I need help searching for good flight deals! What sites do you guys use?
I need help searching for good flight deals! What sites do you guys use?
Depending what city you are flying from and to it is good to check certain airlines individually that are not searched by common search sites like orbitz, priceline, hipmunk etc. Southwest, JetBlue, Virgin America, Allegiant are some that come to mind. Same goes with flights internationally.
So I went to Toronto last week. I always enjoy going there. It was cold as balls. I finally saw a show at Second City there, as it was across the street from my hotel. Saw the Wild Feathers and the Horseshoe Tavern, which was a great old school venue. When I booked the flight in January, I needed to choose a city to connect through (only one direct flight and it is expensive as shit) and, trying to avoid O'Hare or LaGuardia in February, thought I would be safe to connect through Atlanta... on the day the ice strom fucked everyone's shit up. Flight cancelled, but made it on the direct flight in the nick of time.
Anyway, we are taking the kids to Rosemary Beach, Florida in March.
But before that (I get back the day before we leave for florida), I am going Doha, Qatar, for work. Have any of you been there? Tom?
Zack and I are going to Portland the last weekend of May. I need to know what eating establishment has the best mac and cheese. Other dining recommendations are welcome.
5/1: Giegling Showcase @ Oakland
5/2: Sleater-Kinney @ The Masonic
5/3: Four Tet B2B Floating Points @ Public Works
5/28: Refused, White Lung @ GAMH
5/30: Neutral Milk Hotel @ Pappy & Harriet's
6/2: Kiasmos ft. Olafur Arnalds, Rival Consoles @ The Independent
Cups n saucers for breakfast must happen.
Swans @ Terminal West 03/28/15
Drive like Jehu @ The Glass House 04/08/15
Electric Wizard @ Slims 04/17/15
Acid Mother Temple @ BOTM 04/18/15
Faith No More @ the Warfield 04/20/15
John Zorn @ UCLA 05/02/15
Will Bulter @ Slims 05/26/15
Neutral Milk Hotel @ Pappy & Harriets 05/30/15
Mariah Carey @ Caesars palace 06/11/14
Planning on doing the grand canyon for the first time this summer. Any tips on how to get a fun/unique experience? Willing to camp, hike far, etc. Heard about indian reserves or something or other. I'm interested in cool spots like waterfalls, rock formations and what not. Is it even a good idea to go in the summer?
i recommend the north rim. never been to the south, but i hear it feels much less peaceful. camping spots through the park system require advance reservations and fill up past. i forget the name of the highway, but we just camped off of it outside the park. we drove on side roads until we found something. and it was pretty isolated. i loved hearing the birds, but the flies were annoying. also, don't plan on being able to light a fire or for your cell phone to work. even at the lodge it is sketchy.
don't know about waterfalls, but if you have time check out the lake powell area. horseshoe bend, antelope canyon, etc. provide beautiful rock formations and a lot of the rocks are a pretty shade of red and like nothing else. lake powell isn't too far from the north rim.
It's hard to distinguish between the seniors, animal activists, and weak when determining whether or not the mules are worth it or just a royal pain.
Take the cable car. I am not a senior, a member of PETA, or weak, but mule rides can be very very uncomfortable affairs if you do not ride horseback regularly. And if any of those horror stories about how those animals are treated are true, it's not something you would want your children to be part of. I'd also cross off the hike as well, because you travel the same path as the mules. And as anyone who has ever hiked any heavily traveled horse/mule trail can attest, the smell, flies, pile dodging, and stepping aside for the mule trains to pass gets old real quick.
I agree, you will value your time in Fira and Oia more than you will value your time climbing there, either on a mule or not. I can't remember the name of it, but there is a volcanic black sand beach on the south end of the island that is pretty cool. Especially if you have never been to a black sand beach.
Havasupai Falls. If you're in shitty shape, you can helicopter in and out, I suppose.
so i never reported back on jamaica... this is long, sorry
jamaica was a blast. we flew from phoenix to miami and then miami to montego bay. from montego bay we hired a van to drive us to negril. we were on the north west part of the island, which is the opposite side of kingston.
they drive on the left side. and driving there is insane. at one point our van was right next to a cop car with people handcuffed in the back seat. the cop and our driver were talking through the windows while they were driving. our driver said they hung out on saturdays and smoked together. the roads are narrow. people honk almost constantly to warn each other they are coming as there are lots of turns. it's not just the roads that are narrow, but the shoulders too. and goats, everywhere.
negril was beautiful. after talking to people that visited often, we definitely found the best resort. catcha falling star, which is right on the cliffs. they also on a cheaper resort down the road away from the water called catcha falling star gardens. the main resort where we stayed had a restaurant on-site. after 5pm, they allowed people from outside the resort and it seemed to be really popular. the restaurant is called "ivan's bar". hurricane ivan destroyed a bunch of property, but left this tree standing and they built a bar around it. everywhere you went you heard stories about how ivan changed the area.
the resort was intimate. and it really seemed to be the life of the workers. the owner's dog ben was always coming around at breakfast, but wasn't annoying.
the staff was fantastic though. the owner andrea did a great job helping my friend plan her wedding. they also helped us find drivers to get to town. and the wait staff and cooks were so nice. i mean, i know it's a resort and being nice is part of the job, but they were pretty friendly. the cooks would always call out good morning from their little shack, but i never saw them. the last day they asked if i was leaving and came out to hug and kiss me goodbye and said they'd miss me. i especially enjoyed a lady named ordia. the night we got into town i met her in the restroom and she said "hey beautiful, what's your name"? and i asked hers. the next day i called her by her name and she said i was the first person to ever remember her name. we are now facebook friends
the resort was so gorgeous. i definitely preferred being cliffside to being on the beach. we could take ladders down into the ocean. a few of us got brave enough to jump off the cliffs, including me!
the town was interesting. the first day we walked to town. not the best idea, but at least we got exercise. the narrow roads didn't leave any room to walk and it took us an hour and a half. people also try to sell you stuff everywhere. i got ganj from the van driver the first day. but i could have gotten it about fifty million other times. the van driver warned us that people in town sometimes report you for buying. apparently it's illegal there. but he also said sometimes they lace it with something which sounded like bullshit. the ganj was super nice though. $50 for a quarter and it was good shit. i tried to be polite at the resort, i'd go down to this narrow landing to get in the ocean and smoke down there.
anyway, people tried to sell you other shit too. souvenirs were kinda lacking though. a lot of what they sold were dresses made in china you could get for $10 at ross. or there were bob marley towels and shit you could buy at spencer's gifts. i ended up buying all but one of my souvenirs at the airport. people just kinda had little shacks with stuff to sell. almost every building was in disrepair. some construction looked new, but abandoned. there was a guy carving things out of wood and i wish i'd stopped there. my friends found the people trying to sell us stuff annoying, but i would just say "no thank you, have a beautiful day" and never stop walking. they seemed ok with that and would tell me to have a good day too. one old guy proposed marriage to me and i said yes
the local food consisted of a lot of jerk chicken/pork. they also had a lot of curry. i was surprised that you could get a hamburger at most of the resort type places. the best jerk chicken i had was more marinated in spices than covered in spicy sauce. the best meal i had was at ivan's bar, it was this pasta with jerk chicken that was fantastic. the local beer is obviously red stripe. thank god since i prefer lagers. in jamaica, red stripe has a few different types of beer. they had just introduced a new ginger beer that the bride couldn't get enough of! they had lots and lots of sugary rum cocktails. i tasted most everyone's and they were great, i just can't drink that shit all night. lots of seafood too, but i don't eat it. the last night i had the bar tender ritchie make me a traditional jamaican cocktail of either ginger beer or wine and rum.
the only scary encounter wasn't too scary, but we had dinner down a dark alley across the resort one night. it was about a fifteen minute walk in complete darkness. a kid on a bike kept following me and asking the "pretty lady" for a dollar. i was kind of afraid to pull out my purse in the dark and also for more people to come so i told him no and to have a good night, but he wouldn't stop. they also seemed to prefer the american dollar. from what i understand, it's better for you to pay in jamaican, but i wasn't buying souvenirs and only spent money on van rides and food, so it's not like i was spending enough for it to matter. i ended up spending half american, half jamaican.
one day we took a van to the beach. it was kinda rainy so i only ended up standing in the water and didn't swim. the beach wasn't all that great. if you're into laying on the sand you'd enjoy it, but i preferred getting in the water off the cliffs. the food was terrible at the place we went for lunch. and of course there's the american embassy of international beach travel, margaritaville. they had parasailing and horse riding, but i dunno, the beach just felt kinda trashy.
the last day we organized a glass-bottom boat trip. i told the lady at the office that 14 of us would pay $20-$30. two boats came right to the resort and we each paid $25. they took us around the cliffside and then out to a reef to snorkel. i am a horrible swimmer, but they had life vests so i went in. we swam for about an hour. one person didn't wear the vest and had to swim back to the boat. our tour guide kept grabbing my hand and swimming me around which was really nice as i had trouble controlling my direction in the water. he would hand us animals to hold, we held a sea cucumber, a sea urchin, and a starfish. we also saw a giant sting ray, baby sting rays, those black spiky-ball sea urchins, san dollars, queen angelfish, and other things i can't remember. i was the only one to see an eel. the boat sun baby had a little card of all the fish in the area so we could put names to things. again, i am not a big swimmer, but the caribbean water is too beautiful to resist! at some points though we felt really close to the reef. glad we didn't break anything lol. too bad i didn't have an underwater camera
i had a fabulous trip and got out of my comfort zone. everything was definitely on "island time". it took us an hour to get our bill one night. as long as you plan for everything to take a really long time, you're ok. it can be hard to understand some of the people, but thankfully i listened to a shit load of jamaican ska in high school. the rasta's were impressed i knew the old bands and our van driver on our way to the airport played desmond dekker for me
some final tips, the exchange was easy to remember, $100 jamaican dollars for roughly every $1 american dollar. things aren't really cheaper though, i think we kind of expected it to be. if you ate at some of the local shacks things were a little cheaper. the resort wifi barely worked. i couldn't do my homework, but oh well, i did as much as i could before i left. not all the rooms have a/c, so if you want that make sure to check for it. they were nice about giving us fans though as my room didn't have a/c. i also recommending working with the resort for entertainment. once we found a good van hook-up, we got his card and called him the whole trip. i also recommend just buying rum or rum cream (like what you'd put in coffee) at the airport. the duty-free shop was cheaper than what some of my friends bought in town. they had lots of gift shops at the airport. oh, and you can tell you're annoying people with questions when they say "no problems" or "you're in jamaica, no worries". gotta be patient. and if you can travel with a group, you'll probably have more fun. most of the other travelers were much older.
so that's my longer-than-necessary review of jamaica, if you can make it, enjoy!
After Glastonbury I'm doing a European jaunt.
Itinerary = 4 nights in Copenhagen, 4 nights in Prague, and then a quick stop in Athens followed by some Greek island hopping (Milos, Ios and Mykonos).
I have never been to Denmark, Greece or the Czech Republic. Any clever advice?
In Greece they like to do it in the pooper.
Oh, for those of you that have been to Spain, here is the itinerary I've mapped out
Three nights in Madrid (day trip to Toledo), two in Seville, one in Granada (two days though, we're taking an overnight sleeper train from Granada to Barcelona), three nights in Barcelona.
Am I massively fucking anything up here?
Salamanca is only a couple hours from Madrid. It's a small cobbled college town full of pubs clubs and students from around the world. check it out and thank me later.
Anyone done the trek from Kathmandu to Everest Base Camp?
I'll be in Cebu, Philippines at the end of this month. I come back and leave just a few days later to Paris- The French Open! I am considering a day trip to Brittany while there. Anyone ever done that? Is there a public transit option for it or would I need to rent a car?
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