Thursday, April 26, 2018

Milwaukee: Swingin' Door Exchange Saloon and Eatery

We found this pleasant little joint by cross-referencing Yelp and Trip Advisor, and we really enjoyed our late lunch here.

We selected from their sampler menu, and chose homemade potato chips...

Shrimp (75 cents each today)...

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Spiced Pecans...

Chilean Mussels...

All very tasty and reasonably priced, a delicious farewell to Milwaukee.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

When in Milwaukee

Milwaukee RiverWalk: Vertical Lift Bridge-Watching

We don't recall ever seeing vertical lift bridges but we saw two this morning.

As we strolled along on a sunny day, we enjoyed watching a little tug that reminded us of one of our favorite childhood books, Scuffy the Tugboat, waiting to sail through.

"Scuffy," actually "Miss K," finally made it.

Our Milwaukee Pilgrimage to Usinger's

Our clerk was none too friendly, but we were there for the sausage, not the hospitality.

A generous stash of summer sausage, along with some goodies from the sale table made this a good stop.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Hilton Milwaukee City Center

This started out in 1928 as the Schroeder Hotel, built for seven million dollars, quite a chunk of change in those days. It has changed ownership and been renovated a number of times.

Its Art Deco magnificence is stunning, starting with the lobby area.

The hallway leading to our wing...

Our ninth-floor corridor...

Our room is quite pleasant.

The view from our window...

Even the Executive Lounge is impressive.

Not a bad place to spend two nights before flying back home.

Milwaukee Bound

A beautiful morning as we board a 6AM flight from Bellingham to Seattle.

A long layover in Alaska lounges until we fly onward to MKE around noon.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Home Sweet Sehome

After an enjoyable nine-hour flight in BA First Class at the pointy end of a 747, we gathered up our rollaboards and made our way through the scenic Vancouver Airport to the NEXUS machines, most of which were working (not always the case).

We experienced more of a lineup turning in our customs forms than we did at the NEXUS machines, but still got through in good time to catch the next hotel shuttle back to the Hampton Inn where we'd parked our car.

Our luck continued as we made good time down Highway 99 on this beautiful night to the Peace Arch border crossing, after a quick stop to pick up some duty-free booze.

Once the ICE inspector in the NEXUS booth found we'd just returned from Europe, he wanted to know if we were bringing back food (chocolates from the ship only), large amounts of cash (nope), or antiquities. Brian said the only antiquities in the car were the two of us, and he almost smiled and let us go.

We stopped at Edaleen Dairy in Blaine to pick up some milk and treat ourselves to a mocha before arriving home and going to bed almost immediately.

It's always nice to be home.

Landing at YVR

On a night like this, it has to be one of the most beautiful landing approaches we've experienced at any airport.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Aboard BA085 LHR-YVR

Chaotic boarding as we wove our way through waiting Group 4 and 5 boarders (the rude expression Gate Lice came to mind) but we're aboard.

London Heathrow Terminal 3: Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge

We got off our plane and made the long walk to the subway. We rode it to the final stop, the transfer point for connecting flights in other terminals.

We made another long walk with more escalators to take the 12-minute bus ride from Terminal 5 to Terminal 3 (the bus arrived just as we did!).

We made it through "Fast Track" with our dignity and belongings intact. All in all, the transfer took us about 60 minutes, far less than the official estimated 90-minute minimum transfer time. 

Because we upgraded to British Airways First Class with points, we're entitled to use Cathay Pacific's First Class Lounge. As one of our favorite travel bloggers, Lucky of One Mile at a Time put it, we'd be fools not to go there instead of the BA Galleries Lounge.

A charming attendant has offered us our choice of Möet or Barons de Rothschild. We chose the latter, simply because it was colder. Later we will try the former, which seemed smoother.

We will dine here before boarding our LHR-YVR flights and perhaps get some sleep on the flight.

In the meantime, we're enjoying our Heathrow oasis.

The view from our lounge chairs is also pleasing.

The dining room lives up to expectations. It's almost as if we were still sailing Oceania.