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Tag Archives: Travel
Travel and Leisure magazine recently released the results of its annual survey of “America’s Favorite Cities”. How did your home city rank?
Boston received high marks from visitors for its classical music, culture, professional sports and history. It is also perceived as a city filled with intelligent and tech savvy residents. Want to see how Boston ranked in the nearly 30 categories created by Travel and Leisure? Link here.
After spending a week in Rio de Janeiro, Sergio and I packed up to drive to Paraty, Brazil – a Portuguese colonial town on the coast approximately 2.5 – 3 hours drive South from Rio de Janeiro. I plan to completely decompress by sleeping constantly, reading when I’m awake and doing nothing more strenuous than ordering a cold beverage from the beach.
This marks the last leg of the trip for Sergio and me before we drive back on Friday to fly back home to Boston. While I’m looking forward to returning home, I have to admit I’ll miss the sun and warmth. I’ll write more about that and my other adventures after I return home, but until then you can read about last year’s trip to Florianopolis, Brazil.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States. While I don’t know the exact numbers, airports, train and bus stations as well as the highways will be filled with people eager to return home and to visit friends for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Are you traveling to celebrate Thanksgiving? Give yourself some extra time, and I want to wish you safe travels. I’m in Brazil this week celebrating Thanksgiving in my own special way, but my thoughts are with my friends and family in the US. Have an extra helping of turkey for me.
Today is the first full day that I am in Rio de Janeiro. A couple from Boston arrives here later today, and we’ll spend the week hanging out and enjoying all that Rio can offer, but this morning Sergio and I will be down at the gay beach in Ipanema; just a short walk from the apartment we’ve rented. I hope you have a wonderful day.
Earlier this month work brought me back to New York City and my usual hotels were completely booked so I opted to stay at the W New York. As a general rule, I like the vibe of W Hotels and the W New York certainly exudes that when you first walk in from Lexington Avenue in Midtown.
However, I found the rooms (at least my room) a bit tired. The sleek modern design and layout was starting to look dated and was certainly in need of a fresh paint job, judging by all the scuff marks along the white walls.
However, what really irked me was the bathroom; to be specific the shower curtain that wasn’t quite long enough to prevent water from the shower to splatter on to the floor and the bathroom towels that felt like sandpaper.
I’ve stayed at enough W properties to know how nice and comfortable these rooms can be. Sadly, until I hear that a fresh coat of paint has been applied and perhaps the bathrooms have been updated, I’ll skip this Starwood property.
I’ve missed you Rio. I’m looking forward to seeing you again.
One week from today (actually right about now) I’ll be heading to the airport to fly down to meet Sergio in Brazil. Our trip this year is tinged with a bit of sadness as I head down to see Sergio’s Dad who’s health has rapidly declined over the past year.
On a happier note, after spending a few days in Belo Horizonte, Sergio and I will fly to Rio de Janeiro where we will meet a couple of friends and spend a fun week vacationing along Ipanema Beach. I’m looking forward to the warmth and energy of Rio.
Blogging will slow a bit while I”m away, but I’ve scheduled posts regularly and will check in to accept comments so keep ‘em coming.
Lonely Planet has named Brazil the most exciting place to visit in 2014, and I totally agree. Brazil is preparing for two of the world’s premiere sporting events, 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics.
In a little more than three weeks I will be flying back down to Brazil where I’ll spend a few days in Belo Horizonte to visit family. I’ll then fly over to Rio de Janeiro where Sergio and I will spend a week with a couple we’ve become friendly with over the past 18 months then just the two of us will drive down to Paraty; a Portuguese colonial village on the water three hours south of Rio for some rest and relaxation before heading home.
Want to see what other destinations rounded out Lonely Planet’s top ten destinations to visit in 2014? Link here: Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2014.
The Mandarin Oriental DC (AAA 5-star luxury property) was ranked by the Institutional Investor magazine as one of the top 100 hotels in the world, and I’ve been lucky enough to stay at this property a few times because of work.
Below are photographs of my room – 944. The muted colors are calming and the sound-proofed rooms meant that I never heard anyone once I closed my door. The furnishings and set up speak for themselves in the photographs below. It is tough to find any fault with the Mandarin Oriental DC. My only issue with the hotel is that I prefer staying (for personal reasons) closer to Dupont Circle.
Earlier this week JetBlue announced that starting in February the airline will fly non-stop from Boston to Savannah, GA.
If you’ve never been, I’d encourage you to add this quaint town to your list of places to visit. Savannah is Georgia’s oldest town and it is filled with beautiful 19th century architecture and delicious restaurants. With average temperatures in February and March in the low 7os it isn’t exactly hot but as compared to Boston, it might be a nice, affordable option for a long weekend if you want to get away.
Pronounced Para-chee, this quiet coastal town just a few hours drive from Rio de Janeiro is where I will spend several relaxing days and nights after what I’m sure will be a fun week in Rio de Janeiro in late November / early December.
You may recall that last year’s trip to Brazil took me to Florianopolis or “Floripa” as Brazilians call it. I’ll have more to share about Paraty in the coming months and after I return but until then you can read about my trip to Florianopolis here:
Are you contemplating a trip to South America’s largest (and in my opinion most beautiful) country? Have questions about Brazil? Feel free to shoot me an email at email@example.com or leave a comment.
Are you planning a visit to London? Not long after guest blogger James H. submitted his post, 5 great gay date spots in London, Zena Alkayat’s book London Villages arrived at my house, and I couldn’t stop thumbing through it.
Tucked away, inside the massive city of London, are dozens of neighborhoods “villages” filled with charming local markets, restaurants, pubs and gardens that many tourists never get a chance to see. Divided into five categories: Central, North, South, East and West; each section describes a half dozen or more of these charming villages, including photos and images along with contact information for local markets, restaurants, pubs and gardens that many tourists never get a chance to see.
For purchase: London Villages by Zena Alkayat
Earlier this summer I wrote a post about how Boston’s Logan airport has been successfully wooing new airlines and routes while consciously working to lessen reliance on traditional large US carriers and looking beyond Europe for destinations to serve in this post.
Japan Airlines (JAL) started flights to Tokyo, Turkish Airlines has announced flights to Istanbul and Copa Airlines announced flights to Central America from Boston. Now Emirates Airlines has announced that they will start flying to Boston in March 2014, making it the 8th US city they will serve. While flying can be a pain in the neck – I still love travel and welcome the news.
Last year I wrote a series of posts giving some tips to new residents on how to survive a Boston winter. You may not want to think about it, but winter in Boston will be here before you realize it and when it comes to surviving a New England winter, planning ahead is key.
Booking airfare in September and October for January and February can help you get a better fare and also allows you to pay off the cost of the airline ticket well in advance of your vacation. The photo above is of your’s truly relaxing at the W Vieques this past February. Contemplating a trip to Vieques, P.R.? Feel free to check out some of my posts about my trip last year.
I find the best way to make it through Boston’s brutal winter is to plan a quick respite for a few nights some place warm. Cheap seats abound for flights in January, February and March if you have some flexibility (hint: airfares on Tuesdays and Wednesdays are cheaper than end of week and weekends).
Book your flights now while more affordable seats remain and before the holiday season has you spending more money than you intend.