Tim Foolery

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Adventures in Argentina: Introduction

Argentina has been on our list to visit for a few years now. We finally decided to pull the trigger and spend our Thanksgiving break exploring three separate cities in Argentina. These adventures were a great break from a hectic work life.

Our goals for this trip were pretty simple – get away from work for a week and explore a new area of the world. Argentina is well known for it’s wine and it’s beef. As with almost all of our trips we built our experiences around food, wine and seeing beautiful spaces. Of course we had to couple these requirements with our need for a relaxing break. It is a vacation after all.

Andes Mountain Views from Argentina
Views of the Andes from Mendoza.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll share with you my thoughts on the various flights, hotels, restaurants and experiences, including:

Not to spoiler the ending here, but we loved our time in Argentina. Next time we will do somethings a little differently though.

Have you been to Argentina? What was your favorite spot? Did you have to deal with the bird poop scam?

Stitch Fix Review – January’s Men’s Box

It’s that time again, time for a Stitch Fix Review.  I received my January box last weekend.  I had a pretty good box in December, so I was anticipating to get a dud this time.

As a reminder, my focus for Stitch Fix is more casual clothes.  My office transitioned to a fully casual environment a few months ago and after years of building up a business and business-casual closet, I needed some help.  I get all of my dress shirts custom made from a tailor in Hong Kong and they are perfect.  My pants are mostly from Banana Republic.

With a much more casual dress code now, I need to revamp my closet.  Enter Stitch Fix.  I’ve been using the service off and on for a few months now, with relative success.  Read more about my previous boxes herehere and here. My fix arrived this week – let’s jump in, shall we?

Stitch Fix Men's Box Anticipation and excitement. What’s in the box?

In The Box

  • Red Ale – Velasquez Washed Twill Shirt – $48
    • Really liked the pattern and color, the shoulder fit was funky.  Undecided
  • DL1961 – Avery Modern Straight Jean – $125
    • I do love some grey jeans.  These looked and fit great, plus the smallest amount of stretch made them move smoothly.  Keep
  • Hawker Rye – Rose Bowl Hooded Sweater – $64
    • Meh, this looks like the long underwear hoodie from last month, which I kept. Do I need two?  Undecided
  • Hawker Rye – 95/5 Cotton Cashmere Shawl Collar Sweater – $64
    • A great casual and warm sweater.  Keep
  • Cole Haan –  Ogden Suede Chukka Boot – $130
    • Immediately loved the shoes and they fit like a glove.  Keep

 

Men's Stitch Fix Box
The contents of my January Stitch Fix Box

Initial Impressions

Sometimes it seems like these boxes are arriving every time I turn around.  My last few boxes have been pretty good, check out December and September.  The first thing I saw was the shoes and I immediately loved them. Too bad the Chicago winters with snow, ice and salt aren’t the best to wear suede shoes.  Soon though.  Why would Stitch Fix send two light weight hoodies that look almost identical in consecutive months?

The Decision

This month, I decided to KEEP everything. I didn’t really want the hoodie – I liked last month’s version better – and the Twill Shirt had a lot going for it, but the fit was just a little off.  So why did I end up keeping everything?  It’s that damn 25% savings if you purchase everything!  Keeping EVERYTHING vs just the three items I really like cost me only $4 more this month.  Since I didn’t hate any of these items, I figured paying just $2 for the two shirts that didn’t wow me, did make sense.

Do you use Stitch Fix?  Give me your Stitch Fix Review. Guys – what other services like this do you use and recommend?  Or do you just prefer to walk into your local Banana Republic and grab stuff off the racks?

Singapore Weekend By The Numbers: Was it Worth It?

A weekend in Singapore? From Chicago? That’s utterly crazy, right? Most people would think so, but not me. I love and adventure and I love to spend miles and points on truly unique experiences. If you haven’t read about my Singapore Weekend yet, you can do so by starting here.

Here are the critical numbers on the trip:

  • Time Spent in Transit/Flying: 44 Hours
  • Time Spent in Singapore: 68 Hours
  • Flight Segments: Five
  • Number of Airlines Flown: Three
  • Total Miles Flown: 20,300
  • Michelin Starred Restaurant Meals: Two
  • Airlines Miles Redeemed: 160,000 (United Mileage Plus)
My route to Singapore

So, was it worth it? Absolutely. I loved the journey to and from Singapore and I had a blast while exploring the City for the first time and can’t wait to return.

What do you think? Am I nuts for spending 160,000 United Miles for a long weekend on the other side of the planet? What crazy trips have you taken?

Stitch Fix Review – December’s Men’s Box

It’s that time again, time for a Stitch Fix Review.  I received my December box this weekend.  My excitement level wasn’t too high, considering I returned EVERYTHING from November.  I was hoping my response and reviews of that fix would guide my stylist in a better direction. As a reminder, my focus for Stitch Fix is more casual clothes.  My office transitioned to a fully casual environment a few months ago and after years of building up a business and business-casual closet, I needed some help.  I get all of my dress shirts custom made from a tailor in Hong Kong and they are perfect.  My pants are mostly from Banana Republic.

With a much more casual dress code now, I need to revamp my closet.  Enter Stitch Fix.  I’ve been using the service off and on for a few months now, with relative success.  Read more about my previous boxes herehere and here. My fix arrived this week – let’s jump in, shall we?

Stitch Fix Men's Box

Anticipation and excitement. What’s in the box?

In The Box

  • Bixby Nomad – Straight Fit 5 Pocket Pant – $68
    • Liked the style, the fit and the color. Keep
  • Alesbury – Denali Two Pocket Doublecloth Workshirt – $60
    • This was interesting.  Didn’t LOVE it, but I also don’t have anything like this. Undecided
  • Flag and Anthem – Schenectady Dobby Shirt – $49.50
    • Loved the pattern and the fit was almost perfect.  Sleeves were a a perfect fit, but I know they will shrink a bit after the first wash. Keep
  • 01Algo – Heathered Knit Blazer -$128
    • A deconstructed blazer with good weight that actually fits?  Keep
  • Alesbury – Keaton Thermal Henley Hoodie  – $49.00
    • This hoodie looks like long underwear and fits like a glove, perfect for layering.  Keep

Men's Stitch Fix Box

The contents of my December Stitch Fix Box

Initial Impressions

I tore into this box and was pretty impressed.  The burnt orange pants really sang to me.  I ripped them out of the box and tried them on immediately and they were perfect!  The Hoodie looked like something I’d never buy on my own, but thought it was a great layering item for a cold Chicago winter.  When I saw the blazer, I thought it was going to be another blazer from these guys that just fit poorly or fit poorly and was expensive, not at all in this case.

The Decision

This month, I decided to KEEP everything. While I wasn’t COMPLETELY sold on one shirt, I did dig it well enough to keep.  Plus keeping all five items gives you an additional 25% off the items. Basically, if I bought all the items, it was cheaper than buying four of the items.  Kooky, I know.

My results aren’t all that consistent with StichFix, but I’m still digging this whole process.  I was offered free styling for a year for $49.  Without this offer, each month, you must pay $20 styling fee, even if you return everything.

Do you use Stitch Fix?  Give me your Stitch Fix Review. Guys – what other services like this do you use and recommend?  Or do you just prefer to walk into your local Banana Republic and grab stuff off the racks?

Vienna Airport Lounges

Leaving the Hotel Bristol at 08h15, I was at Vienna International Airport by 09h10. Passing through security and immigration was a breeze and I found myself at the Austrian Airlines Business Class Lounge about 40 minutes before our scheduled boarding time.

A Tale of Two Lounges

The Vienna Airport Lounges are interesting to me. There is the Business Class Lounge and the Star Alliance Lounge. Each time I fly in Business, I am relegated to the Star Alliance Lounge. The only explanation I get is that I have to go their since I do gave Star Gold Status.

While this is indeed true, I am flying Business Class and think I should be allowed in that Lounge. The Star side is utterly packed. Each time I enter this lounge, I find that every single seat is occupied and people are just standing around like vultures, waiting for a seat to open. It isn’t relaxing. Usually, I’ll just pop over to the Priority Pass Lounge next door, which looks like a mediocre restaurant at a mall. At least I can sit though.

This time was different, I was admitted to the Business Class side of the lounge.

Vienna Airport Lounge

Booze selection available at the Business Class Lounge

Vienna Airport Lounge

Breakfast Breads at the Austrian Business Class Lounge

Vienna Airport Lounge

Tea selection at Austrian Airlines Business Class Lounge

It wasn’t stellar, but I did get a seat. I also grabbed a pastry, some sparkling wine and the Monday edition of Le Monde.

Vienna Airport Lounge

Lounge water, bubbles and newspaper

I spent only about 20 minutes in the lounge then took the long walk to my gate.

Teheran Gate at Vienna Airport

Maybe I will go to Tehran after all

Austrians Business Class Lounge is head and shoulders better than their Star Lounge, but it sure isn’t anything to arrive early for. Show up early enough to grab a newspaper and a glass of bubbles and call it good.

Austrian Airlines Boeing 767

My ride to Chicago. Austrian Boeing 767

Which Lounge is your favorite in Vienna? Have you ever been relegated to the Star Lounge despite having a proper Business Class ticket?