Yes, booking an airline award reservation is a game. There are so many hoops to have to jump through, but I find that if I stick with it, have all my ducks in a row and do all the research up front, I’m usually successful.
In this particular case I was booking a very special trip, aren’t they all special? No really this one was and is. Later this year it’ll be my 10th wedding anniversary, and I wanted to plan something unique for the two of us. We’ve been very very lucky over the years to have done some amazing things, and I’m very thankful for that, but since our child was born three years ago, going on vacation without her has not happened. In fact I think only twice have we both been away from home together without our little munchkin. Now don’t get me wrong, we love love love traveling with her, and as she gets older it keeps getting better and better. Plus as a tiny world traveler she’s already seen more and been to more places than some will in a lifetime. If nothing else, I want to make sure that our daughter gets the amazing opportunities my wife and I had as children to travel the world with our parents. I firmly believe that those experiences made us who we are today. But I digress, I’ll save that for another post. This trip was about the two of us having an extended amount of alone time. Continue reading
I love to travel, but I also love to spend time with my family too whether it’s at home or out of town. Frankly it doesn’t matter where we are it just matters that we are together. So to have a stretch of eight weeks where I’m only out of town three times for work is just great. In fact in my world it’s almost unheard of especially in the summer. Most of the time I’m gone part of the week for six of eight weeks of even under extreme circumstances 10 straight weeks.
Getting time at home lets me settle into a routine I don’t get this often. I get to see my daughter in the morning when she wakes up, say goodbye when she goes to daycare, and then walk or drive to daycare to pick her up at the end of the day. Plus I get to make or source dinner (in other words get take-out) water the vegetables with the kiddo and even pick them together too. Not bad for a day’s work. It’s the little things like this that you miss when you’re not at home every day or night. Plus I get to participate in the bedtime routine which at times is stressful, but still as a parent I relish getting to participate.
The other great part of being home is spending time with my better half. Again getting to spend anytime let alone quality time together is just precious. Sometimes unfortunately I’ve taken for granted that we’ve been together for almost 15 years. And getting extended time at home reminds me how important it is to be here, whether that mean physically here or mentally here when gone.
All I can say is I’m loving life and loving being with the family. We’ve had a good summer so far. A week Disney World, a weekend at the lake, a cup of coffee in Hawaii and a camping trip this weekend.
The fountain view from 35 stories up
The family and I recently spent a cup of coffee at the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Waikiki Beach on the island of Oahu. Unfortunately I didn’t get a single picture of our 1 Bedroom Suite in the Diamond Head tower. I usually try to do this but with five of us staying here and with so much excitement to get to the beach as soon as we walked into the room our bags exploded and the room was a mess. That being said I can at least provide you with some insight into the property and my thoughts about staying here.
First off let me tell you that this property is HUGE. It’s the largest Hilton property with almost 4000 rooms on 22 acres of beachfront property. I’m not sure how many high-rise buildings are on the property, but I’d say it’s close to 10. Additionally there are over 22 restaurants on site, tons of stores to shop in, two ABC Stores, Three Starbucks and a pear tree. Continue reading
After a fun weekend in Hawaii mostly on Waikiki Beach there was still a little time to get my foodie on. Here are some photos of my favorite spots and the food I ate.
Yes the best Malasada on the planet. Thank you Leonard’s.
Number two of the day.
View of the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Waikiki Beach during the Friday Night Fireworks!!
Hotel main entrance
This week I visited scorching Phoenix Arizona again. This is my fourth trip here since May. On each trip I’ve stayed at a different Starwood property. This time it was the Sheraton Crescent Hotel.
Unfortunately, this was not the hotel I was thinking I was staying at. Apparently I neglected to map it out from my clients office and accidentally picked the one that was 17 miles not 3 from the office I was working in this week. I had the hotel names mixed up, and since I’d never stayed at either before I thought I was going to the “right” place until my GPS told me otherwise. Oops. Rookie mistake, you think after over 1000 nights in hotels in the past 12 years I’d know better. Continue reading
Last week I was featured on the awesome travel blog Million Mile Secrets and since it was my first ever interview about my blog, I’ve commemorated it with a contest. The rules and criteria are simple, in the comments section of the original post please share with my readers your most memorable trip, vacation or travel experience. On July 18th at noon PST the contest is over and soon after I’ll pick a winner. So you still have just over 24 hours to join in the discussion and get a chance to get a $25 Starbucks gift card, that will provide you with divine offerings from a very travel friendly coffee shop.
Aloha here we come
Last week my family and I had the pleasure of flying Alaska Airlines to Honolulu, Hawaii. It was my first time flying Alaska in first class on a flight longer the two hours, and my wife and daughters first flights on Alaska. We flew them from Oakland, California on their direct flight. They also offer connecting service via Portland, Seattle and most LA airports too. They may not offer as many flights per day as say Delta, American or United, but they most likely offer more destinations from more airports, since the big three really only offer service from their hubs in LA, SFO and Seattle whereas Alaska offers service from almost all major West Coast cities. From the Bay Area Alaska flies to the four major islands in Hawaii (Oahu, Big Island, Maui and Kauai). We bought the tickets about six weeks ago using their Bank of America Visa buy one ticket get one for $99 plus tax.
Categories: Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Food, Travel, Travel Blog, Traveling with kids, Trip Report
Tags: Airlines, Family travel, food, Travel, USA
I recently was lucky enough to be featured on the awesome travel blog Million Mile Secrets in their weekly Interview series. If you haven’t read or seen Daraius’s blog you should check it out (and read my interview too). Since this is my first ever interview about my travel habits and blog, I thought it would be nice to welcome all my current and hopefully new readers to participate in a giveaway. Since I love Starbucks and can’t imagine anyone who doesn’t I thought a $25 gift card would be the thing to give away.
So if you’re interested in being included in my giveaway, please leave a comment on this post about your most memorable trip, vacation or travel experience and why and also include your name and I’ll pick the one I think sounds the most fun. I know it’s not very democratic or random, but hey it’s my blog so I can make my own rules. I’ll leave the contest open for one week starting today July 11th and ending at Noon Pacific Time on July 18th. Once I pick a winner I’ll message you back with the code to redeem the card.
For readers that are new to the site, I’ve listed a few of my favorite adventures that you might find fun to read about. They’ll hopefully give you an idea of what types of things I write about and what makes me tick as a traveler.
Flying Singapore Airlines First Class Food Porn
Malossol caviar at 35,000 feet with a glass of Dom Perignon and Russian Vodka of course.
Categories: Contest, Interview, Review, Singapore Airlines, Starwood Hotels, Travel, Travel Blog
Tags: air travel, Family travel, my life in review, Travel, USA, Where is rahul
A few weeks ago I had the week of delays, I had four segments on American Airlines from San Jose to Baltimore connecting in Dallas and return. Every segment was delayed from as short as one hour and up to two hours. In fact on the two hour delay I missed my connection in Dallas and had to get rebooked on the next available flight. This made my return home a 10 ½ hour trip instead of eight. Ouch. Being late is just the nature of business travel, you can’t fly 100 segments a year and expect to be on time on all of them, but to have four in a row just stinks. It makes travel just crappy sometimes, but hey that just the breaks I guess. Continue reading