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What’s next ?

Media, Social or Secluded ?

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Sorry for the slightly off topic ranting.
I know in the past I often say how I love Seattle, today reality may be setting in, I probably couldn’t live there full time. It has been very rainy so far this Season, leading to depression everywhere. Actually Seattle gets less rain on average than we do here in Upstate NY. They get a bad rap as the Rainy City.
My normal working day consists of getting coffee and watching The Today Show as I slowly come to life. Since The Today Show goes on for a few hours I watch as I am working. Steals and Deals is one of my favorite parts , I try not to actually buy anything. As a fellow New Yorker it is my duty to see what people think is News and what my next hurtle is from the Media Circus regarding Travel Deals or Nightmares that I can expect to impact my day.
As a Dream Maker/Travel Planner , I offer actual support to my clients before and throughout their Journey. There is a good reason not to buy your Travel from the same place you find Toilet Paper. It is always a challenge to acquire reliable new clients. In today’s ever changing media world , Newspapers, Bulletin Boards , Radio and even email are not as common. The problem with email is we all receive so much junk that we throw away the bad with the good for lack of time to sort through. The normal advertising outlet has become Facebook or Instagram.  If I still lived in Florida I could always have a Banner made and pulled behind a Plane to advertise my business.

Personally I get annoyed when I find interesting things to do that happened last week. I always pick RECENT to search first and it’s still old news. Now it has come to the attention of some that we are actually NON Social due to Social Overload. All tools have their uses and limits. Most of us are guilty of being tied to our phone. In a society that works 24/7 and expects the same of others , we have created our own problem. 

The point being that there are now Cell Phones for limiting Social Exposure. The phone is to actually Talk or Text , according to the promoters on Today. Someone is getting rich reinventing the wheel. Before you know it people will want to grow things and raise their own food. Oh, wait… live off the grid. 


As the saying goes “Everything Old is New again” or ” Take time to smell the Roses” and we still do not learn from our mistakes.

 

14 Countries on the US State Department’s ‘Do Not Travel’ List

Athens

The Acroplois

We stayed at The Divani Acropolis Hotel which is located downtown, about a ten minute walk to the Acropolis Museum and many great restaurants and shops.

Many of these spectacular treasures are visible from the city. Pictured above in the night sky ” The Acropolis”.

Our first full day we headed to the Parthenon , Acropolis and Temple of Athena Nike which are some of my favorites from Greek Mythology. I also loved drawing these ruins in Art class. It was exciting just driving through the city and seeing these in the distance.

I was truly in awe my first steps up to these masterpieces.

Step into History

Many of the treasured sculptures and Antiquities that have been saved are in the Acropolis Museum and other Museums through out the Country side.

This evening we were treated to our first of many Authentic Greek Meals.

After a short bus ride and fairly long walk through the streets of Psiri where there are many cafes and Restaurants before we arrived at Lithos.

The Travel Saga Continues

Fast forward a week prior to take off. It’s a good thing I am a Travel Planner as well as OCD when it comes to potential flight issues.

Athens

I logged on to United to pay for my luggage ( a connecting flight getting us to Newark so I didn’t have to stress about driving there ) at which time I discover my direct flight of 45 minutes is suddenly a 4 Hr flight to DC arriving at Midnight after my Departure flight to Athens.

I discovered my original flight had been cancelled and they re-booked me with No notice of any kind. No call to see if this new flight would work, No email to say “hey you need to arrive 8 hours earlier than you planned”. No text to say “oh by the way you now have to take an additional day off of work”. After being on the phone over two and a half hours I had a different flight that also left us with additional time in Newark. Who doesn’t want to sit ten plus hours in the Airport with no apology , excuse or attempt to make up for the inconvenience.

We arrive at Albany for the flight as we also get a text to say our flight was delayed 1 1/2 hours . We parked the car and dropped off our bags and suddenly another text and additional delay . Finally several hours later we are on the plane as the Pilot says we are going to be sitting there for another hour or so partly due to another plane being delayed and also a small technical issue with the planes gps.

Yes by now I am disgusted especially since we have a few United Pilots flying to Newark with us that proceed to blame the ( Non United Crew that is in control of our plane) This is just becoming a normal part of all our Journeys. It seems every trip we have taken over the last several years starts with a peculiar issue . We sit thinking to ourselves hmmm… is someone trying to tell us to stay home?

Occassionally this continues but we always manage to have a wonderful adventure.

Todays Olympic Stadium downtown Athens

Our overnight flight went by so quickly even with the overflowing bathrooms that soaked the floor in front of us. For future reference , Pepsi doubles as a clog remover.

We arrive at Athens International Airport , which is about forty-five minutes away by Taxi to our hotel in Downtown. The city of Athens is home to over 5 million people. Along the way we see a few of the sites and street art that we call graffiti. Greece to be continued….

#Charleston continued 

There are many other things to see in Charleston just a short drive away. One very old treasure is the Angel Oak (Quercus Virginiana) It is estimated to be between 300 and 400 years old. Named after it’s previous owners Justis and Martha Angel it is 65′ in height and 25.5′ in diameter the longest limb is 89′ long and 11.25′ in diameter.  

There are many Plantations that you can tour as well, we chose the Tea Plantation. For many generations the Bigelow Family has run the plantation. 

Only the fresh new growth that springs from the tips of these hedge type plants is harvested and then dried to make the various types of tea. 


If you like alcohol, Firefly Distillery is just a few mile down the road . Don’t expect a free sample or any type of tour you can taste for a small fee. 

If you need a nice place to stay while in town the choices are only limited by your budget. 

Charlestown …. Continued 

Your virtual ride through the streets of historical Charleston .

Charleston

 

Charleston, an old city with lots of history not all pretty. This is the beginning in a short series, more to follow next week. One way to quickly learn and see many things Downtown is by Horse Drawn Carriage.

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I prefer The Palmetto Company , their animals are treated well and their drivers are knowledgeable. Because of the City Regulations , only a certain number of Carriages are allowed on the street at any given time. In order to keep this fair between the companies a type of lottery system is used, that also designates the route the carriage will take.

No matter where you are taken you will certainly find places to return to on your own time. We walked all over the city and the waterfront area also known as The Battery is pretty with a large fountain and pier to walk along. image image

The dark side of the city encourages people to seek out ghostly adventures, we toured the Old City Jail, it became out dated over the years and was extremely overcrowded. image  image There are Ghost Walks, Graveyard Tours and many Culinary Tours.

Another favorite it The Old City  Market now selling a large variety of wares, the best being hand crafted items such as seagrass baskets. The Confederate Museum Built in 1841 and is housed above The City Market.

 

The Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon also known as the Custom House was opened in 1767 it housed prisoners in the Dungeon under horrible conditions.


Another important piece of History is The Powder Magazine where all the gun powder was stored ( except for a short time when it was hidden behind a false wall in the Provost Dungeon)

If you are looking for a place to stay there are many places on the outer edge of town that offer transportation into the city. Downtown has several Bed & Breakfasts or other High End Hotels if cost is not an issue.

Queens of Egypt

I am an Avid lover of all things Egypt involving Tombs, Pyramids and Archeology. I was fortunate to see the King Tutankhamun exhibit many years ago in Philadelphia. King Tut is my favorite and what started my interest in Egyptian History.

Recently while we were in Montreal looking for activities to fill the day we stopped at Pointe-a’-Calliere.  This is a wonderful Museum of History and Archeology that features local History as well as outside Exhibits. The Museum is built above the remains of the first french settlement , walk through the Original Sewer constructed between 1832 and 1838. There is well over a Thousand Years of History on this site.

To my surprise the Featured Exhibit was “Queens of Egypt”.

 

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This wonderful exhibit will be in Montreal until November 4th, 2018 so why not take a Fall Foliage Drive and head up to Montreal and see it for yourself.

Montreal

It’s amazing how a few hundred miles can make such a difference in cultures. Montreal not that far West of Saint John New Brunswick and Halifax yet things are very different. Most noticeable is the lack of English both spoken and displayed on road signs , menus, television etc. as well as the friendliness of the people.

Along with the strong French influence you will find many of the people rude. I totally understand being annoyed with tourists, I work in an area with a large population of summer tourism and it gets overwhelming. The people here are rude to each other as well, it had nothing to do with tourists.

I never finished French Class and it’s not a priority language for me to complete. Thanks to google translate I was easily able to decipher the dinner menu beyond my educated guess.

We wandered around looking for food and landed at  Merchant Boeuf  it looked like a nice upscale place. We looked at the menu outside and decided to give it a try. The host said they were only offering brunch. Beware if you are hungry after a long trip this place is not for you. The choices were limited to about 5 items. My husband had sliders, I usully take photos of our food (awasome food ) I wish I thought to do so this time. There were three buns with a tiny meatball on them and I am NOT joking when I say they were SMALLER than a Quarter or Loone for the Canadians. I ordered a Greek Salad it was served on a plate smaller than a saucer and the olive was two squirts of Olive Paste.  The only filling thing was my beer an amazing tasting Oatmeal Stout from St. Ambroise.

We finished our Beer paid the $ 86 bill and left. We walked around for about 15min. and it looked like rain. The street we were on had many restaraunts with outdoor seating and since we were still starving we took a seat at Maggie Oaks.

I had a large order of fish and chips, I don’t recall what my husband ate. Both of us had beer,dessert,and coffee and the bill was still less than the other place.

This time we left feeling like we had a meal. The rain had caused a quick decision that didn’t involve research. After ordering I discovered Four Square only rated the place a 5.5 thankfully they were wrong it was at least an 8.

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The following day we headed out early to Notre-Dame Basilica.

In 1824 the Construction began , the Architect was James O’Donnell. There have been additions and changes over the years. The construction of the towers began in 1841 and was completed in 1843. The Western Tower houses the great bell which weighs 10,900 kg.

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In 1874 the interior was beautified. The Organ built in 1891and modified a few times has approximately 7000 pipes. Unfortunately vandalls set fire to the Chapel on Dec. 7th, 1978 that almost completely destroyed it. It was rebuilt between 1979 and 1982.

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