Review: L’Auberge Del Mar

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Earlier this year my employer had its annual meeting at L'Auberge Del Mar, a medium-sized resort hotel just one block from the shore. I spent much of my time working. Still, it was a pleasant escape from Seattle. Had I planned our schedules better, I probably would have brought my wife. Arriving at the hotel by cab (~$60), we pulled into a private driveway and were met by two bell staff who … [Read more...]

The New Exploratorium Is Better than Ever!

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As I mentioned, I was in San Francisco last fall and staying at the Westin St. Francis partly to see the new Exploratorium. It is my favorite museum and the reason I became a scientist. I thought the original location in the Palace of Fine Arts was awesome -- a little grungy on the inside, classy on the outside -- and was disappointed when I heard they were moving to the more touristy … [Read more...]

TravelCon: A New Miles & Points Conference Coming February 28

Some fellow travel bloggers and I have been working on putting together a miles/points conference over the last few months. It's actually been a year in the making, but due to various issues we had to delay it. Today, however, we're excited to announce TravelCon OC, a new miles/points event that will take place on February 28th, 2015 at the Embassy Suites Anaheim - South hotel just a few steps … [Read more...]

10 Most Ridiculous Neighborhoods in the World

Now getting flashy new public fixtures put in, there's no shortage of beautiful architecture, music and history in Budapest.

While you see a lot of 10 best this and that out there particularly within the travel blogosphere, it's usually very clear that the author has never actually been to half the places they list (Surprise! Waikiki isn't even one of the 10 best beaches on O'ahu). I’m going to run down some fascinating and fun places to hang out in if you just want to soak in the culture. No sightseeing necessary to … [Read more...]

New Costco Discount Offers 25% off Select Hyatt Hotels

I'm a big fan of Hyatt partly because I'm a Costco member, and using the discount code COSTCO regularly gets me a 10-20% discount that is both (1) refundable and (2) equal to or better than the pre-paid non-refundable rate. This makes it easier to check back and rebook if the price ever goes lower. Hyatt also has AAA discounts, but I need to fish out my membership number, and it doesn't work as … [Read more...]

Flying Alaska Airlines in and out of Sonoma Wine Country

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A guest post courtesy of my father on his recent flight from Santa Rosa Airport... Scott posted a story about his last visit to me, his esteemed parent, when Megan almost missed her flight because of the long drive from my home to SFO. This past weekend my girlfriend, Marsha, and I flew to Seattle to visit Scott and Megan, and rather than risk missing a flight out of SFO we took Horizon/Alaska … [Read more...]

Reader Question: Where to Drink (and Eat) in Sonoma

David wrote in last week with a question regarding his upcoming trip to Sonoma: Heading out to Sonoma in a few weeks and wanted to see if you had any can't-miss restaurant and winery recommendations? I'm originally from Cupertino, but my dad recently moved to Sonoma County. Megan and I have visited him there several times, including a trip earlier this year when we were still scouting wedding … [Read more...]