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Uncle Markie out and about.

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Wed
25
Mar '20

Trip Report: Nagoya To Seattle

We had one last afternoon meal of conveyor belt sushi (see previous post) before I headed to the airport – since I have an early flight, staying at an airport hotel. This time (I’ve done this before), staying at the Centrair Hotel which is directly connected to both the train station and the airport: A […]

Mon
16
Mar '20

Trip Report: Japanese Vending Machines

One of the wonderful things about Japan is their Vending Machine Culture. Years ago, in Tokyo in the red-light district, I saw pornography in a street side vending machine. Nothing as tawdry this trip. Just everything from cigarettes, to beer, coffee, high balls…. Cigarettes — Hot dogs and French fries — Sodas, water, tea — […]

Sun
15
Mar '20

Trip Report: Osaka

So, took a late afternoon Shinkansen from Hiroshima to Osaka. If you were trying to save money, you could shave $25 off if you were willing to transfer three times and have it take 6 hours rather than 2. We took the semi-fast train (more stops, but direct). Unlike last night’s hotel, which was near […]

Sun
15
Mar '20

Trip Report: Hiroshima

With my unexpected extra time in Japan, Julian and I decided to head several hours south to Hiroshima, yes, that Hiroshima. Back on the train go we. And yes, there are little smoking rooms on the train: At the train station in Hiroshima, besides displaying cars… They also had a seating chart of the station […]

Fri
13
Mar '20

Trip Report: Couple Of Days In Nagoya

Change is in the wind. Next stop was supposed to be a hotel near Tokyo Disneyland Sea – until they closed the park, then shortly after, India cancelled eVisas for Japanese citizens. Delhi was the destination after Disney. Change is in the wind, roll with it. My answer? Cancel the Delhi-London section of the trip, […]

Wed
11
Mar '20

Trip Report: Gero, Japan – A Mountain Hot Springs Town

Having had a good night’s sleep in Nagoya – thanks to Julian buying a new guest mattress – in the morning we are off to Gero, which is a town several hours away, up in the mountains. WikiPedia link here. We took the slow (i.e. cheap) train, which took a couple of transfers – but […]

Tue
10
Mar '20

Trip Report: Seattle to Nagoya

The beginning of a 12-day adventure! All packed and ready to go. First, a stop at Duty Free – yes, the limit is THREE bottles going into Japan: Flight is on time… Riding in style – Japan Airlines Business Class to Tokyo’s Narita Airport with a stop in the lounge first… The plane is here… […]

Sat
29
Feb '20

Trip Report: February Mileage Runs

With being knocked out of the travel game for a month, I might finally be on the positive end of flying things I’ve booked. What I cancelled was: Tucson Boston Bogota Rescheduled Boston trip Raleigh Didn’t get in the air this year until February 5th with a mileage run to Raleigh. Puts me down by […]

Wed
5
Feb '20

Trip Report: Return To Victoria

The year of cancelled/reworked/cancelled travel continues. Boston off, Boston rebooked, Boston off, hello Victoria! Had the weekend scheduled off, hated to waste it. DancingBear and I returned to Victoria – this time for five nights! Lower floor unit, but much better views: A little more room inside on this unit – much less outside: And […]

Wed
15
Jan '20

Trip Report: Victoria

Turns out had been almost exactly three years since my last trip to Victoria – and my favorite desk person was still on staff, now as the supervisor! She thought the last time had been for my birthday. I looked it up, that was three visits ago, but there had been three visits in a […]

Sun
29
Dec '19

Work Report: Delayed Opening At The Shop Today

Got to the shop today, only to find that I couldn’t get to the shop. The street was closed in both directions for a “police action”. When they moved us back, I decided to grab an Irish Coffee at the Madrona Arms and watch the action from inside. The suspecteventually came out, and was taken […]

Tue
24
Dec '19

Trip Report: Trying A New Airplane Model

Had some extra Delta SkyPesos and wanted to check out the new Airbus A220-100 (formerly the Bombardier C-Series 100). And I had a spare Tuesday in December. I booked First Class on the way down and Premium for the return. The A220-100 is smaller than a Boeing 737, with a seating layout of 2-2 in […]

Tue
24
Dec '19

Trip Report: Pre-xMess Trip To Santa Fe

It has become an annual tradition to take a trip to Santa Fe in early December to visit my sis-in-law, her husband, and The Colonels who drive in from Kentucky every year between Thanksgiving and xMess. Yes, they drive from Eastern Kentucky to Santa Fe, New Mexico every late fall. You could almost set your […]

Wed
27
Nov '19

Home Report: Boxing Wine For The Holidaze

Weeks ago I got a notice from my favorite US winery that they were clearing out their cellars – and offering 60% off with flat-rate $20 a case shipping. SIGN ME UP! My favorite part of this sale was the formats other than 750ml – 375ml splits and 1.5ltr magnums. In the splits, there were […]

Sun
24
Nov '19

Trip Report: Trying A New Airline

As regular readers of this blog, you know my loyalties to Alaska Airlines very solid. But sometimes you have to try something new, and since I’ve hit Alaska MVP Gold 75K status for the year, I can afford to have a few miles post on another airline. That airline is JetBlue, but I’m not flying […]

Sat
23
Nov '19

Trip Report: The Pride of Palm Springs – Part Three, The Final Days

After the parade and a nap, it was time to head out to dinner – the choice this evening is Casa Blanca, which has three locations around Palm Springs. Attractive men at one end of the counter, not so, the other: They were out of sweet vermouth –so it was a very dirty Martini for […]

Wed
20
Nov '19

Trip Report: The Pride of Palm Springs – Part Two

This post is only about the Pay Pride Parade on the Sunday that we were there, nothing more. But you have to start out with a good breakfast! And now onto the Parade! The WorldMark Palm Springs is right at the beginning of the parade route, so we got to see them lining up, assembling […]

Mon
18
Nov '19

Trip Report: The Pride of Palm Springs — Part One

So, I have a friend…there are both jokes and snide comments possible with that start, BUT she has tasked me with managing (and paying the maintenance dues) for her 12,000-point WorldMark account so she just doesn’t have to thank about it anymore. It was a sore point between her and her partner. So far, I’ve […]

Sat
26
Oct '19

Trip Report: SF Quickie

Not sure why I made this reservation – I’ve already made Alaska MVP Gold 75K. But I like San Francisco, and there was room at the WorldMark San Francisco Union Square. Off I go. Booked this flight out of Everett Paine Field because it was $115 roundtrip – and I got upgraded to First 3-days […]

Wed
23
Oct '19

Trip Report: Return To Waikiki

After the long trip to Vietnam and travelling with other people, it felt like a good idea to take off on a self-holiday. Time for a little pre-takeoff breakfast! Got the upgrade after I’d already checked in so it was a window bulkhead seat rather than my preferred aisle, but an upgrade is an upgrade! […]