Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Frankincense in Oman

Whenever I am in Oman, I try to bring frankincense back. I often wonder how frankincense harvested. Turns out the BBC has covered the Omani frankincense harvest this summer.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Biking around Ireland

A good piece by Brian McIntyre in the Irish Times today, who biked around Ireland.

I echo his experiences of Irish B&B's. Some excellent, with great breakfasts. Others "trying to emulate hotels, with dining rooms like public spaces, minimal interaction, and a growing sense of formality". And, as with Ireland in general, many are still overpriced. But the good ones are really good:

However, it was an experience in Bunmahon, Co Waterford that reminded me why a good Irish BB beats all. I arrived close to 7pm at Copperfield House BB in the middle of a massive downpour, soaked and mucky. When she answered the door, the look on Margaret Curran’s face said “Come in out of the rain” and not “Oh dear God, my carpets”. Within 10 minutes my bike was in the garage, she had offered to dry all my sports gear, and she and her husband chatted pleasantly with me about my day and the area.

All of this was followed by a knockout breakfast the following morning. And Copperfield House BB was also the cheapest BB I encountered at €35.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hyatt "Three for free"

Hyatt Resorts now has a “Three for Free” offer, where guests receive three free rewards during their stay – a free room night (based upon a minimum length of stay), room upgrade and full American breakfast for two daily at some Hyatt Resorts from September 8th through December 18th (more information available on

The only Hyatt Resort I've stayed at is the Hyatt at Palm Springs - normally I am at more staid Hyatt locations like last week at the Hyatt in Herndon Virginia. I'd highly recommend the Palm Springs Hyatt - nice rooms opening out onto an enclosed courtyard with a piano.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Don't pay to use the US ESTA system

Good piece in the Irish Times about why not to pay third-parties to fill out the US ESTA forms for you. Unfortunately, there is a whole industry centered around charging money to fill out US Government forms which you could easily fill out yourself.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

$599 All-you-can-fly with JetBlue

This may be appealing to many business people who fly a lot, if you can get your company to agree. I know that I've certainly spent over $599 on flights this week alone (including two JetBlue flights) and with this program I would be ahead: