Browsing Tag: travel


    “Enhanced Cleaning” on Airplanes – Where Has This Been All Along?

    March 7, 2020

    Alaska Airlines published this video a few days ago talking about the “enhanced cleaning” that it’s doing on its planes in light of the coronavirus situation. You see chairs being sprayed and wiped clean, tray tables, armrests, air vents and attendant call buttons, bathroom doors and on and on and on.

    Am I the only one who watches that and wonders why it hasn’t always been this way??!!??

    Every flight on every airline should’ve been cleaned like this all along — and going forward, this is how it should always be.


    Where to watch NFL games on Hawaii’s Big Island

    November 12, 2018

    We found our tribe of Seahawks fans (12s!) at a neat sports bar in Kailua-Kona!

    If you’re a big football fan who’s traveling to Hawaii during NFL season, you might reach a point during your trip planning where you wonder … Where am I gonna watch the football game on Sunday?

    My wife and I have been to different Hawaiian islands probably 2-3 times during NFL season, and each time we’ve managed to find some good places that open up early Sunday for tourists to catch their favorite team’s game. Our most recent trip was last month when we visited the Big Island (Hawaii) with friends. But we were the only ones who wanted to find a place to watch NFL games — preferably with other Seattle Seahawks fans! — so the planning was all on our own.

    Good news: There are three sports bars nestled closely together in Kailua-Kona and each one opens early on Sunday mornings for NFL fans!

    My wife and I ended up at Oceans Sports Bar, which is just off Ali’i Road, the street that runs along the coast. As we were walking there, we passed by two other sports bars that were also open early and had TVs on for people to watch the games — Bongo Ben’s and Laverne’s. There are a few other bar/restaurant-type places in that same area that may have also been open, but we didn’t walk to them.

    (By the way … we’re talking 7:00 AM in Hawaii. That’s when the early games kickoff, at least before the mainland changes its clocks. If it’s after the clock change, kickoff will be at 8:00 AM Hawaiian time.)

    Oceans has a pretty big bar area with a bunch of TVs above showing the games, and then several more TVs placed throughout the dining areas.

    My wife and I arrived just as the game began and picked a table in the first dining area, where about 10-15 Seahawks fans had already gathered. It’s always fun to watch a game with other 12s, and this was no exception.

    The crowd grew as the game went along, and there were eventually about 25-30 Seahawks fans spread across two dining areas. There were also some Broncos fans, Chiefs fans and a few other teams represented … but Oceans Sports Bar seems to be the place for Seahawks fans to gather.

    Service was excellent. Our waitress was quick to bring my wife a mimosa and kept me filled with various tropical juices all morning. For breakfast, they offer a buffet that runs $14 per person, as I recall, which is pretty much a bargain for Hawaii. It was fairly standard stuff — scrambled eggs, bacon, home fried potatoes (to die for! OMG), biscuits and gravy, fried rice and some fresh fruit options. I think they had the fixins for a loco moco, too. As part of the buffet, you can also order a Belgian waffle — it looked delicious, but we were too full to try it.

    All in all, we had a great morning. The food was good. The service was good. The atmosphere was really fun. And we got to watch the Seahawks beat Detroit alongside a big group of fellow football fans. If you’re an NFL fan looking to watch the games on Hawaii’s Big Island, you can’t go wrong with Oceans Sports Bar — especially if you’re a Seahawks fan!


    Santa Monica’s brilliant solution for pedestrian traffic & crosswalks

    December 22, 2017

    You’ve probably been frustrated by sitting in a taxi or your own car at a big city intersection and having to wait several minutes for all the pedestrian traffic to go in all directions before your car can inch its way down the street. I’m pretty sure there’ve been times in New York City when I’ve sat a good five minutes without being able to turn right or left because of all the foot traffic.

    Don’t get me wrong: Walking is great, and I enjoy walking through Times Square or downtown Seattle or wherever I can … as long as my destination is close enough to make it feasible. But sometimes you gotta drive, and that’s when getting three miles across town can take a half hour.

    Well, Santa Monica has this figured out. Cari and I saw this last month when we were visiting for a few days:

    Look closely. See that girl walking across the street? She’s walking diagonally through the intersection.

    Here’s what Santa Monica does: At a red light, car traffic in all directions has to stop for 30 seconds. And for those 30 seconds, pedestrians are free to walk in whatever direction they want, even diagonally across the street. After 30 seconds, car traffic can resume — first the cars going in one direction, then the cross-traffic, then everyone stops again for the pedestrians. While cars are moving, pedestrians can’t go in any direction — that speeds things up for cars needing to turn right or left onto a cross street.

    It’s genius. It sped up everything. Cars flowed smoothly through the intersections and walkers/bicyclists got where they needed to go faster.

    I’ve never seen that option in any big city like New York or Seattle, but they should give it a try.


    Checking off a mini-bucket list item in California

    November 19, 2017

    You may know how much I love U2’s song, “California.” It’s easily my favorite from Songs Of Innocence and ranks really highly for me among U2’s entire catalog.

    The reason is simple: It does a great job of capturing the vibe of the southern California coast that I experienced and loved for four years while attending Pepperdine University. The song has a vibe that reminds me of my college days, and the feeling that I — an east coast boy — had whenever we’d go out to the beach, or drive down to Los Angeles or up the coast to Santa Barbara or somewhere like that.

    As soon as I heard “California,” I thought to myself that it would be super fun to crank the song on a nice car stereo while driving along Pacific Coast Highway. And I finally had the chance last week when Cari and I were down in Los Angeles for a combo business/pleasure trip.

    Sooooooo fun! It was as awesome as I hoped it would be! (My wife shot the video while I drove, by the way.) Traffic was a little heavier than I wanted it to be, so we had to drive a little slower than I would’ve preferred, but it was still really great to have that song blaring with the sun glaring on us and the Pacific Ocean shimmering right outside the driver’s side window. Loved it!


    Fastest airport wi-fi ever

    June 14, 2017

    This has to be the fastest (free) airport wi-fi in history, doesn’t it? I was at Sea-Tac earlier today and couldn’t believe how fast the connection was. Turns out it’s almost 2x as fast as our home download speed, and about 30x as fast as our home upload speeds. Incredible.


    What’s the emptiest flight you’ve ever been on?

    May 28, 2017

    I had to fly down to San Francisco for business earlier this month, and that meant a connection in Seattle on Alaska Airlines. It’s a route I fly at least once per year, sometimes more often. And it’s always a crowded/full flight, which you’d expect for two of the west coast’s biggest travel hubs.

    But in the days leading up to the flight, I was watching the seat assignment chart online and couldn’t believe what I was seeing:

    All of those blue seats are “available.” Crazy, right? I thought it might fill up a bit with standby passengers or last-minute flyers … but nope. It ended up being the emptiest flight I’ve ever been on — well under 50% of the seats were empty. Probably only 1/3rd full.

    Wanna see what it looks like in real life? I put this video on Instagram:

    So … what’s the emptiest flight you’ve ever been on?