Connect with us

Travel

You Can Finally Request An Uber Ride For Someone Else

Published

on

When Uber first came out, I was a little weary about the whole getting into a stranger’s car thing, which went right in the face of my parents’ warnings growing up. But after trying it out one fateful night in New York when I couldn’t find a cab, I was hooked, and I’ve been using it ever since.

Overall, I’ve been really happy with Uber, but there’s one feature that I always wished it had, a way to request a car for another person from your own phone. In fact, I had a situation back in May where a client wanted to send an Uber to pick me up and take me to their office (since a car service would have been expensive), but they couldn’t because this feature didn’t exist yet.

Instead, I had to pay for the Uber myself and then send them my receipt and wait to get reimbursed. And this isn’t the first time this has happened to me. So hooray to Uber for bringing us this long-awaited feature!

Uber is promoting this new feature as a way to provide “safe, reliable transportation options for everyone in the family,” specifically seniors who are too old to drive but still want the freedom to get around. Regardless of the motivation, it’s a useful feature that is long overdue.

So how does it work? When you set the pickup away from your current location, the app will automatically ask whether the ride is for you or for a family member or friend. You can then select the rider from your address book, set their destination, and request the ride on their behalf.

Once the driver is on the way, the rider will receive a text message with the driver’s details and a link to track the driver’s route. They’ll even be able to contact the driver directly. The driver will see the rider’s name, and be able to contact the rider directly, too.

It couldn’t be easier to use, and it’ll prove useful whether you’re requesting a ride for your grandma or for that friend at the bar who had a few too many drinks.

Ready to take a ride with Uber? Then sign up now and use the promo code jxtvz to get your first ride free!

Travel

Who’s Ready To Stay In The World’s First Luxury Hotel.. In Space?

Published

on

Aurora Station

Sometimes you just need to get away. Sure, you could book a trip to the Bahamas, or Hawaii, or you could choose a destination that’s a little further out there. Like outer space. Imagine being able to play astronaut for a few days, while you unplug from your job and the daily grind. You’ll get your chance soon since a new luxury hotel is launching 200 miles above the Earth. It’s called Aurora Station.

Space tourism is all the rage right now, despite the fact that we can’t go to Mars and beyond just yet. Aurora Station is a project designed to let ordinary humans live out their Astronaut dreams above the Earth for 12 days. And even though you are off-planet, you’ll have all the luxuries of home, thanks to a luxury hotel in zero gravity.

Aurora Station

The hotel aims to welcome its first guests by 2022, and who knows? Maybe one day it will be a gathering place for humans and aliens as they travel to and from the Earth. This is basically a mini space station that consists of a modular capsule that has enough room to accommodate four guests and two crew members at a time.

During your stay, you can participate in research experiments like growing food, experience virtual reality on an actual holodeck, and live-stream with those jealous humans back home. The company behind the project, Orion Span, will only charge you $9.5 million per person for your 12-day stay. That breaks down to $791,667 per night. That price tag leaves most of us Earthbound, but if you have the money this will be the ultimate experience.

Aurora Station

A deposit of $80,000 will secure your reservation. You better be in good shape though, because you’ll have to undergo an intensive three-month astronaut certification program to train for launch, re-entry, and contingency scenarios. Guests will also be required to do exercise during their stay aboard Aurora.

Start saving your money and get ready for your trip to the final frontier.

Photo credit: Orion Span

Continue Reading

Drinks

We Checked Out Grand Rapids’ Beer Scene.. And I’m Still Pretty Buzzed

Published

on

Grand Rapids Beercation

Grand Rapids, Michigan has one of the best beer scenes in the country, with 60+ craft breweries along their Beer City Ale Trail that are putting out some amazing brews (not to mention delicious food). Voted Beer City USA in national polls and named Best Beer Town and Best Beer Scene by USA TODAY, Grand Rapids has quickly become a popular beercation destination for hops heads.

Experience Grand Rapids recently invited us to come check out their beer scene for ourselves, and when we shared this news on social media, the suggestions started flooding in. “Make sure you hit up Founders!” “Are you visiting Creston Brewing?” “Dude, you can’t leave Grand Rapids without trying the crack fries at HopCat.”

With so many breweries in town, it was impossible for us to hit them all, but we made a valiant effort, visiting 11 breweries in just two days and collecting enough stamps in my Brewsader Passport to score me a sweet Brewsader t-shirt to commemorate my visit.

So how does one choose which breweries to visit? Honestly, that’s the challenge that brewers here face, as they all produce great beer. So to differentiate themselves from one another, they’ve upped their food game, each offering their own signature dishes to go along with their beers.

Here were our 5 favorite Grand Rapids breweries:

Founders Brewing

Founders Brewing

Founders Brewing - Backwoods Bastard

1) Founders Brewing has been named the third best brewery in the world, and it’s a must-visit if you come to Grand Rapids. As the story goes, founders Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers quit their day jobs to get into the brewingr business, but their unremarkable beers weren’t wowing people and they were on the verge of bankruptcy. So they decided to brew the kind of beer that got them excited about brewing in the first place: complex, in-your-face ales, with huge aromatics, bigger body, and tons of flavor. Their Kentucky Bourbon Stout (KBS) was met with rave reviews, and the rest is history.

They’ve got a wide variety of beers to choose from, and one that really won me over was their Lizard of Koz, a bourbon barrel aged Imperial Stout with blueberry, chocolate, and vanilla. It was ridiculously good. Equally good were their sandwiches, which are hand crafted, just like their beers. Seeing as how it was lunchtime, I decided to order the Backwoods Bastard (bourbon barrel-smoked pulled pork, Colby Jack cheese, tangy coleslaw & Dirty Bastard BBQ sauce on toasted ciabatta roll), and it was SO FREAKING GOOD!

Brewery Vivant

Brewery Vivant

Brewery Vivant

2) Brewery Vivant is a distinctly unique brewery in the fact that it’s housed in an old funeral home, featuring rustic farmhouse inspired beers (like their signature Big Red Coq) alongside European inspired cooking from their scratch-kitchen. Their Duck Confit Nachos is a popular menu item that pairs well with their beers, and who doesn’t love some Poutine? The food is on a whole other level, and they use locally sourced ingredients.

Furthermore, Brewery Vivant was awarded the first ever LEED certification for a production brewery in the US in 2012, designing their space to use less water and energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which not only save them money but also benefits the environment as a whole. These guys just don’t talk the talk when it comes to being environmentally friendly, but they walk the walk as well.

Mitten Brewing Company

Mitten Brewing Company

Mitten Brewing Company - Pizza Flight

3) The Mitten Brewing Company (named after the shape of their home state) is a vintage baseball-themed microbrewery that also pulls double-duty as a pizzeria. That’s right, because what goes better with ice cold beer than some piping hot pizza? Taking the marriage of beer and pizza one step further, the beer isn’t the only thing you can order as a flight – They offer a flight of pizza, allowing you to sample up to six different varieties of their delicious pizza. My favorite was the chicken and waffles pizza!

Located on the West Side of Grand Rapids, The Mitten is located in a historic firehouse, and it even includes the original fireman’s pole. Despite expanding the building with the addition of a second story taproom and bi-level outdoor decks, this place can still get pretty crowded at night (especially on a weekend), so make sure you stake out a table early, or you’re bound to be waiting for awhile. But trust me, it’s totally worth it!

The Knickerbocker

The Knickerbocker

The Knickerbocker

4) New Holland Brewing is known for their Dragon’s Milk Stout, and they’ve since introduced a number of other Dragon’s Milk varieties. So, I decided to order up the Flight of the Dragon so I could try all of them. In retrospect, that might not have been such a bright idea, given that each of them were over 11% ABV. But it was totally worth it, as Dragon’s Milk is pretty amazing and totally lived up to the hype.

We visited The Knickerbocker location (on Grand Rapids’ West Side), and the building is just incredible. It’s a massive space, and the architecture is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Add in unique fixtures (like a huge metal dragon when you first walk in) and the gorgeous flight tray you see above, and you can see why The Knickerbocker stands out from the crowd.

City Built Brewing Company

City Built Brewing Company

5) City Built Brewing Company is another spot you should definitely check out. One of the newer breweries in the area (opened in 2017), City Built offers 4 tiers of beer, from the mild to the wild, along with something you don’t see nearly enough.. Mead! I fell in love with their Beyoncé Blackberry Mead, and I would have been happy staying here all afternoon drinking them (and eating some of the delicious looking Puerto Rican food that they serve up), but sadly our limited time didn’t allow for it.

We had a chance to meet up with the owners (Dave Petroelje and Edwin Collazo), and they took us behind-the-scenes, giving us some background on them and where they see the business going. Definitely keep an eye on them, as these guys are going places!

Beer and Pretzel

Overall, we had an amazing time in exploring the Grand Rapids beer scene with our #MenWhoBlog buddies. It is crazy to think that we barely scratched the surface, only visiting 11 of the 60+ breweries that GR has to offer. They’ve definitely earned the title of Beer City USA, and I highly recommend it to any beer aficionado looking to satisfy their thirst for foam and hops.

Want more? Then make sure you check out Men Who Blog, as they’ve compiled a list of posts from all of the other guys who took part in the Grand Rapids beercation weekend with us.

Continue Reading

Travel

Looking For Some Fun In The Sun? Then Head Down To Bradenton Florida

Published

on

Beachy Villa Vista

If you’re looking to escape the cold and spend a few days soaking up some much-needed rays, we’ve got just the place for you.. Bradenton, Florida! Located on the Gulf Coast of Florida just north of Sarasota, this quiet little beach community has lots to offer, something I got to experience firsthand during a recent guys weekend with a few of my #MenWhoBlog buddies, courtesy of Bradenton Gulf Islands.

The folks at Island Real Estate found us a sweet rental house (“Beachy Villa Vista”) that was just a few steps away from the beach, complete with a heated pool, spa, swim up tiki bar, and a propane grill in the backyard. The house itself was super spacious, with all the amentities you could ask for. So whether you’re planning on coming down here for a weekend with your buds or for a week-long vacation with the entire family, a vacation rental house like this is most definitely the way to go.

Beachy Villa Vista

Beachy Villa Vista

Now you might ask yourself, what exactly is there to do down in Bradenton and Anna Maria Island other than kick back, relax, and enjoy their beaches with miles and miles of sugar-white sand and gentle waves?

Plenty! On our first day there, we went fishing with Egmont Key Adventures, and let me tell you, the fish were biting that day! We caught a ton of fish, including mullet, redfish, snook, snapper, and grouper. And if you’re a first time fisher (like me), not to worry, as our trusty captain was only too happy to bait my lures and help me cast them into the water. It was really a lot of fun, and it also made for a nice dinner later that night.

Egmont Key Adventures

Egmont Key Adventures

Thrill-seekers looking for something a bit more extreme need to check out Top Gun Flyboards. This amazing new water sport is like nothing that I’ve ever done before, and it was seriously awesome! While there is a bit of a learning curve involved, within 5-10 minutes I had gotten the hang of it, and I was able to soar a good 6 feet above the water. Due to some technical difficulties with our GoPro, I wasn’t able to capture any footage of me doing this, but these photos give you an idea of what you can expect.

Top Gun Flyboards

Top Gun Flyboards

We were lucky enough to be visiting Brandenton during the Bradenton Blues Fest, where we got to jam out to a diverse lineup of talented blues musicians on the big stage. The music was amazing, and everyone had a blast. The whole lineup was top notch, but my favorite group had to be Chubby Carrier and the Delta Swamp Band, a zydeco band who brought the house down with their New Orleans-style music. If you can’t make it during this event, not to worry, as there’s plenty of live music happening here year-round.

Brandenton Blues Fest

Brandenton Blues Fest

Foodies will be delighted by Anna Maria Island’s impressive restaurant and bar scene, which honestly caught me by surprise. I was expecting a variety of seafood shacks and beach bars (of which there are plenty), not a ZAGAT “Top Restaurant in America”. Beach Bistro has been wowing guests for more than 27 years with truly exceptional meals, and this was easily one of the best meals I ever had. So much food was had, but some of the standouts include the Colorado lamb, butter-poached Nova Scotia lobster and Hudson Valley foie gras, along with the Short Rib Bourguignon entrée, which was just out of this world.

Beach Bistro

Beach Bistro

Beach Bistro

After dinner, we made our way to The Doctor’s Office, a former doctor’s office that’s now a craft cocktail bar. The drinks here are phenomenal, the bartending staff is top-notch, and it’s a great way to cap off the night.

Bradenton also has some great breakfast spots that are worth checking out. Ginny’s and Jane E’s is a quirky bakery café that has some seriously insane (and huge) cinnamon buns. The Anna Maria Oyster Bar has just what you need after a night of drinking, the aptly named Hangover Sandwich (pepper fried chicken, fried egg, cheese & topped with sausage gravy). And the Gulf Drive Cafe offers breakfast on the beach, complete with a guitar player serenading you as you dine.

The Hangover Sandwich at Anna Maria Oyster Bar

Cinnamon bun at Ginny’s and Jane E’s

Eggs Benedict at Gulf Drive Cafe

Seriously, what more could you ask for? Bradenton and Anna Maria Island have great food, tons of activities, amazing music, and pristine beaches with beautiful turquoise waters. It’s a little slice of heaven, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a taste of Old Florida.

Continue Reading