Vlog 8 | Dallas DEEP Ellum Dinner and Drinks

Dallas Deep Ellum Cover

Today Tanner and I head to grab a bite at Angry Dog in Deep Ellum and then we head to The Foundry Dallas for a quick drink with some friends who asked to not be on camera.
 

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Recipe: The Blood And Honey Cocktail

The Blood And Honey Cocktail

Today I want to share my new favorite whiskey based cocktail.

1 Can of San Pellegrino Blood Orange
1.25 oz Jack Daniels Honey Whiskey
2 tsp Honey

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Thanks!

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Emirates Lounge Dubai Concourse A

I wish I had been awake enough to take more photos of the lounges but I was a little tired after my 16-hour flight from LAX to Dubai and I just missed the opportunities presented to me for a better review.

Emirates has a number of lounges in the different terminals and I was lucky enough to visit two of them. For the life of me, I do not remember the what the other one looked like so I will share a video of the one I do remember.

Overall, I do REMEMER that the Emirates Lounges have been a great place to catch my breath before jump on my next adventure.

The Emirates lounge in concourse A is massive, to say the least. The lounge spans the whole terminal making it perfect for business class and first class to be able to board the plane without having to rush downstairs and try to fight your way through the crowd to get to your gate in time.

We had an early flight, so we got through security as quickly as we could so we could get to the lounge and have a light meal before out flight. The lounge was packed but we had no trouble finding a place to rest our bones and get a few tasty pastries and pineapple juice before our flight. 

As I learned that day, if you have a ticket with the letters “SS” this means that when you are getting ready to board, they will pull you aside and test you for bomb residue. This was funny to me because I would have figured in a land where my skin was the same color as everyone else I wouldn’t get the “random screening”.

I am not sure, but it seemed as if this was not common practice for a business class passenger to be pulled aside for the extra screening.  They seemed to have forgotten about me for about 3 minutes while I was trying to figure out how to get back to the top jet bridge (the elevator is key card activated). 

 

Leatherman Tread: Now Boarding First Class and Business Class

As many of you know, I own two websites, a firearm review site GearsofGuns.com and “AtticusJames.com A guys Life In Review” site. I have written a few reviews about the Leatherman tools over the last few years. So when I heard about the Leatherman Tread, I jumped on getting one as quick as I could.

 

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Easy? Check

 

Complete? Not So Much

The Leatherman Tread is not the one and done tool you should carry. I doubt the designers had that in mind when they dreamt this tool up, I believe what they did want is a tool that was easy to travel with and that was something that went with any style. They came up with this:

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Around the World in 28 Days….Well the Miles Anyway

As you can read in my previous posts, I just spent a month in India. I just quickly did the numbers so you can see what the experience was.

· 3 Countries

· 9 Airport security check points

· 9 Flights

· 10 Security checks from hotels, tourist attractions, etc

· 10 Airports departing and arriving from

· 29,656 Miles Flown

· Circumference of the earth at the equator = 24,901 miles

Why do those numbers matter? Because that means that in all three countries and in all 10 security checks I went thru, never once was my Leatherman Tread questioned. It was never looked at as anything more than a bracelet. I never once had to check it in my bag. In fact, in two airports I didn’t even have to take it off my wrist.

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Looking at diamonds in Surat, India.

TSA Approved

The Leatherman Tread doesn’t have a knife on it, so it is TSA approved. Most people who see it look passed it, as it just looks like I am wearing an unusual watch band or a metal bracelet.

Crazy Person Here

I am right handed, but I normally wear my watches or bracelets on my right hand. Most people think that I am a crazy person doing that. Honestly I am not really sure why it matters. If I am right handed wearing my watch on my right hand, so what? I like it on my dominant hand.

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All The Tools

The Leatherman Tread has a bunch of tools on it. Hex keys, wrenches, screwdrivers and even a SIM pick. I found it to be really handy for me on the trip because I used a camera holster. It is a spider holster, which has a metal plate with an hex key to attach the plate to the camera.

The problem was, that is blocks the battery compartment. Every time I needed to change the battery, which was often, I had to loosen the plate to get to the battery. I didn’t carry the Hex key (Allen Key) with me since I had the hex key on the Leatherman Tread to change the batteries.

A Conversation Starter

This was fun for me. People would watch me take off what they thought was a watch, fold it and use it to remove a plate. It gave me something else to use to connect with complete strangers, other than just trying to start a conversation about nothing.

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The Price

The Leatherman Tread starts at $160 for the Stainless Steel model. It isn’t a cheap tool and to be honest it isn’t my go to tool in most cases. But it is a tool that has it place. It was perfect to travel with. It is great for those times when you don’t need a heavy duty Leatherman or a full tool bag. It comes in really handy. And let’s admit, it looks great.

The Weight

At first it felt heavy on my wrist. That is mainly because I hadn’t worn a watch in over 10 years. Now that I wear it whenever I leave the house, I don’t really notice it.

I have learned not to swim laps with it on because it feels like a weight dragging my arm down. If you wear a big watch or a smart watch, you probably won’t even notice the weight.

Final thoughts

I still carry my Leatherman MUT at the range and my wave when I know I’ll need a tool. For daily operations, The Tread does just what it is suppose to. Be an awesome bracelet and backup tool.

I really want the black Leatherman Tread too. I would like to see if I scratch up the bracelet as much as I have this one. The scratches really aren’t noticeable unless you are really playing with the bracelet. I believe that is just normal wear and tear that seems to happen on things I own. That’s just the kinda guy I am.

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Emirates: Airbus A380-800 & Boeing 777-200 Review

These Business Class tickets were purchased through a travel agent and I received no compensation in any form for this review.

I have reviewed Southwest Airlines as a domestic airline and since I flew Emirates to India and Dubai I thought it was time to review an International Airline.

We flew business class, since my grandfather, who has flown all over the world, prefers to be comfortable on long flights. Since I have back problems this made for a very pleasant flight.

Emirates A380

The Car Service

We were picked up in a Lincoln MKT Town car and taken from my grandfather’s home in California to LAX and home again at the end.

It is a nice added feature to be picked up and dropped off when you travel with Emirates. They also took us to the hotel in Dubai and back again. Just one more detail that we didn’t have to worry about.

Limo from Emirates

Lounges

There is something peaceful about going through airport security and then heading straight for the business class lounge. Sitting there for an hour eating and drinking before a long flight really helps melt the stress. It is nice not having to deal with the crowds when in the international terminals. Emirates Lounge

You have to admit having comfortable chairs, great food, alcohol and free WiFi makes the wait for your flight more enjoyable.

The A380-800

The Airbus A380-800 was something I had been really looking forward to before this trip. Knowing that this plane is a double decker plane is just awesome to me. I love watching shows about planes and I have wanted to fly in one since they first came out!

I cannot talk about any other A380s from other airlines, but I can say this was the most comfortable plane I have even been on. I will be discussing the Boeing 777 in a minute. Emirates Business Class

We had the one, two, one seating configuration meaning one window, two middle and one window seat when you look across the plane from window to window. The four flights we had with Emirates we always had window seats.

The A380 had Wi-Fi 10mb for free which was enough to send a few tweets, FB posts, snapchats or texts from iMessage or WhatsApp.

They also offered 500mb for $1 USD, so you could watch YouTube or stream from your device. I just watched movies on the in-flight entertainment system.

Emirates Seat System

As you can see in the photo above, these are a few of the items that come with the business class seat

· Two USB ports

· One tablet that lets you control the [KB1] TV on the seat in front

· One remote that also acts as the game controller if you play any games on the TV

· Lay flat chair

· Two sodas and two different waters

· (Under the window) extra storage for takeoff and landing

· Free toiletry kit

· 2 meals with an offer of light snacks during the flight

· Alcoholic drinks and access to the in-flight bar

Emirates Tablet

Emirates out the window

Loading the A380, they have to use three jet ways. Two on the lower level and one for the top. As to how they are so efficient at loading a plane that can hold upwards over 600+ people in such a short amount of time baffles me!

I am not sure which version of the Emirates A380 we were on, but they have 3 sets of plane configurations. The first two planes offer the same number of business class and first class with 14 First class seats and 76 Business class. The Economy seats change from 399 seats to 472 seats all on the lower deck. The third plane offers 58 Business class seats and 557 economy seats with no first class. Part of the economy class seats are on the top deck. We never flew on this plane, so I don’t have any experience with this plane. I know our two flights had 27+ crew members working the flight, flight attendants as well as those in the cockpit.

The Lay Flat Beds

The lay flat beds were really nice. When the A380 goes into “night” time, the flight attendants bring out foam mattress and make your bed for you so you can sleep. I ended up staying awake most of my flights. I slept when I landed to help with jet lag. The beds were very comfortable and easy to fall asleep on, even for someone with back problems.

A380 Bar

Emirates Bar

Flying out to Dubai, no one used the bar. I was sitting in the seat just in front of the bar. I walked by the bar a few times to go to the bathrooms or to see what snacks they had laid out and no one was using the bar.

It was a different story on the flight from Dubai back to LAX. This bar always had at least a few people hanging out. The bar isn’t all that big and I had my back against a wall to take this photo. You can get quite a few people hanging and drinking together and have a nice little party.

Emirates Bar with party

Now I will say, Emirates, if you are going to call yourself a “bar” you should at least be able to make a whiskey sour! Since I couldn’t have a whiskey sour (and everyone in the bar agreed that it is a staple cocktail) I had to sip on my pretentious Glenfiddich Scotch, 18 Year.

On a side note: they do ask you, before takeoff, what drink you would like, then bring it to you shortly after takeoff.

The Emirates 777-200

We flew the 777 from Dubai to India and from India to Dubai. I have told this joke to a number of people but we rode in 4 Rolls Royce’s.

Emirates 777 engine

Okay so maybe we didn’t fly “in” a Rolls Royce, but they were the engines that flew us back and forth from India and Dubai.

The configurations for the two Boeing 777s seats were a Two, Three, Two set up. My grandfather and I sat next to each other. It wasn’t a bad set up, except when the flight attendant had to lean over to fix the stuck TV. It fixed itself and she almost got nailed in the chin as it popped up at the most inopportune time. SORRY!

The meals were the same as they were on the A380 since they are prepared in the same place. Delicious and tasty. They do offer bar service on the 777, but they do not have a lounge or bar in the plane. Boo hoo! This was only a four hour flight for us so, not really a “long” flight.

Emirates 777 seating

ICE: Information, Communication, Entertainment

On your TV, Emirates has access to their ICE: this is your access to your TV and gadgets. The selections you have are three on board cameras to watch while flying. You can see cameras from the tail, from under the cockpit and one under the plane aimed straight down. They also have world news and sports as well as info on the flight and location of the plane. Pretty cool to be able to track yourself across the globe.  We flew over the North Pole.

Communication wasn’t something I used or looked at. In hindsight that is something I should have looked at for the sake of the review. I know you can call from the plane and I see they have seat-to-seat messaging. Since my grandfather was next to me,behind me or in front of me by one seat I never messaged him.

Entertainment was something I enjoyed immensely! I got caught up on a few movies I had wanted to see and one movie I won’t admit to wanting to see. They have a few YouTube videos from Casey Neistat and a number of others who I didn’t know or care about. They also had some non-name-brand video games to play and TV shows.

Final Thoughts

Having car service to and from the hotel in LA and Dubai was very nice, the business class seats were comfortable, entertaining, offered great food and drinks. I loved it! I will not go as far to say they are my airline of choice just yet, as I would like to travel more on other airlines A380s.

Emirates is located out of Dubai, UAE. When you look down the line of terminals that Emirates uses, you will just see a long line of A380s and it is a beautiful sight to see.

The 777s we flew on didn’t have Wi-Fi and the TV screens and remotes weren’t clear or quick to respond.  It would have been nice to have seen an updated 777.

The flight attendants for both types of aircraft were AMAZING and always on top of everything. I am looking at you Lynn.

Emirates! You guys are awesome and I am looking forward to flying with you again soon. I plan to head back to India and plan on using Emirates to get there again!

 


Alleppey [UPDATED]

S o today we were picked up from The Elephant Court to head out for a boat ride. I am getting car sick anywhere we go now.  It is becoming a nightmare. I am worried about the bus tours we have planned in Dubai because I have been sleeping the sickness away.

Return Visit Planned

We only spent one night at The Elephant Court. I would like to come back with a lady friend someday in the future because this is a nice hotel for couples.
We went from the hotel, straight to the house boat tour in Alleppey. This is a private tour.  Just for the two of us.  Grandpa has been on this tour before and he said he enjoyed it. I was really looking forward to it due to his experience. We hopped on the boat and off we went.

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All this travel screws with our hunger and makes it hard to ever be hungry.  The tour had a lunch scheduled to be served on board. We rode for about 35 minutes before we docked for lunch. They served us more food than we could eat. The boat was a nice side house boat and bigger than needed for just the two of us. After lunch we sat there and waited and waited, but the captain never wanted to take is back out to tour.  I finally just asked him to take us back to our car and he did.  Ending our “tour” an hour early. When the owner of the boat got on board, he told my grandfather to tip the captain and the cook.  This really upset my grandpa because they didn’t do anything! I will get the tour info and update this post when I get home. Obviously I don’t recommend this company if you are booking in Alleppey.

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A Drink of India

Our driver took us to our new hotel for the night as we have a flight to Mumbai first thing in the morning. The hotel was nice.  We are at a Ramada with a view from the bar that is beautiful. We went up to the bar because we needed a cocktail.  The bar and staff have a number of cocktails that they have created and one of them is a vodka drink. It was almost like a taste of India. I don’t know what was in it, because it was very savory. Very tasty.  I liked the views in Alleppey.  It was beautiful backwaters.  I look forward to returning to explore more of the waters.

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Song of the Day

Can’t Help Falling in Love- Twenty One Pilots

It is a cover from Elvis, but it fits, because I am falling for India.

A Fanged Look At The Snakebite

Growing up I spent a lot of time in the wilderness of Texas and Colorado. I was always told to watch out for snakes so they don’t bite you. I am now well past 21 and I have a snakebite a few times a month.

A Fanged Look At The Snakebite

No Snakes Were Harmed During the Writing of This Post

Okay, so by now you have figured I am probably not talking about a real snake biting me. Then again, I could just be a deranged lunatic who just likes the oh so sweet feel as the venom courses though his vein *clears throat* sorry off topic.

Rum Rebellion

No, I am talking about a drink that I had never heard of prior to finding my new local bar at the beginning of 2015. I cannot tell you where the bar is for fear that ALL of you might magically show up at. You will come and want to buy a round for me, just to hear my old wars stories from when I was in the Rum Rebellion of 1808. I digress. 

History of the Snakebite….NOT!

I wanted to give a little history on the snakebite as part of this review. After exhausting research and finding numerous different stories and variations of the drink, I figured, to hell with that! Who needs history when you have beer and cider to drink?!

Recipe

8oz Stout or Lager beer
8oz Hard cider

Pour your cider first and then layer the beer on top.

I prefer Guinness and Angry Orchard. I suggest it is worth experimenting with different combinations to find out what suits you. The more experimentation, the more fun!