Key West Food and Wine Fest JAN 2023

[25-JAN-2023 to 29-JAN-2023 Key West, FL US]

Where I am, it was snow all over the ground from weeks ago that has not melted. Iced over one morning and the bare branches of the trees and everything was coated with ice. Looked enchanting so I snapped a few pictures. Then to the airport. The plane was empty going out. Got to Key West on Wednesday night and visited with the wine and food fest group as they were finishing the dinner. Made my rounds quickly and said hello to everyone.

Thursday, went to Sloppy Joes as always. And of course took a pic just because I always do. Then off to the first Key West Food and Wine Fest dinner on Thursday night. Amazing as usual. Food, wine, really great. Chef gave a quick talk on the food and pairings (picture above).

Friday, I took a day off for the festivities and went to the Prime Steakhouse on Caroline Street. I ordered an entire bottle of Malbec so I can take the left over back to the hotel, in theory, of course…

Saturday was lunch at the fest. Each meal paired with wine of course. Great presentation. Great food and music. One of the wines (see pictures below) was approximately $270 per bottle (if you can find any, it actually goes for more). We got a taste of it πŸ™‚ This link was working as of January 2023: Bressia Ultima Hoja Blend.

The last fest event I went to was Saturday afternoon at the wine tasting right by the Key West Light House. The lighthouse was open so I went in of course and took pictures. Then soon as I got out of the lighthouse a Boeing V-22 Osprey was flying overhead so I took a picture of it. I enlarged it and you can see faint detail – not bad for a phone camera…

I missed the Sunday brunch but it’s okay, I went from Key West to Miami and got onboard an American Airlines Boeing 787 in Business class from Miami to Dallas. The flight was too short! While the food was obviously not chef cooked nor on site; however, it was good, especially with drinks, of course.

See all the pictures by clicking on the picture or link below:

Key West Food and Wine Fest 2023

The Key West Food and Wine Fest is every year on the last weekend of January and you can get the information here. The program for each year is posted around October of each year at the Key West Food and Wine Fest official site.

New Year’s Eve 2022 in Vancouver, BC Canada

[29-DEC-2022 to 02-JAN-2023 Vancouver, BC, Canada]

Traveling in winter is always tricky – especially when flying. Sometimes you don’t get there, get there late, and so on. Then of course the return trip could be a “side adventure” on it’s own.

Last time I was in Vancouver was 1994 (I think). So I decided to go there for an updated visit and planned a boat ride for New Year’s Eve. Visited a few restaurants/microbreweries while there, of course. The city has expanded since the last time I was there by a LOT – almost three decades (!) – therefore, a much longer visit would be needed – maybe in the summer…

The New Year’s Eve Boat trip was great, made a bunch of instant friends, then we all went off on our own ways. Flying back looked dicey. Massive snow in the US. Got as far as Denver. My home airport was snowed in!

Travel Tip 1: Take one day’s worth of extra clothes.

Travel Tip 2: Book at a hotel that has a restaurant in the hotel so you don’t need to venture out (unless you want to, of course).

Travel Tip 3: Get a hotel with an airport shuttle service. That will save you two Uber/Lyft costs…

Travel Tip 4: I was stuck in Denver for three nights! Use the extra set of clothes so you don’t smell bad (!) and do laundry at the hotel.

This was a great side-adventure. If you are stuck, whether you are happy or miserable is all in your own brain. Make the best of it and you’ll have fun! Made more instant friends and we had a blast during happy hour πŸ™‚

Here are some pictures from this trip:

Steamworks Brewing Co, Vancouver, BC Canada

Fun in Portland, Maine US Nov 2022

[24-27 NOV-2022 Portland Maine, US]

Random travel to random spot for nothing in particular. Did go on a brewery tour with
Brews Cruise. Pictures from the tour below.

There is a narrow gauge rail that goes up and down the coast, about a 45 minute ride. I did not go on the train but I might try it next time in the summer time when they server beer πŸ™‚ Information here:
Maine Narrow Guage Railroad Company. I have a few pictures of the train at the start point (no train station).

Otherwise noting else to report, click on the pic or the link below to peruse the pictures:

Shipyard Brewery, Portland Maine

Back to London 06-thru-10 OCT-2022

[06-October-2022 to 10-October-2022, London, UK]

As travel shut down from the pandemic, I did not go to London, UK for two years. That ended when I flew in October of 2022 for a quick whirlwind tour of the usual places I hang out at.

The Elizabeth line (the picture above is from Heathrow station) was still split in two: westbound to/from Paddington and eastbound to/from Paddington. (The Line is now now contiguous through Paddington since 05-Nov-2022 – so I guess I have to go back and take the Elizabeth Line from Heathrow to Canary Wharf.) Here is the official tube maps from TfL or Transport for London.

I stayed at the Kimpton Fitzroy (hotel website) right off the Piccadilly Line Russel Square tube station. One of my memory chips failed and I lost a ton of pictures but here are the ones I was able to salvage…

Click on the picture or link to view all of the pictures:

Kimpton Fitzroy hotel

Virgin Voyages Richard Branson Birthday Bash Cruise 2022-July

[17-July-2022 to 22-July-2022, Virgin Voyages Caribbean Cruise]

After being delayed for two years, The Richard Branson Birthday Bash Virgin Voyages took to the sea from 17-July-2022 to 22-July-2022. I booked through Shelby at (or on Facebook here). The cruise left the Port of Miami to Cozumel and then to the private beach for Virgin on Bimini. But enough talk, here are the pictures – just click on the pic below or the link under it to go to the picture page. The first set are pictures I took followed by selected the pictures that were shared by the TravelFun group:

Pool Deck Party on Virgin Cruises

All shared pictures from the TravelFun group are Copyright © 2022 respective to the person who took those pictures and appropriate permissions are needed if used for any purpose other than personal use. All StarkRavingNomad pictures are Copyright © 2022 talcMedia Productions. All Rights Reserved.