Sorry, I’ve Been on the Road a Bit Much

3 weeks on the road and I crumbled. No blog posts this past week. Sorry.

Chicago Seminars kicked off the chase.

On to Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan. The Azeri e-visa process works!


Forward to Malta and Gozo. Great places. The traffic shows others agree.



Day trips to Corfu, Rhodes, and Crete. A road trip from Athens to ancient Delphi and the peak top monasteries of Metoera. Overnight in Thebes just because it is Thebes. All the way back down to Poseidon’s Temple at the tip of Attica, with a moment of reflection en route at Marathon.


Frequent Traveler University in Orange County, fueled by bubble tea from 85C.

Off to Indonesia on my first ANA flights. The 11-hour Los Angeles to Tokyo I had a window seat and did not get up until arrival.

Indonesia has been my travel bête noire. This time I had no flight cancels or even misconnects because the onward flights were themselves delayed just enough to avoid broken connections. I even took the incessant “Hey MISTER!” calls of Indonesia in stride. I was introduced to the marvel of friend onions as a pizza topping.

fried-onion-pizzaI hailed a ride on the back of a motorcycle around volcanic island Ternate then caught sunset at the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Ambon. Travelers Century Club counts 7 territories in Indonesia. These Maluku islands were my 6th. The next day I reached Sorong in Papua for my 7th. Perhaps someday I will return to see the Komodo dragons.

ternate-motorcycleternateambon-watersideambon-commonwealth-war-cemeterysorong-waterfrontsorong-balloon-vendorSingapore Changi Airport has a new transit hotel with instant confirm online booking!


24 flights in coach and I thought my United Regional Premier Upgrade certificate might work for Los Angeles to Washington Dulles. No luck. 25 in coach as I arrive Washington, DC for the BoardingArea conference.

To aviation geeks, here are the airlines:

  • United
  • Turkish
  • Olympic
  • Aegean
  • ANA
  • Sriwijaya
  • Garuda
  • Wings

All but one of those 25 I managed an empty seat next to me. Yep, that last United one.

After all that, on Sunday I am eschewing airports and trying Amtrak for the first time. A newbie traveler hits the rails!

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  • Shannon

    so glad you are back with a post with so many amazing pictures. I was worried might have happened.But sadly there is none pic of yourself. I can’t imagine myself to fly so much in coach. Is ANA good in economy class?

  • @Shannon – since the rise of the selfie there are very few pictures of me.

    ANA economy class is excellent. I found legroom sufficient. 10 across on 777 is a bit tight. 777 all seats have personal entertainment (limited movie selection, many edited which I do not watch on principle) and power outlets. Meals are good and healthy with lovely meal picture cards. I like the ANA special drink, a lemon honey flavor, and also their ANA special broth. Service is attentive and considerate as expected from Japan. On Halloween the arrival candy was from Halloween-themed boxes.

  • Shannon

    you mentioned several times you don’t watch edited movie on principle. I feel it is so stubborn and so cute at the same time. But how do you tell before you start to watch it? And if you watch it and find something is missing.. you stop right away? Isn’t that really a moment killer??

  • @Shannon – usually at the beginning there is a notice if film is edited for content or time. I understand why they do it, it is just my small, otherwise unnoticed stand for artistic freedom and that people, even children, should not be coddled from ideas, and anyway that responsible parents should determine what is appropriate for their children (and intellectually curious children to push back). So, yes, if I see that notice, I end the movie. I have plenty to do and read of my own, though I do enjoy discovery of the unexpected. ANA currently has Shin Godzilla which is a delightful black comedy and commentary on Japanese society, its weaknesses and strengths.

    By the way, best in-flight video selection I have seen is, surprisingly, Aeroflot.

  • Nancy

    I love 85c cafe, why they don’t have any store outside of CA? Is US brand a knockoff of the original 85c in Taiwan?

  • @Nancy – I want them country-wide. No idea if they are connected to the original or not, either way the Taiwanese school us all in breads and artistic desserts.

  • italdesign

    “All but one of those 25 I managed an empty seat next to me” – what’s the trick?

  • @italdesign – nothing more than sitting in the far back, picking aisle when window is occupied and in position to bounce around when the door closes.