Saturday, February 22, 2014

Weather Chaos - Travel Tips for Bad Weather

Heavy snow at home on March 21, 2010
This winter's wacky weather has caused its fair share of problems for travelers over the past few months.  Impassable roads and paralyzed Southern cities have certainly been problematic, but air travelers have been whacked just as badly, with more than 25,000 flights canceled so far this winter according to some tallies.  Winter weather can do much to disrupt a vacation or business trip, but much to the chagrin of storm-weary travelers, severe weather season is just around the corner, which can mean even more problems.  After the jump, read five of my tips for planning around and dealing with weather-related chaos on your next trip.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Coming Home from India - Flight Review

As I wrote about a few weeks ago, we flew to India via Qatar Airways.  On the way home, though, for a number of reasons, we flew via British Airways.  One of the primary factors was that we were flying home on Thursday, and I really needed to try and get to work for a little while on Friday, so I needed something with more space than regular coach class to rest.  BA offers a premium economy class with more space that I thought might do the trick.  Ultimately, we ended up with a little surprise that gave me all the rest I needed.  Find out more after the jump.

Friday, February 14, 2014

An Indian Road Trip, Part 2 - Pondicherry

By now, you've probably about our recent visit to Kumbakonam, and our short visit to Mahabalipuram a few days later.  There was one more spot on our to-do list, though:  my mom and aunt wanted to show us the city of Pondicherry.  My late father went to medical school there, and it was the first place my mom and dad lived together after they were married in 1965.  I'd wanted to go there since my first visit to India in 1987, so despite the less than ideal circumstances, I was looking forward to going.  Read more about our short day trip after the jump.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Mahabalipuram, India

Last week, I documented our road trip from Chennai to Kumbakonam and back.  However, that wasn't the only road trip we ended up doing during our short trip to India.  My mom and aunt wanted to show me and my brother the medical school my dad attended in Pondicherry (about 160 km south of Chennai), which meant another trip by car.  On the way, we made a stop at Mahabalipuram, a heritage site featuring "sea temples" carved from sandstone more than 1,500 years ago.  And of course, this meant enjoying my favorite hobby, the road trip.  The photo above is pretty awesome, but see a whole lot more after the jump!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

An Indian Road Trip

During our recent trip to India, we had two places (besides our uncle's house in Chennai) that we needed to get to.  The most important, and the reason for our trip, was our dad's village outside of Kumbakonam, the town that was the subject of last week's post.  The second, which wasn't actually on the agenda until after we got to Chennai, was the city of Pondicherry (I hope to have a post of that trip up next week).  My dad went to medical school there, and my mom and aunt wanted to show us the town and where he went to school.  Given the distances from Chennai - 270 km and 160 km respectively - and our limited time in India, hiring a car and driver was our only real option, which meant time for a road trip.  When you think of driving in India, you probably think of the photo above, a scene of traffic and controlled chaos in a land of 1.2 billion people.  Once you get out of the city, though, you'll find a surprising amount of open space and farmland, along with glimpses of the country's culture that make it at once fascinating and somewhat frustrating.  After the jump, enjoy a photo essay of our road trip to Kumbakonam and back (details of our trip to Pondicherry next week, hopefully).

Cityscapes From the Air

We recently flew out to Los Angeles to visit friends and family, and due to a ridiculous fare sale on Southwest, decided to fly with them even though that would mean a couple of extra stops en-route.  Due to the beautiful weather both en route and back, I was able to get some really nice photos of several city skylines on the way.  I've gotten many photos of skylines over the years, but mainly from the ground or the top of a hill; it's a much different perspective when you do a close fly-by from a plane, which also provides views of the surrounding landscape.  Enjoy views of Dallas, El Paso, Phoenix, Ontario (California), and San Antonio after the jump.