Travelers and Wanderers around the Universe

Monday, September 25, 2017

Aerial View of #LasVegas

It's Monday  and I am feeling nostalgic so let us travel  down memory lane and let me take you back back when I was a kid, shall we?  My family never   went to any vacation  growing up so it was a huge  childhood dream for me to be able to travel by plane.  Whenever I heard an airplane, I would run out and look up the sky and watch the plane  until it disappears from my sight.  I always  wondered how it feels to be able to go somewhere via  airplane.  

That childhood desire faded away  and thought that I will never experienced it but things  have changed ever since I met my husband.  My very first flight was when I was 30, it was a little  nerve wracking as I have never done it before but it  awaken that childhood dream  once again. Thanks to my husband for  re-igniting that dream and making it come true.  In the Philippines, not many people could travel via airplane because it is expensive to fly.  Ground transportation is the most common way to travel due to its affordability.
I am grateful that my husband  loves to travel, me and the kids get to enjoy  seeing new places every year.  I  always tell our children how lucky they are to be able to travel at an early age because I've never done that till i was in my 30s.
Anyway, I preferred  traveling on daytime because I get to  look down and  enjoy the aerial view of the place.  The series of photos  in this post was taken when we were arriving in Las Vegas.  This was  our first time so it was a new  view for us to see.  Even before touching down, I could almost feel the hot weather just by looking at the mountains without  trees.  I am used to where we live where the scenery is green and the vegetation is thick during the warm weather.
I was relieved to see the big body of water  after seeing the dry mountains.  This is over looking the Lake Mead.  Don't get me wrong, Las Vegas is  beautiful but I don't think I could live there, it's just not a place  for me for a long haul.  It's a beautiful city to go  on a vacation though, there's a lot of entertainment.
My kids were amazed of how bare the mountains are.
 I was excited when I see parts with lush of greens as we were seeing  brown view  for a long time.  I was apprehensive going to Las Vegas with kids but it was  actually  a really good experience.  We got to go to Arizona  as well with this  vacation.  Tune in for our long  road trip fun to Grand Canyon.  

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Best Places to Stop Traveling along the Southern Pacific

The Southern Pacific route is one of the most diverse, interesting ways to get from the West to the East Coast. The route begins in San Diego, California and ends in Georgia. If you need a route to follow you're in the right place! The route follows old US-80 and some of its new equivalents, spanning about 3,000 miles. Here are some of the states in which you can stop on this culturally varied route.


California

California 2014
From the golden beaches and Pacific bays of San Diego, to right down along the border to Mexico, US-80 takes you through quite a few little border towns, and even past a couple of roadside attractions. You will travel through towns you have heard of, like La Jolla, and through a few you might not know anything about, such as Felicity. If you plan to stop, you might want to get a bit of information about La Jolla, California, or even some of the roadside attractions – such as the Desert View Tower. Also, don’t forget to head south of the border real quick to get some Tecate beer right from where it is made. This is also a good place to stop for non-alcoholic libations before you begin the trek across the Mojave.


Arizona
Arizona 2017

On the Southern Pacific Route, you’ll be passing through Southern Arizona, right next to the Mexican border. Tucson, AZ is a fantastic spot for natural beauty and parks, combined with a magnificent cultural history. Tucson’s history goes back much farther than many of its other southwestern neighbors, so there’s no shortage of cultural history and architecture, including Mission San Xavier del Bac, a 18th-century mission. The Arizona-Sonora Cultural Museum is a zoo, botanical garden, and art gallery all in one.

The Sabino Canyon is another part of Tucson that shouldn’t be missed. Located in the Catalina mountains, it’s a great place for swimming, hiking, biking and other activities. You’ll also pass through Yuma in Western Arizona, a popular place for golf, hiking, fishing, and bird watching. Here, you can also find historic attractions such as Yuma Territorial Prison State Park and Castle Dome Mines Museum & Ghost Towns.


New Mexico

Las Cruces is one of the cities you’ll pass through on the Southern Pacific route. This is the location of Mexico State University, and fine art galleries, Museums, and a lively theater scene are just some of the things you’ll find. Las Cruces boasts an average of 350 days a year with clear skies, making it the perfect location for outdoor activities. Enjoy the historic charm of Old Mesilla Village or take a scenic hike through Dripping Springs Natural Area.

Carlsbad Canyons is another one of the highlights that you should stop in while passing through Arizona. Above ground, you’ll find breathtaking canyons, desert wildlife, high sea ledges, and flowering cactus. Below the ground, there are more than 119 caves formed by limestone dissolved by sulfuric acid. You can either explore the caves yourself through a self-guided tour or embark on one of the ranger-guided tours.


Texas

Route 80 stops through several towns in Eastern Texas, including Dallas and Fort Worth. In Dallas, you can find lots of art museums with huge collections, such as The Sixth Floor Museum/Texas School Book Depository. You can also stop at the Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, which was named “One of the Most Breathtaking Gardens in the World” by Architectural Digest. Fort Worth is a hub for Western culture and features cattle drives, nightlife, and cultural institutions.
Corpus Cristi, Texas - 2013

While on the Southern Pacific Route, you’ll also stop in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. At 8,749 feet, this is the highest peak in Texas. You’ll also pass through EL Paso Western Texas, which serves as a melting pot between American and Mexican culture. You can find extraordinary Tex-Mex cuisine here and visit the El Paso Museum of Art and Hueco Tanks State Park, which includes rock climbing and Indian petroglyphs. 


Louisiana

Louisiana is well-known for its cuisine, which includes such favorites as catfish fillets and boiled shrimp. Although it’s a bit out of the way of the Southern Pacific life, New Orleans is definitely worth a visit. Bourbon Street is well known for its party animal reputation because of the Mardi Gras celebration held there once a year. The French Quarter is another must-see location when visiting New Orleans: it’s known for its nightlife, jazz scene, fine architecture, and historic charm, along with some eclectic places to shop.

The National WWII Museum in New Orleans is another not-to miss destination and contains a vast collection of history that tells the story of the war. Jackson Square is a historic park in the French Quarter where you can find a bevy of historic architecture and artists who paint, draw, display and sell their work. The death place of Bonnie and Clyde is located conveniently on Route 80, so you can stop while you’re on the road.


Georgia

US 80 runs across Georgia on the fall line, which is a geological divide where you can view rivers dropping in a long series of rapids all the way up from the Piedmont Plateau down to the lower coastal plains. When the lands were being settled, early Americans used these areas for their settlements. Columbus, Georgia is right on the banks of the Chattahoochee, and more towards the center of the state, Macon is right on the banks of the Ocmulgee. 

On this route, you will cross nearly 300 miles of Georgia and can see anything from forests of pine and hardwood to rolling hills, dozens of sleepy southern towns, stately old farmsteads and even tin roofed shacks. You might even stop off in Warm Springs to see the home of Franklin Roosevelt, or in Plains to see the home of Jimmy Carter.

Atlanta 2006
With so much cultural history to see, the Southern Pacific route across the US is one of the most interesting ways to get from coast to coast. Although the states listed are amazing, there are many more sites to see along the way. Don’t be afraid to visit some out-of-the way places to add some spontaneity to make your trip more exciting.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

7 Tips to Visit Rome with Family

Rome was indeed not built in a day, and it certainly cannot be explored in a day too. The city is teeming with different architectural styles, and eateries and the museums vie for the visitor’s attention. There are Renaissance palazzos, ancient fountains and classical ruins. This is the perfect city to be in because of the smorgasbord of activities. Rome is certainly big, and if you are traveling there with our family and children, then you certainly need to plan your trip accordingly. First and foremost, you need to be sure that you have comfortable lodging arranged. Thankfully, there are plenty of houses for rent in Italy that are just perfect for a family.
Villa dell'Angelo, Tuscany, Italy .. image source

1. Rome can be exhausting, especially with children. Plan a well carved out itinerary that fits the moods of all and is not tiring. There is no need to cover everything in one day. You need to keep the kids engaged without overwhelming them. Take breaks in-between to rest and relax. Just hang out during the free time and enjoy gelato. You can stop for sodas or coffee in local cafes and let your children play in parks that you pass. Italian gelato is a must on your trip, and your children will keep asking for more. Stop at any of the taste-testing gelaterias.

2. Start early and after having a good breakfast, and when everyone is in a fresh mood. Always carry hats, a water bottle and umbrella as she sun can be brutal in Rome. Bring a refillable container and fill the bottles whenever you come across public drinking fountains. You will need the umbrella to shelter yourself from the sun as well as a sudden shower. Always carry some medicine for your kids in case they fall ill.

3. You have to prioritize your sites when visiting a city like Rome. Children don’t have the similar interests as adults. You can always take the Double Decker Bus Tour that offers you plenty of time with your children, and allow you to see maximum areas of interest without getting tired. It is a good idea to get some books before the trip to Italy and help your children know some common Italian words and phrases. It can be fun to try out conversations with the locals and come back with terrific memories.

4. Some of the favorite spots to explore with children are Pantheon, Vatican, Colosseum and Trevi Fountain. Explore the Palatine Hill full of dramatic archaeological ruins with your family and visit Borghese Gallery that boasts of world’s largest art collections. One can spend an entire day at the Vatican museums. Children love playing around the Trevi Fountain, which is a well-known Roman landmark. Toss coin here and be assured of another visit to Rome! Kids love running around in free Italian piazzas such as Piazza Navona and Piazza del Popolo, with gorgeous fountains. Visit the Pantheon that is very cool from within and entices a child of every age.

5. Roman ruins certainly do not list in child’s list of priorities. Make Rome memorable for every member of your family. Thankfully, Rome has plenty of interesting activities for the younger tourists. Those kids who carry interest in technology will enjoy exploring Technotown with science-based adventures. Vintage Chocolate Factory is another favorite with the children. You can catch terrific shows for children in theatres and cinemas. Piazza del Popolo and Piazzale Flaminio are well-known children’s museum.

6. If you want your kids to enjoy the trip to the fullest, why not spend a day at a water slide park. Rome boasts of plenty of aquatic amusement and leisure parks. Some popular options are Aquapiper, Hydromania, Aquafelix, Zoomarine and Rainbow MagicLand. There are roller coasters, water slides, playgrounds, swimming pools, attractions, Jacuzzis, waterfalls and a wide range of extreme plunge slides. Your children and family can have endless fun the whole day and come back with some great memories.
7. Children love pizzas and pasta and eating out sounds terrific for them. Although the food is great, and there are awesome restaurants, children love picnics. You can plan a picnic in any of these favorite spots such as Borghese Gardens, Villa Celimontana, Giardino Degli Aranci, Villa Torlonia and more. Families and romantic couples are often seen spending lazy weekends in the great outdoors. Children can be seen playing football and chasing butterflies while adults are simply lounging on a blanket. Just pack some great food and pick a grassy spot. Enjoy those fresh ready-to-eat pasta, cheeses, sausage sandwiches and take along a bottle of fine wine. Children will love bread and desserts, pizza and pasta. One can spend a lovely and relaxing afternoon with their family and enjoy some quiet time away from the city rush and chaos. A picnic in outdoors can be rejuvenating for the whole group.
One should spend at least a week in Rome with their family and plan a family-friendly itinerary. It would be easy to chalk out as to what to see when w and which days to allocate to tourist attractions. The main challenge lies in fitting everything within your trip and avoid missing out on anything because of time limitations. Rome can offer a family both an educational and adventurous trip of a life time. There is history, architecture, art, food, and culture to explore here. It is hard to escape the glory of Rome, and the wonderful, mad city keeps everyone entertained.​

Monday, September 18, 2017

Our Flight Back Home with Spirit Airline #NeverFlySpiritAgain

Note to self, never fly with Spirit Airline ever again!  Coming back home, we flew with Spirit Airlines.  Oh my gosh, that was the most uncomfortable  flight we have ever been.  The seats are too  small,  you can't recline it, and it was just a pure discomfort.


 The check out at the hotel we stayed at was 11 in the morning but our flight wasn't until 10 in the evening.  We thought of  exploring the city before we go to the airport but even with an air conditioned car, the heat was unbearable so we  decided to  go to the airport after  an hour of driving around.  At least in the airport, it was   cool and comfortable.
 
Anyway, I would like to give a shutout to those custodian people for keeping the airport clean. They were my first subject in taking photos while we were waiting.  Imagine  the long hours of our wait,  it was like forever.  I  wished I had a book with me to read.
 The kids had their  iPods so they get to play their games while waiting.
Waiting is a hard thing to do but if you can find something that you enjoy doing, the time flies.  I just busied myself taking photos of things that sparked my interests.  Most of the times, when we fly, we are always in a hurry so we don't really get to enjoy  what's surrounds the airport.  This time I had plenty of time so pardon for the many photos in this post.  I just want to  share it with you.
 
 I thought that we would get bored to death while waiting for our flight but we found things to do.  We alternated in walking around the airport.  My daughter and I teamed up and  my husband and son have also teamed up in walking around.
 There were old  stuff displayed   all around the airport so we took   some time to read them and  know about  airlines history.
This little lady had so much energy so I just captured whatever she's doing.
 This was my first time flying in the evening so I didn't know how busy the airport can be even    at the late hours.  I guess people just comes and go  in Vegas.  
 There were slot machines in the airport which I find interesting.  I guess you can only find them in Vegas lol.  Children are not allowed in the vicinity  which I find  ridiculous because when you have kids, chances are they want to run around  there.  
We were supposed to board around 10:30 but  it was past 11 p,m when we started.  I was like  in there forever.  I am so glad that we didn't have kids who  get  irritated while waiting.
Our flight coming back was straight from Vegas to Pittsburgh so it was long.  It was the most uncomfortable flight I have ever did.  Never again will I fly with Spirit Airline.  I had a body ache when we got home  due to that flight, whew.  Now I know why they offer  low fares.  I would rather  spend a little more money to fly from other airlines for comfort reason.  My husband was apprehensive in flying thru  United Air because of a bad experience  in the his previous travels  but it turned out to be the  good experience for us.  

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