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Trip Report: My First Flights During the Covid Era

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I celebrated my 50th birthday in February by joining friends and family aboard a cruise. My official birthday party was on a 3-night cruise to the Bahamas, then my wife and I remained on board the ship for 2 more cruises, or what some of us cruise fans would call a B2B2B. On February 17th, we flew home, and that’s where I stayed for 235 days. Suffice it to say that a year that looked like it was going to be very active for travel changed a lot due to the pandemic.

Time to Fly

In March, my day job halted all travel, and I certainly had no need for leisure travel. Throughout all this, I’ve maintained that I would be willing to fly if I had a need to. I’ve felt all along that airplanes probably weren’t a big risk for being exposed in and of themselves, as long as passengers follow the rules. Finally, in late September, I was invited to Colorado Springs. That’s not drivable for a weekend from Washington, DC, so I started exploring flight options. I discussed taking the trip with my wife before I booked it. I pointed out that Colorado was not on the list of states that required a 14-day quarantine (note that it’s been added since my trip), that virus numbers in both DC and Colorado Springs seemed to be doing OK, and that I would not be hanging out in any bars and restaurants. I felt comfortable going. I did not get the impression she was excited about the prospect, but she agreed.

While I might not be “worried” about catching a virus from flying, my first thought was that I wanted to fly an airline that was blocking seats. Unfortunately, Delta’s schedule into Colorado Springs from DC just wasn’t viable for me. I briefly considered flying into Denver and driving down, but ultimately settled on American Airlines flights with a connection in Chicago. I booked first class to ensure more space, including being in a seat by myself on the E-175 flights between Chicago and Colorado Springs.

Departure day finally arrived for my early morning flight. I took Lyft to DCA (first time in a shared ride for 235 days too) and arrived to find an eerily quiet terminal for a Friday morning. Unfortunately, Clear did not open until 6am, but TSA PreCheck was still a snap. Once I arrived at the gate area, I lost the sense of eery quiet as it was apparent that my flight was going to be quite full. Soon enough, I was on board and on my way to Chicago. I’ll skip comments on seats other than to say, you might recognize my old friend, noAAsis. (Note: even the inflight magazine has been treated with some kind of “anti microbial process.”)

My old friend, oasis.

Inflight Service

This will be a short paragraph. There was no inflight service. At least none was offered on my flight to Chicago. I’m aware that I could’ve requested something, but in truth, I didn’t want anything that early. For my other flights, flight attendants proactively offered drinks, and on the longer flights between Chicago and Colorado Springs, a “snack pack” of bottled water, biscoffs, and an individual hand sanitizer was offered. All in all, service was fine. The flight attendants on 3 of my 4 flights were very attentive and offered beverage top offs throughout the flights. It was good to be in the air again!


Approaching Chicago

irport Lounges

I only had time to hit the Admirals Club in Chicago. As you might expect, things are different now. Seating was well spaced, and menus for beverages and food were available via QR code. The bar staff was friendly as usual, and all food items were individually wrapped or in some kind of plastic container. I had plenty of time for the Admirals Club breakfast of champions.


The avocado toast is back

To Fly or Not to Fly

While I’d likely pick driving over flying for any kind of reasonable distance, that wasn’t an option so I weighed the risks and chose to fly. Airlines appear to have done a good job with enhanced cleaning protocols and reducing possible touch points during flights. Aircraft ventilation systems apparently reduce the likelihood of viral transmission, and of course, everyone is wearing a mask. I did not see one instance of anyone without a mask or wearing one incorrectly during my flights. I did see one person waiting to board a flight in Chicago with no mask who didn’t seem to care that dozens of people were giving him the stinkeye.

In the end, flying during a global pandemic is a personal choice within the confines of any state-mandated restrictions. In my case, I carefully evaluated all the available information I could find on infection rates at my destination, packed my masks and hand sanitizer, and booked my flights. The bottom line for me is that I’d fly again, but I honestly do not know when that will happen.

By: MJ on Travel
Title: Trip Report: My First Flights During the Covid Era
Sourced From: travelupdate.com/trip-report-my-first-flights-during-the-covid-era/
Published Date: Fri, 06 Nov 2020 16:30:28 +0000

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Gift Ideas to Buy for Hiking Fans on Black Friday

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Days spent on hiking is beneficial to every individual involved. It boosts up metabolism, burns out calories, releases oxytocin, and strengthens the muscles while keeping our bodily functions alert sharpening our senses. Hiking is a delightful way to explore places with our loved ones, friends, and relatives, so if you know a hiker inside your closest circle, giving them quality presents that can be used for hiking can enhance their experiences.

Black Friday Outdoor Equipment Deals

Hiking and wilderness exploration can be an excellent dynamic activity open to everyone. For some of us, a common detriment that we encounter is the amount of gear and equipment to prepare and bring for each of our adventures. These things should ensure our safety and convenience while being able to function proportionate to our needs.

Every seasoned backpacker or trekking enthusiast may indulge in quality tools and equipment that can assist them with their undertakings. If you know a passionate hiker you can read this review of the north face jester backpack in case you are wondering what to give them as a gift this coming holiday. Remember that the gear you want to present to them is manufactured with rugged materials built to withstand the strains and difficulties of natural terrain and different atmospheric conditions.

Black Friday is one of our most awaited shopping days of the year since it gives us the opportunity to land affordable deals with items of interest. Several companies have already launched many discounts and sales three weeks early before the actual event happens. More enterprises and products are expected to follow this trend until the ultimate showcase of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

If you want to purchase gifts in the form of outdoor gear and equipment, some of them are already accessible for early acquisition. But it is recommended to wait for Black Friday to avail them at their most discounted price. Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a shopping experience you do not want to miss when choosing and buying the best equipment for your next hiking activity.

Top Black Friday Gifts for the Hiking Enthusiast

Every outdoor specialist or hiking enthusiast knows the value that every tool on their arsenal can bring them while on the trail. They know that the quality of each item is proportionate to the function with their primary purpose. Modern-day equipment is built with robust materials that perform in conjunction with each personal need during any hiking adventure.

Hiking Jacket

Any person that wants to go on a hike should be prepared with every possibility. Rain, snow, hail, sleet, are probabilities that come naturally with adverse atmospheric conditions. Having a reliable hiking jacket layered with quality waterproof and tear-resistant fabrics keeps you dry while regulating your sweat output and body temperature.

Hydration Flask

Modern fluid flasks come in various forms such as the camel bak that lets you sip water or the rugged hydro flask manufactured with industrial metals. One of the difficulties caused by strenuous activities such as mountain climbing, jogging, hiking, or PT is the onset of dehydration. Outdoor items such as flasks and hydrating-equipment are designed to accompany every adventurer while providing them enough fluids during their journey.

Hiking Shoes

Hiking shoes are built with nylon, advanced composites, and durable yet lightweight fabrics. These shoes are designed to be waterproof while having a slip-resistant base that helps you grasp even the slimiest surfaces. They are also incorporated with enough padding and fits well with the contours of your feet that aids in preventing physical damages and discomfort while hiking or navigating rough terrain.

Campground Tents

In case your hiking ends up in a two or more day ordeal, having a convenient camping tent may provide you immediate shelter and a forward outpost. Camping tents are now capable of fitting in 8 people all at once built with reliable and flexible all-weather fabrics supported by modular poles for quick builds. These tents can be easily folded and stored in a carrying bag for travel convenience.

Conclusion

Hiking is an enjoyable activity that everyone can benefit from. It is great for exploring natural areas of the earth while providing enough exercise to burn out calories and excess fat stored while sitting in the office. If you know an outdoor enthusiast, then Black Friday can be a great opportunity to gather items valuable to their next adventure.

The post Gift Ideas to Buy for Hiking Fans on Black Friday appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.


By: Shahbaz Ahmed
Title: Gift Ideas to Buy for Hiking Fans on Black Friday
Sourced From: feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheTravelExperta/~3/iLTbl2wK9RE/gift-ideas-to-buy-for-hiking-fans-on-black-friday.html
Published Date: Mon, 16 Nov 2020 13:44:00 +0000

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6 Must-Have Essentials to Get Ready for a Fishing Trip

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Fishing is a favorite pastime of many. Unfortunately, due to the current lockdown restrictions imposed upon us by our governments, we are unable to go fishing for the foreseeable future. With that said, however, we can still prepare for our next fishing trip, whenever that may be. Fishing is one of the most popular hobbies the world over, and for a good reason, for it is both relaxing and exhilarating [as any fisherman will attest to].

Now, whether you are a new fisherman or an experienced one, it is important that you prepare and have your kit full of equipment and essentials ready for when you can go fishing again.

This page will tell you what essentials you need to get ready for a fishing trip, for arriving at the lake and realizing that you have left some important equipment behind can be soul-destroying, or at the very least, can ruin the day.

Here are six must-have essentials to prepare for your fishing trip:

Gloves

Bringing gloves along with you fishing is very important and not only for keeping your hands warm. Many are completely unaware that diseases like Weil’s Disease may lurk just below the water’s surface, and a tiny cut can allow it in.

Additionally, it is very easy when unhooking a fish to get the hook stuck in your skin, which then opens you up for infection. By investing in a pair of the best gloves for fishing that you can find [providing they are anti-hook gloves], you will prevent illness, disease, infection and ensure that you stay warm through long winter’s days on the water. Never neglect the importance of a pair of gloves when you are fishing, for they can make the difference massively.

Keepnet

Many fisheries do not allow for keepnets on their waters, so it is always good to research beforehand if they will be allowed on the one you are going to. Keepnets are large nets that can be left in the water, and they allow you to store your fish alive in them. Not every fisherman kills his fish, and many do catch and release. Even if you are a catch and release fisherman, you can still make use of a keepnet, for it will allow you to store the fish for photographs afterward. And, for fishermen who eat their catches, it allows you to keep them alive and fresh before killing them.

Unhooking Mat

Most fisheries throughout the world demand some form of unhooking mat or another. If you are fishing on private land, it is always good practice to bring one. An unhooking mat is a padded mat that you put the fish on to, as the name suggests, unhook it. Unhooking mats prevent the fish from becoming covered in mud and potentially hurting itself. Unhooking mats are a very humane way to unhook a fish, and it is always good to treat the fish respectfully by using these.

Barbless Hooks

Look, this is a bit of a point of contention. Some fishermen will swear by barbed hooks, others won’t. For the sake of being kind to animals, opt for barbless hooks. Barbed hooks can tear away at a fish’s cheek and can cause serious harm to them. When you are fishing, always have a pack of barbless hooks in your rucksack. While there is more of a chance that the fish may get away, to us, that makes it more exciting. For much larger fish like sturgeon and pike, admittedly, you may have to use barbed hooks, but avoid it if you can.

6 Must-Have Essentials to Get Ready for a Fishing Trip

Non-Conventional Bait

When going fishing, it’s fun to get creative. Rather than splurging on tackles and lures, why not invest in some non-conventional bait. Many carp, barbel, and trout fishermen swear by using Spam and sweetcorn, as well as bread, prawns, and capers. Getting creative with your bait can be a lot of fun, and it can save you a lot of money. While preparing, raid your cupboards for tinned snacks and load up your equipment bag. Non-conventional bait can be very exciting, and even if you just end up pulling out Breams and Chubs, you will still have a good day.

Bivvy

For long, rainy sessions, a bivvy is essential. We’ve all seen the so-called ‘experienced’ fishermen using these, so why not you? They provide shelter while fishing and ensure you can stay dry, warm, and even brew a pot of tea if you should want to.

With the help of this page, you now know six essential pieces of equipment to bring with you on your next fishing trip. Fishing is a great hobby that is a lot of fun, and one that many, unfortunately, cannot do at the moment. But with time, all things pass. Before you know it, you will be back out on the water.

The post 6 Must-Have Essentials to Get Ready for a Fishing Trip appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.


By: Marina Villatoro
Title: 6 Must-Have Essentials to Get Ready for a Fishing Trip
Sourced From: feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheTravelExperta/~3/JcEbWUpReOg/6-must-have-essentials-to-get-ready-for-a-fishing-trip.html
Published Date: Mon, 16 Nov 2020 03:13:22 +0000

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4 Romantic Things To Do In Seattle

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Known as one of the most stunningly beautiful and stylish cities in America, Seattle is also the perfect destination for couples looking for a romantic getaway. Revelling in the boundless nature based activities with your sweetheart or touring the art scene around the city are wonderful ways to spend a romantic day.

Romance is sure to bloom if you and your sweetheart are enthusiasts of natural beauty. Seattle has everything from statuesque mountains, rugged shorelines and wandering forests to explore. You can sail out from Emerald Landing and explore Puget Sound searching for a pod of whales and enjoy a life changing experience together.

Seattle also has a variety of fun and sophisticated indoor activities for couples to enjoy. From first class dining on local cuisine to thrilling entertainment and art installations, there are plenty of places to take a romantic stroll with your partner. Let’s take a look at a few of the ultimate romantic destinations that truly makes Seattle a paradise for lovers.

The Most Romantic Things To Do In Seattle

Bainbridge Island Ferry

After a short cruise where you and your sweetheart can enjoy unparalleled views of the Seattle skyline you will arrive at the beautiful and charming island of Bainbridge. A visit to the island is like taking two steps back in time. Bainbridge island’s quaint downtown area is filled with shops and restaurants to keep you busy all day. On your ferry ride back to the city you can enjoy a romantic sunset view as the light slips away over Mount Rainier.

Gas Works Park

Nestled at the northern end of Lake Union sits one of the most unique parks in Seattle. This one-time industrial area was converted in 1975 to a family-friendly recreational area that has something for everyone. Enjoy a sun-filled day by the water, walk along the promenade, and enjoy a romantic picnic at the top of the park hill that gives one of the best views in Seattle. Gas Works Park is host to many festivals and celebrations throughout the year and visitors can enjoy outdoor entertainment and catering at a few parkside restaurants and cafes.

Paramount Theatre

Allow you and your partner to be transported back into the last century with a trip to the Paramount Theatre in Seattle. This historical entertainment venue has been expertly restored to reflect the style and opulence of the 19th century. Enjoy big name concert entertainment or settle in for a worldwide sensational stage play like Hamilton which debuts in 2020. Sweep your sweetheart out for a night at the theatre and then enjoy one of the area’s many excellent restaurants after the show.

Golden Gardens

This popular park located along the shores of Puget Sound has something to keep romance seekers busy all day. You can ride bikes along the boardwalk, lay out the perfect romantic picnic lunch, visit the exoctic array of gardens through the area and enjoy the stunning views of the shoreline. Settle on the beach for the day and watch the kayakers and volleyballers or enjoy some fishing from the dock.

Whether you enjoy indoor or outdoor activities, Seattle has much to offer couples that are looking for a romantic getaway. You can explore an unlimited amount of nature activities or spend your day together enjoying the sophisticated Seattle art scene. Whatever your taste, Seattle is a great place to fall in love all over again.

The post 4 Romantic Things To Do In Seattle appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.


By: Marina Villatoro
Title: 4 Romantic Things To Do In Seattle
Sourced From: feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheTravelExperta/~3/fgDpys-FlWA/4-romantic-things-to-do-in-seattle.html
Published Date: Sun, 15 Nov 2020 00:25:03 +0000

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