Check your paper coffee cup and Danish at the door. Modern Holly Golightlys are rejoicing at the opening of Blue Box Café, Tiffany & Co.’s new restaurant on the fourth floor of the Fifth Avenue flagship in New York City. The cafe’s debut caused quite the stir: Reese Witherspoon hosted a holiday breakfast there; Martha Stewart popped in for the opening; starlets Olivia Wilde and Riley Keough cozied up in one of the restaurant’s Tiffany Blue corner booths; and seemingly every major fashion editor has Instagrammed their way through breakfast.Read More
I was hoping that looking through all of the pictures I took at the 2017 NBAA (National Business Aircraft Association) convention, in Vegas, would remind me of what I thought were the most important takeaways.Read More
Seems you can’t walk through a busy airline terminal without seeing at least one “Delayed for Maintenance” notice on a boarding gate sign. It happens. Planes are incredibly complex machines that have to be in near-perfect working conditions before they can take off (each plane has a Minimum Equipment List, MEL, that allows for certain items to be inoperative, yet still allow the plane to fly). The airlines typically stock replacement parts at all major cities, along with having the mechanics on-call to make the repair. Unless the item is not at base, or the repair will take an extended period of time, the flight will be delayed, but will eventually take off.Read More
I’ve been an airplane geek since I was in 6 th grade at Lovett Elementary School, reading books on WWII fighter planes in the library. I grew up in aviation at Houston Hobby airport in the early 80’s. At the time, there were only a few series of private jets – Jetstars, Sabres, Lears, Gulfstreams and Falcons seemed to rule. I loved the nimble-looking, French-built Falcon 10 and it’s bigger sister the 20. In 1980 things changed. The Falcon 50 came out and I was in love (26 years later, I finally flew on a 50 from Loreto Bay, Mexico to DFW – I was beside myself). This was as beautiful as the prior Falcons but had three engines – causing quite a roar in the industry. It’s power allowed it to take off from high and hot airports (a challenge that I’ll get into in another article) and had the safety factor of the third engine (jet engines tend not to quite these days, but early on it was comforting to know you had one extra, and with the 50, now, two engines to take over if one crapped out). The 50 typically sat nine, and then the stretch model of the 900 came out six years later, having 12 spots for tushies and several hundred more miles of range. In 1995 the Falcon 2000 was birthed, a humble 10 seater with less than 3,000 mile range. This was the first private jet I flew on – a nice long weekend trip to NY, and it took my breath away. A beautiful airplane, even though it lacked the awe of the tri-jet. In 2007 the large cabin 7x shattered distance records of prior Falcons – 5,490 miles – think NY to the Middle East. The 50, 900 and 2000 could travel 3,220, 4,800 and 3,970 miles, respectively. Check out this great video of a 7X performing at the Reno Air Races – I wasn't shooting the video, but I was there, watching.
If you fly privately, you're the type who's most-likely been to Aspen. See this recent, wonderful article from contributor Shelby Hodge, and see why it's called a rich man’s paradise.
If you don’t own your own plane, charter one and head to KASE (the four letter identifier for the Aspen airport). We recently put a family of six on a mid-sized plane from Houston to KASE for a four day weekend for under $30,000. If you live closer, that number would go down. Four couples on a slightly larger plane could run $38,000 – split that four ways, check into the Hotel Jerome and start drinking at the Caribou Club!
Here, these top-tier types are neighbors, with private houses built in a mandatory Bermuda style that oozes, in the most subtle way, moneyed beauty. At Alys, a majority of the manses are custom-built with prices starting in the low millions. And while homeowners are allowed to select their own design team — noted architects Robert Orr, Gary Justiss and Bobby McAlpine have designed homes here — every detail must be approved by Erik Vogt and Marieanne Khoury-Vogt, the husband-wife urban planners and architects who conceptualized the community’s design and layout in 2003.
Inside info for future residents: Your house must include a courtyard with a fountain, similar to those found in Antigua and Guatemala, and the exterior must be finished with a three-coat, hand-troweled stucco and mineral-based paints similar to what was used in some of Europe’s most storied masonry buildings. Among the current residences, scarce few are available for rent, so there’s a sense of privacy and laid-back, beach-town casualness.
There is Charlie’s Donut Truck, where homemade pastries and coffee are served from early morning until they sell out. The neighboring Piper’s Kitchen serves beach fare, from fish tacos to burgers. And for dinner, there is the charming George’s, which offers fine, fresh seafood in a beachy setting, and Caliza, a scene-y poolside spot. Pale blue beach cruisers are the go-to mode of transport — few of the Bentleys and Range Rovers leave their parking spots.
Early morning, the quaint Fonville Press is packed — if not for its zippy lattes then for its expansive patio. The property’s first bar, Neat, recently opened, serving classic libations. Once you open your summerhouse at Alys, there is absolutely no reason to leave.
Fly into Northwest Florida Beaches International (KECP), for stays in Alys or Rosemary Beach and environs. For stays in Seaside and points west, Destin Executive (KDTS) works. There are always a lot of planes in the area of DTS, and Eglin approach control does a great job separating most traffic. Be ready for your pilot to have to make some awkward course alterations on the approach to accommodate traffic flow and planes that appear out of no where, it happens, don't be scared.
There's been a lot of coverage in the recent years about the pilot shortage - it is real today, and, is only getting worse. It's a wicked blend of the major airlines stealing pilots from the regional airlines, low salaries that don't exactly attract people to the field (this is changing rapidly as airlines and other operators have really upped the pay lately), the Air Force producing less pilots, and generally, the large expense of training it takes to get to the point of being marketable - to name a few reasons. I could not think of better profession, especially if you are interested in travel (not to mention: the mental challenge, flexibility in hours, etc.). I love criss-crossing the country and laying over in random places. I have toured the wine country, spent time with family in SoCal, hung out with friends in Miami, had great Indian food in Queens and partied with some dysfunctional people in Hutchinson, KS (it was them, Marc, not us!). And, while I don't spend a lot of time fishing when at home, I enjoy it, and fishing seems to find me while on the road. It often starts out of the blue: I once had to find a hotel out towards Park City because a convention at our destination of Salt Lake City left no hotels in town. While driving through the beautiful country side and crossing a bridge over the Provo River, my co-captain/buddy Guerrero spotted some guys fly fishing and yelled, "I want to do that!". Any avid angler would benefit from taking up flying - it could take you to countless lakes, rivers and oceans, and, you'd get paid to be there!
I like to say that I'm half Californian since my grandmother and uncle lived in Santa Monica, my sister is in San Diego and I have countless cousins up and down the coast. I've been very happy flying up and down the coast, a lot, lately. It was a thrill to fly into San Diego for the first time - having a front window seat was so much cooler than sitting in the back. Ate lunch on the harbor then flew to Orange County and ended up in San Francisco for the night. The oil guy we were flying was able to knock out three meetings in three cities in one day.