Tag Archive | "tourism"

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Soccer Game at New-To-Me Yankee Stadium

Posted on 02 June 2016 by Leslie Lello

TravelBetterPodcasts.com at Yankee Stadium, New York City

TravelBetterPodcasts.com at Yankee Stadium, New York City

When my friend said he had an extra ticket to an NYCFC soccer game at Yankee Stadium, I was elated. Not only have I not seen my friend for a couple years, but I haven’t been anywhere near the South Bronx since the old Yankee Stadium was in use.

I debated trying to get a tour of the new stadium, but then I learned from thwir website that I will actually get to see more things if I go when it is not baseball season.

So instead, I got to the South Bronx  just early enough to meet my friend at a nearby bar called The Dugout before the game.

The video below is from our walk leaving the stadium.

https://youtu.be/POdhdDNhFMY

A quick note about transportation to Yankee Stadium

If you’re coming from New Jersey and you’re not driving to the stadium, it can be rather challenging to get to Yankee Stadium in an easy way. What I discovered on this outing was that I could  get home from the stasium by takung Metro-North from Yankee Stadium to Grand Central in Midtown Manhattan and then it is an easy walk to Port Authority or Penn Station.

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travelbetterpodcasts.com hostel buffalo niagra

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Shuffling to Buffalo Hostel

Posted on 27 July 2015 by Leslie Lello

 

travelbetterpodcasts.com hostel buffalo niagra

 

I am still on the move as I write this, but just wanted to post about my stay at the Hostel Buffalo Niagara (also referred to as Buffalo Hostel), a “non-profit hostel is in the heart of downtown Buffalo’s Theater District”.

I am a little groggy in the video. Sorry about that.

A friendly Indian family had shared some chai with me that morning, but it wasn’t as caffeinated as my usual espresso. At least I’m keeping my media shorter these days.  🙂

And here are a few more shots of the room I stayed in:

 

travelbetterpodcasts.com buffalo niagara hostel

Private room at Buffalo-Niagara Hostel (New York State)

travelbetterpodcasts.com buffalo niagara hostel

Private room at Buffalo-Niagara Hostel (New York State)

 

To read more about the hostel, visit Hostel Buffalo.

travelbetterpodcasts.com buffalo niagara hostel exterior

Exterior of Buffalo-Niagara Hostel (New York State)

I don’t really have much to say about the City of Buffalo because both times I have been there, it was only because I was passing through.

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How to Plan a Staycation: My staycation to the paterson museum

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TBP 0022 How to Plan A Staycation That is Awesome!

Posted on 26 October 2013 by Leslie Lello

 

How to Plan a Staycation: My staycation to the paterson museum

How to Plan a Staycation: My staycation to the paterson museum

VACATION IS A STATE OF MIND.

This has always been my philosophy.

It’s just that it is so easy to stay stressed when in a home environment that most people find it hard to reach that state.

And it is also easy to blow off local adventures because there’s no excessive driving or flying. Because most staycations are only one day with flexible commitments (no car or hotel reservation), one can get to Saturday morning having expected to visit a local park that is an hour away and instead choose to stay in and sleep or do chores because it seems more pressing.

But as we get into one of the most busy seasons of the year, it can become difficult to carve out some travel time.

Mini-Vacations, Local Vacations and Staycations are the way to go when you don’t have a lot of time or resources.

Today’s podcast (TBP 0022)  is about how to plan a staycation that is awesome!

PS: The information on the show I mention can be found here.

 

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Salem Massachusetts Visitors Center United States Government Shutdown on Tourism

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Travel Better (or Worse) With The United States Government Shut Down

Posted on 15 October 2013 by Leslie Lello

Salem Massachusetts Visitors Center United States Government Shutdown on Tourism

I’d say travel is worse with the government shutdown, but here are some ideas to consider.

I was in Salem this past weekend and while one would think that that would have nothing to do with the federal government, the visitor’s center was not open.

Thank goodness for the volunteers standing outside of the visitor’s center, or we might have had to figure things out on our own, which is very doable in most tourist attractions.

But it’s unfortunate that all this has to happen.

Like I have mentioned in other posts, this is Salem’s busiest time, so they weren’t going to let a shutdown effect business. And it was very busy there, so I don’t think it’s making a lot of people hesitate to take excursions. It just might take a little bit more planning before heading out the door.

The upside to all of this? I’m sure there are locations that have really slowed down (like Washington DC), so if you like having cities all to yourself and can deal with the way the shutdown might make things a slight bit more inconvenient (or closed), then this might be the perfect time for you to take a trip.

Here’s a post from Hosteling International about the topic. It’s very good and some of the places that are on their list surprised me. Why would Disney World have anything to do with a government shut down? Probably for the same reason Salem does, but I doubt that Space Mountain is closed or that Mickey has locked himself in his cottage.

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TBP 20 Salem Massachusetts Halloween October Samhain

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TBP 0020 Salem Massachusetts – It’s October and I’ve Gone A-Witching

Posted on 12 October 2013 by Leslie Lello

TBP 20 Salem Massachusetts Halloween October Samhain
October and Autumn always makes me think about Salem, Massachusetts.

Salem is very special to me.  It is a place where I find what I am looking for.

There is definitely a special energy there. It’s a different vibe than Sedona and probably has more to do to the people that are drawn there then the energy of the land, which is where Sedona’s special energy is based.

History of Salem, Massachusetts:

Salem is well known for the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.  Several witches were cruelly hanged during the hysterical witch hunts in the Americas. Today, Salem has a large witch population – those that practice the Wiccan religion. I think like minded people like to gather here because of like minded people, and that it is a way of honoring those that were sent to trial and to their death unfairly.

Visiting Salem, Massachusetts:

It’s awesome to go to Salem in October. It is a festive town all year round but especially in October.

If you’re looking for a haunted house or the typical Halloween spooky/scary stuff, I guess you can go to Salem to find it, but that’s kind of cheesy to me and a bit of a waste of time and energy because you can find spooky/scary anywhere in October.

The difference with Salem is that it is the real deal.  Why not honor the celebration of Samhain and respect the religious culture of this town?  It is a different way to experience and understand Halloween, and it is a great trip to make for those who simply like the travel and tourism side of it.

Samhain Vs. Halloween:

Samhain is the Wiccan new year, and is considered the time when the veil between the living and the dead is lifted so that better communication can occur with those on the other side.

It is a great time to honor loved ones that have crossed over, very similar to Day of the Dead in Mexico. I do this honoring of my ancestors on my own with a silent supper. But going to Salem is a great way to enjoy the celebration of the holiday and honor ancestors because they have a public Silent Supper which, though I have not attended it in the past, I bet is quite a powerful experience (and a great meal!)

This year (2013), Silent Supper/Dumb Supper in Salem is October 27th, 2013. Again, I’ve never participated in this one, but it will probably be awesome and a beautiful way to honor loved ones: http://www.festivalofthedead.com/dumbsupper.html

Side note:  The honoring of the dead is about love, not fear. It bums me out that they make it all spooky scary, but that sells tickets and is what most people associate with this time of year. Wiccans honor the earth, which is about abundance and love, not fear.

A lot of the links I have listed below imply the spooky/scary elements that are associated with Halloween. While I understand why that is done, I feel that it misses the opportunity to show people that this could be a completely new, unusual and more fulfilling way of experiencing this time of year.

FYI: The Witches Ball is on October 25th and this is one of the biggest events of the season.

Finally, Salem is a good place to go year round. Sure, Halloween/Samhain is probably the high point of the year, but don’t forget that the main focus of the people that live in this town are the seasonal changes of the earth, which are celebrated year round and give Salem a different and wonderful flavor all its own no matter what part of the year you chose to visit.

http://hauntedhappenings.org/

http://www.salemweb.com/hh/

http://salemhalloweencity.com/

http://www.festivalofthedead.com/

http://www.festivalofthedead.com/witchesball/  October 25, 2013

http://salem.org/calendar_main/festival_calendars

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g60954-c4113/Salem:Massachusetts:Halloween.html

Wiki about Samhain: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samhain

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hostels now pet travel friendly in europe

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Pet Travel Made Easier with Hosteling International

Posted on 23 September 2013 by Leslie Lello

hostels now pet travel friendly in europe

When I created TBP 0004 “Enjoying a Hostel Environment” I mentioned that one should leave the dog home if planning to stay in a hostel. I didn’t think that any hostels existed that were open to pet travel because the logistic of a dorm room are not conducive to such amenities.

It can get too crowded with just a bunch of humans and their huge luggage, but can you imagine adding three barking chihuahuas and a giant St. Bernard to the mix?

That would be utter insanity!

But apparently hostels in Europe have figured out a work-around for the dog issue.

After I posted that podcast, I received an email from Hosteling International with a link to their blog post about a few of the hostels that DO allow dogs.

I was thrilled to read the article because even though I enjoy solo travel, it can get a bit lonely.

The dog obviously keeps me company, and many of the dog-related places that I visit (like dog parks) offer a great way for humans like me to socialize on the road, but there is nothing like finishing a day of sightseeing in a common room or in the kitchen and sharing my experiences while listening to others who also have advice and could guide my next day of touring.

I hope that the American hostels will follow suit and consider opening their doors to pet travel, too.  I love staying at hostels and have really missed the camaraderie and the social way to learn about the the destination.

 

 

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TBP 0017 Chicago – A Nice Place To Visit…

Posted on 21 September 2013 by Leslie Lello

Ramlbin Chicago - 11

Yes, I know I said I would never do a podcast about Chicago, and to tell you the truth, it took me a while to figure out how to I would present the city in an honest way – both celebrating the fun of traveling as a tourist while also being forthright about my learnings from living there for over a year.

I think I achieved a good balance in TBP 0017, so if you are interested in visiting Chicago, this podcast should give you not only a great overview, but a few tips that most tourist don’t know and tour books don’t tell you.

I would love to hear feedback about this podcast.  Despite all of the trepidation I experienced before the recording, I think this is one of my better ones.  🙂

PODCAST NOTES FOR TBP 0017: Traveling in Chicago: A Nice Place To Visit But I Wouldn’t Want To Live There

Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co.
I refer to it in the podcast as the “red bus tour”

 

Howard Johnson’s on LaSalle
I have heard the quality is questionable. I didn’t mention this hotel in the podcast and have never stayed there, but you can’t beat the parking situation and fabulous location.

 

Museum of Science and Industry

 

Architecture Tour

 

Hosteling International Chicago
There are many hostels in Chicago, but this the one I have stayed at a few times. It’s in The Loop which is the main part of Chicago.

 

Eva’s Cafe
(Near The Second City)

 

The Third Coast (Restaurant)

 

Article on the best beaches of Chicago

 

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"Club Mud" at Glen Ivy Spa

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TBP 0015: Feel Los Angeles – It’s All About The Vibe

Posted on 07 September 2013 by Leslie Lello

"Club Mud" at Glen Ivy Spa

“Club Mud” at Glen Ivy Spa

Whenever I would meet non-American travelers at the hostel in Flagstaff that were working their way across the country, I would ask if they were going to go to Los Angeles. I could give them tips about the city because I lived there for 7 years.

Most of the international travelers I met said that they were skipping Los Angeles. At first I thought that was odd, but then I realized that there really are very few major landmarks in that city that do NOT relate to the movie or entertainment business.

The natural landscape in Los Angeles is wonderful, but there are so many great natural spots in California that that really isn’t a draw for L.A.

So Why Should You Go to Los Angeles?

To feel it. Taste it.

That’s weird, huh?

It’s an intangible something that makes Los Angeles special.

There’s nothing in particular to see, but you should still travel to Los Angeles. If that makes sense. It’s an experience. It’s a phenomena. Even if you’re not into movies, a town build on the business of entertainment makes for a pretty odd scene.

Listen to this week’s podcast to learn more.

Even if you are not a movie buff, there a places to go that will be fun.

These are the places I go when I am in town. TBP 0015 has a lot more detail on these locations.

Places I Visit When Traveling to Los Angeles (TBP 0015 Podcast Notes)

Disney and the amusement parks (feel)
Great spas: Glen Ivy (feel)
Eat food traditionally made for high-maintenance people. (taste)
Hiking in Franklin Canyon (*See)
Hiking in Runyon Canyon (this is where young Hollywood goes) (*See)
Sit in a coffeehouse (taste)
Hollywood Farmer’s market (taste)
Cruise the Sunset Strip – hang out at Barney’s Beanery or Chateau Marmont (taste/feel)
Bel Air Hotel – Bellinis or coffee. Piano bar. Walk the grounds.
Massage at Santa Monica Massage School
Afloat sushi in Pasadena (Nobu in Malibu if you have the budget)
Paradise Cove is a great beach: pricy but not with a group. $40 for the day. $20 to walk in. $6 with cafe validation. Paradise Cove Beach cafe is a little pricy but not outrageous and the food is good with decent portions.
Best Beaches are in San Diego or on the way to San Diego. Or north of LA toward Ventura county.

DO NOT GO TO DOWNTOWN LA. THERE IS NOTHING THERE. (Well, the garment district can be interesting, but not worth hitting up if you have limited time in L.A.)

Show Notes and Links:


Glen Ivy Spa

Glen Ivy entrance fee is $46. I remember it as less expensive because there is occasionally a half price deal, and that’s when I used to go.

TreePeople

Franklin Canyon

Magic Mountain

Disneyland

CORRECTION: Legoland is closer to San Diego than Los Angeles

Runyon Canyon

Santa Monica Stairs

Hollywood Farmer’s Market


Bel Air Hotel

California Healing Arts (I referred to it as Santa Monica Massage School in the Podcast)

Afloat Sushi
– I didn’t find their website but I forgot to mention that you should take your time ordering so that you can watch the sushi chef and see what has just been made and pick that as your meal. You can also make requests. Some of the things float around for a long time and that isn’t as tasty. I also did a bit of research and their inspection score is only so-so. I never had a problem, nor did any of my friends who have been going there longer than I have, but I also wanted to let you know just in case you decide to check it out.

Paradise Cove, Malibu

$40 for the day. $20 to walk in. $6 with cafe validation. Paradise Cove Beach cafe is a little pricy but not outrageous and the food is good with decent portions.

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Travel Western Michigan Better

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TBP 0014: Western Michigan Offers Respite for City Dwellers

Posted on 31 August 2013 by Leslie Lello

Travel Western Michigan Better

South Haven, Western Michigan

As I gazed at the sunset over Lake Michigan, I marveled at how different the atmosphere was compared to when I stood at the waters from the opposite side, in Chicago. More nature. Cleaner. Peaceful. Quiet. Desolate in early spring.

These are the characteristics I yearned for during my road trips when I was living in Chicago, but the choices were never as obvious as when I lived in other major cities in the United States.

I found a piece of heaven in Western Michigan that soothed the anxiety and pressure I was constantly experiencing in Chicago.

In today’s podcast I will be talking about my weekend trip (well, mid-week trip) to Michigan to get away from Chicago. I felt much better after this excursion and think it is very important for city dwellers to get into the country and “get the city off of them” once in a while.

TBP 0014 is a shortie so it’s good if you want to squeeze a podcast in while you are driving around running errands this is a good one to pick. 🙂

Happy Travels!

PS: I brought my dog on this trip and as long as you can find a hotel that is pet friendly (I stayed in South Haven, but I understand Holland is even more dog friendly), this should be a good choice for your animal companion. He LOVED playing catch on the beach and it was completely empty so we could really spread out!

Links:
South Haven, Michigan
The Beachtowns of Michigan
Douglas, Michigan
Holland, Michigan
Pet Friendly Things To Do in Holland, Michigan

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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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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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