Las Noches de las Luminarias

This year we visited Las Noches de las Luminarias at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.   Lighted paths take you through a series of trails in which the botanical gardens are illuminated in colored lights.  Sprinkled throughout the paths are places to stop and buy a drink.  We saw visitors drinking coffee, hot chocolate or buying a bottle of wine.  This special event ran from November 27th through December 31st.  We visited the day after Christmas. Here’s a few photos from our evening.  N

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The Spa at the Conrad Maldives

We were waiting excitedly at the Male Airport, (Conrad Lounge) for the seaplane. The seaplane would fly us to the Conrad Maldives, Rangali Island. Male Maldives Airport, Walkway to Seaplanes A massage therapist from the The Spa offered complimentary mini massages while waiting to board. We took up the offer! After a mini shoulder and neck massage the therapist let us know about a deal at The Spa. If we signed up for a 60-minute massage on that day (to be done at The Spa on Rangali Island) we could get 30 minutes tacked on for free.  So, in essence,…

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L’atelier de Torréfaction, Paris

L'atelier de Torréfaction is a coffee shop near Place de la Bastille in Paris.  We took the metro from our hotel to Place de la Bastille. We were exploring the area and came across a quaint looking lane - Cour Damoye. As we walked through the open metal gates our nasal passages were smiling all the way to the front doors of the coffee roaster with the bright red canisters, L'atelier de Torréfaction. L'atelier de Torréfaction is located on Cour Damoye What’s in these bright red canisters?  Looking South at Cour Damoye towards Place de la Bastille Coffee beans so fresh they…

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Keep or Cancel our American Express Hilton Aspire credit card?

The American Express Hilton Aspire card comes with a strong set of benefits.  This includes:  Diamond status with HiltonA $250 resort credit at select Hilton propertiesA $250 Airline creditAn annual free night at Hilton Properties It also comes with a $450 fee.    We’ve had the card for over a year, and got great value for the $450 annual fee.  This card easily paid for itself during our trip to the Conrad Maldives in February of this year. This week the annual fee once again hit our account.  With travel on hold, we couldn’t justify paying $450.   So what to do? Options included: Cancelling the cardDowngrading…

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The Pie Hole, Los Angeles

On a hot Summer Saturday in Southern California we spent the afternoon in the City of Orange.  The old town area is blocked off for pedestrians.  One of our stops was the Pie Hole on the corner of Glassell and Maple avenue.  We tried the Mexican Chocolate Pie Hole, the Strawberry Lavender Pie Hole, and a slice of Earl Grey Pie.  The shop is located on Zirkle corner, former site of Wally’s Market. Here's some pictures from our visit. 🥧 🍊

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Saving Our Trip to Paris – Why We Applied for an Air France Credit Card

As the saying goes, “Paris always a good idea”. We love visiting Paris and had a trip planned for May 2020.   The flight was booked with Air France Miles.  The trip was cancelled due to Covid 19. We called Air France, cancelled the flight, and the Air France miles were redeposited into our frequent flyer account. So far so good.  The problem is, these miles, along with our existing balance, resulted in over 300,000 Air France miles that were set to expire in May 2021.  This is over $3000 worth of travel that would evaporate unless we took action. Air France miles expire…

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Canal de L’Ourcq, Paris

We flew into Paris after spending a week in the South of France. The plan was to meet three of our adult children who were flying into to Paris from California.  We arrived in Paris a half-day early, checked into the hotel and headed up to the 19th Arrondissement to have lunch at the Paname Brewing Company.  We had met the owner on a previous trip to Paris and wanted to check it out. ⁣⁣The restaurant overlooks Canal de l'Ourcq and was busy on this Spring day in May.  After lunch we strolled along the walking path and made a stop at Le…

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Video – Cereal Killer Cafe in Dubai

Looking for a bowl of cereal in the middle of the day? Cereal Killer Cafe can make that happen. We are familiar with Cereal Killer Cafe from our trips to the East End of London, but it was fun to spot a location in Dubai. Here's a quick video from our trip to Dubai and the Maldives in February of this year. Notice the tables and benches which are beds with old school designs. https://www.instagram.com/p/CD1-ohvFDoS/

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Gritti Palace Venice

Our trip to Venice included a stay at the Gritti Palace hotel, situated on the Grand Canal.  The building dates back to the 1400’s and is part of Marriott’s Luxury Collection.  Rooms run over $1000 a night, but we booked it with points.   The following is a pictorial overview of the stay.  Catching the Shared Water Taxi at the Airport We arrived at the Marco Polo Airport and caught a shared water taxi to the hotel.   Travelers can walk from the terminal to the where the water taxis depart.  Journey down the Grand Canal in Venice Arriving at Gritti Palace from the canal Entrance…

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