Posts Tagged With: Mish Mash

Losing a Piece of my Travel Soul

I have been planning my families’ vacations since 2007. That means every single detail. I pick the flights, airlines, trains, visas, dates, times, hotels, restaurants, museums, sites, etc. I spend days, weeks, and sometimes even months researching every last detail. What time does this museum close? What days is this site cheaper to visit? When do they have extended hours? Which train will take us from this place to the next? So on and so forth. It’s exhausting, but so rewarding. My mom and I are insane travelers. We shove an entire city or country into a couple of days. Would I recommend this? No. However, when you have a limited number of days off you got to do what you got to do. Plus we are from NYC, so we walk twice as fast as everyone else. We don’t regret the intense vacations we have because we are able to see so much. I never want to leave a place with a serious case of “I wish I could have seen/done/visited ______.” I might only get to a visit a place once so I want to see it all the first time. This means I need a place to store and organize all of these details and directions.

This place was always Yahoo! Trip Planner. My trip plans were masterpieces. I had every last minute mapped out with times, admission costs, and directions for every place. My trip plan became my bible while I was on the run in Greece, Paris, Dallas, etc. A couple months ago I went on Trip Planner to start my next trip plan for my upcoming trip to Europe. I kept getting an error message. I tried everyday for a week with no luck. I was having a trip planning breakdown. I emailed, Facebooked, and tweeted Yahoo! and Yahoo! Travel. They told me to be patient. The error message never went away. My thumbs up and comments from other people were no longer visible either. I knew then I should fear for the safety of my beloved Yahoo! Trip Planner, but I put those depressing thoughts out of mind. After days of research I picked a new company to use for my trip plans. I’m using TripIt. I don’t love it, but I don’t have a choice. I held out hope for Yahoo, until a couple days ago.

On February 27th the dreaded email came:

Dear valued Yahoo user,

In an ongoing effort to sharpen our focus and deliver inspiring and engaging products and services, we sometimes have to make tough decisions. Effective March 21st, 2014, the Yahoo Travel services “Trip Planner” and “My Travel” will be permanently discontinued. If you have uploaded Trip Plans to the site, please click here to learn how to save your information.

Thank you for your continued support.

Yahoo Travel Team

I didn’t know if I should cry or be angry. They had just killed a piece of my travel soul. I was in a state of shock for at least 20 minutes. I now have to print my trip plans so I have them, but it just won’t be the same. My entire trip plan portfolio represents hours upon hours of research, frustration, tears, joy, excitement, aggravation, curiosity, etc. Each trip plan had to be perfect before leaving for a trip and each trip plan reflects a part of me. They show you I love Egypt, history, politics, Italian food, bakeries, Hyatt hotels, and the Northeast. I can seriously close my mind and picture myself hunched over at various computers with travel books all over my floor or desk, google maps tab open, and tons of other relevant travel sites minimized. I will miss reading other people’s reviews on places and looking at the pictures while I contemplated whether each attraction, hotel, or restaurant was worthy of being added to my trip. The trip plans were also my first time doing something connected to travel on the internet. I constantly refer to them when working on this blog.

If you want to look at my trip plans before they disappear on March 21st 2014 please click the links below. I deleted a couple before I decided to make this blog post. If it takes you to the trip journal tab just hit “Trip Plan”:





Washington DC

Boston, Plymouth, and Salem




Boston, Lexington, and Concord

Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland

Yahoo! Trip Planner all I have left to say is, “Thanks for the memories!”

screen 1 screen 2 screen 3


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Europe’s Best City Escapes for Spring

In about 2 months (not 1 month-stupid WordPress widgit) I will be heading to Europe to do my annual international vacation. We will be going to Amsterdam, Cologne, Brussels, Ghent, and possibly some other small cities. So when I saw the article below I was glad to see I was going to one of the cities on their list.

All rights belong to Yahoo! and you can view the original slideshow/article here.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Netherlands takes pride in its tulips, and for good reason: these flowers are big business. This spring, explore the countryside on bicycle to see vast fields carpeted with vibrant tulips in a dazzling array of colors. , located in nearby Lisse, is famed for rows upon rows of flowers that stretch as far as the eye can see. Take a day trip there when the gardens are open, from mid-March to mid-May, by direct bus (No. 858) from Schiphol Airport.

Insider Tip: In the city, opt for ‘s equally fabulous and historical floating on the Singel canal—the only one in the world, open daily—to view floating barges that burst in fragrant swathes of red, pink, orange, and yellow petals.

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

In spring, Europe’s westernmost capital is bathed in warm climes, with picture-perfect hues that pervade twisting cobblestone alleyways. A spring trip to is a fairy-tale fling in a global city that’s undergoing something of a renaissance. Outside the city, neighboring castle-clad towns Sintra and Cascais both make for easy day trips.

Insider Tip: The hip, bohemian neighborhood of is filled with creatives. Explore the quarter’s abundance of artistic murals, three-table bars where elderly men smoking pipes flank traditional bars, and Capoeira schools and cafés that boast an eclectic edge.

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary

The hip capital ranks as a popular budget-friendly destination. The city offers medicinal thermal baths, edgy “ruin pubs,” and a gritty, post-Communist exuberance. For exploring, the lower Pest side of the Danube River boasts opera, theaters, and the city’s historic Jewish quarter, while Buda on the upper side features the castle district’s posh residences.

Insider Tip: Spanning three floors, offers everything from local meats to baked sweets. Spring kicks off a roster of world-themed food days, including Chilean and Moroccan eats. The Easter market is one of the busiest times of year; expect throngs of hungry crowds counting their forints.

Riga, Latvia

Riga, Latvia

Deeply etched in European history, is synonymous with classical music, elegance, and historic architecture. Get lost in the quaint side streets on a spring morning and make sure to visit the city’s medieval center, which offers the widest collection of art nouveau buildings in the world. Here, the concentration of remarkably intact medieval architecture dates back to the 12th century, which contributed to Riga’s World Heritage status. The European Union also recently recognized the city as the European Capital of Culture for 2014.

Insider Tip: Foodies should head to for locally sourced Latvian tidbits ranging from pig snout and sauerkraut to hemp butter. End your day with a drink and a rooftop view from the ‘s 26th-floor Skyline Bar. The spot fills up fast, so get there early to enjoy spectacular panoramic vistas.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark

Spring kick-starts a year of Danish design and architecture exhibitions. Start at the iconic , which first opened in 1755. The hotel is newly refurbished, overlooks famous square, and sits near the Nyhavn Canal, the Royal Danish Theatre, and shopping street Stroget. Spend another afternoon at , Northern Europe’s largest aquarium.

Insider Tip: For unforgettable organic fare, go to super-hip , the Meat District neighborhood, and try restaurant, which is housed within a 1920s Bosch warehouse, or the neighboring .

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Man’s Tattoo Tracks World Travels

All rights belong to Good Morning America and Joanna Prisco. The original article can be read here


Man’s Tattoo Tracks World Travels

Feb. 17, 2014
By JOANNA PRISCO via Good Morning America
PHOTO: Bill Passmans tattoo is seen after filling in some of the countries he has visited.

While most travelers use photography and souvenirs to remember the places they’ve been, one man has taken a much more permanent approach to recording his trips.

For the last four years, Bill Passman, a former lawyer in Louisiana, has been tracing his steps in foreign countries via a large world map tattoo on his back.

Passman, 59, wrote on his blog that he was inspired to begin the evolving ink project while sitting in a bar in Utila, Honduras, where he met a woman who was marking her travels via red dots on a similar outline of a world map tattoo.

But the retiree takes his body art in a much more vibrant direction, coloring in each country with a different hue once he has visited. The map currently has 60 different nations filled in, including from his most recent post documenting Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Finland and Russia.

ABC News’ attempts to reach Passman for comment were not immediately responded to, likely because he is on the road somewhere.

“I got the tattoo as a way to show my passion for travel,” he wrote on the blog.

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Porcelain Box from Portland

This box is of the Portland skyline. I bought this past June for $7.95. I bought it at the gift shop for the historical society. The guy was super sweet and made sure I had a new one in a box. The trinket inside the box is of a rose. That’s because Portland is known as Rose City. The box reminds me of the Boston skyline one I own.






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Hotels with the World’s Best Views

All rights belong to and Compass. To view the original article click here.

Hotels with the world’s best views

By December 18, 2013 4:12 PM Compass
(Photo: courtesy St. Regis Bora Bora)

Author E.M. Forster knew the value of a room with a view; he used the phrase to name one of his most beloved novels. Here are some hotels with views so special that you’ll have a hard time dragging yourself out the door.

St. Regis Bora Bora

People tend to use the shorthand “Tahiti” when referring to French Polynesia, a vast scattering of islands that covers a nearly a million square miles of the South Pacific. Some of French Polynesia’s island chains barely break the surface of the water, but the Society Islands are mountainous, with stunning Bora Bora containing the famed double peaks of Mt. Otemanu and Mt. Pahia. Mainland Bora Bora is ringed with islands, called motu, and one of the most luxurious motu resorts—positioned for maximum vistas of the lagoon and the pair of mountains—is the St. Regis Bora Bora. Overwater villas, some with their own (decadently redundant) overwater pools, boast enchanting Otemanu views.


(Photo: courtesy Shangri-La Paris)

Shangri-La, Paris

My best Eiffel Tower-from-the-room experience occurred at the venerable Hôtel Plaza Athénée, when I stayed in an art deco suite with a view of Paris’ tallest landmark from the glass-tiled bathtub. But with the Plaza closed for a major expansion until May 2014, view seekers should make note of the Shangri-La. Although the Plaza was where Carrie ran into “Mr. Big” during the final episode of “Sex and the City,” but the Shangri-La is no slouch is the fame department: It was the former home of Napoleon Bonaparte’s grandnephew, and its interiors are the vision of Pierre-Yves Rochon, the king of luxury hotel design. You can enjoy BVLGARI White Tea toiletries while taking in the Eiffel Tower view from one of the Shangri-La’s soaking tubs.


Photo: Drew Limsky)

Mandarin Oriental, New York City

When I first came to New York, Columbus Circle was an oddity: The household-name landmark rests fabulously on the southwest entrance of Central Park, and yet it was plainly in disrepair. The buildings that flanked it were roundly dismissed, even mocked. When plans for the Time Warner Center were announced, and people contemplated a shopping center—a mall!—in Manhattan, locals were dubious. But the glittering edifice has glamorized the location, and the Mandarin Oriental, which occupies the upper floors of the north tower, has been a big part of that renewal. Its exclusive sky lobby, Asiate restaurant and richly textured rooms seem to float above Central Park, offering some of the city’s best views of the park’s trees and trails.

(Photo: courtesy Hotel Palazzo Manfredi)

Hotel Palazzo Manfredi, Rome

One of the most thrilling things about the Eternal City is how accessible the ruins are. You walk down a street, and suddenly you come upon one of the world’s most iconic sights. This is especially true of the nearly 2,000-year-old Colosseum, which rises from a low-slung neighborhood and is encircled by a greenbelt. Just a few blocks away, the Palazzo Manfredi, an elegant boutique hotel, offers great Colosseum views both from its rooms and from Aroma, the hotel’s magical rooftop restaurant. Between the hotel and the Colosseum on Via Labicana are the ruins of gladiators’ barracks—and the city’s so-called Gay Street, lined with bistros and bars.

(Photo: Drew Limsky)

Jade Mountain, St. Lucia

I’ve been to St. Lucia several times, and to me, there’s no point to going unless you hole up in the area of the Pitons, the twin “volcanic plugs” that attest to the island’s geologically violent beginnings. Several resorts lay claim to fantastic locations that overlook either Gros Piton or Petit Piton, but only Anse Chastanet and its more luxe sister property, Jade Mountain, offer awe-inspiring views of both Pitons side by side. The guest rooms of the two resorts have done away with one wall to maximize the panoramas, and Jade Mountain’s rooms have enviable private infinity pools that (when you stand in the right place) reflect the peaks, doubling the double vision.

(Photo: courtesy Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel)

Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel

One of the more surprising things about pulchritudinous Southern California is how few resorts capture the area’s coastal majesty. But the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, which is actually located in Dana Point due south of Laguna Beach, makes the most of its commanding view atop a 150-foot cliff. The altitude allows for serpentine walkways, grand terraces and subtropical gardens descending from the building to the beach, an especially popular break for Orange County’s surfers. There are even terraced lawns ringed with Adirondack chairs for quiet contemplation of the rolling Pacific waves. New fireplace guest rooms boast sweeping views of the coves below, and when I stayed on the top floor, I had an endless all-water vista framed by palm trees.

(Photo: Navin Rajagopalan / Flickr)

(Photo: Navin Rajagopalan / Flickr)

Gritti Palace, Venice

A setting on the Grand Canal would be coveted by any Venice hotelier, but the Gritti Palace, which reopened last May after a $55 million renovation, bests all competitors. I was present during the early stages of the renovation, and I got to watch craftsmen shape and paint the guestrooms’ ornate new moldings so the hotel could once again live up to its lineage as Doge Andrea Gritti’s 16th-century residence. Now the interiors equal the hotel’s peerless view of the gorgeously domed Basilica Santa Maria della Salute, in Dorsoduro across the Grand Canal. Of course the Presidential Suite commands the front and center of the palace, but note that the corner rooms overlook two canals—so it’s gondolas galore.

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Porcelain Box from Boston II

I got this box near Quincy Market in March of 2007. It was around St. Patrick’s Day. There was a little shop on the corner that I picked it up from. I was on Spring Break with my school at the time. I don’t remember how much it was but it was probably $8 or $9. The box is of the Boston skyline. The trinket inside is of a lobster, which is super cute! This box is very similar to other ones I have in my collection. You will see them soon.





Categories: Boston, Gifts and Souvenirs, Mish Mash, Porcelain Boxes, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Porcelain Box from Boston

I bought this box on my most recent trip to Boston. I believe it was $8 or $9. I bought it at the Old North Church gift shop. I own another pillbox from Boston that I bought in Feb. 2007, which I’ll post soon. This box is obviously of the church and has two images of Paul Revere on it. Old North Church is where he had the lanterns hung to let everyone that the British were coming. The trinket inside is of a lantern.




Categories: Boston, Gifts and Souvenirs, History, Mish Mash, Porcelain Boxes, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pill Box/Porcelain Box Fridays

I have well over 100 pill boxes aka porcelain boxes in my room. I try to collect one from every new city, state, and country I visit. It’s hard though because many places don’t have. I also run into a different issue, which is some places have A LOT. I don’t want to buy multiple styles so it makes it hard to select just one. They usually run anywhere from $7-$10. I have many associated with travel, but I also have a lot that have nothing to do with travel. I have ones from Christmas, Hanukkah, and Halloween. I also have a bunch of random ones like a cell phone, pen, dress, etc.

Starting in November I am going to start posting a different travel pill box/Limoges box every Friday. I’ll post several pictures of the box, the little thing that came inside (if applicable), and other details I know about it. So if you have no idea what I’m referring to I’m going to post some Halloween ones I own below so you can get the picture.

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Postcards from Nantucket

My dad’s co-worker brought these postcards back from Nantucket for me.





Here’s some more postcards from places I’ve never been/postcards from friends:

Categories: From Friends, Gifts and Souvenirs, Mish Mash, Postcards, Travel | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Souvenirs from Istanbul and Switzerland

My former co-worker just got back from a recruiting trip across Europe. She brought me back some hotel pens and pads. It’s a thing we do. The main gift was from Istanbul. She and another co-worker went shopping at a spice market and decided to get me a red sequined bridal veil and henna coverings. Turkish brides put the veil completely over their heads and tie the marching bags around their hands to cover and protect their henna. So I told her all I need now is the man.




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