You know the drill: Untitled This weeks book (yeah its barely been a week) is "The Joker" by Pete Scholey. A look at life in the SAS for over 20 years. This is the real SAS he is referring to. The British one. From the time of the campaigns in Borneo, all the way through to the Falklands. What was the reincarnation of the SAS after World War 2. To give you a bit of a background the SAS during World War 2 was a revolution and one of the first real Special Forces in the world. They started up operating in Africa, penetrating far behind enemy lines in the deserts attacking the Nazi airfields and other targets in small groups. Fast forward to after the war and a reformed SAS was used in the Malayan Campaign in the jungles of Malaysia. The British SAS have long been referred to by some as the very epitome of special forces (though I wont get into that fight) and there has been a number of books written about them (including Bravo Two Zero). But the thing I like about this book is the fact that it looks at the comedy of the events that can happen in amongst all the hardship, death & destruction. The author describes some good histroy of operations (obviously the ones he can talk about) but with each of these decriptions come the funnier more light hearted moments. This to me was fantastic! I do enjoy a good chuckle and there are plenty of laughs to be had. I was lol'ing on the bus a number of times at some of the book. Though most of the funny moments are as you would expect with a group of men, boyish, childish humor it is still good to read that they are just like everyone else, real people. A good read!

Ok I missed a week 2 update but my goal this month to stay around 175lb is failing miserably. Not failing because im way over it, but more the opposite, I just can't stay near it! I weighed in Friday morning at 169lb. Thats 6lb UNDER where I should be. I think a bit of it seems to come from the fact that I have been so busy and stressed lately that may have caused me to just work to hard, but that's not excuse. What am I doing wrong? Look at some of my running this last week. Look at the consistence there. 2 seconds difference on the same route! I failed to take yesterday off but I did something I didn't really want to do over the weekend. I dirty bulked. Pretty much I had a bit to much junk Saturday night (though it was tasty) but I did it to try and keep the weight up a bit. It worked. Weigned in this morning at 172lb, a whole 2lb up from the exact same time last week. That is more like it! But I doubt it will do much by Friday. I can pretty much consider this challenge failed, but it was worth the try right?

Ahh Avgeek Book Review time... well.. Kinda.. History of the Glider Pilot Regiment This weeks book (it has been a week right?) is the History of the Glider Pilot Regiment by Claude Smith. Your probably thinking "the what regiment" and why the hell do I care. Well the British and the American's in WW2 had been using Gliders to bring in parts of their Airborne forces, well before the invention of the helicopter insertions that are seen today. These gliders were towed into the air behind either a bomber like a Halifax or perhaps a Wellington or behind a C-47 Skytrain/Dakota (DC-3). Made of wood or fabric these flimsy aircraft were a 1 way ticket for the pilots and crew and they were used to ferry troops or vehicles into the war and essentially crash land them into a site and off they would go. The biggest thing for this was the fact that the pilots of these gliders were pretty much stranded once they got there. During the build up and start of these forces the British went back and forth between the Army and the Royal Air Force to fight over who did what. Eventually it came down to the army to control the pilots and hence the Glider Pilot Regiment was formed. These pilots once they landed were dual role troops and once they were on the ground, they became soldiers, trained to not only lead men but fight and act like infantry till they could be exfiltrated back behind the lines to their home bases and restart the process. This book is a pretty indepth look at all the different gliders and the regiments that pretty much existed for WW2 only and was gotten rid of once the war was over. As technology in aviation advanced they were no longer required as parachute technology expanded and the invention of helicopters came around, why would you need an aircraft that isn't powered, is a one way ticket to possible death and destruction and really just an empty money hole? I guess they decided the same thing and it just slowly went away. I have stood next to a Hamilcar glider in France and jesus they were big, its scary that they could carry a small light tank! It's a good read, pretty interesting at least!

Aviation Geek Fest is over, I posted about it Monday, but there is still so many people talking about it and we are going to start the planning for 2014 soon enough. But one thing I keep seeing popping up over and over again when people talk about AGF is that they enjoyed meeting new people during the event or loved coming down to see people.
From Aviation Geek Fest 2013
It hits home to me that the Avgeek community (of which I am sure there are millions and millions world wide) in my experience is always so open and welcoming. I think the first thing that I saw of this was back in 2011 during my Round the World trip I met so many new people and of the Avgeeks I met they were all so fantastic. I got up into the Tower in Vancouver, went spotting in LAX & Vancouver with them. I also had dinner with a fellow Avgeek in London. But it is amazing to know that even now AGF is bringing people together. I met a few of my Avgeek Twitter buddies and although I didn't get to spend as much time I wanted with them (as I was working the events playing johnny on the spot) it was still great to catch up with them, talk shop and have a good time!
From Aviation Geek Fest 2013
It's the allure of Aviation that brings people to the event, but it is the people that you meet, spend time with & get to know that keep you coming back. Sure we all want the big events with all the fun stuff like the factory tours, but getting the chance to sit down and have a coffee and a chat with someone, that's what makes the weekend all the more amazing.
From Aviation Geek Fest 2013

I can't believe just how epic and amazing the last 2 days have been. Like I mentioned a couple of weeks ago Aviation Geek Fest was scheduled to go live and I was looking forward to it. The thing is, the weekend was more amazing than I expected. There was so many people and although I was working, I expected Saturday morning to be a bit quiet, it wasn't It was all go, all the time. Worth every minute really. At times I felt like I never got a break, but it was so much fun, met so many people (although I didn't get as much time to spend with people as I would of liked to) and It all just happened so fast as well. I really did have the best time with all the other Avgeeks. The Renton factory tour was a blast, and it was so suprising just to see how many planes they pump out of so small a factory. Add onto that the Everett Factory floor tour where you are standing at Ground level while 747s and 777s and 787s tower above you. Totally crazy! The Dreamliner gallery was like a playground for those aviation geeks like us (and no doubt those buying their 787s) where they can choose and pick every little bit of their 787 experience. My highlight for the weekend though, was the Water Cannon salute, or at least, what was left of it, after we tried to fix it. Things didn't happen the way they should have and by the end of it, I was standing on the side of Taxiway Alpha, directing buses and fire engines ready for the salute!! Awesome experience!
From Aviation Geek Fest 2013
The big thing I have to say is thank you to all those involved. Including Boeing, Museum of Flight, all the companies that donated prizes and time, The Paine Field Fire Department but most of all the guys at Future of Flight. The biggest thanks go to the few who planned the majority of the weekend. David, Toni & Sandy. They deserve the biggest thanks and without them, the weekend would not of happened. Amazing times and Amazing people!
From Aviation Geek Fest 2013

Good book that you get engrossed in means you finish it quickly (plus it is a small paperback): Combat Swimmer The Book is "Combat Swimmer: Memoirs of a Navy Seal" by Captain Robert A Gormly. A Now retired US Navy Seal Captain Gormly was a seal from an era I had not read much about. I have always had a fascination about Navy Seals ever since I first saw the Navy Seals movie (from back in the 80s, not GI Jane). The one thing you mostly read about these days are modern day seals, what you hardly read about is the history of the seals and where they first got their real taste of action. Vietnam. This was close enough. Gormly was a seal from the Vietnam era so it was great to read up on how things happened back then. I really need to read some more on this war as it is fascinating to me on so many levels. It saw leaps and bounds improvements in war fare but yet was so close to modern war fare in the fact that they in some cases were fighting a more guerilla style war (like today with the Taliban in Afghanistan). It looks at the basic rudimentary technology and weapons they used back then compared to now and it was great. Definately a good read for someone who is into this sort of thing.

National Car Rentals... o how I <3 thee. Back in 2011, while touring the world, my friend Brand and I hired a car with National to drive form Seattle to San Francisco. Why did we hire with National? Well they were the only ones who didn't want to whack us with a one way rental fee of like $1000. Hell they didn't charge one at all. Instant win. I wasn't expecting much but I had read good reviews in some places but with car hire, its location specific as to if you are going to have a good experience. Well we did, I got a pretty awesome car: I just loved the Charger. I was even given a choice from the guy working the counter, of which when he offered me a couple of different impalas or the charger. I took the charger. After we got back I looked into National some more, they had a program called Emerald Club. Unlike other programs offered with the other companies (Hertz etc) when you join the frequent flier equivalent with National, you get a little perk called "Emerald Aisle." At "select" locations you get to just choose whatever car you want. Take your pick of whatever is on the aisle. One downside to the program, only for US License holders. So I had to wait till I got my Washington License to get it. Once obtained I joined and then a couple of months down the track, someone offered me a free upgrade to Executive Status with Emerald club. That was a sure fire win! Well since I joined I have had some pretty awesome cars. The first was this: Camaro Coupe 😀 loved it over the Convertible. Next up: May look pretty soccer momish but it is a GMC Terrain. Fully pimped with climate control, reversing sensors and cameras etc. Another win.. Then came LAX:
From Winter LAX Trip
I have no one to blame but myself for this one. That is what happens when you see a 2 door and think "sure why not". Stupid move Mal. Will not hire a nissan again if i can avoid it. But the Dallas trip gave me the most awesome car:
From Dallas Mileage Run
This my friends is a Dodge Challenger. It had only 480 miles on it, so it was fresh! When I was walking down the Aisle in Dallas I saw so many cars I wasn't sure what to grab, then the guy working the aisle says to me "take what you like, whatever has the keys is yours". I had turned around to speak to him when he said this and then I saw it as I turned back around. The black beast.. sitting... beckoning to me! Keys were on the Dash so I went straight for it! And I don't regret it. This was one of the cars that I would of bought for myself had I not gotten the truck. I would of been super happy had I done so to, the car was fantastic! Now my next rental will probably be in LA the day I fly down to Brisbane as I will probably do a bit of touring LAX and stuff. Who knows. But what will it bring, dunno. But either way I know I need to keep up this National status!

My first mileage run is all over and done with. O how I wish it could keep going (kind of). It was so good getting to be back up in the Air, watching the world from inside the tube, seeing new airports, new aircraft, relaxing, chilling, catching up on life. Watching it all happen around me. These are the parts of the mileage run that are fun and so great. Now it's back to life on the ground, back to work. But isn't that what the real life is about. Now lets look at some of the stats. From this trip I got 2 new aircraft & 3 new airports. So that was awesome. I got a good 25% of my requalifiction done in one trip. 115 status credits out of it! That is not bad at all. Considering I get 30 points for a round trip to LAX (and have two of them on the books already, I am almost half way to requal). I flew 5062 miles in 2 days but due to only getting partial credit out of some of the fares (thanks for being stingy Virgin/Delta) i only earned 3798 points. But this wasn't about the points, it was all about the status credits. One thing that I did get out of it was just how dumb the tight connections can be in the USA in winter. Snow == BAD! I will definately avoid the tight connections in MSP in the future. 90 mins+ at least in winter. That is my new rule! At least now though I can look forward to my next run in March... this one will be interesting 2 new airports to come 😉
Dallas Mileage Run

Introduction Seattle to Dallas Dallas Dallas to Seattle Conclusion Sunday 10th February 2013 I woke up super early, I was determined to hit the gym to make up for any badness that was bound to happen today and last night. I clocked my 5k run in the gym in a good time (for treadmill running anyway) while watching House on the treadmill and a storm batter DFW. Pretty wierd if you ask me, the airport was desolate, not a single movement anywhere. With that done, I got myself to a state of readiness and rolled on out of the hotel. Quick stop to check out and then it was down to security where I was the first person in the priority queue... for a closed checkpoint... dandy. I had a simple plan. Clear security in the D terminal (the hotel had given me a pass for priority security) and then while airside change terminals over to E. It meant going the long way round as the Skylink only goes one direction at that time of day not both, but hey. Better than having to waste time on a shuttle bus going to every terminal and waiting and waiting then checking in, then security and more walking all for nothing. So I waited the 10 minutes till the checkpoint opened and I was first on through for the morning nude oscope & pat down (it seems to not like the metal studs on my jeans). With that complete I hopped the Skylink around to the E gates (not without leaving DFW a little present 😉 ) and the Skyclub for breakfast (or at least coffee and a take away breakfast). The Skyclub again was closed but 2 minutes later it was open. I had not had a single problem getting into the clubs over the weekend with the Velocity Gold Card, sure they had to do a couple of double checks as I was on a domestic itineray and they didn’t believe me, but that was all of a few extra seconds, they then recorded the number and billed VA for my entry I am sure.
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
Coffee grabbed (no oatmeal in sight this time) and I was out of there after not to long as the flight was approaching the time when I was meant to be boarding. But again boarding didn’t happen on time this morning (mainly cause it was so empty) but for a rare moment this weekend I was able to get a shot of my first ever CRJ-900. I now have almost the entire collection within 12 months of moving here.. awesome (although I know many who would think that shouldn’t be an achievement). Delta Airlines - DL3357 (Operated by Pinnacle) Dallas Fort Worth to Memphis (DFW-MEM) 0615-0746 Canadair CRJ-900 (N927XJ) Economy Class - Seat 9A Boarding: 0550 (Gate E16) Push Back: 0615 Take off Roll: 0625 (Runway 35L) Top of Descent: 0727 Touch Down: 0758 (Runway 18R) Shut Down: 0800 (Gate B28) The flight was called with the usual boarding process and I headed down the Jetway with what seemed like the entire first class cabin (although I had kinda snuck in at that point) and settled into my seat. I was joined by a seat mate though as the plane boarded and it was obviously not full, he appropriated a seat in the Economy Comfort section (at no additional cost to him) and left me to my row in peace.
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
This was a good thing for the moment as I was just wanting to spread out as I knew the next two flights were probably going to be full. Might as well take the space and comfort while I can. The shortest of my 3 flights lay ahead of me, and considering that the next one would probably be a bit easier and I wouldn’t have much time between flights, I figured I would work now, relax and eat breakfast on the next flight, grab a snack in MSP for the long flight, where I could eat and work on the wifi at the same time. So I set myself up ready as we pushed back in the darkness and I bid farewell to Dallas. Not much point in talking all that much about what was a climb out in the dark a few bumps here and there but nothing all that bad. A coffee, some water and working on the trip report. Having the chromebook has its benefits.
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
By the time we hit descent I was well and truly good for the connection and we had a bit of a delay due to the rain in Memphis so the descent was a little bumpy (but nothing much) and without all that much hassle. We touched down about 10 minutes late into Memphis but didn’t spend much time between Runway and gate.
From Dallas Mileage Run
Memphis had one thing at it’s airport that was prevelant. It may have been a Delta hub, but it was tiny compared to FedEx. FedEx dominated this airport, there were aircraft everywhere and if you took the entirity of the passenger side & doubled it, that would be the FedEx hub that we had landed next to... damn!
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
As I stepped off the flight in Memphis I had about 30 minutes till departure of my next flight. This meant boarding was probably already underway. Thankfully we landed at B28 and my next flight was out of B31. Practiclly opposite! It took all of 30 seconds to go between gates and I was walking up to the podium to hear that Skypriority could board. Thing is.. that is when it happened again. The Delta app crashed out my boarding passes and my paper copies were in my bag and there was so many gate lice around that I just asked for another one and explained the predicament. Delta Airlines - DL1064 Memphis to Minneapolis St Paul (MEM-MSP) 0830-1042 McDonnell Douglas MD88 (N937DL) Economy Class - Seat 20E Boarding: 0750 (Gate B31) Push Back: 0827 Take off Roll: 0836 (Runway 18R) Top of Descent: 0951 Touch Down: 1033 (Runway 12L) Shut Down: 1043 (Gate G2) I had my new paper boarding pass in hand and off I went down the boarding lane. I had barely been on the ground 5 minutes. Can’t beat that for a connection! I settled in and had a quick chat with my seat mate who was pretty cute, but again.. had a wedding ring on, so went from “hey shes cute to” “boring... hello book” We had a quick chat about why I was scribbling stuff in a notebook (aka writing in my log book), what flights we had been on today, that kind of thing. The usual pleasentries.
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
We pushed back right on time and I have to admit I liked the emergency exit speil on the MD-88 (again this was a new aircraft to me) as she said “at the very rear of the aircraft). The MD-88, similar to the 727 had the rear air stairs right below the tail of the aircraft. That would of been an awesome way to board an aircraft. Most avgeeks I am sure would want that unique experience.
From Dallas Mileage Run
We taxiied through the rain as it just seemed to pour down the windows and I couldn’t get over the site out the window of how similar this aircraft was to a F100 (the only other non CRJ twin hole tail mount that I had flown. This kind of aircraft just seems to fascinate me more than the usual configuration you would see on an Airbus or a Boeing aircraft. Other than Canadair they just aren’t made anymore. Maybe they just were not as good as they figured (although Delta do have some DC9s that have been flying since the type first existed).
From Dallas Mileage Run
We took off with a suprisingly loud power up but the second we lifted off that noise seemd to dissapear (or at least it did for those in my row, Im sure the back of the aircraft was different) and we climbed out with plenty of rocking and rolling. As we passed 10,000ft and the wifi went on I stayed offline and kept reading. The pilot came on and apoligised for the Turbulence and said that this would be a bit of a bumpy ride. I was up for it! It did mean I wouldn’t be drinking coffee though on this flight as Delta uses the tiniest coffee cups ever and they seem to bounce a lot. Not good in Turbulence.
From Dallas Mileage Run
The seat belt sign stayed on for pretty much the whole flight and there was a bit of light chop and this flight was pretty laid back really. I read, I drank, I had my “breakfast” on the flight (first time I have had peanut butter or nutella in months and boy was it good). This weekend may not have been all that behaved but I had missed some of the good stuff lately, been going a little too hardcore.
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
As we started our descent the pilot warned us that it was not going to be pretty as the snow was falling in Minneapolis. Right as he said that not only did we get the usual descent bump as they throttled back, we hit a nice wollop of turbulence and everything went bounce. Definately in for a ride. We seemed to have a wierd spiral approach into MSP (you can see the flight aware track here) kind of felt like we were burning donuts in the sky.
From Dallas Mileage Run
As we rocked and rolled into MSP our 10 minutes ahead of schedule turned into an on time arrival and then into a late arrival. Meh! I had plenty of time on this connection compared to my last one in MSP and I only had to go from G2 to F13. Maybe a 2-3 minute walk. Plenty of time to hit the SkyClub for some snackage.
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
As we deplaned there was a large group of people spread out throughout the aircraft who had some crazy connection (though more than mine from yesterday to a flight to Steamboat springs). They had like 20 minutes and barely any gates to go yet they were worried. I let them know about what I had done yesterday and told them that they had barely to worry, then they saw their was no aircraft at their gate so they worried even more thinking it had left (it hadn’t). For me, it was off the plane in reasonably good time and then on my way to the F concourse to the club. But I reached F2 and still no club, figured I had gone past it. I had to go back a little bit around a different way (rather than taking the shortcut I did yesterday) and there it was right in front of me. Aweome! The skyclub looked like a nice warm inviting area for me to spend the next few minutes for a bathroom stop, snack raid and then hit the next flight. As I walked in, my mobile boarding pass again had issues so she printed me off another boarding pass (I think I have like 3 by now, all on crappy fax paper style print offs). I just went with the flow anyway, I was approaching my final flight home, I was looking good, even if delayed I was sitting in a terminal with no further connections needed to get home, a warm spot in a sky club with endless supplies of snacks and coffee... What could be better?
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
As I noticed the oatmeal actually looked good and was grabbing a couple of mouthfulls for the walk to the gate, it happened. “All flights are currently grounded”. w00t! I could sit down. So I grabbed a coffee and was readying myself when they advised that San Francisco was still boarding and will be departing shortly. Great... So tweeted Derek and he told me to get my ass to the gate as it was now showing boarding. So I gave up on my coffee, grabbed a mouthful of water as I walked out the door and hot footed it to the gate. Delta Airlines - DL1753 Minneapolis St Paul to Seattle Tacoma (MSP-SEA) 1140-1330 Airbus A320 (N350NA) Economy Class: Seat 13A Boarding: 1115 (Gate F13) Push Back: 1205 Take off Roll: 1312 (Runway 12L) Top of Descent: 1345 Touch Down: 1408 (Runway 16C) Shut Down: 1414 (Gate S5) I rocked up to the gate and Priority boarding was well underway, hell they were trying to hold back Zone 1 and to let them through. I got through using one of the paper ones I had and been given at some stage during the day and weaved my way through the crowds around the gate. By the time I was onboard it was a bit crowded but not too bad. I managed to get my bag in the overhead without an issue and I settled into my seat.
From Dallas Mileage Run
The A320 seats are not at all that horrible but the legroom was good! I looked out the window and then realised, there isnt much of a view when its covered in Snow & Ice. The window was at that point, not to bad, but it got worse as everyone else was boarding it just covered up. The pilot came on and said that we would have to deice before we head off, this would add about 30 mins to our taxi time apparently.
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
By the time we pushed back we were late but not by much, but the schedule was padded a solid hour as they kept saying “A flight time of 2h54m today” yet Delta had it down for 3h 50m. Ahhh schedule padding, o how convienient you are at times.
From Dallas Mileage Run
We headed for the de ice area and at this point the window was just not able to see a thing. We took ages to taxi over and wait in line so I shut my eyes and I was napping for a little bit before I heard “whats that out the window” and I knew it was our turn. I looked out and through a tiny gap and there was about 2 inches of snow on the wing. O boy. It took FOREVER to be de iced.
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Boarding to Wheels up.... 2 HOURS!! It took an hour alone from push back to wheels up and that included deicing. The Captain came on just after wheels up and apoligised for the wait and while he was doing so, he said that one of the De Ice trucks had run out so they had to wait for a replacement to come over.
From Dallas Mileage Run
By the time we got out of the clouds it was bright sunlight and I had to close the shade so I could work on the laptop. I powered up the chromebook, used up one of my freebies that has been sitting around for a while and got a heap of work and tweeting done. The flight just flew by as it does when your doing other stuff. I don’t know what it is with my accent and flying in the USA but I have to repeat myself over and over again to people. Apparently “Diet Coke & A Water” is difficult to understand as I had to repeat myself this time like 4 times and I could see the couple next to me roll their eyes after the second time around. But I just grinned and bared it and stuff into these yummy Scone bites I had picked up at the Skyclub in MSP.
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
By the time we started descent I was well and truly engrossed in my work and didn’t really want to finish as I was almost finished this trip report. We descended in amonst smattered clouds covering up some of the mountains but the peaks of the Cascades were amazing! I got a good glimpse of Mt Rainier off in the distance and we came in from the Northeast onto a 16C approach.
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
As we came into the airport and touched down badly (the pilot was all over the place not as bad as landing in the snow on an MD88 though, that was fun) I was to busy focused on the 2 Horizon College schemes at the terminal. Oregon Ducks and WSU Cougars were sitting at the gate. Jealous!!! We taxiied pretty quickly over to the S Gates and soon enough we were stopped. The Mileage run was over.
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
I let people go ahead as for once, I wasn’t in all that much of a rush, and I had carry on, so I was going to go straight out, grab the shuttle to my truck, and get on the interstate home. That’s what I did! Within an hour of touching down, I was pulling into the Fred Meyer car park to do my grocery shopping so I can eat for the week
From Dallas Mileage Run

Introduction Seattle to Dallas Dallas Dallas to Seattle Conclusion After exiting the Tram at the D terminal and following my signs towards the doors, I was heading towards my hotel, the Grand Hyatt DFW. I had read a recent review of this hotel and was looking forward to it What I was really looking forward to was the fact that in the morning I would be mere steps from security and the check point was literally at the bottom of the lobby escalators. The Grand Hyatt is located on top of the D terminal, commanding views towards the runways from some rooms. When I checked in there was a bit of a line and a number of people begging for rooms cheaply as their flights had been cancelled (probably flying to the east) but I am sure the Grand Hyatt was not giving out rooms cheaper than what I had that night ($85!).
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
When I checked in I made sure that I had a runway view on a high floor. I didn’t realise that the “5th floor” was the 5th of 8 floors with rooms starting ABOVE the terminal. I figured 5th floor would be the first floor. Nope! So my wait while they checked if there was anything higher with a runway view was probably pointless. The rooms and the hotel were all very modern and quite stylish. I liked it. The room was pretty spacious considering so I wasn’t going to complain at all. What I did like though was the fact that view from my room was spectacular. Just as I opened the blinds a British Airways 747-400 was taxiing past. Score!
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
I went for a bit of a scout of the hotel to get myself acquainted with things and I wanted to check out the Gym for the morning, I usually like to do that the night before so that way I can navigate myself with ease the next morning and I don’t need to try and find my way in the half asleep stupor. The gym was pretty awesome, all new equipment and even an airport view from the top floor! They had an outdoor pool deck, but it faced the wrong side of the airport at that time (not that I would complain as it would allow free reign for great shots at times).
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
The one little niggle I have about the hotel is that the hotel uses these tiny square pillows. They are stupid!! Not even the option of a real pillow... I mean seriously... really? The usual mini bar in these high end hotels is the touch sensitive ones that essentially bill your room the second you touch anything so that was a given, but also no coffee machine in the room (they would bring you one if asked) but they did offer a free espresso from the lobby cafe during morning hours (sadly I wouldn’t get to take this offer).
From Dallas Mileage Run
I headed off to get some dinner and I had reserved a car with National for super cheap. $11! With taxes it came out at $23 which would probably workout by the time I added some gas either cheaper than eating at the hotel or cheaper than cabs to get around because DFW is HUGE! The rental car lot is offsite and it is a bit worrying when signs say “5 miles ahead” or the bus driver announces “we should arrive in approximately 10 minutes”. This is probably the largest airport I have ever been to.
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
The rental car lot was easy as usual, straight past the counter (with the guy trying to upsell me to a convertible... in the rain... smart...) and I picked up a car from the executive aisle (I will keep that to another post this week). As I walked down the lane the attendant looking after the aisle told me that if the keys were in it, feel free to take whatever I wanted. So that I did. With that I headed off to run a few errands by finding a pharmacy (which didn’t have what I wanted so drove over to the Walmart about 10 minutes away. With that done, it meant that I could head for some dinner. I was dying for one thing. BBQ! I had been craving good Texas BBQ for a while and all week had been hitting up the guys at Crankyconcierge for their recommendations (as a few of them are either from Texas or have family there) as well as other people I knew. I had two options that i was going to go with. 1. Main North BBQ 2. Hard Eight BBQ Main North was buffet style and it looked pretty empty when I had cruised past earlier on the way to walmart so that was out. My rules are if its empty.. not really unless recommended. If its Empty and a Buffet and a BBQ place in Texas, either the quality is no good or they are sold out. I figured it was sold out or almost so, and decided to try my luck at Hard Eight. When I rolled up it was packed, i was lucky to find a car park.
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
This was a good sign and immediately upon entering the “pit” I could smell the wood and the goodness right then. I was in Heaven. I tweeted out a pic and instantly got replies telling me I was in the right place. I knew being in Texas it was all about the Brisket. So I was gonna grab some of that, some smoked sausage (spicy of course) and apparently I had to get a couple of “poppers” which were like little chicken bites. That with some coleslaw, pickles, 2 slices of white bread and sauce and all the beans I could eat (and those beans were freaking AWESOME) was $12 with a soft drink and I was set!
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
I wanted something sweet and had a google round, I couldnt think of anywhere to go until it hit me. I had been chatting to someone about the Cheesecake factory. I googled and there was one about a 10 minute drive away... why not! So I drove over, picked up a piece to go (if i had of wanted to sit down and eat the wait was 90 minutes!) and headed back to drop off the car. I dropped the car off, fought with National over the rate for 20 minutes (turns out because I didn’t have the car past midnight it was 3 times more expensive, though they honoured my booking rate) and I jumped back on the shuttle to the Hyatt and some sleep.
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run
From Dallas Mileage Run