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worldtraveller73 Jun 9, 19 11:05 am

Spring Break in Park City, Utah, USA via Alaska Airlines
 
Spring Break in Park City, Utah, United States of America via Alaska Airlines

BLI-SEA-SLC (Alaska 2 for 1 companion paid fare)
SLC-SEA-BLI (Alaska 2 for 1 companion paid fare)

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Preparation:

In efforts to keep WT73jr off spending too much time on his cell phone over Spring Break, I secured and planned a week on the ski hill in Park City Utah doing an activity we do every other weekend at the home ski hill at Whistler, BC. I booked an award booking in Park City in high season over spring break week using Marriott Bonvoy points; which came with a 60 day cancellation policy. Unfortunately, thanks to complex relations with the “previous administration”, the support for him to go on an international trip from Canada evaporated and I was stuck with this trip that couldn’t be cancelled. Ever the supportive wife, MrsWT73 opted to take a week off work and join me for a week in Utah. I used an Alaska 2 for 1 companion fare to get there, which was a great deal since it avoided the high spring break fares. Alaska was able to do a name change on this companion ticket for $150 shortly just a week before the travels. I certainly didn’t mind a week off of work in the sun and with that, away we went.

In this Report:

Alaska Airlines: Bellingham - Seattle
The Club at Seattle - A Concourse - Seattle Tacoma Airport
Alaska Airlines: Seattle - Salt Lake City
Hotel Park City - Autograph Collection Hotel
Park City, Utah, USA
Alaska Airlines: Salt Lake City - Seattle
Alaska Airlines Seattle - Bellingham.


Links to my previous reports:

Christkindlesmarkt Villages in Germany via British Airways and Lufthansa First Class, December 2018
Iceland, Spain & Morocco via IcelandAir Business Class & British Airways First Class. Sept 2018
East Africa: Tanzania and Seychelles via Air Canada & Turkish Airlines Business Class June 2018
Spring Break with WT73jr at Vail Colorado, USA via Alaska Airlines. March 2018
Polyensia Part II: Easter Island, Chile & Mexico City, Mexico via LATAM Business Class. Sept 2017
Summer is a state of mind; Kaanapali, Maui, via Alaska Airlines with my 13 yr old son, August 2017
Fiji, New Zealand and French Polynesia via Fiji Airways, Air New Zealand and Air Tahiti Nui Business Class, June 2017
Mileage Running to New York via Delta Airlines First Class for Alaska MVP Status, Dec 2016
Havana and Varadero Cuba via Westjet Holidays from Canada, Nov 2016
Malta (and the island of Gozo), Venice, Italy and Oktoberfest in Munich, via Air France Business Class, Sept 2016
South Africa, Namibia, Victoria Falls, Mauritius & the UAE via Emirates First, Qatar & South African Airways Business, April 2016
Dodging Volcanic Ash: A family trip to Bali / Singapore with my 11 year old via Asiana, KLM and JAL Business, July 2015
RTW#3 (J): Vietnam, Maldives, and Tackling India’s Golden Triangle via Air Canada, Asiana Singapore, Air India and Turkish Airlines Business, May 2015
Experiencing flying as a "Non-Rev", Australia Wine and Beaches via Air Canada and Qantas Business, November 2014
Alaska Airlines First Class to Las Vegas, and a stay in the Aria Sky Suites “Penthouse” via Alaska Airlines First Class, August 2014
Family trip to Kenora Lake of the Woods Ontario via Air Canada Business Class. August 2014
Cathay Pacific First Class to New York, a sombre visit to the 9/11 Memorial Museum & 4 days of eating in NYC, May 2014
RTW #2: The Khors of Oman- via Japan, Poland & the UAE and ANA, Thai, Lufthansa Business Class. April 2014.
South Africa, Safari in Maasai Mara Kenya, & Mauritius via South African Airways, Swiss and Air Canada Business Class, Nov 2013
A family trip to Westin Playa Conchal, Liberia Costa Rica via United Airlines, Aug 2013
Buried Treasure: UAE Empty Quarter and Beyond to Huvadhoo Atoll, Maldives via United and Etihad Airlines, Nov 2012
RTW #1(F) The Time Share Presentation: Spain / China / Thailand via Asiana, Thai and Lufthansa First Class, May 2012
A visit to Macchu Picchu and Valle Nevado, Peru and Chile via Air Canada Business Class, Sept 2011
Travel after the Revolution of January 25, 2011. Egypt via Egypt Air, May 2011
A Step Back in Time: The Twilight of Burma, a visit to Myanmar via Silk Airways, Sept 2010

worldtraveller73 Jun 9, 19 11:08 am

Alaska Airlines
AS 526 Economy Class (L)
BLI – SEA (Bellingham International Airport – Seattle Tacoma International Airport)
March 16, 2019
6:00 AM – 6:50 AM
Booked: Boeing 737-7
Flown: Boeing 737-7


We woke up at 3 AM to button up the house. We were in the car by 4 AM to get through the Canada / USA Border at Peace Arch border and down to Bellingham on Interstate 5.

On arrival, I dropped the bags at the curb at an otherwise deserted Bellingham International Airport and left MsWT73 to attend to them while I parked the car. All the lots at Bellingham International are very close to the building and all are walkable from the terminal building without the need for a shuttle bus.

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At the Alaska Airlines counter, we checked in 2 suitcases under MVP Gold, 1 under my Alaska Airlines Credit Card leaving only a $40 bag fee to pay for my second sports equipment bag containing the skis and boots.

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Thankfully, Bellingham TSA now has pre-check. You use the same lane but don’t have to go through the nude-o-scope. The lines were differentiated with a special card. As we arrived onto the secure side, we were into a holding lounge where nothing was open and no lounges. I stocked up on the first coffee of the day at coffee from Tony’s Coffee’s

We were only in the lounge for about 5 minutes before boarding was announced. It’s outdoor boarding at Bellingham so as we boarded, we walked into the crisp morning air.

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Today’s Alaska aircraft was one of the newly refurbished aircraft with the brand new first class. MrsWT73 used her MVP gold upgrade into First Class and took seat 3A where a pre-departure water was waiting for her. I headed back to 20F where I had the seat next to me empty thanks to MrsWT73’s upgrade which left the seat unsold and unoccupied. If MrsWT73 had booked the tickets, we would have both been eligible for the upgrades but thanks to the last minute name change, I was left in the back for this short flight.

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It was a short 26 minute flight down to Seattle. Like the Vancouver – Seattle route, there was no service on board today’s short run in both front and the back.

We arrived into the D gates in Seattle with another 500 Alaska Mileage Plan miles in the account. It was short and sweet without much fuss or excitement.

worldtraveller73 Jun 9, 19 11:12 am

Club at Sea.
A Concourse
Seattle – Tacoma International Airport



We had a 2 hour and 40 minute connection in Seattle. As it was breakfast hour, we headed over to Floret Vegetarian restaurant whom had the briefest introduction to Priority Pass, lasting only about two weeks. After they had joined they then decided to withdraw or pause from their participation in the program. They had a sign up indicating not accepting priority pass at the reception. After we had booked this ticket, American Express Centurion also decided to close their lounge for light renovations for a short while. We headed over there to see whether it had been re-opened 6 days after the closure but it was all locked up and dark with not much happening.

We ended up taking breakfast at Wolfgang Puck at the cafeteria restaurant in the B gates area. A smoked Ham and cheese sandwich for me and an Mediterranean egg white omelette for mrswt73.

We ended up trekking the very long distance all the way to the N Concourse to the Club at Sea. My gosh – it’s quite the trek…

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Just on arrival, there was a DYKWIA wearing a Netjets black sweater outside talking on his cell phone about how upset at American Express was that there were no lounge for Amex cardholders. I suspect he was a re-positioning pilot.

At the reception to the Club at SEA, a friendly host checked our priority pass membership and we were admitted.

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The lounge was quite busy for being in the middle of nowhere. The seating areas were split into 3 places:

Area by the main reception,

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Area by the back windows with a view of the Seattle Tramway

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Business area behind a wall (not pictured)

There were small snacks available but I was happy that I had gotten breakfast earlier. I would have starved if I had relied solely on what was offered.

All in all, an okay place to visit if you happen to have 3 hours to spare… although I wouldn’t make a trip all the way out to high society here just for a free pepsi. It's probably quicker to take the terminal tram to visit the other Club at SEA in the South Terminal since this version is in the middle of nowhere.

worldtraveller73 Jun 9, 19 11:19 am

Alaska Airlines
AS 710 Premium Class (L)
BLI – SEA (Bellingham International Airport – Seattle Tacoma International Airport)
March 16, 2019
9:35 AM – 12:35 PM
Booked: Boeing 737-8
Flown: Boeing 737-8


I had splurged for Premium Class seating for this leg. It was the start to any wonderful holiday. Despite this, Premium Class isn’t all to premium. It’s still the same economy seat with slightly more leg room.

We wandered over to the recently expanded N gates where the new flagship Alaska Lounge is under construction. As usual at SeaTac, there was a bit of a crowd around Gate N16 while we waited to board.

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On board, a slightly larger seat, but nothing all too exciting.

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As always, there were nice views leaving seattle with the waterways all throughout the city.

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While we were underway, the crew offered the usual Premium Class snack. Alaska offers a free alcoholic beverage along with designer chocolate and mixed nuts.

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There were beautiful mountains on the short approach into Salt Lake and I had forgotten how pleasant the scenery was in this particular corner of the United States.

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We landed were out into the Salt Lake City airport quite quickly. The baggage claim was full of school groups in uniform headed various places.

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It was a quick walk up to the Hertz Ultimate Choice Aisle where we were able to pick out a large Nissan Altima with a massive trunk that was able to accommodate over size bags.

One of the best parts of Park City is that it's remarkably close to the airport. It was a short transfer up to park city. It was less than 40 minutes on the highway on great highway infrastructure left over from the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics of 2002.

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We stopped in at Whole Foods and located the liquor store to stock up our hotel for the week, quickly finding the hotel afterwards.

In summary, a reasonable short flight but I'd probably skip the premium class next time for something so short in duration.

worldtraveller73 Jun 9, 19 11:38 am

Hotel Park City,
An Autograph Collection Hotel
Executive Suite


Looking at hotel options for this particular stay, Marriott had a lot of Vacation Club properties in town. Although they were available for public paid rates, I couldn't find any reward point opportunities. I saw the St Regis and skipped over it for what was supposed to be a father / son holiday. That left a rather bland and dated looking Marriott property, or the Hotel Park City. I ended up with the Hotel Park City. With paid rates at about $650 USD per night, spending 200,000 Marriott Bonvoy points as a category 6 hotel (with the 5th night free) was a much better deal. A $20 a day resort fee was also added to the bill that was payable to the hotel directly.

On arrival at the hotel, we self parked the car and checked in. We were thanked for being a platinum member and we selected breakfast as welcome amenity. I am happy to report that despite past reports on Trip Advisor of breakfast being limited to a continental breakfast, it is now the full buffet breakfast on offer and not a short changed continental only version. The lobby is a grand space and was a nice place to arrive to after a day of skiing.

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After getting our key, we self led to room #224 which was an Executive Suite. We didn’t get an upgrade but it was the middle of spring break and there are lots of people here, including full occupancy some nights.

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Room had a bit of. Musty odor to it – solved by opening the large patio doors every day. The smell wasn’t so bad that we had to complain or change rooms.

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The Executive Suite had a separate seating area in a sunken living room. It had a gas fireplace and the usual flat screen tv for comfortable viewing.

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The suite sitting area and bed area was separated by a desk and television.

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The suite was well equipped with dishwasher, mini fridge, hot plate, microwave, bose stereo, two flat screen televisions.

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There was a large bathroom styled like every other resort Marriott in the USA, with a super strong rain shower. The toiletries weren’t anything to write home about, even though they were branded with the hotel spa.

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There was a small deck outside, with terrific west facing views into the sun overlooking the wintery golf course. There was also a peek – a – boo view of Payday on Park City Mountain.

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Yeah – this will work for a winter view!!

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The hotel also had lovely swim pools and a large hot tub. The hot tub was great after a day on the slopes.

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The room had details on the ski resort shuttle busses. Unfortunately, the hotel is not ski in – ski out and the shuttle only runs a few times a day. You could always take the local city bus, but you might as well use the features of your “resort fee”.

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Breakfast was offered in the attached Ruth's Chris' Steak House. The breakfast buffet changed over every few days but got to be a bit repetitive after a 5 day stay. Otherwise, I was really happy that it was included and there were lots to eat on offer. Platinum Breakfast description and menu is shown below...

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The Hotel Park City was a comfortable place to stay in Park City. The rooms was comfortable, the views were terrific and the platinum breakfast was more than acceptable. The only minus of the property was that it was not a true - ski in - ski out property, meaning you had to rely on shuttles to get to and from the ski hill. Otherwise, I was more than satisfied with the stay here, and would easily return the next time I was in town.

worldtraveller73 Jun 9, 19 11:45 am

Park City, Utah

One of the advantages of large corporations is that they can leverage resources. Ever since Vail Resorts purchased our local home ski hill of Whistler Blackcomb, they have added the ability to use ski passes interchangeably throughout the world. This has worked out quite well for us, and Vail Resorts gets more dollars through their network of resorts.

We took the hotel shuttle over to Park City resort. Park City Resort was the home of the alpine downhill for the Winter Olympics in 2002 and the home ski hill of the US Ski Team. It was a beautiful day on the hill. Some snaps courtesy of the iPhone…

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There were beautiful views from the top. The birch trees made for a different view than our usual coniferous fir trees back in the Pacific Northwest. We spent the day exploring the mountain. We also located some signs that are perfect for those in executive work positions (laughing).

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Shortly after lunch, we ended up in at Mid Mountain Public House for lunch. For those not familiar with Utah’s eccentric liquor laws, there is a major challenge in finding anything other than weak beer. Today’s experience meant that we had to locate the correct side of the deck, that didn’t allow under 21’s, and find the correct gate to get in. The strange liquor laws didn’t seem to stop the fellow skiers on the deck.

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We headed down for the day. I dropped MrsWT73 off at the bottom, where she hung out while I had a few more runs on PayDay. It was Power Hour as they say; one hour until lift closing.

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Someone was beat!!

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In summary, a great first day on the hill. We ended up at Wastach Brewing on Main Street in historic Park City for dinner. It was Saturday night and the town was packed. Wasatch Brewing was otherwise a great choice for an after skiing casual dinner, along with great brews.

Jaimito Cartero Jun 9, 19 12:01 pm

Nice report! You’ve got some really pretty views.

757 Jun 9, 19 4:31 pm

Great report so far. Looks like a fun trip! I used to go to Park City, UT with my family every winter for several years growing up, but I've not been back since then. Your photos definitely make me want to return!

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew

antebellum Jun 10, 19 12:36 am


Originally Posted by worldtraveller73 (Post 31186495)
“previous administration”

You must be dealing with some immigration troubles.
Anyway, Great report on Spring Break on Utah ski fields. To be honest, I think it is fantastic to spend your Spring Break at the snow.

Madone59 Jun 10, 19 5:19 am

Great report - thank's for sharing ^

roadwarrier Jun 10, 19 9:36 am


For those not familiar with Utah’s eccentric liquor laws, there is a major challenge in finding anything other than weak beer.
I remember a trip with two colleagues - one lived in SLC, the other from Chile and me from South Africa. So, my Chilean friend and I had to learn "The System" very quickly in order to get decent wine - and which places would serve it. :D

worldtraveller73 Jun 15, 19 2:16 pm

Park City, Utah
Day Two


MrsWT73 slept in and took a day off from the hill. I headed up early and headed straight over to the Canyons for a fast day of skiing. The weather was a little greyer today and speedster skiing was in order being a Monday with less weekender crowds on the hill.

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Despite the greyer weather, it was still a gorgeous day and I got my exercise.

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At the end of the day, I checked the run tracker through the Vail Resorts App. I managed 40,750 vertical and 28 lifts. A personal best!! I was exhausted at end of the day.

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After the day, I met up with MrsWT73 who had spent the afternoon clearing work emails. We managed a drive into the historic town and went out to Tiklea Mexican Restaurant for some tacos and great house made guacamole. One of the great things about visiting the United States is the fact that you can get terrific Mexican restaurants unlike anywhere else in the world; except for maybe Mexico.

We went out afterward to the No Name Saloon, a famous Park City establishment with lots of junk on the walls like at Applebees. It was a great way to end the day.

worldtraveller73 Jun 15, 19 2:21 pm

Park City, Utah
Day 3


On Day Three, we headed back up the hill. MrsWT73 was rested having had a day off and ready to tear up the hill. We wandered over to the Canyons, which is the second part of the ski hill at Park City for a change of scenery. We had more gorgeous weather with bright sun today.

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Towards the end of the day, MrsWT73 found herself a comfortable beach chair while I hit up a few extra runs. She was hoping for a bar somewhere, but struck out with only weak beer on tap on offer at the mid mountain cafeterias. I ended up doing some laps on PayDay towards the base while she sacked out.

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With another day done, we headed back to the Hotel Park City for a self catered apres on the room patio. It’s tough to beat these views!

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We had the fancy dinner of the trip tonight in town. We self drove ourselves into the historic town where the sun was just setting for the evening. Historic Park City is a neat town and an interesting place to explore for a few days.

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We had a booking a Tupoelo Park City a restaurant specializing in regional suppliers and ingredients.

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I ended up ordering the Rocky Mountain Elk Bolognese, with smoked parmesan and fresh mushrooms with snipped chives. It was a very tasty choice and a good pick for me.

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MrsWT73 opted for two starters instead of a main course, settling on Kale Caesar Salad, with sourdough croutons, smoked parmesan with Lemon along with Maine Crab Toast, Grilled Sourdough, Fennel Chilies and Garlic Aioli. I took a little bite of both and they were super tasty.

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We washed this down with Willimette Valley Jigsaw Pinot Noir.

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After an after dinner walk on Main Street, with the night still young, we hopped over to the No Name Saloon for a last cocktail. We arrived at just the right time as it started to get busy around 10:30 PM.

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We headed back to the hotel for a fabulous sleep!

worldtraveller73 Jun 15, 19 2:26 pm

Brighton Mountain Resort, Utah,
Day 4


MrsWT73 took today off to rest and catch up on work commitments. I had used my 3 free ski days “at another Epic Resort” courtesy of my 10 day Whistler Blackcomb Edge Card at Park City and had skied pretty much all over the hill. I didn’t fancy paying $199 USD for some mostly intermediate spring skiing at Deer Valley so I decided to check out one of the other ski areas around Salt Lake City. I ended up with old school Brighton, which was situated about 1 hour away from us in Park City in Big Cottonwood Canyon accessible from the Salt Lake City side of the mountains.

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With that decision done, I packed up the car and set out on the drive.

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Eventually arriving to Brighton, Utah about 1 hour later.

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It was old school skiing at Brighton with a lot less people and many more fir trees. I spend the day exploring the place and enjoying all the scenery and fresh air that the place had to offer.

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After a full day, it was back to Park City for a dip in the pool at the hotel. It was a great last day of skiing for the trip. We had dinner up the way at Squatters Roadhouse Grill, a place that I had eaten at before but always great quality and perfectly walkable from the Hotel Park City. Other travelers thought so as well as the place as was absolutely packed on our visit; even being a weeknight.

worldtraveller73 Jun 15, 19 2:35 pm


Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero (Post 31185823)
Nice report! You’ve got some really pretty views.

Thanks Jaimto Cartero; Park City is a beautiful corner of the United States.


Originally Posted by 757 (Post 31186495)
Great report so far. Looks like a fun trip! I used to go to Park City, UT with my family every winter for several years growing up, but I've not been back since then. Your photos definitely make me want to return!

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew

Thank you 757; it's grown up considerably since the Olympics. I've been fortunate enough to visit several times since 1998, 2000 and later on after the Olympics in 2008 till today.


Originally Posted by antebellum (Post 31187350)
You must be dealing with some immigration troubles.
Anyway, Great report on Spring Break on Utah ski fields. To be honest, I think it is fantastic to spend your Spring Break at the snow.

Thanks antebellum; the international components of any family holiday can cause headaches with divided families.


Originally Posted by Madone59 (Post 31187790)
Great report - thank's for sharing ^

Thanks again Madone59...


Originally Posted by roadwarrier (Post 31188417)
I remember a trip with two colleagues - one lived in SLC, the other from Chile and me from South Africa. So, my Chilean friend and I had to learn "The System" very quickly in order to get decent wine - and which places would serve it. :D

Roadwarrier; it does take some learning.. that's for sure!!


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