Tag Archive | travel

Athens #Greece day tour #tryitTuesday

TRY It Tuesday: Greece Edition


I know if you are like me, you are anxiously waiting until you can take your next trip.

If you are going to Athens, you are probably trying to decide which tour should you take.

I decided to purchase the Athens Half Day Tour on Viator.com

The tour was described:
Immerse yourself in the ancient sights of Athens on a private 4-hour sightseeing tour. The half-day excursion makes it easy as spinach pie to complete your Athens bucket list without breaking a sweat. Comfortable WiFi enabled transportation takes you to the Acropolis, Temple of Hephaestus, Panathenaic Stadium, and more. Get a taste of modern Greece with a viewing of the Changing of the Guard at Syntagma.

We will visit the world’s cradle of civilization, the ACROPOLIS, the temple of HEPHAESTUS, the ancient agora, the PANATHENAIC STADIUM and the Columns of Olympian ZEUS. We will watch the changing of the guards at SYNTAGMA and we will enjoy the wonderful ATHENS view reaching the sea from LYCABETTUS Hill.

I was excited.

The tour was super basic. And I’m using the “tour” loosely. You are essentially paying for a taxi driver to take you around to popular tourist sites. You still have to pay to see everything.
Entry to the Acropolis was 10Euros (because it was off season)

Entry to the Panathenaic Stadium was 5Euros

Our guide was nice but he didn’t speak a lot of English. He tried to make sure we enjoyed ourselves. But there were times when I gave up explaining what I wanted because he could not understand me.

I guess they don’t want you asking the driver any questions, lest you think he’s a tour guide. You are supposed to pay extra for a tour guide.

He picked us up at our downtown hotel and took us to as much as he could in 4 hours but traffic was a little crazy. We went to the ACROPOLIS, the PANATHENAIC STADIUM, and Columns of Olympian ZEUS.

We saw the changing of the guards at SYNTAGMA and then we took pictures with at LYCABETTUS Hill. I think we ran out of time to see the temple of HEPHAESTUS and the ancient agora.

TOW Final Word
All things considered, if you want to visit sites and have someone else worry about the transportation, this tour is for you. Other than that, I would suggest you pick a different tour.

Santorini Palace #tryitTuesday #travelpick

TRY It Tuesday: Greece Edition

Santorini Palace
https://santorinipalace.gr/

Since we were taking our dream vacation to Santorini Greece, I wanted to stay in a hotel that was in the well-known white building style. The room rates were reasonable enough that I decided to upgrade our room to an ocean view with a balcony.

That proved to be well worth the money. Our ocean view room was beautiful and I liked sitting on the balcony each morning.

I did not get in time to eat breakfast. I usually make an effort, but I read a lot of reviews that said the food was mediocre. So, I did not waste my time. We slept in each morning and walked into town for an early lunch.

Since it was late November, it was too cold to get in the pool. But it was relaxing to sit in the lounge chairs and soak up the sun.

The heater did not work well in the room. Maintenance tried to fix it but is was still a little chilly for us. The front desk did provide us with extra blankets and offered to change our room. Since we were only there 3 nights, we did not change rooms.

  • I loved the location of the Santorini Palace. It was centrally located for the entire island in my opinion.
    It was about a 10 minute walk to Fira (the island capital).
    The trail to walk to Oia is close as well. We did not do that but it is an option if you want.
    It was a 15 minute drive to Oia (famous for beautiful sunsets), 20 minute drive to Akrotiri (red sand beach), and 20 minute drive to Perissa (black sand beach)
  • I liked the quiet of the off season, but if you go during tourist season, be prepared for it to be crowded.

    Try It Tuesday – #Segwaytours #sandiego

    I was trying to decide what to choose for TRY IT TUESDAY and thought SEGWAY TOURS!

    Segway Tours – San Diego
    601 Pacific Hwy San Diego CA
    619-889-4326

    http://www.nationtours.com/

    I had to go to San Diego for a conference. On the last day, sessions finished earlier enough that I could go a short tour of the downtown San Diego via a segway. I wondered if this was going to be a mistake considering I am not the most graceful person. Honestly, I cannot believe I have made it to almost 4 decades and not broken any bones. At this point, I am trying to broken bone free!

    I chose the Little Italy and Waterfront tour. It took about 90 minutes. It cost $59 but if you have a large group, you can probably get a discount. I added the insurance in case I totalled my segway. At the time, I hoped I would not but, again, I was being realistic with myself. I will clip a corner in a minute.

    After a brief introduction about segway safety, we were off.

    The participants, with helmets firmly affixed, all headed single file down the sidewalk along the San Diego Embarcadero. We saw the entrance to the Gas Lamp district, went through a few parks, saw the PetCo baseball stadium, and finished our tour riding up along coast.

    Surprisingly, my feet got tired from way I had lean up and down to maneuver the segway. I did not expect that. Also surprising to me was that I was quite agile on my segway. I even posed as if I was Rose on the Titantic at one point. Afterwards, I called my husband and told him we have to do a segway tour on our next vacation.

    TOW Final Word: This was a fantastic way to see the downtown area and I am now hooked on segway tours! I cannot wait to do another in a different town.

    Try It Tuesday – #Travel Tuesday #orlandoFL #hotelpicks

    This is another Travel Edition of TRY IT TUESDAY !

    Caribe Royale Orlando
    8101 World Center Drive, Orlando FL 32821
    http://www.cariberoyale.com/

    Image result for Caribe Royale Orlando

    On our last trip to Disney World, we decided to stay at Caribe Royale. This is an all-suite hotel in Orlando, FL. I chose this location because it was close to Disney, had a free shuttle, and was centrally located to restaurants. Plus, it had free parking. #winning

    Image result for Caribe Royale Orlando

    We were in room 1840 which was facing the parking lot. Our view was mostly the tops of palm trees, which was fine with me. The suite was set up so when you walked in, you entered the sitting area, then the bathroom, and then bedroom. There are doors that close off each area from the rest. I liked that because it made the room seem like a mini apartment. The refrigerator and microwave were in the sitting area.

    Image result for Caribe Royale Orlando

    While we had our things spread out over the whole suite, but mostly stayed in the bedroom area. It was easier that way. The bed was so comfortable and had lots of pillows.

    Image result for Caribe Royale Orlando

    Side note: I got all these pictures from their website and the hotel looks exactly the same in person. That says a lot to me.

    We did not use any of the amenities because the main focus of our trip was going to Disney. From what I could tell, there was a nice, large pool where guest were enjoying themselves. There were several restaurants and sitting areas that were occupied every time I passed by them.

    Getting our tickets for the shuttle was easy. You have to reserve your shuttle by going to the Concierge desk at least 1 hour before the time you want to depart. The shuttle to go to Disney is free (technically it was included in the paid hotel fee). The reservation is only for the trip to Disney.

    You can take any return shuttle. We reserved the 9:30am shuttle and arrived at Disney’s Transportation and Ticketing center. From there we took the monorail to Epcot and were walking through the entrance gate at 9:50. Very easy!

    At the end of the day, we went to Disney Springs and decided not to return to the Disney’s Transportation and Ticketing center to catch the shuttle back to the hotel. We got a LYFT ride and it cost less than $10.

    You can obtain shuttles to go to other Orlando attractions, but there is an additional fee. Honestly, taking an Uber/Lyft would probably be cheaper depending on the size of your group because the shuttle fee is PER PERSON.

    TOW Final Word: Great hotel and loved the location. If you want to go to Disney, but not stay on property, this is the spot for you.

    Ramada Plaza New Yorker Hotel

    Ramada Plaza New Yorker Hotel

    481 8th Avenue, 34th St. & 8th Ave, New York City, NY 10001

    I booked my trip on Hotwire (of all places) and said I was looking for a 4 star hotel with double beds. I used Hotwire because I did not want to spend $300+ on a room. Every other website seemed to want to make me pay through the nose for a long weekend (but I digress).

    I chose the area I wanted (midtown Manhattan) and the price I wanted with the amenities I thought best – after paying my hotel was revealed: THE NEW YORKER HOTEL

    Fancy fancy! With taxes, we paid $155 per night in NYC in December! I thought it was a great deal for the hotel and the location in comparison to the other options we had.

    We arrived about 1 pm and I was prepared to have to wait until check-in at 3pm. Fortunately, our room was already available. Check-in was a breeze. We headed up the elevator to the 20th floor to our room. I like that they have elevators specifically for the 20-40 floors. For us, it was as if every elevator was express. Lobby to 20th with no stops in between.

    The room was cute but super small. If you have ever travelled to London, the room size was on par with what you find there for midgrade hotels. Since we did not go to NYC to stay in the room, I was fine with me. It was very difficult to get a good picture of the entire room. Plus the lighting was not conducive to taking pictures. So using the one good picture I was able to take of the one of the beds and your imagination, you can figure out what the room looked like. There were 2 double beds that completely filled most of the room (I stood in the bathroom to get the picture of the one bed). The bathroom was small as well (about as big as an office cubicle). There was a little glass shelf above the sink but below the mirror on which the lotion, soap, and shampoo was placed but there was not much room for anything else. The sink was a pedestal sink with Kohler fixtures. LOVE!

    The television was a flat screen on the wall so that took up minimal space. There was a small desk in the room that we could have done without. We spent most of our time walking around it. If the closet had been bigger, we probably would have put the desk in there.

    The only drawback to the hotel room was that there was not a lot of power outlets. Given the age of the hotel, I understand but it was still an inconvenience. We all had cell phones, laptops, iPads, and camera batteries that needed to be charged each night. I thought about buying one of those 99 cent power strips but decided against it since I did not want to burn down my room from a power surge. Electrical fire in a confined space on the 20th floor? Yea, I’ll pass. I ended up charging my phone in the bathroom while we used the rest of the outlets for laptops.

    Overall, I was happy to be situated in the middle of everything. The A train was at the corner. Penn Station was across the street. Times Square was a few blocks away. There were plenty of restaurant options for every time of day. Duane Reed was across the street for those essential items that we forgot to bring. Even though the room was small, it was comfortable and fit what we needed for the long weekend. I would definitely stay at the Ramada Plaza New Yorker Hotel again.