When I was a Girl Scout, we were taught about recycling and saving water. Full of my righteous knowledge of how to save the earth, I would nag family members at home if they left lights on or faucets running too long. Here we are, 30 years later, and life hasn't changed. ...more
Ok, I’ll admit it. I bitched and moaned about waiting in the heat for the bus. Once you got on, it wasn’t bad when the air-conditioning was working. But this morning, I had a shocker….
I know, advocate for fall and cooler weather that I am, I was willing to embrace the new season..I just forget the extra volume of school kids on a bus. I leave early in the morning and they are STILL on the bus.Before you say it, yes, I was a kid on a bus once a century ago, but…
I MISS MY TRAIN!
Whether it be on foot or a bike, pedestrianism can be an enjoyable way to commute. Friends and family balked in the past at my decision to forego driving to walk most places, but now many people commend me for saving money - and staying fit....more
Image Credit: Lili RahmatiWhen it comes to international travel, Paris is consistently mentioned as the top desination (or amongst the top) favored amongst global travelers. Paris means different things to different people as each visitor extracts meaning and value from their own unique experiences in this great city.Paris is a source of constant artistic inspiration for me given that I've found my creative passion through the pursuit of black & white fine art film photography. When I need to recharge and renew given the demands of running my core business, my vacation plans always include a stop in this amazing city. Each visit to Paris reveals something to me artistically which had gone unnoticed the time before. Having spent many days and weeks at a time exploring its splendor on foot hoping to capture those special moments on film, I've established an intimate relationship with the city so much so that I feel increasingly at home during each of my visits.As I have learned first-hand through my own experiences traveling to Paris (and across Europe), despite the strength of the Euro compared with the dollar, it is absolutely possible to enjoy Paris without breaking the bank. One need not stay at Hotel de Crillon nor dine at Le Cinq to experience the magic and charm that Paris has to offer. As long as you do a bit of planning, keep an open attitude and maintain a sense of adventure, you can enjoy every moment of your time in Paris while traveling on a budget. GETTING THERE: Many travelers flock to Europe during the summer as a result of their children's summer break from school. If you don't have these constrants and can be flexible with your travel schedule, try to travel either in the Spring or the Fall. Not only is the weather much better, the cities aren't nearly as crowded, and the airfares are much more reasonable as both of these seasons are considered to be "low season" as far as travel to Paris is concerned. Also, when booking international airfare, do your research via the aggregator sites (Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, others) as well as with the airlines directly. Often you'll find very attractive deals offered exclusively by the airlines long before that flight inventory is released to the aggregator sites so it can pay to be patient and to shop around. Yapta is a great tool to use since it enables you to monitor price fluctuations in your desired itinerary via instant email notifications once prices have fallen to your desired price level. The site also has deals in place with specific airlines which have agreed to refund customers if the price of the flight falls below what they've already paid. You can usually get the best discounts on international travel if you book at least 21 to 60 days in advance - the early bird definitely gets the airline discount worm.STAYING THERE:Hotels and B&B's are an obvious choice but if you're more of a self-sufficient and adventurous traveler seeking to have a more authentic experience in Paris, apartment rental is the way to go. The best deals are to be had with at least a week's stay, which when compared with the nightly rate at the most moderate level hotel, usually come out way ahead. The best web resources are those inside France though they're published exclusively in French so if you aren't able to read, speak, or write French fluenty, this might not be the best option for you. No need to fear as there are numerous English-language options. VRBO is probably the most popular and most reputable of the English-language sites and the best part about using it is that you deal directly with the owner of the vacation home with respect to availability, price, security deposit, amenities, etc. Each Parisian vacation rental property will be managed differently but usually the rate will include WiFi, free international calling, bedding, bath & kitchen supplies as well as a cleaning (at least 1 time during the week but more depending on the specific conract/property). Imagine walking down to the local boulangerie & fromagerie and coming back to your own apartment each morning to enjoy your breakfast or cook in your own kitchen just as a local Parisian would do. You'll never be able to replicate that experience when you stay in a hotel, no matter how luxurious it might be....more
Better weather is finally here, and more people are getting out on their bikes! I know, there are plenty of articles out there with tips for beginners. But I've been pondering things that I wish I had known when I started bicycling again....more
Before we headed out on the road with our trailer (getting close to two years ago now), we sold most of what we owned, and traded two smaller vehicles for one big-ass truck. It made sense at the time. ...more
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