This past weekend, while attending my sister’s wedding in the hotel, we had the pleasure of staying at The Lenox in Boston, Massachusetts. It’s an absolutely lovely boutique hotel located on the corner of Exeter and Boylston Street and a block from several Boston highlights (Copeley Square, shopping on Newbury Street), though given the events of the day we didn’t get much sightseeing done.
The service at the hotel was fantastic, which you should expect given the premium rates, but we were treated like royalty. Check in was a breeze, the staff was incredible, and anything and everything we wanted was provided. Traveling with an infant can be challenging but they provided a crib and even bath toys and stuffed animals for him to play with. It was the first time we’d ever been offered something like that at a hotel!
Our room was exactly the one picture above (that’s their photo) and it’s as spacious as it looks. I’d never stayed in a hotel room with it’s own chandelier before so that was a nice touch. The fireplace doesn’t work (says so in big letters) but we didn’t bring any of our own firewood so that was OK. The only difference with our room is that instead of the large chair by the fireplace we had a crib.
There are two restaurants in the hotel – City Bar (which is mostly a bar) and City Table, where you can order food. We only had a drink in the City Bar but it was set up more like a lounge and provided a relaxing atmosphere. City Table was more restaurant-like with tables and was much louder.
The hotel is part of the Stash Hotel Rewards network, so if you’re all about the points, you can still earn points staying there even though it’s a more independent hotel.
Reality can be a bit cruel sometimes. We all have places we long to visit, far and wide, that we’d love to just put in some vacation time and head off to without any issues or delays. But the truth is this rarely happens. Either you take a commercial flight, full of delays, inconveniences and unnecessary expenses and restrictions, or you drive there for hours or even days on end. And that’s only if you’re going somewhere on the same landmass! But there is another way to head off to the locations of your dreams… you could get a private pilots license. Not everyone can do it, and it’s not for everyone, but if it is for you it will give you a sense of freedom that you’ve never had before. So what you need to focus on is how you will feel in the morning. Right?
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Madame Tussauds is a famous tourist attraction located in many parts of the world. This interesting museum displays wax figures of famous celebrities, notorious criminals and international dignitaries. This guide will give you a glimpse into three of the many Madame Tussauds locations.
Las Vegas, Nevada
The Las Vegas Madame Tussauds branch offers a look at Sin City’s entertainment history. Visitors can cozy up to Elvis Presley, the Blue Man Group and other notable Las Vegas entertainers. In another exhibit, you can meet several wax celebrities in a club setting. If you want, you can have your picture taken with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in this hip location. Sports fans can wander into the sports exhibit to play basketball with a few sports legends, including Michael Jordan.
When you’re done with your museum tour, you can still find plenty more to do in a city that rarely sleeps. Walking along the strip, you’ll find plenty of stylish hotels, including the Tropicana Las Vegas and the Excalibur. Don’t forget to take in one of Las Vegas’ many shows or sample one of its famous buffets.
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September 13th, 2012 · No Comments
Booking a vacation is both an exciting and challenging process. From where to stay to what to do to how to learn about the local culture, researching and planning a vacation can seem daunting and confusing. One way to avoid feeling overwhelmed and to greatly enhance the vacation experience is by booking a resort vacation, which will include the convenience of all the amenities usually offered by such places while providing safe options for exploring the vacation locale further. Using a service to research resorts can further simplify the process, and Bluegreen Resorts Corporation can facilitate the search for the perfect resort vacation.
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Tags: Travel Tips
August 1st, 2012 · 1 Comment
Going on vacation? One of the many chores you have to remember is to hold your mail. In year’s past, this meant a trip to the post office and a wait in their ubiquitous line. Fortunately, the post office has entered the 21st century and now offers the ability to hold your mail online. You can set it up for same day stoppage if you enter it by 2AM Central (an odd time zone, but whatever) and the service is limited to certain zip codes but it’s worth a shot. No fee either, completely free!
Spend all this new free time planning for your vacation!
We’re going to head off on our two week trip to China and Taiwan shortly so we’ve started the planning phases of our trip. Number one on that list, as you’d expect for a travel blogger, is how we’ll keep all of our various gadgets and gizmos charged and ready. We all know that the plugs in other nations aren’t shaped the same as ours but that’s not all you have to watch out for.
In North America, and parts of Central and South America, we use two parallel prongs. The sockets in the wall, if you check now, will have that and perhaps a third prong. Most other nations have similar setups, two or three prongs, but the shapes and orientation will be different. It can get really complicated so we typically bring along our set of adapters that should cover every major plug type. Even though we’ll only need the ones for China and Taiwan, we keep them together just so we don’t end up losing any adapters.
If you’re going to buy a new one, I suggest getting one that has all the adapters together in one unit. It makes it even harder to lose individual ones since they’ll all be connected. It’s often cheaper too, though that depends on how fancy you get.
Here’s the real tricky part – the United States uses an electrical system that provides 110 volts at the outlet. 220 volts is pretty much standard elsewhere, which means unless you have a converter, the excess juice will burn out your appliance. This is most important for small devices that draw little power, like a hairdryer or electric razor.
Take a look at the device and it should tell you its power needs. I took a peek at my AC Adapter for my laptop and it says INPUT: 100-240V ~2.4A 50-60 Hz. That means it can handle up to 240V at a frequency of 50-60 Hz. For my computer, in China and Taiwan, all I need is an adapter so my two prong plug will fit in an outlet there. The adapter will handle converting it to what my computer can handle.
Incidentally, China uses 220V, 50HZ while Taiwan uses 110V, 50 HZ.
Imagine you’re on a flight and you’re hungry. If you were on a Southwest flight, you’d get some free crackers or peanuts, depending on the length of the flight. If you’re on Delta, you could buy a sandwich. If you bought a turkey sandwich, you might have gotten yourself a bonus needle. Sewing needles were found in turkey sandwiches served on four different flights but only one person was hurt. The needles have prompted the FBI to get involved and Delta has stopped all sandwiches prepared by a catering company in Amsterdam.
“Delta is taking this matter extremely seriously and is cooperating with local and federal authorities who are investigating the incident. Delta has taken immediate action with our in-flight caterer at Amsterdam to ensure the safety and quality of the food we provide onboard our aircraft,” the airline said in a written statement.
That’s scary stuff!
We’re going to China, not on United, in a few weeks and it turns out we’ll miss the 200 United passengers who just staged a near “mutiny.” United Airlines Flight 87 from Shanghai to Newark were supposed to leave last Wednesday but the flight was scratched because of mechanical failure. The next flight, the following day, was cancelled because the part hadn’t reached it. Then again on Friday, when the crew reached maximum flight time restrictions!
So the passengers actually forming a blockade so other passengers couldn’t get on that flight on the following days.
When officials then said another aircraft was on hand to take the Flight 87 passengers, some refused to go to the new gate for that aircraft. Others created a blockade to try to prevent the regularly scheduled passengers from boarding their flight.
“He was like if we’re not getting on that plane, nobody is getting on that plane,” Flight 87 passenger Steve Borowka says to ABC News about a flier who allegedly incited the blockade.
I can’t imagine how I’d respond after three days. I once spent a day in an airport because of a snowstorm and it was pretty bad. But I had food, it was just me (no family or kids to take care of), so I managed. I can’t imagine three days. Customers will get a refund plus $1,000 flight credit.
While going camping in the country or taking a trip to Wisconsin Dells can be enjoyable, these trips are nothing like the types of trips most celebrities take. Celebrities take trips to places that most people have only seen in books and magazines. The types of places celebrities go to for vacations offer experiences of a lifetime.
Here are several different vacations that are well known in popular culture:
Hawaii isn’t called paradise for nothing (and I know, it’s the only one on this list I’ve been to). Hawaii is considered one of the best vacation spots in the world because of its tropical water, sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. Many celebrities nowadays take vacations in Hawaii. When you are in Hawaii, you can sunbathe on the white sand, swim in the blue waters, surf, snorkel and scuba dive. Celebrities love to visit the island of Maui in Hawaii because it is so close to the main lands. Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Jennifer Garner and Kate Hudson are just a few celebrities known for vacationing in Hawaii.
Necker Island, British Virgin Isles
Necker Island is a very secluded island, making it the perfect place for celebrities who want to get away from the public. There is only one villa on the island and it accommodates up to 28 guests. When you are at Necker Island, you can be as relaxed or active as you want. Necker Island is filled with a tennis court, gym, swimming pool horseback riding and several private beaches. Celebrities who go to this island include Mariah Carey, Harrison Ford, Pamela Anderson and Mel Gibson.
St. Tropez, France
Brigitte Bardot was one of the first celebrities to frequent St. Tropez, France in the 1950s. Many celebrities followed her lead and visited this beautiful place including Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Beyonce and Penelope Cruz. It isn’t the most private vacation spot, but the gorgeous beaches keep celebrities coming back every year. In addition to sunbathing on the beach, you can also visit great clubs, eat at tasty French restaurants and see historic sites.
Cabo San Lucas
Cabo San Lucas is another favorite vacation spot for celebrities because it’s just a short plane ride away. When you are in Cabo San Lucas, you can enjoy white sand beaches, international cuisine and great spa services. Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, George Clooney and Bono love going here for vacation.
These are just a few places celebrities love to go to for vacation. When they are at these vacation spots, they can relax and forget about everything. So can you!
In less than a month, we’ll be embarking on a two week trip to Shanghai with a few days in Taipei, Taiwan. After the birth of our son about a year ago, we’ve been wanting to take him to meet my grandfather, his great grandfather, in Taiwan as soon as possible. While our son won’t be a year old, and the long flight will certainly be a challenge, we felt that we couldn’t really wait much longer.
The first leg in the trip involves us flying from Baltimore, MD to Islip, NY to meet up with my parents. We’ll be staying the night and then heading to JFK Airport for the long flight to Shanghai. We’re traveling with my parents so we have four people to watch the little guy, which means a lighter workload for us!
We’ll be flying on China Eastern and the flights were a fairly reasonable $1500 a piece, with $300 for Alexander (our son) even though he doesn’t get a seat. We secured on the bassinets at the front of the coach sections and, without really knowing the dimensions, hope that he’s able to sleep on it for at least part of the flight. Maybe he can sleep on it for the entire flight! (ok, that’s unreasonable)
We’ll see how it goes!
Tags: Journey Notes