Tag Archives: Florida

Check out my hotel in Hollywood, FL

I wasn’t looking forward to Hollywood, Fl. But, I have to admit, the hotel, the Westin Diplomat, is excellent. Not only do they have bathrobes here, but the room itself is amazing. It is quite large, and there is a bathroom area (not including the toilet) that opens into the bedroom. The bathtub is almost impressive. I haven’t been onto the balcony yet. It’s on the 30th floor and has a great few, but I can get the view without stepping onto it. I’m not crazy about heights, so I’ll pass on putting my life at risk.

I suspect this place will get a good review from me on TripAdvisor, but I’m not planning to say anything nice about the restaurant. The food was decent, but the service was absolutely awful. It took forever for someone to take my order. Much later, when they realized how pissed I was, the service improved, but the waiter seemed to be overcomensating.

I Hate to Fly

This isn’t a fear issue. I’ve never been afraid to fly, and I’ve spent more time on planes at my tender age than most people will in their entire lives. I’ve had super-duper-elite-medallion-preferred status on several airlines at the same time. But, for some reason, I have not gotten used to what flying entails.

I made it to LaGuardia airport an hour before my flight, already pissed because I was under the gun for a day job deadline. I was starving and dropped my pizza on the floor. Of course, I screamed an obscenity, though it was my own fucking fault. Just a reference point– this is the type of mood I was in.

Well, I guess I still haven’t leared that everyone working in an airport is fucking inept. Quadruple espresso: how fucking hard is that? But, I get it. This is ot were the folks who will cure cancer someday wind up. I’m coming to accept this.

I have particular hatred for infrequent travelers. Though I’m no longer on the road 40+ weeks a year(how I hated those days …), I do still get to an airport almost monthly, and I’ve been a pretty frequent traveler for more than a decade. My point: I know how to behave in an airport. These other dimwits don’t. It drives me out of my fucking mind to see them fuck everything up (like not taking laptops out of bags until at the x-ray machine.

If you can’t, read signs and follow instructions, you belong on a fucking bus.

New Travel Article: Ritz-Carlton, Naples, FL

Remember that trip I took to an undisclosed location in Florida a few weeks back? It was to the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, FL. Now that the article has been posted on TraderDaily.com‘s travel section, I can finally talk about it! I have to admit, it was among the best hotel experiences I have had (and keep in mind that I spent several years logging 40+ weeks on the road).

I am so happy that I can finally tell you guys how much I loved that place. You’ll read all about it on TraderDaily.com, but I do want to rave about the spa there for a sec. It was nothing short of heavenly. I seriously felt like my hands and feet were going to float away. If there is ever a reason to go to Florida, this is it.

Check out the review at TraderDaily.com >>

Finally Home

Well, it took more than 24 hours, but I am finally home. It could have been a lot worse. Had I not been traveling on business– with a very understanding hotel– I could have spent the night in the Fort Meyers airport, sleeping on the floor and trying to subsist on fast food as both my Blackberries lost their remaining battery juice. Instead, I was comfortable, ate and drank well and was lent a Blackberry charger. So, I have few real complaints– excpet when it comes to JetBlue.

Friends Don’t Let Friends Fly JetBlue

Here’s the latest: my flight has been pushed back to 1:30 pm. The announcement was made, and no reason was given. So, I went up to the gate and asked why. The employees were not sure. Finally one said she thought it was high wind. In order to find out the reason for the delay, they have to decipher some small codes on the computer screen. I imagine that it must be quite difficult (not joking).

There’s a problem with is situation– aside from the ongoing problem of my not being in New York yet. the inability to decipher the reasons for a delay prevents JetBlue from living up to its obligations under its “Customer Bill of Rights“. As I mentioned in a post yesterday, JetBlue promises:


JetBlue will notify customers of the following:

  • Delays prior to scheduled departure
  • Cancellations and their cause
  • Diversions and their cause

I find it interesting that delays do not trigger a need to provide the cause, while cancellations and diversions do.  So, let’s even take my predicament out of the equation and try to figure out how, in general, the policy works for cancellations and diversions. Since the folks at the gate cannot readily interpret the information they are provided, how can they comply with the second two bullet points above. JetBlue is simply not equipped to follow its own policy.

JetBlueimply cannot succeed; it can’t engineer successes where they don’t belong. They have built a policy that matches the effectiveness of the staff: destined for failure.

I Am Wood

Okay, enough of the nastiness. It’s time to focus on the positive aspects of my day. I went to the spa today. It was every bit as mind-blowing as you would expect. According to some Chinese astrological system, I am wood (that is my basic element). Further, I am supported by water and contained by metal. It sounds crazy, but if this stuff played any role in my aromatherapy salt bath, massage or clay mask, then I’m now a believer. Throw in a shower that had SEVEN heads(!), and my morning/early afternoon was hard to beat. It is extremely likely that I will return to this destination.

I Hate JetBlue

“Happy jetting,” my ass. i am not doing any “jetting” this evening. Know why? I’ll tell you why. JetBlue sucks. Big time.

Let me say this once and for the record: I hate JetBlue. I hate JetBlue with a passion. First, they left me stuck on the runway for more than an hour when I left JFK on Friday. It’s bad, but the reality of flying JetBlue. Let’s not forget that these fucks left passengers stuck in a plane on the runway for around 10 hours last year.

Well, they somehow canceled my flight to JFK this afternoon … without bothering to tell me. I showed up at the airport; the asshole behind the counter just told me that JetBlue was booked solid into JFK until Tuesday and had no way to get me near New York today. “Well,” I asked, “can you get me into LaGuardia tomorrow? Newark?” No to the former, yes to the latter. But, he didn’t even fucking offer! I had to drag it out of him!

In the words of my favorite cigar guy, “Amigo, cahhh’maaaahhhn.” Translation: This is bullshit.

JetBlue can kiss my ass. Due to the nature of my travel, I don’t always get to choose my airline. When I do get to choose, it will not be JetBlue. I suggest that you adopt a similar policy. JetBlue will fuck you over on a good day and strand you when all else fails.

So, I am back at the resort that I came down here to cover. In all honesty, it could be worse (as my wife reminded me). I am in a top-shelf hotel, and they actually upgraded my room. Now, I have a corner room with a large wraparound deck. There are chairs to accommodate around eight people. So, I am writing, thinking, fuming and smoking a Padron Anniversaro 1926 (natural wrapper, not maduro). I have some writing to do, so I’ll at least be busy this evening. Dinner is en route (a burger, I’m really pretty simple.

The hotel made solving my current situation very easy, and for that, they have my eternal gratitude. I can’t reveal where I am staying on my blog, as the article has yet to be published (hell, I still have to write it). But, if you know me and I deem you trustworthy, give me a shout, and I’ll spill the beans.

For everybody, if you just need a vacation recommendation, hotel suggestion, etc., never be shy about contacting me. I would be more than happy to help you out. Just go to How to Contact Migrant Blogger, or simply leave a message on any of the blog articles. If you do not want your post to be made public, please start it with “DO NOT POST”.

Just a reminder, my travel column launches tomorrow at TraderDaily.com.

All is well in Fla

I had a busy day, and now I’m back on my balcony enjoying a cigar and relaxing a bit. Since I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep last night (thanks to JetBlue), I’ve been dragging, though I did get a boost of adrenaline for the interviews I got to conduct this afternoon. I’m looking forward to an upscale dinner in a few hours. I’m getting pretty hungry. Breakfast was fantastic, but lunch was Spartan given the day’s agenda. The experience, though, was certainly worth it.

Right now, I’m looking at the putting green and a couple of guys trying to make the “short game” work. They aren’t seeing a whole lot of success. The putz putts. Pretty funny, at least for the time and place.

I’m smoking a good cigar right now, the Taino maduro. It fits the weather. Putting back a Nicaraguan stick in this weather would kill me. The heat is the major culprit. I step outside and feel like I’m baking. It’s worth it, though, as everything else related to this trip is top-notch.

I can’t wait for dinner!

On Assignment Somewhere in Florida

I’m in Florida on business, researching a story for my travel column on www.traderdaily.com. Yes, just a reminder, it will be live on Monday. Since I plan to use th ematerial from this trip, I can’t say too much on my blog. After al, I have to feed the people that pay me. But, I can give you a sense of where I am staying. First, the property is gorgeous. It’s dark outside, and I can still tell that it’s amazing. Luxury seeps out of the walls. Right now, I’m smoking a cigar on my private balcony and blogging away. No complaints … except that I can’t smoke in the air conditioned room. Florida is hot as hell, and not just by my standards. It’s almost midnight, and I’m sweating a little. But, the decent breeze offsets it.

There was a nice gift waiting for me when I arrived. I love that. For some reason, I’m treated like a king, just because I’m a travel writer. Well, I can tell you that I was treated like a king until they found out who I am. So, I’m even more impressed. Top-shelf is the standard here.

This is funny, because when I travel on my own dime, I tend to go low rent. Not only does it add character to the trip, it does help stretch things out a bit. Laura and I went to Paris about a year ago. For the business portion of my trip, I stayed at the Westin at Place Vendome. For the vacation part of the trip, I was at a small dump on Montmartre (where my wife joined me). I love excitement and adventure, but I have to admit, I could develop a taste for luxury.

It’s hard to believe that I was in Florida on assignment almost nine years ago. Back then, I was a software consultant in the hospitality industry. I was on the road at least four weeks out of every five. The pay was shitty, but the lifestyle did have its moments. On one jaunt to Florida, I was on site with a friend and colleage (who shall remain nameless– he’s a family man now). We shared the sentiment that the value of the property declined every minute we were there. Yeah, the place where I find myself now is even nicer than that one. It’s truly amazing.

I was given a gift upon check-in. Actually, it was left in my room. I absolutely love that. Being treated well is always a treat. But, what I really love about this place is that I was treated well before they found out who I am. For these guys, upscale and care are de rigeur. I did carry my own bags, though. I’m weird like that. I like to carry my own bags. I’m not crazy about being served.

Back in those hotel consulting days, I used to take a town car to the airport just about every week. I lived in a suburb of Boston at the time and used the same car service every Sunday afternoon and every Friday evening. I wound up getting the same driver a lot. Nice kid. I insisted on carrying my own bags. He begged me to stop. I replied, “Nah, I’m not like that.” His retort: “Yeah, but it’s my job.” Fair enough. I was fucking up is ability to earn a living, so I let him carry my bags. But, he’s among the few.