A trip to the Etihad Airways First Class Lounge in Abu Dhabi was the warm-up to the main event: flying the Etihad First Apartment from Abu Dhabi to Melbourne. It was essentially the only reason we had chosen to route from the US to Australia via the Middle East. And a visit to the brand new lounge was nearly as exciting as flying the A380 since our trip was just about 3 weeks after the May 30th grand opening–talk about timing!
As a result, we were purposely very, VERY early arriving at the airport for as much lounge-time as possible before heading to our gate. We checked in quickly and were welcomed into the lounge which is located immediately after going through [...]
While in Argentina’s wine country, we wanted to be sure to see some vineyards and see the outskirts of Mendoza… plus try some local wines. Mendoza’s wine regions account for about 70% of all the wine produced in Argentina, so visiting some wineries and tasting some Malbec is a must while staying in Mendoza.
Turns out, though, that planning a day trip to wineries is a little harder than we thought. Mendoza’s wine regions stretch out over more than 350,000 acres and there are three separate regions within Mendoza. So, with just one day set aside for this, we quickly realized we couldn’t see it all. First, we had to pick a region (we went with Maipú) [...]
Even though we were only in Dubai for 3 days before heading to Australia, we were trying to see as much of the city and surrounding area as we could in such little time. Of course, the center of Dubai is pretty impressive, with the world’s tallest building, indoor ski slopes, etc., but we really wanted to see outside the city, too.
Especially after taking the culture tour of Ramadan (here), we learned that Dubai used to be a small fishing village– and, of course, it’s right in the middle of the desert, so we wanted to see a type of terrain that we were unfamiliar with. We’d also just visited Arizona, so we were curious to compare that desert climate [...]
Mendoza is an excellent small town for a self-guided walking tour and just about everything can be explored within a day on foot. We would, of course, recommend a few more days than that to explore the vineyards and, depending on the season, another day or two to check out the ski slopes that aren’t too far away.
Here’s a map of the route that has a lot of the highlights you’ll want to check out as well as practical info, such as the bus station, airport, grocery stores (to stock up on cheap Mendoza wine!), etc:Stay
We stayed at the Park Hyatt Mendoza and would highly recommend it. It is in the perfect location and quite luxurious. Find our [...]
Vietnam Airlines Flight # VN 602 Bangkok-BKK to Ho Chi Minh-SGN Dept: 7:35 pm Arr: 9:05 pm Duration: 1 hr 30 min 445 miles (716 km) Airbus A321 Economy Class: Seats 36E and 36G
Here’s a map of our route:BOOKING
We booked our flight as part of a multi-city itinerary that included the following flights:ANA Flight NH1011 – Chicago-ORD to Tokyo-NRT – B777-300ER ANA Flight NH 913 – Tokyo-NRT to Yangon-RGN – B767-300
It was a bit bizarre that we were flying Vietnam Airlines to begin with as we booked our ticket via United Airlines, a Star Alliance [...]
On our way to Australia, we spent our first few days in Dubai. It was my first trip to the UAE and Jeffrey’s second, and it was fun to split up our trip with a stop in Dubai- especially to get a taste of non-Western culture since our final destination of Australia was about as Western-feeling as you can get!
After flying Etihad Airlines into Abu Dhabi, we decided to spend our entire time in Dubai. Originally, we planned to spend a day or two in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai, but ultimately decided to spend all 3 days in Dubai to get a better feel for the city and try to stop over in Abu Dhabi in the future. Looking back, we’re glad we made that decision as any shorter [...]
Singapore Airlines Flight # SQ 953 Jakarta-CGK to Singapore-SIN Dept: 8:25 am Arr: 11:00 am Duration: 1 hr 35 min 546 miles (879 km) Boeing 777-200 First Class: Seats 1E and 1F
Our trip continued with an early morning departure from the Keraton at The Plaza Hotel in Jakarta to the Soekarno–Hatta International Airport. The departure time was 8:25 am so we found ourselves up and out of the door at a dreadfully early hour. The good news is that we were in the car on the way out by 5:15 am and made it to the airport in record time since there was no traffic!
After a quick but fun and action-packed 48 Hours in Bangkok, it was time to head to our next destination: Vietnam.
We were booked on Vietnam Airlines flight VN 602 from Bangkok-BKK to Ho Chi Minh-SGN out of Gate F3 and decided we had a bit of time to try out one of Bangkok’s Priority Pass Lounges: Louis’ Tavern CIP Business Class Lounge – Bangkok-BKK Concourse G.
First off, Louis’ Tavern has a total of 6 lounges at Bangkok-BKK airport, all of which are accessible with a Priority Pass membership. Here’s a map of all of their offerings:
Our first night in Göreme was quite different than our time in Istanbul. We try our best to visit more than one city in a country because only then can you truly grasp any sense of the people, their culture, and their history. While Istanbul is a bustling, international city, the town of Göreme is much slower paced and its history is practically oozing out of each rock and cave.
I knew I wanted to go hot air ballooning in Cappadocia the minute we booked our flights to Istanbul, so our sole purpose of going to Göreme was for this activity. We did some research before leaving on our trip and ended up booking [...]
After checking in for our flight at Jakarta’s Soekarno–Hatta International Airport on Singapore Airlines, we headed through security and off to the lounge.
There are 3 options all in the same area: Pura Indah, Executive and Esplanade. The designated Singapore Airlines lounge for First and Business Class passengers was the Esplanade Lounge, so that’s where we headed.
Additionally, this lounge appears to the be the only lounge that is exclusively for Singapore Airlines premium cabin passengers. There didn’t appear to be any other way to enter, i.e. no other airlines use the lounge and it’s not possible to purchase [...]