Saturday morning saw a very long lie-in, and then we packed our bags and set off for the Marriott Hotel Manchester.
My dear little faff-monkey had an idea about how we could enjoy the fantastic weather and get a pub lunch somewhere en-route with a nice beer garden, but we didn't actually leave the house until gone 2pm. Anyone who thinks it's women who take their time doing things can think again - I had my suitcase all packed up and then spent an hour or so reading while Steve was still not even dressed and "urgently" transferring yet more music to his mp3 player. As you can imagine, by the time we got to nice country pubs, they'd all stopped serving food. We ended up having Burger King at a Moto service stop instead.
Got to the hotel at about sixish, where the very smiley desk staff informed us that we'd booked a Superior Deluxe room, but that if we preferred there was a fully accessible Deluxe room available instead. But there's a lift up to the floor where our Superior Deluxe room was, and the doors are all wide enough for the wheelchair and so on, so we opted to stick with that. After all, it's not like I have an extreme disability, I can get around a room without the chair, and Steve will be with me 24/7. The desk staff made us a booking for dinner at 8:15, to give us time to rest and so on, and then we went up to our room. It's lovely. There's a fridge which I've mentally marked "Do Not Touch Under Any Circumstances" as it's got a sensor on it that will charge the room a fortune if we so much as look at it funny. We *could* have internet access, for just £15 per 24 hours... I think not, so I'm doing these blog entries in notepad to upload at a later date or possibly via Steve's phone if we can make that work. There's an ENORMOUS bed and ALL the pillows, air conditioning, a lovely bathroom, slippers and a fluffy white bathrobe each ("If you wish to take it with you on your departure, a charge of £50 will be made to your room") and nice tea, coffee, hot choccy, biscuits, toiletries, little sewing kit and so on.
I ran a bath while Steve got the bags from the car (he insists that next time I do not bring the lead ingots) and had a nice soak, then relinquished the bathroom to the faff-meister while reminding him we only had an hour till dinner. He said he was just going to have a "quick" shower - and then while I tried to sort out my hair, he busied himself with various faffage including seeing if he could fit his new digital video camera to the wheelchair. Half an hour to dinner, and he finally went into the bathroom. I finished my hair, got dressed, did my makeup, put on my clothes and shoes, read the folder about the hotel services... at 8pm I poked my head in the bathroom and told Steve he had 15 minutes. "Okay!" At ten past eight I poked my head in again, "Okay, be right out!" At twenty past eight he finally emerged and asked me what I thought he should wear...
Dinner was lovely. The hotel restaurant is great, the staff are attentive without being intrusive, and the food was delicious. We took our time over it, and then before going back to the room we had a bit of a stroll around the grounds. We fitted one of the StickLights to the wheelchair which drew a couple of glances - yay innovation! Finally it was back up to the room - smiley staff we passed nodding and smiling and saying "have a nice night!" - making a nice hot choccy, and then cuddling up for relaxey snuggles.