Content about travel

After driving for about 14 hours, I arrived at the cell phone lot at Logan International about seven minutes before Renee and Jake landed. We couldn't have timed that better if we tried!

tags: travel boston

postposted by matt in Monday, May 20, 2024

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Our brief break waiting for the bus was actually quite relaxing. We spent a few minutes sitting on the rocks by the water, just enjoying the sun (and heat!). And I caught this great shot of Renee. This was such a nice moment.

I love this photo first and foremost because it's a great shot of Renee and captures the happiness we had on this trip. There's another level to it, too. Renee's outfit shows a lot of the places and things that are important to us - the Harvard hat, the Pass-a-Grille t-shirt (you can't see it well in the photo, but the shirt has a retro Pass-a-Grille design on it; she just bought this shirt on our last trip to St. Pete Beach), and the Minnie Mouse sticker (which designated our tour group).

This is a new favorite shot of Renee for me. Love it.

tags: travel saintmartin renee

photo posted by matt in Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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Renee and I were back to the bus early after our shopping break - it was a bit underwhelming. So we sat and watched the scenery, which was nice. We watched this guy feed a group of birds, which were clearly waiting for him when he arrived.

tags: travel saintmartin marigot

photo posted by matt in Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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We had a bus tour on the island, which took us through parts of both St. Maarten (the Dutch side) and Saint Martin (French side). Our tour guide focused more on reading signs as we passed by ("we have a Burger King, and here's the Isuzu dealership…"), which was odd and underwhelming. We didn't have much opportunity for photos, which was frustrating. Saw some very cool murals in Marigot, which was nice. This is one.

tags: travel saintmartin marigot

photo posted by matt in Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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Here's our view looking toward the front of the ship, which is now headed Due East (they turn around and back into the port at Castaway Cay). So, we saw the sunrise this morning off both the front and the back of the ship. Pretty amazing.

I see a lot of beautiful sunsets, not as many beautiful sunrises. This rivals those I saw in Maine years ago. Truly stunning.

Due East.

tags: travel bahamas castawaycay sunrise

photo posted by matt in Friday, September 29, 2023

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Our tour group stopped at Castillo San Cristóbal, on of the fortresses built by Spain on San Juan island over 500 years ago. Our tour guide, Hector, was truly amazing - knowledgeable, engaging, and passionate about the history of Puerto Rico. This is a shot of the whole group in the central part of Castillo San Cristóbal.

tags: travel sanjuan puertorico

photo posted by matt in Wednesday, September 27, 2023

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We woke up this morning to an unexpected port call. At first I thought we were just slowly traversing the Turks Island Passage, cutting southward through the islands. I then realized we were sitting still, and then realized we're were docked. The concierge told us there was a medical emergency on board, and the captain later made an announcement that a crew member needed "additional medical attention that can only be received at a hospital." I watched as an ambulance slowly made its way to the dock and presumably carried the crew member away. I sure hope they're ok.

I also watched a Learjet land at Grand Turk International airport, which was cool. Flew in from Tampa, making slightly better time than us. ;-)

Maybe 20-30 minutes later we were underway again. I guess now Renee and I can officially say we've been to Turks and Caicos.

tags: travel disney fantasy cruise turksandcaicos caribbean

photo posted by matt in Monday, September 25, 2023

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Our waiter knew we were celebrating our anniversary, and asked if we wanted to celebrate in the restaurant (assuring us it would not involve a group of waiters clapping and singing at our table!). At the end of our meal, he brought our "surprise" - a celebration cake in a mirrored egg. The presentation was a bit odd when compared to the amazing presentation of everything else, but the cake was fantastic. We enjoyed it a bit later, as our second dessert.

tags: disney fantasy travel cruise remy dining

photo posted by matt in Sunday, September 24, 2023

We're eating in a Panera in Cheektowaga, New York as the Tesla charges out back. I guess the charging time is the downside of traveling with the Tesla, but it's also kind of nice. Breaks things up a bit, and changes what we eat on the road, mostly for the better.

There was only one open spot when we pulled in, so we almost had to wait for a charger.

tags: roadtrip travel tesla newyork

postposted by matt in Monday, September 4, 2023

We're on an early morning airport mission, taking Pat, Denny, Debbie, and Pam to TPA for their flight home. Leaving the condo at 3:30 AM sharp...ish.

tags: travel

postposted by matt in Tuesday, April 4, 2023

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Heading home after a great visit with Jonathan. We had some incredibly beautiful weather over the weekend and a wonderful time with Jonathan. Renee, Jake, and I stayed in our favorite Airbnb in Cambridge.

tags: travel boston cambridge

photo posted by matt in Sunday, November 6, 2022

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The cell phone lot at Tampa International is really well done, complete with a a drive-in theater style arrivals board, restrooms, and vending machines. EV chargers, too! Puts the lot at Detroit Metro to shame. Well done, TPA!

tags: airport tampa tpa travel

photo posted by matt in Thursday, August 4, 2022

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It's been awhile since I've seen the approach to Cincinnati on I-75 North. It's one of my favorite stretches of highway, with the way it wraps around a hill to reveal the Cincy skyline, gradually descending to the Ohio River and the double decker bridge that crosses it. It's beautiful, particularly at night.

tags: cincinnati travel roadtrip

photo posted by matt in Sunday, June 26, 2022

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Chattanooga, Tennessee. First time I've entered a supercharger lot to find no empty spaces. I'm sure that will become more frequent in the (near?) future. It really wasn't a big deal—a charger opened after just a few minutes. So now we're happily sitting at the Chattanooga airport watching planes come and go as we charge.

And it's raining, too.

tags: tesla roadtrip travel airport

photo posted by matt in Sunday, June 26, 2022

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Teddy has been great in the car again. He's quiet, but a little nervous this time, I think. He loves the walks when we stop to charge, and happily gets back in the car when we're ready to go. I don't think he fully relaxes in the car, but seems to do ok.

Here Renee is giving him a drink while we charge in Acworth, Georgia.

tags: tesla roadtrip travel dog

photo posted by matt in Monday, June 20, 2022

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We made it from Perrysburg to Florence, Kentucky for the first segment of the drive—much better than I thought. The car automatically started preconditioning the battery for fast charging when we were about 20 miles away. We charged to about 90% in a little over 20 minutes, for a little under $20. Incredible.

tags: tesla travel roadtrip

photo posted by matt in Monday, June 20, 2022

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We're driving the Tesla to Florida for the first time today. We've continued to drive Renee's gas car for our drives to St. Pete even after getting the Tesla three years ago. But, with current gas prices, we have a bit more motivation to go electric on this trip.

So, we headed out on our first real cross country trip in the Tesla this morning at about 4:30.

tags: tesla travel roadtrip

photo posted by matt in Monday, June 20, 2022

Renee and I are playing planes, trains, and automobiles today as we head home. Actually, it's train (T, red line), bus (T, silver line), plane (BOS->DTW), car (DTW->home).

tags: travel

postposted by matt in Sunday, April 24, 2022

Renee and I are on an early morning airport mission today, by ourselves. We're headed to Boston to visit Jonathan for the weekend, and Jake is staying home with Grandma.

It's been a long time since we travelled without the boys. Feels a little weird.

But, security was less stressful, as we only had to worry about ourselves.

tags: travel

postposted by matt in Friday, April 22, 2022

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We hiked the Lanikai pillbox trail today. It was supposed to be a simple or beginner hike, but, after completing it, we collectively decided it's definitely a hike of moderate difficulty! We made it to both pillboxes and the views didn't disappoint. Here we're standing aside the first of the two pillboxes.

tags: travel hawaii oahu hiking

photo posted by matt in Tuesday, March 29, 2022

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Jake sat in the row behind Renee and me on our flight from Honolulu to Los Angeles, which gave me an opportunity for an interesting angle on my now traditional photo of him looking out the window as we fly. Here I caught him glancing at the first signs of land with the last bit of sunset still visible as we started our approach into LAX. I just love watching him watch anything to do with flying.

tags: travel hawaii flying losangeles

photo posted by matt in Wednesday, March 30, 2022

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Atmosphere, people, food, and drink—dinner tonight hit the mark in every category. Without even a hint of exaggeration, our dinner at Lahaina Grill tonight was one of the best meals I've ever had. Maybe even the best ever. I had the Monchong, btw, which was phenomenal. And two Macallan 15's.

tags: dinner travel maui hawaii lahaina

photo posted by matt in Wednesday, March 23, 2022

One weird coincidence that happened on today's flights because of the rebooking yesterday — on the flight from Detroit to Los Angeles, the three of us sat in the last row of the plane. On the flight from L.A. to Honolulu, we sat in the first row. That combination made for a unique experience for sure!

tags: travel

postposted by matt in Sunday, March 20, 2022

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I've shot this same photo of Jake several times over the years and it just never gets old. His fascination with all things aviation fascinates me, and just makes me incredibly proud. I'm a little jealous of him and his awareness—at seventeen—of something he loves so much. Lucky kid. Keep flying Jake.

tags: travel

photo posted by matt in Sunday, March 20, 2022

One benefit of our adjusted itinerary — we don't have to leave the house so early today. Our flight doesn't leave until the afternoon, so we slept in a bit, are now watching Sunday SportsCenter and generally taking it easy before leaving. Of course, that means we'll be settling into Aulani late tonight Hawaii time. Tomorrow, Eastern time.

tags: travel hawaii

postposted by matt in Sunday, March 20, 2022

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I thought the "ticket counter" might be able to help, so I headed upstairs as Jonathan headed to security. The agent was understanding, but could only offer a supposedly secret customer service number as help. I called on the way home and, after about a thirty minute wait, connected with the first of two agents that made the whole thing fairly painless, even telling me to take my time to make a decision. We called back in later in the evening and rebooked for tomorrow.

tags: travel flying delta

photo posted by matt in Saturday, March 19, 2022

Today did not go as planned. At all.

Renee, Jake, and I were supposed to start our Spring Break trip to Hawaii early this morning, flying out of Detroit. Jonathan was scheduled to fly back to Boston, also heading out of Detroit at about the same time. Just yesterday afternoon I realized that this morning might be our last "early morning airport mission" with the four of us (with Jonathan away at school, aligning all of our travel schedules is only going to get tougher), and I was really looking forward to that 6AM drive to Detroit Metro.

Jake had a little food poisoning last night, though, and was still throwing up this morning. So, we had to adjust the mission a bit. I drove Jonathan to the airport for his flight back to Cambridge and then headed home and to start the rebooking process. Jake was feeling better by the afternoon, so we felt confident about flying tomorrow. Delta was quite helpful (and even understanding), so, after a slight delay, we'll start our trip tomorrow.


tags: travel hawaii

postposted by matt in Saturday, March 19, 2022

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It certainly feels good to travel again...delays and all. Delta cancelled my flight from Atlanta to Detroit, so now I have to spend a few hours in the Atlanta airport. But, that's alright...I can watch the Wings game I thought I would miss.

tags: travel atl redwings lgrw

photo posted by matt in Tuesday, December 14, 2021

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I arrived at the Charleston airport a few hours before my flight today, which means I listened to A few hours of Christmas music while watching planes takeoff and land, between emails and other work. It was surprisingly not annoying.

tags: travel chs charleston

photo posted by matt in Tuesday, December 14, 2021

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We used to call morning flights "early morning airport missions" when the boys were young, in an attempt to make it easier to get them out of bed and on the way in the morning of a travel day. I'm on an early morning airport mission today, by myself unfortunately.

tags: travel dtw

photo posted by matt in Monday, December 13, 2021

Technology continues to isolate us from each other, both in ways we're fully aware of (checking our phones constantly) and in ways I don't think we appreciate yet. Case in point on the latter — after taking my seat on my flight back home today, I noticed how quickly everyone turns to the seatback monitor and the entertainment options available for the flight. Many people, include the guy sitting next to me, plugged their headphones in before the system was operational. Granted, today's flight is a brief two hours long, which means you've got to start a movie right away if you hope to finish it before landing.

It's sort of sad, though. The chance of striking up an interesting conversation with a seat mate in a plane seems to have dropped considerably lately, thanks to technology.

But, the movie selection is decent. And I did sit behind an older gentlemen that chose to watch Roger Rabbit, which is kind of cool.

tags: travel technology flying

postposted by matt in Thursday, November 11, 2021

I've got a quick turnaround today. After getting him from Boston late last night, I'm heading to Florida this morning for a few days.

tags: travel

postposted by matt in Monday, November 8, 2021

This trip has really highlighted for me the drastic ways in which travel has changed in recent years. Not that it happened all at once — there's been a series of nudges that, summed together, create an entirely different travel experience, from beginning to end.

It starts with Renee's parents. They hadn't flown in years, so, last week, we set them up with the Delta app on their phones. I had really taken the convenience of etickets for granted a simple question from them - "are you sure we don't have to print these out?" - highlighted it to me.

Lodging? Yep, totally different. In Cambridge, we opted for an Airbnb instead of a hotel. This was my first Airbnb experience. We didn't really know what to expect on arrival as far as cleanliness, supplies, etc., which is one of the downsides of Airbnb as I see it (I pretty much know what to expect when I book a room at a Hilton or a Marriott, even if I've never been there before). But, we got an entire house, which was perfect for the size of our party and better than any combination of multiple hotel rooms would have been. And cheaper. And closer to Jonathan's dorm. And. And. And.

We used Uber to get around town during our visit. And not just for going from point A to point B, that's not really new. We did use it in a new way for us, though. Renee's mom gets tired after walking a bit, and the uneven sidewalks of Cambridge certainly didn't help that. So we told her — do what you can, and when you're ready, let us know and we'll get an Uber to take you back (to the Airbnb). I'm not sure she could have done this trip — to visit her grandson at Harvard for the first time — without this option. That's powerful, and really underscores the impact of some of the ways in which travel has changed.

And the food! Yes, we ate at some local restaurants. But, with long days of walking around campus, the option of having food delivered to our Airbnb was too convenient to resist. And not just traditionally delivered options like pizza. We had donuts and bagels delivered for breakfast, and Chinese food delivered for dinner. And, yes, pizza. But here's the thing with that — we weren't limited to the pizza joints that happened to offer delivery to our location. In fact, we didn't even think to search for a pizza place based on that criteria. Instead, we went straight to the website of Jonathan's favorite pizza place — Pinocchio's — and checked for delivery options. DoorDash for the win! So the entire family got to relax and visit with Jonathan, eating his favorite pizza in the comfort of a living room.

Entertainment? Well, we went to the Harvard v. Cornell hockey game on Friday night, which was a fairly traditional experience (Uber rides to and fro notwithstanding). And the Crimson won in dramatic fashion, which was great. On Saturday evening, as we ate our DoorDash-delivered Chinese food in our Airbnb living room, we realized the Crimson were playing again, this time against Colgate. We had so much fun the night before that we actually had a somewhat serious discussion about going again, but then realized we could stream it from the ESPN+ app onto the AppleTV in the living room. Ivy League hockey on the big screen in the living room while eating delivered takeout, all with family while visiting with Jonathan (and celebrating his 20th birthday, btw)...that moment, that evening, just could not have been a better experience (maybe if we had realized white rice is a separate menu item that needs to be ordered alongside the entrees...practical knowledge for next time!).

It's pretty remarkable when you think about it. A series of little changes, each quite innovative in its own lane, have suddenly congealed to revolutionize travel in a way that changes the experience for the better. They expand it, really. I think we've entered a new era of travel experiences, and I'm looking forward to the trip.

tags: travel tech

postposted by matt in Sunday, November 7, 2021

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This has always been one of my favorite views of Jake — watching him take pictures of planes from a window seat. He's still a kid in a candy store every time we fly, and I love that. It's been too long since I've seen it.

tags: flying travel

photo posted by matt in Wednesday, October 13, 2021

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Renee, Jake, and I are headed down to Orland for a quick visit to the Food and Wine festival at Epcot. This is the first time we've been in an airport since, well, over eighteen months ago when covid brought the world to a standstill. I have to say, it feels really good to be traveling.

Jake and Renee assured me they're both smiling beneath their masks.

tags: covid travel backoutthere

photo posted by matt in Wednesday, October 13, 2021

I always enjoy The Drive from Toledo to St. Pete. We started today at about 4:30, and just finished breakfast at our usual McDonald's in Florence. First shift down, several more to go.

tags: travel roadtrip

postposted by matt in Sunday, July 18, 2021

"Her Siri, what's the weather in St. Pete Beach today?"'s about time to get back to the beach.

Ironically, though, it's going to be warmer at home than down in SPB today.

tags: travel weather

postposted by matt in Thursday, May 20, 2021

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Had a little rain this morning, which always seems to be the case for us as we enter Florida. It always feels like a Wally World moment to me—

"Sorry folks, park's closed. Moose out front should have told ya."

tags: travel roadtrip moviequote

photo posted by matt in Sunday, March 21, 2021

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Final leg of the trip. It feels weird to do it in two days—we usually drive all the way through but thought Teddy might need a break. He did so well maybe we'll try it in one day next week.

tags: travel roadtrip dog

photo posted by matt in Sunday, March 21, 2021

Its official—we've got a good traveler. Teddy has been wonderful in the car. In the hotel last night, he got a little restless as he heard some doors and the elevators, but settled in after that and slept through the night.

On the bed.

For the first time.


tags: travel dog roadtrip

postposted by matt in Sunday, March 21, 2021

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We were a bit worried that, after doing so well in the car all day, Teddy would have some energy to burn in the hotel room tonight. But, after a few walks in the yard out back, he zonked out right away.

tags: travel dog

photo posted by matt in Saturday, March 20, 2021

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This road trip is different for a lot of reasons. For one, it's Teddy's first trip to Florida. He's really good in the car, but we weren't sure how he would do on "the drive." So far, so good. Five and and half hours into it and he hasn't made a peep.

tags: travel roadtrip dog labradoodle

photo posted by matt in Saturday, March 20, 2021

So long, Fargo.

Thank you to your kind people who treated us so wonderfully during our visit over the last few days. The hospitality they showed us was nothing short of wonderful and will forever identify your city and state in my mind.

Perhaps the best endorsement I can give comes from my 9-year old son, Jake. He was a bit hesitant to come on this trip (his brother Jonathan was participating in a robotics competition, and no other team members were bringing younger siblings). Our experience in Fargo appears to have won him over, though. As our plane took off from Hector International, and as I started to write this, he looked at me and said "I'm sad to be leaving Fargo."

And when we landed in Minneapolis, he told Renee "we need to go to Fargo again."

So long, Fargo. We'll be back.

tags: travel

postposted by matt in Sunday, December 7, 2014

Here's something I never imagined I'd be saying:

"It's December, and we're packed and ready to go to Fargo. And we're excited about it."

Jonathan's robotics team qualified for the Northern Plains BEST Championship at North Dakota State University. We laughed a little bit about having to head to Fargo in December for the competition, but never doubted that we'd be going. We even decided to make a family trip out of it - Jake's going with us and will serve as the team's mascot.

tags: travel robotics

postposted by matt in Thursday, December 4, 2014