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Uncle Markie out and about.

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Fri
28
Mar '14

Trip Report: When “Status” Matters.

Many of my friends just shake their head at my mileage-run antics. The question is “why?” I think part of the answer is “Status”. Why is Status important? Because when the flight poo hits the fan, you are much further up the food chain to get back on track. It was early in my last […]

Thu
27
Mar '14

Trip Report: Taksim Square.

My last day in Istanbul and off to Taksim Square I head on the 10am shuttle bus. Taksim Square has been in the news recently with protesting students complete with tear gas. Luckily, there was no tear gas on my visit. What there were was lots of security cameras on poles: The square itself isn’t […]

Wed
26
Mar '14

Trip Report: Stranger In A Strange Land – Istanbul Suburbs.

Nothing like booking a hotel solely for the fact that they have a free airport shuttle only to learn on check-in that: You are in the middle of the Textile MANUFATURING District in the suburbs There are no services around the hotel other than a recently opened truck stop (they were still stocking the shelves […]

Tue
25
Mar '14

Trip Report: The Return Train To Istanbul.

Checked out of the hotel at10:30, was to the train station a little before 11 – two hours before my train. Probably way too much time but better safe than sorry. As the last shot from Bucharest – here is where I’d like to be doing my banking. Shades of Young Frankenstein! Having scoped out […]

Mon
24
Mar '14

Trip Report: Bucharest.

How nice to get off at a real train station… multiple platforms… multiple trains. I feel/felt like I’m back in Europe. One lone fly on the platform hitting up the Berliners for a hotel room, to which they replied, “we have a place and it’s already paid for” in English. Nobody hitting me up. No […]

Sun
23
Mar '14

Trip Report: Istanbul To Bucharest On The Overnight Train.

Checkout time is noon, the train is at 10pm. What to do with a day…leave the luggage at the hotel and do a little unscripted exploring. Breakfast in Europe, lunch in Asia. Back to Sirkeci Station (the train station I leave from later tonight) to hook up with the Marmaray Metro Line that goes under […]

Fri
21
Mar '14

Trip Report: Turkey – Touts and Tourists.

Welcome to land of tourists and touts. Reminds me of my trip to India in 1976 with the masses of humanity. Of course if you start your first day sightseeing at the Blue Mosque then you have it coming. There is some great ornamentation on the mosques, but when your fist overseas adventure was when […]

Wed
19
Mar '14

Trip Report: Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania – Getting There.

Thank you Russ for marking one of my maps with the highlights to see in Istanbul: Now all I have to do it get to them all. Thanks also to Solus+ and Ton who also provided lists of things to see and food to eat. Russ’ unexpected visit (in town to clean up the personal […]

Fri
14
Mar '14

Trip Report: Overnight In Boston With Friends.

Tuesday found me at the airport again, back to Boston for the second trip this month. At least this time I’m spending the night. In the Board Room before my flight… it’s a mid-morning flight so it wasn’t too ugly to get up and out this morning. My seat for this trip – no upgrade […]

Wed
5
Mar '14

Trip Report: Mileage Run To Boston.

Maybe the weather scared people into changing their plane reservations, because I can’t think of any other reason that I managed to get upgraded in both directions on my Boston mileage run. For those keeping track, that would be 4,974 flight miles. By mid-April I’ll have Silver for next year, shooting for MVP Gold which […]

Mon
3
Mar '14

Home Improvement Report: My Week At Home.

With the trip to the Bay Area tossed out the window – it was time to tackle some big projects, like getting the 42-inch-wide printer out of the living room and into the office. Of course, that means totally ripping up the office/guest bedroom. Gone is the corner desk – and it took three days […]