The Lifelong Learner :: Do what you can, with what you have, where you are -Roosevelt ::

Posts Tagged 'Travel'

Visit to State College, PA May 9th, 2006
Our Trip to Spain August 23rd, 2005
Trip to Mexico December 9th, 2004
Euro Trip: Greece and Poland June 29th, 2004

Visit to State College, PA

I like college towns. There is something about them that interests me. It must be the young people — plenty of them — looking to learn. Or it must be the “education” smell. I’m not sure. I just like college towns.

State College is the home of Penn State. It has a nice, lively downtown adjacent to the college. It is filled with young people. Beatiful girls. :-) It feels rich. It feels safe. It’s very clean.

What more can you ask?

My college experience was different. I went to NJIT. It’s a technical school. We had 80% of guys (or even more). Not too many nice girls. College guys like to have fun. We tried. After visiting Penn State, I wished I had gone there. :-) It would have been a lot of fun.

All students seemed to be proud of Penn State. You can feel it. It’s great.

We went to Providence, RH, home of Brown university, last year. It has a different feeling. It seems smaller. It also seems that people study a lot more at Brown. Really, everybody was studying there. At Penn, it seemed that people were just enjoying themselves.

In any case, State College is a nice place. Worth visiting for a day or two. Plenty of food choices, a lot of hotels. You can walk around the university — it’s huuuuge. Well worth a second visit for my wife and I.

Our Trip to Spain

We visited 4 places in 7 days…

Barcelona. The greatest city I’ve ever been to. You can say New York has it all. But Barcelona has more — at least it seems like. It has a beach within walking distance, great food, great night-life, and an amazing city center. I don’t know what else you can ask for. What’s more, it’s a very tourist friendly city: you can practically walk and reach all destinations.

Valencia. Beautiful but boring. We went there for the beach. Very disappointed.

Ibiza. Are you single? Then you have to visit Ibiza. It’s the biggest party place on the planet. Period. Very nice beaches. Beautiful girls — with nice boobs (oh, yeah, I was in heaven for a couple of days :-) . Girls, because you can hardly notice any older people. I’d love to go back.

Majorca. Coming from Ibiza, a little disappointed. It’s like you add 15-20 years to the average age of the people. It feels like you’re in another country. Germany? :-) But for families, it’s great. Very beautiful.

4 places in 7 days. Not bad. But overall, we liked Greece better last year. Something was missing.

Trip to Mexico

We woke up very early on Thursday morning. It was 5 o’clock in the morning. This time, I wanted to be at the airport on time. I had my clothes packed, papers checked. We were ready to go. We left at 5:40AM. At around 6, we arrived at the airport. On time. I said to myself, it’s good to be on time and not to rush. We had some time left before our 7 o’clock departure. Since we did not eat breakfast at home, we went for coffee and a croissant at the airport. We still had time. So I thought, let’s walk around the airport, since they have so many new stores. Really, Newark airport has a lot of new stores now. It was 6:45, when I thought we should go to the gate and the boarding area. Not so quick. The screening takes a considerable amount of time now. You have to take off your shoes, belt, etc. It took almost ten minutes to go though all of that. Finally, we arrive at the boarding area. It was 6:55. Everything is all-right, I thought. However, there was something weird. I see a sign for Phoenix, AZ, our layover, and it says 7AM and “on time.” I thought to myself, how come there is no people in the area. There was no plane at the gate. Weird, I thought. Well, maybe the flight is delayed. I should get something to eat, a snack or something, I thought. So I went to get it from a nearby newsstand. When I got back, it was 6:59. I hear, “Kubasek, Kubasek.” So my wife went to the lady and she said “you missed the flight.” We missed the flight. That’s great. The plane left 5 minutes ahead of time.

We were lucky. We took an alternate flight, via Las Vegas, and got to San Diego half and hour before our original flight. Hey, we got to see Las Vegas. The desert city with all of the casinos and hotels looked good from the distance. Very good. I was very happy to see Las Vegas. There were slot machines inside the airport. I tried. No luck.

We left the San Diego airport at around 2PM. As soon as we stepped out of the building, we thought we are in another world. Close to 80 degrees. Sunny. Palm trees all over the place. Just beautiful. San Diego is really nice. Where else do you get a mild whether all year? It would be nice to move here.

Mexico. We crossed the U.S.-Mexico border. Right away, something strikes you. I knew Mexico was poor. A lot of people know that. We were driving through Tijuana to Baja. I got to see Mexican people, their houses, driveways, streets. I’ve seen some poor areas in Poland, but Mexico is different. Mexicans are messy. There is garbage all over the place. So the first impression was not good.

However, as we moved closer to Baja, things improved a lot. Nice houses. Beautiful views of the Pacific ocean. Different life. Why? It turns out a lot of Americans live here. Or at least they have their vacation houses here.

So how was Mexico? Mexicans might be a little messy, but they are very friendly people. I didn’t know that. Food is great as well. Lobsters, fish tacos, tortilla chips with salsa. Everything in Mexico testes better than in U.S. (I wasn’t a big fan of Mexican food in NJ.) The views from the house we stayed in were amazing. The house is right on the ocean. We stayed at a 5-star hotel, basically. And it was for free, since our friend invited us to the house. Can’t beat that.

Going Back. We wake up fairly early on Monday. It’s time to go back. We go through the border without any problems. It took us twenty minutes to drive pass it. As soon as we get to the airport and get our boarding pass, I check the boarding time. I don’t want to make the same mistake. We had a layover in Phoenix. We have over an hour of time to kill. What is there to do? We go to get some food. We kill some time. It’s 3:15 and our boarding time is at 3:30. We should go there, I thought. As I look at the monitor to get the flight information I get nervous. I don’t see our flight to Newark, I only see a 7PM flight. I go to the counter, it turns out it’s 4:15. We forgot to adjust our clocks. We missed another flight! This time my wife got a little upset. However, I think this was as much my fault as it was her. We got home around 2AM. What a trip.

Euro Trip: Greece and Poland

Oh, what a vacation it had been. For those two weeks I’ve been in a different world. Literally. We had a very good time. And like I said in my previous post, Greece was exotic and Poland was relaxing, family oriented.

Greece. We’ve seen two different worlds in Greece. Athens, or Acropolis in Athens, is something to see. I’ve never seen anything like it. It is an amazing statue that’s been there since the beginning of the mankind.

Then there is Athens, the city. Or I should say Athens before Olympics. Let me tell you, it looks like a great rebuilding of Athens. A lot of construction is taking place before the Olympics. Thus, Athens is a bit messy. But Plaka, the old town of Athens, is very nice.

Greek Islands. This is a totally different world than Athens. They’re beautiful, tourist friendly, and expensive. Yes, the islands are beautiful, and you’ll not be bored on them. There is so much you can do that the islands will satisfy even the most demanding. We visited two of them.

Santorini was the first one. This is probably the most amazing island. The island still has a volcano and the whole island is on the volcano contour: it seems like the island is on a mountain. It’s very nice.

Mykonos was the second one. And Mykonos has a town that has has a labyrinth architecture. Those streets are so small and plentiful that you’ll get lost. We did. And it took has like 10 minutes to find our way. It’s very cool.

We’ve seen most of the islands because we rented a scooter (12-15$/day). We had a lot of fun riding that little motorcycle (and no, I didn’t have any experience). I would definitely recommend that.

Beaches on the island are also amazing. They’re very liberal, not like in U.S. Half of the women don’t wear bras and every beach also has a nude beach on the right side. That makes the beaches interesting!

Poland was next, after 6 days of Greece. I’ve met up with my new family — from my wife’s side — and relaxed a little. We went to Zakopane, Krakow, and Tarnow. Krakow is a great city, I think it is one of the nicest cities in Europe. I always pay a visit when I’m in Poland and I always like it. A lot of tourists, too.

So there you go. Pretty much the whole vacation. I don’t want to bore more and take more space. But we had a great time. More vacations like this and I’ll be happy.

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