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

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!

The Beautiful Blue Lagoon

20140514-231000.jpgAfter seeing a picture of the Blue Lagoon on Crack Boards (also known as Pinterest), I was obsessed with soaking in the thermal waters that were said to turn back the hands of time like Cher! ¬†It just so happened that Groupon was offering an $899 deal for a 3 day trip to Iceland (roundtrip airfare, accommodations and some tours included). ¬†I figured the deal was too good to pass up (side note: I’ll review the trip and using a Groupon to travel in a later post). My fabulous photographer friend, Sarah (who is responsible for the profile pictures on this blog), was kind enough to join me on this amazing adventure.

Snow blankets the ground around the thermal pool.

Snow blankets the ground around the thermal pool.

The Blue Lagoon was everything I had dreamed about!  And that is saying something considering we went to Iceland in January when it was COLD!

20140514-231148.jpgNestled outside Reykjavik (on the way to the airport), this famous thermal spa is all that it advertises and more.  There are shuttles between hotels in Reykjavik to/from the spa as well as from/to the airport.  We actually spent our last day at the Blue Lagoon.  After checking out of our hotel, we hauled our luggage to the spa.  At the entrance, there is a separate building where you can store your luggage for a minimal fee.  After receiving your claim ticket, you walk thru a paved path of cleared volcanic rock towards the actual spa.

Once you are at the main entrance, you can stand in line for a ticket (or pre-pay via the website or one of the tour vendors‚Ķthe line will be long so I highly suggest pre-paying so that you don’t waste precious time waiting to get in). ¬†There are different packages available and you can also rent¬†towels, robes and shoes. ¬†I brought my own towel and flip-flops but did rent a robe (some spa packages include robe & towel rental). Once you are checked in, you are given a wristband that acts as currency. ¬†If you want to purchase anything (products, food/drinks, spa treatments, etc.), just scan your wristband and it will be applied to your account (which is linked to a credit card you provide upon check in). ¬†So easy! 20140514-215542.jpg

You are then free to go to the locker rooms to change. ¬†The locker rooms are NICE! ¬†Very clean and easy to use. ¬†After changing into your swimsuit, you walk thru to the showers to rinse off then out to the thermal waters. ¬†It was our luck that on the morning we arrived, it started sleeting. ¬†It felt like someone was shooting a gun filled with icicles at me as we were walking outside¬†to the pool. ¬†But, once in the water, it felt like heaven!!! ¬†Some areas of the pool are warmer than others. ¬†The water has a sort of “milky” texture to it‚Ķmaybe because of the silica mud. ¬†It was so soothing! ¬†Word on the street was that the spa mud was supposed to take years off your face‚Ķso you know I was caking it on in an effort to look like a pre-teen by the time we left. ¬†Didn’t work. ¬†Sigh.

After relaxing in the water for a while, we decided to take a break and get a quick bite to eat. ¬†What better way to continue to unwind than with champagne and cheese? ¬†Living the dream, y’all ūüôā Once we were full, it was time to try the sauna before heading over to the private thermal pool for our in-water massage. ¬†For regular readers of my blog, y’all know I love to go to spas in each country I visit. ¬†I’d like to say it is because I am a connoisseur of fine spa experiences. ¬†But, honestly‚ĶI just like getting rubbed on‚Ķwhich is what got me in trouble in Bali. ¬†Ha!

20140514-231051.jpgAnyway, each time I visit a spa, my goal is to try a massage or treatment that I’ve never experienced before. ¬†The Blue Lagoon offered an in-water massage where you lay down on a floatation device and are covered with warm towels (for 30 or 60 minutes). ¬†The masseuse will use silica mud or oils to exfoliate/massage your body. ¬†In traditional massages, you always start face down on the table so they can start with your back. ¬†Here, you are always laying on your back but the masseuse (who is wearing a wetsuit) can go under water to massage your back and legs. ¬†It is so cool!!! ¬†Who doesn’t want to get a massage in warm water? ¬†Even when the sleet turned to snow while we were outside getting our massage, I didn’t care. ¬†It was like kisses from angels‚Ķthat water got to me y’all. ¬†I know I sound crazy but by the time they are done using magic to relax your muscles, you don’t want to leave the pool. ¬†I felt like I was floating on a cloud with not a worry in the world. ¬†Sigh. ¬†I miss the Blue Lagoon. 20140514-231130.jpg

ASCOLI PICENO…THE ITALIAN SOUL

After a somewhat longer hiatus than I planned, I am back!!!¬† First post of 2014 is a guest article written by Stefano Tulli¬†from Ascoli on the Road!¬† After reading about this amazing Italian city, I can’t wait to visit this summer to experience it first hand.¬† Enjoy!

1Ascoli Piceno is an amazing and still unknown destination in the very center of Italy…What? Haven’t you ever heard of it?? Follow us and we are sure you’ll get in love with our hometown..

Ok, I don’t know anything about Ascoli..why should I consider it as an option to my trip to Italy??

First of all.. Ascoli Piceno is the perfect essence of everything you are expecting from a trip to Italy.. Ascoli Piceno is a very ancient Italian city, older than Rome! Every corner of this town is art, history and culture..

2Are you looking for Italian history? Ascoli Piceno is divided into 6 districts, each one having a historical beauty.. Roman bridges, arches, amphitheatres, the typical Cardo and Decumano organization of the city map..

Moreover..reach Ascoli Piceno in July and August.. you will witness a great medieval experience, with an ancient joust called QUINTANA (different from Siena). The whole town celebrates the local medieval history with a series of historical events aimed at commemorating Saint Emidio, the local saint..

3Are you looking for Italian art and architecture? Ascoli¬†Piceno is called the travertine city..the 2 main squares are simply breathtaking. The Cathedral, the museums, the ancient houses, the old streets… Ascoli is a great city for art lovers and it‚Äôs also demonstrated by the development of a great architecture and design university which hosts many overseas and Erasmus students every year!

Do you want to taste great Italian food and wines?? Well‚Ķthe most famous local product are the ‚ÄúStuffed¬†Ascolana olives‚ÄĚ and we are sure you have heard of this great fried olive once in your life. Not yet? Trust us and trust every tourist who has tasted them..unforgettable! Probably you will also want to drink something. Apart from the great local wines, you will also taste the incredible local liqueur..the Anisetta Meletti¬†, which has a very delicate and special aroma coming from the quality of the Aniseed, carefully cultivated in certain areas around Ascoli¬†Piceno..

4

Are you looking for a relaxing experience, far away from tons of tourists that visit the most famous places? Well..Ascoli Piceno IS your destination.. Food, art,, history, culture, lifestyle..Hundreds of Americans, russians and northern Europeans had the chance to visit Ascoli and most of them never came back to their hometown..falling in love with our romantic, beautiful and elegant Ascoli Piceno

5‚ÄúOk.. Ascoli¬†Piceno could be an option..but how do I get there??”

Easier than you think.. Less than 3 hours from Rome and 1 from Ancona or Pescara Airports, Ascoli¬†can easily be reached by train with the Milan ‚Äď Lecce/ Bari train: stopping in the city of San Benedetto del Tronto, you can arrive in Ascoli¬†Piceno in less than 20 minutes..

“Well, seems like I can have a trip over Ascoli¬†Piceno..what else should I know and when is the best period?”

Again, the answer is easier than you think. Do you love summer time? Ascoli Piceno is 15 minutes from the Adriatic Sea..Do you love winter? Great mountains are only 30 minutes away from downtown. Are you an autumn lover? Wow.. excursions, walks and pictures during this period are amazing in our city. Do you want to reach Ascoli in spring? Ok, just listen to our final words..there’s nothing better than having a walk in a historical Italian city, taking great pictures and relax in an amazing square drinking your favourite cocktail waiting for the colours of the sunset illuminating the historical buildings of Ascoli Piceno..

Hope you will now be convinced…We are waiting for you!

Guest post¬†written by¬†Stefano Tulli — Ascoli On the Road

www.picenontheroad.com

ascoliontheroad@gmail.com