24 January 2014

Whitewater River Rafting Can Be an Unforgettable Experience

Photo credit: yahoo images

When you go Royal Gorge river rafting, be prepared to get wet and have the time of your life. Colorado’s Royal Gorge is known the world over for its incredible scenery and its fantastic white water. There are class III, IV, and V rapids, depending on the time of year. There is a minimum age to run the river and when the water is high, you should be in good physical shape. You can run the river for half a day or a whole day, and if you still have some energy left, there is a zip line you can play on as well.

Gear and Guides

All the gear you will need to enjoy the white water from a raft is provided. There are splash jackets, personal flotation devices, helmets, and wetsuits and river boots as well. With every rafting trip, there is a safety support kayak that goes along if extra help is needed along the route. All of the guides have years of whitewater experience, so you can be confident that you are in good hands while you are in the raft and on the river. 

Extras and Excitement

Between the live music on the weekends, the available helicopter tours, gift shop, and company photographers catching your rafting trip, your trip will be one you will never forget. The pictures they take can be made into a CD for you to take home and show your friends how brave you were and how much fun you had. The rapids you will navigate through on a Royal Gorge river rafting trip are Spike Buck, Shark’s Tooth, Five Points, Salt Lick, 3 Rock Falls, Single Dip, Double Dip, and Kamikazee, among others. If you are the adventurous type and have no fear, book your whitewater rafting trip in the early part of the summer when the rapids are turbulent and the water is running fast and high. If not so much excitement is comfortable for you, book your trip in the middle or just past the middle. It will still be fun and exciting, but the water will not be so high and won’t be flowing as fast as it was earlier in the season.

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Frigid Cold in NYC

Oh no, not another kind of Arctic cold sweeping the US again and our trip to NY is coming very soon. Much as we all want to play with snow, touch it and run around the snowy field, I think we don't like that kind of frigid weather right now. I don't think our winter gear will hold up.

I hope this weird Polar Vortex version 2 will be over soon. We just want to enjoy chilly but not freezing NYC!

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What’s Included in an All-Inclusive Holiday?

Photo credit: yahoo images

All-inclusive holidays have been around for many years, with most travel agents and travel operators offering this kind of deal on their trips. Many people however still chose to build their own holidays, perhaps having never taken the option to go all-inclusive. There are many great reasons to choose an all-inclusive holiday, as they can save on surprise costs, and reduce the stress of booking a holiday. But what exactly is included in this type of holiday? Here is a quick overview of what to expect before you book. Make sure to take a look at the cheap all inclusive holidays from Co-operative Travel for your next break.


Your flights and transfers will be included in your break, meaning no surprise airport taxes, taxi costs and plenty of information about baggage allowance too. You might even get inflight meals, depending on how far you are travelling, so check your individual booking for details of what exactly is included.


All-inclusive deals include hotel or serviced accommodation that will carry a star or other rating to let you know what to expect. You will also be able to view your accommodation online, so no surprises when you arrive.

Food and Drink

One of the biggest draws to all-inclusive is the fact that you don't have to pay for any meals during your stay. Most packages will include breakfast, lunch, dinner and any snacks, so there will be nothing to pay on food. Drinks can add up quickly too, and your deal will include all soft drinks, including bottled water, and up to all of your alcoholic drinks too. Check your deal to make sure everything you'd like is covered.


If your hotel or resort has activities on site such as sports or kids clubs, then these too may be included in your package. Check what is on offer and read through your terms to see if these are part of the deal. This can vary so check when booking to get the most of your holiday.

All-inclusive holidays can save you time, money, and certainly stress. All-inclusive doesn’t mean hidden costs, and it really does mean that everything is included for a brilliant break!

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20 January 2014

Our Studio Ghibli Experience

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My daughter and I are avid fans of Studio Ghibli. We have both watched a lot of Studio Ghibli movies countless of times and we could repeat the dialogues over and over. You can now imagine how fanatic we are of Studio Ghibli!

So, it is a dream come true to visit the place where beautiful Japanese animation started. Well, technically, it's the museum but to be in that place is just magical! So, when we finalized the plan to travel to Tokyo as early as October, I booked our Studio Ghibli Museum entrance tickets in advance because you couldn't enter the museum without the voucher of the paid entrance pass and booking.

Studio Ghibli is a Japanese animation production company created in 1985 by Hayao Mizayaki and Isao Takahata. It is the famous studio behind the animation releases like Howl's Moving Castle, Kiki's Delivery Service, My Neighbor Totoro, Grave of the Fireflies, The Cat Returns and many more. The English-dubbed version of the movies were dubbed by famous Hollywood thespians like Christian Bale (Howl in Howl's Moving Castle), Billy Crystal (Calcifer in Howl's Moving Castle), Kirsten Dunst as Kiki, Anne Hathaway as Haru in the Cat Returns. They are just few amongst the top actors and actresses who lent their voice in the English version which were all released by Disney.

I guess you can see by the pictures I have posted here how wonderful we felt stepping in the realms of our beloved Studio Ghibli Museum. I compare the feeling to stepping inside Disneyland, the happiest place in the planet. And yes, even if I am exaggerating, I cannot put into words the happiness my daughter and I felt being there, soaking all the wonders and beauty of the museum even for just few hours. It was worth it!

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We started our journey in the morning of Dec. 4, 2013. We left Shinjuku around 9 a.m. and caught the JR Chuo line train going to Mitaka. It wasn't really hard to find because as soon as you exit the Mitaka train station, you could see the sign leading to the exit to Studio Ghibli area.  We just followed that direction and saw a very big, yellow and super cute bus that really stood out from the other buses around. It was the bus that would take you to Studio Ghibli. I forgot how much the fare was.

It was brief ride from the Mitaka train station to Studio Ghibli. We passed by residential areas and small stream and there are markers that show how far Studio Ghibli is which is fitting to Studio Ghibli's norm - cute and antiquated!

Alas, we reached Studio Ghibli and we started taking pictures here and there! There's a big Totoro stuffed doll inside a ticket booth for decoration purposes. The entrance was actually in the other direction where the big Totoro was. People just loved that area because of the photo op with Totoro.

Our voucher was exchanged to 3 film reels of famous Studio Ghibli movies which are ours as keepsake.

Picture taking is not allowed once inside so I can't share anything about the wonders we saw inside. The museum is like a big mansion with several rooms to explore. There is a coffee shop and playroom for the little tykes around. There is also a souvenir shop in the higher floor and I bought several keychains, pin and face towel.

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I don't mind going back to Studio Ghibli, probably stay a bit longer and maybe watch some of the movies inside too.

If you're planning to visit Tokyo anytime soon, please include Studio Ghibli in your itinerary. It is certainly something you shouldn't miss. I bought my museum pass from UK and the voucher was sent to me via Royal Mail. Just visit this site for more info and depending on which country you are in. Don't forget to arrange for your Studio Ghibli Museum pass even before you arrive in Japan. There are also outlets that sell the tickets but you'll never know if the dates you prefer are fully booked if you buy during your vacation in Japan. I say, plan it and purchase it in advance that will fit within your scheduled vacation in the Land of the Rising Sun.

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11 January 2014

Disney Village in Paris

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Disneyland Village Paris is a cool place to visit before you embark your day-long journey in any of the Disneyland Resorts in Paris.

The Disney Village is teeming with dining options so if you are booked any of the Disney Report Hotels, you can always come here and dine.

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There is a huge Disney souvenir shop here as well for your last minute shopping before you head out to Paris. Aside from the souvenir shop, there is a big cinema and arcade for kids to enjoy and have a great time.

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 Going here is not very difficult as there are free Disney shuttle buses that ply the whole of the Disney Paris Resort hotels chain and affiliated properties every 12 minutes.

We went here last August of 2006. It has been several years since we visited and we can't wait to see the place again.

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09 January 2014

Top Travel-Related Apps For Your Gadgets

Technology is making travel easier everyday – from the apps that help you with the local lingo to rucksacks that can charge your phone on the move. Next time you go on holiday, see if any of these handy apps and gadgets could make your break go a bit more smoothly! Top Travel Tech
Discover the essential travel apps and gadgets for 2013 that will help you get the most from your holiday! Infographic by Villa Plus

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07 January 2014

NY Snow in February

We wanted to see and touch snow. That is one of the reasons why we're flying to New York in few weeks. We are hoping for snowfall, albeit na blizzard or hale type but snow that we can touch.

snagged from Accuweather.com today

I checked Accuweather.com yesterday and I am so happy to see that on the day of our arrival in NYC, there will be snowfall in the afternoon. And then there will be rain and ice on Feb. 9. I am so curious about the "ice" thing. I hope it's not stormy. We've been traumatized by Hurricane Sandy last year.

I'll be checking the weather forecast every week until we leave for NYC. We just want to make sure that we have enough winter clothing to keep us warm because I have heard that the weather right now is absolutely crazy and cold due to the polar vortex.

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04 January 2014

NYC This February 2014

I posted my travel goals for 2014 and I mean all that. I know, serious money issues will be taken into consideration. So, all the more I have to work hard in blogging. LOL!

Well, the first trip this year is in one of my favorite cities in the world - New York City! We never get tired going there. Everything is  convenient. You can walk around the block, ride the subway, take a cab or even use a bike. It doesn't matter how you go around the NYC but it's easy.

I have already booked our hotel in 42nd St. in Manhattan near the Port Authority bus area since we will be heading to New Jersey as well on Feb. 7.

My daughter is praying for a nice snowfall (not the blizzard one please!) so she can enjoy the last hoorah of winter. I don't mind. My boots will come in handy!

So, NYC again this time and hopefully, the next trip will be either in Florida or San Francisco by spring. If not, Tokyo, here we come again; just in time for the Sakura festival.

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01 January 2014

Shinjuku Terrace City Illuminations in Tokyo

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The Shinjuku Terrace City Illumination is an annual event held in Shinjuku, Tokyo during winter time. We were very fortunate to see what the fuss was about. And I must say, it is worthy of the fuss.

The Illuminations in the whole stretch of Shinjuku Terrace City is really beautiful. The tiny lights in gold and silver coiled around the trees, dangling on lines on top of you and covering terraces make a good bright vista against a clear Tokyo winter sky.

It can be seen immediately as you exit the Shinjuku Station on the South Exit in all lines. The Illuminations is on from Nov. 13, 2013 to Feb. 16, 2014 from 5 p.m. to midnight.

Enjoy the Illuminations as we captured in digital snaps.

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