travel

Atlantis, Bahamas, Ooh I Want to Show You (2010 Trip)

During my President’s Week break in my junior year of high school, I went to Atlantis in the Bahamas. It was one of the few trips I suggested myself. My parents didn’t enjoy it too much. However, I loved it a lot.

Atlantis falls

The resort consists of several buildings of accommodations and it resembles the damage of the lost city of Atlantis legend. There is also a tunnel with a tank of fish as well as other marine animals in other parts of the resort, such as turtles and sharks.

Atlantis shark

There are also several swimming pools, restaurants, and shops. But one of the crown jewels is the waterpark. There are two slides that take through a tube where you’re surrounded by the sharks. But you’re inside glass, so the sharks can’t hurt you. The rapid river was fun, although I flipped and got a little cut. But I was okay.

There is a dolphin and sea lion encounter program where you get to touch the creatures, which my family and I didn’t participate in. We did swim with dolphins somewhere else, though. That was Blue Lagoon Island. I read and compared the reviews of the Atlantis one and the Blue Lagoon Island one. The latter had received better reviews. It cost less and had more to offer.

The resort is so big that you can’t really do everything in one day. It’s also costly. However, I had a good time. I would gladly recommend this resort to anyone, whether you’re a childless couple, family, group, etc.

 

travel

Ice… Ice… Iceland – My Trip There in 2017

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Image above from Pixabay

In the summer of 2017, my parents and I took a trip to Iceland. We stayed at nine different hotels during the ten days we visited.

Iceland has caves, waterfalls, hot springs, and lava fields. The bulk of their population is on the coast and especially in their capital, Reykjavik (rake-yah-vik). The inland is pretty much uninhabited.

The population is so small that there is only one prison in the entire country (which I did not see, by the way). The weather drastically varies, even within just 20 minutes on the mainland and not up a mountain. It can be mild in one area and chilly in another, just minutes away.

Iceland specializes in lamb and seafood. They have good lamb soup and stricter food guidelines than in the US. I had a jelly doughnut where the jam tasted really fresh. It was strange, but delicious. I had a chocolate cake where the icing was clearly made with real butter and even tasted buttery.

On the fields, there are sheep, cattle, and small Icelandic horses. In fact, those horses are the only types allowed in Iceland for temperature reasons.

If you go to Iceland in the summer, be aware that the sun is out for about 24 hours. So you should have a sleep mask with you.

Iceland was an interesting place to visit. In the winter, I hear it’s brutal, and the northern lights aren’t guaranteed. In the summer, it’s a nice place to hike and sight-see.

travel

I Went the Distance to Greece in the Summer of 2015

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Image above from Pixabay

Greece is the home of the Parthenon and one of the oldest nations in the world. It also has beautiful islands, water, and architecture. When I went to Greece with my family, we went to Athens and one of the outer islands, which I can’t remember the name of.

We did sight-seeing, walked around, and went on a boat around the other island. We did a Segway tour, too. I was not the best, honestly. I stayed with the guide.

The food was very different than from in the US. The meat quality if higher and fresher. Olive oil is used on pretty much everything. In fact, it’s the dressing for traditional Greek salad. Greek salad from Greece also has no lettuce. The Greek dressing and lettuce Americans use is a tradition in the US.

Another moment that was unexpected was when a stray cat came up to our dinner table (we were seated outside) at a restaurant. My dad would chop up meat and feed it to the cat. We didn’t get caught, by the way.

One pitfall, however, was that outside of Athens, there wasn’t much variety in cuisines. At some point, I got sick of Greek food. I craved gravy, barbeque sauce (when I still could eat tomatoes), and other foods not traditional to Greece.

Nevertheless, Greece was a nice place to visit. It’s great after learning about the country in school. I had to study Ancient Greece in school. Didn’t we all?

travel

I’ve Been on a Trip… to Niagara Falls – 2008

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Image above from Pixabay

In the spring of 2008, when I was 14, my mom, brothers, and I went to Niagara Falls. Another family went with us too. We all rode in my mom’s minivan.

We got to see the falls. However, due to the cold weather, not as many attractions were open. For instance, we couldn’t go on the maid-of-the-mist boat ride.

On the bright side, we still got to do a lot of other fun activities. Where we were was kind of like a mini-Vegas. We did a lot of virtual reality rides and shows, such as a SpongeBob one. We also rode on a Ferris wheel and had Buffalo wings that were just called wings. They did have the same Buffalo sauce, though.

The Canadian side of the area had more to offer than the American side. We had to show our passports to go past the border, even in a car.

After a few days in the Niagara Falls area, we stayed at my uncle’s house in Pennsylvania, not too far from the Niagara area. I don’t really remember what we did then.

I would love to visit Niagara Falls again, especially in the summer. I did do the maid-of-the-mist ride when I was really little, like 5. But now in my mid-twenties, it would be a different experience.

There are a lot of places I would like to visit. I am more into trips where I get to do activities, like boating or ziplining, rather than touring places like historical sites. Because I’m not a child anymore, I have told that trips should be somewhat educational too. Yes, I do agree. But I still like the ones where I can do activities more than touring sites.

travel

That’s Where I Went, You Know… Way Down in Key West

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Above is a picture found from Pixabay.

Four years ago, during my college spring break (and possibly my brothers’ school breaks at the times), my family went to Key West, the most southern section of the continental US. Buildings had flat roofs. It resembled more of a Caribbean Island than the typical US geographic layout. There were coral reefs in the water.

Cuban food was also common there. Near the place my family and I stayed at, there was a little building that sold Cuban food to go, as well as breakfast, drinks, and snacks.

Stray chickens wandered around the town. I learned that it was because there used to be chicken fighting decades ago. It got banned, so those people released the chickens into the wild. I spotted a hen with chicks and wanted to take a picture. But I missed them.

Walking was the best way of transportation. Unlike some cities, bikers did not speed as much on the streets. You could rent a car (that was what my parents did) but for the most part, we didn’t need to drive a lot.

This was actually my second time to Key West. The first one was during the day from a Royal Caribbean cruise when I was ten. At that time, it rained and we couldn’t do much. We’d gone to the aquarium. But that was it.

I enjoyed the second time more. We got to see and do more. The weather was nicer. And I was older and could have more independence.

travel

These Are a Few of My Favorite Family Trips

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My family and I have traveled a lot. I have the plane guidelines memorized (I don’t even pay attention to the demos anymore), I know what to (and what not to) pack, and I know how to prepare for trips.

Some were amazing. Some could have been better. Others were enjoyable enough. I will list the top three favorite trips I’ve gone on.

3: Lake George (2014)

I’ve gone there twice. I have to admit I liked the second time better. My favorite moment was when my family was eating near the lake and a duck stepped on my dad’s foot. We were there because my brother was going to Boy Scout camp there. So we did some activities until we had to drop off my brother.

2: Costa Rica (2011)

From the rainforest to the beach, we did a lot of touring. We saw a quetzal, which I hear is rare, as well as a sloth and some monkeys. We zip-lined, jet-skied, and had fun.

1: Atlantis (2010)

Although my mom didn’t enjoy it, I liked it a lot. I did the waterpark, including the tubes where the sharks surround you, saw the sea creatures, and had a good time. We also swam with dolphins at Blue Lagoon Island and snorkeled on a reef. I actually cut my finger on a fish fin (not intentionally, of course).

I could go on with other trips I enjoyed. I will talk about them in other posts.

 

 

travel

It’s Interesting in Italy

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Note: The picture above is from Pixabay. I didn’t take it.

Five years ago, in 2013, my family took a trip to Italy. We went to Venice, Florence, Amalfi, and Rome.

Venice has no vehicles, except boats or walking. We took gondola tours, ate gelato (at some point, I got sick of just seeing it since it was everywhere), and got around by boat or foot.

We toured churches everywhere. There were signs communicating what actions and attire were prohibited. A funny one showed male and female figures in shorts and tank tops. Photography was also forbidden, otherwise, I would’ve loved to capture an image of that silly sign. 

After studying paintings and sculptures in art history classes in college, I appreciated the works more. I saw the huge “Last Judgment” image on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. I also saw the David in Florence and you were not allowed to take pictures of it. But that guideline was no surprise.

The historical sight touring was fun. We toured the lost city of Pompeii and the Coliseum. The food also differed from in the US. Tomato sauce tasted fresher. I used to be able to eat it. Gnocchi was everywhere. I love gnocchi, but I kind of got tired of it there. Because of prices, my parents only let my brothers and I order pizza or pasta.

In Amalfi, we took a bus to a restaurant where we had a waiter that looked like Steve Jobs. We told him and he laughed. Not often do you see a doppelganger of someone famous on vacation.

I had a good time in Italy. I’ve been to many different states and countries. Europe is included. The other nations I’ve visited there were England and Greece.

travel

Adventureland For Adults… Sort Of

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Disclaimer: Image is NOT of Adventureland

There’s an amusement park not too far from my home called, “Adventureland”. As a child, I have gone there numerous times with camp and sometimes family. I rode the rides, played games, and ate the food.

When I went there as an adult just a couple years ago, it was not the same. The park had only a few adult-friendly rides. Everything seemed more for kids and people who do not like thrill rides.

I rode on the swing ride, roller coaster, and the music express, which is like a roller coaster that circles while songs play. I also bought lunch and a snack. Then I went home, after only an hour at the park.

There was a waterfall ride known as the log flume. It is adult-friendly, but I didn’t go on it since I did not have a bathing suit. You do get wet on it.

The whole point is that some amusement parks are more for children than for adults. I also went alone, which is okay. But I probably would have had more fun if I had gone with a friend. Or maybe I should consider a different trip in the future unless I take kids with me.

Know yourself and the place you want to go to before you take a trip there. Know the people you take with you, especially children. Don’t let your trip disappoint you or anybody else.

travel

Terrific Tips for a Successful Trip

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Vacation usually means fun, entertainment, relaxation, and exploration, depending on where you go and what you’ve planned to do. Our choices for trips, ranging from where we stay, where we eat, what we do, and how we travel, are what make our times off enjoyable or miserable.

I have traveled many times throughout my life. I have flown on planes since I was a baby. So I know a lot about what works on vacations and what doesn’t.

Here are some tips for making sure you enjoy your trip.

1: Don’t plan too little or too much–just right in the middle.

Many of my family trips have consisted of a ton of touring, especially when we went to Europe and very little down time. Because of that, my mom planned less for one trip to the Catskills a couple years ago. However, we sat in the room bored all the time, especially because the cell phone signal and Internet was very spotty and weak. So you want to tour enough and hang out enough. Balancing it is the best idea. That was how my family’s Bermuda trip, a few months before the Catskills trip, was done. And I am glad it was.

2: Know your family.

Whether your kids are little, older, or are adults, you should know what activities and places would work for them. Obviously, you wouldn’t send your young adult children to a play place for small children, but it might not be such a good idea to take toddlers to certain historical tour places as they may get cranky and hyper. Aside from the kids’ ages, their personalities and regular habits play a role in this too. I wouldn’t recommend a trip where you have to wake up for an activity before 6 A.M. if your child likes to sleep until noon. Your spouse or other peer should also be taken into consideration.

3: Make a budget and do your research.

You hear this so many times. But unless you’re super-wealthy, it’s important to watch how much you spend and read reviews before committing with your money. Some things may sound cool, but if a lot of the reviews online say that their experiences were painful, then you should steer clear of those activities.

Following these tips will make your next overnight trips more enjoyable and everybody will thank you.

travel

My First Solo Trip to Rocking Horse Ranch

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(image of saddle taken from Pixabay)

Last year, in March 2017, during my college spring break. I traveled to Rocking Horse Ranch for three days, alone. I felt it was the perfect vacation spot for first-time solo travelers. Check-in and check-out didn’t involve too much. Almost everything was included from meals, to activities, and amenities. Things that were extra were the spa and gift shop items. I admired the fact that I did not have to spend too much money.

Some things I discovered were that everything shut down at noon, from the pool to the gift shop, and other activities, with the exception of lunch. The change machines in the arcade were also very picky. If your bills were not flawlessly straight, the machines would’ve rejected them. So bring change! There was also a fitness room only for adults. When I went to the ranch, many of the people were families with little kids, probably because it wasn’t a peak spring break time. So going into the fitness center was a nice way to take a break from the children. However, the Wi-Fi was very weak. I ended up using my phone’s data for my videos.

The weather was cold and bitter. It snowed the whole time. In fact, the first full day, the ranch had cancelled the winter activities, such as snow tubing, since the conditions were not the safest. But the next day, they’d re-opened the winter activities. The room I stayed in had very little heat. It froze a lot, especially at night. In fact, one of those nights, I wore a cardigan over my top to bed.

One more thing: the walls were not sound-proof. I could hear other peoples’ conversations around me from my room. I also had to wear earphones when watching videos on my computer, especially those that were for mature audiences.

Nevertheless, I felt that trip was not only lots of fun, but it was also a great way of freedom. I got to choose my own meal times, horseback riding time, go to any activity I wanted, and hang out in the room whenever I wanted. It was also a good way to learn independence and vacation skills. I’d give this trip 5 out of 5 stars.