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Wed
9
Nov '11

Dinner With Dan And Sean.

Thank god for mid-day flights.

12:55pm departure and I’m at the airport a couple of hours before that having cocktails and eating free food. It may be $300 a year for the airline club, but I think I’m getting my monies worth.

Flight was running 40 minutes late, but I don’t’ have bags so Dan beats me to baggage claim since I’m at the end of A concourse and walk over the sky bridge.

Stuck in rush hour traffic, our dinner guest arrives before us and lets himself in to start cooking. A Yemeni recipe featuring chicken, sausage, turmeric, paprika, garlic and a thickener to make a gravy for a stunning stew like dish, with cashew green beans with lemon zest on the side with a bunch of roasted root vegetables. Damn that was good for just arriving from the airport.

Boys night in.

It’s a hard way to earn the lst of my Alaska miles to hit MVP Gold.

[214.0]

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Fri
4
Apr '14

Trip Report: Dinner With Dan (and Lisa) In Denver.

Talk about a quick trip…just an overnight outside Denver with my ex and his wife. I would have stayed longer but the cheap flights were only on Tuesday and Wednesday.

And when I say cheap — $118 round-trip. Add $23 for the rental car, $10 for gas, and $35 for airport parking in Seattle and you have my expenses other than breakfast in Denver on the way to the airport (under $5).

Did I mention that I was upgraded in both directions? Knew about the return upgrade, but the “at the gate” upgrade when I was sixth on the list when I checked was a bit of a shock as there are only 12 seats up front.

In honor of my quick trip – a bunch of “selfies”:

In the Alaska Board Room.

From my going list of Airline Club Lounge photos.

The view on the tarmac featuring a salmon-thirty-salmon.

Shocked at my gate upgrade to first.

Relaxing at Dan and Lisa’s place.

Even Winston has started to like me.

In the Admirals Club at the Denver Airport…I can’t believe I forgot to get a shot of the room.

Next time. And we know there will a next time.

[205.4]

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Tue
6
Dec '16

Trip Report: Day Drinking With DancingBear

Got a text from DancingBear a couple of weeks ago… “What are you doing the Wednesday the 30th? Want to do some day drinking?

Turns out he needed one more trip on Alaska to hit MVP status for 2017. Sure! He owned me about the same amount of money for our upcoming trip to Victoria, so I booked us seats using his credit card since at MVP Gold, I get access to better seats.

Off we go! Just me and the backpack…

Breakfast in the Alaska Lounge between C and D concourse:

Even managed to squeeze in a cocktail in the N concourse lounge – they start serving at 6am, and our flight left at 6:40 – barely enough time!

Before the free drink on the plane (once of the perks about being GOLD – drinks and chocolates)…

The seat next to me was ODDLY open – good thing since I’m number 32 on the upgrade list! And got a bit of a view shot, even being in the aisle seat:

It’s just a two-hour flight to Denver, and soon, we are on the train from the airport to Union Station on the new light rail service.

It’s less than 45 minutes from the airport to the city – which is amazing since the airport is in the middle of wheat fields east of the city. But we are there – with Dan and Lisa there to meet us.

Off to lunch at Next Door…

Featuring my first Manhattan of the day, complete with a Luxardo Cherry ($18 a jar at Madrona Wine Merchants). And Dan, his burger, magnetized silverware, and another shot of my Manhattan.

I had the burger as well, nice that it some standard with an arugula salad.

DancingBear had the meatballs over a bed of Polenta.

They asked Dan how he wanted his burger cooked, he said medium, they didn’t ask me, so I got it medium, found it a little dry with WAY TOO MUCH salt and pepper. Lisa’s Caesar also came pre-peppered, with too much, and DB’s meatballs I found bland. Too bad – the last time I ate here is was good. Maybe it was just the fried pickles we had the last time.

After lunch DancingBear and I are off on a random trip to check out the US Mint since there was a Car2Go across the street from the station:

…sad thing is that we actually couldn’t take the tour since I had a backpack and DB a briefcase, and they didn’t have any lockers which seemed odd, but I guess I can see it from a security standpoint – but for the tour you’d have to go through a metal detector, why couldn’t you put lockers beyond the metal detector and just hand-search all left bags. We did get to the gift shop – DB bought a hat (which he’d forgotten, and I found one on the 50% off rack) and some coinage as xmess presents.

Car back to the station, our asses back in seats (FYI, it’s $9 for a day pass – don’t know if that would include busses as well), and off to the Admirals Club Lounge we go – as an Alaska Lounge member (formerly known as The Board Room before the rebranding this fall), I get into all the Admirals Club locations that aren’t the Arrivals Lounges – if I’m on an Alaska or American ticket.

We were in the “quiet room” with cell phones prohibited – we only had THREE people who thought that didn’t apply to them. They really need to make the signage more prominent.

Managed to AGAIN get the seat open next to me on the way home as I was number 22 on the upgrade list. But in the end, DancingBear gets MVP, I get a few more miles, all is good.

[217.4]

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Fri
16
Oct '15

Trip Report: Denver For Dan’s Recovery

I didn’t realize how many people know about my phobia/dislike of hospitals so it came as a surprise when I got messages telling me what a good friend I was to actually FLY someplace to go to SOMEPLACE that I didn’t really like – but, it’s for a dear friend. Hard to imagine that two weeks ago we were travelling through the Midwest on our way to New Orleans to celebrate my birthday and now I’m here with him at the hospital. It was a planned surgery, one that was put off for two weeks so we could holiday first. The New Orleans trip had been planned for at least six months.

From the airport straight to the hospital:

Apparently the Catholics and the Jews can coexist in medicine, both on the outside of the building and the inside. Each room has both a cross on the inside and a Mezuzah outside on the door frame:


Guess we should a “before” shot…

And then there are the surgery shots….



Hard to believe that’s my buddy insides…but he has the photographs to prove it, along with the scar. Beside an aneurism (which they cut out) he had a leaky aorta, with only 60% of the blood making it through. Now he has a bovine (yes, as in cow) valve implant. He’s now a cross-species wonder to behold.

Here he is post-surgery with tubes and wires and whatnot coming out of him.

And resting semi-comfortably…as comfortably as one can who just had their chest cracked open – I took this shot the day after his surgery:

Wednesday afternoon (surgery was Monday morning) it was time to remove the drainage tubes – something I DID NOT stay to watch. I hung out with his father in the hallway. It’s still hard for me to look at these pictures, but I have to size them:

With the tubes out his color totally brightened as did his mood – sitting up and even walking:

Had to leave Thursday afternoon – dropped by to visit – and he was pretty out of it. Mostly just held space for him. Apparently it’s not unusual to have day four be a hard day – but they still let him go home later that afternoon, which is what he had been wanting.

As for me, after I left Dan I set up my office in the Admiral’s Club at Denver International Airport:

Not a bad way to fly considering I didn’t get upgrades in either direction – generally I was in the mid-teens on a 30+ person list. Lots of 75K flyers sitting around me. As for the blog – probably not anymore hospital posts, but I’ve got a ton of trips planned – finally had to organize the paperwork since it was getting out of control. Each of those unbound books is an upcoming trip!

And to wrap up this post, an update on my buddy Dan. He was readmitted to a hospital closer to home for a couple of days because of a little pneumonia – but according to him, the food was much better (flat iron steak and mac & cheese) with the built-in bonus of an emotional support dog:

Next week, Berkeley!

[? ? ?]

Wed
7
Oct '15

Trip Report: Birthday Ramble Part Four –

New Orleans

One of my traditions on the first night arriving in New Orleans is to wander down the street and go to Houstons. Yes, it’s a chain, albeit a small one, but I know there will be live jazz and that I can grab a spot in the bar and just eat good food and listen to good jazz. Isn’t that what New Orleans is about? Even better when you don’t have to fight the crowds in the French Quarter. Oddly enough, I pulled the dinner menu for the Kansas City branch (since I’ll be there in November) and I wasn’t as impressed – the New Orleans menu is much better.

This visit I took Dan along on my tradition. No Colonels as they were a bit under the weather.

That would be the band over our shoulders and Manhattans in front of our shoulders. And the food!

    

    

Clockwise from upper-left-hand: Hand-cut Fries, Oysters St. Charles, Skillet Cornbread, Gulf Coast Style Fish Sandwich. Not a dog in the lot. Yep, wees in nawlins.

If this blog post doesn’t make you hungry I pray for your soul.

Sightseeing for the first full day both The Colonels and I have the same idea, The Southern Food & Beverage Museum which was closed for relocation the last time I was in NOLA. But first, a visit to their on-site restaurant, Purloo (which is a traditional dish made with whatever meat happened to be leftover). The food did not disappoint (nor the atmosphere):

The bar (and the cute hipster bar tender) above, and The Colonels below:

And even though it’s only noon, I had to try their Old Fashioned which warrants a full-size photo AND the recipe: Bourbon or Rye with Demerara Syrup, El Guapo Chicory Pecan Bitters and Citrus Peel. I went for the Rye (and I remember a little mint in there as well).

And the food – not sure where the last photo is! Pretty sure Mr. Colonel had with Fried Chicken with Tasso Mac & Cheese and pickled Okra. Mrs. Colonel had the marinated flank steak over Thai noodles:

Dan had the fried catfish with stone ground grits and collard greens with a smoked tomato gravy…

And I went for a fairly light dish, the Crab Beignets:

Starting to worry about getting on the scales when I return home!

Well nourished, it was time for the Southern Food and Beverage Museum ($10 regular, $8 if you ate at Purloo, $5 Military) which also includes the The Museum of the American Cocktail and the La Galerie d’Absinthe. What’s NOT to love about this place!

And the cocktail section:

With the world’s largest cocktail shaker – 4 at a time!

And for my friend Joe (of Lisa), a collection of Tiki items (he has a Tiki bar in the basement in Indianapolis):

And we close with the pig:

As The Colonels age they are less and less up for going out to dinner, preferring some light appetizers inside, which is what we had before Dan and I headed out to dinner. The thought was The Blind Pelican half a dozen blocks away – but as it turns out it was “Friday Night Fight Night” (Military with ID get in free).

Yep, the blocked off the street and put up a covered fence. Second choice was VooDoo BBQ, which wasn’t as good as I remembered it, and with no bartender (on a Friday night no less), no Manhattan – I had to settle for an alcoholic slushy of some sort (which at least they refilled on the way out). We spilt one of the larger dinners:

And the funky interior hallway…

Saturday we made our way to La Place, Louisiana, home to some of the finest andouille sausage makers in the world, but first, lunch at The Cajun Invasion, this odd mix of Cajun and Vietnamese (which considering the number of Vietnamese shrimpers in Louisiana isn’t all that surprising):



Clockwise from upper left: Mrs. Colonel’s crawfish fried rice, Dan’s fried oyster po’boy, and my jambalaya and meat pie (was supposed to be crawfish, oh well). All surprisingly good for a strip mall restaurant in the middle of nowhere.

But the main reason for the trip was andouille sausage – The Colonels favor Jacobs (and they have it shipped), but reviews differ between first and second place for Baileys – and they are almost on top of each other. For me it was a contest of who had the surliest counter people.

Dan ended up with 1 pound of chicken, 1 pound of pork andouille from Baileys, and the same from Jacobs who smokes theirs for 20 minutes longer (according to local lore). Mrs. Colonel just got stuff from Jacobs.

Tonight we finally got to try the Blind Pelican, and boy did we try it!

Got a table outside with a view of the shrimp boiler:

But we weren’t here for the shrimp, we were her for the oysters! 5 dozen to be exact – three dozen raw, and two dozen charbroiled and topped off with a rack of ribs and coleslaw. During happy hour (4-8pm) oysters on the half shell are $3 a dozen (I kid you not) and $7.50 a dozen for the charbroiled – but you have to buy an “adult” beverage for every dozen you order. With Dan and I this wasn’t a problem.

It takes 4 line guys to shuck that many oysters for a full house:

And my aren’t they pretty:

They are VERY strict in their rules around happy hour oysters:

Sunday was a rainy inside day so we stuck close to home – we’d been making breakfast in the room with eggs, bacon, leftovers, and for lunch we went next door to Igor’s Bar, Grill, Laundromat, Library & Pool Hall. It was so weird to be in there with no one smoking, though 50 years of nicotine was still on the walls. Dan got the burger, I got the sausage sandwich:

Dinner tonight was at Basin on Magazine – a little too far to walk, so it was Uber time again! More oysters on the half shell:

Followed by the corn and crab bisque and seafood gumbo:

And the crispy pulled pork creation (half way through) that wasn’t that crispy:

Birthday breakfast at The Trolley Stop Café – a whopping $3.50!

Packed up the bags, stored them at the desk, and hung around the hotel reading and sitting in the sun – killing time until lunch, and then killing time until the airport.

Lunch was at Pho Orchid, also on the same block as the WorldMark New Orleans. Bun (meat over noodles with broth) for Dan, Korean Beef “tacos” for me.

And then it was time to Uber off to the airport – makes like our 5th
Uber trip in NOLA. Alas, we are in different terminals (Dan going out Southwest, me going out Alaska), and even the airport lounge I have access i to is in yet a third terminal. We say goodbye at the curb.

[? ? ?]

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New Orleans

Sun
1
May '11

Food Day.

The morning started with a huge breakfast at the Mercury Cafe, this organic place that’s been around in one location or another for years. I had the “Free Peyton Manning” breakfast special, whatever that means — apparently it means two medium over eggs and organic German link sausage with horseradish cream gravey, with cheesy home fries. Good, but heavy, even with the addition of a mimosa. We met Dan’s Mom and Step-Dad there who are in town for the birth of Dan’s brother’s twin girls scheduled for later this week.

Needless to say, after that breakfast it was nap time for Lisa and I. Dan isn’t so good with the mid-day snooze thing.

Later, off to the dog park for a short romp, the dogs not me. Me, I sat on a bench and continued on with the reading of Michael Tolliver Lives, by Armistead Maupin. When I’m done Dan (and maybe Lisa want to read it before they return it to Swanda for “the collection”. It’s just something that you can’t do very easily on the Kindle. Lots of open space north of Denver where Dan and Lisa live, apparently it was a requirement for developers to set aside land if they wanted to build.

A little reading break before Dan and I were off to see Dan’s father’s new condo — yes, his place is filled with unpacked boxes and unhung art just like Dan and Lisa’s. After a thermostat repair and a couple of shots of tequila, off to Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q. A chain, but the meat wasn’t bad, and all the sides looked good. With the breakfast this morning I should have opted for something a little smaller than the 2-meat platter (which was a lot of food for $12.95). Happy hour mean $2 well drinks, $2 tap domestic, or $3 tap domestic premium beers. Dan and Dad had domestic premiums, I had a double on the rocks. It’s sort of an “odd”chain. A dozen branches in/around Jacksonville, Florida, a couple of more along the east coast of Florida, and then two in the Denver Metro area. Odd.

Returned back to the house in the second food coma of the day, but at 8pm it was a little early to go to bed, so we read until both Swanda and FaceBook announced that Osama bin Laden had been executed so we hung artwork while waiting for the President to make the formal announcement.

The kids went to bed before me, but with the reading lamp now hooked up by the couch I read for a bit longer there, then off to bed for more reading.

Not a bad Sunday all around.

[? ? ?]

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Thu
5
Nov '09

Arrrr! Thirty Six Holes At Pirate’s Cove.

Miniature Golf That Is.

I could easily get spoiled by this schedule — the only thing missing is Rich’s Bloody Marys in the morning.

Bacon plus an egg scramble this morning — though we didn’t quite get through it all…

Work gets done between bits of this that and the other — i.e. the computer is on and I’m dealing with stuff as it comes up, and some of the stuff on my to-do list as well.

Then it’s time for tanning — yesterday’s picture is a good one. But for our pictures today we have two from last night. The great photo that they took at Roy’s for Dan and Lisa’s anniversary – and printed, and framed, and didn’t try and charge us $10 for… a sweet gesture —- and a great way to get people to come back for those special occasions:

p1090503

And the second one if later in the evening with Dan and I WiiBowling and Lisa needle-pointing:

p1090502

From today we have Dan playing with his putter as we played 36 holes of miniature golf (two different 18 hole courses linked together at Pirate’s Cove. The first (Captain’s Course) was a Par 40. Both Dan and I stroked 44 each with me getting 2 hole in ones — one on a Par 3 (most holes are Par 2) The second (Black Beard’s Challenge Course) was a Par 43… and man I sucked. I got a 55, Dan a 47. I had a couple of 6 putt holes. Ouch. Here is Dan on the first course:

p1090504

It’s been ages since I played even real golf. Tonight is cleaning out the fridge of left-overs as tomorrow is our last day here. The main course is a has made from the lamb and root vegetables from Tuesday night, accompanied with a salad with “Dressing du Dan”. There is still a pound of lamb to go — maybe that’s breakfast!

It’s our last night of hanging out inthe hot tub during “adult swim” time. Me in my “Tool Box” speedos and Dan in his underwear. I really need to remember to bring extras.

[? ? ?]

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Miniature Golf That Is.

Wed
20
Apr '16

Trip Report: Colorado Quickie

Again, no, not that kind of quickie! Just a two-night stay because I got a round-trip ticket for $40 plus the $100 eVoucher I got from Alaska for the detail on the Maui flight last month.

But first I have to “work” Monday – if it’s Monday, it means our distributors are showcasing parts of their portfolios – but this week’s wine tastings actually started on Sunday before work with the Locus Wines rose release party. A couple (now friends) is a nice combination, one is a winemaker, the other a professional chef, so in addition to good wine, you get good nibbles, like these:

Monday’s tasting (also rose) was larger, but the food really good, but not Ton (the Turkish chef) good:

Food in the center, wine in a horseshoe around it. Some weeks there are three tastings scattered around the city, some weeks, none, but that’s my usual Monday.

Tuesday morning is off to Denver on a mid-day flight. Actually saw a couple of examples of Alaska’s new livery:

The new livery would be the 3rd of the 4 planes in a row. The 1st is their Hawaii-themed – not sure if they are going to remake part of the fleet with the flowers or not – here is a closer show of the new livery:

Uneventful flight to Denver – in the back, WAY BACK – exit row aisle in a completely packed plane where I was 13th on the upgrade list. Luckily, with MVP Gold, it still comes with a free cocktail even in the back.

While I’m in the air flying to Denver, Dan is in the air flying from Las Vegas after a two-day business meeting. Upside is it means I have a ride waiting – though actually, I’ll be the one waiting. His flight gets in a couple of hours after mine. But I’m good at waiting – as long as I have lounge privileges…

But nothing is every simple – Alaska uses “C” concourse, as does Southwest who Dan is flying, and the Admirals Club which offers reciprocal privileges, is in “A” concourse. Luckily all gates are behind security.

I’d never been out to “C” concourse, and I think it’s main lobby area is amazing:

Very Mayan – at the bottom of the photo is the train system that takes you to the main terminal and baggage claim.

A couple of hours of drinking, eating brie bisque and reading newspapers – it was off to meet Dan at the gate:

That is the smile of someone who hasn’t been met at the gate in way too long!

I brought Dan back to the Admirals Club for a drink and a bowl of bisque while we waited for the worst of rush hour to die down. Then it was off to lovely Louisville – wedged between Boulder and Denver.

One of the “chores” of this trip is to figure out if this “computer on a stick” will actually perform as advertised:

The connector on the end is a HDMI connector, so that gives you an idea of the size of the unit. It shipped with Windows 8.1 but we got it upgraded to Windows 10 – but didn’t ever get sound to come out of it, so I’ll try my TV at home – could be an issue with Dan’s tele.

A very relaxed visit – with Dan taking off Wednesday to just hang out – including hanging out with BrightHeart!

He brought a Chai Rum from a local distillery – good, but not $40 good in my opinion!

Wednesday evenings meal was courtesy of a $$$ off coupon for a Mongolian BBQ place in a suburb over:

The food was good, but man, the place was PACKED with kids. That was a bit of a downside, but $10 off $30 made it worth it.

The next day it was back to the airport, back to the Admirals Club, more brie bisque (you’d think they’d change their soups daily like Alaska’s Boardroom), and other seat in the back – this time number 14 on the upgrade list – my window seat view:

Uber’d home from the airport. Still cheaper than a cab – even with the $5 airport fee. I can imagine that all the cab drivers are pissed if you saw the number of Uber and Lyft pickup area.

[? ? ?]

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Sun
26
Sep '10

Epic – Day Two.

Due to who we (not the usual Royal We, but Dan and myself) can get on the sloooow interent connection here at sea, most posts will end up being half yesterday, half today.

YESTERDAY LATE:

Lovely dinner in the Manhattan Club – which is the regular dining room that you must wear pants (as opposed to shorts) – same menu as the other regular dining room, Manhattan is just a little more upscale.

Some things have changed – you used to be able to get free espresso/cappuccinos’ after dinner – not anymore. Too bad – means they missed out on serving me a $10 shot of Cointreau – not going to pay for that on top of a double espresso. Regular coffee for me tonight – unusual, but at 8pm we have the Friends of Dorothy (LGBTwhatever get together) in the Blues Club. Bad location… loud blues starts after an hour, and for the half hour before, other folks are scouting the best seats, and a bad time – 8pm. In the middle of dinner/shows/etc. Rumor has it that on Monday the time will go back to 5:30 in a different bar (like the previous cruise). Whatever happens, it still means ordering at least one cocktail added to the bill.

Will probably miss tomorrow, but pick it up again on Monday…

Speaking of cocktails, here is the list of what we managed to evade confiscation on:

  • 1.5 liter Evan Williams
  • .75 liter McClennan Single Malt Scotch
  • 3oz. each Vodka, Rum,
  • 6 oz. Sweet Vermouth
  • 3 minis — scotch/rum/tequila (Dan)
  • Flask of Scotch (Dan)
  • 2 bottles of red wine
  • Plus the 2 bottles of wine that Barbara from Pegasus Travel had delivered to our room.

That will help keep our liquor bill down!

After FOD, it was a quick cocktail back in the room before the 10pm show by the Blue Man Group. Loud, noisy, fun – but it falls into the category of “that was interesting, glad I didn’t pay retail for it, no need to do it again.

Midnight snack and internet session – Dan and I are splitting $100 of slow connection, but doing it through his laptop which shares the signal so that we both (and Lisa if she wants to check mail) – so you could say that we are getting twice our money’s worth, but considering the connection speed… we need it.

To bed late late late in my love pod. See pictures when I get them posted after the trip.

MORNING, SEA DAY TWO:

Continental breakfast delivered to the room at 9:15 this morning (requested 9:30, but oh well). Croissants, fresh fruit, coffee, three juices – mostly for mixing into cocktails later this afternoon, but the tomato juice made a nice bloody mary with the addition of the lemon they provided, and the hot sauce and vodka that I provided – still needs horseradish and celery seed. Life is rough here at sea.

Dan and Lisa went topside for a real breakfast – I think the Continental will do me until it’s lunch time, after all, I did have my midnight snack.

We are at sea today, with nothing really planned for the day/evening as of yet. Maybe we will go back and see the blues band at 9pm – they were actually pretty good (unless you actually wanted to carry on a conversation!). They even were travelling with a Hammond C-2 or 3 (couldn’t tell) like I had at my church out on Lopez.

Stay tuned for more details….

[? ? ?]

Mon
14
Jan '08

Work, Then Play.

8:30am staff meeting — yes, me, in an early morning staff meeting. Shocking.

This week I’ll be reporting from a work/play trip to Sunny Florida (or at least I’m hoping for sunny) logging some billable hours for Shirts of Bamboo.

After Dan’s doctor’s appointment we are off to Daytona Beach — too bad it isn’t spring break with all the half naked guys running around. Well, not exactly after the doctor — there is picking up the rental car and getting lunch in with Lisa before we hit the road.

Check-in is at 4pm at the lovely (hopefully) WorldMark Ocean Walk. It’s a two-bedroom penthouse — which hopefully means sometime more (like a private hot tub) than waffle weave robes. WorldMark really needs to fix their descriptions if it doesn’t. Example: WorldMark Oceanside (the other ocean — north of San Diego) is an example of a “Penthouse” not including a private hot tub — should be renamed Deluxe instead.

Current plan is to check-in, see what they consider a full kitchen, and then do shopping for two days of dinners and breakfasts. It’s also turned into a business trip since Dan will be meeting with a store owner (seven locations) about carrying some bamboo items from our wholesale line.

Stay tuned for updates, unless I’m having too much fun.

MID-DRIVE UPDATE

Nothing like two geeks on holiday. We are finally making some time after having to repeated stop to get the toys in the rental car working. No Toyota Camry as promised, but instead we have a Ford Fusion with 3800 miles on it — the the Microsoft/Ford Sync system — hence the technology delays.

It was easy enough to get the computer plugged in and hooked up to the system so that we can listen to KPLU (Seattle Jazz Station) and still get directions from Microsoft Streets and Trips via GPS. It was getting the bluetooth on my phone to work — never did, but Dan’s newer bluetooth phone does work, and it downloaded his address book and everything. It’s actually better that his phone work than mine since he gets more calls than I do.

Next stop, Daytona Beach.

******** STOP THE PRESSES ********

Special Update for Helene: Lunch with Dan and Lisa at Pho 97 — a lovely Vietnamese restaurant on 34th in St. Pete. Great fresh rolls which both Lisa and I had — and I had a pork sandwich as well (my portion of the bill…. $5). Nice lunch before being dropped at Hertz.

AND NOW BACK TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAM

Off to the market and the liquor store. Publix is a couple of miles north of us. Dinner is both shrimp and lamb with salad, bread, and asparagus…. on the worst collection of cookware that I have ever seen in a WorldMark resort. It’s so bad it is worthy of MORE than the call for a supervisor (still hasn’t shown up), a failing comment card, and many comments on the WorldMark Traveler’s Forum as to “what to expect”.

And here is a shot of Dan and I from last night. I’ll give the link to the rest of the photos when I get them uploaded.

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Sun
4
Oct '15

Trip Report: Birthday Ramble Part Two –

The California Zephyr

I sometimes feels like I’ll be on the road all the month of September (and October and November). This installment if from the California Zephyr between Denver and Chicago. What I learned is that two people in a Roomette is a tight squeeze.

As you can see by how close our knees are!

Bring lots of booze and mixers, it’s OK according to Amtrak if you are in a sleeper – and they will even uncork your personal wine in the dining car (leave a GOOD tip!). Dwight taught me to give some of the tip up front for better service with the room attendants.

Boarded the Zephyr in time for dinner, went for the short ribs in red wine demi glaze…with a nice bottle of wine we packed with us. Only once have I had them refuse to open a provided bottle – usually all it takes is, “Ours is better, and we tip well.” As usual, I took my dessert “to go” while Dan ate his ice cream at the table. I should point out that there were no salads with our dinner as they had a refrigerator issue and FROZE all the lettuce.

And before you know it, it’s time for bed:

View from the end of the train, which oddly, the sleepers are at. Normally the sleepers are at the front of the train. Because of this:

Everyone’s phone went off at 7AM with flash flood warnings, luckily not for the railway. Almost as good as an alarm clock to get up and have the scrambled eggs – they were out of the omelet, but still had the Railroad French Toast (think Denny’s with the same corn syrup dressing).

Along the way be pass all sorts of stations in all architectural styles… here is the Creston, Iowa station:

But actually, THIS is the Amtrak station in Creston, Iowa:

Or the box that is Ottumwa, Iowa’s station. Extra points for the fictional television character from Ottumwa.

Answer: Radar O’Reilly from the TV series MASH.

It was at Ottumwa, Dan needed to do a little trackside yoga to combat the tight quarters – next time a Bedroom rather than a Roomette:

And here is our lovely room attendant who kept us well stock in ice:

Just after leaving Burlington, Iowa (on the border with Illinois) two hours late, we passed this lovely suspension bridge that I’d actually driven across a couple of years ago when I was visiting Galena, Illinois with Lisa and Joe (stayed at the WorldMark Galena). Galena is mostly known as the home of Ulysses S. Grant.

As you can see, the weather is clearing up. Just in time for lunch – bacon cheeseburgers for the both of us, oddly they’d acquired some iceberg lettuce for the burgers to go with the tomato and onion. And sure enough, the sun is out showing off the corn fields:

And better late than never, we finally arrive in lovely Chicago, a little over two hours late. Here is a shot of the old station which rumor has it they are bringing back to life:

And a GREAT shot of Chicago that looks like Seattle because:

  • There are draw bridges
  • There is a Boeing logo on their headquarters
  • There is a Starbucks

Time for a little food – even though they say we are getting dinner on board, I’m skeptical…off we go after trying to reach his CDW rep he deals with…Dan does the logical thing – he goes on Yelp and looks for happy hour specials within 3 blocks. We ended up at Blackies, with half of Chicago hanging out in the sun:

Buffalo Wings and Manhattans – that’s a happy hour!

Dan is looking happy.

As we were leaving Blackies – Dan gets the call – so we are off for MORE cocktails with his CDW rep at the sports bar in the train station!

I love this photo – and before you know it, we are on the train headed to New Orleans. They were serious about the meal – they loaded us 45 minutes before The City of New Orleans was scheduled to leave. No rocking for dinner! Stay tuned for the next post.

[218.6]

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The California Zephyr

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 “laundering” part. Exhibit A:

Exhibit A is an all-in-one ventless washer-dryer that I got in January to replace my first-generation model that lasted 13 years. The new one worked WAY better than the old one, having clothes come out warm rather with a little dampness like the old one. Well, it worked better when it worked – got less than ten loads out of it before it locked the door, gave me an error code, and forced me to call warranty service (GE Appliance Repair). Called on a Saturday morning, and they were out Monday morning (a longer service window than I would have like 8am to noon). Sadly, he needed two possible defective parts…which as it turns out, the control board was on backorder…until April 3rd. This saga played out over about three weeks whilst I was in Hawaii first, then 10 days in Europe.

As of Thursday, we have resolution. They are sending me a brand-new machine, installing it, and taking the dead one away. I think it would have been cheaper for then to air freight in the control board from China. Install date will HOPEFULLY be Thursday/Friday/Saturday of next week before I leave for another 10-day trip. I’m trying to push most of my travel to the beginning of the year when business is lighter.

What all of this means is that I’ve been without clean laundry for weeks now – and why I packed two bags of dirty clothes to visit Dan and Lisa and borrow their washer-dryer.

But back to Denver – Lisa was a doll and picked me (and my laundry) up at the airport, after my ride-to-the-airport scare of forgetting my laptop bag and less time that usual before my light.

On the upside, at least I’d gotten the upgrade to First Class, so there was food on board:

Think sort of a Southwest-style breakfast plate served in my favorite seat (1C). The stress of the airport run led me to order several vodka-cranberry doubles.

Once we got back to their house way north of the airport, those double led to nap time. Like a three-hour nap! The joys of holidaying.

The evening plan was dinner for five, we were joined by another couple around the dining table for “Instant Pot” pork belly, bok choy, and potato salad. Sadly, the only picture I have of dinner is of the bottle of Bonny Doon Le Cigaré Volant from 2008:

It worked quite well with the richness of the pork belly. Green and Black Organic Chocolates from the Alaska Lounge was dessert for several of us. Others had ice cream.

Even with the nap, I was in bed early – and oddly, UP EARLY. This has been happening for the last couple of nights since returning from Europe last week. Gave me time to get some work done in the morning before we headed into town to hook up with DancingBear, who was flying out to Denver on a mileage run combined with lunch with Dan and I, and a tour of the U.S. Mint.

We met up at the train station since there is a direct link to the airport – and grabbed a table (after swinging by the mint to get tickets for the 2PM tour) at Stoic & Genuine – where I’ve eaten before and can best describe as, “top-notch”, and “not-cheap”. With tip, $145 for lunch and drinks for three.

The lunch:

Maker’s Mark Old Fashioned for DancingBear, a Nigroni for me, Haut Toddy (which was actually a Star Wars themed cold drink) for Dan.

Nice, open, airy place with a cute bartender (you’d have to zoom in). And superb food, like my (and Dan’s) fish (cod) and chips…

And DancingBears Diver Scallops on Beat Salad…

Portions were not huge, but excellent quality.

Mint tour wasn’t until two, so we had time to kill at the train station – which is a great place to hang out and watch people:

Got to the mint at the required 1:30pm for our 2pm tour…to find us last in line to go through a very thorough security (cell phones off, no purses, backpacks, knives)…

No pictures allowed inside, so, here is the entrance:

DancingBear hit the gift shop for coinage sets for his collector Mom, and back to the station to drop him off before heading back north to make a liquor store run for me to pack in all that clean laundry.

Dinner my last night was pan-fried steaks with some more of bok choy from last night – not a fancy the pork belly, but just as tasty (and there will be leftover steak to go in the morning scramble).

Sadly, I wasn’t there for the scramble – I had a 9:45AM flight which put us in rush hour traffic to the airport – don’t know why I booked this particular flight (must have been cheap, which it was at $150 r/t), but I’ll know two things for future trips:

  • Arrive and leave mid-day
  • Two nights isn’t really enough

No upgrade on the way back, and a completely full airplane, but I was sitting in a row of partiers, so we all had a great time.

Home and a nap.

[222.2]

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Fri
21
Feb '14

Trip Report: Denver

A couple of months ago I snagged this GREAT fare to Denver on United Airlines… $118 round-trip! You can imagine my surprise when I also got UPGRADED in both directions. Snagged another one in early April for the same price on Alaska, but that one is just an overnight. I try and visit Dan and Lisa as often as I can find cheap fares – it cheers him up from the burden of financial and the resulting emotional stress.

Lots of “selfies” in this post – apparently I was on a roll this trip.

In the Alaska Board Room even though I’m flying United – speaking of which – the plane box, the plane – sporting an EcoSkies livery:

Typical rainy Seattle day…wouldn’t want to be a ramp worker today.

Settled into Seat 1A. Not my favorite, that would be 1B (bulkhead aisle), but it’s a free upgrade and in the bulkhead so no one can put their seatback into my space.

And with United you get a cocktail while you are still on the ground. The blue ear buds are my short-haul noise cancelling headphones. For the longer trips it is still the over the ear Bose.

Looks like someone is a little behind in changing their signage at the Denver airport:

One of my cocktail glasses from the flight was still branded Continental so did them a favor and liberated it so that it can go into SuperModel’s collection.

Lisa met me at the airport for the 45-minute drive to their place in Broomfield – when it’s just an overnight trip (like the one coming up in April) I rent a car since it asking a lot to have someone spend three hours over two days running back and forth.

A shot of Dan and I being silly – well, it’s really just me begin silly:

The first full day found us checking out the new Trader Joes in Denver – one of three coming in the next couple of months, and the only one to have a separate but attached liquor store due to some odd state liquor laws which says you can’t have more than one liquor store permit. The store just opened a couple of days ago and it’s a zoo… we had to park two blocks away:

Serioulsy – the checkout line started at the BACK of the store even though they had 10 checkout lines open.

After a quick bite of TJs snacks it was off to a quick visit to Dan’s father George. He’s got quite the aquarium system filled with all sorts of coral, fish, and odd creatures:

Dinner tonight is what I brought from Seattle – lamb shanks. Though I guess you could say I brought some of last night’s dinner as well since I showed up with a pound of lox trim (for toasted bagels from Moe’s Bagels in Boulder) from Trident Seafoods which bought out Port Chatham where I’ve shopped for years especially for XMess presents for the family. Wow, that was a run-on, now back to shanks:

On my last full day in Colorado is moving all the tools from Dan’s garage to the basement to make it easier to get both cars and his motorcycle parked:

Then it’s a Depot Dog at Home Depot – huge selection – I went for the Beer Braut. Next up was Diet Verners and Coke from King Soopers to restock Dan and Lisa’s fridge with what I usually drink. And finally off to Total Beverage to fill the suitcase with liquor. Here is a great bit of merchandising – the Olympic rings done in 12-packs of CocaCola products:

Up and out of the house by 8AM for my flight home. My breakfast at the French Bistro (Pour La France) in the airport:

Eggs Benedict served on a croissant.

And for the rest of the post, just a bunch of “selfies” in the airport and onboard my flight home, where I actually had TWO first class seats to myself – not that my butt is that big:

210.8

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Thu
23
Sep '10

Greetings From Miami.

Ah, the tropical heat of Miami – didn’t miss it, still don’t. Plane landed on time – and by 8am I’d had a quick breakfast and was looking for someplace quiet to hang for a couple of hours until Dan and Lisa arrive from Tampa (driving). The answer – across from the post office (I also needed postcard stamps) was the chapel – not in my terminal, but pre-security. Nothing like spending your first three hours in Miami in church.

Actually, it worked out really will. I hung out in the back of the chapel with my luggage, in a dark corner – only two people popped in. I tried to look awake for them.

They made good time so we were out of the airport a few minutes after 11… much better than the noon I’d been expecting.

Next stop – some place that served healthy organic food between Miami International Airport and Boca Raton where Dan’s grandparents live. The answer was Metro. Dan and I opted for the cheeseburger with Fontana cheese, Lisa went for the seared Ahi – which is what I should have gone for because the burger was huge. Oh well.

Grocery store, then off to the Grandparents – me happily sleeping in the back of the Element. I really dislike red-eye flights, even up front.

Introductions, then naps for all of us – Dan and Lisa were up early as well as having a concert the night before.

Dinner of a veal pot roast, big salads (needed that) and a nice bottle of wine.

Canasta after the dinner dishes were cleared and cleaned. I watched and tried to get a feel for the game after a thirty year absence in playing. It may take me another round of watching as the game ended prematurely with Lisa scoring a “junk hand” on her first draw – for 5000 points, and the next round Grandmother Slyvia (Lisa’s partner) scored a win on pairs closeout after a couple of rounds – the odds of getting either of those hands is astronomical, and the odds of getting one after the other… well, I can’t calculate them.

Glad I wasn’t playing that hand.

[? ? ?]

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Tue
18
Nov '14

Trip Report: Quick Trip To Denver

Off to see my ex and his wife because the fare was so damn cheap… $135 and some change round-trip. No First Class on the way out, and a bad on-line seating chart left me in a middle seat, but at least it was an exit row.

Lisa met me at the airport and we stopped at Total Beverage to stock up the house on Bourbon and Boxed Wine, and to stock my suitcase with 3 bottles of bourbon (to replace the couple of bottles of Captain Rat Cinnamon Brandy that I brought.

And then there was the weather that greeted me:

Poor Winston who had to go out and do his “business”:

Yep, little booties and a sweater as its below freezing.

Dan was off this Wednesday (with Lisa working, so that was a change from the usual) so we ran a couple of more errands and engaged in unhealthy lunching. Yep, that would be Five Guys Burgers:

I do like their product – and even ate the bun.

The afternoon was filled with installing a recirculating pump on the hot water heater so that the hot water is almost instantaneous…got all done but the upstairs bit before we had to leave for BrightHeart’s Buddhist monk ordination. Fairly amazing that I just happened to have booked this trip before I got the invitation. It was a bit like an episode of Portlandia with nothing set-up when we all arrived at the church. We could blame the snow – took me pushing Dan’s Miata up the driveway to get us there. The ceremony was long and drawn out, with lots of audience recitations – clocked in at an hour.

We didn’t stay for the reception – the fear of more snow. Both starving we stopped at Old Chicago Pizza and split a cup of soup and a couple of crispy chicken salads, with me having a couple of Manhattans to wash it down. Nothing for Dan as he was driving.

Got back to the house and finished the plumbing project while working on some nice rye – and before you knew it, bedtime.

Noon flight back – Lisa was going to drive me since she was off, but Dan woke up sick and called in and ended up driving me because Lisa was apparently in worse shape.

Took a bit of time to check-in, luckily it turned out to be a delay with a good reason – a First Class upgrade to seat 1F. Window, but I’m not complaining. And my plane is here! It’s way at the end.

And it’s still snowy out:

Alaska has an agreement with American to use their Admiral’s Club in Denver. I’ve been there a bunch of time. Nice, airy, free booze and snacks…I ordered a Whiskey and Diet – and this is what I got:

Only one of those and a couple of cookies and it was time to head to the gate.

Now all we need is the flight crew which is stuck behind an accident on the way to the airport – luckily we did get out on time considering the number of folks onboard who had connections heading to Alaska (from cold to colder).

Not a bad lunch in First:

A nice Chicken Caesar.

I was home in plenty of time to make myself a nice quite evening meal and relax away from the cold and snow (well, away from the snow).

[225.6]

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Mon
1
Jun '09

Denver: Day Two.

Out of bed at a little after 8 so I could get some breakfast in me before they stopped serving — at 9:30 it turns out.

Dan, Lisa and George show up at 10:30 for our trip to the DAM, the library, and maybe the mint. Oh the plans of people sightseeing on a Monday.

  • DAM (Denver Art Museum) closed on Mondays
  • Library open, nice short tour
  • Mint by reservation only

Instead — we are off to Paris on Platte for lunch and then spice shopping next door — you could smell the spices half a block away. Yum.

After our misadventure it’s back to the hotel for me, and off to nap time for Dan and Lisa. I did get a little work in, but missed the nap.

Dinner at the Buffalo Bar and Grill a couple of miles from Dan’s Dad’s Place. I had the buffalo meatloaf which was good, and generally everything looked good… and the prices weren’t too bad either — max entree was like $15. I don’t understand how a bar cannot have bitters to make a Manhattan — geez, it’s like $2 a bottle.

After dinner we took George home and headed to Dan and Lisa’s friends from Seattle who move to Lafayette, Colorado which was 30 minutes away on the north end of town. Great folks, great kids — and that’s alot from me!

Home at 11:30 exhausted — but not too exhausted to finish this blog post.

Tomorrow — no morning plans other than work.

[? ? ?]

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Thu
5
May '11

On The Road, Again.

But Without Willie.

Nelson, That Is.

I tried to put off getting out of bed, and I must have because the rest of the morning was a fairly good clip to get everything packed and ready to go. At least Dan and Lisa cooked breakfast and left some for me to reheat.

Out of the condo at noon, the appointed check-out time. Lisa driving, Dan at shotgun, UncleMarkie in the back.

Intermediate destination, the Arco Gold Mine in Idaho Springs (Colorado, not Idaho). By the time we got there we were all more interested in lunch than a mine tour, though we did go to the gift shop after said lunch.

As for lunch, probably the best patty melt I’ve had in years, though, once again, I’m in a food coma for the rest of the afternoon. Hilldaddy’s (is that like a SilverDaddy but from the hills?) Wildfire Restaurant, right on the main drag near the eastern exit from I-70.

But back to the mine:

Having been to a gold mine last month (the Britannia Mine in southwestern British Columbia), it was fine to miss this one. But apparently up the road in Georgetown there is a steam train route. Sorry I didn’t know about that. Might have gotten out of bed earlier! We attempted to stop by an antique store on our way out of town, but when we arrived after lunch… the amusing sign was posted on the door ¯ “Gone to pick up the Grandkids, back at 4”. Too late for us.

I napped while Dan ran errands (pick up the dogs, new eyeglasses from WallyWorld). Or I should say I tried to nap. Damned warm today, and the sun is out.

Nothing special for dinner tonight, with the big lunch all we did was nosh as each of us got hungry.

My evening was spent loading the rest of the software on to the new computer. That would be the part of getting a new computer that I REALLY hate.

But one more photo to share since it is Cinco de Maya today:

Those would be the martini/margarita glasses next to the stack of plastic ones.

[? ? ?]

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But Without Willie.

Nelson, That Is.

Fri
12
Dec '14

Trip Report: Detroit To See Auntie (Part One)

Early out of the house. Early to the airport. No upgrade – checked for the upgrade starting Friday, then Saturday, then Sunday, and gave up and checked into my seat in 6D. Bulkhead. Light load so I had the middle seat open.

And then the “miracle” happened – they were about to close the door and the flight attendant “gave me the look” and pointed at Seat 1C (my favorite). Before I knew it, gone was the prospect of the Buy On Board breakfast strata (good by the way) and it was the freebie menu:

That said, the “Turkey Sausage Eggs Benedict” was a little odd…

And no salt and pepper… they forgot to plate it. And you can see my freebie Digi-Player where I watched half a season of Season 6 of The Big Bang Theory.

Got to Detroit, grabbed my bag, grabbed my rental car, and headed off to visit my Auntie Norma for a couple of nights. And see some sights.

Got settled in and then we were off to Miller’s Bar for burgers (there goes the diet). Auntie is looking good!

We got settled and she texted her buddy Dan The Drummer Man to tell him where we are (it is one of their haunts after choir practice) and he showed up and helped us finish the fries and the onion rings. Great times, that continued back at the house. Dan’s a couple of years younger than me, but with more baggage (ex-wife, children, etc.)

Up at 8:30 (thanks Norma for the coffee) and after some deviled eggs (easier than cooking) it was off to the The Henry Ford Museum and the Rouge F-150 Truck Plant Tour.

Highlights: The Museum, or at least a small portion of it…

The 1952 Weiner Mobile.

 

They even had a cute little machine to Mold-A-Rama your own little Henry Ford Museum
Weiner Mobile:

And here is a little video of how it works:

Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion House made by the Cessna Aircraft Factory in Wichita, Kansas:

And the interior of said house:

And the Rosa Park bus:

And the interior of said bus:

And the row of Presidential Limousines….The Roosevelt

The Truman:

The Kennedy:

The Reagan:

Plus some fun signage…

And LOTS of cars, trucks, you name it:

And my favorite exhibit of all, the 1930’s Urinal Stand – OK, it WAS in the bathroom:

Took the bus over to the Rouge Truck Plant which produces the new all-aluminum Ford F-150 – you know I love a good factory tour (ask Jill about the Airbus Plant Tour in Toulouse, France). The routine is:

  • Bus to the plant
  • Theatre Number 1 – The Ford History with a seriously glossed over Ford/Union segment
  • Theatre Number 2 – The new F-150 told as a Vegas-style show
  • Observation Deck – The only place other than the car display where photographs are allowed
  • The Plant Tour – DEFINATLY no photos here, though thoroughly interesting

The only photo:

The Rouge plant itself dates from 1917 (completed in 1928), covers 1.5 miles x 1 mile, has its own deep-water port, electrical power plant, and was designed as the first integrated auto manufacturing plant, from iron-ore coming in the front door to make steel, its own glass plant, a tire plant, the works (as they say).

After the tour, missed a turn getting back to Aunties (it’s only .5 miles from The Henry Ford) and stumbled onto a store that she mentioned taking me to – beat her to it. Merchants Fine Wine (and other things):

Where I found a bottle of Evan Williams to replace what Dan The Drummer Man and I killed last night, and a couple of interesting Vermouths that I haven’t tried before:

  1. Stones Original Ginger from the UK ($13.99)
  2. Vermute Lacuestra Rojo from Spain ($15.99)

Haven’t tried them yet, but will add to the stack of things Jim and I need to try.

Dinner tonight at the Elmhurst Taproom – home of the clam stew (and other things):

And the Greek Salad with beets (apparently VERY common in Michigan). We each ordered one, we should have split one:

And the MASSIVE amount of Mussels for $14:

Finished working off Auntie’s “Honey Do” list – just like visiting Mom! – after dinner.

Tomorrow, the Detroit Institute of Arts.

[226.2]

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Sat
30
Apr '11

SEA-DIA-First Bank Center.

I love early afternoon flights. You get up at leisure, you have your coffee, you take your poop, you have a little breakfast, and THEN you head to the airport. Or in my case, to the apartment to leave the car, then take light rail to the airport.

I was all checked in and in the lounge at 11:05 for my 1:05pm flight. Oddly enough, they collected my coupon for the upgrade — last I’d looked there were still seats available. Hopefully I on’t have to use the other one next Saturday. It would be nice to have a round-trip set to save for a long flight — like Cabo San Lucas in November.

Flight was good, which means on time. It was the same sandwich for lunch that was on the Cabo return, apparently the menu changes tomorrow. For those who have forgotten, it’s a turkey, provolone, roasted pepper sandwich on a ciabatta rolls served warm, with a cold salad on the side. Next time I think I’ll just stuff the salad in the sandwich.

My bags were on the carousel by the time I made the trek in for the end of the “A” concourse. And Dan and Lisa were waiting curbside at door 411 — talk about easy.

First stop of the night — Tokyo Joe’s, a fast casual Japanese food restaurant whose claim is “No MSG, No Fried Food”. Good, fast cheap — light dinner for three $20. It seems that they have dozens of locations, but only in the metro Denver area. Too bad.

Next stop — First Bank Center to see the Denver Roller Dolls take on the Philly Belles ins a roller derby match. What a pleasantly odd way to spend a Saturday night. Dan, Lisa, Sean, and Sean’s woman friend whose name I forgot, but pleasant none the less.

It took three trips to the bar and three trips to the souvenir stand before I was sated — lots of stickers, one t-shirt, and three doubles. I’d like to go back sometime and get a sky box for the match as the stadium is small enough that you’re still not that far from the action.

Last stop is Dan and Lisa’s new place in the northern suburbs of Denver, and the bed calls.

[228.7]

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Sat
20
Dec '08

Snowy Saturday.

Yikes. Another six inches of snow. Lots of plans changed for today.

It was going to be:

  • Gift Grab at Larry’s place
  • Solstice Party at Swanda’s place
  • Potluck Dinner at Rich’s place followed by poker

What really happened?

  • Gift Grab at Larry’s place while Dan napped on the couch

Blame it on the snow that was already on the ground from Thursday (and since turned to ice) and more slated for 4pm. When I left Larry’s place at 3:30pm it had already started.

Solstice Party cancelled due to weather, and the Potluck Dinner was in Olympia, so that ain’t happening for me with Dan having a flight early in the morning.

And now what you have all been waiting for…. the report on how dinner was at the Herb Farm last night. Fabulous — glad I did it, don’t feel the need to drop another $250 a person anytime soon.

No limo with Moet Chandon White Star Champagne — they couldn’t get it out of the lot. All four of us were stuffed (literally) into a Town Car with a driver. Should have taken the damn mommy van.

So, back to dinner. Here is a little video snippet of the evening:

 

Sorry that the video is a little dark.

Think nine courses each paired with a glass or two of wine, served over the span of four plus hours. I’ve scanned the menu — but not the separate menu for the coffee and teas, or the wine list with about fifty pages…

HerbFarmMenu - Share on Ovi

Click for a larger image.

An early night tonight for both Dan and I after not getting to bed until 1:30am after that meal.

[218.7 — even with that 9-course meal]

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