mjnandy2016

Joined April 2016
  • Day28

    LESSONS & TIPS

    May 26, 2016 in the United States

    LESSONS:
    1. Understand Currency of countries.
    2. Look into transportation from A to B.
    3. If possible book bus, train and plane reservations
    before travel. (Keep in mind some will not show.
    May need to wait a month before travel.
    4. Travel Light (if possible)
    5. Always arrive at least 2 hours earlier for train, bus
    or Airlines.
    6. Buy small souveniers. Ship larger and fragile
    items.
    7. Take currency of money being used or use credit
    card for larger purchases.

    TIPS:
    1. Use clothing cubes for packing. (Keeps you
    organized and easy to find items)
    2. Use soaps, shampoos, conditioners from hotels to
    keep weight down in suitcase.
    3. Use document holder for your Passports.
    4. Use a folder for your itineraries, plane tickets,
    tours. (Mine was seperated by country)
    5. Make a list of the places you want to see and
    their hours.
    6. If possible, purchase tickets of tours ahead
    especially if they are on your "MUST SEE" list.
    7. When reserving your hotel ask if they offer tours
    from their hotel. We were able to buy our tickets
    for the Sound of Music tour and obtain our tickets
    at the same time we checked in. Pick-up was
    available as well.
    8. Don't be afraid to ask questions.
    9. Get a MASSAGE somewhere along your trip❣
    10. Schedule your time. Don't RUSH. Enjoy!

    What We Loved about our Trip:
    1. Weather was perfect 98% of the time.
    2. We were there before TOURIST SEASON really hit.
    3. It was nice and GREEN.
    4. People were very nice and welcoming.
    5. Food, Wine and Beer.
    6. You can use as much water as you want.
    7. Hotels we stayed at were CLEAN.
    8. We were within walking distance for most of
    the sights we wanted to see.
    9. We loved trying new foods.
    10. Loved we could drink and had transportation.
    11. Enjoyed renting a car and driving in Germany.
    12. In each hotel we had our OWN Bathroom.
    13. There were STARBUCKS is all the countries
    except Italy.
    14. NO DELAYS in transportation.
    15. We were gone 23 days instead of the 10 we
    originally were going to take. 😉
    16. That SALZBURG is still as Beautiful and still
    my favorite.
    17. All the BREAD
    18. The tasty CHOCOLATE
    19. Foods are Healthier.
    20. Clean, Fresh air.

    What we didn't like so much on our vacation:
    1. The Toilet Paper. (Mary)
    2. The Pillows (John)
    3. Not having an elevator at one of our hotels.
    4. The organization of tours at the Vatican.
    5. The trash around some streets in Rome.
    6. Munich, Germany
    7. Graffiti. But that's just part of being a
    City.
    8. Having to pay to use the TOILET. EVERYWHERE.
    They call them WC or Toilets instead of
    bathrooms. But they still understand. They are
    always clean.
    9. Bathrooms were always downstairs.
    10. No Refills on drinks. A lot of the PLACES.
    (Luckily BEER is inexpensive)

    Marys Favorite Places:
    1. Salzburg, Austria
    2. Prague, Czech Republic
    3. Krakow, Poland

    John's Favorite Places:
    1. Italy. (Tuscany & Amalfi)
    2. Krakow, Poland
    3. Copenhagen, Denmark
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  • Day25

    Home Sweet Home

    May 23, 2016 in the United States

    Slept in til 7am. Well I woke up at 5am took some awesome pics of the sky.
    We're packed and ready to fly later. For now it's off to breakfast. Had a nice view and the buffet was wonderful.
    Decided to check-out early took pictures in front of our hotel and John bought me a nice bracelet in the hotel shop.
    Took a shuttle to the airport and waited in lines just in time to get to the gate to board. Luckily our seats were by the door (Emergency Door). YaY for LEG ROOM!
    Watched 3 movies on our 10 Hour Flight. Watched BROOKLYN, MONTE CARLO and CAROL. John watched FLAGS OF OUR FATHER and SUNSHINE. He also watched BIG BAND THEORY episodes.
    Arrived on time and Rob had just arrived at LAX. Customs has changed since I last traveled but none the less we got through it.
    Had an AMAZING vacation. Wonderful memories.
    Thanks for coming along with "US"!
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  • Day24

    Copenhagen Layover

    May 22, 2016 in Denmark

    The time is close, so close that tomorrow we'll be HOME! Woke up in Prague had a nice breakfast at the hotel. Hung out in our hotel room til it was time to checkout walk across the street to the airport. SO CONVENIENT.
    We got our luggage checked in and we took off towards our gate. Stopped at some of the stores along the way. We sat and waited a little over an hour before we got loaded. (I mean get on the plane) 😉
    The flight was only 1 1/2 hours long. Pretty much all our flights have been 2 hours or less.
    John sat by the window and I sat in the middle. Luckily, no one on my left side. We bought a chocolate bar, cappuccino at one of the shops. John bought some kinda juice we've never heard of. CHOCOLATE WAS VERY GOOD!
    The view from the plane arriving to Copenhagen was pretty different. We of course flew over Sweden. Wish we could of stopped there too! 😆
    We arrived in Copenhagen and got a taxi to our hotel. This hotel truly stands out. Very Modern. The staff very nice and they speak English. We got settled in and decided to take a taxi to Kongens Nytorv (main area). We decided instead of walking to take a cruise. It was nice and we got to see the outside of many main attractions. Weather was nice on the cruise. A little cool but felt good when the sun was hitting you.
    We walked down a street filled with many shops, restaurants, bars, ice cream shops and souvenier shops. We walked by Tivoli. Unfortunately we didn't have time to go in and enjoy. On our list to do another time. We walked and walked ending up in an area which didn't really have much to see. We came upon a Radisson Hotel so we took a taxi back to our hotel.
    We were both hungry so decided to have a nice dinner at our hotel. Afterall this is our last European meal. We mainly enjoyed the "BEER"! The beer had honey in it that came from bee's that are located at the top of the hotel. It truly was one of the best beers I've ever had. And if you know me I'm more of a WINE person. 🍷
    After dinner we came back to our room got settled for tomorrow. Tomorrow we fly home.
    🛬 My brother Rob will be picking us up at LAX. We should arrive around 5:30pm.
    So it's Home Sweet Home tomorrow. 🏡
    "Thank YOU" to our family/friends who followed us through Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Italy, Poland & Denmark.
    We loved sharing our journey with you. Travel has always been my PASSION. Hoping John and I can continue seeing this WORLD of ours. There is so much history, beauty and culture to take in.
    "BELIEVE" and make it HAPPEN!! WE DID❣
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  • Day23

    Krakow back to PRAGUE

    May 21, 2016 in Czech Republic

    Well here we go. We're pretty much packed up, easy to get it done the night before. Had enough time to run out to the corner bread/bakery store get a coffee and danish for breakfast and a few cookies for the road.
    We stood outside waiting and taking in the view of Krakow for the last time. Krakow surely did surprise us it is a city we'd visit again!
    Our driver picked us up at 9am for our 4 hour drive to Krakow. Seems like a lot of hours but taking a train or plane was going to take longer. Our driver Jerry was one of the nicest, professional and a fun person we had the privilege of meeting. We learned alot about living in Prague. We made two stops on the way to stretch our legs, got snacks and used the bathroom.
    We had an awesome ride with great weather. Jerry was a great driver and the van we were in was quite comfortable.
    We arrived at our hotel which is quite across the street from the airport. Jerry dropped us off we checked in and got settled in.
    Went to dinner here in the hotel. Enjoyed trying a traditional czech soup. DELICIOUS. John and I are enjoying the chocolate truffles (mushrooms).
    We finished dinner and waited for Jerry and his girlfriend to meet us. They are both a lovely couple and enjoyed our time with them. She doesn't speak English but seems to understand some. She's a hair stylist and has styled hair for professional athletes and other professionals. She does GREAT work.
    We started seperating some items and moving things around in our suitcases for our flight tomorrow.
    Now resting and getting ready for tomorrows plane ride 1 1/2 hr flight. Not even about the ride itself its getting checked in and going through security. I don't think there will be many people at this airport.
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  • Day22

    Last day in Poland

    May 20, 2016 in Poland

    Excited to get up and get going. Yet sad today is our last day in POLAND.
    We had breakfast delivered to our room luckily it got here before we left. Didn't know we'd be ready to get going so soon. Breakfast was worth waiting for. Funny how we seem to eat strawberries more when we are out of Oxnard. Anyways.....
    Our walk was nice, weather PERFECT. We enjoy our walks here through parks, old buildings, shops and the smell of bread and pastries.
    We took a walk to the Old Jewish Quarters and Ghetto Square. On the way we came across a beautiful, large church. Not on our list to see but what the heck we'll check it out. So happy we did. CORPUS CHRISTIE CHURCH is one of the most beautiful churches we've seen. Absolutely DIVINE. We walked around and took in all the beautiful decor. WOW! Corpus Christie Church is a MUST SEE!
    We walked over the what John calls "LOVERS BRIDGE". That took us to the Jewish Quarters. I don't know if it was worth the walk but if we hadn't gone we would of missed out on the Corpus Christie Church.
    On our way back we shared a Oreo Cookie/Raspberry Gelato. Got back to the shopping area and shopped. Because we were thirsty we decided to visit the Mexican restaurant we went to last night and have a couple of margaritas. This is sure to help our tired feet and get us relaxed for our Couples Massage.
    Walked back to the hotel then walked over to where we'd be getting our long awaited massages.
    We had so many kinks, knots and pains that the massage had us feel at the end that we could do another 100 miles.
    After the massage we walked back to City Square to shop and have dinner. I tried the priogis filled with cheese and onion and John had pasta and mushrooms.
    Enjoyed sitting outside like most Europeans do. Great scenery and people watching. When we finished we headed back to the hotel stopping at souvenier shops along the way.
    I must admit Krakow is a place I would certainly return to. This city has surprised me with what it has to offer and see. The people are nice, most speak english and there is so much to do and see besides Auschwitz. There are still things I want to do and see here in Krakow. We hope to visit here again someday!

    Tomorrows agenda: We are being picked up by car at 9am. Heading to Prague again it's a 4 hour drive. Lay over for our flight to Copenhagen, Denmark.
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  • Day22

    Camps and Castle

    May 20, 2016 in Poland

    Today we take the tour that I've been wanting to take since I was in Jr. High school.
    The morning started with coffee in our room. We bundled up as weather is to be cold today. Went outside our hotel room at 8:40am for our van pick up at 9am. We were picked up and it was off to our tour. The 1.5 hour drive was nice. Enjoyed the beauty of the outskirts of Krakow.
    We arrived at Auschwitz for the museum tour. We had 20 minutes before joining our tour guide. John went ahead got us a hot drink while I went to a small flower shop to buy a red Rose. The tour was one that I will never forget. The sadness that over takes you listening to stories and seeing what you have only heard of, read in books and have seen in movies. This is now REAL. Hair of people who died, clothes of children and equipment used by the handicapped etc.
    I knew it would be hard to explain in my summary
    I did take many pictures to share.
    I was able to lay one Red Rose in the area they call the DEATH WALL. I think you all know what happened there. Birkeneau also a location of many lives being lost. A real train car that was used. In your mind you start imagining what it was like. I did anyways. That's when you start Praying for all those individuals who had no idea what they were about to encounter.
    We arrived back to our hotel and decided to go see the Wewal Castle and yes we walked our way through town, the college and some beautiful parks.
    The Castle is very big and beautiful from a distance and quite beautiful once you get closer.
    We walked around and took pics. After all the walking we stopped by the mall. (Cuz we found out that's where the Starbucks was at). This mall is huge! Could of walked around but I was getting tired from walking all day and we still had to walk back to our hotel.
    On our way back we decided to have dinner and mexican food sounded good. We had only a ham and cheese sandwich and water from our driver after the first half of the tour. After all the walking you get a bit hungry.
    Went into a couple of souvenier shops on the way back to the hotel and stopped for drinks and snacks at a small grocery store on the way. Need some for our room.
    Tomorrow breakfast is being delivered to our room then it's off to see a few more places get back for our couples massage then walk to go back to Cloth Hall for some souvenier shopping.
    We'll be home Monday and our journey is slowly coming to the last days. It's back to Prague then Copenhagen then LAX.
    For now we continue to enjoy every sight,every step and Every Second.
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  • Day20

    Poland. Krakow, POLAND

    May 18, 2016 in Poland

    A bittersweet early morning leaving Praiano. Woke up at 4:30AM to be ready for our pick up at the hotel at 6AM. As we waited outside the hotel the view well we just had to take it in one last time. The narrow streets very quiet all you could hear are the waves splashing, birds singing and roosters crowing.
    Our driver was there at 5:55am. The personal drivers we've had show up in a Mercedes and wear nice suits. They all have been so nice. Our drive was a direct one to Rome. We arrived to find a very long line of people to check-in. Luckily the line went quick. This airport is pretty unorganized. All in All we got there with hours to spare. Shopped a little, ate and got on our way.
    The weather cloudy with rain. (Of course). The flight is 1 hour 55 minutes long. The plane was full, we slept and before we knew it we were in Krakow.
    The airport very empty the only people were the passengers on our flight waiting for their luggage. Luckily ours came up quick and our driver was there to pick us up. (A little rain now) It was about a 30 minute drive to our hotel. The driver spoke great english.
    We checked in and dragged our suitcases up some stairs to our room. The room is very nice, the bathroom AMAZING. Nice big tub we can't wait to try. Lighting is very modern. Only problem no drawers for our clothes. Guess we'll just use our suitcases.
    We got a map from Olga our receptionist. Being the experienced walkers we are we decided to go out sightseeing. Krakow is a very nice city. Reminds us a little of Prague with old buildings and many churches.
    Because I've been craving some Mexican food we decided to go to Hard Rock Cafe'. Cuz you know it doesn't get more mexican than that! We were hungry and we happened to be right in front of their building. Luckily they had a special with...."TACOS"! They were pretty good....considering not a mexican restaurant. All in All it hit the spot! We had great seats upstairs by the window. Great view of Old Town Square.
    Time to sleep as we are being picked up tomorrow morning to tour Auschwitz and Birkeneau. Should be nice weather. NO RAIN!
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  • Day19

    Rainy Day in Positano

    May 17, 2016 in Italy

    Love the days we don't have to wake up early. Waking up with a headache from drinking a bottle of WINE and some CHAMPAGNE was maybe just a little too much. Yet FUN!
    Woke up to blue skies and a cool day. We had breakfast here at our hotel. This time we sat inside, too cold for me. I was excited they had cocoa pebbles. WooHoo...chocolate milk!
    John bought our tickets at the front desk for our bus ride to Positano. (1,20Euros) each. Quite intetesting to watch these big buses get by each other on these narrow streets. At one time we were head to head with another bus. Our driver had to back up a ways so the other could pass. This happened more than once. Then I think they try to make up the time when there are no other buses.
    We made it and the view is just like the postcards, movies and pictures. We walked thru shops up and down stairs. We made it to the beach and started looking into tours to Capri. All sold out or way too expensive. So we decided to check out more shops and have a drink.
    We then walked to the Rada restaurant to check out one of the cave restaurants. They let us go in and look around but it wasn't open for lunch or dinner til later tonight.
    John wanted to know whether the water was cold. Because I had shoes I could throw off I went to check out the temp. Ummmmm...this sand is just ROCKS. Ouchhhhhhh~ How do people walk barefooted on this? My feet hurt! Got to a spot to where I could remove the small rocks off my feet and was happy to get my soft shoes back on. Oh btw the waters temp was cool. Not warm and not freezing cold.
    As we walked back it started raining then pouring. We decided to take a taxi back to our hotel. Stopped raining an hour later. Walked around and stopped at Pirata Bar and Restaurant I had a cappucino, John a beer and we shared calamari. Returned back to our room and repacked for our early departure tomorrow. Need to go back to Rome and fly out to Krakow, Poland. Luckily we have a private car so no bus to train to airplane. Just a car ride to the airport. Much EASIER! Still sunny so we decided to go to the restaurant section of the hotel and sit on the couch to watch the sun go down. Unfortunately the sunset is on the other side.
    Next stop KRAKOW, POLAND. A two hour plane ride. 🌨Apparently it will be raining tomorrow. Thursday and Friday is to be sunny. 🌞
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  • Day18

    Streets of Amalfi

    May 16, 2016 in Italy

    Slept in a bit...well we still woke up before 8am.
    Went down to breakfast in our hotel. Sat outside with an amazing view. Coffee was delicious along with scrambled eggs and bacon and tomatoes. NO PANINI TODAY!
    We decided to take a walk and check out the area and do some SHOPPING. You don't have much space to walk as there are no sidewalks and the streets are very narrow. First stop was the bank. With the help of our reception gal we walked up the street. More like went up stairs after stairs after STAIRS. We finally reached the main street. Decided to walk our way down to the major street here to shop. Our first stop a small shop where they make LIMOCELLO. The man there was kind enough to take us to a small room where they cut up the lemons to make this drink. He also gave us samples of many of the drinks they make.
    We walked further and stopped at a few stores and a beautiful church with an amazing courtyard and view.
    Found a flower shop in which we went ahead and ordered a small bouquet. A new place which just opened 2 months ago. Still settling in and she offered to deliver it to our hotel. (NO EXTRA CHARGE)!! ✔
    We asked about a hair salon place and walked with caution a little further down. FOUND IT and a lady who spoke english. YAY!! Had my hair washed and blow dried for only 20 euros. She did a great job.
    Walked back to the hotel and decided to lay out on our deck for awhile. Gorgeous sunny day!
    It was time to get ready for our little Vow Renewal and pictures.
    After that we decided to have dinner. We decided to have dinner at our hotel. The waiter gave us a glass of champagne to celebrate our renewal. We had a local bottle of Red Wine which was wonderful with our Calamari appetizer and our Pasta/Rice with artichoke. Omg DELICIOUS. We sat there enjoying the beautiful view. The waiter told us to take our time. Thank goodness cuz this wine and champagne was getting to us QUICK. LOL.
    We sat there and took in the moment...reminiscing, laughing and shed some tears. The most amazing part a WHITE BUTTERFLY flew in front of us as we started dinner. YES....looks like my DAD was with us❣ What a touching moment for sure.
    We finished and as we were going to ask for our check the waiter came with some dessert the cook had made just for US. A lemon like cannoli with a creme that was yummy. On the house. We love how this hotel has taken care of us and they do so much to help you no matter what.
    We will surely return again.....someday.
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  • Day17

    Amalfi Coast ~ PRAIANO

    May 15, 2016 in Italy

    Bittersweet morning to say goodbye to Rome and the fabulous staff at our hotel. It certainly is great to be able to find staff that is so kind and eager to help.
    Woke up at 6am to head to the train station. Had breakfast at a small cafe' there cuz as always we're EARLY! Cappuccinos and a ham and cheese panini to share. Hey, we had that yesterday. 😨
    We got on our train had great 1st class seats. Sat across from each other and lucky us no one sat next to us on our 2.5 hr train ride to Naples. We arrived 7 minutes later than scheduled. We were so glad to see our driver (Liam Neeson lookalike) already waiting for us. He was so nice and shared some sights with us. Rained upon our arrival in Naples and rained on and off more ON along the way. It stopped once we reached Sorrento. YaY...John got some pretty good pics on the way. Had him sit by the window. Rain stopped just as we arrived to Amalfi.
    We arrived at our hotel in which we got into an elevator and stopped to a cave like hallway to the receptionist desk. The lady that checked us in was so very nice in greeting and telling us about what was offered. She even walked us to our room. The view from the check in area was so pretty. Can't wait to stroll around.
    Got into our room which is very nice. We have a deck with an amazing view and outdoor shower. Got all settled in to go have lunch/dinner than off for a stroll. Met a nice couple from Florida during dinner and chatted with them for awhile. Had a delicious pasta with seafood that we shared a bottle of wine and the best chocolate dessert ever.
    Took a walk around the hotel and found some nice spots for photos tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing more of Praiano and our renewal vows. Let's pray for a Sunny Cloudy day. NO RAIN❣
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