Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Travegrl Von Trapp

April 26, 2012

It’s been a few months since my last post and I still haven’t shared all of the amazing things I experienced in Turkey.  But, I’ve been a bit distracted and think I have a good excuse this time.  James and I are expecting our first child!  Current sentiment: equal parts elation and terror.  What will my new travel life be like with a tiny +1?  Things have already changed!  For example, going on a vacation while pregnant eliminated a few places we might have considered under other circumstances, due to activity level, food, alcohol consumption…But, I’m looking forward to this exciting new chapter and can’t wait for what’s in store!

So, after careful consideration, we decided to take our last “child free” vacation (is it?!), or at least, our last “vacation as a family of two” to Austria (Salzburg, Vienna) and the Czech Republic (Prague).  Cue: The Hills Are Alive…..

Hills! Alive! Yodeling!

Why this region?  Well, even though Italy has been on my list for ages, I thought it might be considered torture not to be able to partake in the wine and local soft cheeses (though I’m sure some pregnant women may enjoy those things in moderation – on vacation I’d want to gorge and enjoy as much as possible!).  Some adventurous areas like Norway / North Pole even seemed a bit ambitious. In Austria we can see some amazing scenery, architecture, and James can enjoy many a beer in Prague (Pils beer was invented there!).

I’ll be almost 6 months pregnant for this vacation, and I’m curious how well I’ll be able to get around / climb cobblestone hills to castles / stay awake.  James has thoughtfully researched and prepared an aggressive itinerary of activities including exploration of ice caves in the Alps.  He assures me senior citizens easily conquer this trek.

Brrrrr....

Denial much?  We’ll see how that goes!  Either way I am sure we’ll have some amazing experiences to share upon our return…

And I am so excited that my dear old traveling buddy, Tanya, will be able to meet up with us in Salzburg since it’s just a hop, skip & jump from her current home base of Zurich.  So I’ll have some extra hands to push me up those hills.

 

 

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Dust Off That Passport

January 7, 2012

Oh my.  I’ve been downright neglectful of my little blog, missing even the rare reader comment (one from a startup international travel magazine that wanted to use my missives, no less)!  My apologies.

What have I been up to?  Well, let’s just say I have a lot less spare time than I used to (demanding job, new puppy, and family stuff)…but I haven’t been completely out of the travel world.  In fact, in the last year I’ve had some amazing travel adventures, and I can’t wait to tell you all about them!  And remember that new Canon G12 I got about a year ago?  Turns out it’s one of the best cameras on the planet (says moi!), and you’ll get to see some incredible photos that I shouldn’t even really take credit for (thanks, vivid setting!).

So get ready!  Some good stuff’s in store, including luxury cave hotels, underground cities, incredible sights, some fun food finds, going off the beaten trail and even local jaunts with some helpful tips and pics.

Can You Guess Where This Is? You'll Find Out Soon!

 

 

 

 

 

Micro Four What?

August 25, 2010

For years I’ve debated whether I should buy an expensive, bulky digital SLR camera to improve the quality of my travel photos and avoid this from ever happening again.  But the “bulky” part keeps holding me back.  Besides, with these iPhone images out there, I have hope that a micro SLR is in the works.

Digital SLRs (Single Lens Reflex) have become the industry standard for taking/getting professional-quality photos. But over the weekend I was perusing the latest 2010 Consumer Reports book and came across a product that’s new to me – the Micro Four Thirds.  This type of camera allows you to change lenses – which is key in capturing the type of photograph you want based on your surroundings – and packs the manual functions and other perks of a digital SLR in more compact body.  I asked my Facebook universe – which includes a few professional photogs – if anyone knows the real pros/cons of this type of camera, and got nil.  I’m wondering if this model will take hold in the marketplace or just fade into the ether before it catches on.

I’m digging the retro vibe of this Olympus model…I may just have to make a trip to B&H to check it out.

Micro Four Thirds...worth the hype? Wait...there IS no hype. Yet...?

Seven Degrees of JFK Delays

March 1, 2010

If you haven’t already heard, JFK airport is closing one of its runways for four months due to re-paving.  Don’t live in NYC?  The closure could still affect you by way of more expensive airfare as airlines decrease their flights, or via longer delays for layovers at JFK as planes wait for the other available runways.

I was just thinking about airport upgrades (really!) when landing at LaGuardia Airport (LGA) last night.  Man, that airport is ugly inside and out.  But beyond its aesthetic qualities (or lack thereof), it also “ranked dead last out of 66 airports in the United States in a passenger satisfaction survey compiled by J.D. Power and Associates (Wikipedia).”  I cringe to think about foreigners’ / tourists’ first experience of NYC as LaGuardia airport and its rundown / cramped gates, inadequate / dirty lavatories, poor amenities / food services, and lack of overall “Welcome to New York” feel.  The problem is: how would we go about a complete overhaul of this very busy airport when there is no room to even breathe around here?  There would be no building a new airport in the parking lot à la Citifield, and the runway is already too short. But whenever I arrive in places like Madrid, Amsterdam or Denver, I’m in awe of these modern, clean structures and instantly feel safer, and that my flight will be on time (when there is, in fact, absolutely no correlation between the two…).

The takeaway here is to be prepared for longer-than-usual delays if traveling via JFK and plan accordingly (i.e. don’t pick that 30-minute layover you will probably miss).  And if you choose LaGuardia instead, eat before you get to the airport!

Happy Blogaversary To Me!

February 13, 2010

I just realized it’s been one whole year since I started this wee travel blog! Looking back, here are some of my favorite posts / memories:

OK…it was hard to pick just a few!