Taking a break for Café Bustelo at Gila Blend inside a casino

The play on words on this Café Bustelo sign — assuming it was intentional — might not be so obvious if you haven’t spent much time in Arizona. Gila Bend is a small town in Maricopa County, located near a bend in the Gila River, about an hour’s drive from Phoenix. However, it wasn’t the … Continue reading Taking a break for Café Bustelo at Gila Blend inside a casino

A cortado almost makes it worth the trouble

A cortado from a Cuban café almost made it worth the trouble of flying through Miami International Airport. Kathryn got a cappuccino from the same place. Her larger cup had a description of the café on the back. Honestly, I’d never heard of this place, but I remembered enjoying a Cuban coffee in the airport … Continue reading A cortado almost makes it worth the trouble

Last meal in Argentina

After the all-afternoon struggle to buy ferry tickets in Uruguay a few days ago, we decided to show up at the terminal in Buenos Aires two hours before the 12:30 pm sailing, without a reservation, and hope for the best. Good call on our part. Fifteen minutes later we had our boarding passes and had … Continue reading Last meal in Argentina

Home, sweet home

After talking a break for coffee and a sweet in Wickenburg, we’re home again in Phoenix. Our tea-time stop was someplace new for us, Bedoian’s Bakery & Bistro. It was a great place for a snack, but we didn’t find the 4 pm closing time particularly convenient in light of our 3:40 pm arrival. Fortunately … Continue reading Home, sweet home

Coffee roasting infusion

Most likely our last stop before the airport, we’re at Shockoe Espresso & Roastery solely because they’re roasting beans right now and clouds of delicious-smelling coffee smoke are wafting through the neighborhood. Kathryn is inside buying a half-pound to take home with us. Whoever sits next to us on our flights will be in for … Continue reading Coffee roasting infusion

Sambalatte at Monte Carlo, Las Vegas

One thing Kathryn and I struggle to find in Las Vegas is a decent cup of coffee. Yes, you can get the paper-cup sludge from one of the Starbucks you pass every fifty yards or so on the Strip, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about a carefully prepared espresso drink, served … Continue reading Sambalatte at Monte Carlo, Las Vegas

Richmond, Virginia: Splurge at the Jefferson Hotel

I looked around a little bit and found out we could get the Jefferson Hotel, a landmark, historic, five-star hotel in the center of Richmond, for $179 a night, if we prepaid. I don’t like prepaying for a hotel, but I decided to jump on this. I’d been to the Jefferson Hotel once for a Christmas party, but never to spend the night.

Sightseeing and comfortable weather in Ljubljana, Slovenia

I had a brief but funny moment at the border yesterday. The Croatian border guard opened my passport, flipped through the pages for a moment, and said, “Mr. Gilman, where are you going today?” Answering wasn’t so easy for me. “I can’t pronounce it,” I said. “It’s Loo … Lube …” Then, one of the two beautiful young Slovenian women sharing my compartment laughed and said, “Ljubljana.” I guess the answer was okay. The border guard stamped my passport.

Berlin, Germany: Keeping properly hydrated

Earlier this morning, I bought a 1.5-liter bottle of mineral water while waiting for a train. I was a little surprised that I was able to drink it in about ten minutes. Mostly I’ve been drinking coffee and beer the past couple weeks, and I’ve been sweating a lot as I walk around cities or haul my pack around train stations, so I was probably poorly hydrated.