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Nick S.

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  1. Nick S.

    Spain 2019

    We have been playing with the itinerary. Now lit ooks like: Madrid - 3 nights (includes day trips to Toledo and Segovia) Cordoba - 1 night Seville - 2 nights Granada - 1 night Malaga - 3 nights (includes day trips to Ronda & Nerja) Fly to Morocco Casablanca - 1 night Marrakesh -- 2 nights Fly to Madrid - 1 night then depart the next day All air and hotels have been booked. Barring an unforeseen emergency, this trip is a "go"
  2. Nick S.

    The 1789 Club

    The current version is still the same restaurant, but ownership changed in 1985, according to the website. My wife and I ate there several times in the early 2000's, enjoying each experience.
  3. Nick S.

    Vegas Baby

    I used to go to Las Vegas twice a year to teach Fed Pubs courses, but those days are behind me. However, I will go to Vegas this October to attend (not teach) a 4-day "compliance and ethics" seminar, and I've managed to convince my wife to go along with me for one night (she hates Vegas). We have reservations at Jose Andres' "e" restaurant. To my way of thinking, that's the reason to go to Vegas these days. It's not the gambling, because you can gamble almost anywhere these days. It's not the shows, though Vegas does have some top-notch entertainment--but so does New York. It's the restaurants. My heavens, there are some amazing restaurants in that city. Pricey, of course. But worth it. "e" is one of those restaurants where top dollar buys lifetime memories. It's not the only one, of course. There are two handfuls of top-end restaurants on or near The Strip. But "e" is the one I picked for this trip. Let other people drop a couple of thousand on blackjack or craps or slots. Let other people lose a thousand at the poker table. Let other people drop $500 on the latest Cirque du Soleil offering. I am using my gambling/entertainment budget to take my wife out to dinner.
  4. Nick S.

    United Kindom 2018

    This time Ian McKellen was playing King Lear but it was sold out. Which is to say, I could have purchased a single ticket for 250 pounds--roughly $300. No thank you. So no theatre this trip.
  5. Of all the things to do in London, I think the most important is to see a play or musical. I've been trying to get tix to the Globe Theater (the one in London, not Stratford) but everything seems to be sold-out. AMEX wanted to charge me $395 each for tickets that had a $50 face value, so that was right out. I'm hopeful I can grab some cheap tickets on the day of the show. Anyway, off to Merry Olde England ... for a day of training in UK MoD stuff and a visit to a supplier.
  6. Nick S.

    Germany 2018

    Germany was hot. It was so hot that the German businessmen were in khakis and polo shirts. But the beer was very, very good. And I don't normally drink beer.
  7. Nick S.

    My July 2018

    I feel you, Bob. We had a pipe leak downstairs in July; just finished the cleanup and reconstruction. That's great news about your belt test, though. Congratulations.
  8. Nick S.

    Germany 2018

    Off to Germany next week -- a business trip. (Which is not particularly any fun.) 2 nights in Dresden 1 night in Munich We won't have much time for sightseeing but we are going to make the most of that one night in Munich. I think it's a good thing that we are a month early for Oktoberfest! Anyway, 14 - 15 hours in the air each way. (Excluding airport time and customs and passport control.) Call it 35 hours of travel time for about 8 hours of meetings. *Sigh* Edited to add: not a beer drinker. But German beer is not beer; it's more like ambrosia.
  9. Nick S.

    Spain 2019

    Bob, wow, that was a cheery video. Anyway I misled you. Meant to say the city of Palma on the island of Mallorca. Just a hop skip & jump from southern Spain. Sorry about that. Looking for sun & beach to rest in, after so much history. I kind of like a contrast when I travel for pleasure. Too much art or too much history just starts to blur after a while. So history and architecture and art, followed by fun in the sun. Is it ambitious? I don't really know. What I have learned is that the major cost is the airfare. It takes forever to go from the West Coast to Europe, and it costs a small fortune. (I'm nearly 60 and I pretty much abhor economy class, so I insist on flying business class.) Once one arrives in Europe, there are modest and clean hotels, many with free (European) breakfasts. The food is amazing and relatively cheap. I don't think my wife and I spent more than $100 (together) for any dinner in Italy, and we had at least one bottle of wine and at least three courses. So when one arrives, the additional cost of extending the trip to the maximum length really doesn't impact things too much, at least in my experience. How did I choose the cities? Google maps and Wikipedia. Looking for the intersection of history and art and architecture, plus flamenco and tapas. No tourist books; just looking at a map and then searching out what each city might offer. Anyway your question prompted me to look at the map once again, and I saw Africa. Namely, Algiers. I think that would be a cool way to finish the trip. After all, the theme is the Moorish influence on Spain, so why not end with a visit to a modern Moslem city? Unless somebody has a better idea, I'm thinking we'll visit the Casbah. As to your other question, no. I don't know the roads yet ... and I'm not sure I will even when we arrive. I have a tendency to overplan travel and then get anxious about staying on plan. Ask me sometime about preparing for a trip to Florence Italy by taking a UCLA Extension course in the Italian Renaissance. I'm trying to move away from that. And we don't need too much of a plan. We have a completely wonderful time wandering around places we don't really know much about. Finding little restaurants. Seeing local churches. Staying far away from the tourists whenever possible. We have had some truly amazing experiences by being open to whatever we came across, rather than planning to hit all the tourist sites. In Tuscany, we found an old D'Medici fortress that had been turned into a modern art museum. To my knowledge, that wasn't in any of the major tourist books. So I think my plan is to know the cities and the order of the cities, and what the major attractions are in each city, and then leave room for the unexpected. Since I know the order, I can have advance hotel reservations. That's really as much planning as we need. Plus, we are a year away. Anything can happen between now and then.
  10. Nick S.

    Spain 2019

    Next year is our 20th anniversary, and we're going to Spain! Neither of us have ever been there, but we know what we like and we travel well together. Planned itinerary-- Arrive Madrid; 3 nights in Madrid Day trips from Madrid to Toledo and Segovia Rent a car; drive South Cordoba (1 night) Seville (2 nights) Granada (1 night) Malaga (2 nights) Cartagena (1 night) Drop the car in Alicante and fly to La Palma La Palma (2 nights) Fly back to Alicante, train to Madrid Fly home That's the plan, but I have room for 2 more nights. I know everybody would say Barcelona, but that's not our plan. We're doing Andalusia. The Moorish Spain. So where else should we go? Open to your thoughts.
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