Joined April 2016
  • Day11

    Traveling is a learning experience.

    April 1, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    I always learn a few new things or try new ways of traveling. I make a note of it not only for myself but for others to maybe consider trying. Here's a few suggestions:

    1. I still consider the CUBES the best and smart way to pack.
    2. Always confirm hotel reservations up to two weeks in advance. Keep all email correspondence. I print and add it to my travel binder.
    3. I use a flexible binder for vouchers, itineraries, tickets, emails and flight details. Flexible binders fit and bend easily in backpacks and purses.
    4. I found it handy and convenient to have euro's prior to arriving to your destination.
    5. Most "all" transportation companies take euro's and credit cards.
    6. We noticed that many stores will ask if you want your card run in DOLLARS or Euro's.
    7. Obtain tickets for those sightseeing places that are important for you to visit ahead of time. Not a "must" as we saw many places still had tickets available.
    (Just gives me a piece of mind).
    8. Schedule your airport to hotel and hotel to airport transfers ahead of time. Saves you time and I'm sure you'd rather be seeing sights.
    Hotel can also take care of this for you.
    9. Take advantage of breakfasts included with your room.
    10. Carry on or Check in luggage. Still not sure which I liked better. Carry on seemed to have worked for all of us and saved time.
    11. Enjoy every second cuz you'll only be there for a certain amount of days/time. You can sleep and rest on your flight or when you get home.

    Our trip was amazing we had cold weather but we were prepared for that in March. You either go when it's cold and less people or go when the weather is nice and there are lot's of people. We made the best of our days rain and wind did not hold us back.
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  • Day10

    PARIS, GREECE to HOME

    March 31, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    Nothing like having to wake up in the early hours or not sleep at all on your final day. We arrived back to the hotel around 9pm or so. John and I had already packed so it was off to get some sleep at least 3 or 4 hours. Wake up time is at 1am! Robert, Kalyn and Kenzie decided to stop at the hotel restaurant for coffee, juice and toast. They slept on and off to not sleeping at all. John and I went downstairs to check us all out. Our pick up time is 2:30am and did I mention clocks moved up an hour in Greece?
    When we get to Germany it moves back. It certainly was a LONG day.
    When I was going thru security I was told to go thru a different line "STAR ALLIANCE. I thought I was a chosen STAR who was chisen to get upgraded. Right behind me was Kenzie. We had been luckily chosen to go through a full security search. IT WAS FUNNY yet we went through it with laughs. Kenzie kept saying "WHAT, DO WE LOOK LIKE BAD PEOPLE"?
    I told her "NO, THEY JUST WANT TO SEE WHAT MAKES US SO AMAZING"! We just laughed cuz it was us two.
    Flights were all comfortable and close to departure times. I've realized that's just how flights go.
    Was able to watch the ending of A STAR IS BORN with John (yes again) the ending anyway, watched the old Star is Born with Barbra & Kris, Baywatch the movie and Tom Cruise in American Made.
    Luthansa Airlines was a nice plane and flight attendants were very accommodating with drinks and warm towels.
    Kenzie I think slept the most then Kalyn and Robert. John and I slept maybe a couple of hours on and off.
    We arrived on time and safely. Our checked in bags arrived in a timely manner. John took a taxi to his work to pick up the car and came back to get us at Bradley International.

    It's great to be back home of course but at the same time the reality sets in of getting back to the everyday norm.
    We arrived unpacked, washed clothes put things
    away and tomorrow we hope to sleep in. Robert and John are both off from work. ME? Not so much.
    We were all very THANKFUL to mom for sending us on this amazing vacation. A vacation of memories to last a lifetime. Best part was sitting together during drinks the night before and thinking of where we want to go next.
    TRIPMASTERS will certainly be a travel site I use again. The only thing I'd change to is having direct flights and having transfers set up before hand.
    HAPPINESS for me is truly traveling and traveling with the people I love the most is PRICELESS!
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  • Day10

    Athens Ruins Last Day

    March 31, 2019 in Greece ⋅ 🌬 9 °C

    The day started with meeting at 7am at our hotel for breakast. Delicious items to choose from. I must admit my fsvorite was the yogurt and tomatoes.
    We walked our way to buy our tickets to see the Acropolis. Passed many nice buildings and found ancient ruins in between.
    We arrived at our destination without any problems.
    Tickets were 10 euro each. We enjoyed walking up seeing all the sights along the way. I don't remember going up this distance when I was here in 1979. You start to wonder how they were able to go up and down back then. The higher we got the colder and windier it got. So very cold. It even blew John's
    beret off his head. We were lucky to arrive a few minutes after it opened the toir buses were arriving just as we were leaving.
    From there we walked over to a few more sights then got something to eat. We wanted a gyro wrapped instead we got an open faced gyro. We received an after dinner liquor which was minty and delicious.
    We did a little shopping after Robert, Kalyn and Kenzie went back to the hotel. John and I headed out to find a pet store to buy Baker a souvenier. After stopping at a few more stops we picked up a delicious heart shaped chocolate donut and some Starbucks sat outside and people watched. Saturday is certainly a busy day in Athens. The donut was delicious and not as sweet as they are at home.
    The other stop we made was the church we sat outside to take a picture after our gelato the night before. Unable to take pictures per the rules but one learns to turn on your VIDEO walk around and get some shots of the beauty inside.
    Kenzie wanted to meet on our rooftop for drinks. Once again it was very cold and windy. Kalyn and Kenzie wanted to have a REAL wrapped up gyro. We went out looking and of course couldn't find a vendor. John asked a couple who worked in one of the shops they suggested a restaurant only 3 minutes away. We had our nice dinner and Kalyn, Kenzie and Robert had their wrapped up BUG AUTHENTIC GYRO.
    Kenzie wanted to have some drinks on our last night we found s restaurant with outdoor seating and heaters. Had our drinks well Kenzie had drinks all of us had only one. We left back to our hotel as tomorrow is our departure day. John and I had already packed. We get picked up at 2:30am to make our way to the Athens airport.
    Robert, Kalyn and Kenzie made it to have some bread, coffee and juices at the hotel. John and I skipped it and headed downstairs for checkout.
    Goodbye Athens, until next time.
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  • Day8

    Cold Windy Day in Athens

    March 29, 2019 in Greece ⋅ 🌬 10 °C

    Woke up to rain still falling in Santorini. Dreading going out in the rain and getting soaked. We all had a continental breakfast delivered to our room's at 7am.
    John and I pack up the night before makes it much easier with the cubes. You also get to sleep in a little later, no rushing and you get to enjoy your morning breakfast.
    It was still raining when we walked up with our luggage. Luckily one of the guys carried our luggage down to the transportation office. So happy it wasn't pouring like it had been the day before.
    We arrived at the Athen's airport within 20-30 minutes. This airport is still as small as I remember it. We checked in all the backpacks besides mine. We were 30 minutes delayed yet we arrived 5 minutes before our scheduled arrival time go figure.
    We were able to get a van (Black Mercedes) to drive us to our hotel. Traffic is as bad as downtown L.A. with many people on scooter's and motorcycles.
    Driver said we were in a good spot close to everything. We checked into our rooms except for Robert his wasn't ready yet. Luckily we are on the same floor. Kalyn and Kenzie are right next door so we get to bang the wall to each other. Rob is right across from us.
    We were all very hungry so we chose ATHEN'S HARD ROCK CAFE'. Another tradition to go to a hard rock cafe in every country we visit. Food was delicious, drinks hit the spot and service was amazing.
    We decided to go walk around and shop. It is very breezy and very, very cold - 52 degrees.
    Saw 2 church's and walked into one. Beautiful.
    Lit candles for our loved one's back home.
    Next had to have GELATO. Yup we just had to with this cold weather. Found a nice little place with outside seating & heaters. Gelato with a cappuccino is what John and I shared. They brought water and 4 cookies along with the order. It's so nice how they always give you a little more extra.
    We finished and headed back to our hotel. Stopped next door to get water for our room.
    John & I wanted to check out the view on the rooftop. WoW!!! It is an amazing sight. We took a few picture's only a few cuz it was very cold and windy.
    Off to our room we go to get some rest for tomorrow. We will be seeing as much as we possibly can cuz Sunday we head home.
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  • Day7

    Rain & Santorini Tour

    March 28, 2019 in Greece ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

    The morning plan was to meet at 8:45am and have breakfast outdoors together. I looked out and you couldn't even see the volcano. It was very foggy minutes later it was raining. We had all our breakfasts delivered to Kalyn and Kenzie's room. As they have the biggest room.
    We scheduled a tour for 10:30am. The CAPTAIN aka OWNER did mention that it may be cancelled if it rained. John walked to his office and they were still closed. Thankfully one of the maintenance guys had walked to the tour office with John he wanted to know where this tour office was. The receptionist called the room to let us know it was still a "GO"!
    We all filled out our breakfast request for tomorrow before we leave this amazing hotel. Continental breakfast is what we'll get at 7am. Our plane departs at 9am to Athens.
    The rain didn't stop us from going back to Oia and seeing Megalochori, Venetsanos Winery, hiked up to see the Red Rock Beach and ate at a nice restaurant by the Black Beach. We also stopped at Amoudi where some of The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants was partly filmed. The Captains son and his mother had a part in the movie.
    Kenzie was extremely happy at the winery. We of course picked the dessert wine. A brown color wine
    that was delicious with goat cheese and a jelly type relish that had chili and honey along with sesame crackers. Kenzie had her sister glass cuz Kalyn isn't into sweet wines. Scenery there was beautiful from what we could take in with the rain. It rained and rained but we still enjoyed our tour with Nikolas our tour guide.
    He took us by the Black Sand Beach and stopped at a restaurant to get something to eat. As he parked Kenzie noticed a small puppy, Robert noticed he was hiding under a car trying to stay out of the rain. WE the dog lovers of course felt bad for the little pup.
    The puppy must of known who would rescue him cuz he walked directly to Kenzie and she put him in her jacket. We were happy to see other dogs in the restaurant. Apparently the dogs belong to the owner and they run around in the restaurant. It was great for us Dog Lovers. It was like being home. Yes Kenzie did want to bring the puppy back with her. (Who wouldn't).
    We arrived back to where we were picked up for the tour. Robert had a 4pm appointment to get a tattoo and I had a hair appointment at 4:30pm across the street from each other.
    John, Kalyn and I walked back to our hotel. The path was like a river flowing down. John and I stopped at a shop and Kalyn went back to her room. One has to be very careful walking on the rock pathways and marble tiles. They get very slippery. We stopped by to give Kalyn a box of baklava we had just bought her. She loves her baklava.
    John and I arrived to our room with no electricity. He called down to the office. The lights came up in about 20 minutes. We decided to order room service for dinner. Delicious linguine with mussels and a yummy crab salad. Just enough for us to share with each other. We tried sharing our meals when we weren't too hungry. It worked most of the time.
    We packed our luggage and got ready for tomorrow's flight to Athens. Fingers Crossed and Prayers that this rain stops for our last two days on this amazing trip with family.
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  • Day6

    Fira Santorini ~ Dinner in Oia

    March 27, 2019 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Woke up early this morning but it was still sleeping in compared to the 5am-6am in Paris. I think we were all needing a day to catch up on sleep. We all ordered breakfast to be delivered to our rooms. Kalyn and Kenzie walked over to their pick up area for the boat tour, swimming and lunch. They enjoyed it but the water was very cold.
    John, Robert and I decided to take the cable car down to the Old Port. Views from the cable was amazing. Unfortunately we had to wait 2 hours for it to take us back up. So we did some shopping, walked around the area, had drinks and had some amazing calamari. We we arrived to the top we decided to check out the area. OMG the steps are crazy. With my bruised toe it is very hard and painful. I'm keeping up the best I can. One must suck it up and move on.
    Kalyn & Kenzie arrived back to our hotel before we did so they were hanging out at the pool. We joined them for awhile. Great way to soke up my foot in freezing water. We were able to get some pics luckily. We met at 6pm for our drive to Oia which was about 20 minutes from us. Oia is very beautiful we weren't able to hang around as long as we would of liked to. Took pics and had a nice dinner. It got dark fast and our pick up was at 8:30-8:45 so it was off to the van. We hope to be able to see more tomorrow on our 4 hour tour.
    We arrived back to our hotel at about 9:30. We are dropped off at the street and we walk up. First time was killer but we've gotten used to it. Like I said "We Just SUCK It Up"!
    Beautiful place for sure they're building and remodeling so many awesome places. Look's like they are working hard to finish by summer. (So John keeps telling us that). Don't know how they get rocks, tile, dirt, sand, wood up and down all those steep steps. We actually saw this guy taking things down on a wheelbarrow. Unreal.
    Guess that's why we don't see gym's around here. Senior citizen's here are in better shape than we are.
    The food in all the restaurants have been nothing but amazing. People are very nice and helpful.
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  • Day5

    SANTORINI Here We Come

    March 26, 2019 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Another early morning start as the shuttle is driving us to the airport at 6am. Need to get our boarding passes when we get there. Our plane departed at 9:30am. We arrived in Athens our layover close to an hour or so then shuttled to our plane. Then carried our carry on luggage up the stairs onto the plane. We arrived on time in Santorini. We waited for John and Rob's luggage to arrive. (They we're told it was too big so they had it checked in in Athens). Kalyn was also told to check her's in too. She told the desk attendant "you just let my sister go thru with the same size bag and a Disney tote"! So they let her through. We took two taxi's to our hotel. We got dropped off on the street and told to go up. Yes we had to climb up to get to our beautiful hotel. We were greeted at the door by Katerina and her staff. What an "AMAZING" welcome. They have only 10 rooms here. We were told to put our luggage down and she took us by the pool. We sat down right outside of Robert's Suite. They brought us out drinks Kenzie & I had sparkling Moscsto. It was very, very good. John, Robert and Kalyn had lemonade.
    We were taken to our room's and were in awe. A nice rolled up letter welcoming us, 2 bottles of wine and delicious fresh fruit.
    We received a map and some info on the island. There are alot of things to do and places to see. Kalyn & Kenzie are taking a boat ride to see other island's and do some swimming. John and I will check out the local sights, Robert may go get a tat.
    We'll meet around 5 or 6 head to Oia and have a wonderful dinner and take a walk around.
    We had the most fabulous place Salt & Pepper.
    HIGHLIGHT: Kenzie tried grilled SHARK for a bottle of wine.
    We all felt like we were at a relatives home and our Tia (aunt) was making us each our favorite meal. The hostess couldn't be friendlier. Her husband is the chef and he is truly AMAZING. Wakes up every morning at 7am to get fresh vegetables, fish and meat. Kenzie tried octopus for the first time. Said it was just ok. (Now I owe her onebof my bottled wines). The size of the shrimp was unbelievable and so delicious. Just when we thought we were done she came out with these little square bowls which was dessert. Custard with a strawberry type jelly on top. We all enjoyed our dinner very much to say the least. It's a very small place and reservations are needed located at the bottom of our hill. Thank you to our hotel hostess for the wonderful recommendation.
    Back to the room we filled out our form for breakfast to be delivered to our room or our balcony. We chose the room cuz I think it will be cold again tomorrow. We found two chocolate chip cookies for a night snack. We had our bottle of wine along with it.
    Looking forward to seeing more of Fira tomorrow.
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  • Day4

    PARIS SIGHTS and Last Night

    March 25, 2019 in France ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    This is our last day in Paris much left to see. We met for breakfast at our hotel at 7am and ready to hit the cobblestone streets at 8am. Well not all are cobblestones. Our first stop s 20 minute walk from our hotel was to Le Village Royal which had a lovely display of colorful umbrellas. Our second stop was to LaFayette Gallerie' which has got to be one of the most beautiful shopping places in Paris. Beautiful stained glass dome and a beautiful decor around each floor. The walk across the glass floor was interesting. It was fun watching those afraid of heights or glass floors hang on for dear life and get off quickly. We then went to the Louvre to see the pyramids and to see the actual building. Next was shopping then to the Pneuf Bridge. From there we walked over to the Notre Dame Cathedral which was as beautiful as I remember it to be. We stopped for a bite to eat right outside of the church. We walked to see the Panthenon then off to Luxembourg gardens and headed back to our hotel to rest a little before going on our evening Seine River Cruise.
    We decided to take a taxi to the location to save life on our feet. I stubbed a toe which is now black and blue and have blisters starting on my heels. Pain and all I stuck in out and kept up.
    The hotel called for our van pick up at 6pm. We are a 20 minute walk away and an 8 minute drive away.
    Driver pick us up on time we start driving thru much traffic. Driver cannot get us over the bridge any of them because the chinese president is visiting and for security reasons the bridges are being blocked by police. One is still open so we tell the driver to drop us at a corner and we'd cross the bridge. People along with cars were not allowed to cross. John was told that in 20 minutes it would reopen. Sitting in the cold we waited until they told us they had no idea when it would be open. We decide to walk to the bridge that was still open. We crossed the bridge and walked the waterfront only to find out that the driver was way off on where we were to be left off. We ended practicality walking back a quarter for a mile back the opposite way. Made it to the 7pm boat ride but by the time we got the boarding passes the boat was on it's way. We had to wait for the 7:25pm cruise. Note it is breezy and very cold. Finally were on the boat no tables for the champagne like we thought we'd have. They give you these funny looking lids that look like shot glasses to put on your small bottle and drink it that way. Kalyn and I had only a sip as we both are not a fan of it without juice. Mimosas are more to our liking. The cruise had beautiful views way to cold to be outside but we did go out to get a few pics. An hour later we walk to get dinner. Found a nice restaurant close by. Kalyn and I had great hot chocolate. Robert and Kenzie ordered a drink and John had lemonade. Food was delicious.
    Kenzie is wanting to do shots so she did along with Rob and John.
    We're finished John calls for an Uber van. There is an 8 minute wait and minutes later driver is not there. He can't get over the bridge. They are still CLOSED. So here we go walking over the bridge to meet up with the van. We luckily made it there around the same time.
    Well you can see everyday we had some kind of adventure. Never a dull moment in Paris or with us.
    We get to hotel Kalyn and Kenzie come with me to take pics from our balcony. John and Rob stay downstairs. We finally all get to our rooms to pack get some sleep for a 6am pick up for our flight to Santorini via Athens.

    👣 16,000 steps 7.4 miles.
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  • Day3

    METRO Delay & Disney Paris

    March 24, 2019 in France ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

    Day two in Paris started at 6am. If one does not start early you miss out on a lot of hours to see a lot of the city sights. As we walked around the quiet empty streets no cars around Paris we decided to start the morning with the prettiest STARBUCKS ever. It was CLOSED!
    We decided to walk to Le Village Royal to see the beautiful sight of colorful umbrellas. We ended up at the wrong village. Well we did see some beautiful buildings and did stop back at Starbucks. A coffee/tea and a delicious danish was this mornings breakfast at 7:30am.
    All done now time to get on the metro and head to Disney Paris. Robert and John purchased the tickets and off we went on our way. Well kind of...we had 25 stops and only made 5. The metro STOPS unexpectedly as their had been an accident. When the metro stopped we were in a dark area. Lights remained on. Right away movies you've seen with this happening comes to mind. WE received message on the speaker in FRENCH! No one around us speaks english. John asks one gentleman and he speaks very little english. Tells us their was a victim and we'll be getting off. We see from the windows people from the back cars walking on a small area on the side of our car. We are all to get off but have to jump down 4 1/2 FEET!! As we wait for our turn to jump off a couple next to us from Ontario Canada tell us they speak English and tell us there was a victim on the tracks. We wait for our turn on the edge of the door opening of the car to a small walkway which is very lightly lit. I used my cell flashlight to help see our our path. We get seperated only by a couple of people and see the emergrncy crew try to remove the victim from under the first car.
    We work our way to the exit with the canadian couple. Kenzie and I get to the other side but John, Kalyn and Rob can't get the exit stiles to OPEN. We wait and try to no avail. A man comes from our side and gets the large door open to pass with luggage. He goes in and Kalyn, Robert and John make it to our side. Now how do we get to Disney? We figure we'll need to get an Uber. We were lucky the other couple starts calling and we decide to go 50/50 on the charge. Uber indicates they can only take 6 passengers. We're "7". John calls for a car for us and we get picked up first. We get to DISNEY 10:15am just 15 minutes later than our scheduled time but we made it.
    Disney Paris is amazing. We loved it!! It was very cold 51 degrees with a breeze. We'd get some sun but turn a corner and it would get colder. Lots of fun rides the longest we waited is an hour. Disney Paris and Hollywood Studios was alot of fun. Got back to our hotel room at 11pm it's time to sleep for tomorrow we're meeting for breakfast at 7am.

    👣 26,005 steps 12.3 miles.
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  • Day2

    Air Flight & Eiffel Tower

    March 23, 2019 in France ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    Ready or not here we go on our family adventure.
    To start off early started at 6am. Left the house for 7am. First stop Starbucks for coffee.Kenzie stayed in car cuz she was way in the back.
    We arrived at LAX with alot of time to spare.
    Our flight was arriving late which meant we were going to be late to San Francisco. John went to customer service and Suzanne found us an earlier flight which would allow us 30 minutes to get to our Paris gateway. That didn't happen cuz their delay in bringing in planes was late. We arrived at 3:27pm gate to Paris closed at 3:40pm. Luckily they held the gates for all passengers grabbed our backpacks and ran. WE MADE IT and arrived in Paris!
    Our driver was there waiting for us on time. The airport was confusing but we found him!
    It was about a 45 minute ride to our hotel. Two rooms were ready one was not. We did arrive much earlier than our check in time. We freshened up a little John and I went to the hotel bar. We were given some Tonic Water and croissants. At 2pm we headed to the Eiffel Tower for our 5:30 tour. Dark clouds came in no rain just very cold and breezy. Kenzie was so excited to finally see The Eiffel Tower. Tower it was only a 11 minute walk from our hotel.
    Dinner at a great cafe with some of the best waiters.
    HIGHLIGHT: Kenzie tries ESCARGOT for the first time for a few euros.
    Well it's back to the hotel to get ready for Disney Paris. Going by train and meeting up at 6am.

    Movies Watched SFO to Paris: A STAR IS BORN,
    BEAUTIFUL BOY,
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