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Uncle Markie out and about.

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Sat
10
Jul '21

Home Report: Furniture Project Creep

It started with a piece of walnut furniture. A piece of furniture made by the father of best friend in high school, gifted to me by his younger sister. Growing up together I spent a lot of time in the basement woodworking shop. He bought his walnut straight from the sawmill in southern Missouri and […]

Fri
2
Jul '21

Trip Report: Manitou Springs For A Train Ride

This is just a quick trip (two nights) to see the rehabilitated Cog Railway that goes from Manitou Springs (6,100 feet) to Pike’s Peak (14,100 feet). A month or so I read an article on the reopening, and talked Dan into going with me. Dan, who lives north of Denver, picked me up at the […]

Tue
29
Jun '21

Trip Report: San Francisco!

When you find airfare to San Francisco for $258, roundtrip, in First – book it! Had the pleasure of seeing one of Alaska’s latest livery in honor of the United Negro College Fund: Had my usual Caesar, eggs, and yoghurt in the Lounge before heading to the gate. Let me tell you – TRAVEL IS […]

Thu
3
Jun '21

Trip Report: Palm Springs AGAIN

When you live in Seattle, sun and heat are in short supply for most of the year. Started the day with the usual travel cocktail (and travel cocktail shirt – not shown), which because it was such an early flight, I had to grab garnishes from the Alaska Lounge since they don’t serve alcohol before […]

Fri
28
May '21

Trip Report: Indy For Friends

Oh, the joys of more relaxed travelling…Indianapolis here I come! I seem to have lost some of my packing skills: I have not lost my vacation day-drinking skills: Notice there is also some protein to soak up the alcohol. Sadly, the days of really cheap First-Class seats are coming to an end (probably why I […]

Sun
16
May '21

Trip Report: Escape To San Diego!

With my pod fully vaccinated, off to San Diego go I and Jonathan. Lunch in the Board Room: Pretty views from the plane (over the lap of the window passenger): I never grow tired of flying out of Sea-Tac. And then lunch, part two: AND FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OVER A YEAR – hard […]

Thu
18
Mar '21

Trip Report: Escape To Austin — 2X

Seattle tends to be gloomy in the winter, hence decamping to Austin a couple of times. First with Bliss, second just me. As usual – the trip starts with a Caesar! Bliss booked himself into a Saver seat for $129 round-trip, I booked myself into First for $360. Kevin’s seat comes with nothing, mine comes […]

Sat
6
Mar '21

Trip Report: Winter Mileage Runs

This year I’m only doing a couple of mileage runs, but they are all booked in First Class because tickets are still really cheap. Alaska also rolled over 35,000 Elite Qualifying Miles from last Winter/Spring trips so I gave me a BIG head start with making 75K Gold for 2022 (and the 50,000 mile bonus […]

Thu
14
Jan '21

Trip Report: Overnight On Hood Canal

One of my podmates, Bliss, has a cabin on the Hood Canal. It’s been years since I’ve been out there. Doesn’t help that it doesn’t have a shower (at the moment), but thought I’d try an overnight. Glad I did. It had been dumping rain in Seattle, but the day of the trip, suddenly, the […]

Mon
21
Dec '20

Year End Report: What A Screwed Year For Travel

For those who didn’t get a physical copy of my “end of 2020” seasonal card, here it is, and it pretty much sums up my feelings about 2020: Let me start with the fact that I already had 35,000 flight miles in my Alaska account by the time I stopped flying in mid-March. In August […]

Sat
19
Dec '20

Trip Report: Pod Buddy Getaway to Discovery Bay

A little midweek getaway with my Pod Buddy Bliss… A stay-in-mostly trip to Discovery Bay, on the peninsula west of Port Townsend, east of Port Angeles. Didn’t remember to take a shot of the resort, so I grabbed the one off the WorldMark site: Mind you, we were up the hill a bit. We were […]

Sun
15
Nov '20

Trip Report: I Needed Heat & Sun

There are several things Seattle lacks in the fall. Heat and sun. Hello Palm Springs. I booked the 3-bedroom place for Gay Pride weekend, but with Covid, no celebrations, and only two of us in a place that sleeps eight. As is my way these days, my trip starts at the Alaska Lounge for a […]

Fri
23
Oct '20

Trip Report: Pandemic Coast Starlight Train Trip – Day Three

Checked out a little before 11am (which was checkout time) and headed to the airport even though my flight wasn’t until 3:50pm. With the pandemic, the hot breakfast at the Wingate by Wyndham was a sack of takeaway thing like an apple, a muffin, a granola bar – all suitable to packing for the way […]

Tue
20
Oct '20

Trip Report: Pandemic Coast Starlight Train Trip – Day Two

Day two of my sequestered adventure. I interact with fewer people than I would on a trip to the grocery store, and masks are required. This would be sunrise over Northern California: For breakfast I headed to the dining car…which was dead. Even if it was at capacity, with the pandemic, every other booth is […]

Sat
17
Oct '20

Trip Report: Pandemic Coast Starlight Train Trip – Day One

Continuing my quest to find pandemic travel options that as safe as possible considering mask scofflaws. Thought I’d check out the train in a roomette. This is something that I booked back in May when I was looking forward to ANY travel. Hello Coast Starlight – it runs from Seattle to Los Angeles. Formerly it […]

Fri
9
Oct '20

Home Report: My 15 Minutes Of Fame

So, six weeks ago I posted about selling some footage for an HBO Sports Documentary – yes, me, a SPORTS documentary. Here is the link to that post: https://blog.unclemarkie.com/2020/08/22/trip-report-hbo-sports-documentary/ Well, three weeks ago they were in production and needed some additional footage that didn’t have to be exclusive to the Whistler Peak lift – just […]

Sun
4
Oct '20

Trip Report: Birthday Trip To Kansas City

Spent part of last week in Kansas City visiting my birth town (technically, one city over – Independence). The usual Caesar (a Canadian bloody Mary made with Clamato)…the lounge does a great job with these: Smoke is less than my flight a couple of weeks ago: Food choices have improved a bit – there is […]

Sat
19
Sep '20

Trip Report: What A Weird Short Trip It Became – The Way Home

At the end of the last post we saw the wind and rain. On, what turned out to be my last day in New Orleans, this might have been an indication that things were changing: Every door except the main two entrances were sand bagged. And then maintenance knocked on my door so that they […]

Fri
18
Sep '20

Trip Report: What A Weird Short Trip It Became – New Orleans During A Pandemic

While I feel comfortable enough to take Ubers in this time of Pandemic, not so for the infamous New Orleans street cars – but since I’m in the French Quarter, there is no shortage of places to walk and explore. Even found a National Historical Park that I didn’t know existed – the John Lafitte […]

Thu
17
Sep '20

Trip Report: What A Weird Short Trip It Became – Getting There

My second airplane holiday since the world changed in March. This was a trip (like Austin) that couldn’t be moved around – i.e. Use It Or Lose It. The Alaska Lounge is back to serving cocktails (though nothing Top Shelf, which was an extra charge PM [Pre-March]) which includes the Caesar, which is a Bloody […]