For Newbies: Going Through X-Ray or TSA Pre✓® As Easily As Possible

We all know the process of getting through X-ray has become something of a time consuming organized chaos in the past several years. In fact, I’d put it up towards the top X-rayof the more stressful parts of air travel, up there with delays and the actual flight. Getting approved for TSA Pre® (which is currently available in more than 180 airports, with 37 participating airlines nationwide) or Global Entry does help tremendously, but even then, there are people who are not super familiar with the modern-day process of going through X-ray, with or without TSA Pre✓®, simply because they don’t fly very often, and sometimes that unfamiliarity can cause the line to snag even more. Here’s a list that might help:

Continue reading “For Newbies: Going Through X-Ray or TSA Pre✓® As Easily As Possible”

Free Disney Cruises! Free Airline Flights! (And Other Travel Hoaxes)

Hoaxes and scams. If you’re on Facebook, you know you’ve seen then. You can win two free tickets on Southwest Airlines! Or on Delta Airlines! Or on JetBlue! Or you can get a free Disney Cruise! Or a free Celebrity Cruise! Or a free Princess Cruise! Or you can win an all-expenses-paid vacation! Or an RV! All you have to do is like this page! Or share this page! Or send it to 13 of your closest friends! Or reply to this message with any number between 1 and 100!

Hoaxes have been around for about as long as people have been buying and selling things. Whether it was a traveling salesman hawking a mysterious liquid guaranteed to stop everything that ailed you to a Nigerian woman who said she lost her husband,
needed a small loan, and would pay you tenfold after her inheritance comes in, scams have been preying on the hopeful, the kind-hearted and the naive for centuries. Nowadays the hoaxes have become more high-tech, received via email, robocalls and Continue reading “Free Disney Cruises! Free Airline Flights! (And Other Travel Hoaxes)”

Our Favorite Central FL Restaurants Off Disney/Universal Property

We know that lots of theme park fans don’t like to go off theme park property when they vacation in Central Florida. We used to be like that, too. Eating at a theme park is usually faster than traveling off property to dine, it keeps you immersed in the theme park experience, etc. And we get it – there are indeed some really nice places “on property” that give you awesome food and/or theming, and you get to maximize your time in the parks. But if you limit yourself to just eating on property, you are denying yourself some incredibly good eats that usually cost a fraction of Disney’s and Universal’s prices and often taste even better than anything you can get in the parks or on property.

These are some of our most favorite “off property” restaurants. We’ve listed them in alphabetical order, since it would be almost impossible to put them in order of which is
best, second best, etc., and they run the gamut in terms of price point, food type, dress requirements and distance from the parks. Many offer meals throughout the day (i.e. breakfast, lunch, brunch, high tea), although we’re specifying our experiences with them for dinner. Most are places you can’t find anywhere else (or at least have only limited locations), they’re all “not to be missed” and some, we admit, are really just for adults (we’ve included level of “kid friendliness,” based on our observations, in each of the narratives). Continue reading “Our Favorite Central FL Restaurants Off Disney/Universal Property”

For Newbies: When An Airline Breaks Something In Your Luggage

I went to New York with a friend not long ago, just for a couple of days, to see a bunch of Broadway shows. We were only going to be out of town from Tuesday to Friday morning, for about 70 hours total, so we were able to get away with just using carry-on luggage, thereby saving us the time of having to pick up our luggage from baggage claim, as well as the worry of them losing our bags or breaking something in them.

Since I grew up in Brooklyn and Staten Island, whenever I’m in Manhattan, the times when we’re not in shows are generally dedicated to food – either the yummy things, like Continue reading “For Newbies: When An Airline Breaks Something In Your Luggage”

The joy of being disloyal

When it comes to making travel reservations, I’m disloyal. There, I said it and truth be told I get a bit of a thrill in making that statement. You see, I am an Eagle Scout. Therefore, loyalty is part of the deal. Right here, second on the list behind being trustworthy.

00000460 - Version 2A Scout is:

  • Trustworthy,
  • Loyal,
  • Helpful,
  • Friendly,
  • Courteous,
  • Kind,
  • Obedient,
  • Cheerful,
  • Thrifty,
  • Brave,
  • Clean,
  • and Reverent.

So why am I not loyal when it comes to my travel? Simply stated, I don’t travel enough to Continue reading “The joy of being disloyal”

You Want Discount Tickets to Walt Disney World? Where To Look – And Where Not To!

fireworks
There was a time when I was a HUGE fan of Disney and be it the parks, the movies, you name it, I was a walking, talking Disney encyclopedia. For years before Joe and I took the leap and moved to Central Florida, if friends, family or co-workers had a question about going to Walt Disney World (WDW), be it during which part of the year they should go, what they should do or where they should eat, they’d ask me. My people from up north still ask me those kinds of questions, just via Facebook private messages rather than in person, and although I’m not “in the know” as much as I used to be, I still help them out as much as I can.

With one-day ticket prices to the parks now varying from $99 to $119 per day (based on season and theme park, because yes, Disney has now thrown those factors into the mix. Let’s just say I don’t recommend going to Magic Kingdom on a weekend in the summer. Oh, and don’t even THINK about park hopping because that will cost you even more), the often-asked question of, “How can I get discounted tickets to WDW?” has now turned into Continue reading “You Want Discount Tickets to Walt Disney World? Where To Look – And Where Not To!”

Help plan our trip to Las Vegas!!!!

Vegas, Baby! These are two words Sharon hates to hear. Well she would hate hearing them if I ever said them. Which I don’t. Let me explain.

let_me_explain_princess_bride

Every year, Sharon and I try to have at least one “epic” trip. The one we plan all year. Because we went on two epic trips to Cuba and then Europe last year, we decided that it might be best to take it easy this year. We first thought that a drive on Route 66 would be pretty cool. Then we started to do more research and decided that while some of the attractions are neat, that is a whole lot of time to spend in a car. So we narrowed our search and are going to spend time around the American Southwest. It’s an area we’ve been to before but never on a road trip like this.

Phoenix-Sedona-Grand Canyon-Vegas-Disneyland

I know that in Phoenix we might go to “the house the man built all by himself that was in a Monkees episode” as Sharon calls it. (I think this is the Mystery Castle but I’m not sure). When we go to Sedona, I just want to go back to dinner at Dahl & Di Luca. We ate there during our Adventures by Disney trip in 2006, at our guides’ suggestion, and it was one of the best meals we’ve ever had. I’ve already locked in our rooms at the Thunderbird and Bright Angel Lodge at the Grand Canyon. We are also planning on going to the Grand Canyon Skywalk even though it is supposedly a tourist trap – but Sharon likes to show how much of a bad ass she is about not being scared of heights.

Now I’m up to planning the part of the trip I really know nothing about, Las Vegas. The last time we were there was 2005 and that was mainly to see Avenue Q and Toxic Audio.

Back then I booked us a luxurious room at The Orleans. As you can see, our biggest concern when booking the room that time was that it was inexpensive.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Our room at The Orleans
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The not bad view from our room (once you look over the office parks)
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
I’m amazed I found a picture of Sharon smiling in Las Vegas.

Sharon doesn’t hate Las Vegas. She’s just bored the minute she gets there. She doesn’t gamble. She watches what she eats. She doesn’t want to sit by the pool all day. She doesn’t like the classic Cirque du Soleil shows. Because of this, I’ve never even brought up the idea of us going back. It’s just not on the list of places we actively want to visit. It just turns out on this trip that it is the only place between the Grand Canyon and Los Angeles we could think about staying a few days. She was even the one who brought up the idea of us going there.

So here is where I need help. Let me know what do you like to do in Vegas? Places to stay, places to eat, shows to see. We’ll have at least 2 nights there in October over a weekend (I know it’s more expensive but we’d rather be in a crowded Vegas instead of a crowded Grand Canyon).

Drop us a note here on the blog or comment on Facebook or Twitter. I am looking forward to seeing what you all like to do when in Las Vegas. And remember, what happens in Vegas just might end up being a story on the blog.