Phoenix Sky Harbor is a great airport, especially if you’re hungry

On the way to the airport this afternoon, Kathryn, swelling with pride in the place she’s called home for over 25 years, told me what a great airport Phoenix Sky Harbor has become. I really found it hard to disagree with her. One of the reasons I was comfortable arriving so early for my flight … Continue reading Phoenix Sky Harbor is a great airport, especially if you’re hungry

Food photos from our recent trip to Montpellier

One of the pleasures of traveling, for me at least, is to eat foods I normally wouldn’t eat at home. Since we had an apartment for this recent trip to Montpellier, this included some meals we prepared on our own, as well as some French fast food we brought back to our apartment to enjoy. … Continue reading Food photos from our recent trip to Montpellier

After a long, miserable day of travel, we’re finally home from Montpellier

We’re finally home from Montpellier, back in Phoenix. I spent most of the past 24 hours wedged into middle seats on airliners, so I’m now rewarding myself with one or more cold beers, in my kitchen, in my underwear. It’s good to be home. A young woman from our parish, whom we met during our … Continue reading After a long, miserable day of travel, we’re finally home from Montpellier

I’m way behind on my posts, so here’s a brief status update from Montpellier

I was doing so well at publishing a blog post at least once a day, and then when we got back from Lourdes it kind of fizzled out. Well, have no fear, we’re doing well here in Montpellier. Yesterday I finally posted about our road trip to Sommières, which happened last Thursday. Last Friday we … Continue reading I’m way behind on my posts, so here’s a brief status update from Montpellier

It’s five o’clock somewhere

In fact, it’s already well after seven o’clock in Montpellier. Is it too early to reset my watch? The last time we were at Terminal 3 at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport was the last time we flew to Montpellier, about 30 months ago. They were in the middle of extensive renovations then, and today we’re … Continue reading It’s five o’clock somewhere

I don’t always drink Starbucks. But when I do, I prefer beer.

I’m not a big fan of Starbucks. However, that was not always the case. About eight years ago, I walked into the Starbucks near my office for the umpteenth time that week and handed over almost $2 for yet another “tall” brewed coffee. I sat in the shop for a little while, trying to be … Continue reading I don’t always drink Starbucks. But when I do, I prefer beer.

It pays to have a backup plan or three when travel plans fall through

Kathryn and I have two weeks of vacation coming up next month. How we’re planning to spend those two weeks has changed three times in the past two months. Plan A: Learning Spanish in Mexico City Our original plan was to return to Mexico City for two weeks of Spanish classes. We had picked out … Continue reading It pays to have a backup plan or three when travel plans fall through

A chill evening at Banger Brewing on Fremont Street in Las Vegas

Most of our weekend road trips to Las Vegas end with us heading back to Phoenix after lunch on Sunday. On our last trip, however, we had some business we needed to attend to Monday morning. After our huge lunch at Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen early Sunday afternoon, we weren’t in any mood for a … Continue reading A chill evening at Banger Brewing on Fremont Street in Las Vegas

A beer keg urinal in the men’s room of Virgil’s Real BBQ, Las Vegas

It doesn’t happen often, but on rare occasions beer can open up opportunities that may have otherwise passed us by. For example, if I hadn’t had a second pint of beer at Virgil’s Real BBQ on the Linq Promenade in Las Vegas, I wouldn’t have had to make a visit to the men’s room, and … Continue reading A beer keg urinal in the men’s room of Virgil’s Real BBQ, Las Vegas

Eating our way through a busy first day in New England

Considering the only real sleep we got Friday night was on the flight from Phoenix to Boston, we stayed quite busy yesterday. After waiting what seemed like forever for our checked bags, we took the airport shuttle bus to the rental car center, which didn’t exist last time I rented a car at Boston Logan. … Continue reading Eating our way through a busy first day in New England

Alone in a strange place, wondering if I’m crazy

Thursday morning last week, I woke up alone in a two-star hotel by the side of the highway in the middle of nowhere. The hotel was at least superficially aspiring to a third star, but a fresh carpet, a thin coat of paint, and a waffle iron can only hide so much. Its two-star standing … Continue reading Alone in a strange place, wondering if I’m crazy

Nightcap of Legend Brown, first night in Richmond

After last night’s film, we finally got back to the hotel at about 11:30 pm. The hotel lounge apparently closes at 10 pm, and our room doesn’t have a minibar, so we walked down the street to a local Irish pub for a nightcap. I entered the pub fully expecting to order a typical Irish … Continue reading Nightcap of Legend Brown, first night in Richmond

What do they drink for beer in Mexicali?

When I got back to work Monday morning after the weekend road trip to Mexicali, one of my colleagues almost immediately asked, what do they drink for beer down there? What an excellent question! The short answer is not a surprising one: Tecate. Mexicali is one of the most populous cities in the Mexican state … Continue reading What do they drink for beer in Mexicali?

People watching during a three-hour happy hour in Montpellier

Almost as rare as a jackalope sighting, this bar in the square beneath our apartment in Montpellier had a three-hour happy hour! It was still considerably more expensive than what I’d expect to pay for a pint of domestic beer at a local joint in Phoenix — but, oh, the people-watching!

Eating and relaxing in Las Vegas

Our weekend trips to Las Vegas tend to be busy. We usually cram everything we possibly can into the less-than-48 hours we’ll be here. Sleep comes only out of necessity. So it’s a little weird that I’m starting a new post at 6:20 am, after getting a full night’s sleep and then some. I think we were in bed by 9 pm. That’s pretty lame.

Puerto Vallarta: Running the gauntlet at the airport

Immediately upon leaving the customs area, we were forced to walk through a narrow corridor, maybe 50 feet long, with white desks and video screens on both sides. I now refer to this as the gauntlet. In the gauntlet, roughly a dozen men and women with official-looking badges work over the fresh arrivals, trying to convince us they are our ride to our hotel. They’re not.

Puerto Vallarta: Still awaiting Juvo

We’ve been gearing up for Hurricane Juvo since Monday, but it’s taking its sweet time getting here. The latest report is it’ll come ashore as a category-three hurricane much further south in the state of Jalisco, then follow the coast north toward us, probably having weakened to a tropical storm by then.

Germany: Any reason to celebrate in Monheim am Rhein, Cologne, and Düsseldorf

Christian let me know that I had to order the right beer for the city I was in. In Düsseldorf, they brew Alt, so that’s what they drink. In Cologne, they brew and drink Kölsch. I would be frowned upon if I ordered a beer in the wrong city. Those fortunate enough to live in Monheim am Rhein could order either, when in Monheim, of course.

St. Mary’s Basilica in Krakow

Usually when I talk or write about St. Mary’s Basilica, I’m referring to the beautiful Spanish mission style Catholic church in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. I was looking through some of my old photos recently, and I found a picture of another, much older St. Mary’s Basilica. This one is in Krakow, Poland. It’s also beautiful, built in a Brick Gothic style in the 14th century.