First Trip of the Year

I’m back school is over and we are traveling again.  Our first trip this year was to the Dominican Republic.  We decided to fly to Punta Cana.  The flight looked good the night before but in the morning it was oversold in coach but open in first class.  This means that people have to upgrade to first class in order for the coach seats to open up.  So we took a chance and drove to the airport.  Arriving there in time.  Well I can see the seats closing out in first class and then closing out in coach.  The flight after the one we were booked on had cancelled and that explained why so many people were on the flight.  Needless to say the flight took off without us.  When the gate agent asked us if we wanted to be pushed to the next flight, I told her we would drive. The next flight would not have gotten us to Miami in time for the flight to Punta Cana.  So we decided to see if we could drive to Miami from Jacksonville in 5 1/2 hours.  As we were driving we decided to check and see if there were any flights leaving from Orlando.  There was actually a flight leaving at 10:15 and it was 7:30pm we had to get to Orlando, park, go through security and get to the gate.  Man we needed to drive quickly.  Plus we were low on gas and would not make it all the way without some gas for the car.  In my opinion we had to be at the airport at 9:30am.  We booked ourselves on the flight and decided to go for it.  We took the toll roads (which we never do) and made it there around 9:35 found a parking and had to get through security.  We printed our boarding passes and thankfully we both have Global Entry which come with Pre check and made it to the flight with 10 minutes to spare.  Whew, neither of us could believe we made the flight.  We then landed in Miami early but there was not a gate open so we had to wait on the tarmac until 11:44am and the flight to Punta Cana took off at 12:30pm.  Needless to say we made it to that flight just as it had started boarding. Man this was a just barely make it type of day.  We sat back and enjoyed the flight.

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As we were flying to the caribbean I looked out the window and saw beautiful looking islands.  I had to pull out my good camera to get this shot.

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The Dominican Republic is on the same island as Haiti and and flying overhead it appears as if the island is desolate.  When we landed in Punta Cana I was surprised as to how many different airlines there were landed there.  We made our way to the outside of the airport and hand ordered transportation through the booking agent we used.  The van was there waiting for us and as we were driving to the resort it reminded me of the drive to the resort in Freeport.  My husband was looking at the dashboard of the van and told me that every light on the dashboard was lit, from the check engine to the oil light.  When we arrived at the Dreams Punta Cana Resort they took our luggage and led us to the front desk.  We proceeded to sign in and they asked us if we wanted and upgrade.  We declined their upgrade as we had already upgraded to our tropical room.  They brought over a glass of champagne as we were signing in and when we were done the bell boy put our luggage in a cart and walked us to our room.  The resort itself looked amazing as we were going to our room.

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The room was pretty nice but smelled a little musky when we first entered.  They have incense in the rooms but we don’t like that smell so we didn’t light it.

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The view out the back which was supposed to be a tropical view was really the back gate and hedges and palm trees.  I would not recommend paying for the upgrade.  We went right out to the pool and the beach on the first day and of course we stopped for a drink.  Included in our upgrade were $200 worth of coupons, we didn’t use any of these so that was a waste of money.  This is from the first day on the beach.

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One of the many complaints I read on was that there was a lot seaweed on the beach. This was true but for the time of year I believe expected and when we walked down the beach all of the resorts had seaweed on their beaches.  If you don’t like seaweed then the pool below was great and it even had a swim up bar.

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Dinner was great and I only took photos of the desert.  We did the main dining the first night.  There were several restaurants on the property.  The good thing is you don’t need a wrist band for the property.

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Here is the swim up bar and day two.  The weather was perfect not to hot and not to cold.  The pool water was a little cold at first as was the ocean but we still got in.

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We then went for a walk on the beach passing many other resorts.  We did take a catamaran out for about an hour and sailed back and forth in front of the beach.

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While walking down the beach there were several vendors selling artwork and various things.

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There were palm trees that were cut down and fallen all over the beach.  Lots of great photo opportunities.

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My husband took this photo of me with the shadow of the tree on the beach.

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This is what the resort property looked like on the beach side.  There were plenty of seat for everyone.

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We are not big drinkers but one of the best drinks we had on the resort was called Me and You.  I have searched the internet and cannot find the recipe so if anyone goes there find out what goes in there and let me go they were great.

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One of the best things about the resort is the staff.  They try and keep you entertained and they are very into their jobs and take care of you to the best of their ability.

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For the second night we went to the French Restaurant for dinner.  Most of the meal was good but the Lobster Bisque was horrible.  To fishy and very salty.  Also, the French restaurant has a very musky moldy smell.  We had drinks in the lobby and danced at the beach disco.

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We listened to Spanish Guitar on our final night and ate back in the main dining room.  I also got a massage at the spa which was great.  We did go out to the shopping area that was near by on the final day and didn’t have much cash.  Mind you this is a poor country and everyone wants you to go in their shop and we even had one kid beg us to buy something.  I felt really bad as we didn’t bring much cash with us.  One other thing about the resort that is a bit of a disappointment is the cell phone data.  I have T mobile which has free data so I figured I didn’t need to buy theirs.  Well it appears as if the entire resort is blocked.  Facebook posts would only go late at night or when you were practically in the water.  I did ask them once how much the data was (I knew it wasn’t free) it was $40 for one device and I’m assuming that is per day.  The cell service was pretty spotty also.  I mention this because when we left the resort on the final day as soon as we were away from the row of resorts all my post went very quickly.  Other than that we had a great time in Punta Cana though I would not go back to the same resort we might go back to the island again.  I am finishing this post up in March of 2015 and can tell you we went to Amsterdam twice in February and we are looking at going to Miami in March so more to come.  My goal this year is to go one place each month lets see how I do.

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Amsterdam in September

My husband had a 3 day trip to Amsterdam and I decided to go with him.  He’s from The Netherlands and enjoys visiting.  I love the country also and would love to live there.  Unfortunately, when we arrived it was overcast and it remained that way and rained all day long.  We did not let this deter us though.  We hit the ground walking as soon as we got to the Hotel.  This is a new hotel for the airline.  The last time I went to Amsterdam they were in a different hotel.

Our first stop was to the supermarket.  It is called Albert Heijn.  This is how tomatoes are packaged there.  We had to pick up a few groceries for my husband’s family.


Our second stop was lunch we were starving so we stopped by this store that had vending machines.


This is what I ate.  It was pretty good considering it came from a vending machine.



We started walking around.  I love Amsterdam and all the canals and bridges.


This is a bicycle that was outside of one of the houses and the door in front of this place was pretty small also.  Here is my husband also standing in the doorway.



One of the things I love about this place is that since the houses are so narrow they still bring the furniture into the houses via a pulley system that is outside of each house.  Look at the top of the houses you can see something sticking out this is where they attach the rope to bring furniture into the houses .



This section reminds me of Venice.


Except Venice doesn’t have houseboats.  These are here all year round and permanent.


We then went to eat again.  This is a pancake house that is near the hotel.


My husband had Poffertjes, which are like mini puffed pancakes and I had a pancake with bacon and cheese.

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We then went to Vondel Park.  It’s like Central Park in Amsterdam.  It had been raining on and off all day by the way.


This is the lost and found people clip things on here that were lost.  Yes that is a bandage and there were keys, business cards and shoe attached here.


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These dogs kept playing in the water their owner kept throwing up the stick in the water and they kept jumping in after it.


We then went to a Diamond House where they cut and trade diamonds.  Here are some pictures from there.  I was in love with all of the diamonds.


This skull is made entirely of diamonds. Unfortunately, my husband didn’t buy me anything.


These were near the Van Gogh Museum there were a bunch of them.


We then went back to the hotel to get a few hours rest.  The do not disturb sign and the mirror made me smile.  Read the wording around the mirror.



We then went out to eat at a place called Wok-to-Wok where you can build your own meal.  Not to toot my own horn but my meal was much better than my husbands.  I think he wanted mine instead of his.  He actually had them make him one like mine the next time he went to Amsterdam.


Next trip is the Scott Kelby Photowalk in Princeton New Jersey.

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Global Entry Finally

So earlier this year I applied for Global Entry.  If you don’t know what global entry is it is a privilege that you pay for as a frequent flier.  After you pay the application fee you get checked for a criminal record and fingerprinted then you can go by the global entry kiosk when you enter the country and don’t have to wait on the long line at customs.  The first appointment I had needed to change because we had a trip that day.  So this morning I had to get up at 4:30 in the morning to fly to Philadelphia because I thought my husband would be up there but unfortunately he was home.  I flew up and had my appointment.  Luckily I was able to go early.  Then I had to fly back home.  The flight back home mostly full so I had buy a first class seat to get home.  I was happy to get the Global Entry as it also comes with pre check.  This means I don’t have to take out my computer or take off my shoes or even take out my liquids.  Flying will be wonderful now that I can go through security easier.

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Back to June and NY Trip

In June my daughter and I flew to New York my dad Anthony Barboza had an art exhibit in NY that also had pieces from two of my sisters in them.  We headed out on the first flight in the morning to DC.  Now typically I will not check my bag but the gate agent suggested it because the overhead bins were full.  All the flights to NY looked good when we left home.  After landing in DC we found out that the flight before ours had been cancelled.  Then within minutes our flight cancelled and the one after it.  At that point I realized there was no way we were getting to New York by plane.  We then decided to take a bus to New York it’s about a 5 hour bus ride.  We then turned to leave the airport when  my daughter reminded me that my luggage was in the plane.  I spoke to the gate agent and she suggested I go downstairs to baggage claim and ask them if they can get my bag off the plane.  We headed downstairs and I spoke to someone there.  They were able to get my luggage off the plane to me.  This was great news.  We then headed to the bus stop in DC where we caught a Mega Bus for about $30 each.  The show started at 6 pm and we would get there around 5ish.  Now I can spend 8 hours on a plane flying to Europe but a 5 hour bus ride to New York seemed a whole lot longer.  My daughter was sleeping on me and the bus was slow moving.  The Mega bus does have a bathroom so it wasn’t that bad.  When we got to NYC, which was later than we wanted because we got stuck in traffic crossing the bridge, we hopped on the subway and headed to my mom’s house.  We got changed quickly and headed downtown again.  We arrived at the art exhibit a little late (about an hour) and walked around.  There were many people there, here are a few pictures of my dad’s paintings.



If you would like to look at any of his other work or purchase something his website is He is a well known photographer.   Two of my sisters had pieces in the show also, my sister Leticia had this piece.


If you would like to purchase her piece just drop me a line and I will put you in touch with her.  We took a few family photos here is my dad with all his kids and my daughter.


It was a great art show but by the time we left it was pouring rain and we got soak and wet the rain jacket I had purchased from Target was quite stylish but did not repel water at all.  Guess I have to remember that for the next time I wear it.  The next day we went downtown to the 14th Street MarkeT.  I took this picture at one of the subway stations.


Yes we are there.  I love the 14th Street Market if I lived in New York I would come down here weekly for my fruits and vegetables, the market has a huge variety and you can find almost anything here.  Here are a few pictures of things we saw there.  These carrots and radishes caught my attention.  The colors were amazing.


The flowers were beautiful and the strawberries below were yummy looking.  We did buy some of the strawberries and they tasted great.



I wanted to knit or crochet a sweater or something when I saw this yarn but don’t have the time.  Below is the tag the yarn colors were so bright. wpid-New-York-June-2013-17.jpg


I haven’t looked or priced out the yarn because I don’t have time in my schedule to use it for anything.  Next we saw a big pile of mushrooms.  These look way better than what they sell at the store.


And here are some more flowers



We then headed back to my mom’s house.  They had been redoing the subway station where she lives and put in this stained glass window.  They did a really nice job refurbishing the station.


The next day my daughter and I headed back home without any airline problems which is good because I didn’t want to take the bus again.  Like I said I would much rather be on an 8 hour flight than a 5 hour bus ride.

Next up is  my trip up to Philly for the day for my Global Entry

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It’s Been A While

Well I haven’t posted since September 9th.  I know it’s been a while.  I have traveled a few times since then but not much.  I’m back in school trying to get my BA in the next year so I in addition to working full time and travelling I decided to go back to school.  So I’m taking 2 classes every 8 weeks and should be done by December 2014.  In August I started an Accounting class and it took up a lot of my time.  I would come home from work and sit down and do Accounting Homework.  That was the hardest class I’ve taken and for those of you that are Accountants more power to you, there’s too much confusion there for me.  In addition to that I have started a Photography Business my work can be seen and purchased on  I’m trying to get into wedding photography so if you know anyone in the Northeast Florida area just let me know.  I can’t guarantee a blog a week like I did for a while there and I might move to a blog a month but I’m not done yet by any means.  We still have travel plans in the future (but none for the rest of the year).  I’m almost out of vacation days ugghh.  Thankfully they start again in January.  So stay with me and my next posting will be right after this one.

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Know Your Airport Codes

So normally when I book flights I know the airport codes and just book that way.  You know AMS is Amsterdam, CDG is Charles de Gaulle which is Paris.  Well my mom was flying to Daytona and I was booking her.  Well I booked her on the Daytona flight and for some reason the flight got delayed.  Well I called the travel hotline and asked them to rebook her.  Well I found out while making this change that I had actually booked her for Dayton Ohio (DAY) not Daytona Beach (DAB).  Ooops.   Thankfully I was able to book her to Orlando (MCO) instead.  Which ended up being a nightmare for her.  The weather was pretty bad and the flight to Orlando kept getting delayed.  When we fly as non-revs we automatically get pushed to the next flight well I as watching the flights and she wasn’t pushed to the next flight.  Her name just disappeared entirely.  Thankfully she was able to get listed on the next flight and did end up getting to Orlando though it was almost 2am by the time she got here.  Had I known my airport codes I would have had her fly to Orlando first thing in the morning.  Which may have been quieter since she was flying on the Mickey express with all the kids.

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Skipping Ahead to Zurich (Otherwise Known as the Worst Trip Ever)

So a few weeks ago I mentioned that I was stuck in Zurich.  I’m skipping the trip between Greece and Zurich and going right to Zurich.  I will go back to the trip in between and the other lessons I’ve learned.  The trip started the night before when my husband got a call to go to Zurich.  We were out with our friends and I was able to check and the flight out there looked great but the flight back looked a little iffy.  We were out as I stated and my friends were like what’s the worst that can happen.  Now the last time I went to Zurich it was cloudy so I didn’t get to see the Swiss Alps off of Lake Zurich.  So I figured what the heck.  I also decided to bring my DSLR.  Typically my rule is if I have been there before I will bring my smaller Olympus EPM3.  So we woke up early on Sunday and headed to the airport.  All is well.  We got on the first flight fine.  No issues.  We then landed and Philadelphia and headed to his crash pad.  On the way to the crash pad we each found a penny.  Both pennies were face down.  Now my husband is Dutch they do not believe that you pass any money by.  My mother has told me not to pick up pennies that are face down.  So needless to say we picked them up.  As we were sitting in the crash pad it began to rain.  Not to badly at first for then it started to come down.  Now there really isn’t a good way to get to the airport without walking.  My husband changed out of his uniform (because he would have been soaked) and we headed out.  It’s about a 20 minute walk to the airport and by the time we got there we were soaked.  My bags were soaked and everything in side was soaked.  Thankfully my computer and ipad were in cases so though the case was wet the devices were not.  My camera was fine but my poor ipod which I have had for years was not doing well.  It had been sitting in the bag where the water had pooled.  It still turns on but the touch screen does not work.  All of the clothes in my bag were soaked so I had nothing to change into.  Thankfully his uniform was dry.  So we were waiting at the airport and had to change gates, no big deal.  Then the computers went down so we were not able to board the plane.  After about an 45 minutes we were able to board.  Feeling drenched I purchased a first class upgrade hoping to not be squished next to someone being soak and wet and hopefully being able to dry out.  We then pulled out towards the runway which was packed.  I looked out the window and there was quite a bit of flooding in the grass and where you cross the runway.  We were just about ready for take off and they stopped takeoff for all flights due to weather.  So we sat and sat and sat.  Then we got the ok to go.  We took off and I was like yay we are on the way.  I took off my wet shoes and got under the blanket and tried to get warm.  The view out of the window was amazing and when we were able to use our electronic devices I took these pictures.



The flight itself was uneventful.  Which is a good thing.  We then landed in Zurich where it was guess what, raining.  Yes raining and not a light drizzle but a steady rain (just like when we left Philadelphia).  So we went to the mall by the hotel and decided not to go into town to Lake Zurich because we would not be able to see the Alps.  This is the first time we have ever gone to a foreign country and just stayed in the hotel.  After a nap for me, I woke up in time for dinner.  There is a place that’s a short walk away that has the best garlic soup so that’s where we went.  We headed out with the umbrella’s it had stopped raining by now but you never know.   You can walk through the woods to get to the restaurant.  So we headed out.  This is the path through the woods.


We then ran into this little guy.


There were a bunch of them so we had to be careful not to step on them.  It was a really nice walk


I love the buildings here.  We also went by the lake where we saw some berries


This is the back of the restaurant


When we went inside we saw that everyone had their umbrella’s with them.


After dinner we headed back to the hotel taking the scenic route.


We found another guy roaming the fields.  This cat reminds me of one of ours. He was just watching us as we went by.


They have some large streets to cross and they have these underground walkways that you can use to avoid the traffic.



I love this door and all the old charm.


This church was just waiting to be photographed by me.  Especially since there weren’t any people walking around.



It was a lovely walk back.  To bad the rest of the trip would not be the same.  I always check the flights before I go to bed and I  when I did there were no seats on the flight going home and it was overbook by three.  Well I tried to sleep but could not.  In the morning we discussed the possibility of me not getting back on his flight.  I then booked myself (standby) on a United flight back just in case.  We went to the airport and I upgraded to first class again that way I would take priority over other passengers.  My husband gave me his credit card and we went to the plane.  He had to get on the plane ahead of me and he let the gate agents know that I was out there.  Then the moment of boarding arrived.  People kept coming and I waited and waited and waited.  They called some people that were standby but they were the ones that were overbooked.  Then I got the news.  There wasn’t a seat available.  He had to stay on the flight since he was working it and I was all alone.  Ok I was booked on a United flight no problem.  I went over to the United flight and I was not checked in.  They managed to check me in and then the waiting began again.  There was a guy and his friend there and one of the guys got on but his friend did not.  Actually, I was the next person to be called when they ran out of seats.  Well ok now what do.  I booked myself on a seat to San Francisco but they could not get me checked in.  Alright panic mode set it.  I could stay in this airport.


But the flight the next day was overbooked by 5.  Ok so my brain starts thinking what places can I get to that I can fly out of.  I start checking flights.  Munich no seats, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Madrid all booked and over book.  Lisbon wait Lisbon.  There were 6 seats in first class and coach was overbooked by 4 but that left two seats total on the plane still open.  Either way I would be good.  I had a first class upgrade just incase one of those seats was open and I was first on the non rev list unless someone senior jumped on at the last minute.  Ok now I had to get to Lisbon, Portugal.  I check and for $700 I could go from Zurich to Hamburg then stay the night in Hamburg and fly to Lisbon in the morning.  Ok I can do this.  So I booked myself on the flights.  After waiting several hours I walked over to the gate and (for the first time in 3 years) had a seat on the plane.  No stand by but able to get on without having to wait.  Here is the plane on the way to Hamburg.


After landing in Hamburg I asked one of the gate agents if I could stay in the airport overnight.  He said there was a waiting area downstairs that people stayed and waited and there was a small pastry shop that was open 24 hours also.  So I headed in that direction.  As I was walking in that direction there was an entire wall of advertisement for my favorite car rental agency (yeah right) Sixt.  I had to laugh and take a picture.


This is the waiting area in the Hamberg Airport


It wasn’t to bad.  There were couches and also charging stations for your phone or electronic devices.  I was able to watch some movies I had on my computer and in the same time I was watching the availability on the Lisbon flight making sure no one jumped in front of me.  This was thrill of my night.  My bags were heavy (that damn camera) so I didn’t take to many pictures.  Though it’s weird seeing and empty airport.  In the morning (the airport opened at 4) I got on line and was able to get back into the airport.  The flight to Lisbon took off at 6am.  Now I didn’t take a picture but if you look up the uniforms for TAP Portugal Airlines.  Their uniforms are great.  So off to Portugal I went (my first time).  We get to the airport and really it is a madhouse.  People don’t know where to go and there are lines everywhere.  After waiting on line for about 15 minutes I was able to talk to someone and found out I could just go through passport control  (I did not have a boarding pass).  I went to the gate and they were checking people in there and then you had to wait on line after you were checked in for another check it.  It was crazy.  The non-revs were told to stay off to the side as they boarded the plane so I waited and waiting and waited. Then they called my name.  I don’t think I have ever been so excited to board a plane.  I was in coach but I didn’t care.    There was actually another non rev that made it one the plane and she was seated in my row.  Then we took off.  I was so happy that we were in the air.  So about 2 1/2 hours into the flight they come over the PA and ask if there is a doctor on the plane.  This is normally not a good thing.  There was a sick passenger on the plane and I’m normally concerned with others but honestly at this point I was hoping it wasn’t bad enough for them to turn the plane around.  Please remember I hadn’t had any sleep and just wanted to get home.  Thankfully they didn’t turn the plane around and the person was somewhat better.  When we landed in Philadelphia we had to wait until the medical people took the sick passenger off of the plane.  (in case you were wondering there were at least two doctors on the flight).  I then headed to passport control.  We landed at 1:40 and the flight home was at 3:30.  The line at passport controls was about and hour and 15 minutes long.  I was supposed to get my global entry in June but had to change the appointment and it was rescheduled for the Saturday after this trip.  So I waited on line and finally made it through.  Then I got to the get for the flight home and actually got a seat right away.  My husband was home the day before so he had to come and get me from the airport since we drove in one car.  Thankfully my boss was really understanding also because I ended coming home a day later than I had originally expected.  The real kicker of it all was that when I checked the Zurich flight for the day after I was stuck it left with 10 seats open.  Had I stayed put I would have gotten on the next day.  The thing is you never know what each day holds which is why it is always an adventure.  We joke about it now and we blame the pennies we picked up in Philadelphia for the bad luck.  Will I travel again of course (I had to the following week to get my global entry).  I might be more cautious with the flights being so tight and maybe next time I will wait until the next day.

Categories: Airplane, Airport, Car Rental, Flight Attendant, flights, Germay, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Photography, Sixt, Switzerland, Travel, Zurich | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Athens The End

After stoping at the Temple of Olympian Zeus we walked up to the First Cemetery.  I must say I have always loved the way European’s park their cars.  They park where ever they can.  In the states we only park on the street in one direction and typically you will get ticketed if you double park.  I have seen cars in Paris parked on a corner and then double parked at that.  Here is what we saw walking up to the Cemetery.   All of the cars in the picture below are parked.


The Cemetery was opened in 1867 and is the First Cemetery of Athens.  There are many of famous Grecians buried here and it’s a really large cemetery.  This is the entrance and there is another fence like this on the other side.  There were many things going on including I believe a funeral.


There are some really large mausoleums in this cemetery.


The artwork that goes into these is amazing.  As we were walking up to the cemetery there are numerous stores that make pictures and figures and sell flowers all relating to funeral thing.



We didn’t walk all the way through or around as we were pressed for time I can imagine that you can come back for several days and still not see everything.


After leaving the cemetery we headed to the train station to head out to the port of Athens it was about a 15 minute train ride.  This is the train station at the port of Athens.


As you can see there are a lot of ships at the port.  All of these are headed out to the islands.  Unfortunately we weren’t staying long enough but maybe next time.


We then walked over to the other side of the port after eating.  We saw what remained of this boat.  There were at least two or three hulls that we saw in the water.  Including the engine of a boat.


As you can see there are plenty of smaller boats around the port.  There were boats from many different countries.


We didn’t go over to the beach but we were right above and across the water from it.  It looked amazing but we didn’t have a bathing suit with us.


We then stopped for coffee at a little place on the port.   It was really good and we even got a cookie.


We then walked back to the train station and took the train back to our hotel.  While we were changing trains we came across this section in the subway where they have excavated.  It’s amazing to come across these things where you would least expect it.


There was a protest going on in the streets and the train station we were going to go to was closed.  We had to walk several blocks to another station.  wpid-athens-141.jpg


We then had dinner on the rooftop of our hotel.  We were going to have Ouzo after dinner but our waiter recommended we have some Mastika.  I still have not tried Ouzo but the Mastika was really good.


The next day we got ready to leave and arrived at the airport.  I was able to get wifi once and then it was gone.  They board the non revs differently there and you have to stay outside of security before they give you your seat.  Well as we were waiting there we saw people coming rushing up right before the closing of the flight.  Thankfully we were the first ones on the list as by the time they were done there were only two seats left on the plane.  We got lucky because there were at least 10 non revs behind us that did not get on the plane.  I felt bad for the but I was glad to get on the plane. We ended up sitting across from each other.  While on the plane I was sitting next to a woman who was in Athens for business she was from NY and was training for her company.  I wish my company would send me to Athens for training.  Anyway another great trip but a close call getting home.

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Athens (once again, I’m home now yay)

In the morning we went to the Central Market.  I love going to fresh markets whenever we are in other countries.  This market was mostly a meat market.  We walked through and there were butchers on either side.  We were wondering how the customers decide who to go to.


There were also other things like olives and herbs.



There was also a fish market in the back.  I love fish but walking through here was an overwhelming fish smell that near the end I had to rush out so as not to puke.  I did take a few pictures before I ran out.



We then headed back to the train station.  On the way there we walked past a pet store.  Who knew they sold dogs by the pound in Athens.  Ok just kidding but I couldn’t resist taking a picture of this dog sitting on the scale.


We then went to the Syntagma Metro Station.  There is actually a glass wall and on the other side are graves.  It is amazing that this is still intact.



As you can see this is only the surface.  The metro is at least two stories below this.


We then went upstairs and saw the Greek Presidential Guard marching in front of Parliament.


They were so serious.


We then walked over to Hadrian’s Arch.  I was thinking while I was taking this photo that I guess the ancient Greeks did not imagine all the cars that are passing by this Arch.


We then walked to the Temple of Olympian Zeus.  This structure is amazing.  It’s a grand scale and I can’t even imagine how they built this and what they had to go through.



As you can see they are trying to hold this together with metal banding.  Let’s hope it stays for a while.


This one didn’t survive the fall, I could see where there was actually a metal rod inside to try and keep it together but it didn’t work.  It’s a same.  I think everyone should see this place.


Ok I’m almost done with Athens.  It will be done next week.

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Athens continuation (while I’m stuck in Zurich (UGHHH))

When last I left you guys we were traveling in Athens.   Now to pick up where I left off.  We continued to wander the Acropolis.  There are many places on this big rock and you have visit them if you have a ticket.  We then visited the Byzantine Church called the Holy Apostles of Solakis in the Agora.  The pictures I took on the inside do not do it justice.


This is in the center of the church.  There are 4 areas and the church resembles a cross.


This is the old door of the church.


After visiting the church we searched for our way off of Acropolis.  We were starving.  As we walked out of the gates we noticed that the Acropolis closes at 3pm.  So remember to get there early if you want to see everything.  We were not able to do so but we were starving.  We ended up walking down the street and as usual there are people standing outside of restaurants practically begging you to eat in their place.  We walked by the one guy and he showed us the pictures (yes I know touristy) but we told him we were going to walk down the street to see if there was anything better.  We ended up turing around and headed back in his direction.  As soon as we walked up he recognized us and seated us right away.  We started with a Greek Salad, we had tzatziki and also some olives.




We then decided to have coffee.  I had told my husband that the real Greek coffee was just like mud (I had read it in the book my sister gave me for Christmas).  Being the coffee connoisseur he is he wanted to give it a go.  I decided that I wasn’t into mud and had an iced coffee.  Mine was better than his but not much.  I tasted his and it was very gritty on the bottom and it’s not like he had a large cup.  Here are our cups of coffee. Mine is the big one.


Since everything was closed we decided to make our way back to the train station.  We came across this floor that is super old.  It’s amazing the detail that is found here.  We laid our tile less than 6 years ago and we have some cracks in it.  This flooring has lasted centuries.


This is as close as I could get so you could see the detail.


We then walked by these two.  A father and sun playing their violins.  They were really good.  We gave them about 2 Euro each and I asked if I could take their picture.  They had been there all day as my husband had seen them when we walked into the Acropolis.


We then walked over to the Acropolis Museum.  Neither of us are museum people so we only went in the entrance not to any of the exhibits.  When you walk up to the museum you see there is glass on the ground and underneath were different rooms.  Here is a picture of one section.  Where ever you build in Athens you have to be careful because there’s probably something special underneath.


After all this walking we decided to head back to the hotel.  There was a pool on the roof and we tried to enjoy it.  The problem was the water was freezing.  We both jumped in but didn’t stay very long.  From our hotel rooftop you can see the Acropolis.


We then ventured out to get something to eat and ended up in a touristy area again.  The food was amazing though and I couldn’t even finish mine.  My meal was a mixture of meats.  There were two of each kind.  I kept letting my husband taste but we couldn’t even come close to finishing.


One thing I must tell you about Athens is there are a lot of people begging.  Now we see this a lot in the countries we visit but here they come up to you while you are eating asking for money or trying to sell you something.  We even had several children come up to us.  Also, there are a lot of big dogs in Athens.  Like Great Dane, German Shepard big.  We were not sure if they belonged to anyone but they seem to stay near a lot of store fronts.

After dinner we headed back to the hotel.  I wanted to go up to the roof to take a picture of the Parthenon.  We headed up there and after moving around several tables and using my gorillapod and timer on my camera I was able to get this picture.


I will continue next week on the second day of Athens and hopefully I will be out of Zurich tonight.  My husband was working the flight so he left me and all the flights look like crap but I have a plan and hopefully it works.

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Athens, Greece – The Acropolis

We started out the morning headed to Philadelphia.  See post of people missing flights.  We left for Greece on my birthday and my birthday dinner was airplane food.  Here is up waiting on line to board the plane


The flight out there was uneventful.  When we got to Athens we decided to take public transportation to the hotel.  The train ride was very easy and the signs are in both English and Greek.  I got the hotel off of price line and it was supposed to be a 3 star hotel.  The hotel was not in what appeared to be the best of areas there was grafitti all over the place in Athens in general not just where we were staying.  We had an ok view from our room but the tv in the room was smaller than my laptop.  After getting settled in the hotel we hoped back on the subway and headed to the Acropolis.  They have a pretty good deal where you can get tickets for all of the things on Acropolis for about 12 euro each.  Here is a picture of the Parthenon from the bottom of the Acropolis.


Here is the Theatre of Dionysus.  It’s amazing that this has been around since 530 BC


The seats have writing underneath them.  I’m assuming these are names of people that sat on them since the seats appear to be in the front row.


This is the Odeon of Herodes.  It was built in 160 AD but redone in 1955.


Headed up the Acropolis was very crowded.  Be sure that if you go up there you wear sneakers.  One of my husband’s friends for warned me.  It is really slippery up there as the ground is all marble.


It was an amazing place to visit and


The view down to the city was amazing it’s no wonder they built this up here.


It was very steep going up and down.   Here are several pictures.








There are pieces of stone everywhere.  They all appear to be numbered in some way.  It also looks as if they are trying to put missing pieces in to stabilize it.  There were people working inside and cleaning and taping marble.



This is in the corner of the Parthenon.  I didn’t see it until I zoomed in


There were just scroll pieces everywhere.  There was a stack of these





You can see where the pieces have shifted.





So as you can see I took a lot of pictures this is an amazing place to see.  I will continue to go through our day next week.

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People Missing Flights

Ok so there will be no pictures with this blog post sorry.  I just want to talk about people who miss their flights.  I completely understand if your connecting flight is late and it is the airlines fault that you miss a flight that’s understandable.  I even understand getting stuck in traffic and missing your flight.  Yes it happens or even getting stuck in security when you get to the airport.  Though really you shouldn’t cut it that close.  What I don’t understand is why if you are sitting at the gate why you would miss the flight.

We were on our way to Athens and there were two flights leaving at about 15 minutes apart.  Well we were getting ready to board the flight to Philadelphia when this woman approaches the gate where the flight to Charlotte just pulled back.  She says I’m here for the Charlotte flight.  The gate agent said it’s just pushed back.  She said it doesn’t leave till 10:25 and he says it’s 10:31.  She says I was just over there.  Now my thought is what you were sitting their and you didn’t hear them call your flight.  They only called each zone.  You know now boarding zone 1 flight XXX to Charlotte.  They only go up to zone 5 plus first class and military.  So the gate agent being the nice person he was put her on our flight.  No charge.

Ok so you are thinking this doesn’t happen that often.  Well it happens all the time.  I was waiting for a flight home one day and there were several employee standby passengers waiting.  The flight was done boarding and the gate agent was about to give a flight attendant a ticket.  Well this woman sitting right next to her said did they board this flight yet (you would think the mostly empty gate area would have given it away).  Oh I’m on it.  So she walks up to the gate and gives the gate agent the ticket.  That’s it no more seats.  The flight attendant had to wait for the next flight, we decided to stay the night and fly out in the morning.  So just remember that when you are waiting for your flight pay attention, most flights board 30 minutes before take off.  Take off the headphones and don’t miss your flight.

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Day 2 in Barcelona, Spain

We woke up in the morning and went down for breakfast in the hotel.  The food was amazing.  I love a breakfast buffet in Europe.  Here is my breakfast it was very good and very filling.  While having breakfast I spoke to 4 couples that were headed out on a 10 day cruise.  I was so excited for them they seemed like they were going to have a great vacation.


We then headed out for our day.  Our location was to take the vernacular up to Montjuic Fort.  We had to go down and take the subway station which was also the vernacular station.  Here is a picture inside the station.


We then walked over to where you catch the vernacular.  You can see the lights as it comes down.


We were at the back end.  This actually works on a pulley system there are two separate trains and as one goes up the one goes down.


This is the station at Montjuic.


I took a picture of the city from here.  You can see La Sagrada Familia stands so tall.


We then made our way up to the fort.  You could take the tram up to the fort but we decided to walk.  On the way up there we found two slides side by side and decided to have fun on one of them.  It was a pretty big slide.  If I were a kid I might have been a little afraid to go down it.   Here is my husband on the slide.


Here is my husband on a big gun at the fort.  There were a lot of people up here.  We were able to see the port below and also off in the distance you could see the airport.


As you can see this is a pretty big fort.


This is my favorite picture.  If you notice someone added a comment “Shit My Camera”  I laughed when I saw this.


We then made our way back to the subway (which was very clean) and on the way up to Parc Güell.  On our way there we found the largest vending machine we have ever seen.


Parc Güell reminded me of a Dr. Seuss book. This park was designed by Gaudi (the same guy who designed all the sites we saw on day one).  He actually moved into a house built up here.  He did not design the house.  He lived there from 1906 to 1926.  Here are several pictures of the park

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This is the entrance and the top of one of the houses below.  Neither of these is a house Gaudi lived in.



There is a Lizard in the front of the park and seating above that.  It was a beautifully sunny day and the people were all out and about.

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We then found an arched walkways.  They are considered viaducts.  It was amazing that these were stones put in place.  I’m not sure how they were built but they were pretty great.  There was seating throughout them.

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In the picture below you can see the communications tower that was built in 1992 to transmit television coverage of the 1992 Olympics that were held in Barcelona.


After all of this walking we were hungry and went to get Tapas on La Rambla. Now mind you we hadn’t eaten since breakfast and I do not recommend doing tapas this way but we were starving and just had the tapas as dinner.  I do believe the wait staff was laughing at us because we spend over $70 Euro on Tapas (what can I say we like to eat).  We did have two drinks each though.  Besides the tapas were really good and a work of art.  Here are some picture of the tapas.  Mind you this is not everything we ate.

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wpid-Barcelona-2013-2-108.jpg            wpid-Barcelona-2013-2-113.jpg

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I had one final place I wanted to go and my husband was kind enough to go with me.  We went back to La Sagrada Familia so I could take a picture of it at night with the reflection in the pool across the street.  I really wish the cranes were gone.  I guess I only have to wait 13 years to get a picture without the cranes.

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We left the next day without any issues with the flight.  It was a great trip and we are already planning on going back.  I definitely want to go into La Sagrada Familia and also want to spend some time at the beach.

Until next time…..

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A Two Day Trip to Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is a hard place for us to fly to since his airline only flies there seasonally.  We decided last year that this was one of the places we wanted to get to this years.  The season for Barcelona opens in April so we decided to head out there on April 14 when there were plenty of seats on the plane.  The flight out there was uneventful.  We got to Barcelona and took a cab from the airport to the hotel, we were unable to check into the hotel but thankfully they stored our luggage and we were off to walk around the city.


It was a gorgeous day in Barcelona.  It started out a little cold but warmed up throughout the day.


It is said that this statue of Columbus is pointing the wrong way not towards the New World but towards his home in Italy.


We walked across this bridge there is a mall on the other side and lots of boats in the port.  The bridge rotates to let boats come in and out of the Harbor.


Don’t know if this was a water fountain or for water for your dog.  This was on La Rambla.  La Rambla is a famous pedestrian street that has restaurants and shops all long the way.


We ventured in the La Boqueria.  It is a famous market in Barcelona they sell food, fresh meat, vegetables, drinks anything you can think of food wise they sell it here.  We had some sandwiches and then these babies.  They were bread with meat.  Yum.


They also had lots of candy


We also had this, it was chorizo and french fries.  I don’t know what the little egg is but I believe I am allergic to it.  It was the only weird thing I ate and I broke out in hives later that night.  I told my husband he was trying to kill me because he offered me the egg instead of eating it himself.  Now I know he was just being a gentleman but I couldn’t help telling people he tried to kill me.


This is the Casa de Punxes it was not designed by Gaudi but it was still a beautiful building.


This is Casa Batllo, translated to House of Bones.  The outside is supposed to look like a skeleton and the roof is supposed to look like a dragon.  We did not go inside of the building as it was over 20 euro per person to go in.



This is Casa Mila another one of Gaudi’s buildings. It has a big courtyard in the middle and has nine levels.


We then went to the most famous Gaudi Building La Sagrada Familia it is a very famous church and is now a minor Basilica.  They have been building this church designed by Gaudi since 1882 and it is not scheduled to be completed for another 13 years.  There are cranes all around the place and it is open to the public (again 20 euro to get in (we did not go in)).  The line was around the block and was barely moving.  I have seen pictures of the inside and it looks beautiful.  Next time we go there we will be going inside. When the church is completed it will be the tallest church in the world.


Here you can see the old construction and new construction side by side.


There are scenes in the church from the bible.  It is an amazing building to look at.  Every place you look is different and interesting.  wpid-Barcelona-2013-2-43.jpg



We then walked down to the Arc de Triomphe.  I didn’t know there was one in Barcelona also.


Afterwards we stopped by the harbor again and had something to drink.  I had water and we sat down this is when I started to get itchy.  We went back to the hotel room and I noticed my hives.  I took an antihistamine and slept for about two hours.  We then went back out to get some dinner.  wpid-Barcelona-2013-2-52.jpg

The sun started setting as we were walking.  We made our way to the beach.  As you may know people eat dinner late in Barcelona.  As we were walking to the beach we saw a lot of joggers at around 8 at night.  We had dinner on the beach and a nice restaurant.  Dinner was excellent and walking back the W Hotel was lit up so beautifully I had to take a picture.


We went back to the hotel and on the way back we still saw lots of joggers at 10pm.  We were quite surprised that people were still out and about.  It was great day in Barcelona and we fell in love with the city while we were there.

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Happy Birthday To My Husband A Trip to Amsterdam

So the day before my husbands birthday he was in Philadelphia working.  That day he received a call for the flight to Amsterdam for that evening.  Thankfully I was thinking he would get a trip somewhere and decided to pack my bag.  I ended up catching the 3:30 flight from Jax headed to Philly.  Unfortunately the weather was pretty nasty in Jax and we were delayed for about and hour on the tarmac.  Well fortunately the plane took off and I landed in Philly just as the flight was boarding.  I walked up to the gate agent and said I was flying non rev to Amsterdam.  She said they had no non revs signed up.  I showed them my boarding pass and they told me that the system said the flight from Jax was cancelled.  I said well I’m here so it wasn’t.  They were able to rebook me on the flight.  I was quite grateful.  My husband was glad I made the flight because I had been texting him before I left Jax about the delays.  The flight itself was uneventful.  Now we were just in Amsterdam late last year but I do love the city and enjoy going.

When we got to the hotel we did our usual and headed out.  Needless to say it was pretty chilly there and thankfully we each had our jackets and I had gloves and a scarf.  This picture is near a canal near the hotel.


There are many houseboats on the canals of Amsterdam.  Most European houses that

I’ve seen are pretty compact.


Some are a little larger.  This one looks like it may have window on the bottom half.


Sometimes they park their bicycles out side of their house boats.  Do you see the small bike on the left hand side of the photo.


Sometimes the boats don’t look very good.  This one needed someone with a bucket to help it out.


We walked over to the where the I Amsterdam sign is and I thought this was pretty cool.  They give you blankets so when you sit outside you can be under a blanket.


They were out ice skating.  One of the way kids learn to drive in Amsterdam while sitting in a chair being pushed by someone.  Do you see the dad man pushing the child on a chair.


Of course I could not get a clear shot of the I Amsterdam sign.  So I settled for one with all the people on it. That man on the left hand side was in the way but since it was his birthday I let him stay in the picture.

We then sat down outside in the cold and had waffles.  This one is mine.  Yum.


Here I am taking a picture of my waffle


And then eating it.


It was good.  While we were eating out waffles it began to snow.



I liked this shot because it looks like the car is on top of the boat.  (By the way it just kept snowing)


The cow decided to come out of the window and enjoy the snow.


This is one of my favorite houses.  It’s so slim and crooked.


Here are some flower bulbs.   Holland is famous for their flowers especially Tulips.  We were strolling through the flower market in Amsterdam and I took many pictures of bulbs and flowers.

I don’t know what this is but it was pretty weird.


Of course Amsterdam being what it is I could not resist taking this picture.  We did walk by come coffee houses but did not go in.  You could actually smell the marijuana as you walked by.


Amsterdam is also famous for the Red Light District.  We did walk by but it was day time.  There were several women in the windows and many of the girls were either talking on their cell phones or what looked like playing games on them.  The Klop is what my husband calls the Dutch shoes of course they sell them everywhere.


Here is my husband eating fried mussels.  He really enjoyed them.  We also had some french fries with mayonnaise.


We were walking around more and then it started to snow again.  I mean really now.  We walked into a store to get out of the snow and this is what we walked back outside to.


We then walked over to a restaurant and had some coffee.



We then decided we were going to take the train over to my husband Aunt and Uncle’s house in Leiden to get out of the snow.  We got our train tickets and hopped on.  It was very easy to figure out where we were going.  The trains were extremely clean and they also had wi-fi.


This was taken outside the window of the train.  I couldn’t catch the windmill because I was facing the wrong way and wan’t prepared and then we never did pass one.


We had dinner at his Aunt and Uncle’s house and then went to his cousins house for coffee.  Afterwards we made our way back to the hotel and had quite a walk from the train to the hotel but we got to see the neighborhoods in snow.  In the morning we were ready for our flight back home.  Here is what we saw outside of our hotel room window.


It was going to be a beautiful day in Amsterdam and we were leaving.


We got to the plane and had uneventful boarding.  About halfway through the flight one of the flights came to me and said we were flying over Greenland.  This is what it looked like outside of the airplane window.




It was an amazing view I probably took about 100 pictures of this alone.  All in all it was a great birthday for my husband.  (At least that’s what he told me).

Our next trip was to Barcelona.  We spent two days there.  I will post these soon.

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Puerto Rico – A day at the beach and Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve

So we started the day and we were going to go to Vieques.  We actually went out there and bought the ferry ticket.  While waiting for the ferry we realized that we would need a car on the other end and that the ferry that did carry cars across had already gone.  While talking to others it was about $30 for a cab ride to the beach.  Well we nixed this plant and went to the beach instead.   This is the Conquistador Hotel we did not stay there but there is a vernacular that goes from the hotel to the beach.  This is by the ferry.


Saw this boat by the ferry.  I guess they won’t be using it for a while.


Have I shown you a picture of a coconut tree.  Here is one.


After deciding that we didn’t want to go to Vieques we went looking for the Nature Reserve but it was closed.  So, we headed to the beach instead.  On the way back from the beach we ran into this guy near the condo.


Thank fully I have a good camera and was able to catch him (with my camera that is).  By the way I didn’t take any pictures at the beach.


The Nature Reserve is interesting because you have to buy your tickets ahead of time and they only have certain times that you can go.  When we got there (it’s kind of a hidden driveway) we pulled in behind one car.  It is gated to get into the Reserve and the gate was closed.  We were there a little early and cars started pulling in behind us.  They actually do not let you into the gated area until the tour is getting ready to start.  You can go in as a walk in but you take your chances that it’s not full.  Here is my husband on a giant rope spiderweb.


While waiting for the tour to start we saw this Iguana in a tree he was just lounging.


At first we didn’t notice him.


We then got in a Trolley type vehicle and they drove us around the Reserve.  The Reserve has seven different ecosystems.  There is a beach,  a bioluminescent bay, offshore coral reefs and a mangrove area.  The first thing we saw was another Iguana and then our guide (here he is) informed us about the different areas around the Reserve.


First we went to the lighthouse.  Inside we got to see different creatures that are around Puerto Rico.  I’m not sure how many of you are aware but Iguana’s are not from Puerto Rico they were brought in.




Here is one of the creatures from around the water.  I wasn’t going to touch them but I actually held one in my hand.




The coral was amazing.  There are so many different kinds and I could have spent hours here taking pictures.


Here’s some coralwpid-puerto-rico-indio-86.jpg





This was the beach by the coral.  The rocks were a bit slippery.



Here is the mangrove area.



And here is the gorgeous beach.  I wish we had brought our bathing suits.



This is the Bioluminescent Bay.  They do tours here at night.  You cannot swim in here like in the tour we took in La Parguera


Here is the lighthouse as seen from the Bioluminescent Bay.


This is the tree the Iguana was on.


This is an amazing tour and well worth the money.  This was also our last day in Puerto Rico.  The next morning we got on a plane and headed home without any real incident.  We ended up having to change our flight to a later one because the earlier one was full.  We landed in Philadelphia without any issues but had to stay the night in Philly because there were not seats available on the flight home.  All in all it was a great vacation.  If you would like to go to Puerto Rico and need to find any of these places feel free to ask me and I will get you all the information I can.  Also, if you would like to stay in the condo we stayed in I can give you that information also.

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Puerto Rico – Castillo San Felipe del Morro and the Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery

We headed to old San Juan again this time to visit the Santa Maria Magdalena De Pazzis Cemetery.  This is a really big Cemetery with lots of mausoleums.  I didn’t take nearly as many pictures as my sister did but it was an interesting place to go to.  


There was a small part in the back with some caskets there.  Not sure what happened to the bodies but not my business.  This cemetery is right near the water and my husband walked around the back there.




I love the fort in the background.



Some of the graves are new and in great condition but some of them are not.  This one had fallen over


It has always amazed me how much money is probably spent on these.  Some of them are really amazing.  I liked this one very much. wpid-puerto-rico-indio-33.jpg

The sculpturing is amazing


We then went up headed up to El Morro.  On the way there we saw a few cruise ships coming in.    


We then headed up to the fort.  I had not been here since I was about 13 or so.  Quite obviously nothing has changed much in the past 30 years. wpid-puerto-rico-indio-41.jpg






They actually had a cake of the fort.  It was pretty cool.  This is the outside.


And this is the inside.


After the fort we walked around and got some coffee.


We then left as we were leaving we drove by some of the cruise ships.  I was able to take a few quick shots.



Ok there should be one more blog of Puerto Rico and then we are off to Amsterdam.

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Puerto Rico – Luquillo Beach, La Cueva del Indio and Bioluminescent Bay Tour

Ok so I’m still on Puerto Rico and I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted.  I would like to finish up Puerto Rico and I think I should be done in 3 posts.  In looking forward we were in Amsterdam back in February and we went to Barcelona in April.  I’m a little behind from last year’s travel as I didn’t go anywhere in March but I really can’t complain.  Ok so now to get two more days in Puerto Rico.  We went to the Beach on the first day and on the second day here we went to La Cueva del Indio and we also did the Bioluminescent Bay Tour in La Parguera.

We went to the Beach in Luquillo which was the town we were staying in.  We did have to drive to the beach but it was only about 8 minutes or so.  We could see the beach from our condo but we still had to drive there.  The beach itself was beautiful.  Here are my husband and sister in the water.


It was a beautiful day out.


The mountain in the photo is El Yunque.


My husband and I were trying to take a picture with the beach in the background and we got photo bombed by my sister. Man she has great timing


We did get one good shot in


Before she got us again.

Here I am with my mom and my sister


The next day we went to La Cueva del Indio.  This place was great.  First off it was free to go in and you only had to pay for parking. And guess what parking was only $2.  We did have to drive up and around the top of the island to get there and we drove passed it and then had to turn around.  Thankfully we didn’t go far.  Just as we past it I said there it is.  Needless to say the GPS was not that good in this part of the island.  Also there was big bicycle ride going on in a small town so we had to be careful of the bicyclists.

The people who run this place say they have filmed Pirates of the Caribbean here.  I haven’t checked the credits but if you come to Puerto Rico I highly recommend this place.  You can find it on trip advisor if you read the comments from the people who have been there the directions are in the comments.



You can climb down here there is a very rickety looking ladder but we did see some people go down it.  We didn’t go down it though.  Maybe if we get back there I will.  I feel as if I missed something and should have been more adventurous and gone down.






My husband holding on to my sister while she was taking pictures over the edge.







I’m not sure what the alien face is in the picture below but I saw a smaller one in the rocks also.




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I took a lot more pictures if you want to see them let me know and I will post them on flickr or smug mug.  We then headed over to Cueva Ventana which is a cave that overlooks a valley but it was closed as they were replacing the steps in there I guess to many people were slipping and falling.  So then as a last minute thing we call the Bioluminescent Bay Tour and made reservations.  We had to be there by 6 and we had to drive half way around the island.  So we rushed and just barely made it in time before they were supposed to start.  But of course you know how it is you get there and then you have wait anyway.  I don’t have any pictures of the Bioluminescent because none of our cameras could get pictures that good in the dark but I will tell you I’m not a swimmer and neither is anyone else in my family, my husband on the other hand swims like a fish, but we all got in the water with the life vests (except him) and it was pretty cool.  At first it’s hard to see them but then after being there a while you see them.  When my sister got out of the water I could see them in her hair.  Kind of made me want to take a shower afterwards because they plankton.  Here are a few pictures when we were on the boat.  I should have brought my tripod.




It was a gorgeous sunset and we had a blast.  The only problem was that afterwards we had to drive half way around the island to get back to our condo.  I believe we drove around the entire island that day.

Categories: Flight Attendant, Luquillo, Photography, Puerto Rico, Travel, Trip Advisor, Vacation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Puerto Rico – Bacardi Plant and San Juan

So we started the day out late because we wanted to go to the San Sebastian Festival at night.  We didn’t leave the condo till about 1pm or so.  Our first stop of the day was to head over to the Bacardi Plant.  Obviously, they make the Bacardi Rum there.  Fun fact for you though the Rum is made in Puerto Rico and it is bottled in Jacksonville Florida.  When we arrived at the plant we walked over to a big tent.  In this tent they give you two tickets each for free drinks (score).  You then choose the language of your tour and take a sightseeing trolley to the main building.  Upon entering the building they give you a brief introduction to Bacardi.  Here is the building on the outside.


We were allowed to take pictures in the first room they then showed us a film afterwards and we then went into another room we were not allowed to take pictures there either.


After getting the history of Bacardi and learning how they make rum we were able to smell different types of rum and then went into a bar room where we were able to take pictures.   He told us about some of the drinks and how they were created.


We then went outside to the big tent where we were able to get two drinks.  Here we are enjoying our drinks.

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We then went into the souvenir shop and purchased some stuff.  After the tour we headed to Old San Juan for the San Sebastian Festival.  Unfortunately everyone else was headed in that direction also.  I swear it took us about an hour to get from Condado to Old San Juan normally a 5 minute drive.  Also, unfortunately for me I had to use the bathroom.  When we got closer my sister and I jumped out of the car and went to Sr. Frogs.  Now of course the restrooms are for patrons only, so we headed to the bar and she went to order a drink as I went to the bathroom. Well when I came out of the bathroom the bartender had still not even acknowledged her.  The bar wasn’t even crowded.  So we decided to leave.  Mission accomplished.  We then found my mother and husband still driving around looking for parking.  We jumped back in the car and continued looking for parking.  After about 15 minutes we finally found one that was a good walk away from from the festival.  We walked back to Old San Juan and looked around the festival.  We went in various shops and had some snacks and purchased some stuff from the street vendors.  Here is a picture from the car as we were still looking for a parking.  This street was blocked off and there was no room to turn around so my husband had to back up down the block.  He’s a much better driver than I am because I cannot go backwards for that long in a straight ling.


After walking around we were hungry so we stopped in La Vaca Brava.  The food was very good, here is a piece of pork that both my mother and I ordered.  It was really good and we both ended up taking some home.


After dinner we made the long walk back to the car and then went back to the condo.  Tomorrow is a beach day.  Yay

Categories: Condo Rental, Flight Attendant, flights, Photography, Puerto Rico, San Juan, Travel, Vacation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Puerto Rico – El Yunque

So we started day two heading to El Yunque. El Yunque is the rain forest in Puerto Rico. We started up the drive heading to the scenic locations. The first stop was a scenic overlook. You can see the beach from here.


We then walked up to a small waterfall. There were plenty of people here taking pictures.


This is down on the other side.


My husband and my sister decided to climb up a bit closer to the waterfall. Here she is taking a picture of him. Then she went to join him.




We then got back in the car and made our way up the hill.   There we came across a look out tower.


We took a picture from the top.   It was a very bright day as you can see. 


We then made our way down to La Mina Falls.  Here is one of the leaves on the way.  


Here is one of the pictures I took of the falls.  I kept my camera in the bag most of the time as I didn’t want to drop it near the falls.


We then made our way back up to the top of El Yunque and had some food.  We then made our way back down and called it a day.  The walk out to La Mina falls felt longer than it was and it was narrow and very hilly.  All in all it was a great day.

Categories: Photography, Puerto Rico, Travel, Vacation | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Vacation in Puerto Rico

So the year began with a vacation to Puerto Rico. We were originally going to leave on Thursday the 17th of January but the flights started filling up. I was able to talk to the woman we were renting the condo from and she was able to let us come few days early so we arrived Tuesday evening instead. The place we rented was called Casa Valeriana in Luquillo.  I found it on Trip Advisor. It was a really great place to stay very private and in a gated community and about 5 minutes from the Luquillo Beach.  Below are some pictures of where we stayed.






The owner was very nice because we flew in around 10:30 pm and by the time we got the car rental and drove over there it was almost midnight.  She waited for us and gave us a quick tour and all we needed to enjoy our stay.

The next day we went to Old San Juan.  I had not been there since I was 15.  Actually, I hadn’t been to Puerto Rico since I was 15 either.  The first thing we did was eat.  We went to El Jibarito it is a small place and the menu’s are handwritten but the food was really good and not very expensive.  We then toured the town.   This guy below was a decoration in El Jibarito.


I love the colors of the houses in Old San Juan.



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We then headed in the direction of the Fort El Morro.




I didn’t know that the City of San Juan had so many cats but there were many of them lounging around.




We didn’t stay to late in the city and left before 7 and our parking was not even 2 dollars it was great.  No bull.  Speaking of bull here’s a picture of my husband and my sister with a bull.


Puerto Rico is port for cruise ships.  As we were driving by I quickly snapped this picture of one of the ships.


We went to El Yunque the Rainforest on our second day there I will post those pictures shortly.

Categories: Airplane, Airport, Car Rental, Flight Attendant, flights, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Photography, Puerto Rico, San Juan, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Quick Recap of 2012

I figured I would give a quick recap of the places we went to in 2012 and then give a list of the places we hope to get to in 2013.

We started the year on a family vacation in February with my mom, husband, daughter and I going to Paris, France we were there for about 5 days or so and though it was very cold and we froze our butts we still had a blast.


In February I also went to my cousin’s reception in NY (technically New Jersey)


Then in April my husband and I went to Rome for a quick trip.


On the way back to Rome the plane landed in London for them to take a bag off.  My husband says that counts as me being in London but we never got off of the plane so I don’ t count it.

Our next trip was then to Madrid.  It was completely unplanned as I had no luggage with me when he called and said he got a trip to Madrid.  Somehow I made it up to Philly and on the plane in time.


Our next trip was to Frankfurt in May, where we rented a car and drove to Stuttgart.  The trip was great the rental car was a disaster but all in all well worth the trip.


I then went to Washington DC and met my mom, sister and godmother there. wpid-washington-1.jpg

Then the 3 of us took the Megabus back to NY and we went to a street fair that Saturday.


We then went back to Frankfurt on our Anniversary.  This wasn’t exactly the way we wanted to spend our 1st anniversary but at least we were together.


Our next trip was the ideal anniversary trip, we went to Venice and had a romantic two days there.


Then my husband picked up a trip to Munich which we had been hoping to get to all season long.


I then flew to Denver Colorado to visit my friend Natalia


Then for my daughter’s birthday we went to NY.  She had a hard time getting out there but thanks to my great husband that waited for the kids and drove them to NY from Philadelphia she was able to be with us for her birthday.


As the year was winding down I was coming to my last 3 trips of the year each a week apart.  It was a lot of travel and almost too much for me.  We started in the Netherlands for 3 days the first weekend of October.


Then it was back to New York the next weekend for the Scott Kelby World Wide Photowalk on Roosevelt Island with my mom and sister


Then the last trip of the year was to Zurich, Switzerland.


It was an exciting year and hopefully 2013 will be just as exciting.  Our first trip is to Puerto Rico for vacation with my mom, sister and husband next week.  The other places we are hoping to get to are as follows: Athens Greece, Aruba, St Maarten, Amsterdam, Belize or Costa Rica, Brussels, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Zurich and Munich again, Barcelona, London and San Francisco.

Hopefully we will be able to visit most of them.  Wish me luck and I hope to be posting a lot this year.

Categories: Airplane, Airport, Amsterdam, Car Rental, Colorado, Denver, Flight Attendant, flights, France, Frankfurt, Germay, Italy, Madrid, Munich, New York, Paris, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Photography, Porsche, Rome, Roosevelt Island, Scheveningen, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Travel, Venice, Zurich | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Zurich Switzerland (the last trip of 2012)

Well back in October I went on my last trip in 2012.  With the holiday’s approaching and flights getting more crowded, me being almost out of vacation days and my partners at work having days left that they had to take I figured it was fine that this was my last trip.  We landed in Zürich in the morning and a day that was supposed to be in the 60’s ended up not being at all.  We first went to the hotel where we changed and headed out.  My husband had been to Zürich several times but always on a Sunday when all of the shops were closed.  This day was a Monday so everything was open.  We headed out and hoped that the foggy day would clear so that I could see the Swiss Alps from Lake Zürich.


The town where the Hotel is located is Regensdorf which is a short train ride from Zürich.  The first thing we did was walk to the train station.


Not sure what kinds of berries these are but the color was great.  As was the coloring in the red tree in the back of the next picture.


Regensdorf is a quaint little town.  When we got to the train station we saw an SAP building.  This is the software we use at my job so we I had to take a picture of it.


This is the train we took to go into Zürich.  The trains are very different from the one’s in NY.  I wish I had thought to take a picture of the inside.


This is the first sight when leaving the train station.  It was pretty cold at this point.  I don’t think it ever made it out of the 50’s and still foggy.


All of the main train stations in Germany and Switzerland are called Hauptbahnhof (German for main station).  All of the ones I’ve seen had statues and such on top.  Here is a picture of the statues on top of the train station in Zürich.


I’m not sure what this building is but I liked it when walking past it on the way to Lake Zürich.


We made our way to Lake Zürich here is a picture of the River Limmat which is downstream of Lake Zürich and a swan on the river.



Here is a park that was uphill of the River.  We walked up there to get a view.  There were  a lot of pigeons in this park and they were drinking from some water statues.



Here is a view of the river from up above.


I loved this house, not sure if you can see the ladder that leads to the door way and it is pretty thin on the front half.



After making out way to Lake Zürich we were going to take a boat ride on the lake.  We missed the first boat and had to wait about an hour and a half for the second boat.  As you can see it still isn’t clear enough to see the Swiss Alps.




We walked partially around the lake to take in some of the fall colors.






As you can see the sky was clearing up on this side of the lake but not enough to see the Alps.  This is us on the boat.  The views were beautiful and it was pretty cold.  We were both freezing and tired at this point and sitting on a boat for an hour and a half was not the best idea but we made it through.


Here are some pictures from along the lake side.  It was a very scenic boat ride.




This is the Lindt Chocolate factory.  We should have gotten off the boat and gotten some but we didn’t.  Maybe next time.



After the boat ride we headed back to the train station so we could go back to Regensdorf.  Away from the Lake it was pretty clear but I walked away from Zürich not having seen the Swiss Alps.




After we got back to the hotel we decided to walk over to a restaurant for dinner.



It was a pretty long walk but very scenic.  As you can see the fog was starting to come back in (not that it ever really left).  This the restaurant were we ate.  We then had to walk back from the restaurant in the dark.  There was one section where we had to walk through the woods and we were using our cell phones for light.


All in all it was a good trip though the weather was a little colder than I would have liked.  Hopefully the next time we go back I will be able to see the Swiss Alps.

Categories: Airport, Flight Attendant, flights, Photography, Switzerland, Travel, Zurich | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scott Kelby’s World Wide Photowalk

I have done the Scott Kelby worldwide photowalk 3 years in a row.  The first year I did it was a walk leader in St. Augustine.  Last year with the flight benefits I have I chose to fly to NY to do the walk with my mother and my sister in Staten Island NY.  Neither my mother nor I had been to Staten Island before which is pretty bad considering we had both lived in NY for such a long time.

Well this year I decided to fly up there again and we signed on to the walk the day it opened.  We picked Roosevelt Island this year.  Of course once again my mother and I had never been to Roosevelt Island either.  My sister on the other hand has been there via her job on several occasions.   I flew in on Friday with no issues.  I have learned that is I get to work at 5 and work till 1 than I don’t have any issues with flights to NY.  The walk started at noon (which is late but it worked for us).  We headed downtown and took the tram across.

I took this picture after we got across to the other side.  I loved the color contrast.


The tram goes across next to this bridge.


This is one of the trams.  There were two going across.  The good thing is that you can use your metro card from the subway and it is a free transfer on the tram.  The day was pretty cold and we were bundled up quite nicely.  The walk was pretty good and we first hopped on the bus to get to the other side of the island.  I believe the bus was a quarter.


Here are several of my shots from the walkwpid-Kelby-Photowalk-Roosevelt-Island-5.jpg










This is the picture I submitted to the walk.  Needless to say I didn’t win.











This picture was taken in the subway station.


I had a great time in NY with the photowalk.  I’m not sure where we will walk next year.  Maybe I can talk my mom and sister into flying somewhere else to do the walk next year.

Categories: Airport, Flight Attendant, New York, Photography, Roosevelt Island, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, or Happy Holiday’s which ever you prefer.  I am grateful for my followers and those of you that are interested in my blog.  I’m grateful for my family and friends whether they are here or not.  The holiday’s are rough for flight attendants and their families as the airlines are still flying and some may not be able to spend time with their families.  We just have to remember that this is the what we signed on for and this enables us to get all those free flights.  So have a happy day with your family and give them big hugs and kisses (especially if you travelled a long way to see them).  Also, if you happen to work in an industry that also works during the holiday’s remember this is only one day out of the year.

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The Netherlands – Scheveningen (Day 3)

So on our last day in The Netherlands we went to Scheveningen.  It was a gorgeous day in Holland.  The sun was out and the beach was crowded (though there wasn’t anyone in the water).  The ships were probably headed to the port of Rotterdam.