BRAND BALLOT'S TOP 100 MOM BLOGS FOR 2018!!
Re-Cap of the NY Times Travel Show
New Day and New Week! Hope you had a great weekend.
It's sunny, cold and Monday here on Long Island and I've just come off a very enjoyable weekend, so I wont wast any time telling you about my day yesterday!
It was a Mom and Kelsey day, as we hurried off to catch a morning train into Penn Station, NYC for a day a the NY Times Travel Show.
I was shocked at how crowded the train was - there were literally no seats on our connecting train ride and barely any standing room. I soon found out that there was a St. John's-Georgetown Basketball game at Madison Square Garden.
If you know MSG, you are aware that it is right upstairs from Penn Station and the best way to get there is via the Long Island Rail Road.
Well, in any case, we arrived just fine and decided to grab a quick bit at the Pennsy Food Hall, located in Penn Plaza at 33rd Street and 7th Avenue.
The Pennsy Food Hall was mobbed! The center bar was jumpin' with tons of folks, who were obviously waiting for game time and there was not a table to be found for me and Kelsey to sit and dine.
I went straight for my fave food vendor - The Cinnamon Snail - with 100% vegan eats. I grabbed myself a Quinoa and Coconut Bacon bowl and for Kelsey, we headed to Pat LaFrieda for a chicken parm sandwich.
Thankfully, it wasn't too cold, so us gals made our way outside (with our food in hand!) and dined al fresco.
A short walk to The Jacob Javits Convention Center, we started our 5 block trek. I was amazed at how much construction was happening on the west side. Huge, modern glass buildings in all directions and numerous construction sites, with numerous sidewalks closed to pedestrians.
This area of Manhattan has certainly changed over the past ten years!
We walked west along West 33rd Street and I snapped away at the buildings, street art and surroundings!
It was pretty darn packed at the Travel Show, even though today was the last day.
They had many pavilions for the various geographic regions around the world, and even a full section dedicated exclusively to New York!
I have to apologize, but it was so crowded that it was a bit difficult to snap away, not to mention, our arms were loaded up with several bags with literature from the various show vendors and as we walked, we accumulated more and more brochures and catalogs.
Kelsey and I tried to visit as much as possible, making many frequent stops and occasionally stopping to take a photo here and there.
We stopped to chat and gather information for the Caribbean, and spoke to numerous sales people representing Puerto Rico, the various islands, including Curacao.
Heading toward "Asia," I was captivated by all the tours, particularly the rail and river cruises Our visits included China, Japan, Bhutan, Mongolia and Secret Retreats, a vendor specializing in luxury vacation properties, boutique hotels and river cruises throughout Asia, including Indonesia, India, Nepal, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.
We moved on to Morocco, where we were offered some very delicious tea and I had a lovely conversation with Casablanca Tours president, Souad Seghrouchni, who assured me that she would direct me to the best option, when we were ready to plan our trip to Morocco.
Entering "Europe" we spent a great deal of time chatting and picking up material about European River Cruises, for which I'm rather obsessed and am determined to go on in 2020!
One company in particular, Croisi Europe Cruises offered some beautiful looking packages all throughout Europe in an around France, Italy, Germany and more!
Between the crowds, booths and impressive destination signs, Kelsey and I didn't know which way to turn! But, we did manage to navigate the show in a methodical manner.
We gathered information anywhere we could! We grabbed lots of information for Italy, namely Calabria (the homeland of my maternal Grandma), for sailing the coastline!
Croatia and the Dalmatian coast has been on my bucket list for years. I was sure to take tons of brochures and maps from the Croatia Tourism booth!
We even stopped to have an exciting conversation about the Trans Siberian Rail Trips on Imperial Russia Train! I have to tell you - my heart was beating a mile a minute with the though of such a trip!!! They did not have anymore brochures, but I managed to take get their website address. Just look at this photo of the map from one of their rail tours from their site!!!
Kelsey and I were drawn to a booth that specializes in Culinary Trips!! Access Culinary Trips offers culinary vacations all over the world, literally from Italy and Morocco to Peru, Cuba and Costa Rica and from Croatia, Vietnam, Thailand, South Africa and Japan!! How totally cool!
All of the vendors were friendly and polite and very knowledgable about their respective destinations. We really had a blast!!
Many were offering giveaways, special show prices and raffles. We won some candy at the Japan booth and received a fun goodie bag at the Guatemala booth with a cute bracelet for Kelsey
Last stop was to a place that Kelsey has on her bucket list - "Down Under." That's right, my girl is very interested in visiting Australia and New Zealand. So, we searched out their booth and found Aspire Down Under. Wow! These tours look amazing!
So, for example, one tour in particular, which was recommended for "first-timers" was Contrasts of Australia Vacation Package, a 12-day trip that includes Melbourne, Great Barrier Reef and Sydney was $3,299 per person which includes airfare - coach of course, but for an additional $1200, you could fly premium economy round trip - still a great deal!
I walked out of there and was thoroughly overwhelmed and freaked having the worst case of wanderlust hysteria!!! I wanted to book like 10 trips right there on the spot!
Me and my girls have a great deal to discuss and plan for the next few years!!
What a fun day!
As for today, I'm going to be catching up on paper work and housekeeping at home.
Have a wonderful Monday!!
Travel, Food and Me
Hello there and Happy Monday to you!
I'm coming off of a mellow weekend and jumping right on into my regular crazy Monday schedule.
I spent some time yesterday working on some trips. Spoke to Dave about adjusting the Fall 2020 trip to Spring 2020.
All is good there.
I also have been looking at the calendar and trying to fit in a trip to Chicago - which happens to be FREEZING right now.
Had lunch at Tacos Cancun with the kids.
Then of course had a big Sunday night family pasta dinner at home - for those of you who are new to our page let me just inform you and remind the others that my mind runs on Travel and Food!
Well there is certainly more to come during the week. But for now I've gotta get a lot accomplished for the day.
I'm outta here,