Podcast #165 — First Post Lockdown Flight; When Does Business Travel Come Back?

The hop taste isn’t coming through

My first post-lockdown flight was a 90-minute Southwest non-stop from Chicago to Nashville. It wasn’t bad, but not as casually easy as my last pre-coronavirus flight in February. We talk about that experience as well as Hertz’s new cleaning program, my latest pair of Bose noise-cancelling headphones, and then wonder when business travel will return. All this and more at the direct link to the podcast file or listening to it right here by clicking on the arrow below.

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Podcast #164 — First-Post Lockdown Trips; Travel Credit Cards

Can I leave my house now?

I broke Chicago’s containment for my first post-lockdown trip, a fast drive down I-65. We talk about hotels swapping hospitality for sanitation, Hertz’s bankruptcy, and tips for travel credit card usage from Brett Holzhauer, the travel card expert at ValuePenguin.com. All this and more at the direct link to the podcast file or listening to it right here by clicking on the arrow below.

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Podcast #163 — New World of Travel Insurance; Getting Medical Help on the Road

I think I put off finding a doc too long

Though I’m still locked down on the shores of Lake Michigan, data shows that people are starting to do short car trips. What will people need to feel comfortable to do more extensive travel — spacing in aircraft, we talk with Erik Josowitz of insuranceQuotes.com about trends in travel insurance, and a story about finding medical attention while traveling through Southeast Asia. All this and more at the direct link to the podcast file or listening to it right here by clicking on the arrow below.

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Podcast #162 — Post-Corona Trip Planning; Keeping a Travel Journal

Early attempts at travel journaling

Kinda tough to do a podcast that’s more about the journey than the destination if I’m not “journeying,” but I give it a go. We talk about cyberattacks on frequent flyer accounts now that we don’t have a reason to check them, planning for my first post-pandemic trips, and how re-reading my travel journals is pinch-hitting right now. All this and more at the direct link to the podcast file or listening to it right here by clicking on the arrow below.

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Podcast #161 — New Crisis, Old Question; Driving Down to Key West

You have reached your destination

Things started out well, skipping out on Chicago winter for a drive down to Key West. But then last week, coronavirus hit the US and everything unraveled. All this and more at the direct link to the podcast file or listening to it right here by clicking on the arrow below.

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Podcast #160 — Disappearing Seatback Screens; Shrinking Difference Between Ride-Share and Taxis

Is this the IMAX seatback screen?

Trying to watch the Super Bowl while flying from Durango, CO to Chicago via Denver got me thinking about the fading away of seatback entertainment. We also talk about the continuing evolution of ride sharing. Uber and Lyft are looking more and more like the taxi companies they fought to replace. All this and more at the direct link to the podcast file or listening to it right here by clicking on the arrow below.

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My food and beer hangouts in Downtown Phoenix (#DTPHX)

I just wrapped up two months in downtown Phoenix and want to pass along my favorite hangouts for food and beer. When I started traveling to Phoenix in the mid-’90’s, there wasn’t much to downtown Phoenix other than the Hyatt Regency hotel. Today, stadiums for the Phoenix Suns and the Arizona Diamondbacks, and a downtown campus for Arizona State University support a solid selection of restaurants, coffee shops, and bars. Below are the places that I found myself going back to again and again during my 2-month stay.

Mariscos Playa Hermosa While not technically within the DTPHX boundary, this place has the best Mexican seafood I’ve ever had — and that includes my dinners in San Jose del Cabo over last Christmas Break. The Pulpo y Callo Parrillada (grilled octopus leg and scallops) and Camarones Fantasia (shrimp stuffed into mild chile and then wrapped in bacon) are my favorites, but it’s all good. Worth the short Uber/Lyft ride. (1605 E Garfield St)

Harumi Sushi Sushi in the desert doesn’t immediately jump to the top of my list of food must-do’s, but Harumi hits all my sushi hot buttons — nice pieces of sashimi served with fresh wasabi and an interesting selection of rolls. It’s a small place that gets crowded, so check out the wait time on Yelp before you walk over. (114 W Adams St though the door is north of Adams on 1st St)

Pizzeria Bianco Always on the lists of the top pizza places in the US. While I’m not sure if deserves all those accolades, it’s very good thin crust pizza. And Bar Bianco next door is a very cool space for pre- or post-dinner cocktails. (623 E Adams St in Heritage Square near the AZ Science Center)

Arrogant Butcher The place I’d go when I wanted to eat at the bar and watch a ball game. I like the Butcher’s Meatballs for a smaller meal and the Beef Short Rib Stew when a bit hungrier. It’s kitty-corner from Talking Stick Arena, so it can get crowded before a Suns game. (2 E Jefferson St at S 1st St)

The Whining Pig A block north of Talking Stick Arena, The Whining Pig is a classic low-key/no-attitude craft beer bar — a great draft selection, a huge can/bottle menu, knowledgable bartenders, and a solid selection of bar and card games. My go-to beer bar in DTPHX. (201 E Washington St, though the door is south of Washington on 2nd St)

The Theodore Great craft beer bar at the west end of the hip Roosevelt Row district. Nice draft menu, color coded by style, and a cooler full of interesting cans and bottles for drinking there or back at your hotel. Good-sized place — comfy couches inside and patio seating out front and on the side. (110 E Roosevelt St at N 1st St)

Arizona Wilderness DTPHX A block-and-a-half down from The Theodore is Arizona Wilderness’s downtown beer garden. Sit outside around the fire pit (during the winter months) or inside (during the summer months). They have a wide-ranging beer menu, many of which feature Arizona-sourced ingredients like honey, lemons, prickly pear, carrots, and sweet potato. (201 E Roosevelt St) .

Podcast #159 — Planning the Trip of a Lifetime in Southeast Asia

Just put my dragon’s den on Airbnb

January is a big travel planning month; people thinking about about the places they want to visit, spending days on the Internet researching itineraries, and putting in their week’s vacation requests. But what about a 9-week sabbatical you’ve worked 7 years for? In this episode, we talk about that kind of extreme travel planning. All this and more at the direct link to the podcast file or listening to it right here by clicking on the arrow below.

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