United Flight Review IAD-MEX and Back: Economy Class

Anybody who has flown recently knows that the perks are quickly diminishing. Things that were complimentary a few years ago are now either not or they don’t even exist. United has become one of culprit of this, and it was … Continue reading

Whatever Activity You Want, The Outer Banks Has It: Top Things to do in the OBX

As I wrote in an earlier post, I had a plan to make it down to the Outer Banks, and I did! I’m there. The chain of islands off the coast of North Carolina is a hot spot for family … Continue reading

What To Do With a Two Day Stopover in Iceland

For those of you who are not aware, Icelandair offers an amazing stopover program. If you fly through them, Icelandair will allow you have up to a seven day “extended layover” in Iceland for no extra charge! This essentially adds … Continue reading

Quick Tour of Qatar

As time ticks down, my departure for Qatar draws closer and closer.6:05 pm, you’ll find me taking off from Washington Dulles International Airport, en route to Frankfurt, and later onto Doha. I’ve done my research, I’ve gathered prices, and I’ve made … Continue reading

Top 5: Places I’ve Been

My over-zaelous-ness with flags and stickers invites a lot of people to ask ‘why?’. When I explain that all the countries I bear are ones that I’ve been to, their reactions typically are ones of ‘awe’, quickly followed by the question “Well, which is your favorite?”

 

…. DAMN YOU ALL!

 

Do you know how difficult that is to answer? Anyone who has/does travel, whether over seas or within their own nation, will know that this question is impossible. Each one offers so many different experiences that they can’t be compared!

But, in spite of all the banter, I’ve decided to create this list that will serve as my go-to when answering this question.

V) Iceland

IMG_1918

The ever exotic Iceland. The country that everyone wants to go to, but few actually do! My time there was limited, only because – thanks to Icelandair – I was able to do an extended layover while flying to London.  But wow, am I glad to go at all. There’s something soothing about knowing that you’re on an island country that’s in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean alone. The weather was brisk, the air was clean, and the people were as friendly as could be. It was a nice pre-trip adventure before embarking across Europe.

IV) Germany

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How could you not choose Germany?? The always alive – always vibrant – always friendly nation. I’m fortunate enough to have been twice, and both times were off-the-charts awesome. Beer gardens, bratwurst, and football games** are always a recipe for success.

**disclaimer: I am a bandwagon fan. I was not an FC Bayern Munich fan until I went there the second time.

III) Mexico

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Now we’re getting into the sentimental part of the list. I will always hold Mexico near and dear to my heart. Bro (my grandpa) lives in Cuernavaca, and so every once in awhile I get the opportunity to go visit him. I’ve been to and from Mexico a guestimated half-dozen times and each time is a new experience. When I went this past summer, my entire family and I visited Bro and had a blast. We visited ancient Aztecan ruins, played golf and tennis, and ate FANTASTICALLY.

II) Switzerland

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The first time I was in Switzerland was mid-January, with my dad when we attended the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference. We spent a few nights in Geneva, and then travelled farther along Lake Geneva to Montreux and Leysin. My friend Michael (the one on the left in my Germany picture) actually went to boarding school at the Leysin American School so we visited him. I happened to mention to Mike how awesome it would be to go skiing. By coincidence, he had an extra pair of ski pants that fit me, so there we were! Impromptu ski trip in the Swiss Alps. Dad let me rent some equipment and off we went. I’ll never forget that one.

I) Finland

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My first trip :’) ! Where the wanderlust began. Summer after 8th grade, my mom took me to Finland, where out ancestry hails from. My grandmother was born here so our family there is relatively closely related! I feel like I got the true Finnish experience. Our family picked us up from the airport in Helsinki and immediately drove us to their town of Hankasalmi, where we met up with the rest of the family. Almost within the same minute, we were in the sauna, and then next thing I know, I’m butt naked in a freezing lake! For the rest of my life, this trip will be embedded in my brain and heart as the one that started it all. I’m glad my brother will be able to experience the same thing this upcoming summer.

There it is, my list. STOP ASKING ME NOW! It was hard to narrow it down, but I did. There were a few that JUST fell short, including Italy, Austria, Georgia, and the Netherlands. No hard feelings, bud.

Chicago Bound (10.10.2014)

Chicago-Skyline-at-Night

What better reason to wake up at 4:00 AM then to catch a flight? Flight FFT1344, IAD-ORD for those of you who are interested.

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Today we are Chicago bound. Bring on the hot dogs and deep dish pizzas and thick accents. The diet that I worked so hard on is about to all go to waste. But, when in Chicago, do as the Chicagoans. There will be plenty of time to eat healthy when I get back. It’s not every day you’re in the grand “Windy City”, you know!

I’m still taking suggestions as to what Maggie and I should do while in the city! Comment below if you have a “must” see!

Cheers,

Alex

T-Minus 7 Days Until Chicago (3.10.2014)

In exactly seven days,  Maggie and I will be strolling around downtown Chicago, admiring the overpowering Sears Tower, the reflective Bean, and posing for silly tourist pictures in front of Sue the Dinosaur (yea, I didn’t know that was a thing either). Luckily, I have an over zealous girlfriend, so theres no way I’ll be missing out on anything cool. Check out the itinerary she put together for us…

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Basically, food. And I am so pumped. For months I’ve been hearing about ‘Portillos’ and ‘Sushi Kushi’ and ‘Walker Bros’. Finally I’ll be exposed to the “best food in the Midwest.”

And of course, she’s been dropping hints that Chicago is “the best city in the world.” This is just one of the many Buzzfeeds she sent me.

She’s set the bar high so I expect nothing less than perfection. I promise in my posts I’ll include many pictures! Stay tuned for my first trip to the Windy City!

For Now, Cheers!

Alex

P.S.: Do any of you all have suggestions as to what’s a must see?? I’d love for some great ideas!

 

The Mandatory Photos (3.9.14)

While flipping through my pictures from my previous trips, I found a few recurring styles of pictures.

First of which were the “Passport/Ticket in hand” photos:

(San Francisco, California)

(Munich, Germany)

(Reyjavik, Iceland)

(London, United Kingdom)

(Mexico City, Mexico)

(Cancun, Mexico)

Then there’s the classic “Out the window/ over the wing” photos:

(San Francisco, California)

(SFO, San Francisco, California)

(San Francisco, California)

(Tbilisi, Georgia)

(Munich, Germany)

(Reykjavik, Iceland)

(London, United Kingdom)

(Cancun, Mexico)

And possibly the most important, the in-flight/first meal:

(San Francisco, California)

(Mexico City, Mexico)

(Munich, Germany)

(Munich, Germany)

(Washington D.C.)

(Mexico City, Mexico)

A New Favorite (29.7.14)

I’ve been in San Francisco for only a few hours and I already have a new favorite state. It all started with the approach of the airport where I “awe’d” at the rolling hills.

And it was solidified while watching this Swiss Air plane soaring off into the sunset.

After collecting my luggage from the baggage claim, Dad and I made our way to the city, making stops at the Golden Gate Bridge and Lombart Street. Being a little foggy, the pictures were a little blurry.

From there we embarked on an adventure I had been most looking forward to since learning I was going to California… to In-N-Out Burger we go.

Let me just tell you that it did not disappoint.

Tomorrow, I’ll head out to the city and see where the wind takes me. I know for sure that I’ll be at the Giants baseball game tomorrow and I can’t wait to see yet another sport event in yet another city.

For Now, Cheers!

Alex

Tbilisi! (20.5.14)

Michael warned me… Georgia is a wild land, and I could tell the second I landed. After arriving at 3:00 am in Tbilisi, we made our way to the Hotel Europa where we were staying for the next 2.5 weeks. The only issue was, that hotel did not exist anymore, and we found this out at 4:00 am… Luckily we had Michaels close friends with us to take us back to their loft to hang out until we figured out our next steps. Nino, Mike’s “2nd mother” was a huge help and found us our own fantastic loft for only $23 a night!

Yea… fantastic. 5 beds, 1 bath, full kitchen, wifi, tv, and a laundry room!

I would have posted about this yesterday but all three of us passed out around 6:30 pm, and ended up sleeping for 13.5 hours. That’s what happens when you don’t sleep for 30 hours.

Once we got here, only one place was on Michaels mind, these beauts:

Klinkali… 30 of them. They were so good that after I didn’t want anymore, I forced myself to eat one more. Don’t be deceived, these little devils are difficult to eat and if you don’t do it correctly, any Georgian will judge you.

Step 1: Stab the stem with the fork and flip it upside down

Step 2: Take a small bite out of the dough and suck the juice out that is inside it

Step 3: Eat the rest of the Klinkali, but not the stem! This is how others know how many you’ve ate. It’s almost like a competition.

Apparently these are a daily meal, and no complaints here. The equivalent price of these in the USA is about ¢30/klinkali.

Today our plans have been a little skewed because of the wet weather. We haven’t decided what we want to do yet but I’ll keep y’all up to date!

For now, cheers!

Alex