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Uncle Markie out and about.

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UMTravels

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Sun
20
May '18

Trip Report: What 2018 Looks Like So Far – On A Map

I discovered this great site if you want to make pretty maps of your airport itineraries – but I also do cars and planes, so those aren’t on here. Isn’t it pretty? This isn’t the final map for the year. I’m assuming I’ll go some more places since I only have one trip for July, […]

Sat
19
May '18

Trip Report: Mileage Run To NOLA

Normally I make mileage runs on Alaska to keep my MVP Gold 75K status, but this spring United (where I’m Premier Gold for life) has been offering me some amazing deals for bonus miles. I got almost 50K out of my Maui trip a couple of weeks ago, then they made me another offer of […]

Sun
13
May '18

Trip Report: Couple Of Nights With The Boys

When I find a fare for the low hundreds ($120.40) I book some time with the boys (Mark and Onyx). Didn’t get out of town until early evening because of a Greek Wine Tasting in the early afternoon. It was in the old Julian’s Pool Hall in South Lake Union – where taking a small […]

Sat
5
May '18

Trip Report: Escaping The Rain In Maui

Several weeks ago, I just couldn’t take the rain anymore and booked flights to Maui on United…yes, United. You all know I’m a loyal Alaska flyer, BUT I CAN BE BRIBED! And bribe me, United did. The offer? Spent $300 on flights completed before the end of July and get an additional 9,000 miles on […]

Sun
22
Apr '18

Trip Report: Friends And Food In Boston

Another week, another flight, another breakfast in the Alaska Lounge… This picture is for my sister…while that plane is at my gate, it’s the departure before mine: Got the upgrade to first days ago, so that means lots of pictures of the new Alaska First Class menu that they are rolling out, starting with the […]

Mon
16
Apr '18

Trip Report: Empire Builder

This week Rache and I are back in the air and on the rails, but first, it’s dinner at Loretta’s Northwesterner since we have a red-eye flight: Sadly, it was a red-eye flight with no upgrade other than Premium Class: We got the luck of the draw – empty middle seats – Rache drew an […]

Fri
6
Apr '18

Home Report: Scholarship Time!

If it’s spring, it must be time to read scholarship applications! For those of you that don’t know – I have an endowed scholarship that I set up back in the 90’s (when I was WAY more liquid) at The Evergreen State College, in Olympia, Washington. That would be The Mark Stephen Souder Scholarship For […]

Thu
5
Apr '18

Trip Report: Austin

I can’t seem to stay home for long – so after getting back from Japan and working the weekend, it off to AUSTIN! It was a civilized departure time…12:30, making it a lunch flight with Alaska’s new, improved, First Class food. Bring on the warm nuts! Followed by salad: And then the main: Grabbed an […]

Wed
28
Mar '18

Trip Report: Another Return Home

Early, but not wretchedly early flight from Nagoya to Tokyo…8:30am. The plan was to have breakfast in the Japan Air Lines lounge rather than the hotel. I should have had a little something at the hotel since the lounge was comfortable, but underserved in the food category: One the upside – look, it’s a machine […]

Tue
27
Mar '18

Trip Report: Toyota City

Wednesday was a quiet day for me. Julian works, and I made a random Scruff date in the city. We ended up at the appropriately named Seattle Sandwich Café: I was low on cash and the café didn’t take plastic, so it was a meal of snacks and a highball or two, but not a […]

Thu
22
Mar '18

Trip Report: Kyoto

We arrived in Kyoto a little after three, and easily found our “hostel” – and found it closed until 4PM. We continued down the narrow alley for another block or so. To discover this: It was a very serene place to just SIT – one of the few public resting places I’ve come across on […]

Tue
20
Mar '18

Trip Report: Osaka

I had to look it up. Hip Contusion. That’s most likely what I suffered the other day. Right leg pain and flexibility issues. NOT the thing you want when you are headed out of town doing tourist stuff that requires lots of walking and lots of stairs. Welcome to Japan! Julian has a great view […]

Mon
19
Mar '18

Trip Report: Hōnen Matsuri

That’s right, it’s Penis Festival Time – I mean Hōnen Matsuri! This will be the third “festival“, my second time at Komaki. I’ve returned because I wanted to see what a smaller town festival would be like when it didn’t fall on a weekend. The one in Kawasaki always on the first Sunday of April, […]

Fri
16
Mar '18

Trip Report: Nagoya & Komaki

With Julian’s work schedule (11am-9:30pm), it was definitely a sleep-in day after chatting until 3am last night. Guess I forgot to mention that we stopped by a 24-hour market near Julian’s place to pick up some supplies. That might have led to the 3am bedtime. The Melita is in the picture for size (it’s the […]

Fri
16
Mar '18

Trip Report: Headed To Japan

Nice to have a washer/dryer when preparing to leave the continent for ten days. Woohoo, clean laundry! My trip to Japan kicked off with a humorous encounter at the ANA check-in counter…where I ran into Beth, Zilla, their two kids and his mother. And on my flight no less! Seems like they like to get […]

Wed
14
Mar '18

Home Report: The Washer/Dryer Saga Continued

Well, it finally came – the brand-new replacement washer/dryer for my brand-new washer/dryer. The replacement they installed for free (saving me the trouble), and I was amazed how they moved it in. Sadly, the pictures didn’t turn out as the flash freaked out on the reflective strip on their clothing. Long/short of it, they used […]

Fri
9
Mar '18

Trip Report: Berkeley For Laundry & Good Times

With my washer/dryer still on the fritz, once again I’m checking two bags filled with dirty clothes. Sigh. On the upside, it’s supposed to be delivered and installed the day after I get back. No upgrade on the way down, and I only had 80% of my seat due to a POS in the middle […]

Sat
3
Mar '18

Trip Report: Midweek to Denver

When I planned this trip back in November as one of the final “Cyber Week Sale” flight, I didn’t think it would have a theme, just thought I’d be going to visit Dan and Lisa. The new theme: Money, Laundering. Please note the comma. Before we get to the Money portion, let me explain the […]

Fri
2
Mar '18

Trip Report: LHR-LAX-SEA

One of the advantages of staying in Hounslow is that it’s four stops from Heathrow, meaning a short commute. It also helps that my flight isn’t until 1:10pm. Got to the airport in plenty of time – to search out Sobraine cigarettes in Cocktail Colours…sadly, once I found the Duty-Free Cigarette section, they didn’t stock […]

Wed
28
Feb '18

Trip Report: London

In my usual lazy travel way, I choose one major thing to do each day – and today, that would be the Beefeater Gin Distillery! Since the printer at the “business center” (one computer and a broken printer) was dead – I just took a photograph of the GoogeMaps page to find my way: It […]