Hello? It’s me… Calling You From a British Phone Booth in Bermuda

I woke up around 6am this morning to catch the sunrise from my hotel room balcony, and it was definitely worth getting up that early, it was simply stunning. IMG_2687

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I then slept in for another hour before getting ready and heading down to the breakfast bar and grabbed a muffin that I ate as I explored around the hotel.

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The circle archway in front of the jacuzzi, also known as a moon gate, is a popular tradition in Bermuda, as well as in China, and it is regarded as good luck for newlyweds to step through the gate.

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I love the gazebo at this hotel! I walked along the path to the gazebo numerous times and I have found colorful lizards and from the gazebo you can also feed the fish and can get the fish food from the main lobby.

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After exploring around the hotel, I then went back to St. George’s to catch a ferry ride to the Royal Naval Dockyards, which is located on the other side of the island. I still had time before catching my ride so I explored around St. George’s more and tried to visit some places that I had missed last time.

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Admiral Sir George Summers- Founded Bermuda in 1610

 

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I then spotted this on a wall near the town hall, I’m not sure what it is, perhaps its like a coat of arms for Bermuda, similar to how Irish families have their own coat of arms/family crest.

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St. Peter’s Church- built in 1620

As I was sitting in the waiting room to catch the ferry, I noticed the town crier was back in St. George’s and he was playing a bagpipe for all of us that were waiting. He was actually quite hilarious and when the ferry did arrive and the passengers were getting off he ended up playing “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion (famous song from Titanic).

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Once we got on the ferry, we then sailed away from St. George’s and headed towards the Royal Naval Dockyards, and along the way I got to see Fort St. Catherine from afar.

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Leaving St. George’s
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Fort St. Catherine

After about 40 minutes, we arrive at the Royal Naval Dockyards and see a couple of giant cruise ships, one of which my family and I were thinking about taking instead of staying for a week at a hotel. It turns out the exact ship was stranded on some reef near the dockyards and the passengers could either stay on the ship (but the electricity got cut off) or the ship could take you back to the airport and have you fly back home. I feel bad for the passengers since the ship only stopped in Bermuda for about 2.5 days and even then their vacation got cut short. But the water near the dockyards was unbelievably light blue, I don’t even know how to describe it properly.

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The captain of the ferry then points out on the left that Bermuda is home to many sailing yachts and the Oracle is a famous American sailing yacht that competes in the World Cup. Once we depart the ship we are immediately on the hunt for a restaurant since we were starving. We entered through the gorgeous brick fort that even has canons on the lawn, and at the end of the fort is a great restaurant called The Frog and Onion Pub & Restaurant, which has a great old time English pub feel.

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You can purchase tickets to get a horse-drawn carriage ride around the dockyards

 

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The Frog and Onion Pub & Restaurant has many artifacts that look like they could have been from the time Bermuda was founded, as well as many flags from around the world. Our table also had a great view looking out to the lawn of the fort. For lunch I ordered the Frog’s classic buffalo wings for an appetizer, and a roasted turkey BLT. I recommend getting the authentic cottage pie (also called Shepard’s pie), my dad loves Shepard’s pie, and he said this was the best one he has ever tasted.

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Frog and Onion Pub and Restaurant

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After lunch, we explored around the Royal Naval Dockyards  and noticed that it mostly contained stores, specialty shops, or pottery/art galleries. Nearby where the ships are docked, there is a small circular stand where you can find different types of water sports to experience. Some of the different activities are Dolphin Quest, where you can actually swim with dolphins, SNUBA, which is great for beginners to scuba diving, jet skiing, and also snorkeling. I also noticed near another restaurant that they have red phone booths typically found in London, so I had to take a picture with it otherwise I felt like I would have regretted not doing it.

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Afterwards we went shopping around town, to the Clock Tower Shopping Mall, where I picked up a pretty yellow scarf, and after we browsed some clothing and art stores we went outside and checked out the pottery store, which had really great prices. We went to the next store and it was a glass blowing store where they had a lot of great pieces to purchase, and you could also watch them do some glassblowing, and you can even sign up to take a glassblowing class.

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Clock Tower Shopping Mall

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The Bone Fish Bar & Grill is another great restaurant at the dockyards, its the first restaurant once you step off from the docks. We happened to see some camera crew eating lunch here, maybe they were filming for a tv show or a movie!

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After getting some gelato near the fort, we then got on to our ferry heading back to St. George’s and we were able to see people working on the Oracle one last time

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Once we get on the bus heading toward our hotel, we spotted numerous colorful houses and I spent the rest of the time daydreaming what color I would paint my house if I bought a house in Bermuda, and I think I would paint it a light turquoise blue to match the color of the water.

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Grotto Bay Beach Resort

At the end of the day I went back to the hotel restaurant for dinner and got a table by the window to look out at the sunset and eventually made my way outside afterwards and enjoyed the remaining sunset.

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“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us” – Anonymous

Guide To NYC: The Upper West Side

The Upper West Side

Similar to the Upper East Side, the Upper West Side is affluent and primarily residential area with most residents working in Midtown or Lower Manhattan. It is also known as NYC’s intellectual hub, and artistic workers, whereas the Upper East Side is home to commercial and business types. It is also known as home to some celebrities such as Tina Fey, Matt Damon, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, and Steve Martin.

 

What To Do

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American Museum of Natural History
  • Museums

    • American Museum of Natural History

      • Monday-Sunday 10am-5:45pm
      • Central Park West & 79th Street
      • General Admission
        • $22
        • Suggested general admission, which supports the Museum’s scientific and educational endeavors, includes all 45 halls and the Rose Center for Earth and Space. If you wish to pay less, you may purchase tickets at any ticket counter in the Museum
      • General Admission Plus One
        • $27
        • General Admission Plus One tickets include admission to the Museum and Rose Center for Earth and Space plus one special exhibition, IMAX or 3D film, or Hayden Planetarium Space Show
      • SuperSaver Admission
        • $35
        • Admission to the Museum and Rose Center for Earth and Space plus all special exhibitions, IMAX and 3D films, and the Hayden Planetarium Space Show
      • Buy tickets at the ticket booth in the museum to get a cheaper price
    • Children’s Museum of Manhattan

      • Tuesday-Friday & Sunday 10am-5pm
      • Saturday 10am-7pm
      • Closed Monday
      • 212 W 83rd Street
      • $12 for adults
      • $12 for children
      • $8 for seniors
      • $0 for children under 12 months
    • New York Historical Society

      • Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm
      • Closed Monday
      • 170 Central Park West
      • $15 for group admission- adults
      • $23 for group admission with a guided tour-adults
      • $12 for group admission- seniors
      • $20 for group admission- seniors
    • American Folk Art Museum

      • Tuesday-Sunday 11:30am-7pm
      • Closed Monday
      • 2 Lincoln Square
      • Admission is free
    • New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

      • Monday-Saturday 10:30am-6pm
      • Closed Sunday
      • 40 Lincoln Center Plaza
      • Admission is free
    • Lincoln Center

      • Monday-Friday 10am-6pm
      • Closed Saturday and Sunday
      • Admission is free
      • To watch a dance, music, film, opera, or theater show, you can purchase tickets online
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Century 21 Department Store
  •  Shopping

    • Patagonia

      • Monday-Sunday 11am-7pm
      • 426 Columbus Avenue
    • Apple Store

      • Monday-Saturday 9am-9pm
      • Sunday 10am-8pm
      • 1981 Broadway
    • The North Face

      • Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm
      • Sunday 11am-6pm
      • 2101 Broadway
    • Century 21 Department Store

      • Monday-Saturday 10am-10pm
      • Sunday 12pm-8pm
      • 1972 Broadway
    • Banana Republic

      • Monday-Saturday 10am-9pm
      • Sunday 11am-8pm
      • 1976 Broadway
    • Gap

      • Monday-Friday 9am-9pm
      • Saturday-Sunday 10am-9pm
      • 1988 Broadway
    • Pottery Barn

      • Monday-Saturday 9am-9pm
      • Sunday 10am-8pm
      • 1965 Broadway
    •  Zara

      • Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm
      • Sunday 11am-7pm
      • 1963 Broadway
    • Barneys New York

      • Monday-Friday 10am-8pm
      • Saturday-Sunday 10am-7pm
      • 2151 Broadway
    • DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse

      • Monday-Saturday 10am-9pm
      • Sunday 11am-7pm
      • 2220 Broadway
    • H&M

      • Monday-Saturday 10am-9pm
      • Sunday 11am-6pm
      • 10 Columbus Circle
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The Tangled Vine Wine Bar and Kitchen
  •  Nightlife

    • Vanguard Wine Bar

      • 189 Amsterdam Avenue
      • 4.5 Stars
      • French
        • Neighborhood spot offering French wine & small plates amid marble-topped tables and subway tiles
    • The Dead Poet

      • 450 Amsterdam Avenue
      • 4.3 Stars
      • Irish Pub
        • Narrow, literary-themed Irish pub whips up cocktails named after dead poets and food from a bar menu
    • Jake’s Dilemma

      • 430 Amsterdam Avenue
      • 4.0 Stars
      • Sports Bar
        • Basic bar along the Amsterdam Avenue strip frequented by a young crowd for beer & football
    • The Abbey Pub

      • 237 W 105th Street
      • 4.2 Stars
      • Irish Pub
        • Decades-old Irish bar with a grub menu and a diverse neighborhood crowd gathering to drink and relax
    • Smoke Jazz & Supper Club

      • 2751 Broadway
      • 4.3 Stars
      • American
        • A cozy venue featuring jazz, blues, and latin acts
    • Gabriel’s Bar & Restaurant

      • 11 W 60th Street
      • 4.1 Stars
      • Italian
        • Upmarket Italian fare and sizable wine list in a polished setting that includes a private event room
    • The Tangled Vine Wine Bar and Kitchen

      • 434 Amsterdam Avenue
      • 4.1 Stars
      • Mediterranean
        • Candlelit wine bar offering a Mediterranean-style menu and a vino list focused on small labels
    • George Keeley

      • 485 Amsterdam Avenue
      • 4.4 Stars
      • Grill
        • A standard neighborhood bar with pub grub, darts, and a huge menu of craft brews and a beer club
    • Bar Boulud

      • 1900 Broadway
      • 4.0 Stars
      • French
        • Relaxed Parisian-style dining via chef Daniel Boulud with standout charcuterie and wines

Where To Eat

at Jean Georges Restaurant in NYC.
Jean Georges Restaurant
  •  Upscale

    • Jean Georges

      • Monday-Sunday 11:45am-11pm
      • 1 Central Park West
      • 4.4 Stars
      • French
        • Sophisticated New French eatery boasting floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Central Park
    • Boulud Sud

      • Monday-Saturday 11:30am-12am
      • Sunday 11am-11pm
      • 20 W 64th Street
      • 4.4 Stars
      • Mediterranean
        • Refined Mediterranean dining via chef Daniel Boulud with convince to Lincoln Center
    • Per Se

      • Monday-Thursday 5:30pm-10pm
      • Friday-Sunday 11:30am-1:30pm, 5:30pm-10pm
      • 10 Columbus Circle
      • 4.6 Stars
      • American
        • Chef Thomas Keller’s New American restaurant offers luxe fixed-price menus, with Central Park views
    • Marea

      • Monday-Friday 12pm-11pm
      • Saturday-Sunday 11:30am-11pm
      • 240 Central Park South
      • 4.5 Stars
      • Italian
        • High-end Italian seafood and housemate pastas from Michael White in a chic Central Park South setting
    • The Mermaid Inn

      • Monday-Friday 5pm-10:30pm
      • Saturday-Sunday 11am-3pm, 5pm-10:30pm
      • 570 Amsterdam Avenue
      • 4.4 Stars
      • Seafood
        • Upscale-casual seafood spot with a Cape Cod vibe known for its lobster rolls and cheap oyster deal
    • Rosa Mexicano

      • Saturday-Tuesday 11:30am-11:30pm
      • Sunday-Monday 11:30am-10:30pm
      • 61 Columbus Avenue
      • 4.1 Stars
      • Mexican
        • Modern Mexican chain eatery known for table side guacamole and creative margaritas
    • Gari of Columbus

      • Friday-Tuesday 12pm-2pm, 5pm-10:45pm
      • Saturday-Sunday 12pm-10:45pm
      • Closed Monday
      • 370 Columbus Avenue
      • 4.3 Stars
      • Sushi
        • Branch of an upscale local sushi chain best known for its chef’s choice menu

 

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Spiga Restaurant
  • Budget Friendly

    • Big Daddy’s Upper West Side

      • Monday-Sunday 8am-11pm
      • 2454 Broadway
      • 3.6 Stars
      • American
        • A throwback to 1950’s style, this comfort food restaurant serves up standard diner fare
    • Spice Upper West Side

      • Sunday-Thursday 11am-11pm
      • Friday-Saturday 11am-12am
      • 435 Amsterdam Avenue
      • 3.8 Stars
      • Thai
        • Bustling chain offering generous portions of traditional Thai dishes and colorful cocktails
    • Shake Shack

      • Monday-Sunday 11am-11pm
      • 366 Columbus Avenue
      • 4.2 Stars
      • American
        • Gourmet burger chain with frozen custard
    • Isabella’s

      • Monday-Friday 11:30am-10:30pm
      • Saturday-Sunday 10am-11pm
      • 359 Columbus Avenue
      • 4.0 Stars
      • Mediterranean
        • Bustling Mediterranean-American bistro popular for its weekend brunch and sidewalk cafe
    • Spiga

      • Monday-Sunday 5:30pm-11pm
      • 200 W 84th Street
      • 4.2 Stars
      • Italian
        • This discreet trattoria serves traditional and inventive Italian dishes and rustic decor
    • Buceo 95

      • Monday-Sunday 5pm-12am
      • 201 W 95th Street
      • 4.4 Stars
      • Tapas
        • Small plates and diverse wines are served at this hip tapas bar with a relaxed vies and sidewalk seats
    • Freda’s Caribbean and Soul Cuisine

      • Monday-Sunday 12pm-10pm
      • 993 Columbus Avenue
      • 4.3 Stars
      • Caribbean
        • Homestyle Caribbean cuisine
    • Freddie and Pepper’s

      • Sunday-Thursday 11am-12am
      • Friday-Saturday 11am-1:30am
      • 303 Amsterdam Avenue
      • 4.4. Stars
      • Pizza
        • Counter-service pizza joint
    • Tom’s Restaurant

      • Sunday-Wednesday 6:30am-1:30am
      • Thursday 6:30am-12am
      • Friday and Saturday open 24 hours
      • 2880 Broadway
      • 3.6 Stars
      • American
        • Best local coffee shop famous for its recurring cameo on classic TV sitcom Seinfeld

Where To Sleep

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Trump International Hotel & Tower
  • Upscale

    • The Lucerne

      • Classy parkside hotel with a gym and a French-Mediterranean restaurant with sidewalk seating
      • 201 W 79th Street
      • 4.3 Stars
      • $147/night
    • The Excelsior Hotel

      • Refined hotel in a landmark building, boasting a fitness center, colorful eatery and elegant rooms
      • 45 W 81st Street
      • 4.1 Stars
      • $123/night
    • Trump International Hotel & Tower New York

      • High-end rooms, with floor-to-ceiling windows, plus 2 restaurants, a terrace and an indoor pool
      • 1 Central Park West
      • 4.4 Stars
      • $404/night
    • Hotel Beacon

      • Cozy boutique option with casually elegant rooms and suites that offer kitchenettes and free WIFI
      • 2130 Broadway
      • 4.4 Stars
      • $189/night
    • Mandarin Oriental

      • Luxurious rooms in a Manhattan high-rise with views and a posh spa, plus modern American dining and a bar
      • 80 Columbus Circle
      • 4.4 Stars
      • $645/night
Belleclaire Hotel250 W. 77th Street New York, NY
Hotel Belleclaire
  • Budget Friendly

    • Hotel Belleclaire

      • Ornate 1903 hotel with sleek, wood-floored rooms, plus a trendy lounge and free WIFI
      • 250 W 77th Street
      • 4 Stars
      • $71/night
    • The Belnord Hotel

      • Budget property on a residential street, with basic rooms that offer hardwood floors and free WIFI
      • 209 W 87th Street
      • 3.7 Stars
      • $76/night
    • NYLO New York City

      • Industrial-chic hotel with bright, modern rooms, 2 high-end eateries (Italian and Chinese) and a bar
      • 2178 Broadway
      • 4.2 Stars
      • $109/night
    • Marrakech Hotel-NYC

      • Vibrant budget hotel with a Moroccan theme that boasts modern rooms and a fireplace lounge
      • 2688 Broadway
      • 3.5 Stars
      • $84/night
    • Comfort Inn Central Park West

      • Budget lodging where basic rooms come with free WIFI and hot breakfast, plus an exercise room
      • 31 W 71st Street
      • 3.2 Stars
      • $67/night
    • Broadway Hotel & Hostel

      • Hostel with private and dorm-style rooms, plus stylish common areas, no curfew and a 24 hour reception
      • 230 W 101st Street
      • 3.5 Stars
      • $47/night
    • The Milburn Hotel

      • Simple budget property offering studios and suites with kitchenettes, plus free breakfast and WIFI
      • 242 W 76th Street
      • 4.1 Stars
      • $154/night

“The world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page” – St. Augustine

Guide To NYC: The Upper East Side

The Upper East Side

The Upper East side, is by far one of the most expensive neighborhoods in New York City. Some famous residents have included the Kennedy’s, the Rockefellers, Madonna, the Trumps, Bill Murray, and Ricky Martin. The list price of some of the apartments in this neighborhood can run up to at least 20 million dollars, with the median price being $975,000 for a 1 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom apartment. Since this is the more expensive neighborhood, expect stores, restaurants, and everything in between to just be more expensive than the rest of the city. Expect to find more stores like Christian Louboutin here than a Gap or a Forever 21 store. But that being said, it does contain a lot of great museums you can visit, and it is a quick hop over to central park. Tip: try to book a hotel room during the off season/shoulder season as I have found a number of 4 star hotels with great views for only around $100 compared to rising costs in the peak season which can go up to around $350.

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What To Do

  • Daytime

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Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
  • Museums

    • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
      • 1071 5th Avenue
      • Monday- Sunday 10am-5:45pm
      • Closed Thursday, open until 7:45 on Saturday
      • $25 for adults
      • $18 for seniors and students
      • $0 for children
    • Metropolitan Museum of Art
      • 1000 5th Avenue
      • Monday-Friday 10am-5:30pm
      • Saturday & Sunday open 10am-9pm
      • $25 for adults
      • $17 for seniors
      • $12 for students
      • $0 for children
    • The Frick Collection
      • 1 E 70th Street
      • Tuesday-Saturday 10am-6pm
      • Sunday 11am-5pm & closed Monday
      • $20 for adults
      • $15 for seniors
      • $10 for students (with I.D.)
      • Pay-what-you-wish on Sunday from 11am-1pm
      • Children under 10 are not allowed in museum
    • The Jewish Museum
      • 1109 5th Avenue at 92nd Street
      • Saturday-Tuesday 11am-5:45pm
      • Closed Wednesday
      • Thursday 11am-8pm & Friday 11am-4pm
      • $15 for adults
      • $12 for seniors
      • $7.50 for students
      • $0 for children under 18
      • Free Saturdays
      • Pay-what-you-wish on Thursdays 5-8pm
    • Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
      • 2 E 91st Street
      • Sunday-Friday 10am-6pm
      • Saturday 10am-9pm
      • $18 for adults
      • $12 for seniors
      • $9 for students
      • $0 for children under 18
      • Pay-what-you-wish on Saturday from 6-9pm
      • Save $2 per ticket buy purchasing tickets online
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Anthropologie
  • Shopping

    • Anthropologie
      • 1230 3rd Avenue
      • Monday- Sunday 10am-8pm
    • Barney’s New York
      • 660 Madison Avenue
      • Monday-Sunday 10am-8pm
    • Christian Louboutin
      • 967 Madison Avenue
      • Monday-Sunday 10am-8pm
    • H&M
      • 150 E 86th Street
      • Monday-Sunday 10am-9pm
    • Kate Spade
      • 789 Madison Avenue
      • Monday-Sunday 10am-7pm
    • Michael Kors
      • 667 Madison Avenue
      • Monday-Sunday 10am-8pm
    • The Apple Store
      • 767 5th Avenue
      • Monday-Sunday 12am-11:59pm
    • Tory Burch
      • 797 Madison Avenue
      • Monday-Sunday 10am-7pm
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Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Famous Streets

    • 5th Avenue (most expensive stores)
    • Madison Avenue (best shopping street)
    • Lexington Avenue
    • 59th Street
    • 72nd Street
    • 86th Street

 

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Bar Prima
  • Nightlife

    • Bemelman’s Bar (upscale piano bar)
      • The Carlyle Hotel’s sophisticated, upscale piano bar, adorned with Ludwig Bemelmans’ famed murals
      • 35 E 76th Street
      • Monday-Sunday 12pm-1am
    • The Auction House (lounge)
      • Swanky interior design and dim lighting make this intimate lounge a date-friendly spot
      • 300 E 89th Street
      • Sunday-Wednesday 7:30pm-2am
      • Thursday-Saturday 7:30pm-4am
    • Session 73 (music venue)
      • Music venue showcasing an array of bands playing blues, jazz, funk, salsa, and more
      • 1359 1st Avenue
      • Monday-Thursday 5pm-2am
      • Friday 5pm-4am
      • Saturday 12pm-4am
      • Sunday 12pm-12am
    • Caledonia Bar (Scottish Pub)
      • Cozy Scottish pub featuring an extensive whisky menu, tap beers and elevated bar bites
      • 1609 2nd Avenue
      • Sunday-Thursday 5pm-2am
      • Friday-Saturday 4pm-4am
    • The Pony Bar (draft microbrews)
      • This casual joint specializes in a rotating list of American draft microbrews plus a hearty pub fare
      • 1444 1st Avenue
      • Monday-Friday 3pm-4am
      • Saturday-Sunday 12pm-4am
    • Uva (wine & garden area seating)
      • A lively crowd flirts over small plates and wine at this rustic-looking spot with a back garden
      • 1486 2nd Avenue
      • Monday-Friday 4pm-2am
      • Saturday-Sunday 11am-2am
    • Manny’s on Second (sports bar)
      • A popular spot for sports fans with plenty of beer and Tvs, with pool and a live music space upstairs
      • 1770 2nd Avenue
      • Sunday-Wednesday 11:30am-1am
      • Thursday-Saturday 11:30am-2am
    • The East End Bar & Grill (Irish pub)
      • Dark-wood-lined Irish pub with simple bar eats, draft beer, and lots of TVs for sports fans
      • 1664 1st Avenue
      • Monday-Sunday 11:30am-4am
    • Bar Prima (Italian)
      • Wines by the glass served with meat, cheese and other gourmet small plates in a warm, woodsy-chic hub
      • 331 E 81st Street
      • Sunday-Wednesday 10am-12am
      • Thursday-Saturday 10am-1am

Where To Eat

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Daniel

 

  • Restaurants

    • Upscale

      • Daniel (French)
        • Daniel Boulud’s elegant French flagship where jackets are required and expense accounts come in handy
        • 60 E 65th Street
        • Monday-Saturday 5:30pm-10:30pm
        • Closed Sunday
        • 4.6 Stars
      • Candle 79 (Vegan/Vegetarian)
        • Deluxe eclectic vegan dishes made with organic produce and served in elegant surroundings
        • 154 E 79th Street
        • Monday-Sunday 12pm-3:30pm & 5:30pm-10:30pm
        • 4.5 Stars
      • Luke’s Lobster (Seafood)
        • Seafood counter serving Maine-style lobster rolls with toasted buns, plus clam chowder and microbrews
        • 242 E 81st Street
        • Monday-Sunday 11am-10pm
        • 4.3 Stars
      • Toloache
        • Mexican eatery with modern takes on the cuisine and an extensive tequila list in a colorful room
        • 166 E 82nd Street
        • Monday-Friday 5pm-11pm
        • Saturday-Sunda 11:30am-11pm
        • 4.4 Stars
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Shake Shack
  • Budget Friendly

    • Shake Shack (American)
      • Hip, counter-serve chain for gourmet takes on fast-food classics like burgers and frozen custard
      • 154 E 86th Street
      • Monday-Sunday 11am-11pm
      • 4.1 Stars
    • Jackson Hole (American)
      • This casual American eatery, known for its burgers, also serves breakfast, Tex-Mex, and more
      • 232 E 64th Street
      • Monday-Sunday 10:30am-12am
      • 4.0 Stars
    • San Matteo Pizza Espresso Bar (Italian)
      • This little pizzeria serves Neapolitan-style pies straight from the wood-burning oven
      • 1739 2nd Avenue
      • Monday-Thursday 5pm-11pm
      • Friday-Sunday 12pm-11pm
      • 4.6 Stars
    • La Tarte Flambee (French)
      • Petite, classic French eatery serving savory and sweet tarts, plus regional wine and beer
      • 1750 2nd Avenue
      • Monday-Friday 5pm-10pm
      • Saturday-Sunday 11am-11pm
      • 4.6 Stars
    • Chicken Festival (Peruvian)
      • Local Peruvian chain serving rotisserie chicken, ribs, classic entrees and more in a casual setting
      • 1584 1st Avenue
      • Monday-Sunday 11:30am-11pm
      • 3.9 Stars
    • Panera Bread (Sandwiches)
      • Counter-serve bakery/café chain serving sandwiches, salads, and more, known for its bread and free WIFI
      • 120 E 86th Street
      • Monday-Sunday 6am-10pm
      • 3.8 Stars
    • Marrakesh (Middle Eastern)
      • Decorated with Moroccan décor, this cozy restaurant delivers classic Mediterranean cuisine
      • 235 E 53rd Street
      • 4.0 Stars
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Serendipity 3- Frrrozen Haute Chocolate
  • Desserts

    • La Maison du Chocolat
      • Paris-based chocolatier offering fancy candies, plus macaroons, pastries and gift boxes
      • 1018 Madison Avenue
      • Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm
      • Sunday 12pm-6pm
      • 4.3 Stars
    • FP Patisserie
      • Upscale bakery serving items such as cakes, chocolates, and ice-cream
      • 1293 3rd Avenue
      • Monday-Sunday 8am-9pm
      • 4.1 Stars
    • Serendipity 3
      • Frozen hot chocolate stars on the ice-cream and sweets menu at this old-school dessert destination
      • 225 E 60th Street
      • Sunday-Thursday 11:30am-12am
      • Friday-Saturday 11:30-2am
      • 3.6 Stars
      • Home of the world’s most expensive sundaes, the Golden Opulence Sundae, and the Frrrozen Haute Chocolate. The Haute Chocolate costs a whopping $25,000 earning a title from the Guiness World Records for the world’s most expensive sundae! It consists of different mixes of cocoa and milk frozen to a slushy-like consistency. Then it is topped with 5 grams of edible 24karat gold, then whipped cream and more edible gold. Then on top of it all is a La Madeline au Truffe cherry. All of this is surrounded by a golden crown, a golden spoon, and gold and diamonds on the plate. Order time is 2 weeks. On the other hand, if you are looking for something less expensive and a smaller wait time, the Golden Opulence only costs $1000! What a bargain! It consists of a $300 Baccarat Harcourt crystal goblet (which is yours to keep), a 23-carat gold edible leaf, Chuao chocolate from Venezuela, a small bowl of Grand Passion Caviar, and a gilded sugar flower which takes eight hours to make. Of course, they offer many affordable desserts and foods there so be sure to check it out, you might just be able to catch someone ordering one of these sundaes and you can try to live vicariously through them, just don’t drool.
    • 2 Little Red Hens
      • Cozy, laid-back bake shop and café known for cupcakes in many flavors and custom cakes
      • 1652 2nd Avenue
      • Monday-Friday 7:30am-9pm
      • Saturday-Sunday 8am-10pm
      • 4.6 Stars
    • Sprinkles Cupcakes
      • Cheery bakery known for its rotating menu of cupcakes, ice cream and cookies. Some have a cupcake ATM
      • 780 Lexington Avenue
      • Monday-Saturday 9am-9pm
      • Sunday 10am-8pm
      • 4.2 Stars
    • Maison Laduree (best macaroons!)
      • Upscale bakery with Parisian origins, specializing in French macaroons in a number of flavors
      • 864 Madison Avenue
      • Monday-Saturday 9am-7pm
      • Sunday 10am-6pm
      • 4.3 Stars
    • Dylan’s Candy Bar
      • A wide array of candy plus ice-cream, cupcakes, and more is available at this upscale sugar emporium
      • 1011 3rd Avenue
      • Sunday-Thursday 10am-9pm
      • Friday-Saturday 10am-11pm
      • 4.1 Stars

Where To Sleep

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The Surrey
  • Upscale (prices for off-season/shoulder-season)

    • Four Seasons Hotel New York
      • Renowned upscale hotel offering luxurious rooms, and for drinks they have martinis, house-infused vodkas, and a light menu
      • 57 E 57th Street
      • 4.3 Stars
      • $695/night
    • The Surrey
      • Storied 1926 venue with contemporary style, boasting a rooftop garden, luxurious spa and Daniel Boulud eatery
      • 20 E 76th Street
      • 4.5 Stars
      • $401/night
    • The Plaza Hotel
      • Jet-set hl legendary for elegant lodging (with in-room iPads) and afternoon tea in the Palm Court
      • 768 5th Avenue
      • 4.3 Stars
      • $473/night
    • The Mark
      • Grand 1927 property with art deco inspired rooms, destination dining and a swanky bar
      • 25 E 77th Street
      • 4.6 Stars
      • $495/night
    • Hotel Plaza Athénée New York
      • Elegant hideaway with European atmosphere, antiques and murals, plus seasonal cuisine and a luxury spa
      • 37 E 64th Street
      • 4.3 Stars
      • $339/night
    • The Pierre, a Taj Hotel
      • Luxurious landmark, open since 1930 that features elegant rooms with high ceilings and marble bathrooms
      • 2 E 61st Street
      • 4.6 Stars
      • $420/night
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The Bentley Hotel
  • Budget Friendly (prices for off-season/shoulder season)

    • Courtyard New York Manhattan/Upper East Side
      • Modern hotel with an indoor pool, an on-site bistro and an exercise room, plus free WIFI
      • 410 E 92nd Street
      • 4.1 Stars
      • $103/night
    • The Franklin Hotel
      • Boutique property that offers cozy room with free WIFI and breakfast, plus a wine and cheese hour
      • 164 E 87th Street
      • 3.8 Stars
      • $143/night
    • Bentley Hotel
      • Chic property with a lobby bar, penthouse restaurant offering kosher dining and modern rooms
      • 500 E 62nd Street
      • 3.7 Stars
      • $107/night
    • The Marmara Manhattan
      • High rise hotel with apartment-like suites offering full kitchens, free WIFI and a fitness center
      • 301 E 94th Street
      • 4.1 Stars
      • $123/night
    • Renaissance New York Hotel 57
      • Sophisticated lodging with a French restaurant and a cocktail bar, plus an exercise room
      • 130 E 57th Street
      • 3.9 Stars
      • $114/night

“To travel is to live” – Hans Christian Andersen

Cliff Jumping and Pink Sandy Beaches

Today we went to the famous pink sand beach, Horshoe Bay beach in Bermuda. We hopped onto the local bus which only took about an hour drive from our hotel. I highly recommend taking a bus to get around the island instead of a taxi because that could cost you anywhere from $70-$150 since the prices are so high in Bermuda. Once we arrived at the beach it was absolutely breathtaking! The entire beach consisted of pink sand and there was a huge cliff that you could climb and also jump off of. Also one great thing about this beach is that there are no seaweed or little pebbles anywhere on the beach or in the water so it’s honestly the softest sand in the world. In the water there are also a number of brightly colored fish and is beach is also connected to Elbow beach so you can walk to and from each beach.

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A closer look at the pink sand
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Make sure to arrive after 3pm to avoid the cruise ship tourists

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Little cave that you can explore
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At the end of the cave

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Look how pink the sand is!

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Long tailed sea gull

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There is a big rock formation located on the east side of the beach, and you are allowed to climb it and jump off, but make sure to jump straight out in the front of the rock and not on the sides because it would be a little too shallow of water to jump in. There are also a number of other rock formations on the beach further out from the rock I climbed, which wasn’t hard to climb at all. Also there are more rocks on the west side of the beach which is not as high and the water is not as shallow, so if you are not up to jumping off a big cliff then I recommend trying the rocks on the left side of the beach. This is definitely one of the things that I recommend anyone traveling to Horseshoe Bay Beach must try.

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On the way back to the hotel- all the homes on the island are different colors!
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Every roof in Bermuda is white and is the same design to collect rain water

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In Bermuda they drive on the left side of the road
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Relaxing at the hotel room

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“You can go to heaven if you want, I’d rather stay here in Bermuda” – Mark Twain

Packing For a Weekend Getaway

Are you planning on a weekend trip to Cape Cod, Myrtle Beach, or the Outer Banks? Then this guide will help you figure out exactly what you need to pack, and what you should leave behind.

For Women:

I would recommend trying to pack lightly, because even I am guilty of over-packing sometimes with makeup, and more clothes than I need because I want different clothing options. Trust me, for just a weekend getaway you really don’t need much. Personally, I love dresses, so I usually just pack 2 dresses and wear them on alternating days, and I try to pack one dress that is less formal, that can be thrown on to go out to the pool, beach, or town, and one a little more formal, if I go out to dinner somewhere. For everyone else I recommend:

  • Bring a large tote (Longchamp Le Pliage Large Tote) or a small carry-on suitcase to fit everything
  • 1 Dress
  • 1 Shirt
  • 1 Pair of Shorts
  • 4 Pairs of Underwear
  • 1 Bra
  • 1 Pair of Pajamas (lightweight shirt and shorts work)
  • 2 Bathing Suits
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat (cap or wide-brimmed)
  • Beach Towel
  • 1 Pair of Sandals (simple enough for the beach and fancy enough to go to a restaurant)
  • Cell Phone Charger
  • Makeup/Sanitary items:
    • Tinted Moisturizer (bonus points if it contains SPF)
    • Waterproof Mascara
    • 1 Lipstick (that can go with everything)
      • If you want to bring other makeup, go ahead!
    • Feminine Products (you do not want to forget these)
    • Deodorant
    • Prescription Medicine (if taking any on a daily basis)
    • Toothbrush
    • Travel Size Toothpaste (you can pick this up at Target)
      • *Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash are usually provided at hotels
    • Compact Hair Brush
    • Razor (unless you have waxed before the trip)
Here are some summer beach outfit inspiration:
outfit1  outfit2  outfit5

 

For Men:

Men have a very easy and basic wardrobe that doesn’t need a lot of effort to look put together. I would recommend if your style is more laid back, then go with a basic tank top and a lightweight shirt with a basic pair of shorts and cargo shorts/khaki shorts. If you are a bit more stylish and preppy, I would go with a buttoned down collared shirt, with Bermuda shorts and Sperry’s since that look is extremely popular in Cape Cod especially Martha’s Vineyard/Nantucket.

  • Small Duffle Bag
  • 1 Shirt
  • 1 Tank Top
  • 1 Buttoned Down Collared Shirt
  • 1 Pair of Cargo Shorts or Bermuda Shorts
  • 1 Basic Pair of Shorts
  • 1 Belt (optional)
  • 1 Hat
  • 4 Pairs of Underwear
  • 1 Pair of Sunglasses
  • 1 Pair of Flip-Flops or Sperry’s
  • 1 Pair of Pajamas (lightweight shirt and shorts)
  • 2 Bathing Suits
  • Beach Towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Cell Phone Charger
  • Sanitary Items:
    • Comb (or any hair products you use)
    • Toothbrush
    • Travel Size toothpaste
    • Razor (shaving cream if needed)
    • Deodorant
    • Prescription Medicine (it taking any on a daily basis)
Here are some summer beach outfit inspiration:

outfit6 outfit8 outfit9

For Children:

Packing for children is quite easy, as they do not need nearly as many things as us adults do. For boys I would mostly just stick to 2 pairs of shirts and pants, as they can always mix and match them the other days. For girls I recommend a dress as well as a shirt and pants.

  • Boys:
    • 2 Shirts
    • 2 Pairs of Pants
  • Girls:
    • 1 Shirt
    • 1 Pair of Pants
    • 1 Dress
  • 2 Bathing Suits
  • 4 Pairs of Underwear
  • 1 Pair of Pajamas (lightweight shirt and shorts)
  • Diapers (if they need them)
  • 1 Pair of Flip-Flops or Sandals
  • Hat (cap or wide-brimmed)
  • Sunscreen SPF of at least 30
  • Beach Towel
  • Sanitary Products
    • Toothbrush
    • Travel Size Toothpaste
    • Deodorant (if they need it)

 Here are some summer beach outfit inspiration:

outfit13  outfit11 outfits10  outfit12

 

 “Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends” – Pat Conroy

 

Edible Garden Walking Tour in St. George’s

Today we headed over to the town of St. George’s in Bermuda which was founded in 1612 and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. We explored around the main square, and all the shops nearby are different colors and all the streets are cobblestone. We decided to eat at the White Horse restaurant, but another great food place for a decent price is called Wahoo’s, famous for serving seafood and sandwiches. It is a couple stores down off of the main square, and you can also manage to get a table overlooking the water as well, and we actually saw Michael Douglas eating there (he has a house on the island). At the White Horse, we were seated at a table overlooking the water, and we even got to feed the fish from our table! After we ate, we were able to join a free walking/edible garden tour of St. George’s by the mayor himself (try to get there by 10am). We were able to try the different fruits and vegetables in the edible garden, as well as an edible flower that is famous in Bermuda. The leafs of the flower itself taste like pepper, and if you squeeze the stem of the flower it tastes just like honey.

In the picture below, you will see Butterfield Bank, which is the oldest bank in Bermuda. It was built in 1776 and used by troops in the American Revolution, then it was converted into a hotel and later bought out by the bank in 1950. The bank then restored the building to what it looked like in 1776. Also in front of the bank, there is a replica of the stocks, pillory and whipping posts used during the British colonial days of the 18th century for punishing those who committed petty crimes such as drunkenness. The holes on the boards are where the head and the limbs were inserted and kept locked for days. Passers by pelted the people locked up with anything they could find from rotten vegetables & fruits to dead rats. Today it’s a favorite place for tourists for taking photographs with their heads and hands inserted through the holes.

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St. George’s Town Hall

 

 

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In the background you can see the town hall, and to the right of the turquoise building is Wahoo’s restaurant, and to the right of that is Just Add Water where you can book a jet ski tour

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The White Horse Restaurant

 

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Where town officials used to meet, and in the past this building is where soldiers would have muskets pointing out of the cross shaped windows to any enemies trying to enter St. George’s
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The Edible Garden

 

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A native hibiscus flower

 

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A native Bermuda tomato

 After the tour, we then saw a reenactment called Dunking of the Wench and they would use a device called a ducking stool that women would sit in and they would be dunked in the water. The punishment was only used for nagging and gossiping women. The reenactment happens at 12:30pm every Monday to Thursday and Saturday from May to October and Wednesday and Saturday at noon in the other months. Fun fact, the woman portraying the wench is actually married to the man portraying the town crier (the one in the blue vest/black pants). The town crier is also an excellent bagpipe player, make sure to stick around before or after the show to hear him play!

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On the left, the town crier, in the Hawaiian shirt is the town drunk, and in the bonnet and dress is the  wench

 

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Dunking of the Wench

 

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After we watched the Dunking of the Wench, we went on another tour to explore the different forts located in Bermuda. You can book this tour right in the main square in the tourist office, and they provide transportation (also check out the haunted history walking tour, every Wednesday and Thursday from 7:30-8:30pm). First, we stopped off at a small fort with 2 old fashion canons aiming out to sea. There are very nice sea views from here, but you may not have even known about this spot unless you are a local or are on the tour that we took.

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One of two canons aiming out at sea
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The view out to sea from the top of the fort
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From the top of the fort looking out to a residential community

 Next, we stopped at Alexandra Battery, just a short drive from the small fort. In the front, there is a big hill covering the fort so back in the day, if you are on your ship looking out at this location, you would only be able to see a big green hill. In the hill are small little cutouts where canons would be able to shoot out from. Also, located directly to the left of the small parking lot for Alexandra Battery, is Alexandra Battery Beach, famous for sea glass. You may still be able to find a couple if you dig around a lot since a lot of the sea glass has been combed up by tourists but it’s actually illegal to take the sea glass from there.

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Alexandra Battery Beach known for sea glass

 Next, we went off to Fort St. Catherine’s, which is the largest fort on the island and built in 1614. There are continuous daily tours that you can go on, but you are not provided with a guide, unlike the special tour we went on, but it is very easy to navigate around the fort. In the beginning of the tour you enter into a room filled with replicas of the king and queen’s jewels from Bermuda (since Bermuda is part of England’s territory). After that, you descend down to where men would work in the artillery and help make guns, store canon balls, and a lever system that helped them bring the heavy canon balls up to the surface where the canons would be. A tip: make sure at the end of the trip, at the top level of the fort, head to where you see 3 flags, a U.S. flag, British flag, and a Bermuda flag, because from there is where you can get the best picture of an beautiful beach that is not overcrowded with tourists.

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Entrance to the largest fort on the island

 

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 Then after the tour we headed back to our hotel and took some more pictures before resting up for the next day. Hint: tomorrow we are going to one of Trip Advisor’s acclaimed award for top 25 beaches in the Caribbean!

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Stairs near the gazebo overlooking the water

 

“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to live” – Anonymous

Upcoming Italy Trip!

Here’s a little snippet of the places I will be traveling to on an upcoming 2 week trip to Italy with Contiki

Rome

  • Quick stop to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • Visit the Colosseum and Piaza Venezia
    • Take a short walk to see Pantheon and Piazza Navona
  • Throw a coin into Trevi Fountain (it’s meant to improve your chances of returning to Rome!)
  • Hang out on the Spanish Steps and eat a slice of pizza and people watch
  • Snack: gelato (yum!)
  • Drink: Cappucino (NEVER drink a cappuccino after 11am it is frowned upon in Italy, and everyone will give you weird looks)

italy1Sorrento

  • Scenic drive along the coast
  • See Mt. Vesuvius
  • Watch how to make pizza Italian style from the locals
  • Pompeii guided walking tour

italy2Capri

  • Day trip by boat to the isle of Capri
  • Capri cruise to the world famous Blue Grotto
  • Villa Communale Park (views of Mt. Vesuvius)
  • Drink: Limoncello (It is a sweet lemon liqueur- and quite possibly my favorite part about this trip since I love to eat lemons)

italy3Florence

  • Scenic drive around Apennine mountains
  • Stop over in Tuscany
    • Guided tour of a 16th century Tuscan winery while enjoying a meal of antipasto
  • Drink: Chianti wine (famous drink in Tuscany)
  • Walk along the River Arno
  • Guided walking tour of Michelangelo’s art work in Florence
  • See the Duomo, Basilica Santa Croce, Giotto’s bell tower, the Baptistry, and Piazza della Signoria
  • Leather craft demonstration
  • Night on the town: Space Disco

italy4Venice

  • Quick stop to Verona to see the Roman arena, and Juliet’s balcony
  • Private boat through the canals and islands of Venice
  • See the limestone Bridge of Sighs, the gothic arches of Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Square (the pigeons probably outnumber the people there!)
  • Venice walking tour
  • Gondola ride

italy5Milan

  • Visit the lake town of Sirmione (complete with vine-covered villas, Roman ruins, and a castle)
  • Lake cruise to see the Dolomite mountain range
  • See the massive Duomo cathederal, the elegant shopping mall of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, and the world famous La Scala Opera house
  • See Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” located at Santa Maria delle Grazie (make sure to book a couple of months in advance!)

italy6La Spezia

  • Visit Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, full of colorful coastal villages
  • Visit the towns of Monterosso and Portovenere
  • Walk along the legendary Via dell’amore (lovers lane) for amazing sea views
  • Cruise along the scenic coast
  • Food: grab a table by the beach and try the pesto with locally baked focaccia bread

italy7Vatican City

  • See the home of the Pope (FYI Vatican City is the smallest city in the world!)
  • Locally guided tour of the Sistine chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, & the art of the Vatican museums
  • Tour of the Roman forum and Colosseum
  • Dinner: Take advantage of the authentic Italian restuarants, complete with an opera singer, live music and lots and lots of pasta

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“Maybe the best moment of your life will be on your next big adventure” – Siya Zarrabi