Unpacking “illegal” Kinder Surprise Airbus Eggs. 

Kinder Eggs are slightly illegal to bring into the USA which would be OK I guess 

Kinder Surprise eggs, an Italian brand of egg-shaped chocolate candies containing a toy “surprise” inside have been banned in the USA since long before they were first manufactured in the early ’70s.

That’s because the US has had a ban on candies with toys inside since 1938.

Inside the egg is a large plastic pod that contains to airplane parts. 

Inside you find the parts and you can easily assemble your own Airbus. This one is an A330 in Lufthansa livery.

As you can see you end up with a cool airplane model. The eggs are tough to find. After failing to find them at LHR in past months my wife managed to find an Airbus collection at CDG and was sweet enough to buy them for me during our layover on the way to Israel this week.

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AMA Rick Husband Amarillo Airport Review

Fox news on the TVs -Pro

Glass jetbridges -Pro

low volume peak times – Pro

Nice new terminal -Pro

I really couldn’t find any negatives about AMA. It is a nice modern airport. It’s well located, rental cars are just outside the door from baggage check. I’d say the only thing I would change is to add rental car bypass the desk features which this airport lacks. That is pretty minor in my book. 

Hampton Inn Garden City Kansas Review

This location is a typical Hilton Hampton Inn property. Nothing really special but a nice up to date location. I would rate it as the second best hotel in this area. There is a newer Marriott Townplace hotel nearby that I think is slightly better. 

 

This Hilton Diamond sign was the only welcome I got as a Diamond Hilton guest. I’ll see if the Diamond welcome points ever post. This is sad as this stay is one of a few I am testing with Hilton properties this year to see if it’s worth keeping any loyalty with this chain. 

Summary:

Good clean room. Well located with IHOP, Target, Burger King and taco Bell within a few hundred feet of hotel. 

Staff is efficient and nice but lack any elite recognition in my experience here. I don’t expect much but at least saying thanks for being Diamond would be enough.

 I also wasn’t very impressed with the evening reception food. Not sure what I expected but it just seemed a bit weak and forced. I’d rather they just skip it and have cookies in the lobby I think. 

I sound critical but don’t mean to. This was a service and property test for me. I travel to this rural area for business a few times per year. I haven’t been that excited with the nearby Holiday Inn Express which is dated. I really like the Townplace hotel but I have little status (Silver) with Marriott. So this was just a property test.

Features of hotel I like include the indoor pool and breakfast that starts at 6am. 

Features I don’t like are the thin walks, poor desk chairs that aren’t very ergonomic, doors that seem to slam more than other hotels and the tiny TVs. 

Feature I hate the most…Fitness room isn’t open 24 hours. This is a deal breaker for me. I doubt I’ll come back over this. I know this seems minor but as a runner visiting in the winter I was very disappointed. 

Cheap Business Class to Italy and 2,000 mile bonus offer to Join Alitalia

Etihad Airways Alitalia logo

Right now you can purchase business class on Alitalia by 2-22-17 and get a great deal on Alitalia between New York and Naples or Palermo from $1,748 roundtrip in business class. This is a really good deal. This is about the cost of premium economuy.  There are a lot of cheap fares to Europe right now but those are mostly all in regular economy. Not really the same experience in my opinion. This is available for bookings from April to October.

This is only for certain days of the week so you’ll have to check. A couple sample dates I found are 5-5-17 to 5-9-17 and 5-19-17 to 5-20-17. Search JFK-NAP or JFK-PMO on Google Flights and then select the price graph for easy searching. It looks like most of the flights connect in either Milan MXP/LIN or in Rome FCO. I would try to avoid the MXP/LIN route if you don’t want to change airports there. You might be able to build in a long layover and see some of Milan however.

Here is the link for this: NYC-Palermo/Naples

EDMS US

Here are the term and conditions:

* Fares are round-trip per person in Business Class for travel on Alitalia flights and include government taxes/fees and carrier-imposed charges. Tickets must be purchased by February 22, 201711:59 PM EST. Travel periods: from New York to Naples from April 12 to October 28, 2017; from New York to Palermo from April 11 to October 27, 2017.Fares is applicable only for specific days of week for outbound and inbound. Additional conditions regarding travel dates, day-of-week restrictions and child/infant conditions may apply. Day of the week surcharges may apply. Changes fees may apply. Tickets may be non-refundable. Stopovers may not be permitted. Transfers may not be permitted. Fares are subject to class of service availability and may be changed or withdrawn without notice. Additional baggage fees may apply.

In addition you can join the Alitalia Millemiglia program however I personally would rather credit these to other Skyteam members that have better expiration policies. If you want to join the Millemiglia Program however you can get a signup bonus right now of 2,000 miles using this link: Alitalia Millemiglia . This trip should earn you about 8,600’ish miles roundtrip.

Business class on Alitalia features access to the Skyteam lounges, priority gate access, free bags, 180 degree lay flat seats on mostly new A330’s. They have been featuring Bulgari amenity kit’s and have highly rated cuisine.

I don’t not get any benefit from any of these links. This is just a good deal I found.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Staybridge West Valley City (SLC)

A quick 2 night stay at the Staybridge West Valley City location in Salt Lake City Metro area. I might stay here again on business, haven’t made up my mind but I am very picky. I’m still searching for just the right hotel in the SLC area.

Pros:

  • Attached to the Holiday Inn Express that features an indoor water park.
  • Great fitness room.
  • Typical Staybridge evening reception and free breakfast.
  • New feeling hotel although I suspect this property is older than it looks.
  • Very clean and comfortable.
  • Great service.
  • Not far from the airport.

Cons:

  • 6:30am breakfast. This is a big deal since I often have to leave early in the morning.
  • Fairly noisy hallways (it seems that the housekeeping staff is talking loud and working hard from 8am to 5pm). Kids running down the hall. I suspect due to the water park feature.
  • Not many restaurants or shopping close by. There is shopping and restaurant near here but you have to drive a bit.

Holiday Inn Express Park City Utah Review

I stayed at the Park City Holiday Inn Express the week before Thanksgiving. I happen to be there for one of the first snow falls of the year. Late ski season this year. I traveled there on business and I am not a skier so I can’t vouch for the winter sports. Not much going on for the slopes yet. 

The fitness center was small but decent. There are also fairly good areas to run around outside in good weather. Nice way to do some high altitude training.

This seems to be an older hotel but it was clean and no major issues.

My company makes me rent from National. The National franchise at SLC is part owned by a Chevy dealer from what they tell me at the check in counter. Yes check in counter as SLC has no elite drive and go lot. It’s really the biggest problem with this airport. I picked a Chevy Traverse AWD to avoid driving issues. As you can see there wasn’t that much snow however.

The fitness center, sauna and hot tub are located within the indoor pool area. Not bad but does make the fitness center a bit warm for running.

Front of hotel

Small dated but clean bathroom.

Indoor pool area

Before the snow. This is a view of the storm clouds moving in over the nearby Smith grocery store. There are many stores and restaurant within walking distance of the hotel (1 to 3 blocks away).

Front lobby

Room fridge, microwave, etc.

View from room.

My blurry photo of the front lobby. The serve breakfast here in typical HIX fashion. Nothing to write home about.

Overall the service and location of this hotel was very good. The rooms are average but not bad. Fairly quiet but close to the Interstate. I would stay here again on business. It’s fairly close to the many ski areas but yet close to fast food, etc. Might be a good budget choice if in the area for ski or pleasure.

GJT airport Grand Junction Colorado

So I had business this week in Western Colorado and had the chance to fly American Airlines from DFW on this route. As a lowly Gold with AA even I was upgraded so that was nice. 

GJT airport is rather small but very nice and good service from employees and TSA I think. I’ve posted a few pictures below. On arrival we used the jetbridge but on departure we boarded by stairs. Sorry some photos are better than others. 

Gate 1 sits by itself while Gates 2 to 5 are in a little pod up the hall. 

De ice and ready to roll.

Not bad GJT keep up the great work. !