Europe Trip Cancelled

Europe Trip Cancelled to Saint Tropez:

Europe trip cancelled to Saint Tropez due to Covid-19 Delta variant. Even though I have fully vaccinated for some time now, US State Department still requires negativ covid test within 3 days of departure from any international airport. Possible replacement trip would be to Quebec City in Quebec Canada. This option only lasted a few minutes and a bit of flight search as well as hotel search. The issue with Quebec City is that the US State Department extended to boarder policy of requiring a covid 19 negative test for another month.

Solution is 5 nights at the W Hotel South Beach Miami Florida. With an awesome 745 square foot suite and amazing view of the ocean, I couldn’t resist. To top it off, my favorite restaurant, “Mr. Chow’s” is in the W Hotel and I have booked both my first and last night to eat here. The fiery Beef is to die for and there is always something new to try on the menu. The atmosphere is amazing with mirrored walls and chandeliers.

Last visit to Miami, Mr. Chow was closed due to a kitchen fire. Most of Miami was closed due to Covid-19 and to be honest a bit depressing. My trip prior to Covid-19, I really got an amazing after dinner show. One of the chefs came out and juggled pasta dough for about a half an hour and then magically, pulled his hands apart and there was about 50 strands of pasta between them.

Last year in South Beach my favorite shops were closed on Lincoln Rd. Diesel, G-Star, and a sunglass shop I can’t quite remember the name of. The sunglass shop was memorable because they would secretly discount un-discountable brands. Perhaps Cartier found out and shut them down or they were just another retail victim of this Covid-19 nightmare.

Europe Trip Cancelled replaced by South Beach Miami Florida:

South Beach offers a lot of other great restaurants such as Juvia, Jaya at the Satai, as well as Los Fuegos by Francis Mallmann. Juvia is set atop a 6 story building at the west end of Lincoln Rd. The view stretches your eyes all the way to the hotels on the beach. It feels wide open and un-restained just like Juvia’s menu. Jaya at the Satai is in the middle of the ground floor and is spread out around an amazing LED lit geometric pound. The roof is retractable, so on perfect weather nights, you will eat under the stars for a enchanting experience.

Los Fuegos by Francis Mallmann is a steakhouse set with an Argentine gaucho menu. The open fire kitchen offers many unique tastes. My last visit I had a Ribeye that was unlike any I have had. The whole Ribeye is smoked for 11 hours at a very low temperature. Prior to ordering the steak, the chef cuts your piece off the slab of tasty beef. My steak was then grilled to your specifications. I had to hunt for that smoked flavor while exhaling during my first few bites. This is the best part, the amount of effort that goes into such a subtle but specific alteration is remarkable.

Covid-19 Air Travel

Covid-19 Air Travel not worth the risk!

Covid-19 air travel is hard. I took American Airlines to St. John’s USVBI just to get away. The Stress of the job, the change of our world in front of my very own eyes as well the fear of death around the corner or sitting on every shelf was just too much. At the office I had to make a few changes in the interaction with employees and customers. Sanitize the hell out of the place, and market market market to try and scrape up any business up during these uncertain times.

I chose to get away and driving down tot eh North Carolina beaches just didn’t feel far enough away. I chose St. John’s Island in the US Virgin Islands. Still considered the United States but as close to Europe I could get. In fact i was within 15 minutes by boat to Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Island. Come to think of it I was within swimming distance from the now infamous PEDO-Island of Jeffrey Epstein’s fame. Not sure this is something to tell people, but I did want to piss on his beach to physically let him know how I feel about him.


Arriving at the airport was not difficult checking in and luggage was all normal despite the fact that everyone was wearing a mask. Most Airport shops were closed and the lounges were all closed. When I finally sat down to wait for boarding I relaxed. A rude voice over the loudspeaker announced the flight and that the herd gathering process would begin shortly. The Flight attendant then explained that because of Covid-19, Air travel had changed. Face masks were required all the time at the airport and on board, there would be no service, and “It is a Federal offence to consume your own alcohol on an aircraft.” What?

Stress Stuardest

I am already stressed about being locked up in that box for 2 hours. Not being able to drink and calm some nerves made me more nervous. Where is Xanax when you need it? Boarding has begun and I am trying to keep my distance from the people in front of me. The call out for group numbers is never clear and I ask the couple next to me if they were in group 4, they answered group 4 has not been called yet. I looked up at the board and saw NOW BOARDING GROUP 4. Please get out of my way and pay attention. I guess I really need a vacation.

Sitting by the window help me keep my distance from the other travelers while boarding but AA is not blocking center seats so I ran a risk of sitting right next to someone. What if the sneeze or cough? Could this be my end? “Welcome on board.” the flight attendant spoke. Then followed it with public announcement about Alcohol. Where am I is this AA or AA? Are we doing group after we take off and reach 10,000 feet? It’s too early to drink anyway. I will wait until Miami and lunch.

Miami airport was a disaster. Not enough restaurants are open and long lines are forming everywhere. It’s like going to the supermarket during Covid-19 they keep moving stuff around and I can’t find my normal stuff. I spend more time searching for the same thing because, who knows? More time in the store, means more crowded stores, which means more spread of the dread….

Before boarding my final flight to ST. Thomas I notice a crown of Boy Scouts gathering around my gate. Grate just what we need a packed flight of teenage boys who are probably the worst spreaders of the disease. I get on early and as I watch the packs come in I notice one very strange thing. Everyone is wearing a mask properly, whether they are young, old black white, except for the “Boy Scouts” They have their masks hangin off their noses, or dangling form an ear. I guess they never thought of having a Patch for that?

St. Thomas

Yes the plane finally landed after some of the most interesting window sites, the colors of the water and reflections and shadows were mesmerizing. Getting off the plane was normal but hard to keep distance from everyone. The bus is disembarked with stairs directly onto the tarmac and into the hot sun. That will kill the disease! As we file towards the gate, nice gentleman dressed in nurses outfits take our temperature and ask medical questions. A nice lady is behind them handing out a welcome package of sunglass holder, hand sanitizer, and disposable mask. I feel safe now! How hard was that?

COVID-19 Slow Down

Can Covid-19 slow down the world to a manageable point? I really needed a breather and for things to slow down in my fast-paced life. This was not what I had in mind. Typically when vacation travelers go to exotic location for holiday, they are looking for stimulation, pleasure, but also a time to relax and enjoy the moment.

When Jack Stevens travels, my senses are overwhelmed to a stress point that would not normally be considered a holiday. To capture moments in time a level of concentration needs to be harnessed. This talent or curse has been practiced and refined for years and as it may seem to be pleasurable it is also tiring.

When the Covid-19 pandemic began to take over the world, the first industrial victim was travel. I personally had to cancel three upcoming trips, meaning flights, hotels, car rentals and the sort. Some refundable, some not. I feel relieved in some sense that I am not traveling at this time. I also look back at Grindelwald and remember all the Chinese tourist that were there wearing face masks. It may be not-politically-correct to point this out but.

The Coronavirus Pandemic hit the west by Chinese tourist visiting the Dolomites in the Italian alps in late January. From there, wealthy internationals unknowingly brought the virus home and poof. We all know what happened next. If you look at a map to the south west of the Dolomites is the Swiss Alps and Grindelwald, where I left on December 25th to head to Stans and then return home. Switzerland got the first case of Covid-19 shortly after the World economic summit in Davos, in Davos. The first case was mid February and that lead to a country wide lockdown.

Covid-19 time to relax

Covid-19 has brought so much unneeded stress to all of our lives. Words of encouragement from our nation’s faith leader and self healers has done little to combat the negative truth from our doctors that warn us that we are all going to die. Yes they are saying it, but with good bedside manner these top professionals are used to telling people that hey have just 6 months to live. The delivery is subtle, so much so that we don’t even realize what we are being told.

So I say to you and to myself; can I at least eat chocolate ice-cream tonight? Can I gain 10 pounds over the next month without feeling guilty? Do I have to shave every day? Should I feel terrible if I miss a workout or two? What will be the consequences since when we awake from this awful nightmare the world will no longer exist in a way that we have always known it.

Great Britain estimates if only 20,000 people will die during this pandemic then they somehow did well. This was echoed soon after by the US government estimating 200,000 deaths acceptable or the reality. Is it real, or is this an illusion? Deep down we all know how it ends and I almost envy those who have had it and recovered, assuming that they cannot catch it again.

Christmas in Grindelvald

I am imagining a cable car trip up the side of the mountain from Interlaken, snow surrounding the box I am thrust to the top in. To see snow at Christmas and mountains with lights all decorated for my joy!

But first a quick trip to South Beach next month to explore a few good restaurants and to dry out my skin on the beach or pool at the W Hotel. Yes, I was there last year and had the most amazing hotel experience ever. Maybe even better that eh Mandarin Oriental Marrakesh.

From the upgraded room/suite, to the view, to the service that was completely over the top. Room service breakfast (included) was the highlight of my day, until I was done enjoying and moved on to the next pleasure…

So will Grindelvald give me everything I need for the perfect Christmas holiday?


Deciding how to keep my feet warm at Shilthorn… Two pair of boots, both lined with rabbit fur may be necessary.