Have you ever read a blog post and felt like such a slouch for leaving so many points/miles on the table? I have, and it’s embarrassing. Especially when with very little effort and a slight change in my thinking, those points could be where they belong… in my account! We all know that using a credit card that offers bonus points for dining is the number one way NOT to leave points on the table. But there are many other ways to accrue miles and points for dining out that I’ve been neglecting, and that’s not good. Lee at Bald Thoughts wrote a great piece about making the most of eating out to build up those miles and points.
Calling all Ann Arbor coffee drinkers! I have a family event I’m attending in Ann Arbor and want to know where I should drink coffee while visiting. I’ve never been before! As you know, my Bean Around The World reviews sometimes become Bean Around The Corner reviews :) While Ann Arbor isn’t exactly around the corner from my hometown cafe favorite, I’m excited to explore what I figure will be a vibrant coffee scene. So please post your suggestions in the comments below. Thank you, and stay caffeinated! And in case you missed it, check out my recent post on coffee in Lisbon.
If you liked this post, please check out all the other cities I reviewed in Shelli’s World Coffee Tour.
Hilton Honors program updates went live last week. They say, as you can see from this email, that the new program elements and perks are based on feedback and will give Hilton travelers more of what they want. Maybe, maybe not. I don’t have any Hilton stays booked right now and Hilton is only my third most used hotel chain, but I am a Hilton Gold Elite Member, and I do have a stash of Hilton Honors points which I intend to keep from expiring, so I figured I should take a look at these changes.
Changes like these usually reward the more loyal customers who stay more often and spend more money. If you’re an infrequent customer and spend less with Hilton, you’ll receive even less in the way of benefits. I fall into the second category. Hilton’s confusing award chart as well as its point award devaluations have kept me away from the program these past few years. Hilton Diamond Elite Members likely see some of these changes as positive, though I get the sense more and more travelers are looking closely at Marriott/SPG since the merger.
We all have our favorite airlines and miles programs. Maybe I’m biased because I usually start my travels from the West Coast, but I’m a big fan of Alaska Airlines and can never have too many Alaska miles. If your Alaska miles account is short on miles, Alaska has a 40% offer on purchased miles expiring on April 9. This brings the cost to 2.1 cents per mile. Alaska miles have great value for me. Why? I like that Alaska isn’t a part of an airline alliance, but rather that they have a long list of airline partners that offer incredible business and first class products. My two favorite Alaska Airlines partners are Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines. I recently flew Cathay Pacific Business Class to Asia. My first time flying Cathay Pacific was back in 2012, and even after all these years and having flown many different airlines, I’m still a huge Cathay Pacific fan. I have a Japan Airlines flight booked using Alaska miles, so I’m really looking forward to experiencing their current product.
There was quite a buzz when rumors started that a new ice cream place would be coming to San Diego. I wouldn’t say San Diego is a big ice cream town at all. As much as I like great ice cream, I only enjoy gelato here because I’ve never sampled ice cream in San Diego that I thought was very good. Having grown up on the east coast, and having lived in many places where there are many choices for great ice cream, well, San Diego just doesn’t cut it as an ice cream city.
Last summer, it was officially announced. Salt and Straw, the Portland, Oregon based, family-run by two cousins, small batch ice cream shop would be opening up in San Diego’s Little Italy area. They finally did open just before New Year’s. Recently, I went down to Salt and Straw and spent a few hours talking with one of the managers about ice cream, the company, and its location here in San Diego. Before I give you the full scoop, though, let me first tell you about my relationship with Salt and Straw ice cream.