Monday, October 31, 2016

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Excuse Me...How High?

Last week in Palm Springs I had the opportunity to ride the Palm Springs Arial Tramway.

First, some facts about the tram car.

The tram car is the largest in the world.

It is the only one of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

The manufacturer is Von Roll Tramways, Leg. from Olten, Switzerland.

It is 18 feet in diameter.

It is 8 feet high.

The capacity is up to 80 passengers with 35,600 pounds in the cabin.

The floor slowly rotates twice per trip on ascent and twice on descent.

I will be posting more about this amazing ride and amazing engineering feat...stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Book Your Parking Now

Airport Parking Helper posted this in their latest blog. It's worth reading and worth checking out before your holiday travels.
When anyone asks us what our number one tip is for finding cheap airport parking, the answer is easy.
Book early!
It’s not unusual for lots to fill up, especially during the busy holiday travel season, which (ackkkk!) is right around the corner. It’s also not uncommon for prices to rise the further we move into November and December.
Our parking partners offer FREE CANCELLATIONS so there’s really no reason not to book now. You’ll have a guaranteed parking spot and keep a little more of that holiday cash in your pocket!
So, head on over to our Top Travel Deals Page, grab a money-saving coupon and knock airport parking off your holiday travel to-do list.
Happy travels!
Jenn & Andie
P.S. We’re already seeing off-site lots selling out for holiday dates at airports in San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, so don’t delay. Snag a coupon and make your reservation now!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Il Fiorello...

In Italian, Il Fiorello means little flower. Look closely at an olive tree in bloom and you’ll see those little flowers. They turn into olives just waiting to be milled into delicious olive oil at the place named for them…Il Fiorello in Fairfield.

Family owned, Il Fiorello has come a long way since their first harvest of six pounds from 170 trees. Now, there are over 2,000 trees producing 13 varieties of olives. All hand-picked, if you can imagine that. Did you know those trees can live to be 1,000 years old?

And, that’s not all they do here. The entire operation is one of a few which include a visitor center, a milling operation, and a comprehensive growing operation. Add in their cooking classes, olive oil and balsamic tastings, wine tastings, tour of the facility where you will learn what the term extra virgin means as well as how different varieties taste different when made into oil, and you have an experience you won’t soon forget.

This past year they became certified organic…something that takes sustainability to a whole new level. Wandering around the grounds, it’s easy to see the attention to detail, countless raised beds of herbs and vegetables, rows and rows of olive trees, and owl boxes for predator control. Go inside and taste the difference in oils. Ask questions. Do you know how many olives it takes to produce that bottle you have sitting in your kitchen? Not only will they tell you, they’ll show you.

If you go at milling time…no longer called pressing and no longer done with donkeys…you’ll have an entirely new perspective on how you get your olive oil. Milling three tons per hour, with about 100 pounds at a time, those machines are impressive. This milling operation is one of about 50 in the United States and we’re fortunate to have it here in our backyard. And, if you grow olive and want to turn them into oil, they do custom milling for about 200 growers.

If you like to cook and learn about cooking, you’ve come to the right place. You’ve probably heard of the farm-to-table movement. The chef and cooking classes here at Il Fiorello take that a step further and actually show you how to use what you grow. There are demonstrations and hands-on classes.

Check out their schedule for their cooking classes and tours and make your reservation. Stop in to taste olive oils and vinegars. Whatever you do here, you’ll come away having learned something new. I did.

If You Go: Il Fiorello is located at 2625 Mankas Corner Road, Fairfield, CA. Their website is and phone number is 707.864.1529. For tours and cooking classes, you need to make a reservation.

Monday, October 17, 2016

First Time in Europe?

Many people are experience international travelers. But, we've all been somewhere for the first time.

What should you know about traveling internationally? Should you learn the language? Do you know what the exchange rate is?

First, it's a good idea to learn a few phrases in the language wherever you're going. Words like yes, no, please, thank you, good morning are a few you should master. Knowing the difference between Departures and Arrivals is another good thing to be able to read.

Check out the exchange rate before you go and figure out how to calculate it once you get to your destination. Is that $1 US or 1 Euro?

There are so many more which I will talk about in upcoming posts.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Rental Car Questions

What do you do if you've rented a car, are ready to return it, and the rental car place is closed? What do you do if that place doesn't open before your flight leaves?

Should you park it at the rental car place, lock it, and leave the keys in the drop slot?

Do you know if your insurance covers any damage to the car once you leave it?

Will you be charged for damage that didn't occur while you had the car?

Do the circumstances change if you're in Europe or in the US?

So many questions... You might want to think about these when you rent the car.

Ask what their hours are. Ask what you should do if they're closed when you get there. Ask what you are responsible for. Ask if there happens to be a holiday on the date you want to return the car. Some places are closed on national or even city holidays.

If you've rented at a major airport, this situation probably won't ever happen. Still, it's a good idea to check their hours and the policy for returning at all hours of the day and night.

If it's a small's a really good idea to know what to do.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Come With Me to Palm Springs

Have you been to Palm Springs lately?What were your favorite spots to eat, drink, visit, and shop?

That's where I'm headed this week.

Looking forward to checking out some spots I've never been. I'll tell you all about it on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. #VisitPalmSprings

Let me know what you think.

Monday, October 10, 2016

I'm Sick and I'm Not Home

You're on vacation and you get sick.

What do you do?

Be prepared by packing a few treatment items. I don't mean pack the entire medicine cabinet. A few basics will go a long ways. Don't forget to check your insurance to see what is covered when you're away from home.

Include these:

Pain or fever reducers like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin
Diarrhea medication
Motion sickness medication

Also include:

Spare pair of contact lens or eyeglasses
Extra prescription medications
Your health insurance card
Your physician's name and phone number

If you're really sick, you may need to contact a health professional.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Your Phone Has Gone Swimming

Your smart phone has everything in it. Everything.

What happens if you're in London and it breaks? What happens if it goes swimming in the Thames?

Have you synced all your information to another device?

If not, those important phone numbers, credit card contact numbers, your travel itinerary are gone.

Good thing to think about before your leave for your next trip.

Monday, October 3, 2016

What Should I Buy?

You’re stuck in an airport, wandering the duty-free shops. Everything is bright, shiny, and beckoning. It’s duty free. Right?

Even though you may find a deal once in a great while, it’s not a given that your duty-free purchase is a good buy. In fact, you’ll most likely find those electronic goods, beauty products, and high end purses usually cost less at home or online.

Do your homework before you fly. Get some idea of what products cost. Look at those you think you might be tempted to purchase.

One exception to this would be locally made or hand-crafted gifts made in that region.

How about neck pillows? You see them at every stand in every airport. If you really think you need a neck pillow, buy it before you leave home. Travel clothing websites, online, Amazon, and so many more carry them for a fraction of the cost at the airport.

Another thing that may grab your attention, is getting your foreign currency when you first land in a different country. Stop. Currency exchange desks in airports will charge a high transaction fee. Really high, in some cases. Sure, it’s convenient. But, probably not worth the fees.

Before you fly, get some money at your local bank. Many do not have foreign transaction fees.

Or, wait until you get to your destination. An ATM from a national bank will change less of a transaction fee than the airport.