Amazon eBook Discounts Up to 90% Off – Today Only

For one day only, Amazon is offering up to 90% off a selection of their Kindle library! You can see everything that is available over here Amazon – Kindle Book Deals [affiliate link].

Even if you don’t have a Kindle, you can read it on your phone or computer using the Kindle App [affiliate link] which our gracious overlords have provided for free.

All in all, this is a wonderful deal and a great way to stay entertained on long flights where sitcom reruns just aren’t cutting it for you. Plus, you can learn something new!

PSA: Elephant Riding

I am generally not one to randomly bash what other people do on their vacations, I came across a very disturbing post today on Million Miler Secrets regarding a trip to India and an elephant ride. To properly understand my problem with this, it’s first important to understand some things about elephant anatomy.

Elephant Anatomy

Asiatic Elephant Skeleton
From Wikipedia: Richard Lydekker – Royal Natural History Volume 2 (Available on

The spine of an elephant has evolved over time to support weight that is suspended downward, not placed above onto it. Additionally the soles of their feet are not shod in any form, as you would a horse, leading to severe damage over time. This also leads to grinding against the bones on their feet.

In many parts of the world the treatment of these creatures is extremely suspect between what is known as the “crush”, forced breeding of females, and the elephants having to walk on surfaces that they are not accustomed to.

Ethical Experiences

That said, there are many ethical experiences available to you if you want to spend time with these marvelous creatures. Tiffany, over at OneMileAtATime posted of one such sanctuary in Thailand —  Elephant’s World. For roughly 70 USD per day, per person, you can spend time taking care of elephants that have been rescued.

Just some food for thought!

Choosing your Alliance

First of all, apologies for not having posted in a few days now – thanks to the hectic schedule of work, there hasn’t been time for much else. I had some time to think the other day and it occurred to me that I had not mentioned the options available when selecting an airline alliance.

There are many things to keep in mind when making a decision like this, such as how much you expect to travel, your home airport, the options available for upgrades and award tickets, and so on. Another big factor is if you will be flying for work or pleasure, or both. It is a lot easier to attain status when you are having to travel anyway!

The Big 3

The three main alliances available to flyers in the US are the Star Alliance (United), OneWorld (American), and SkyTeam (Delta). Keep in mind that there are other options, such as Alaska Airlines and Southwest. You can earn some very nice perks with these two such as a very nice partner chart as is the case with Alaska, or the Companion Pass with Southwest.

Another important factor is that when you are flying on an alliance member flight, you can credit your miles earnings to another airline belonging to that alliance. For example, you can use your Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer number to earn miles when flying on United or Lufthansa flights. Though you would have StarAlliance Gold, you would not have access to the upgrade perks and similar options available to a 1K with United.

Many travel bloggers have detailed the differences between the upgrade policies of the three representative airlines, miles values, and similar factors, so I will spare you the spiel.

Home Airport

From a practical standpoint, your home airport (and those in the surrounding area) has the biggest impact on what airline alliance you join. It directly impacts what destinations are available and on which carriers. Near Raleigh-Durham we have Greensboro, Fayetteville, and Charlotte. Each of these airports have pros and cons, and some fun little quirks.

Don’t be afraid to fly out of an airport further away, as it can save you a substantial amount of money! It is not uncommon for an airline to poach business on another airline’s home turf — Delta is particularly fond of offering lower cost flights from Charlotte, though it is primarily a focus city for both American and United. You will have to sacrifice some time on the initial transit and most likely connect through a hub like Atlanta or Detroit, but savings tend to be in the hundreds of dollars when comparing business class tickets.

Google Flights is particularly helpful in this regard as it offers an analysis for flights with different originating airports. It even offers suggestions for nearby airports that would offer cheaper tickets.

Happy flying!

Cancún Gem: El Fish Fritanga

While visiting Cancún for a timeshare presentation (I won’t say no to 5 days at a resort for dirt cheap!), the concierge at the Westin Lagunamar suggested what we visit El Fish Fritanga if we wanted some fresh seafood. Given our location, I thought this would be an excellent idea, and after a day of exploring Tulum, we made our way down from our room.


El Fish Fritanga is facing the Nichupté lagoon with the entrance on the main-road that runs through the resort district. Though you have to walk between two buildings to get to the actual restaurant, you get to eat on the sand! Plus, it is located in walking distance of most of the hotels and resorts on the peninsula — a short 10 minute walk from the Westin Lagunamar.


The food was spectacular — this was one of the few restaurants that had large chunks of octopus in their ceviche, whole fish for the same price as Chinese delivery in the States, and though I generally stay far away from sugary drinks… the best piña coladas I have ever had. If you enjoy seafood and well made drinks, do not pass up this opportunity!

Raleigh Gem: Tasca Brava

On December 30th, my brother and his girlfriend drove up from South Carolina to spend New Years with my girlfriend and myself. After some poking about online, we agreed on Spanish tapas for dinner at Tasca Brava.

Tasca Brava is a delightful hole-in-the-wall owned and operated by a very passionate married couple: Juan and Marta. I say very passionate because of how enthusiastic they are about their creations — it’s infectious! Give them a chance to wow you and you will not be disappointed!

You can find it at 607 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27603, and there is parking immediately behind the restaurant so there’s no need to fight for parking on the streets.

For dinner, my brother and his girlfriend shared a massive paella (made in the traditional manner, no less), while my girlfriend opted for octopus. I had the lamb, pictured below.


Juan makes wine choices easy by pairing Spanish wines with the larger dishes so even someone as inexperienced as myself can really enjoy themselves!

I can’t say enough good things about this restaurant and the experience we had; all you need to do is let Juan and Marta work their magic and you will not regret it!