Tag Archives: Travel

AutoSlash Newsletter: Is your Rental Car Company Spying on You?

I don’t know about you, but I would say on a scale of one to ten, I’m probably a ten when it comes to protecting my privacy. I like to know who is gathering information about me, what information they are gathering, and how they are using it. Even if you’re not very high on the privacy scale, this article by AutoSlash (Is Your Rental Car Spying on You? The Story of Connected Rental Cars) is a great read. I like many of the articles that appear on the AutoSlash newsletters because the AutoSlash team is insiders while not actually being a rental car company themselves. I think they do an excellent job of educating consumers, like you and me, on a wide variety of topics related to renting cars.

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PSA: Free Checked Bags on Alaska Airlines by Linking BofA Credit Card to Mileage Plan Number

Do you fly Alaska Airlines? Do you have the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card? Do you ever pay to check your bag when you fly Alaska Airlines? Something strange happened to me recently when I flew Alaska Airlines, and I just figured out what happened! For years I flew on Alaska Airlines, and if I checked a bag, I was charged a checked bag fee and paid for it. Then for a few years, I had Alaska Airlines MVP Gold elite status and got used to not paying for checked bags. That was nice! After those status days ended, I had a few flights where I got charged for checked bags and paid the fee. However, for my last five flights where I’ve needed to check a bag, I wasn’t charged a fee. I had no idea why, and I almost didn’t want to know :)

But recently, I put the pieces of the puzzle together and I want to make sure you’re in the know too! You see, I’ve also had the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card for years, and because everyone focuses on the Companion Fare benefit, it’s easy to forget, as I did, that the card also comes with one FREE checked bag for you and up to six other passengers on your reservation.

Somehow I completely forgot about the free checked bag benefit

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Shelli’s World Coffee Tour – Coffee Houses in Boston, Massachusetts

I guess it’s time for a true confession. I’m a coffee snob. And when I travel, I have a passion for supporting local roasters and coffee houses. Let’s just say I’ve BEAN Around the World and I’m feeling like now is the time to start sharing the love… and caffeine, one city at a time. Recently, I had a fantastic week in Beantown, aka Boston. And while I didn’t eat a single baked bean, I did drink plenty of coffee, so I’ve got lots to share with you. Let’s open the TWG cafe society doors and talk coffee, Boston and Cambridge style.

You’ll notice I wrote Boston AND Cambridge, and that’s the first distinction to make. There are two sides to the Charles River and definitely two sides to the coffee scene as well. No worries, though. I covered both sides and have recommendations for you, no matter where you go.

When I travel, I only review and like to support coffee houses that roast their own beans or use locally roasted beans. Unfortunately, many of the coffee houses in Boston use beans from national roasters like Counter Culture, Intelligentsia, and Stumptown. That’s unfortunate because I don’t care for these three roasters, and there are plenty of good local roasters to use. So do make sure to ask at coffee houses whose beans they use. In part 1, I started with the Cambridge side of the river. Now let’s head to the Boston side of the Charles River and drink some coffee!

There are two main players in the Boston coffee scene. Gracenote Coffee Roasters is one of them. Besides having their own shop, other coffee houses use their beans. I’ll get to that in a minute. I spent a long time at Gracenote talking with Aprille, one of the owners. She’s a fun, energetic, woman who is super passionate about coffee, and she was a delight to spend time with.

Tote bag at Gracenote Coffee Roasters

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Shelli’s World Coffee Tour – Coffee Houses in Cambridge, Massachusetts

I guess it’s time for a true confession. I’m a coffee snob. And when I travel, I have a passion for supporting local roasters and coffee houses. Let’s just say I’ve BEAN Around the World and I’m feeling like now is the time to start sharing the love… and caffeine, one city at a time. Recently, I had a fantastic week in Beantown, aka Boston. And while I didn’t eat a single baked bean, I did drink plenty of coffee, so I’ve got lots to share with you. Let’s open the TWG cafe society doors and talk coffee, Boston and Cambridge style.

You’ll notice I wrote Boston AND Cambridge, and that’s the first distinction to make. There are two sides to the Charles River and definitely two sides to the coffee scene as well. No worries, though. I covered both sides and have recommendations for you, no matter where you go.

When I travel, I only review and like to support coffee houses that roast their own beans or use locally roasted beans. Unfortunately, many of the coffee houses in Boston use beans from national roasters like Counter Culture, Intelligentsia, and Stumptown. That’s unfortunate because I don’t care for these three roasters, and there are plenty of good local roasters to use. So do make sure to ask at coffee houses whose beans they use. Let’s start with the Cambridge side of the river because that’s home to one of the key players in the coffee scene.

Barismo was founded back in 2008 by a group of five people. Jaime and Hong, the current owners, are two of the original group. The space I visited in Cambridge was opened in 2012. It’s an all-around perfect spot! I spent quite a long time there and enjoyed talking coffee and business with Jaime. He is warm, welcoming, dedicated, easy to talk with, and very transparent about how he runs the business and his ideas about creating and sustaining a coffee house.

Barismo Coffee. Image: http://www.barismo.com/our-story/

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