Where’s Your Happy Place?

Your happy place is where you just feel right. It may be somewhere you visit often or somewhere you’ve only been once. It’s a place that envelops you and covers you in a feeling of happiness and joy. It’s a place where you’re sad when you have to leave and all you can think about is how and when you’re going to get back.

Before Guinan shows up and reminds me that I’m stealing the description of the Nexus from Star Trek: Generations, let me explain.

Guinan TNG

A happy place means something different to everyone. Continue reading “Where’s Your Happy Place?”

Advertisements

Extended Black Friday Deals, Secret Passwords For Free Stuff, & More…

From how to not lose your credit card points to a cool “buy one, get one free” deal, here are some stories we saw this week that we thought were interesting. We hope you will, too:

  • Many Black Friday hotel deals are actually good through Cyber Monday
    Here’s a master list of all of them, thanks to Deals We Like.
  • We loved our stay at the Kimpton in Chicago. If you’re staying at one of their properties this winter, be sure to give the secret password when checking in for some extra goodies. Check out BaldThoughts for all the info!
  • We’ve read about the most luxurious hotel spas, bathrooms, pools, bedrooms, and lounges but maybe you’re grasping for material when you write about the most luxurious closet. Take a look at Oyster.com for all the closety goodness.
  • If you’re really into miles and points, going to a Frequent Traveler University is the way to take it to the next level. The next one was just announced for Seattle in February and if you decide to go, I’ll see you there. As per Rapid Travel Chai, hey have a Black Friday special going for this weekend, giving you $30 off.
  • View From The Wing gave a great report on the survey that American Airlines did with all of their employees. As someone who is familiar with this type of workplace survey. I’m surprised American did as well as they did.
  • If you know us at all, you can bet we bookmarked this link about quirky museums from The Points Guys for our travels!
  • I was sad to read on Wandr that Eastern Airlines is going away (again). At least we got to fly them to Cuba last year.
  • Just another reason why Canadians are cooler than Americans. They know how to handle a flight delay. Thanks to One Mile At A Time for sharing!
  • One concept that people fail to grasp is that if you cancel a credit card, you need to make sure that you don’t lose your points. Here’s a post from Frequent Miler that tells you what to do for the three major banks.
  • This deal that Doctor of Credit reported may still be available with Chase Pay to get “buy one, get one” movie tickets. I thought it was a such a good deal that it was what I groggily told Sharon about when I woke up from anesthesia.
  • We saw this in-airport flu clinic when we flew from O’Hare this weekend, and now No Mas Coach reported on it. If you haven’t gotten one yet, get your flu shot!

Like this post? We have plenty more just like it and would love if you decided to hang around and clicked the button on the top of this page to follow our blog and get emailed notifications of when we post (it’s usually just once or twice a day). Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!

Should You Get a U.S. Passport Card?

You know what documents you need to get on an airplane. For most people in the U.S., you show your driver’s license to the TSA agent at the checkpoint. If you’re taking an international flight, you’ll have your passport with you and might use that instead. The TSA currently allows many different forms of identification to get past the security checkpoint. Here’s the list from tsa.gov:

  • Driver’s licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. passport card
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • U.S. military ID (active duty or retired military and their dependents, and DoD civilians)
  • Permanent resident card
  • Border crossing card
  • DHS-designated enhanced driver’s license
  • Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
  • HSPD-12 PIV card
  • Foreign government-issued passport
  • Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
  • Transportation worker identification credential
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential

I’ve seen U.S. passport cards before but never thought they were good for much. When my dad showed me he had gotten one, I thought it was a waste of money since he also got his passport at the same time.

What can you use a U.S. passport card for, anyway?

Continue reading “Should You Get a U.S. Passport Card?”

#TBT: Alaska – Part 5 of 9

Part 5 of 9: Skagway: Walking on a Glacier and Taking a Train to Canada

In August of 2009, I (Sharon) deserted my husband Joe and our puppy Dobby (at the time we had had her for about a month and a half) to go on a cruise to Alaska with the choir of which I was a member at the time (we were booked to sing on the ship). Some of my writing style has changed since 2009, some of my snark is exactly the same and heaven knows that cameras and photos have improved in the past 8 years, but here is the trip report I wrote about those adventures…the good, the bad and the ugly! To get up-to-date on the trip:

Part 1 – Arriving in Vancouver
Part 2 – On board and getting my bearings
Part 3 – Rehearsals and relaxing
Part 4 – Juneau – Nature Trails & Humpback Whales

ZZZAlaskaPhotobomb
For those of you who know me – this was one of my first ever photobombs

I had gotten a letter last night that said

my Glass Blowing excursion, due to lack of participants at 9:30am, had been changed to 1:30pm. Unfortunately, that caused some time conflicts, so after waking up at 7:30am (luxury!), I went to the Excursion Desk down on Deck 1. I couldn’t switch my excursions around to get all three in, so I told them to cancel my Glass Blowing so I could receive a refund.

I next went to the Lido Buffet (the food isn’t so great but it’s convenient) and grabbed a breakfast of an omelette, hash browns, whole wheat toast and coffee. After that I called Joe so we could talk for a while.

We were already in port in Skagway, so with several hours to go until my first excursion at 1:30pm, I decided to see the town (it was only a few hundred feet off the dock) and go shopping. And shop I did!

Below: Downtown Skagway

My first excursion was a helicopter ride to Meade Glacier, followed by a walk on the glacier and then a helicopter ride back. The helicopter ride was fun but, well, I’ve done ‘copter rides before (Hawaii and the Grand Canyon) and it wasn’t anything new or special, other than a different view – and a cloudy view, at that. But still a pretty awesome view.

The glacier though, was incredible. A massive 700 feet deep, miles wide and many more miles long. Comprised of 100 feet of snow per 1 foot of glacier ice, moving downstream at 1″ per hour. Deep crevices, above and underground streams…just an amazing thing to stand on and something I MUST visit again someday!

The helicopter ride back was just as cool as the ride there, with some awe-inspiring (but still cloudy) views:

My White Pass Summit Club train ride to the Yukon was scheduled for a 4:10pm pickup. With just a 30-minute turnaround time and a VERY empty belly, I half-walked, half-ran to Starbucks (Skagway AK: Population 800. And they have a Starbucks!) for a sandwich that I wolfed down in no time flat.

The pickup for the train ride was on time but they said the train was running late (I found out later that a car of an earlier train had derailed. Oops.). So they drove us around town…all 8 blocks of it. We saw the Skagway library, fire department and police station (the latter of which looks an awful lot like a single wide). Finally it was time to go on the train, so we drove to the area where we would board car #242.

The train ride was fun and pretty (if not particularly interesting), with some lovely views of the valley below. The tracks were built during the Klondike gold rush and as we rode, they told some stories about areas and items we passed.

The train was riding, of course, on the side of a mountain so whereas the people on the left had a lovely view, the ones on the right only got to see the side of a mountain. So once we hit the Yukon (back into Canada – we weren’t allowed to leave the train), they gave us our champagne (part of this particular tour), detached the engine car and brought it to the back of the train, where it was reattached. Our seats were made to flip to the other direction so, with that, we did the mandatory switch of passengers to the “other” side of the train and those who were on the left side now had a mountain view, while those on the right now had a valley view. It was fair. And then we made our descent.

Had the train left on time, we would have arrived back at the ship at 7:15pm, which would give me just enough time to go back to my cabin, change clothes and be at dinner between 7:45 and 8pm. Unfortunately, with the delayed start, we didn’t arrive back until 7:45pm. So I rushed to the dining room to tell my table mates what I wanted to eat, figuring I could do that, get changed and be back in time for my main course to be on the table. However when I got to the restaurant and told the people at the desk my intentions, they told me I could eat there as is, so I got to eat in jeans, a polo shirt and my brand-spanking new Tilley OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhat, LOL! The meal itself was, as always, just OK, but I chose chocolate pudding for dessert. Now granted, apparently what the British call “pudding” is not the same as what we call “pudding” (I never did figure out the difference – I’m bringing some Jello instant pudding with me to England next time I go), but I took a picture of what they gave me because it looked VERY much more like a souffle than chocolate pudding. I even double-checked with the server who insisted that the cake-like object on my plate was indeed chocolate pudding. OK, then…

It had been a LONG day with a LOT of walking. With no plans for Wednesday (another day at sea), I went to bed at 10:30pm and figured I would wake up whenever I woke up.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA