Is anybody out there? A quick update and upcoming travel

Hello, hi, it’s me, Adam. I’m not sure how many people read this blog regularly anymore as opposed to people reading random posts from Google searches (lots of people want to know about Avianca and TAP business class for some reason). I am going to continue to plow through trip reports from my January trip around the world — expecting about 7 or 8 more posts still. It’s time-consuming, especially given how many pictures I have to edit. Plus, I have a busy job that has me writing a lot and when I get home sometimes I just want to lay on the couch and watch my Housewives.

Anyway, I have a busy summer travel season coming up and thought I’d share in advance with you all to see if you had any tips:

Summer 2019 Travel (made at gcmap.com)
  • In May, I’ll be heading to Malaga and Torremolinos, booked during a mileage flash sale using Delta Skymiles, and taking advantage of the JFK-AGP direct flight. Will be based in Torremolinos but any tips for either city welcome.
  • In June and July, I’ll be heading to Slovenia, starting in Ljubljana with some day trips (Bled and Bohinj?), splitting my time between the Intercontinental and Four Points, then driving to the Slovenian coastal town of Piran, before ending with two nights in Venice, staying at the fancy Gritti Palace. I’ll be flying SAS IAD-CPH, then Adria Airways CPH-LJU, on an Avianca redemption. The return burns off the rest of my Iberia miles from their crazy promo last year, VCE-MAD-JFK. Tell me what I must see, especially with only 1.5 days in Venice.
  • I have two trips to Minneapolis planned: once for Pride, and once for the State Fair, with a leg on Sun Country Airlines- a first for me.
  • For Labor Day, I’ll be going to Paris and Luxembourg. My first time in the latter, and first time solo in many years to Paris. Would love some tips beyond the major tourist sights. Still sorting out Paris hotels, but the Park Inn in Luxembourg seems like a good use of points. It was a cheap open-jaw fare on Air France (and Luxair), and will be my one coach Europe trip this summer.

I also just booked two trips for the winter- way ahead of time, with plenty of time to plan, but that means I need suggestions even more!

Winter 2019-2020 (made at gcmap.com)
  • For New Year’s, I’ll be spending five nights in Ireland. Thinking two nights in Dublin, two nights somewhere else (thinking either west to Galway or north to Belfast?), and then New Year’s Eve in Dublin before returning on an early New Year’s Day flight. Pretty cheap flight on Virgin via LHR (and connections on Aer Lingus and BA)
  • For my big winter trip, I’m going to try Japan- a major hole in my travel experiences. I’ll have a full 10 days there, which I imagine I’ll split between Tokyo and Kyoto/Osaka, with maybe one or two nights elsewhere in between (Hiroshima?) I was able to get a pretty decent routing. I’ll be flying from JFK in business on Japan Airlines to Haneda on the outbound – though the elimination of AA’s DCA-JFK flight means I may have to do a night at the airport the night before which is silly. On the return, I’ll be doing Kyoto to Narita to Dulles in ANA’s business class. (With currently planned trips, I’ll be getting 5 new airlines, which will bring me to 74!)

So, yeah, those are the plans. I’ll try and keep you posted, and pound out the rest of my Chiang Mai and Hong Kong posts soon. But feel free to say hello in the comments and share any tips or thoughts!

6 thoughts on “Is anybody out there? A quick update and upcoming travel

  1. Glen Sea

    Adam: I check you sie at least weekly to find any new posts. I enjoy your adventures and your writing style. So please keep posting.

    Reply
  2. Ben

    Adam, I’ve been reading your blog since 2014 when I first got into miles and points. I’m a big fan of your writing style and honest reviews. Especially, since you have a career that does not involve hacking credit cards. Please keep it up.

    I’ll add my recommendations for Tokyo and Osaka shortly.

    Reply
  3. Ben

    Hi Adam, below are some highlights and tips from my trip to Osaka, and Tokyo.

    Osaka Food
    • Hozenji Yokocho District
    • Tako Tako King, (In the Shinsaibashi area, on the north side of the Dotonbori River and west of Midosuji)
    Osaka Nightlife
    • SD bar, Osaka-shi, Osaka, Kita-ku, Nishitenma 4-15-19 Plaza plum new 1F. (Nearest station 5 minute walk from the subway Tanimachi Line Higashi-Umeda Station Exit 7
    o JR Tozai Line Kitashinchi Station 11-41 5-minute walk from Exit. Subway Midosuji Line, a 10-minute walk from Keihan Electric Railway Yodoyabashi Station Exit 1
    o Or a 15-minute walk from each line Umeda Station and JR Osaka Station
    • Cafe de Jumpin’ Jumpin’, Gay and Lesbian Sister Bar,
    • Sam and Dave ONE Shinsaibashi / Minami area, 6F, 2-7-20, Higashi-Shinsaibashi Chuo-ku,Osaka
    • Physique Pride, 8-23 Sanyo-Kaikan 1-F Doyama-cho, Gay Bar

    Sunday, 25 December 2016
    • Day Trip to Mount Koya
    o Nankai Kōya Line from Osaka Station to the terminus, Gokurakubashi Station. Take the Express or Rapid Express train rather than the Limited Express train. Note that some trains require a transfer at Hashimoto Station along the way. From Gokurakubashi Station, take the cable car up the mountain and then transfer to a bus to get into Mount Kōya’s town center. The total journey takes about 2 hours

    Tokyo Food
    • Pho Dragon, Roppongi,
    • Diya Indian Restaurant, Roppongi Hills B1 open until 22:00
    • Kyosuzu, Shibuya, Hiroo 3-17-1-1F,13 minutes for JR and Hibiya line Ebisu station (East)
    • Kaiten Sushi, Ikebukuro, conveyour belt sushi
    • Mutekiya, Ikebukuro, (on the east side of Ikebukuro, opposite Junkudo Bookstore). Good ramen
    • Malay-Chan, Ikebukuro, (locate the Metropolitan Art Space and the bus loop that services that area. Walk to the curve of the loop, cross the main street (Geikijo dori) there and walk up a little street that winds left, then right. Then walk about 2 blocks farther), small Malaysian restaurant on the west side of the train/subway station
    • Saam-Rot Thai & Vietnam Cafe Restaurant, Shinjuku 1-2-19, 2F,
    • Juttoku (十徳), New Sentora Bldg B1F, 1-5-12 Nishi-Shinjuku,Izakaya
    • Botejyu, Tokyo, Shinjuku-ku, Kabukicho 1, Subnade B1, okonomiyaki shop that sells a variety of okonomiyaki. They also have various yaki-soba dishes.
    • Okonomiyaki Wahaha Fugetsu (お好み焼き わっはっはっ風月. Osaka style okonomiyaki
    • Suzuya (すずや), 1-23-15 Kabuki-cho, 5F (Across the street from Seven-Eleven at the south entrance to Kabuki-cho nearest Shinjuku Station.)
    • Sakanatei (酒菜亭), Shibuya, Dogenzaka 2-23-1, Koike Building 4F (A quick walk along Bunkamura-dori and across from Tokyu Department Store)
    • Cocolo Café, gay friendly restaurant in Shinjuku Ni-chome
    • Memory Lane, Omoide Yokocho, outdoor restaurant row, Yakitori
    • Robot Restaurant, Shinjuku
    • Gonpachi, “Kill Bill Restaurant”, Izakaya Restaurant, Nishiazabu
    • Ebisu Yokochu, restaurant row in Ebisu
    • Maid Café in Akihabara
    • Hub Japan’s List of ten best ramen restaurants in Akihabara

    Tokyo Nightlife
    • Bridge, relaxed gay bar in Shinju-ku Ni-chome 13-16 Sensho Building 6F
    • GB, Shinjuku Plaza Bldg B1F, 2-12-3 Shinjuku, Tokyo, foreigner friendly gay bar in Shinjuku
    • The New Matrix Bar, B1 Wind Roppongi Building, 3-13-6 Roppongi
    • Toto Bar, Golden Gai, Kabukichō,
    • Bar Albatross-G, #2F 5th Avenue, Casual Cocktail Bar, Golden Gai, Shinjuku
    • * Masa’s Bar, Nessun Dorma, Golden Gai,
    • Paddy’s Junction, 2-13-16 Shinjuku (Close to exits 7 and 8 of the Shinjuku-sanchome station; go east two blocks then south one block and it is down a side-street to the east, English style pub
    • Gerranamo’s, Roopungi,

    Monday, 26 December – Tokyo
    • Shibuya Crossing
    • Yogi Park
    • Meiji Shrine, Shibuya

    Tuesday, 27 December
    • Mori Art Museum
    • Spring Valley Brewery, Daikanyamacho
    Wednesday, 28 December 2016
    • Day Trip to Kamakura
    o Buddha and Enoshima area

    Thursday, 29 December
    • Day trip to Nikko, a small town with great food, and a hot spring.

    Friday, 30 December
    • Day trip to Mount Takao (高尾山 Takao-zan), in Hachiōji (八王子市 Hachiōji-shi

    Reply
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