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

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.