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Archive for the 'Travel' Category

This App is a MUST HAVE!

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Last week I went on a family vacation out of the country. In total we had 12 people, including a number of kids. The day before the trip my sister (great job S.C.) said we needed to download this App right away. Basically the App allowed us to text for FREE while we were out of the country. We were easily able to create a group, not only exchange messages to see where everyone was at the resort but we were also able to exchange pictures & videos which AUTOMATICALLY load into your camera roll.

Here is the online description:

WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp Messenger is available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia and yes, those phones can all message each other! Because WhatsApp Messenger uses the same internet data plan that you use for email and web browsing, there is no cost to message and stay in touch with your friends.

In addition to basic messaging WhatsApp users can create groups, send each other unlimited images, video, and audio media messages.

This was simply amazing, it allowed us to communicate so effectively and without question took some of the worrying away with regard to trying to figure out where everyone was, especially where the kids were at all times.

  • Have you ever heard or used this app?
  • What are your overall thoughts?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Uber is great but doesn’t this lead to a bunch of problems?

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

I am sure every one of the readers has heard of Uber and most likely, at this point, has used the service. I am not sure I know anyone who doesn’t have the App.

Without question, the service is great and works for so many reasons. Most people I know don’t like much about a cab experience and complain more often than not. For many, the car was small, dirty, and the drivers don’t always provide a nice & comfortable ride.

As we know Uber has exploded, everyone is using it, and the revenue is skyrocketing. No one will argue what I just said, but here is a different angle.

  • Did you ever stop and think about where the business is coming from?
  • Who does it directly effect?
  • How much are cab medallions worth now compared to a few years ago?

I must admit I am a little nervous.

Without question there will be fewer cabs, or at least the same number, but they will make a lot less.

I would suggest that the unemployment rate will go up because of the explosion of Uber, and the value of Cab medallions will be so negatively affected it will have a dramatic hit on business owners.

  • Am I wrong to look at it this way?
  • What am I missing?
  • Is that just how business works?

Please help me sort thru this.

I look forward to reading your comments.

Coming to Texas? You need to go to Buc-ee’s!

Friday, July 8th, 2016

Over the years I have been hearing about something call Buc-ees but I really didn’t know much about it. Recently I have been asking some friends about it and they all say the same thing – it’s wonderful, we love it, it’s huge and cool! I know with that description I am not telling you much but it is kind of hard to describe. Picture a highway that off an exit ramp has a huge gas station (80+ pumps) and a massive retail store, maybe 1/3 of the size of a Walmart, that has some interesting and different food that it makes, has 75 bathrooms that are the cleanest you have ever seen, and customer service staff that is the friendliest you have ever met!

That is Buc-ees. Having now been to one it is pretty cool. The store is very well lite, off the charts clean, and they give away free samples of fudge and jerky. It’s an interesting concept and my understanding is all 32 of their stores are based in the great state of Texas!

So I say to you – please come to Texas and go to Buc-ees!

  • For those of you who have visited one, how was my description?
  • Do you have something in your state that sounds like a Buc–ees?

I look forward to reading your comments.

A thank you is usually only for a person… not today!!!

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

I am sure during the day all of us say thanks many times. For me, it could be a big thank you for waking up my kids and not having it take a long time or perhaps thanking a stranger for holding the door or thanking a cashier, waiter, or thousands of other examples.

Today’s thank you is very different. Not sure I have ever done this. But here goes.

I want to thank DFW airport! I know you are probably saying to yourself why? What’s wrong with him? If you were saying that I wouldn’t disagree with you but hear me out for a minute.

I want to thank DFW Airport for a number of reasons:

  1. For being smart enough to make it the most efficient airport I have ever traveled thru. Most airports are deep and you need to walk forever. Miami, Las Vegas to name a few. DFW is wide, has a ton of security checkouts, and typically the walk to your gate is less than 30 seconds.
  2. The concourses are huge. Terminal D is so big and has to be 10 times wider than Logan Airport or any of the airports in the Northeast.
  3. They are always looking to add relevant stores and restaurants. In the last six months they have opened a number of decent restaurants and the first ever 7 Eleven opened in an airport location.
  4. And a huge thank you for somehow adding Coke as a beverage choice in vending machines, restaurants, and other stores. For as far back as I can remember the only place you could buy a Coke was at McDonalds and it was a fountain drink. That has all changed and I am really excited about that!
  5. They are always looking for ways to make it an easier and nicer experience for their customers. Over the past few years they have renovated terminals and enhanced the parking experience with red/green lights about parking spots. If you see a green light there is a spot for you which really cuts down the wasted time to look for a spot and keeps the frustration level at a minimum.

So DFW Airport thank you on a job well down! Keep up the great work.

  • Would you like to take a moment and send out a non-traditional thank you?
  • What do you think about my thank you?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Attention travelers… do you like this survey….. I don’t.

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Like most of you, I travel quite a bit. As you know, I don’t enjoy it as much as I used to but it is a way of business and needs to happen.

A few weeks ago I read a survey that I thought was interesting and at the end a little disappointing. The story was about airline quality and rated the airline I travel the most 10th out of 13 airlines ranked.
The article said that overall, airline performance was up last year, but so were passenger complaints. In fact complaints are the worst they have been in 15 years.

The interesting part of the article was that on-time arrivals improved to nearly 80 percent of flights last year across the industry, up from 76 percent in 2014. The mishandled baggage rate dropped by 10 percent, and fewer passengers were bumped from overbooked flights, all of which should have made for happier travelers and less complaints!

Instead, passenger complaints were sky high, a sign that dissatisfaction goes beyond lost luggage and late arrivals.

JetBlue’s on-time performance improved to 76 percent from 75.4 percent in 2014, the report says. Its rating for bumping people from flights is the lowest of all airlines rated. Its customer complaint rate — 0.86 complaints per 100,000 passengers — was less than half the industry rate. JetBlue’s mishandled baggage rate of 1.81 per 1,000 passengers in 2015 was second best among airlines rated.

Spirit, headquartered in Miramar, had the lowest on-time performance of the 13 airlines: 69 percent. It also received 11.73 complaints per 100,000 passengers, far more than the industry average. But Spirit’s rate of bumping passengers was the fifth-best of the airlines rated, and its rate of mishandled baggage — 2.57 per 1,000 passengers — was fourth best.

Here is the Airline Quality Rating 2016.

Airline rankings:

  1. Virgin America
  2. JetBlue
  3. Delta
  4. Hawaiian
  5. Alaska
  6. Southwest
  7. SkyWest
  8. United
  9. ExpressJet
  10. American
  11. Frontier
  12. Envoy Air
  13. Spirit

For me I am not surprised that Spirit was last, but I was surprised about American being 10th! I take them all the time and was shocked the gap between Delta and American was that big.

  • What are your thoughts of this survey?
  • Do you think people are complaining more than they did a few years ago?
  • Are you enjoying traveling as much as you did 5 years ago?
  • I look forward to reading your comments.

Some of my most memorable times in Las Vegas aren’t even on the strip!

Friday, March 18th, 2016

One of these days I will count how many times I have been to Las Vegas. With all of my business and super bowl trips with my buddies, the number has to be close to 40 times. Recently I have been having a number of discussions about Vegas with my friends (R.Z.) who are going there soon and we started to chat about some of our favorite spots.

Here are some of my favorite things to do in Las Vegas… Not on the strip …in no particular order!

  1. Visit the Mob Museum – I am fascinated with the mob and this museum, near old Las Vegas, is a very enjoyable 90 minutes.
  2. Renting ATV’s in red rock canyon – worth the 75 minute drive! I went with a group of 8 guys on a guided tour 15 years ago and all of us are still talking about the experience!
  3. Renting a boat on Lake Mead above the hoover dam! Yes I usually get motion sickness – but not this time…..amazing landscape and the animals were amazing.
  4. Breakfast at the Egg & I. A cute little joint my cousin A.L. found a decade ago. Great spot!
  5. Shooting a machine gun. Yes I did this and yes I was scared but I would do it again. I don’t recall the exact name of the place but it was only a mile off the strip.
  6. An ATV tour of a restored gold mine. The guide was special as were the stories that he told. Absolutely worth every penny!

Okay your turn.

  • Do you have any memorable times in Las Vegas that weren’t on the strip?
  • I look forward to reading your comments.

    Have you seen any of China’s new architecture?

    Friday, March 11th, 2016

    I haven’t been to China but I was reading an article about a lot of their cool and different architecture that have erupted in the nation’s urban landscape during its recent building boom. And I thought I would share it with you. Here are 7 of the buildings.

    • Have you seen any of them in person?
    • What do you think about the style?
    • Which building is your favorite?
    • I look forward to reading your comments!

    Without question, my favorite state is….

    Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

    I believe at last count I have been to 40 of the 50 states. My goal is to visit all of them. For some reason, I started to think about my favorite ones almost like my final four. Before I give you my list – I hope it doesn’t offend anyone.

    My favorite 4 states are California, Hawaii, Maine & Florida. All of them I have visited a number of times and I like them for different reasons. Even though I am not a huge fan of the traffic in California I must admit it is my favorite state. San Diego & San Francisco are two of my favorite cities in the United States. I love their beauty, the architecture, waterfront areas, and the people. I like that LA, San Diego, San Francisco and other cities are all different. I really enjoy the beaches and waterfront areas, especially riding bikes all over the place. In fact, there isn’t much I don’t like about those cities. The 405 in LA can be challenging but some of my favorite memories ever have been playing platform tennis in Venice Beach with K.W., and S.S.

    So now your turn:

    • What are you 4 favorite states?
    • What is your favorite state?
    • Why is it your favorite?

    I look forward to reading your comments.

    Is walking easy….perhaps not.

    Friday, February 19th, 2016

    Let me know if this sounds familiar. You are getting off a plane, excited to arrive and as you get off the jet bridge the line comes to a complete halt because someone just stops! Almost forgets where they are, who is behind them, and proceeds to almost have a 5 car pileup with people. Sound familiar?

    I did a test last week. Of the 50 people who passed by me at DFW airport, 39 of them were on their phone. Making a call, sending an email, texting or reading an email. Think about that 78%! A large percentage of them are bumping into people, aren’t able to multitask and in some ways being extremely rude.

    I understand that when many people get off a plane they don’t know where they are going. They need to take a minute to get their barring’s straight. Perhaps those individuals can move over to the right/left and not force everyone else to almost slam into them.

    So I ask you – is walking in today’s society easy? I would suggest that with all the technology, distractions, and ADD in the world, it is challenging and probably going to get worse before it gets better, especially with wearable and drone technology on the horizon.

    What do you think?

    • Have you noticed the same thing I have?
    • Does it bother you?
    • Is there anything we can do about it or is this just the way life is?

    I look forward to reading your comments.

    This is a good idea but not sure how many people really do it?

    Monday, February 1st, 2016

    A few weeks ago after checking into a Marriott property I noticed a tag in the bathroom that said, “LIKE WE CARE FOR YOU, WE CARE FOR OUR PLANET”. I liked the message which basically means hang up your towel and use it a second time which saves energy.

    I have seen this many times before but for whatever reason this time it struck a nerve and I complied and hung up my towel and didn’t need new ones for later or the next day.

    Not sure why I don’t do it every time since at home I don’t wash towels after one use.

    I wonder how many people really do this and save energy. My sense is most people feel that they are paying for the room and amenities and want clean towels every day.

    What do you think?

    • What % of people do you think really do this?
    • Do you hang out your towels if there is a sign?
    • Why do you think more people don’t do it?

    I look forward to reading your comments.