I was reading a report from Nielsen today about driving habits - specifically that younger people are more likely to "take to the highways" http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/consumer/planes-boats-and-automobiles-a-look-at-online-preferences-of-u-s-travelers

And it made me remember that I had written a blog on my iPad, which I didn't publish, about highway commutes and travel. 

I have put all 75,800 miles on my car in the past 3 years, and most of it has been highway driving. My trips back and forth to my office and other places have for the most part been ordinary and boring. But every now and then, something happens that just makes you go.. hmmm...

Those of you who use EZPass know that it's definitely getting better.  Moving from 5 MPH to 20 MPH, and now we have high speed at the bottom entrance of the thruway in NYS (picture above).  I find it very interesting how people react to this. 

First, they have no idea where the "thing" is.  They are looking all around, and swerve out of their lanes, searching for the camera.  I'm reasonably sure there are at least two sets of transponders or whatever they are, but could be I'm wrong.  Being a trusting soul,  I just accept they are there and drive through.

Second, they believe that they are in secret speed traps. They've been humming along at 75 MPH, and suddenly slow down to 55.  The speed limit is 65, so they are overcompensating.  My thought is that it's not really possible to issue tickets this way, but I'm sure that will be a lawsuit someday if they do, since EZpasses are portable between vehicles.

Third, some believe that they should slow down to the 5 MPH to 20 MPH required at the toll booths, causing major traffic tie-ups, locked up brakes, honking and swearing.

And then there is the COMPLETE STOP.  This has happened to me twice; being behind someone who came to a dead stop on the NYS Thruway to make sure their EZPass had been read by the sensor they can't see.  This is the most scariest of all and made me wish I never had to drive that way again.

It might be safer to go through the toll booth after all.

AuthorJeannette Kocsis


It's hard to believe that I haven't written anything in so long - probably because I've been traveling!

One of my recent trips was to England. Wow, what a culture shock, in so many ways!  The travel was not that bad.  I was traveling with 2 co-workers.  We arrived at Heathrow at 9:30 in the morning, and were out of customs and on our way in no time.  

Tip #1: Try not to take a cab... anywhere.  Really expensive, but highly amusing. The London cab drivers were very quick to point out that in New York, cab drivers are not local and can't be understood.  We had trouble understanding them sometimes, but they seemed fine with our English.  Once we got the hang of the Tube, it was fine.

Tip #2: Don't try to use the Tube during rush hour.

Tip #3: Our first day was spent sight seeing, which was a great decision. The hotel room was really small, and you wouldn't want to spend any amount of time there.  But it was great to get out just from coming in on the red eye and knowing it wouldn't be a good idea to take a nap.  We walked and walked - went to the palace and saw Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey.  We even saw a partial filming of either a movie or a special film for the Olympics featuring the James Bond cast.  We saw Dame Judi Dench, but the process of watching the filming was pretty boring so we kept walking.

Tip #4: I have never stayed at a hotel where the room key had to be inserted in a slot for the electric to work - sheltered life I guess.  The room was so tiny, but the bathroom was nice sized and well engineered.

I was fortunate enough to have a room with the cleaning crew staying next to it. I didn't figure this out until day 3 or so when I walked by and saw their mattresses on the floor of their room. Housekeeping for my floor was a group of young men, guessing late teens. They were very enthusiastic, and banged on the door very loudly. One of them sang in the shower every morning, which was my alarm clock.  Their cockney accents and loud voices aside, they were very polite.  I was very amused to see on TripFinder that someone had reviewed the same hotel and said, whatever you do, don't stay in room 507!  You guessed it!

We had dinner our first night at a really great Italian restaurant - it was called The Spaghetti House.  I'm sure the translation was literal because the food was amazing.  

We had meetings for the next few days.  Really great evening out at an Indian restaurant, Le Porte Des Indes. Walking in was like walking into a small storefront on the street, but they had the entire center of the building with huge fountains and two floors of tables.  The food was good, spicy and service impeccable. 

Tip #5:  It seems like in London, there are no paper toilet seat covers, not even in the airport or any public restrooms. I'm seriously considering that as a business opportunity!

The following night we went to a pub, The Crown and Sceptre. I have to say that my initial impression wasn't really positive - we had to order our food at the bar - but WOW!  I had Bangers and Mash, and it was amazing. It may have been a pub, but there was a chef back there.  


AuthorJeannette Kocsis


I will start by saying that I feel terrible for people who have lost their homes and the devastation in NJ and NYC is heart wrenching.  
Was in Binghamton this weekend, and many people from that area have made their way there, as well as my hometown in Kingston, in a quest for hotel rooms, gas, etc.  While waiting to check into our hotel in Vestal, NY, a couple from LI came in ahead of us and were loudly telling the clerk and everyone in the lobby about their lack of gas at home and availability of fresh food (they had power apparently but no TV) which made them decide to come visit their daughter who was at SUNY Binghamton. The desk clerk listened for the 10 minutes it took to listen to their story and get them checked in, and genuinely sympathized several times.  When checking me in, she mentioned that I was coming from Kingston, and whispered to me that she had lost everything in Hurricane Irene last summer. Most of the area there was hit very hard with flooding. She didn't say anything negative about the couple, I think she just needed to say it.  
It makes me thankful for how lucky we have been (although members of my family were not last summer). And that we should all be a little more aware and compassionate.. 

AuthorJeannette Kocsis


It is 7:30 AM and I am headed to Orlando on Southwest.  Their new planes are really nice.  The chairs are comfortable, the Wifi is awesome, and despite the many children that are excitedly discussing their trip to Disney, it seems like a good trip.

It helps that no one is sitting in the middle seat.

Southwest is like the democracy of air travel. Yes, there is a business class but as soon as they are on board, the business class elite are like everyone else.  Southwest's efficiencies are well known in that  regard - getting everyone on board quickly is one of them.  This plane starting boarding at 6:55, and by 7:15 we were in the air, right on time.

There are many reasons to love this airline. It's friendly, fun and the flight attendants seem to go to "smile school".  I've never had problems flying them and it's sometimes like an adventure.

But, I can't bring myself to give up my United status.  Lately I've been having some back issues so status on United is the shot at first class, which makes my trip bearable.  But even before that I would not have flown this airline given the choice, even knowing what I know.  What is it about status?

As a frequent traveler, status is everything. Gets you onboard quickly so you can be sure your luggage will be with you.  Gets you upgrades, sometimes - the best room available or a better seat.  Gets you guarantees of a hotel room, even when they are fully booked.    

For me, at this time in my career, my goal is being comfortable so that I can keep working, and making sure that I have what I need. For others, it might be the pure joy of status.

But for today, it's the Wifi, the empty middle seat and an early arrival.  I'll try not to think of the miles that are not being applied to United, and smile back at the flight attendant.  Life is good.


AuthorJeannette Kocsis