A potted history of Claude... the Grand travelling bear!
Posted 2nd November 2012
Hi there! I'm Claude and I think I have the best job in the world. So what do I do I hear you ask?.... Well I am the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne's travelling bear! Let me explain some more....
About two years ago I was picked from all the 'Grand Bear' hopefuls that are sold to guests, to become the hotel travelling mascot. I was named Claude after Claude Debussy who actually wrote his masterpiece La Mer whilst staying at the hotel in secret with his mistress (but that is another story entirely as they say!) We now call all my bear friends 'Claudealikes' by the way
My trips started off small away with staff, the odd skiing holiday, weekends away, kidnapped by scouts, that sort of thing!.... But then it all changed. My first big adventure was to Russia with Jeannine, who works with Elite Hotels with her PR skills. It was my first of a few cruising experiences too. We did all the sights you would expect plus some serious Vodka tastings. The Russians were really friendly you know!
Next up was Canada with the Berriman family (Jamieson is Manager No 2 at the hotel) to stay in a log cabin and much hiking in the woods and fishing on the lake. After that it was off to Atlanta, Georgia USA with Steve from Accounts. Steve is a big Charlton Athletic FC fan, so a trip to 'The Valley' was also arranged when we got back.
Mauritius with Robert, who owns a Venue finding agency based in Eastbourne was a real highlight and I was awarded with my own TCP (The Conference People) badge for helping out on the fact finding trip. He was so pleased with me that we have just returned from another one to Oman. He says I am a natural in hospitality!
Bahrain and Hong Kong with Nick was amazing as Nick also works in 1st Class for BA so I was really spoilt and treated like royalty with my own bed and everything! This is where I got my own rucksack which I now use on all my trips.
My dear friend Sheila (mum to one of the girls in Reservations) took me on my furthest adventure yet (all 16,999Km) which was 'down under' to Oz. The highlight for me was a trip to Ramsey Street ( I love neighbours!). Sheila and I have also been to Mexico and I am now a proud owner of a sombreo hat!. Waiting in anticipation to hear where we are off to next... she does love to travel.
Another trip was with Ella (who worked in Reservations but now for Gordon Ramsey don't you know) and that was to South Africa. Amazing trip but sadly no Safari this time! I did however get my photo taken inside the cell once home to Nelson Mandela!
In between my big trips I have managed to add Italy, France, Greece, Portugal, Hungary, Morocco and the Isle of Wight (I go anywhere me!) to my list. I have my own facebook page (search Claude Debussy and look for the Bear)! Also a travel brain mapping where I have been! So far 59 cities and 28 countries. Oh yes and I have my own very special passport which was made by a very clever Photographer friend called Duncan Lawson. It is so lifelike that I haven't been stopped once and most countries are happy to add a stamp! Sadly the US did not want to play ball on that one so back in the suitcase I went as I didn't want to get into trouble.
To finish 2012 I have a trip to China to see my Panda relatives and Wahoo...... Disneyworld in Orlando... can't wait!
Don't want to blow my own trumpet or anything but I was really chuffed when told I have been nominated for a Social Media Campaign award this November... thanks to Prestigious Venues. I'll let you know how we get on! Need a Tux and Dickie Bow for this one I guess!
Well that's me in a nutshell! Michael Palin would be proud! Please do add me as a pal on facebook to keep up to date with where I go next. Oh just one more thing, if anyone wants to take me travelling, please feel free to ask, I still have so many more countries I would like to see..... I have actually only managed 11% of the world so far!
Signing off................... Claude XX