Monday, November 15, 2010

A MONTH IN SINGAPORE - WHAT FOR?


The Vintage Traveler is holed up in Minnesota for a couple of months with not much exciting to report in the way of travels.  So I will share some of my favorite memories from a recent  trip to Singapore.  The first thing everyone asked was why are you going to Singapore for a whole month?  The answer is because we like to get to know a place and settle in (also my husband likes to work on his laptop and moving around can be a bit stressful.)   I  like to revisit  favorite places and of course you can always find something new and interesting in a  large city like Singapore. My favorite places were Chinatown and Little India. My husbands' favorite place was the world famous library http://www.nlb.gov.sg/- loaded with business books (of course the air conditioning helped).   We stayed in a small apartment at the Metro Y which was perfect for us and with the heat of Singapore the swimming pool was a godsend. In the early mornings I often walked a short mile to the Botanical Gardens and enjoyed the beauty of the gardens and participating in the Tai chi classes.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

VINTAGE TRIP TO NORTH MINNEAPOLIS

1601 DUPONT AVE. NO.


 It all started because of an article in the Minneapolis Tribune about OLD HIGHLAND in North Minneapolis.  My goodness I had never heard of this area and I grew up in north Minneapolis and worked in the city for many years.  So when I read the description of numerous homes built in the late 1800's I was on my way to find out what I'd missed.  It is an area concentrated between Plymouth and Broadway, west of Lyndale Avenue. 
According to the Tribune they have formed a mini-neighborhood within the Near North neighborhood, branding their 30-block area as Old Highland, with the catchphrase, "A small town in a big city."


1514 DUPONT AVE. NO.
Ornate Queen Anne residence listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Constructed in 1895-98

1501 DUPONT AVE.  NO.
Constructed in 1888


Saturday, October 16, 2010

CHICAGO CHICAGO

I don't think you can find a more pleasant city to visit on a lovely fall day.  We stayed at the Marriott Courtyard  in the center of it all  -  thanks to our successful Priceline bid. We found that bidding on Priceline is the great way to go for low rate  (assuming the city isn't sold out due to a special event, etc.).  I took the River Architectural Tour which I thoroughly enjoyed and then walked along Lake Michigan where you can actually walk or bike on a path for 26 miles.  We also went to the newly remodeled Art Institute of Chicago (free on Thursday evenings).  The next morning we enjoyed our swimming pool overlooking the city and walked up State Street.  We then walked to Union Station where we caught the MegaBus for a long ride home -  it was went fast and it was rather relaxing. 

This ends our one month  "all you can jet pass" trip on Jet Blue Airlines.  Will we do it again??  Maybe.  The trip required A LOT of planning because it was basically seven separate vacations, however, it was another unforgettable trip of a lifetime.  Yes, we probably will do it again.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

VERMONT AT ITS' BEST

 Vermont in the fall is on the "bucket lists" and I can understand why.  It actually surpasses the great pictures and photos I have seen through the years.  The distances between towns were short and there was always something interesting around the next curve.  The covered bridges were the best and my husband found most of them (whoops I just found out there are 107 standing covered bridges in Vermont - he missed quite a few).   I jumped out of the car for each one and took  photos from different vintage points and had a ball.

We started in Burlington VT which is a great college town (Nicole and Kelsey are you listening?)  and drove north along Lake Champlain and then to Newport for the night.  We continued back through Stowe and Montpelier.  I also discovered Brown & Jenkins Coffee in Cambridge VT.  and placed  my first order for the Black Ice coffee today.

Yes I would like to spend some more falls in Vermont - maybe do some hiking and biking (they have great trails around Stowe) and then continue our road trip -  I know I missed some great door pictures.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

BERMUDA AGAINST THE WALL

We are within walking distance of Hamilton HOWEVER the walkways frequently disappear and  the only way to  walk is on a narrow busy two lane road often with weathered walls on both sides.  You need to run fast and watch out for your nose if you peak out to see if any cars/scooter are coming. (Today I needed to watch my knees while I sat on a wall waiting for a bus.)  The roads and weathered limestone walls were built 100's of years ago and apparently no one wants to change them.  They have a good bus system for touring the island but if you want to jump off to explore you might not have a sidewalk. 

Bermuda is beautiful with turquoise waters, islands, pink sand but not quite as charming and peaceful as I expected.  Even though there are only about 64,000 people on the island it seems hectic because of the  heavily traveled and narrow roads.   (Hamilton has sidewalks and crosswalks.).    The ferry boat rides are lovely but the drivers decided to strike a couple of days after we arrived and no one seems to know why or when it will end.

Another new experience for us were the tree frogs that start chirping at sundown and don't stop until after sunrise.  We hear them throughout the night in our bedroom probably because we are staying in a area surrounded by gardens and trees.

Friday, September 24, 2010

COFFEE SUNRISE & DOLPHINS

Lots of memories here in Sanibel - to begin with my parents use to love Florida and frequently came to Ft Myers Beach for their winter vacation (big thing when you live in Minnesota).  I remember coming along with them for some of the visits. My husband and I continued to vacation here with our two children and my parents for many years - it's been about 15 years since we've all been here together.

 We have rented a lovely condo in Sanibel which overlooks the causeway and Ft Myers Beach - we are right on the bay which is providing a great breeze and dolphins for entertainment.  The sunrise is beautiful.  September in Sanibel is very quiet - most of the condos are empty and many of the restaurants and shops are closed.  I love the bike ride up to the lighthouse in the mornings when it is still cool and walking the peaceful Florida beach looking for shells (gifts from the sea).   I've also been sitting by the bay reading The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (great book).  Here is a quote from the book "There is nothing perfect," ---"There is only life."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

BOSTON

This was an exciting change from the Carolinas.  We stayed at the Marriott Copley Square which we managed to get for $125 by bidding on Priceline.  It was a great deal because they upgraded us to a suite on the 33rd floor with a spectacular view.  Copley square was a great area for shopping and restarants and a convenient walk to subways and the historic downtown area.   I sure hope my neice decides to go to college here so I have an excuse to return - one cloudy misty day in Boston was not enough.

Monday, September 20, 2010

CAROLINA'S IN SEPTEMBER

We left New York and flew to Raleigh NC where we rented a car and took a road trip which included Carolina Beach, Wilmington and Myrtle Beach .We then spent three nights in Charleston which has some of the greatest doors and old homes I've ever seen.  I loved walking around  and taking photos at my leisure.  It heats up in the afternoon so a relaxing swim at our hotel worked for me.  We also enjoyed the great company of our daughter who was in Charleston on business.  (You can get to know Anna better by viewing her famous blog - Classy Career Girl.)   
We recommend the restaurant Jestine's - featured on Oprah and 1000 Places to Visit (before you kick the bucket).  The Coca Cola cake was to die for.  After saying goodbye to our lovely daughter we took off for a  Boston

Sunday, September 19, 2010

JET BLUE TO NEW YORK NEW YORK

The trip started with a drive to Chicago Ohara to catch a  flight to JFK.  We spent the night close to the airport so we could get to Ohara early.  We were told by a hotel employee that there would not be a toll on the way to the airport WRONG we needed 80cents in coins to exit the freeway - no bills and no attendent - fortunately my resourseful husband jumped out of the car and got change from the car behind us.  We were on our way. 
So far we are impressed with Jet Blue.  The personnel are pleasant and helpful. The airline seats have plenty of legroom.  We also like the free snacks and direct TV. 
JFK is probably the easiest and cheapest airport for transportation to Manhattan  -  $7.25 via air train and subway.  We were at our hotel 1hr and 20 min after the plane landed  (the return was not as smooth because we almost got on a train going the wrong direction).
Cheap Eats - 50 cent hot dogs with juicy onions and fresh bun at Grays Papaya on 37th&8th Ave.  Rated best hot dog in New York. 
BIGGEST SURPRISE  No More Honking in Manhattan.  There is a $350 fine for horn blowng - honestly,  it is quiet.  I still can't believe it.
We enjoyed the US Tennis Open and walked all over and were ready to leave all the action for the slower pace of Raleigh, No Carolina.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New York Doors & More

Well we accomplished finding a hotel in New York. I  gave up on Priceline and decided to use points to stay at the Marriott Fairfield Inn on W. 40th Street.  It seemed like a good use of  points considering the hotels rates in NYC in Sept. 

I haven't mentioned that I love to take photos of vintage doors.  So I included a door photo from my last trip to New York.  I plan to add more as the vintage journeys continue.  Not sure why but I love to take photos of doors with my little Cannon point & shoot. You are welcome to give me hints as to how to improve my photography.


       "May the sun always shine on your doorstep."

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Travel Challenge #1

My life partner/ husband and I are planning another journey  (thank heavens I agreed to travel around the world with him when we were first dating because I think he believed that getting along on an extended trip was part of the prerequisite to a happy marriage.)   I guess I passed the test because we have been happily married for 31 years. 
 Just a couple of weeks ago, on the spur of the moment, we purchased the Jet Blue travel pass.  We were having so much fun doing it that my brother, who was visiting us from California, handed me his credit card and said to sign him up too.  Another proof that shopping is contagious.  In case you are not familiar with the "all you can fly" pass - it basically allows you to fly anywhere on the Jet Blue system for one month beginning Sept 7.
I had some buyers remorse when it came to booking the flights because there were so many options and we had to deal with the connecting cities.  But we now have a plan and the flights are booked -  hopefully it won't be too hectic.  We leave on Sept 7th for New York City with plans to attend the US Tennis Open and wander around one of my favorite cities for 2 days  (my husband thinks NYC is too expensive and has very little appreciation for the city - so I'm lucky he wanted to attend the US Open).   I will be exploring Manhattan at my normal frenzied pace and as usual will be ready to leave when the time comes.   I am going to find the Steinway Piano showroom which peaked an interested after watching "Note by Note - the making of Steinways".  Great movie by the way.  
Challenge number 1 -  finding a cheap room in Manhattan.  So far my $110 bids on Priceline have been unsuccessful.