My Own Travels
January 13, 2018

As we wind down the year and look to make resolutions for the coming year, one thing you should be thinking about is a vacation. You need that time to relax, enjoy something slightly different and out of your usual, and come back excited to live your life. To get you inspired, we have created a list of destinations for you to consider.

Sunny California Can Revitalize You

California is one of the hottest destinations in the continental United States. California offers rich history, amazing views, tantalizing wines, and some luxurious stays that will soothe you and recharge you. Visit Carlsbad to get the most out of what the state has to offer. You can spend your time shopping and enjoying the ever-popular Legoland. For a comforting connection with the landscape, visit Elfin  Forest to incorporate some dark and quiet woods. Flower fields is a fantastic stop to see 50-acres of rainbow-colored flowers that will spark the artist hidden within.

Get Your Adventure Fix In Egypt

Dahab is a small fishing town on the southeast coast of Sinai Peninsula. It has become affectionately known as the Egyptian Riviera. Newly embracing visitors for the last 20 years, Dahab is best known for its incredible diving experiences. The Blue Hole is situated in the Red Sea that is a submarine sinkhole that reaches a maximum depth of 100 m and features a tunnel. This diving hotspot will allow you to seek out wildlife in the coral. If diving isn’t quite your deal but you want to see the fish up close and personal, try a glass bottom boat tour that will reveal a whole new world before you. Of course, you can always opt for a camel ride or quad bike riding to get your adventure fix.

Truly Relax On An Island

The Maldives is the one place everyone should visit to get the most luxurious relaxation possible. The south Asian island is located in the Indian Ocean just southwest of Sri Lanka and India. The island is simply one of the most gorgeous places in the world that will instantly relax you. You can spend your day just lounging on the white sand and crystal blue waters, get a massage or visit the National Museum to learn a bit of history. If your adventurous spirit kicks in, you will find no shortage of exciting things to do. Snorkeling and diving companies are in abundance to introduce to you the amazing reefs, coral, and wildlife that you definitely won’t see at home. If you want to enjoy island life like the locals, visit Male Fish Market to get the best in local fare.

Take A Detour North

If sunshine and sand are really not what you are interested in, make Reykjavik your next vacation spot. This is a great spot for the history buffs who love to learn about new cultures and areas. Reykjavik has so much in Viking history that you can spend a week visiting all of the museums and monuments to learn more. Mountain helicopter tours are available to get a birds-eye view of the town and the mountains that grace the area. The Golden Circle is tops for an amazing tour experience, so much so that it hits every top list and is on the lips of everyone who has visited. It consists of three stunning locations; Geysir Geothermal  Area, Gullfoss Waterfall, and Thingvellir National Park. To get the best in local fare, check out Kol Restaurant to eat recipes cultivated with local ingredients and enjoy the same delicious foods the locals do.

When considering your next vacation, make sure to choose a place that not only fits your budget but fits your personality. A vacation in 2018 is in order, you have worked hard and you deserve it. 

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January 4, 2018

I’ve been going back and forth Japan since I was young, but this is the first time that I visited Kyoto. It was once the capital of Japan and it is located on the island of Honshu. The city is famous for its numerous classical Buddhist temples, as well as beautiful gardens, imperial palaces, Shinto shrines and traditional wooden houses. If you are looking to experience the real Japanese traditions; kaiseki dining, geisha, tea ceremonies, this is the place to go.

Our first destination was Arashimaya Bamboo Forest. It was a Saturday and we left Osaka at around 9 am. It was a bit late already so, the bus driver informed us that the traffic might delay us. True enough, we got to Kyoto at around 11 am. There were some activities going on and we saw some people riding the rickshaw and I supposed they were headed to the Bamboo Grove as well.

The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is one of the top sights in Kyoto. The long line of towering bamboo trees is amazing and it’s like you’ve stepped in another world when you are amidst these gigantic bamboos. We didn’t get to explore the grove as we were short of time and we needed to head back to our next destination.

There were too many people on that day and you have to wait a while before you can cross the famous Arashimaya Bridge.

You’ll never grow hungry in Arashimaya as street food vendors are all over the place. It was almost lunch time when we got there, but instead of eating in a restaurant, my family decided to try out the street food.

 

We all went back to the bus with happy tummies then headed to Ryōan-ji, a Zen temple located in northwest Kyoto. While at the bus, we noshed on some Cherry Blossom flavored Mochi and Chestnuts. See how big their chestnuts are.

Their chestnuts are very sweet and soft. So far away from the ones we buy here. The best I’ve tasted!

Ryōan-ji Temple

What I love about autumn is the beautiful colors.

After exploring Ryōan-ji Temple, we headed to Kinkakuji Temple. So watch for it on my next post.

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December 14, 2017

I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I updated this blog. I’ve been so busy and have been to a lot of places that I hardly found the time to sit down and write. Anyway, I left for Osaka on November 23 with the whole family, including my parents and my sister.

We’ve been to Japan many times, but this is the first time that we are visiting Osaka (except for my Mom and husband). I was able to book us an adjoining room at Hotel Keihan Universal City, a hotel very near Universal Studios.

The hotel is situated within the vicinity of the Universal Studios and it’s just about a 6-minute walk. There is a shopping mall, specialty stores, convenient stores and many restaurants around the hotel. Several hotels are also within the area, but I chose Hotel Keihan because their rates are more affordable. There are actually two Hotel Keihans. The other one is Hotel Keihan Universal Tower. I believe the rates are more pricey there.

The check in counter.

Hotel lobby

If you want to skip the ticket lines at Universal Studios, you can purchase your tickets from this booth.

They also have a buffet restaurant on the 3rd floor of the hotel, right beside the check in counter.

Aside from the vending machine room in the lobby, you can also find one at every floor.

We stayed at the 14th floor and this is the fire escape.

Each floor also has this screen, so you’ll know where the other amenities of the hotel are located, i. e. the laundry room, smoking area, restaurant, etc. There is also a different theme for each floor. On the 14th floor, the theme is Road Runner.

As I mentioned earlier, we got an adjoining room and this is how it looked like.

They also have a baggage express service where you can have your luggage shipped to your next destination. We availed of this service when we checked out because we took the bullet train going to Tokyo. We sent 13 baggages and we paid for ¥17,000. Fair enough considering the convenience of travelling with a big group with two kids and a visually impaired husband.

Each exit also has an alcohol dispenser. This, for me, is a big plus.

Overall, we had a very nice and comfortable stay at the hotel. If you are looking for a great place to stay in Osaka for your family, this is highly recommended.

Address6 Chome-2-78 Shimaya, Konohana Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 554-8585, Japan

Please make sure to check http://www.foundationrepairssanantoniotx.com/, the repair company that most hotels use now a days.

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December 14, 2017

Moving into a new apartment is an exciting experience, the other day I moved out to a new one and I lost my keys but it was ok because I called the Locksmith Westchester NY and he took care of everything real fast. Whether it’s your first place after college or an upgrade from a smaller space, it is always enjoyable to get everything moved in at the new address.

Of course, it takes more than just the placement of belongings to get your new home up and functioning. There are a lot of things you’ll need to be done along the way, and many of them have to be done right in the middle of your work in getting everything else moved in. Add in the possibility of a deadline to get out of the old place and it’s no surprise that moving is such a stressful experience for some people.

Good organization can keep all this transitional activity from ruining the fun of the move. Get started with these ideas.

Getting Insurance

One of the nice things about renting an apartment is that you aren’t responsible for insuring it. But while it’s true that the property owner is responsible for any damage from weather, theft, or fire, it’s also true that your personal belongings are not covered by their policy. You need to insure those things yourself.

You may feel like coverage for your car and health are enough insurance payments in a month, but it can be well worth the investment to get renters insurance in your apartment. Even your yard-sale furniture would have to be replaced if lost, so make a plan.

Renter’s insurance is beneficial even if the apartment is furnished, because you still have clothes, electronics, kitchen appliances, and valuables like jewelry that will be covered in the event of a fire or natural disaster. And it will start to build insurance expenses into your personal budget, making room for homeowners’ insurance later on.

Make The Switch

There are a lot of things that will have to be changed over when you move. If you still use a landline, it will have to be relocated, and along with it, your broadband services like internet and television. Make sure you receive any utilities deposits that are due back to you, especially since you may have to put down new ones elsewhere.

You’ll also need to make changes in your mail. Your first step here should be to put in a forwarding order with the postal service, but you will still have to do a change of address with everyone you do business with. That includes creditors, the various schools you’ve attended, your employer, everyone.

Check Out Your Place

This may sound a little strange. You already got the grand tour, what’s left to discover? It can actually be quite a bit.

Depending on the type of place you’re renting, you may have access to spaces that can accommodate a basic home inspection. While it’s true that the upkeep of the structure isn’t your problem, there are also financial and safety concerns that can affect you.

A good first step is to check the plumbing for leaks. Before moving in, turn off all the water inside–not just at the faucets but at the valves inside the cabinets and behind the toilets. Write down the reading on your water meter. Check a day or so later and see if it has changed. If it has, there is water leaking out somewhere–water that you may be paying for.

Check batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. Ask if the locks have been changed, and make sure they latch solidly, if they haven’t been changed, try finding a company similar to the Locksmith services in Atlanta GA (http://www.unlockitlocksmith.com/). See if there are any loose windows, and check the breaker box for tripped circuits or other signs of electrical problems.

Moving into a new place is often a big step toward independent adult living. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of having a pool or a fitness center on site, and those amenities are great. But it’s more important to be financially sound and personally safe, so be sure you take care of all those other considerations as that new key jingles in your pocket.

 

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January 30, 2017

The past couple of months had me traveling to different places so, that explains the lack of posting here. And since it was the holiday season, my schedule had been super busy we had to hire Vogt RV Dealership. The Vogt family has been serving recreational enthusiasts of North Texas for over forty years. At Vogt, they a vast array of ultra light to ultra luxurious, new and pre-owned Rv’s where you will appreciate the quality of our employees and our selection of America’s finest manufactures. The second week of December, my family traveled to Tokyo and in the first and second week of January, we made two local travels; Batangas and Palawan. Let me tell you first about the towing company let’s leave Batangas and Palawan for another post.

We left on December 12 and Airbnb’ed in a cute little mansion in Shibuya. It’s been a long time since I last traveled to Japan and almost everything have changed, I wanted to travel there and found a good pair of speakers for my car and a friend gave me an advice, he said to me “this article tells you all you need to know” and then he gave me a good site to find some good speakers. Of course, I’m exaggerating! But really, those places that I loved before (btw, if you have been following my blog, you know that I’ve lived in Tokyo for one year), most of there are gone. This is the first time that my twin granddaughters have traveled and my oh my, the excitement in their faces is so priceless. From the plane ride going there (we took Ana Air by the way, and it was a great experience) to the plane ride going home, there was never a dull moment for the two.

It was already night time when we arrived, so we just had dinner in Minato-ku before we proceeded to the place we rented. Our Japanese friends who fetched us from Haneda Airport brought us to one of the best Okonomiyaki places in Tokyo, we were very happy with the reliable airport transfer service we were able to get. So there, take a look at the feast, we had during our first night.

We stayed at the Wine Apartment in Shibuya, a 15 minute walk from the Shibuya crossing and station. Dang! It’s only now that I realized I didn’t take photos of the mansion. Oh well. It’s a studio type mansion with 1 toilet and 1 bath, a small kitchen and dining area and a laundry room. The place could accommodate 8-10 persons. The owner, Kato San, even provided us with towels, toiletries and laundry detergents. I love the security features of the place and it was a very quiet community. Well, most residential places in Tokyo are quiet! It has been a long day for all of us, so everyone slept right away to prepare for the next day.

Getting around Shibuya was easy and we enjoyed window shopping at most of the stores that we passed by along the way. I even found a cute music store where they have a guitar center little rock ar. This was the guitar my son has been asking for when he was still so crazy about guitars.

We had lunch at the food plaza in Shibuya station, we were looking for pizza places for like 2 hours. I’ve been looking all over for some Yakitori and this where I found some. The cakes they had there were all amazing, we all had the same expression on our faces: these cakes look so good! How I wished I could sample all of them, luckily they had a vacuum sealer land, so they packed me some so I could try them later.

We spent the rest of the day in Shibuya and ate ramen for dinner. We got home a little early to catch up on some sleep. This is where I end my post now and will tell you about our Day 2 really soon. That’s the day we went to Tokyo Disneyland!!!

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