flight to Zihuatanejo

San Francisco International (SFO) to Phoenix Sky Harbor Intl (PHX)
Departure (SFO): October 10, 6:00 AM PDT (morning)
Arrival (PHX): October 10, 7:53 AM MST (morning)

Phoenix Sky Harbor Intl (PHX) to Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo Internacional (ZIH)
Departure (PHX): October 10, 8:45 AM MST (morning)
Arrival (ZIH): October 10, 2:01 PM CDT (afternoon)

Movies! From Africa!

As part of my continuing project to get my stuff stored somewhere other than some musty backup folder on my computer, I’ve set up a Vimeo account.

You can see my latest films here:

At the moment these are a bunch of short clips from my African trip in November 2005, but if I understand the widget rightly it’ll update with whatever I subsequently load on there.

As of January 11, 2019, as part of proofing everything while migrating from Typepad to WordPress.com, I find that that chunk of Vimeo embed HTMl has not weathered the migration well. In trying to update it I found that thumbnail images for some of my videos were now frames from someone else’s videos. So weird. In fixing that I found Vimeo doesn’t store the original video upload date, or allow you to associate a creation date with a video, or really give it much of any useful metadata beyond title and description. Vimeo is ephemera. So, I’ll probably move these off Vimeo into my media library here on WordPress.com (assuming video is supported, which it must be, right?)

For the moment, here’s what that embed looked like on Typepad:

2007 big vacation: Day 9 – London

Having learned our lesson on Saturday, we were very careful to spend our last day in London in a way optimized to leave us as relaxed as possible.

Sleeping in? Check.
Brunch two doors up from our hotel at the perfectly-adequate-for-our-morning-needs Garfunkel’s? Check.
Back to the room to relax a bit, read, nap (Joe), get most things packed up early so the morning will be a piece of cake (Dinah)? Check.
Wait until late afternoon to actually set out anywhere to do anything? Check.

And the really wise choice was that when we did leave, we had but one definite part of the plan: take the tube to Notting Hill and go to Montgomery Place, the bar most recommended to us by other bartenders.

We arrived just before opening, 5pm, and sat under the awning at an outdoor table watching the light rain on Kensington Park Road. This was an excellent apertif in itself: fresh autumn air, wet London sidewalks, the knowledge that our only duty for the rest of the evening was to have some great drinks and tasty appetizers in a pleasant setting.

Montgomery Place lived up to and exceeded our high expectations. Really all one could want in a bar: incredibly skilled and attentive staff, great ingredients, attention to detail, and all this in an easy, unpressured environment.

Our bartender Marian Beke is an artist, a real master of the classic cocktail. Great conversation, deep knowledge, and just a fantastic host. Anyone wanting to improve their skills on the service side of the bar would do well to observe his approach.

The first pleasant surprise was just how good the food at Montgomery Place is. We knew the drinks would be tasty, but I’d recommend them to a non-drinker too for their delicious appetizers. Our favorite was the Lamb Schlick, but it was all very good.

The full drink menu is not available on the website and it’s now Friday as I write this, so I’m regretting not having taken notes. It probably doesn’t matter so much which drinks we ordered as that they were flawlessly executed. We also got to sample some of their extensive selection of vermouths (even more than the Dorchester’s much vaunted list, I have to report!) and bitters.

The hard part about getting to some of the other recommended bars in London on a future trip is that we will really have to go to Montgomery Place every time now.

I just can’t recommend them highly enough and early evening Sunday is a great time for true cocktail fans to go – quiet, plenty of room, and ample opportunity to talk with the bar staff. It would also be a good time to take a group – at least on a rainy Sunday in November – as there was plenty of room in the back to accommodate a good crowd.

With big smiles we walked back through the wet streets to the Ladbrooke Grove tube stop and on from Leicester Square back down to Club Quarters for the final night in the hotel.

In the morning there was little left to do to get ready so we had a fairly unhurried time getting ourselves to Heathrow for our 1pm flight home. Thanks to the large movie selection on British Airways and the easier direction of travel, it didn’t seem as long a journey as the outbound trip. We got home by about 6:30pm San Francisco time (what with having to wait for our checked bag with the bottles from Gerry’s inside), kept ourselves up until 8:30pm and then fell gratefully into our own bed.