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Uncle Markie out and about.

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Dec '18

Trip Report: Santa Fe The Long Way

It used to be easy to get to Santa Fe…flight left in the morning, got into ABQ in the afternoon, plenty of time to drive/train to Santa Fe. Not anymore. A couple of months before my trip Alaska sent me a note saying that my flight that was supposed to get in at 1PM would, instead, be getting in at 10PM, and leaving on the return, butt early, in the morning.

Doesn’t work when you are an hour and a half from your final destination by the time you pick up your luggage.

Hello Portland along the way…

Started the trip with the usual trip to the Alaska Lounge

With a stop at Florette to hug Shua. It’s rare that his work schedule and my flight schedules align.

Bulkhead aisle to PDX…

Upgraded to First on the E175 flight from PDX to ABQ, which is 2-1 seating, with me in the 1:

So, aisle and window and the same time – and LOOK at the view!

This is why I call the Pacific Northwest home. And then, lunch was served.

On time into Albuquerque, off to the Rental Car Center, into the rental car, and headed north to Santa Fe, and checked into the WorldMark Santa Fe…Studio Handicapped Unit:

Because of getting in at 4PM, and not to Santa Fe until after 6PM, no hanging with the relatives, just grabbing food from across the street (Chopstix):

Popular, cheap, OK quality… perfect for taking back to the room, and she threw in a couple of wontons since I wasn’t willing to wait 20 minutes for the Bulgogi.

Lunch the next day (who is up for breakfast!) was at one of my favorites, a block away from the condo. Bumble Bee’s for Lamb Tacos. Love their drive through sign:

Dinner with my sis-in-law (might as well be sister at this point), and her husband, Uncle to Jameson and Julian, at Atrisco for their Chile Relleno.

Yes, this trip is about food – it is Santa Fe, after all!

Lunch at LottaBurger…a tradition with both The Colonels and I should mention that I was supposed to see The Colonels on this trip, but management messed up their 3-week reservation at their condo and turned it into a 2-week stay, so they headed back to Kentucky. I also missed them in New Orleans due to weather…I’ll see them in January in West Yellowstone.

Dinner with the family out in Eldorado (about 20 minutes from the condo):

The following afternoon Jen and I met up for lunch at Taco Fundacion – where Bert’s Burgers was for 30 years, but brought it back to the condo since it was only a block away, and they don’t really have warm seating:

I ordered the Roasted Pig, the Lamb, and the Goat (and then went back for dinner and ordered the Fried Oyster, Bison, and a side of chips). Damn good – worth a second trip.

My afternoon was spent on the computer, watching George H.W. Bush’s train ride home…

My final meal in Santa Fe was breakfast at another one of my favorites…The New York Deli:

The Eggs Benedict were $9.95 – a freakin’ bargain.

Got upgraded to my favorite seat on the E175, which is 1A – the combination aisle/window. And since it’s First Class, it comes with dinner:

And more mountain views….

Guess I’ve taken to photographing the wing tip for perspective. It works.

That’s my last flight trip for the year. Got a driving trip to Vancouver and Blaine coming up.


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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 top of whatever miles you earned from the flight. Spend $1500 (these are just ticket costs, no fees) and they bump it to 42,300 miles. Add another 2 miles per dollar by putting it on their credit card, and the condo on a different card that does a one-to-one match, and by the time this is all posted, it will be just shy of 60,000 miles which is enough for a roundtrip economy ticket to Europe, or one way in Business. And I get a trip to Hawaii in First Class out of it!

The adventure begins:

Yep, taking both sandals AND Panda Slippers.

Sadly, I missed my friend Shua (short for Joshua) who works at Floret at Sea-Tac in the atrium:

Before settling into United’s Domestic First Class:

I had a stop in SFO, but sadly, no new books for my collection. I love the two locations of Compass Books in the United terminals – they have a great selection of remainders (new books, but discounted):

I have two (well, now one) passes for the United Club for use when I’m flying domestic – I get free access when I’m on international. I made use of one of them at SFO:


It was a several hour layover, but before you know it, I was in my seat headed for Maui with my “on the ground” cocktail – one of the advantages of flying United.

And once we were in the air, my hot nuts!

What I don’t understand is meal service in First Class – it’s a five-hour flight, but they plop your dinner down all at once…

Rather than salad, then the main. At least they served dessert separately!

Aloha Maui!

Got the rental car, and the first stop is the grocery store for dinner, breakfast, booze and mixers. Here is tonight’s dinner:

And breakfast in the morning:

And yes, I cooked ALL the bacon and clarified the bacon fat using a coffee filter and the cone from the coffee maker:

And this is what the final product looks like. This makes up for not packing any cooking oil.

But I should show you the place that I’m staying…it’s a small studio, but with a full kitchen:

And then there are the grounds:

And the pool:

But, I’m at the far end of the complex:

Yep, it’s a BIG place, bur the oddly had a unit available when I booked two weeks out, VERY RARE for Hawaii and WorldMark. And the major reason that I chose Maui as my “mileage run to the sun” destination.

I only have three nights here, so the focus is on pool time, but I still have to engage in my favorite Hawaii passion – thrift shopping for Tommy Bahama shirts (average price was $12 each).This would be what I scored at The Rainbow Attic – LOTS of great stuff here:

And I did pick up a few other things to bring home:

Next nights dinner was flank steak off the grill (communal grills located around the complex):

Which, the following night, turned into steak salad – no leftovers when I left the place!

My last day held a special moment – I had lunch with Swanda’s sister from Portland. She happened to be on the island as well!

It’s great to see her enjoying life on her sabbatical from teaching. She is recently back from a couple of weeks split between Amsterdam and Paris.

And here is the requisite flower photo:

And the 360-degree video:

My last day on Maui, I had to make a stop at one of my favorite fabric stores:

With it’s GREAT selection of Asian and Hawaiian fabrics:

Before I knew it, I was back in the air headed home, with yet more food and drink.

More room on this 757 from OGG to SFO:

And room for drinks and food:

Warm nuts, and, once again, they didn’t bother to warm the rolls:

Even more room on my SFO to SEA flight:

And a present from the flight attendant – from the “pay for it” in back:

Didn’t get home until around 2am. And there is work tomorrow. Sigh.


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Nov '12

Road Trip!

Side trip number one today in the Volvo ragtop.

The big question – Salton Sea or Joshua Tree and which day. Joshua Tree today… we will see what tomorrow brings.

Picked up a topo-map bandana (and hat pin) at the visitor’s center… free entrance thanks to Craig’s old-fart park pass

Here are a couple of shots from our day trip. Top two from the Cholla Cactus Garden:

And from the Skull Rock area:

After stopping at the ever-wonderful Mexican market (Cardenas) we didn’t get home until almost 6:30 – luckily our dinner guest was running behind as well.

Tonight’s dinner guest was Craig’s buddy Richard, an LA boy that co-owns four mid-century rentals in Palm Springs – it was great to see the before and after shots of his latest rental: http://www.psmid-century.com/home. Stunning house – not cheap, but stunning.

Wonder evening of cocktails while I worked on a bacon-wrapped pork loin, green beans and green onions stir-fried in clarified bacon grease and a lovely green salad.

Conversation late into the night lounging in the hot tub.

Life is rough.

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