Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

Photos from Peru

Sunday, November 10th, 2013

Rita and I “won” a pair of round-trip tickets to anywhere LAN Airlines flies in South America. It was a promotion, I think because they had just opened the San Francisco market.  It happened at a favorite restaurant, Bocanova – a “Pan-American” restaurant in Oakland’s Jack London Square – a perfect place for them to do this promotion! Every single diner AND every single employee working that that night got a voucher. We had two weeks to book and we had til the end of the year to take the trip, so we sat down with our friends (who had joined us that night) to make plans. We looked at Argentina, too, but our friends had some excellent connections in Peru so that tipped the scales.  I have always wanted to see Machu Picchu.

This link will take you to my photos and Rita’s, too. We’re both adding more images to our collections, so check back again in a few days.

After visiting Sillustani (near Lake Titicaca), our tour group stopped for a photo op.

After visiting Sillustani (near Lake Titicaca), our tour group stopped for a photo op.

The weird road home

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

I’m logging in from the Courtyard Marriott at Cleveland Hopkins Int’l Airport, but that’s not so strange.

The strange part is that I ran into some fellow Bay Area musicians in the waiting area: Big Lou’s Polka Casserole – four of ’em, anyway (although none of ’em was the one I know best, pedal steel player David Phillips) – Big Lou and David Golia and two of their horn players. We were all on the same fight out from San Francisco last Thursday, but it took Golia and me both til after the plane landed to realize who that familiar face was and where we knew each other from. So when we wound up on the same flight back, we got to talking, about music and business and mutual friends.

We were comparing notes on the festival gigs we’d just done , and shooting the shit about the many challenges of traveling with musical instruments, when a call came for volunteers to stay off the oversold plane so another party could get on board.

Golia and I decided to volunteer. We’re musicians with flexible schedules. We have tons of experience killing time and sleeping in strange beds. $300 travel voucher, a hotel room, dinner and breakfast, and for me, a first class seat on the 9:10 to SFO tomorrow
morning. For David, all the same amenities; but if no first class seat is available for him, he rides in back on our flight and gets a certificate good for a first-class upgrade on his next flight with Continental.

We were advised to wait until the last minute to board; we were nervous about being able to stash our instruments in the rapidly-filling overhead bins. The earlier you board, the better your chance of not having to gate-check your axe, and/or get into an argument with awesomely powerful airline personnel. We did board late, but we were able to get our guitars into the overhead bins.

And then they came onto the place to get us! So Dave with his bass and a tote bag full of sheet music, and I with my backpack and guitar, waved goodbye to our departing luggage and partners and returned to the counter, where many cards were being printed and written on. We each received our $300 travel voucher; a $12 dinner voucher and a $6 breakfast voucher; a hotel voucher; and instructions to make arrangements for the morning shuttle back to the airport. We were also given “overnight kits,” with a razor and a toothbrush and a comb and associated viscous substances. Emptied of its personal-size hygeine items, the pouch will be of some use in carrying small bits of hardware when it catches up with the wheelie suitcase, already en route to SFO

I used one of my meal vouchers to buy some trail mix etc for the flight, but I am told there will also be a real breakfast in my first-class seat!

I’ll be wearing the same clothes tomorrow that I wore onto the plane today. I was clean underneath ’em today, and I’ll be clean underneath ’em tomorrow. Maybe even more so, because I plan to have used the QUINOA SHAMPOO that the hotel provided.

Golia went to his room and I to mine. Skyped my missus, who shoved our cat Hugo’s face into the screen while I sang his many names through the speaker. I doubt he recognized me. Smooched both beloveds through the screen, said good night.

7.25 hours til that wakeup call. The Ambien is already affecting my typing. Good night!