Grand Hotels 2015
If you enjoyed The Grand Budapest Hotel and are ready to save up for an incredible splurge, I recommend a stay at the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Hamburg, overlooking the lovely Binnenalster (Inner Alster Lake). It's not built on such a monumental scale, of course, but it is undeniably grand. Thanks to now being part of the Fairmont family of hotels it is well cared for and very well staffed.
Its giant keys, of which you get a single one and which you leave at the desk when you go out, and tiny wood-lined bar, which somehow despite being smaller than most of the rooms manages to have all the distinct spots where you might be in the mood to place yourself in a bar, are sources of particular pleasure. Also its large bath thermometers in their wooden bases with big cork floats. And the little gilded elevator, barely large enough for you and the staff member who will give you a tour of your room at the start of your stay. (You must let them take your suitcase up separately, it's just too awkward otherwise.)
For maximum enjoyment, book your stay through a package that includes a free room upgrade if available and, importantly, breakfast inclusive (we got ours through AmEx). You may have to pay a little overage to get the grandest spread, but that glorious and leisurely breakfast remains my favorite room service experience.
For maximum quirkiness, happen to find yourself in the lobby at the very end of December when the Christmas tree is removed and the enormous chandelier is put back in its normal spot. Watching that delicate dance of four men, two ladders, and a long metal pole shoved through the chandelier chain really is like a missing scene from The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Sadly, no lobby boys.
Train trip to Shafter 2012
This isn't a 'service' 2012
RT @critic: Washington Examiner: 'Dear TSA: I am not your customer'.
sweet return 2012
Weekend adventures are lovely, but home, O home sweet home!
“Then someone will make you.” 2012
RT @glichfield: How Israel treats visitors with the wrong kind of name: pointless humiliation. (via @mohamed)
Reconciling what I hear about the modern state of Israel with my reading and viewing of accounts of the Holocaust is difficult and painful, like watching someone who was mugged go through a terrible and negative personality change.
Everyday Dinah 2011
flight to Austin 2011
United Airlines(UA) #4032
dep SFO 6:10am PST
arr IAH 11:50am CST;
(Operated by Continental Airlines flight 469)
United Airlines(UA) #3895
dep IAH 1:20pm CST
arr AUS 2:12pm CST;
(Operated by Continental Airlines flight 241)
flight home 2011
Flight number: United 996
Departing: 5:20 PM Lic Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International (PVR)
Arriving: 6:30 PM Los Angeles International (LAX)
Flight number: United 712
Departing: 8:30 PM Los Angeles International (LAX)
Arriving: 9:52 PM San Francisco International (SFO)
flight to Puerto Vallarta 2011
Flight date: Sat, Feb 26, 2011
Flight number: United 877
Departing: 9:29 AM San Francisco International (SFO)
Arriving: 3:08 PM Lic Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International (PVR)
flight to Los Angeles 2010
Flight number: United 0817
Departing: 11:45 AM San Francisco International (SFO)
Arriving: 01:18 PM Los Angeles International (LAX)
flight home 2010
United 7170 Operated by: United Express/Mesa Airlines
Departs Austin - Bergstrom International (AUS) 06:50 PM
Arrives Denver International (DEN) 08:06 PM
Departs Denver International (DEN) 09:09 PM
Arrives San Francisco International (SFO) 10:54 PM
flight to Austin 2010
Departs San Francisco International (SFO) 08:28 AM
Arrives Denver International (DEN) 11:59 AM
United 6147 Operated by: United Express/Skywest Airlines
Departs Denver International (DEN) 01:36 PM
Arrives Austin - Bergstrom International (AUS) 04:43 PM
We are, in fact, just cool enough for this place. 2009
We're in our oh-so-cool room at the Ace Hotel in NYC listening to records - yes, vinyl! - on the in-room turntable, Joe reading Good magazine as I putter on the free internet. Hard not to want to stay at an Ace whenever one is available. So pleasing!
Correction: Joe is reading Paper, not Good. At least so far.
flight home 2009
Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo Internacional (ZIH) to Phoenix Sky Harbor Intl (PHX)
Departure (ZIH): October 17, 2:50 PM CDT (afternoon)
Arrival (PHX): October 17, 4:03 PM MST (afternoon)
Phoenix Sky Harbor Intl (PHX) to San Francisco International (SFO)
Departure (PHX): October 17, 5:15 PM MST (evening)
Arrival (SFO): October 17, 7:14 PM PDT (evening)
On the beach in Zihuatanejo, listening to an American 2009
What animal would have a voice like that? Thin, high, happy bray. The teeth sound larger, the jaw juts to the side, when I look with my eyes closed. Long ears. A jackrabbit. Bugs' country cousin, with that tattoo from his service years in Korea.
Long loping legs and rough hair, Dürer carving in a table leg at an inn. Beer spilled on the table.
watching the cruise ship sail off into the sunset 2009
relaxation fully settled into the bones now 2009
ready for dinner! 2009
on the beach in Zihuatanejo 2009
flight to Zihuatanejo 2009
San Francisco International (SFO) to Phoenix Sky Harbor Intl (PHX)
Departure (SFO): October 10, 6:00 AM PDT (morning)
Arrival (PHX): October 10, 7:53 AM MST (morning)
Phoenix Sky Harbor Intl (PHX) to Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo Internacional (ZIH)
Departure (PHX): October 10, 8:45 AM MST (morning)
Arrival (ZIH): October 10, 2:01 PM CDT (afternoon)
Moonstar House 2009
A lovely getaway up the coast to southern Mendocino County with our pals Lila and Derek. :)
flight home 2009
Depart: LON / HEATHROW 10:25 AM
Arrive: SAN FRANCISCO 1:33 PM
flight to London 2008
Depart: SAN FRANCISCO 12:31 PM
Arrive: LON / HEATHROW 6:55 AM