From Finance Buzz: Although Berkeley may be considered more bougie than bohemian these days, the counterculture vibe that made it so famous in the 60s is still recognizable in its local haunts, and food and art scene. Dine at world-famous Chez Panisse — considered by many to be the birthplace of the California cuisine food movement — where the focus is on locally sourced, sustainable ingredients.
For art and cinema aficionados, the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive is on a mission to “inspire the imagination (and) ignite critical dialogue” with diverse exhibitions and hard-to-find independent films. For a taste of the old days, head to the University of California’s epicenter of protests and performances, Sproul Hall, or head to Telegraph Avenue for bookstores and street vendor wares.
I love Berkeley, as I attended as both an undergrad and grad student. It remains one of the biggest and most important parts of my early years. Getting away from Kingsburg was probably the most important step of my life. Though I had a wonderful family and many friends, I really needed to see more of the world, gain a different perspective, and educate myself for the future. Now, my friends call me a Berkeley liberal!
Another place I went for post graduate studies:
Attending a Tar Heels game on the University of North Carolina’s pretty, mid-19th century campus is practically a spiritual experience. After worshiping at the altar of a men’s basketball or women’s soccer game, visit the Franklin-Rosemary Historic District that abuts campus and make a tour of the 30 plus art murals around downtown.
Don’t forget Chapel Hill’s notable food scene — the area once won the title of “America’s Foodiest Small Town” by Bon Appétit magazine. Local favorites include the upscale Hawthorne & Wood and Sutton’s Drug Store, a beloved diner filled with Tar Heels basketball memorabilia.
The Tar Heels live for basketball. This includes the profs, who will give a pre-lecture rundown of the previous night’s game, ad nauseum. By the time I was here, in the 1990s, my life was fairly well established. And the great golf courses nearby at Pinehurst were also an attraction! Going to school on the east coast is quite different from the west coast.
In order to beat the Valley heat, we are once again driving over to Pismo Beach on the central coast of California. So, not only do we love the cooler weather, our little Labradoodle, Lexi loves it too. And we get to eat at some of our favorite places, like Ember in Arroyo Grande, since they have an outdoor patio dining area where Lexi is welcome!!!
The mostly boring drive of about three hours is tolerable. But summer lodging rates on the beach are somewhat inflated, though not as bad as the Monterey Peninsula or further south in Santa Barbara. I guess we should not complain! And most all of them charge extra for having even a small dog in the room.
But once we get here, we enjoy ourselves immensely. While the cooler weather draws us, we end up doing the same things: dining, walking, taking Lexi to the beach, maybe some wine tasting, and light shopping.
Something funny about Pismo was chronicled in the old TV show, Dragnet. Joe Friday’s partner at the time, Harry Morgan (aka Colonel Sherman Potter in MASH), plays Bill Gannon. He takes a disability retirement in Pismo Beach. After eating clam chowder for about 8 months, Bill’s health returns, and his teeth stop falling out! He is reinstated to the LAPD, and tells Joe Friday the reason for his return to health, “The clams, Joe, the clams.”
One of my favorite stops these days is the Firestone Walker Brewery in Paso Robles, just off Highway 101. Again, they have a shaded outdoor patio for us to eat, enjoy some 805 (my favorite beer, a blond ale, now), and allow Lexi to join us while we eat. So, not only are the craft beers (usually a dozen or more) excellent, the food is also equally good and interesting.
If you get over to the coast, I highly recommend dining at Ember. The food and ambience is unmatched, not only for this area, but stands up to most places in the Bay Area as well. Their website touts, “Ember is all about authentic hand-crafted food cooked by a wood fire. We aim to create the ideal environment to experience Central Coast food and wine.” We have enjoyed many memorable meals there. Just remember, they open at 4pm, do not take reservations (they do now), and are closed Monday and Tuesday. Wine Enthusiast Magazine awarded them one of the top 100 wine restaurants in America.
Maybe there are some other things to do without food or wine? I doubt it.
One thing we will do for sure is take Lexi to the beach. Last year, she had a sore paw, and was told by her vet to stay away from the sand.
From 2015:Locals do not say Saint Andrews, they say “sun-Andrews”, with great pride. This is golf’s holy land, the sacred fairways of St. Andrews. Golf has been played here since the 1100s, well before Columbus landed somewhere on the Western Hemisphere. And yes, anyone with a handicap below 15 can play here. It is possible to breathe the same air, take divots from the same turf, as Old Tom Morris, Bobby Jones, and Arnold Palmer. But on most Sundays, it is a public park, where you are free to walk, run, and picnic anywhere on the course.
This year’s Open (2015), as the Brits call the British Open, is the 29th on the Old Course. The biggest difference in the Old Course is the enlargement of the famous Road Hole Bunker on the 17th hole. It was, according to some, sacrilegiously widened by a foot or two! The total yardage is unchanged, at 7,297 yards, only 8 yards less than in 2010.
St. Andrews is the place where famous golfers come to say goodbye. We can all remember when Arnold Palmer stood on Swilcan Bridge, playing his final Open in 1995. Then Jack followed in 2005. This year, the youngster, Tom Watson, now 65, and a five time Open winner, will take his turn to say goodbye to the British crowds that embraced him for 40 years.
Like some of you, I have stood on the same place on Swilcan Bridge. It is as magical a moment, as gazing at the Sistine Chapel, or climbing up the steps at Angkor Wat in Cambodia. It was probably the pinnacle of my now long lost, semi-acceptable golf game. At that moment, I felt like Bobby Jones, Arnold Palmer, or Old Tom Morris.
My two shining moments were driving the 9th fairway green with a 3 wood (356 yards) (must have been very windy?) and making a birdie, and getting out of “Hell” bunker in only two shots!!! Post golf includes grabbing a pint or two at a pub near the 18th green. Shopping for gifts and golf stuff is basically golf shopper’s nirvana. The food still needs work, however.
I love St. Andrews, perhaps as much as Pebble Beach. Rarely does a round of golf go by now, that I do not make a reference to the great Old Course, from the double greens, the Road Hole Bunker, or the rough and tumble Scottish caddies that give the place its charm and color. Needless to say, I have stories that can only be told on the golf course. And I love watching The Open on TV, as I am this week and weekend.
I guess I said hello and goodbye on the same visit. If you play golf, you must go!!!
Fast forward to 2022: I would go back to Scotland, even though I no longer play golf. It is a magical place, full of history, and a Scotch drinker’s paradise. I have nothing but fond memories. I will need to remind myself to drive on the left-hand side of the road! But I pray the food has improved since our last visit.
The photo is me at Swilcan Bridge. Everyone gets their photo taken on the bridge, Tiger, Arnie, Jack, Tom, Old Tom. Everyone is here again, in 2022, for Tiger’s last chance to win a major.
How many times have you been to San Diego, often called America’s city? I once had an office down here, in Mission Valley, back in the 70s. But I really never had much time to explore the area, as I do now. Back in the day, we took the kids to Sea World and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. And I have made numerous golfing trips down here to famous Torrey Pines. My youngest sister lived here and graduated from San Diego State back in the 70s. And my other sister raised her family here during their boys’ high school days.
But now, we visit during the summer, when the Giants are in town. Though our Giants are tanking, San Diego still retains its charm for us. First, the weather is great! Second, we have dear friends here. And third, we can always find something fun to see or do. Making matters infinitely more interesting is bringing our new puppy, Lexi (she will be six years old later this month) to San Diego on a car trip for the first time.
Here are a few more “dirty dozen” ideas:
The world’s largest lemon can be found in the city of Lemon Grove.
Go to Crazeeburger for a burger made of alligator, antelope, or kangaroo.
Visit Potato Chip Rock at Mount Woodson.
The Scripps Turd Sculpture. Really?
Visit Dog Beach, in Coronado or Ocean Beach. We plan to go.
Eat a Baja fish taco. Among many tacos.
Eat a California Burrito, stuffed with French fries and carne asada.
Find the old San Diego chicken.
Hang out with the old hippies at Café 21.
Buy some used books at the Adams Avenue Bookstore.
Eat some shabu shabu on Convoy Street at the Shabu Shabu House.
Rent a bike at Ray’s and cruise the beach.
I find it really sad that the Chargers have left San Diego. They once had an NBA team here as well. The Buffalo Braves arrived here in 1978, and became the San Diego Clippers. They moved to Los Angeles in 1984 (curious?). Now, they are left with the lowly San Diego Padres, who are just a step above our even lowlier Giants this year. Matters not, I am a fan and will enjoy the games anyway.
The San Diego Trolley is a great way to get around town, especially to Petco Park on game days. Normally, I take the trolley from our hotel in Old Town to the Gaslamp and Petco Park stop. The senior fare is only $1.25 each way. And many times, the Giants fans outnumber the Padres fans.
Who are some famous people from San Diego? How about Ted Williams, Marcus Allen, Annette Bening, Billy Caspar, Cameron Diaz, Jimmy Johnson (NASCAR), Pete Wilson, Bill Walton, Eddie Vedder, Jonas Salk, Wyatt Earp, Phil Mickelson, Gregory Peck, Art Linkletter, Ray Kroc, Bob Duvall, Tony Hawk, Shaun White, Danica McKeller, and Ron Burgundy (not really)?
Secret beer place: Inside Krisp Beverages and Natural Foods, a health food market carrying kombucha and chia seeds, is an under-the-radar beer heaven. The Best Damn Beer Shop is a dedicated area showcasing more than 1,000 craft brews, as well as homebrew supplies. 1036 Seventh Avenue, downtown.
If and when you cross the border to Tijuana, please remember your passport. The old days of using your California Driver’s License are over. One more thing, don’t drink the water!!! Many people go south of the border to buy prescription drugs at a big discount. Just be careful of the food and water. And a note from your Mother will not help.
For those of you who like to sunbathe in the nude, Black’s Beach is still there. Just remember, it is a tough hike down the cliffs to get there. So, get in shape or buy a good pair of binoculars. I much prefer the beaches on the Costa del Sol in southern Spain to view topless sunbathing.
For a city of almost a million and a half, San Diego seems manageable. But it is the second largest city on California. They seem to deserve their reputation of laid back and cool. Perhaps their proximity to Mexico has evolved into Lucha Libre, the masked and costumed Mexican wrestlers.
San Diego’s answer to the Ferry Building (SF) and Oxbow Market (Napa) is the Liberty Public Market. The collection here includes the food truck-turned-brick-and-mortar Stuffed, which serves up fast-casual grass-fed beef burgers stuffed with cheese; a branch of WestBean Coffee Roasters, which serves a fantastically creamy nitro coffee; and the wine bar Grape Smuggler, which offers tapas and flights (and a nice place to grab a seat away from the crowds). Gather your snacks and grab one of the high stools at the back of the market to chow down.
Proudly dog- friendly since it was founded in 1959 (they even have a blog written by a dog named Scooter extolling their friendly virtues), Del Mar, near San Diego, extends a friendly paw to dogs and owners, with pets allowed on all two miles of shoreline nine months of the year, and all year on North Beach, usually referred to as ‘Dog Beach’ by local pet owners. This pup friendly seaside locale can be found north of 29th Street, stretching up to the border of Solana Beach. Dogs can be off leash and under ‘voice command’ from Labor Day through Memorial Day, and on leash during the busy summer months.
We love both the seafood down here, as well as the Mexican food, two of our favorites. Sushi bars are also pretty good down here. We may meet up for a meal with friends, relatives who are also visiting here, or both. Perhaps it is the vibe down here, along with the great weather?
Today: I prefer the weather down here in SD for watching my Giants. San Francisco weather can be perfect once in a while, but often cold, and foggy. San Diego has perfect weather!
Is it a beauty contest, or the fact that visiting San Diego is always a treat?
One place I have always wanted to visit is Black’s Beach. Black’s Beach is one of the coast’s only nude beaches. It’s not technically legal, but nudists still flock to the area, typically gathering at the north end past the Glider Port Trail. Surfers dominate the other end of the beach, and visitors will find restrooms and showers at either end. It’s a bit of a hike to get there, but it’s worth it if sunbathing freely is important to you. Are you listening,Webb??
Another interesting place to visit is the Tivoli. While everyone else hits up the newest bars in town, check out the oldest haunt instead. Tivoli Bar & Grill opened in 1885 and once housed a brothel upstairs. You can order a drink from the original bar, which was constructed in Boston and transported to San Diego via boat over the course of three to four months. The bar also still has the original cash register and safe. I like “old school” places.
The Little Italy neighborhood—a charming and walkable area in downtown San Diego—is the city’s oldest business district, dating back to the 1920s. It’s a great place to dine on Italian food at casual and elegant restaurants, some with lovely outdoor patios. Visitors also enjoy sipping on an espresso in local cafés, exploring small shops, and checking out annual cultural events such as the Mission Fed ArtWalk in late April and Taste of Little Italy in the middle of June.
Another great place to eat: Liberty Public Market is a 7-day a week Public Market and event venue offering the best of what the region has to offer. Showcasing a rustic environment with prepared foods, beer, wine, specialty cocktails, produce, fish, desserts and pastries, pastas, arts and crafts, a test kitchen, pop up dinners, and educational driven events. MISSION STATEMENT: Liberty Public Market’s goal is to be the central marketplace of the region where locals and visitors alike, can immerse themselves into the work of the best artisans around. We pride ourselves on being a forward thinking marketplace on the west coast and aim to offer accessible, engaging, and authentic experiences through use of every sense while exploring the market.
Many years ago, San Diego revitalized the downtown (Gaslamp) area with the addition of Petco Park, home of the Padres. New business and residential developments followed, along with a general clean up and rebirth of the dining and nightlife scene. On my last several visits, this area has once again become a little “seedy” or sketchy” due primarily to homeless, and troublemakers. I find it better to stay just outside of the Gaslamp District, and take the tram to the ballgame or dinner.
Both Little Italy and Capitol Hill are great places to dine. Limiting myself to just Gaslamp District means mostly beer and fried food emporiums. If I am going to be near the ocean, I prefer having seafood.
The motorized scooter and bike rentals are yet another issue here. Last year on my annual visit, they were ALL stolen, gone!! I assume the perpetrators found a way to circumvent the electronics and security. Yet, I have seen these rental programs work well in other cities, like DC, Chicago, Seattle, and Paris.
Mostly, I prefer watching my Giants here in San Diego since I prefer the weather, and the stadium. Petco has mastered the one thing that Oracle (ATT, PacBell, whatever it is called now) could not, due to space limitations. That would be large concourses! What a pleasure to stand in line for food, or rush to the boys’ room between innings.
Experts says we will spend about $70 for our July 4th cookout or barbecue. It seems a little low.
First, some barbecue basics:
The value of the barbecue grill market is growing
The worldwide market revenue for grills and roasters is projected to go over 7 billion USDby the end of 2022.
Middleby Corporation LLC was the largest competitor on the barbecue and grill market in 2021, with a 19.62% share.
The barbecue and grill market is growing quickly in South America, with an 4% CAGR from 2020 to 2025.
7 out of 10 adults in the US own a grill or roaster.
75% of barbecue owners in the US love to grill during the winter too.
Beef steak is the grilled food preferred by over a third of people in the US. 34% of barbecue fans in the country claim that steak is their favorite grilled food, while 19% prefer hamburgers. Grilled chicken fans are 18%, while those passionate about ribs are at 11%. Other favorites include bratwurst (6%), hot dogs (5%), pineapple (4%), and pork chops (3%).
It may come as no surprise that meat leads the way when it comes to preferences for grilling food.88% of US barbecue consumers have stated that they usually grill meat, particularly steaks. 86% have burgers as their go-to, with hot dogs (150 million) following at 77% and sausages at 53%.
50% of consumers enjoy grilling vegetables, while 27% opt for fish and seafood. This shows that, while meat lovers win, there is still plenty of diversity when it comes to what Americans love to grill.
We will barbecue either a ribeye steak or some New Zealand lamb chops, along with several vegetables. Add a salad, some rice, and maybe some Fresno State corn, we should have quite a nice meal.
There are numerous brands of barbecue and marinades/seasoning sauces, but one in particular consistently takes the lead. A1 is currently the most used brand, preferred by over 89.47 million Americans in 2020. The Valley raisin farmers are pleased, since raisins are the primary ingredient in A1 Sauce!!!
The trailblazing A1 is followed by Sweet Baby Ray’s, favored by 84.73 million Americans, then by Heinz, preferred by 67.79 million. Tabasco (39.5 million), Frank’s Red Hot (38.83 million), and Kikkoman (38.74 million) are some of the other most-used favorites. Please use A1 if you use a sauce, since the primary ingredient is raisins!!!
Holidays are a great time to barbecue. Unsurprisingly, the 4th of July is the most popular holiday for barbecuing in the US, with a 68% share of Americans grilling on that occasion. Memorial Day, observed every last Monday in May, follows with a 56% share.
Other popular holidays include Labor Day (56%), celebrated in September, and Father’s Day celebrated in June. Mother’s Day, usually occurring at the beginning of May, has a 29% share.
But Americans love their barbecue, and we will barbecue, rain or shine, regardless of season. My new friends from Cape Town (rivals to Barry the V), called their barbecue a braai (pronounced br-eye).
I forgot the last, but certainly one of the most important barbecue basics, the adult refreshments. Americans will spend $1.6 billion on beer and wine this long July 4th weekend. But we spend $1.5 billion on fireworks. So not worry, I will have a bottle of sparkling wine or champagne, chilled for the weekend.Whatever you do, stay safe, do not drink and drive, and beware of fire danger!!!!
When I saw this article, I just assumed it was Las Vegas. And I was correct. So, who deserves credit for this phenomenon?
Fodors: Most likely, it is the California Hotel and Casino, located on Fremont Street in Downtown Vegas. “The Cal,” as it is lovingly known, plays the starring role in the birth of the Ninth Island. Sam Boyd, of Boyd Gaming, started his career working a gambling barge off the coast of Oahu and went on to be one of Vegas’ most prolific and celebrated hoteliers and marketing brains. His California Hotel and Resort opened in 1975 to tepid reviews and meager sales.
Boyd turned his attention across the Pacific, marketing The Cal to Hawaiians with attractive package deals, subsidized flights, and home comforts in the form of traditional Hawaiian food (which we enjoy) and a laid-back, informal style of hospitality. Hawaiians took Sam Boyd’s long-shot marketing gambit and ran with it, turning the Cal into a generational destination of family tradition, connectivity, and collective memory. Many Hawaiians migrated to work at the Cal and in Vegas’ greater service industry, bringing their families and relatives and building a thriving community.
For us, during the last 25 years, we have moved our “base of operations” in Vegas from the Strip to downtown. The primary reasons: less expensive hotels, and a choice of plentiful and reasonably priced Asian food. We often met my Mom, and other relatives from both the Valley and LA in downtown Vegas. While we do not go as often since my Mom has passed on, it does bring back fond memories of our many trips there.
Forors: To this day, the Cal is the kind of place where guests come back year after year, bringing gifts from the islands for their favorite cocktail waitresses. Dealers and hotel staff ditch suits in favor of Hawaiian shirts. In the sales office at the Cal, I meet Karen Shizuru, Nathan Young, and Mercy Griggs who are all transplants from Oahu.
“This place offers a feeling of safety and comfort. When we say ‘Aloha Spoken Here,’ we mean it,” says Shizuru, Sales Representative at the Cal. She means this quite literally, as she frequently switches between mainland English and Hawaiian pidgin when she answers the phone.
But there is one more big attraction, with a cult following. Oxtail soup is a dish that is so beloved and conjures so much nostalgia that everyone seems to have an opinion about it, and it’s particularly dear to ninth islanders. Although the Cal’s version is rightfully famous, many Cal staff quietly inform me that they prefer the oxtails on offer at Lanai Express, an otherwise unremarkable lunch counter buried on the casino floor of the Fremont, another Boyd property down the street.
Personally, I think the oxtail soup at the nearby Main Street Station is the best in Vegas. Once you try it, I swear you will never go back to Osso Buco. Veal shanks look very similar to oxtails, but it does not have the intense flavor and texture of oxtails.
So, just about all the Hawaiians at the Cal, the Fremont, or Main Street walk around with a coupon book, particularly at mealtime. Don’t ask me how they can afford to gamble for an entire week. Many restaurant and cafe items are specific to Hawaii, including Loco Moco, Spam musubi, saimin (similar to ramen), plate lunch, and grilled mahi mahi.
Often, there are more Asians in the casinos, creating an “island culture” about 3,000 miles from home!
From Statista: The world-famous cycling competition, the Tour de France, kicks off next week, running from July 1 – July 24. It’s touted as one of the biggest sporting events in the world, and according to statistics by Médiamétrie, attracted a television audience of 150 million viewers across Europe in 2021. But how popular is it on a country-by-country basis?
Data from Statista’s Global Consumer Survey shows that one stereotype does hold true: the Dutch do really love their bikes. According to data of selected countries collected between April 2021and March 2022, the Netherlands had the greatest share of competitive cycling fans out of the selected European countries, with 29 percent of its sports fans saying they followed the competitions. The Italians and the French followed in joint second place, at 27 percent. The UK lagged some way behind, with only 14 percent of British sports fans saying that they follow the professional races.
The Tour de France started back in 1903. Defined by the Encyclopedia Britannica as the “world’s most prestigious and most difficult biking race”, it consists of around 20 teams of nine riders cycling 3,600km (2,235 miles), mostly through France, although occasionally dipping into neighboring countries, over a three-week period in July. While only one rider is crowned victorious, teammates will work together to help their lead rider win, whether that’s letting them ride shielded from the wind, or exchanging one of their wheels when they have a flat tire. The race has been plagued by doping scandals over the years, with the most famous case seeing U.S. seven-time winner Lance Armstrong being stripped of his title in 2012, after investigations found him to have been abusing high performance drugs when he won his titles. The two other world-famous cycling races are the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España.
This chart shows which European countries had the biggest fan base when it came to competitive cycling, as of March 2022.Despite its reputation for doping, and other forms of cheating, I do admit to wanting to see this grand event. I just can’t decide whether to follow the race courses along for a few days or watch the grand finale in Paris. Or maybe I should do both?
This list has changed rather dramatically from the last time I saw it. This one is from Travel Awaits (MSN) that is rather shocking, since Singapore, my personal favorite, is number eight!!! As times goes, the airlines change as well. I have a letter grade for my assessment of the airlines.
Here is the list:
Lufthansa I just flew them to Frankfurt, and on to Athens, Greece. They lost my luggage, and it was going to require a 24 hour wait to receive it, unless I paid for a cab to pick it up!!! The food is mediocre at best (purportedly on fine china), and Business Class seats were not very comfortable. Plus, there is a touch of that stereotypical German sternness in all of the flight attendants. It was an experience, and certainly not worth using my hard-earned miles to upgrade! B-
Air Canada It has been a while since I have flown on AC. The last time was about 5 years ago from SFO to Toronto, in coach. It was okay for coach compared to the US airlines. But their Business Class from SFO to Toronto to Santiago was very good. They were one of the first airlines to have pods in Business. Both the food and champagne were above average, as was the staff. B+
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines I have only flown short haul flights in the last five years. I really cannot offer an opinion, other than the name is cute, as are the female Dutch flight attendants. C
British Airways Seasoned travelers love BA, though I am not sold on their customer service. Though I have flown them fairly often over the years, I am not overly impressed. Since Heathrow is their hub, I avoid Heathrow at all costs. It is a nightmare to arrive, and transfer to another destination. My friends love BA, but not me! C
Icelandair I think the entire Iceland PR game to get people to Iceland is so overdone. The language is weird, and food even weirder. But they are nice. The food was terrible, and the Economy Plus seats were a joke. Plus, Reykjavik is a crappy, crowded airport for changing planes. C
Qantas I don’t remember much about it, but they are efficient, with nice staff. Their lounge in Sydney has great food. B-
Qatar Airways My only flights were in SE Asia as I recall. Certainly, nothing memorable, but worth a try. I hear Business and First Class are quite nice. C
Singapore Any ranking that has Singapore at eight is a total joke. By far Singapore is the best airline I have ever flown! Great staff. excellent food and wines, great entertainment options, comfortable seats, and always on time. And the lounge has the best food ever, with hot entrees, sushi, and fresh burgers!!!. A+++
Virgin Atlantic Based on my only experience, I would say they are above average. B
Air France My only flight was rather short, Bordeaux to Amsterdam, as I recall. Nothing remarkable one way or another. C
And now for domestic airlines:
Southworst Don’t get me started, I hate Southworst, always cancelling flights, rude staff, crappy planes. C-
Delta Not one of my favorites since they do not go where I want to go. Some people swear by Delta, but they are sitting up front in Business or First. C
American Once I used up all of my United miles, I decided to give them a chance. I would give them a B-, since most flights require a transfer at DFW, which is a real PIA. But their staff is very nice, food is mediocre, and they tend to be on time or early.
United I was once a faithful UAL flyer, but I made a pledge to just go with the most convenient and cost-effective flights. I made this decision about 5 years ago, and I never regret it. The “old” flight attendants became known as the “flying mamas”, not a very affectionate term for the old, tired, and cranky female flight attendants. I probably flew over a million miles on UAL, and I am now glad to be free of their frequent flyer shackles. C-
Alaska Airlines I think Alaska is my favorite, just because they seem to try harder. They don’t fly everywhere, but they are nice, the food is decent, and their lounges are better than AA and UAL. A-
I have found a few airlines that I am willing to fly more often: JAL, Korean, Air New Zealand, ANA, Aer Lingus, Aegean, and maybe JetBlue and Hawaiian.
I think the days of accumulating mega miles on one carrier are over! I always choose the most convenient, reasonably priced, and always foreign instead of domestic carriers. And I don’t fly as often as I once did!
The photos: Another female Russian player, Ross, the Brit, and the queue for entry to the All England!
Yes, I went to the French Open last May for the first time. It was a great experience, but pales in comparison to Wimbledon. Here is my Wimbledon story from 2009. BTW, the tournament starts tomorrow morning.
I went to Wimbledon back in 2009. I thought you might enjoy this, again! I would place it at the top, along with the Masters Golf Tournament, Indy 500, and the Kentucky Derby.
It is the eve of the fortnight. We have a new Princess, lots of good beer, and a wide open tournament on both the men’s and women’s sides.
My story about Wimbledon, one of many stories:
To complete my spectator sports trifecta (along with the Indy 500 and the Kentucky Derby), I am headed to London, England to attend the Wimbledon Tennis Championship, otherwise known as the All England Lawn Tennis Championship. The Club began in 1868 as a private croquet club in another location. In 1875, lawn tennis was added to the club’s activities. And in 1877, the name officially changed to the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club. I have wanted to do Wimbledon, Indy and the Derby for most of my adult life.
In 1877, the only event held was Gentleman’s singles won by Spencer Gore, with a field of 22, and spectators numbering 200. The lawns at the Club were arranged in such a way that the main court was situated in the middle, with the others around it, hence the name, “Centre Court”. In 1922, the Club moved to its current location on Church Road. Ladies competition began in 1884, with Maud Watson winning the title with a field of 13 players. The same year, Men’s Doubles competition began.
As popularity increased, the Club improved spectator facilities. Permanent stands were installed, and by the mid 1880’s. people flocked to see the famous British Renshaw twins separately, and as doubles players. At the turn of the century, tennis became more of an international game. In 1905, May Sutton of the United States became the first overseas champion. In 1907, Norman Brookes of Australia became the first overseas Men’s Champion. Since then, there have been only two British Men’s Champions, Arthur Gore, and Fred Perry. Five British ladies have won, including Ann Jones and Virginia Wade.
Wimbledon thrived in the 20s and 30s, with the famous Four Musketeers from France (included Rene’ LaCoste, yes that one), and Bill Tilden of the U.S. who won his third title in the 30s. The late 30s were considered the Golden Era of Wimbledon, led by Fred Perry, Donald Budge, and Helen Wills Moody (from Berkeley).
During WW2, the Club stayed open but barely managed to stay operational. But soon after, American dominance of tennis was led by Jack Kramer, Tony Trabert, Maureen Connolly, and the first Black champion, Althea Gibson. Then the Autralian period continued on to the 70s with Ken Rosewall, Rod Laver, Lew Hoad, Roy Emerson, and John Newcombe.
Then in 1968, the Open era of tennis began, when Rod Laver, and Bilie Jean King won their singles titles.
In recent years, Swede Bjorn Borg, Americans Pete Sampras, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe, dominated the championships. The last few years have enjoyed the Williams Sisters, Rafael Nadal, and the incomparable Roger Federer of Switzerland. I have been fortunate to see many of the games greats play tennis, including: Pancho Gonzalez, Chris Evert, Billie Jean King, Martina, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, and the infamous Renee Richards. A friend of mine, Annie Kiyomura won the women’s doubles here back in the 70s.
It will be interesting to attend this great event. I expect to stand (sit in the large, grassy park down the road) several hours in a queue to get tickets for the day’s matches. They only allow 500 day of match tickets for the grounds each day. I am sure the weather will play a big part in the length of the lines as well. Rain would be my friend to a certain extent, resulting in a shorter line (I hope). So, I will root for Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova, along with the Williams sisters, and Andy Roddick. Rafa Nadal just withdrew yesterday, so Roger the Dodger has a clear path to his 15th Slam title.
So, my flight leaves today around noon from SFO, United Airlines, Business Class. I will be there tomorrow. A few glasses of champagne, a decent meal, a movie, and about 8 hours of sleep. I plan to take a few side trips (Eurostar to Paris for the Louvre, Harrod’s Department Store, Stonehenge) when I get tired of tennis or waiting in line. See you in jolly olde………
Today, July 2, 2018: Just to update you, I went to the matches for 7 days over a 10 day period. I took a day off touring around the city, and another in Paris at the Louvre via the Chunnel. Wimbledon ranks at the top of all sporting events I have attended, along with the Indy 500 and the Kentucky Derby.
2022: I would certainly entertain attending again. It is a grand event, well organized, and so much fun. But I miss seeing the Williams sisters, Roger, and the young players like Coco, Emma, and Naomi. But as in life, tennis follows the same process.