Look what happened now...
Super short video from todays trip to the Casino.
At the Isleta Casino and Resort today!
The weather is much warmer today and look at that blue sky!
We took a road trip to the casino...
(No gambling pictures, but with a 30,000 square foot casino you can imagine what it was like!)
Going in for an impromptu afternoon of gambling and shopping!
It's not that far from my home, but with the winding mountain roads it takes about a half an hour to get there.
We had a nice time and I was still back home for chai at a decent hour. #WinWin
Speaking of winning, I won a bit on the slots. #GoMe!
And yes, I bought baby pumpkins while I was out, lol. (Do I know how to live or what??)
When I travel I spilt my time between Gite's (Holiday Homes owned by individuals) and hotels. Making the decision often comes down to the location and the length of stay.
When I stay in a hotel I choose a hotel chain that I am familiar with, if possible. If you have ever booked online, flew 10+ hours, boarded a train, cranky child in tow, only to get to your "Boutique" hotel to find it less than err, promised, then you learn quickly to always find a chain you can trust! And always, always stick with them!
Marriott is one of my favorite hotels, because no matter where you are in the world you are assured of the quality and a fair price. Plus with over 4,000 hotels in 70 countries you can easily earn rewards!
And those rewards can be used on hotel stays, flights, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages. #Win! But don't just take my word for it, Marriott Rewards is ranked No. 1 in the Best Hotel Rewards Programs by U.S. News. They evaluated 17 loyalty programs associated with major hotel brands across several indicators of excellence and not surprisingly Marriott won!
I also am a member of Wyndham Rewards Program. The hotel group's partnered with Amtrak and numerous air carriers also allows you to earn even more miles or points. You can earn points on car rentals, too, thanks to Wyndham's partnership with Avis and Budget. So points add up quickly and more points equal more trips!
And I'm a happy member of the IHG Rewards Club. With over 5,200 properties throughout 100 countries, you can find a room! Through the IHG Rewards Club, you can earn rewards within IHG's extensive network of hotels, including Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo and Staybridge Suites properties. I actually stay in IHG properties pretty regularly and am always happy with the hotel. Choose IHG for amenities and locations.
I'm a member of the Hilton Honors program, but rarely stay with them. Although I'm pretty sure I didn't get my point for my 5 day stay in NYC last February. Hmmm, need to send an email tonight.
My newest hotel rewards program- Stash Hotels
See, one time I was in New Jersey, (read about it here) and I booked through Hotwire. So it was an "unknown" hotel, (you learn the name after you pay on Hotwire). It ended up being a property owned by Stash Hotels. I signed up for the program on a whim, because I liked the staff and the hotel was very charming. Not what you might imagine when I say New Jersey, lol.
How many hotel rewards programs do you belong to? Do you have a favorite I didn't mention here?
I'm actually in the middle of planning a trip today and am trying to decide if I should stay in a Gite or Hotel? It's a solo trip so I don't need the extra room and I don't plan on cooking...So I guess I'm calling the Marriott!
See you at the airport!
I'm often asked how I find the best deals or the right transportation for those big, massive trips.
It's all in the planning.
Don't get me wrong I love an impromptu road trip as much as anyone, but being stuck in an unfamiliar country, in a tiny train station in the middle of the night with no phone service, no taxis and a small child isn't all that much fun, especially after a 11 hour flight. #TrueStory #LessonLearned
When I'm going to be staying for an extended amount of time (read months) in a foreign country I always do as much research as possible and plan ahead, booking as much as practical in advance. But even if you are just taking a week long holiday, it's wise to understand the culture and customs of the area you will be visiting. (And the Uber limits/cost of late night taxis.)
Also pre-booking usually cuts cost somewhat, leaving you with more money for shopping and dinning. #WinWin
Most people tell me that they would love to travel more, but seem at a loss as where to begin. What about you? Are you overwhelmed by it all?
Start with these simple steps and enjoy the process.
Now get planning! There is a whole, wide world out there just waiting to be explored!
See you at the airport~
I started blogging about ABQ and my local adventures with guest here. Then got swamped at work and totally forgot to finish. #FML
Anyway, one of the places we visited was the Islets Pueblo. I didn't take many pictures because we were too busy laughing and having fun. #Truestory But, I had business on the reservation the other day and popped into the casino/resort for a coffee. (Okay, and some light slot playing.) So I thought I would file this under "Local Adventures ABQ".
Here is your history lesson for today:
I love all the native displays and artifacts. These seems to change out regularly too, so there is more than just shopping and slots here.
I think I've been to this casino 3 times? It is on my list to take people when they visit me. We usually go during the week, in the middle of the day. It breaks up a day of sight seeing natural wonders or shopping. The casino hasn't been crowded when I've been there and the people are super friendly, just like the rest of New Mexico. I guess I should mention the casino is very clean and modern, not like some of the cheesy casinos you see in Vegas, thank God.
The resort is on FB if you want to know more.
So after leaving Iceland (Insert sobbing because I didn't want to leave) we went to back New York for a few days more days. (Read about the January trip here.) It was a non stop, pleasant night flight from Iceland to JFK.
When we arrived in NYC it was much colder than in Iceland and a huge storm was on the way. We left NYC a few days later just as the blizzard was hitting the East coast. Well actually we left 4 hours before they shut the airports down due to the blizzard hitting full force! #Goodtiming
And then back across town to the hotel. I have video of the cab ride, but it's pretty blurry. So use your imagination...NYC at night is really cool.
Another amazing day and a new adventure begins!
As promised, I'm answering some of the questions I have been recently asked about Iceland.
Everyone sees things differently, but I find that if you are positive and open to new experiences, the results will usually be positive as well. That said, I am by no means an expert, but this was what I have learned from my most recent trip.
These are the questions I have been asked the most:
"1. How are you standing the cold???"
We are doing fine, thanks for asking.
We took too many clothes, but what else is new? The key seems to be layering. Once you understand the simplicity of layers, it becomes easy to stay warm and move back and forth from walking around along the shore line, to sitting in a cafe, comfortably.
"How many hours did it take you to get there? Did you fly or cruise? "
The trip started HERE if you want to see some of what I did along the way.
I think it took 4+ hours to get to New York. There are 2 time changes along the way and I slept some of the way. The flight from NYC to Iceland was right at 6 hours. It is actually a shorter trip from NYC to Iceland than NYC to LAX. #WTF?
Reykjavik is on London time, so yes I did have jet lag. But it was okay, because so much here happens at night. People are up and roaming around, going on northern light tours and eating. #GoodTimes
Speaking of eating, Question #3:
"What gross stuff do they eat that you wouldn't touch?"
Answer: Are you kidding me? I'm a mostly raw Vegan. I wouldn't touch what MOST of the world eats. So thats a mute point, but what a funny question, huh?
Here are my findings on food:
"Is the airport close to town? Which airport did you fly into?"
Answer: No, it's not close to town, we flew into Keflavík International Airport.
From there we took a FLYBUS straight to the hotel. Buy tickets on line or at the airport. It cost around $82USD for a round trip for two people. They are also Reykjavik Excursions and run most of the tours.
I found the bus company to be safe, clean and the best bet from what I saw and heard from other people. We took a couple of tours with them. (See more of my Iceland posts)
Mostly everyone with the company spoke English and was helpful.
Headed to the hotel.
And speaking of the buses - you might wanna note: I only heard of one bus that had a restroom/WC. So prepare for that.
I hope that answered a few of your questions. I really, really am enjoying my time here! Next time I'm sure we will stay longer and rent a holiday house and perhaps a car. Unless you take a tour bus thats the only way to see some of the sites here. There is so much unspoiled beauty! But you have to get out of town to see it. So keep that in mind when planning your trip. Traffic wasn't horrible, but is somewhat congested in the cities.
Did I mention my American cell phone worked here?
I was going to purchase a sims card, but when I saw that I had service - I did not bother. The rate was 20cents (American) a min. to talk, with free texts and free internet service. #WIN! I'm using the new Iphone and couldn't have been happier.
Ok - I'm off to explore more.
Catch you later-
How are things? I promise we will get back to the Thankfulness challenge shortly, if you missed any of it click here to catch up.
In the meantime I recently went on a 10 day road trip. Yeah! It was GREAT to be back traveling again! I took a few pictures, and am in the process of editing them, but before I write up a HUGE post I wanted to share with you a bit about a hotel I stayed in.
See, one of the biggest surprises of this trip was this hotel. I wasn't expecting much. I really was thinking I should have booked a "better" place, but when we arrived...I was very happy to see it was above my expectations. I booked sight unseen via Hotwire.
I have more pictures of the room and of course some of our adventures. I will tell you the name in the next post, because I need to check the bill for more info.
We actually went BACK there on the return trip, but it was booked FULL. Which I can understand - low price and uber clean, big rooms, I'm sure its booked most nights.
Look for more about it in a full post soon!
It's the end of another month and I'm packing up for a weekend road trip. #Excited!
But before we dive into March Madness, lets close the books on February.
So here are the "Most clicked on" blog posts of Feb 2016. They may not be the BEST but for some reason people read them more than others. WTF? I don't know why. But if you missed anything here, please do catch up, as the year is only gonna get wilder!
#1 most read post was:
Fun in February - A post mostly of #Tacos and other Vegan fun in Austin, Texas.
Missing Nola - Super short post of me crying about not being in New Orleans in, like 4ever!
Different is Cool - Old ass post of a funky cool Hotel in France.
Daily - A post showing more or less what I do when I'm not working. Hanging out at the organic produce section, the joys of drive thru banking, etc. Random as hell, but with pictures.
Juice Junkie - Post on juicing and the benefits of and weather updates. (What was I thinking?)
There were a few really good posts that didn't make the "most clicked" list. I think I need to up my title writing game. Click here to explore more of the oddness that is my life. I really thought my bitching posts about being stalked (I am so over that shite) and being bombed with FB requests would make the cut? I guess I really do need to work on those snappy titles..
I'm almost sorted for the weekend road trip now, so off you go.,,,
Catch you later-
We spent a few days (and I worked) in New Jersey right after we arrived from England. I am always surprised at how nice, warm and friendly the people are. 'Jersey gets a bad rap in popular culture, but it's a lovely place to visit.
Pretty, right? Not what you would except.
And I was very surprised and HAPPY to see a Keurig in the hotel room! Hello Coffee!
Welcome to my travel blog, my healthy Vegan lifestyle blog and my life! It's a lot, but it's my passions and I just love to write about it. Here I share tips, stories and photos from my adventures and life. This is the place where people can find daily inspiration to travel and motivation to live healthier lives and laugh a bit too!
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