Rome, and most European cities, have very charming sidewalk coffee bars and cafes.  Locals use them a lot.  On our very first trip to Europe in 1993 we decided we would become a local.  Along the Via Veneto is a famous place called the Cafe de Paris.  It’s a small coffee and snack place with a stand-up coffee bar and cute tables along the Veneto that’s been in many Italian movies over the last century.  Good looking pastries and authentic Italian coffee, including espresso.  We wonder in trying not to look like tourists, and point out 2 pasties for our pleasure.  And we order 2 cappucinos to wash them down with.  Can’t quite get into the espresso habit just yet.
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Written on August 21st, 2009 , Anicdotes, Food&Drink, Travel Tips

How many times do travel experts tell you to be careful, guard your possessions, and not look like a target?  When I travel that’s normally my number one rule…but sometimes “stupid” just takes over!
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Written on July 21st, 2009 , Anicdotes, Travel Tips

A Newbie’s Adventure:

My addiction to travel began in 1993.  Never a fan of “packaged” tours, I decided to tag along with my wife on a wintertime business trip…to Germany and France.  And plan my own travel connections. I’m also not a fan of winter, so this was a potentially difficult trip for me.  Especially as a novice traveler.
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Written on July 21st, 2009 , Anicdotes, Food&Drink, General, Lodging, Sightseeing

Great title for a Hitchcock movie, and a great way to learn from travelers and locals.

My very first trip to Europe started in Frankfurt and Paris.  Found it very daunting and a real challenge to understand the ins-and-outs of train and subway travel.  In the USA we navigate by numbers (roads, trains, etc.) and compass directions.  Not so in Europe.  They use endpoints and cities, so lots of local knowledge is crucial.  For example, if I wanted to drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco I simply take the I5 North.   But if this were Europe, I’d need to leave LA and “head in the direction” of San Francisco.  But wait, it’s not that simple.  There are no signs in LA that indicate where San Francisco is.  What you must do is find somewhat close towns to LA, and towns along the way, to head towards!  So to do this trip I need to look for a road going to Burbank, Santa Clarita, Frazier Park, Bakersfield, etc.
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Written on July 21st, 2009 , Anicdotes, Transportation

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