Boarding Pass Series – Denver, Colorado

boarding pass, Delta, Denver, travel, air, flightsI first went to Denver right after receiving my undergrad degree.  Actually, I went past Denver and took a right hand exit to the road to nearby Boulder, CO where I actually was going to hold a summer internship at research labs in town.  But I visited Denver over my two summers in Boulder at different times.  Denver did not quite match Boulder in many ways so I tended to stick to Boulder and when I left town on a weekend day, I would opt for the Rocky Mountain National Park.  In fact, even now, I am not sure I could give someone much in terms of tips about what to do in Denver proper.

Fast forward some years and dear friends move to Arvada, right outside of Denver.  That made me a sort of frequent flyer to Denver, in the post-Stapleton airport era (I only flew into/out of Stapleton once – it was an old airport!).  The “new” Denver airport is rather weird but it has grown on me.  What does make it a royal pain in the ass is how far it is to anywhere I want to go when I go out there.  Seriously?  You couldn’t have placed it even five miles closer to things??  Also, why does it always seem there are strong winds any time I land in that airport??

Regardless, I will continue going to Denver because of skiing and, more importantly, because of my friends!

Boarding Pass Series: Hats off, TWA!

Many, and I mean, MANY, years ago I had the pleasure of flying Trans-World Airlines, or “TWA“, a now-defunct airline absorbed by a lesser player many years ago.  This airline, steeped in history, had an incredible international route and rivaled the likes of PanAm (and outlasted it by a few years).TWA, airline, Trans-World, boarding pass, flying history

I got to fly it only domestically in the U.S. but grew to love it quickly with its friendly flight attendants and the occasional -and welcome- complimentary first class upgrades without having to accumulate a gazillion miles before being treated to a free upgrade…  And those flight attendants in first class did pour the wine gleefully even in short flights.  Not in an I-do-the-first-serving-as-part-of-the-standard-thing and maybe-come-by-and-offer-you-a-refill-out-of-obligation-and-more-only-if-you-happen-to-catch-me-or-ring-me, as many U.S.  airlines do today.  No, they really just were happy to keep you happy!

So, ex-TWA-ers, if you read this, hats off to you.  And that earns you this boarding pass series post.  Thanks for the good rides!

Boarding Pass Stories: Dar es Salaam

This installment of the Boarding Pass Stories goes to Dar es Salaam – via London and Dubai! Boarding pass, Dar es Salaam, Emirates, airline, travel, flight, Dubai

The destination, the when(s), and the reason(s)

While working for an international non-profit, I traveled to visit field projects and to do an internal audit.  It was a toss-up between Bangladesh and Tanzania and the latter was just a bit more interesting to me so that’s the one I went for.  The trip was in 2007 and to get the cheapest price possible, I did a 2-stop itinerary via London and Dubai. I could have done a one-hop via Amsterdam or London but I was being thrifty with our limited funds. A 6-hour layover in London and a 9-hour one in Dubai were enough the wear me down. But it was neat to fly Emirates Airlines and to see the incredible Dubai airport (Atlanta to London was on my local airline, Delta).

The airline

Emirates was phenomenal. Though I flew coach, I felt I was being treated like a business class customer. The plane was the first I had ever flown with nose and underbelly cameras. I loved the camera viewing especially at takeoff and landing.

What fascinated me about this experience

Well, it was my first trip south of Egypt in the African continent so that, by itself, was fascinating.  Dar was interesting.  A mainly expat district helps expats stay as if in their country.  But I greatly enjoyed my time at work, where I got to collaborate and eat lunch with Tanzanians who worked for the same organization.  Their friendliness and soft-spokenness warmed me up immediately to them and, to them, I say asante sana!

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Africa, travel

Driving along a main road in Dar es Salaam

Boarding Pass Stories: Constantinople! OK, Istanbul

boarding pass, Istanbul, Air France, trip, travel, explore, adventure, exotic, airplane, flight, Turkey, Charles de Gaulle, airport

The destination, the when(s), and the reason(s)

My knack for taking one trip idea and expanding its scope is not a recent event.  That’s how I ended last year exploring a country I may have never visited otherwise:  Moldova.  It pre-dates my travel blogging days by a bit.  As I joined a group of friends last-minute on a trip to Egypt (literally, like two weeks before the trip), I wondered what else could I do as I had plenty of vacation time at work.  I contacted a former co-worker who had moved back to his hometown of Istanbul and asked him if I could visit and he said yes, of course.  I got a free ticket to/from Istanbul with Delta and then bought a separate ticket between Istanbul and Cairo so I had to fly through Istanbul to head to Egypt first and then I would come back and stop in Istanbul from where I would fly through Paris again (as the boarding pass above shows).  This was in 1998, eons ago, it feels.

The airline

Air France offered great service as usual in those days for many airlines.  I flew business class since I had plenty o’ miles and it was going to be a LONG trip.  Class…

What fascinated me about this experience

I returned from Cairo to Istanbul to visit my friend and explore this “epically historic” city for the first time.  I wait for my friend and nothing.  An hour passes and I begin to get a little antsy (these days, cellphones were not what they are today and I believe you still couldn’t use a U.S. in Europe, had I brought mine along).

So I nervously wondered if my friend confused the day or time of my arrival.  I realized I should call him at work and see.  Since these were the days you could still find payphones, this would not be a problem.  Except I first had to exchange money, hope for coins, figure out how much to pay for the call, etc.  I called and it rang and rang.  I kept trying and no answer.  I was beginning to worry more now.  I decided that surely someone was sitting around his desk or office so maybe I just had to keep calling until someone, in exasperation, decided to walk over and answer the darned phone.  Someone sure did.

They plugged me through to my friend’s secretary and she told me she had been expecting my call (!) as my friend had unexpectedly and last minute been asked to make a trip abroad.  So he left instructions with her to connect me to his girlfriend so she could let me in his apartment, etc.  I rang her but in talking to her I realized his apartment was not near the city center which was the area I was going to be exploring and since my friend was not around, no point in staying far out.

I pulled out my travel book and found a hotel, the Pierre Lotti, which had availability and ended up working perfectly due to its proximity to all the places I wanted to see!  What was great about this experience was that I explored Istanbul for 5 awesome days, met other travelers with whom I then did more social/less-touristy things, and had a great time!  I did meet my friend’s girlfriend for lunch which was neat and which led to me getting lost on the way back to the hotel.  But that, my dear reader, will be food for another post!

Hagia Sophia, Holy Wisdom, Istanbul, Constantinople, Byzantiu, church. mosque, museum, architecture, history, photo, mosaic, art

One of the mosaics uncovered in the Hagia Sophia – beautiful


Boarding Pass Stories: Little Rock, Arkansas

Boarding pass series goes to:  Little Rock, Arkansas!!!

boarding pass, delta, airline, travel, Little Rock, Arkansas, hotel

The destination, the when(s), and the reason(s)

A pretty unlikely destination, you may think, but I went there for a few months for business around 2001.  Bill Clinton’s presidency had just ended and the presidential library would be located in this town which seemed to have gotten on the “national mindset map” when he first ran for President.

The airline

Delta was graced with my “passengership” as it was the only airline offering a direct flight.  And ilivetotravel is fond of direct flights!

What fascinated me about this experience

Well, small town as it was relative to Atlanta, Little Rock positively surprised me (fascinated may be too strong a word).  We stayed at the Doubletree downtown and it was neat to be able to run downtown by the Arkansas River and around the Central Business District early in the morning.  The commute to work was not bad and we found a great place to eat Mexican food and enjoy margaritas.  So, though not Paris or DC, we managed to find a way to enjoy this southern town while business took us there!

Boarding Pass Stories: Delta Inflight Drink Options Circa 1985

I ran into this little memento going through old photo albums.  It is a boarding pass from a flight from 1986.

Delta boarding pass 1986 airline history vintage

Nothing peculiar about the front.  But once you flip to the reverse…  The menu of inflight drinks was conveniently placed behind the boarding pass!  I guess so you could plan how to get your drink on while waiting to board the plane at the gate?  Or, more likely, back then these were not in the inflight magazine -or- there was no inflight magazine to begin with…  And note the rules.

Vintage, Detla, boarding pass, 1985, cocktails, airline, history, travel

Drinks and rules on the reverse of the boarding pass

I don’t remember much from those flights.  Of course, I remember the smoking and non-smoking sections.  I do remember getting a tray with a full meal (of airplane food, mind you) no matter how long the flight was.  I remember being able to get a free deck of cards or my own wings.  Those were the days, ey?


Did you miss reading about my boarding pass collecting habit or the first in the boarding pass stories series or my boarding pass story about Christchurch, New Zealand??

Boarding Pass Stories: Christchurch, New Zealand

Boarding pass, Air New Zealand, Christchurch, NZ, travel, flight, airline

The destination, the when(s), and the reason(s)

After spending two weeks there, I flew from Melbourne, Australia to New Zealand.  My entry point:  the very livable and lovely town of Christchurch.  This was in 2009, so before the large earthquake that did so much damage to this beautiful town.  I got to see it before it suffered such destruction.

The airline

Air New Zealand.  The carrier that I chose to fly me from Los Angeles to Australia/New Zealand.  I landed in Auckland where I connected with a flight to Sydney.  After spending two weeks in Australia, I returned to NZ to explore it.

What fascinated me about this experience

Christchurch was a place I could actually live in.  The neighborhoods, the city center – it all fit my likes.  I found good restaurants and a charming bed and breakfast.  It was a great launching point too to explore the south island of New Zealand and I sure hope to return some day!

Christchurch, New Zealand, cathedral, earthquake, destruction

Indoors at the main cathedral that, unfortunately, had to be condemned after the damage it suffered during the earthquake

I sure hope to return to Christchurch and explore it and the area more!

Boarding Pass Stories: Las Vegas

Welcome to a new feature for this travel blog  As I shared in an earlier post, my history of travels is well-documented not only here but in the multitude of boarding passes I accidentally started collecting over 20 years ago.  I think it is time those boarding passes stepped up to the plate and helped me tell the story of the trip, the place, and the airline…  These posts will give short glimpses into these topics and I hope you find them a unique way to share the experience!  And consider this your own boarding pass to share your own experiences – or dreams – about these places!

Without further ado, for this inaugural post, I have selected:    Las Vegas, baby!

Las Vegas Boarding Pass Delta travel flight fun nevada

The destination, the when(s), and the reason(s)

I had been to Las Vegas once before with two of my aunts and their families.  This time, 15 years later, I went for a friend’s wedding.  A REAL wedding not an escapist one!  Ceremony at the Wynn, reception at Maggiano’s.

The airline

Delta, of course!  Leaving from home (Atlanta), Delta made the most sense.  Note I was only a Silver Medallion in those days so no upgrade for ilivetotravel

What fascinated me about this experience

My first trip to Vegas was a short overnight stay over on our way to explore the Southwest.  On this trip, I got to live a little of the Vegas life.   No, the details are not being left out because of that cliché (what happens in Vegas, blah blah blah…).  Simply, we didn’t do anything crazy.  I did get to see why people enjoy Vegas so much on this trip.  Wedding events aside (at a Hofbrauhaus one night, at the Mandarin Oriental rooftop bar another, etc.), I enjoyed lounging by the pool of our hotel and I even got to see Cirque du Soleil‘s O at the Bellagio with my Godson.   What fascinated me about this experience was finally “getting” that Vegas is more than bachelor parties and casinos:  I am glad I went with an open mind and gave Las Vegas a second chance!

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