Sunday, January 27, 2013

Travel Expo Follow-Up

 Today I spent the afternoon checking out the Travel Expo in Rosemont.  It was my first time going to this annual event so I didn't know what to expect.  I love finding out new travel info and hearing about other people's travel adventures.  This expo had a little of the best of both worlds.  The 2 lectures that I saw today were by Rick Steves and by Patricia Schultz.  I also wanted to see Pauline Frommer but her lecture was scheduled on Saturday.  Rick Steves gave a very insightful presentation complete with beautiful photos from all over Europe.  By the time his presentation was over, I was itching to go back to Europe.  He touched on almost all the areas of Europe, including Turkey.  Turkey has been a country that I've always kept in the back of my mind of a destination I would love to explore and learn more about.
  After Rick Steves was Patricia Schultz, author of "1000 Places to See Before You Die".  She also had some wonderful photos and advice for travelers looking to go just about any where in the world.  I think the two lectures that I sat in on made the expo the most worth-while.  There were a bunch of booths set up where I did collect some info for future trips.  Many of these booths were passing out great Visitors Guides and other useful brochures.  For me, the only drawback was that I kept getting asked to fill out raffle drawings.  One raffle even wanted us to give our signature which would "o.k." the company to call us for marketing purposes.  Even after I have signed up on the "Do Not Call List", I still get telemarketer calls so I opted to not fill out any raffle drawings today. 
  There were plenty of activities for children including an area that SeaWorld occupied with 2 live penguins.  They were in a little display case where the glass went up to their shoulders.  Their little heads would look over the glass and their little beady eyes would look around.  I have such a heart for animals and couldn't get enough of them.
  Overall I think the expo was worth the buy 1 ticket get 1 free Groupon that I purchased online.  The booths are good if people are looking for more info for a specific trip or trip idea.  I enjoyed the lectures, especially Rick Steves who has been to so many places that I would love to go.
  People always say that planning the trip is half the fun.  I can somewhat agree with that however for me, the planning part gives me that excited, anxious feeling that I have something to look forward to, something that I can experience and remember forever.
  Seize The Day and Travel!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Travel and Adventure Expo in Chicago (Rosemont)

  For Chicagoans and Chicago visitors alike, there is a Travel and Adventure Expo going on in Rosemont this weekend (January 26-27).  It is at the Donald E. Stevens Convention Center and includes travel seminars, culinary demonstrations, and lots of info about travel.  A couple other enjoyable highlights include learning to scuba dive in an indoor pool, getting a photo taken with a sled dog, and riding a segway.
  Tickets are $9 a person but Groupon did have a deal for buy one get one free tickets (my friend told me about that one, thank you!)
  Click here to see the website and find out more info.
  If you aren't in the Chicago area this weekend, try to catch a Travel Expo in California in February or in Washington D.C. in March.

  Have fun and get inspired to travel!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Preparing for Gotham

  Back in December I spent a week in the city that never sleeps, also known as NYC.  I can see why this city never sleeps....there's just too much darn noise.  There's noise, activity, and adventure and I made sure to plan well before the trip to take in as much as I could.  I have decided to split up my NYC trip into multiple blog posts so that I can put more focus on different aspects and highlights of the trip.
  I would like to start my trip review by mentioning a little about what I did to plan for NYC.  For those travelers interested in museums, I would highly recommend "googling" or doing an internet search of free days and free hours for NYC museums.  There are a few museums that are always free or are free with suggested donations.  However for the museums that are charging quite a bit to get in, free days are definitely worth while in this expensive city.  Sometimes travelers only have a couple hours to spend in a museum and balk at an $18 entrance fee.  Visiting during free hours definitely gives the pocketbook a rest. 
  During previous visits, we visited a couple of the "biggie" museums:  the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  This trip I found that the J.P. Morgan Library Museum had free hours on Fridays nights and the Frick Collection had free hours on Sundays.  I had also wanted to go to the Rubin Museum of Art, which has free hours on Friday nights as well, but decided to save that for a future visit.
  Since we were staying in NYC for a week, I decided to group activities and sights into the different areas of NYC and try to do a different area on each day.  I didn't want to have every single minute of our trip planned so I left plenty of free time too.  We had a few schedule changes and didn't get to see every thing we had planned on seeing but overall we had quite a wonderful and entertaining trip.  To help cut other costs, I would recommend using a few Groupons or Living Social Deals.  I bought 3 deals in advance of our trip and we were pleased with all 3 deals.  (All 3 deals were for food and beverages.)  I did not want to buy too many deals and then have to spend time running around the city making sure to use them all. 
  Since we went in December, holiday decorations were everywhere and made the city extra enjoyable.  Beware, it's hard to tell from the photos but Rockefeller Plaza was packed with people vying for the perfect Christmas tree photo.

  In my next posts, I want to share our NYC adventures and we'll see if I was able to take a bite out of the Big Apple or if I was the one that was chewed up and spit out.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Venice Beach - March 2012 - Who am I Watching?

  I've been meaning to post this video for a while.  Back in March 2012, during our trip to L.A., we took a stroll down Venice Beach.  We saw the usual....forlorn looking potheads, "entertainers" jumping on broken glass for money, and beach "bums" chasing birds with palm tree branches.  Then we came across a young group of musicians that looked like they were filming a music video.  I got some of their practice shots on my own video.  Now I'm on a quest to find out who they are.  Can anyone help me?  Gracias!