I have been waiting for Santa Cruz to do this. It is the perfect place, with great weather, ocean views, many dining options, affordable hotels/motels, and a great vibe. For many years, I have ridden the narrow roads and trails of the area.
In a previous life, I had a beach house in the Aptos (La Selva Beach) area. The roads were generally not conducive to cycling. This will be the catalyst to great cycling in the area!
While we are in the area, I must mention one of my favorite places to eat, the Shadowbrook in Capitola, with its own funicular! I also enjoy the great Mexican food in Watsonville, and the seafood on the Wharf in Santa Cruz. And the best secret of all, the Corralitos Market, with the BEST smoked meats this side of Munich! Don’t forget UC Santa Cruz, Seascape, Pasatiempo Golf Course (designed by Alistair MacKenzie), the old Santa Cruz Boardwalk, and the Feast of Lanterns.
The area has much to offer, for either a long weekend or a week long beach rental during the fabulous summers.
From Winespeed: Over the last several years, both iconic Champagne producers have invested in southern England’s uncanny combination of chalky soils, climate, and topography—so similar to Champagne’s own terroir.
In 2017, Taittinger planted 50 acres (20 hectares) of traditional Champagne grape varieties near Kent in southeastern England. It was the first time a top Champagne house had planted a vineyard in the U.K. This summer, plans to build a 33K+ case winery adjacent to the venture’s current 550-acre vineyard were approved. The English sparkling wine will be called Domaine Evremond, named after Charles de Saint-Évremond, the French writer credited with introducing 17th-century London society to Champagne. The first vintage is expected in 2024.
Not long after Taittinger’s investment, Pommery purchased and planted 100 acres (40 hectares) of vineyard near Southampton, west of Kent along the southern coast. The following year, Pommery became the first Champagne house to launch an English sparkling wine with the 2018 release of its Louis Pommery England Brut, with grapes purchased from vineyards in Hampshire, Essex, and Sussex. The wine is named for Pommery’s founder.I have heard many good things about the sparkling wines from England. It turns out the English have been some of the great drinkers of wine. To the point, think of Willie’s Falstaff (above), and Dickens who liked Sauternes and Chablis. This is topped only by Winston Churchill (also above), who claimed the four essentials of life were a hot bath, cold champagne, new pears, and old brandy.
According to Punch:
To anyone who’s been keeping track, the sudden rise of England as a top producer of terroir-driven sparkling wines represents one of the most dramatic wine-industry success stories of recent memory. In the words of English writer Andrew Jefford, “What had once been regarded as a harmless eccentricity has become, over the last decade, one of the wine world’s most promising developments.”
The proof is in the numbers. According to the Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA), 2017 saw a record-breaking amount of English wine released onto the market. The WSTA also projects that English Sparkling Wine production will double by the year 2022 to approximately 10 million bottles annually (with plans to export at least a quarter of that figure to the United States). This is why the U.K. government’s Food is GREAT campaign teamed up with industry this past October to launch its first British Spirits and Sparkling Wine week in New York City.
Even just a few decades ago, to speak of an “English wine industry” would have smacked of hyperbole. As Gareth Maxwell of Hattingley Valley Wines explains, “In the 1970s, we actually used to grow a lot of German varieties and odd hybrids, but back then it was mostly a cottage industry and the quality wasn’t all that great because the grapes didn’t fully ripen.”
The essential hallmark of the “English style,” is freshness. But not the usual run-of-the-mill, cool-climate freshness, which we associate with any number of places. Imagine extreme freshness—an almost electric jolt of acidity, infused with bracing minerality and orchard fruit. Although individual wineries tend to interpret this profile through their own stylistic lens, it signals the emergence of a singular regional expression that stands apart from the other sparkling wines of the world.
“We’re after a much fresher, cleaner style than Champagne,” Maxwell explains. “We’re not looking for a rich, yeasty style. We want to highlight the quality of our fruit, which is exceptionally high, thanks to our long, cool growing season. That’s what we have in mind when we say we make a uniquely English style of wine.” I think I would like this style!
I have not seen any in our wine stores here in the US, yet! But I will try it soon, either in Jolly Olde, on a plane, or a duty-free shop somewhere in Europe. Or perhaps, Brexit might alter the marketplace for these interesting products?
Can you believe this? Only from our brethren across the pond.
A special name, 007, for the exclusive Special Cuvée Champagne unveiled by Bollinger in observance of Global James Bond Day on October 5th. 007 is the code name for dashing fictional British Secret Service agent James Bond, who for over 40 years, and 14 of the franchise’s films, has been devoted to “Bolly” (as the Brits call it). The 007 Special Cuvée was intended to accompany the release of the 25th Bond film, No Time to Die, which was postponed to Spring, 2021.
Speaking of our British friends, from Forbes: It comes as a surprise to many people that England has a growing sparkling wine industry, or any wine industry at all. It is one of the most rapidly expanding wine regions in the world, with three million new grapevines planted in the first half of 2019 and more than 15 million bottles produced in 2018. One of the standout sparkling wine brands from England is Nyetimber, whose vineyards are spread across Sussex, Hampshire, and Kent. Grapes were planted here in 1988, and husband and wife winemaking team Cherie Spriggs and Brad Greatrix joined Nyetimber one year after current owner Eric Heerema took the helm in 2006.
So, on my next visit to Jolly Olde, I will definitely give it a try. But the James Bond vintage is $200 USD! More from Forbes: Although quantities vary from year to year depending on weather, Nyetimber produces between 500,000 and 1,000,000 bottles of traditional method sparkling wine each year, using the same three grapes as Champagne: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. Ninety percent of Nyetimber’s output stays in the United Kingdom, with the remainder going into the small but growing export market. Nyetimber’s most important export markets are the United States, Japan, and Scandinavia, where the brand focus has been to make the wines available in top-end restaurants, hotels and bars in order to raise awareness.
I will try the J Bond vintage, only if it was the Sean Connery version!!!
We all have our little secrets for long flights. Mine is very simple, use my frequent flyer miles for an upgrade to First Class. It solves many problems. But, there is still the matter of filling a long time span, in a confined place, particularly now in the Covid era. Here are some other hints, no matter where you sit.
Get a good seat. If you are like me, and want an aisle, or if you do not want to be disturbed, get a window seat. Whichever you prefer, do it when you book your flight. Pay extra if you must. And you must! Some long legged passengers prefer the exit row. My only problem with the exit row area is the seats do not recline! So, choose wisely, and stay away from the galleys and toilets, both for the noise and the odiferous distractions.
I always bring my own snacks, usually trail mix that I make myself, mints, an energy bar or two, maybe some homemade cookies. I hate the crap they give out on the place or sell at the airport shops.
I am a firm believer in Bose headphones, or any top quality headset. Need I say more? And keep them clean! It is about the only time I will watch a movie or two.
A good book is essential, but I always bring TWO. Why? One, for very light reading, like a John Grisham novel, and two, something more substantial, if I am in the right mood. Several magazines also travel well, as does your travel guide for your destination.
Neck pillows can be a godsend, if you have neck problems like I do. Pillows are a difficult commodity to find now on Covid era flights. An inflatable takes up less space, but are not as comfy as a foam pillow. Take your pick!
Fluids, like water are best, though I usually start with a glass of sparkling wine or champagne. It is part of my flying ritual. Bring your own bottle of water if you want to stay hydrated throughout the flight.
Medication is your best friend, when people around you are noisy, or if you want to sleep. I usually get a low dose sleeping pill from my doc. I can usually get 3 to 5 hours sleep on most flights.
Warm clothes can help on long flights, in lieu of the hard to find airline blankets. I bring a light jacket, wear long pants (no shorts), and shoes WITH socks. Some people need even more, so they bring a shawl, heavy scarf, or light blanket.
The world continues to change. Here is proof. Winespeed:
As part of their sustainable farming practices, many California vintners recruit trained raptors and their handlers (falconers) to scare away the thousands of birds that descend each harvest to eat ripe wine grapes right from the vines. Many bird species enjoy the vineyard smorgasbord. Some will cleanly remove the berries (wild turkeys can consume the equivalent of a full bottle of wine in a single day), but others simply peck at the grapes to get at the pulp and seeds, leaving a damaged cluster that can harbor bacteria and fungal pathogens that can lead to off-flavors and textures.
For centuries, viticulturalists have relied on a cornucopia of creative methods to keep their vineyards from becoming an Alfred Hitchcock movie. Over time, however, birds acclimate to static scare tactics such as loud booming air cannons and balloons painted with giant eyes. Chemical repellants aren’t a good option either since they fail to meet growers’ sustainability standards. And bird netting is expensive and labor-intensive to install each year.
Falconry, on the other hand, minimizes crop losses, while treading lightly on the environment. Falcons are ferocious hunters that can see up to eight times better than a human, spot prey from more than 100 feet in the air, and dive at more than 200 miles an hour. The mere sight of a predator falcon or its shadow triggers smaller birds to flee or find cover. And no bird is complacent when a falcon is flying near them. Raptors leave behind no toxic chemicals, and they cost half as much as netting.Do you enjoy wines from the Mosel region of Germany? Winespeed has this to say:
The vineyards of the Mosel are the steepest in Germany and among the steepest in the world. Indeed, the expanse of vineyards from the village of Zelting to the village of Bernkastel along the Mosel River, is considered the longest stretch of near-vertical vineyards anywhere on the globe. Many of the top Mosel producers, including the three renowned Sonnenuhr—Sundial—vineyards are clustered in the middle section known as the Mittelmosel (middle Mosel). They are the Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr, and Zeltinger Sonnenuhr.
The Mosel vineyards are also among the most northern vineyards in Germany, meaning that the sun is in contact with the vines for limited, precious hours each day. The total number of sunlight hours during the growing season is also modest (the Mosel gets, in a good year, about a third of the sunlight hours that Provence does). If fine wine is to be made, vineyards must be nothing short of perfectly sited, so that each ray of light and warmth is maximized. As a result, the Mosel’s vineyards hug only south-facing slopes. In addition, the best vineyards are quite close to the river itself, for even the reflection of light off the water becomes one more increment in the quest for ripeness.
The huge sundials that give the Sonnenuhr vineyards their names were built as far back as the early 1600s in the sunniest part of three excellent slopes, so that vineyard workers would know when to stop for lunch or for the day. Because the vines in the vicinity of the sundial also got the most sun (and made the richest wine), the areas around the sundials soon came to be considered separate vineyards. Today the Sonnenuhr vineyards are among the best along the Mosel.
On my very first trip to Europe in the 70s, the Mosel wine region was one of the first that I enjoyed visiting.
Karen’s (Winespeed) suggestions for wine and cheese pairings:
There seems to be no better pairing than wine and cheese. Here, Karen MacNeil explains the do’s and don’t’s of this classic duo.
Number 1: White wine and rosé are your friends—use their crisp, snappy acidity to cut through cheese’s delicious fat.
Number 2: Sparkling wine and a creamy cheese go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Number 3: Hard cheeses, such as Manchego are like a good white shirt—we all need one. Hard cheeses go with almost everything.
Number 4: The funkiest cheeses that rarely go with wine? Washed-rind and blue cheese. While delicious on their own, they often do not do well with a glass of vino.
Number 5: Aged cheeses are the perfect companion for structured, bold reds.
For me, I enjoy a change of pace, so a single malt Scotch goes well with some cheeses. I also enjoy a rice cracker (Trader Joe’s) with a spot of cream cheese, and pepper jelly with my wine or cocktail.
A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Winespeed suggested using tawny port as an aperitif at cocktail hour. I tried it, and enjoyed in thoroughly. Here are some more facts to digest.
The sweet fortified wine known as Port, from the Douro region of Portugal, is one of the most complex and ageworthy wines in the world. Of the top five most important styles, aged tawny Port gets my vote for the most sublime style of Port. (So-called young tawny Port, simple and not aged very long, are not often exported). Its flavors—toasted nuts, brown sugar, figs, and vanilla—are like some otherworldly sophisticated version of cookie dough. And the texture of a great tawny is pure silk. The wines used in the blend for an aged tawny are usually wines of the highest quality. Tawny Ports are kept a minimum average of ten years in barrel until they become tawny/auburn in color.
All Ports begin as a sweet wine with about 7 percent residual sugar (70 grams sugar per liter), fortified to about 20 percent alcohol. It is the maturation and aging processes that set the styles of Port apart. Tawny Ports are blends of Ports from different years. Each of those Ports has been kept in barrels for a long period of time.
Tawny Ports are labeled as either 10, 20, 30, or 40 years old, and sometimes even more. The age listed on the label is the average age of all the wines used in the blend. And it’s not a rough guess. Port Shippers are required to document the wines in the final blend, and then that final blend is sent to the Port Wine Institute to be taste-tested by an expert panel before the tawny Port can be certified and sold.
A word about sweetness. While Tawny Port is sweet, it does not taste saccharin or candylike. At least the great ones don’t. Indeed, Tawny Port made well should start off tasting sweet but finish tasting dry. That’s because the acidity, alcohol, and tannin in the wine are all carefully calibrated to balance out the sweetness.
Tawny Ports are among the best-loved Ports in Portugal, France, and Britain, where they are often drunk (chilled) both as an aperitif, as well as at the close of a meal.You may remember I told you about my golfing trip to Portugal. We spent the mornings golfing, and the afternoons searching for rare ports. Let me repeat the story for those of you who are newcomers to my emails.
Upon arrival in the Algarve for golf, we decided to spend the afternoons looking for rare ports. My erstwhile and dedicated sidekick, Mr. Mike had a list of vintage ports that he wanted to track down. Golf almost became secondary to the hunt for ports.
At the top of our list was the 1955 Quinto do Noval. Retail price today is about $450 USD, back then, I think it was about $200. Needless to say, I decided to just be act as the sidekick, mostly silent sidekick!
After a particularly good round of golf, we headed down the backroads in search of dusty old bottegas, or wine shops in the Algarve. After asking directions from some locals, and several wasted stops in convenience store liquor shops, we finally found the port’s holy grail. It was a dusty, quaint, but hardly small bottega down a dusty little road.
The 1955 was sitting there, with an ample layer of dust. The owner appeared totally uninterested, until we asked about price. It was not negotiable!!! We left.
Another round of golf nearby, somehow drew us back to this dusty little bottega. But outside, I suggested a change in tactics. Perhaps we should try a package deal. So, I suggested we also buy the 1997 Quinto do Noval, now retail $275.
Upon entering, he barely paid notice to us, but finally came out to talk to us. We asked him if we could package the 55 and 97 for a substantial discount. We tried for 30%, but ended up around 20% off. Mission accomplished! Not bad for two dumb country boys from the Valley.
So, that is my port story. Neither bottle has been opened, as of today. We made a deal. When either of our kids got married or graduated from college, we would open one of them. After a graduation and a marriage, it remains unopened. Needless to say, we are sitting on a “gold” mine of vintage ports.
Several trips to Porto have been scuttled over the years, for various reasons. I will get there someday soon!
I just glanced at this list of over and underrated attractions in each state. It was shocking, in a state as diverse as California, that two theme parks were selected. Overrated was Disneyland, and underrated was Legoland. I guess they forgot about the Golden Gate Bridge, Napa Valley, Yosemite, the beaches on the Pacific Ocean, and Lake Tahoe.
Even worse, they picked two of my favorite places in Arizona. They (Far and Wide) think the Grand Canyon is over rated, and Sedona is underrated. Both are simply beautiful.
Do they realize how magical my first trip to Disneyland was when I was about 10 years old? Legoland did not exist back then!
And if you ask any foreigner, where they want to visit on their very first visit to the US, both Yosemite and the Grand Canyon are at the top of the list. It ranks higher than Times Square, Las Vegas, cherry blossom time in DC, or Graceland. How is it even possible (
Colorado) to say the great ski resorts of Aspen and Vail are overrated? And I agree the rather disappointing Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs is correctly underrated. The ski resorts in Colorado are magical. Aspen Village is a delight. The mountain has great skiing. Garden of the Gods takes about 20 minutes, and then, finito!
Moving on to one of my favorite places on earth, Hawaii, leads us to Waikiki Beach as most overrated. While I agree, the beach is beautiful, whether empty or full of tourists. It is quintessential Hawaii. But I would hardly rate the many hiking trails on all of the islands as an underrated attraction. The hike up Diamond Head, the traverse of Waimea Canyon on Kauai, or the road to Haleakala on Maui are simply breath taking.
Back home again in Indiana, somehow rates the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as overrated. I disagree, as it is the experience of a lifetime. To this point, I went FIVE times. Likewise, in Kentucky, they think the Kentucky Derby is overrated. Both the 500 and the Derby are worthy of your bucket or water pail list, I assure you.
How is it even possible to say Yellowstone National Park is overrated? Montana is a diverse and beautiful state. Equally weird is rating Glacier National Park was underrated. The beauty of this state is truly overwhelming. I would be interested in knowing what our friends, Megan and Kathleen think about this. They might choose Big Fork, and Swan Lake!
Another place we visit often is Nevada. And you knew, of course, that the famous Las Vegas Strip would be overrated. But every tourist from Asia puts Vegas at the top of their list. And we love underrated Red Rock Canyon east of Vegas, a truly beautiful wonderland so close to the city. We rarely visit the Strip anymore on our visits.
When you visit the Big Apple, New York offers a plethora of attractions. And you just knew the Statue of Liberty would be overrated, however majestic she appears. I would give the nod to Times Square. Yet, they say Niagara Falls is underrated. I would give the nod to West Point, or Cooperstown, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
In our neighbor Oregon, they got it backwards. VooDoo Doughnuts is overrated, and Crater Lake is underrated. I would flip flop them in a second. I love VooDoo Donuts, no matter how you spell it.
South Dakota is a state that sneaks up on you. The beautiful, but rather strange Badlands National Park is underrated, and of course, the tourist laden Mount Rushmore is overrated. I agree. Rushmore is almost a rip off. Badlands is strangely majestic.
Another favorite state is Utah. The Mormon Temple is a big attraction, and unless you are Mormon, tends to underwhelm. So, that must leave their beautiful national parks are underrated. We love Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Parks, perhaps the best set of national parks in the entire world!!! I could live in St. George, if it was not so darn cold in the winter.
We visit Seattle, Washington every year, and I would expect the Space Needle to be overrated. But really, the Gorge, for outdoor summer concerts, as their underrated attraction. What about Olympic National Park, Mount Rainier, Snoqualmie, Puget Sound, the Cascades, and Pike Place Market? We have visited Washington over 25 times, and we just love all of it.
You have your own, I am certain. But whatever, however, whenever, I respect your opinion. Feel free to add or subtract from this list. But whatever you do, never stop traveling!
Just for the record, I never had or wanted a proverbial “bucket list” that has become so popular with travelers. I rarely compiled a list of places I wanted to go. Visiting all fifty of our states was almost by accident, until the total reached the low forties or thereabouts. Trips to places around the world were never planned more than eight to nine months ahead.
Much of this I owe to my travel buddy Mike. He rarely wants to commit to a location, too far in advance. When we drove Chile from top to bottom, it all came together just a few months before. Same for our trek to Africa for the safaris and visiting Barry the V.
I have seen other people’s bucket list, and thought I would give you my “water pail” **list, which I consider complete at this point in my life. About the only trips left, that I can even think about are a trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, the Tour de France, and perhaps the four eastern Canadian provinces. There will be some revisits, such as the Oktoberfest in Munich, wine regions in various European countries, and some cycling trips.
In no particular order of importance or sense of accomplishment:
Trek the Amazon Rainforest, Peru
Visit Angkor Wat, Cambodia (3 times)
Cross the Berlin Wall at Checkpoint Charlie (sorry, you cannot do that anymore!)
Take the Trans Siberian Railway across Russia
Visit my ancestor’s home city of Nagoya, Japan
Visit all 50 U.S. states
Taste champagne in Champagne, France
Spend two weeks at Wimbledon, England
Do the tango in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Amtrak across the country (several times)
Visit most of the western National Parks
See the Aurora Borealis in Alaska
See the witches of Salem, MA on Halloween
Visit all the ballparks in the west
See a play on Broadway, NYC
Traverse Chile from top to bottom (by air, land, and sea)
Visit Fenway and Wrigley
Dive the Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Jet boat in Queenstown, New Zealand
Bike down Haleakala Crater, Maui
Zipline in the Costa Rica cloudforest
Watch a lion hunt in the Serengeti
Play golf at St. Andrews, Scotland
Shop at Harrod’s for wine gummies, London
Visit the “Girl from Ipanema”, Rio de Janeiro
Sip wine in Mendoza, Argentina
Cruise Halong Bay, Vietnam
See peak bloom Cherry Blossoms in DC
Hear the roar at Sturgis, SD
Visit Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo
Find rare ports on the Algarve, Portugal
Attend a concert at Royal Albert Hall, London
Drink many beers at the Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany
Eat smoked omul at Lake Baikal, Russia
Attend the U.S. Opens, golf and tennis
Climb Eiffel Tower, Paris
Make homemade Italian sausage
Dine on pork knuckle in Prague
Eat stone crabs at Joe’s in Miami
Wine tasting in Stellenbosch with Barry the V
Enjoy Grand Marnier soufflé in Zurich, Switzerland
Go hiking at Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile
Walk on the parquet floor at the Boston Garden
Win a ski race at Aspen
Ride/walk across the Golden Gate Bridge
Shake hands with Arnold Palmer
Attend Paul Simon’s farewell concert
Attend a Tom Douglas farm to table dinner
Make my own umeshu (sour plum vodka)
Drive over 100 mph on the German autobahn
Sip Tokaji in Budapest
Visit Dracula’s castle in Brasov, Romania
Stare at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel
Eat black hoof jamon in Porto Banus
Give a new pair of Nike’s to my tuk tuk driver in Chiang Mai
Attend the Grand Ole Opry
Dine in the Surgeon General’s private dining room
Run the Bay to Breakers (world’s largest footrace)
Enjoy Shabu Shabu in Tokyo
Taste the best salmon sushi in Queensland, Australia
Stroll the medina in Morocco
Visit Ebenezer Baptist Church and childhood home of MLK
Visit both Capes (Horn and Good Hope)
See the Rose Parade
Eat beignets at Cafe’ Du Monde
Visit Alcatraz Island
Marvel at the great Willie Mays
Shop at the Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
Cycle and taste wine in Bordeaux
Cross the Continental Divide
Enjoy several custom tailored suits in Bangkok
Adopt the most beautiful Labradoodle in the world
Write a book (several)
Visit a Relocation camp of my ancestors
Complete my lifetime sports-fecta (a separate email a few years ago)
What Have I been unable to do:
Hole in one (got close several times)
Publish my autobiography
Visit all of the Canadian provinces
Play on the grass court at Wimbledon
Impeach a President! (Or at least elect a different one!)
Want to drink the stars? In 1697 when Dom Pérignon, a Benedictine monk and cellar master, realized bubbles had been accidentally added to his wine, he cried, “Come quickly! I am drinking the stars!” And so, the méthode champenoise was born, meaning all Champagne is technically sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine is Champagne. The secret? To actually be considered Champagne, it must come from the Champagne region in northeastern France. Typically made with Chardonnay (white grape), Pinot Noir, or Pinot Meunier (black grapes), some of the world’s most expensive bottles of sparkling wine are produced in the region. Order une coupe of one of the top-selling brands: Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, and Nicolas Feuillatte.
What is a muselet? Nothing to do with music.A muselet (mew-zeh-LAY) is the wire cage or “hood” that holds a Champagne or sparkling wine cork firmly in place. It derives its name from the French “museler”, meaning “to muzzle”, in English. Adolphe Jacquesson is credited with inventing the restraining device in 1844, replacing the less secure method involving wooden plugs and cord. Though most people remove it first, the muselet should be removed in tandem with the cork.
What does my sparkling or champagne say about me? First, I do consider price and location. Second, I may splurge periodically, just because I deserve it. And third, I regard the champagne grape growers and the entire French champagne industry as overpriced, greedy, and stuck in the 17th century.
Most importantly, I think it should be consumed any time you wish, not just special occasions. I have my “everyday” bubbly, and my special bubbly. I rely on both mail order (WTSO), and Trader Joe’s. I try not to keep more than a few cases around, and always keep THREE bottles chilled: a cremant, a California sparkling, and a champagne.
When I take a bottle to a dinner or party, I rarely tell the hosts about the sparkling wine. I let them decide, first, if they like it, then I might tell them more, like the cost or availability. And, much to my amusement, most of the time they think I am a BIG spender!!! Hahaha!!!
I have, purely by mistake, taken $100 bottles to parties, and soon realized my mistake. Fortunately, the reviews matched the quality. This is not always the case. Sometimes, my $7 bottle makes the SAME impression!
So, have I adequately told you what my sparkling says about me. I hope it says the following: pretty darn good, quite affordable, and mostly enjoyable!!!
Here is the chart that Hawaii will follow. I hope other states and countries adopt a smilar plan.
Now, this seems to me, though somewhat selfishly, to make sense. We have many friends in Hawaii, whose jobs depend on tourism. In fact, the entire state depends on tourism.
According to SF Gate: A large number of U.S. hotels temporarily closed their doors as bookings dried up last spring due to the coronavirus pandemic. And as fall approaches, it looks like a significant number of them might not be able to reopen as expected even if business starts to pick up to a healthy level again. Statewide, Hawaii’s occupancy rate was 9%!!!
For Maui County, these were the occupancy rates in April: Among the different classes of properties, upper upscale hotels reported the largest declines in occupancy (down 74 percentage points to 4.6%) and ADR (down 97% to $7). Upper upscale and midscale and economy properties had the largest drops in ADR, both down nearly 43%. Midscale and economy properties had the highest occupancy rate at 22%, a drop of 59 percentage points, as well as the largest RevPAR at $21.
Hawaii has reported a total of 10,946 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 103 deaths, according to data from the state health department. The most recent surge in cases was attributed to “inconsistent mask wearing and lack of physical distancing” at social gatherings.
If I am able to get to Europe in November, I will need to produce a negative Covid test within 48 hours of landing!
For some of my friends who have traveled during the pandemic, almost all report a positive experience. Positive not for Covid, but positive that fellow travelers are following the rules.
We should have a safe vaccine sometime in 2021.
Those of you who disdain the mask, I suggest you stay home. In fact, stay inside your home!!!