Category Archives: Trip Reports

The #1 Essential Travel Skill

There are so many skills that are essential to traveling well, it’s mind boggling. Maybe your idea of essential is different than mine, but having just come off a three week trip to four different countries, I’m moving sleeping well to the top of the list. A while ago, I wrote about how to get a good night’s sleep in hotels, but the bottom line really is being able to fall asleep no matter where you are, even on planes. Sleep deprivation is a chronic problem for people, and especially for those of us who travel a lot. Here’s a great, helpful article I just read about a method developed during WW2 so that pilots could fall asleep within two minutes. The article’s approach is simple and well worth trying. Take a look at the article and see what you think. Are you already someone who can sleep anywhere and fall asleep quickly? If so, share your tips with us in the comments!

United Airlines Saga: Flight Cancelled, then Rebooked, then New Flight Cancelled

Good afternoon everyone.  My friend Jim sent me the following story about his recent United Airlines cancelled, then rebooked, then cancelled flight.  He has a few questions about his experience, so if you know the answers, please leave a comment below.

The Story

  • Flight was delayed due to late inbound flight.
  • Flight was delayed again because no crew was available.
  • After boarding the flight, the pilot told us we had too much fuel, and it would take 30 minutes to burn the additional fuel.
  • It took over 90 minutes to burn the additional fuel.

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Calling all Ann Arbor Coffee Drinkers

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.

Hello Kristof’s Flat White

If you liked this post, please check out all the other cities I reviewed in Shelli’s World Coffee Tour.

New Ice Cream Parlor Open in San Diego – Should you Try It?

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.

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Shelli’s World Coffee Tour – Coffee Houses in Lisbon, Portugal

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 wonderful holiday in Portugal, which focused on Lisbon. And though it was hard to tear myself away from the incredible pastry scene, I did explore the coffee houses, and I’m glad I did. Lisbon, because of it’s traditional ways of drinking coffee, has one of the more challenging scenes when it comes to the one-off local roaster and coffee shop business. I drank plenty of coffee, talked with baristas, and I’ve got lots to share with you. Let’s open the TWG cafe society doors and talk coffee, Lisbon style.

When I travel, I only review and like to support coffee houses that roast their own beans or use locally roasted beans. But before understanding what’s called the “New Wave” of coffee houses, it’s important to understand the history of how people in Lisbon take their coffee. If you’ve been in Lisbon, you’ve heard the locals order “bica.” Bica is the term for coffee and it stands for Beba Isto Com Acucar. You’ll receive an espresso Italian style, and the custom is to drink it standing up at the coffee bar. It will cost you under 1 euro. B.I.C.A. actually stands for Please Drink With Sugar, because the espresso can have a rather sour taste. The main supplier of coffee for the espresso is Delta. Delta is a Portuguese coffee roasting company and even though they have their own cafes, they still supply most of the Iberian Peninsula with coffee. So basically people in Lisbon are getting their “espresso for kicks”, as they say, all day long! In fact, hanging out with friends who live in Lisbon meant stopping for many shots all day long.

BICA style coffee using Delta coffee

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