Washington DC – Visiting for the First Time

Most people visit Washington D.C. when they are in high school as part of their Government or U.S. History class. Since I never sold enough candy bars for that I decided I should fork over some of my recently hard-earned cash and make a trip to the capital of the United States of America.

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Capitol Prez Pad

We endured a nasty snafu trying to take a shuttle from the airport to the hotel. I’ve blocked the fiasco from my memory so I don’t have any juicy tidbits to relay. The reception was welcoming at the Georgetown Inn in, you guessed it, Georgetown. The hotel is centrally located and it shares the ground floor with a Daily Grill, so the room service grub is respectable.

M Street

After a pit stop we walked down to M Street and scouted both sides of the street for cool stores, restaurants and bars. We settled into the dark, wood-paneled interior of Old Glory (3139 M Street N.W.) and ordered up a hearty lunch of roasted pigs and cows with a side of down-home mashed potatoes and salad. This is definitely a must visit if you are a rib fan.  We also enjoyed casual food and drinks at Mr. Smith’s of Georgetown (3104 M Street N.W.) just down the street. The back patio provides cool and calm if you get tired of the loud music and grooving bodies.

M Street is lined with historic buildings and contemporary stores. J. Crew is right next door to Andrew Jackson’s office. The street is also diverse. It’s filled with ethnic cuisine, used bookstores, children’s toys, antiques and clothing. Be sure to check out the Gothic Metropolitan AME Church while you are wandering the street.

We usually walked to other areas of town during the day and then would return to Georgetown to eat at night. So although it looks like we’re food critics, fat slobs or uni-dimensional travelers, it’s actually not the case. Read on for more.

Also in the area – Café Milano (3251 Prospect Street N.W.) – an upscale Italian restaurant with memorable food and amiable service. We especially liked the upstairs dining room since it was cozier compared to downstairs. This is a great date place.

Filomena Ristorante

For Jake’s birthday we descended the stairs into Filomena Ristorante (1063 Wisconsin Avenue N.W.) – a neighborhood favorite for old-world Italian food. Since it was the beginning of the holiday season, a huge, undecorated Christmas tree dominated the middle of the dining room. The window tables looked terrific, with views of the walking path, but we were happily encapsulated in the pine forest instead.

Au Pied du Cochon (1335 Wisconsin Avenue N.W.) became our new home away from home. It is a French bistro by day and a bar that serves bistro food by night. The atmosphere is authentic and the clientele seems mostly local and established. We enjoyed this slice of Georgetown flavor because of the free-flowing beer, the friendly conversation with the owner and the proximity to our hotel – just across the street. Au Pied du Cochon is a great place to hang out because it is unpretentious and eventually, everybody knows your name.

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Little Italy (Filomena’s)

Red Sea – Ethiopian Food

It was Thanksgiving Day and naturally, most establishments were closed. What a perfect time to enjoy cuisine from a different culture since they are usually open on pesky American holidays.

Lunch

So we settled in at the Red Sea (2463 18th Street N.W.) in Adams Morgan for a tempting, tasty treat. The beer was cool and refreshing but I was appalled when the food arrived. Damp, dense chamois cloth that they call bread with texture like a flayed octopus. I couldn’t get past it. Sure, the blobs of food that accompany it were okay and some were even better than okay, but the bread was a complete disaster that I couldn’t get past.

After lunch we wandered up and down the street. The top of the street is definitely sketchier than the bottom. There’s a Latino street market near the church where they sell cheap clothing, CDs, toys and assorted sundries.  There are also tons of bars and tattoo parlors in the area that look like they are happening most days of the year.

Like most visitors, we strolled up and down the Mall and stopped in at most of the museums. The National Gallery of Art and the Air and Space Museum were the most interesting. The Gallery is filled with amazing art and I came away with an added sense of awe for pieces I hadn’t seen before. The Air and Space Museum is a bit dated, but the exhibits are still fun and the IMAX Theater kept us entertained for an entire afternoon.

On a drizzly day, we also visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the expansive Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and the marble-filled Jefferson Memorial. We lingered at the Jefferson Memorial because the edifice is simple, stunning, and symmetrical. Plus, the views are terrific.

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Art Gallery

Washington Monument

Monument from Afar

We walked through Dupont Circle on the way downtown. Once downtown, we cruised by the FBI building and thought of Fox Mulder and Dana Scully from the “X Files.” This area is kind of a blur, but I do remember eating lunch at Red Sage (605 14th Street). The food was reasonable; more than anything, it seems like a hip place to eat.

Capitol Hill is dominated by the looming curve of the Capitol dome. We toured the grand building that includes history, artwork and architecture. We especially liked the Old Senate Chamber and Statuary Hall, where leaders of the past are immortalized in bronze and stone. Although the building and the interiors are elegant, it is not as grandiose as it looks on television.

The same holds true for the White House. We stood in line for two hours (and experienced some lousy, line-cutting techniques) before passing through the metal detectors in the portiere and continuing into the house. The interior is traditional and sedate. With picketers, bums and urban life churning beyond the gates, the house feels like the eye of the storm.

On our way out, a guy tried to walk down the front lawn and the Secret Service men detained him after he paid no heed to their warnings. A mini-drama was unfolding right before our eyes!

We also checked out the exterior of the Supreme Court and snapped some typical photos.

Foodie’s travel Diary: Colorado

Colorado is located in America, the highest point in the country of this city, which is in the foreground with America’s natural beauties. As a separate city for students working and travelling in the city, there are very few Turks, and the opportunity to study English is much higher than in other cities.

Is Colorado appropriate for students or families?


In other cities of the USA, the average working salary is $8 per hour, and students in this city can work about $12 for an hour. Unlike other cities, it’s easier to find a second job that takes an important place in the Work and Travel program. Thanks to this function, Steamboat Springs can earn more money than in other cities of the United States. Transportation of the city is free of charge. You can protect your transport budget by providing free bus transport to the right place for three months at this strategic point.

In winter the steamboat becomes a ski resort of the United States, and in the summer the foreground nature views come out. In all parts of the city, called “City of a bicycle”, there are bicycle paths and parking lots. The city also has areas where natural life can engage in all kinds of natural activities. In contact with many animals during their lifetime is a sign of protest. I see that the bear, moose, antelope, snake, mouse, fox. This city, which has the most beautiful natural beauty in America, welcomes nature every year.

What can you do in Denver?


• There is a big shopping centre on the street. This is a street where traffic is closed; it is called only a free bus called Street Mall Shuttle. Shopping is ideal for eating and drinking. If you have time, you can go all the way or take a bus which is a free service, and you can just walk down this street and come.
• ConfluencePark can be recommended. You can stroll along the river in Confluence Park and have a picnic, and even if you are on the right track, you can navigate this river.
• Denver Museum of Art is recommended thanks to both in architecture and art exhibitions. You can reach the end with a free shuttle bus to the Mall Street Mall, and then you can walk on foot in 15-20 minutes. There is also a museum of modern art called the Museum of Modern Art.
Denver is worth a visit, 40 km from the city of Boulder, a large green park, a beautiful hiking trail to the Rocky Mountains and the bustling and charming city centre. It’s easy to get Denver car rental, and as far as I know, buses from Denver.
Do not forget to visit the Denver open store, an outdoor sports and camping enthusiast from REI, a well-known outdoor equipment network.

Popular Places & Food Choices


Food & Drink: 
• Smash hamburger, the hamburger chain, perfect for hamburgers and thin-walled potato fries with speciality. In Mall Street, there is a branch.
• Another popular place for breakfast is the Corner Cafe Bar. There are some in the Street Mall.
• Cheesecake Factory, known for its series The Big Bang Theory, is hard to reach tourist destination. Cheesecake can be tasted. But burgers are not bad.
If you stay in Denver, especially in LoDo, you do not need a car with you. We can even say that he will not have any problems when visiting with your family. You can walk to the main attractions or take the free shuttle to Mall Street. There is also metro and buses, public transport is available. That’s why you can choose the option that best suits you and rest with your family.

Travel with Comfort: Using Your Smartphone While Travelling

It’s hardly believed but one of the best devices that are helpful for travelling is already in your pocket. Any suggestions? Do you know what is it? This is your smartphone, of course. Do you use your telephone for making calls only? You should know that it consists of vast number of helpful options you my use in different ways. Here are helpful suggestions how you can use your smartphone as a travelling agent.

Google Maps on iOS: knows where it's going.

 

  1. As a useful travel option

It is not a secret that you can find great many special apps for your smartphone to assist you in booking tickets, hotels, cars, table in the restaurant. Thus, if you are planning to go somewhere for weekend, try to check the dates with your smartphone app in order to find the cheapest dates for your flight.

  1. As a secretary

You can have a lot of useful apps like TripCase to help you to feel comfortable in the place you are now. If you need to book the cheapest flight, book a table in the closest restaurant, reserve a hotel, your smartphone can help.

  1. As a group trip planner

Google Docs is helpful to fixate information about your travelling and share it with friends. Whenever you are, you are able to leave your feedbacks, instructions, recommendations. If you want to meet your friends somewhere on the go, you may use Glympse or Find My Friends to submit the check point and find each other easily. This function is especially useful for group travellers.

  1. As a last-minute packing guide

Packing can be a real challenge for every traveller, especially if you need to pack in the last minute. It’s not a problem with Packing Pro. You have to pick the destination you are going to and check the list of suggested stuff. Just look through it and chose what you really need.

  1. As an interactive map

Traditionally, map is the first paper you take from your travel agency to feel free in a new place. You don’t need papers anymore. Google Maps works without a Wi-Fi connection also. There is alternative app – Maps.me or Spyglass. You can take the screenshots of the map and find the right destination, house, shop even without knowing the language.

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  1. As an airport guide

Try GateGuru to have your native city airport helpful. It is good for big cities when you know nothing about the airport rules and attractions. If you want to find a cashpoint, nearest cafe, luggage control zone, you may use special app. Waiting for the flight, you can find about the luggage room or rest zone.

  1. As a fast translation

People who like raveling try to learn the language of that place they are going to. If you are addicted traveller, it is impossible to learn all languages. Duolingo app or Google Translate will help you to translate any word fast and productive. It’s as easy as a piece of cake, just type the word or phrase and get the translation.

  1. As a money saver

You may use Travelzoo app to find a restaurant this evening or one-night hotel. You may also use Car Rental Near Me app to save money on car rental. It’s amazing but the app helps you to compare car rental prices and offers from more than 1,600 car vendors. The app is available worldwide to pick the best car about price, brand or age limits. You can even find the car from your favorite car rental company. The cheapest prices and attractive proposals are available.

  1. Simply as a phone

Definitely, you use your phone as a phone every day. However, your little device can be full of different speaking options. It is actively used for making calls abroad or on the go. Such popular speaking apps as What’s App, Skype or FaceTime are used with/without WiFi connection to speak, send audio, video messages, alive translation.

iPhone Mobile Smartphone

 

  1. As a currency converter

XE Currency app is what you need to find the exchange rate right now. The app is especially good to work offline.

  1. As a security system

The truth is every country has its own security app. It contains the full information about your flight, emergency contacts, entry and exit requirements, border crossing rules. The app is good to use offline. Thus, Global Affairs Canada’s Travel Smart app welcomes all Canadian travellers. And there is proper travelling app for every country. Find it.

  1. As a first-aid medical helper

It’s great if you will never need the app. Nevertheless, the Red Cross First Aid app allows you to get quickly access to the first aid emergencies and related services.

  1. As a business assistant

Business travellers often take their work to do later, when they have free time. You can work even in the plane if you have something like Docs To Go. With the help of this app you can view and edit Microsoft Office documents from your phone. There is another one smart addition – CamScanner app that is used to make scans of online and e-mail documents of different formats. Your paper job will always be done in time.

  1. As a jet lag alleviator

Travelling people often suffer from jet lags. When you feel the difference between new and old time zones you may feel physical discomfort. The Entrain app calculates the best schedule to help you to take proper rest and awake to feel comfortable in the new conditions.

Smartphones at Fashion Week

 

  1. As a weather forecaster

This is one more important mobile app that helps to use your phone as a weather forecaster. You may use this function from your laptop every day with no meaning. For more detailed information go to the Weather apps. It tells you all weather characteristics of the region you are now.

Also, you can add emergency information to your phone’s lock screen, such as medications, blood type and emergency contacts. This must be your medical ID. You don’t need special app to do that.

6 and More Major Ways Technology is Changing the Way You Travel

Can’t you remember the world without internet? It’s about more than 20 years we’ve been actively use it for different spheres of our life. Travelling is rather new but important sphere where modern technologies have found the way to impact. The number of travel sites and services is increased. You can find special resources for budget travellers, excursion guides, hotel booking services. People need more and more information every time they travel to somewhere. Here are 6 and more ways how technology can be helpful while travelling.

DER GROUND

 

Virtual Reality Helps to Explore the World

Let’s pretend that you are driving around the USA. You suddenly see the beautiful building that is architecturally interesting for you as for inspired traveller. It can be a campus of the university, museum or something like that. You may know a little about its history. It’s not a problem for your smartphone. Use Google Maps application. This is the easiest way to explore the world around. You can also find an excursion guide and continue learning the territory. The opportunities you have are amazing! It is not about Google Maps only.

Modern technologies allow meeting new paces without visiting them. Facebook helps meeting new people with the same interests that you have. IHG is leading app to find the hotel room. Such app as Travelstoke was designed especially for travellers to explore new countries and share experience on the web. You can buy whatever you want and from every corner of our planet.

Alive Communication

There are many alive internet platforms for travellers, where you can read about advantages of one or another hotel, share your experience in the blog or argue your position in the forum. The blogs and forums can be helpful to prevent bad and uncomfortable situations on the go. The most popular touristic advicer is TripAdvisor. Leave the touristic brochures aside! This is a platform where people from different countries write their honest feedbacks about the hotels, restaurants, shops and other impressions. You have enough information to read, take and think about.

Not a Google Map....

 

Phones New Opportunities

Apps on your phones are able to solve all travelling problems you may have. Actually, those problems are not big problems now. If you are bored to take a flight to somewhere far, you can upload new music on iTunes and enjoy it on the go. If you cannot find a taxi, you can use Uber to transport yourself all over the city quickly. If you cannot put a question to a foreigner and need someone to translate your ask, you can use Google translate to be translated to any language in real-time. Is it hot time to book a hotel or cheap hostel? Check out Booking .com.

In addition, your phone is helpful to take high quality pictures and post is online. Such popular apps like Instagram, Facebook, will help to share the newest information about your trip with your friends and relatives. Let people see your new pictures and read your comments, especially from those countries where phone calls are not available. Your telephone is a powerful machine now in the age of internet.

Money Saving Opportunities

You should keep in mind that time many years ago when you were trying to call your family from abroad. All you had to buy was international calling card. Of course, the prices were not cheap and the time you had for call wasn’t enough. Everything is different now. If you have an internet connection, you have no communicative problems anymore. You have a chance to call someone for free. You should try Skype. Whatever important occasion you have in your life, sister’s graduations, daughter’s marriage, and your friends or relatives cannot be physically present, translate it over Skype or watch translation. You can make video calls and send messages easily.

Skype is not the top on the cake. The world offers you more and more up-to-date communicative apps that are helpful not only for audio but video calls for no money. Thus, WhatsApp can be used if you have relations with foreigners and need to talk to each other every day, several times a day. IT technologies help you to save money on your travelling by paying online, finding the cheapest goods and services, talk for free and live for cheap.

 

Smartphones

 

Reading and Playing with Apps

Of course, the best helpers for all travellers are books. You can read a book every time you are on flight or spending time in the hostel on rainy weather. Books and magazines help to spend time wisely. Sometimes, you have to take a selection of five or more books. It is not comfortable to carry. If you have reading apps on your phone or tablet, you can enjoy reading right now with no limitations. Kindles or Nooks or Kobos have made traveling interesting for all travellers.

Huawei Ascend G525

 

Rent a car

You trip can be safer when you use a car to travel through the country from the city to city. Again, modern techs can help. Why don’t you use RENTAL24H.com? This popular app with the glorious name is organized in a comfortable way to get wider opportunities to find a car according to your search parameters. You can pick a car according to its color, size, brand, price, your age and driving specific. You should also compare the prices from more than 1600 car vendors. If you travel on budget, you can find a car in a frame of your price policy.

Are you a budget traveller? Just compare the prices and find a vehicle for your budget. Honestly, this is an easy and fast way to go through the country around the world. The conditions to pick a car are clear and common for all foreign cities. Why this app? It includes a list of cars from the world popular vendors, such as Ace, ADA, Caldera Alamo, AVIS, Locauto, Bidvest, Buchbinder, Budget, Caro, Circular, Discount, Flizzr, Enterprise, Oryx, First, Fox, Thrifty, InterRent, Europcar, MWM, Dollar, NU and others. Isn’t it an impressive list? If you cannot find a goof car from one car vendor, you can pick it from the dozen of others.

The Best that Portugal and Spain has to Offer

Iberia Peninsula

For those visiting the Iberia Peninsula, to take in the delights of Portugal and Spain, there is no better starting point than Lisbon airport. From here you can take a vehicle from Avis Car Rental and explore these beautiful countries at your leisure. Whether your thing is historical cities and sites, sandy beaches or theme parks, Spain and Portugal have a lot to offer.

Visiting Portugal

Of course where you go will largely depend on your interests and whether you are travelling with children or not. Portugal is known for is beautiful and popular beaches but if you want a break from sunbathing there is so much more to see and do.

Lisbon

If you are flying into Lisbon Airport then it makes sense to drive your rental car from Avis to Portugal’s capital city. From Gothic Cathedrals, quaint streets and shops to a vintage tram system, Lisbon covers all the bases for the curious and spirited traveller. There is also the Moorish Quarter, with its cobblestone streets. Portugal’s capital city also has castles and forts for those who enjoy visiting historical sites. You can explore museums such as The Geological Museum and The Money Museum.

Porto

Known the world over for its production of port wine, Porto is also a very picturesque and charming city. It nestles above the Douro River in Northern Portugal, just a drive up the coast from Lisbon. Places of historical and religious importance are the 12th Century Cathedral and the Church of S. Francisco. With street vendors and musicians, Porto is a lively and cosmopolitan city.

Aquashow

For the children you will be glad you visited Aquashow, a water based theme park in the Algarve region of Portugal. It boasts to have the World’s largest water roller-coaster. You also have pools, slides and even an exotic bird show. It is the place to cool down and enjoy the water.

Visiting Spain

Your Avis Car Rental tour would not be complete without visiting some of the highlights Spain has to offer. If you love driving long distances, or fancy an excursion, Spain has it all. Beautiful cities, awe inspiring mountain ranges and historical sites, museums and Cathedrals. Spain is also home to the popular theme park PortAventura.

Barcelona

One of Spain’s biggest tourist hotspots, Barcelona is a large, cosmopolitan city on the north east coast of Spain. Being on the coast it also has excellent beaches. But Barcelona is better known for Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia church and the tree lined La Rambla. Barcelona is great for shopping but also has many places of historical significance.

Santa Maria de Montserrat

If you love beautiful scenery, majestic mountains and religious and historical sites, then a visit to Montserrat is well worth a visit. Situated high in the Montserrat range the monastery of Santa Maria began life as the Hermitage of Santa Maria in the 11th Century.

PortAventura

Boasting six worlds to visit, PortAventura is one of Spain’s most popular tourist attractions. Roller-coasters, water rides, amusements and shows, all with a theme, provide the entertainment.

The Iberia Peninsula is a large area to visit but given the time, and good car rental through Avis, it is one that is varied and entertaining. This is one area that will please just about anyone. Whether you start from Lisbon Airport, or anywhere else, Portugal and Spain are well worth the visit.