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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

An Intro to...10 Things to do on Governors Island, NYC

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Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.


This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted).


Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitterTumblr. Purchase our fine art and decor or stock photos on ShutterstockZenfolioImageKindmcraytonphoto.comiStock by Getty Images , and Dreamstime.



TOP 10 THINGS TO DO ON 
GOVERNORS ISLAND, NYC

Governors Island seems like a well-kept secret known only by locals New Yorkers who live in Lower Manhattan or Brooklyn. Every summer, the ferries start again and the island opens up for fun and relaxation. 





How to Get There:
There are two ways to get on the island: Battery Maritime Building in Manhattan, 10 South Street between Broad and Whitehall (1 train to South Ferry, 4 or 5 to Bowling Green, R to Whitehall St. or M9, M15 bus) and from Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park Greenway and Atlantic Avenue (2, 3, 4, 5 trains to Borough Hall, R train to Court Street or the B63 bus. 





There's a small fee for the ferry and bikes will cost a tiny bit extra (worth it). Before you go off and have fun, immediately check the timetable for the ferry back. Although you may want to stay until the end, know that the lines can get longer the later you stay. 

You'll land at Soissons Landing (what is a Soissons?), Pier 102 or Yankee Pier (from Brooklyn).

Stuff to Know:

Once there, you can opt to walk, bicycle or jog the loop of the island and see the sights. The one main road will take you all around and there are paths that cut across to other sections. 

There's been many upgrades in the last few years and some construction is still on-going. 



What to Do:


1. Get Some Wheels or Bring Your Own...














2. Peek into the Past: 


Fort Jay: 



Castle Williams: 




Nolan Park: 


 Colonels Row:









3. Take a Hike...Up the Hills:





4. See Some Art: local artists showcase their work in the historic buildings in Nolan Park or Colonels Row.





5. Take a Snooze...There's actually a Hammock Grove.



Buy a folding blanket here





6. Grab a Snack: there are food trucks on Liggett Terrace and ice cream and other vendors throughout the island.




7. See a Lighthouse? Well, really a light station.




8. Enjoy the skylines of Manhattan and Brooklyn:




9. Check out the events: concerts, festivals, etc.





10. Integrate into the Environment... 




For more info: Governors Islandhttps://govisland.com/. The map.



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Monday, July 3, 2017

5 More Things to Do in Universal Orlando Resort

Disclaimer

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.


This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted).


Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitterTumblr. Purchase our fine art and decor or stock photos on ShutterstockZenfolioImageKindmcraytonphoto.comiStock by Getty Images , and Dreamstime.




5 More Things to do in Universal Orlando Resort™

See Part 1
The Harry Potter Attractions are a good reason to visit Universal Orlando Resort, but here are 5 more

1. Stay on property. Disney is not the only theme park that has on-site lodging and they are adding more. Some of them are comparatively pricier (Cabana Bay is their economy hotel). But they're all fun and provide transportation and/or walkways directly to the parks.

Cabana Bay, Universal Resort (editorial use only)


2. Ride the roller coasters, but know that Dragon Challenge™ is possibly living its last and evil days. Get your courage up for Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit™ and the Revenge of the Mummy™(Studios side) or The Incredible Hulk Coaster™,  or Flight of the Hippogriff™ (Islands of Adventure).


The Hulk™, in all its scary glory (editorial use only)

3. See a part of America's past on the Islands of Adventure side. An unfortunate casualty of the decline of newspapers is the syndicated comic strips. But you can feel like it's the Sunday comics all over again as you stroll through Toon Lagoon™and get re-acquainted or introduce yourself to characters from the printed page. Shop and dine yourself silly in saturated color.  


Toon Lagoon™ in Islands of Adventure


4. Ride the simulator rides often and enjoy the technology: my must-do rides every time are The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man® (Islands of Adventure) and TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D, on the Studios side (in addition to the Harry Potter rides we featured in Part 1). 


Spiderman® in 3D (editorial use only)


5. Get into as much water as you want. If you were a fan of Wet and Wild, know that Universal bought the Orlando location and closed it December 2016. The new Volcano Bay (a separate park) opened in 2017 and combined with the rides on the Islands of Adventure™ side, you're guaranteed to get wet and cool. Splash into Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls®, Popeye and Bluto's-Bilge Rat Barges® and Jurassic Park River Adventure. Plus, the kids can cool off in Fieval's Playland™ on the Studios side.


Jurassic Park splash-down (editorial use only)


Bonus Tip: the app has improved, but still not top notch. But the Virtual Line feature for the Jimmy Fallon experience rocks.


(Did I forget CityWalk? No, stay tuned!)


Sunday, July 2, 2017

Kids, Travel & You: Part 4 - Road Trips

Disclaimer

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.


This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted).


Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitterTumblr. Purchase our fine art and decor or stock photos on ShutterstockZenfolioImageKindmcraytonphoto.comiStock by Getty Images , and Dreamstime.



DAVID MICHELANGELO TUSCANY ITALY


Check out the other articles in the series: Part 1 - Planning, Part 2 - Traveling with ages 18-21, Part 3 -Basic Activities in Europe


5 Tips for Road Trips with Kids




1. Start young... If kids begin to travel when they are young, by the time they are tweens, they'll be experts. Next time you're at the airport, observe around you. You'll know instantly which ones travel a lot and which ones don't. 



2...Or wait. However, if you know your children well, you may want to save the really long road trips until they are tweens. In the meantime, take day trips (staycations, excursions, etc.). Prep the kids for journeys that will take over an hour. Have snacks and activities ready. Also, plan the route for restroom stops.





3. Oxymoron: plan to be spontaneous and take your time and stay on schedule. How? Have a loose agenda but don't be afraid to switch it up. Include some of the electronics and toys. Sometimes those billboards on the interstate pay off. 




4. Always book lodging with a pool. Your nerves will thank you. Know your children's ending point and plan to be at your hotel 2 hours before their bedtime.




5. It's OK to suspend some rules to have fun. And it's OK to keep some. Stick to bedtime rules if you're going to be on the road the next day. Let them stay up a hour later if you're staying put. 








Sunday, June 11, 2017

Travel Tips for Holiday Times

Disclaimer

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.


This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted).


Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitterTumblr. Purchase our fine art and decor or stock photos on ShutterstockZenfolioImageKindmcraytonphoto.comiStock by Getty Images , and Dreamstime.


TOP 5 THINGS YOU SHOULD DO IF YOU PLAN TO VACATION DURING ANY HOLIDAY


Believe it or not,  the holidays are upon us. Yes, if you are planning to go away for any holiday, even Flag Day, it's time to plan. For those who observe, this can mean anything from Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwaanza (Kwanzaa) and New Year's Day.



1. If you plan to travel during any holiday, then you should know that the prices are always going to be higher to travel to a destination and to stay. However, attractions and activities prices are usually the same. In fact, there may be some deals, sales or rewards during holiday times.



2. Speaking of activities, they will probably be numerous. Holiday time is tourist season times and local businesses depend on these times for their profits. (Information from news channels). If you travel at other times, you may notice some shops are not open or have limited hours (even Disney, believe it or not).



3. Book early. Cruises sell out fast, flights will be lower the further out you book, preferred lodging will be available. As soon as you are sure, book. If you are booking on your own, here are our tips.







4. Plan your activities, particularly during December but don't forget to leave some down time. It's your vacation after all, relax.. Departments of tourism and chamber of commerces will either send you pamphlets or allow you to download. If you are going to a small town, local events will sell out fast or have long lines. If you plan to dine out on the holiday itself, you will need reservations. Check out our tips here. One great publisher for guide books is Frommer.



5. Know where you're going. Seasons are reversed past the equator, some countries celebrate other holidays or may not observe what you're celebrating, bad weather can alter plans. Holiday time is the one time you should have travel insurance. If you're driving, allow plenty of time for traffic and have your car serviced.




Saturday, June 10, 2017

Intro to...Paris: Pilgrimage to Giverny: Monet's House

Disclaimer

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.


This review is my personal opinion. I am not paid by anyone. I do not receive any amenities (free or discounted).

Purchase fine art prints and stock photography at: Zenfolio, ImageKind, mcraytonphoto, Shutterstock, Dreamstime, iStock by Getty Images


5 TIPS TO KNOW WHEN VISITING GIVERNY: 
The Gardens and House of artist Claude Monet


View of the house from the Gardens (editorial use)

1. Visiting the Gardens is usually tourists' main objective. But try to visit the house (not a problem if it rains). It helps to make the visit to Giverny complete. Buy a combo ticket and plan to stay in Giverny for the day. Finish up with the Musee des Impressionmisme down the street.



2. Visiting the house also makes you feel like you are getting to know Monet personally. Studying the art is one thing (always an insight to an artist's soul). See where he lived makes it intimate.



3. Even if you're not into art, you'll love the architecture and the era of the house. Monet loved Giverny and lived there from 1883 until he died in 1926. It seems as if the past and present are in the house at the same time, even almost 100 years later. History buffs will appreciate it.



4. You may feel inspired. Monet helped to inspire the Giverny Colony of impressionist artists who started living there circa 1887. If you're a beginner, don't worry, the gift shop will help you get started. You can also take home a little bit of Monet with you in many forms from socks to umbrellas.



5. You should know that the house and gardens were declared public in 1980 after extensive renovations and the creation of The Foundation Claude Monet. We certainly thank them for that because it makes touring the Gardens and the House possible. You can tour on your own or take a guided tour.

The Gardens from the House: a view to be envied


For more information: The Foundation Claude Monet