Family Vacation in Miami – 2016

We had a great time in South Beach, Miami, Florida!  We brought our kids and stayed at a hotel called the President (formerly Penguin).  It is located on Collins and 14th in Miami.  It was a great location for us.  There are some homeless, vagrant type wandering around but everything was fine for us.  Overall, we felt safe and could focus on having a good time.

We drove from DisneyWorld (Orlando Florida) to Miami which was about a 4 hour drive.

We were walking distance from the beach, clubs and restaurants.  The area was suggested to us by a Miami local and it was a good choice.  Walgreens was right across the street.

Parking is pretty expensive especially on the weekends, but we found a place to park for the full 3 days for about $135 dollars.  It is normally about $15 dollar/hour.  There is a great variety of food on Washington street, which is also walking distance.

Overall we had a great, great time and could definitely see ourselves going back.

www.presidentsouthbeach.com

Miami Official Page

 

DimeTravel Vacation to Los Angeles

In 2015 Summer, we visited Los Angeles on our way to a Carnival Cruise to Mexico. We stayed in Los Angeles for two days to check it out.

Here are some of the places we went to in L.A.
– Hollywood Walk of Fame
– Griffith Observatory (see Hollywood sign)
– Korea Town
– Sunset strip
– Santee Alley
– Natural History Museum

Pros:
– Lots of things to do and see
– Great weather
– Beautiful people

Cons:
– BAD traffic
– Crazy people
– BAD traffic
– crowded

Hollywood Historic Haunted (short version)

First of all we want to say 95% of the people that go to Hollywood Historic Hotel seem to LOVE it. The price is right, the location is close to great tourist attractions. We are the other 5% who think it is haunted as HELL. So take this article as an opinion from two random people who were there two nights.

We traveled to Hollywood, California to see the amazing city of L.A. The only thing worse than the traffic was the ghosts in Hollywood Historic.

Check out our story of what happened on http://dimetravel.org/hollywood-historic-hotel-haunted

A 3 day Carnival Inspiration Cruisin

I remember the first time I saw a cruise on TV.  I thought, “Wow!” with all the activities on the ship it must be a fun experience.

In 2014, I got married and found out going on a cruise was on my husband’s bucket list. March 2015, we both decided to go on a cruise.  We booked for tickets for our daughter and my mother-in-law.  It was not cheap.

https://youtu.be/_56gDUKNwGY

Time in L.A. And Check in

May 29,2015, we flew to L.A. and hung out there for a day or two.  We checked out the city and drove to Long Beach just before departure.  We arrived 4 hours early but there were already hundreds of people there in line for the cruise.  Carnival is so organized that they process people pretty fast.

I really thought we were not allowed to bring water but I seen an Indian couple bringing their own water and sodas.  When it was our turn, we filled out the health department paper with a few questions about Ebola.  My husband and I, submitted our IDs.  Although I am not a US Citizen, I was able to use my passport and I-512 EAD to go on the cruise.  We were given our card keys that also serves as our id while on the boat.  It also has a $100.00 credit per stateroom that we could spend while cruising.  When it was my mother-in-law’s turn, she was told that she needs a birth certificate since she did not have a passport.  She had only brought a State ID which we all thought was good enough because on our tickets that is what we thought it said.  It also says in a Customs and Border Protection website that a US citizen can present a government issued id.  She was not able to go with us on the boat and we were given a paper that state her denial of boarding.

On the Carnival Inspiration

After boarding, they had an orientation on Paris Lounge. There were hundreds of people sitting. There were older people but what stood out the most are the college students and 30 + adults who were acting like little kids. The crew told them to keep quiet and the college students would try to make a scene and keep talking.  It made the orientation even longer. After that, we went on to find our stateroom.  It was chaos. There are tons of people everywhere and many are already tipsy and drinking.  We finally found our room and rested for an hour.

We went to the “Mardi gras” restaurant. The food is included in what you pay for your cruise. They have two restaurant. One is an a la carte and one next to the pool area which is a buffet. The food was delicious. The buffet has so much variety. The food was what I enjoyed the most.  I was on vacation and did not have to cook 🙂

The second day, we landed in Mexico.  There were many tours offered each with their own fee, but you can get off the boat and walk around free if you want (just make sure you have your identification so you can get back on the ship).  For those who want it, you can take pictures as you disembark (which they sell back to you at a ridiculous price once you are done with the cruise).

We had chosen an express “Fun Bus” that took us on a tour around Ensenada, Mexico for an hour and dropped us off in a shopping/bar area.  Ensenada is rich with a proud Mexican heritage, a high level of academia and decades of foreigners from all over the world coming to visit and/ or live.  We notice that a lot of citizens of Ensenada had California accents since they had strong connections with the Westcoast of the United States.  On the way back, we saw Steve Job’s yacht parked at the docks.  It was really just a glimpse from the side of the highway because we did not stop.

We return to the boat in just 2 hours. Over all it was “okay” but not great.  The souvenir shops were overpriced.  It was more expensive than Hollywood Blvd souvenir prices!  We got some shot glasses and a dress for mom.  We got back to the ship to eat and rested.

Carnival Cruise put out an itinerary everyday that detailed all the events throughout the ship.  There were dance events, night clubs, kid’s clubs, auctions, pool parties and MANY other events.  One of the most popular events was Cruise Elegant nights were everybody dressed up formal for pictures.

The third day we were at sea there was a huge pool party.  There was a DJ, people dancing, a contest for the hottest guy and girl.  It was very entertaining.  The buffets were so packed that day.

On the 4th day, we arrived in L.A. We woke up at 6:30 am, had breakfast and disembarked at 9am.  Overall, it was a fun food adventure with a spring break party feel but I was wanting a more peaceful experience.

Prices summary:

Ticket for 4 people + vacation protection insurance   : $ 1745.32

Shore excursions tours 2 adults + 1 child                    : $      54.97

Souvenier shop glass                                                     : $     10.00

low quality house dress                                                  : $     25.00

3 pcs 4 R photos                                                              : $     48.00

housekeeping & restaurant service fees $ 36.00/day : $   108.00

 

Tips:

1. Check in early. Like 4 hours before departure. You would think you are early but theres already hundreds lining up for check in.

2. Bring valid passport or birth certificate. Always have a passport or birth certificate even on travelling a closed loop.

3. Review the coverage of your insurance. If you have to cancel your trip for emergency reasons, call immediately days before your trip. Vacation Travel Protection do not give a refund if you are denied boarding.

4. Expect a crowd. People are not as well mannered as you think.

5. Prepare to spend more money. Everything has a corresponding amount except for the buffet food.

Hollywood Historic Hotel.. haunted?

First of all we want to say 95% of the people that go to Hollywood Historic Hotel seem to LOVE it.  The price is right, the location is close to great tourist attractions.  We are the other 5% who think it is haunted as HELL.  So take this article as an opinion from two random people who were there two nights.

We traveled to Hollywood, California to see the amazing city of L.A.  The only thing worse than the traffic was the ghosts in Hollywood Historic.

As soon as we stepped inside it had a strange feeling to it.  I mean, the renovations they have done are very nice.  They did a great job.  But there is something that else going on.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QuWkraJNkU

It is hard to explain, but imagine how it would feel if you went to a hotel that was occupied by humans from the afterlife.  Have you ever went to a place and you felt like you are being watched everywhere you go?  That is how it felt in Hollywood Historic.

It feels occupied by other worldly creatures.  Perhaps the dead who have made it their home.  When we walked through the third floor hallway, it felt crowded.. but there was no one there.

Perhaps we were both hallucinating the feeling.  But my mom also heard something there.  In the hallway.  Someone running.  Only when she looked there was no one around.

You think we are crazy?  Well go see for yourself http://www.hollywoodhistorichotel.com/

Here is what others had to say:

hollywood historic haunted

hollywood historic haunted

annat

worst night

USA Girls

If you are traveling to the USA and looking for American girls, you are in for a treat.  According to concensus.gov there are about 150 million women in the United States:

157.0 million. The number of females in the United States according to the 2010 Census. The number of males was 151.8 million. At 85 and older, there were more than twice as many women as men.Feb 22, 2012

There are more women then men.  And the best way to “hook up” is online.  How do you find American girls?

Go online (dating site)

Be honest, be foreign, be hot, be available

Make arrangements

About half of US households are single.  So you really have a chance.

For every 100 single women in the United States, there are 88 unmarried men available, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 46 percent of all households nationwide are maintained by a single person.Aug 20, 2010

Since most Americans do not travel outside the country, foreigners are considered very exotic.

 

3 hotels connected

We went to Las Vegas Nevada to try our luck on the slots.  What we got to experience was overwhelming heat night and day.  Luckily, the hotels provide an Oasis in the middle of the desert.

Mandalay Bay, Luxor Hotel and Excalibur are all connected to each other so you can just walk inside the building for what feels like miles.  And it takes you to another hotel and casino.  It is such an amazing architecture.

DSC_0023During our stay in Las Vegas, we stayed at the Luxor Hotel.  It was beautiful.  Some of the rooms look kinda old (they have done some renovations 2015) but it is still nice.  They offered buffet on the ground floor, a casino on the main floor and entertainment on the upper floor.  They had shows like the Jabbawokeez performing almost every night, the Bodies exhibition, Show Girls, Lax club, some fancy restaurants and lots of shopping!  It was a great experience. What I really enjoyed the most is the hotel’s theme. Every hotel in Las Vegas has its own theme to attract people.

DSC_0036

We walked Luxor hotel to Mandalay Bay.  They also had buffets there and casino. Mandalay bay look modernized.  It looks newer than Luxor.  They have their own shows and attractions too.

Before you get to Mandalay Bay from Luxor you to get to the Excalibur Hotel.  It looks like a Disney palace.  It is great for kids. It looks more like the palace from the Cinderella movie.  We walked inside and they had a huge casino too.  There are activities there that kids can do during a family vacation.  These 3 hotels has a tramp that will take you to each.  It has a small station where you can ride from Mandalay to Excalibur. These hotels has resort fees of average $60.00 per night but you can find deals from $30 if you really look.

Las Vegas is a beautiful place. It is full of bright lights, entertainment and fun.

living in colorado springs

 

If you are thinking of living in Colorado Springs, Colorado then here are a few fun facts you should know:


Tons of hiking places.
People here are active and exercise often. The local government of Colorado Springs has also created tons of recreational parks for families and athletes to do their training or hiking. Bar trail is one of our favorites.  The manitou incline and the red rock canyon are also great.  Before you make a huge decision of relocating to Colorado Spring or or in any place around the United States, you should weigh the advantage and disadvantages of what you are about to do. Colorado is one of the most beautiful places I have seen in my life. It is so rich in natural attractions. Living in Colorado Springs is so pleasant. People are kinda conservative but mostly mind their own business.living-in-colorado-springs

courtesy of haolam.info/

courtesy of haolam.info/

Expect  a higher crime rate on some areas. Colorado Springs is one of the largest city in Colorado so you can expect all the same conveniences and inconveniences of a medium sized city. There are a few places with higher crime rate because of its bigger and growing population. However, compared to some other parts of the US, the crime is pretty low.

courtesy of saddletreehomes.com

courtesy of saddletreehomes.com

The housing is another thing you have to check for.  I noticed the house prices are fluctuating a lot. It was continuously dropping on months of february-april 2015. Military workers were moving to other places and selling their properties. This place is a hot area of buying a house.  Any time of the year is ideal. You can also check it’s neighboring towns with a smaller population like Fountain. The interest rates are dropping drastically as people are moving in and out of the city.

courtesy of forbes.com

courtesy of forbes.com

There are jobs available in the area. There are 5 bases around town. Most of the jobs that will be available here are associated with the military.  There are also some companies operating in Colorado Springs but the overall population of people’s jobs here are working in the military.living-in-colorado-springs

Lower Tax is also attractive. Colorado Springs tax charge only 7.63 %. It is way lower comparing to other places like LA which is 16 %. I found out the price difference are HUGE between Coloradod and California as we were booking a hotel in in places like Hollywood and tickets for LA.

Colorado Springs has a variety of food and restaurants.  The variety is definitely not as good as some larger cities in other states.  For example, there is an Asian market really only one and it is a 20 minute drive from the place we live. I always look for the filipino store.  There is one in Colorado Springs, but it is pretty small.  For filipino stores are even fewer.  Generally, when it comes to food and restaurants, there are not much availability here.

Colorado Springs is a great place to raise a family.  There are many areas that are very peaceful and it is great if you love nature.

 

 

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