Tag Archives: travel

Travelling to Orlando

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up early at 8:15 am on September 27, 2012.  Ivan packed his backpacks up.  We had a boiled egg at the apartment.

We got the bus to the train station and then took the metro to the airport.

Ivan and I shared a mushroom pizza and a pretzel.  Lil Dave had a banana pizza. 

Today, we were traveling to Orlando, but we had one stopover.  Our plane left Munich at 12:15 pm headed to Philadelphia. 

The plane arrived at 3:30 pm.  We proceeded to Immigration and then had to collect our luggage and then drop them off.

Ivan and I each got a vegetable burrito.  I was feeling like a zombie since our flight was almost 9 hours long.

The plane left Philadelphia at 6:30 pm and we arrived at 8:35 pm in Orlando, Florida.

There was a free shuttle to Marriott, but Ivan was too tired to wait for it.  We got a taxi to the Marriott Orlando Airport hotel.  The area we’re staying at has lots of hotels and restaurants.

We walked to Denny’s for dinner.  Ivan and I each got the vegetable skillet which has veggies, eggs, spinach and potatoes. 

We watched some tv for awhile and then went to sleep early at 10:30 pm.

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90’s Synchronized Tea Game

On August 30, 2012, Ivan and I headed to the top deck where the sports are at Sports Square.  We wanted to check out the Dodgeball.  Lil Dave had already gone to catch the Banana Toss game (not sure what that involves, but I’m sure the monkeys love it!).

The stupid football (soccer) was still going on.. so I guess the entertainment host forgot about the Dodgeball so the stupid men could play more football.

Today, was a sea day so there was lots to do on the cruise ship.

It was time for some brunch.  We headed down to the Punchliner Comedy Brunch.  The next two comedians on board were both British. 

Ivan had the tomato soup and an omelette with vegetables.  I got eggs benedict with salmon instead of ham – I had to create it myself since I confused the waiter and he brought me smoked salmon on the side. 

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We heard one of the comedians Tom Pepper who wasn’t very funny at all.  We didn’t think he’d be very good – but you never know so we’ll check him out at the comedy club tonight.

We talked to Noonan (comedy club host) who we’ve become friends with. He’s a cool guy. He’s actually a cruise director and he’s learning the Mediterranean route since he’ll be cruise director of the upcoming Carnival Sunshine.

 Ivan and I had more food later on – we tried the burritos which you can customize. 

It was time for the pool.  Ivan thought I should try to enter the Synchronized Swimming (I always tried to mimic synchronized swimming when I was a kid swimming in our pool).  But, we came too late.  It was a group of women vs. a group of men.  The groups were taken to a different area to learn their choreographed synchronized swimming routine.

We watched The Game of Love hosted by the cruise director Butch.  It’s where they find a newlywed couple, a couple married like 20 years and then the couple married the longest like 50 years.  It’s like the newlywed game where they answer a series of questions and see if their answers match up.  Butch made up some things to make it funnier.  I wanted to go on stage but Ivan didn’t want to – I think he was too scared.  It was a good show.

It was time for Tea Time.  We were sat at a table for six people.  Christa was seated next to us (we met her the other day at the Punchliner’s Comedy Brunch).  It’s funny how you run into people during the cruise ship.  Sometimes it takes awhile to remember where you met them or saw them on the ship.  We talked about traveling.  She also told us about a site called The Travellers Century where people try to visit 100 countries or more.  Ivan wants to try to do it. 

Later, we checked out the Harry Potter trivia game.  It was really hard.. I love Harry Potter, but I don’t remember EVERY little detail in all 7 books and all the movies.

We stayed for the Name the 90’s song game.  I did pretty good getting 14 out of 20 – but somebody beat me by getting 18.  

It was time to check out the rope course.  It’s where they put a harness on you that’s hooked up to a bar at the top, so you can’t fall.  But, of course it’s high and your mind tricks you since you’re afraid you’re going to fall.  If you do fall, you’re going to be hooked up still. 

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It’s still scary, but it’s fun.  I did a lot better than the last time I did this on a Carnival cruise ship.. I didn’t hold on as much.

Ivan and I went down the water slides a few times.  My favorite is the Twister.  Ivan really likes the Drainpipe and usually does two revolutions on it while I usually end up hitting my head and going around only once. 

It was time to chill out in the jacuzzi.  The jacuzzis are usually really hot.

We went to see the Divas show where the playlist production did many songs by divas like Christina Applegate, Beyonce, Brittany Spears, Lady Gaga and Madonna.  It was a great show – but I really do miss the live band.  I guess it would be hard to have a live band since the stage changes a lot with the big LED screens.  The LED screens are great since they can easily create scenes for the numerous shows that are performed during a cruise. 

Since we went to the show we went to dinner late.  Since I was off our pescetarian diet (since sometimes I do crave meat), I decided to get the prime rib. 

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I forgot to mention, but we always take all the stairs on our cruises.  It lets us eat a lot and not have to go to the gym for an hour which is usually pretty boring.

After dinner, we went to see the 10:45 pm comedy show.  Tom Pepper was horrible just like we predicted.  He was a man in his 50’s and old men usually aren’t that funny.  John Lory came on next and he was quite mad and so very funny.

Ivan and I love the towel animals we get when they turn down the room for the night.  Tonight, we got an elephant wearing my sunglasses with our chocolates.  

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How cute!

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Off to Ibiza

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up at 9:40 am on July 5, 2012.  We packed everything up and left the Airbnb apartment in Limehouse. We don’t think the lady who owned the house liked us too much – she seemed rather keen to ‘get the door for us’ as we were heading on the way out. I think its because every time she looked in our room it was in a mess- well not messy in our eyes, but messy compared to the rest of their ‘everything has its place’ flat.

On the way to the airport, we went to the Wahaca located in the Westfield mall in Stratford.  Ivan and I shared lots of great Mexican food like broad ben and feta burrito, guacamole and a big salad.  Lil Dave had a banana burrito. It was all really tasty and made a nice change from standard Mexican fare.

We headed to the bus headed for the airport.  We had to wait awhile until the 3 pm bus.  The bus left at 3 pm.  There’s free wi-fi on the bus, but for some reason it stopped working after a few minutes.

At the airport, we had to try to get our luggage to be 15 kg – we only had one suitcase between two of us.  We transferred lots of stuff to our carry-on, but we still had too much.  We ended up paying for the extra weight…..not a good start to our Ibiza vacation…

We boarded the plane and left at 5:20 pm.  Ivan and I didn’t sit by each other since the flight was sold out.  I ended up sitting in between an English guy and a South African guy.  The plane was filled mostly of British people…just like Ibiza really….

I tried to sleep, but I couldn’t for some reason.  I kept reading Now You See Her by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge.  It’s so good, I couldn’t stop reading it!  I was trying to think of ideas for a book.  I would love to write a book, maybe a detective novel.

I’ve never seen so many people drink on a plane.  Girls were singing and saying ‘Woo Woo’ like people do in nightclubs.  It was a party plane.  Most of the plane clapped when the plane landed.  I’m just glad we didn’t land early or the stupid horse finishing music would play – Ryanair always plays it to congratulate themselves for being on time. 

Our plane arrived at 8:50 pm with Spain being an hour ahead. 

Immigration was easy for the Brits – the officers were looking that their passport was EU and just waved them through without stamping it.  I’m surprised the Spanish were even awake to stamp passports – usually we land in Spain and there’s nobody at the Customs booth.  I had to wait in the No EU line which wasn’t long.  The officer didn’t even say anything to me.  He just took my passport stamped it and then scanned it.  I would have done it the other way around.. but no biggie. 

Ivan already got our luggage so we headed outside to find the bus waiting area.  Unfortunately, the next bus to San Antonio wouldn’t be coming for 30 minutes.  Ivan thought we should take a taxi cab instead.  A guy asked if we were headed to San Antonio as well.  We said yes and he asked if we could share a cab.

So, we got a cab to San Antonio.  The guy was from Tenerife, but he lived in Kent, England.  He was speaking to the cab driver in Spanish, and spoke to him like he was a long lost friend who had lots of catching up to do …oh if only we understood Spanish!

We checked in to our room at Hostal Mari.  It was a basic room with free wi-fi. 

We got ready and then headed out for dinner. 

We walked down West End street which is filled with young people and so many bars.  I saw lots of muscles and scantily clad British girls.

We walked along the water and found Stephan.  I’m sure we’ve been here before.  Ivan and I each got the special of seafood paella with sangria. 

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The paella was lovely!

We walked around Ibiza recognizing all the places from last time like Café Mambo and the square where we watched Spain win the World Cup.  It was lovely night with great weather.  So many girls where really short shorts showing their butt cheeks.  Some shouldn’t be wearing them.  I felt overdressed. 

We headed back to the hotel to get some rest.

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Frankfurt Tour

Hi ho, Jennifer here!  Ivan and Lil Dave were already up at 9:30 am on June 26,  2012.  I woke up at 10 am and went to shower.  We got a taxi to the airport.

Today, we are flying from Anchorage, Alaska to Frankfurt, Germany.  We used the free internet at the airport.  I think all airports should offer you free internet…it seems this is mostly an American thing. Same with hotels really – loads of hotels in America offer free internet, whereas its quite rare in Europe.

Our plane left at 12:55 pm.  I fell asleep almost immediately on the plane for some reason even though I got enough sleep last night.

We watched Worst Week on the plane.  We recently watched hilarious British comedy tv show The Worst Week of my Life and finished it and found out there was an American version.  It’s funny, but not as funny as the British show.  Ivan and I both fell asleep for 2 hours.  Then, we watched an episode of Parks and Recreation.

Our plane landed about 9 am in Frankfurt on June 27, 2012.  We got the train to the main train station where we stored most of our luggage.  The train is run on honor system – there are no gates or even places to validate your ticket.  If you’re caught though, you’ll be fined 40 Euros. I guess those German really are a trustworthy bunch! If they implemented this scheme in London, I think revenue would decrease by about 90% overnight and the system would totally be abused (and I would be at the front of the line!! ha ha)

We met at square for the Frankfurt on Foot Walking Tours. We had decided to do a walking tour, rather than just hang out at the airport all day, which is what most people would do.  Our group consisted of 6 people (3 Canadians, us and an Argentinian woman) and 1 monkey.  The tour guide was an older American guy named Dave.  When we met him, he looked like a homeless person holding up a sign for money. Turns out everyone else thought that also. His excuse was that he said he knows how much it costs to get a hair cut and shave yourself daily…hence he doesn’t!

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One of the Joerg Ratgeb Frescos

Our group stopped at many sights in the city including City Hall, Alt Nikolai Church, St. Bartholomew, Jörge Ratgeb Wall Paintings in the Karmeliter Cloister, Book Burning Memorial, Jewish Holocaust Memorial Wall, Jewish Ghetto Wall, Bull and Bear and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and Goethe House.

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It was interesting seeing the old buildings right next to the modern buildings.

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It was a great 4 hour tour which flew by. 

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Dave really knows his Frankfurt history!! He’s very knowledgeable and funny.  It’s great when a tour guide talks about a city’s history and makes it interesting and Dave did just that!  If you’re ever in Frankfurt, you MUST check out this wonderful tour!

We walked back to the Opernplatzfest which was a festival right by the old Opera house filled with stalls with many different cuisines like Thai, sushi and German.  Ivan and I shared a tasy apple wine with fresh strawberries and a flammkuchen (which is similar to a pizza) with cheese on rucola. 

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It was delicious!

Ivan, Lil Dave and I took the train back the main station to retrieve our luggage.  Then, it was off on the shuttle to the small airport where Ryan Air flies out of.  It took an hour and a half to get there.  Ivan and I both fell asleep on the bus.

We had liquid in our bags and the stupid lady at the X-ray machine wouldn’t let us through without the liquids being in a plastic bag.  How dense can you be?  Does it really matter if it’s in the bag? It’s only there to make it easier to see that it’s liquids.  She was so by the rules that she wouldn’t let us through even though I said I’d put it in a plastic bag – but it had to be a ziploc bag.  I told Ivan that I bet they’re in on it with the store so that they get a kick back for sending everybody there to buy a ziploc. 

I felt like a zombie – so jetlagged.  I couldn’t wait to take a shower and get some decent sleep.

Our plane left at 9:40 pm from Frankfurt headed to London, England.  Ivan and I both got an hour’s sleep on the plane.

We arrived at 9:45 pm (the time went an hour back).  Thank goodness, Ivan pre-arranged a taxi.  We would have been so knackered (tired) if we had to take a bus and then a train.

The driver took us to the airbnb place we were staying at.  The place is right between a Gordon Ramsey restaurant and a pub owned by Gandalf.

We arrived at the place at 11:17 pm. 

Later, Ivan and I ate some baked beans before showering and then going to bed.

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Getting ready for the long honeymoon

Hello, it’s Jennifer here!  We have been busy getting ready for our trip.  Ivan decided we should leave earlier than planned. So, we’ve been buying lots of stuff for our long honeymoon.  We left our backpacks at Ivan’s parents house in Southend, so right now we’re packing up two suitcases.  It’s almost 11 pm now, we’re leaving early in the morning and I’m still not done packing!

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I got all the essentials I bought: comfortable convertible Northface pants, Merrell waterproof shoes, sandals, money belt, waterproof jacket, netbook and a Petzl headlamp.  I made sure not to forget the important stuff: passport, silk liner, eye drops (I have dry eye and an eye allergy), moisturizer, memory cards and Lil Dave the monkey.  Lil Dave wouldn’t forgive me if I forgot him and his bananas!! 

I hope you come back and follow our honeymoon adventures.  Check out the itinerary to see all the places we’re going to explore.  Back to packing and hopefully (cross your fingers!) I’ll get a few hours of sleep.

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