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10

Jan

Dublin, Ireland is one of my favorite vacation spots! Where do you love to travel?
Send us photos of your favorite spots and see them featured on the Many Travels blog! All photos may be sent to schnaderm@gmail.com or photo reply us right here on Tumblr.
Happy Traveling!

Dublin, Ireland is one of my favorite vacation spots! Where do you love to travel?

Send us photos of your favorite spots and see them featured on the Many Travels blog! All photos may be sent to schnaderm@gmail.com or photo reply us right here on Tumblr.

Happy Traveling!

05

Jan

Start The New Year Off Right: Travel Far and Wide



First and foremost, Happy New Year readers!

It appears that 2014 has already hit Pennsylvania (the East Coast, actually) with quite the snowstorm.  It’s days like these, when the snow is up to my knees and it is bitter cold, that I dream about the summer and the far away places that I always promise myself I will travel to.  Inevitably, the summer arrives and I am too bogged down with work, events, and mini vacations with friends to really take that dream vacation I’ve been longing for.  And before I know it, it’s December again and I’m kicking myself for not taking the much-needed time out of my schedule to relax and regroup.

So, as one of my new year’s resolutions, I decided that I would make a list of places that I would absolutely love to visit.  Once I finished my list, I picked one or two places that I thought may fit into my schedule this year.  Below, you’ll see my top six choices for 2014 (both domestically and internationally based). Here’s hoping I can get to at least one of these places this year!


1. Athens, Greece: Absolutely gorgeous! Look for yourself http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g189398-Greece-Vacations.html
2. The State of California: Wine vineyards, celebrity sightings, and warm weather…what else could a girl ask for? http://geocities.com/thefoghorn/missiontravel.html
3. Seattle, Washington: Note to self - Make sure to bring my favorite umbrella http://www.umbrellas.com/ http://www.citypass.com/seattle/things-to-do-seattle
4. Dominican Republic: First tropical vacation for this red head! Sun block is a must. http://www.lonelyplanet.com/dominican-republic
5. Italy: A cross-country train ride…a great time for family bonding and adventure! http://www.eurail.com/trains-europe/trains-country/trains-italy
6. Paris, France: I don’t think this destination needs any explanation. It’s Paris, people!

My fellow travelers…I urge you to do the same and create a list of your most sought after vacation spots (and even make note of what you love about those specific places!). If you’re feeling really ambitious, even start a Pinterest page just for Travel at www.pinterest.com.  Allow 2014 to be a new year with new adventures!

Photo Source: tweakyourbiz.com

Start The New Year Off Right: Travel Far and Wide

First and foremost, Happy New Year readers!

It appears that 2014 has already hit Pennsylvania (the East Coast, actually) with quite the snowstorm.  It’s days like these, when the snow is up to my knees and it is bitter cold, that I dream about the summer and the far away places that I always promise myself I will travel to.  Inevitably, the summer arrives and I am too bogged down with work, events, and mini vacations with friends to really take that dream vacation I’ve been longing for.  And before I know it, it’s December again and I’m kicking myself for not taking the much-needed time out of my schedule to relax and regroup.

So, as one of my new year’s resolutions, I decided that I would make a list of places that I would absolutely love to visit.  Once I finished my list, I picked one or two places that I thought may fit into my schedule this year.  Below, you’ll see my top six choices for 2014 (both domestically and internationally based). Here’s hoping I can get to at least one of these places this year!

1. Athens, Greece: Absolutely gorgeous! Look for yourself http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g189398-Greece-Vacations.html

2. The State of California: Wine vineyards, celebrity sightings, and warm weather…what else could a girl ask for? http://geocities.com/thefoghorn/missiontravel.html

3. Seattle, Washington: Note to self - Make sure to bring my favorite umbrella http://www.umbrellas.com/ http://www.citypass.com/seattle/things-to-do-seattle

4. Dominican Republic: First tropical vacation for this red head! Sun block is a must. http://www.lonelyplanet.com/dominican-republic

5. Italy: A cross-country train ride…a great time for family bonding and adventure! http://www.eurail.com/trains-europe/trains-country/trains-italy

6. Paris, France: I don’t think this destination needs any explanation. It’s Paris, people!


My fellow travelers…I urge you to do the same and create a list of your most sought after vacation spots (and even make note of what you love about those specific places!). If you’re feeling really ambitious, even start a Pinterest page just for Travel at www.pinterest.com.  Allow 2014 to be a new year with new adventures!

Photo Source: tweakyourbiz.com

19

May

5 Ways To Become A Smart, Yet Savvy Solo Traveler
A few months back, while heading back to Berks County on the bus for my grandmother’s birthday, I found myself reminiscing about the many trips (the good, the bad, and even the ugly) I’ve taken over the years.  Plane rides to and from Europe, train and bus rides up and down the East Coast, and even trolley rides around Philly always left me with unique, and sometimes disturbing, experiences to share.  At times, I was joined by friends and family, but most of the time, I was riding solo.  That realization got me to thinking… Do people really know how to travel alone? 
I understand that the notion of “learning to travel solo” sounds overly simplistic and appears to be a downright no-brainer.  However, it’s something most people do need to actively learn and above all, something you need to be smart about, whether we’re talking about business trips, vacations, your daily commute, or, in general, any type of travel that doesn’t involve you cruising in your own vehicle.  While I know that practice makes perfect, I’ll start you off with a few solo travel tips that will keep disaster from striking during your travels (well, at least temporarily).
Be A Reasonable Packer: I will be the first person to admit that I am a habitual over-packer.  I go to the beach for a weekend trip and I bring a suitcase full of ten different outfits, jewelry, belts, you name it (of course, I wear less than half of the wardrobe I bring).  However, once I started to travel more and more by myself, I realized that there’s no way to comfortably fit a purse, suitcase, small bag, and you in one seat on the bus (And note to self: it’s highly frowned down upon when you only pay for one seat, but you occupy two seats with all of your luggage).  So, I advise that you think before you pack and as a general rule, if you can’t sit, stand, walk, pay for your ticket, etc. with your luggage, you probably shouldn’t have brought that much stuff. Downsizing in this economy isn’t just aimed toward companies…it’s for us travelers as well!
Keep Personal Items in View: In a perfect world, everyone would be honest, kind hearted, and wouldn’t hurt a fly.  Sadly, we don’t live in a world like that. Therefore, when traveling from city to city, country to country, or even throughout the suburbs, be sure to always have your belongings in view or a fellow traveler may help themselves to your luggage.  If you must hoist your suitcase up on a rack, make sure to place it on the rack across from your seat so you can keep a good eye on it.  While it’s terrible to think that anyone is capable of taking your belongings right out from under you, being a solo traveler opens you up to many more gutsy criminals.  As long as you’re strategic in placing your bags, you will have happy travels!
Use the Facilities Before Boarding: Now, I know this task may physically not be feasible for some people.  However, using the restroom before boarding is always a great idea regardless.  If you’re only taking a quick trip (say, from Reading to Philadelphia) and you have more than one bag, I would suggest trying to refrain from using the onboard bathroom. You become quite susceptible to theft when leaving your belongings at your seat to use the facilities.  If you must use the bathroom, bring your most valued possessions with you (a purse, laptop, cell phone, etc.) and leave those belongings, like clothing, that you can easily replace. Another option may be to ask a trustworthy-looking traveler to watch your luggage until you return (which make still be a bit risky…use your best judgment!).  
Have Your Ticket or Money in a Convenient Location: I cannot stress how important it is to have your ticket or money ready to go when boarding a plane, bus, train, and so on. Fumbling to find something in your purse or carry-on bag takes your attention away from your surroundings and your other baggage, which leaves you vulnerable to theft.  As a solution, make sure to keep all tickets and money in a front pants/shirt pocket, a front pocket of a purse or briefcase, or even in your hand.  Not only will you have less to worry about when boarding for your trip, but you will be one step closer to being a prepared and confident solo passenger.
Take A Cat Nap, With One Eye Open: I love napping when traveling and from what I’ve observed, so do most other travelers. However, sleeping can be the biggest reason for ending up in Harrisburg when you meant to get off in Trenton.  When traveling alone, you need to be your own travel buddy and be sure not to allow the sweet sounds of The Backstreet Boys (sorry…I grew up in the band boy era!) to lull you asleep for hours.  Make sure to get a full 8 hours the night before and cat nap in small increments. 
Happy Solo Traveling!
(Photo Soure: mysardinia.com)

5 Ways To Become A Smart, Yet Savvy Solo Traveler

A few months back, while heading back to Berks County on the bus for my grandmother’s birthday, I found myself reminiscing about the many trips (the good, the bad, and even the ugly) I’ve taken over the years.  Plane rides to and from Europe, train and bus rides up and down the East Coast, and even trolley rides around Philly always left me with unique, and sometimes disturbing, experiences to share.  At times, I was joined by friends and family, but most of the time, I was riding solo.  That realization got me to thinking… Do people really know how to travel alone?

I understand that the notion of “learning to travel solo” sounds overly simplistic and appears to be a downright no-brainer.  However, it’s something most people do need to actively learn and above all, something you need to be smart about, whether we’re talking about business trips, vacations, your daily commute, or, in general, any type of travel that doesn’t involve you cruising in your own vehicle.  While I know that practice makes perfect, I’ll start you off with a few solo travel tips that will keep disaster from striking during your travels (well, at least temporarily).

Be A Reasonable Packer: I will be the first person to admit that I am a habitual over-packer.  I go to the beach for a weekend trip and I bring a suitcase full of ten different outfits, jewelry, belts, you name it (of course, I wear less than half of the wardrobe I bring).  However, once I started to travel more and more by myself, I realized that there’s no way to comfortably fit a purse, suitcase, small bag, and you in one seat on the bus (And note to self: it’s highly frowned down upon when you only pay for one seat, but you occupy two seats with all of your luggage).  So, I advise that you think before you pack and as a general rule, if you can’t sit, stand, walk, pay for your ticket, etc. with your luggage, you probably shouldn’t have brought that much stuff. Downsizing in this economy isn’t just aimed toward companies…it’s for us travelers as well!

Keep Personal Items in View: In a perfect world, everyone would be honest, kind hearted, and wouldn’t hurt a fly.  Sadly, we don’t live in a world like that. Therefore, when traveling from city to city, country to country, or even throughout the suburbs, be sure to always have your belongings in view or a fellow traveler may help themselves to your luggage.  If you must hoist your suitcase up on a rack, make sure to place it on the rack across from your seat so you can keep a good eye on it.  While it’s terrible to think that anyone is capable of taking your belongings right out from under you, being a solo traveler opens you up to many more gutsy criminals.  As long as you’re strategic in placing your bags, you will have happy travels!

Use the Facilities Before Boarding: Now, I know this task may physically not be feasible for some people.  However, using the restroom before boarding is always a great idea regardless.  If you’re only taking a quick trip (say, from Reading to Philadelphia) and you have more than one bag, I would suggest trying to refrain from using the onboard bathroom. You become quite susceptible to theft when leaving your belongings at your seat to use the facilities.  If you must use the bathroom, bring your most valued possessions with you (a purse, laptop, cell phone, etc.) and leave those belongings, like clothing, that you can easily replace. Another option may be to ask a trustworthy-looking traveler to watch your luggage until you return (which make still be a bit risky…use your best judgment!).  

Have Your Ticket or Money in a Convenient Location: I cannot stress how important it is to have your ticket or money ready to go when boarding a plane, bus, train, and so on. Fumbling to find something in your purse or carry-on bag takes your attention away from your surroundings and your other baggage, which leaves you vulnerable to theft.  As a solution, make sure to keep all tickets and money in a front pants/shirt pocket, a front pocket of a purse or briefcase, or even in your hand.  Not only will you have less to worry about when boarding for your trip, but you will be one step closer to being a prepared and confident solo passenger.

Take A Cat Nap, With One Eye Open: I love napping when traveling and from what I’ve observed, so do most other travelers. However, sleeping can be the biggest reason for ending up in Harrisburg when you meant to get off in Trenton.  When traveling alone, you need to be your own travel buddy and be sure not to allow the sweet sounds of The Backstreet Boys (sorry…I grew up in the band boy era!) to lull you asleep for hours.  Make sure to get a full 8 hours the night before and cat nap in small increments.

Happy Solo Traveling!

(Photo Soure: mysardinia.com)

10

May

Allllll Aboarrrrrrd for National Train Day TOMORROW!
If I had to guess, I would assume that most people have no idea that National Train Day even exists (let alone that it’s on May 11th). To be completely honest, neither did I until I accidentally stumbled upon it as I was booking Amtrak train tickets for a weekend getaway. I soon realized that I would also be training it from one city to another on that very day (celebrating the unofficial official holiday without even knowing it!) while Train Day events were in full swing all throughout the country.
If you’ve never participated in Train Day and have some eager whippersnappers at home who love to climb, explore, and think trains are oh so cool, you, my friend, are in luck. Tomorrow, train stations throughout the U.S. are having FREE kids activities, giveaways, exhibits, private train tours, and so much more for families, teenagers, and train buffs alike. Not to mention, if your kids (or even you) haven’t taken a train ride, give them a reason to hop on the regional rail! Even if you only travel from Paoli to Philly’s 30th Street Station, the kids will love it and heck, they may actually learn something (but don’t tell them that!).
So, where are these train events taking place anyway? Check out the details below…

Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station

Event runs 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Great place to see the regional rail and Amtrak)


Distance from Reading, PA: about 1 hour, 10 minutes 


Transportation: Bieber Bus to Philadelphia; SEPTA Paoli/Thorndale Line to 30th Street Station (catch at the Paoli Station); SEPTA Bus from King of Prussia (124, 125) into Philadelphia


Millbourne Train Station: Event runs 8:30 AM to Noon (including bicycle parade, SEPTA Canine Unit demonstration, Safety Information, and a green bus); 
Distance from Reading, PA: about 1 hour, 10 minutes 

New Hope Train Station: Event runs 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Distance from Reading, PA: about 1 hour, 35 minutes

Cherry Hill Toy Train Emporium: Event runs 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Distance from Reading, PA: about 1 hour, 20 minutes

Will you be on a train tomorrow? You better believe I will be!
 
***National Train Day Official Website: http://www.nationaltrainday.com/s/#!/***
 
(Photo Source: Amtrak.com)

Allllll Aboarrrrrrd for National Train Day TOMORROW!


If I had to guess, I would assume that most people have no idea that National Train Day even exists (let alone that it’s on May 11th). To be completely honest, neither did I until I accidentally stumbled upon it as I was booking Amtrak train tickets for a weekend getaway. I soon realized that I would also be training it from one city to another on that very day (celebrating the unofficial official holiday without even knowing it!) while Train Day events were in full swing all throughout the country.

If you’ve never participated in Train Day and have some eager whippersnappers at home who love to climb, explore, and think trains are oh so cool, you, my friend, are in luck. Tomorrow, train stations throughout the U.S. are having FREE kids activities, giveaways, exhibits, private train tours, and so much more for families, teenagers, and train buffs alike. Not to mention, if your kids (or even you) haven’t taken a train ride, give them a reason to hop on the regional rail! Even if you only travel from Paoli to Philly’s 30th Street Station, the kids will love it and heck, they may actually learn something (but don’t tell them that!).

So, where are these train events taking place anyway? Check out the details below…

Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station

  • Event runs 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Great place to see the regional rail and Amtrak)

  • Distance from Reading, PA: about 1 hour, 10 minutes

  • Transportation: Bieber Bus to Philadelphia; SEPTA Paoli/Thorndale Line to 30th Street Station (catch at the Paoli Station); SEPTA Bus from King of Prussia (124, 125) into Philadelphia

Millbourne Train Station: Event runs 8:30 AM to Noon (including bicycle parade, SEPTA Canine Unit demonstration, Safety Information, and a green bus);

Distance from Reading, PA: about 1 hour, 10 minutes

New Hope Train Station: Event runs 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Distance from Reading, PA: about 1 hour, 35 minutes

Cherry Hill Toy Train Emporium: Event runs 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Distance from Reading, PA: about 1 hour, 20 minutes

Will you be on a train tomorrow? You better believe I will be!

 

***National Train Day Official Website: http://www.nationaltrainday.com/s/#!/***

 

(Photo Source: Amtrak.com)

28

Apr


6 Steps To Motion Sickness-Free Travel


A few months back, I embarked on a road trip to Baltimore (short, but it still counts!) with a few college friends in order to visit a mutual friend. Now, I must say…for years, I was in complete denial that I ever actually developed motion sickness. I made a million different excuses for getting sick, including my sister’s horrible driving, being anxious to fly, and even a woman’s nail polish stench on a bus ride to Atlantic City (I still can’t believe she thought an enclosed bus ride was the right time to touch up her polish). However, I finally realized that I was experiencing the traditional symptoms of motion sickness. And you know what I decided…I was going to fight it. 

I have outlined six ways that you can prevent motion sickness on all your journeys without having to compromise your vacation:


Opt for Medication: I am in no way promoting the use of over-the-counter medications, but personally, I make a point to stop at the drugstore prior to any long trips. I arm myself with a travel-sized bottle of less drowsy Dromamine (or a comparable sleeping aid) and am on my way. Just make sure to check with your doctor before adopting this method.



Keep Your Mind Occupied: It’s quite true that the more you try not thinking about something, the more you actually will keep thinking about it. So, in this case, you should try to keep your mind off of the possibility of motion sickness by busying yourself. My main suggestions are jamming to customized music playlists (road trip sing-a-longs, here we come!), having conversation (which is especially great when you haven’t seen your fellow travelers for quite some time), and doing a whole lot of laughing (yes, even laughing can certainly make the time fly!).



Sit Shotgun: Every single trip I embark on, I make sure that I always always always follow this rule. I do everything I can to sit at the front of the bus, trolley and even the car. While I may be one of the few people who love watching the road out of the bus’s front window while cruising down Route 422, it’s a small price to pay in order to keep your motion sickness at bay (trust me!).



Zzzzzz…. Sleeping through motion sickness is one of the best preventions (and most commonly practiced as well). Depending on which form of transportation you take, it can be difficult to recline in your seat (even though you’re dying to!). However, if it’s either motion sickness or sleeping, you will become a master at the art of sleeping while sitting straight up. Not to toot my own horn, but I am indeed an artist at this method. You could become one too!



Don’t Forget Your Peppermint: While I know that this is a remedy that has been around for decades, I’ve found that it really works! Popping a mint in your mouth or chewing gum can help settle your stomach and as an awesome bonus, can give you extra minty breath for when you reach your destination. Stock up on your peppermint candy of choice and hit the road!



Avoid Potent Odors: I cannot tell you how inconsiderate people are on subways, trains, planes, you name it. People bring the most disgusting foods and drinks on trips, without even considering that not every single person finds it so delicious (I love sushi as much as the next person, but I’d rather not smell it for the entire trolley ride home from work). A seat change is always preferable, but not always possible. When all else fails, try to use your sweetest smile and kindest voice to ask the owner of the odor to either put it away or dispose of it ASAP. 


Now get traveling…but leave that motion sickness at home!!
 
(Photo Source: Google Images)

6 Steps To Motion Sickness-Free Travel

A few months back, I embarked on a road trip to Baltimore (short, but it still counts!) with a few college friends in order to visit a mutual friend. Now, I must say…for years, I was in complete denial that I ever actually developed motion sickness. I made a million different excuses for getting sick, including my sister’s horrible driving, being anxious to fly, and even a woman’s nail polish stench on a bus ride to Atlantic City (I still can’t believe she thought an enclosed bus ride was the right time to touch up her polish). However, I finally realized that I was experiencing the traditional symptoms of motion sickness. And you know what I decided…I was going to fight it.

I have outlined six ways that you can prevent motion sickness on all your journeys without having to compromise your vacation:

Opt for Medication: I am in no way promoting the use of over-the-counter medications, but personally, I make a point to stop at the drugstore prior to any long trips. I arm myself with a travel-sized bottle of less drowsy Dromamine (or a comparable sleeping aid) and am on my way. Just make sure to check with your doctor before adopting this method.

Keep Your Mind Occupied: It’s quite true that the more you try not thinking about something, the more you actually will keep thinking about it. So, in this case, you should try to keep your mind off of the possibility of motion sickness by busying yourself. My main suggestions are jamming to customized music playlists (road trip sing-a-longs, here we come!), having conversation (which is especially great when you haven’t seen your fellow travelers for quite some time), and doing a whole lot of laughing (yes, even laughing can certainly make the time fly!).

Sit Shotgun: Every single trip I embark on, I make sure that I always always always follow this rule. I do everything I can to sit at the front of the bus, trolley and even the car. While I may be one of the few people who love watching the road out of the bus’s front window while cruising down Route 422, it’s a small price to pay in order to keep your motion sickness at bay (trust me!).

Zzzzzz…. Sleeping through motion sickness is one of the best preventions (and most commonly practiced as well). Depending on which form of transportation you take, it can be difficult to recline in your seat (even though you’re dying to!). However, if it’s either motion sickness or sleeping, you will become a master at the art of sleeping while sitting straight up. Not to toot my own horn, but I am indeed an artist at this method. You could become one too!

Don’t Forget Your Peppermint: While I know that this is a remedy that has been around for decades, I’ve found that it really works! Popping a mint in your mouth or chewing gum can help settle your stomach and as an awesome bonus, can give you extra minty breath for when you reach your destination. Stock up on your peppermint candy of choice and hit the road!

Avoid Potent Odors: I cannot tell you how inconsiderate people are on subways, trains, planes, you name it. People bring the most disgusting foods and drinks on trips, without even considering that not every single person finds it so delicious (I love sushi as much as the next person, but I’d rather not smell it for the entire trolley ride home from work). A seat change is always preferable, but not always possible. When all else fails, try to use your sweetest smile and kindest voice to ask the owner of the odor to either put it away or dispose of it ASAP.

Now get traveling…but leave that motion sickness at home!!

 

(Photo Source: Google Images)


11

Apr

The Doctor Is In…
And is taking travel questions! Where should I go for the Fourth of July? How can I plan a Disney vacation on a budget? What are the best travel rewards programs? If you have a travel question (whether small or large), I have an answer!
Either respond to this blog post or email me at schnaderm@gmail.com. I love getting emails from loyal readers!

The Doctor Is In…

And is taking travel questions! Where should I go for the Fourth of July? How can I plan a Disney vacation on a budget? What are the best travel rewards programs? If you have a travel question (whether small or large), I have an answer!

Either respond to this blog post or email me at schnaderm@gmail.com. I love getting emails from loyal readers!

Event Recommendation: National Cherry Blossom Festival

There’s still time to be part of The Nation’s Greatest Springtime Celebration, where you can take in the glorious scent of cherry blossoms (and I’m not talking about the smell of your Japanese Cherry Blossom body wash from Bath & Body Works)! While this weekend marks the end of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, you still have time to round up your girlfriends, purchase a round trip train ticket to Washington, D.C., pack your backpack (you know, the one you always meant to use for backpacking through Europe, but is still sitting in your closet untouched), lace up your most comfortable pair of sneakers (you’re going to need them!) and get your cherry blossom on!

Not only are the cherry blossoms themselves always an amazing site to see, but the festival is ridiculously packed with shows, tours, exhibits, and activities that somehow, some way will strike your fancy. Start your weekend off right by dancing the night away at theOfficial Coronation of the 2013 US Cherry Blossom Queen & Cherry Blossom Grand Ball, take a blossoms boat or bike tour in this beautiful spring weather, or surprise your sweetheart with a romantic “Monuments-by-Moonlight” Cruise upon a heated cruise ship. Who knew cherry blossoms could be so fun?!

Driving through metro-D.C. not your cup of tea? Here are some transportation alternatives that will get you there in one piece and ensure that all your hair is in tact when you arrive…

- Megabus (pick up in Philadelphia)
- Amtrak (pick up in Philadelphia, Paoli, Lancaster, and several other stations)
- Greyhound (pick up in Philadelphia, Pottstown, Norristown/King of Prussia, Allentown, Harrisburg and several other local stations)

Check out the National Cherry Blossom Festival Website before you get on the road:
http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/category/events/?filtered=1&event-type=&event-location=&date-from=2013-04-10&date-to=&hide-past=on

Event Recommendation: National Cherry Blossom Festival

There’s still time to be part of The Nation’s Greatest Springtime Celebration, where you can take in the glorious scent of cherry blossoms (and I’m not talking about the smell of your Japanese Cherry Blossom body wash from Bath & Body Works)! While this weekend marks the end of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, you still have time to round up your girlfriends, purchase a round trip train ticket to Washington, D.C., pack your backpack (you know, the one you always meant to use for backpacking through Europe, but is still sitting in your closet untouched), lace up your most comfortable pair of sneakers (you’re going to need them!) and get your cherry blossom on!

Not only are the cherry blossoms themselves always an amazing site to see, but the festival is ridiculously packed with shows, tours, exhibits, and activities that somehow, some way will strike your fancy. Start your weekend off right by dancing the night away at theOfficial Coronation of the 2013 US Cherry Blossom Queen & Cherry Blossom Grand Ball, take a blossoms boat or bike tour in this beautiful spring weather, or surprise your sweetheart with a romantic “Monuments-by-Moonlight” Cruise upon a heated cruise ship. Who knew cherry blossoms could be so fun?!

Driving through metro-D.C. not your cup of tea? Here are some transportation alternatives that will get you there in one piece and ensure that all your hair is in tact when you arrive…

- Megabus (pick up in Philadelphia)

- Amtrak (pick up in Philadelphia, Paoli, Lancaster, and several other stations)

- Greyhound (pick up in Philadelphia, Pottstown, Norristown/King of Prussia, Allentown, Harrisburg and several other local stations)

Check out the National Cherry Blossom Festival Website before you get on the road:

http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/category/events/?filtered=1&event-type=&event-location=&date-from=2013-04-10&date-to=&hide-past=on

20

Mar

Four (Untraditional) Couples Getaways
Both in celebration of my grandparents’ 63rd wedding anniversary (what an accomplishment!) and the recent buzz amongst my friends about “couples getaways”, I figured it was high time that I cater a bit to those twosomes out there that are itching to spend a weekend away. 
Now, don’t you worry…I won’t go completely lovey dovey on you (especially since Valentine’s Day won’t come around again for several months).  However, I believe it’s truly important for couples to get out of town and take a mini mental break from day to day life. 
To some, a weekend getaway may mean romance, sipping champagne, and walking on the beach at night while holding hands.  Yet, to others, it means riding the ferris wheel until you throw up, traveling through history in Gettysburg, or being the zoo keeper you always dreamt of being as a kid.  For those of you out there looking for an untraditional, yet still somewhat romantic getaway for you and your significant other, look no more. I have just a few recommendations, local and otherwise…
Jim Thorpe: A local gem that many couples (including my grandparents) absolutely rave about! While I’m sure that you and your better half could definitely find some relaxation and romance here, you can also find Murder Mystery weekends and wine tasting at The Harry Packer Mansion.  And after a long weekend of playing historian and snapping endless amount of photos, settle down for a quiet night at the Libations Lounge with a glass of fine wine and good conversation.
Las Vegas: If gambling away your whole life savings isn’t a perfect bonding event for couples, then I don’t know what is! Find some romance when taking in the spectacular sights of the Bellagio Fountains or some excitement when zipping through the New York-New York hotel on a rollercoaster.  And if that’s not “Vegas” enough for you, then I say either scamper your little behind up on the Coyote Ugly Saloon bar and prove that you’re Coyote-worthy or heck, even head to the chapel and get hitched! You know what they say…what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
Walt Disney World: Put down those expense reports, and pick up that crown!  From the spinning teacups and Disney princess breakfasts, to the authentic food in Epcot and posing with your all time favorite characters (I’m not ashamed to say mine is Mulan!), you and your beau will seriously question why you don’t become Magic Kingdom homeowners.And if you’re lucky, by the end of your long weekend, you’ll be singing “zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay, my, oh my what a wonderful day!”
A Winery: Must I specific which winery? As long as there’s wine and my significant other is “tasting” just as much wine as I am, I’m one happy gal.  For argument sake, however, some of the best wineries can be found in good old Berks County! From Pinnacle Ridge Winery to Blair Vineyards, the Berks County Wine Trail supplies you with eight different wineries that surely will strike your fancy. 
Here’s a toast to couples getaways!

(Photo Source: Google Images)

Four (Untraditional) Couples Getaways

Both in celebration of my grandparents’ 63rd wedding anniversary (what an accomplishment!) and the recent buzz amongst my friends about “couples getaways”, I figured it was high time that I cater a bit to those twosomes out there that are itching to spend a weekend away. 

Now, don’t you worry…I won’t go completely lovey dovey on you (especially since Valentine’s Day won’t come around again for several months).  However, I believe it’s truly important for couples to get out of town and take a mini mental break from day to day life. 

To some, a weekend getaway may mean romance, sipping champagne, and walking on the beach at night while holding hands.  Yet, to others, it means riding the ferris wheel until you throw up, traveling through history in Gettysburg, or being the zoo keeper you always dreamt of being as a kid.  For those of you out there looking for an untraditional, yet still somewhat romantic getaway for you and your significant other, look no more. I have just a few recommendations, local and otherwise…

Jim Thorpe: A local gem that many couples (including my grandparents) absolutely rave about! While I’m sure that you and your better half could definitely find some relaxation and romance here, you can also find Murder Mystery weekends and wine tasting at The Harry Packer Mansion.  And after a long weekend of playing historian and snapping endless amount of photos, settle down for a quiet night at the Libations Lounge with a glass of fine wine and good conversation.

Las Vegas: If gambling away your whole life savings isn’t a perfect bonding event for couples, then I don’t know what is! Find some romance when taking in the spectacular sights of the Bellagio Fountains or some excitement when zipping through the New York-New York hotel on a rollercoaster.  And if that’s not “Vegas” enough for you, then I say either scamper your little behind up on the Coyote Ugly Saloon bar and prove that you’re Coyote-worthy or heck, even head to the chapel and get hitched! You know what they say…what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

Walt Disney World: Put down those expense reports, and pick up that crown!  From the spinning teacups and Disney princess breakfasts, to the authentic food in Epcot and posing with your all time favorite characters (I’m not ashamed to say mine is Mulan!), you and your beau will seriously question why you don’t become Magic Kingdom homeowners.And if you’re lucky, by the end of your long weekend, you’ll be singing “zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay, my, oh my what a wonderful day!”

A Winery: Must I specific which winery? As long as there’s wine and my significant other is “tasting” just as much wine as I am, I’m one happy gal.  For argument sake, however, some of the best wineries can be found in good old Berks County! From Pinnacle Ridge Winery to Blair Vineyards, the Berks County Wine Trail supplies you with eight different wineries that surely will strike your fancy. 

Here’s a toast to couples getaways!

(Photo Source: Google Images)

04

Mar

"Brilliant!" Event Recommendation: The Philadelphia Flower Show
While I, by nature (no pun intended), am not an outdoorsy and plant-crazy kind of gal, I do enjoy an occasional trip to see some gorgeous flowers. When I say occasional, I mean once a year…at the Philadelphia Flower Show! The show theme is always interesting and the various exhibits are exquisite. Not to mention…the smell of those glorious flowers makes you feel like spring certainly has arrived (until you go outside and it’s flurrying).

This is definitely a perfect event to bring the family, your significant other, or even a couple of friends (mainly since there’s just so much to do). Partake in some wine tasting with your parents (I’m bringing my mother!), the first ever “Make & Take” crafts room with the kids, the Girls Night Out Theme Night with your girlfriends, or even the Wedding Wednesday theme night with your bride-to-be.

The Flower Show runs from March 2nd to March 10th and is located in the Pennslyvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Tickets can be bought online or at the door.

Side note…not in the mood to deal with all of that heavy city traffic and the outrageous parking fees? Take a look at the following websites that can make your trip hassle-free and oodles of fun!

PA Trips by Train: http://www.patripsbytrain.com/philadelphia-flower-show/ (closest stop to Reading would be the Paoli Train Station)

Bieber Bus “Philadelphia Flower Show” Featured Tour: http://www.biebertourways.com/Home.aspx (departs out of Reading and Kutztown)

SEPTA: http://septa.org/events/flower.html

Philadelphia Flower Show Official Website: http://theflowershow.com/index.php
 
Photo Source: Google Images

"Brilliant!" Event Recommendation: The Philadelphia Flower Show

While I, by nature (no pun intended), am not an outdoorsy and plant-crazy kind of gal, I do enjoy an occasional trip to see some gorgeous flowers. When I say occasional, I mean once a year…at the Philadelphia Flower Show! The show theme is always interesting and the various exhibits are exquisite. Not to mention…the smell of those glorious flowers makes you feel like spring certainly has arrived (until you go outside and it’s flurrying).

This is definitely a perfect event to bring the family, your significant other, or even a couple of friends (mainly since there’s just so much to do). Partake in some wine tasting with your parents (I’m bringing my mother!), the first ever “Make & Take” crafts room with the kids, the Girls Night Out Theme Night with your girlfriends, or even the Wedding Wednesday theme night with your bride-to-be.

The Flower Show runs from March 2nd to March 10th and is located in the Pennslyvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Tickets can be bought online or at the door.

Side note…not in the mood to deal with all of that heavy city traffic and the outrageous parking fees? Take a look at the following websites that can make your trip hassle-free and oodles of fun!

PA Trips by Train: http://www.patripsbytrain.com/philadelphia-flower-show/ (closest stop to Reading would be the Paoli Train Station)

Bieber Bus “Philadelphia Flower Show” Featured Tour: http://www.biebertourways.com/Home.aspx (departs out of Reading and Kutztown)

SEPTA: http://septa.org/events/flower.html

Philadelphia Flower Show Official Website: http://theflowershow.com/index.php

 

Photo Source: Google Images

22

Feb

Top 5 Picture Perfect Philly Spots
Throwing around ideas of where you and the family can go once this blistering cold weather says sayonara? Well, if my memory serves me, I think I have just the right spot to strike your fancy…
Rally up the troops (the kids, your significant other or even grandma!) and head to the City of Brotherly Love for a day…or two.  Set your sights on attractions like the Franklin’s Institute, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park, or travel through history at the Liberty Bell. 
If you travel like I travel, I keep a mental list of all the spots I definitely want to see and at times, I tend to have tunnel vision and solely focus on those attractions.  When I finally arrive home, I kick myself for not taking the time to strike a pose at some of Philadelphia’s coolest photo op spots.   To avoid the same mistakes and save you some precious time, allow me to clue you in on my top 5 picture perfect spots in Philly.  Don’t forget to smile!
Rittenhouse Square is one of the most gorgeous and happening parks in Philadelphia.  On any given day, you’ll see people of all ages in this Center City park walking their dogs, laying out on the crisp green grass, reading a good Nicholas Sparks novel, playing Frisbee, or if you’re lucky, participating in a flash dance mob (Yes, they do those in Philly too! I’ve witnessed one at the park and it was amazing!).  Huddle up with the family and capture a photo where Philly’s true beauty lies.
One attraction that is almost always hidden to ordinary tourists is the Benjamin Franklin Bench Statue in University City, which is in the western section of the city.  This statue is featured on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus and is exactly what it sounds like…Ben Franklin sitting on a bench!  Multiple times a day, tourists are spotted grabbing quick photo sessions with Ben before moving on their way.  So, whether you’re a history buff or not, being photographed with Ben Franklin definitely gives you bragging rights and an interesting tidbit to bring up at your next dinner party!
Picture this: A beautiful night sky, waterfront view, colorfully lit up Benjamin Franklin Bridge…Did I just describe the perfect nighttime photo opportunity or what?  And yes, ladies and gentlemen, this perfect spot exists in Philadelphia!  Penn’s Landing is the ultimate romantic “date night” spot for couples: young, old, or in between.  Spend some good old fashioned quality time with your sweetheart in a calm and quiet place while still enjoying the city!  
One thing you’ll definitely find in the City of Brotherly Love is LOVE! Can’t say for sure that you’ll find it in the air, but I can say that you’ll find it in the park! LOVE Park in Center City sits near City Hall and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway (it’s pretty hard to miss!).  It doesn’t have to be Valentine’s Day for you to gather ‘round the LOVE statue and show Philly some love!
Bring along your princes and princesses for the royal ride of their life! Their chariot awaits in Old City, where the horse-drawn carriages roam the cobble streets and gallop through Philadelphia history.  For 30 minutes (or more!), feel what it’s like to be royalty and see the city like you’ve never seen it before.  Make sure to take advantage of this photo opportunity and be reminded of this royal delight forever. 

Top 5 Picture Perfect Philly Spots

Throwing around ideas of where you and the family can go once this blistering cold weather says sayonara? Well, if my memory serves me, I think I have just the right spot to strike your fancy…

Rally up the troops (the kids, your significant other or even grandma!) and head to the City of Brotherly Love for a day…or two.  Set your sights on attractions like the Franklin’s Institute, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park, or travel through history at the Liberty Bell.

If you travel like I travel, I keep a mental list of all the spots I definitely want to see and at times, I tend to have tunnel vision and solely focus on those attractions.  When I finally arrive home, I kick myself for not taking the time to strike a pose at some of Philadelphia’s coolest photo op spots.   To avoid the same mistakes and save you some precious time, allow me to clue you in on my top 5 picture perfect spots in Philly.  Don’t forget to smile!

Rittenhouse Square is one of the most gorgeous and happening parks in Philadelphia.  On any given day, you’ll see people of all ages in this Center City park walking their dogs, laying out on the crisp green grass, reading a good Nicholas Sparks novel, playing Frisbee, or if you’re lucky, participating in a flash dance mob (Yes, they do those in Philly too! I’ve witnessed one at the park and it was amazing!).  Huddle up with the family and capture a photo where Philly’s true beauty lies.

One attraction that is almost always hidden to ordinary tourists is the Benjamin Franklin Bench Statue in University City, which is in the western section of the city.  This statue is featured on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus and is exactly what it sounds like…Ben Franklin sitting on a bench!  Multiple times a day, tourists are spotted grabbing quick photo sessions with Ben before moving on their way.  So, whether you’re a history buff or not, being photographed with Ben Franklin definitely gives you bragging rights and an interesting tidbit to bring up at your next dinner party!

Picture this: A beautiful night sky, waterfront view, colorfully lit up Benjamin Franklin Bridge…Did I just describe the perfect nighttime photo opportunity or what?  And yes, ladies and gentlemen, this perfect spot exists in Philadelphia!  Penn’s Landing is the ultimate romantic “date night” spot for couples: young, old, or in between.  Spend some good old fashioned quality time with your sweetheart in a calm and quiet place while still enjoying the city! 

One thing you’ll definitely find in the City of Brotherly Love is LOVE! Can’t say for sure that you’ll find it in the air, but I can say that you’ll find it in the park! LOVE Park in Center City sits near City Hall and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway (it’s pretty hard to miss!).  It doesn’t have to be Valentine’s Day for you to gather ‘round the LOVE statue and show Philly some love!

Bring along your princes and princesses for the royal ride of their life! Their chariot awaits in Old City, where the horse-drawn carriages roam the cobble streets and gallop through Philadelphia history.  For 30 minutes (or more!), feel what it’s like to be royalty and see the city like you’ve never seen it before.  Make sure to take advantage of this photo opportunity and be reminded of this royal delight forever.