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We did a Mediterranean cruise!

Because I am nothing if not slothful when it comes to blogging, my wife and I took an absolutely wonderful Mediterranean cruise in the spring. It may have been the most fun and successful vacation we have ever taken, which is saying something because we have never had a bad trip.

We left from Barcelona and ended in Venice. In between we visited Monaco, Rome, Florence, Pisa, Athens and Croatia. The food and the scenery was all amazing and beautiful and absolutely lovely and I seriously have nothing to say about this trip. It was fantastic.

Here's a sample of the approximately 10 million photos we took.

#vanlife Devon Lion's Campground

We successfully completed our first camping outing in our camper van last weekend out at the Devon Lion's Campground. Everything pretty much works fine. There's a couple of things we need to get the dealership to check, but nothing that brought the trip to a screeching halt.

My wife totally loved her kitchen and being able to cook inside. Having a bathroom inside is great, too. We rigged up a bed for our daughter with a few boards and a mattress that went on top of the captains chairs. It's small, but it worked as a way to sleep a third person in the vehicle.

And check out the fancy TV! There's a VCR behind the right side panel. No, really! We're planning to pull it all out and make it more storage.

Next trip out in the Camper Van will be Canada Day long weekend. We plan to take Thor.

The camper van!

As previously noted, we traded in the car camping concept for an actual camper van. We picked it up from the dealership on the weekend, and after a surprise and unfortunate mechanical issue that was quickly rectified, we now have it at home and are prepping for a summer of adventure in it.

And while I'm excited about being able to do road trips in this, I was quite pleased to discover that my iPad Mini sits very nicely in the giant console between the two captains chairs and can function as our navigation and entertainment system.
Watch this blog for all the fun and adventure (and hopefully no more mechanical issues) all summer long! 
(Disclaimer: Blog posts will come when I have access to a laptop or real computer as Google has made it nigh impossible to use Blogger on an iPhone.)

The Great Las Vegas Food Blog - Spring 2018 edition

I went to Las Vegas with my lovely wife. We ate food. It was amazing. Here's the details:

So let's start off with the best thing we did there: have lunch at the brand new Hell's Kitchen restaurant on the grounds of Caesar's Palace. We booked reservations about six weeks before just after it opened. The lobster risotto was amazing. The brick pressed chicken was delicious. The beef Wellington was to die for. The sticky toffee pudding was a great cap to the meal. And we met Chef Michelle Tribble who won the most recent season of the reality TV show and who won the prize of being head chef at this new restaurant, who was very accomodating in the photograph request department. This was by far the most money I'd ever paid for a meal at a restaurant, but I can't say enough good things about it. Absolutely great food.
Bobby Flay's Burger Palace was also a hit! My wife had never eaten there before - I had once - and she loved it. The blue cheese bacon burger (above) …

Lamenting the loss of the paper boarding pass

Being a tech geek, I suppose I should wildly cheer the completely unsurprising news that paper boarding passes at airports will soon be a thing of the past, and everyone will be ushered into the glorious new era of all-electronic boarding passes on our phones, in our electronic wallets and in our airline apps.

But there's a part of me that isn't cheering this news at all. I actually like paper boarding passes.

For starters, paper boarding passes almost always scan the first time at security and at the boarding gate. I can't tell you the number of times I've been in an airport security line and someone spends 30 seconds fiddling with the brightness screen on their smart phone so that their electronic boarding pass will scan.

Or that one time I saw a person try to repeatedly scan their boarding pass at security on their Apple Watch for what seemed like five hours (I'm sure it was 20 seconds, but it was 20 excruciating seconds) before the individual actually took off…

Camping in Arizona

We spent a couple of weeks in Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon in early October, and I've been horribly delinquent in blogging about it. Needless to say, it was terrific. The Grand Canyon is beautiful beyond words, and there's lots of cool things to do around the Flagstaff area, including the Meteor Crater, the Petrified Forest, and the Lowell Observatory (which was an absolutely fantastic surprise). So here's a bunch of almost literally randomly chosen photos. Because I don't have hours to properly sort through them, and because everything we saw was spectacular.