Thursday, April 18, 2019

Recent Comings and Goings

No big trips until May, but keeping us busy in the meantime have been gardening, dog sitting, and a short Carnival cruise out of Long Beach with three of our grandchildren and their parents...

Russell is a member of the family while the rest of them cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver on Princess...

A Chinese lunch out...

Cruising on the Carnival Inspiration for four nights. We took this while docked at Ensenada, and walked our grandchildren far enough to buy them some fresh churros at a stand.

A magician drops by during dinner for some closeup magic...

Our waiter impresses us with a napkin trick...


Time for a big game of chess on an upper deck...

Posing time...

Aboard Carnival Inspiration at the Dr. Suess Breakfast...

Back home and looking after a next door neighbor’s puppy who really enjoys our shoes...

Just yesterday on a pleasant day we helped our occasional gardener unload three yards of garden mix, wheel it around to the back yard, and add it to our planters after we'd earlier added another layer of blocks. Today it's pouring so our timing was fortunate and everything looks great.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Long Seattle Connection

Pleasant flight on Condor and we went through Global Entry and back in through TSA PreCheck without a hitch.

Our connecting short flight to Bellingham doesn’t leave until 6:20 so we used a couple of the Alaska Lounge passes that come with our MVP75K status to gain entry.

We can no longer gift the passes to anybody not flying with us (a rare Boo to Alaska) so we’re just going to use them on ourselves rather than buy another membership.

Condor... Eventually

A long walk to the gate, a long unexplained wait to board the bus, a long bus ride, but finally we are on board in Row 1 and ready to fly to Seattle.

AMS-FRA on Lufthansa

Nice flight and LH manages to serve a sandwich and offer beverages in Economy on about 45 minutes in the air.

A bus gate and then a quick stop in a Lufthansa Business Lounge after passport control.

Free samples of fine chocolates - yum!

We hope to board our Condor flight fairly soon, when the gate is posted.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

At the Gate at AMS B35

It always seems ominous to arrive at the gate 15 minutes before boarding and notice the plane hasn’t arrived.

But all’s well as it it pulls up at the gate.

Aspire Lounge at Amsterdam Airport

It’s a contract lounge for Star Alliamce, and we’re flying Lufthansa to Frankfurt this morning out of Terminal 1. 

They’re opening a brand new lounge tomorrow, but this one is pleasant enough.

Around Amsterdam

Above is the Albert Cuyp Market, and below an imposing row of buildings.

We stopped by a park.

The subway stations are impressive...

Another very Amsterdam-looking building.

The Artis Zoo is okay.

We enjoyed the walk-in butterfly zoo, similar to the one at Singapore’s Changi Airport.

We tried to visit the Van Gogh Museum on our final rainy day but it was sold out. Another time we’d buy advance online tickets.

Belthazar in Cape Town: Missed Meal

We wanted to return to this Victoria & Albert waterfront spot with its 250 wines by the glass ever since a visit there with Tom and Ellyn some years ago.

We had three different servers and told them our timeframe. One of them admitted he dropped the ball so we ended up leaving without a meal. We did enjoy the wine though.

The wine bar with the elaborate nitrogen infusion to maintain the quality of the wine in opened bottles- claimed to be the largest such installation in the world...

The wine is served with a tag, so you can keep track of what you’re sipping.

Amsterdam: Grand Café 1884

Just down the block from the Doubletree - our enjoyable grand finale meal with a surprise tasting menu... 

The sea bass was a highlight...