It’s a new year and SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Inc. are “celebrating” by giving some awesome opportunities for patrons of SeaWorld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens, while Legoland is doing the same.
Joe and I have traveled to several countries where English was not the native tongue. Joe took Latin in school so his ability to translate is limited, but I took Spanish for 8 years, which helped when we went to Cuba in 2016, and immersed myself in Japanese In 10 Minutes A Day back in the mid-90s, which helped quite a bit the very first time I visited there.
Over the years we’ve noticed less and less need to learn much of other languages when traveling. If you have internet access, there are plenty of ways to get translation on the fly, and even without data access, there are offline apps, plus miming can go a long way, or you can even wear clothing that will help with the basic of basics.
That being said, it still helps immensely to have a little bit of knowledge under your belt of the language of the country you’re going to visit, even if it’s just a limited yes, no, thank-you, you’re welcome, I’m sorry, the numbers 1-100 and the “question” words of who, what, why, where, when and how. Obviously, for such limited words or phrases, you may not want to spend a fortune. Fortunately, there’s an online series of courses that can teach you close to 40 languages, and they’re FREE! And besides the typical Spanish, German, etc., you know what else they teach?
Klingon and High Valyriand.
I see your eyes lighting you, travel friends who are nerds on the side ;-)/
When renting a car, Sharon and I always try to pick one that has SiriusXM Satellite Radio. We’re familiar with the channels and know which ones we like. There’s no need to try to find a new station when you drive outside of the range for the FM station it took 20 minutes to find. We have our discussions about what to listen to on the radio. Sharon’s more into On Broadway or 80’s on 8 while I’m more into The Blend and The Highway. We manage to get along with the rule the one who’s driving gets to pick the radio station (Sharon’s usually sleeping when I’m driving so she doesn’t care what’s on the radio anyway.) (Note from Sharon: True story! LOLOL!)
One thing we won’t do is pay for SiriusXM in a rental car. Depending on the rental car company, it costs between $5.99 to $7.99 a day and that’s too much to pay when I’m doing everything I can to save on a car rental in the first place.
While we’d never pay for SiriusXM in a rental car, many people are willing to pay for the convenience. Heads up that if you’re renting a car between now and September 10th and paying for SiriusXM, you’re wasting your money. Here’s why…
Gogo has been a provider of in-flight WiFi since 2008. Fifteen airlines currently partner with Gogo, including British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, Gol linhas aereas, Aeromexico, American Airlines, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines, Japan Airlines, ITA, United Airlines, Hainan Airlines and Vietnam Airlines. In the U.S., you can buy plans that vary from 1-hour passes upward to an annual plan. But, of course, that’s usually gonna cost ya.
However, as a Labor Day gift to all, on this Monday only, T-Mobile is going to give every person who flies domestically on planes equipped with Gogo a FREE HALF HOUR of Gogo service on their smart phones!
Joe and I love a good road trip. For as long as we’ve known each other (which dates back to the early-mid 1990s), besides enjoying the sites, we’ve liked playing our favorite songs and signing along, and sometimes even adding in harmony (sometimes good, sometimes not so much) along the way. In the very early years, we did that with old fashioned mix tapes.
After a decade or so, we upgraded to “Mix CDs,” which eventually gave way to “What channel do you want to listen to on (Sirius-XM, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, Tidal, etc.)?” We each have our favorite; I prefer Sirius-XM, while Joe always liked Spotify because they let you make your own playlists and download songs as long as you have a paid subscription – that way you can listen to them offline, like when you’re on a plane). Now Pandora offers the same service and, get this, they’re offering a year’s subscription FOR FREE tomorrow, if you have T-Mobile service and their app.