Godivaworld Travels, North America, U.S. of A

Jersey/Philly All Work – Little Play

It has been quite some time since my last post and sad to say it’s not because I was off gallivanting ’round some distant land….that’s next month (stay tuned).  I was actually off “making the donuts” on a project in Jersey for the past 6 weeks.  Initially it was a nice change but by the final week I believe we were all kinda over it.

Each week consisted of flying out of Atlanta on Sundays (for me, the others flew out of Charlotte where they were based) into Philly and back home on Fridays.  If that wasn’t taxing enough throw in driving to/from the Philly airport to Jersey where we worked and stayed.  Luckily the drive was a straight shot and no more than a half hour – hour depending on traffic.

Welcome to Philly per the Mayor
Escalator to Baggage Claim – Philly International Airport.

The campus or compound (lol to myself) was probably one of the nicest work sites I’ve seen – not counting the high-rise offices in the various cities across the company’s footprint.  One of the best views was during the walk from our building to the building housing the cafeteria.

We were fortunate in that over the course of the six or so weeks we really had decent weather (for Jersey).  Considering it was November/December, we only had to deal with chilly temps and rain, followed by unseasonably warm temps – for Jersey – during our final weeks. The campus pictures above paints the best picture of our various weather situations.

Taking a load off at the work site
Really just posing not-posing for a pic

This day I didn’t even require my jacket between buildings and I’m sure anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m ALWAYS cold.  I’m the odd bird who rides with her seat warmers on during the warm months.

In any case, it wasn’t all work and no play as we actually laughed as much as we could, stumbled upon a Casino, did our best to enjoy a good meal on most evenings and above all just made the most of our time in Jersey.

This one spot we lucked upon had a nice ambiance and a nice variety of ‘bar’ food.  It is where I found my new love:  “St. Bubbles” which is St. Germain, Champagne, Soda and lime juice…..I now order it everywhere I go smh.  On this night we had the table near the fireplace which would’ve been real cozy with a special someone i.e not your work peeps lol!

Brickhouse Tavern near Princeton

All in all it was an interesting six weeks and I’m happy to say I met some really cool folks whom I would gladly welcome the opportunity to partner with again.  Additionally the hotel staff and my ‘friends’ at the Philly airport restaurants, bars, stores, etc. always took really good care of me each and every week so for that the weekly jaunt wasn’t half bad.

On our final work day IN Jersey (for most) as the Charlotte contingency headed to the airport one of our teammates – the youngest in charge (inside joke) – whom we called Day 26 and the CFO – Chief Food Officer – said he and the crew were going to stop over in Philly at Pat’s King of Steaks.  I, myself wasn’t leaving until a few hours later due to a much later flight, however another teammate suggested a ‘field trip’ into Philly for lunch to Pat’s with the Charlotte Crew.  Off we went in the pouring rain with the Charlotte Connection leading the way determined to introduce our palates to the infamous Pat’s Cheesesteak.

Followed by an order at Geno’s Cheesesteak opposite Pat’s. Caveat…the guys ventured to Geno’s for cheesesteak #2 while I politely stuffed my half-eaten Pat’s cheesesteak in my purse.

I was waaaay out of my league in the food intake department with this crew…..and I’m perfectly okay with that.  At this point I think I was just in disbelief that these guys were going to have a second cheesesteak before the first one had a chance to make it through their digestive track.

Looking out onto the Philly Streets
Pat’s or Geno’s?

We came.  We ate.  They conquered (two cheesesteaks).

Meanwhile I was mostly looking for cool things to photograph and not getting soaked doing so.

Philly Street Art
On the streets of Genos and Pat’s Steaks

So there you have it…..all work, some play in Jersey/Philly and my justification for being MIA on godivaworldtravels.com for the past six weeks.  Sometimes you just gotta answer the call of duty but trust me, my next adventure is truly right around this corner called “2015 Holiday Season” so stay tuned for a little parlez-vous oui oui <hint hint>!

Flight Delays
Just waiting around the Philly Airport after delay #2

Until the next journey, have a joyous 2015 Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!  The wait won’t be too long….I promise.

~Godivaworld Travels

Travel Inspirations, Travels Gone by, Wanderlusting & Musings

Questions for a Wanderluster

Social media has made sharing so easy that oftentimes we I forget that people are watching and actually paying attention (to me and my lil ol life). As if it isn’t enough to hear about my past, present, or future adventures but seeing them live and in living color, often while I am embarking on a journey/adventure, has piqued the curiosity of many.

This is my attempt to answer the Who, What’s, How’s and “Myths” that have landed in my lap over time.

  • Do you use a travel agent?
    • No, I don’t use travel agents of any kind as I prefer to do my own planning, scheduling and executing.  I find that there are plenty resources available that allow me to structure my travel according to my purpose or desired outcome.  Besides I prefer the flexibility and control (don’t judge).  The best thing is I can map out a journey, approx. price tag, flights, accommodations, etc all from the comforts of anywhere without making a commitment.
  • How do you choose your journeys?
    • I’m always dreaming / daydreaming and thinking of new adventures so my destinations/journeys come from either my personal wishlist of must-see/must-visit places collected over time; a really good deal caught my eye that is just too good to resist; a friend decides to celebrate abroad (will travel and revisit places for a special event or occasion); and/or something piqued my curiosity the stars aligned.  I have a mental list of places I want to see before I die (if you will) and I just make travel so much of a priority that it is important to me to check things off my personal travel list (see My Wanderlust).  I think it’s great to dream but even better to live out those dreams. here’s no rhyme or reason to my destination choices, they kinda just happen.  Some have truly been right place – right time (a friend of a friend going away for a birthday, a destination wedding, etc.).  Other times I’ve had visions of some random destination (see my Magic Monday) that starts from a dream and manifests itself into reality.   For me I guess you can say it’s less a matter of how and more about “where will I go now” that drives my selection process.
  • How do you know what accommodations to pick?
    • This is like anything these days – Craig’s List, Ebay, etc. in that you’re often taking a chance but for me it’s a chance or risk I’m more than happy to make.  Often times, as I’ve used Booking.com or TripAdvisor to research ideas on destinations and accommodations, I will peruse reviews to get a feel for what others are saying.  Typically though I just check for things such as proximity to certain things, availability of public transportation, costs of transportation as necessary, and the one or 2 key things I want to accomplish at the end of my adventure.
  • Aren’t you scared flying / traveling / walking around by yourself?
    • No more frightened than when I’m walking/driving around Atlanta.  You have to be aware and alert most anywhere you are these days and the same holds true for traveling abroad.  Listen to your intuition, trust your gut, and use common sense.  Walking around at night, alone, is probably less than smart anywhere.  Honestly, being sort of a momma-bear/caretaker type traveling solo enables me to opportunity to create my own experience because I’m only focused on what I wanna do, where I wanna go, etc.
  • Packing – I am often asked far in advance of an upcoming trip if I’ve already packed or will be packing (weeks in advance).
    • I prefer to pack the night before if it’s an early flight and often the day of if my departure time is later in the day.  I’m a warm weather gal so for me I typically know the types of clothing I will be taking along with me which makes it quite easy to pack.  I understand my creature comforts as well (i.e. I often take my satin pillow case so I already know where it is which makes for an easy grab and go).  Much like anything, the more you travel the more you understand the MUST-HAVES to take with you and/or are comfortable enough to know that whatever you happen to forget you can often find wherever you’re going.
  • Why would you go to/what made you wanna visit ___________________(fill in the blank)?
    • Why not? Well that’s usually what I’m thinking while trying to come up with a more friendly response.  There travel to seearen’t too many places I’m not interested in exploring (with the exception of Antarctica which is NOT on my immediate list, however for a special event, challenge or sponsored trip, guess I’ll be getting a parka lol). Often though I’m simply inspired by the journeys of another traveler, or an event in a ‘strange’ land, or a myriad of other things that lead me to certain destinations.  My philosophy is truly that “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list” so I will just continue to plot and plan until I have come close enough to checking “everything” off my list.

What questions do you have?

~ Travel Well ~

 

 

 

Travel Inspirations, Travels Gone by, Worldly Treats & Eats

Where I’ve Stayed, Played, and Layed

*PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT*

Read this post at your own risk as insane envy may arise although it is NOT the intended purpose :-).

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The joy (for me) is in the journey but I admit a small part of me marvels at the places I’ve stayed over the course of my travels (both business and pleasure).  So in the spirit of “lists” and in no particular order might I add, here are some of my favorite accommodations of which I’ve had the pleasure experiencing…..

  • The Mandarin Oriental Tokyo
  • Hotel Sofitel Munich Bayerpost (during my trip to Oktoberfest – see My European Adventure)
  • Grand Hotel Amrâth Amsterdam
  • Four Seasons in San Francisco (it was for business but still….it was AMAZING)
  • Maya Villa/Condos in Playa del Carmen, Mexico (2 story 3 bdrm, 3 bath, living/dining room/kitchen and balcony.  I still have to write the post so more to come)
  • Mahagiri Villas & Spa Dreamland, Bali (3 bedroom, 3 bath, living/dining room/kitchen, private pool/cabana all approx 3000 sq ft – stayed during my birthday celebration in 2014)
  • Barcelo Bavaro Adults Only Resorts Punta Cana DR
  • Ritz Carlton, Charlotte NC
  • The Adolphus, Dallas TX
  • The Fairmont, Seattle WA
  • Sutton Place, Chicago IL
  • The Millenium Hilton – World Trade Center, NYC (before the Twin Towers were constructed, actually during the rebuilding)
  • Protea Hotel Victoria Junction Waterfront, Capetown South Africa
  • The Venetian, Las Vegas NV
  • Dreams Cancun (my balcony overlooked the dolphin school.  This is now a different property now I believe)
  • Hyatt Regency Curacao Old Quarry Golf Course (I think it has changed its name since my stay in 2011)

My memory is giving me a run for my money at the moment so I will stop there while you salivate lol!

Where have you stayed that either gave you excellent service or accommodations that blew you away?

~ Travel Well ~

Travel Inspirations, Wandering, Wanderlusting & Musings

Travel…..for the stories alone!

travel diaries

Yeah I have stories about catching a great deal on a pair of Sergios or the time my fire alarm was going off while I was in the shower and my reaction seeing flames under the dryer.  Those are just snippets from my memory of some pretty interesting conversation starters.  However, there are no better stories than those from my travel diary.

 

To daydream about a destination or adventure or journey and then find yourself there in living color is a feeling like no other.  The stories, the sights and sounds can only be experienced by traveling – firsthand.  So what are you waiting on?

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

~ Travel well ~

Adventures, La vida Loca, The Caribbean

Ziplining in Barbados (March 2015)

I admit this was my first time Ziplining but most likely won’t be my last.  The folks at Aerial Trek were fantastic so if you’re ever in Barbados, check them out!!!

Although I wouldn’t necessarily call myself an adrenaline junkie, I do enjoy living on the edge a tad bit within reason – keeps life spicy lol!  I honestly haven’t done much thrill seeking although I’ve been parasailing (in Playa del Carmen) and fly fishing (in Bali – no not as in with a rod and actual fish but on a raft being pulled by a speed boat) so it was only a matter of time before I went Ziplining somewhere.  Now if only this Georgia weather would get itself together so I can schedule my skydiving session.

~ Travel Well ~

Mexico, Worldly Treats & Eats

“Plank” not planking in Playa del Carmen

When I tell you this was a total “oink oink” moment (as my friend Erica says).

So in preparation for the birthday celebration, I used Tripadvisor and a few other sites to get the skinny on some highly recommended restaurants for this very special birthday for my friend whom this trip was planned for.  After looking at menus and some reviews, I chose Plank in Playa del Carmen right down from our villa/condo.  It was pure gluttony as we wanted everything on the menu and tried to order everything lol!  The birthday girls enjoyed their special dinner which made the meal even better!20141016_231106

If you ever in Playa del Carmen, please stop by Plank as the staff was great, service was superb, and the food was the icing on the cake!

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~ Travel well and eat equally as well ~

 

Travel Inspirations, Wandering, Wanderlusting & Musings

Travel. Explore. Be Free.

See for yourself how liberating it is to wander, explore and get lost in your surrounding in someplace new.

~ Travel Well ~

Travel Inspirations, Travels Gone by, Wanderlusting & Musings

I haven’t been everywhere, but……

i havent been everywhere

True.  I haven’t been everywhere, however I must admit EVERYWHERE is pretty much on my list.  Now my friends and family love to joke and say “well where haven’t you been” lol!

It’s funny (to me) how some people upon hearing my adventures will sometimes make a ‘negative’ comment such as “why would you wanna go there” or “I wouldn’t go there” which always signals (to me) someone who is misinformed, closed-minded, or otherwise not a “traveler” in the true sense of the word.

With the exception of Antarctica, (1 of the 7 continents of which 5 I have stepped foot on…..see my “A Wanderlust Past“) there aren’t too many places that I would just turn my nose up to.  For me, nearly every destination is an opportunity to explore new territory and hopefully learn something new about the world and in the process myself.

If I was granted one wish, besides winning the largest Mega Millions lottery EVER and world peace, I would use my wish to give folks a more open mind to travel and exploring the world so they could see just how much it expands your entire being (and ultimately your perspective on the world and the people in it).  It’s like an awakening when you explore, not just ‘vacation’ but really explore and wander about in a foreign land (foreign as in – unfamiliar territory).

Go forth and explore or atleast start by dreaming of places to explore and you never know, the universe may just clear the path so that you can make it happen!!

~ Travel Well ~