...constantly searching to find the best travel deals and places to visit. A never-ending quest for adventure!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Hyatt Endless Possibilities...have you registered?

If you haven't already done so, don't forget to sign up for the first Hyatt promo of the year, titled Endless Possibilities. 

It's completed dependent on the number of nights you stay, up to 20 nights. 

Since the redemption value of the free nights is only Category 1-4, I took the points sign up instead since those can be used toward any room at any property. 

It's a pretty lackluster promo in my opinion, but if it works out I'd take the points.

Friday, January 24, 2014

TravelPro Crew8 20" Suitcase available...fits any overhead bin!

I've recently listed a brand new, still in box, TravelPro Crew8 20" Rollerboard suitcase on ebay...hoping to find it a good home.  I've already got one and use it all the time, but hope this one will find its way to someone who needs it.

What's amazing about this suitcase is that it's durable and fits any overhead bin - I've even made it work on smaller CRJ's.

It normally retails for around $300, but I've got it listed for $150 (see link below):


Check it out!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

First Day of Classes

Sorry for the tardy posting...been ramping up to the start of the semester, which takes place today!

Stay tuned for more travel related posts, and other things that come my way.

There have been a number of promotions taking place in a variety of programs (Hyatt, Hilton, etc), and hopefully you've had a chance to take advantage.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

You should travel...because its healthy!

This is perfect...I knew that this was the reason why I love to travel so much!


Now if I can only find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow to keep it up! 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Travel plans for 2014

2014 is here, and that means I am once again evaluating my travel plans/habits/hobby for the coming year.  Last year I did a fairly good job and status-keeping, although I managed to come up short on 1K for United by about two trips.  This was mainly because I ended up flying enough miles on American to get their mid-tier status for this year due to a status challenge.  So...what to do for 2014?

Flying and Status

This one is going to be tough for this year, since most of the major airlines have introduced Premier Qualifying Dollars (PQD) into the status equation.  American has not, but most likely could once more merger details are released.

I've preferred always earning miles on United, as mileage redemption options always seem to be better than most (and without huge fuel surcharges).  But I'm also taking a long look at Alaska Airlines for this year...one big plus is the ability to earn Elite Qualifying miles on any of their partners.  This would cover any AA or Delta flights for me but wouldn't help my United bottom line.  The PQD addition means my ability to earn 1K has ended...I just don't spend the $$$ required to make it ($10,000!).  That means Alaska/AA is definitely in play (despite my desire to fly on all Star Alliance members).


I'm hopeful that 2014 will bring me to several new destinations, including Seoul and other places in Eastern Europe.  I always enjoy visiting Zurich when I get the chance, but I want to expand my reach this year if time, money, and vacation hours permit.

A few places on my list include Zagreb, Morocco, Monaco, and Guam.  I think most of these are doable at the right times of the year.

If possible I also want to get in a trip to Phillips and do some snowmobiling...here's hoping!


Through everything that has happened in the last year, I continue to be grateful for all of the many blessings and opportunities that I've had to travel.  Here's to a fun 2014!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Restaurant Review: Faros Kebap

So many places to choose from, so little time!

I found myself thinking that when looking at the massive list of restaurant options in Istanbul.  Plus, with this being my first trip to the city, how do I know which places are good and which should be avoided?

Thankfully there are a number of sites to assist with this, and I did my research fully before narrowing down my list to a top four.

One such place that I can now highly recommend for their menu choices is Faros Kebap, a small restaurant within easy walking distance of the Grand Hyatt and Intercontinental.

When you walk down the streets of Istanbul, don't be surprised when restauranteurs and vendors try and woo you in just by walking up to you and trying to engage you in conversation.  It was interesting the first few times, but became annoying shortly after.  Best to do good research before you go and have a destination in mind.

Faros Kebap has a menu structure similar to most other places, but I felt as though their portions were exactly what an eating experience should be. Not too much, not too little.  I had to try the Urfa Kebap (lamb) during this trip, and was not disappointed.  The flavors and texture were excellent and sides were proportionate to the meal.

They also have a variety of desserts and coffees to choose from if you're planning a late afternoon visit.

I'll definitely search them out on my next visit - the lamb dishes alone make me want to eat there again!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Hilton Stay Promo for 2014 (targeted)

I was surprised to receive in my email the first promo of the year for hotels from Hilton - but sadly, I think it's targeted.  I really like the premise of this one!  It runs through May 31st, so if you have stays coming up and received the email be sure to check it out.

Here are the details - all requiring at least a two night stay:

When you complete a stay of at least two nights with multiple brands in the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 4,000 Bonus Points when you stay at any one of our 10 brands
  • Earn 6,000 Bonus Points when you stay at a second brand
  • For every stay after that at a different hotel brand, you'll earn 10,000 Bonus Points per stay
  • Stay at all 10 brands and you'll earn an extra 10,000 Bonus Points, for a total of 100,000 Bonus Points
Here are the terms and conditions:

This exclusive offer is open only to the HHonors member who received the email from Hilton HHonors™ announcing this promotion. Offer is valid for eligible stays completed between December 6, 2013 and May 31, 2014 (“Promotion Period”) at participating hotels and resorts in the Hilton HHonors™ portfolio. Hilton HHonors members must first register via this page prior to check-out of your stay within the Promotion Period. Registered HHonors members will receive offer bonus points only for stays completed during the Promotion Period, regardless of a check-in date before the Promotion Period begins or a check-out date after the Promotion Period ends. Registered members will earn 4,000 Bonus Points for the first stay at any brand in the Hilton HHonors portfolio, 6,000 Bonus Points for a subsequent stay at a different brand in the Hilton HHonors portfolio, and 10,000 Bonus Points for each additional unique brand stay. Registered members that complete at least one stay at each of the ten brands in the Hilton HHonors portfolio during the Promotion Period will earn an extra 10,000 Bonus Points. Two night minimum stay required. Maximum of 100,000 Bonus Points can be earned through this offer during the Promotion Period. Please allow six to eight weeks from completion of your stay for points to appear in your HHonors account.

Wondering what the 10 brands are?  Here is the list:

I think that the Grand Vacations and Home2 will be toughest of the bunch to get.  Might be fun to try and get them all!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Big Chill is on

For all of you across the US in the deepfreeze...take care over the next 48 hours:

Courtesy WX Underground

Friday, January 3, 2014

World's Largest New Years Fireworks

In case you missed it...


The Burj was rockin'!  (to an orchestra, no less)

Thanks to Kathy for sharing!

(curiosity point: wonder what the people who are living in condos in the Burj thought about the explosions....)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I know I'm a day late, but I wanted to get this wish out now.  Hoping that 2014 brings out all the best in everyone, in everything, especially for all of you who are traveling!

A more expanded look at my 2014 travel thoughts will be forthcoming...