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Excitement for booked Star Alliance award with United miles


I just completed a booking for an upcoming trip for my wife and I that I am (probably too) excited about.  It will include flights on new transatlantic business class on both Brussels Airlines and Austrian Airlines.  Our main destination is Spain, a place my wife has long wanted to visit, plus some stops in both Zurich and Vienna.  


Those of us with Star Alliance miles are probably familiar ...

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Thoughts on Starwood Suite Night Awards


I've had some excellent suite upgrades through the years at Starwood properties.  In both 2011 and 2012, I stayed more than 50 nights, so I earned 10 Suite Night Awards (SNA) each year.  Each of those expire at the end of 2013.  

My first confirmed Suite Night Award, at The Laguna, Bali


I've also had a fair number of upgrades since the implementation of this program (as well as before) without having to use SNA at all. ...

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New Park Hyatt promotional video

Park Hyatt is my favorite hotel brand, and I know I'm not alone in that assessment.  

Hyatt has posted an updated promotional video for their iconic Park Hyatt brand.  Please take a look.


There are many reviews of on Park Hyatt properties on this site by myself and others, and I'm always looking for the opportunity to return.  Some of my past reviews are of the Park Hyatt Tokyo, Park Hyatt Aviara, Park Hyatt Melbourne.  I also am ...

Global entry from now on


How would you like to clear customs and immigration in the US in a matter of minutes?  Global Entry is probably the best way accomplish that.

I have discussed various Trusted Traveler programs available to (primarily) US citizens in the past.  The Global Entry application process is somewhat involved, but in my opinion well worth it.  

After returning from our recent Singapore Airlines First Class trip, we cleared US customs in San Francisco.  That ...

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Food, flights and more in Singapore - Singapore Award


Singapore is an easy place to explore for many visitors, due to its accessibility and diverse culture.  


We had a few days to spend on our first visit in Singapore, and we very much enjoyed our time there.   The days are predictably hot and humid, but we tried to spend most time inside during the warmest hours.  One interesting fact that I discovered while researching Singapore is that the all time record low temperature is 19.4 degrees C (66.9 ...

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Upgraded to business room at the Conrad Centennial - Singapore Award


After a long but excellent journey from home to Singapore via Chicago, San Francisco and Seoul in Singapore Airlines First Class, we had finally arrived in the first destination of our trip, Singapore. 

I don't stay in Hilton properties very often anymore, but the Conrad Centennial was highly regarded among many options in Singapore and it was a good way to burn through most of the rest of my stash of Hilton points after the most recent major HHonors devaluation.  I ...

Singapore Airlines First Class Between Incheon and Changi - Singapore Award


After a great flight from San Francisco and some tasty meals on Singapore Airlines, we had brief transit stop in Seoul.

We had a little less than an hour on the ground in Seoul.  After passing through a walkway with thermal cameras, presumably part of a health screening similar to arrivals in other Asian countries; we were handed transit cards and then followed signs and some people directing transit passengers.  We quickly passed through a security check, then went ...

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Singapore Airlines First Class meal service on SQ15 to Seoul - Singapore Award


After settling into my Singapore Airlines First Class seat, I was finally ready to eat.  First up, the lunch service.  On many Singapore flights there are extensive options to pre-book your meal choice.  We did not utilize the Book the Cook service on this flight, mostly since there were so many options, and I figured I'd just give the onboard menu a shot for these flights.  I did use BTC later in the trip.

Here is the menu:

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Singapore Airlines 777-300ER First Class review - SQ15 to Seoul - Singapore Award


King for a day?  Well, at least for the next 18 hours or so.  Here is my throne--the First Class seat on Singapore Airlines 777-300ER. 

This flight was our first experience on Singapore Airlines, made possible by the computer system upgrade in July 2012 that opened up premium space to Star Alliance partner airlines.  After nearly a year, it was finally time to fly. Upon boarding, we were welcomed on board by name, and escorted to our seats. ...

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Evening view of church - Photo Flashback


Here is another cathedral photo in this series.  This particular example is one of the largest cathedrals in the world, based on length, overall volume and height of a non-spired church.  Its located in a major city that is famous for commerce, its music, and its sports.  


Where was this photo taken, what is this place called, and what is the story behind this unique location?

Have you visited there?


Update: ...

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Silver Kris and United Global First Lounges in San Francisco - Singapore Award


Our long awaited Singapore Airlines First Class trip was about to begin.  First up, lounge visits in San Francisco.  



We got off the shuttle from the Westin San Francisco Airport at the International terminal.  I've flown from SFO countless times, but never checked in for an international flight from there.  This terminal is quite nice and much more modern than the others.  I have not used the newly renovated SFO Terminal ...

Shiny Armadillo - Photo Flashback


Happy United States Independance Day!


This gaudy sculpture represents something that its live form is pretty common in the area where it is located.  There is a flag that allows the location to be determined pretty easily, although I'm looking for a more specific description.  If you've been to this place, I doubt its something you'd forget.  It is near a few restaurants that are famous, at least locally, and in my opinion, ...

Free upgrade to an Executive Suite at the Westin San Francisco Airport - Singapore Award


First stop on our Singapore Airlines trip to the Maldives was the Westin San Francisco Airport.  Its not my usual hotel when near SFO, but the rate was much cheaper, and it was nice to mix it up a bit.

Due to my many travel issues with United earlier in the year, I ensured we had plenty of time to connect in San Francisco.  With the Singapore First Class flights being a focal point of the trip, I didn't want to risk missing this flight.  Despite ...

Summerfest - my favorite part of living in Milwaukee


I've lived in Milwaukee for more than a decade now.  Much longer than I ever thought I would, and often much longer than I wanted to, but there are lots of positives here too. 

The Calatrava-designed pavilion of the Milwaukee Art Museum on the lakefront near downtown

Winters are long, and often cold, but there are many great things about being here.  Visitors often leave pleasantly surprised by their time here, especially if ...

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Cloudy Islands - Photo Flashback


This was taken just offshore on a boat tour.  These islands remind me somewhat of Phang Nga Bay near Phuket, Thailand, but this spot is much closer to home and temperatures rarely are as warm as in Southeast Asia.  The nearest city where we left from is named for a politician who played a great part in taking ownership of this area nearly 150 years ago.  


Where was this photo taken, what is this place called, and what is the story behind ...

Booking my Singapore Airlines First Class Award - Singapore Award


On the weekend in July 2012 when Singapore was changing over their computer systems which allowed SQ premium cabin space to be booked by Star Alliance partners.  I don't often jump on these crazy deals, but I couldn't let this pass me by.  I have always been intrigued by the Singapore Airlines mystique, even if part of that is the exclusivity of it due to the difficulty to redeem for their premium cabin products.  I didn't have any trips in mind, but I snapped up 2 F seats for ...

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Where should I use my 3 free Starwood nights?


Its a good problem to have; 3 free nights at any Starwood property in category 1-6.  

I'm asking you, dear reader, for suggestions for where to go.

Starwood tends to be my primary hotel chain.  I have a lot of stays in cities for my business travel, and Starwood's reach works for me.  They also have a lot of properties in places I want to stay on my leisure travels.  I've even achieved Lifetime Gold status.  Despite some occasional annoyance ...

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Hello from the Maldives


It's been quiet on RegionalFirst of late, but that is because I'm really enjoying my time mostly disconnected at the Park Hyatt Maldives.


reflections on the main pool at the Park Hyatt Maldives

Prior to our arrival here, we did some touring in places new to us in Southeast Asia.  We spent a few days each in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.  Figuring on lots of low key beach time ...

My favorite airline pajamas


There are many perks to international premium class travel.  Pajamas being provided on long haul flights are high on my list.  


I think its fair to say that most carriers with a first class cabin provide pajamas on their long haul first class flights.  Some carriers that only offer 2 class service also provide pajamas for their business class passengers, but that is more rare.  I'll discuss some of the long haul premium products I have experienced ...

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Off on my Singapore Airlines First Class trip!


After nearly a year since this trip was booked; my wife and I are off on our anniversary trip to Southeast Asia and the Maldives on Singapore Airlines.

View of a Singapore Airlines A380 from a previous trip

I'm not one to have a 'bucket list' per se, but Singapore Airlines has always had an intrigue.  It is often listed as the 'World's Best Airline', and the fact that is somewhat difficult to obtain seats in their premium cabins really builds ...

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