Back to North America: NYC edition

Maybe Liechtenstein – Part 6 (March 2017)

Before leaving Switzerland, we spent a night out by the airport as we both had morning flights the next day.  We arrived at the Radisson Blu hotel and checked in for our last night in Switzerland.  I was looking forward to the stay as they have a huge vertical wine library in the center of the hotel.  After finding our room, which faced the inner courtyard (and the wine), we made our way down to watch the acrobats fetch requested bottles from the tower.  It’s actually a neat thing to watch and would suggest having a glass or two if you ever find yourself at this hotel or have some extended time at the airport (since it’s outside security.)

Wine bar at Radisson Blu (Zurich Airport)

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Soaking up Sun in Palm Springs

So after getting my fill of snow in Utah, it was time to head off to the dessert in California.  I usually try to not waste a lot of time at the airport and end up cutting it fairly close when it comes to checking in, but this time I surprised even myself.  After scheduling the 5am shuttle from my hotel, we actually ended up leaving at 5:05am, at which point I was starting to get a little worried as my flight was at 6am. A slightly stressful drive over to the airport went smoothly and I went straight to the counter to drop of my bags (thank you priority check-in!) and walked over to security.  As I was heading through the security check I got a notification that my flight was boarding, so I picked up my bags on the other side, walked to the gate, and straight on to the plane.  From the time I left the hotel to the time I was sitting in my seat on the plane was a mere 20 min!  I think that will be my personal best for quite a while. Continue reading

Skiing in Utah

So February was a lot of travel all back to back (I was gone for almost an entire month).  It started with skiing in Utah for the Family Day long weekend in February. By the time I got around to booking my ticket, there weren’t a lot of options left, so I decided to use up my delta gift certificate that I had and get a direct flight in Business Class from YVR to SLC.  The price difference actually wasn’t that big and it included 2 free bags(which I would have had to pay for,) so it was a good deal… and the early morning flight made the comfy seats very appealing 😉 Continue reading

Quick Trip to Music City, USA

For those unfamiliar, that’s Nashville, TN; home to some of the best songwriters in the world.  While Nashville has a self proclaimed love affair with country music, it’s not the only genre in town.  You can find pretty much any kind of music if you look hard enough.  Through the years, I’ve been to Nashville quite a few times, even living there when I was in grad school, and I’ve come to appreciate the songwriter rounds the most.

Nashville Skyline with the iconic “Batman Building”

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1 day, 4 parks: A Disney World Adventure

Since we were in Florida I suggested we go to Disney World for the day.  My friend agreed without truly realizing what she was in for 😉 Having gotten about 4 hours of sleep the night before, we didn’t get the quickest start to the day… which was also compounded by our Uber driving dropping us off at the wrong park 😦  But eventually we made our way over to the Animal Kingdom, had our park-hopper tickets in hand, and were off and running (literally) to our first fastpass+!img_3050

Disney World tickets come with the fastpass+ option which lets you pick up to 3 rides to use your fastpass at one park up to a month before you get there.  We had booked in the Safari and the River Rapid rides at Animal Kingdom as well as myself on the roller coaster (my friend is not a fan).  Continue reading

Don’t judge a book by its cover: Red Lion Orlando Hotel

My friend and I had decided on squeezing in a full day at Disney World, which meant we ended up crashing at a hotel close to the resort in order to make the most of the day.  Most professional organizations have discount travel programs (mine does), so I checked through the discount travel site to see what I could find and got a fantastic deal on the new Red Lion hotel in Orlando/Kissimmee, right outside the main entrance to Disney World… and they had a shuttle to and from the resort!  All in all it ended up costing about $70 US for the night, while the price of the room on most regular travel sites was about $200+!

I had done a bit of research into the hotel and it had been recently bought and updated by Red Lion and reviews generally looked okay so I wasn’t particularly worried.  Also, we were driving up from West Palm Beach that evening so we weren’t going to be spending a whole lot of time there anyways, so as long as it was clean it would be okay. Continue reading

When in Rome… Errrr California 

One of my favourite things to do in California is to go wine tasting.  There is definitely not A lack of places to choose from in the Bay Area.

Sunday I headed over to two wineries near Cupertino: Cooper Garrod and Picchetti Winery.  Both are set in the Santa Cruz mountains just a short drive from the city.

Cooper Garrod has a neat tasting room in one of the old buildings on the property and plenty of room for a picnic or just space to enjoy a glass or two of wine outside.  Tastings are $10 for a flight, with complementary tastings for members. Being a member means we got to try quite a few of the wines as well as a very nice 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon… Mmmmmm so yummy!  They have some unique blends of wine and their “test pilot” wine is a very nice red blend, would definitely recommend it as a good place to stop.

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