Tag Archive | "road trip"

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Video 1: Beginning Road Trip

Posted on 24 May 2016 by Leslie Lello

When I am traveling, I am aways thinking about blogging my discoveries but I struggle with finding the time to post.

I am hoping that short video recaps make things better.

It is part of a 30 days of video challenge by Blossom Benedict (#RightVoiceForYou, #30dayvideochallenge).

I can’t promise I will make it past day 1, but at least I do have day one for you today.¬† ūüôā

https://youtu.be/vnb36n2CPBk

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Grateful dead special exhibit at the Rock and Roll hall of fame 2012

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Five Tips for Visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Posted on 16 September 2013 by Leslie Lello

rock and roll hall of fame bon jovi needs to be a member

I <3 BON JOVI SINCE THE 80’S! They had his motorcycle when I visited a long time a go but he needs to be a member ASAP!

How random is it that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is in Cleveland, Ohio?

One would think it would be New York, Los Angeles or even Nashville…

But if you are crossing the country and getting tired of the typical sights of the mid-west (corn fields, Amish markets, sports stadiums, etc), The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland is an awesome alternative.

Cleveland was one of my favorite stops when I was regularly driving between Chicago and New York because of the Rock Hall!

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is located right on the banks of Lake Erie in Downtown Cleveland and is very easy find. They have signs leading to it from miles away on several of the highways, and if you have GPS you will be all set.

rock and roll hall of fame greenscreen

It’s definitely worth the stop, even if you only have time to check out the free part, which is the main level and part of the basement. You can still get plenty of driving in for the rest of the day.

This is how I visited the first time and it was the perfect way to get some fun in the morning before a long, 8 hour drive to my next stop in the Bronx (New York).

Here are my five tips for visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

1. If you are looking to stay in a hotel, I recommend staying in the suburbs, near the airport. You will find better rates there, especially if you use one of those Roomsaver booklets that are in every roadside stop on Rt. 80, and many of the places don’t mind if you have a dog (try Best Western or La Quinta). (And if you have to kennel your dog while at the Hall of Fame, there is a Petsmart with a very good Pet Hotel and day-camp that is only slightly out of the way when you are headed to the museum from the airport area).

Grateful dead special exhibit at the Rock and Roll hall of fame 2012

2. Garage parking for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is $10. It’s better to park in the train station and walk two blocks. You’ll be parking outdoors, but it’s equally convenient. One thing to note… they have signs all over the place that tell people to not leave valuables in the car because there have been break-ins. I have never had a problem, but maybe it’s a good idea to leave the laptop in the hotel safe rather than the car when your going to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the day.

3. Leave PLENTY of TIME to see the museum. This museum is HUGE! The first time I visited, it took me two hours to simply go through the free basement and first floor area, which has many awesome relics, like guitars that belonged to some of my favorite rock music legends, and rare candid pictures of artists, as well.
Don't go to the museum on a Cleveland Browns Football Game Day
4. Don’t go on Game Day! One Sunday last fall, I had the whimsy to go to the RRHOF as I was passing through on my way to Indiana. When I arrived, EVERY PARKING LOT WAS FULL and the streets were complete gridlock! The Hall of Fame is right next to FirstEnergy Stadium, the stadium where the Cleveland Browns play football, and the day I went, not only was there a big game, but tailgaters has started to throw back brewskis and bratwurst outside the stadium at the butt-crack of dawn. Needless to say, I did not get into The Hall that day.

5. Become a Member! The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is $22 for an adult pass and $33 for a two day adult pass, at the time this blog post was written. If there are two adults in your party and you pay for parking for two days, the price is $86. Better to get a “Duet Rocker” membership, which includes parking for one of the days, and will bring the price down to $85 and allow you to visit for free for a whole year. You get other perks (like discount purchases in the gift shop) and are helping to preserve rock and roll history for future generations.

Membership rock and roll hall of fame

 

Finally, here is a single shot video I made when I first visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  It is a (almost) 360 degree shot from in front of the Rock Hall.

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It’s Hot, I’m Traveling with a Dog and I Have to Pee

Posted on 02 September 2013 by Leslie Lello

Leslie Lellowww.firewalkproductions.com

Imagine you are driving across Texas and it’s 110 degrees outside the car and you have to pee.

All you have to do is stop at the next service station and take care of business.

Now imagine you have a dog with you.

Not as simple, is it?

As everyone knows, it is very easy for dogs to overheat in cars, even when the temperature outside the car is a lot lower than 110.

So what do you do when you are on a road trip with your dog and you have to pee?

Here are some options

How to Take a Bathroom Break when Traveling With a Dog

Leave the Air Conditioning On While You Go Inside

In a pinch I have left the car on with the air conditioning blasting, and that seemed to work.

Obviously, you can’t be inside a long time because (1) there are laws about keeping your car running idol for too long and (2) despite the wonderful invention of air conditioning, the sun beating down can still make the inside of the car very hot.

Pee Outside

It’s probably easier for you to take a bathroom break outside with Fido if you are a guy, but again, in a pinch, I have done it.

Tie him to something in the shade

This solution isn’t an option with my dog because he hates being alone outside for even a fraction of a minute.

Also, I have heard of thieves snatching designer dogs from owners who leave them outside alone. The thief can make a lot by reselling the dog, but the duress on the owner goes much farther than the cost of the dog.

My dog is a mutt, so I’m not worried about this, but he’s also my best friend, and therefore, always at my side.

I wouldn’t recommend this option.

Bring Another Human

While I’m a big fan of the solo road trip, they can also be fun with other people.

And if you are bringing your dog with you on the road trip, having another human with you can save a lot of hassle, not only on the road, but also at hotels, stores and anywhere else your dog is not allowed in with you.

Best Choice #1: Bring the Dog Inside With You

In many of the rest stops that line America’s highways, it’s likely you will be able to sneak your dog in, especially if the entrance is on the outside of a building. I have done this numerous times, and unless there is a restaurant or food preparation going on nearby, no one should have a problem with you bringing your dog inside (unless your dog is unfriendly or loud), especially if it really is 110 degrees outside.

Even non-dog-owners know that leaving a dog in a car is a no-no and most people you meet on the road will understand why you need to bring your pooch in.

Best Choice #2: Plan Ahead

Planning ahead is not always a choice you have available when the 32 ounce big-gulp suddenly wants to leave your bladder, but that’s the point.

While it’s tough to know everything about the journey, you can research dog-friendly places that will let your dog come with you on a bathroom break, how long the trip will be vs. how long your pup can hold it, what the weather will be like and how much liquid you really need to consume during the trip.

By taking the time to think the journey through before you pull out of the driveway when traveling with a dog, you and your dog will be much more happy and comfortable.

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NOT the Best Way To Pack a Suitcase or Car

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TBP 0011 The Best Way To Pack a Suitcase (Part 1): Cars and Road Trips

Posted on 10 August 2013 by Leslie Lello

Not The Best Way To Pack a Suitcase or CarIf you Google “Best Way To Pack a Suitcase“, you will most likely come up with a number of sites presenting lists of what you should and should not pack and strategies to pack as much as possible within the least amount of space or to go as minimal as possible.

This is great, but customization is important.  I change the way I pack each time I travel.  I find that posts about the best way to pack a suitcase never differentiate between going to Europe by air or going to the Minnesota State Fair by car.

Road trips offer a lot of flexibility in packing, even if the car is crowded.

So to be clear, this is not a podcast about packing minimally, this is a podcast about going on a long road trip and wanting to be as comfortable as possible. In my mind, the best way to pack a suitcase cannot be separated with the best way to pack a car. This is obviously based on my own preferences (like the desire for awesome coffee in the middle of nowhere), but can be substituted for your preferences. Some of the things I mention are for safety and others are to save you time and money.

The Best Way To Pack a Suitcase (Part 1) – Podcast Clarifications:

I mention in the podcast that you should have a specific bag for travel information. You will probably bring some books and information with you, as well as pick information up along the way. ¬†It’s best to keep this information in one specific bag. That way you know where to look when you are making travel decisions. ¬†My passenger is also my navigator, so we leave the “information bag” in the backseat and the navigator starts to do research as we are approaching a town we intend to stop in for the night.

During the part of the podcast about bringing the diet food, I meant to say drug stores are where you can find Smart For Life Cookies, not grocery stores.¬† But really, I’m not sure if they are in grocery stores or drug stores. Best bet is buy them online. The “glorified candy bars” I referred to in the podcast are in grocery stores and are the protein bars that often have a lot of protein, but also a lot of junk.

Side note about the Vapur bottles. Don’t get the ones with the plastic cap. I lost the plastic cap and didn’t want to drink out of the bottle because I had placed my bag on the floor with the bottle attached and the mouthpiece most likely touched the ground. The bottle I linked to is the new kind and has a mouth piece cover that is attached to the bottle.

 

THINGS I LIKE FOR A ROAD TRIP:

 Reusable travel Mug
Tuna and can Opener (or whatever ready food that is nutritious)
Miso Soup
Diet Food (Smart for Life cookies, Ideal Protein)
Podcasts!
Reusable water bottles (Squishy water bottles)
Triple outlet converter (for the older hotels – used this a lot in Italy) or hostels
Tent (and yoga mat)
plastic utensils
pocket knife
two checks
ziplock bags
himilayan salt – good for headaches and sometimes weakness is due to lack of minerals
Aeropress
Tea bags

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NAB 2013 in Las Vegas, my hotel room at Polo Towers

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TBP 0008: Las Vegas – Avoiding the Traps in the Most Touristy City in the World

Posted on 20 July 2013 by Leslie Lello

NAB 2013 in Las Vegas, my hotel room at Polo Towers

NAB 2013 in Las Vegas, my hotel room at Polo Towers

I had a rough time planning trips for Las Vegas the first few times.  I had always gone with people that were familiar with the city, so when it was my time to plan, I was surprised when I realized how little I knew.

But now that I am a more savvy traveler and actually lived in Vegas for a while, I can give you the scoop on how to do it with greater ease, save money and find some places that are off the strip that you wouldn’t know to visit if you hadn’t heard it here.

TB 0008: Las Vegas Podcast Links

Las Vegas People Mover/Train Monorail: http://www.lvmonorail.com/

HACIENDA HOTEL in Boulder City (toward AZ) FOR GOOD ACCESS TO LAKE MEAD, HIKING AND HOOVER DAM. (AND A HELICOPTER RIDE) There is one hotel out by Hoover dam that is nice and inexpensive with helicopter rides at $29. That might be good if you are not drinking and are doing sight seeing outside of Vegas
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g60881-d91585-Reviews-or10-Hacienda_Hotel_Casino-Boulder_City_Nevada.html

Hoover Dam: http://www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/

PRIMM!  www.primmvalleyresorts.com

SKY MANIA!!! On the outskirts of Las Vegas on the Henderson side.¬† If you have a car, it’s worth going out there. This was my favorite thing to do in vegas.
http://www.skymaniatrampolines.com/

Stuff I forgot to say in the Podcast:

*** PET TRAVEL: DON’T BRING A DOG.¬† they charge a lot for dogs ($50/day typically), and aren’t you going to be partying too much to remember to walk your little pup?
*** Cabs can take longer than walking because there is so much traffic on the strip. Sometimes it is faster to walk.
Happy Travels!

 

Leslie Lello

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Redwood Forest, Garberville to Eureka, CA - Avenue of Giants

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TBP 0007: The Redwood Forest’s Sacred Peace and Beauty

Posted on 13 July 2013 by Leslie Lello

This week I was talking with a friend who travels a lot but has never been to the Redwood Forest in Northern California.

I had so much fun telling him what he he MUST do there, that I decided that would be a great Better Traveling show!

10-06-07 Garberville to Eureka, CA - Avenue of Giants - 13

 

The redwood forest is tied with Sedona for my favorite place on earth, so I had a lot of fun making this podcast!

I have presented the information as a road trip from Southern California or San Francisco, but you can rent a car from Southern Oregon and go the opposite direction.

10-06-07 Garberville to Eureka, CA - Avenue of Giants - 16
(Side Note: There are redwoods near San Francisco but those are not the ones that we are going to talk about today.)

REDWOOD FOREST LINKS:

http://avenueofthegiants.net/: Avenue of Giants is where the southern redwoods are of Humboldt County. It is essentially Rt 101, which leads to the biggies on the coast, which are my favorite,  but you could spend ages exploring the Avenue of Giants just in itself.

Going to Shelter Cove is not part of the Avenue of Giants, but still beautiful. I stayed in a Best Western in Garberville and then moved on to Eureka and Crescent City for the next couple evenings. It took me a full day to get to Eureka and then another full day to get to Crescent City.

Garberville can be pricy in terms of hotels.  If you are into camping, there are some good ones in the Avenue.

http://avenueofthegiants.net/Zoom/map.htm

Eureka is the other end of the Avenue of Giants.  You will arrive to Eureka before you get to Crescent City.  They have good restaurants and hotels. They also have a great natural foods co-op, cute shopping, and a few historical landmarks.

YOU MAY WANT TO STOP THERE IF IT IS GETTING DARK SO THAT YOU DON’T MISS ANYTHING AWESOME AS YOU DRIVE IN THE DARK. The next leg of the trip is also beautiful and along the water… It’s very beautiful and you miss all that beauty at night because it is very dark.
10-06-08 Trees Of Mystery, Redwood Forest, CA - 01
http://www.treesofmystery.net/ looks like a tourist trap which it is but it’s worth the stop. Take a gondola through the forest with several trees highlighted on the way to the gondola and a beautiful look out at the top of the mountain. You can hike down if you like.

Between Trees of Mystery and Crescent city there are a lot of little turn offs to go explore and lookout points along the coast.

One of my favorite spots is the REDWOOD HOSTEL which is closed for renovations right now. Across from the Redwood Hostel is a parking lot which a beautiful spot to watch a sunset over the water.

http://www.redwoods.info/showrecord.asp?id=4583¬† This is a link to an article about “10 must see trees”, but once you are in the area you will see so many amazing and huge trees that, to me, it didn’t matter whether I got to see every one on this list. Trees of Mystery had a lot of big ones.

10-06-06 Drive Thru Tree, Redwood Forest, CA - 16
http://www.redwoods.info/showrecord.asp?id=2464&source=Favorites
The drive through trees were ok, and this is the link that tells you about it. I did it my third time there, with my mom, but we also needed to have lunch and it was a good place to picnic. Not terribly expensive. Small cars only. There are a few of drive through (“Drive-thru”) trees. We did Chandler Tree.

REDWOOD FOREST TRAILS:
http://www.redwoods.info/showrecord.asp?id=3637
Trails. Many are accessible only by dirt road and if there are heavy rains these roads get washed away. These roads are narrow, but worth going if you can deal with being inches from the side of a road that drops off rather severely and slides around because of mud.

Lady Bird Johnson Trail
http://www.redwoods.info/showrecord.asp?id=3637

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park is dirt road accessible with many trails leading off the sides. My favorite area in the redwoods.

Boyscout trail is one of my favorites 5 miles. Go with a friend.

Stout grove is about a half mile . Brought my mom there and she loved it.

10-06-07 Garberville to Eureka, CA - Avenue of Giants - 30

RULES for Visiting the Redwood Forest:

  • Every time you walk on the ground it can disturb the root system so walk gently and do not tread anywhere that has been blocked off
  • Don’t climb down trees because there is a whole fertile ecosystem on ever inch of down tree that serves the rest of the community
  • Obviously¬† no litter and don’t take anything or cut anything
  • Always hike with other people.

 

Save the Redwoods League:

www.savetheredwoods.org/
http://rcci.savetheredwoods.org/ This page discusses the effect of climate change on the redwood forest.

 

Happy Travels!

Leslie

All of the Travel Better Podcasts can be downloaded by subscribing at iTunes, or by using one of the links on the Travel Better Podcasts Blubrry Community Page.

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Biking the New Hampshire Coastline

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TBP 0005: Who knows about the Southern New Hampshire Coastline?

Posted on 30 June 2013 by Leslie Lello

Breaking New Grounds - Fav Coffeehouse in Portsmouth NH!

Breaking New Grounds – Favorite Coffeehouse in Portsmouth NH!

I recently was in contact with an old friend on the Southern New Hampshire Coastline, and it reminded me of all of the great things I love and miss about New Hampshire.

I lived there for a while so I can give you some ideas of how to spend your time.

The New Hampshire Coastline is a great place to spend a few days, whether you are choosing to only visit that area or to make it part of a larger road trip.

This week’s podcast focuses on the southern New Hampshire coast and all of the places that I learned about while I was living in that area.

Below are links to some of the places that I mention in this week’s podcast.

Happy Travels!

Leslie

 

SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE COASTLINE – PODCAST LINKS:

 
Breaking New Grounds (One of My Favorite Coffeehouses in the US): http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g46209-d818770-Reviews-Breaking_New_Grounds-Portsmouth_New_Hampshire.html

Just to clarify… Strawberry Banke is a museum that I have not visited, but when I lived in the area I used to refer to the park across the street at Strawberry Banke. The real name across the street is called Prescott Park.

Strawberry Banke:  http://www.strawberybanke.org/

Prescott Park: http://www.cityofportsmouth.com/prescottpark/index.htm

For those of you traveling with pets‚Ķ It was very hard to find pet-friendly hotels in the Portsmouth area that didn’t cost a fortune or weren’t a complete dive, so I cannot make any recommendations for pet travel, but if you bring your dog, Portsmouth has a really nice dog park on the outskirts of town.

Portsmouth New Hampshire Dog Park: http://www.portcitydogs.org/index.php?page=dogPark

Hampton Beach: http://www.nhstateparks.org/explore/state-parks/north-hampton-state-beach.aspx

Campground I stayed in in North Hampton: http://www.shel-al.com/

 

Biking the New Hampshire Coastline

Biking the New Hampshire Coastline

 

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Welcome and thanks for visiting!

My name is Leslie and I am the owner, publisher and media creator of Travel Better Podcasts.

A few years ago I started traveling... (Click Here For More)


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