Archive for the ‘Explore’ Category

Lisbon | Can’t Wait To Go | Again?

Friday, August 18th, 2017

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November 18th flying with the kids to visit this beautiful city.  The city of 7 hills.  Where Chantal is allowed to have a German beer on the flight legally.  Where tags own the back alleyways and the little Natas are everywhere.  A city where everyone eats dinner at 9pm.

Can’t wait to go with them.  I’m sure we will make a movie.  I’m sure we will stay up late too each night.

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Pending List3 | #98 of 101 | Visit Europe With My Kids | Lisbon Portugal

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

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Little iPod video above about Portugal… that I made last year… since I wanted to take them but my ex derailed those plans… so now it’s back on.

Let’s go!!

This Summer… I was to fly there with Noah in Aug and that got derailed by the ex.  That might be it’s own blog post.  Bottom line is she agreed to let them both go in Nov so I moved the remaining vacation days to Nov to fly and take them both to Lisbon and most likely Spain.

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view of Portofino - beautiful town of Ligurian coast, Italy

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The “Don’t Tell Mom Summer Series” is taking the show on the road this November.

Portugal juts out into the Atlantic in the far southwest of Europe otherwise known as the Iberian Peninsula. The only country it shares a border with it’s buddy Spain to the north and the east, with the Atlantic Ocean hugging its 800km coastline to the south and west.

European Portuguese is spoken in Portugal.  Population: 10.6 million.

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This year… I want to take advantage of my flight benefits at work.  If I price out a trip to Lisbon it would cost around $3,000 return for the 2 of us.  With my benefits at work, the two of us can fly at cost.  We need to take the “show” on the road and explore something that is new to all of us.

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We would get to fly on our planes From Toronto to Germany and a little smaller flight over to Lisbon.   On the way back… we might take a train up the coast to Porto, Portugal and fly out of that city after exploring it.  The train up the coast will take about 3 hours.

Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS) is located 7km (4 miles) north from Lisbon city centre, close to the Parque das Nações district.  It take about 15 minutes to get by taxi into Lisbon from the airport.

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One of the trendiest capital cities in Europe, it gets lauded for everything from its affordability and its waterfront location to its well-preserved looks and its near-constant pleasant temperatures.  Sunshine and scenery aren’t all it offers, of course – you’ll also find several millennia of history, a compact centre well suited for us to explore the streets. Unfurled across a series of hills and stitched together by a web of atmospheric backstreets.

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With AirBnb we can find a great place to stay for the week that is right in the city.

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We could rent a car and head up the coast to Algarve show below to explore the coastline.

Quiet cove at Praia da Marinha, Algarve, Portugal

Quiet cove at Praia da Marinha, Algarve, Portugal

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I know the kids want to hit the beaches and play in the ocean.

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Beautiful beach of Setubal in Portugal

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I asked Chantal if she thinks she could eat the food in Lisbon.  She asked me if they have McDonalds.  I told her I would check.  She thinks if they can have one in China then they will have one in Lisbon.

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There is a couple.  But I think this will be a good trip for her to try new foods since there is some good places that serve more of a North American menu.  I hope we are not going to McDonalds every day.

Practice Chantal!!!  Practice eating other foods!  😉

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I’m sure if we walk around we can find some places to eat at.  We can also cook a little in our flat also.   Lisbon has some great points of interest to visit like Museums, one of the largest indoor Aquarium in Europe, Belem Tower, Sao Jorge Castle and Castle of the Moors which is about 30 min’s away and worth a day trip and it’s shown in the two pictures below:

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Another stop on that day trip would be Pena Palace that is close by to the Castle.  The Palace is shown below:

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Another attraction in the Sintra district – and another that’s been named one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal – this Romanticist palace is a jaw-dropping attraction sat high on a hilltop.

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Lisbon View in Portugal - Messagez.com

The Pacific Coast Trail

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

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i honestly don’t know if i could complete such a journey.  i could not imagine what it would be like to complete this.

This is not a beautiful hiking video | A Pacific Crest Trail Thru-Hike from Peter H on Vimeo.

“This is not a beautiful hiking video. It’s more about heat, pain, hunger, mountains, lakes, sweat, dirt, freedom, and friendship. Actually, it’s about walking. A long distance. For a long time.”

Watch Peter’s journey on the PCT above.

Below watch a great little 40min doc.  It’s inspiring.  I could not imagine hiking it in 4-6 months and push yourself.  I would love to have the chance to hike it with my kids but realistically that is almost impossible.  How someone pushes hard and then over time gains more mental and physical strength to complete such a journey.

Ben Brown | Visual Vibes

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

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Mr. Ben Brown and Nicole are two vloggers that are pretty wild to follow.  Ben does these little visual vibes when he takes the footage and drops it into one video.  You can subscribe to him on YouTube.  I wanted to share his Arctic Visual Vibes below.  Love how it’s captured.

 

 

Fly Anywhere | Anytime | Forever

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

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IN THE early 1980s, American Airlines, strapped for cash, decided to start selling passes for unlimited first-class travel for life. At the time, the passes cost $250,000 (around $600,000 in today’s dollars), with a companion ticket available for an extra $150,000 and discounts for older people. The Los Angeles Times explains what happened next:

There are frequent fliers, and then there are people like Steven Rothstein and Jacques Vroom.

Both men bought tickets that gave them unlimited first-class travel for life on American Airlines. It was almost like owning a fleet of private jets.

Passes in hand, Rothstein and Vroom flew for business. They flew for pleasure. They flew just because they liked being on planes. They bypassed long lines, booked backup itineraries in case the weather turned, and never worried about cancellation fees. Flight crews memorized their names and favorite meals.

Each had paid American more than $350,000 for an unlimited AAirpass and a companion ticket that allowed them to take someone along on their adventures. Both agree it was the best purchase they ever made, one that completely redefined their lives.

In the 2009 film “Up in the Air,” the loyal American business traveler played by George Clooney was showered with attention after attaining 10 million frequent flier miles.

Rothstein and Vroom were not impressed.

“I can’t even remember when I cracked 10 million,” said Vroom, 67, a big, amiable Texan, who at last count had logged nearly four times as many. Rothstein, 61, has notched more than 30 million miles.

But all the miles they and 64 other unlimited AAirpass holders racked up went far beyond what American had expected. As its finances began deteriorating a few years ago, the carrier took a hard look at the AAirpass program.

Heavy users, including Vroom and Rothstein, were costing it millions of dollars in revenue, the airline concluded.

The AAirpass system had rules. A special “revenue integrity unit” was assigned to find out whether any of these rules had been broken, and whether the passes that were now such a drag on profits could be revoked.

Rothstein, Vroom and other AAirpass holders had long been treated like royalty. Now they were targets of an investigation.

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When American introduced the AAirpass in 1981, it saw a chance to raise millions of dollars for expansion at a time of record-high interest rates.

It was, and still is, offered in a variety of formats, including prepaid blocks of miles. But the marquee item was the lifetime unlimited AAirpass, which started at $250,000. Pass holders earned frequent flier miles on every trip and got lifetime memberships to the Admirals Club, American’s VIP lounges. For an extra $150,000, they could buy a companion pass. Older fliers got discounts based on their age.

“We thought originally it would be something that firms would buy for top employees,” said Bob Crandall, American’s chairman and chief executive from 1985 to 1998. “It soon became apparent that the public was smarter than we were.”

The unlimited passes were bought mostly by wealthy individuals, including baseball Hall-of-Famer Willie Mays, America’s Cup skipper Dennis Conner and computer magnate Michael Dell.

Mike Joyce of Chicago bought his in 1994 after winning a $4.25-million settlement after a car accident.

In one 25-day span this year, Joyce flew round trip to London 16 times, flights that would retail for more than $125,000. He didn’t pay a dime.

“I love Rome, I love Sydney, I love Athens,” Joyce said by phone from the Admirals Club at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. “I love Vegas and Frisco.”

Rothstein had loved flying since his years at Brown University in Rhode Island, where he would buy a $99 weekend pass on Mohawk Air and fly to Buffalo, N.Y., just for a sandwich.

He bought his AAirpass in 1987 for his work in investment banking. After he added a companion pass two years later, it “kind of took hold of me,” said Rothstein, a heavyset man with a kind smile.

He was airborne almost every other day. If a friend mentioned a new exhibit at the Louvre, Rothstein thought nothing of jetting from his Chicago home to San Francisco to pick her up and then fly to Paris together.

In July 2004, for example, Rothstein flew 18 times, visiting Nova Scotia, New York, Miami, London, Los Angeles, Maine, Denver and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., some of them several times over. The complexity of such itineraries would stump most travelers; happily for AAirpass holders, American provided elite agents able to solve the toughest booking puzzles.

They could help AAirpass customers make multiple reservations in case they missed a flight, or nab the last seat on the only plane leaving during a snowstorm. Some say agents even procured extra elbow room by booking an empty seat using a phony name on companion passes.

“I’d book it as Extra Lowe,” said Peter Lowe, a motivational speaker from West Palm Beach, Fla. “They told me how to do it.”

Vroom, a former mail-order catalog consultant, used his AAirpass to attend all his son’s college football games in Maine. He built up so many frequent flier miles that he’d give them away, often to AIDS sufferers so they could visit family. Crew members knew him by name.

“There was one flight attendant, Pierre, who knew exactly what I wanted,” Vroom said. “He’d bring me three salmon appetizers, no dessert and a glass of champagne, right after takeoff. I didn’t even have to ask.”

Creative uses seemed limitless. When bond broker Willard May of Round Rock, Texas, was forced into retirement after a run-in with federal securities regulators in the early 1990s, he turned to his trusty AAirpass to generate income. Using his companion ticket, he began shuttling a Dallas couple back and forth to Europe for $2,000 a month.

“For years, that was all the flying I did,” said May, 81. “It’s how I got the bills paid.”

In 1990, the airline raised the price of an unlimited AAirpass with companion to $600,000. In 1993, it was bumped to $1.01 million. In 1994, American stopped selling unlimited passes altogether.

Cable TV executive Leo Hindery Jr. bought a five-year AAirpass in 1991, with an option to upgrade to lifetime after three years. American later “asked me not to convert,” he said. “They were gracious. They said the program had been discontinued and if I gave my pass back, they’d give me back my money.”  (CLICK BELOW TO OPEN REST OF ARTICLE)

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Trip To Nova Scotia | July 2016

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

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Such a fun trip to take the kids down to Nova Scotia for a week and visit with family and explore a bit of the South Shore.  Created a little video made up of little quick video clips shot with my cracked iPod and brought into iMovie to make a little keepsake of the trip.  I will add some more images into this blog post shortly.