travel

My Ideal Trip to a Winter Resort

Image from Pixabay

It’s another game of make-believe for me. Here, I will describe my ideal winter resort trip and what I would want.

Remember, I am not necessarily planning this, even after the pandemic. This is just imagination.

Now let me get started.

Activities

Snow tubing – I did this at a dude ranch before. Although it was tedious to go up the hill, the sliding part was fun.

Skiing and snowboarding – Not that I’m passionate about these, but others would love it. After all, what’s a winter resort with just snow tubing and no traditional activities?

Indoor heated pool and possibly a hot tub – Ah, warmth. Who wouldn’t love this on a cold day? Perhaps, a slide and even ropes to swing on. Maybe even an entire indoor Waterpark, catered to all ages.

An arcade/game room – This would make a great place for fun and entertainment. I would love skee-ball, mini bowling, pool tables, and much more.

A shopping village – It could be outdoors or indoors. It could have places that sell food, treats, clothes, souvenirs, and lots more.

Fitness Center – Health still matters. I would go on a treadmill or elliptical and watch YouTube videos, such as Disney and mature animation, like “South Park” or “Family Guy.”

Dining

Buffets – Who doesn’t love buffets? Breakfast could have the usual foods, as well as waffle making and an omelet station. Lunch could have hot foods and special stations. For dinner, how about a carving station, seafood, mashed potato martinis, and delicious desserts, like ice cream sundaes and chocolate cakes? Yum!

Seating service – This is okay, too. There could be different cuisines, like Asian, Spanish, Italian, Greek, and much more

Accommodations

Traditional hotel rooms or even suites – there would be warm and comfy beds, nice bathrooms, and excellent Wi-Fi as well as cell phone signal.

Location

Probably the US – Canada would be okay, too, although I would have to have Canadian money as well as a passport to enter the country. Staying within the US would be easier.

So, there you have it. Doesn’t this sound like an exciting idea?

travel

Hotels vs. Airbnb’s – Which Do You Choose?

Image from Pixabay

It might not be a good idea to travel now. But when things return to full normalcy, you can think about overnight trips again, either hours away via car or plane.

For much of my youth, my family has stayed in hotels, often fancy ones. Later, that became rarer. We stayed in cheaper hotels, suites, or once, I stayed in an Airbnb. That is when someone allows you to rent a space for a certain amount of time.

So, let’s weigh the pros and cons of hotels and Airbnb’s.

Hotels

Pros:

Less work to do – there are housekeeping workers who will clean your rooms, usually in the afternoon, as well as chefs to cook your food, and so on. You can be easily pampered or spoiled by it, depending on your lifestyle and preferences.

Nice décor – Whether it’s a cheap chain, like Holiday Inn, or a luxurious one, the décor is always something to admire.

Cons:

Not much control over food quality – If you stay in a hotel, you could get a microwave or kettle, but nothing to really cook in. So, you’re left with commercially-made food. Of course, this is okay on occasion, but don’t let it spoil you. It already did to me. I reversed it and lost a lot of weight from home-cooked meals. A good number of my shirts became big on me in just a few weeks.

Less control in general – Less work to do means there’s little to nothing you can control. Sure, you can watch TV, use your computer, and so forth. But hotel rooms are usually nothing like homes.

Can be expensive – This is certain if you stay at an upscale one. But even lower-key ones, like Holiday Inns, aren’t necessarily affordable for everyone.

Airbnb’s

Pros:

More control – You can stay in a place similar to your home. Sometimes, you can even cook. You also don’t have to leave to make room for housekeepers.

Cheaper – While this varies, Airbnb’s tend to cost less than hotel rooms. But their décors are still acceptable, as they are often part of people’s homes.

Cons:

No one to do your chores – in Airbnb’s, you’re responsible for making your beds, cleaning, and so forth. So, remember to be careful, otherwise, you might need to pay a fine.

No amenities – That means no room service, phone service, or anything a hotel could provide. But that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Of course, everyone’s tastes differ. So, one may favor hotels a lot, while others dream of an affordable Airbnb.

travel

If I Went to Niagara Falls

Image from Pixabay

I know we’re living in a pandemic and traveling for leisure is discouraged. But at some point, things will return to normal, including travel.

Anyway, this is just an ideal imaginary trip and what I would want to do while in Niagara Falls

Transportation

I would either take Amtrak (if it goes anywhere near there) or fly, although the train is more favorable. There are fewer security rules and restrictions. I would take car services to get around or even walk.

I would also need a passport since much of the area, especially the exciting stuff, is in Canada. Why wouldn’t I drive, you may ask? It’s too far, several hours away from Long Island, NY.

Accommodations

Perhaps, a hotel or an Airbnb. Maybe even a lake house. Whatever I could afford and whatever my plans involved.

Things to Do

Maid of the Mists – hands down! This is a huge highlight of Niagara Falls. I’ve done it when I was little. When I went back at age 14, it was too cold for that boat ride.

Those Vegas-Like Rides and Videos: I did those when I was 14 and in Niagara Falls. The one I remember well was the SpongeBob ride. There were more, but I don’t recall them.

Amusement Parks: I went on a Ferris wheel in the town we stayed in, but I don’t recall the name of that park.

Marineland: An aquarium with certain animal interactions and other fun activities. I’ve never been there, but I have read about it.

Dining

It would probably depend on my mood. I could crave continental, casual, Asian, and so forth. I likely would not choose a fancy place as they can get crowded, expensive, and slow—unless I was with somebody and he or she chose it.

So, there you have it.

travel

My Florida Bucket-List

Image from Pixabay

While this pandemic continues, I will hold off any travel plans, including New York City, which is only about an hour away from me. But once it’s over—fully—I would love to consider visiting these places in Florida.

These will be in no particular order. They are just loose ideas

1: SeaWorld

The last time I went to SeaWorld was in 2007, when I was 13. I saw the orca show and rode the kraken roller coaster as well as did other fun activities. As you may know, however, the killer whale show discontinued in 2017 after the documentary, “Blackfish” and the infamous incident where an orca killed a highly experienced trainer many years before. I don’t think the park keeps killer whales in captivity, either. So, if you visit SeaWorld after things return to normal, you could see a dolphin show and maybe ride a roller coaster as well as experience the other attractions.

2: Universal Studios

They have some interesting rides, like a 4D “Shrek” one. I’ve done a 4D movie experience in Ireland. While my parents didn’t enjoy it, since they wanted to sleep and we had to wait for our hotel rooms to be ready, I found it amazing. I saw “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”, which I found meh, like many others.

Speaking of which, I would love to visit the “Harry Potter” theme park. What I found funny a long time ago was when I thought the whomping willow in the franchise would make a good amusement park ride and then Rupert Grint (who played Ron) said the same thing in a print interview. But I don’t think the park has that. It could one day, though.

3: Discovery Cove

I used to talk about this place a lot when I was younger, despite never going there. They have a dolphin swim, reef snorkeling, stingray swim, pools, otters, and a bird aviary. Who wouldn’t enjoy that?

I think you would have to book a year in advance or so due to its popularity.

4: Places where you can hold baby alligators

I don’t know a specific place name, but I do know that they exist. Their snouts are tied so they won’t bite you. Wouldn’t that make a fantastic Facebook profile picture?

5: Marco Island

I went there when I was 15 and it was an upscale city with shops, a beach, great dining, and much more. Now that I’m older, it would differ for me. Hopefully, I would not go too crazy.

So, there you have it.

Where’s Disneyworld, you may ask?

As much as I love Disney, Disneyworld is expensive, competitive, and has lots of strict rules and restrictions, which I’m generally okay with. Their forbidden item list contains items I don’t usually carry with me, anyway. But you can read more about it on this post.

travel

My Top Animal Encounter Moments on Trips

Who doesn’t love animals? I certainly admire them. This list will include moments from both local and exotic trips. It will not be in any favorable order, either.

1: Crabs at a park near me

This happened on a sixth-grade field trip, many years ago. We got to walk on the beach and play with the crabs. I remember naming mine Bob for that moment, Lol.

2: A chameleon in Hawaii

After watching the sunrise, our tour continued. We stopped somewhere for breakfast and outside of the place, our guide let us handle a chameleon. I recall it crawling on my arm, but cursing a bit since I was worried about it falling. This happened when I was 19.

3: An octopus and pufferfish in Costa Rica

While snorkeling, our guide there showed us an octopus and pufferfish. He let us touch them, too. I was too grossed out by the octopus, but was fine with the pufferfish.

4: Feeding fish in the Bahamas

A year before I went to Costa Rica, I went to the Bahamas and stayed at Atlantis. We went snorkeling at a place outside the resort and were given fish food for the fish. I was surprised that they permitted it, but it was because the fish would forget human interactions shortly after. After I dropped the fish food, I thought a fish bit me. But it turned out that the fins scraped my finger. I got a Band-Aid after, though, although not right away.

5: Swimming with dolphins in Cozumel and the Bahamas

The first time I swam with dolphins was when I was 10, in Cozumel. The latter happened when I was 16, one or two days before we snorkeled outside of Atlantis. Their skin felt rubbery and I could easily kiss them, which I could never do with any other creature, especially those with fur.

So, there you have it.

travel

Why Flying First-Class is Worthy if You Can Afford it

Image from Pixabay

Okay, we’re living in a pandemic, and flying for pleasure is discouraged. But there will come a time when travel returns to normal.

I’ll tell you a little something about my travel experience. On certain flights, especially long ones, my family flew first-class. It was totally worth it.

Here are some perks of flying first-class:

Seats that can adjust their positions

You can lay them flat like a bed, or just simply push the headboards back a bit. You may also get blankets and pillows on these extra large seats. Who wouldn’t want that on a very long flight, especially when you’re traveling for pretty much the entire day? Plus, the bathroom was a short walk ahead. On a flight to India, we also got provided pajamas, which I didn’t wear because I didn’t think they were stylish. Anyway, let’s move forward.

Hot food service

Airplane food might not get the best reputation, but it can taste good, especially if you’re hungry. First-class food could taste better. I don’t really remember. I do recall having hot roast beef sandwiches and other goodies. Perhaps, they were higher quality.

Screens with various entertainment to choose from

I don’t remember if economy class got this when I went to India in 2011, but first-class passengers definitely did. We could choose from different games, music, TV shows, and movies. I watched the show, “Family Guy,” because I really love it. It’s super-funny.

Of course, flying first-class is not very cheap. If anything, it’s the opposite. But if you do have the money, it is worth it. There are also flights where you can get your own suites, like a hotel. But I think that’s a little silly. Plus, fewer can afford something like that. Even if I had the money, I wouldn’t spend it on a suite.

I hope these benefits inspire you for when normal travel is safe to resume. Obviously, if you’re on a budget or you can’t afford first-class, then I wouldn’t recommend it. Otherwise, though, you’d love it.

travel

My Most Memorable Moments on a Girl Scout Trip to London in 2008


Many years ago, when I was 14, I went on a trip with my Girl Scout troop to London for 5 days. I enjoyed it, except where we stayed. But I am not going to talk about that here.
Instead, I will focus on a few memorable moments that happened there. So, without further ado, let me get started.

1: Mature t-shirts in an outdoor flea market 

On our last day in London, we toured more sites and then shopped at a flea market. I noticed some t-shirts with naughty language, but there was one word I didn’t know the meaning of. So, I  asked my mom loudly what it was. But she whispered me the definition. I will stop there on that.

2: Low-quality fish n’ chips

I know, the UK is known for having awesome fish n’ chips. I did have good ones, too. However, the first night there, my troop ate at a restaurant where the food quality wasn’t what I expected. I even told my mom the fish tasted like a frozen kind.

3: Excitement on Legoland 

On our way back from Stonehenge, we passed a park called Legoland, and everyone got excited. But the guide said, “We’re not going to Legoland.” Not only was it not part of the itinerary, I think it was also closed.

4: Touring the London Dungeons 

Although it was memorable, it was far from my favorite. It scared me and I experienced haunting effects in my room at night. I might have had trouble falling asleep. I don’t remember. But visit that at your own risk, no matter how brave you think you are.

I don’t know when international travel will be safe and normal again. But when it resumes, be careful. Also, keep in mind that some of the places might have gone out of business either recently or a long time ago, whether related to the pandemic or not. Discovery Times Square in New York City is an example.

If you choose to go to London when it’s safe again, you can consider these places and activities I’ve listed. Just check to see if they still exist.

travel

If I Went to Puerto Rico, This is What I Would Want

Image from Pixabay

I’ve been to Puerto Rico when I was 12 during a school break. I had a good time. I also considered going back there in 2017… until they experienced a hurricane.

Of course, now that we’re living in a pandemic, I won’t plan any trips as of now. I probably won’t even go to New York City, which is about an hour away from where I live, until we’re back to typical life. 

But this is just a game of make-believe (sort of). Maybe I will think about visiting Puerto Rico again when it’s safe. For now, though, I will just list the things I would want to do if I traveled there. I’m basically just using my imagination.

Let’s get brainstorming!

Duration: a week

How to get there? Obviously, I would take a plane to Puerto Rico. I would likely want a flight in the morning on the way there and an afternoon one on the way back to New York. I would want a comfortable seat and a plane where they serve food. Sadly, many flights have removed food service, but some brought them back in recent years.

Where would I stay? in a hotel! Hands down. I would never consider a hostel or even a motel in Puerto Rico. One, I am a little bit spoiled with places to stay. Two, cleanliness and quality may make the place safer. 

That being said, I would not mind an apartment-like suite or even an Airbnb. As long as they have enough amenities, are comfortable, and clean, I would be happy.

What would I do? Go to the beach, kayak, hike, zip-line, snorkel, swim, ride horses, watch wildlife, maybe raft (if it’s an option there), and visit a cave (if they exist there). 

I know that when you are older, trips shouldn’t necessarily be all about fun. I understand that. However, I wouldn’t go on any educational tours in Puerto Rico. I would save that for places in Europe or Asia. Plus, I strongly prefer active vacations more.

Where would I eat? If I stayed at an all-inclusive resort, probably the restaurants within the place. Otherwise, I would go to different places, depending on what I craved. I might not necessarily pick somewhere fancy, though, unless I was with others.

How would I get around? Walking or car service. I wouldn’t feel comfortable renting a car. I would also stay somewhere where I could walk around easily and safely. I like to go out a lot.

What would I pack? Summer clothes, of course. Puerto Rico usually does not get hotter than 80’s, though, due to their winds. Maybe I would also pack cardigans and long pants, like if it gets cold at night or if I go to a fancy restaurant for dinner.

So, that is my ideal plan for if I went to Puerto Rico.

travel

Is DisneyWorld Worth it for Every Disney Fan?

Like many, I absolutely love the Disney franchise, from the classics, such as “The Little Mermaid” to the kinds like “Hocus Pocus” and just about every Pixar film. I’ve even been to Walt DisneyWorld twice in my life. Once when I was 5 (almost 6) and once when I was 13.

Unfortunately, when I went to DisneyWorld the second time, I didn’t really have fun. My family went to the Magic Kingdom and my dad, then 11-year-old brother (he’s now 24), and I just walked around. We had gone to other parks, such as Hershey Park, where there were lots of roller coasters and rides friendly toward adults and older kids. At the Magic Kingdom, there were mostly smaller rides. There was an indoor roller coaster, I believe called “Space Mountain” (I don’t remember 100%). However, you had to get a special pass and come back later. So, basically, the experience wasn’t the best for me.

But that was back in 2007. DisneyWorld has changed drastically since then, excluding the restrictions put in place due to the covid-19 pandemic. At that time, checking in was simple. You just paid your ticket, went through those wheel turners (I’m not sure what they’re really called), and you were all set. It’s not like that anymore, though.

Despite not going to DisneyWorld since 2007, I know how their check in-process has changed, based on research and what others have told me. It is now like going through security at the airport in a post 9/11 time. Bags go through scanners, people go through metal detectors, and get patted for anything unsafe.

Another aspect to be aware of is that the prices are drastically expensive. I think each ticket is now at least $100 per adult, and maybe a little cheaper per child. During this pandemic, the park has removed a lot of special amenities, features, and more, including what people usually go for. Those are the parades, character-meet-and-greets, dining, and possibly others. Not suprisingly, many folks are not visiting. But it could be more than just the removed specialties. DisneyWorld has to limit the capacity, reduce hours, and enforce things like social distancing and mask-wearing. Some people might not go because they’re concerned for their health and safety. It also may not be worthy, especially for families with young children. They can’t meet Mickey, their favorite princesses, or any other characters. I have to agree with one of my Facebook friends when he said that going to DisneyWorld now is worthless.

Don’t let this discourage you, though. At some point, those limits mentioned will go away, and DisneyWorld will return to normal. While I personally wouldn’t want to pay $100 for a day to one of their parks, others will. There are also items the parks do not allow, such as selfie-sticks (I don’t own or know how to use them, anyway), lounge chairs, and wrapped gifts. So, if you’re attending an occasion, such as a birthday, put the presents in a gift bag instead. These guidelines don’t bug me, though. I don’t carry those things regularly, anyway.

So, as long you’re okay with the airport-like check-in process, price, and rules, you could go at some point. But I would not recommend visiting DisneyWorld until the pandemic is fully over in the US, or in your country if you’re don’t live in America. I’m hoping that’s by summer of 2021 for the USA. Hang tight.

movie

I’m Going to Review “Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian” from 2009 Right… Now!

Warning: contains spoilers***

The items at the Museum of Natural History in NYC are being packed away to the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. Meanwhile, night guard, Larry Daley, is promoting something to a live audience.

Not long after, though, Larry is whisked away to Washington D.C. for the museum figures. The enchanted tablet brings the things in the Smithsonian to life, including a villainous Egyptian Pharoah named Ahkmenrah. Danger begins from there.

Like the first and third films, this movie had great humor. One of the funniest moments was when the other bad guys on Ahkmenrah’s side asked about his “dress,” which it wasn’t. It was a tunic. I laugh at when another person asked if he and everyone had to wear that, too. Lol. 

Another amazing aspect was when Oscar the grouch and Darth Vader tried to convince Ahkmenrah that they could be bad, but Ahkmenrah calmly turned them away. There was also a clever twist where Sacagawea made a point about how alerting the dark side about their attack could endanger them. So, when the time came, the good guys yelled, We are not going to attack right… now!”

Let’s not forget about the thinker and when he went “Fire power,” while developing strong feelings for a nearby female statue. Which brings me to the romance between Larry and Amelia Earhart. It wasn’t conventional at all. Amelia wanted leadership and helped Larry a lot. I found that to be fantastic since it was quite unique.

That being said, when Larry told his son, Nick, about her, his reaction was a little too casual. He asked in a neutral way, “You found Amelia Earhart?” 

Aside from that, though, everything else ruled. The Einstein figurines and their little song as well as their advanced knowledge cracked me up. I also appreciate the twist where Octavius encounters a squirrel on the white house property and then rides it.

The review ends here. I would rate this film 5 out of 5 stars.