Takeoff To Travel

Hi everyone! The travel bug hit me at the age of eight on my first flight and ever since then I’ve loved planning vacations for my friends and family. I’m a recent college graduate who has a goal to try out new hotel chains and sample the many airline cabins out there. Having been both a city boy and living in the suburbs, I love traveling to all destinations both big and small.

My Experience at Portland’s Best Hotel

Background: For my spring break trip with my family, we decided to head up to Portland for the first time! I remember quite a long while back in 2008 when the Nines first opened and it was on the front page of the SPG website for awhile. The Nines is part of the Luxury Collection. I told myself at the time that when I eventually visit Portland, that I wish to stay here, which was the Portland’s best hotel at the time. Nine years later, it came true! (Funny isn’t it? The hotel is called The Nines, and I stayed...

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Celebrity on my American Airlines Flight in Coach?!

A celebrity in coach?! Do tell! So, on my American Eagle flight from Portland to Los Angeles on the E175 this past week (my favorite commuter plane), I grabbed my seat in Main Cabin Extra. Then after a few minutes, I noticed a guy holding a real nice duffel bag boarding the plane, and then my mum was like “I think he’s a celebrity”. Then it hit me. I was thinking about all those commercials for Santa Clarita Diet (the new Netflix TV show), and the guy in the show looked like him. But what was his name…. Mum: “It’s...

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Review: American E-175, My Favorite Commuter Plane!

Background: I needed a flight home from my Spring Break trip to Oregon and Washington and American had the best timed flight to get me back home for dinner. And it was actually the cheapest as well ($54!). In addition, with my Alaska MVP status which I got because I had Silver on Virgin America’s Elevate, I get a free bag and free preferred seating. If there are still Main Cabin Extra seats at check in 24 hrs before departure, you can get those seats free of charge as well. So, on the day of check in I went...

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Review: JetBlue Economy A320 LGB to PDX

Background: I was planning a Spring Break trip to visit Seattle and Portland, and the cheapest flight out Friday morning after I completed my finals week was on jetBlue from Long Beach to Portland. I had never flown out of Long Beach before, and was actually quite excited to try it out. WAIT? There’s an airport in Long Beach, CA? There sure is! It is mainly a general aviation airport with minimal commercial service due to strict noise ordinances in place. Commercial airlines only have 41 slots total, and jetBlue controls 31 of them. Long Beach Airport is 20...

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Property Tour: Andaz West Hollywood

Background: I recently scheduled a property tour of the Andaz West Hollywood as I had a group project in my class about Los Angeles to focus on an area, (I was given West Hollywood), and make a ten minute video. Perfectly enough, the Andaz is a West Hollywood (WeHo) icon, as it has hosted many famous musicians such as Led Zeppelin, The Who and the Rolling Stones. The hotel was even known as the “Riot Hyatt” in the 1960’s and 70’s because the hotel would be trashed due to parties thrown by the rock bands who stayed here. The...

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Hotel Review: Sheraton Pleasanton

Background: My friend Josh headed up to Berkeley and Silicon Valley for President’s Day weekend and asked me to find him a place to stay under $120 a night. I was surprised to find out that the long weekend was actually quite pricey, even though I knew the Bay Area normally has higher than average room rates. So, the Sheraton was the best priced 3.5 star pick at $110, so my friend decided to choose this hotel in Pleasanton. SHORT REVIEW WITH SCORES (OUT OF 5, 5 BEING THE BEST): Josh’s Overall Score: 4 5: Excellent, Highly Recommend 4: Very...

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Restaurant Week Review: Red O by Rick Bayless

The Newport Beach Restaurant Week was last week, and I decided to try the Red O, at Newport Beach Fashion Island. The Red O is a Mexican style restaurant by celebrity chef Rick Bayless. Bayless is known for his PBS show, Mexico: One Plate at a Time. There are three Red O locations, all in California. One in Newport Beach, one in Santa Monica and one on Melrose in LA. Restaurant Week Menu: For restaurant week, the Red O offered a $20 three course menu for lunch. Appetizer, main dish and dessert. It’s a pretty good deal compared to their...

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Is Maui’s Most Famous Restaurant Really That Great?

What is Maui’s Most Famous Restaurant? Well, it may be a shock to some people that Maui’s “most famous” restaurant is not near any major resort. It’s actually located in Paia, a small cozy beach town. With countless praise on magazines, and with a 4.5 rating on TripAdvisor with 9,000+ reviews, many would consider Mama’s Fish House Maui’s “most famous” restaurant. I booked a reservation for dinner, and it was my turn to see how good Mama’s really was. Exterior Lobby The Dinner Review: Starters: For my drink, I tried this Raspberry Hibiscus Mix (no alcohol of course! Teenager problems...

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Review: IAD-LAX on A NEW Boeing 737 in Econ Plus

BACKGROUND: I booked a United non-stop from Washington-Dulles to Los Angeles for my way back home from my trip to attend the BAcon conference last month. I wanted an evening flight so that after the conference ended at noon, I could explore D.C. for a bit before heading home. United had a perfect flight that left at 8 PM and arrived at LAX at before 11 PM. Perfect, as I did have school the next day. 🙂 AT THE AIRPORT: Wow have times changed! I remember flying to Dulles in 2008, and there was no AeroTrain connecting all the...

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Review: LAX-BWI on an Old United 737 in Econ Plus

BACKGROUND: For my trip to Washington D.C. to attend the BAcon conference last month, I had to find a flight to the D.C. area so I booked a United non-stop from Los Angeles to Baltimore as it was the cheapest. And, United Mileage Plus gave me a Economy Plus Subscription trial until the end of the year so that sealed the deal. AT THE AIRPORT: The whole United check-in area is under renovation at LAX which is a bit of a mess, but thankfully the TSA lines were not too bad. I love United’s terminal 7 at LAX because...

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