Friday, June 28, 2013

The Luxury of Sky Clubs

One of the absolute worst parts of traveling is airport food.  When I'm excited and stressed about getting to the airport for a trip, the last thing I'm thinking about is food.  I often get all checked-in for a flight and realize that I'm starving.  Then I spend $15 for a bagel and diet coke only to realize when I get to my flight gate that they forgot to give me cream cheese.  I end up eating a dry bagel that tastes like it was made four days prior.

One of my bestest gal pals' mother works for Delta.  Every now and again I have been able to get passes for Delta's luxurious Sky Club and it has been such a treat.  Delta's Sky Club is somewhat pricey for a year membership, $700 for a joint one-year pass.  I don't travel near enough to justify the cost of a year membership.  They do, however, offer day passes at $50/per pass.  I'm not sure that I would get a day pass for a domestic flight, but if I was traveling international, $50 is worth it. 

For me, the best part about the Sky Club is being able to carve out your own little space while waiting for your flight.  The Club has a lot of tables, small couches, and other seating that is quiet, somewhat private, and most importantly close to an electronic outlet to charge your phone, kindle, ipad, etc.  This is KEY at an airport.  I will sit four gates away from where my flight is taking off just to get a seat close to an outlet. 

The second best part about the Sky Club is the unlimited and free access to food and beverages.  When Mike and I went on our honeymoon last fall, we had to be at the airport at 4:30 A.M.  TERRIBLE!  We had Sky Club passes and an hour to wait before our flight.  We were able to nab breakfast, some snacks for the flight, and Diet Coke.  There is no shame in a Diet Coke at 5:00 A.M.

As you can see from the picture, I was able to get a bagel (with cream cheese), a mini muffin and a small scone.  I also grabbed a couple of pieces of fruit and had 2 (okay, maybe 3) glasses of the good stuff.  The Club also offered many types of cereal, yogurt, granola, hot breakfast sandwiches, and other pastries.  It got our morning off to the best start and made us feel relaxed and prepared for our flight. 

It used to be that you could serve your own drinks, but now you have to ask a server behind the bar to pour you something.  I really preferred the self-serve soda machines.  Back in the day, (i.e. a few years ago) you could actually pour yourself an ice cold beer and get good and liquored up for FREE.  I think you could also just grab mini bottles of alcohol and wine.  I may have heard a story about a group of guys filling up Nalgene bottles of Heineken before a flight to Las Vegas all while wearing leisure suits and large sunglasses.  Boys!

All in all, the Sky Club makes flying feel like it did in the golden age.  Fancy and customer-oriented are things you no longer find in the flying experience, but it's nice to indulge in them every now and again.  

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Welcome Back and Magic Carpets of Aladdin

I took a hiatus.  It was a good way to refocus and recharge, like a vacation.  The vacation got longer and longer and finally I realized that it was going to be more difficult to get back to blogging than I thought.  I do, however, miss my creative writing outlet and decided to get back to semi-regular posting with a new theme.  Nothing makes me happier than traveling.  I just love it and love seeing and experiencing new places and things.  Whenever I'm out of town I feel like I'm a grand adventurer.  I wanted to bring that feeling to the blog, so for now I'm going to be more focused on my traveling explorations, advice, and funny stories.  Plus, I just got back from two amazing trips in May (one to New Orleans and one to Washington D.C.) and will probably get two more in before the end of the year (possibly Denver and a fall colors tour of Maine).  So, I will have lots to share with you! 

I love hearing about other people's travel adventures and tips and I hope that this blog will get me back to my happy place.  And for those fans who loved my "Random Acts of Douchebaggery" segment, never fear.  RAD's are staying.  Not only do I need this blog to be a place of fun and lightness, but occasionally I need it as a place to vent.

Without further ado, we are back to the place where my true vacation expertise lies, Walt Disney World. 

When you get into the heart of Adventureland you will find yourself in a clusterfudge of people, strollers, flying water and The Magic Carpets of Aladdin.  This ride is in the weirdest place.  Normally the WDW planners are really great at flow.  There aren't a lot of human bottlenecks in the parks, and if there is a jam-up it's usually for a reason.  So, maybe that is the case here, that there's a reason for the placement of this ride.  However, every time I come upon this obnoxious spitting camel, I feel like the ride is terribly out of place.

The Magic Carpets are your run of the mill circular kiddie ride.  You know the ones, you climb into your little car and the arm lifts you up into the air and you ride in a circle for a few minutes.  It's the kind of thing that little kids squeal at and adults can feel the breeze in their face.  So, it's pretty boring and basic until...

...Imagine, there you are enjoying  your dumb old circle ride when you get smacked in the face by a shot of water.  This is what can happen to you on The Magic Carpets.  You see, down on the ground level, the other guests can pay a quarter to put into a golden camel and aim it at the flying carpets.  They press a trigger button and the camel spits at  you.  It's really weird and kind of obnoxious.  Maybe I'm a party pooper, but I revert right back to my junior high self feeling like I'm being picked on by cooler kids.

I wish I could get out of my own head sometimes and think that being "spit" on by a camel while riding a magic carpet is fun, but I don't.  I just don't. 

This is one of those rides that I tend to avoid.  I realize, however, that it's not actually a terrible ride, so I'm giving it 3/5 or 6/10 stars.