12 August 2022

First time in Atlanta!

Fifteen years in Atlanta area and today, for the first time, I took the public bus. I did not have my car with me when I landed in Atlanta airport. Took the MARTA train. Which I have done a couple of times before. And then instead of Ubering up the rest of the distance, took the MARTA bus. It dropped me within a two minute walk from the new house!

17 July 2022

Gorgeous Columbia River

Beautiful view of the largest river in the Northwest from the airplane. As best as I can tell, that angular dam in the middle of the picture, is the Rocky Reach Dam – famous for being the first dam to be designed to let young fish have a bypass to find their way to the ocean.

17 July 2022

What the Travel Gods giveth with one hand…

… they taketh away with the other.

After 2 not-so-happy experience with rental cars this week, the third one – where I switched from Avis to Hertz – worked like a charm.

But then again, the flight karma caught up with me in the fifth and last fight for the week. Switched from Delta to Alaska airlines and promptly had a mechanical problem in Seattle!

3 hours later we are threatening to re-board in a new plane.

Let’s see where this one ends up!

16 July 2022

Never seen this concept before

A hot tub boat!

The lower picture is from a boat in Lake Union (Seattle). Note the small boat just to right of the edge of the boom.

The upper picture is magnified (poor quality picture due to the distance and cloudy Seattle weather).

It is basically a floating hot tub! Not sure what the fuel is but you can see the chimney and it was emitting very light dark smoke. People were just floating away in their hot tubs surrounded by the 64 degree cold water of Lake Union!

13 July 2022

Where did the ice go?

That is the mark of classy bar. The ice has not an iota of trapped air in it – making it completely transparent inside the drink. The branding of the restaurant name – RPM – on top was a nice touch too.

Oh! The Old Fashioned was nothing to scoff at either!!

13 July 2022

You see the problem?

Somehow, the systems in Avis did not think so.

This was a bad Avis karma week for me. At Charlotte, instead of walking into a car, I had to wait in a queue 32 people strong – that too in the preferred center! The normal Avis line had way more. Ultimately decided on Uber.

And then faced the above fiasco in Chicago the next day. Again had to wait in a queue to get it resolved.

I am sure, by now, you have spotted the problem.

18 May 2022

American Airlines versus Delta

I was with American for about 13 years and Delta for nearly 15. Four million miles with American and nearly two with Delta. (I used to travel mostly international while in Dallas and mostly domestic after moving to Atlanta).

In just about every aspect, I have liked Delta always better. However, there are a few things American scores better than Delta to me. First, the passengers are far more orderly while boarding in American flights. Also true for United. Somehow boarding in Delta flights reminds me of the queue discipline that I used to experience in India.

But my biggest complaint with Delta passengers in first class is that they always keep the windows closed. It is like we are always in the dark. I can’t understand why would we sit 35000 feet up in the air and not look outside and marvel at the beauty below and also what we have created. Plus, I am claustrophobic and it creates anxiety.

American haas no TV for every chair. So at least that partially explains why they do not care about it being bright inside. But they also work on laptops and watch videos on phones and iPads. But somehow the American windows are always open. Delta’s are closed.

Never quite figured out why.