This could be fake news of course. Still very dark when I arise and still dark, luckily, when the jammies go on at 530 pm in arvo. Its a conundrum. I do love my QLD winters but would like some daylight at 6 am to start mowing on GC. Of course as soon that happens then you know the pleasant nights for sleeping will soon become a long lost memory. In the meantime the days are glorious apart from that one frosty morning last week. Here is one I prepared earlier

July also means we get to celebrate that quirky little event known in the trade as Xmas in July – another excuse to eat and drink too much but at least be acceptable to be wearing trakkies! The annual gathering is at TB @Canungra where it can also get a tad frosty. First up though lets lunch at Mt Tambourine as you do. Tres impressive Fortitude Brewing establishment with some very passable amber fluids and even better pizzas

The highlight though of course was right next door where there was a very clean cheese shop with a well know proprietor

Then it was down the mountain and across the plains to YabbaDabbaDo and the McLeod Spread. Would be adding to my spread lickety split. We took the 2 night B&B package – as in beer and bacon – so we were able to choose the deluxe suite next to the Galah Cage. The tribe didnt arrive until next day so thought I was rather smart here until I realised it meant I had to help set up the next morning! Used my slide rule and TSquare to fit the required 16 seats around the table only to then be informed numbers had dropped to 13. My angst at having to deal with an odd number at a rectangular table had to be balanced against the realisation that it meant more food and drink for moi. Life is a balancing act after all. Tribe duly arrived at staggered times so I staggered out to greet them and line up the 4 skinniest on the side with only 4 chairs. Being a Della gathering of course meant they were all skinny. Bastards. We ate, we drank, we hunted treasure. Rinse and repeat. A great time had by all

Fairly busy in TV land in what is a mixed bag. Loudest Voice continues to impress. Saw Rusty in recent interview so now not so sure how much is fat suit and how much is him but suggesting its about 50/50 now. Great performance though. City on a Hill is good rather than great and suffers when Bacon is not front and centre. Perpetual Grace is Fargo Lite so interesting but one needs to concentrate. Big Little Lies Season 2 started out great with Streep on Full Ham alert but that was eventually cancelled out by Kravitz’s perpetual angst and frown and poor writing. For a seemingly rushed season it dragged at times and dont be surprised if Eric wins an Emmy nod even though he was dead the whole season. Ah, thats right he is a vampire of course. Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee may well be suffering the well known Netflix effect as now more than ever just seems to be rich guys driving around in rich cars for hours while Jerry bends over in very loud but silent laughter. The first episode with Murphy E was dull apart from a few interesting anecdotes about Pryor and Cosby. Picked up after that but not sure how Matthew Broderick qualifies as a Comedian? He did Ferris Bueller and then married Carrie didnt he? Highlight so far – havent seen Short – was the Gervais line from his standup

Sober 18 yrs

Crowd applauds and Cheers

But as soon as I turned 18 have been pissed every night

In Sportsland the predictable happened in CWC. Aussies lost to South Africa and then England and NZ cant win because they wont cheat. That last ball had be an underarm surely. NRL top 4 is sorted and one could argue so are the premiers – Roosters with Storm an outside chance. The Open was on but at the wrong time of night for this LBD with the real highlight being Connor as usual. His line from “DJ” is classic

The Open 2019: Watch as Conor Sketches praises the new Open champion

DOT has approved the Qantas and AA alliance so the new flights to Chicago and SF should be announced soon. Not that I will be rushing into anything as still have to wait and see the outcome of my DSC claim for the Call Me Bwana South Africa trip next March. If successful then its straight to Gold FF for me. If not then may need to supplement a couple of soujourns before Oct 31 next year. Be nice to feel Golden for at least one year before I croak. Qantas send me about 3 emails a day but simply refuse to confirm my registration for this!

Visited Mum at the Medium Security Twilight Home on way to Canungra and she seems well settled there although still issues to deal with health wise. Focus now moves to CLP turning 60 – and retiring – at end of September and then onto the Big One – Ranny Wedding in October.

If CLP enjoys retirement I am thinking I may give it a go too. One can only work “15 hrs” a week for so long after all and still find time to watch all these TV shows

SOO 3, 2019

Posted: July 10, 2019 in Sport

Ya dont have to feel happy but at least redemption for Mitchell Pearce takes some of the pain away. Always seemed a decent fellow who just happened to run into QLD in its glory days. Much like Gallen but no one feels sorry for that ass clown of course

Even during the period of QLD dominance it usually came down to one or two plays and the presence in one team of 2-3 big match winners not present in the other side. Give NSW during that period Thurston and Slater and the results are totally different. Put Teddy and Cook in QLD last night and we win. In between that there is rarely a struck match between the two sides despite the stats. If Qld could have won last night then the nightmares return for NSW and they may never recover. Instead we have the possibility of a short dynasty. I say short because right now no QLD superstars appear on the near horizon while NSW stars are relatively young still and now not scarred irrevocably. However the next superstar may be just around the corner

As with all things human the spine is critical. Personally I dont cream my jeans at the thought of Munster at fullback. Definite star but prefer him at Number 6 not that Norman did a bad job. Qld strike is mostly in its wingers and PonGod set them up well in Game 1. Munster is more of an individual. Even Boyd would be well suited at fullback from an attacking perspective – certainly not defensively! Qld lacks good centres since loss of GI. Chambers is rocks and diamonds but 8 missed tackles is 7 too many and Mbye is nothing. Its where Broncs fall down as well with loss of Roberts. DCE was ok but should have set up FG in last two minutes. Norman is also rocks and diamonds but would stick with him. Hunt is ok but no Cook. Papali was good in patches as was Grub McQuire. Kafusi was solid but part of problem with the Qld pack is it is about 4 Kafusis! Dont get the rap for Ofahengaue – solid young player not SOO material. Lowe was very good on debut, Welch just standard. No variety in pack and no real threat

Glad NSW picked Klemmer because I reckon he is a lumbering log. Maloney was quiet along with Pearce but did nothing wrong. Turbo Tom was quiet while Wighton was dangerous. Ferguson was another redemption story and close to MOM – tip toe down sideline to set up try was icing on cake. NSW were there for the taking but we couldnt get it done and now its history and we have to live through the NSW biased media gloating

Kevvie is a great guy but not a great coach. Good certainly but purleese if around next year drop the new age crap. There is a reason he hasnt got an NRL job yet and think he would struggle there. Perfect assistant and a specialist coach like with the halves. Passion only gets you so far

Hey, at least India lost. Aussies will lose tonight which means only one thing


SOO Game 2 , 2019

Posted: June 23, 2019 in Sport

As long as Origin has been played , last nights result was always on the cards apart from a couple of Golden periods for Maroons with Thurston, Lewis etc. NSW sides always look more dangerous on paper, not necessarily better. They have more points in them invariably. Qld gets by on effort and guts and usually some NSW mistakes either on field or at selection table. Many so called experts of course thought the selections for NSW Game 2 were panic but in reality most were forced or obvious. Blind Freddy, let alone Blue Freddy, knows that smaller mobile packs do better in wet conditions than big logs. Of course when selected no one knew it would piss down for the game but Fittler must have been happy when he saw the forecast.

Didnt watch second half so wont give player ratings but will make general observations

Ponga is a great player no doubt but needs to add a conservative, bordering on sensible, part to his game. In those condition you dont go for the big soaring catches mid air. His side step went missing but Tedesco didnt seem to have a problem:) Munster is still the most dangerous and gifted player there but rest of spine did ok especially behind that forward pack. They went missing although Kafusi seemed to give it all. Dont think Gillett has come back the same player post neck nonsense as his Broncos form clearly indicates. McGuire is simply a grub and I dont care how well he plays I would never pick him. The rest were mostly lumbering oafs easily picked off. Our centres lack penetration and therefore the wingers rarely see good ball

Maloney is always worth the risk in must win matches. He will make mistakes but he will also do some brilliant stuff. Turbo Tom is simply all class and a true Origin player. Kevvie said our spine would be better than Game 1. It was an obvious call to make but they still need the forward pack to play well. One thing for certain is the NSW debutantes will be a lot better for Game 3

No doubt for me that Qld were a bit complacent as we are dealing with only footballers after all. The 4 point win at Suncorp was a false dawn and with all the media they just thought they just had to turn up and put on a bit of pressure and NSW would crack. They may well have but of course we never applied any pressure. The wet weather didnt help but that is just a roll of the dice. The penalty try was a 50/50 call but should have eased pressure on QLD and allowed them back into game but instead NSW responded better.

And finally to Angry Kevvie. Give it a miss Son. You have always been the lovable larrikin and this new stern look is not good – and embarrassing when you lose.

The worse thing of course about a NSW win is the gloating league media which always is strongly Blue Biased. The players themselves are fine. NSW will be big favourites for Game 3 of course which may be our only positive to come out of this debacle. With Broncs going south at a rapid rate Rugby League 2019 is looking like a tough year to endure. Maybe time to switch to another sport

If only we had a top female tennis player…….

And it was a lovely 3 days! Qld winters are tres pleasureable but it dont exactly get very cold for very long. A couple of days of single digit overnighters and the moaners are out because they can only afford one pair of Ugg Boots and matching flanno shirt. On a side note why is it so hard to buy flanno PJS now ? Everything is bloody sleep sets. Anyhoo, as one gets older do find the 10-12 degree nights are a bit easier to cope with than the 4 degree nights and also prevent causing that track in the carpet from bed adjacent to toilet! Its the crystal clear 22 degree days one craves

Since last we met our hero he has returned to golf with moderate success ie he didnt retear shoulder cuff. The short game has lost some touch and the tee shots are more the 180 straighty than the 203 in the tree but this is not a bad thing. Sadly my handicap remained the same – 11 – for the 7 months off so shooting a 2 over handicap in 3rd game back was very passable. The shoulder has in fact settled down quite well now and mostly due methinks to getting back to gym. Of course improvement in said appendage also means reacquainting myself with oldest piece of equipment on golf course – The Bunker Bike! The weeks are slowly filling themselves in a bit better now but when one still gets up at 5 am even on a “free day” then some can drag

Speaking of Winter coming and going GOT ended with simply the dullest episode known to mankind, befitting a very ordinary season. Still plenty of good stuff on of course and starts with local production of Harrow. Maybe its the familiar Brisvegas surroundings that appeal but its an easy watch. Killing Eve second season was rather dull. Billions was good if predictable and saving up some Stan originals – which look good – like Perpetual Grace and City on a Hill for a multi episode watch. Veep was a good series ending but think show wrung every last gag out of yarn. Chernobyl was excellent and usually find more drawn to a good docuseries these days rather than “another drama”. In keeping with this theory just rewatched the excellent “OJ Made in America” 5 parter. Luckily 30 for 30 still roll out new docos every couple of months

In sporting world the SOO is front and centre and fear the second game may come back to bite us and mostly because Pearce got injured! Maloney is such a dangerous player. Of course he can also have a howler at times 🙂 I fear the QLDers , being mere footballers, will be complacent despite all the lectures they will get. Exhibit A Your Honour – The Broncos! Have you ever seen such an inept display by a bunch of highly touted millionaires as the last two games?? The US Open Golf was a great watch as always and Pebble is probably the second best viewing tournament after Masters. World Cup cricket is in its 3rd month I think but still in pool matches with Aussies playing Ethiopia tonight I believe! Of course it did bring back Roy and HG to the airwaves so is to be applauded for that alone. The fact that some idiots dont find Roy and HG humourous only confirms the well know view that the world is full of morons and mental retards

Speaking of which – US Politics! Nah I cant be bothered its all too unbelievable

On USA though it was interesting, bordering on life altering, to read about the new direct flights from Brisvegas to San Fran and Chicago – two of my fave US Cities and you can also avoid LAX! Then the reality kicks in. They are amongst the two most expensive cities to stay in with city taxes etc and crack down on STRs (Short Term Rentals for the Plebs). You look at a hotel and what starts of at $1200 USD for the week ends up $3500 AUD after conversion, taxes, cleaning fees, wall fund………. The idea of a 10 day stint in one of these cities though with only two flights to deal with does appeal. At short notice could grab a good deal or even a DSC (Double Status Credit for Plebs) deal for a few months down the track. This week also saw a much heralded Qantas FF programme rejig and didnt have to be Einstein to know you would get screwed over somehow. Its not all bad of course but for this LBD (work it out yourself!) two negatives were

1) More crowded Qantas Lounges because of the “Points Club” concept – drunks who never have to catch a flight
2) More points needed to upgrade to higher class for booked flights eg PE to BC – one of my go to options

Yes first world problems but in case you hadnt caught on yet that is where I live : )When last our hero ranted the prospect of a solo RTW was in the wings so to speak and still a distinct possibility although to call it RTW may be a stretch. Basically a few stops in USA via Helsinki and London as you do of course.

In an ever changing world the one constant is the joy of grandchildren and the fact they live so far away. Only joking…….

They are all growing up so quickly and doing new and wonderful things each day. A quick trip out to Toowoomba next weekend will at least allow some time be spent with 2/3 of gang. Trip is needed for suit hire for Rannys wedding in October. I have added on a few kgs the last month so when get suit fitted next week I know I dont need any of that pesky dieting afterwards for next few months 🙂 I may be old but I aint dumb

Speaking of dumb I just saw this typo? Folau has started a GoFund Me page to raise 3 million dollars! When I went to school am pretty sure it was spelt with a ck on the end ………

As in not counting my shots on golf holes. It would be fair to say my usual optimistic take on life is temporarily on hold, perchance forever buried

Shoulder is not good 6 months post surgery. Despite the surgeon being very happy with progress and range of movement at sign off a couple of months ago it seems months away from any full function as in playing golf and going to gym. Every time I start to increase exercise I am met with pain the next day. The cooler weather is not helping now of course as arthritis from earlier botched job overlays the new pain. Still have tuckshop lady arms and simply cant put muscle back into deltoids etc. Playing golf seems an eternity away. At least with the cooler weather the arthritis in my “good” shoulder now makes me feel like a more balanced individual. If I could just break my left ankle on the QT the symmetry would line up booteefully.

In more concerning developments on this Mothers Day 2019, the Ferguson Matriach has moved up in the low security Twilight Home to the slightly more secure next level. Several weeks ago a fall at home led to broken hip and hospitalisation for a few weeks. Despite rather impressive physical recovery for a 92yr old the memory loss and associated inability for independent living has led to this inevitable move. Dealing with Aged Care facilities in general is a bit of a nightmare and they dont miss ya in the money caper but all family is working well together and hopefully some semblance of normality will return to Mums daily routine. Sadly also means very unlikely to attend Rannys wedding in October but maybe we will just tell her she did go so we can still get a present 🙂 Well, come on you dont expect me to be maudlin 24/7……

In happier news May is a month of many birthdays in family starting with GD 1 Jess and proceeding with GS 2/3 as well, Pat and Harry. Throw in a few old farts as well and its a packed schedule

In TV land would have to say GOT 8 has been underwhelming but can still pull it out of the fire – as opposed to two more dragons! Dead to Me on Netflix is a pleasant surprise while Brooklyn 99 has been a mixed bag. Veep finishes this weekend and will be missed but there is still plenty to catch up on. Bosch was another solid season and Fleabag Season 2 a delight. Actually mixed with the GU to see a movie but as in GC a slightly skewed GU perhaps. Not an MCU fan but Avengers Endgame was pretty good and the 3hrs seemed a lot closer to about 2hrs 55 mins at times. Still morons abound of course – you know the ones who look at the food menu for 10 mins then wadddle up to counter and take another 10 mins to actually order. GC certainly need to open doors more than 20 mins before screening time

Have had a couple of visits to Brisvegas with Mums situation and has been very handy that CLP is house sitting at present in Windsor. Celebrated 17 happy years together on our 19th anniversary earlier this month by going to Three Blue Ducks at the W Hotel in Brisvegas. Lovely restaurant and a great night but for a classy place they lack many subtle touches that good restaurants do

And of course since last we saw our hero we have had the Annual Della Easter gathering at Flashman Inc, Maplehead. Weather not ideal but didnt interfere with eating or drinking strangely enough. Eloise continues to grow of course and she and Nonna have a very special bond

So as always life tends to be a mixed bag with the good mostly outweighing the bad and when it doesnt there is always wine. Or holiday planning. Not that I will miss out in next 12 months with Melbourne Road Trip and Call Me Bwana in the works but also working on that bucket list item of an RTW solo plane trip – round the world for the younguns – for later next year. Even if never eventuates sure is fun planning. Paying for it on the other hand…….

Oh well its only money and Buffoon Bob has to blow up the world soon so why wait?

Back home for a month in the wide brown land and good/sad to see some things never change. The weather is totally predictable unless of course that is actually the job you are paid for but 34 degrees in last week of March is a concern. Summer may start later sometimes but sure hangs around longer now. In USA in winter its the wind chill that catches ya out, here in summer its the humidity. And of course The Dome got a good lube and oil change recently and back in full effect. One day in particular last week a storm approached Maryhole got to about Puma South Servo and did a sidestep that even had Freddy Fittler scratching his head. Probably a regular occurrence with FF mind you. The actual weather forecast for Fraser Coast is fine as certainly rain in the general area but would be great in these technologically advanced times if there could be an addendum to all forecasts for Fraser Coast along lines of ” Please not that historical records indicate that for purposes of weather predictions Maryhole is not considered part of the Fraser Coast let alone civilisation in general #Dome

Some things are certain of course and at top of the list is that Buffoon Bob is a shocking loser but even worse winner. Maybe because he gets so little practice. He got the rub of the green with the wasteful Mueller Report and could have basked in the glory but just finds he cant not lie. Of all the things he could say he had to harp on about “being completely exonerated” which was the only thing that came out of the report really – ” he couldnt be exonerated” ! Now he is a very ignorant fool but one has to wonder whether he just says these things so that the media will pounce on it and then he stirs up his base – who to be fair cant read or write but only watch Fox News – with cries of Fake News. He was still at 41% popularity with the report hanging over his head. The Dems simply dont get it and now have a Melbourne Cup field and you just know they will go with a safe option ie white male after Hill the Dill lost the unlosable election. Of most concern to this LBD is there has to be a stock market adjustment/crash coming and methinks it will be sooner rather than later

The other certainty in life of course is how dumb NRL players are. You just knew that the Broncs forwards and TPJ in particular would be busy all week reading their press rather than worrying about Dragons who flogged them in last game they played. Simply no bite or sizzle in their play. Roberts is not 100%, Boyd is a turnstile at the back and this team cant threaten title with halves they have. Milf did run more sure but mostly in circles and the defense of both is hopeless. Storm/Roosters final again barring serious injury. Of more concern though this year is the emergence of a dominant Blues Origin team while Qld falls away. Could be a painful few years ahead.

For some relief in a grim world there is of course always the grandkiddies. Was able to spend some time with the Piper ratbags at Rainbow beach shortly after return and will see the rest at Easter. They are all growing and changing but strangely remaining adorable still. CLP is really enjoying her time watching Eloise grow and sees her regularly at this exciting time of growth

Quite 6 months ahead with the usual Della Campout at Easter the next highlight to look forward to. Then there is the CLP retirement in September. She will be both happy and sad with the latter becoming the overriding emotion when she realises I am not moving straight down to Maplehead. I am just throwing subtle hints out at present so the shock isnt too much at the time. The big event this year is Ranny Wedding in October. Always great events and good to catch up with family from far and wide. Then we start a driving trip of mostly far but not wide for a month down to Kangaroo Island and back with stop offs in Hunter Valley, Melbourne, Coonawarra and Northcote for starters. There is a theme with those places but cant quite put my finger on it but if I start whining about it am sure CLP will tell me to put a cork in it. Then we have “Call Me Bwana” safari to Africa to finish planning for March 2020 before I can start planning next USA solo trip:) Texas looking good at present but when you look into the fine detail of internal flights etc you realise why you often end up back in the same big cities. Another developing story is the crackdown on all short term rentals eg VRBO across all USA and not just NYC anymore.

After a month away always a lot of TV to catch up on but often a case of quantity not quality. The standouts have probably been a few docos like The Inventor which was of particular interest given work history. Started watching the Maddy McCann doco on Netflix but really a bit over all these true crime yarns with no conclusions. Broad City has been fun in final season as has the return of Brooklyn 99. Couple of UK comedies like Catastrophe and Fleabag always worth chasing down too. In between plenty of new “procedurals” but mostly rubbish. Luckily been some great golf on TV with Florida swing leading to Masters next month. And of course GOT finally returns for last season but they have really been dragon that one out…..

So all in all life is in a bit of a holding pattern waiting for summer to piss off – yeah Autumn is like the Yeti, seen at times but never really confirmed. Back in the routine of mowing on Golf Course where fairways have held up pretty well really. Got all clear from surgeon last week and now close to 5 months post op. Movement is all good but strength still way off and presently have the tuckshop lady arms to prove it. Slowly getting back into the gym with a return to golf likely 6 weeks away and even then it will be slowly goes it. One hole at a time , even though I may be on the adjacent fairway ok

WFW – The Final Wrap

Posted: February 28, 2019 in Travel

Always mixed feelings at end of trip. You are keen to get home but you have to mix with the GU in droves. Now to be fair I have been very lucky with the level of comfort and luxury have had on flights and lounges this trip and the Flagship Lounge at JFK was a standout. But there are still morons everywhere you look. Whether it is the idiot who always has to be first in line to board – when clearly that is my position – to the Chatty Cathy in front of me now who wants to engage the Hostie in meaningless drivel when she is bringing my next drink there is always someone there to throw shade on your experience . Maybe the issue is that over years of travel have gone from cattle class to business class a bit quick and no looking back now really

You never say never of course – especially when in the middle of morons – and am sure will return to USA sooner rather than later. However, if I go to NYC again do us all a favour and shoot me. In fact, I really should avoid the middle of winter at least . Too many variables with travel and weather in general. Also really need to see new cities as clearly shown with San Diego experience this time. I could be drawn back to Chicago again but would like to see more of Texas and down south like New Orleans or over to Charleston et al. One thing that draws you to the old faves is the easier access by flights especially Qantas . Mind you, have to say American was very good this trip and really Qantas FF Silver status main attraction is the Ruby OW status u get . Of course it also may have helped me get those BC upgrades 3/3 😏

Busy end of year ahead with Daughter No 2 wedding , CLP retirement/60th and then a road trip down south for a month. Then around March next year we celebrate her birthday in style with an African Safari. So, a return to USA seems a long way off but I shan’t suffer folks. Of course most of the fun is in the planning and I can easily amuse myself for weeks planning a 2021 USA holiday even if it never eventuates

I do need to be a bit smarter though. Sometimes I find my day is driven by doing a number of things so that I can fill in my daily blog that night rather than just enjoying the day. It’s like the people who spend so much time taking the photo rather than enjoying the scene. Guilty on both counts your honour.

The hotel experience in NYC was very good but suspect it may not reflect all hotels. VRBO type rentals remain the preferred option but am getting a bit sick and tired of how they screw you over with “fees”. Uber is an excellent alternative these days to taxis but you do have to be careful. My taxi In Baltimore when arrived was $11 plus tip. This mornings Uber at peak time was $27 plus tip for same trip. At other times of course it is cheaper.

The AT&T sim remains an excellent product , if not cheapest, for easy data when in USA. Never missed a beat and allows you to always be “online” . All public transport was good, though varied, and well supported by “apps”. San Diego is a great walking city but also well served by the trolley system. NYC Subway is very efficient of course but old , crowded and dirty. Baltimore has a great linked bus service and the free Circulator. Another good walking city

Qantas 787 Business Class remains an excellent product. The food is rather superb at times and the Dreamliner set up certainly cocoons you nicely. Mind you these two assholes in front are really annoying me. Eurotrash 60 yr old with a fucking ponytail. Didn’t have a lot of luck with flights mid trip with 3/3 being cancelled or delayed significantly. You just have to be aware of these possibilities always and be prepared to act quickly. You travel regularly and shit happens

US TV remains crap. Luckily most places have on demand so can catch up with the shows you want when you want . They love weather reports especially if serious . Of course they embellish any possible drama with glee.

The people are generally very friendly and helpful. Baltimore had its dodgy areas in particular and SD has a significant homeless problem. In USA , in my experience, you wont go a day without being asked for money/food 5 -10 times. Its a sad reflection on a prosperous country. As always come home with a billion coins worth about $2.73 in total because of their bloody tax system. $6:50 becomes $7:13 😤

I am a very lucky fellow to have been able to travel so much in recent years and look forward to many more trips. There is no doubt though as each year passes I get a little more crotchety and easily annoyed . To be honest though I also think the world is getting dumber and more ignorant as well.

The one negative to this trip has been the shoulder rehabilitation. When I left I was ahead of schedule and progressing well. Certainly feel have not progressed in last few weeks. A bit slack with exercises but also some pain, whether arthritic due to cold weather or some slight damage time will tell. Within a few hrs of arrival back in Brisvegas will be seeing Physio for update

And also starting a diet

Later dudes

WFW – Top 6

Posted: February 27, 2019 in Travel

A lot of spare time in next 36 hrs so lets review WFW with a Top 6. Some good things missed out but thats life – Torrey Pines and Coney Island spring to mind

1. Hotel Del Coronado

A stunning place and a great trip over on ferry on a glorious day. Lived up to expectations and was surprised what a great beach there as well. Got opportunity to send a special message to my special lady on a special day so it was a well ….. a special early start to holiday

2. Beer Scavenger Tour, SD

The tour itself was nothing special, though fun, but the group was amazing . Especially my little group of locals that adopted me. Reminded me of Portland beer tour where group just took the old fart under their wing. Whenever I end up with a cigar in hand its been a good day. And going to be a bad tomorrow…

3. Santa Monica Pier

It was a nightmare Uber ride home – some self inflicted – but so glad mad effort. It’s kitsch personified maybe but on a glorious afternoon it was a little slice of heaven . Coney Island with a crowd

4. Billy Joel , MSG

I hate crowds but this was worth it. What a stunning performance without a break. Research had me in a good, well priced seat . Look Billy is probably not in my Top 10 artist list but his list of songs is rather impressive on reflection and you cant beat a live show

5. Baltimore Waterfront/Fells Point

On previous day visit this struck me as special and only confirmed this trip. Every morning enjoyed my slightly different route through Fells Point to the Inner Harbour. It’s a stunning vista from all sides but especially from top of Federal Hill. Never got the chance to check out all the varied eateries/drinkeries but tried my best honest

6. Fort McHenry, Baltimore

The surprise of the holiday and likely highlight. It was a surprise because , as CLP would attest , usually avoid museums and monuments with vigor. This was different . The history is simply amazing but to share the flag raising with some vets just struck this old codgers heart oddly. A memory that lingers and will treasure.

And so we come to the end. All packed and ready to get home but still have to get there. The reality is actually

Automobile(taxi), train, train, train, plane, plane, automobile(car)

A solid 32 hrs of travel and realistically no sleep. Plenty to eat and drink of course🤠 I was hanging out for BC upgrade LAX-Brisvegas so didnt request upgrade first leg NYC-LAX as did want to at least try PE once on the 787. Sadly now realise that stuck in AA lounge at JFK these days as QC member non BC rather than the previous excellent BA codeshare lounge. Yes, first world problems but I am here to edumacate my followers

7 am update – which I have failed at 😏 After I had checked in and the usual 24 hr notification period passed I thought why not try for upgrade on first leg as seem to have missed second leg and do have the full three hrs at JFK before leaving. Didn’t expect any success but of course during night two pings at different times indicating had scored BOTH UPGRADES. After getting caught with the LAX Switcheroo keep old phone with Aussie SIM in near me at night now. I have it on vibrate of course, so everyone’s a winner. Don’t want any more nasty surprises but two pleasant ones is a good start

Unlike its cousin in NYC , Penn st at Baltimore is a very quiet station apart from a couple of people always running for a train! Amazing , every boarding call was met by at least 2-3 people bursting through the door with coffee in hand running towards the platform. The train left on time but is quite crowded so no desk or two seats to myself. The transfer at Penn to LIRR is easy peasy and as is 2019 had bought ticket through app so literally a 5 min walk and hopped on train. Have done this before a few times so was a tad concerned when train left and empty as always crowded before. Anyway we made it to Jamaica for the air train

It was now still not quite 1 pm and history tells me Qantass dont open bag drop until 3 hrs before ergo 3 pm. Better grab some lunch then and paid $16 for a water and sandwich! I sat down and ate it at the Qantas check in with all my new friends. You know how everything just goes so smoothly when you have allowed a lot of time….

As luck, or the Good Lord himself, would have it check in opened at 2 pm for us Business Important Folk (BIPs). Pretty quick through security and Lordy Lordy I was in the Flagship Lounge ( and not cod ordinary Admirals Club) by 230 pm with a mere 3 hrs to fill in. This was an impressive lounge too and easily as good if not better than any other have been in. Man am I wishing I didnt have that sandwich. The food looks exquisite and the alcohol is self serve. What could go wrong? I suggest I could be as full as a state school hat rack by liftoff – the first one 😳

Luckily I dont have 20 hrs ahead of hand maiden service in my own little cocoon across the land and water caper. Oh thats right, I’m a BIP now 👨🏻‍🦳 Better sign off now while I can still see keyboard letters separately . This could get ugly…

Luckily you cant smoke cigars on planes 🇺🇸🕺🏻🤓

WFW – Day 23 . Bye Boh Baltimore

Posted: February 26, 2019 in Travel

Decided to catch the NV bus quickly back up Eastern Ave for one last quirky photo of Natty Boh tower. Busy time of day but had plenty of time. As always you notice the number of these “row” houses that have roof top areas with BBQs etc. Must be nice in summer

Then it was back to Fells Point and my usual Cortado while I worked out my plan of attack for todays target – Fort McHenry. I was at the excellent Ceremony Coffee Roasters at Harbour Point so Google had a slightly different option this time – water taxi! Sounds great . The theme today revolved around the “Star Spangled Banner” and Land of the Free so a free water taxi followed by free Charm City Circulator fit in perfectly

Caught the bus outside AVM and down to Fort McHenry. Impressive grounds and a good hike to visitor centre. Then I made one of those on the spur of the moment life changing decisions

“Sir, there is a very interesting short film about to start in the library . They are also about to do the flag raising at the Fort in a few mins?”

“Show me The Pole Chauncey”

Then followed what I consider the highlight of my USA trip. There were 3 other guys apart from Ranger. Two US Vets and a serving US Navy guy who was born in Australia and was a keen photographer. I mention latter as he took many photos and promised to email me some. Now I’m known to doze off with the best of them but the history of this place is simply amazing and enthralling. Look it up folks. Due to favourable weather conditions we were putting up the second biggest Garrison Flag they had but needed all four of us to help lower and raise . It was simply a memorable experience. I then stayed around talking to the group for another 30 mins

Took a leisurely stroll back through the grounds and also bought a couple of momentos. Then back on bus to Inner Harbour. It was now late enough to actually find a pub open . The choice of Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant was maybe a tad boring but had been in enough dark pubs for now. Their Golden Export was perfect and along with Blond Guinness my two fave beers of trip

So thats about it folks. Home to wash and pack and generally wait. Ready to come home but last 18-24 hrs always worst. Won’t relax until at JFK tomorrow around 3pm and see that red kangaroo at rest . Still have a couple of trains to line up first but as long as no calamities have allowed plenty of time

It’s been a blast Baltimore