Tag: Travel

I’m headed back to Tulum where I will turn 30. I’m hoping a little bit of the sting of the big 3-0 is reduced by getting toes in sand and a beer in hand.

I’ll be sure to check back and document the travels and review our experiences!

Til Next Time,

Michael

As you know, last week I had the opportunity to go to New York to accept an industry award. Everything about the trip was supposed to be fairly mundane Рfly in on Thursday, get a nice meal, wake up Friday and shake some hands at the award luncheon, and fly back to Atlanta Friday afternoon. That is Рuntil my mother decided to text me some eerie news the night before my flight to NYC.

The article she shared referenced a terrorist organizations implied intent to do some sort of damage in New York City – where I would be right around that time. Not only that, but I stayed in Times Square and the ballroom where the ceremony was hosted was right in the heart of Times Square.

This brings me to an interesting dilemma… “The business of terror”. What if – for instance – the award ceremony I was at was canceled due to the idle threat? That would have only been one minor event out of hundreds (if not thousands) that likely would have suffered the same fate. At a tremendous sunk cost I’m sure (i.e. food, drinks, space, support, and all the other peripheral costs of events were already spent). Just my trip would have been about $1,000 down the drain, and I imagine there are probably a couple hundred thousand people in and around the area that would have the same fate. So what’s this all cost? Several hundred million dollars? A billion? I don’t have a solution for minimizing the business of terror (and the impact is has on all of our daily lives), but it’s an interesting conundrum nonetheless. Either way – terrorists are lame and we shouldn’t let them dictate our lives.

Til Next Time,

Michael

It is pretty crazy to think that we can get WiFi on airplanes. That being said – I think technology like this has advanced society’s¬†expectations to a point where we are no longer rational consumers. For instance, I am on a transcon flight from SAN to JFK right now, and couldn’t be more upset with how spotty the GoGo In-Flight WiFi has been. Evolutions like this are often healthy, but it does still worry me that we’ve all gotten extremely complacent and are basically walking around with entitlement syndrome without even knowing it. So, being the entitled technology brat I am, I stated poking around google to see exactly why the GoGo’s of the world can’t “fix” this (what I perceive now to be major) problem.

And then I stumbled upon this article – talking exactly about this dilemma! It will be interesting, for sure, to see exactly how/when the premium in-flight internet options will become available. I know that I will be one of the many that anxiously await and embrace the evolution. Hopefully it comes soon!

Til Next Time,

Michael

marriott-starwood

This news will certainly rock the travel and loyalty industry, so I figured I’d share the news on here. In a deal valued at $12.2B, I was actually surprised at the price. Seems really low for a chain and loyalty brand/cult that is much stronger, especially at the premium luxury levels. I think SPG brass probably had deal fatigue by this point since they’ve effectively been on the market since earlier this year. Either way – it will be interesting to watch and see how the chains start to fold in together (crossover rewards, earning/redeeming points, loyalty tier matches, etc). Seems like the acquisition is pended for completion in mid-2016 with the operational merger and loyalty brand assimilation to follow shortly thereafter. Fingers crossed that this may mean something good not awful for SPG Platinums like me!

The Points Guy reacts to the acquisition here.

Til Next Time,

Michael

FullSizeRender

The view from the tasting patio at Cast (a personal favorite)

This will start a mini-series of (non-work) posts stemming from a recent trip to wine country. I’ll go over a little bit about my thoughts on Sonoma vs Napa (I’ll call this my “updated view” since I’ve already been to both before and reviewed them previously), and list some of my “must see” places and favorite vineyards. Some of the information will resemble a beginner’s guide to wine country, while other areas will dive deeper into trade secrets I’ve learned (mostly from the hundreds of dollars I’ve probably lost due to poor decisions) over the years. Hope you enjoy it!

As a teaser, here is a list of the wineries I was able to get to on this trip (pictures coming as well):

  • Napa
    • Frog’s Leap
    • Round Pond
    • Robert Sinskey
    • Regusci
    • Saintsbury
    • Artessa
  • Sonoma(ish*)
    • Buena Vista
    • Gloria Ferrer
    • Deerfield Ranch
    • Kunde
    • Ferrari Carano
    • Cast
    • Dutcher Crossing
    • Sbragia
    • VJB
    • Chateau St Jean

*a lot of my “Sonoma” wineries aren’t really in or near Sonoma proper – but since they’re all Sonoma County, I’m going to count them as being Sonoma even if they’re really Dry Creek, Healdsburg, or some other town not named Sonoma

Til Next Time,

Michael

It’s been a while, I get it. I’d love to make excuses, but all I’ve got is some crappy explanations. The summer got entirely too busy at work and I spent my limited off-time traveling and generally recharging my batteries. Sorry for that. What I will offer, though, is that I’ve had some pretty cool escapades across the country and I’ll look to share some of those stories here. While they may not be directly related to Corporate America, they’re at least hopefully some good recommendations on where to go and what to do in some great destinations.

Up first, I’ll do an in-depth review of a recent trip to San Francisco and wine country. Stay tuned!

Til Next Time,

Michael


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