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Uncle Markie out and about.

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Sun
7
Jul '19

Trip Report: Return From The Big Apple

One of the downsides of the Wyndham New York Midtown is the 10am checkout. It’s a serious drag to get packed up, bags put in storage for the afternoon since my flight isn’t until 6:30. Caught an early lunch with Russ (11:30am, when they opened) at The Grand Central Oyster Bar – close to where […]

Fri
5
Jul '19

Trip Report: Big Apple

New York isn’t someplace that I really want to visit in July due to the heat and no cheap plane tickets. Flew into Newark (EWR) on United, using a ton (50,000 miles) for my First Class seat. Before the airline switched to “dynamic pricing” of its award seats, it would have been half that. But […]

Fri
28
Jun '19

Trip Report: Whistler — First Trip Of The Summer

Nothing like this on a driving trip: Had a BUNCH of 10 cent off Safeway Rewards. They only let me use 10 of them. We left on Sunday after I got off work – fortunately Mags lives close to the shop. Was only able to grab a one-bedroom at Birch Bay – Mags was on […]

Sat
22
Jun '19

Trip Report: Portland For A Food Show

Got back on the train headed to Portland (from my overnight stop in Centralia) at this wonderful 1912 station: This time I’m travelling in coach, but it was in the transition car with Bistro at the other end, so the seating layout was the same as Business, just no coupon for $3.00 or newspapers. It’s […]

Thu
20
Jun '19

Trip Report: Train To Centralia

After being home for weeks, I’m finally back on the road – well, the rails. Headed to Portland for a food show, but Centralia is the first stop. King Street Station in Seattle is as lovely as always: And there was a cool “company car” parked on a siding… It belongs to the Department of […]

Tue
4
Jun '19

Trip Planning: Around The World In Twelve Days

It feels a little “odd” to have NOT been travelling for the last month plus. It made my business partner happy as I picked up a much of Friday shifts, allowing him to putter around his garden and do house projects. That hasn’t stopped me from planning future trips. Summers I generally travel less because […]

Sat
4
May '19

Trip Report: Wedding Ramble, Part Three – Anaheim With No Ears

It sounded like a good idea at the time – a 6:55am departure from San Luis Obispo. In reality, I had to get up at 4:30, check-out, return the rental car with gas in it, and catch an Uber to the train station. A light rain as I waited for the train – the first […]

Thu
2
May '19

Trip Report: Wedding Ramble, Part Two – The Wedding

Back on the train to the reason for this whole ramble, The Wedding. Off I go way too early in the day from the Emeryville Amtrak station (chauffeured by Lunetta). And they are still serving breakfast! Followed by a nap (do you see a pattern here?), followed by a late lunch: With some scenery thrown […]

Tue
30
Apr '19

Trip Report: Wedding Ramble, Part One – Headed To Berkeley

It’s rare that I take a weekend off that I’m not out of the country. By mutual agreement with my business partner, I limit my weekends off during the year to three, maybe four. This is the very rare domestic trip, and since I have to take the weekend off for the wedding (more on […]

Wed
24
Apr '19

Trip Report: Chicago – Presidential Reserve Style

Bless The Colonels for their bounty. It will take years for me to pay them back for the wonderful places they are providing this year. Latest example is a One-Bedroom Presidential Reserve unit in the Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront. Got a flight into town during the day – a nice change, AND an upgrade to […]

Sat
13
Apr '19

Trip Report: San Diego For A Little Sun

Another adventure starting out at Paine Field – Seattle’s newest airport. This time Seth gave me a ride to the airport since he lives 10 minutes away. And gave me a place to park my car for a couple of days. Snagged the fare for $131 roundtrip – and since it was double miles, plus […]

Wed
3
Apr '19

Trip Report: Trying Out Seattle’s New Airport

Seattle has a new airport! Not terribly close to me, an hour north of downtown, but had to check it out (and they are offering double miles through the end of April, which with my elite bonus, it’s 325%). It was a quick trip to Portland for a cup of soup in the Lounge, and […]

Sat
30
Mar '19

Trip Report: SLO Wine

While Jameson was off at work, I was off at play, sampling some of the local wineries. Stop number one was Sextant, who has a branch tasting room and deli in the Edna Valley. Having not had breakfast, I needed food before wine: Was getting grounded after a little food, but did chat a little […]

Sat
30
Mar '19

Trip Report: SLO (San Luis Obispo) Fun

Last month I tried to visit SLO, and Amtrak failed me by cancelling two days’ worth of trains. My goal was to see Jameson before he and Carolynn get married next month since I know the wedding will be crazy and I’m betting I barely get to see his brother as well. Alaska does a […]

Fri
29
Mar '19

Home Report: 737max Storage

Two blocks from my house is the Duwamish River (with kayak launch for those that do those sorts of things in the park, and a boat launch for bigger things), and this is now the view across the river: If you go up the bridge – this is the view: From the middle of the […]

Thu
28
Mar '19

Trip Report: Vegas – Friends And Food

The main reason for the trip was the tour of the Nevada National Security Site, but you have to eat and hang out as well! After the tour, we actually went out for a nice dinner – a rarity for us since we all are good cooks, but someone (Jonathan) was in the mood for […]

Sun
24
Mar '19

Trip Report: Vegas – It’s More Than Gambling

There is more to do in Vegas other than gambling – if I’m going to throw my money away, I’d rather drink it away. If you want to gamble, you can even gamble in the grocery store! That said, there are LOTS of things to do without hitting the strip. Like tour a chocolate factory […]

Fri
22
Mar '19

Trip Report: Nevada National Security Site (NNSS)

Better known as the Atomic Testing Grounds north of Las Vegas. The tale of this trip starts last June when I’m on the NNSS site trying to get a tour (http://www.nnss.gov/pages/PublicAffairsOutreach/NNSStours.html) which book up about nine months out as they are thirty people, once a month. Upside is that it is free. We finally got […]

Wed
13
Mar '19

Home Report: Dark Matter For Lunch

Before I get to the Dark Matter, let’s cover lunch which is connected to Dark Matter, though I had the fish: That’s my crazy buddy, Seth, and, yes, we are having cocktails our lunch at Mamma Melina near U Village: I like to call this the “Tuesday Trifecta”. I get to see Seth, I get […]

Mon
11
Mar '19

Trip Report: Bay Area For Friends And Wine

Grabbed a ride with Rache to the airport – it was an hour earlier, than even I, the early arriver, arrives. Maybe I should have waited…since this was what I looked like in the lounge: No upgrade to First this time, I was number 8 on the list for only 12 seats since it was […]