TU S1.2; TS 4: Sip & Cycle (Part 1) – Paris

Join me as we learn about & drink different wines. We will cycle thru Paris on a picnic-style bike with Cyclo Cafe and Tanisha Townsend of Girl Meets Glass! Part 2 will be up next week! Get your wine glass and come on ūüôā

Girl Meets Glass:
Bloghttp://www.girlmeetsglass.com
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/GirlMeetsGlass/
Twitter — @girlmeetsglass
Tumblrhttp://girlmeetsglass.tumblr.com

Cyclo-Cafe:
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/OntheCycloCafe/
Websitehttp://www.cyclo-cafe.fr

En Vrac (includes location & hours of operation):
Websitehttp://www.vinenvrac.fr/en/

S1.2, TS3: Arab Adventures Pt. 2 “Sunset Desert Safari” (UAE)

Welcome to the 3rd travelsode of Travel Unplugged. In this episode, we trek thru the desert of the United Arab Emirates on a desert safari. So. Freakin’. Fun!

This 5 hour 4×4 Desert Safari tour takes you from the cities of either Dubai or Abu Dhabi into the desert where you go sand-duning, sand boarding, 4×4 quad biking, or get a henna tattoo, try falconry and smoke some shisha after a bbq dinner and belly dancing display. This tour has it all!

S1.2, TS2: Arab Adventures Pt. 1 “Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride” (UAE)

Hello my lovely travelistas! ¬†Please join me for Part 1 of my 2 part “Arab Adventures” series! In this travelsode of Travel Unplugged, we are going to watch the sunrise as we soar over the desert outside Dubai in a hot air balloon!!!

I’ve had a bucket list for 6 years now and was finally able to check “riding in a hot air balloon” off! ¬†I booked the tour thru Balloon Adventures and IT. WAS. AWESOME! ¬†Seriously, this ranks up there as one of my all-time favorite activities!!! ¬†It would have been perfect if I had a glass of champagne…but I’ll do that next time (smile).

Looking for a fabulous way to start your day during a trip to Dubai? ¬†Consider doing a hot air balloon ride. ¬†You start the day SUPER EARLY. ¬†I mean, seriously…they pick you up between 3 and 4am. ¬†And you know the only folks out at the time are those making bad decisions ūüôā ¬†It’s about a 1.5 hour drive to the desert lift off location so you can take a quick nap enroute.

Once you arrive, you go thru a safety training then watch as they prep the balloon for the ride.  It goes by really fast so be sure to bring your camera and GoPro to capture the memories (they also will sell you a video of your ride).

Cost is approximately $270 per person for adults.  They do have discounted pricing available for kids (ages 5-12).  Price includes transportation to/from your hotel (or a central meeting point), flight certificate and cold refreshments.

Grab your e-goggles and let’s go!

S1.2, TS1 Parisian Catacombs

Hi my travelistas!¬† On today’s travelsode of Travel Unplugged, we are going 60 feet under street level to explore Les Catacombes (the ossuary where the bones of 6 million Parisians are housed).¬† Located at 1 avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy in the 14th Arrondissement.¬† They only allow 200 visitors at a time.¬† Due to the length of the tour (up to 1 hour) and the fact that you walk down 130 steps (and up 80 steps), it’s not recommended for those with limited mobility.

The Catacombs are so freaking awesome!¬† The bones are stacked up 5 feet high¬†in very cool arrangement of femurs, tibias and skulls.¬† I kept waiting for Sammy Terry to pop out and say, “Bonjour Madamoiselle, I’ve been waiting for you!”¬† Then I’d have screamed, died on site and had my bones mixed in with the others.

As I say in the video, what I can’t get with is that the bones are mixed up all willy nilly.¬† You know they didn’t try to figure out who is Celine and who is Francois.¬† And it would be my luck that if I was one of the dead, my bones would be mixed up with my arch nemesis (we’ll name her Becky since it starts with a “b”) and my ex (who we will call Leroix so it sounds French).¬† You know who ain’t trying to have¬†their femur mixed with Becky’s tibia and Leroix’s skull?¬† Me.¬† I have gone to Glory and need time to rest.¬† And I know they ain’t walking the golden streets of heaven…because if they are, then I’d need to go speak with Peter about their quality control process and review their paperwork to ensure that error is corrected and they are given tickets to go down South ūüôā¬† Ha!

If you visit Paris, be sure to check out The Catacombs in all of its macabre splendor!

Hours:
Daily from 10am to 8pm (last admission at 7pm), except Mondays and some holidays.

More information & to Purchase Tickets:

http://www.catacombes.paris.fr/

Travel Unplugged – Season 1.2 “The Remix” Trailer

Hi everybody!! ¬†It’s a new year with new goals and plenty of chances to make bad decisions! ¬†Ha! I want to welcome you to view the Travel Unplugged – Season 1.2 “The Remix” trailer. ¬†I had such big dreams and big plans last year for this travel show…but life happened and it kinda fell off the radar with my move to Paris.

So, I figured a reboot was in order and I’d relaunch the Travel Unplugged. ¬†Instead of doing Season 2 (since I only did 3 videos for season 1), I figured I’d do like most rappers/rapstresses and remix the first season. ¬†I even have a 17 week Winter Season Schedule. ¬†Now, the schedule is tentative as I may move some of the videos around depending on how lazy I am my mood.

This season, I will be publishing every Wednesday and will cover one of the following areas:  Destinations; Expat Experience; A Day in the Life of a Parisienne and Paris Highlights.  Check me out!

 

Tentative Winter Schedule

TU 1.2 schedule

Season 1, Travelsode 2 (The Blue Lagoon — Iceland)

The second travelsode of Travel Unplugged takes you to the beautiful Blue Lagoon! Located just outside Reykjav√≠k, this geothermal spa (which is one of National Geographic’s “25 Wonders of the World”) is a “must see” on your travel bucket list!

Links:

More info about the Blue Lagoon (including pricing/directions) – http://www.bluelagoon.com

Products — http://www.bluelagoon.com/shop/us/

Icelandair (stop over for up to 7 nights on your way to Europe) —  http://www.icelandair.us/flights/stopover/

Gate 1 Travel — http://www.gate1travel.com/scandinavia-travel/

Ice Ice Baby – Season 1, Travelsode 1 (XtraCold Ice Bar, Amsterdam)

Welcome to the season premiere of Travel Unplugged!!! ¬†In today’s travelsode, we will explore Amsterdam’s XtraCold Ice Bar¬†located at¬†Amstel 194-196,¬†1017 AG Amsterdam, Netherlands.

You can purchase your tickets online at the XtraCold Ice Bar’s website, Tours & Tickets, or on Viator. ¬†Going to Amsterdam to celebrate King’s Day? ¬†Check out my blog post about Queen’s Day (as it was known before King Willem was inaugurated). ¬†It is a blast!

Thanks for watching!

Introducing…Travel Unplugged

I am so excited to announce my new online travel show…Travel Unplugged!!! ¬†Season 1 premieres April 29, 2015! ¬†For 8 weeks, we will take an adventure throughout the UK, Europe and the Middle East. ¬†The second trailer will be released in a couple of weeks and will explain the concept of Travel Unplugged & what you can expect. ¬†Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel & blog! ¬†Thanks ūüôā

The Exorcist Steps

So, I thought I’d take a shot at video blogging as a way to spice up my blog. ¬†During my exploration of my new hometown, I discovered that Washington, DC has a lot of hidden gems‚Ķone of which are the iconic steps from the 1973 horror flick, The Exorcist. ¬†You know the movie I’m talking about‚Ķwhere the little girl acts all crazy spitting vomit across the room and her head doing 360 degree turns? Mmmhmm, that one. I will warn you now‚Ķa 4 year old can probably edit better than me but since it’s my first try, I am going to cut myself some slack. ¬†Check me out!

Save Me…Stockholm Marathon 2014

This poor fool here…sigh. Smiling like an idiot before reality sets in.

This poor fool here…sigh. Smiling like an idiot before reality sets in.

Back in December 2013, running a marathon seemed like such a great idea. Maybe I was hopped up on candy canes and Christmas cheer which impeded my ability to reason & make sound decisions? My sis had registered to run it and the Stockholm Marathon is billed as the most scenic marathon in Europe. So, why not? I really should’ve¬†stopped to examine¬†those reasons. Instead, I paid my money and started training. Then, got a new job and relocated from Atlanta to Washington, DC which meant I took a 2 month hiatus and just did mental training runs. Yeah, I said that. I claim a run even if it is just me taking a nap and dreaming about it. Which should tell you that I was not ready for this race. But, when has that stopped me? Remember when I wrote that letter from heaven after the Warrior Dash in 2011? Or when I got Jedi mind-tricked into doing Tough Mudder? Yeah, I never learn.

So, as with my other races, I am going to take you on the race with me…complete with pictures because you know I looked for ANY reason to take a break.

The race started at noon…which was kinda weird as most races start early in the morning. But, that worked for me because it meant I got to sleep in.

The only real prep I did was pack all the necessary running equipment...I guess "common sense" got left in DC.

The only real prep I did was pack all the necessary running equipment…I guess “common sense” got left in DC.

Let’s get started…

I am all limber and ready to go by the time the race starts. I feel good because I have on my favorite running outfit, compression socks and my running belt with electrolyte tabs & GU. Mentally, I’ve psyched myself up that this is just a sightseeing tour that I’m running instead of walking or biking. See? Sometimes you gotta lie to yourself to make it thru the day. Anyway, all is good and people are laughing and running with strides like Olympians.

After the first mile, I feel good. In fact, I think I’m a beast! My pace is awesome and the breeze is perfect. Then I remember I have 25.2 miles left to go and a piece of my soul dies. But, I psych myself up…I’m running a freaking marathon. Woohoo!!! (meanwhile people on the sidelines are looking at me like, “sucker.”)

Things are okay miles 2-5, then as I get to mile 6, I start to look for a scooter or Metro station. This can’t be my life. WHY AM I DOING THIS? GOD, DO YOU HEAR ME? Surely he can hear the sound of my sobs as I struggle.¬† Then, I look at my Garmin and notice that it is tracking a half mile off from the kilometer markers.¬† WTF?¬† I can’t run any extra steps.¬† So, I’m now running with this look on my face:

Only 8 kilometers?  Whatchu talkin' bout, Willis?  That should say 12!

Only 8 kilometers? Whatchu¬†talkin’ bout, Willis? That should say 12!

Sigh.¬† Mile 7 arrives and my feet aren’t happy…even the song by Pharell can’t perk them up.¬† They are clinically depressed.¬† But, I’m talking myself thru it and focusing on my playlist…then I see a hill.¬† Lord, Jesus…WHY?¬† I grit my teeth and power thru it by just trying to sprint up as fast as I can while thinking about all the cakes and pies I’m going to eat to celebrate.

I will say that the course was laid out well and they had djs and bands throughout.¬† It was weird hearing someone calling my name over a loudspeaker when¬†I stopped for a sports drink and telling me that I’m doing great…I guess the chip in my bib transmitted my name and country!¬† Very cool!¬† That got me feeling pretty good for the next 0.2 miles.¬† LOL

By mile 8, I was certain of 1 thing —

not ready

Seriously.¬† At this point, I’m mentally preparing my letter to send to Iyanla¬†Vanzant asking her to fix my life because I am apparently the CEO of Bad Decisions, LLC.

Once mile 9 comes around, there is a big crowd and I notice they are really enthusiastic!¬† I thought to myself, “How nice!!!¬† They are cheering me on.¬† I can do this!”¬† Then, just as I’m luxuriating in all the adulation & affections, I see a Kenyan sprint right past me with a police escort.¬† Wait…did he just lap me?¬† IS HE ALMOST TO THE FINISH LINE?¬† CAN I HOP ON THAT POLICE VAN?¬† So many questions.¬† But, alas, I realized that the applause wasn’t for me…the lady who got lapped.¬† It was for the winner.¬† But,¬†lets pretend like it’s still for me, mmkay?

By mile 10, I knew it was a wrap.  I made so many errors in thinking I could run this race.

  1. First, I didn’t finish training.¬† Having my longest training run as 8 miles did not prepare me for this.
  2. Second, I have¬†¬†ran in my regular training¬†sneakers — not the new¬†ones I bought.¬† My thought process was that the new ones¬†were just like my training shoes but would be “fresh”…well, they were fresh alright…fresh hell.¬† My feet felt like I had been running barefoot over crack pipes for 10 miles!
  3. Third, I don’t really like running.¬† I mean, I’ve done it for a long time and always thought I should do a marathon…but I don’t like running long distances.¬† I’m okay with topping out at a half marathon.¬† 13.1 miles is the perfect distance and it feels like 9,658,720,148,932,451 miles anyway…so I win.
  4. It’s okay to say “no”.¬†¬†I didn’t have to run this race when I knew I wasn’t ready.¬† And, it is okay that I wouldn’t get my money back.¬† Sometimes, you gotta know when to hold’em, and when to fold’em.

So, at mile 11, I ran right off the course and into the waiting arms of a beautiful park bench.¬† I swear I could not walk for at least 30 minutes and had to take my shoes off for relief.¬† I don’t feel bad at all for not finishing the race.¬† Why?¬† Because I am alive.¬† LOL.¬† I saw so many other people had the same idea so I did not feel like a loser.¬† In fact, when I had a debate with myself about finishing the second lap, my saner side was like —

Another mile?  Bye, Felecia!

Another mile? Bye, Felecia!

The good news is that my sis did finish the race and I am so super proud of her!!!¬† 26.2 miles is a major achievement!!!¬† Have you ever registered for a race and didn’t finish?¬† Please don’t tell me I’m the only one!!!