Showing posts from August, 2018

Beer, Bratwurst and Beamers in Bavaria (Munich)

From Nice I flew to Munich to visit Chanrith in his new city (and add Germany to my list of countries visited). Chanrith took an early flight since he had work on Monday, but there was a cheaper flight a few hours later so I took the afternoon flight alone. I used my priority pass to stop by the Library Lounge in Nice, but it was subpar to every lounge I have visited and not worth spending a lot of time in. Landing in Germany I was impressed with the spacious airport and easy to use subway/train. I got an all-day pass since it was marginally more expensive than a one way ticket, and the train was interesting in that you don't have to insert or scan your ticket, so it's on an "honor system." I timed my train so that I would arrive around the same time Chanrith got off work so I could meet at the station by his apartment. When we got out it was pouring- but luckily the weather improved later on through the evening. For dinner we went to Andy's Krablergarten near

Nice, Monaco, Cannes - Wandering around the French Riviera

Madrid -> Nice After Madrid, I flew to Nice since my trip to Europe was supposed to be for visiting my UCLA UKS buddy/senior year college roommate Chanrith, and he wanted to see the French Riviera. Before flying, I used my Priority Pass for the 3rd time this trip- and the Sala VIP Plaza Mayor lounge might've been my favorite. There was a wide selection of warm foods in ramekins- ranging from risotto to chicken pasta to minestrone soup. I also indulged a light chocolate pudding. They also had small sandwiches and fresh fruit packaged to-go, and this would serve as a perfect afternoon bite on my flight to France. My flight experience with Iberia was very good. Flying into Nice on a clear day was great because you can see the view of the French Riviera (I had the window seat and was on the left side of the plane flying from Spain). Meeting Chanrith and the the Nice airport was easy since the airport is pretty small. We Uber'ed to our hostel, located near downtown about

Madrid - Museums, Palaces and so much more

From Bilbao I took a 5 hour train ride to Spain's capital- Madrid. I was only "moderately pumped" about Madrid, but Madrid was probably my favorite city during my two week Eurotrip; from the culture to the history it was fun and exciting- almost like a mix of NYC and Washington DC. The train station was a little crazy and reminded me of NYC's Penn Station- but luckily I was able to ask for help and hop in a train in a couple minutes to my hostel. After checking in, I walked a few minutes down various alleyways to get to my first destination: Museo Reina Sofia. The Reina Sofia is one of the Golden Triangle of Madrid's museum and features mostly contemporary art but also the famous Spanish artists Dali and Picasso. I spent 3 hours here, the museum was humongous and there was so much to see. The highlight was definitely "Guernica," (originally the primary reason I decided to stop in Madrid): this is a pic of a postcard- no pics of the real thing!

Bilbao - basking in Basque

I left Barcelona the morning of August 7, catching an 11:45 AM flight to stop 2 of my Dan Brown Origin tour: Bilbao. I checked out of my hostel, took Aerobus to the airport, passing by the Pl. Espanya and the view of the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya. Security through the domestic terminal took 3 minutes, and before I walked to my gate I saw a swanky sign to a VIP lounge (sala Pau Casals), checked my phone to see if priority pass allowed me access, and lo-and-behold it did! [Priority pass is amazing in Europe.] The lounge itself was great- I had my first sip of complimentary bubbly- ate some pastries, sandwiches, and mango ice cream, packed some water, and charged my phone and other devices before my short 1.25 hr flight to Bilbao. My flight to Bilbao was through Vueling, a Spanish airline, and it was great- easy check-in, enough leg room, and friendly flight attendants (Vueling may have been my favorite airline on the trip.) Descending into BIO, I noticed the tons of gr

Barcelona - Do's and Don'ts

2 weeks ago I began a Dan Brown "Origin" inspired adventure- visiting Barcelona as the first stop on my whirlwind Eurotrip. Below are some of my do's and don'ts for the capital of Catalonia. Do: WowAir (if you can't find a direct flight, book late, and are on a budget- my flight was around $400 one way and I booked a month in advance, and don't mind a layover) I flew from SFO to Iceland (KEF) and then to Barcelona (BCN) on WowAir. WowAir was okay since I paid extra to upgrade to more legroom and bring a carry-on luggage. The KEF airport is nice since it's newer- I was especially impressed with personal bathrooms. Do: Take Aerobus to get to Barcelona's city Center.  The Aerobus  is a bus between the airport and downtown. It only took 30 min and I bought my roundtrip tickets online in advance. It was super easy to find and definitely a good value.  Don't: Be Afraid to speak Spanish. I heard from someone that because of the politics betwe

What it's like to have a Costco-themed going away party

Short answer: amazing (especially since I love Costco).  My last day at the Governor's Office was today, but my going away party was yesterday. While everybody else in the office does the typical goodbye happy hour- I had an epiphany and was like "I want my going away party to be Costco-themed!" and shared this brilliant realization the very next work day with my extra-AF colleague Jamie. [Who is perhaps slightly more enthusiastic about Costco than I am but I still love you JD <3.] I was basically expecting a few Costco pizzas, but I got so much more from Jamie and Gail (our legal secretary who is also as enthusiastic about Costco and sometimes brought rotisserie chickens just to spread happiness in the office).  The spread did have a Costco combo pizza (no cheeseburger s, see my latest post), but also included Kirkland Signature [hereinafter, "KS"] mixed nuts, KS sparkling water (apparently as delicious as La Croix), the yummy Chinese chicken