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Dunhill Travel Deals

28 February 2014

Do you want to save big on travel and get good deals too? Why not check out Dunhill Travel deals and grab those low offers now while you can. Subscribe to their newsletter for more information.


Boston And Chicago, Here We Come!

24 February 2014

Photo credit: tangerinetravel.com


On March 10, 2014, our company will fly to Boston daily, making it the 8th state in the US where our airline fly a service to and from. It will be serviced daily and I can't wait!

Another good news is that, on August 5, 2014, we start operation to the Windy City of Chicago! Chicago will be our 9th US state in the network. Yahoo! The company keeps adding more US network in the list so the more opportunity for my family to travel around the world. That can only mean one thing, time to save big time!

Sorry, I can't mention my company here. Nevertheless, we're global!


The Beautiful River of Five Colors in Columbia

19 February 2014

Have you ever seen a river with many colors? This river's water is not colored but the thriving ecosystem in and around it gives the river a unique character, complete with vibrant colors of yellow, blue, black, green and red. These colors are attributed from the river bed, sedimentary rocks, lush green vegetation and the red plants called Macarenia clavigera.

There are plenty of small circular pits found in this river called Giant's Kettle. They are naturally formed by small pebbles that fall in the pit. They are rotated by the warm water movement around the pits which increases the dimension of the pits.

The River of Five Colors is also known as The Liquid Rainbow and the local term Cano Cristales. It is located in Serrania de la Macarena, in the province of Meta, Columbia.

There are no camps in this area to protect the river and the surrounding vegetation. Travelers who wish to see this place can take a cargo plane or a direct flight coming from Bogota.

Below are photos taken by Olivier Grunewald.









What are to Consider in Booking for Flights and Hotel Accommodation Online?

18 February 2014

In planning your vacation especially if you're going out of town, it is really important to consider of booking your flight, hotel accommodation, and other necessary stuff to be settled ahead of time in order for one to secure everything before leaving. This is to avoid hassle and problems that are possible to occur if done a day or two before the exact date you plan to go. Eventually, with the help of technology, things are now done conveniently and efficiently. And one of it is those online ticketing websites or travel sites.

In booking such, there are certain factors to consider before doing so. That includes the website itself which you prefer to handle all your travel needs. Although we know that there are plenty of travel sites online, having a particular site that doesn't just offer convenience but also reasonable prices is more convenient such Airlines Northwest can provide.

What this Airlines Northwest can offer that other travel websites can’t?
If you are a busy person, the Airlines Northwest is the most convenient travel website to have. From the flight needs down to renting a car for your tour activities, the website will provide you all your needs. All you have to do is to book everything you need and leave the rest with the site. By the time you will have your travel days, expect that everything is under control and all you have to do is to relax, enjoy, and forget all the stress. Hence, you can definitely rely on this website when it comes to convenience and money matters.


What are the factors to consider in booking online aside from the website?

Aside from the website, there are also other important things to consider before booking your travel needs online. Just like what Airlines Northwest has to offer, the following factors are very helpful especially if you're on tight budget.

1. Website’s Reputation (though it is mentioned earlier)

- It’s really essential to know the travel website you want to handle your travel needs well. Hence, checking its reputation and reviews done by those who have tried the service is really the best to do in order for you to know if the website is trustable enough or not.


2. The cost

- Aside from the website, it is also essential to know what the rates of your travel needs such as those in package. In this way, you’ll be able to estimate how much it would cost you before and after you reach the target place/location.


3. The convenience

- It doesn’t mean that a particular website has a good reputation then it is convenient to book your travel needs in it. For some instances, one should also consider the fact that despite a website’s reputation, it doesn’t offer full convenience a traveler wants and needs. Like handling everything a traveler had booked to one’s site for instance. Some websites only offer of booking your flight and the rest, you will be the one who will take care of it. Hence, it is really important to get a service such Airlines Northwest can offer.


4. The flexibility

- It’s a mainstream problem for most that issues and problems can occur in no time. Much worse when it occurs during your travel dates. Hence, in booking, it is very important to check the flexibility of the travel dates you are going to select before purchasing. In this way, you will be able to avail it without paying any additional fees or charges.


In choosing the website you want to manage all your travel needs, make sure that it provides all the important things a busy person can’t handle. Be it a busy person or not, a reliable company will definitely provide all the convenience it can give to its customers. Hence, always choose the best.





Explore Nature’s Edges with a White Water Roller Coaster

15 February 2014

Photo credit: mountainhop.com


The idea of being outside is becoming foreign to many people who work in office buildings for faceless soul-sucking corporations. In fact, Americans are working more now than they did in the 1970s, and that means that they have less time to play. While they are stuck in the office, their creativity is fading, and their humanity is slowly leaving them. Aside from human contact outside of work, people need to be connected with nature, and one of the best ways to do that is with white water rafting in Colorado's Royal Gorge.

“Last Child in the Woods”


One author proposed that kids are losing something because adults are taking all of the edges away. While parents are signing kids up for sports and flattening forest to make playgrounds, they are taking the edge away from the parks and the places where children play. They are in essence making life and children dull with the automation of scheduled time.

Children need places that are wild where they can explore. Go to a playground and watch where the children are. Sure there are many of them on the equipment, but after a rain, there will be just as many in the puddles, and if there is an edge to explore, kids will congregate around that area. They move the grass at the edge and look to see what is underneath, and it is this exploration that helps them learn.

Nature’s Roller Coaster Ride


Lilo and Stitch claimed the waves to be the Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride, but for those who are landlocked, or aren’t interested in fighting with the ocean, white water rafting in Colorado's Royal Gorge can provide the same kind of thrill that surfing does. You will have more safety equipment, but calling it a roller coaster is a misnomer. Roller coasters provide the same ride time after time. White water rafting provides a different experience each time that you are on the river. It depends on the rainfall recently received and what else is going on both in the area and in the region. That can make for a stunning ride.

Review - Hotel St. James in 45th St. in Manhattan

14 February 2014

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We spent the weekend in Manhattan last 7 to 10 February, 2014. I am very happy with the choice of hotel this time because it was smack in the center of Manhattan, near major attractions on foot and groceries and deli shops are everywhere.

Hotel St. James is a rustic hotel in the center of Manhattan and has been in operation since 1972. It is located at 109 W. 45th St. between Broadway and 6th Avenues. It is housed in a pre-war 12-storey building. It has 145 guest rooms and has gone through major renovations.


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What I like:


  • Location! I can sometimes overlook the price of the rooms per night as long as the location is well within the areas where we will usually frequent like Broadway, Times Square, St. Patrick's Cathedral, The Rockefeller and many more. All of which are walking distance from this hotel. There is a nice delicatessen beside the hotel called Cranberry. Nice place to buy your food or dine without breaking the bank.
  • Free wi-fi on all floors and you can connect instantly without the need for password.
  • The price is very reasonable as I got a good deal from Hotels.com.

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  • The staff on duty allowed us to check-in even before 11 a.m. and check-in time is not until 3 p.m. That's good customer service for you!
  • The customer service is commendable. The folks at the concierge are very accommodating of my queries and courteous too.
  • Our room was big for the three of us and it has 2 full double beds.
  • My daughter (15 yrs old at the time of check-in) is still considered a child so no extra fee collected and no need for extra bed.



What I don't like:

  • The lifts are very slow considering the age of the hotel. We were given a room on the 11th floor and getting there take a while. The waiting time to get in a lift is slow.
  • I didn't see any aircondition duct. I may be wrong but I looked everywhere in the room for an a/c duct. We're glad it was winter when we booked our room and the temperature was -8 Celsius on most nights but what if it was summer?  I only saw a small radiator.
  • The carpet was not cleaned properly by the housekeeping. The small pieces of paper we left from the previous night were still on the carpet even if the housekeeper already cleaned the room. On the last day of our stay, the housekeeper even left the bundle of small blankets on the fireplace mantle below the tv. Who ever it was who cleaned the room didn't bother taking them out of the room. The 2 long maroon pillows for each bed were found on the side of the dresser and they housekeeping left them there twice. I had to pull them from the side of the dresser next to the bed. I just don't get it why they have to leave the pillows there. 


  • The bed was not properly done. It was just fixed but the blankets were not tucked tight like how other housekeepers do in the other hotels we have stayed at before. I find the housekeeping a bit lousy and yet, we left tips inside the envelope they left on the dresser each time we wanted the room cleaned.
  • The window blinds didn't go all the way down. It was not the right size for the window.



Room type: Standard double bedroom with two full beds

Meal plan: No meal plan included  in the room rate

Price: US$ 309.99 with taxes for 3 nights (I saved 49% on this booking via Hotels.com)


Nearby attractions:
Times Square
Broadway
The Rockefeller
Grand Central Station
St. Patrick's Cathedral
Central Park (less than a mile and you can take the subway. There is a nearby subway in this hotel.)


Facilities:
24-hour concierge
Business center
Library
Left-luggage facility
Accessible bathroom
Tours/Theater tickets assistance
Limo or town car service assistance
Climate control / air conditioning (but I didn't see this in our room)
Premium TV channels
Hair dryer
Pressing board and iron
Daily housekeeping


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My recommendation and rating: (5 stars being the highest)
I considered 2 important factors in my recommendations and rating for this hotel: location and value for money.

I can overlook the issues with the housekeeping because I can always suggest from the management to improve that aspect but location and price per room per night are important factors I consider when booking a hotel. I do see myself booking in the same hotel when we visit New York in the near future.

Yes. I recommend this hotel for families and business travelers. I'm giving it

 


You can find more information about this property by visiting their website.


Disclaimer:
I was not compensated to do this review. My opinion is 100% mine and may vary from yours.

To book this hotel or other hotels in NYC, check out great deals here: Booking.com

A Weekend in Macau



A weekend in Macau is an escape to paradise. An enthralling blend of Chinese and Portuguese culture, Macau draws tourists from around the world. The city’s historical appeal and state-of the-art contemporary architecture provide one of the most beautiful backdrops imaginable. Enchanting resort-spas, hotels, tourist attractions, lavish shopping, casinos, and nightlife create the perfect weekend getaway.

Tourist Attractions





The famous ruins of St. Paul's and the ruins of St. Paul's College provide a picturesque look back in time. Both stand as reminders of the Jesuit influences from the early 1600s. St. Paul's College, Mount Fortress, and the Church of Mater Dei are additional structures that were constructed when the Portuguese settled in the region of Macau. The St. Paul ruins provide a testimony to the first Western-style University built in Macau. Today, the remains provide a unique view of the past to weekend visitors. The Mount Fortress bears further proof of the complex historical events that occurred throughout the ages. Additionally, tourists will find the ancient A-Ma Temple, with its various gates, arches, and pavilions to be a fascinating example of the cultural diversity that the city of Macau is built upon.


Hotels and Resorts:


Macau features more than 28 casino- hotels, many of which provide the ultimate amenities and comfort. The largest of these is the Venetian Casino Resort in Macau, situated in Cotai. The Venetian Casino provides gamblers with eight hundred table-games, ten poker tables, and well over three-thousand poker, slot, and video games inspired by gorgeous online casino versions. You can actually see some of the beautiful graphically-inclined games when you place your bet at Betsson and other online casinos. Located in the Far East, Macau is an enticing gambling destination. The Cotai Strip was developed during a land-reclamation project that serves to connect the islands of Taipa and Coloane. The strip is similar to the Las Vegas Strip in the United States. It is a thriving casino attraction, ideal for weekend guests from around the world. Additionally, aside from the traditional casino style gambling, sports-betting lounges, horseracing, and greyhound tracks draw millions of visitors each year.

Fine Dining, Shopping, and Entertainment:


One of the best ways to spend time during a weekend in Macau is to enjoy meals at any number of the exotic restaurants. The exotic blend of Chinese and Portuguese cuisine has been enhanced over the past 400 years. Macau is the perfect destination for gourmet eating. Garlic, sauces, fish-croquettes, coconut chicken, and intoxicating meats are some of the favourite treats. Many people travel to Macau just to purchase the delicious custard tarts and Portuguese breads.

Gourmet cuisine, glittering lights, and countless tourist events set the stage for fun and festivities.

Retail in Macau is another popular draw. High-fashion, bargain prices, and designer labels, attract shoppers from all regions. The Macau International Dragon Boat Races, the Macau Arts Festival, the House of dancing Water, the International Fireworks Display Contest, the Macau Grand Prix, and the Food Festival draw tourists to some of the most exciting attractions imaginable.

Macau has something for everyone! Just a short distance from Hong Kong and the Philippines, the city is one of the world’s most awesome destinations for weekend travellers!



Freezing New York in February 2014

13 February 2014

I love the cold season but not the freezing one where the temperature dips to negative. We were in New York from Feb. 7 to 10 for a short winter break. I checked the temperature and knew it was below 0 for all the days that we would be there. I didn't know how cold a -4 to -8 Celsius is until we were there.



We've been to NYC countless of times already but mostly during spring and autumn. This winter was the first time we visited the freezing and cold NYC. I could feel the bitter cold piercing through my down jacket even with my thermal sweater as an additional layer of clothing. I wore my thermal leggings as well underneath my jeans and yet, I could have sworn, at one point, I couldn't feel my buttom already.

One thing I liked though, my daughter and I enjoyed watching the falling snow. It was a first time for us because it wasn't snowing when we visited Niagara. It was just flurries but this time, it was snow and I could touch it for a fleeting second. Too bad, we couldn't make snow angels because it's not possible. But, seeing all these wonders of nature is a dream come true.

Freezing New York is the least of my favorite time to visit it. I still prefer going around on low 5 - 10 Celsius because that kind of cold will be bearable for us. So, are we visiting NYC again during winter time? Maybe but I will bring thicker jacket next time!

My 5kg x 1g 1.7" Digital Weight Food Diet Scale Review

12 February 2014

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I am glad to receive the 5kg x 1g 1.7" Digital Weight Food Diet Scale from www.tmart.com because it is very convenient, light-weight and super easy to use. I never had any kitchen scale before so I am so stoked that my first food diet scale has to be digital and sleek.

I find this product very useful in many ways. For dieters like myself who wants to keep track of the amount of food I consume. I can actually pack this small digital weight food diet scale in my luggage. And for those on the go or on road trips can also take this with them for a healthier monitoring of food intake.

My Digital Weight Food Diet Scale is light and not bulky so it can be packed during travels. I bring this with me just to monitor the amount of food intake because I cannot binge-eat during travels as it is bad for my stomach. I am not in a serious diet but it does keep me on my track when we are taking out food from deli shops because most of the food there are ordered by weight.

Aside from helping me track my food intake, the Digital Weight Food Diet Scale is also a great addition to the kitchen. It can give you the exact weight of the food you want to consume without feeling guilty afterwards because now you are aware of how much food you consume by using this weighing scale.

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What I like:
It is very light weight. It barely weighs 5 grams.
It can hold weight of up to 5000 grams (5 kgs)
It has a steel top that makes it durable.
It has auto-off function.


What I don't like:
Nothing. I like this product.

Price: US$14.80 (excluding tax) if shipped from Hong Kong warehouse/ US%15.41 (excluding tax) if shipped from the US warehouse

Shipping: Free shipping worldwide courtesy of Tmart.com

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Specifications:
Max Weight = 5kg Units g, oz, ml, lb/oz
Accuracy Resolution = 1g, 0.05oz, 1ml, 0.1lb/oz
Power Supply = 2 x AAA Battery (Not Included in the product)
Background = Light Color Purple
Display = LCD
Color = Silver with White lining
Material = Plastic, Steel
LCD Screen Size = 1.54" x 0.63" / 3.9 x 1.6 cm (L x W)
Dimensions = 7.05" x 5.47" x 0.55" / 17.9 x 13.9 x 1.4cm (L x W x H)
Package Size = 8.15" x 5.47" x 1.18" / 20.7 x 13.9 x 1.4cm (L x W x H)
Weight = 10.97oz / 311g

Packaging:
Packed in a carton box with user manual

My recommendation:
I like this product and I highly recommend it.


Tmart.com offers more products for you to choose from. They cover a wide variety of products for your every day use including travel stuff.  Check out Tmart.com for more information.

Proper Etiquette for Your Hotel Stay

05 February 2014


Believe it or not, even if you are on vacation, you still need to practice some etiquette. Whether you stay in Hotel Metropole or another hotel, there are certain things that you should and shouldn't do while you are a guest there. It doesn't matter whether you are alone, with a family, or with a group of people, practicing certain etiquette will ensure you have an enjoyable stay along with the rest of the guests at the hotel.

If you are staying by yourself, there are certain things that you should and shouldn't do. If you want your privacy, make sure to always hang up the Do Not Disturb sign. This way you won't be bothered by housekeeping in the event that they are scheduled to clean your room at that time. Don't leave your door open for the entire world to see. Nobody needs to see what the inside of your room looks like, and it’s just a little bit awkward for them to see your activities while you are alone in your hotel room. Don't leave huge messes in your room because you know that housekeeping will come in and take care of it.

If you are staying with your family, there are some things that you need to keep in mind. Just because you are used to the noise that comes with having children doesn't mean that every other guest in the hotel room is too. Keep your children under control as much as possible and try to keep things as quiet as they can be. It’s understandable that there will be some noise, just do your best.

If you are staying with a large party at Hotel Metropole or another hotel in town, there are also some things that you should and should not do. Try to keep your noise down. Sure, you are throwing a party and things are going to be louder than normal, but you don't have to go crazy. There are other guests in the hotel who aren't at your party and might be trying to get a good night’s sleep. Don't get so crazy that you become a nuisance, and don't get so drunk that things get really out of hand.

Chopsticks in Sahara Centre, Sharjah

01 February 2014

We love eating out and trying new delicacies from all over as long as our taste buds can take them. We found Chopsticks in Sahara Centre in Sharjah few months ago when it was newly opened in the new extension of the mall.

We were offered 25% off on our entire bill as their promotional offer that time so we decided to give it a try since we love Asian Fusion type of cuisine and they served mainly those kinds of meals.

What I like?
The serving is just right. We can order for 2 and actually can feed around 4 people.
The taste is right; cooked just the way I prefer. The vegetables were not soggy and over cooked and the viand were not overpowering with MSG or sodium.
The serving is perfect. We can actually feed 4 people with all our order.
The quiet ambiance.
I like the courteous and friendly staff.

What I don't like?
I think, if we weren't given an discount, I would find their meal price a bit expensive.

The ambiance:
Spacious with lots of red and black decors and motif.  It is a quiet place maybe because we went there around 4 p.m. so it was not crowded at all. Pipe-in music was not too loud and the lighting is ok.

The food selection we ordered:
For appetizer:
Shrimp Blast -

Main Course:
Chicken Fried Rice
Orange Crispy Chicken
Beef Broccoli

Drinks:
Water


The price:
I paid around AED 150++ for the whole entree. I was unable to save the receipt so I couldn't provide the exact amount but we were given 25% so it was a good deal for us.

The staff:
The staff are all friendly and accommodating. They served with a smile and were happy to provide our requests for extra water, tissue papers and condiments.

My recommendation:

I have to give this a rating of 4/5. You should check this restaurant out. They have a branch in Dubai Mall too.





*I was unable to take some photos to put in this review. I will update this when we dine in Chopsticks again.


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