Author Archives: Rosen

New York City: Most Romantic Spots

It may not be the City of Lights but the City That Never Sleeps is obviously one city that never turns the lights off either. So either way, if you’re planning a grandiose proposal or a romantic honeymoon but Paris just seems a little far off just yet, New York is just a worthy candidate for painting a picturesque memory of love and a lifelong commitment with your beau.

Now we may not be Cupid personified but we can help you get your plan moving by providing you a list of New York’s most romantic spots. Before you finish making that itinerary and checking online for the cheapest car rental rates, read on below first to check out our compiled list and make your last minute changes:

Lincoln Center

lincoln-center

How many times did we wish that our lives had its own background music to make moments more unforgettable? The Lincoln Center is a place that houses performances of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the New York Metropolitan Opera or the ballet, each provides a great show with equally as great sound for the ears. Just after watching a performance and the fountains are lit under the starlit sky, pop out the ring and propose.

Empire State Building

You may not be able to give her the moon, but you can get her to the top of the world.. or almost. Take in the view, breathe in the fresh air, and find yourself falling in love even more with your partner but also with the amazing city of New York. There have been plenty of couples who have taken their vows up the “Cathedral of the Skies” and becoming part of the Empire State Wedding Club. They always have room for new members.

Rockefeller Center

rockefeller-centerThe skating rink is open even if the holiday season is over.  The night breeze, the twinkling lights, and the cold environment is enough to give each other a reason to stay close together for warmth. Your partner may not be the best at maintaining balance during skating, but let that not be a hindrance to enjoying a fun night, it may even be a sweet excuse to hold hands too.

Central Park

Bethesda Fountain, the Bow Bridge, the Boathouse Café that overlooks the lake, the horse-drawn carriages… there are plenty of spots around Central Park to make a night magical for you and your sweet heart. It’s all about presentation, timing, and your creativity. The mood and the magic are all just waiting for you to take hold of it.

 

New York: Top 3 Classic Hotels

While we already have a list for New York dining and tourist attractions, it’s about time we discuss New York lodging. If you’re looking to stay at a hotel that boasts of great interior, a haunting history, and a great location, then maybe you could check out the list below of classic New York hotels that you might find interesting! We all know, where you lay your head also makes an impact on your trip so hold off on checking out that New York car rental list and review this first.

Below is a list of 5 classic New York hotels you may either check-in at or just come in to visit to enthral at.

 

 

The Chatwal New York

Formerly known as the Lambs Club, the first ever American professional theatre organization, this building was assigned to be re-designed by hotelier Sant Chatwal to Thierry Despont, who is also responsible for the centennial restoration of the Statue of Liberty and the interiors of the Getty Museum. The result of Despont’s creation is a magnificent hotel that’s considered to be one of the most glamorous hotels in the city. The interiors are adorned with murals, posters, and memorabilia of the hotel’s beginnings in the theatre and its roots in classic New York.

The Pierre

Located at 61st Street at 5th Ave., this classic and ultimately posh hotel is as expensive as it looks. But don’t let that discourage you, considered as a landmark hotel since the 1930’s; The Pierre became part of the 2005 Indian Taj Resorts, Hotels, and Palaces so you know that it’s definitely worth it. With still a touch of old school to it, original fireplaces and elevator operators are still around. The rooms are surprisingly simple compared to the Grand Ballroom and the Rotunda. If you’re wondering where the influences are that got the hotel in the Indian Taj list, well if you look closely, you’ll see that the hotel is clad with modern Indian art, the bedspreads are made of silk, and the bathrooms are built on Turkish marbles.

The Plaza

It should be named The Palace in reality though. This 1907 French-Renaissance style condotel was reopened last 2008 after a $400 million renovation fee. In the renovation, 152 units were changed into private condo units while the rest are still lushly Louis-XV inspired hotel rooms complete with the butlers-with-white-gloves service. If that’s not enough, even while you do your business in the bathroom, you’ll definitely still feel like royalty as you marvel at the gold furnishings and the hanging chandelier on the ceiling, meanwhile, the sinks are fitted with 24-carat gold and mosaic baths. The Oak Bar, Oak Room, and the Palm Court Restaurant are also places within the hotel that are also considered as landmarks so make sure to take a peek when you have time.

 

10 Fun Facts about New York City

Did you know that Central Park wasn’t completed until 1873? Bet you didn’t know that along with some other relatable and fun trivia regarding the most famous park in the world. New York is a big city with a lot of exciting facts and trivia about her key sites and herself too. It wouldn’t hurt to read up more about The Big Apple interesting characteristics just so you’re equipped with knowledge before visiting, right?

Here a couple of interesting facts about New York City:

  1. The principality of Monaco is comparably smaller to that of Central Park.
  2. Central Park holds about 9,000 wooden benches! So don’t give up hope about looking for a place to just sit down and relax.
  3. For the construction of 30 transverse roads, they blasted through almost 30ft of solid bedrock using gun powder. They also say that the blasting of Central Park for the construction of roads used more gun powder than the Battle of Gettysburg did during the Civil War.
  4. New York’s taxi cabs are yellow because according to a study that John Hertz chanced upon, yellow is the fastest color to spot by the human eye. If you didn’t know too, Hertz isn’t only a well-known taxi line, but he also runs the famous Hertz car rental too!
  5. New York’s Federal State Bank vaults in Wall Street located 80 feet below the bank holds 25% of the world’s gold bullion!
  6. There is a tough audition process for the NY Subway’s musicians. Most of which have played in Carnegie Hall!
  7. New Amsterdam was the city’s first name before it was changed to New York.
  8. Peter Minuit, a Dutch explorer, purchased the southern tip of the island (Manhattan) from an Algonquin tribe for tools and trinkets amounting to $24.
  9. There is a branch in the Metropolitan Museum of Art called The Cloisters. This branch of the museum is the only place in the country which exclusively features medieval art.
  10. And unsurprisingly, the state’s fruit is the apple.

 

 

Florida: Key West Fun Facts

keywestIf visiting Key West is part of your places to visit before you die, we think it’s important that you just a little bit more fun information besides the usual guidelines on where to eat and where to bunk beds.

We all know that Key West is a quirky little town filled with quirky personalities. Sure enough, there are a number of quirky little tidbits that are interesting enough to know just for the heck of it. So below is a list of not-so-useful information that we think you might enjoy:

 

  • If you want to see about 40 polydactyl kitties, you’ll find some at the Ernest Hemingway Museum. In case you guys were wondering, polydactyl cats are cats with 6 toes. Neat, eh?
  • At Sloppy Joe’s Bar, you’ll spot on their wall 2 of Ernest Hemingway’s uncashed checks!
  • One of the main roads, Duval Street, was named after Florida’s first and longest serving governor of Florida. It’s also the “world’s longest street” which runs from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Inhabitants of Key West are called Conchs (pronounced as ‘conks’). People who weren’t born in Key West but have lived in the town for 7 years or more are called “Fresh Water Conchs”.
  • The term “conchs” came from people with European ancestry that moved from the Bahamas. They say that a conch shell is placed outside their doorstep when a baby was born.
  • Robert the Haunted Doll, which was once owned by the artist Robert Eugene Otto, was said to be possessed by evil spirits. Today, the doll can be seen at Fort East Martello and Gardens.
  • The reason and history for Robert the Haunted Doll’s reputation was because, as they said, the doll was a gift to Eugene by a Bahamian servant who was skilled in black magic. The family said that they would see the doll changing expressions, moving from window to window when the family was out, or even threatens to kill its child owners at night.

It may be few, but these tidbits may just be that much needed push for you to finally search the net for the best rental car rates to get you to Key West from the airport in no time. Don’t forget to be extra careful in taking a photo of Robert the Haunted Doll, we don’t want him visiting you in your hotel room at night!

Orlando Sites: Disney Top Tips

disneyworldIt is part of every family’s bucket list to have Disneyland or Disneyworld be crossed out from their list of things to do and places to go; it’s every adult’s favourite childhood memory, and every child’s dream come true. Vacations taken with children is always a different story, you need extras for everything – extra clothing than usual, extra snacks, extra water bottles, and extra patience plus energy to keep up with them. This means, setting the kids free to run around and explore in the most magical theme park in the world requires more preparation than usual.

So before you head on out and hop on one of the best Orlando car rentals, read on through to see what tips you need to remember during your 1-3 days in Disney!

 

Go during off-peak seasons

This is before or after Christmas, usually the months of October or February. Never go during peak season as Florida’s heat is something else during those times. You’re bound to experience a meltdown, and if adults can feel really tired and dehydrated under the sun, imagine how much more that meltdown will be on your kids. So play it safe and never go during peak season.

Pack on the extras

Pack extra shirts, extra shorts, extra socks, extra underwear too if you must. Pack everything extra as there are plenty of rides where there are chances of children getting wet – not just from water rides but also from perspiration. It’s a hot day with a lot of running around, getting wet is bound to happen. And since you’re all perspiring, packing on extra water won’t hurt as well. If you don’t want the extra weight, all counters at Disney gives out free ice water, all you have to do is ask for it.

Wear comfortable shoes

There would be so much walking, running, and probably even jumping, that to wear flip flops, sandals, or even heels would be the worst mistake you’ll ever make.

Souvenirs as the last stop

Refrain from dropping by the souvenir shops too early in the day or else you’ll end up with less cash for more important things like food or beverages, less space in your backpack, and more junk that you and your kids might not really need. The best time to drop in at a shop is right before you watch the fireworks or right before you leave the theme park.

New York Sites: Statue of Liberty Fun Facts

If you have read our previous post, you’ll know that we talked about a couple of fun and interesting fact about the Empire State Building. Of course, if you’re doing a clean sweep of New York’s finest attractions and dining, it’s inevitable that you also visit the lovely lady Liberty herself!

Mounted on Liberty Island, formerly known as Bedloe’s Island, is the 305 feet and 6 inch tall statue from the French. Given as a present, this statue is that of the Roman goddess, Libertas who is known as the goddess of freedom, holding a torch and a tabulas ansata which had America’s independence date, July 4, 1776, inscribed on it.

What most people don’t know is that at the bottom of Lady Liberty’s feet are broken chains and shackles that symbolize freedom from oppression and tyranny.

The conception and creation of the Statue of Liberty began in the 1870’s where Frederic Bartholdi first constructed the statue in France. He then disassembled it to ship it to America and re-assembled it back up again.

The color of Lady Liberty was not painted green on purpose. The statue’s original color was that of dull copper. It changed into green because of years of weather changes has affected the coat to corrode which resulted to the ‘patina’. The US Congress has authorized to re-paint the statue but due to public dislike, they preserved the green patina instead.

Also, as an added tidbit, the copper skin is only 3/32ths of an inch thick (or thin). This copper sheeting’s thickness is less than that of 2 US pennies combined.

Frederic Bartholdi also stated that he designed he patterned Lady Liberty’s face by using his mother, Charlotte Beysser Bartholdi, as the model. He also mentioned that he created an uncomplicated silhouette on the statue which would take great effect because of the statue’s great placement on the harbour. Any immigrants or visitors to come towards the Americas would notice a changing perspective on Lady Liberty as they approach Manhattan.

Admittedly, that last tidbit of information isn’t so common as the first few and chancing upon this makes seeing Lady Liberty in possibly a whole new light as well. If this piqued your curiosity, and that vacation to see the Big Apple has got you excited, better make sure you double check your car rental rates so you’re sure to have a way to get to Liberty Island soon!

New York Sites: The Empire State Building Fun Facts

Surely there are most of you who have already looked up some interesting facts and trivia regarding New York City’s Empire State Building before hopping on to your Enterprise car rental with your camera and your change for the tower viewer. But for those who still don’t have an idea, here is a couple of fun information you might have never known about the tallest building in the city:

Top of the World

Back in 1931, the Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world. Today, it’s been bumped down to the 4th tallest building with 1,860 steps from the ground up to 102nd floor which is the top most floor of the building.

Cloud Nine

On every 14th of February, there are a group of couples who get wed on the 80th floor of the Empire State Building. To be able to do this, you must first send an application indicating why you want to get married there. Couples are chosen based on their creativity and their originality. The couples who have gotten married on the Empire State become members of the Empire State Wedding Club where they are freely admitted into the observatories every 14th of February.

Bright Lights and Shining Stars

Besides being seen on the movies Sleepless in Seattle, An Affar to Remember, etc, the most popular movie where the Empire State was seen was first seen was in the 1933 classic, King Kong. Also, other popular celebrities that have been noted to visit the building was Fidel Castro, Queen Elizabeth, the band KISS, and Tom Cruise to name a few.

Statistics and Numbers

Here’s a quick statistic of the basic numbers involved in the Empire State Building:

Total budget: $40,948,900.00

How long it took to build: 1 year and 45 days

Number of workers on the building: 3,400 people at peak times

Simple Travel Tips To Remember

It’s not always easy to plan a travel itinerary especially when you’re traveling alone. Sometimes even if you’re just traveling out of town, a couple of tips here and there could be a great help to get the ball rolling in arranging itineraries, lodging, and transportation.

First off is thinking of an ideal vacation spot to spend a luxurious weekend at. It doesn’t have to necessarily be a plane ride and a number of hours away; it could be as near as a couple miles away from home. You can check for cheap sale flights or search online for cheap car rentals that offer the best deals. Once you’ve had that targeted, it’s time to move towards your lodging.

If you’re fine with practicality and just the right amount of comfort and leisure, hostels are always the best choice. It’s comfortable enough with clean sheets, a clean bathroom, and great fellow travellers to meet, interact with, and be friends with. They’re also the best people to ask suggestions of where to go next, what to do and what else there is to see.

checklistLastly, the itinerary is what makes your entire travel vacation memorable. There are some people who prefer to just go with the flow, walk the streets and let the adventure come to them. That could work too, but taking into consideration some of the others who can’t function without an ideal plan, researching on the internet what ideal attractions to visit and which restaurants serve the best food. Arranging it beforehand, about a week before leaving, saves you all the time and stress than doing everything last minute. Also, purchasing tickets for either shows, a theme park, a museum exhibit or concerts a couple of days earlier always saves you more money than purchasing tickets at the establishment itself.

Also ask around or research on which places to visit for food, whether it’s for proper dining or street food goodness. Some travellers say that food is always what makes or breaks a vacation; it’s the ultimate adventure to try out those grilled chicken intestines or frog legs on sticks. And of course, the most important thing to never forget is your camera. Take photos of your travels, capture moments in a photograph and when bad days come along, although you can’t just hop in a car and leave, you can always go back to the memories through these photographs and feel instantly better.

 

New York Dining: Dim Sum and Noodles

chinatownWe discussed where to find authentic Italian dining goodness from the previous post, in this entry it’s time to talk about where to find your nitty-gritty dirty Chinese food favorites in Lower Manhattan. It doesn’t matter how you get there, whether you get to this food haven on foot, via public transportation, or through a car rental New York, as long as you arrive with just the right hunger in your stomach and enough adventure in your veins, then this food trip would be well worth it in the end.

What you’ll notice if you’re a frequent traveller is that in every country there will always be every country’s respective Chinatown, and searching for the best tasting noodle bowls, dim sum, and dumplings will always be the best part of this trip.

Now for the best tasting noodles and dim sum, always look for the specialists. For starters, there’s Tasty Dumplings where the dumplings are as juicy and freshly cooked as you could only imagine, Lam Zhou Noodle Shop on the other hand offers you the best noodles in Chinatown. Other popular favorites are Grand Sichuan where the menu offers the best Sichuan spicy cuisine in the area, the Peking Duck House where, as you guessed it, serves the best crisp-skinned and succulent peking duck dish right on your center table.

After a satisfying sit-down meal and you’re still ready for more, head on out the street and scout for some of the best tasting Chinese street food that costs less than a dollar or two. Scout for steamed buns, kebabs or quick rice meals like cheung fun.