Tag Archives: Travel

Published – My Day With Lanai Golf

I got the ultimate opportunity to golf the Challenge at Manale Bay on Lanai, Hawaii. I’ve also been asked to report my experience for a great travel magazine. My guest post is over at Sharing Travel Experiences — Click to read my amazing amateur golf experience report. Also, here are some great photos from the course.

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Poor Customer Service …At Least the Food Was Good

I just got back from having brunch with a rather large group. I’ve been to a Hashcapade before, my friend Clark puts these on as a way to get together, eat good food and enjoy the company of friends. This one was a special event to preview his new video (to be released this week!) and they created, with the help of the executive chef, a masterful set of hash options.

Here’s the thing: This event had been planned for at least 30 days. I got my invitation in the end of March. Now, when I look at the Facebook invitation; I see that 9 RSVP were “Yes” and 3 marked themselves as “Maybe” – When I got to The Mark Restaurant – inside the Shilo Inn on Canyon Road, in Beaverton – I was the 16th person to arrive. Now, since they had a table set up for eighteen, you’d think they would have imagined they would be busy.

…Unfortunately not. The hardest part for me to believe in this whole situation, was that they didn’t expect this kind of thing. Again, never mind that the reservation has been in the books for 30 days, that the executive chef prepared a special menu and one of their host employees was at another table, completely unaware of the lack of service.

There were a couple of moments which really stuck with me. The group I was seated with all work in the service industry, from a customer service representative to a director of hotel events; we know service and this wasn’t it.
A couple of the more quotable exchanges:

“I’m sorry we don’t have enough menus, this is all we have.” – Your restaurant has 100 seats, you should have enough menus.
Q: “Do you have anything that can make this bloody mary any better? A: “No.”
“I’m sorry, we’re out of a lot of things, you guys came at a really hard time for us.” – See above about a reservation.

Hashcapades

Aside from those things, the server asked names for all the checks, which is the smart thing to do when you have a large group, however, none of those names were correct when the food came out: Nick became Mick, Ryan/Bryan, Lydia (Who spelled out her name) became Lybia (and hilarity ensued,) then Lars came out of nowhere, and even our host’s name was incorrect.

In the service industry, where I’ve spent most all of my career, it’s the little things that make the biggest difference, it’s those little things that make you remember, or run screaming from, a service based company. I loved the breakfast I had, and normally I would be on the side of a server who was taking care of 16 people at once, except she wasn’t. When asked for a manager, she said she was the manager.. “Amongst other things.” If you’re the manager, then you’d know when your service needed a little work, I’d hope.

The comedy of errors would have been funny, except they were all-consuming. At the bottom line, at least the food was good, even if the service wasn’t.

11 Favorite Photos of ’11

I try to take pictures of things that are memorable, as you’re aware. But, I’m also a little retentive on how I organize them, too. In my files, I order them by year and by month. So I decided to go back and see what I thought some of my top photos were; either because they were interesting to me or they had special memories. Here they are:

I moved into a new place this year – I really enjoyed the view from the deck.
The sun for the trees with clouds

A cool panoramic view of the Southeast side of Portland, Oregon on a sunny(!!) day. Mount Hood is in the distance.
Portland Oregon Sunshine Mt Hood Marquam Bridge

My friend Cheryl put together a great conference that I was a volunteer at, she was being interviewed by a local news station and I happened to spot this view, through the lens.
Through the Lens

On a recent trip to the beach, my friend and I spotted this abandoned, decrepit boat in a river valley.
Abandoned Boat

I was fortunate to go to a Seattle Mariners game in Safeco Field, the view from my awesome seats really let me catch all the action.
Seattle Mariners Safeco Field

A pretty cool moment to catch. Fourth of July is always fun. Especially when you go to Washington to watch REAL fireworks.
Firework Flame

A group of my friends (The Ruby Council) and I went to Darcelle’s and Co. downtown, Portland. We got a photo with the Grand Dame herself.
Ruby Council and Darcelle

A great photo from another trip to Seattle, as you’ll note, the sun does shine in Seattle. A great view of their skyline.
Seattle Washington Skyline

A trip to Seattle that changed the course of my 2011 for the better. I’d be remiss if I didn’t include this captured moment for a couple of reasons. A pretty cool photo, too.
Sunstreaked Pair

I caught this photo on Veteran’s Day. I thought it was incredibly poignant and it was pretty, too.
Solo Flag

Of course, I wasn’t going to end the recap of my year without a Christmas Photo, since I was posting this on Christmas Day.
Christmas Reflection

I’ve been so fortunate this year. I’ve experienced some great moments and some not-so-great moments. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Viva Las Vegas! My Vacation – In Pictures

As you saw from yesterday’s post, The Fountains of Bellagio, I was recently in Las Vegas for vacation. I love Vegas, but it can be a little overstimulating. So much to see and do.

There are some really cool things if you open your eyes and take a quick look around. I wanted to share some of the sights with you. The rest you can see on my flickr page.

A view of the horizon from the Horizon plane!
2011-12-04_13-07-20_52

Amazingly enough, even in December, Las Vegas has blue skies!
2011-12-04_16-11-34_262

The food in Vegas is amazing. This little delight came from the Flamingo Garden Buffet.
Fruit Tart

Something about this picture, at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, reminds me of an 80’s Bangles song.
Blue Water venetian hotel las vegas

At the Venetian Hotel’s Christmas in Venice scene, they had a Christmas Tree that easily could have doubled for a Lady Gaga outfit.
venetian hotel las vegas Christmas Tree

I came across this fountain, it’s glimmering water and various coinage called to me.
Fountains of change venetian hotel las vegas

And sometimes, you can even find a serpent in the water.
Bellagio Fountain

On A Wing

image

I’m not a confident flyer.*

I hold my breath as if it is going to help. I know the logic behind it, more likely to … car wreck etc… But, I can’t help it. There is something about flying that defies all logic. That the science of aerodynamics defies the laws of gravity. There are many things I think of to help me through.

I try to enjoy the beauty of that moment when we mortals leave the ground, to experience that momentary life from our Earthbound duties.

I enjoy the scenery when we punch through the clouds. When we shed the burden of the dark grey skies and reach for the sun.

I take solace in knowing that at this moment, i am ok. I am leaving fear behind. I may be holding my breath and closing my eyes, but my heart is still beating and I am going places.

Sometimes you have to swallow your fear, hold your breath, close your eyes, listen to your heart and leap forward into the clouds.

* This post written mid-flight from Portland to Santa Rosa, California

The Senses of Seattle

My friend Andy posted recently about a trip he took to visit Bend, it describes using all your senses to get the best out of your vacations.

I recently made a day trip to Seattle for a Seahawks game and had the most amazing time. So in the spirit of the aformentioned post, here is how I experienced Seattle in all five of my senses.

Sight:

I went to dinner with a friend and on the way back to my hotel room, I spotted this cool park in Seattle. It was completely dark, except for these lights. I knew I had to stop and take a picture.

Disco Lights, City Park, Seattle, Washington

Sound:

As I mentioned above, I got to go to a Seahawks game. If you have ever watched one the games on TV, there is much ado about the amount of noise in CenturyLink field. The Seattle Seahawks have retired the number 12 jersey on their team, an honor reserved for only the most special players, this jersey is retired for the “12th Man” aka the Fans. (There are only 11 players on the field at any given time.) Seattle is known for having some of the greatest fan base, I am happy to be one of them. The noise in the stadium is amazing, you can feel it in your chest. This is what a third down for the opposing team sounds like…

Touch:

I feel like I cheat a little on this one, but anyone who has been to Seattle would tell you that a clear, crisp sunny day is rare in Seattle. I got to experience one. This is the view from my hotel room, on the 19th floor. Some would say this is the sense of sight, but imagine, for a moment, standing, looking out this window, the sun beams on your face. It’s a moment of relaxation and rejuvenation. I think we all reach out for that.

Puget Sound, Sunny Day, Seattle, Washington

Smell:

Seattle is known as the home of Starbucks; I stumbled into a local bakery (Specialty’s Cafe,) since it was closer and raining, for a cup of coffee and danish. They were crafting all the various and sundry baked goods for the day. Their racks were filled. The smell of fresh-baked bread over-took my all my senses; However, if you need a quick cup of coffee, I would go somewhere else, they took a while. The baked goods were delicious.

Speciality's Cafe, Seattle, Washington

Taste:

I went out to dinner with a friend to one of my favorite places to eat in Seattle. It’s called Serious Pie. …And it is. They make artisan pizza and some of the combinations are amazing. I’ve had a few of their pizzas, this one happened to be Summer Squash, Roasted Garlic and Whipped Chevre. IT. WAS. AMAZING. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, Serious Pie in Seattle, Washington is the best pizza I’ve ever had, hands down. I dare you to show me a better pizza.

Serious Pie - Pizza - Seattle, Washington

Recap: Sarah & Wendy

I can’t believe I haven’t written my post about this.

At the beginning of the month, I mentioned that my friends @SarahMSalter and @WeightWhat (Wait? What?) were coming to town. I can’t believe I haven’t recapped that for Y’all (That’s for you Sarah).

First. It was a blast. I haven’t laughed that hard or that genuinely for a while now. It was good to have some hard-rolling-belly-laughing. Except, when they had to leave.

Sarah actually got to try Whiffies Fried Pies! (And Koifusion tacos!)

As you can imagine, I took some pictures while they were here. Much to their dismay.
Me and Sarah

I also remember Sarah mentioning they would take and hide my camera. When I told her I had a couple of them, I think she gave up.

More Sarah

Sarah had gotten a pedicure, just for us, so I couldn’t resist; although feet are icky!

Sarahs Foot

Wendy wouldn’t let me take her picture. I was certain she was going to break my nose, so I behaved. I did have to get proof that she was here. So here it is.

Wendy

Nothing provided more laughter than the following video, so I can’t help but end this post with it. I hope it provides some laughter for you. I know it did for us.