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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Tivoli Gardens - The Park That Inspired Disney World

There is something so special about Tivoli Gardens.  

It has that old world charm, a mix of an amusement park and a garden, a lot of history, so much beauty and it's thrown right into the middle of the city.  If you are wondering why you would spend your time visiting an amusement park while traveling abroad, know that Tivoli is not your average park and you should get the images of a junky Six Flags out of your head.  

This is Europe baby, and there is something for everyone behind these gates.  You walk through beautiful gardens by day and stroll under the thousands of beautiful lights reflecting off the pond by night.  You walk by castles and roller coasters, flume rides, and ornate stages, expansive lawns, intricate gardens and restaurants on boats.  It's really like the rest of Copenhagen, clean and orderly, beautifully manicured, well thought out and constructed.  It's an ambiance and experience that is hard to describe and really has to be felt for yourself.  It's no wonder that Tivoli was the inspiration behind Walt Disney's famous park. 

Monday, September 16, 2019

Why You Should Rent a Bike in Copenhagen

There's something about just jumping into the culture of a new place, surrendering what you know and what you are used to to do things a little differently.  That's the beauty of travel, isn't it?  

Traveling in Europe opens your eyes to slower meals, a decent amount of wine, a lot of walking, a ton of second-hand smoke and a completely different culture across the pond.  Various European countries follow this similar pattern, each with their own little flair and Copenhagen is no exception. There are slow meals and wine and still a lot of smokers, but to me, there were two things that really set Copenhagen apart.  First off, this city was so damn clean but even more noticeable - 

There are so many bikes.   

So in Copenhagen, if you want to do as the Danes do, you need to jump on a bike.  
Here are all the reasons why you should. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Trials of Traveling - New York City to Copenhagen

Journey’s to JFK on a Friday night are tough.

Journey’s to JFK on a Friday night when you park at a random fried chicken joint in the ghetto of New York City makes for an interesting one.

Adam was coming from Ocean City, New Jersey and I was coming from work in Old Lyme, Connecticut.  We left at 3pm to make a 10pm flight for one big reason…. Interstate 95 to New York City on a Friday evening.  It's a two lane highway backed up with traffic for miles on end.  All it takes is one fender bender and you are missing your flight.  Living off 95 in Connecticut, we are all too familiar with this gave of bumper cars and knew we had to allow time for traffic and accidents.  We also needed extra time for parking and shuttling, long baggage check-in and security lines and finding our gate in a big airport.  Good thing we did because we hit a lot of traffic and ended up parking at the sketchiest parking lot I have ever seen.  

I gave Adam the address, advertised as a discount parking lot just outside the airport.  As we drove through a less than desirable neighborhood, I got my first call from Adam who cannot find said parking lot.  What he did find was a few guys sitting at a picnic table outside a fried chicken joint with a small makeshift sign that said “Park”.  

Now read this closely: You stop in the middle of a busy street where you leave your blinkers on and your car will sit for 15-20 minutes until someone takes it away to an unknown location.  It isn’t a parking lot, just some guys working out of a restaurant which I couldn't tell was even open for business.  We were told 20 minutes for a shuttle which turned out to be a mini van that could not fit us all.  After much complaining, we finally got in an unmarked van (1 hour later) and made the 10-minute drive to the airport. 

Monday, September 9, 2019

The Story of Katie Smile - teeth whitening review and giveaway

I know you are all patiently waiting to hear about my last trip across the pond, a trip I had been looking forward to all summer long.  It was absolutely wonderful, as beautiful as I expected, and all my guides will be up soon.  But before we talk about the trip, I wanted to talk a bit about preparing for a big trip.  Because let's face it, getting ready for a trip to some of Europe's most beautiful cities involves a lot of little steps.  From buying things you need, getting documents in order, all that trip planning, and then the final steps of packing, charging devices, putting travel alerts on your cards and so on.  This trip was a little different than most of my trips where I am hiking somewhere outdoors and taking a lot of pictures of the scenery.  

A confident smile on the bridges of Paris
This trip, I was actually packing nice clothes - no hiking boots and gym shorts in my suitcase.  I planned on taking a lot of pictures on this trip (with me in the frame) and so, there were a few things I knew I needed to do before my countdown hit the single digits. 

      1)  I really needed some fun dresses that would stand out in the city

     2)  I needed to test out some good walking shoes, and

     3) I really needed to make sure this smile was as white as it could be for the 456 photos 
     I was planning on taking.  ** Spoiler: Thanks to Smile Brilliant, I did 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Best of the Boardwalk - Ocean City, New Jersey

There is something so innocent and youthful about a weekend in Ocean City, New Jersey.  This "Beach Resort Town" has been rated the #1 family beach community in the country by the Travel Channel and let's face it, you can't help but feel like a kid again as you stroll down the boardwalk and play in the surf. 

For starters, it's a dry county meaning no alcohol is served within the county.  No package stores/liquor stores here and the restaurants do not serve alcohol either.  By default, this sort of keeps a lot of the riff-raff out as you will not see spring breakers or bachelor parties roaming the boardwalk at night.  This part of Dry Jersey helps keep the town cleaner, safer, and family-friendly.