Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Business Travel: Where Was I?

Do you ever finish a business trip and wonder where it is you've been? And, worse, whether the kids will recognize you when you walk in the door?

It happens to all of us who travel frequently, for whatever reason it is that we spend so much time on the road. And, the hardest part is always leaving the loved ones behind.

Where Was I? is a great product put out by wherekids.com to help the frequent traveler keep his/her family in the loop. It is a travel book geared at kids, telling about the great places the business traveler in their home has been while away from the family.

And these books are not only great for those left behind. They can be a valuable resource for the little ones who are traveling to uncharted waters too. They are a really good resource for kids who have globetrotters in the family... or who are perhaps globetrotters themselves.



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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Impian Resort, Desaru Malaysia

We held a church camp at the Impian Resort a few years ago in Desaru, Malaysia, and the facilities were just perfect. There are 3 room sizes available. You can get a single room apartment, which houses 2-3 people, or you can get a double room for 4 people. This one is a really nice little unit, with a loft upstairs. The biggest apartment is a 3-bedroom, and it has a very spacious hall and dining area. We really loved using that for our whole-group gatherings.

Also fun for everyone was the water park right in the middle of the facilities. The kids especially loved it, along with the petting zoo. I was more keen on the little sandy beach that is found just behind the stand of trees, but still on the Impian premises. Very nice!

The food was not bad either. We had a big buffet every meal, and several tea breaks each day. The function rooms were just right for our meeting needs.

If you're looking for a relaxing family holiday, or for a secluded site for a retreat or other group outing, the Impian Resort might be just the place for you.


You can get directions for driving online, or you can take the ferry from Singapore (Changi Ferry Terminal).

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Friday, April 20, 2007

A Web Resource for Bookings

Eurobookings.com has lots of great resources for you when you want to book your hotel online. At the site, users will find an easy-to-book European hotel reservations center, full of information that will prove invaluable once the travel starts.

It's a very easy to use interface. Visitors to the site can sort information by hotels near specified landmarks, hotel popularity, proximity to airports, and hotel reviews. I just watched the old Audrey Hepburn / Gregory Peck movie Roman Holiday last night, and that prompted me to browse through the section on Rome when I visited the site for review. I like how easy it is to navigate through, especially using the pop-up map. And it's impressive how many hotels there are clustered in the center of the city on the map it pulled up.

Customers who book through the site do not pay a reservation fee or pay for the accommodations in advance. Instead, they pay when they check out of the hotel. This is a good way to ensure that your accommodations will be up to expectation.

At Eurobookings.com, you will find a unique hotel guide section that describes museums, landmarks, and unique attractions to visit when you travel through different parts of Europe. The hotel guide section is one of the most useful parts of this site. Before you travel to Europe, you might want to stop in there and have a look. I think you'll find the kind of deals you are looking for.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Las Vegas

Wouldn't you love to be the owner of one of those fancy Highrise condos in Las Vegas? I would. Imagine looking out your window at that glorious sparkling strip every night, watching the tourists hustle from place to place, trying their luck with the one armed bandit, or perhaps at the card table.

If you are looking for Las Vegas real estate, millionsaver.com will help you find the perfect location at the right price. Stop in to see them today, and you could be on your way to owning a beautiful luxury condo at that sparkling city in the desert.



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Monday, April 16, 2007

Jack the Ripper Tours

When I was in London, one of the things I really enjoyed was the Jack the Ripper tour. I thought it would be a little spooky, but it turned out to be a very interesting history lesson for me.

We met up near dusk and took a walking tour along the Thames. While we were on the walk, the guide pointed out to us the places where several victims' bodies had been found and described how the murders had come about. I was fascinated to hear her theory about who the Ripper was. (She fingered a judge, though she was quick to say that was her own opinion based on the evidence we have today.)

The story is really interesting, and walking by the river at dusk is quite fun. If you get a chance to do the Jack the Ripper walking tour when you are in London, don't miss it.



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Friday, April 13, 2007

At last!

I'll be heading up to Shanghai at the end of the month. My friend there has suggested that we take a trip while I am there to Guiling. I've wanted to go there for a long time, but have never gotten to. I am thrilled about the chance to go and see one of the most beautiful places on earth!

Keep watching.... I hope to have photos of my trip to Guiling up in another 6 weeks or so!



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Monday, April 09, 2007

Florida Holiday Villas

Orlando is a fantastically fun place to holiday. My family and I had a real ball when we were there some years ago.

As I am sure you are well aware by now, there is a lot of junk available on the internet. While there's also good information, you sometimes have to wade through a lot of rubbish if you're ever to find it. I've got some good news for you, then: a web release has just announced an excellent resource, especially geared at UK residents who plan to spend their holiday in Florida.

Thinkflorida has put together a single place on the internet where you can find some of that good, reliable information... without all the junk. I like what I see at the site. If you book a particular Orlando Holiday Villa from them, then that is precisely the Orlando holiday villa you are going to get. If you have ever had the experience of getting something very different than what was advertised, then you know how meaningful such a promise is

Thinkflorida provides lots of great services, including a car rental service, a ticketing service and an online booking service for Private Pool Homes, Condos and Town Houses in the Disney area. And here's something else really good to know about their pricing: often, the UK customer is sometimes not fully aware of how cheap it is to rent a villa for the entire party, since many book their vacation as a package. Where many would consider a $20 per night per person a ‘deal’, it could only cost them less than $10 per person per night if they would rent the unit directly. That's the sort of useful information you're going to find at thinkflorida.

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

A Trip I Hope to Take Soon

I've not yet been to South Africa, though I have a number of friends who are from the place. My colleague from South Africa has her mother in town visiting now, and we've been out for lunch together a couple of times since she's been here. She is a fascinating lady, with many stories to tell about her home country. I have loved getting to know her and hearing about life there. Her insights into tribal life have been especially appealing, generating in me a desire to travel to South Africa. (And the food sounds wonderful!)

I learned from my friend that South Africa is only -- yes, only -- a 10 hour flight from here. That has me even more willing to make the journey. Somehow, I thought it was much further away.

So, there's a new destination on my to-be-seen-soon list.



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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Giamso

Since I've lived in Singapore, I've booked lots of different travel arrangements, whether hotel, airline tickets, or whatever. One of the agents I've used on a pretty regular basis is Giamso International. I've booked tour packages, air tickets, and other such things with them. I've generally found the staff helpful and the prices competitive. They are located in Chinatown, where there are a lot of tour agencies, so it is also really easy, if you want to use Giamso, to compare prices with other agencies before deciding.

If you stop by there, you can ask for Kenneth. He mostly does just air tickets, but he is extra helpful.



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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Discount Tickets

I've been to Universal Studios several times. I always enjoy it when I go. My family has a video from my first trip there. It "starred" my dad, my younger sister, and myself in a western flick. We all enjoyed being in it, and having the memories on video is a nice thing.

We've always taken in Universal Studios on the same trips where we've enjoyed Disney's theme parks. The package of enjoying both great places together is pretty unbeatable. I really enjoyed how in Florida, there is so much more to it than the same old same old. You've got Disney World, Epcot Center, Universal Studios, Disneyquest, Downtown Disney Pleasure Island, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach Water Parks. At night, there are lots of great dinner shows, like Arabian Nights, the Pirate Adventure Show, and Medieval Times. All are loads of fun -- not to be missed!

And here's some great news for you; if you are heading to Orlando, you can get Walt Disney World Tickets at really low prices, and you can get discount tickets to other great attractions in the area as well. Just visit orlandofuntickets.com, and you'll find all sorts of great tickets and packages, and at very good prices.

A trip to Orlando is loads of fun for the whole family. By booking discount tickets, you can make it affordable too.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Review this Blog

Are you a blogger? Would you like to make a few extra bucks off of your hobby?

Pay Per Post gives you an excellent resource for monetizing your blog. You can sign up there and then browse through their bulletin board for jobs that are available for bloggers. It lists there the requirements and the pay being offered.

Here's a nice offer. If you click the tab below, you can sign up at PPP. From there, you'll receive your first assignment, which will be to write a review of my blog here. When it is approved, you will get paid $7.50, and so will I. that's a pretty nice deal for both of us.






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Over the River and Through the Woods

When I was a kid, my grandparents built a weekend home in Point Blank, Texas. I'm not kidding... that is the name of the place. The house and everything associated with it were all built by my grandfather with his own two hands.

We loved the place. It really was an "over the river and through the woods" to get to grandmother's house, except that it was a lake and not a river. Point Blank is situated right near Lake Livingston, and it was a beautiful area for a bunch of kids to get to play each weekend.

Lake Livingston is one of those places that is a great way to spend the weekend. It's a real escape from the bustle of what everyday life has become for most of us. I love the pine forests that surround the area, and the smells associated with it as the seasons turn throughout the year.

Around the lake, there are lots of activities, including both land and water sports. There's a number of places for renting jet skis, water skis, and wake boards. And if you're more of a land lover, there is camping, horseback riding, and all that sort of thing.



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Orlando

Disney World packages are just one of the things that attract visitors to Orlando. It isn't like Disney World is the only thing in Orlando to see, even with baseball's Spring Training already over. In fact, Disney World isn't even the only theme park in the area. There are actually 52 theme parks in the Orlando area. Can you imagine that? Where else has that many theme parks?

And, that's not all. There's sunny skies and nearby beaches. There are lots and lots of top-notch golf courses. There's tons of convention centers and meeting facilities.

So, even with Spring Training in Florida over and the baseball season underway, there is still plenty to see in Orlando besides Disney World. Of course, that doesn't mean you'll want to miss The Happiest Place on Earth while you are there.


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Monday, April 02, 2007

Bookcrossing: the well-traveled book

When I travel, I always have a good book with me. I like to try to read a book that is either about the place I'm visiting, or is by an author from that place. It doesn't always work out that way, but I like to try to arrange it.

Another nice habit is that I like to take books that I plan to get rid of after reading. I've learned of a website that makes this habit all the more fun. Bookcrossing is the place, and I've written more about it here, and there has been a fun comments section there with updates every now and then from those who have stopped by and read it.

Bookcrossing is the habit of registering your book at the site, then "releasing it into the wild" for another reader to pick up. When they do so, they are supposed to log into the site and you can trace there how far your book travels.

When I visited the House of Flour in Shanghai back in December, I found a book that was registered at the Bookcrossing site. It is kind of fun, thinking I've brought it so far from there (to Singapore), and when I leave it elsewhere, who knows where else it will go?



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The Amazing Race and the Long Night

I don't watch reality TV. Generally speaking, I don't like to sit and watch people reacting to real-life situations in overly dramatic fashion, and reality TV strikes me as being just that. And in fact, trying to contrive just such things.

That said, I do watch The Amazing Race sometimes. I've followed some seasons from beginning to end, and some I've just picked up here and there. I know most of the faces that are in the current All-Stars edition of the program, at least, and some I am rather fond of (like Uchenna and Joyce).

This past week, several of the teams got stuck spending the night in airports, some teams even staying 2 nights in a row in different airports. I've done that one, and it can really be exhausting.

I once stretched a trip from Singapore to Houston out into a 54 hour ordeal. Ugh. It was every bit as bad as it sounds, and then some.

Oh. I forgot to mention. It was Christmas Eve. I had chosen to route my flight through Memphis instead of Minneapolis, thinking to avoid bad weather. Wrong move. I got iced in... in Memphis. And, to make the irony all the thicker, they flew me to Minneapolis to get me out.

Those long nights in airports... they are not fun. I always take a good, thick book along. Just in case.



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