Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wine Traveler’s Travels 2

Wine Traveler’s Travels 2 (From the archives)
05 Sep 2000
            Well it was another early morning trip out of SeaTac made bearable by the fact that my wife, Gail accompanied me to the airport.  This is a rare occasion since our schedules rarely coincide, and it was a welcome change to have her there to say goodbye to before I went into the terminal.  Well my luck has remained with me and this trip is on TWA again which means I get the free upgrade to first class.  The breakfast was the vegetable quiche again and was just as good as last week. The movie was Frequency, a very predictable movie about a son making contact with his deceased father via a HAM radio with the help of solar flares.  I expected a tearjerker, and as my kids will attest I cry easy at the movies, well I didn’t shed a tear here as it was too canned, and even for a diehard sci-fi fan too improbable.  Well the wait in St. Louis was only 30 minutes so I went right to the gate.  To my surprise the 42-minute flight to Indianapolis was on a 757.  This flight was very quick and comfortable. 
            The drive from Indianapolis was in the 2000 Mazda 626 from Hertz.  It was a comfortable but small vehicle with that tin can feeling but miles above the contour they first offered me. 
            Terre Haute Indiana is the home of basketball great Larry Bird and the Indiana State University.  It is also the home of, in my humble opinion; the best managed Holiday Inn in the country.  The place while not new is well maintained and clean.  You are met with a smile and coupons for a complimentary breakfast bar in the restaurant (a real breakfast with sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs and home fries) and a coupon for a free drink in the lounge.  The indoor pool is clean and warm the Hot tub was also clean and could have been a little hotter but over all a great experience.  This was my third time at this particular Holiday Inn and while the rate has increased from $69 to $79 it is still one of the best values I have ever experienced in the hotels I have visited.  I have even been known to add to evaluations at other Holiday Inns that they could learn something from this site.  The Mall here has a store called Bach Rack, which is an outlet for Bachrach clothing.  You can find fine dress shirts usually priced at $45+ for $6.  I did not find anything I liked on this trip however I did run across a Fred Meyer Jewelers that had a pair of peridot earrings on sale I could not pass up for my wife since last month I was unable to get anything nice for her birthday. 
            I spent most of my time here this trip at the hospital so I did not get to explore the city much.  I finished early and hoped to visit my brother and sister-in-law in Indianapolis on the way home but their schedule did not coincide so since I finished early I was able to change my flight home and get all 757 service home.  The movie on the way home was “Keeping the Faith”, one of the best films I have seen this year.  It is the story of three best friends; a Priest, a Rabbi, and a girl.  I laughed and I cried and so did most everyone else on the plane.  I can’t wait till it is available to rent so I can see it again and share it with Gail.
            I was able to get home before Gail left for work that night and gave her the earrings; she was very pleased.  She wore them the next day when we went on a dinner cruise on the “Spirit of Puget Sound”.  Gail’s employer sponsored this cruise.  We left from the Port of Everett at 4 PM the ship has two decks for the dinner cruise and seats about 300 people.  There was a live band on each deck as well as a dance floor.  The Buffet was great there was dill carrots, crab salad, tossed salad, potato salad, beef stew and rice, teriyaki chicken, and baked salmon with dill sauce.  The dill carrots were fantastic, the crab salad was also good.  I also had the teriyaki chicken and the salmon all of which were awesome. The Desert was a flamboyantly prepared cherry jubilee.  Then came the Show, which was a musical presentation that was very well done.  The Band was great and I even got Gail up dancing, something I wish we did more of.  I highly recommend this dinner cruise, and I will be adding it to the list of things to do with visiting friends and relatives (any excuse to get Gail to go dancing with me).

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