Friday, January 06, 2012

Travel Time

My 2012 resolutions will be HUGE this year. While many people are on the treadmill, trying out Zumba classes to get fit, I am going to travel this year. I have lined up 6 trips that will take me to the 6 continents I can get to on a commercial flight.

Right now the destinations are secret, but some places I will be visiting will be new, others will be a bit of a re-visit and I hope all will be with friends from the past and maybe a few in the future.

So, watch every other month for videos, tweets, pictures, and commentary of the places I will take you on this year.

And look for a few surprises too!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Des Moines and Florida...Interesting Combination

This morning Frontier Airlines announced new Florida flights from Des Moines. Last year, AirTran start doing flying between the central Iowa city and Orlando International. Allegiant made moves to MCO to compete with AirTran, but then moved the flights back to Orlando Sanford, to reduce some costs. AirTran doesn't seem to be doing the route this season so Frontier stepped it up and will now compete with Allegiant.

This time is different, because Frontier will be matching the days and also compete on the Des Moines - Tampa route.

This is a win for everyone, any maybe even the airlines. The prices will probably drop once again. Des Moines, which has traditionally landed on the high priced airport list might be helped again. And it will force the airlines to really show why they are different and better.

It has been fascinating to see the expansion Frontier has had in DSM. We see double flights to Denver, more flights to Milwaukee, and now the Florida expansion all while seeing the load factors high and passengers pleased.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

You Go AirNZ!

Aircraft like no other for Air New Zealand
23 December 2010

Air New Zealand’s first Boeing 777-300ER aircraft has been delivered in Seattle, USA and will touch down in Auckland on Christmas Eve morning, bringing the Kiwi designed economy Skycouch to New Zealand for the first time.

“This is the best Christmas present we could possibly imagine,” says Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Rob Fyfe.

“Four long years of planning and design to create an absolute world-first interior and passenger experience is now a reality.”

In Seattle to accept the aircraft, Group General Manager International Airline Ed Sims said the aircraft heralds a whole new long-haul flying experience for Air New Zealand customers.

“The majority of our long-haul flights are overnight and we fly on average 90 minutes longer than any other airline. That’s why we set out to overcome the seemingly impossible challenge of finding a way for people to lie down in economy without compromising affordability.

“Few airlines have invested time and money beyond First Class, whereas we have focused on the areas where most of our passengers sit by reinventing every aspect of our Economy and Premium Economy customer experience.

“We’ve created the world’s first economy seating that enables people to lie down and a Premium Economy seat that many airlines would call Business Class.

“We’re also the first commercial airline to introduce induction ovens for all cabins to give our customers freshly prepared food and have developed an inflight entertainment (IFE) system to give people greater control over the way their journey will unfold,” says Mr Sims.

More than 30 airlines have been in contact with Air New Zealand regarding the new seats and formal negotiations are underway with carriers from Asia, North America and Europe to licence the seats following an 18 month period of exclusivity for Air New Zealand.

Highlights of the new aircraft interior include:

* Skycouch – affectionately known as Cuddle Class, giving couples and families the opportunity to lie down like they would on their couch at home
* Two distinctive Premium Economy seating designs to meet the demands of both individual travellers and couples
* The first commercial airline to have induction ovens in all cabins, giving customers the opportunity to have steak cooked the way they want it, fresh pizza and burgers, toast and eggs
* A kiwi-designed pillow that slips onto the winged headrest in economy (meaning the challenge of pillow slippage is gone forever)
* Unique bathroom imagery with wallpaper depicting book cases, chandeliers and other home interior elements
* An on-demand food and beverage service via the IFE system in every class
* Children’s story-time in the rear galley hosted by our cabin crew
* Inflight wine tasting in the forward galley hosted by our Inflight Concierges

The aircraft, registration ZK-OKM, is due to leave the Boeing facility in Seattle at 3pm local time today, 22 December, flying to Los Angeles before arriving into Auckland at 8.45am on Christmas Eve 24 December.

Air New Zealand has five Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on order, with the second due for delivery in February followed by a third in April. The 338 seat 777-300 aircraft is configured with 244 in Economy (including 60 seats creating 20 Skycouch combinations), 50 in Premium Economy and 44 in Business Premier.

The first routes to guarantee travellers the next generation of long-haul travel will be on dedicated return services on NZ1 and NZ2 between Auckland and Los Angeles and through to London from April 2011.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Travel First...

Friday is a huge day for me. It will my very first flying experience on Southwest. Yes, I have flown thousands of miles over the last decade, but never on Southwest. I haven't been avoiding the airline, it was never an option. My home airport used the be Des Moines, and it is not a Southwest city. But since my move to Oklahoma, I am firmly in Southwest territory. In my 11 months here I haven't seen a flight price that makes it logical for me to fly on the famous airline, until this weekend

We are going to San Diego to a wedding of a childhood friend. I scored $180.00 roundtrip fares and looking forward to the trip. I heart San Diego.

Keep it classy San Diego!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It Has Been Since June...

You are right, I haven't made a post to this blog since June. This year has been crazy for me. I moved to a new city, joined a swim team, started a different job, met heaps of new friends, and I have been trying to keep my sanity.

I have done some traveling this year. I went to LA in February to visit my friend Krystal. She is one of my friends from New Zealand and was in the states by herself for the first time (She is only 20). We had a chance to hang out a bit and I was able to fly from Tulsa to LAX on a buddy pass from my friend Sean.

I made a very quick trip to New Zealand in May on a last minute flight, and a cheap one at that. I was there to see my friends, visit some of my favorite spots, and to eat some great food. Mission accomplished.

In July, I spent a long weekend in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It is in the middle of the Ozark mountains. The hills/mountains are beautiful. There are some very historic buildings and the place we stayed was AMAZING!

Since I am living fairly close to my relatives, I have spent some time over the last year with family in Iowa. They have mainly been long weekends, but still fun to catch up.

I have some plans over the rest of the year. I am going to San Diego for a wedding the first weekend of December and a trip back to Iowa for 10 days in late December.

I am trying to make a renewed effort to do more and document some of the travel I have planned in 2011.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Welcome Home Bro

Kenny Vo said it best, "Welcome Home Bro!" when I arrived in New Zealand last month. It was surreal. I had been living in the country only a year earlier and everything was familiar. On the decent, we came through some massive clouds. It was around 5:00 a.m. and the lights of Auckland made me fill so happy.

I went on this trip as a last minute uber cheap airfare. It only cost me $483.00 USD roundtrip, but I was only going to be in the country a total of 4 days. But it was a chance to take a break, and be around people I so admire.

It started with taking a long walk to the cheapo rental car agencies just a bit outside of the airport. I climbed into my non-working radio Nissan for the drive down to Taupo. The minute I jumped in the car, I was already doing a great job driving on the left side of the road. I zoomed, literally down to Taupo in a mere 3:15 minutes and stopped immediately at the hotel to see Auntie Ali. I walked in the door and Di was standing there, looking confused about who I was and then gave me a HUGE hug. Oh, how I miss her. I walked into the breakfast area and there was Ali, saving me some Cherries and Berries yogurt and fixing me a much needed (and deserved) proper Mochachino. After a bit of conversation it was time to go look around town and meet up with Jeff.

I met Jeff at his work, Burger King. Jeff is one of the most loyal friends I have, and I was crashing at his place during my stay. He is such a good friend, and I miss being around him. I got the key to his place, and made my way to the shower.

After the long, hot shower I was ready to go and visit a few of my old spots. Five mile bay is wicked in the Summer with heaps of boats, swimmers, and parties. Being the start of winter the lake, and Five Mile Bay were desolate. I put my toes in the lake, took a few pics, and smelled the clean air. It was then off to lunch with Auntie Ali, Auntie Lyn, and Kenny at the local Thai hotspot.

On the first evening, we met up with my mate David, and Breakers and had a few laughs about life and where it has taken us.

Lets just say I fell asleep very early on my first night and made sure to get rest for what would become some epic times.

The next day was time to explore. Ursula, my future wife, and I spent time at Zest Cafe with my favorite B.E.T.A and then off to Huka Falls and Spa Park. I used to run and hike in this area a couple of times a week. It is a place I go to talk to God, my Grandma B, and for some good solitude. There are some secret spots I showed Ursula, and I think she didn't quite want to kill me for going to these places. I also went up to the forever green Taupo Botanic Gardens for a look at my old mate Mt. Tauhara.

I took Jeff out for some amazing food at the restaurant. And to get my fill of nice Pinot Noir and lamb. And it was time to go out a bit and see my buddy Karl.

I needed a good sleep for what happened on Saturday night. We started off with amazing steaks at Steak and Ale and then went on the town. Bond, Clubhouse, and Finns around the entertainment district of Taupo. It was booze filled, Maccas laden, and a great time. We made it back to Jeff's via his staff.

The next morning was brunch with Phillip, Heather, Shane, Jeff, Seb, and a couple of others. I had a peaceful, yet slightly emotional drive back to Auckland for my evening flight out.

I miss my New Zealand whanau so much. They mean a lot to me and I always have such a great time.

Thank you all for how you impact my life!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

New Zealand Return!!!

I left some of my heart in New Zealand last year when I returned to the United States. It as mainly the lifestyle I lived. I met some amazing friends, ate stunning food, had an interesting flatmate, and overall had a fab life.

Since the very day I left the country, I have missed it. I talk about the life everyday and think about all that I am missing.

That is changing. I am headed for a very quick trip to visit friends in New Zealand.

I am lucky, I snatched up a roundtrip ticket for $400 USD. That is not a misprint. The time off is needed. I need the lake to rejuvenate my spirit. I need the time off to relax.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Nomdic Matt in Taupo

I love Taupo, as does Nomadic Matt. It came as a Christmas gift for me last night when I got the daily message from Matt that Taupo is is favorite place in New Zealand. It is mine as well. Huka Falls, the Lake, Fishing, and just being outside in such a great town makes me very happy.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Nomadic Matt Tries to Fish in Taupo

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Show Us Your Santa-kini

Ali Mau is the equivalent of Ann Currey on the Today Show. She reads the news for the popular TVNZ show Breakfast. Also, she is married to the main anchor at night Simon Dallow.

This morning, the always persistent Paul Henry was begging her to show the Santa-kini she was wearing underneath her red jacket. She initially refused but then gave Paul and subsequent show. It made him speechless.

So, what does your Santa-kini look like?

Ali Flashes Paul

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Scattered Thoughts...

- The Thursday night lineup on NBC will make me fat.
- Getting ready to move has been theraputic. I have been going through things I haven't seen in years. I love seeing pictures of me from 1992.
- I have been working on a private video from the trip. It has been really difficult to watch some of the video.
- Does anyone else remember smells and sounds almost as vividly as sights when traveling?
- The snowfall makes me more excited to get to Tulsa.
- I am excited that 2 people have been helping me try to find housing in Oklahoma.
- I want to do a big trip at the end of this year. Any ideas?
- I might be the King of Organization.
- Two of my favorite people are going to be in Iowa for Christmas, I can't wait to see them. It has been 2 years.
- Goats are facinating.
- I miss my dog, Tuffy.
- Niue is great. It would be so warm today.
- One of my NZ friends and I did a video chat. He was wearing his togs and jandels. I was wearing my complete winter clothes.

Monday, December 07, 2009


Yes it is true, I am moving in January to Oklahoma. I have accepted a job, with an organization I love and cannot wait to get started! Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Round the World Favorites

This video has been weeks in the making, it is some of my favorite spots on my recent Round the World Trip. I made it of a higher quality, so I hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

It Is a DREAM!!!!

I am head over heels right now. Airtran is making me SO HAPPY! My nearest city Des Moines has been plagued by above average airfares for the past year. In fact at one time they were the 5th highest in the country. Well, today AirTran announced they would begin service between Des Moines and Milwaukee to go against Midwest Airlines. I am so hoping that airfares will go down and maybe Airtran will add service to places like Atlanta???

Monday, November 02, 2009

Paula Bennett

I love Paula Bennett, she is tough, she can be loud, and she is fun. I met her when I was in New Zealand on a very memorable New Years Eve Dinner. She had a big crowd of people and they were have the best time a the restaurant. I got to serve them hundreds of dollars of adult beverages. Well, she has made it through cuts to her cabinet portfolio, breaking up a fight, seeing her daughters partner in jail. She is now the third most effective cabinet minister in the New Zealand Parliament. Here is a story from the New Zealand Hearld

Paula Bennett Story