Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore MD 2023

[2023-July-04-thru-09, Baltimore, MD US]

So I was at the 2023 Mensa AG or Annual Gathering in Baltimore, MD. Usually I don’t do tours when I go to a convention; however, I could not pass up going to the only (so far) Guinness Brewery in the US. I have been to the Dublin Guinness Brewery (a few times) so this would be a perfect thing to do. Plus it was a Friday 07-JUL-2023…

So here are pictures from the tour. This brewery creates experimental brews and then when they think they have a hit, they will produce it for distribution. However, a lot of it is small batch experiments and you need to be at the brewery to taste those special one of a kind until they run out concoctions.

Oh, one last thing. In Dublin, you only get one Guinness on the tour and you can’t buy additional ones. At Guiness Open Gate Baltimore, not only do you get multiple samples on the tour, you can order more after (or before) the tour; plus they have a kitchen, so you can order food. So that is a big plus. Here are the pictures from the tour.

Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore MD

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 🙂 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.

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.

Alghero Sardinia Italy

[25-June-2022 to 04-July-2022, Alghero, Sardegna (Sardinia) IT]

Francesa invited me to her 50th birthday bash in Alghero, Sardegna in Italy. I flew into JFK via Delta since they had better times than AA. Met up with Francesca and then flew from JFK to MXP (Milano, IT) on AA in Economy Plus, which is like domestic First Class except the seats are a tad narrower. Then from MSP, flew to AHO (Alghero) airport via EasyJet.

Then we got a car and drove to the villa we are staying at – met up with Kim and Laura. Let the adventure begin. Kim left early on Friday. Marco flew in after Kim left and we continued our adventures. Here are the pictures. I did an initial cut from 1000 to 400 and I was going to trim a bit more but it got tedious too fast so here are all 400 in the order they happened. Also, I gave up commenting on the pics after the first batch so sorry about that – just click on the pic below or the link under it to go to the picture page:

The Villa at Alghero, Sardegna, IT