One of the most helpful apps we have used in planning our travels is Tripit, both the desktop and mobile version. It's easy to use and it organizes our travels in such a way that we can share it with family and friends. You can also plan for multiple trips as the itineraries are grouped according to travel dates and location. It's as easy as one-two-three.
1) Go to tripit.com and create a free account using the email address that all your travel related reservations are sent to (hotel, airline, cruise, restaurant reservation, car rental, etc).
2) After verifying your account, forward all your reservation emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
3) An itinerary is created and indicates date of arrival and departure of all your travel plans. It also includes the address and a map if needed of nearby transit or driving directions. You can then share it with family and friends by forwarding to their email address.
Our parents especially like the last notation of sharing. Instead of having to forward each reservation separately, they are able to see all our travel plans in one place along with address and phone contact numbers. The only caveat is that while internet service is not needed for a simple view of your itinerary from the mobile app, you want to make sure your phone battery is good. We had a mishap during our last trip in that I (Sharee) had the mobile app but my phone battery was dead (literally). Rhonda went online to view the website version, but we couldn't get any internet service at the lower-level of the airport and she was unable to retrieve the address of the hotel. Thankfully, information services at the airport ground transportation was able to help us. Whew!! Point: you never know when technology won't work....make a back-up paper copy as "Murphy's Law" is still in effect. :-)
It's been a month since we departed on our last adventure, and a little over two weeks since our return. Many of you have been asking for more pictures (we took over 500) and we've narrowed it down to a hundred or so to share. Enjoy!!
In an earlier blog post we noted that our very first Take A Leap interview was with Andrea Adams of Travelista TV in Florence, Italy in Fall 2012. This travelista continues to be on the move but you'll now find her on a bicycle with two little ones in tow (we initially reference only one child in the previous post). So, during our recent visit to Florence, we took in lunch with Andrea at Il Mercato Centrale Firenze to catch-up briefly as she was in between meetings. Everyone was craving a burger, and we found a great vegan burger spot in the food court. We discussed everything from absentee voting (she maintains her dual citizenship) in the upcoming US election, Black Lives Matter movement, recent and upcoming travels, vegetarianism, a college study abroad scholarship she sponsors, and her two heartbeats, her two year-old son and nearly four year old daughter. We had so much to talk about and so little time. Ugh!! We'll definitely keep the conversation going for years to come as Florence is too beautiful to visit and not return to...for a fourth time!!
The last thing people think about on vacation is working out. However, when you take a cruise as a vacation where food is accessible 24-7, you really need to put it on your daily to-do list. During past cruises, we have gained 10-12 pounds each because of lounging around and non-activity. Boy have we learned!! So, in addition to the vast amount of walking we did at each of the various port sites during our cruise last month, we also took advantage of physical activity on the ship. Every morning we woke up as early as 6am to walk 1 1/2 to 2 miles along the track on the top ship perimeter. This gave us not only an excellent physical start of the day, but we were able to see the sunrise every morning in a different city and country most days. How wonderful!! We also participated in a rope course and cycle ride that test our physical dexterity high above the ship. Finally, we participated in three forty-five minute Zumba classes that were offered for FREE. We had so much fun following the dance moves of Jen, the cruise director. The end result...we only gained roughly 3-5 pounds each by the end of the cruise. Not bad because we ate a lot!!
Do you workout during your travels?
This right here...is the business. Lemons are a stable in the Italian region, and there is an abundance in supply. So what else can you do with lemons beyond the obvious? Why, sell it as alcohol. The drink is very popular in Southern Italy, especially along the Almalfi Coast. It has an ethanol content of approximately 40% and is best served chilled. In the United States it is produced primarily in California, and has a popularity spurt there as well. We bought a few bottles for family and friends, and thus far they have enjoyed it. Our cousin from NYC wants to know where she can get more. We're sure she can go into Manhattan and find it in "Little Italy". LOL!!
Have you every drank lemoncello?
We have returned from our cruise, and it has been one to remember!! Carnival went all out on it's brand new ship, and it was money well spent. The decor had the illusion of an ever ending vacation with pictures of cities from all over the world. It is worth stating that going on a cruise is a very relaxing way to see the world, one port at a time. For many on the cruise, it was their first international travel, and they sought it as an opportunity to fulfill a visit to many destinations on their bucket list. In future posts we'll share over the following weeks look at them not as a recap but as a way to find your get-a-way. Each day we woke up in a brand new city and/or country. This doesn't have to happen just on the cruise but in your everyday life. Make it your "why" each day to see the newness of life and what it has to offer. Today I (Sharee) woke up singing (and dancing) to Pitbull's "Fireball", a song we constantly danced to on the ship. It made me get through my typical morning routine faster, and it put a smile on my face as I recollected the sunrise each morning in Rome, Florence, or the mountains surrounding the Mediterranean region.
How do you see your world each morning?
Rhonda & Sharee Washington