Friday, April 30, 2021

Evening Appetizers at Marathon

Points off for presentation but bonus points for content...

Marathon: Aquarium Encounters

Uncrowded, entertaining, and friendly and knowledgeable employees make this a fine stop.

Kathy feeds an African Spurred Tortoise.

We pat a young alligator.

We see Southern Manta Rays up close.

At about 90 Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) and humid, it’s time to retreat to our cool hotel room for awhile.

Marathon: Fish Tales Market & Eatery

This is another great find only a mile or so down the highway from our hotel.

It’s not just the ambiance.

It’s the food and the value. We each enjoy a cup of stone crab chowder, fish sandwiches, and a Yuengling draft for about 38 bucks. That’s good value in these parts.

We also pick up some shrimp and cocktail sauce to store in our refrigerator for our own Happy Hour this evening.

Great place!

Marathon Hampton Inn

It’s nicer than the reviews indicate and we start the with a dip in the deserted pool and some lounge time, a short walk from our “patio.”

Thursday, April 29, 2021

The Florida Keys

We’d forgotten how insane Florida drivers can be - very fast or very slow - but we make it to the Marathon Hampton Inn by mid-afternoon, after a stop for lunch at Mrs. Mac’s in Key Largo.

We’re here for five nights on a points stay, and go shopping at a Publix four miles down the road picking up a few provisions before spending a quiet night in.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Dania Beach: Dinner at Tuscany Caffé

If you ever fly into Fort Lauderdale and stay at the Dello Hotel, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, do yourself a favor and make a reservation at this tiny seven-table joint a block away. We found it on Yelp and TripAdvisor.

In a word... superb!

SEA-FLL on AS122

A beautiful morning to fly...

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Dinner at Grazie

We’re flying out of Seattle tomorrow morning en route to the Florida Keys via Fort Lauderdale. 

After a moderately stressful drive down the 405, we check in at the Airport Hilton and reward ourselves with dinner at Grazie.

It’s in one of those little shopping plazas across from Southcenter and we’ve eaten there numerous times over the years, sometimes with guests.

We’re happy to find out it’s still good.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

A Beautiful Day to Fly SEA-BLI

It’s the Northwest at its sunniest as we fly home. We enjoy great views of Mount Baker.

We spot Bellingham Airport as we approach over the water.

 We turn over Ferndale and cross over I-5 to land.

We’re on the ground and safely back home almost before we know it.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Landing in Seattle

It’s a lovely approach.

We land early to catch the Doubletree bus within 10-15 minutes of “deplaning.”  

We’re first in line and soon we’re in our room, only to realize the hotel air conditioning is not on. We’ve experienced that in hotels from Vancouver to Vienna during Spring and Fall heat waves. Sometimes it’s a government edict and other times it’s simply a hotel cost-shaving measure

Here at least there’s a balcony and we’ll leave the door open for awhile to listen to the sound of planes. It’s still in the low 60s here so we anticipate a toasty night.

Flying High on Alaska

We’re on Alaska AS 753, en route from Raleigh to Seattle, close to six hours in the air.

We’re seated in F and pass on the meal after our delicious lunch at Croquette.

We are happy to find ourselves on one of the first flights carrying alcohol other than cans of beer and wine.

We celebrate...

Raleigh Overnight

We drive up to Raleigh on a Sunday afternoon and check in at our downtown Hampton Inn.

It’s in the “Entertainment District,” basically a bunch of noisy bars and restaurants catering to the nearby North Carolina State students and anybody else who likes cheap booze and lots of noise.

The desk clerk kindly finds us a room on the quiet side - lucky we aren’t  on the loud side!

Later it’s dinner at a noisy but pleasant Mexican joint, La Santa, where Kathy chooses Carne Asada and Brian grilled tacos barbacoa.

This morning after checking out we go for a stroll in the locally famous Pullen Park, and even ride the miniature train.

We’ve enjoyed our fill of Italian, Mexican, and Southern cuisine, so our final lunch is at Croquette, a French bistro in a big shopping mall, where we’re savoring their presentation of escargots and, of course, croquettes, before tackling the lunch-special Beef Bourguignon.