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

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

My Top 3 Unique Travel Moments

Image from Pixabay

I’ve traveled so many times throughout my life that I’ve learned so much about other areas, cultures, and much more. I can’t even keep track of how many places I’ve been to.

Anyway, when you travel a lot, you may experience unique moments or activities. So, without further ado, here are the top 3 unique moments.

3: A trip to a cooking school and getting to prepare a meal

Now this one was not out of town, although I still consider it unusual, but in a good way. When I was in 10th grade, the students who took Italian as a foreign language got to go on a trip to a small cooking school several minutes away. We were assigned different foods to cook. After we finished, we got to eat. I got the polenta group (we worked in teams), but when I ate it, I didn’t like the taste. Nevertheless, the trip was fun.

2: Visiting the “Harry Potter” exhibit in Discovery Times Square

Unfortunately, Discovery Times Square has gone out of business and the space is now for a National Geographic Museum. However, I went to Discovery Times Square in 2011, and there was an exhibit with the “Harry Potter” films’ props, costumes, and more. No phone use, touching, or photographing anything was permitted. Yet it was still exciting to see the items used in the movies. I was especially surprised and amazed at the life-sized Hagrid model. It stood so high that I found it strange that Hagrid never seemed to get stares in the muggle world in either the books or the movies. I remember thinking that real people that size would probably receive tons of stares in public, which would make me feel sorry for them.

And now…drumroll

1: Running into a former school classmate and doing an activity with her

This was back when I was in 5th grade. A girl who was in my 4th grade class and I ran into each other in Cozumel, Mexico. I recall that she’d left my elementary school starting in 5th grade. Not only did I hang out with her for a bit, but we also participated in a dolphin-swim that same day. What a miracle! Not many people run into former school classmates on vacations and get to do activities with them.

So, there you have it.

travel

Going to Europe? Here is What You Should Expect

Image from Pixabay

Traveling not only means going somewhere, at least, kind of far, but also expecting some differences, subtle or drastic. That includes if you’re going somewhere within your own country.

Anyway, this post is about if you’re traveling to Europe. Of course, every country there is different. But here are some common details I’ve noticed when I’ve been to Europe, regardless of where I was.

1: Stronger coffee

Europeans seem to favor dark, dark roast. Even when I was trying to drink my coffee black at home in the US (although I put cold water in it so that I didn’t have to wait as well as make it less strong), I had to put a lot of dairy and sweeteners in European coffee. So, if you already prefer stronger coffee, you might be okay. But if you like your coffee milder, than be prepared to have to use a ton of milk and sugar.

2: Higher-quality food

That includes fast-food restaurants, although my family didn’t eat in those there. But the food in Europe tastes fresher and sometimes, it’s denser. Many countries there have stricter food laws than in the US. Therefore, the food will probably taste different, but likely in a good way.

3: Smaller spaces wherever you stay

Many European locals pack light because they often have to deal with smaller spaces in most places. Of course, there are exceptions here and there. But no matter where you stay, whether it’s a luxurious hotel or a hostel, it might be best to pack less.

So, there you have it. I hope these tips are helpful.

travel

A Dream Vacation I Have Lost Interest in

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Three years ago, or so, I longed for a trip to Maryland doing nature and adventurous activities. I never could find anyone to go with and my mom eventually told me that she wanted me to earn money and not focus on a dream trip.

Eventually, I lost interest in it. I don’t know how—maybe just from naturally drifting apart from it? The first resort I looked at had mixed reviews. So, I considered other places to stay near that same area. But then I discovered that the cell phone signal can be quite weak at times. Also, there is hardly any public transportation. Most people not from the area have to rent a car. And that wouldn’t have been a good option for me. Not just because there are more restrictions and fees for drivers between 21 and 24, but I also wouldn’t have felt safe driving in that unfamiliar area.

I looked at areas in Pennsylvania, as well. While there was a little more public transportation, a lot of places would take about an hour to go to, regardless of where I stayed.

Last year, my mom told me that I shouldn’t have focused on a trip when I didn’t make my own money. At some point, I understood.

While I’m not dreaming about this trip anymore, I still enjoy outdoor activities. However, I will think about them when the right time comes.