Posts tagged "travelogue"

  • December 28, 2012

    As I type this, I know that words are simply incapable of doing Hermitage Bay justice. I can wax poetic for hours about the wonderful views, the ridiculously relaxed vibe, the amazing five-star dining, and the loveable staff, but you truly must see it to believe it. Or better yet, go to Hermitage and experience it for yourself…

    Elena and I had considered resorts far and wide, including St. Lucia, Thailand, Bali, and Turks & Caicos, but Hermitage Bay in Antigua turned out to be the perfect choice. We met some wonderful couples, most of whom were on their honeymoons. And the staff (Roselyn, Jillian, Anthony, and Levique, we’re looking at you!) made us feel like rock stars.

    As we settle in for the cold and snowy Chicago winter, I know we’ll be looking back on these photos and our memories as often as possible. If you see me zoning out, it’s just because I’m picturing taking a dip in our plunge pool and ordering up one more round of Hermitage Gold!

    And what’s a view like that without a couple of panoramas…

    Bonus Video: Shot with a GoPro HD HERO3 Black Edition using a mix of 1080p, 720p, and high-resolution time-lapse. Edited in Final Cut Pro X. Music is “The Hood Internet - Houdin-o-mite (Taio Cruz x Foster The People).”

    A+E Honeymoon @ Hermitage Bay, Antigua from Andrew Stott on Vimeo.

  • November 15, 2012

    So it wasn’t all work while we were in Miami for Dawn & George’s wedding this past October. Unsurprisingly, Elena and I did manage to find some opportunities for fun with her brother George and mom. A little shuffleboard, a little design sightseeing, and plenty of great food (including an amazing lunch at Mandolin Aegean Bistro). Success.

    As for this blog post title including again, you may remember that earlier this year we did our Bach/Bach in South Beach. We like Miami.

  • April 07, 2012

    Last weekend, Elena and I dragged 8 of our best friends down to Miami for a ridiculous South Beach getaway to celebrate our joint bachelor/bachelorette parties. Or, as Jeff so eloquently put it: a “pre-bachelor and bachelorette party coed bach/bach weekend vacation”… As you’d expect, it was pretty awesome.

    Of course, it’s not difficult to have a great time in Miami, especially when the trip starts off in a streeeeeetch Escalade limo… That’s right, since we flew into FLL, Jeff booked a limo for us to get to South Beach, and it wound up being an Escalade. Seriously, this thing was so long that it wouldn’t fit in the Walgreens parking lot when we made our driver stop for champagne and other alcohol-related supplies. What an epic way to kick it off.

    The basic bach/bach activity list went like this: breakfast, pool, cabana party, lunch, beach, dinner, drink, club, eat, and sleep — with plenty of mojitos and rum & cokes mixed in throughout… We hit up the usual spots like Delano, Shore Club, and Lincoln Road Mall, but most of the time was spent at our home base of the Surfcomber Hotel, a freshly-remodeled boutique Kimpton property with a sick lobby and some of the nicest hotel staff ever. My favorite dinner of the weekend was at Tudor House, a new-to-us spot in the Dream Hotel led by Chef Geoffrey Zakarian. Drinks on the roof (at Highbar) followed by an outdoor dinner for 10 w/ oysters and lamb belly? Yes, please!

    More important than any detail, though, was the simple fact that the whole thing happened. Let me just say that to have 8 friends make the trek with us is an amazing thing. It’s hard enough getting people together at home, let alone for a vacation… I mean, I’m not going to fool myself that South Beach didn’t have anything to do with their decision! But thank you to Jeff, Lisa, Jason, Angela, Colleen, Laura, Wally, and Aaron for spending their time and money to celebrate with us.

    And a special thanks to Jeff for basically putting the whole thing together, and for pushing me to finalize plans. Couldn’t have done it without you, buddy!

     

     

    All of my photos from the trip are available on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stottsan/sets/72157629398476172/

  • October 27, 2009

    Are you going to Miami, and want to check out Shore Club, one of the hottest outdoor clubs in South Beach? Maybe you’re there right now, trying to figure out how to get past the multiple layers of defense at the door? No need to sneak through, hop the fence, or slip the guys $100 — just read this and you’re guaranteed to get in.

    Continue reading "How to Get Into Shore Club"...
  • August 10, 2009

    For this year's Big Trip™, Elena and I stowed away on my parents' RV and headed up to Canada in July. If you remember, last year we flew down to Memphis and met my parents there for a long weekend on the RV. This time around, we wanted to spend some actual time on the road, so we planned a week-long trip to Montreal and Quebec City.

    This post serves two purposes, really. One: to share my experiences with you guys. Two: to write it all down so I can recover these memories myself in the future...

    Continue reading "Canada 2009"...
  • September 05, 2008

    it's been a busy summer, complete with a couple vacations and a few too many cubs games. i keep meaning to post details, but of course that never happens... so here goes, time to get you caught up!

    actually, summer got started back in march, with a spring break trip down to san juan, puerto rico. elena and i went with jeff and lisa, so you know it didn't suck. the timing worked out perfectly... even though elena and lisa had their breaks a week apart, we were able to overlap with an extended weekend right in between.

    Continue reading "san juan 2008"...
  • December 03, 2007

    elena and i went to detroit again this year to celebrate thanksgiving with her family out there. we had a great time, which of course was to be expected – hard not to enjoy yourself when you get that many greeks together! this year we skipped the black friday shopping in favor of a little culture, though, and went to check out the grand opening of the new DIA, or the detroit institute of arts.

    Continue reading "the new DIA"...
  • June 04, 2005

    that’s right, when we go places we don’t just go… we rock them. i’m talking me, elena, jeff, and lisa – taking san diego by storm. at the mission valley resort, we got adjoining rooms to create our party home base. and thanks to some new speakers jeff picked up at the local apple store the tunes were sounding pretty smooth. but seriously, we had a great time, even though it was only for a few days.

    the key to short vacas (IMHO) is to break up the days into little mini-vacations themselves. one day, do this, another, do this, etc. it doesn’t have to be a fully developed plan, don’t get me wrong… i honestly hate spec’ing everything out, since that’s more work than fun. but it really does help to focus on the key places you’d like to visit or those few things you just have to do, especially if you’re on a short timetable. take paris, where my first trip of 3 days was broken up into the following:

    1. eiffel tower, notre dame, & l'arc de triomphe
    2. montmartre and sacre coeur
    3. versailles

    boom! right there i covered most everything i’d been dreaming about since i started taking french. sure, i skipped the louvre and some other key areas, but that’s what the next trip(s) are for. of course, along the way, you can squeeze a ton of little activies, too, such as “having breakfast at an outdoor cafe” or “taking the metro” or

    in san diego our days broke down like so:

    1. pool and gaslamp
    2. san diego zoo and gaslamp again
    3. mission beach, more gaslamp :)
    4. fashion valley mall, old town, embarcadero, & little italy

    a little bit of everything, and most exploring done on the last day. perfect. and we have the pics to prove it.

  • May 17, 2005

    last week i had the pleasure of flying across the country. a few times.

    it all started with a trip out to san francisco (SFO) for digital id world 2005. i of course was attending for work and specifcally was looking for more information on identity federation, identity-driven web services security, and identity management architecture. overall i’d say it was a good conference, although i was a bit disappointed in a couple of the sessions. sometimes the content seemed to drift off topic, or at least move towards issues i wasn’t interested in… but the speakers were excellent, though, and the vendor turnout included a who’s who of the identity management space.

    unfortunately i wasn’t able to stay for the entire week, since i had scheduled a san diego (SAN) vaca with elena, jeff, and lisa starting thursday. most normal people, when faced with the “i’m in SFO for a conference and need to get to SAN for a vacation” would take the easy out: fly or drive down. but not me, of course. ok, i would have, but the conference was a last minute decision, and we had already bought tickets out of chicago (ORD). so needless to say, i was in for a long couple days. what really made it interesting is how things went down.

    Continue reading "SAN by way of SFO, DEN, and ORD"...
  • June 08, 2004

    posted the photos from mazatlan tonight… they’re all available here at photo.stottsan.net, and a select few start here are featured on my site. as usual, enjoy!

  • June 08, 2004

    for my cheddar, it has to be mcdonald’s. i know, i don’t even eat it normally. but at ORD there isn’t any other place where you can pick up a meal and a drink for under $5. sure you can hit up wolfgang puck’s, but you’re lucky to get out of there without having to hand over a freaking gold card… i got my standard meal deal of a quarter-pounder/fries/lemonade and sat with some crazy people in the international terminal a couple weeks ago. one guy i swear was writing a novel on a matchbook, even though the matchbook and the pen were both black. hmm.

    on a related note, i have no idea why there’s only the one food court in terminal 5… apologies to all the out-of-countryers who get screwed with the cuisine selection. what’s more, you have to leave the gate area and go back to the terminal to get food, only to have to get x-ray’d again. i really figured they would’ve done a better job with that terminal, but oh well. luckily i don’t have to fly there often. :)

  • August 02, 2003

    last weekend lori and i went to dall-ass tex-ass for the john mayer & counting crows concert. i mean, why go to tweeter to see the show when you can see it in dallas, right?!?! despite the crazy 95+ degree heat, we were able to wander around the city, snapping away with the digicams (mine start here, i’m not sure where lori’s are)… and even though dallas has some of the worst drivers i’ve ever seen, lori expertly maneuvered us in the rental. from deep ellum to lower greenville, i was starting to think i’d seen it all.

    but then we got to dealey plaza, and everything i’d been missing was right before my eyes: the texas schoolbook depository, the grassy knoll, the big freakin X in the middle of the street. “um, is this it?” of course this is it, silly. right here on this very spot, this hallowed ground… this is where they filmed JFK!

    but seriously, how unnerving is it to stand on the spot where a president was assassinated, even after more than 30 years have passed? very. i got a few photos (1, 2, 3) to serve as permanent reminders, but i don’t think anything can replace the feeling of just being there.

  • June 03, 2003

    eat, sleep, drink, sun, swim. repeat. for 4 freakin days. if this all sounds familiar then you’ve been on a cruise. congratulations, me too. :) i’m actually fresh off the boat (the m/s carnival “what’s your” fantasy to be exact) and back in the scary scary real world…

    consider this a thrown-together and after-the-fact journal if you like, although it’s really more of an in-depth look at the political and cultural ramifications of the tourism industry on the islands of the bahamas. whatever, that’s all bullshit. i really wrote all this for the sole purpose of being able to remember it in 20 years…

    saturday, may 24, 2003 it all started with an innocent L ride to o’hare. the ipod helped keep me right on the edge of consciousness, which was much appreciated considering it was 8am on a saturday and i was somehow out of bed… after getting off the train, i fought the urge to walk to the united terminal and instead forced myself to head over to the ghetto side of the airport (a.k.a terminal 3). you see, since i wanted to guarantee kelly and me seats on the way down/back, i bought RT tickets on spirit air. you saw it here first: flying spirit = big mistake. in fact, you can read more about the true “spirit” of spirit right here, so i won’t go into any more detail now…

    our cruise was leaving from port canaveral on sunday morning the 25th, so the plan was to fly down to orlando a day early and spend the afternoon and evening in cocoa beach. that way, all we needed was a quick ride over to the port in the morning and we’d be set. after we got down to the orlando airport, we needed to find our ride to cocoa beach. i had hooked us up with art’s transportation for $25/ea each way, which isn’t bad for a 1hr drive. we managed to find the driver (jill, of “think jack and jill, but i’m not jack” fame) pretty easily since she was holding a sign w/ my name on it. the drive was on.

    Continue reading "we be cruisin' - day 1"...
  • June 02, 2003

    …unless you want to once and for all convince yourself that cutting your arm off with a dull knife isn’t the worst possible experience a human can endure. laugh if you want, but i’m seriously not joking. from a pissed-at-the-world checkin lady to an alkie mom traveling alone with her two kids, i’ve seen it all in just 2 flights on spirit. and i have somehow lived to tell about it.

    last saturday (may 24, 2003) kelly and i flew spirit airlines from chicago to orlando, in preparation for our bahamas cruise leaving from port canaveral. seemed like a great idea @ the time: guaranteed seats for $200 RT… but as soon as we hit terminal 3 at o’hare, we knew something was amiss. while we were checking our bags (which took about 5 hours, considering kelly had an extra for shoes, duh) the couple in front of us was trying to figure out what to do with their cat. you see, the carrier they’d bought was supposedly “certified” to fit under the seat, but the spirit checkin lady told them it was too big. “what do you mean? i bought a certified one, so shouldn’t it fit?” asked the man. “nope, it won’t fit,” answered the spirit chick. “can you measure it?” “no, i can tell by looking at it that it won’t fit.” now, hold up, wait a minute. take 5 seconds, measure it, and make this guy’s day. she wouldn’t have any of that, though.

    anyway, the couple decided to call a friend to pick up the cat. “we found someone who can pick it up in 30 minutes, but our flight is in 45 min. can someone watch the cat until our friend can get here?” now this seems like a reasonable question, especially in the quest to determine poor fluffy’s fate. “are you crazy?!?!?!?! we can’t take that kind of responsibility!” wait, since when do we ask customers if they are crazy? guess i missed that day of training, hmmm…

    meanwhile our checkin lady ripped our boarding passes (which i printed myself from the web, secure, secure) in half and said “oops. i wasn’t supposed to do that.” ok, am i supposed to care? she continued with “if they ask at security, can you tell them you did it? they’ll be less upset than if they knew i tore them…” something tells me that i answered no, and that something is right.

    Continue reading "never fly spirit air..."...