warm but by this point I was bone cold and needed a hot hot bath to thaw my bones so when we got back to the room Hannah sorted this for me. Such a good girl looking after her mammy.

Suitably warmed up and tucked up in bed I have just enjoyed the rest of the voice and was delighted to see Kevin win! My favourite from the start. We will watch telly for a while longer then try to get to sleep.

Big old travel day tomorrow!











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Unread 9 Apr 16, 09:08 PM  
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New Photo Added by scottishnellie - 9 Apr 16 9:08 PM.
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Unread 9 Apr 16, 09:17 PM  
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JoJo88
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Ooooh, is it that time already?! Great start Helen! And perfect timing, I'm going to miss Hazel's daily updates so it's lovely that you are here to take over. Not so lovely for Hazel of course

Safe travels tomorrow
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So much for not going this year!
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Unread 9 Apr 16, 10:08 PM  
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Kat11
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We are staying at Clayton's and getting the train over to manchester in October (but from the north east) glad it all went okay.

Looking forward to your updates!

Kat
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Unread 9 Apr 16, 10:14 PM  
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Megandllsmum
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Great trip down to Manchester, glad OLCI was a breeze and bag drop. Enjoy your stay at airport hotel tonight and hope you get a decent amount of sleep... I'm always too excited lol so never get much. Have a wonderful flight tomorrow... We are in row 14 too but we are on the airtanker. Looking forward to reading more especially about your stay at Rosen 😀 Happy holidays
Sam x
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Unread 9 Apr 16, 10:25 PM  
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jemima2
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Loving reading this live! Really enjoyed your last report, so excited for you all and looking forward to this one 😄
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Unread 9 Apr 16, 10:37 PM  
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beegnjasmum
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Have a great holiday. Your trip report from last year was brilliant. Looking forward to reading more. ☺
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Unread 9 Apr 16, 10:42 PM  
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Tink 45
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Glad it all went without a hitch! We are travelling to Manchester from Newcastle and staying at the Clayton in September. Glad to see standards remain the same!
Have a wonderful holiday and please give us more to read! Safe flight! X
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Family trip to our very happy place...
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