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When NPS goes on the road to deliver a talk, travel arrangements are often outside of our control. Oh woe is us. Usually that is worrisome, but sometimes it works out perfectly. This is one of those perfect times.

NPS is in Montréal for a talk, and staying in the heart of the old city at the Saint-Sulpice Hotel. It lives up to its reputation for luxury.

We have been assigned a suite, number 416. The suite itself is a rectangle, cleverly disguised with interesting angles an internal design that avoids hamster cage all together.

416 natural light

416 natural light

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Did we mention the natural light? Clever translucent windows allow that to pervade the room.

Let the light in

Let the light in

Bedroom in the middle with a small hallway around it.

Bedroom in the middle with a small hallway around it.

The light makes it all the way back to the bathroom. The bathroom is NPS approved. Very nice indeed.

That's real light on both side of the mirror

That’s real light on both side of the mirror

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And, of course the shower. This one for some reason reminds us of the fabian in helsinki.

Nice shower, gigantic tub

Nice shower, gigantic tub

Glass, yes. Cube? No!

Glass, yes. Cube? No!

About the only silly thing in this suite is the fake fireplace doohicky. A real fireplace is always nice. This fake thing is at least entertaining?! Mostly, it makes me miss my own very real fireplace.

No wait, there are also no outlets anywhere near the bed. What is this the ’80s? No, this is 2016. Clock radio? Nope. Power for my own personal electronics pile? Absolutely necessary. Minus ten on that one. Plus nine for camomile tea capability in room. So all told, we’re worried about power. Alarm across the room?? Really??!

Dinner at Modavie was super French—which means super delicious. Lamb poutine? Damn. And live jazz to boot. Excellent.

Cocktails at Le Lab were also very carefully crafted in an outstanding environment without pretense. Just solid. We may have to return for tiki night.

The drink of the night was a Bramble Sour:
sour base
1 dash egg white
1 oz simple syruo
1 oz lemon juice
1.25 oz gin
.75 oz blackberry liqueur

Shake until egg white foams, serve with mint sprig.

On Day 2, dinner was at the fantastic Joe Beef Liverpool House where the appetizer (a breakfast sandwich made with fois gras) was outstanding.

The we were off for cocktail adventures, first to Kabinet where people were having a blast and we challenged barman Ricky Lee Jones to make anything with Suze. Ricky is a new barman, but was willing to play with some encouragement.

Experimental cocktail
1.5 Milagro tequila
.5 suze
.5 lillet rouge
stir down. express lemon peel and smacked mint

Trinidad Sour
.75 Orgeat
.75 Rye (100% canadian club)
.75 lemon juice
.75 angostura bitters (!!)
.5 egg white
shake to foam egg white.

After Kabinet it was off to the new and very swanky Cloakroom bar. We were ably served by Chloe and co-owner Andrew Whibley. Andrew is still working out a cocktail menu for the new establishment.

The Riviera
1.25 oz bacardi
.75 oz bianco vermouth
.5 oz aperol
.5 oz amaro montenegro
,5 lemon
4 dashes peychauds
shake and garnish garishly

All told, hitting the cocktail scene in Montreal was a blast.

Four showerheads (quatre têtes de douche) for the Saint-Sulpice.

And Now No Fly Nöel

December 18, 2015

True. We have not been on an airplane since November. But all these trips to Washington and Philly in cars are encroaching on our no travel respite.

Now it’s time to rest our bones beside the fire. Even if it is a really big fire and we’re dancing.

Solstice Fire 2014

Solstice Fire 2014

This year was the lightest travel year on record since 2002 with only 21 trips (not counting the last three!). Travel is becoming manageable, and that’s good.

Tripometer 2015

Tripometer 2015

Thanks for reading NPS! Salubrious solstice to all.

Travel was thankfully almost reasonable this year, down to thirty trips off last year’s forty-two. (FWIW, we’ll shoot for 25 in 2015.) But we did do an out of character trip in December, delaying the start of no fly noël by a few days. We’ll make up for it somehow.

tripometer for 2014

tripometer for 2014

In 2014 we finally gave up completely on United airlines which topped its awful 2013 behavior with an even worse 2014. Bye bye United. You are too broken to pay money.

So lets sit by the fire and regain our sanity. Maybe with a Liberal or two. Then we’ll do it all again.

December Non-travel

December 11, 2013

I get to stay home! I’m not in NY today. Yippee.

It is cold outside. The animals are all in.

The red shed is ready for the solstice.  So is the moon.

The red shed is ready for the solstice. So is the moon.

And I am warming my bones beside the fire.

Home, home again. I like to be there when I can.
When I come in cold and tired, it’s good to warm my bones beside the fire.
Far away across the field, the tolling of the iron bell
calls the faithful to their knees to hear the softly spoken magic spells.

I was just here! And now I’m back. WTF?!

At least there is snow this time.

Grimey window view of Des Moines dusting.

Grimey window view of Des Moines dusting.

Where there is snow, there should be fire.

I am back in room 402 here at 800 Locust. Nothing has changed but the weather.

Silly couch.

Silly couch.

Big old bed.

Big old bed.

Glass shower with room for an entire family.

Glass shower with room for an entire family.

Compared to ultra luxury in NC we’re thinking high three showerheads. We’re also thinking TOO MUCH TRAVEL.

United, thanks for the wifi and the upgrade on the 40 minute hop. I so hate United airlines. Jeff Smisek sucks.

Time to go home.

But before you head out, make sure to visit Mr Filet for breakfast (a superb greasy spoon parked under a garage) and Palmer’s Deli for lunch (in the habitrail). Classic Des Moines and great places.