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Franklin Murillo's Posts
Franklin has posted 236 reports and 1733 photos.

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Abu Dhabi Visit: 2013-4
2012-07-09 - Departed Washington Dulles airport to Abu Dhabi on Etihad Airways. I spent two nights at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr hotel. My hotel room had a perfect view of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. I came here to see Metallica play live at the du Arena. I visited the Marina Mall and Heritage Village which is now abandoned. My next destination was Dubai which I took a bus from the main bus terminal.

SEP2003 My friend was here for a few months working for a USA construction company, he drove out to Dubai and picked us up in his car. We spent a couple of nights at his apartment. The city was just like any other arab city before the major construction projects have taken over this Emirate. There wasnt much to do here, we visited the Hilton hotel on the beach, and ate dinner at a local Lebonese restaurant. We took a taxi van back to Dubai which there are many on this route.

Aguascalientes Visit: 2012-10
2012-11-13 - We departed San Luis Potosi to Aguascalientes where we spent one night at the Hotel Colonial, one of the oldest hotels in the city. We went to the Museum of Death located next to Templo de San Diego. The next day we took the bus to Zacatecas.

Ajman Visit: 2013-4
2011-08-30 - Departed Sharjah in my rental car to visit Ajman and all the northern Emirates. There is not much to see here except for the museum. It was nice to be indoors as it was very hot and humid outside. I was the only tourist at the museum, not many tourists bother to come here. My next stop was Umm Al Quwain.

We rented a car from the Dubai airport to go visit the rest of the Emirates. We drove north from Sharjah into Ajman. Locating Ajman was not easy as we didnt see any signs stating we were entering the area. So we drove to the Ajman mall, and then we knew for a fact we were in Ajman. Despite the mall there is not much to see here. We continued our drive north to Umm Al Quwain.

Alabama Visit: 2014-3
2014-04-05 - We drove from Gulfport-Biloxi Mississippi to Mobile where we would spend the night at the Battle House Renaissance Hotel (since 1908). Mobile is where the Mardi Gras festivals originated. I ate at the Wintzells Oyster House (since 1938). We stopped by to see the USS Alabama and historic Greenville. Our next stop was Montgomery where we spent two nights at the Hampton Inn Montgomery (since 1900s). We visited the Martin Luther Kings Dexter home, Rosa Parks museum, and Hank Williams memorial in Oakwood cemetery. We ate lunch at Chris Hot Dogs (since 1917). While driving west we stopped in Letohatchee and then Selma to see the historic bridge where civil rights marchers were turned away. We continued our drive until we reached Mississippi.

Albania Visit: 2007-9
2012-07-19 - Our adventure started in Kotor Montenegro. We had walked into a local travel agency at the bus station to ask about bus schedules to Tirana Albania. Three of the agents looked at us and asked why are you going to Albania, no one goes there. Also, they stated there are no buses to Shkoder or Tirana. At this point we were very suprised and getting nervous on why they gave us this look like if we were crazy.I showed them the map of the area and told them there is a road from here to there. They advised me to go to the capital Podgorica and maybe they might have buses from there to Albania. The next morning we got on a bus to Podgorica and met two east coast Americans on the bus. These passengers had traveled in Montenegro in the past and asked us where are we heading to. We told them we are going to Albania, they looked at us with a concerned face, and told us why are you going there, no one goes there. At this point we were wondering what are we getting ourselves into. Once we arrived in Podgoricas bus station I asked when is the next bus to Albania. The ticket agent told me there is no bus to Albania and why would I want to go there. She told me to ask a taxi driver to see if they will take us to the border. At this point we werent sure we wanted to go anymore. A taxi driver agreed to take us to the border, and told me only crazy tourists go there. I told him that we cant be the only tourists going to Albania. He told me that he has taken tourists to the border before, but that is maybe 3 times a year. Once we arrived at the border the customs agent handled our transfer quickly, since we were the only tourists. On the Albanian side of the border, of course there were no buses and no taxis. How do we get to Shkoder ? A man offered us a ride to Shkoder for 20EUR, so I immediately agreed. Once we arrived in Shkoder we asked to be dropped off at a bus stop so we could continue to Tirana. We boarded a bus and we were met with staring eyes since the locals seemed to have never seen foreigners before. As we headed to Tirana, all the locals on the bus turned their heads and just stared at us. A couple of them spoke English and were very happy to hear that Americans would come this far to vacation in their country. We had booked the Sheraton Tirana for our 3 night stay and it was as nice as any other Sheraton. Albania is a poor country but you will see many BMWs and MBenz autos everywhere. The people are very friendly and were always smiling when we would talk to them. Kruja was a nice place to visit and we spent some time on the coast in Durres. There is a restaurant called Kolonat that is a McDonalds copy, with mcmenu items, happy meal, and copy cat packaging. Be cautious when you cross any street, the Albanians are very well known for being crazy drivers. We really enjoyed touring around in Albania with its friendly people. We wondered why such negative remarks were made before getting here. Also, we did meet other American tourists in Tirana, they were all from California. We departed Tirana on British Airways back to London England.

Anatolia (Turkey in Asia) Visit: 2013-6
2011-09-06 - Departed from Istanbul by ferry to Kadikoy for only 3TL each way. These waters are very busy with boats and cargo ships going through the Golden Horn. This was to be a quick day trip to the Asian side of Turkey. We ate some spinash and cheese gozleme at a local restaurant. After our short visit we went back to the ferry port to go back to Istanbul.

Flew in from Istanbul airport into Ankara with Turkish Airlines. We stayed inside the old citadel at the Angora House hotel. Our taxi driver didnt know where this was located but he eventually got directions to this location. This is the old part of city and was convenient to all the usual places we like to visit like the museum. I bought a lot of hand made copper goods here in Ankara. After two nights we flew back with Turkish Airlines to Istanbul.

Andalusia Visit: 2011-7
2011-07-30 - We arrived by ferry from Ceuta North Africa to Algeciras. Here is where I picked up my Hertz rental car for our journey through parts of Spain. Our first stop was Gibraltar where we stayed about 5 hours. Our hotel was Los Jandalos in Jerez de la Frontera where we spent two nights. This city was very nice which had a lot of character and beautiful old buildings. We like to stay in these uncommon cities that most tourists stay away from. At the hotel we had a very large suite with a large balcony, which gave us plenty of room. We went to the SPA to get massages and it was one of the worst massages I ever had. Since we were in the area we drove to Cadiz to visit the old part of the city, well worth a day trip. Our next stop was Merida in Extremadura.

On our drive from Toledo we passed through Cordoba, Granada, Malaga, Sevilla, and Huelva.
In Cordoba we stayed at the Hostal Almanzor and enjoyed this beautiful historical city. I wanted to see a flamenco show and we were able to get tickets to see Cardenal tablao flamenco. We were the only non Spaniard tourists here, and the show is one I would never forget, it was fantastic. Of course we could not miss visiting the Mezquita Cathedral. Our next night was spent in Granada at the Hotel Molinos. I took lots of pictures of the Alhambra, an architectual gem. A lot of our meals constisted of tortillas de patatas. We drove by Malaga and continued to Sevilla. We also had a short stop in Sevilla and spent the night at the border in a small town called Ayamonte. The Andalusians are very hospitable, the next day we drove into Portugal.

Arizona Visit: 2016-3
2012-01-08 - We went on another road trip through the southwest. We stopped in Oatman where the burros roam the streets freely. The next place was Kingman and then Seligman on Route 66. We spent two nights in Flagstaff at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel. Another famous place we visited was Winslow, this is the town where the famous song by the Eagles takes place. We had Easter brunch at La Posada hotel (since 1930) in Winslow. After visiting Meteor Crater we continued the next day north into Utah. We stayed at the border hotel The View on Navajo Nation land that overlooks Monument Valley. After spending two nights here we continued into Utah.

For Easter week we drove to Scottsdale and stayed at the Camelback Inn. We visited Tucson, Tombstone, Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater, Seligman on Route 66, and Oatman. Driving through the desert is always relaxing to me and stopping off at these old towns adds to the mystique. We continued our drive into New Mexico.

We flew from LAX on Southwest Airlines to Phoenix. It was very very hot here, definitely low season. We stayed one night at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge resort in Scottsdale, they have a lazy river which is a nice place to relax in this hot weather. I visited Old Town Scottsdale and then flew back the next day to LAX.

Drove to Arizona and visited many places along the way. First stop was Quartzsite where a famous Syrian trained Camels for the US army in the late 1800's. Next was the Lost Dutchmans mines, Jerome, Tuzigoot, Sedona, Flagstaff, Meteor Crater, Wupatki, and the Grand Canyon. On our drive back to Los Angeles we drove through famous Route 66 and stopped at Williams, Seligman, Kingman, Oatman with the wandering donkeys, and Lake Havasu to see the London Bridge.

Visited family in Phoenix and did some side trips to the Phoenix Zoo, the city and the desert.

Aruba Visit: -

Austria Visit: 2013-6
2011-05-19 - Departed New York JFK airport on Austrian Airlines and arrived in Vienna. We spent one night at the Radisson Blu Palais hotel near the historic city center. We visited the UNESCO Schonbrunn Palace on a rainy day. We ate and enjoyed coffee at The Demel (since 1786), Cafe Central (since 1876), Cafe Hawelka (since 1939), and Griechenbeisl restaurant (since 1447). The next afternoon we departed VIE airport on Austrian Airlines and flew into Kiev Ukraine.

Departed Krakow Poland I arrived in Vienna by train. I stayed at a hostal at Myrthegasse 7 which was very convenient to all the major sights. This city has so much to offer and too many sights to list. One day I did go to the Schonbrunn Palace which was really nice but since it was winter the flowers in the gardens were not in bloom. After departing Vienna I took the train to Budapest Hungary. After visiting Budapest I took the train back but this time to Salzburg. This is one beautiful city to visit and we went to the various Mozart sites and other historical parts. My next train ride was to Munich Germany.

Auvergne Visit: 2004-9
2012-01-15 - Drove our rental car from Rhone Alpes into Auvergne and continued into Centre. We were on a six day driving trip from Nice to Paris.

Baden-Wurttemberg Visit: 1996-3
2011-12-26 - From Munich I took a train to Stuttgart to see if I can get into the Porsche factory. The Porsche car factory is very small and only a few tourists are allowed at a time to visit the inside. At first the receptionist could not get me in, but I pleaded with her that I came all the way from California to see the inside of the factory. Since I was only one person she gave me a pass to go inside. I can see why the cars are so expensive as everything is made by hand and not assembled by automated machines. Even though Porsches are made in mass, the 911 models are still hand crafted. I was very glad to have seen this in person and had also seen the prototype black primered Boxster race through the parking lot. After this visit I went to see the Mercedes Benz museum, but there was no one allowed to see the cars being made. My next stop was Heidelberg where I stayed at the Hotel Garni Am Kornmarkt. This is such a nice tranquil city, I visited the castle and other various historical places. Since Heidelberg has the oldest brewery I had to go. The oldest existing brewery in the world is the Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan where beer is produced since 1040. My next city was Frankfurt am Main Hesse where I arrived by train.

Bahamas Visit: 1998-9
2011-03-14 - This was one of our cruise stops with Premier cruises Big Red Boat. We did the touristy thing and signed up for a few activities. Visiting with the dolphins was a lot of fun, then after that my friend went parasailing. We had a taxi driver take us to Paradise Island to see the Atlantis. Ive seen a lot of resorts in my life and this one really impressed me. I loved walking around this place and just was amazed on how beautiful it was and the imagination they put into it. Fort Charlotte was another place we stopped to walk around. Of course we went to the Straw Market to get the typical souvenirs everyone sells there.

Bahrain Visit: 2008-9
2012-01-18 - We flew on British Airways from Doha Qatar into Bahrain. While visiting the Arabian coast we stayed in Bahrain for 3 days. The Sheraton Bahrain hotel where we spent two nights at was in a centrally located area of the city. There are only a few things for a tourist to see, so the island doesnt offer a lot. Beware of the taxi drivers as they are the worst I have encountered in the world. I was tired of arguing with them for being overcharged, so I rented a car. This was the best thing to do since the island is very easy to navigate. We were able to see all the out of the way places at a low price, and gasoline is very inexpensive. One thing to keep in mind - Dont go during Ramadan! Everything will be closed and there wont be anything for you to do. Unless you want to lay out by the hotel pool all day, you can do that at home. Also, I was told dont get caught drinking or eating in public, its a $3000 USD fine. If you would like to purchase something unique, it would be a natural Bahrain pearl. We left Bahrain on Gulf Air and flew into Kuwait.

Baja California Visit: 2011-12
2011-12-19 - We took a short 3 day cruise from Long Beach California on the Carnival Inspiration. We spent most of the day in Ensenada walking around visiting the Riviera del Pacifico, Museo Historico Regional and Hussongs Cantina. This is the oldest bar (since 1892) in the Californias and where the margarita was invented. I have been in Ensenada many times and this was my first time trying out their margarita. The fish tacos they serve in Ensenada are delicious and the people are so friendly and kind.

Since we are in Los Angeles it only takes us about 3 hours to drive to the border of Mexico. My friends and I drove to Tijuana and then on to Puerto Nuevo to enjoy the food at the many restaurants serving lobster.

Drove from Los Angeles to Ensenada which is about a four hour drive. Enjoyed the long weekend eating fish tacos and drinking lots of beer. Visited the famous Hussongs cantina which always has a crowd inside.

Baja California Sur Visit: 2004-11
2011-12-25 - We arrived in Cabo San Lucas on Alaska Airlines. I picked up my rental car and drove to the Esperanza Resort to spend two nights. Most of the resorts have private guarded entrances so you cant stop for a visit unless you are staying there. The Esperanza was luxurious and relaxing with all the rooms having views of the rough ocean. Our 3rd night was spent at the Casa del Mar hotel resort just up the highway. Cabo is a place to veg with not too many things to do, except relax and enjoy the weather. Cabo is overpriced so I dont plan on going back anytime soon. We flew back to LAX airport on Alaska Airlines.

Flew to Cabo San Lucas on Alaska Airlines. I quickly noticed how overpriced everything is in this part of Mexico. They cater to high spending Americans and they take advantage of it, Cabo is overpriced and overrated. I would rather spend my time in an inland village thats authentic. We stayed at the Bahia hotel for 3 nights before flying back to LAX on Alaska Airlines.

Barbados Visit: 2016-12
2016-12-16 - I received a last minute invite by the Barbados Tourism Board to join 150 travel agents on a five day FAM trip. I flew on Jet Blue airlines from LAX to JFK airport to meet the large group then continued to BGI airport. We stayed at the Hilton resort hotel in Bridgetown. On my first day there we went on a diving excursion were we dove to see two wrecks and later that night to a private polo event. The next day we inspected some hotels and later that evening we went on three huge catamarans for dinner. We went on a walking tour of Bridgetown (UNESCO site) and visited various historic buildings. Our farewell dinner was held at Sandals which offered some delicious local culinary fare. The final breakfast of this trip was held at the George Washington House where the 1st president of the United States stayed and Barbados was the only country he ever visited. We flew back on Jet Blue airlines to Ft Lauderdale Florida then to LAX airport.

Bavaria Visit: 1996-3
2011-05-19 - Departed Salzburg Austria and I entered Munich by train. The weather was wet and gloomy but I enjoyed walking around the city enjoying the various historic areas. Since I was here I had my share of plenty of pints of German beer. I visited the Dachaus concentration camp, a very sad sight. Since I like automobiles I went to see the BMW museum at the headquarters. Then I wanted to see more German car museums so I took the train to Stuttgart in Baden-Wurttemberg.

Beijing (District) Visit: 2009-8
2011-12-28 - Departed Phuket Thailand on Dragon Air and stayed at the Capital hotel in Beijing.
We stayed here for two nights three days, and this is not enough time to visit this vibrant historic city. I would recommend at least one week to visit most of the historic areas, looking forward to going back someday. The Beijing Bar Street area seems like a fun place to be in the evenings, but we toured there during the daytime. The food was really good at the hotel and at some local restaurants. We visited the Summer Palace, Palace museum, the Great Wall, Water cube, Birds nest, tea tasting, pearl factory and many other fascinating sites. We departed on Dragon Air and Cathay Pacific airlines back to LAX.

Belize Visit: 2006-9
2012-03-21 - We had flown into Cancun to spend a few nights,
but our main goal was to get to Belize. We went to the Cancun main bus station in the non tourist area. We were able to buy tickets to take us to the border city of Chetumal. At this point we walked across the border and entered customs, we were the only people crossing. Not that many people cross through here because border security is at its minimum. A lonely taxi was waiting outside customs, he charged us $20 for four hours of driving us around to go eat and to get us to the Corozal airport. Mayan airlines took us to San Pedro on Ambergris Cay, and we were the only 3 passengers on board. This was to be a relaxing vacation without the running around we usually do in major cities. Our hotel was the Belizean Shores which is right on the beach. A big ocean front room was only $120 per night. To get around the island you either walk, bike or rent a golf cart. This is a totally layed back place to be, and even the indoor restaurants have sand as their flooring. We departed on Mayan Airlines from San Pedro to Belize City airport then on American Airlines to LAX airport.

Berlin Visit: 2002-3
2011-09-05 - I was able to get a discount ticket on Lufthansa airlines from LAX and we flew into Berlin through Frankfurt. On the first part of this trip we spent the night at the Courtyard by Marriott Berlin Teltow. We left Berlin to go to Wolfsburg in Lower Saxony and returned to Berlin. This time we spent two nights at the number one hotel in Berlin, the beautiful Regent Schlosshotel in their suite Solitude. It was more of a mansion than a hotel. Cant be in Berlin without visiting checkpoint Charlie and the wall or whats left of it. We also went to the MauerMuseum next door to the checkpoint. Since we had a rental car we drove to Potsdam in Brandenburg. After our two nights here we flew from Berlin through Frankfurt on our way to Istanbul Turkey on Lufthansa Airlines.

Bolivia Visit: 1996-10
2011-04-10 - Arriving from Lake Titicaca Peru we took a minivan to the Bolivian border. There was only one lonely border guard to let us into Bolivia. My friend Daniel and I spent the night at Hostal Litoral in Copacabana, a sleepy town at the border with lots of charm. From here we took a small boat and visited Isla del Sol, where farm families live on this harsh rocky and hilly island. We crossed the border back to Peru so we could catch our flight back home from Lima.

Botswana Visit: 2015-9
2015-10-20 - We departed Zimbabwe and entered Botswana through the northern border near Francistown. We arrived by bus but wanted to ride the train which only runs 3 times a week. We werent sure where to stay and continued to Palapye where we spent the night at the Mogonono hotel. There is not much to do or see in dusty Palapye. Our next stop was Gaborone where we would spend the night at the Brackendene Lodge near the popular city center called The Mall. There isnt much to see here but we did spend time at the National Museum and Art Gallery which has no entrance fee. Around 13km south we arrived the next day at Mokolodi Nature Reserve where we would spend two nights in a chalet. This was a tranquil and quiet place to stay and watch the wildlife around the large waterhole near our chalet. We went rhino trekking and also went on a safari drive. On this full day of exploration we saw rhino, hippopotamus, giraffe, kudu, zebra, monkeys, and many warthogs. After this relaxing and fun stay we headed south and crossed the border to spend one night in Mafikeng South Africa.

Brandenburg Visit: 2002-3
2011-09-05 - While we were in Berlin we drove to Potsdam in our rental car. The main attraction here is Sanssouci a residence built by King Frederick the Great in 1744. After our half day visit here we went back to Berlin.

British Columbia Visit: 2001-10
2011-11-26 - Flew nonstop on Alaska Airlines from LAX to Vancouver. We spent a few nights at the Four Seasons hotel and visited the various sites around the city. The weather was gloomy but we drove to Stanley Park and Granville Island. I always stop at micobreweries so I had some beer at the Granville Island brewery. From Vancouver we drove down to Seattle Washington and spent a few nights there. We then drove back to Vancouver to catch our flight back to LAX on Alaska Airlines.

Brussels-Capital Region Visit: 2006-3
2011-11-23 - Our group flew from LAX to Brussels on Delta airlines. This was a company fam and the best type of trips because everything is paid for. We stayed at the Conrad Hilton and had a nice luxurious stay. We went on a walking tour and was able to see all the highlights including the famous Manneken Pis. The tourist board took us to some extraodinary restaurants were the food was absolutely delicious. Since I was well fed I was not able to try the famous waffles out of the Volkswagen kombi vans parked around the city. As everyone knows Belgium is famous for beer and we visited the Cantillon brewery to try their seasonal beer. I did not like this bitter beer, I would of rather tried their regular beers. One night we had dinner at Chez Leon open since 1893, the food and atmosphere was excellent. Finding wine made in Belgium is rare, I was lucky to find a few bottles and bring them back home. On our departure we flew back on Delta Airlines from Brussels through Atlanta Georgia into LAX airport.

Buenos Aires (City) Visit: 2009-11
2012-01-09 - Flew down to Buenos Aires on Mexicana Airlines.
While on our way to the city in an airport bus we crashed into a truck on the highway. Luckily it wasnt a serious accident and were transfered to another bus for the final drive into the city.
Since I was traveling alone I stayed at the hostel Florida suites on La Florida. I noticed that the citys population has grown since coming here in MAY2001. The streets are filled with lots of traffic now and a lot more people compared to then. The transportation system is great with lots of options for getting around in the city.
While I was here I enjoyed plenty of alfajores with my espresso coffee everyday. One night I ate dinner at Desnivel restaurant.
My next stop was Jujuy province where I flew on Austral Lineas Aereas from Buenos Aires AEP airport.

We took the Buquebus ferry from Colonia Uruguay to Buenos Aires arriving in the evening. We stayed at the Marriott Plaza hotel on La Florida for 3 nights. This is a great city to visit with many places to see and great food to enjoy. We visited La Boca, San Telmo, and the Recoleta cemetary where Eva Peron is buried. We departed on Avianca Airlines through Bogota and back to LAX airport.

Buenos Aires Province Visit: 2009-11
2011-10-02 - From Buenos Aires city I took a 35 minute local bus to La Plata. Walked around Plaza Italia and found some Disneyland & Hello Kitty tin products made in Argentina, and not China. It is rare to find anything made outside of China. I bought a lot of these Made in Argentina products and brought them to my friends in the USA. After walking around and eating a delicious lunch I took the bus back to Buenos Aires City.

Bulgaria Visit: 2013-6
2013-06-30 - We had departed from Bucharest Romania by train to Varna. The train ride took 8 hours, but no water or food is offered on the train. It was the worst train ride in my experiences as the train had no air conditioning either. The various train station stops did not have water or food sold by vendors either. Finally after that very hot train ride we arrived in Varna. I stayed at my coworkers flat in Varna for three nights which is located next to Primorski Park and the beach. While in Varna we visited the Roman Thermae bath ruins, Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin, and St Nikolai church. The Varna tourist office offers free walking tours of the city, which I took advantage of and its well worth it. We also went on a day trip by bus to visit nearby UNESCO Nesebar. The bus takes about two hours and its well worth the time to get there. We departed Varna on a comfortable overnight bus to Istanbul Turkey.

Caicos Islands Visit: 2007-4
2012-02-03 - I went with a group of coworkers on a fam trip to Parrot Cay. We flew on Delta airlines into Providenciales airport and were taken by shuttle van to the dock. Here we boarded a private yacht to take us to this five star private island resort. A few Hollywood movie stars have beach homes located here, I was able to go inside one of them. The location, culinary experience, and spa were all wonderful. One thing I am glad about this trip is that I didnt have to pay for anything. Thank goodness because everything was very expensive, this resort is not for the budget traveler. If you have the money to spend this is a very nice place to spend your vacation. We flew back to LAX on Delta Airlines through Atlanta.

California Visit: 2015-3
2011-03-09 - Born and raised in Los Angeles. California is a major tourist destination in itself, too many places to visit. I have traveled thoughout this state for decades and still havent seen everything. Everytime we take a short vacation we always take different routes to see new towns and cities weve never been to. This always leads us to beautiful hidden gems that no one really talks about or visits. With over 1200 wineries and hundreds of breweries in the state it will take us a very long time to visit all of them. The year round good weather in California makes traveling an anytime destination. You can surf in the morning and go skiing later the same day. I have visited Yosemite, Sequoia, Death Valley, Mojave,Joshua Tree, Catalina Island, Santa Cruz Island, Alcatraz and too many others to list.

I have spent the night at the following historic hotels starting with the Mission Inn Riverside (since 1876), Fairmont Sonoma Mission (since 1895), Westin St Francis in San Francisco (since 1907), Huntington hotel in Pasadena (since 1907), El Encanto in Santa Barbara (since 1918), Amargosa in Death Valley (since 1923), and La Quinta resort in Palm Springs (since 1926).

Since I love going to historic restaurants I have eaten at these Southern California establishments starting with the Cold Spring Tavern in Santa Barbara (since 1865), Galcos Old World Grocery in Highland Park (since 1897), Saugus Café in Santa Clarita (since 1905), Coles in Los Angeles (since 1908), Philippes The Original Los Angeles (since 1908), Fair Oaks Soda Fountain in South Pasadena (since 1915), Magees Kitchen (since 1917) in Farmers Market Los Angeles, The Golden Spur (since 1918) in Glendora, Fosselmans Ice Cream in Alhambra (since 1919), Musso and Frank Grill in Hollywood (since 1919), Barneys Beanery in West Hollywood (since 1920), Pacific Dining Car in Los Angeles (since 1921), Tam OShanter in Los Angeles (since 1922), El Cholo in Los Angeles (since 1923), Original Pantry Café in Los Angeles(since 1924), Formosa Café in Hollywood (since 1925), Greenblatts Delicatessen in Los Angeles (since 1926), Lanza Brothers Market in Los Angeles (since 1926), Barneys Beanery in West Hollywood (since 1927), Eastside Market & Italian Deli in Los Angeles (since 1929), Brighton Coffee Shop (since 1930) in Beverly Hills, Canters Delicatessen Los Angeles (since 1931), Cliftons (since 1931) in downtown Los Angeles, Jacks in Whittier (since 1933), Cielito Lindo in Los Angeles (since 1934), Magees Kitchen in Los Angeles (since 1934) Mrs Knotts Chicken Dinner in Buena Park (since 1934), Cliftons cafeteria Los Angeles (since 1935), Du-Pars at the Farmers Market Los Angeles (since 1938), The Derby Restaurant in Arcadia (since 1938), Pinks Hot Dogs Los Angeles(since 1939), visited McDonalds in San Bernardino (since 1940), Tals Café in Los Angeles (since 1940), Bun n Burger in Alhambra (since 1941), The Polo Lounge Beverly Hills (since 1941), Twoheys in Alhambra (since 1943), Arts Chili Dog in Los Angeles (since 1944), Nate n Al in Beverly Hills (since 1945), Original Tommys Hamburgers Los Angeles (since 1946), Guss Barbecue in South Pasadena (since 1946), Rods Grill in Arcadia (since 1946), Jolly Jug in El Monte (since 1946), Hot n Tot in Lomita (since 1946), Pauls Kitchen in Los Angeles (since 1946), Chili Johns (since 1946) in Burbank, Langers Delicatessen in Los Angeles (since 1947), Apple Pan Los Angeles (since 1947), The Great White Hut in Glendale (since 1947), Ramonas Mexican Food (since 1948) in Gardena, In-n-Out Burger in Baldwin Park (since 1948), Nicks Café in Los Angeles (since 1948), Claros Italian Market in San Gabriel (since 1948), Dominicks in West Hollywood (since 1948), Cindys Eagle Rock in Los Angeles (since 1948), Factors Famous Deli (since 1948) in West Los Angeles, Bobs Big Boy in Burbank (since 1949), Bills Taco House in Los Angeles (since 1949), Micelis in Hollywood (since 1949), The Barkley in South Pasadena (since 1951), The Hat in Alhambra (since 1951), Dal Rae in Pico Rivera (since 1951), Bamboo Inn in Los Angeles (since 1951), Manuels Original El Tepeyac Cafe (since 1952), Giulianos Delicatessen in Gardena (since 1952), Ernies Mexican restaurant in North Hollywood (since 1952), Tonys on the Pier in Redondo Beach (since 1952), Johnnies Pastrami (since 1952) in West Los Angeles, Josies Place (since 1952) in Gardena, Mings Chinese (since 1952) in Bellflower, Melody Bar and Grill (since 1952) in Westchester, McDonalds in Downey (since 1953), Ye Loy in Temple City (since 1953), Chronis Famous Sandwich Shop in Los Angeles (since 1953), Roma Italian Deli (since 1953) in Pasadena, Colombos Italian Steakhouse in Eagle Rock (since 1954), Petrillos in San Gabriel (since 1954), Rositas in Barstow (since 1954), Ramonas Mexican Food (since 1954) in South Los Angeles, Casa Bianca in Eagle Rock (since 1955), Chips in Hawthorne (since 1955), Foxs (since 1955) in Altadena, Otomisan in Boyle Heights (since 1956), Arts Delicatessen in Studio City (since 1957), Dal Rae in Pico Rivera (since 1958), The Pizza Show in Hawthorne (since 1958), Astro Family restaurant in Los Angeles (since 1958), Panns in Los Angeles (since 1958), Clearmans North Woods Inn (since 1958), Raes in Santa Monica (since 1958), Frumentos in Montebello (since 1958), Sandwiches by Connal in Pasadena (since 1958), Dinahs in Los Angeles (since 1959), Dinahs Family restaurant in Glendale (since 1959), Titos Tacos in Culver City (since 1959), La Luz del Dia in Los Angeles (since 1959), Yamashiro in Hollywood (since 1960), Domenicos Italian Restaurant in Pasadena (since 1960), Donahoos Golden Chicken (since 1960) in Pomona, Uncle Bills Pancake House in Manhattan Beach (since 1961), Arthurs Restaurant in Downey (since 1961), Pepes in Alhambra (since 1962), Tops Jr in Alhambra (since 1962), Angelos Italian Restaurant in Alhambra (since 1962), Stox in Downey (since 1962), Ye Olde Taco House (since 1962) in downtown Los Angeles, El Cid in Los Angeles (since 1963), Pie n Burger in Pasadena (since 1963), The Capri in Eagle Rock (since 1963), The San Franciscan in Torrance (since 1963), Del Taco in Yermo (since 1964), Phoenix Inn in Chinatown Los Angeles (since 1965), Woodys Wharf (since 1965) in Newport Beach, Taco Quickie & Quickie Dog (since 1965) in Bell Gardens, La Paloma (since 1966) in LaVerne, Taco Lita (since 1967) in Arcadia, Los Cinco Puntos (since 1967) in Boyle Heights, Lees Market (since 1967) in South Los Angeles, Mitsuru Cafe (since 1968) in Little Tokyo, House of Pies in Los Feliz (since 1969), La Abeja (since 1969) in Lincoln Heights Los Angeles, La Villa Mexicana (since 1969) in Gardena, Hodads in Ocean Beach (since 1969), Luckys Golden Phenix (since 1975) in San Diego, Kouraku (since 1976) in Little Tokyo, Won Kok (since 1976) in Chinatown, Pat & Lorraines Coffee Shop (since 1977) in Eagle Rock, Yang Chow (since 1977) in Chinatown, Buchanan Arms (since 1977) in Burbank, Fidels Pizza (since 1977) in Highland Park Los Angeles, Wagon Wheel (since 1978) in Needles, and Green Street (since 1979) in Pasadena.

Campania Visit: 1999-2
2011-10-04 - I boarded a train from Rome to Salerno and made my way through the Amalfi coast by public bus. This was off season and I felt like I had the coast to myself, hardly any tourists were here.
I spent one night in Sorrento at the Ostello Della Sirene and paid in Italian Lira. The weather was nice and enjoyed the hospitality of the locals. I visited Amalfi, Sorrento, Positano, Ravello, and Capri. Parking space is very limited here, so owning an automobile is probably more hassle than its worth. I bought locally made ceramic tile and tried the limoncello liquor that everyone seems to sell. The sunsets were beautiful here and couldnt believe the locals didnt bother to stand still for a moment and watch this spectacle. I guess they are used to seeing these beautiful sunsets everyday. When I left I took the bus to Napoli Centrale rail station, from here I went to Rome in Lazio.

I bought a train ticket from Rome termini to Pompei Campania and paid for it in Italian Lira. This was a day trip since I really wanted to see the ruins. After my day long visit I took the train back to Rome.

Campione d'Italia Visit: 2012-4
2012-08-04 - We drove our rental car from Cernobbio Lombardy into Valais Switzerland to visit this small Italian enclave. We seemed to be the only tourists walking around the tiny main street thats in front of the beautiful lake. We walked around and took photos but didnt do much more than that since there isnt too many things to do here. I bought a few postcards and we continued toward Lugano and back through Piemonte Italy toward Monaco where we would spend one night.

Castile and Leon Visit: 2011-7
2011-07-31 - From Madrid we headed for El Escorial, but we knew it would be closed because it was Monday. We just wanted to be there in its grandeur, and we also were going to Segovia. We went back to visit the Alcazar, aquaduct and the cathedral just as we did in 1999. This city deserves more than just a day trip.

From Madrid we drove our rental car to see the Alcazar in Segovia, Aquaduct and the Cathedral. The area was very impressive and we spent one night at the Hostal Residencia Plaza. Our next stop was Toledo.

Castile-La Mancha Visit: 2011-7
2011-07-31 - While everyone slept in the rental car I drove from Extremadura and sneeked into Toledo. We were not supposed to stop here but I remember that this was a very unique and beautiful city on the hill. After entering we stopped in a cafe to enjoy some tapas and some rare Pepsi in a bottle. This was to be a quick visit so we only took pictures of the cathedral and alcazar. After this visit we continued north to Madrid.

We drove from Segovia to Toledo and spent the night at Hotel Residencia Imperio on one of the cities tiny streets. Luckily I had rented a small Renault Clio which made it easy to find a parking space. The main place to visit was the Alcazar which was nicely restored. On our drive south we stopped in Consuegra to take pictures next to the windmills, like those described in Cervantess Don Quixote. The further south we drove the nicer the Spaniards were.

Catalonia Visit: 1994-7
2011-10-05 - Departed Pamplona Navarre to Barcelona by train. I meet an Aussie at the train station and we ended up going to a pension near the ramblas. Some other Aussies were staying there so we all hung out together and visited the many sights in this fantastic city. The main attractions that we visited were the Temple de la Sagrada Familia and going over to Montserrat. One thing I could not believe was all the graffiti inside La Sagrada Familia. In the United States this is considered a felony for defacing any religious property. After a few nights here I flew back to Paris Centre France on Air France.

Catamarca Province Visit: 2009-11
2011-05-28 - I arrived from Santiago del Estero Province by bus. I spent one night here at the Hostal San Pedro. There are a few places to visit in the historic part of the city. Plenty of Ice Cream parlors fill the area for the sweet loving locals. I stopped by the Post Office to buy stamps and they didnt have any, that was a first, a post office with no stamps. The train station here is closed, since the government shut it down years ago. The following day I went by bus to La Rioja Province.

Centre Visit: 2004-9
2012-01-15 - We drove our rental car from Auvergne and stopped in Loches, where we spent the night at Hotel de France. We ejoyed this hotel in the picturesque town it was in. The reason we were in this area was to visit Chateau de Chambord completed in 1547, Chateau de Chaumont, and Chateau de Chenonceau. We continued on our six day drive to Paris Ile-de-France.

Ceuta Visit: 2011-7
2011-07-30 - We hired a taxi driver from Tangier to take us to the Ceuta border it costed us 300 dirhams. I paid a hustler 3 dirhams for 3 passport forms, you can get them free at the passport window. The customs agent stamped our passports and we walked through to the Spanish side. Passing the border was not difficult and pretty easy compared to what guidebooks might show. We took a taxi to our hotel which was the Tryp Ceuta. The hotel is in a convenient location and its easy to navigate the city streets. We went to have ice cream at the only McDonalds in town, it looks like an old fort. After traveling through Morocco for seven days it was a joy staying in this very clean and hussle free enclave. I enjoyed my morning espresso at La Alhambra cafe and our evening drinks at El Angulo bar restaurant inside the royal walls. This bar restaurant was very popular at night for its unique setting inside the fort. Most MTP members seem to just visit this enclave for a few hours and move on. We were glad we spent at least one night here since it was a very nice and tranquil place to be in, locals were always in a happy mood. At a travel agency we booked Acciona ferry to Algeciras Spain where we would continue our vacation. When entering the ferry the customs agents asked us where we were from, I told them Los Angeles. Both were surprised that we would come so far and stated that Californians are very rare in this area.

Chubu Region Visit: 2012-3
2012-03-24 - Arrived in Nagoya by JR rail from Kyoto Kansai. My plans were to spend a few hours here and continue to Tokyo Narita airport were I would take my flight back to LAX. Walked over to the tourist information desk and got a map of the city. More young ladies were wearing kimonos so I asked for permission to take their photo which they happily accepted. I took the metro a couple of stops to the city center. When I got off the metro by the Nagoya tower I just walked back toward the JR rail station. There was the Science museum which I was going to see but it was closed on this day. Stopped at my favorite breakfast place Yoshinoya and had breakfast for about $5USD, what a deal. While at the rail station I added the eki commerative rubber stamp to my souvenir book. These eki stamps are the best souvenirs since they dont cost anything. Departed Nagoya to Tokyo Narita airport by JR fast train to take my flight back to LAX.

Chugoku Region Visit: 2012-3
2012-03-23 - Departed Nagasaki Kyushu to Hiroshima Chugoku with my JR rail pass. I stayed two nights at the Ks House hostel. I visited the Atomic Bomb Dome, Peace Memorial Park, Peace Memorial museum, and Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic bomb victims. All tourist attractions have eki commemorative rubber stamps that you can add to a journal, this is a free souvenir no more magnets or keychains. The hostel staff recommended some hole in the wall restaurants that were nearby which served excellent local cuisine. The first night I ate at The Nokiya and the next evening at Tachikoma. My next stop was Takamatsu Kagawa which I used my JR rail pass to get to.

Colima Visit: 2011-9
2011-10-02 - We were on an overnight bus from Lazaro Cardenas Michoacan which took us 8 hours to arrive in Manzanillo. During the dark early morning we were awaken by soldiers at a security check point. There are many of these checkpoints throughout Mexico because of the on going drug violence. When we arrived at the bus station we took a taxi to the Hotel Colonial in the heart of the old city. Because it was Independence day some roads were blocked for the parade route. I didnt see any foreign tourist in this part of the city as most of them stay in the hoteleria beach zone about a half hour away by collectivo. The old city is a nice tranquil place to be and there are many good restaurants serving delicious meals. We visited all the main sites of the old city and went to the Iguanario Archundia which raises endangered species. There are hundreds of iguanas, turtles and racoons that are being raised here. On our second day we went to the hoteleria zone and visited Las Hadas resort one of the most popular hotels in Manzanillo. This area of the city has all the fast food restaurants, Starbucks and mega-stores that cater to the locals and tourists. The old city has more character than the beach hotel zone. Two nights were enough and we took a morning bus to our next destination Puerto Vallarta Jalisco.

Colombia (mainland) Visit: 2011-12
2011-12-26 - Flew on Taca Airlines to El Salvador then continued with Avianca Airlines to Bogota.
I received an invitation for a fam trip from the Colombia Tourist Board. This was a five day trip to promote tourism in some of the non popular areas of the country. Since I love coffee I picked the coffee triangle area which is now a UNESCO world heritage area. Our group arrived in Bogota where we spent the night at Park 101 hotel. The next day our small group flew on Avianca to Pereira. Our guide Milton from Colombia57 tours was extremely knowledgable about the area. We spent the night at the hacienda hotel Sazagua. Our visit included Filandia, Valle Cocora and Salento. While on our drive through the area there were many coffee plantations and we toured one processing plant called San Alberto. We tested coffee here so now I am more knowledgable on the varieties of different coffees. This evening we stayed at the Hotel Bosque de Saman. After breakfast we had a canopy tour then went to the Parque Nacional del Cafe, which is actually an amusement park. Lunch was at Bakhoo a fancy restaurant in Armenia. We departed Armenia to Bogota on Avianca Airlines . On this last night in Bogota we spent the night at the AR hotel which is a nice business hotel. This was a Saturday night so we took a taxi to the Zona Rosa where it seems all the clubs and bars are located in this bustling city. A visit to restaurant Andres Carne de Res is a must for any visitor while in Bogota. I flew back to LAX on Avianca and TACA airlines.

We flew from LAX to Bogota on Avianca Airlines. On arrival we had a long 8 hour layover so we decided on touring the city instead of wasting our time at the airport. A taxi driver offered to take us to all the popular locations. The one place I liked most was the ride up to Monserrate on the cable car. After our day tour we returned to the airport. The customs agent asked me where our entry stamp was in our passport. I told him they didnt give me one when we left the airport and he seemed suprised as did I, now I was afraid I would have problems leaving Bogota. He handed back my passport and waived me on. We continued on our next flight this time to Rio de Janero Brazil on Avianca Airlines.

MAY 1997
From Quito Ecuador we took a bus to get to Popayan. We stayed in a pension for the couple of days we were visiting. There is a museum here called Museo de Artesanias del Mundo. This is actually a private home filled with different arts and crafts from around the world. The owner is a world traveler and collects all these different items and displays them in his home. He might be an MTP member? On Tuesday 20MAY we took a minibus to Silvia, a small town an hour and a half away from Popayan. The Guambianos Indians gather here for Tuesday market and they all wear their traditional bright colored clothing. Being in Colombia was a delight, the people are very friendly and we always felt safe here despite the bad repution the country gets. We went by road back to Quito Ecuador to fly back to Los Angeles.

Colorado Visit: 2009-6
2011-01-19 - We flew non stop from LAX to Grand Junction on Allegiant airlines on a very low fare. There is not much to see in Grand Junction except for the magnificent Colorado National Monument. At Hertz rental I picked up a brand new Ford Mustang and drove along Highway 70 towards Denver. A beautiful drive along clean highways and towns. For train buffs a visit to Georgetown would be the highlight. We spent one night at the Hotel Colorado (since 1893) in Glenwood Springs to enjoy the famous thermal waters. I always thought Colorado to be a very cold high elevation state, but it was very hot in June.

Cook Islands (Southern) Visit: 2017-3
2017-04-05 - We flew nonstop from LAX to RAR airport on Air New Zealand roundtrip. We rented a RHD car and stayed five nights at the Magic Reef on the west side of the island. The highlight of our trip was hiking from the north to the south of the island to reach The Needle through its dense jungle. We ate at the very popular restaurant The Mooring and Trader Jacks (since 1986) which has been damaged three times by cyclones. The coral and rocks made it difficult to enjoy the beach, but it was great to look at the sunsets every day.

Costa Rica (mainland) Visit: 2018-6
2012-05-06 - We departed LAX on AeroMexico connecting in MEX to SJO airport. We spent two nights at the Hotel Presidente in San Jose city center. The only way to see this beautiful country is to rent a car and get to the outskirts. We headed to Arenal Volcano and spent one night at San Bosco Inn and then two nights at Nayara Resort. We enjoyed the hot springs, Arenal Volcano hike, and the ultimate San Carlos caves. Our next stop was the pacific ocean where we spent three nights at Jaco Laguna Resort at Jaco Beach. We drove back to San Jose and spent one night at the Santo Tomas historic hotel and the next day left on AeroMexico to MEX airport Mexico.

Flew into SJO airport on Delta Airlines. We would spend four nights at the hostel Pangea in the city center. We had breakfast in the Central Market San Jose (since 1880) at Soda Tapia (since 1893) and dinner at Chelles (since 1909). One of the reasons for going to San Jose was to see the English band Iron Maiden play in concert. I enjoy having my coffee at the National Theatre café (since 1897). We went back to the central market to enjoy vanilla custard dessert at La Sorbetera de Lola Mora (since 1901). After our visit we flew on Nature Air to Managua Nicaragua.

Arrived SJO airport on Lacsa Airlines. I was visiting family members and enjoying the city. Visited the San Jose old train station (since 1903), now they are using metro trains brought in from Spain. Finally they are adding more and more train service due to the heavy car traffic that San Jose is experiencing. Stayed three nights with family members and three nights at the Gran Hotel Costa Rica (since 1930). The Central Market San Jose (since 1880) is my favorite place to go eat. We also ate at Chelles restaurant (since 1909). Flew back to LAX airport on Taca Airlines.

From Nicaragua I took Nicabus from Penas Blancas border to San Jose. We spent two nights at the Gran Hotel (since 1930) in downtown San Jose, a perfect location across from the National Theatre. We walked over to the Central Market which opened in 1880 but found out its not open on Sundays. I finally got to see a show at the theatre after all these years of going there. After staying a couple of nights we flew back to LAX airport on American Airlines through DFW airport.

I departed LAX on TACA airlines and flew into SJO airport. For this trip I flew down to see Metallica in concert, then flew to Panama to see them again.
Since I have family here I usually visit once a year. The most popular destination for tourist in all of Central America. You cannot go wrong with a vacation here, with all the beaches, forests, great coffee, volcanoes, river rafting and friendly people. We went to eat at a restaurant that specializes in corn, La Casona del Maiz and ate some great food. This place is very popular and is filled with families enjoying this specialty.
After visiting for 3 days I flew to Panama on TACA airlines.

We crossed the border at Penas Blancas Nicaragua into Costa Rica. Since there was 10 of us on this part of trip I rented a van at the border. Our first stop was at El Bramadero restaurant in Liberia. This steak house is a favorite of mine and we usually stop to eat here before continuing on our way. We spent two nights in Arenal, where we went to the San Carlos venado caves, Arenal volcano, hot springs, and white water rafting. After these fun two days we drove to San Jose to see some family members. Then I departed to Mexico DF on Mexican Airlines to continue my vacation.

We took TicaBus from Rivas Nicaragua and crossed at the border at Penas Blancas. I meet my family in Liberia and then drove to Arenal. On this trip we went to the Venado caves and went white water rafting. Plenty of adventures in this part of the country.

Bought an inexpensive ticket on TACA airlines to San Jose. I stayed at the Marriot hotel in San Antonio de Belen near the airport. We went to the butterfly farm and got to see the Easter procession which seemed like all the locals came out to watch. Drove to Arenal which is one of my favorite places to visit, then afterwards we took the bus to Esteli Nicaragua.

Arrived by Ticabus from San Juan del Sur Nicaragua crossing the border at Penas Blancas.
Meet up with my father in Liberia and spent the night at the Four Seasons Papagayo resort. The resort is beautiful but way overpriced by Costa Rican standards, I much prefer staying at local small family run hotels. We drove along the coast and stayed in Tamarindo then continued to the capital San Jose.
When I go to the capital I always visit the Central Market which opened in 1880. There are many restaurants to enjoy the local cuisine at very reasonable price. My final night was spent at the Marriott San Jose, a beautiful spanish colonial style hotel near the airport. I took Lacsa Airlines non stop back to LAX airport.

I was traveling in Peru and had a flight on Lacsa airlines from LIM to SJO. I stopped by in Costa Rica to visit family after my two weeks traveling in South America. My father and I drove to my favorite place which is La Fortuna de San Carlos.
This is where the active Arenal volcano is located.

My friend and I flew on Continental Airlines to San Jose. Our flight was fogged in so we had to layover in Panama for one night. My favorite place to visit is San Carlos La Fortuna. On this vacation we went to the waterfalls, Cavernas el Venado, Rincon de La Vieja and actually watched the La Vieja volcano erupt. Luckily we were a few miles away. When we returned to San Jose we visited the cafe Britt coffeetour and the Poas volcano. I also spent a couple of nights at Punta Leona beach resort before flying back to LAX on Continental Airlines.

Stayed with family in San Antonio de Belen. Visited National museum, National theatre, Turtle island, Volcano Arenal, Punta Leona, Butterfly farm, and an ox-cart factory.

Stayed with family in San Antonio de Belen. Went to Jaco beach, Rincon de la Vieja, and Manuel Antonio.

Enjoying San Jose and stayed with family.

Vistited family members in San Antonio de Belen.

Crete Visit: 2016-6
2016-07-02 - We departed Athens Greece and arrived in Chania on Ryanair and spent two nights at the Artemis hotel. We ate at the waterfront restaurant Zepos (since 1960). We departed by bus to Heraklion to spend two nights at the Marin Hotel. We visited the very popular Knossos archaeological site. After this pleasant visit we boarded the ferry to Santorini Cyclades.

Croatia (other) Visit: 2007-9
2011-12-25 - We boarded the train from Ljubljana Slovenia to Zagreb. Once we arrived at the Zagreb train station I took a taxi to our hotel. I know the taxi driver over charged me and gave me the tourist rate, but these things happen. I had booked the Sheraton Zagreb hotel for only one night as we really wanted to visit the most popular areas along the Dalmatian coast. I had a Hertz rental car that I picked up in Zagreb with a final drop off in Dubrovnik. We spent one night in Zadar at a ladys home were she rented rooms, then continued the next day to Split. Now Split is crowded and congested with tourist, either taking the ferries or trying to enjoy the seafront. Since it was congested here we did not want to spend the night here. We drove south and found a more tranquil area along the coast with very few tourist and spent the night at Jurcevic pension in Mimce. This drive down the coast reminded me of the California coast. We dropped off our rental car on the hilly city of Dubrovnik after we found a room for rent at a private house walking distance to the old city. Just like Split, Dubrovnik is very popular with tourists. The majority of our meals were of the Italian variety, since this is what most restaurants seemed to serve. After our visit to this beautiful destination we continued by bus to Kotor Montenegro.

Cuba Visit: 2000-3
2011-04-17 - We took an Air Jamaica flight from Montego Bay into Havana. Our hotel was the Horizontes in New Havana which was a moderate place with no character. I love old cars so when we needed a ride into Old Havana I would flag down a citizen driving an old car and ask for a ride. A ride into the old part would cost us a $1 each. The drivers would always leave us nearby so they would not get caught by the police for giving a tourist a ride. The city has so much character and feels like its frozen in time. One of the main plazas where citizens would park look like a car show with all the antique cars. Since its difficult and expensive to maintain these vehicles most would have bald and different size tires and were painted by brush. There are many different historical places to visit in Old Havana and the beautiful classic hotels are here also. We took a bus to Santa Maria beach to lay out for a while, but we enjoy the city more and returned after a few hours. Our next flight was to SDQ airport in the Dominican Republic on Cubana Airlines. This is one of the most dangerous airlines in the world flying old Russian jets.

Cyclades Visit: 2016-6
2016-07-02 - We departed Heraklion Crete by ferry to Santorini just like most tourists do, and spend two nights at the Kastro Suites in Fira. This mountainous island is difficult to see the sights unless you have transportation, so we rented a car for one day to drive around to the various sites. Our next ferry ride was to Mykonos where we would spend another two nights this time at Eleannas. We also rented a car for one day so we could drive to the secluded beaches around the island. We departed the island by flying on Aegean Airlines to Athens.

Czech Republic Visit: 1996-3
2011-05-19 - I flew on Trans World Airlines through JFK airport to Frankfurt, then immediately took a flight on Czech Air to Prague. When I arrived at the airport I was able to obtain a room from a lady for $20 a night. It was close to the city and I felt at home here. Of course it was still winter and snow had fallen everywhere, it was very cold out. I went to the popular tourist spots despite the weather. After two nights here I took a train to Krakow Poland.

Dadra and Nagar Haveli Visit: 2014-2
2014-02-27 - I departed from Mumbai Maharashtra by train to get to Vapi, where we got into a rickshaw to go to Silvassa. I spent one night at the Pioneer Hotel in this very small city. There isnt much to do here and I was very sure I was the only tourist here. I couldnt even locate a restaurant except for the ones located inside the hotels which I avoided, so for dinner I ate delicious spicy samosas from a street vendor. Early morning the next day I took the train to Ahmadabad in Gujarat.

Delaware Visit: 2009-3
2009-12-22 - I was on an east coast vacation, and had the opportunity to see Wilmington. I was told there is nothing there, you blink and you have driven past it. Actually, I found Wilmington Delaware to be an interesting place to visit. The locals take pride in their small city as you will see how clean and well maintained it is. It was our nations first state and has a lot of history and is worth a full day, even to spend a night. You wont go wrong by staying at the luxury Hotel DuPont which opened in 1913. I have stayed and seen many luxury hotels and I was very impressed by this one. On Market street the main street of the city sits the Grand Opera House opened in 1871, it has an outstanding cast iron facade. The Delaware History center is on Market and 6th Street. Govatos handmade chocolates is at Market and 8th Street opened since 1894. Other sites to see are the Holocaust Memorial, DE history museum, City hall, Wilmington Institute library, DuPont theatre, Nemours mansion, and many other museums. Major credit card banks and Furtune 500 companies find their home in Wilmington.

Delhi (NCT) Visit: 2014-3
2014-05-17 - I had just left Faridabad Haryana by paying a 10 cents USD train ticket to get into New Delhi. I would spend two nights at the Smyle Inn located in a pedestrian alley. I was in the city on a Sunday and Monday, many government places and museums are closed on Mondays. During my two days here I visited Connaught Place, National Philatelic museum, Humayun\\\'s Tomb, and India Gate. I stopped by the Red Fort but it was closed due to it being Monday. I ate at some fantastic restaurants, Kwality (since 1947), Indian Coffee House (since 1959), and Pt Gaya Prasad Shiv Charan (since 1872). The next day I took a taxi to the DEL airport and flew on Emirates Airlines to Dubai UAE.

Denmark Visit: 2017-2
2017-07-14 - We departed Bergen Norway to CPH airport on SAS airlines staying at the Copenhagen Marriott for two nights. Ive never seen so many people on bicycles, even the cold rainy weather didn't stop them from riding. We visited Christiania (since 1971) and ate at Det Lille Apotek (since 1720) restaurant. We departed from CPH airport through AMS airport back to LAX airport on KLM airlines.

District of Columbia Visit: 2013-3
2012-01-27 - We arrived DCA on American Airlines from Nashville Tennessee. We spent 3 nights at the Hyatt Regency Washington DC on Capitol Hill. We visited the White House for the annual Easter Egg Roll, the White Houses biggest event. We had dinner at the Old Ebbitt Grill since 1856. We departed DC to Philadelphia PA on MegaBus.

Departed LAX to DCA airport Washington DC on Alaska Airlines. This was my 3rd trip to DC, and I stayed at the Ritz Carlton Georgetown. I decided to rent a bicycle to see some sights I had missed on my prior trips. It was the best thing I did, not only did I see all the missing sights, I never had to wait for a taxi or tour bus. Forget about renting a car, traffic can be very bad and parking is not easy to find. With the $15 bicycle rental I was able to get rock star parking everywhere. My friend from Arlington Virginia picked me up to go out to dinner on the less touristy Virginia side. The next day I took the train to Baltimore Maryland.

Dominican Republic Visit: 2000-3
2011-12-25 - From Havana we flew on Cubana airlines into Santo Domingo. The flight was on an old Russian jet that probably wouldnt have past safety tests in the USA. We spent a few nights at a small hotel called Rene Boca Chica. In Santa Domingo we visited the Alcazar de Colon and Museo de las Casas Reales. At a cigar shop where they roll the cigars in front of you, I smoked a cigar, I didnt like it. While on the western side of the island we where going to go to Haiti, but many locals kept discouraging us from going. We visited La Romana which has very nice and tranquil beaches. When we departed Santo Domingo we flew to Miami on Trans World Airlines.

My friend and I flew into Santo Domingo on Trans World Airlines connecting at JFK New York airport. While in Santo Domingo we spent a few nights at the Napolitano hotel and visited various attractions including the Patronato Faro a Colon, where Christopher Columbus is supposedly entombed. We took the bus up to Puerto Plata and stayed at the Hotel Castilla a dump. We moved to a better hotel called Hotel Atlantico and enjoyed the beach areas and city while trying to avoid the street hustlers. We went on a group tour to the Damajaqua cascades a highlight of the trip. These waterfalls should not be missed while in the Puerto Plata area. We flew back to LAX on Trans World Airlines.

Dubai Visit: 2014-3
2012-06-03 - Flew into DXB airport from Delhi India on Emirates Airlines. I just wanted to spend one night at the JW Marriott Marquis before going home the next day. I did my usual tour by metro and visited the top three malls again. The new metro line is a giant leap forward in helping alleviate the road traffic but now the metro is very popular and gets very crowded. Since I just arrived from India I then realized that the UAE has really no culture to offer me, so this will most likely be the last time I stop at this tourist trap. I flew back to LAX airport on Emirates airlines.

Arrived by bus from Abu Dhabi and stayed at the Fairmont hotel, Comfort Inn and JW Marriott Marquis. Visited all the megamalls, Gold souk, Dubai museum, and the Burj Al Arab hotel. The addition of the new metro train makes getting around a lot easier than before. Departed by bus from Union bus station to my next destination Fujairah.

We flew non stop with Delta Airlines from Atlanta into DXB airport. On this second visit things have changed a lot. The place is crowded, congested with traffic, and overtaken by lots of tourists. Dubai has a huge problem on its hands with this traffic problem and they better fix it before it gets worse. We stayed at the JW Marriott and visited the usual attractions. We went to most of the malls, Ski Dubai, and rented a car to drive to the other Emirates. The only emirate we didnt visit was Fujairah, we will have to go there on our next visit. When we departed we flew to Muscat Oman with Swiss Airlines.

Our first time to Dubai was a nice tranquil vacation. We flew on British Airways from London into DXB airport. The flight was empty it only had a few passengers on board. Once we walked out the airport terminal there were only a couple of taxis outside, these days its a stampede to get to a taxi. Our taxi driver was an Arab woman who gave us a mini tour on the drive to our hotel. The weather was perfect and we were able to see the city before the construction boom. We spent the first nights at the Sheraton Jumeirah Beach then moved to the Hyatt Regency Dubai. While in Dubai we also visited Abu Dhabi where my brother in law was living while working for a major construction company. We departed by flying back to London on British Airways.

Durango Visit: 2012-11
2012-11-14 - We took a four hour bus ride from Zacatecas to Durango arriving late in the afternoon. We didnt think there would be much to see here but the historic part of city had a lot to offer. We stayed one night at the historic Posada San Jorge built in the mid 1700s as the House of the Royal Treasury. The hotel is located on a pedestrian only street which comes alive at night with its many sidewalk cafes and restaurants. The next morning we ate breakfast at the historic Casablanca hotels restaurant. After breakfast we went to the Mine museum underneath the Plaza de Armas. Our next destination was Mazatlan Sinaloa. This bus ride took us 8 hours along the mountain ridges which offered fantastic views. There is a tunnel being built along this route which cuts through the mountains, this should cut the voyage in half.

Ecuador (Mainland) Visit: 1997-5
2011-03-22 - We flew on Saeta airlines from San Cristobal Galapagos to Guayaquil then by TAME airlines to Quito. This was a really nice city to visit, it has lots of old world charm. We went on a day trip to Banos, a lot of hand made taffy shops are located here. You can watch them make taffy right in front of the shops. There are thermal waters in Banos which we took advantage of and relaxed in these waters. The cities are very clean with little or no trash on the city streets. I always try the local cuisine and we went to this small popular restaurant in Quito that was full of locals. The food was really good, but I got very sick and I was not feeling well for several days.
I well never forget those days of suffering, I have never been that ill before. After staying in Quito we decided to go across the border to Popoyan Columbia.

Egypt (non-Sinai) Visit: 1998-5
2012-01-02 - From Nairobi Kenya I flew on Egypt Air back to Cairo where I would continue my journey through Egypt. Once I arrived in Cairo I took another flight into Luxor also on Egypt Air. I stayed at the Oasis hotel and hung out at the Kings Head tavern were I tried to enjoy Stella beer. This is probably the worst beer I have ever tasted, but I only drank Stella since I was in Egypt. I took the train from Luxor to Aswan in first class, the train was actually nice. While in Aswan I visited the High dam, Philae Temple, and other sites. I went back to Luxor to visit the Luxor Temple, Mummification Museum, and again hang out at the Kings Head pub. After seeing all of these southern sites I went back to Cairo. I revisited the Valley of the Kings, R Mose, and Deir al Madina with the Egyptologist tourist guide Abou El Naga H Gabrail. While at the Deir al Madina I found some of the bullet holes from the terrorist attack that took place a few months before. On this visit I did notice a lot of police and undercover security everywhere around this site. It was time to go home and I money was running low, I could not afford a taxi back to the Cairo airport. A young man offered me a ride back to the airport with his horse carriage for a lower price. This was a nice ending to another fascinating trip to Egypt. I flew back to JFK airport on TWA but this time in coach then first class to LAX.

Took a flight from LAX through JFK to Cairo on TWA, all in 1st class. Since I was an airline employee I always waitlisted for first class. While in Cairo I stayed at a low priced hotel called the Garden City House hotel. This was my 2nd time in Egypt and did the usual visit to the Cairo museum to see Tutankamens treasures again. Meet up with old friends and visited the pyramids again and rode around by horse and camel. To me Egypt is a must see before you die, so fascinating. I then flew on Egypt Airlines from Cairo to Dar es Salaam Tanzania.

Arrived into Cairo on Trans World Airlines from JFK New York. I was with a couple of friends from TWA and we had a great time visiting many of the sights. These sights included the Giza pyramids and the Cairo museum. We flew on Egypt Airlines to Luxor and visited Karnak Temple, Valley of the Kings, Deir El Bahri, and many other places. My friends went back to New York and I continued to the Sinai Peninsula.

El Salvador Visit: 1998-1
2011-09-28 - We crossed the border from El Amatillo Honduras into El Salvador. We took the bus to San Miguel were we spent part of the day here. This is a small town that reminded me of other parts of Central America. My mother and I enjoyed lunch here and continued on our way back to the El Amatillo Honduras border and back into Nicaragua.

Emilia-Romagna Visit: 2012-4
2012-04-22 - We drove from Fano Marche into Rimini where we went to spend one night in San Marino. We drove north the next day and stopped in Ferrara to refuel our rental car and get a cappuccino before continuing into Veneto.

We landed in Milan Lombardy on Trans World Airlines. We picked up our rental car and drove through Emilia-Romagna to get to Pisa Tuscany. When I go back in Italy I will make sure to stop and see some of the sites this area has to offer.

England Visit: 2010-11
2012-01-31 - NOV2010
I traveled on Air New Zealand to London in business class, nice experience. This was a company fam, so we stayed at five star hotels. The first was the Four Seasons Hampshire outside of London, relaxing and a great culinary experience. The next hotel was the Dorchester in London, great location across from Hyde Park. This was the first time I really enjoyed the English food, the meals from breakfast to dinner were superb. We were lucky that it was chilly but not raining while we toured London with a private guide. We flew back to LAX on Air New Zealand this time in coach class.

We drove our rental car from Cardiff Wales to Bath and spent a few hours enjoying this historic city. This was Sunday and we drove into London, the highway heading east was so crowded it took us twice the time to get in. For the next two nights we were staying at the Stafford Hotel London. There was no more need for my rental car so I dropped it off at Hertz Marble Arch. On this visit we toured the Tower of London, Temple Church, and the UNESCO National Maritime Museum Greenwich. We found our way to the famous Brick Lane to enjoy some Indian food. We departed LHR airport on Air New Zealand back to LAX.

We depart LAX on American Airlines flying non stop into London Heathrow. We checked into the Savoy hotel (since 1889) for only one night, and walked around London visiting various sites. This was just for a stop over since our main destination was the Dalmation coast. We departed from London Gatwick airport to Ljubljana Slovenia on Adria Airways.

We flew on American Airlines from LAX to London nonstop. We had a two night stay at the Hotel Ritz located at Green Park where we could easily get to all the attractions in the city. David Blaine the magician was suspended in the air for several weeks. It seemed more like torture that a magic trick just sitting up there bored in a plastic box. We had two places to visit on this trip, the first was Worcester. Every year they hold Vanfest a big weekend event for Volkswagen buses. Next stop was to go to Bath where we spent the night at the St Francis hotel. After 5 days of traveling though this area we flew from London Heathrow to Dubai on British Airways.

SEP 1997
I flew in from Amsterdam to London Heathrow on KLM airlines. I was meeting some family members here so we could travel around England. While I waited a few days for the family to arrive I did the usual touring around London. I visited Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Piccadilly Circus, Big Ben, British Museum, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, and Harrods. This was a month after Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed died in the car accident in Paris. At Harrods they had pictures of both of them and a beautiful memorial in a display window. During this time I stayed a budget accommodation called Curzon House Hotel. When the family arrived we headed west toward Salisbury where we stayed in a very nice hotel which was more like a townhome. Since we were in this area we visited Stonehenge, Salisbury cathedral, Avebury, Beaulieu the national motor museum, Bath, Bath postal museum, and many other places. The last few nights we stayed at a Bed and Breakfast. Since I did not like coach class on American Airlines I flew back to LAX with TWA in first class.

Estonia Visit: 2018-4
2018-07-22 - We flew from LAX airport on LOT Polish airlines connecting in WAW and arriving in TLL airport. We spent three nights at the Hestia Hotel Maestro in the old town Tallinn. We loved the old town and visited Kadriorg Park and the Estonian Open Air Museum a bus ride away from the old town. I enjoyed coffee at Maiasmokk Cafe (since 1864) and the Pierre Chocolaterie (since 1937) both in old town. We departed airBaltic from TLL to RIX airport in Latvia.

Extremadura Visit: 2011-7
2011-07-31 - We drove in from Andalusia to Merida where we spent the night at the Parador de Merida. People are very friendly and helpful here. The roman ruins in this city are excellent, we were surprised to see them scattered around the city almost at every turn. Our favorite was the Temple of Diana. Our next stop was Caceres to the north but we took a detour west to Badajoz so we could visit Portugal again. Once we where back in Spain we drove straight to Caceres where we spent one night at the Husa Gran Hotel Don. It was difficult locating this hotel but it ended up being a blessing. It was a short walk to the historical area of the city. During the day not much seemed to be going on here, but on Saturday night the city came alive. A lot of the restaurants outdoor tables were full but we found a place and had some good food. During the day we visited as many historical buildings and museums as time allowed, the cistern was a treat. Our next stop was a quick visit to Trujillo and then on our way to Castille La Mancha.

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Visit: 2007-9
2011-08-09 - From Croatia we drove our rental car into Bosnia and stayed for two nights at the hotel Kriva Cuprija in Mostar. This hotel was a former mill (since 1558) and its a short walk over to Stari Most bridge. We had a great experience here, loved the area of Mostar. Its nice to see that they started rebuilding parts of the city since the war has ended. But on the outskirts of the tourist area you will still find many buildings damaged by the conflict. A lot of bullet holes and walls that have collapsed due to the shelling. What I was really impressed by was all the lighted candles at the various restaurants along the river at night, one word magical. While driving south we stopped to visit Medugorje. I wasnt expecting this place to be overtaken with Catholics visiting this holy site. There are more hotel rooms here than housing for the residents. This place has souvenir shops every few feet selling everything you can imagine with Jesus on it, that was a sight to behold in itself. Medugorje - this sleepy village has been transformed into one of the largest Catholic pilgrimages in the world. We continued to our next destination Dubrovnik Croatia.

Fiji Islands Visit: 2015-10
2015-11-17 - We flew out of LAX airport into NAN airport on Fiji Airways. Once we arrived we had a 9 hour layover before continuing with Island Hoppers to Yasawa Island resort. We would spend 3 nights at this lovely resort with its friendly locals. During our relaxing stay we visited the Blue Lagoon caves where part of the movie was filmed according to the locals. One of our excursions was visiting one of the 6 villages on the island where we learned about the local culture and customs and visited the village chiefs home. We also went to the village school where the children sang various songs to us. We departed Yasawa Island on Pacific Island air on a seaplane back to the Nadi airport. We rented a car to drive to our next destination on the southern Queens Road to Nanuku Auberge Resort near Suva, this was a very nice luxurious stay in a large private villa. We would spend two nights here enjoying the beautiful resort. One day we drove to Suva and had lunch at the historic (since 1914) Grand Pacific Hotel. We departed Nadi back to Los Angeles on Fiji Airways.

Flemish Region Visit: 2006-3
2011-04-16 - The tourist board took us to see Brugge, our driver got lost so we didnt spend to much time here. This city is a must see if you are in the region, it so picturesque and inviting. We all wanted to stay here and spend the night. After a brief tour we had free time to see the city on our own. Someday I would like to go back, the city is well known for its lace and there are many shops selling it. We had lunch at a beer garden restaurant and the food was excellent. We also went to visit Gent and this was another great city to walk around in. The Gravensteen castle was one of places we visited then we ate at another beer garden restaurant at Groentenmarkt 9. The cuisine in this region is not to be missed, one of the best in Europe.

Florida Visit: 2014-11
2012-07-16 - NOV2014 MIAMI
I flew roundtrip on American Airlines to Miami so I could connect to fly over to Guyana. I had a long layover so I left the MIA airport and took the bus to eat at Yambo Nicaraguan cuisine (since 1983). When I flew back to Miami from Guyana I spent the night at the Marriott Miami airport and went to South Beach to eat at Joes Stone Crab (since 1913).

We flew into Miami on American Airlines to go on the Motorhead Motorboat heavy metal mustic cruise. While we were there we spent a couple of nights at the Hyatt Regency Miami and ate at Versailles (since 1971), S&S Diner (since 1938) and drank at Tobacco Road (since 1912) the oldest bar in the city. We boarded the Carnival Ecstasy to cruise to Key West and Cozumel Mexico. When the cruise was back in Miami we spent one more night at the Hyatt Regency Miami. We ate dinner at Puerto Sagua restaurant (since 1962) then flew out the next day back to LAX airport.

We arrived on an overnight flight at Jacksonville airport on Delta Airlines and spent one night at the Residence Inn Jacksonville Airport. While in the area we visited Fort Caroline, Frances first foothold in the new world at Timucuan historic preserve. The mosquitos are very aggresive during this time of year in Florida. Our next destination was Savannah Georgia.

Departed LAX and arrived in Miami on American Airlines. The first two nights we spent at Doral Golf resort in Miami and spent time in South Beach and Coral Gables. We continued to Key West were we stayed another two nights at the Cheeca Lodge. The Hemingway House, lighthouse, Southernmost house, Southernmost point, were some of the places we visited. Cannot go to Key West without trying the key lime pie. After this visit we drove back to Miami were we visited Vizcaya and then flew back to LAX on American Airlines.

Landed in Miami with American Airlines after spending several days in San Juan Puerto Rico. On arrival our airplane had no gate available so we missed our connection to LAX airport. The airline paid for our hotel the Best Western Miami Aiport Inn probably one of the dirtiest hotels I have been to. After our short Miami visit we flew back to LAX with American Airlines.

I flew on TWA to Orlando to meet up with my friends in Kissimmee. I preferred to stay outside of the Orlando area because it cost a lot less to stay in Kissimmee. My friends and I booked a seven day cruise on the Oceanic Big Red Boat from Premier cruises. Before going on the Caribbean cruise we visited the Kennedy Space Center, which we had a good time walking through this space odyssey. After the cruise we stayed at the Super8 motel Kissimmee. We stayed a couple extra nights so we could visit Walt Disney Worlds Magic Kingdom and Epcot Center which the latter is overrated. My friends flew back to Los Angeles but I continued my vacation to Stevens Point Wisconsin on TWA and United Airlines to CWA airport.

Flew on Trans World Airlines to Miami. My father and I were visiting family. Our visit included seeing the Holocaust memorial, Viscaya, Monkey Jungle, and Coral Castle in Homestead. We flew back to LAX on TWA.

Free State Visit: 2015-9
2015-10-21 - We departed Kimberley in Northern Cape to Bloemfontein. We would spend one night at the Hobbit House hotel. There wasn\'t much for us to see here in what is mostly a farming community. Bloemfontein is the birthplace of the famous author JRR Tolkien who wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It was a Friday night so we went out to a new bar restaurant on restaurant row. This is a somewhat sleepy city with a large modern mall nearby, this is where most of community seems to spend their time shopping and eating at the restaurants inside. The following day we arrived at the bus station to take a shared kombi to our next destination Maseru Lesotho.

Fujairah Visit: 2013-4
2013-05-04 - Departed late from Dubai Union bus station where I would spend two nights at the Nour Arjaan hotel in this eastern emirate. The buses run every hour from Dubai to Fujairah until 900pm. There is no public bus transportation in Fujairah so you either walk or get a taxi. It was very hot outside so it was uncomfortable to walk long distances. I visited the museum, the fort, corniche, Coffee pot roundabout, Falcon roundabout and the City Centre mall. There is not much to see here, except if you plan on relaxing at one of the resort beach hotels. I also hired a taxi to take me to the enclave Madha Oman. The enclave is about 15 minutes away and I spent an hour with the taxi which cost me 90AED. I departed Fujairah by shared taxi back to Dubai.

Gagauzia Visit: 2013-6
2013-06-30 - We took a private tour with Marisha. (www.Marisha.net) Boris the driver and the guide promptly picked us up from our flat in Chisinau Moldova, the private tour cost 80EUR. It takes two hours to drive into Comrat, there is no boarder crossing. Our first stop was the Comrat Museum which the female administrator was proud to show us around. She explained everything in Russian which had to be translated to English by our guide. It could have taken us about 30 minutes to visit the museum but ended up taking us 90 minutes because of all the time wasted translating. We also visited the Cathedral of St John, government buildings, Alley of Gagauzian Glory, and Lenin statue. After the walking tour Boris drove back to Chisinau, this was 80EUR well spent.

Galapagos Islands Visit: 1997-5
2011-03-22 - We started in Miami and flew to Guayaquil on Saeta Airlines. One night was spent in Guayaquil before continuing the next day to San Cristobal airport also with Saeta Airlines. Visitors to the Galapagos have to pay a tourist fee of $80 USD on arrival. This is not a place where visitors come to lay out on the beach but to explore nature at its best. We only spent four days here and were offered a cruise around the islands. If you want to see all the different islands you have to be here at least 10 days. We took a boat over to Santa Cruz to visit the Charles Darwin scientific station. There are so many different species of turtles and we actually saw Lonesome George before he died. We had a guide who took us all around the island, to see the turtles, swim with the baby seals, iguanas, blue footed boobies, get in a lagoon with harmless sharks, and a lot more. This place is amazing if you are into nature.

Gauteng Visit: 2015-10
2015-11-12 - We departed Durban Kwazulu Natal on Mango Airlines and flew into Johannesburg. We were picked up at the JNB airport by the owner of the Shoestring Airport Lodge where we would spend two nights. We were warned about the crime in the city and opted to visit during the daytime only. We bought a Gautrain pass and used this to get into the city, we also bought a two day City Sightseeing Joburg hop on and off tour bus pass. This was the best way to see the highlights of this huge city without paying for an expensive taxi. We visited the Apartheid museum, Gold Reef city casino, Top of Africa biggest building, the excellent SAB World of Beer, James Hall Museum of Transport a car fanatics dream, and Constitution Hill Old Fort Prison. We really enjoyed the city and the people, I feel the locals over exaggerate the crime. Its just like any other major city in the world where you just have to be cautious of your surroundings. We departed Joburg on British Airways back to London then Los Angeles.

Georgia, State Visit: 2012-6
2012-07-16 - Drove in from Jacksonville Florida into Savannah. We spent the night at the Mansion on Forsyth Park. Savannah has a very nice historical district and its neighborhoods have a lot of charm. We came here to drop off our daughter at the 100th anniversary camporee of the Girl Scouts of Georgia where it all began. Girl Scout troops from throughout the United States were here to celebrate this milestone. We enjoyed ice cream at Leopold's (since 1919) in Savannah. The next day we drove to Hilton Head South Carolina.

We flew into Savannah and spent a couple of nights at the Mansion on Forsyth Park in this charming city. I rented a car and drove south and spent two nights at The Cloister at Sea Island, such a nice property. We visited St Marys to see if we could get to Cumberland Island where JFK jr got married. The ferry doesn't run as often as we thought and missed the opportunity to visit this island. On our way back we drove to Jekyll Island and didnt stay long because of all the mosquitos that kept attacking us. Georgia is worth a visit and has a lot to offer.

Flew into Atlanta Georgia on Delta Airlines. We had a six hour layover, so we took the metro into the city. We visited the Coca Cola museum store, Hard Rock cafe and then had lunch before going back to ATL airport. Our flight to Dubai on Delta Airlines was delayed 5 hours, so we ended up with an 11 hour layover before departing for the UAE.

My coworker won a free trip to Georgia at our company Christmas party. The package included airfare, hotel and rental car. He didnt want it and gave it to me, what a nice friend. We flew into Alanta through Denver on Frontier Airlines. We stayed at the Swissotel on Peachtree Road the main highway of Atlanta. While we were here we visited Stone Mountain, Margaret Mitchell house the author of Gone with the Wind, and the Carter Library. From Atlanta we drove the boring 4 hours to Savannah, next time we will fly instead of drive. We spent a few nights at the Courtyard by Marriott Savannah Historic district. This city is a gem and has a lot to offer. We took a tour of the city to make sure we didnt miss any of the more important parts. One evening we ate at the restaurant 17Hundred90, it was expensive and not that good. We flew back nonstop to Long Beach CA on Jetblue airlines.

Gibraltar Visit: 2011-7
2012-01-14 - We picked up our Hertz rental car in Algeciras and drove to the border of Gibraltar. I wanted to spend the night here but the British pound makes everything double the price. We parked the car at a lot across from the border and walked in. I asked the customs agent for a stamp in my passport and they stated I will get it on the way out. We bought a roundtrip bus ticket to take us to the main plaza area. While waiting for the bus to leave we saw a British Airways flight take off from the blocked road which doubles as the runway. Once we arrived at the end of the bus route we were amazed to see so many tourists here. I never knew this place was this popular, so many people at the border, the plaza, and everywhere else. We ate lunch at an Indian restaurant called Maharaja on Tuckeys Lane, the food was as good as you get it in London. We decided to walk over to the cable car that takes you to the top of the rock. It was well worth the price to the top, splendid views for great photos. You can see Morocco from this vantage point. The monkeys are very used to people and will walk very close to you. If you have a chance to spend the night it would be well worth it to stay in this lively enclave. We walked back across the border and I asked for the passport stamp, and they told me I get it on the way in.
With all the foot traffic I don\'t think the border agents want to be bothered. We walked back into Andalusia and continued our vacation through Spain.

Greece (other) Visit: 2017-8
2016-07-02 - We arrived in SKG airport on Turkish Airways after being reprotected due to a misconnect on Austrian Airlines. We spent two nights at the Orestias Kastorias hotel (since 1924) in Thessaloniki. There were many places we visited like White Tower, Ladadika district, Rotunda, and the monument of Alexander the Great. We ate dinner at Savvikos (since 1947) restaurant. Our next destination was Macedonia arriving there by bus.

We arrived in Athens on Turkish Airways and stayed at the Best Western Museum hotel for two nights in the Attica region. We departed for Crete on Ryan Airlines two spend four nights on the island. We took the ferry to spend two nights in Santorini and then took another ferry to spend two nights on Mykonos island and returning to Athens on Aegean Airlines to spend another two nights in this vast graffiti ridden city. This time we stayed at the King George Hotel (since 1930) and visiting the Acropolis, National Archaeological Museum, and Temple of Olympian Zeus. We enjoyed eating dinner at the Bairaktaris Restaurant (since 1879) and Taverna Sigalas (since 1879) in the Plaka area of Athens. After this enjoyable island vacation we flew on Turkish Airways to Istanbul Turkey.

Guanajuato Visit: 2012-10
2012-11-13 - Arrived by bus from Queretaro to San Miguel de Allende Guanajuato. This is where we would spend two nights at the Hostel Inn in the historic city center. I can see why 15000 expatriate Americans call this city home, the place is an architectural jewel. The city has a lot of charm with its cobblestone streets, spanish colonial buildings, and a taste for the past. I was told SMA is expensive but that is not true as we ate, toured, and transported ourselves around at very reasonable rates. There are many great souvenirs to purchase here but we had no room and did not want to carry too many things on our bus journey. I bought some pastries at La Colmena bakery opened since 1901. The next day we took a bus to Guanajuatos historic city center. We enjoyed seeing this UNESCO city and visited the Museum of the Mummies and the San Cayetano and San Ramon mines. After our visit we went back to San Miguel de Allende and the next day took the bus to out next destination San Luis Potosi.

Guerrero Visit: 2011-9
2012-07-10 - It took us about 4 hours to go by bus from Cuernavaca Morelos to Old Acapulco. I decided on a two night stay at the Hotel Mision which is housed in an old convent building that was built in 1797. Acapulco has many resort areas but I wanted to stay in the old city center where it all started years ago. Most foreign tourists stay in the gold coast area where all the high rise and high end resorts are located. We were able to visit the Fort San Deigo, cliff divers, and take a boat ride to Isla La Roqueta. We watched the cliff divers from Hotel Mirador which has an excellent vantage point. You have to pay a small fee to enter the hotel but it includes a drink. I went to different restaurants in the area and the food was always great and inexpensive. Our next bus ride was to Zihuatanejo where we stayed one night at the Hotel Zihuatanejo Central. This is a low key tourist location which offers a lot of souvenir shops and good restaurants. The food in Mexico is great and inexpensive. We took a collectivo bus to Ixtapa to see all the beach resorts and this is where most foreign tourists stay. Ixtapa is an upscale resort area compared to Zihuatanejo and the higher prices show it. The next day we took an afternoon bus to Lazaro Cardenas in Michoacan.

Gujarat Visit: 2014-2
2014-02-27 - I arrived in Ahmadabad by train from the south in Vapi. I had prebooked a hotel called the Volga next to the luxury hotel the House of MG. There is not much to do or see in this city so one night was enough. The next day I took an early train to Udaipur in Rajasthan.

Guyana Visit: 2014-11
2014-11-12 - SunnyLand Tours was offering a travel agent five day fam to Guyana so I participated. I flew from Miami into GEO on InselAir transferring in Aruba, on each flight they have a raffle where you can win a free airline ticket for a future flight. We spent the night at The Duke hotel across the street from the US Embassy. On our first day we took a boat ride to visit the Santa Mission Amerindian Community and Arrow Point resort. The highlight of the trip was flying on Roraima Airlines to KAI airport to see Kaieteur Falls, the pilot did several passes along the falls and then when we departed flew through the canyon along the river route. The view of the falls were amazing. We were lucky to see the tiny and rare Golden Frog but very few birds and no mammals at all. This was kind of a surprise due to the fact that the falls are surrounded by a vast jungle. On our fifth day we departed on Insel Air to Miami via Aruba.

Haryana Visit: 2014-3
2014-05-17 - I arrived in Faridabad by train from Agra Uttar Pradesh. I was speaking with a local on the train and he did not understand why and for what reason I wanted to stop in Faridabad. I told him I wanted to visit the city but he told me there was nothing for a tourist to see and not to bother with a stop over. I got off the train in Faridabad and I could see that this place didnt really offer anything for a traveler to enjoy. I took pictures and some young locals were curious to what I was doing in this city. After a couple of hours I walked back to the train station and continued to Delhi, the train fare was only 10 cents USD.

Hawaiian Islands (including NW Islands) Visit: 2002-9
2011-11-26 - JUN2002
This time we flew on American Trans Air to Maui and stayed at the Maui Lu hotel (since 1954) which needs to be completely renovated. This place has seen better days. We joined the Mountain Riders Bike Tour which started from the summit of Haleakala. It was a 38 mile ride down the mountain to the sea. For a very beautiful sterilized island vacation Hawaii is the place to be. I have visited Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the big island of Hawaii.

We flew from LAX to Kona on Trans World Airlines.
I found a great deal at the Kona Surf Resort due in fact that the hotel was about to close for renovations. I love coffee so we visited the Greenwell Coffee Farm and purchased some expensive coffee, it was worth it. Since this island has an active volcano we visited the Volcanoes National Park. The highway was blocked by the lava flow. In Kahaluu there is St Peters catholic church probably one of the smallest churches Ive been to, it is located on the beach. Since Kona has a microbrewery called Mehana I had to pay a visit and sample some of their premium beer. After four nights we flew back to LAX on Trans World Airlines.

We flew on United Airlines from LAX to Honolulu then connected on Aloha Airlines to Lihue Kauai.
Stayed at a very nice timeshare and went to all the local tourist sites. On the list was the Guava Kai Plantation, Kilauea Lighthouse, Kilauea Point National Wildlife refuge, Sleeping Giant, Lutheran Church built in 1881, Limahuli gardens, Kamokila Hawaiian Village, Spouting Horn, Captian Cook monument, Wailua River state park, and took a helicopter ride along the coast. We flew back to Honolulu on Aloha Airlines and continued our island adventure. We stayed at one of the many high rise Outrigger hotels. Went to the Honolulu Flea Market, Dole Plantation, USS Arizona memorial, Germaines Luau and many of its beaches. After a few days we flew back to LAX on United Airlines.

Hesse Visit: 1996-3
2011-08-30 - I departed Heidelberg by train to Frankfurt, I only planned to spend one night here. I found the hotel pension Sattler which was walking distance to the city area. Frankfurt did not have the wonderful character that Heidelberg provided.
I flew on Lufthansa airlines from Frankfurt to Paris France.

Hidalgo Visit: 2008-7
2011-02-07 - Mexico city has excellent bus service, so we went on a day trip to Hidalgo. Our main goal was to visit the ruins of Tula with its Toltec warriors.
I enjoy these small towns and villages more than the beaches of Mexico. We were very impressed with the area, it was well worth the one hour journey to get there.

Honduras (mainland) Visit: 1998-1
2011-10-04 - We crossed the border from Los Manos Nicaragua into Honduras. Our first stop was El Paraiso where we spent the night at Hotel La Esperanza. We continued the next day to Danli then on to the capital Tegucigalpa. Central America has great bus service to anywhere you can think of, so this made it easy to move around from city to city. My mother and I did not like this city so we decided not to stay and continue south to El Amatillo and crossed the border here into El Salvador.

Hong Kong Visit: 2009-8
2011-12-28 - We flew on Cathay Pacific airlines from Los Angeles to Hong Kong - a great airline to travel on. The city ended up being everything I thought it would, with so many things to keep us busy. Such great views from every part of the city. Even the Starbucks on the Walk of Stars has the greatest view of the harbour. We took the Peak tram up to Victoria peak it was a clear day so we had a fantastic view of the city. We also went to Lantau Island to see the giant Buddha. Our departure was on Dragon Airlines were we flew to Phuket Thailand.

Hungary Visit: 2017-8
2011-05-19 - We departed Subotica Serbia by bus entering into Szeged and spending a few hours in the city enjoying espresso drinks in the main plaza. We departed by train to Budapest where we would spend two nights at the Four Seasons Gresham Palace hotel. I had not been here in more than two decades and it brought back memories on how great this city is to visitors. We visited all the highlights crossing the Chain Bridge, Parliament, Fisherman's Bastion, Shoes on the Danube Bank, Ronald Reagan statue, and walked over to Margaret Island. One cannot be in Budapest without experiencing the Szazeves restaurant (since 1831), New York Cafe (since 1894), and the Matyas Pince Etterem (since 1904) all great places to eat. We departed Budapest by train to our next destination Bratislava Slovakia.

Arriving from Vienna Austria by train I found a hostal that was close to all the major sights. The weather was much better with no snow on the ground to navigate. After seeing the various sights like the Danube river, chain bridge, heroes square, and many other places I needed a massage. My Chilean friend and I went to one of the many spa baths in the city and took advantage of the low prices. The massage I received from a big Hungarian was probably one of the best experiences from any of my spa visits worldwide. After paying our approximate $6 US dollars I felt like a million bucks. The food was great too and at lower prices than other European cities. I departed Budapest by train back to Salzburg Austria.

Iceland Visit: 2009-3
2011-10-16 - I flew on Iceland airlines to visit Reykjavík over the weekend. The flight departed from Washington Dulles airport and we arrived early in the morning in Reykjavik where I took the airport bus into the city. The sky looked very eerie with the colorful clouds above. I expected everything to be very expensive, but it wasnt as bad as I thought. I spent two nights at the Hilton Reykjavik Nordica about a 15 minute walk into the center of the city. This time of year the weather was kind of chilly, but you never knew what to expect. The sky would be clear and an hour later it would be windy with snow flurries. I ate a few times at a tiny hot dog stand called Bćjarins beztu pylsur. The food was really good, President Clinton has also eaten here. The cold weekend night did not stop any of the locals or tourists from going out and partying all night at the clubs. Before leaving for the airport I had to do what most visitors do and enjoyed my free time at the Blue Lagoon. After relaxing for many hours at these thermal waters I flew back to New York JFK airport.

Ile-de-France Visit: 2006-11
2012-01-15 - NOV2006
On this company fam trip we flew on Virgin Atlantic airways through London and flew into Paris with British Midland airlines. We stayed at two great hotels the first was the Lutetia Concorde (since 1910) and then to the Crillon (since 1909). We had some great meals at the hotels we stayed at. On my free time I finally went to the catacombs and then up the hill to Sacre Coeur. On our way back down we stopped at a cafe to have a light lunch. The food was really good and the waiter was rude, a perfect day in Paris. After our fantastic fam trip we flew back on British Midland to London then on Virgin Atlantic airlines to LAX.

We drove in from Centre after a five day drive from Nice we finally made it into Paris at sunset. We were so tired we did not want to visit the city center so we stayed overnight at a very nice CDG airport hotel. The next day we flew back to Los Angeles on American Airlines.

Flew from Frankfurt to Paris on Lufthansa Airlines. Spent one night enjoying the city once more then flew on TWA to Boston.

Flew into Paris on Trans World Airlines. I only stayed a few days because my main goal was to fly into Madrid Spain. On my return from Barcelona Spain I stayed at the Three Ducks hosel in Paris. This time I took a bicycle tour of the city. We visited many places among this vast city, but they were short visits. Paris has so much to offer I can never get bored of it. I flew back to JFK New York on Trans World Airlines.

Illinois Visit: 2004-12
2012-01-01 - DEC2004
Got on an American Airlines flight from LAX to ORD airport. I had to stay at the Chicago Marriott Suites OHare hotel because most of the city hotels were full for holiday shopping. The
weather was not that cold so we were able to visit Navy Pier and go shopping down Michigan Ave. Wanting to try some Chicago pizza we ate at Giordanos Italian restaurant and was disappointed with the food.

I flew from CWA airport in Wisconsin to Chicago ORD airport. I left early in the morning because I was just going to spend a full day visiting some coworkers from TWA airlines. After stopping by our Chicago office, I took the Chicago Untouchables mob tour to visit all the famous criminal sites of the mob error. I went to lunch at the famous Billy Goat Tavern (since 1934) to have a cheeseburger, cheeseburger chips chips Pepsi no Coke made famous by John Belushi on the comedy show Saturday Night Live. Later that afternoon I flew home to Los Angeles on TWA airlines.

Ireland, Republic of Visit: 2010-7
2011-10-05 - When we left Belfast North Ireland we traveled by train to Dublin, a very nice ride with great coastal views. We spent two nights at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Dublin, a very nice and modern hotel within walking distance to the heart of the city. Dublin is easy to navigate and get to the main tourist spots. We liked the city, but one thing we didnt like is that nothing was free. I felt this was the most expensive place Ive been to, even more expensive than London. All the churches charge entrance fees. I saw many Spaniards and Italians turn away because they couldnt believe churches were charging entrance fees. We walked to the Guiness beer factory and they also charge an entrance fee. I have never paid an entrance fee to a brewery, so I didnt go inside. Instead we walked to the Brazen Head pub which is the oldest bar in Dublin est. 1198 and drank some Guiness beer. We departed Dublin and flew to Isle of Man on Aer Arann.

Isle of Man Visit: 2010-7
2012-01-25 - We flew from Dublin to the Isle of Man on Aer Arann. The airfare was just a little bit more than going by ferry. We decided to spend one night here at the Claremont Hotel in Douglas. Thinking there wasnt much to do I booked one night, was I wrong. With all the island has to offer you could easily spend 5 to 7 nights here. A very enjoyable layed back place to stay with all the friendly helpful locals to look out for you. A taxi driver told me the island used to be a very popular place to visit by Brits. But with all the low priced airlines out there, the Brits are starting to venture elsewhere. We really liked it here and this should be one of your stops if you are in Ireland or England. If you are a train fanatic visiting this island should be on your list. We departed on flybe airlines to Liverpool England.

Israel (other) Visit: 1995-3
2012-01-02 - I passed through the high security checkpoints from Jordan into Israel. I had never seen so many checkpoints in my life. My first stop was the Dead Sea where I floated in this salty oily feeling water, it was also a bit cold. This was a very unique experience. I continued to Jerusalem where I stayed at hostal near Damascus Gate. I visited as many holy places as possible including Church of the Holy Seprecar, Mt Olive, Milk Grotto, Western Wall, and many other places. I would spend my evenings at the Underground bar club where young Israeli soldiers would end up also. I was uncomfortable sitting there drinking a beer while everyone seemed to have weapons on them. Guns and beer dont mix well where I come from so I would not stay late at the club. After visiting so many historical sights I would also spend part of my day socializing with the Palestinians. I also visited the West Bank and departed back to Boston Massachusetts through New York on Trans World Airlines.

Jalisco Visit: 2011-9
2011-09-25 - We took a morning bus from Manzanillo Colima into the old city of Puerto Vallarta. Luckily our hotel was walking distance from the bus stop. We booked two nights at Casa Dona Susana hotel in the heart of the old city. Lots of coffee shops, restaurants, souvenir shops and bars are found lining the cobble stoned streets. This is a nice place to be and you can try many of the great restaurants around the city. Everywhere I ate the food was great. One drawback is the humidity which you feel as soon as you leave your air conditioned room. I went to the airport to pick up a rental car so we could drive over to Punta de Mita in Nayarit. After our two night stay in this enjoyable city we flew back on Alaska Airlines to LAX.

Jamaica Visit: 2013-10
2011-11-13 - I participated in a Jamaica Tourist Board fam for a 4 night trip. This is to familiarize ourselves with the latest resorts around Montego Bay and Negril. I flew roundtrip with Delta Airlines from Atlanta GA to MBJ airport. I stayed at Iberostar Rose Hall Beach, RIU Palace Tropical Bay, and Iberostar Rose Hall Grand resorts. These all inclusive beach resorts are very nice but it is not the type of experience I like to receive from a destination. After a few days at these mega resorts I felt trapped because they are always far away from the true island experience. These resorts are for tourists who want to eat, sleep, drink and lay out at the beach without getting any real island culture. We did go on an excursion to visit Ricks Cafe (since 1974) in Negril, which I jumped from the same cliff on my last visit.

We flew on Trans World Airlines from LAX connecting in St Louis and landed at MBJ airport. We stayed near Rose Hall at the Hotel Gloriana. The town or city of Montego Bay is not a really nice place to visit. Most tourists stay enclosed in their resorts and really dont venture out, so they never see the real Jamaica. When we needed a ride we always flagged down a local citizen and hitched a ride into town for a $1 each. Across the street from the post office there is a cafe that serves probably the best coffee in the world. We love coffee and we always visit coffee plantations and this little cafe is one that I will always remember. Blue Mountain is top quality and thats what they served us here. One of the main attractions here is Dunns river falls where thousands of tourists come to walk and destroy the natural beauty of this location. One day we went to Negril and visited Ricks Cafe which is on a bluff. After a few drinks many tourists will jump off the high cliff into the ocean below, I ended up being one of them. One too many Red Stripe beers gave me the courage. The main reason we came to Jamaica was to go to Cuba, so after spending five days here, off we flew to Havana on Air Jamaica.

Jordan Visit: 1995-3
2012-01-02 - Arrived from Egypt through Eilat Israel into Aqaba. I would spend part of my day in a family run shop drinking tea with the owner and son. While in Jordan I visited Petra, Wadi Rum, Jerash, and spent a couple of nights in Amman. I really enjoyed my time here and also with the friendly people of this nation. I left Amman by shared taxi to Israel. At the border crossing I had never seen so many security inspection points and military vehicles in my life.

Jujuy Province Visit: 2009-11
2011-08-30 - I flew on Austral Lineas Aereas from Buenos Aires AEP domestic airport to Jujuy Airport. The airport here is very small and you have to use the stairs to get off the airplane. I took a shared taxi into the city, since there was no bus service close to the airport. I stayed one night at the Hostal Yokwahi. There are thermal waters about 40 minutes north of the city, these waters are very hot. The city doesnt offer too much for the tourist but there is a UNESCO world heritage site about 2 hours north toward Bolivia. I did not have the time to go visit this WHS. I ate local cuisine at the Viracocha cosina regional restaurant. The food was very good with great ambiance and locals playing their guitars while having dinner. The next day I continued on my journey by bus south to Salta Province.

Kansai Region Visit: 2017-10
2012-03-23 - I was invited by Japan Airlines to join a group in a FAM to boost tourism in this area. We flew from LAX to KIX Osaka airport in business class. We spent the first night at Hotel Okura in Kobe and the next day visited Mt Shosha in Himeja city where The Last Samurai movie was filmed. On our second night we stayed at Nishimuraya Shogetsutei hot springs hotel in Kinosaki. Our third night we stayed at Gyozanen hot springs hotel in Ohara. Our fourth night was spent at hotel Nikko Osaka.

I was in Takamatsu Shikoku for the day and arrived in Kyoto in the evening on my JR rail pass. I stayed two nights at Ks House Kyoto hostel. On this first night I went to dinner at a locals restaurant called Manzo and had some very good tempura. I visited Sanjusangendo Temple, The Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle, Osaka, and Nara. On my second day I spent 15 hours straight touring all these places, the only thing that slowed me down was the very cold weather. While in Kyoto there were many young ladies wearing kimonos. I would ask them for permission to take their picture, most of them would giggle for the attention they were getting. There are collectable eki commemorative rubber stamps at all these locations so I added those to my blank page journal, its better than getting more magnets and key chains. The places I went to were not expensive as I had been told, I ate well and visited many places without spending a lot of money. I had a nice time here but had to continue to my next stop Nagoya Chubu.

Kanto Region Visit: 2012-3
2012-05-02 - The Japan Tourism board offered me a free airline ticket to go and experience Japan. I took their offer and flew on Japan Airlines from LAX to Tokyo Narita airport. Friends had told me how confusing and difficult it is to get around Tokyo because mostly everything is in Japanese characters. When I arrived in Tokyo I went to the rail desk to get my JR rail voucher exchanged for my rail pass. I had purchased the seven day rail pass for about $350 USD and also bought a metro pass at a discount. It was early in the evening when I arrived and I took the Narita Express train into the city and arrived at K\'s hostel in the Asakusa area. The travel into the city and to the hostel was straight forward and was easy to get around. I did not change money at the NRT airport because some friends told me that Japan uses credit cards for most purchases. I found out the hard way that this is not true when I went out to get a quick dinner later that evening. McDonalds, Burger King, and 711 convenience stores did not take credit cards. I finally found one convenience store that did take credit cards. Make sure to exchange money at the airport before going into the city. I tried to withdraw money using my bank card at several bank ATM machines and it did not work.
Another thing I found out is that Japan is not as expensive as people say it is, things were very reasonably priced.
This was winter time and it gets very cold in Japan, it actually snowed a little the following day. The metro pass was great and the metro system is probably the best anywhere in the world. I went to the most popular places and visited Tokyo tower, Meiji Jingumae and the East garden of the Imperial Palace. For a free souvenir bring a blank journal with you as every train station, tower, temple, museum, and so forth has eki commemorative rubber stamps that you can add to your journal. This is better than collecting more magnets and key chains. I took full advantage of my rail pass and went to as many places I could visit. After two nights in Tokyo I flew on Japan Airlines from Tokyo HND airport to Nagasaki Kyushu.

Kentucky Visit: 2013-3
2013-03-29 - We drove in from Tenessee to Bowling Green Kentucky where we spent one night. There are no historic hotels in this city so we spent one night at the Red Roof Inn. We visited the Corvette Museum and the cities historic district. After this visit we drove back to Nashville Tenessee.

Kenya Visit: 1998-5
2011-08-24 - I had a front seat on the bus from Arusha Tanzania to the border of Kenya. I headed to Nairobi and arrived late at night around 11pm. From a bus stop I jumped in a taxi that took me to the YMCA where I got a room for $20USD. One thing I have to say about the taxis in Nairobi, they ought to junk them all. The taxis here are falling apart and should be replaced. I regret I only spent one night here and didnt get to enjoy the city of Nairobi. I went to the NBO airport and took a flight back on Egypt Air to Cairo.

Kosovo Visit: 2017-8
2017-09-04 - We departed by bus from Skopje Macedonia to Pristina spending one night at the Prima Hotel. The city has a very odd layout of streets and at first makes it difficult to get around until you get used to it. We stopped by the Bill Clinton statue and walked along Bill Clinton boulevard which is main street in the city. We had a great lunch at Liburnia restaurant it was so good I went back for dinner. There isn't too much to see Pristina but one or two nights is sufficient. We boarded the bus back to Skopje Macedonia as we heard the border from Kosovo to Serbia was closed. We flew on Air Serbia from Skopje to Belgrade Serbia.

Kuwait Visit: 2008-9
2011-09-03 - On 06SEP we took a short flight from Bahrain to Kuwait on Gulf Air.
We visited Kuwait during Ramadan which is not a good time to go, because mostly everything is closed. We stayed at the Four Points Sheraton which is a great hotel, they even pick you up at the airport in their fancy MBenz SUV. We asked the front desk clerk how many tourists are staying here, he said we were it. No tourists are here only United States government workers. The Sheraton hotel next door was used as the Iraqi military headquarters during the invasion. We asked the concierge at the hotel to check on the museum hours because of Ramadan. We had a driver take us to the Al-Qurain Martyrs museum the next day as it was open until noon. When we arrived it was closed, the driver spoke to the attendant on duty. I told our driver to tell the attendant we are tourists from the United States and this is the only chance we have to see the museum. They opened the museum for us but only gave us 30 minutes to look around. We were very thankful that they let us in. Once inside this home one could just feel how much chaos must have occured during this attack. Its very sad to see. Another museum we visited was the Kuwait House of National Memorial. When we arrived it was also closed, but they let us in. This museum shows the horrors of the Iraqi invasion. Failaka Island was on our list of places to see, we took the ferry over on a bumpy sea. There is not much to see here, so I dont recommend it. Its best to visit during local holidays when the place has more to offer. The concierge at the Sheraton Hotel gave me a bunch of free postcards of Kuwait. When I went to the post office to get stamps, they were closed because of a major water leak. I told one of the employees that I need the stamps now since we leave for the United States early tomorrow morning. They opened up the office so I could purchase the stamps. The Kuwaitis are very hospitable and most are wealthy, but I wish they would extend some funds for cleaning up their city. The hotels and fancy malls are very nice, but once you step outside you are in a dirty third world country. On 09SEP we flew from Kuwait to Washington Dulles airport on United Airlines then home to Los Angeles.

Kwazulu-Natal Visit: 2015-9
2015-11-12 - We departed the Sani Pass in Lesotho by shared kombi, we got lucky because the shared kombi had two free seats available. After going through South African customs we arrived into Underberg where we waited a boring 3 hours for another kombi driver to depart for Pietermaritzburg. At this bustling and historic city we quickly changed kombis and took another kombi to our final destination of Durban, this made for a long day. We would spend two nights at the Tekweni hostel so we could enjoy the beach area and relax. We visited the area of South Beach, uShaka area, and the Museum of Classical Archaeology. The Durban Natural Science Museum has the most complete Dodo bird skeleton in the world. We always would leave back to our room before darkness fell due the consistent warnings of crime in the area, which we did not observe any crime taking place. Our next destination would be Johannesburg in Gauteng and we flew on Mango Airlines to get there.

Kyushu Region Visit: 2012-3
2012-03-23 - Departed from Tokyo HND airport to Nagasaki on Japan Airlines. I arrived in the evening and stayed one night at the Akari hostel. I got around the city by using the electric tramway. I was surprised to see many tourists visiting Peace Park. Everyone who visits Nagasaki must put this on the top of their lists of things to see. The park has many statues and sculptures from around the world. The Atomic Bomb museum is nearby and that was an interesting yet sad place to visit. The twenty-six Martyrs memorial was nearby so I stopped by for a visit, there is also a museum there but I did not have time to go inside. All tourist attractions have eki commemorative rubber stamps that you can add to your travel diary or book, a free souvenir to take with you. I had a seven day JR rail pass which I used from Nagasaki to my next stop Hiroshima Chugoku. The JR pass was an excellent way of getting around from city to city.

La Rioja Province Visit: 2009-11
2011-05-25 - From Catamarca I arrived in the afternoon when most of the city was on siesta. When I found the local hostal it was closed, not a good sign for a tourist. I decided I would not stay overnight at a hotel. Since I was here I decided to spend most of the day walking around the city. When night fell the city became swarmed with locals enjoying the warm evening. The outdoor seating areas of the restaurants were getting full everywhere. I ate dinner at a restaurant that was recommended to me, the pizza looked better than it tasted. I was disappointed with the food but still enjoyed the evening walking around the town. I took an overnight bus to the next stop San Juan Province.

Languedoc-Roussillon Visit: 2004-9
2012-11-26 - While driving from Provence Alpes Cote d Azur we wanted to see the Pont du Gard. We arrived in the late afternoon and no one was around this UNESCO site, we were the only people there. It was like a ghost town so we walked over to the aquaduct and took some pictures. There are signs stating that you cannot walk on it, in the past people were allowed to walk on its narrow path at the top. After our brief visit we drove into Auvergne.

Latvia Visit: 2018-4
2018-07-22 - We flew on airBaltic from TLL airport in Estonia to RIX airport for a two night stay at the Europa Royale Riga hotel converted from an 1876 mansion. We loved the old town and visited the Musee Art Noveau and Cat House. Our favorite restaurant was the popular and huge underground Folkklubs Ala Pagrabs. We departed on AirBaltic from RIX airport to VNO airport in Lithuania.

Lazio Visit: 1999-2
2011-11-09 - From Milan I flew to Rome on Alitalia Airlines. I started here to continue my adventure to Naples and came back to Rome. I returned to Hotel Sandy which is actually a hostel on Via Cavour. On this vacation I stopped to have coffee at the Caffe Greco established in 1760. I went to revisit the usual popular places such as the Spanish steps, Fountain de Trevi, Pantheon, Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II, and the Vatican. When I left I went to the Rome Termini and took the train to FCO airport. Since I worked for TWA airlines I was lucky and got first class to New York JFK airport.

This was the first place I visited when I first visited Europe. Since I worked for Trans World Airlines I flew first class to Rome. I spent 3 weeks visiting every possible historic place in the area. I went to so many churches I would never be able to remember all their names. This city will always be in my mind since it was the first place I visited in Europe and got me addicted to traveling. I used Rome as my base and took side trips by train to Naples Campania and Venice Veneto. Since I was in Rome I took the short bus ride to the Vatican City.

Lesotho Visit: 2015-9
2015-10-21 - We departed Bloemfontein in Free State by shared kombi to our next destination Maseru. As soon as we crossed the border we could tell this was a poorer country. We had a difficult time locating the Maseru Backpackers lodge, taxi drivers didnt know where it was located. There are not that many cheap hotel options in the city center to spend the night. The locals are very friendly and we felt it was a very safe city to walk around in, albeit most people go to bed early and nothing stays open late. The next day we took a very beautiful kombi ride to Oxbow ski lodge where we would spend another night. This is a very tranquil and secluded ski lodge that gets very busy during the ski season. The days were sunny and beautiful but we always were surprised to see the locals dress as if there was a blizzard. We always were dressed in tshirts and shorts but all the locals wore jackets and beanies. The government has hired a Chinese contractor to build a new highway across this area. We hitchhiked from Oxbow halfway to a diamond mine, then took a shared kombi and taxi to Sani Pass Lodge. This hotel and hostel has the highest bar in southern Africa. This is a beautiful and secluded place and the night would get very windy and cold, so many stars to view at night. The road below which is South Africa is windy, steep, and dangerous if a vehicle does not have good brakes. The next morning we waited at the border across the road to hitchhike or take a kombi to Underberg in Kwazulu Natal South Africa.

Lesser Sunda Islands Visit: 2014-7
2014-08-19 - We departed Singapore on Garuda Indonesia Airlines and arrived in DPS airport in Bali. We spent two nights at the Amandari in Ubud then went to Seminyak Bali to spend two more nights at the Villa Seminyak Estate. I always thought Bali would be a tropical paradise but it reminded me of crowded Honolulu Hawaii. Despite the crowds we enjoyed walking around and talking to the friendly locals. I ate at what appears to be the oldest restaurant in Bali called Mades Warung (since 1969). We departed on Philippine Airlines back to LAX airport.

Liguria Visit: 2012-4
2012-04-23 - We returned back into Italy with our rental car from Nice France and headed toward Seborga. After a brief visit in Seborga we continued to La Spezia to spend one night. We stayed at the Jolly hotel and went to dinner at another pasta and pizza restaurant in La Spezia. This is what we ate every night for dinner never getting tired of it. The next morning we drove to Manarola Cinque Terre a UNESCO world heritage site. There are five villages but we only had time to visit one of them. Hiking from village to village is a very popular thing to do here. You can arrive in Cinque Terre either by car, small bus, train or ferry. Our next stop was Pisa and Florence in Tuscany.

Lithuania Visit: 2018-4
2018-07-22 - We departed on airBaltic from RIX airport Latvia to VNO airport and spent two nights at the Novotel Vilnius Centre hotel. We loved the old town and visited St Anne's Church, Bernardine Gardens, Rasu Cemetery, and the Hill of Three Crosses. We enjoyed lunch at the popular Chacapuri Sodu restaurant near the train station. We departed VNO airport on LOT Polish Airlines to WAW airport Poland.

Lombardy Visit: 2012-9
2012-05-13 - We flew into MXP malpensa airport for this company fam on Delta Airlines in Business Elite class. Our group spent two nights each at the five star Hotel Principe di Savoia Milano and Bvlgari hotel. The hotel representatives treated us to some fantastic restaurants were we had a great variety of Italian food, sparkling wine and deserts. Finally on this trip we were treated on a tour to see the Last Supper, a difficult place to get entry tickets. We flew back to LAX on Delta Airlines Business Elite class which made this trip very enjoyable, especially that everything was free.

APR2012 Arrived in Milan with American Airlines and drove our rental car to the Lake Como area. We booked one night at the Regina Olga hotel in Cernobbio a very nice hotel overlooking the lake. The weather was nice and we were able to walk over to the Villa d Este the most luxurious hotel in the area. I was invited for drinks by the hotel representave which I gladly accepted. Such a nice hotel to stay at but very expensive. We had just arrived from Los Angeles and enjoying some cappuccinos and espressos in this luxurious setting helped keep me awake. Later that afternoon we went to Lake Como to visit the city it wasnt as nice as I thought it would be. The following day we drove across the border toward Lugano Switzerland to visit Campione d Italia.

FEB1999 We flew on Trans World Airlines from New York JFK airport to Milan Malpensa airport. Since I was an airline employee I was able to sit in first class, a nice benefit for working for the company. I didnt spend too much time here except for picking up my rental car and heading south to get to Pisa Tuscany. The next time I am in this area I will spend some time here to explore and go up to the Lake Como area.

Louisiana Visit: 2014-3
2011-12-29 - We flew on United Airlines into MSY airport and first drove to Missisippi then returned to spend two nights at the Lafayette hotel (since 1916) in New Orleans. Everyone who comes here always heads to the famous French Quarter. On our visit we ate at Antoines Hermes bar restaurant (since 1840), Cafe du Monde (since 1862), and had some beer at Lafittes blacksmith shop bar (since 1722). This is reported to be the oldest building in the country that has a bar. Another historic building is the St Louis Cathedral (since 1720). After spending three days here we flew back to LAX airport on United Airlines.

We departed Toronto Ontario Canada and flew through St Louis Missouri into New Orleans on Trans World Airlines. Like most visitors who arrive in New Orleans we stayed near the French Quarter and visited Bourbon Street, Marie Laveaus House of Voodoo, Cafe du Monde and took the St Charles line streetcar. After two days we flew back to LAX airport on TWA.

Flew on Trans World Airlines into New Orleans. Visited the Oak Alley plantation and stopped at my favorite Cafe du Monde to have some beignets and coffee. We flew back to LAX airport on Trans World Airlines.

Lower Saxony Visit: 2002-3
2011-09-05 - From Berlin we drove through Saxony Anhalt into Lower Saxony. My favorite automobile is Volkswagen so I made plans to visit the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg. We spent the night at the Tryp Wolfsburg hotel and off I went to the factory. The Autostadt Wolfsburg is a huge facility housing everything VW, old and new. I am more interested in the old so I took many photos of the split window beetles and barn door kombis. For a VW fanatic this place is heaven. I also visited the AutoMuseum Volkswagen which has a nice collection of antique VWs and rare models. The next day we drove back to Berlin.

Lucerne Visit: 2008-4
2011-01-02 - We went by rail from Zurich to visit Lucerne. Our first stop was up to Mount Pilatus, snow covered the mountain peak, a beautiful site. Our group ate at the restaurant on top, a great experience. Local musicians played as we drank beer and ate great food. Next stop was the Chapel bridge which is in the center of town. We were here on a Sunday and mostly all the stores were closed, but there were still a lot of people around enjoying the old town.

Luzon (Northern Philippines) Visit: 2014-7
2014-07-30 - We flew from LAX into MNL airport on Philippine Airlines spending two nights at the Fairmont Makati hotel. We visited San Agustin church (UNESCO), Intramuros, and Fort Santiago all within walking distance of each other. There are some old historic restaurants I wanted to eat at but our taxi driver and some locals did not know where they were located at even though I had the addresses and the major cross streets. Our taxi driver finally located New Toho Food Center (since 1888) and we also ate at Maxs (since 1945). A list of the ten oldest restaurants in Manila can be viewed at www.spot.ph. Makati is famous for its huge malls which were near our hotel. We departed on Philippine Airlines to Singapore.

Macau Visit: 2009-8
2010-10-21 - Since we were in Hong Kong, we decided to take the ferry to Macau. This was just for a day trip
so we left in the morning to see what the island had to offer. We went to the main tourist area were the Portugese church ruins are at. Plenty of shopping bargains and restaurants abound. The casino area reminded me of Las Vegas due to the fact some have the same name and theme of the Vegas strip casinos. Well worth a visit or to even spend the night.

Macedonia, Republic Visit: 2017-8
2017-08-31 - We arrived into Skopje by bus from Thessaloniki Greece. We spent two nights at the Marriott hotel Skopje in the city center. The Old Bazaar, Stone bridge, Macedonia Square, Warrior on a Horse, Memorial House of Mother Teresa, Kale Fortress, and the Roman Aqueduct were the highlights we visited. Of all the places in the world I've never seen so many statues and monuments concentrated in one area. We had lunch at Destan (since 1913) restaurant in the Old Bazaar. Our next destination was Prishtina Kosovo arriving there by bus. We went back to Skopje by bus then taking a flight on Air Serbia to Belgrade Serbia.

Madrid Autonomous Community Visit: 2011-7
2012-05-13 - Driving in from Toledo, Castilla La Mancha I knew this would be an adventure trying to locate the Melia ME hotel. It was Sunday and the streets were crowded with people enjoying the day. With all the blocked streets and one ways it took us a long time to get to our hotel, worse than London. I was happy to park the car and get to our room, the hotel was great and in a perfect location at plaza Santa Ana. Our room had a view of the plaza where the crowd of people were enjoying their tapas and beer. Driving through Spain we didnt see one American, as for Madrid it was crowded with Americans. We were going to be here for 3 nights and with so much to see we could only pick a few places to visit. The Prado museum is always on our must see list. We enjoyed chocolate and churros at Chocolateria San Gines founded in 1894. On our last night we went to a flamenco show at Casapatas, the show was great but the overpriced food made me sick. Since we were flying business class on Iberia we visited the MAD airport club lounge, and enjoyed some of the great drinks they had displayed. The flight home was very relaxing.

We were in first class flying on Trans World Airlines from JFK airport into Madrid, we arrived well rested. Early in the morning we enjoyed breakfast and went to the Prado museum to see some of Murillos famous paintings. Later in the afternoon we picked up our rental car and drove to Segovia.

From Paris I flew with Air France into Madrid. Since this was summer time
the flight was full. Being an airline employee they assigned me the jump seat in the cockpit with the pilots. This was the highlight of the trip since my company TWA would never allow this.
It was nice to see the departure and landing process from the cockpit, the French pilots very nice and polite. Enjoyed the city of Madrid and its historic sights before taking the train to Pamplona Navarra.

Maharashtra Visit: 2014-2
2014-02-27 - I flew from LAX to Dubai into BOM airport on Emirates Airlines, this was to be the start of my first vacation to India. The flight arrived around 3am so I did not see the chaos that would soon come at sunrise. I spent two nights at the Travelers Inn in Mumbai. I visited two UNESCO sites, Victoria Terminus and Elephanta Island. I enjoyed eating at the restaurants Leopold (since 1871) and Badshah (since 1905). India is a wonderful country but the government needs to control the litter which seems to be everywhere. After my three days of touring I took the train to Vapi to spend the night in the enclave of Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Maine Visit: 2015-8
2015-10-20 - We drove our rental car from New Hampshire into Maine and spent two nights at the Econo Lodge hotel South Portland. The City of Portland is charming and is a great place to enjoy the day. While driving into Maine we stopped in Kittery to enjoy some clam chowder at two famous restaurants. The first restaurant was Warrens Lobster House (since 1940) and then up the road to Bobs Clam Hut (since 1956). In Portland we ate some great food and drank beer at The Great Lost Bear (since 1979). We departed and drove west into Conway New Hampshire.

Marche Visit: 2012-4
2012-04-24 - We drove our rental car from Assisi Umbria and stopped at an Autogrill in Jesi to get a cappuccino. We did not have enough time for a visit along the beach since the traffic on the autostrata was very bad. We continued our drive to Rimini then finally arrived late in San Marino.

Maryland Visit: 2009-3
2012-01-27 - From Union Station Washington DC I boarded the MARC train to Baltimore. I visited Fort McHenry by taking bus #1 to the main gate.Fort McHenry was built prior to the War of 1812. The fort is named for James McHenry, Secretary of War, 1796-1800. Baltimores inner harbor is the area where most visitors go to. There is plenty of public transportation to take you to various places in the area. I was just here for the day and continued by train to my next stop Philadelphia Pennsylvania.

Massachusetts Visit: 2015-8
2012-01-02 - We flew roundtrip into BOS airport on American Airlines and spent the night at the Marriott Newton Boston hotel. We had dinner at Santarpios Pizza (since 1903) in East Boston. We drove our rental car north to Portsmouth New Hampshire. We Stayed in Nashua New Hampshire before our drive back into Boston where we spent two nights at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. We really enjoyed Reginas Pizza (since 1926) in Bostons north end neighborhood. We flew back to LAX airport on American Airlines.

Arrived in Boston on Trans World Airlines to visit friends in Rhode Island. On this vacation I went to visit Plimoth Plantation which shows how life was in the 17th century. They also have a copy of the Mayflower sitting in the harbor. After three days I flew to St Louis Missouri to visit TWA co-workers.

Flew through New York into Boston from Tel Aviv Israel. I still had a few more days off of work so I visited Cheers in Boston and then continued to Salem. Also went to Cranston Rhode Island where I stayed with friends. After my visit I flew to Washington DC to visit another friend.

Melilla Visit: 2011-6
2012-05-21 - After spending one night in Madrid we flew into Melillas small airport on Iberia Air Nostrum. I booked one night at the Tryp Melilla Puerto hotel which is a short walk to the center of town. This is a businessmans hotel and is in a very convenient location. After a visit to the fort Melilla La Vieja we stopped by the tourist office to get a local map. The agent was suprised that we were from Los Angeles and that we had traveled so far. She stated mostly Spaniards come here for vacation and never had Californians in her office. Everyone was very friendly and helpful.
People seem to live stress free without the chaos of European Spain. In the evening we went to La Cerveceria tapas bar, a very unique bar with tile everywhere. The beer was good and the tapas even better. Most MTP members seem to rush through this enclave, but we are glad we spent the night to enjoy it at a tranquil pace. The next day we had a taxi driver take us to the border, this was to be our entry point into Morocco through Nador. Melilla is very clean but once you get to the border its dirty. Unemployed Moroccans will offer to fill out the passport entry form and lead you to the entry point. I paid a euro for the help and it was an easy walk through the border, not chaotic at all. This will be a walk through the park for most MTP members.

Mendoza Province Visit: 2009-11
2011-04-20 - Arriving from San Juan by bus I knew Mendoza would have a lot to offer. This is a big city with plenty of things to do. The day I arrived I went on a wine and olive oil tasting tour. It was a bit disappointing with the wine tasting as they only offered us a few samples, but it was still a nice experience. Cant be in famous Mendoza without going to the wineries. The Laur olive oil company stop was interesting and the oil was very good. I also had the chance to visit Cacheuta which has thermal waters. Before going to the waters I went to the Hotel & Spa Termas Cacheuta to get a massage. Since this area is well known for its massages I thought it would be a great experience. It ended up being the worst massage I have ever paid for at such a nice place. The thermal waters were very nice and the place was crowded, the only drawback that there are no lockers to keep your things in. After a couple of nights here I flew back to AEP Buenos Aires airport.

Mexico D.F. Visit: 2018-6
2012-07-26 - We departed on AeroMexico from SJO airport Costa Rica to MEX airport and stayed at the Best Western Majestic (since 1937) and the Courtyard by Marriott Mexico airport hotel. We had dinner at Sanborn's House of Tiles and visited two old bars La Opera (since 1876) and Salon Tenampa (since 1925) and had a great time. We departed MEX airport on AeroMexico back to LAX.

We arrived early into MEX airport on Alaska Airlines, then took a taxi into the city. Even in the dark morning there was a lot of traffic into the city. This time we spent two nights at the Corinto Hotel near the Plaza de la Republica. Before starting our own walking tour we ate breakfast at Torteria Armando (since 1892). We visited the Correo Mayor post office, Casa de Azuelos, and had dinner at the Hosteria de Santo Domingo (since 1860). To end the evening I went back to the popular La Opera Bar (since 1876). The next day we took the bus into Mexico State to revisit the Teotihuacan pyramids. After spending two nights we took the bus to our next destination Queretaro.

Flew on Alaska Airlines on an overnight flight into MEX airport. We arrived early around 530am and took a taxi to our hotel the Best Western Majestic (built 1937) located at the Zocalo in the heart of the historic district. When I went to the entrance of the hotel it looked like it was closed and no one was there. I thought they must be out of business but the taxi driver told me they close the doors to the hotels for security reasons. They wouldnt check us in this early and we had to come back at 100pm so we decided to take an early walking tour around the city. It was freezing outside I didnt realize how cold it gets at this elevation. It was still dark out so we went to a restaurant to have a very early breakfast. The restaurant Popular was near the hotel and we had a very good mexican breakfast. We walked up and down the pedestrian streets to some of the famous sites around the historic center. We spent two nights here and were able to visit the Templo Mayor, Diego Rivera mural museum, Museo de la Estampa, Palacio de Bellas Artes, Casa de Azulejos or House of Tiles and the University of Mexico UNESCO. We ate breakfast at the chain restaurant Sanborns which is located inside the House of Tiles and it is a must see, this is a very beautiful restaurant. In the evening we went to La Opera bar (since 1876) to have drinks. This was Mexican Independence week and there were many festivities that were going to take place. Due to the escalating drug cartel violence there is a huge presence of police everywhere in the DF. The Majestic hotel gave us a room with an excellent view of the Zocalo where we could see all the activities late into the evening. On our last day we took the metro to the South bus terminal and went to our next destination Cuernavaca Morelos.

Departed San Jose Costa Rica I flew into Mexico DF on Mexicana Airlines. Despite all the bad publicity the city gets,its a great place to travel too. We spent 4 nights here and wished we could of stayed longer. As you can see from my aerial photo the city is huge. The people are friendly and we always felt safe even traveling around in the evenings. The hotel door man warned me not to take the green Volkswagen public taxis, but I never had an issue with them. The taxi drivers used the meter and never tried to overcharge me (or rob me). I was suprised to see the subway was kept cleaner than the ones in New York city. We went to many different restaurants to try the variety of different Mexican dishes and Italian Restaurant Trevi (since 1955). I will go back to see more of this fun city to the South. We flew on Mexicana Airlines back to LAX.

Mexico State Visit: 2018-6
2011-08-18 - We departed Mexico DF Norte bus terminal by autobus to see the pyramids of Teotihuacan. We hiked up every pyramid to take in the great views at every angle. After touring we walked over to La Gruta restaurant (since 1906) to enjoy some food and beer. We departed by bus back to Mexico DF.

We departed Mexico DF Norte bus by autobus to see the pyramids of Teotihuacan. This is a very popular place to visit, but I despise all the vendors who take away from the enjoyment of walking around this UNESCO site. We hiked up every pyramid to take in the great views at every angle. After touring we walked over to La Gruta restaurant (since 1906) to enjoy some food and beer. We departed by bus back to Mexico DF.

There are many buses that leave DF for Teotihuacan. This is special place and should not be missed, plan on spending a full day touring this location. Teotihuacan is the most popular tourist attraction in the state of Mexico. There is a lot of walking to do, so be prepared with good walking shoes and a sun hat. After touring the area we walked to the famous La Gruta restaurant (since 1906) just outside from the site. The cave restaurant itself is a site to behold. The climate stays cool inside while you enjoy delicious food at a price. After lunch we went back to Mexico DF by bus.

Michigan Visit: 2002-3
2011-09-06 - After traveling around Turkey we flew on Lufthansa Airlines from Istanbul to Detroit via Frankfurt. We had never been to Michigan and we only planned on spending one night so we could visit downtown Detroit. I booked the Marriott Detroit Airport hotel and asked the front desk agent where I can catch the bus or metro into the city. He asked why would I want to go into the city and that there is no public transportation into the city from the airport. I found this odd since most major cities have transportation from the airport. I ignored his plea not to bother going into the city. Instead I rented a car and we drove into Detroit. Once we arrived in the city I realized why the front desk agent told me this. Poor Detroit was abandoned with many stores boarded up and not even a Starbucks to go have some coffee. I kept driving around the city hoping to find an area that had some life to it, but it was hopeless. It was a nice sunny day and we didnt really know what to go see or do since we encountered this delapitated city. Our flight wasnt leaving until 715pm so I decided to drive north into Windsor Canada. On our drive north we stopped in a place called Mexicantown which happened to have a lot of Mexican restaurants. We decided to have lunch at El Zocalo restaurant before we crossed the border. They advertise \'like being at the finest of Mexico City\', the food was just okay. We crossed the border into Ontario for our day trip and drove back into Michigan. After our disappointing city tour we departed DTW airport back to LAX on NorthWest Airlines.

Michoacan Visit: 2011-9
2011-09-23 - We arrived from Zihuatanejo Guerrero to Lazaro Cardenas by bus. I did not plan on spending the night here but just wanted to visit for the day. We took a collectivo to Playa Azul about an hour away this is the most popular beach area for the locals. Playa Azul is a sleepy beach village but has a lot of restaurants lining its shore. We seemed to be the only foreign tourists walking around here actually there was hardly anyone around. We had lunch at one of the restaurants and had a fried fish plate for only 40 MXN pesos. There is not much to do here except relax or go surfing like some of the locals were doing. After lunch we went back to Lazaro Cardenas and took an overnight bus to Manzanillo Colima.

Misiones Province Visit: 2001-5
2011-10-31 - While in Iguazu Brazil we walked over to the Argentian side of the falls. Everyone wants to know which side is the better one. The Iguazu falls are very big and we thought both sides were nice.

Mississippi Visit: 2014-3
2014-04-05 - We flew on United Airlines into MSY airport and drove east to Gulfport MS. We spent the night at the Residence Inn Gulfport-Biloxi and ate lunch at the Blow Fly Inn restaurant (since 1961). We drove out the next day to Mobile Alabama. While driving back into Mississippi from the north east we ended up spending the night in historic Hattiesburg at the Days Inn. After visiting the historic city and the very old cemeteries we drove south into Louisiana.

Missouri Visit: 1999-5
2012-01-01 - St Louis Missouri was TWA airlines headquarters and I used to fly there all the time when I worked for the company. I had friends there and I would always stop by the office for a visit. Our favorite spots to visit were the Budweiser beer factory, Lacledes landing for the microbreweries, St Louis Zoo, the Arch, Grants Farm and not to forget Ted Drewes est. 1929 for their frozen custard.

The Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers were playing a basketball game in St Louis. Some coworkers and I got together and we flew on TWA from Ontario airport to go see the game. The Lakers ended up winning and after the game we went to eat at Hooters. The next day we went to the Budweiser factory for the beer tour and then flew back to LAX.

We flew to St Louis to see TWA represented in an airline convention. Went to the arch and to a baseball game with St Louis Cardinals playing the Philadelphia Phillies. We also went to the great St Louis zoo, Ted Drewes for some flurries, and back to the Budweiser factory.

Flew in from Boston on TWA to spend sometime with coworkers around St Louis. We went to the Casino Queen boat which is on the Illinois side of the river. I also went inside and took the elevator up the St Louis arch at Jefferson National Expansion Park. After my visit I flew on TWA back to LAX.

Moldova (other) Visit: 2013-6
2013-06-30 - We departed from Kiev Ukraine on Air Moldova and flew into Chisinau airport. We would spend three nights at Marishas flat (www.marisha.net) near the heart of the old city. We spent our days walking up and down the main street of Bdul Stefan de Mare. We had a private driver Boris take us on two day trips to Trans Dniester and Gagauzia while we stayed in Chisinau. We departed on Air Moldova from KIV airport to our next destination Bucharest Romania.

Monaco Visit: 2012-4
2012-04-23 - We arrived from Liguria Italy to spend one night in Monte Carlo. I was kind of embarrassed to drive up to our hotel in a Ford wagon with so many Ferraris and Rolls Royces parked in front.
I was able to get a free night at the five star Hermitage hotel and I was given a beautiful suite that overlooked the riviera. We enjoyed the city by walking around everywhere. It was Easter week so many of the stores closed early but lots of people were out enjoying the nice evening. The next day we departed for La Spezia in Liguria Italy.

While in Cannes, I was not going to pass up the opportunity to quickly visit Monte Carlo. I drove the rental car to this small city and parked next to the famous Casino. This place is well kept and you never see any trash anywhere. It was such a beautiful day and had wished I could at least spend the night here. You could easily see that this is a rich mans playground with many Ferrari sport cars everywhere.

Montenegro Visit: 2007-9
2011-07-25 - We entered the country by bus, which was a very easy crossing from Croatia. The old city of Kotor has attracted a lot of day trip tour groups. There are very limited hotel rooms in the walled city. We ended up staying with an elderly lady in her apartment for $20 a night. Luckily we were able to stay with her as all the hotel rooms were sold out. The two nights here made for a memorable time in one of the newest countries in the world. The next day we took a bus to Podgorica so we can get over to Albania. The bus agents asked us why do you want to go to Albania. They told us nobody goes there.

Morelos Visit: 2011-9
2011-09-22 - We left Mexico DF on Costa bus lines to Cuernavaca. It only takes about an hour to get here. I had booked one night at the Hotel Roma which is walking distance to the city center. There are many family run hotels in the city center, so there is no need to book in advance. When we first arrived we took a collectivo bus to get to the ruins of Xochicalco a UNESCO site. It took us about an hour to get there with the bus and taxi connections. The museum is nice and the ruins are partially original where you can see that most of it has been restored. Its worth taking the time to go see these ruins. When we arrived back to the city center the plaza area was filled with locals enjoying the street entertainment. We walked over to see the most famous hotel and restaurant in the area called Las Mananitas. This place serves the upper crust and is both beautiful and expensive in local terms. The museums were closed so we were not able to see them. We went to probably the oldest restaurant in the city called India Linda (since 1933). We were the only customers in this pleasant garden restaurant and we seemed to be the only foreign tourist in the city itself. The next morning we took the bus to our next destination Acapulco Guerrero.

Morocco Visit: 2011-6
2011-07-30 - We entered Nador Morocco from Melilla, we seemed to be the only tourists crossing into the country. We noticed many Muslim women smuggling cigarettes by taping the boxes to their bodies.
We took the 13km ride by taxi to the Nador train station. We booked 1st class train tickets because we had a six hour ride ahead of us. Since we had more than 3 hours to wait for the train to depart I walked over to the city center to exchange some US dollars for Dirhams. I seemed to be the only tourist here, I walked back to the train station and went across the road to the McDonalds restaurant nearby. This was a nice restaurant which overlooked the beach, a really nice location with a great view. It was a hot day and when we boarded the train we found out the air conditioner did not work properly. This ended up being an uncomfortable six hour train ride to Fes. Once we arrived at the Fes train station we had an easy walk next door to the hotel Ibis Moussafir Fes. Compared to Nador, Fes was a very busy and hectic city. We went out for dinner and I was approached by a local offering his services to guide us the next day to the medina. His english was very good so I took his offer of 150 dirhams for four hours of guiding us through the medina. The next day we paid the taxi to get us to the medina and did the usual walking tour of the medina plus going to the unpopular rug dealer. Of course they pushed us to buy a carpet but we turned down all offers since we had no interest in purchasing a rug. The carpet dealer was not happy but we have experienced this many times in the past in other countries and always leave without buying anything. At this point we lost our original guide and he was replaced by another to finish the rest of the tour. The pottery makers, the baker, and the tannery were all very interesting. After this experience I felt that having a guide at a Moroccan medina was not neccesary at all, we can do this on our own. Guide books and friends will tell you its best to have a guide, but for an experienced traveler a guide is not needed. I would of rather spent the time getting lost in the bazar and enjoying it without the carpet pushers. We continued by train to Meknes where we spent two nights at the Riad Felloussia in the medina. This was a very nice place to stay but once outside the summer heat was unbearable. I enjoyed the many food stalls and restaurants at Place el Hedim. While inside our Riad in Meknes it rained very hard for about an hour. I thought the streets would be flooded but to our amazement they were actually dry. Our main plan was to visit Volubilis, we took a grand taxi for 10 dirhams each to see the great roman ruins. The entrance fee is only 10 dirhams into the site and is well worth a visit. Our next train ride was to Rabat along the coast, the weather was very nice here. We spent two nights at the Hotel Ibis Moussafir Rabat next door to the Rabat Agdal train station. The capital was very tranquil and modern. We went to the Archaeology museum were we seemed to be the only visitors in a long time. The museum is difficult to locate but will be moved to the new art museum along Avenue Moulay Hassan. The next day we took the train to the ever famous Casablanca, this was also an enjoyable place to visit. It was a pleasure to walk around the medina without being pushed to buy something. We eventually purchased some plates and other souvenirs in the medina. We walked to the Hassan II Mosque which sits on the coast overlooking the sea. A lot of locals were enjoying themselves by jumping from the walls into the waters below. Our next stop was at Ricks Cafe which is a copy of the famous movie Casablanca. This restaurant features a lot of prop lookalikes that the movie features including the employees outfits. Compared to other restaurants in the area this place is very expensive, a Casablanca beer will cost you 60 dirhams. After going back to Rabat, we continued to Tangier by train where we spent one night at the hotel Ibis Tangier City Center next door to the train station. Tangier always gets a bad reputation regarding hustlers bothering the tourists. We did not see any of this and we really enjoyed this city along the water. The medina was easy to navigate and we found ourselves at the American Legation. Morocco is the first country to recognize the United States, in December 1777. This was a nice place to visit and we were lucky to be there before it closed for the day. Despite some issues we had with a few medina hustlers all came out well. Morocco is an easy place to visit with its helpful and friendly people. The following day we paid a taxi driver 300 dirhams to take us to the Ceuta border, the hotel taxi wanted 600 dirhams.

Navarre Visit: 1994-7
2011-10-05 - Departed Madrid on an overnight train to get to Pamplona Navarre. I will never forget this train ride which I shared a cabin with some girls from California and some guys from South Africa. Everyone was heading to Pamplona for the San Fermin festival or as we call it the Running of the Bulls. We had some unexpected guests come into our cabin in the form of young gypsies who hid under the seats. They were hiding because they had no tickets and the ticket takers would throw them off the train. The rail employees ended up catching some of the gypsies and taking them off the train. The gypsies were slick, all they did was run to the next car and get back on the train again. When I arrived in Pamplona the city was very crowded, I ended up sleeping in a huge attic converted into sleeping quarters. It was full of sleeping bags like a giant sleep over. Many other young tourists slept on the streets or parks overnight, it was that crowded. I was to meet my friend from Washington DC here but we never ended up finding each other. This was one big street festival that seemed to never stop day or night. I ended up spending some time helping a young local couple sell sandwiches out of there shop to all the masses. They never knew how big this festival really is, I told them they show it on television every year in Los Angeles. They were suprised by this and didnt know how far the news their festival reached around the world. Everyday I would go watch the bulls run through the small streets but never participated with the runners. After seeing bulls running over some runners everyday I didnt want to take a risk and get run over by these cars on four legs. After my adventure here I said good bye to my new friends and took the train to Barcelona Catalona.

Nayarit Visit: 2011-9
2011-09-25 - I picked up a rental car from the PVR airport in Jalisco. We had been invited to a site inspection of the St Regis and Four Seasons hotels in Punta de Mita. It took us about an hour to drive here from Puerto Vallarta. The private entrance to the resorts are not well marked as most guests arrive by chauffered SUVs. I had not eaten all day because we also were invited to lunch at both properties. The hotels are an excellent place for a getaway if you have the money to spend on luxury. The lunches they provided were excellent and I had my fill of seafood at both properties. After our visit we drove to Sayulita about a twenty minute drive away. Sayulita is a surfers paradise and is filled with Californians as I noticed vehicles with California license plates around the town. After our brief visit in this tranquil place we drove back to Puerto Vallarta Jalisco to drop off the rental car.

Nebraska Visit: 2009-7
2011-08-30 - We drove our red Ford Mustang rental car from Cheyenne Wyoming east to the very sleepy town of Kimball. This is a small town and it does have a small museum but it was closed. We shopped in the few stores along Chestnut Street, but not much happens here. There was a gift shop we went into and we would probably be its only customers all day. Yes, thats how sleepy this town is. We took a break at the towns Dairy Queen and had some ice cream. After this brief stop we headed south back into Colorado.

Netherlands Visit: 1997-9
2011-08-22 - Some friends and I flew from LAX to London on American Airlines then connected with KLM to Amsterdam. Since we didnt have a lot of money in those days we stayed in a converted basement turned apartment. It was centrally located where we were able to walk to everything. We visited the main tourist sites, river cruise, churches, Anne Franks house, Van Gogh museum, and the Heineken factory. We had a great time at the factory where they continued to pour the beer and all for free. This beer hall was the best of any of the breweries I have been to worldwide. We stopped at many of the coffee houses like The Greenhouse Effect and Kadinksy. After five days of fun with coworkers I flew to London to meet up with some family members.

Nevada Visit: 2017-1
2011-12-29 - A road trip getaway to Las Vegas staying at The Trump hotel next to the strip. We visited Red Rock Canyon and a ghost town north of Las Vegas called St Thomas.

We drove into Las Vegas coming from St George Utah. We would spend two nights at the Mandarin Oriental on the Las Vegas Strip. I did not get to gamble and enjoyed many other activities in and around the strip. We departed north and stopped in Pahrump before we drove to our next stop Death Valley CA.

We drove into Las Vegas after visiting Death Valley California. We stayed at the Aztec Inn near the Las Vegas strip. Drove back into California through Stateline another last resort for gambling at the border.

We drove over to Laughlin and then to Las Vegas. This time we stayed at the Rio hotel.

A group of us from Trans World Airlines rerservations office flew up to Reno on Reno Airlines for a quick gambling getaway.

Arrived in Reno on Reno Airlines. We went with friends from Trans World Airlines for a gambling getaway.

Flew over to Reno on Reno Airlines with coworkers from Trans World Airlines.

New Hampshire Visit: 2015-8
2015-09-03 - We drove our rental car from Massachusetts and spent the night at the Motel 6 in Portsmouth. This is a very nice and quaint seaside city to relax in. We enjoyed some chili cheese fries at Gilleys (since 1912) in Portsmouth. The next day we continued our drive north into the state of Maine. We drove back into New Hampshire through Conway and stopped by to visit the Mount Washington hotel (since 1902). We continued driving west until we entered Maine. Two days later we drove back into the state through Lebanon and spent the night at the castle style Radisson hotel Nashua near the Massachusetts border before driving the next day to Boston.

New Jersey Visit: 2009-3
2012-07-15 - I boarded an Amtrak train from Philadelphia to Atlantic City for a grand total of $8USD. I have always wanted to visit AC, so I took this opportunity to visit this gambling city on the shore. Once you arrive at the train station there are local mini-buses that will take you to your designated hotel for free. I stayed for one night at the Trump Taj Mahal since it is the most famous hotel casino on the boardwalk. The casinos are very nice and well maintained, but I dont have the same thoughts for the boardwalk. Many of the boardwalk stores sell cheesy souvenirs that should be thrown out. Who is buying this junk ? A few blocks away from the boardwalk are neighborhoods that are neglected, so its best to stay in the boardwalks tourist area. I departed Atlantic city and took the train to Manhattan New York.

New Mexico Visit: 2006-4
2011-11-12 - Driving in from Arizona we first passed Las Cruces and headed for Roswell. Ive always wanted to see Roswell for its UFO factor. Its a long drive and not worth it unless you are an UFO fanatic. The town of Roswell doesnt offer much, except for a few UFO stores and a McDonalds that has a UFO on it. We spent one night at the Hampton Inn Suites in Roswell then continued North to Santa Fe. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya in Santa Ana Pueblo and visited both Santa Fe and Albuquerque. We continued our trip by driving back west into Arizona.

New York Visit: 2013-6
2012-04-28 - I scheduled a long 10 hour layover arriving at JFK airport on United Airlines. We took the metro to see Ground Zero and see the building progress on the Freedom Tower. We stopped by St Pauls Chapel which continues to be crowded with spectators. We departed JFK airport on Austrian Airlines to fly into Vienna Austria.

We had scheduled a long layover flying in from Milan Italy on American Airlines. We had almost 8 hours to enjoy a quick visit to Manhattan. We took the JFK skytrain to the subway station and off we went to Manhattan, our first stop Dylans Candy bar. Next stop was Katz deli (since 1888) to enjoy their famous pastrami on rye sandwiches, expensive. Time went by fast. We walked through the SoHo district and then we headed back to JFK airport to continue our flight to LAX.

From Atlantic City New Jersey I arrived by train into New York. I have traveled to Manhattan many times, its not a place you get tired of. So many places to visit, explore and to try out its endless amount of restaurants. Many people say that New Yorkers are rude, I find this not to be true. I was just here for the day and flew on Icelandair from JFK airport to Reykjavik Iceland. When I returned from Iceland I stayed in New York a couple of nights at the Jumeirah Essex House (since 1931) hotel. I flew back to LAX on Delta Airlines from JFK airport.

We flew on America Trans Air through Chicago ORD to get into New York La Guardia airport. We spent four nights at the Courtyard by Marriott Midtown East which was a convenient walk to everything. We did the usual sightseeing to Times Square, World Trade center site, South Side pier, and visited a friend in Brooklyn. I finally went to Carnegie Deli to try their pastrami sandwich which two people have to share since its so big. One thing I didnt like was that you have to pay extra to share a sandwich. We flew back to LAX on America Trans Air.

This was a pre planned trip prior to the unforeseen September 11 attack on the World Trade Center. We had tickets on Continental Airlines to fly into EWR airport. This time we stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott Midtown East. We visited many spots like St Patricks Cathedral, Chinatown, Rockeller Plaza, and also visited the Twin Towers site. Smoke was still coming up from the destroyed buildings even two months after this attack. We flew back to LAX on Continental airlines.

Flying on TWA from LAX we connected in St Louis and arrived at LaGuardia airport in New York.
We arrived during the holiday shopping frenzy and walked around Manhattan. There was a bit of snow on the ground but it was a remarkable sunny day.
This was only a layover because our main destination was Madrid Spain.

A couple of my friends and I flew on Trans World Airlines to JFK New York. We visited the Statue of Liberty, Battery Park, St Patrick\\\\\\\'s cathedral, Empire State building, Central Park, Metropolitan museum, Little Italy, and Times Square. It was right before Christmas so the city had more lights than usual. We flew back to LAX on Trans World Airlines.

Nicaragua Visit: 2016-3
2011-12-11 - We arrived in MGA airport on Nature Air after departing San Jose Costa Rica, we spent four nights here. We visited San Juan del Sur, Esteli, Jinotega, Granada, Matagalpa, and Managua. We enjoyed a visit to Selva Negra (since 1975) a very popular tourist destination. There are no old restaurants due to the civil war that took place in the 1980s. We departed MGA airport back to LAX on Delta Airlines.

I arrived on American Airlines flying through Miami, this time I rented a 4x4 SUV to drive around the country. The bus system is great and you can go everywhere. Since it was four of us traveling renting a car made things easier. We visited Esteli, then drove over to Leon and stayed at La Perla hotel. The hotel was beautiful and luckily we had air conditioning, it is very hot and humid even at night. While driving south we stopped at Leon Viejo UNESCO world heritage site. This site is about 30 minutes south of Leon, only 1USD entrance fee. Next was Granada where we stayed at the Plaza Colonial hotel across the street from where all the horses and carriages line up to take tourists on a ride through this picturesque colonial city. After a few nights in Montelimar beach resort we headed to San Juan del Sur, still very hot and humid. We stayed at the Hotel Victoriano across the street from the beach. The weather is unbearable this time of year. Since this was Easter week all the buses were sold out to Costa Rica. We had no choice but to continue to the border and hope for some free space on the bus. Luckily some space became available and we continued south. We crossed the border at Penas Blancas on Nicabus to San Jose Costa Rica.

On American Airlines we flew through Miami to Managua. My mother is from Esteli, so I usually travel here once a year to visit family. Collegues always ask me if it is safe, and my answer is: Why would I take my young daughter to a dangerous place. People still think the country is at war, this happened more than 20 years ago. The country still has a way to go in the tourist area, but its a great bargain compared to what you pay in Costa Rica. The locals are very friendly and are always willing to help. The television show \\\\\\\'Survivor\\\\\\\' is being filmed in San Juan del Sur. After taking a taxi to the border in Penas Blancas, I rented a van on the Costa Rican side and continued with our vacation.

Arrived Managua on American Airlines, this time
we stayed at the Hilton Princess hotel in Managua. The following day we took the express bus to Esteli. A few days later we ended up at
Montelimar beach resort to enjoy our all inclusive stay. From Rivas we took TicaBus to Liberia in Costa Rica.

From Costa Ricas Penas Blancas border we came by bus, our destination Esteli. After a few days of visiting family we ended up in San Juan del Sur.
Relaxed awhile then headed back across the border to San Jose Costa Rica to take our TACA airlines flight back to LAX.

First flew to San Jose Costa Rica on Lacsa Airlines and connected with Copa Airlines to Managua. Visited Esteli, Tomabu then to my favorite Granada. We had lunch at Cafe Deliet at the Hotel Alhambra in Granada. I continued by bus to San Juan del Sur where I stayed at Hotel Casablanca. After two nights here I took Ticabus to Penas Blancas to cross the border to Costa Rica.

Flew from LAX to Miami airport on TWA then connected to Nica Airlines to Managua. I took the bus up to Esteli to visit family. On this vacation I visited Leon and Masaya. Since I had time to spare we took the bus from Esteli to Las Manos border and crossed into Honduras.

Flew from LAX to Managua on Continental Airlines. On this vacation I visited Matagalpa, Selva Negra, Jinotega, Granada islets, Volcan Masaya, Esteli, and Managua. After staying two weeks I flew back to LAX on Continental Airlines.

North Carolina Visit: 2012-6
2012-07-17 - We drove from Myrtle Beach South Carolina into Wilmington. We stayed one night at The Wilmingtonian hotel next to the historic district. This is a small district were it comes alive in the evenings with its many restaurants and bars catering to College students. The next day we drove back to Savannah Georgia.

Flying into and out of Cancun Mexico we went through CLT airport on USAirways. I will be back for a real visit in the near future.

North West Province Visit: 2015-9
2015-10-21 - We departed Botswana in a shared kombi to Mafikeng near the border. There isn\'t much to see in Mafikeng but we did spend one night at the wonderful Buffalo Lodge, there are many lodges along the main highway into the city. This is a very busy city but there is really nothing to do except go to the museum which was closed on the day we arrived. The next morning we departed by shared kombi and made transfers in Vryberg and Taung, in both cities we were bored waiting around for many hours before the kombi was filled with passengers. We finally made it to Kimberley in Northern Cape by sunset.

Northern Cape Visit: 2015-9
2015-10-21 - We departed Taung North West Province after waiting around for hours while the kombi filled up with passengers and headed south into Kimberley. We would spend one night at the Halfway House hotel (since 1872) and have a delicious steak dinner at their restaurant. The reason for coming here was to visit The Big Hole complex and museum. This was a very nice place to visit and had a lot to offer if you had a full day to enjoy the complex. We had breakfast at the Occidental Grill Bar located in the complex. After spending many hours here we walked back to our hotel and stopped by to eat fried chicken at the Hungry Lion, South Africas popular fast food restaurant. That afternoon we left by kombi to our next destination Bloemfontein Free State.

Northern Ireland Visit: 2010-7
2012-01-15 - We flew on Air New Zealand from LAX to London Heathrow and connected on British Midland Airways to Belfast. Friends were concerned about the continuing political issues and why we choose to go here. We had a very nice time and met with many friendly locals. We took a bus tour to the UNESCO Giants Causeway, Carick-A-Rede bridge, Bushmills whiskey distillery and visited many other local sites. Another place we didnt want to miss was the location where part of the Titanic was built. Of course most tourists visit Ireland, but they are missing out on the culture to the north. We departed by train from Belfast to Dublin Ireland.

Norway (mainland) Visit: 2017-2
2017-03-17 - We departed Gothenburg Sweden by train and arrived in Oslo. We would spend two nights at the Comfort Hotel Xpress next to the central train station. We visited the National Museum to see Munch's Scream, and Frogner Park to see all the statues. Munch would frequent the restaurant Engebret Cafe (since 1857) where we had expensive soup on a cold day. We departed Olso and flew on Norwegian Air to our next destination Bergen.

Oman (other) Visit: 2013-4
2012-02-24 - While I was in Fujairah UAE, I hired a taxi to take me to Madha which is surrounded by Fujairah. Its about a 15 minute drive from Fujairah city center. The driver took me into Madha but there is no city center or even a restaurant to relax. This enclave should be seperated from the Oman MTP count. The taxi cost me 90AED for the one hour ride back and forth from Madha.

We departed with Swiss Airlines from Dubai UAE into Muscat. This was a short one hour flight which had very few passengers on board. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Muscat which is located on the beach. Before we set out to visit Oman, we thought this would be the most backwards country in the region. We were wrong. Actually of all the Arabian coast countries we visited this was our favorite. The Omanis are the most friendliest and polite people in the region. Since the country is not overbuilt like Dubai it still has an Arabian feel to it. There are many Portugese built fortresses throughout the mountains that dot this country. And the Mutrah souk is where you will find all the beautiful silver, handmade in Oman. The top hotel to stay at is The Chedi - 5 stars on the beach. Very few Americans travel here but you will see many British citizens. I rented a car and was able to get around very easily. Compared to the other Arabian countries, the Omanis keep their country clean. I rented a car and drove to as many attractions as we could get to. We visited the Childrens museum, Natural History Museum, Bait Al Baranda museum, and Mutrah fort. The food at all the restaurants we ate was really good including the Indian restaurant Mumtaz Mahal. This restaurant sits on top of a hill and is a very popular place to go to during dinner time. We departed Oman with Qatar Airways and flew over to Doha Qatar.

Ontario Visit: 2002-3
2011-12-29 - While in Detroit Michigan we decided to drive north into Windsor. Once we arrived the city seemed abandoned hardly anything was open and we wondered why since this was the afternoon. It was a beautiful day so the weather was not a factor in keeping people indoors. Most store signs showed that they opened at 400pm until the wee hours of the morning. Windsor is a gambling city so I guess the people dont come out until the evenings. The casino parking lots were full but we had no interest in going into the casinos. We drove around in different parts of the city and it all looked the same with hardly anyone in site, very odd. We drove back south and crossed the border into Michigan.

We arrived in Toronto on Trans World Airlines through St Louis Missouri. Like most visitors our main goal was to see the Niagara Falls. We went on the Maiden of the Mist boat to get up close to the bottom of the falls. Glad we had raincoats because the falls really got us drenched. After two days we flew to New Orleans Louisiana on TWA.

Oregon Visit: 1997-9
2011-12-11 - Alaska Airlines flew us from Los Angeles to Portland. We stayed at the Viking Motel near the airport. Our goal for this trip was to see the World Cup qualifiers, Costa Rica was playing against the United States. We didnt have tickets to the soccer match but thought to myself that no one in Oregon would bother wanting to see this game. Was I wrong, the tickets had actually sold out two hours after they went on sale. Some fans from Costa Rica actually chartered a flight to see this game. Luckily I was able to get two tickets for my Costa Rican father and myself. In the final 10 minutes USA beat Costa Rica 1-0. It was amazing to see the Civic stadium packed with hyped up fans. Since we were in Oregon we visited Blitz-Weinhard Brewery, Mt Hood, Hood River, Bridge of the Gods, Columbia River, Multnomah Falls and to the border of Washington State. Overall Oregon is an amazing beautiful and clean state. We departed Portland back to Los Angeles on Alaska Airlines

Orkney Islands Visit: 2010-8
2010-12-29 - We drove up to Inverness Scotland to take a full day tour of Orkney Island. Our ferry left from John O\' Groats to head over to Kirkwall. The tour covered all the important places of interest on the island, especially Skara Brae. If you plan on being in this area I recommend a lot more time than just a day tour, we would of loved to have spent a night or two here.

Panama (mainland) Visit: 2010-3
2012-01-08 - Departed San Jose Costa Rica and flew into Panama City on TACA airlines. Now that Panama uses the US dollar for its currency I never had to bother exchanging any money. Since I like staying in the old parts of cities I booked my stay at the Luna Castle hostel located in Casco Viejo. The room I shared with others had a fantastic view of the new city across the water. Since the transportation is great it was very easy to get around from place to place. The locals were always friendly and helpful. I came to Panama for two things, to see Metallica in concert and to visit the San Blas Islands. Ate some great food at the local restaurants and went to visit Panama Viejo UNESCO site and the Mira Flores canal locks. I then flew back to LAX on TACA airlines.

We were flying into San Jose Costa Rica in the evening and it was fogged in. The pilot was forced to land somewhere so we ended up landing in PTY airport and spending one night in Panama City.

Paraguay Visit: 2001-5
2011-10-31 - We flew from Sao Paulo Brazil into Asuncion on Varig Airlines. I had a taxi driver take us to a hotel that I had in mind. When we arrived the hotel was out of business, so we stayed nearby at the Sagaro hotel. We like coffee so I read about a nice coffee shop nearby, when we arrived it was also out of business. I couldnt believe how many businesses seemed to be closed due to the bad economy in the country. In a way this was a good thing as our US dollars took us a long way on a spending spree. We purchased a lot of carved wooden saints that we mailed back to the USA. Our next bus ride was to Cuidad del Este where we spent one night at the Gran Hotel Convair. This is not an attractive city but a place where a lot of goods are sold and smuggled. There are many Lebonese people that live here so we went to a restaurant called Lebanon to have dinner. The next morning we crossed the Friendship bridge over to Parana Brazil to go see Iguazu falls.

Parana State Visit: 2001-5
2011-10-31 - We departed from Ciudad del Este Paraguay by crossing the Friendship bridge by bus to see Iguazu falls. We started in the morning since we were only going to spend the full day here. We took a taxi after crossing the bridge and where pulled over by the police. I thought they were going to ask for a bribe but they actually thought they had seen us enter the country illegaly. They let us go and we continued to Iguazu. We enjoyed the falls and walked along its many pathways and also visited the Argentinian side. After our visit we took a flight with Lapa Airlines to AEP airport in Argentina and then connected to Pluna Airlines to Montevideo Uruguay.

Pennsylvania Visit: 2013-4
2012-04-18 - We took the MegaBus from the District of Columbia into Philadelphia PA. We spent two nights at the Hyatt at The Bellevue (since 1904). We ate cheesesteak sandwiches at both Pats King of Steaks (since 1930) and Genos Steaks (since 1966) restaurants. We also ate dinner at the City Tavern (since 1773). When we left PA we took the Megabus back to Washington DC.

I arrived in Philadelphia by train and spent one night at the five star Rittenhouse hotel for free. Philadelphia is a great city to visit for all its historical sights. Foodies must visit either Pats or Genos cheese steak sandwich restaurants. These two fast food restaurants which are across the street from each other are an institution for their famous sandwiches. If you are a philatelist you will want to visit the B Free Franklin post office in old Philadephia. This location has a special cancellation stamp for your post cards. Its the only post office that does not display a flag or has a zip code. I continued the next day to Atlantic City New Jersey.

A group of us coworkers flew roundtrip on Southwest Airlines into Harrisburg airport. We stayed at the Hershey Hotel for 3 nights and enjoyed visiting Hershey World and some of the Amish communities nearby.

Flew into Pittsburgh to visit some friends who live in Library. I did my own walking tour of the city and later went to a Pirates baseball game. My friends father owns a private box at the stadium so we had a great view. We also went on the incline and had lunch at Mount Washington which overlooks Three Rivers stadium.

Peru Visit: 1996-10
2011-12-10 - I boarded a flight in Newark NJ and flew non stop to Lima on Continental Airlines. This was the start of a 3 week trip in South America. My friend Daniel and I stayed at the Hotel Espana in Lima before getting on an AeroPeru flight to Cuzco. The city of Cuzco is a destination in itself, but our main focus was to hike the Inca trail starting from the beginning. Everyday we ate chicken and french fries as every restaurant seemed to have this on their menu. We never got tired of eating this everyday, we loved it. We joined a group of about 14 hikers with our porters who assisted in carrying all our food and tents. This would be a five day hike through the mountains, which we suffered and enjoyed. The weather changed a lot from cold to hot, you never knew what expect on the next bend. The trail was difficult but awesome, I will never forget how beautiful the mountain passes looked like. After 5 days of hiking we finally arrived at Machu Picchu. We arrived exhausted but the view from top was just incredible, well worth it. We visited the ruins after eating a simple lunch. That same night we stayed in Aguas Calientes which is below the ruins, and I had the pleasure of getting into a thermal pool. Its amazing how my aches and pains in my leg muscles went away. Hot thermal waters have healing properties. We took the train back to Cuzco the next morning. The following day we flew on Faucett Peru airlines to Juliaca and ended up in Arequipa. We took a boat from Puno on Lake Titicaca to the Uros floating islands. Then after this adventurous boat ride we continued to Bolivia. After getting back to Lima I flew to Costa Rica on Lacsa airlines. Peru is amazing.

Piedmont Visit: 2012-4
2012-04-20 - Driving from Varese Lombardy through Piemonte we did not get to stop and enjoy this area. We raced through the autostrada and exited by Ovada into Liguria.

Poland Visit: 2018-4
2011-05-19 - We departed on LOT Polish Airlines from VNO airport Lithuania to WAW airport in Poland where we would spend one night at the Sheraton Warsaw Hotel near the old town. We enjoyed walking around old town and must've walked several miles that first day admiring all the historic buildings some that were reconstructed after World War 2. We ate at several Restauracja Zapiecek restaurants because we enjoy eating pierogis. We departed WAW airport back to LAX airport on LOT Polish Airlines.

We departed Bratislava Slovakia connecting through Czech Republic arriving into Krakow Poland by train. We would spend 3 nights at the Red Brick Apartment hotel near the train station. No visit to Krakow can be complete without visiting Auschwitz Birkenau and the Wieliczka Salt Mines. Other points of interest were the Jewish District, Oskar Schindlers Factory, Ghetto Heroes Square, and the Rakowicki Cemetery. I ate dinner at Wentzl (since 1792) in the vibrant Market Square. This was the end of our vacation and we departed on Austrian Airlines back to LAX airport.

I took a train from Prague to Krakow, when I arrived I was happy to find a place to stay at a hostal convent run by nuns. The weather was very cold so I had to purchase a pull over jacket to stay warm. I visited the state museum of Auschwitz and Birkenau, while walking around the compound I could just imagine how cruel the conditions must have been. Here I was trying to keep warm all bundled up and the prisoners must of froze to death with probably nothing to keep them warm. There were just a handful of tourists walking the area since the weather was so cold and dreary. The next day I went to the Wieliczka salt mines, the place was amazing and huge. The highlight of this tour is seeing all the carvings and the church the miners carved out of salt. Despite the cold weather outside I always enjoyed a cold Polish beer with my dinner. I continued by train to Vienna Austria.

Portugal Visit: 2011-7
2012-06-04 - From Merida Spain we drove through Badajoz to Elvas. We arrived during siesta and hardly anyone was around. It seemed we were the only tourists here also. We entered a cafe where locals were enjoying some cold beer. This was a nice place to stop and Elvas had a few historical places to visit. After a brief visit we drove north to Portalegre and back into Spain.

We departed from Ayamonte Spain we drove into Portugal. It seemed that only olive trees were the only thing we were going to see on our whole trip. We finally got to Beja and spent the night at the pension Santa Barbara and enjoyed a meal at restaurant O Aficionado. On our way we continued to see castles and old bridges and no other tourists. Once we arrived in Lisbon we continued driving and spent the night in Sintra. The place we stayed at was the two star Hotel Central and from here we enjoyed walking around the city. Of course we had to visit the Pena Palace the main attraction in Sintra. Since it was winter there was hardly any tourists here and we felt we had Sintra to ourselves. We enjoyed good food and local wine at low prices. After leaving Sintra we drove to Cascais and then back to Lisbon where we spent the night at the Quality Hotel Lisboa. We flew on Trans World Airlines back to New York JFK then back home to LAX.

Provence-Alpes-Cote d\'Azur Visit: 2012-4
2012-04-30 - Drove from Liguria Italy into Cote d Azur to spend the night in Monaco. We stopped in Cagnes de Mer and passed through Nice to see its beautiful blue beaches before returning to Liguria.

We boarded a Tunis Air flight from Tunis to Nice. When we arrived I picked up my Hertz rental car which was the new Ford 500, a big car by European standards. Our plan was to spend five days driving from Nice to Paris. If I were to drive this route again I would spend at least ten days, five days was not enough. Our first night was spent at the Majestic Barriere in Cannes, we had a big balcony overlooking the French Riviera. The next day we took a quick trip to Monaco before heading north. Our 2nd night was spent at the Four Seasons Provence at Terre Blanche, a very nice and tranquil area. We visited Les Baux de Provence, Tarascon, Nimes, Pont du Gard, Orange and too many other beautiful places. We continued driving west into Languedoc Roussillon.

Puebla Visit: 2008-7
2011-02-01 - We took a bus from Mexico City to Puebla and visited the old city. We ate some local cuisine at one of the many restaurants that are in the main plaza. I was very happy with the food here, the restaurants are crowded with locals and tourists seeing this vibrant city. There are some fast food restaurants, like Burger King among these restaurants but you wont notice them that easy. The fast food signs are not neon bright and are basically hidden amongst the historic buildings. Of course avoid these fast food places and try some authentic Pueblano food. While walking around the city I stopped by the Hotel Casa de la Palma at 3 Oriente 217, this is a beautiful old hotel with lots of character. Our next stop was Cholula to visit the largest pyramid with a church on top. This pyramid appears in many advertisements from the Mexican tourist board. We only came to Puebla for a day trip, if I had more time I would have visited the Volkswagen factory.

Puerto Rico Visit: 2001-11
2011-12-26 - I enjoy Puerto Rico and have been here many times.
American Airlines flew us from LAX through Ft Lauderdale to SJU. We stayed at the Wyndham Hotel and explored Old San Juan. After a night here we moved to Kens Hotel Casa Blanca at Isla Verde. I went to El Morro and from there went to my favorite locals restaurant called La Fonda El Jibarito. On this trip we took the ferry to Vieques island, the one that the US Navy used for naval exercises. We did not spend the night in Vieques but went back to San Juan and stayed at the Ritz Carlton. After leaving SJU we flew to Miami on American Airlines.

Flew on Trans World Airlines from JFK to San Juan. This was for some more R&R around old San Juan. Since I liked the location of the Hotel Central in Old San Juan we stayed here again. We rented a car to drive along the beach and went over to El Yunque rainforest where we had a good time at the waterfalls.

Flew from JFK New York into San Juan with my Costa Rican uncle Oscar. We stayed at an Old San Juan hotel called Hotel Central at the Plaza de Armas. I rented a car and we visited El Morro, El Yunque, and the Yokahu Tower. We also drove to Fajardo and took the ferry to Culebra Island for a day visit. The waters and beaches at Culebra are pristine and beautiful. We flew on Trans World Airlines back to LAX.

Qatar Visit: 2008-9
2011-10-19 - We departed Muscat Oman on Qatar Airways and flew into DOH airport. We stayed two nights at the Marriott Doha. The hotel was very nice but the pool was closed for renovation. We could of used a swimming pool since it was so hot and humid, even in the evening. If you are in the area, stop by for a visit. The country doesnt have a lot to offer. The skyline is growing with its high rises as this country is trying to get a slice of the Dubai pie. Since the roads are easy to navigate I rented a car and was able to see everything. Dont go during Ramadan as you will be sitting around all day with nothing to do - everything is closed. A two day stay will be sufficient to see what little Doha has to offer. We departed Doha on British Airways on a short flight to Bahrain.

Queretaro Visit: 2012-10
2012-11-11 - Our bus ride from Mexico DF took about 3 hours to arrive into Queretaro. We spent one night at the Hotel Hidalgo (since 1825), it is located down the street from the beautiful La Casa de La Marquesa hotel. Since we arrived during lunch time we walked over to La Mariposa restaurant (since 1940). This is a very popular restaurant which specializes in enchiladas which we ordered and they were very delicious. The majority of the historic district is of walking distance. I wanted coffee at Starbucks which is located on the outskirts of the historic city center. It happens to be next to the Los Arcos old aqueduct. This is worth a visit, as the aqueduct resembles many that were built in Europe. We also visited La Casa de la Marquesa, and the Convento de la Santa Cruz. The next day we took the bus to San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato.

Quintana Roo Visit: 2014-9
2012-01-10 - We arrived on the Carnival Ecstasy cruise into Port Maya Cozumel to enjoy a full day here. Half of the cruisers went straight to the bars but we walked the 3 1/2 miles to Port Langosta to hang out in the old city. There are plenty of stores to shop at and some relaxing restaurants to have a few tacos and a beer.

We flew roundtrip from LAX on US airways through Charlotte North Carolina, not the most direct route. This was a company fam to see some all inclusive hotels by Karisma. We spent three nights at the El Dorado Royale in Punta Brava the Riviera Maya. Since we were so busy we were only able to visit 5th Avenue the tourist trap of Playa del Carmen. Souvenirs are not inexpensive like they used to be, the prices were higher than what you pay in the USA or London. Despite this lack of free time we enjoyed the beautiful resort, good food and its beaches.

SEP 2006
Cancun the most popular place in Mexico where American tourists vacation. We arrived on American Airlines going through Dallas. I dont care for the long strip of hotels lined up all along this beautiful coast. Too me its a tourist trap, so the best thing to do is head away from the Cancun strip for more quaint areas. I like renting a car and visiting all the ancient sites around here or heading south toward Tulum and its beautiful beaches. Since we were here we visited Xcaret, Playa del Carmen, and Coba. We had flown into Cancun to spend a few nights at the Westin resort, but our main goal was to get to Belize. We went to the Cancun main bus station in the non tourist area. We were able to buy tickets to take us to the border city of Chetumal. At this point we walked across the border and entered customs, we were the only people crossing over to Belize. Not that many people cross through here because border security is at its minimum.

I flew from LAX through Houston to Cancun on Continental Airlines. I was joining some friends from Monterrey Mexico who were going there for their vacation. I stayed at the hotel Pina 25 which was in the city area. On this vacation we visited many places such as Isla Mujeres, Turtle farm, Tulum, Playa del Carmen and Xcaret. After a four nights I flew back to LAX on Continental Airlines.

My friend and I flew with Continental Airlines to Cancun. We stayed at the Aristos hotel and visited Tulum and Isla Mujeres. Had a nice time then flew back to LAX on Continental Airlines.

Rajasthan Visit: 2014-2
2014-02-27 - I arrived into Udaipur by bus from Ahmadabad Gujarat. I had eight hours to spend here so I went to the Palace for a visit. Afterwards I ate at the restaurant Ozen where they continuously play the movie Octopussy with James Bond which was filmed here. I took the overnight train to my next destination Jaipur. Spending two nights at the Krishna Palace, a beautiful old home which needs restoration. My next destination was Agra in Uttar Pradesh.

Ras Al Khaimah Visit: 2013-4
2011-08-30 - I drove into RAK in my rental car from Umm Al Quwain. This Emirate has grown considerably since I was here five years ago, they are trying to get piece of the successful Dubai pie. There are many new buildings, malls, and beach resort hotels being built. I went to the museum and the mall then drove back south to Sharjah.

We drove north from Umm al Quwain into Ras Al Khaimah. This small emirate doesnt offer a lot for a tourist. But since I had a rental car we drove to all the emirates on the western part of the UAE. We did locate the National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah, we were the only tourist here. It was nice to be inside the museum, since it was so hot and humid outside. After our visit here we continued driving north to Al Darah to cross the border into Tibat Musandam Oman.

Ras Musandam Visit: 2008-8
2011-08-30 - We drove north from Dubai to Al Darah to cross the border into Tibat Ras Musandam. It only took about a half an hour to cross the border and cost $40USD for the visa. Once we entered we drove along the coast with its sheer cliffs above us. The town of Khasab was deserted, hardly anyone was on the street. As for tourist, we were it nobody was here except us three lonely travelers. Dont go during the holy month of Ramadan, mostly everything will be closed. Because everything was closed we only spent a couple of hours here. If you plan on staying here one or two nights would be sufficient. At the border I had asked the customs agent if I was allowed to drive a loop and exit through Dibba on the east coast back to the UAE. He advised me not to drive this route unless I had a 4x4 vehicle, so I took his advise and returned through Tibat. I would not want to get stuck on some desert road during the hot month of August.

Rhode Island Visit: 2015-8
2011-12-29 - We wanted to visit Rhode Island so we drove our rental car from Boston Massachusetts to Providence to visit some colleges and stroll around the city center.

Arrived with Trans World Airlines into Boston Massachusetts. I took the Bonanza bus to get to Providence where I visited friends in Cranston. After my four day visit I flew back to LAX on TWA.

Flew into Boston MA on Trans World Airlines and took Bonanza bus line to Pawtucket. I stayed in Cranston with friends were we ventured out to see the circus and Newport. The main attraction in Newport are the mansions. I visited a few of the mansions but one that stands out is the Marble House built for William Vanderbilt. After my visit I flew on TWA back to St Louis MO.

Rhone-Alpes Visit: 2004-9
2012-01-15 - We departed from the Four Seasons Terre Blanche in Provence and drove into Rhone Alpes. We were on a six day drive from Nice up to Paris. After this we drove into Auvergne.

Rio de Janeiro State Visit: 2001-5
2011-10-31 - Left Bogota Columbia to Rio de Janeiro on Avianca Airlines. We took the airport bus to the city and stayed at the brand new Marriott hotel. The rooftop of the hotel had a fantastic view of the Copacabana beach. Many people told us that Rio was unsafe and we should not go. We had a great time in the city and never felt unsafe. We went to all the popular tourist destinations that included Christ the redeemer and Sugarloaf mountain. We took the bus along the Costa Verde to Paraty. Our hotel was the Solar dos Geranios a rustic colonial family home. This was a nice town where when the tide rises it partially floods the cobble stone streets. The town is well known for its puppets and we went to an adult evening show at the Espaco theatre. We departed Paraty by bus and went to Sao Paulo.

Romania Visit: 2013-6
2013-06-30 - We departed from Chisinau Moldova on Air Moldova to Bucharest. We would spend two nights at the JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel. We explored the historic part of the city and ate at Caru cu Bere restaurant (since 1879). On our 2nd day we took the train to Brasov to visit the famous Bran Castle. We had a driver in Brasov take us to Bran Castle, Peles Castle and return us back to Bucharest. Peles Castle should not be missed as it is one of the most beautiful castle homes in the world. Romania has a lot to offer and a minimum of one week should be spent exploring the various areas. We departed Bucharest by train to Varna Bulgaria. This was the worst train experience Ive had in my experiences. There is no water or food sold on the eight hour train ride. Even at the various train station stops there was no food or water being sold by vendors. It was very hot and no air conditioning was available on the Bulgarian owned train.

Salta Province Visit: 2009-11
2011-04-11 - I took a bus from Jujuy southbound to Salta. Salta draws more tourists than any other part of northwest Argentina. A large city with plenty of historical features. Take the teleferico up to Cerro San Bernardo to take in the views of the city below. Plenty of good restaurants abound, I ate dinner at Dona Salta restaurant which has great ambiance. The next day I took a bus to Tucuman.

San Blas Islands Visit: 2010-3
2011-11-27 - While in Panama I went the tourist route and flew on Air Panama from the PAC domestic airport in Panama city. I arrived on time at the airport but my flight was delayed for 3 hours. The flight took us on a beautiful route over the islands where we landed at Corazon de Jesus. I spent a few hours here before I was transported to Tiger Island were I spent one night. A very small island were I was the only tourist amongst all the locals. The beachfront hut was only $10 per night. There is not much to do here except sleep, lay out in the sun, snorkel, and hang around with the locals. They should rename the island Zero Stress. The local cuisine I had was very good and different from what they serve on the mainland. The two young females that worked here were always ready to cook whatever I was in the mood for. Some people that visit this area are Western retirees who will spend months here on their yachts. I recommend two nights in San Blas, unless you are planning on going from one island to the next, which there are many. On my 2nd night I went back by boat to Corozan de Jesus. I spent the night at Restaurante Nali’s Café where the owner rents rooms in her home. From Corozan de Jesus you walk across the bridge and you are now in Nargana where Nalis is located. I had breakfast at Nali's Cafe and waited for my flight back to Panama City, and yes it was late again going back. While waiting to board the airplane at the Corozan de Jesus airstrip the sand fleas attacked us all, even though we had a lot of repelant on us.

San Juan Province Visit: 2009-11
2011-04-20 - I arrived on an overnight bus from La Rioja. The bus had stopped and luckily I woke up to find we were at San Juans bus station, the driver didnt announce the stop. Most of the passengers on the bus were asleep and only three passengers got off including myself. I went by a local city bus to the main plaza early in the morning. I enjoyed some espresso and a pastry at a quiet corner cafe. This area doesnt offer much for a tourist to stay so I just stayed a few hours and continued to Mendoza by bus.

San Luis Potosi Visit: 2012-10
2012-11-13 - We took a bus from San Miguel de Allende Guanajuato to San Luis Potosi which took around 4 hours. Taxis are inexpensive, we took one from the bus station to the Hotel De Gante. This hotel is located in the heart of Plaza de Armas. The next day we took the bus to Aguascalientes.

San Marino Visit: 2012-4
2012-04-23 - We arrived late in the evening from Rimini Emilia Romagna due to heavy auto strata traffic. After asking a local which way to the Hotel Titano (since 1894) we arrived without getting lost. This is a small area to visit but has lots of windy roads. We liked our hotel which had a nice view of the surrounding area. San Marino is a safe and tranquil place to visit. The next day after breakfast we walked around the small city visiting the Curiosity museum, many shops, and Tower number three. This place offers great value compared to Italy, overnight parking was only 4 euro, souvenirs were inexpensive, entry fees were low and I got the best exchange rate for my dollars. It started to rain in the afternoon so we packed up and drove to Ferrara Emilia Romagna to fuel up for Venice.

Santiago del Estero Province Visit: 2009-11
2011-11-14 - I departed Tucuman province and arrived by bus to Rio Hondo with thoughts of spending one night here. Its a sleepy town with hardly anybody on the streets. When I arrived I was the only foreign tourist in the area, this area caters to local Argentinians. I wanted to try their hot thermal waters which most of the family run hotels offer, but decided to continue on my journey. There are a lot of restaurants offering local cuisine which are next to the park plaza, a good option if you are planning a quick layover. This is where I found all the local tourists, everybody seemed to be here for the local cuisine. After a delicious lunch I took the collectivo to Santiago de Estero and was again the only foreign tourist around, actually the only person around. It was seista time so the city was almost deserted. Since I was here I decided to walk around the town and find the main plaza. Two hours was all it took for me to decide this small city has nothing to offer a tourist a reason to stay, except one more point on MTP. I went back to the bus station and continued to Catamarca.

Sao Paulo State Visit: 2001-5
2011-10-31 - We took a bus with the compay Empresas Reunidas Paulista de Transportes from Paraty in Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo. We spent the night and flew the next day to Asuncion Paraguay with Varig Airlines.

Scotland Visit: 2010-8
2011-08-25 - We had a rental car so we explored as many places as time allowed. After dropping off our daughter in Leeds for the 100th anniversary celebration of the Girl Guides we drove north to Scotland. I booked two nights at the Radisson Blu hotel. Edinburgh was a delite, we loved this city and all that it had to offer. One disappointing fact facing Edinburgh is all the tourist trap souvenir shops that are everywhere. I like buying postcards but the souvenir shops here were overwhelming. We took a local bus to go see Rosslyn Chapel which is nearby in the village of Roslin. We arrived just before closing but were able to see the interior, the outside had scaffolding. Our next stop was to the north in Inverness, a lot of tourists come here to either go to Loch Ness or the Orkney Islands. I booked two nights at the Ramada Encore hotel a one minute walk to the bus station. I didnt think this area received a lot of tourists but our hotel was packed. Inverness is small so everything was walking distance from our hotel. We had booked a day tour to Orkney Island and our tour started at the bus station. We also visited Glasgow and also enjoyed this city. Our goal for being in Glasgow was to stop in Lockerbie to see the memorial for the Pan Am Airlines terrorist attack on 21DEC88. We continued our drive south and drove into Cardiff Wales.

Seborga Visit: 2012-4
2012-04-24 - When we departed from Monte Carlo Monaco I made sure to stop and visit Seborga near the coast of San Remo. Its a very windy road to arrive at the top of the small village. We walked around the sleepy village and took some photos and went into a restaurant which was crowded with customers enjoying their lunch. I bought some souvenirs at the only shop in town from the grumpy lady that works there. She was upset that sales were very slow, but she doesnt understand that not that many people know about this place. When we were leaving a group of tourists were arriving, so maybe that will make her happy. After our brief visit we continued our drive to La Spezia to visit Cinque Terre.

Serbia (other) Visit: 2017-8
2017-09-04 - We boarded a flight on Air Serbia from Skopje to Belgrade. We would spend two night at the Five Points Square hotel in the heart of the city center. We stopped by to visit the Belgrade Fortress, Nikola Tesla museum, and ate at Mala Gostionica restaurant. Belgrade is an underrated city and should be visited. We took a bus north to Subotica where we would spend one night in an apartment overlooking the square. This was another hidden gem where a festival was taking place, we really enjoyed this small quaint city. We ate dinner at the very popular Boss restaurant. The next day we took a bus to Szeged Hungary to continue by train to Budapest.

Sharjah Visit: 2013-4
2012-05-07 - I rented a car for 24 hours from the Dubai airport so I could visit the northern Emirates. I first drove to Sharjah where I would spend the night at the Nejoum Al Emarat hotel. The post office was nearby my hotel, I did not purchase any postage stamps as it was very crowded inside with customers. The Heritage Village was nearby but no one was around so I did not go inside to visit. Instead I departed and drove to my next destination Ajman. After spending the night in Sharjah I went back to Dubai.

I rented a car and drove from Dubai to the northern Emirates. It was kind of difficult locating Sharjah as we did not see any signs showing that we entered Sharjah. I asked a gas station attendant where is Sharjah and he stated we are in Sharjah now. I saw a sign for Mega Mall Sharjah and we drove to it and thats how we finally knew we were in Sharjah. Also, I was with my girlfriend and there are no officials around to stop and check marital status. We drove around freely with no hassles at all, despite what guidebooks might state. This Emirate does not have a lot to offer a tourist a reason to stay too long. We continued our drive north to Ajman.

Shikoku Region Visit: 2012-3
2012-03-23 - I departed Hiroshima Chugoku to Takamatsu Shikoku by JR rail. I had a seven day rail pass where I could basically go anywhere anytime and as many times as I wanted. The Hiroshima hostel receptionist was asking me why I was going to Shikoku. She said there is nothing to do there except to try out the local cuisine of udon noodles. I arrived in Takamatsu right before lunch and that was my intention to try out the local specialty. When I arrived at the JR station I went to the information desk and asked which restaurant should I try out for the udon noodles. She wrote in Japanese characters the name of her favorite restaurant and circled the area on the map. I took the tram to the stop nearest the restaurants location and just handed the paper to any local walking by and they pointed in the direction to the restaurant. It was a very popular restaurant and the noodles were fresh and delicious. After lunch I walked a few blocks to the Ritsurin Garden to walk around one of the most popular places to visit in Kagawa Prefecture. The gardens were very nice like all the others around Japan. I brought with me a blank page journal that I now stamp the eki commemorative stamps that all tourists attractions in Japan happen to have. This is better than collecting magnets and key chains and the stamps dont take up any space, also they are free. A lot of people say that Japan is expensive but I found out that my lunch and entrance to the garden cost a lot less than what it would cost in the USA. After my brief visit I boarded a JR train to Kyoto Kansai.

Sicily Visit: 2004-9
2011-07-26 - After visiting friends in Paris France for the day we flew to Catania on Meridiana Airlines. The first two nights we spent at the Sheraton Catania hotel and visited Giardini Naxos and Taormina by rental car. When we drove around Mt Etna every evening we could see the red lava spilling from the top, a really neat site. The locals consider themselves Sicilians and dont refer themselves as Italians. We loved the ruins in Agrigento and then drove north to Palermo. I was very suprised to see that this was no small town but a very busy and chaotic historical city. We decided to stay away from this traffic nightmare and spent the night in Cinisi along the beach. Our last night was at the Andrea Il Pirata hotel where we had a great dinner at their popular restaurant,owned by a very nice family. When we departed from Palermo we flew on Tunis Air to Tunis Tunisia to visit another friend.

Sinai Peninsula Visit: 1995-3
2012-01-02 - Arrived by ferry from Hurghada into Sharm el Sheikh. I went diving in the Red Sea and had a nice time playing with the curious dolphins that followed us. We hiked up to Mt Sinai to watch the sunrise and stopped by St Catherines which was closed. I spent a couple of nights in Dahab where we were constantly attacked by flies during the day and mosquitos at night. This is a very layed back town that caters to young Israelis coming to party here. Everytime I walked down the dirt streets I was offered illegal drugs for sale by the locals. I was going to take the ferry from Taba to Aqaba Jordan to avoid the hassle of going through Eilat Israel. A German man living in the area advised me to go by road since the ferry is either late or never shows up. So we all continued by road from Taba through Eilat Israel and then to Aqaba Jordan.

Sinaloa Visit: 2012-11
2011-10-03 - We left Durango on an eight hour bus ride through the magnificent mountain range to reach Mazatlan Sinaloa. We finally arrived to the city and had a taxi take us to the Hotel Belmar (since 1924). The hotel has seen better days but it is located in Old Mazatlan at Playa Olas Altas. At the next block over we had dinner at El Shrimp Bucket (since 1963), good seafood at reasonable prices. Many locals cruise the old street Olas Altas and many American tourists enjoy the ocean breezes while enjoying their cocktails. After the noise settled down in the evening I was able to sleep with the sound of crashing waves outside our hotel. The next morning we walked through the deserted historic Plazuela Machado and to the Central Market. There are many restaurants on the 2nd floor of the Pino Suarez Central Market (since 1899) which serves great food upstairs at low prices. Later in the afternoon we flew back to LAX on Alaska Airlines.

DEC1994 My friend and I flew roundtrip on Delta Airlines to Mazatlan. We stayed at one of the many beach resorts along the coast. Enjoyed the food, music, horse back riding and watching the cliff divers.

Singapore Visit: 2014-7
2014-08-19 - We departed MNL airport in Luzon to Singapore on Philippine Airlines. I liked the hustle free Changi Airport, we had a taxi take us to the Raffles hotel (since 1887) where we would spend two nights. This traditional five star hotel is everything I expected it to be, our butler was great. The hotels representative invited us to the Long Bar to have drinks and hors doeuvres. I had to try their famous signature drink the Singapore Sling which is their most popular drink. Im glad I didnt have to pay for anything as it was very expensive. Every morning we would have breakfast in the Tiffin Room (since 1899). Since the Singapore Botanic Public Gardens is the number one tourist destination we went for a visit in the hot and very humid weather. Its such a nice feeling to walk around a city and feel very safe without other big city problems around the world. We departed on Garuda Indonesia Airlines to DPS airport Bali in Lesser Sunda Islands in Indonesia.

Slovakia Visit: 2017-8
2017-09-04 - We departed Budapest Hungary by train and arrived into Bratislava to spend one night at the Elisabeth Old Town hotel. It was a Saturday and the area was vibrant with locals enjoying the cafes and bars in the old town. We walked up to Hrad Castle, St Michaels Tower, and the famous Cumil. I stopped by to enjoy some beer at Mestiansky Pivovar (since 1752) near old town. The next day we took the train to Krakow Poland connecting through Czech Republic.

Slovenia Visit: 2007-9
2011-11-29 - We flew from London Gatwick to Ljubljana on Adria Airways. We enjoyed a three night stay at the M hotel in Ljubljana, which was about a 10 minute walk into the historical part of the city. We wondered why more tourists havent visited this country. Ljubljana is a beautiful city to walk around in and a short train ride to Bled its most popular destination. After a few days we took the train from Ljubljana to Zagreb Croatia.

South Carolina Visit: 2012-6
2012-07-23 - Drove from Savannah Georgia to Hilton Head Island where we spent one night at the Marriott Resort. I was surprised to see so many people on bicycles here, even riding in the rain. This is a very popular place for vacationers, we ate at Giuseppis Pizza (since 1981) in Hilton Head. Our next stop was at Charleston where we spent two nights at the Residence Inn Charleston. This was a very nice charming city to visit, with many restaurants and shops to keep us busy. We took the ferry to Fort Sumter where the Civil War started in 1861. We also visited Drayton Hall plantation which has the best preserved plantation home in the south. Our next stop was Myrtle Beach with its carnival atmosphere, this is a great place to vacation with children. We continued our drive into Wilmington North Carolina.

While in Savannah GA we drove north toward Hilton Head Island. We didn\'t have too much time so I turned around and went back. I will have to return again for a real visit.

Sweden Visit: 2017-2
2017-03-17 - We flew on KLM airlines from LAX through AMS to Gothenburg. We stayed two nights at the Hotel Eggers (since 1859) located in the center of the old city. My attempt to visit the Volvo museum failed as they were renovating the day we visited. We dined at several historic restaurants that included the Lai Wa (since 1975), Ahlstroms Konditori (since 1901), Kometen (since 1934), and drank beer at Olhallen 7an (since 1900) the oldest pub in the city. On our departure we boarded a train to our next destination Oslo Norway.

Switzerland Visit: 2008-4
2009-10-24 - Zurich - a nice and safe city to visit. With its great train service you are only a few minutes or hours away from all the best sites.

Despite the US dollar equivalent to the Swiss franc everything is two to three times the price of things you would pay for here

in the States. Dont let that stop you from visiting this beautiful country.

Taiwan (main island) Visit: 2013-11
2013-11-24 - I received an invitation from the Taiwan Tourist Board for a fam trip to Taipei. We flew on EVA air from LAX to TPE airport. We spent the night at Monarch Skyline hotel, and then Lealea Garden hotel at Sun Moon Lake. We rode on the Sun Moon Lake cable car then visited The Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village. We road bicycles during the Taiwan Cycling Festival and went on a boat ride on the lake. The next day we spent the night at Splendor Hotel Taichung and visited Chung Tai Chan Monastery, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art, and Chun Shui Tang Cultural Tea House. The next day we stayed at the Howard hotel and went up to the observatory of Taipei 101, the second tallest building in the world. On a rainy day we visited the Gold Museum and the last night in Taipei was spent at the Regent Hotel. We rode up on the Maokong Gondola and had spectacular views of the city and the Taipei 101 building. The local cuisine at the many restaurants we visited were great. Taiwan is a very safe island to visit and for its large size they keep it very clean. We departed on EVA air back to Los Angeles.

Tanzania (Mainland) Visit: 1998-4
2011-08-24 - Found my way to Dar es Salaam from Cairo Egypt on Egypt Airlines in business class. I had met a New York teacher on the flight who goes here every time she is on vacation to stay in Tanzania and teach school children English. I took a taxi with her into the city since she knew the area very well. I stayed at the Luther House for a couple of days until I meet up with my friend from Washington DC so we could climb Mt Kilimanjaro. I had met a local who showed me around DAR while I waited, its a poor country with lots of character. Since I had arrived a week before the climb, I decided to take a ferry to Zanzibar. When I got back to DAR, we took the microbus to Marangu Kilimanjaro where we stayed at the Babylon Lodge. This is where we meet our guides and got our supplies in the local central market. We did the climb up the mountain, not easy at all. We spent five days climbing this mountain in this cold snowy weather. One day I was walking around outside in shorts and flip flop sandals while it was snowing and the Europeans couldnt believe I wasnt cold, I guess my body got a little used to this weather. I dont like climbing mountains and this was very difficult with the thin air and the very cold weather. We made it, but I found out the following month that 13 climbers had died. When we left Kilimanjaro I headed back to DAR then to Arusha to continue my journey by bus to Kenya.

Tennessee Visit: 2013-3
2013-03-29 - We flew into Nashville on American Airlines and spent one night at the Union Station hotel which was once the original train station. We visited the Parthenon and Historic Downtown Nashville. I ate at Jacks BBQ (since 1976) and Hattie Bs chicken. We departed on American Airlines to Washington DC.

Thailand Visit: 2009-8
2012-07-21 - We departed Hong Kong and flew into Phuket on Cathay Pacific's Dragon Airlines. The Banyan Tree hotel was really nice and we enjoyed our stay there. I went to several different Thai restaurants in the area and the food was okay, I was kind of disappointed that I actually think the Thai food is better and hotter in the USA. In Phuket town we went to McDonalds and tried their corn and chocolate pies. The corn pies were delicious, the chocolate was okay. As you can see, other travelers have a lot to say about Thailand, a country well worth the visit. From here we flew to Beijing China on Dragon Air.

Tlaxcala Visit: 2008-7
2011-08-15 - We went on a day trip from Mexico DF by bus to Tlaxcala. The bus service in Mexico is excellent, the best I've encontered anywhere in the world. There are frequent buses that go on this route. Tlaxcala is a nice quiet place to visit, plenty of restaurants with great food. There is a museum here, but we did not have the time to visit it. Well worth a day trip or even to spend the night.

Trans Dniester Visit: 2013-6
2013-06-30 - While in Moldova the three of us took a day trip to Tiraspol and Bender with Marisha.net, this tour cost 100EUR. Boris the driver took care of our boarder crossing without any problems. I took photos of the boarder which is prohibited. When we arrived at the War Memorial we met our guide Natalie to take us around and explain everything to us. We stopped by various memorials, government buildings, river Dniester, and the open market. While at the Open Market I had to exchange money into Trans Dneister rubles as this was the only currency accepted for payment. We stopped by the Post Office and purchased post cards but I could not mail them overseas using Trans Dneister stamps, I could only use Moldova postage stamps. When our tour ended at the Tiraspol Opera House Boris drove us back to our flat in Chisinau Moldova.

Tucuman Province Visit: 2009-11
2011-04-20 - When I arrived at the bus station and started walking toward the center of town, I wasnt expecting to like this place. Once I arrived in the Plaza Independencia area things changed for the better. A very nice historic city with plenty to see and do. The tourist office is very nice and provides plenty of information for the area. I spent one night here and ate at a local restaurant called El Portal serving comida del Norte. I ate some locro served in artisans bread, it was very delicious. The next day I took a bus to the province Santiago del Estero.

Tunisia Visit: 2004-9
2011-08-30 - Our flight from Palermo to Tunis went without any problems. On arrival at the Tunis airport everything was fine until it started raining.
We were in a taxi going to our resort hotel Sheraton Hammamet. This was no ordinary rain, it rained so hard that the streets and highways started flooding and our taxi driver did not want to continue. He dropped us off at the Tunis train station and we waited around like everyone else. No taxis no trains nothing was available and moving, we waited 8 hours here. I called my friend Walid who lives here in Tunis and asked him to pick us up and take us to the Sheraton hotel in Hammamet. We went into the city after the waters resided and we ate and drank at a sidewalk cafe. Later that evening a taxi finally got us to the hotel. We enjoyed Hammamet, Sousse, Carthage and Sidi Bou Said with all its blue doors. We spent a total of 5 days here, cant wait to go back someday. We flew out of Tunis on TunisAir to Nice France.

Turkish Thrace (Turkey in Europe) Visit: 2016-6
2011-09-06 - We departed Athens Greece on Turkish Airlines into Istanbul. We would spend two nights at the Pera Palace (since 1892) which was Agatha Christies favorite hotel in Istanbul. We ate at the Pudding Shop (since 1957) made famous in the movie Midnight Express. We departed on Turkish Airlines back to Los Angeles two days before the terrorists attacked the airport.

We departed Varna Bulgaria on an overnight luxury bus to Istanbul. We spent two nights at the Ilkay Hotel in the Sultanahmet area. Despite the political protest in the Taksim area, there were many tourists in the old city. We visited UNESCO Hagia Sophia, UNESCO Hippodrome of Constantine, UNESCO Suleymaniye Mosque, Grand Bazaar, and Basilica Cistern. We took a day trip by ferry to Kadikoy Anatolia which only cost 3TL each way. We departed Istanbul back to LAX on Lufthansa Airlines transfering in Munich Germany.

We arrived on Lufthansa airlines from Frankfurt into IST airport. We stayed at the Ritz Carlton hotel for three nights and had a nice view of the Bosphorus and football stadium below. This was a convenient location where we visited the most popular sites such as Taksim square, the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and the fun Grand Bazaar. This is one of the best bazaars I have visited where the sellers dont harass you. Four Seasons Istanbul at Sultanahmet was also on our list of places to visit, this hotel was a former prison. We also went to the Ciragan Palace hotel on the Bosphorus and took a boat ride too. We then departed Istanbul with Turkish Airlines and flew to Ankara in Anatolia. We returned to Istanbul and stayed at the Ritz Carlton again. On this visit we went to Cemberlitas Bath an old turkish bath house. I wanted a traditional hammam bath, it was an okay experience. A nice experience was a visit to the underground cistern, and the many restaurants we ate at. After two nights we flew from Istanbul to Detroit Michigan with Lufthansa Airlines.

Tuscany Visit: 2012-4
2012-04-29 - We drove from Cinque Terre Liguria to Pisa for a quick stop to see the leaning tower. When we arrived it was very crowded as if a festival was going on. It was difficult to take pictures without a crowd of people being in your shot. After a few hours of people watching, exchanging money and purchasing souvenirs we drove to Florence. Exchange money in Pisa which you will find a much better rate than in Florence. We arrived in Florence and had to ask a local where the Ponte Vecchio is at, in which we followed the river to our Starhotel Michelangelo. Parking is expensive here even in the parking lots. From our hotel we could walk over to the main tourist spots which were overwhelmed with people. The next morning we walked around the city to see some of the main attractions but the queues were so long we decided not to waste our time since we had seen them back in 1999. We left in the afternoon and drove to out next stop Perugia Umbria.

We flew into Milan airport on Trans World Airlines and picked up our rental car and headed south. Our first night was spent in Pisa at the Albergo Helvetia. The next day early in the morning we went to see the leaning tower. Only a few locals were around and we had the tower to ourselves. We took some nice pictures without the crowds of tourists in the background. Our next stop was Florence where we spent the night at the hotel Tina. Florence had a lot to offer and we visited the usual, Gallery Uffizi and Accademia. No visit to Florence would be complete without visiting Michelangelo's David. You pay a high price for the entrance take a photo and you leave. Our next destination was Venice Veneto where we drove through Emilia Romagna.

Ukraine (Other) Visit: 2013-6
2013-06-30 - We departed Vienna Austria on Ukraine International Airlines and flew into Kiev KBP airport. We spent three nights at the Fairmont Grand Hotel Kyiv. We visited the UNESCO Pechersk Lavra Monastery caves, UNESCO Saint Sophia Cathedral, St Andrews Church, National Museum The Memorial in Commemoration of Famines Victims, and the Motherland Monument. Our hotel was located next to the Funicular which we liked using everyday. We also used the metro which is one of the deepest in the world. We departed Kiev on Air Moldova and flew into KIV airport in Chisinau Moldova.

Umbria Visit: 2012-4
2012-04-29 - We took the long southeast route from Florence Tuscany to San Marino. Along the way we stopped in Perugia where American Amanda Knox was recently on trial for murdering an English student. This is a very nice city, the old part sits on top of the hill. If we knew ahead of time how nice it was we would of spent the night here. Its unfortunate alot of character cities get overlooked by all the other popular destinations. We were low on euros and I attempted to get money at the bank and atm machines here with no luck. Since we had no money we continued to Assisi to have lunch and get some money. We ate at the entrance to the old city and I was able to get some euros from a banks atm. I have never had so much trouble with getting funds. We continued our drive through Marche then San Marino.

Umm Al Qaiwain Visit: 2013-4
2011-08-30 - I drove from Ajman into UAQ in my rental car always with the air conditioner on, it was so hot. Nothing much has happened here since 2008 when I last visited the area. I stopped by the museum which was closed and then to the post office. This sleepy Emirate does not offer a tourist a reason to spend more than two hours here. I continued my drive north to Ras Al Khaimah.

Leaving Ajman we continued north to Umm Al Qaiwain. This Emirate during the summer can get very hot and humid. The museum had see through plastic doors to keep the cold air inside. We were the only ones at the museum besides a film crew. The film crew requested our assistance in being in their film for a tourist video on the Emirates. The museum has many interesting displays but thats about the only place of importance in this small emirate. We continued driving north to Ras Al Khaimah.

United Nations Headquarters (New York) Visit: 2009-3
2010-11-21 - Even some of my friends who live in New York havent bothered to go to the UN. I have been to NY many times and havent bothered on visiting the UN either. So this time I made it a point to stop by for a visit. If you love collecting stamps or love mailing post cards to family and friends, a visit to the UN post office is a must. They have a large collection of stamps and postcards for you to purchase at the gift shop. This is such a popular thing to do that there was a line outside of the post office door to purchase stamps.

Uruguay Visit: 2001-5
2011-10-31 - We departed Iguassu Falls in Parana State Brazil on Lapa Airlines. This flight took us to AEP Buenos Aires then connected to Pluna Airlines where we flew to Montevideo Uruguay. We stayed at the hotel Mediterraneo for two nights. We joined a day tour to see all of the popular places around Montevideo. The bus was full of travel agents from Costa Rica who were on a fam. Our stops included parts of the city, Casa Pueblo artist Carlos Paez Vilaro home, and Punta del Este. Since this was considered off season, Punta del Este was eerily empty. On our departure we took a bus to Colonia and spent the day in this colonial city. After our full day here we took the Buquebus ferry to Buenos Aires Argentina.

Utah Visit: 2016-3
2012-05-27 - We were on a road trip and drove out of Monument Valley Arizona into Utah stopping in St George. We enjoyed ice cream at Thomas Judd's store (since 1911) and Larsen’s Frostop Old Fashioned Drive in (since 1965) both in St George. We continued our road trip and drove into Las Vegas Nevada.

While we were in Las Vegas Nevada we drove up to St George and stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott. Driving through the mountain passes is a beautiful sight in itself. Once you cross the stateline you can tell the people of Utah are very friendly and in a good mood. We visited the Dinosaur Farm and went to Zion National Park. We were unable to drive into the park since the roads were icy. We drove out of Utah through the Las Vegas Nevada route.

Uttar Pradesh Visit: 2014-2
2014-05-17 - I boarded the first class train from Jaipur Rajasthan to Agra Fort. I would spend one night at the Hotel Sheela Agra which is within walking distance to the East Gate Taj Mahal entrance. As with many other thousands of tourists I visited the Taj Mahal (UNESCO), Fatehpur Sikri (UNESCO), and had the pleasure of strolling through the Taj Nature Walk. I always read negative remarks regarding the crowds at the Taj Mahal. Despite the crowds it was well managed and I took great pictures. My next destination was taking the train to Faridabad in Haryana.

Valais Visit: 2012-4
2012-04-17 - Drove in from Cernobbio Lombardy across the border driving toward Lugano in search of Campione d'Italia. Crossing the border northbound was no trouble at all. After our visit when we were departing south to cross the border back into Lombardy Italy the traffic was very heavy. This was Easter week so it seemed everyone wanted to go somewhere and it made the roads into a mess.

Vatican City Visit: 1999-2
2011-08-23 - Since I was in Rome just like any other tourist I went to visit the Holy See. Passed Saint Peter\'s Square to enter the huge church, this was off season so there was no line to go inside. I still cannot believe that people would actually vandalize the top of the church with their graffiti. You dont see this in America as it is a felony to vandalize any church. Also spent some time in the Vatican museum, seen the Sistene chapel and went to the Vatican post office. I mailed a lot of Pope John Paul II postcards from here to my Catholic family, to them its a big gift to receive something straight from the Vatican. This post office is very popular as many tourist want to collect these stamps and send postcards from the holiest Catholic place in Europe.

While in Rome I took bus 64 over to the Vatican, you have to be careful on this bus since there are many pick pockets waiting to prey on tourists. I went to see the Sistene Chapel and also visited the Vatican post office.

Veneto Visit: 2012-4
2012-05-06 - We entered south Veneto by way of Ferrara Emilia Romagna. I drove the rental car to the VCE airport to park the car here for two days. This was supposed to be a lower priced way of getting to Venice via the airport vaporreto. It wasnt the lowest so I dropped this idea and drove back to Venices marco polo parking garage and paid the steep parking fee for two days. The vaporreto cost 6.50EUR for a one way ticket or you can walk via the bridge and get lost a bit to your destination. We finally made it to our hotel the five star Cipriani which I received two free nights through my employer. They gave me a beautiful canal view suite which was more than spacious enough to relax in, La dolce vita! It was dinner time so we dropped our luggage in the suite and took the hotels private vaporreto to San Marco square. Breakfast was included at the hotel so we enjoyed a great and memorable breakfast without having to worry about the expensive menu. We had a full day to explore the city and visited many places that also included shopping at the many stores found here. The only expensive thing in Venice is the transportation other than that we found good deals at the stores and nice quaint reasonably priced restaurants. After this memorable stay we drove back to Milan Lombardy to spend one more night before flying back to New York.

One of my favorite cities in the world is Venice. We drove from Florence Tuscany by rental car and parked it in the lot next to the train station, of course there is no use of an automobile here. This is such a unique city and I love walking through the maze of pedestrian streets. Our first night was spent at Archies (dump) then moved the next day to the one star hotel Al Gobbo. We had arrived prior to carnival and some people had their costumes and masks on which Venice is famous for. On our drive back to Milan Lombardy we stopped and spent the night in Verona, we were not aware how nice this city was. I flew on Alitalia airlines from MXP airoport to Rome Lazio.

While I was in Rome Lazaio I decided on taking the train to Venice. I stayed at Archies for a couple of nights. This is perfect city to get lost in with its street mazes. I also went on a day trip visiting Padua going roundtrip by train. After my visit I took the train back to Rome Lazio.

Vermont Visit: 2015-8
2015-10-20 - We drove in our rental car from New Hampshire into Vermont and spent two nights at Stowe Mountain Lodge. We arrived midweek and the area was very crowded with people enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery. This area gets very crowded during the ski season. We had dinner at The Whip bar and grill (since 1833). Ben & Jerrys Ice Cream and the famous Trapp Family Lodge (Sound of Music) was also on our list of places to visit. After our wonderful stay in Stowe we drove south back into New Hampshire.

Virginia Visit: 2013-4
2012-04-25 - I flew on United Airlines into IAD airport and took the Dulles airport bus to Arlington. I went to lunch with my friend who lives in Virginia on this 7 hour layover before returning to the airport to depart to Abu Dhabi on Etihad Airways.

We took the metro from DC into Arlington VA to visit friends. We also visited the historic site of the First Battle of Bull Run in Manassas.

While staying at the Ritz Carlton in Georgetown DC I rented a bicycle and road over to the Arlington cemetary. I was so glad I rented this bicycle because it gave me the freedom to ride everywhere quickly, I never had to wait for a tour bus or pay for a taxi. This was ideal since I could easily lock the bicycle in front of every place I visited. My friend also lives in Arlington and we went out to have steak dinner in the Arlington area.

Wales Visit: 2010-8
2012-01-14 - Drove our rental car from Leeds England into Cardiff where we spent one night. We stayed at the Park Inn by Radisson Cardiff North which was not in the city center. You have to be very cautious driving around here as there are many speed cameras. We were here on a Saturday and a lot of stores close very early, and on Sundays everything opens late. Spillers record store has moved to a new location and it was also closed. Unfortunately we didnt get to see much because of this, and a wedding was taking place at the Castle. The next day we drove to Bath England.

Washington Visit: 2001-10
2011-11-26 - We drove in from Vancouver British Columbia to Seattle. We stayed two nights at the Vance Hotel located right in the city. Since we love coffee we had to visit the first Starbucks and also Pike Place Market. Seattle has to have the highest concentration of coffee houses, there seems to be one on every block. I left the rental car in the parking lot and used public transportation to get everywhere in the city. We also took the monorail to the Space Needle. We drove back to Vancouver British Columbia.

West Bank Visit: 1995-3
2012-01-02 - Since I was in Israel I went on a day tour to the West Bank. We visited Jericho and the area where the Greek Orthadox Monastary Mount of Temptation is located.

Wisconsin Visit: 1998-9
2012-01-01 - On Trans World Airlines I flew from Orlando Florida to Chicago Ohare then to Wisconsins small CWA airport with United Airlines. This was a propeller aircraft that bounced around a bit while flying through the cloudy skies. The weather is just perfect during this time of year in Wisconsin, usually its cold and snowy. My brother lives here and this was my 2nd time visiting Stevens Point. While the family is at work I find myself wandering the streets by bicycle and going to my favorite place - Stevens Point Brewery since 1857. Here they have the usual beer production tour at this small facility and then you get to taste the end product. After four nights I departed Central Wisconsin Airport and flew to Chicago Illinois on United Airlines.

Wyoming Visit: 2009-7
2011-08-30 - From Denver Colorado we drove our red Ford Mustang rental car into Cheyenne. We spent part of the day visiting Cheyenne city center and the museum. It's a small capital so you can see most of it in one day. The people are friendly and city is very tranquil. I really enjoyed it here during the nice summer weather. After our visit we drove east into Nebraska.

Yucatan Visit: 2006-9
2011-05-17 - I always rent a car to drive around this province, too many places to visit. You can take a day tour from Cancun but its better to be on your own. There are english speaking guides at the entrance and inside if you would rather have someone lecture to you. Inside Chichen Itza its amazing, one can only imagine what work it must of took for hundreds or thousands of people to build this place. This is not a place to go for just a few hours, I would recommend you spend most of day here as there is a lot to see and a lot of walking, dont forget to bring your sun hat.

Zacatecas Visit: 2012-11
2012-11-14 - We left Aguascalientes by bus to Zacatecas. We stayed one night at the Posada Tolasa in the heart of the old city. This was an easy city to walk around and it only had a few hills. We walked up the steep hill to take the Teleferico where we boarded the cable car to the Cerro de la Bufa. This gave us a great view of this UNESCO city from way above the mountain. One place we liked was the hotel Quinta Real which is built around the old bull ring and is next to the old Aquaduct El Cubo. The next day we took a bus to our next destination Durango.

Zambia Visit: 2015-9
2015-10-20 - We departed LAX airport and spent 30 hours traveling on British Airways before arriving in Livingstone. As soon as we arrived we dropped our bags at the Livingstone Backpackers hostel where we would spend two nights and headed to the streets. We visited the dilapidated century old cemetery, Livingstone Museum, and the amazing Victoria Falls. After visiting this area we crossed the border to Zimbabwe by foot.

Zanzibar Visit: 1998-4
2011-08-24 - While in Dar es Salaam I asked my local guide how I can get to Zanzibar. We walked over to the docks and I went with Azam Marine ferryboat service, I paid for my ticket and he got his commission. I stayed at the Haven Guest House in the middle of Stonetown. Im glad I decided to go, I enjoyed Stonetown and its beautiful carved doors and good food. The few things I did were hang out at the The Africa House Hotel bar, the spice tour, Palace Museum, prison island to see the huge turtles and drank plenty of Safari Lager beer. Also the island is famous for the red Columbus monkeys that are in the Jozani forest. I became friends with Walid from Tunisia here and we still keep in touch after all these years. After a few nights here I took the ferry back to Dar es Salaam so my friend and I could climb Mt Kilimanjaro.

Zimbabwe Visit: 2015-9
2015-10-20 - We crossed the border by foot from Zambia and spent the night at the Shoestrings Backpackers hostel at Victoria Falls. When we crossed the border we noticed the prices for everything we purchased doubled in price in comparison to Zambia. The USA dollar is the currency of choice here as their national currency has collapsed. We walked over to the train station to see if the passenger trains were still in operation. They offer passenger trains from Harare to Victoria Falls only. We decided on taking the long distance bus to our next stop Bulawayo where we spent two nights at Lilys backpackers lodge. We were driven around the city in her 1961 Morris Minor, an adventure in itself. During our stay we visited the old city center of Bulawayo, Railway Museum, Nesbitt Castle, and Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage. We departed to our next destination by bus via Plumtree into Botswana.

Zurich Visit: 2008-4
2011-01-02 - I flew nonstop from LAX to Zurich on Swiss airlines in business class. Since this was a company fam we stayed at the Park Hyatt Zurich. I wasnt to impressed with the city, but really enjoyed the culinary experiences. The food at the hotel and the local restaurants was fantastic. We took the train to Lucerne to visit Mt Pilatus. I was only able to purchase a few things but prices were twice the amount I would pay at home. Someday I will go back to visit all the other provinces.
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British Virgin Islands
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