United telephones Emirates upgrade on confetti-filled seaplane


dan and Tiger at Fiesta August 2017

Was a business class upgrade (on a 16 hour flight) enough to charm Nazy on her wedding anniversary? And, could Dan swing it without a mortgage? How did United Airlines' transcontinental trip rate compared to business class on Emirates? Hint: It is like comparing the attention span of a humming bird (or the longevity of a White House aide) with the life span of the typical continent. Why would anyone let Dan buy a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses? Did you know that Congress members have the uncanny ability to stand up for an interview even though they have no backbone?
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anniversary dreams and new jeans while Leandra beam


dan Nazy and leandra

Can Melika and Nazy fix Dan’s baggy jeans problem? (Did that pair really make Dan’s butt look big?). What is a perfect way to celebrate a wedding anniversary? How about a perfect place? Is there any correlation between the way, the place and the grand(est)daughter ever? Who sleeps better: six week old Leandra or jet lagged Dan and Nazy? Who is the center of attention: the international arrivals or the new arrival? Read More...
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Valentine Champagne: Admirals, Judges and Chinese Apps


Tiger, nazy on tricycle

What advice did KLM have for Dan? And is it still applicable? Why did THE ADMIRAL claim that rain is the under-appreciated asset that makes America bountiful and rich. (And is it possible to be too bountiful and rich?) Will Dan need assistance from THE JUDGE over a never-ending license plate foible? Can THE PROFESSOR teach a two-year old keyboard basics? How about touchscreen etiquette? On a related note, did you know that a touchscreen chock-full of chocolate is responsively challenged? Read More...
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Gravity and Tiger’s cars; weather snarls (some) marching travel


Arrow and Tiger with cars copy

Are Dan’s ‘bad luck travel genes’ inheritable? it usually takes geologic forces to move mountains — so how did Mother Nature do with something as simple as water? Hint: it was lots of water. In an unprecedented (and totally unexpected) moment, Tiger shared his cars with Arrow. But, did Tiger know what six-month old and teething babies do to everything they pick up? Did anyone in The Martin Family join the Women’s March? Read More...
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trojan horse invades soggy greek creek with tasty rice

with the cherry picker


Can Dan cope with the new political reality — his
orangeness? Is it possible for ‘stuff’ to displace an amount of ‘air’ sufficient to cause breathing problems in The Martin Family household? Is there any progress on the SRP (stuff removal project)? Who bought ‘THE” Trojan Horse — and left it Dan’s study? Can anyone to have so much checked baggage that it doesn’t fi inside Melika’s SUV? (Hint: Melika’s SUV has 18 wheels.) Why is this year’s rainy season so unusual? Read More...
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Tarmac delays threatened aircraft evacuation on inactive taxiway

Arrow and Tiger on swing Nov 2016

Is it unreasonable to expect that your airline will find an open gate when your flight lands? Who waited more impatiently: Dan or Tiger? How did Nazy convey her ire? And why didn’t American Airlines react? Was Arrow happy when Tiger ‘shared’ his toy Humvee? Why didn’t Melika and Tom join the Halloween costume parade this year? How well are the grand(est)sons bonding? Read More...
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Tiger’s airport closes on upside down mountain SUV Arrow


Family (Martin, Adams) GC Oct 2016

What is a rolling thunder surprise birthday celebration? Is the thunder related to echoes from a truly grand canyon? Who booked a rental car for the wrong day at a small airport? Did they really turn off the airport lights before the taxi arrived? What’s worse: United Airlines flight delay ineptitude or American Airlines surly customer service? Why does a two year old believe that riding on a bus is more exciting than looking at The Grand Canyon? What is the best room decoration for a boy named ‘Arrow’? (Hint: There is a Hopi Village native crafts center nearby.) Read More...
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Conifers pine fir yew in New York musical museum fire engine


All in NYC sept 2016

Did yew know that some ‘pine cones’ haven’t fallen from pine trees? Where can you find a conifer connoisseur to spruce up the house? (And what would you need one fir?) Did Nazy let Tiger play in the sandbox at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM)? Where did Tiger master pachinko? Who slept the best on the cross-country red-eye? And, remember the pre-mobility days when a baby who stays where you put him? Remember them fondly. Read More...
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speechless incredulity stupefies Emirates blunder; United falls & cat meows

at fair nazy and tiger


What event generated unprecedented stupefaction and speechless incredulity for The Martin Family in Santa Barbara, California? What major international airline bases its entire disaster recovery ‘plan’ on yellow sticky pads and magic markers? Is the ineptitude sufficient to dislodge United Airlines from a well-deserved and firmly entrenched position at the cellar of The Martin Family quality list? Why does the whole situation depends on a meowing cat? Does this week’s edition of The Weekly Letter actually include a picture of Dan with a bowtie and sideburns?
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Bronze common infrequent flyer meets no outlet antelope

nazy at antelope with car

Where are the antelopes in Antelope Valley, California? They can’t escape, the park signs clearly say: “NO OUTLET”. Why did Dan want to sack the navigation computer? How did Dan cope with the transition from “Platinum Elite Frequent Flyer” status to “Bronze Common Infrequent Cargo” status? And is Tiger, the grand(est)son, taller than the main landing gear of a B-24? Read More...
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backgammon craftsman foiled, great apartment found, flight home fumbled


Walking in Typre

Will the backgammon craftsman remember Nazy? (Of course he will! But, more importantly, will he remember the price he quoted the last time she was in Beirut?) Did Darius find a great new apartment in Beirut? (Of course not, but he did find a beautiful and capable wife with skills in that direction.) Did American Airlines provide a pleasant surprise with good service and edible cuisine — edible food — let’s not go overboard. (Well, yes, but how did they blow it in the end?) Read More...
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Platinium Elite Flyer morphs to Dirt COMMON NYC Sinterklaas trip

The Martin Family Christmas 2009

Will Dan be able to complain about a trip where flights that are on-time, serviced by pleasant staff and incredibly economical? Hint: Dan is no longer a Platinum Elite Frequent Flyer; Dirt Common Infrequent Trodden Class is not quite as nice. How was Dan able to morph a trouble-free flight to New York into a story about Cameroon? Who celebrated St. Nicolas Day at the Saint Nicholas Cathedral In Sidon? How did that illuminate memories of Sinterklaas Day fun in Holland? And what does the cover picture have to do with the letter contents? Read More...
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Flat Beds Fly: Elite-less airlines Lie with immobile movers

nazy, dan and albert einstein

Why do airlines tout ‘flat beds’ while mattress companies promote beds that let you sit up? Can Dan cope with the loss of Elite Frequent Flyer Status? Is he willing to pay for an upgrade? Will he ‘go nuclear’ when given an invoice for checked baggage? How did a Burning Man U-Haul experience prepare Melika and Tom for a house move? And, in a home renovation project, what’s more important: the master bath toilet or the outdoor hot tube? (Hint: the ‘movees’ live in California.
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Zuni necklace? Tee-Shirt? While Bison Dan blocks the road

Western Belle

If you’re making a vintage western photograph, would Dan be The Good? The Bad? or The Ugly? *(Hint: Nazy said he could assume ‘The Good.’) Who, when they can’t decide on a tee-shirt color, compromises by buying a necklace? And a pair of boots? And a vest? And a hat?Where can you see a landscape that reminds you of Io? Read More...
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Sainted United Air chooses Delta for Teton Birthday trip


dan and nazy in jackson

How did United Airlines finally deliver a perfect flight experience? (Hint: it involved another airline.) Where do bugs hitting the windshield sound like hail-sized baseballs? Is it a sheer coincidence that the Pope visited and the moon was eclipsed on Dan’s birthday weekend? Why are they renaming the street where we live? What led to a Grand visit to the Tetons? Read More...
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Stinky Arrival recalls haughty salmon haircut


Darius and tiger August 2015

Why was Darius met by “You Stink!” signs when he got back to Beirut? (And why didn’t he take it personally?) How old should you be before getting your passport? Why don’t they know how to spell ‘color’ in Vancouver? What were the results when a three year old acted as her own hairdresser? What was (one of) Dan’s early career miscues? Read More...
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Red light cedar preserves Lebanon monastery traffic

cut off dar and Chrsitinae elephants

How did Lebanon’s cedars illuminate common approaches from Queen Victoria and Roman Emperor Hadrian? Where do New York City taxi drivers get trained? What promoted Darius to move into a really nice apartment? (Or, more accurately, Who promoted the move?) Where can you see the first printing press in the Middle East? Is there really a place called Deir Qozhaya? Read More...
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skid row’s falling branches vaccinate moon phase Watch

nazy and DArius Jan 20 hike

Who misplaced the passport office by 99 city blocks? (And who decided to drive those Wilshire Blvd blocks during rush hour?) Which illegal alien dropped branches on The Martin Family patio? Did Dan really replace the mechanical “watch of his dreams’ with an expensive quartz model? (And what does that have to do with buying a house?) And, how did Nazy contract Whooping Arm?
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Potted evergreen Lion befuddles dropped Dyson vacuum

nifty street in Montreal

Warlocks? Silversmiths? Dan’s lion ring? How will it all turn out? Is Dan, like an unemployed court jester, nobody’s fool? Do you push the red button or the silver button first? (If you chose wrong, you’ll be covered in dusty debris.) Who is Stan Nardon and why did he generate a false alarm? And why is there a photo from Isfahan, Iran in this week’s issue of The Weekly Letter? Read More...
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rental car immobilization leads to Ring ransom in New England

dab and nazy circque in Montreal

United Airlines delivers Dan and Nazy across the continent - on-time! (With some drama.) Dreadlocked warlocks demand ransom for Dan’s Lion Ring. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.) Bedlam Abode, The Martin Family residence in Hanover, NH (1986-1989; 1994-2001) is still standing. Nazy’s IWC in the Upper Valley celebrates 20 years with a huge prom party Read More...
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Giant hats fly United Rabbit-Ear cooking class

nazy and yellow hat

Who ‘needs’ a giant yellow hat? (And who makes the hat look great?) Do you recall rabbit-ear TV antennas? (And which airline still uses them on the inflight entertainment system?) What kind of recipes should you study if you’re about to go on maternity leave? And, why does Credit Suisse want to close Dan’s account? Read More...
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Dullest airport strafes magellan’s straight flushed Trip

Magellan

Can Dan escape the sensory deprivation tank at the Dullest International Airport in the world? Who’s trip was worse: Ferdinand Magellan? Dan Martin? (Hint: Dan ‘traveled’ on a airline.) Which airport puts the runway and the terminal in different time-zones? Which airport puts the arrival and departure gates on different planets? Did Dan get home for his anniversary. Find answers to these and other burning questions on The Weekly Letter.
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Halifax Crew Mutiny worse worse Than Taxed departure

Moon and russian church 2

Can an airline consistently deliver on it’s core competence (lengthy, slow moving queues) consistently and globally? The answer, of course, is “Yes” - provided Dan is ‘flying’. Will a 15 Franc lunch voucher buy a lunch? Will Dan’s trip to California enter recorded history alongside Shackleton and Antarctica, Custer and Little Big Horn, Charles and Diana, Nuclear Power and Tsunami?

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Bank holiday tram bridges one-legged mobile phone

on the lake at night
Who’s business model is as effective as a one-legged Tarzan? Would anyone want a yellow mobile phone? (Is color a valid decision criterion?) What flight got stuck in Los Angeles - on the I-405? And why doesn’t Zurich have a Tram 1? (Geneva’s tram 1 brings sunshine to the weekend.) Read More...
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Dark WIFI Belt Failure rattles Explosive Dryer

Geneva Jet (first nice day)

Will the iPhone “Big Bang” app meet Dan’s complex nightlight requirements? (Would an ink-jet printer do better?) Has anyone (ever) successfully re-installed a buckle on a reversible belt? Whatever happened to multipurpose shower rods? And would you use a clothes dryer with a ‘risk of explosion’ warning label? Read More...
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Beauty Salon ICE Cubes recycle Cat compliance Spreadshee

colorful clock flower

What are the differences between Geneva and Zürich bus drivers? Do the employees of the Pussy Cat Nightclub get coiffeured at the “White and Black Toilettage for Chiens & Chats?” Will Dan’s finally honed recycling expertise be needed in Geneva? How could Dan threaten shipping in the Pacific Ocean? And finally, what, if anything, is he doing in Geneva?

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Flight irregularity foils arrival at pussycat nightclub

UAL900

He’s baaackk! Will Dan’s return to Switzerland go smoothly? (Hint: The trip involves an airport and airlines.) Is his Geneva apartment really located next to the Pussycat Nightclub? Will his state-of-the-art AT&T mobile phone from the USA work in Europe? And who would recommend getting a good breakfast at the airport?

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iPhone text debacle with Big bill elvis costumes

rainbow and gull


Who can make a telephone purchase complicated? (Why aren’t we surprised?) Which service provider is unable to make text messaging work? (Text Messaging, Verizon!) Do you have a (future) son-in-law who owns an Elvis costume? Do you exist if you don’t have a California driver’s license?
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First class elbows tax exit plans


sunrise la vista

How well-polished are Dan’s negotiation skills? See him test them out with the $wiss taxation authorities? Why did the TSA inspector, who’s radiation device spotted an anomaly on Dan’s elbow, pat down Dan’s butt? Should Dan have pointed that out? (Will he ever learn to shut up?) Read More...
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Camels Pyramids The Sphinx and Nihilism on the Nile

two large pyramids

What did Napoleon want to do with the Pyramids? Can an Egyptian artisan reproduce the ‘real, pure’ essence of Nazy’s Hermes perfume with locally marinated herbs? Is the Cairo Bazaar Grand? And, would you rather go on a boat trip down the Nile or bargain with the locals in a nearby (upscale) mall?

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Gasoline Prices Flummox Christian Pharaohs in Cairo

spinx and ph

When Darius said ‘gas is expensive’ did he really mean that petrol costs $21 a liter in Lebanon? How did the Pharaohs reverse the standard flow of time from past to present? (Why would they do it?) Would you rather have a 5000 year old Egyptian obelisk or a 200 year old French clock?

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TAKSI Spices at the Rock Boutique

very colorful beads

Is it a coincidence that the opening scene of the new James Bond movie (Skyfall) took place in the Grand Bazaar? Will the Istanbul taxi drivers scam Dan? (Probably not if Nazy is with him.) Does Nazy know how to drive a Turkish Ferry Boat? Read More...
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Moses and Mohammad Queue in Istanbul

hagia sophia at sunset

Did Moses have a staff or a cane? What’s easier to spell: Istanbul or Constantinople? How did Nazy bypass the queue to see the three spoons diamond - an 86 carat boulder? Does mythological history work for you - or are you tied to boring objective fact? And who shut the door to Dan’s Harem? Read More...
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Turkish Delights, Bazaar-ing Nights, trouble-free flights

byzzee sofia picture


What’s the excess baggage allowance on Turkish Air? Can Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar survive an assault from Nazy? (And, will the family wallet survive?) What happened when Darius’ laptop entered it’s last lap? (And why does it matter?)
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Jet-lagged Butterfly packs (Street) Parade parking ticket

flutterby 2


How does the Zürich Street Parade differ from the Santa Barbara Fiesta? How many pairs of shoes can Nazy pack into a suitcase? (Will Dan be able to lift it?) What do butterflies have to do with Pelicans? Will Dan be able to foil the nefarious plans of Los Angeles parking police?
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Magic (La) cage castles legally zoom and cirque


nazy at the redbury

How can you make the 40th wedding anniversary most magical? Who is Iris and why does she love the Circus? Who would want to legally zoom an IPO at 4:00AM? Find out in this, the California edition of The Weekly Letter. Read More...
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Once Upon an M&M anniversary New York Phase


a nazy and dan at wedding

Are ruby-red M&M’s the right gift for a 40th wedding anniversary celebration? Where is the best place to shop in the 21st Century in New York? Who was Intrepid enough to see Once but not Enterprising enough to see the shuttle? Read More...
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Airliner Orville meets practically perfect Mary

Would you select United Airlines or Mary Poppins for your transatlantic flight? How many Q-Tip cotton balls does it take to stuff a pillow? Is red the only color needed to produce modern art? 

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hatter paints three pairs of pants

Can a (mad) Santa Fe hatter sell Dan a beaver felt cowboy hat? Is an Ecuadorian-made Panama hat an economical alternative? How does Darius outsmart the (excess) baggage police? Why do honeybees love Nazy’s watercolors? Read More...
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Taxing HHorse-drawn Paris Mitts

Geographically speaking, is California ‘on to way’ for a trip to New York from Switzerland? Did you know that horse-drawn trams function during an electricity outage?  Who allowed an electricity failure (gasp!) in Zurich? And, is a private jet a tax-efficient investment? Read More...
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Bully Angelfish trapped at an Event Horizon in Lebanon

coke dan shirt



Can the retail price of coca cola replace a cost of living index? Will a Lebanese approach save the Euro? (Know any trillionaires?) Can a “75%-off” sale warp the time-space continuum by creating an event horizon?
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Lugged Luggage and a pointless st*r



give me your..

Was our return flight as problem-free as the Atlantic crossing of the Titanic?  Why did queuing for a coffee latte result in tooth enamel collecting on Dan’s tongue? (Would you stand in line behind someone with blue hair and a walker? See Photo of Dan by the TSA Queue. Read More...
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€uro-less and luggage-less inside the beltway

washington mon reflect 1



Traveling again, why did Dan choose US Air? What do America’s Presidential candidates have to do with a Swiss Court ruling about nude hiking? Who would think that a Lebanese ATM card would work in Germany? 
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