Wednesday, 29 June 2011


As a right of passage in manhood, I took my son to his first KISS concert on Monday night.  It wasn't his first concert, but it was his first ROCK concert.  This wouldn't seem important, but his first two shows were Selena Gomez and Lady Gaga.  With Katy Perry, Miranda Cosgrove, and Taylor Swift still on the books for this summer, it seemed necessary to get some testosterone put into his concert experiences.  So I took him to a show starring four guys in makeup wearing eight inch heels.  Uhhh...wait a minute...

Obviously I wasn't the only parent passing on his passion for mediocre rock punctuated with cheesy banter and loud explosions.  Just before the show started a gentleman and his son came in and took the seats a few down from us.  The boy couldn't have been more than 4 years old, but had his face painted up like Paul Stanley, and was ready to rock!  Well, as soon as he finished his pretzel he would be.  I'd love to tell you how he enjoyed the show, but my concert curse struck again.

I am a bit of a seat snob when it comes to concerts.  I like the better seats, and I don't mind paying a little extra for them.  That being said, I also have an amazing ability to pick seats behind the people who don't want to sit down, but in front of the people who don't want to stand up.  I'm perfectly fine standing through concerts.  I find it gets you a little more into the spirit, and I have far more "standing in one place" dance moves than I do seated ones.  I do, however, also have sympathy for the people who don't want to stand up.  They bought a "seat" which would imply the ability to sit down during a show.  This becomes extra important at a show like KISS, where the odds of having a 4 year old sitting to your left are equal to your chances of having a senior citizen behind you, who just can't stand through the entire show.  Some nights this can put you in a really awkward position.  Fortunately, last night wasn't one of those.

If there's one thing I like more than a really good seat, it's a seat with lots of space around me.  I've been know to move from center ice at a hockey game to the top bleachers behind the net if it means I can have a section to myself.  It sounds rather anti-social, but I just find it more enjoyable being able to lounge a little and not have to worry about disturbing other people.  If it gets me out of a situation where I don't know whether to sit or stand, then that's an extra bonus.  So the boy and I moved back one section and found some empty seats in front of the luxury boxes. 

Which brings us to the real sad part of the story.  Two years ago my wife and I were in New York and had the opportunity to see KISS in a sold out show at Madison Square Garden.  On Monday, my son and I were able to find empty seats with no problem in a 5,000 seat minor league hockey arena, in a city where the next best entertainment option was probably the back to back repeat episodes of Jeopardy on TV.  What happened KISS?  You still blew up about the same amount of stuff.  There was still guitars that shoot fireworks, fire breathing, and Gene spewing blood.  Sure your new album isn't that good, but you only played two songs from it.  I can't really explain where things have gone wrong, but I guess if I had to pinpoint just one reason, I'd blame the guys who wouldn't sit down.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Hyatt vs. Farm

I'm in Abbotsford this weekend for a memorial service, and Abbotsford is one of those few destinations for us where we don't stay in a hotel.  My in-laws have a farm here, so we always stay with them while we're in town.  I know what you're thinking..."Why would you CHOOSE to stay at the in-laws?"  Well aside from the fact that there aren't really any other options in town (No Hyatt, Hilton, or Fairmont within 50km) it would seem to be a fair question.  So let's take a look at the logic:

Pretty close here.  The farm is almost always available, but on occasion other people get their requests in to stay there before us (You'd think having the only grandchildren would carry weight, but no.).  Hyatt's can sell out, but as diamonds we can always use the diamond force to get a room.
Advantage: EVEN

I'm not sure this is a fair comparison, but it is one of those things I look at when I'm choosing between hotels, so I guess it counts.  There's plenty of free parking on the farm.  The nearest Hyatt wants $25 a night for self-park.
Advantage: FARM

I'm trying to envision the Hyatt desk clerk running around the counter and hugging each of my children whenever we arrive.  Pretty sure that would freak them out.  On the other hand, I've never gotten 1000 Gold Passport points for checking in at the farm.
Advantage: EVEN

Well here's a chance for Hyatt to shine.  The farmhouse was built in 1905, so needless to say it's not loaded with the newest of amenities.  We get two rooms, each about 100 square feet, but because of the way the house was built, it's impossible to get a bed bigger than a double up the stairs.  We also share a bathroom, and there's only a bath, no shower.  Hyatt beds are amazing, and some of the bathrooms we've been given are bigger than the two bedrooms we have at the farm.
Advantage: Hyatt

This is going to be a split vote.  Hyatt gives us free breakfast in some wonderful restaurants, including some really good buffets.  On the other hand, my girls insist that we should be bringing Nana with us on our travels, as she is the only one capable of making pancakes properly, although this can be somewhat offset by the fact that Hyatt Vancouver has a McDonalds attached to it.
Advantage: Even

You'd think this would be a landslide for Hyatt.  There's no pool at the farm, and the wi-fi is pretty slow, but I've yet to check in to a Hyatt with cows, sheep, chickens and a bunch of kittens to play with.  I'm also pretty sure that Hyatt Vancouver would frown upon me driving a tractor around in their parking lot.
Advantage: Even

I don't really need to explain this one do I?
Advantage: FARM

So I guess like most things in my travel world, it comes down to price.  There's a financial limit to how many nights I can spend in the Hyatt, and there's a physical limit to how many nights I can spend sharing a double bed with my wife.  It will probably take my in-laws building a new house or the Hyatt bringing in farm animals to tip it one way or the other.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Vegas to Avoid the Party Crowd

I live in Kelowna, B.C., Canada.  It's possibly one of the most beautiful places in the world, with gorgeous mountains rising up around a series of lakes providing almost every kind of outdoor activity and adventure imaginable.  If somebody ever figures out how to create a surf on the lake, we will truly have it all.

So why do I spend almost the entire two months of the summer somewhere else?  Apparently the bounty of recreation we have up here has come to the attention of other people.  Our town almost literally doubles in size during the summer, and we really don't have the infrastructure to support it.  That's not meant to be a knock on our city planners.  There's no point spending an insane amount of money  on things that you are only going to need for two months of the year.  Our town handles September to June pretty well, so about all you can do is hang on because the summer is going to get crazy.

So instead, we head off to other places that are designed to handle the crowds.  When twenty thousand people come up to a festival to drink and party in Kelowna, it's a major event that requires a ton of extra policing, and an immense amount of patience if you want to do anything else in the city.  When twenty thousand people go to Vegas to drink and party, it's called Monday.  Same with Los Angeles (except July 16/17th while they close the 405. Jeff Davis has already coined the phrase "Grid#*ck" for that weekend.).  Phoenix is even better.  Nobody goes to Phoenix in the summer.  Sure, it's hot, but they're equipped to deal with it, and the prices on everything are rock bottom.  

So next week we'll head off for another summer of travel.  I surrender my town to those who want to spend their summer on the lake, which might be the only way to get in to town as the bridge will surely be at a standstill.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Southwest Scares Me

When it comes to booking airfares, I have my favorite airline (Alaska) but I'm pretty open to booking anywhere if the price is right.  I've flown on most of the major legacy carriers, and other than very minor details, I've really had no complaints about any of them, so when I'm planning a run somewhere, every airline gets equal consideration.  Except Southwest.

There's lots of reasons I don't usually give much thought to Southwest when I need a flight, but my biggest fear is their boarding process.  I don't like Boxing Day sales, I don't like festival seating at concerts, and I can't imagine that I would like unreserved seating on an airplane.  I don't need to have an exit row seat, and I prefer to have my carry on bag under the seat in front of me, but I do like to know that I'll be sitting with my wife or kids before boarding.

Then there's the "Airline" tv show that they had.  I know that they probably had to play some things up to keep the interest level in the show high, but I've never flown Southwest, so these Jersey Shore wannabes are the only impression I have of Southwest's customers.  Being trapped in a metal tube with somebody who thinks their $69 ticket qualifies them as the world's most important flyer isn't all that enticing to me.

So why do I bring it up?  It seems that at the end of August I need to fly from Las Vegas to San Francisco and neither Alaska nor Delta (where I get free bags) have a direct flight.  Couple that with the 40th anniversary sale that Southwest has going on, and I am now in possession of my first Southwest ticket.   What am I dreading?  The boarding process (even though I paid for the early-bird check in), trying to figure out another frequent flyer program, and the C gates in Las Vegas (I only know where everything is at the D gates).  What am I most looking forward to?  I'm going to try and get a window seat so I can watch the bag handlers yelling at the other airlines for charging for luggage.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Car Rental Codes

I have too many kids.  I know this could come from any number of experiences and interactions that I have with them on any given day, but it becomes most apparent to me whenever I have to rent a car on a trip.  Minivan seems to be the minimum requirement, and those things aren't cheap.  I could make my kids sit three across in the back seat of a car or small SUV, but the last time I tried that, the complaining and fighting from the back seat convinced me that human interaction is a skill that develops later in life.

So I search for discounts, but discounts for cars don't work the same way as discounts for flights.  Flights are easier, as all you have to do is keep checking to see if the price has come down, and there are plenty of websites that will do that for you.  Car rentals are all about the codes and coupons, and everybody seems to have a slightly different one.  So I sort through all the coupon codes I can find, and try them all one by one.  If I'm lucky, then I can get a price that I'm looking for.  If I can't, then it's time to turn to corporate codes.

 Corporate codes are wonderful, but the trick to them is figuring out which ones you can qualify for.  Some of them are very easy.  Sam's Club, Wal-Mart, and Costco all have rates that pretty much anybody can use.  After that it becomes a little more of a grey area though.  Can I use the Microsoft corporate code?  Technically I'm not an employee, but I've tried out a beta version of one of their programs once, and I think I "like" them on Facebook (plus I have no idea what I've committed to by clicking on their "Accept Terms of Service" button.)  I once used a code for an Adult movie company while I happened to be in Vegas during the AVN convention (It worked fine and saved me almost $50, but I've always wondered what it would have entailed had they asked me to prove my qualifications for the rate.)

Sometimes I can find a great rate, but I have no idea what it's for.  Here you have to decide for yourself what you can get away with.  Currently I have a code that will chop almost $100 off my Orlando car rental next month, but I'm probably not going to use it.  While most corporate codes are seven or eight digits long with a random mix of numbers and letters, this corporate code is simply "1".  I have no idea what company is important enough to have a corporate code of "1", but I feel pretty sure that I don't give out that kind of "Above All Others" vibe when I walk up to the counter in my cargo shorts and t-shirt.

So for now I hold my reservation using an NCAA fan rate with a coupon code from a Disney site.  I'll check every day, and it will probably drop a little, but if not I may just have to bust out my suit and tie to look the part of a "Corporate Code 1" employee.

Monday, 20 June 2011

New York

Every year I spend a Sunday night in June watching the Tony awards, and every year it makes me really want to go back to New York.  I never thought I would like New York, but aside from making me into a big Broadway fan, I love the busyness of the city.  There's not too many places I go where I look like a tourist, but in New York I might as well have a camera around my neck and a map of Times Square sticking out of my pocket.  Everyone seems to know exactly where they're going and they were supposed to be there 5 minutes ago. 

So what's the hold up?  Well for one, airfares.  My target for Seattle-New York is $99 each way.  That's a "pull the trigger" point for me, and I just haven't been able to find it at all for any of the major school breaks.  I've seen $119, but not on my preferred airlines, so once I factor in luggage costs it comes out even higher.  There's also those wonderful New York hotel rooms.  In the past I've tried the low-end (Wyndham), the mid-tier (Doubletree), and the high-end (The Plaza) but I've yet to get a room that I would want to try and squeeze a third person into. That means I have to find a deal good enough to make buying two rooms per night a fiscal possibility, just so that the 5 of us can cram ourselves in for a few hours of competitive blanket hogging. 
View from DoubleTree Times Square room
Travelling with children also means that I have to tone down the entertainment options a little.  Can I take my kids to see "Spiderman - Turn Off The Dark"?  Probably.  Can I take them to see "Book of Mormon"?  Not unless I want to spend the next couple of weeks explaining it to them (and if I didn't have to explain it to them, I'm pretty sure that's worse.)  New York seems a lot like Vegas in that the entertainment options seem a little adult oriented, but my kids enjoy Vegas so I know I can make New York work for them.  I've just gotta make the price work for me.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

The Disney Dilemna

Yesterday I found myself scrambling to buy something that I'm not really sure I wanted to buy.  Disney announced on Friday that prices to their theme parks would be going up on Sunday.  Yesterday was Saturday, and I'm headed to Orlando next month. 

I love Disney.  Our family have annual passes to Disneyland, and we'll probably spend more than 40 days in the park this year.  My wife and I enjoy every trip we make there, but our kids are beginning to grow out of the Disney phase of their life.  My two older kids have progressed on to the bigger rides offered in places like Six Flags and Cedar Point, while my youngest just doesn't like rides at all.  So why am I about to drop $1200 on passes to a park that probably isn't going to please anyone?

I'm looking forward to riding Aerosmith's Rock N Rollercoaster, and Expedition Everest, but I'm not sure that I'm going to appreciate the subtle differences in rides that are in both Disneyland and Disneyworld.  I'm not the most detail oriented person as it is.  I know that if my wife tells me she is going to the Salon that when she gets home I'm supposed to say "Your hair looks great honey."  If she takes it one step further and asks me what looks different, I'm sunk.  Unless it's moved from the top of her head, there's no chance I could tell you what she had done to her hair.  This leads me to believe that whether or not the stretching room in the Haunted Mansion goes up or down will probably be a detail lost on me. 

Still, it's going to be my first time in Orlando, so I can't really pass up a chance to see the Disney Parks.  By jumping in yesterday and buying before the price increase, I saved about $60.  That's enough for each of us to have one Churro each day we are in the park.  East coast vs. West coast Churros....Now there's a comparison where I can probably notice the difference.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Friends of MKTS - Traveling with Sweeney

Blog Address:
Twitter: @TravelingWithS

WHO ARE THEY? - Cathy and her husband live in San Francisco. At least I think they do. To be honest, they're almost never there. She's that friend who when you want to talk to her you first have to figure out what time zone she's in, then do the math to figure out when you'll be getting a response. I can do the math if she's in North America. If she's off the continent, I just wait to talk to her later.

WHAT DO THEY WRITE ABOUT? - Cathy writes about whatever catches her eye while she's off trotting around the world. Better yet, she takes pictures of her finds. Amazing pictures! The kind of pictures that I wish I could take. The kind of pictures that I might claim to take if she didn't put these "Traveling with Sweeney" watermarks all over them.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ THEM - Cathy has the kind of adventures that I'm not likely to have for a very long time. While I'm dropping my kids off at school, she's catching a last minute flight to Spain. While I'm waiting for my daughter at ballet practice, Cathy is shopping at Christmas markets in Germany. I like to think that when I'm actually traveling, Cathy is stuck at home doing housework, but somehow I know that's just not true.

WHERE YOU SHOULD START - Well, if you want to see what you're getting into, I recommend reading about Cathy's Three Favorite Travel Memories. If that's too sentimental for you, she's in Spain right now. Why don't you go through her Snapshots from Madrid and see if you can explain the giant baby head to me. 

MY FAVORITE POST - I'm a little torn, so I'm going to cheat and choose two. One was her piece on AT&T Park in San Francisco. Cathy's pictures reminded me that I really need to get to a Giants game sooner rather than later, preferably with the same great view she had from her seats. On the other hand, I'm also partial to her story about her first ever visit to Paris, where she managed to miss the experience of her inaugural boat ride through town by Falling Asleep on the Seine

Friends of MKTS - InACents

Blog Address:
Facebook: InACents
Twitter: @InACents

WHO ARE THEY? - These are my top secret friends. I know that they are a young family with two kids under three, but other than that, I don't know that much about them. Under these circumstances, I think we're free to make up whatever back story we like. I'm going with exiled members of the Norwegian Royal Family, but you can fill in the blanks any way you see fit.

WHAT DO THEY WRITE ABOUT? - Justin (hmmm...doesn't sound Norwegian..) writes about their travels as a family, but he also writes about how to afford those travels. Their site is a great resource for any kind of travel deal or points promotion that might be going on at any given time. For instance, unless you're ridiculously knowledgeable about all things Broadway, everybody should be following his site for the Audience Rewards answers alone. Unless, of course, you already knew what theater the 1999 Broadway revival of Annie Get Your Gun played at. In that case, you're excused.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ THEM - You're going to save some money. That's for sure, but while you're doing it, you're going to be entertained. I follow a lot of sites that have information on travel deals, but most of them are pretty dry when there's not much going on. InACents is filled with great stories about traveling with their young kids, and despite their royal heritage, I can assure you that their kids behave the exact same as all other three and one-year-olds. Which makes for great reading.

WHERE YOU SHOULD START - Unlike my site, InACents is all neat and organized, so I'm going to suggest that you start your visit on their Deals page. Go ahead and scroll through and see if there's any great promotions that you should be sure you're signed up for. If you're not looking for deals but just for some entertaining reading, then I suggest you start with....

MY FAVORITE POST - If you've ever traveled with kids, you have to read "A Chocolate Crime Scene at the Holiday Inn Waikiki Beachcomber". I understand that the culprits received suspended sentences, but the lack of justice doesn't make the story any less funny. They should just be happy that the trial was held in the U.S. and not back in Norway. From what I understand, crimes of chocolate aren't tolerated very well in the Nordic countries.

Friends of MKTS - Gone With The Family

Blog Address:
Facebook: Gone With The Family
Twitter: @GoneWithFamily

WHO ARE THEY? - A family of four from Ontario, dealing with a lot of the same issues that we do. If I've got a question about traveling with kids, there's nobody I'd rather ask than Lisa. There's no chance of the two of us actually figuring anything out, but we'll have a lot of fun talking about it.

WHAT DO THEY WRITE ABOUT? - Their travels as a family mainly. I've followed them through Europe, Orlando, New York, Chicago, all of Eastern Canada, and even a quick run up to Alaska. If you're in to cruising, they've done a lot of that too. There's also a lot of talk about ice cream, but I really don't have an explanation for that.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ THEM - You're going to get something from Lisa that you just won't get from me...planning. Lisa does a ton of research for their trips, and as a result they quite often find places that I'd never know about. There's also the fact that we've agreed our kids should get married, so if you follow both of us you have twice as good a chance of being invited to the wedding.

WHERE YOU SHOULD START - How about the Mediterranean? Gone with the Family took a cruise on the Celebrity Equinox last summer, and reading about it landed at least another three countries on my "must visit" list. Of course, if things beyond your budget are more depressing than inspiring to you, then I'd start over at Cows Ice Cream (Told you there was a lot of ice cream).

MY FAVORITE POST - I've wanted to go to Alaska for a little while now, so my favorite post on the Gone with the Family site is about their visit to Alaska on the Diamond Princess. Of course, what you'll really discover when you read that post is that Lisa fully understands the #1 rule of blogging...Puppies make everything better.

Friends of MKTS - Wandering Off

Blog Address:
Facebook: Wandering Off
Twitter: @Wandering_Off

WHO ARE THEY? - When I first started reading about them, they were a military family from San Antonio. Now they're based in Las Vegas, and I can't help but picture them riding horses down the center of the Strip. I may have a slightly stereotypical view of people from Texas. Oh...and they're Cubs fans. Is that a deal-breaker for anyone?

WHAT DO THEY WRITE ABOUT? - They have one daughter, who is still pretty young, so Sarah writes a lot about family friendly outings. There's a ton of information about things to do in the San Antonio area, and her Las Vegas section is starting to beef up now, but her latest fascination seems to be these things called National Parks, which I always assumed had something to do with baseball until I started reading Sarah's posts. See how helpful she is?

WHY YOU SHOULD READ THEM - Let's face it...If you need to know about inappropriate places to take your kids in Las Vegas, I've got you covered. On the other hand, if you want to try out this whole "responsible parenting" thing, then Sarah has plenty of great ideas about how to entertain your kids that don't involve gambling, drinking, or collecting cards on the Strip. To each their own I guess.

WHERE YOU SHOULD START - If you want to know what to do with kids in Las Vegas, then I suggest you start with Kid-Friendly Activities in Las Vegas. If you're heading to San Antonio, try 15 Kid-Friendly Activities in San Antonio. Or if you just like making fun of Cubs fans (and who doesn't), then start with Eamus Catuli in Chicago.

MY FAVORITE POST - I'm going to say My Favorite Vegas Restaurants, simply because it convinced me to give Steak 'n Shake another chance, thus throwing my whole understanding of the world of burgers into disarray. Thanks a lot for that Sarah!

Friends of MKTS - The Neon Jungle Princess

Blog Address:
Facebook: The Jungle Princess
Twitter: @AbbyTegnelia

WHO ARE THEY? - You know how we all have those friends who live the glamorous, A-list lifestyle? This is mine, although if you'd started reading her blog three years ago you would have been reading about a city girl adjusting to life in small town Costa Rica. Talent can't hide itself away though, and now she's living in Las Vegas as editor in chief of Vegas magazine. I wonder if she still has that machete under her bed?

WHAT DO THEY WRITE ABOUT? - Well this girl works hard, but while my writing about my work would probably induce some serious comatose feelings, Abby's work is exciting. Being head of a magazine seems to mean that you're required to hang out with celebrities all day and attend parties all night. Needless to say this makes for some pretty great reading, but Abby takes it another step by taking getaways whenever she can (I know...I wonder why anybody would want to get away from her lifestyle too...) so she also tells stories about some crazy weekend adventures, most of which sound far more exhausting than her weekday work schedule.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ THEM - Do you know anybody else who hangs out with Celine Dion one night then goes off roading in the desert the next? I mean, I get asked to do it all the time, but I don't actually go.

WHERE YOU SHOULD START - If it were me (Umm..and obviously it's not..) I'd start with the story of how The Jungle Princess got her name. If you're not me however, you might prefer to try Hitting the Red Carpet with Kelly Rowland

MY FAVORITE POST - Is it mean of me to choose a story that doesn't show Abby at her bravest? Nah...I didn't think so either. How Halloween Crabs Stole My Sleep.

Friends of MKTS - The World of Deej

Blog Address:
Facebook: The World of Deej
Twitter: @theworldofdeej

WHO ARE THEY? - He claims to be a 30-something guy from Florida who used to work at a luxury hotel. I'll buy the Florida part, and he sure seems to know a lot about hotels. The 30-something part...well let's just say that hasn't changed since I started reading his blog.

WHAT DO THEY WRITE ABOUT? - His bio says that he has a passion for great hotels, restaurants, and the adventures of travel. He also seems to know plenty about Disney, Starbucks, and golf shots that are better left to the professionals.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ THEM - The man has the inside scoop on everything. Pebble Beach...he's played it. Club 33 in Disneyland...he's eaten there. Great Wall of China? He's been stalked on it. If you want to read about these kind of places, The World of Deej is the place to go because, let's face it, most of these places wouldn't even let me in.

WHERE YOU SHOULD START - He's recently launched a new series called Hotel Confidential which is about explaining some of the inner workings of fine hotels. I'd suggest you start there, in particular "How to Score an Upgrade".

MY FAVORITE POST - I could send you to so many places here, but I'm going to choose The President Made Me Late For Lunch, mainly because it sounds exactly like one of those far-fetched, elaborate excuses that I love to use for just about everything. His just happens to be true.

Friends of MKTS - R We There Yet Mom?

Blog Address:
Facebook: R We There Yet Mom
Twitter: @RWeThereYetMom

WHO ARE THEY? - They're kind of like a Texas version of us. Cute couple, married 17 years, 3 kids....If they could learn to say "Eh?" instead of "Y'all!" then we could probably trade lives and nobody would notice. At least until somebody asked them to play hockey or us to go camping. After that I'm pretty sure our cover would be blown.

WHAT DO THEY WRITE ABOUT? - Their family has traveled all over the U.S., but a lot of their recent adventures have been based in Texas. Which is pretty cool as there seems to be an infinite amount of things to do in the Lone Star State. Things like college football games, frenzied bat flights, and this giant Enchanted Rock that they seem to like climbing over and over again.

WHY YOU SHOULD READ THEM - Are you curious about Texas?Are you thinking of going to Texas? Do you see yourself as a cowboy who's just missing a cowboy hat, a horse, and a six shooter by your side? (Yes, I'm quoting Bon Jovi lyrics. Let it go.) This is the only real resource you'll need for family friendly places to go in Texas. Although if you're bringing your family, you should probably leave the six shooter at home. 

WHERE YOU SHOULD START - If you have a favorite town in Texas, go to the home page and start there. If not, I suggest you get to know Enchanted Rock and learn all about what a batholith is. Should you already know what one is, then go ahead and learn what Geocaching is all about. Once you've learned about both those things, come back here and explain them to me because they both seem like really strange concepts in my mind. 

MY FAVORITE POST - My personal favorite is 5 Great Dates in Austin, Texas, simply because I'm infatuated with a woman whose idea of a great date is to be taken to a giant pile of garbage. Of course she also thinks it's a great date to climb a giant pink batholith, but if you still haven't figured out what a batholith is, I wouldn't attempt that move. There's so many ways it could go wrong for you.