Saturday, April 22, 2017

Home Sweet Sehome: First Asparagus Crop

SFO Landing

From the front row of a 747, arguably the best seats in the sky.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Cluster of Fun With United at FRA

We just got settled in the Senator Lounge when an announcement suddenly came to board.

We left a bit hastily and walked to the gate. We both answered the security questions and got in line.

Then Brian's name was called. He was selected for random secondary screening. Off he went but it wasn't all that bad, consisting of checking his bags for explosive residue and checking his shoes and - tickle tickle - feet.

Then it was back to the queue where Kathy hadn't moved an inch.

Once we got to the gate, they tried to separate us. Then there was a minor hassle when we tried to use the elevator, which is for "wheelchairs only." We prevailed.

We boarded this 747 via a bus and a remote gate. Crazy!

Anyway, here we are in the front row. Given recent events, it's unclear whether we're officially boarded, but so far so good.

VCE-FRA: United Flight Delay

We disembarked from the vaporetto at the airport, took the moving sidewalks to the terminal, and had a belated coffee and mediocre breakfast in the contract Marco Polo Lounge before boarding our mildly delayed Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt. 

It was a decent enough flight for Economy, especially in the exit row seats Kathy found us on the A321.

We landed late, and found ourselves in a traffic jam going by bus from our remote gate to the terminal.

A Lufthansa pilot on the escalator told us that is quite common.

Our UA flight to San Francisco is delayed
by at least an hour, supposedly due to a broken windshield.

We'll see what develops as we relax in a very pleasant - and quiet - Lufthansa Senator Lounge.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Venice: Arreviderci Hilton Molino Stucky

Cruise Ships in Venice

We watched two cruise ships sail past us in the Venice Lagoon this evening, a large  Royal Carribbean ship, and this smaller, but still substantial Regent vessel.

There has been a lot of controversy over their presence, but, like them or hate them, they present an impressive sight.

Our Chengdu 'Lost Plate' Food Tour

Ling, our guide, just emailed us a group photo of our tour.

As we gaze out through our hotel windows at the Venice Lagoon, the tour seems like a long time ago, and the photo brings back good memories.

It's been quite a trip: Transatlantic cruise, Venice to Chengdu, and back to Venice, and home tomorrow on Lufthansa and United via Venice to Frankfurt to San Francisco to Vancouver.

Lunch in Venice at 6342 a Le Tole

 Yesterday was rainy and windy. Brian was fighting Kathy's cold so we stayed close to the hotel.

Today was glorious so we caught the Hilton boat and let ourselves get lost in Venezia.

When it's time for lunch we fire up our Trip Advisor app and look for a nearby well-rated joint.

We struck gold today - great place!

It was quiet when we entered at 12:15 but it filled right up and we know why.

Homemade pasta - the maccheroncini on the left in the window was the base of both of our dishes.

Ottimo pranzo - very good lunch!

Wandering Venice

A glorious day after yesterday's lousy wind and rain.

The obligatory peek at crowded Piazza San Marco.

Then it was time to lose ourselves in the narrow back streets.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Venice Restaurant: Return to Majer

We dined here with Taegan last year and quite enjoyed it.

We decided to return last night and strolled from the Hilton along the promenade fronting the Venetian Lagoon separating the island of Giudecca from the main Venetian islands. The view of the Venice skyline is magical.

Over two bridges and past the vaporetto stop and there it was.

We enjoyed our dinner, although it wasn't as much fun without a granddaughter.

We shared the "grilled" mussels appetizer advertised on the menu.

We told our server (an owner?) that we'd never tried grilled mussels. She told us almost indignantly "We steam them in the oven with some water. You can't grill mussels."

They were served in a Le Creuset skillet and proved to be tasty steamed mussels.

We soaked up the delicate sauce with bread.

For our main dishes, Kathy chose lasagne and Brian picked a fresh tagliatelle with Bolognese sauce. Both were tasty, but lacked even a hint of tomato. On balance, we prefer "our" versions, but it's interesting to try other interpretations.

Friendly place with good food.

Hilton Molino Stucky Suite Upgrade

The hotel welcomed us back, and upgraded us to a lovely suite with excellent water views, a surprise on a points stay. We're not complaining.

Could our bedroom chandelier be Murano glass?