Enter the Tourist Zone

Teesha's Trip 553I think you see them in every big city that is a tourist destination: those open-topped, double decker, hop-on, hop-off tourist buses with their passengers hanging over the sides to see what there is to see. Yes, they are very touristy, but are they any good? Interesting? Worth the money?

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I think yes to all of the above. One time I was traveling with a friend who is a resident of Washington DC. She wasn’t too sure of the idea of spending the day touring on a hop-on, hop-off bus. She said that they laughed at the eager-eyed tourist as they were driven through the streets of their city. When the day was over, she said she wouldn’t laugh at them any more. It is a good way to see the great sites of the city that you are visiting.

Picture this, you are in an exciting new city that you have dreamed of visiting. The sun is shining (not too hot, just perfect),  you are on the top deck, you have your ear buds in and are listening to the commentary as the bus rolls past the sites of the city: Eiffel Tower, Arch de Triomphe,  down the Champs Elysees, Louvre, Notre Dame.

It’s not cheap, but neither is it expensive. Think of it as being in the DIY section of travel products.

My tip: know the layout of the city before you get there. Know the sites that you want to really visit and explore and those that are more of a photo stop. This is the day to make sure that you get the photo stops in. You might not have time to really explore the sites that you have traveled so far to see. Save them for tomorrow when you can use cheaper mass transit. Today is for relaxing and enjoying the unique view that you get from the top deck of the bus.

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What are your thoughts? Do you like the hop-on, hop-off buses? Too touristy for you? Too costly?

The Feel of Europe on a Sun-Drenched Caribbean Island

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I love Europe. I love the architecture and the history. My husband, while he enjoys Europe, loves sunshine. Puerto Rico is the perfect compromise. We flew there in January and I remember splashing through the standing water on the tarmac as we ran to the plane. About seventeen hours later, we disembarked into the sunshine of Puerto Rico.

We spent a week of our time there in a vacation rental close to the El Yunque rain forest. I loved listening to the Coquí frogs and picking grapefruit off of the trees for breakfast. Our “landlord” brought us a variety of things that grow to eat. They seem to eat a lot of roots. Some were good and others were, well, not so good.

From there we moved to a hotel that was close to Old San Juan. We enjoyed exploring the area, visiting the forts, and dreaming of pirates. It was very interesting trying the local cuisine.

One of the memories I treasure most were the breakfasts we shared at Hacienda San Jose. The lazy ocean-front mornings were fantastic. Any time that I can sit and sip coffee and watch water I’m happy.

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