Europe, It’s Just Nextdoor

Travel Between the Pages always has the greatest posts, so I had to share another one!

Travel Between The Pages

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To promote its travel services, France’s rail company SNCF placed colorful, interactive doors around Paris that allow pedestrians to experience other European cities. When the doors are opened, screens display real-time happenings in cities around the continent.

TBWA Paris, the ad agency that created the campaign writes “These interactive fun experiences not only create multicultural links among Europeans, but also enable us all to realize at the end of the day, Europe, it’s just next door.”

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Free Coffee for Flyers

Thanks to Travel Between The Pages for initially posting this! Now, if only O’Hare would get one of these machines 🙂

Travel Between The Pages

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Earlier this month we shared a story about Molson Brewery‘s free beer vending machine promotion in Europe. Well now the Dutch coffee company Douwe Egberts is getting on the free bandwagon with a campaign that places free coffee dispensing machines in airports, with a slight catch. The coffee machines are equipped with facial recognition software and only dispense a cup when the machine detects a yawn from the user. The “Bye Bye Red Eye” vendors have already been a big hit with travelers passing through Johannesburg‘s Tambo International Airport. Where will they show up next?

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On the road again….too soon…

I can hardly believe that I have been in Alaska for six weeks already and that it’s time for the Jazz and I to wing our way home tomorrow. I always have to psych myself up to come, anticipating the journey, the cold and the change of scene, and then once I’m here I acclimate quickly, revisit all my favorite haunts and then at the end I get sad thinking about leaving.

But I’ve enjoyed a few beers,

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drunk way too much coffee,

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got snowed on continuously (not really it just seems that way!),

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enjoyed the beauty of Alaska,

eaten delectable food,

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then tried to walk a lot to (unsuccessfully) keep the pounds off,IMG_0254

and as a result, tired the pokey little puppy out.

IMG_0092I think it’s time to go home!

Middle Seat Agnst

Flying to Alaska

Flying to Alaska

Last week was another flight and yet another middle seat. I’ve always avoided these in the past and sought out the aisle seat, but since I’ve been flying with the wonder dog, AKA Jasmine, I have done a 360 and actively been seeking them out instead!

I discovered the hard way that her soft-sided dog carrier does not fit under the aisle seat. Our first journey to Alaska had me sitting in the aisle, struggling to jam her and the carrier under the seat with the result being a squished Jasmine. I felt terrible. Luckily for me no one showed up to take the middle seat and so I placed her there and discovered the extra real estate the middle seat possesses. Since then the middle seat it is…

Jasmine under the aisle seat

Jasmine under the aisle seat

Jasmine hanging out in the middle

Jasmine hanging out in the middle

It’s a terrible seat to sit in for 6 plus hours, fighting for the arm rests from my fellow passengers, a dog between my feet, nowhere to go….and now that we’ve just completed our ninth one way flight I have to say it hasn’t gotten any easier! Every journey is different because my seat companions are always different. Most people are nice, but as anyone who’s flown knows, not everyone is pleasant and understanding, or even likes dogs for that matter!

There was the red-eye flight where the guy in the aisle seat shut his eyes at takeoff, placed his arm on “my” arm rest and never budged for the entire 6 hours, sleeping pill perhaps? or the impatient woman who got mad because she had to wait in the aisle for 20 seconds while I got Jasmine placed under the seat and then pouted the entire journey.

But the worst was the crabby old woman in the window seat next to me that screamed, “There’s a dog on the plane, there’s a dog on the plane!” and asked the stewardess to move me. Luckily for me the stewardess said I had paid for that seat and she would be glad to move her if she liked, which of course she didn’t, so unluckily for me I had her sitting next to me the entire flight. Even more unluckily for me she had her deaf, 80-year-old boyfriend moved to the empty aisle seat next to me, and throughout the trip she leaned across me with her arm patting him to get his attention, and passing him food from her voluminous carpet bag of a purse! Worse trip E-VER! The best part though…when we were deboarding and her very nice boyfriend (he was too nice for her!) said, “There was a doggie under the seat the whole flight?, what a sweet dog”. Oh brother!!

But the nice people make up for the bad, the stern looking businessman who turned to mush when he realized there was a pooch next to him on the flight, the people who spot Jasmine and get a wistful look in their eye when they tell me they wish their pup was along for the ride too, and the Alaska Airlines personnel (and some TSA agents too!) who always fawn over her and comment how she is so well behaved.

It always gives me a warm feeling when Jasmine and I are strolling through security and the airport concourse before a flight and I see how excited and happy people get when they see this peppy little doggy strutting amongst them. That part alone makes the whole thing worthwhile!

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What a beautiful library! This looks like a marvelous tour. Thanks to The Londonphile for bringing it to my attention!

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Did you know that you can take a special behind the scenes tour of St Paul’s Cathedral, in which you visit its triforium area? After being whisked like a VIP through a locked door in the staircase that ascends the main dome, you will enter the triforium – an arched gallery that stands above the nave. This area includes a number of interesting sights not normally accessible to the public, including St Paul’s Library, the Geometric Staircase and Wren’s Great Model.

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But first the triforium leads down past some fascinating stone remains of the old St Paul’s – destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. These were excavated in the nineteenth century; their shelves boast unique labels, declaring ‘Norman’, ‘Gothic’ and so on. Next stop is St Paul’s Library, a wonderfully evocative old room, with its wooden bookcases full of beautiful old books. The library dates from 1709, although it was…

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Check ‘Go to a State Fair’ off the Bucket List!

 

I bet when I posted that I was fulfilling a wish on my bucket list while in Alaska, you thought it was going to be something exciting like white water rafting, or zip lining or even mountain climbing, but no, this tick of the pen goes next to something I’ve always wanted to do ~~ Attend a State Fair.

I know not very exciting, huh?

So maybe it wasn’t high on my priority list but it was definitely on there. See I grew up going to two County Fairs in Ohio almost every summer with my family and friends. Then when my kids were little I took them to the County Fair too. But I’ve never made the trek to the BIG ONE, the State Fair. We’ve never lived close enough for one thing and I guess we never felt like spending money on a hotel room for an overnight stay, but with the Alaska State Fair located only an hour a way in Palmer, Alaska, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity!

They had all the usual stuff you expect at a fair…

Livestock…

Ribbons given out for bake goods, crafts and flowers…

Gigantic Produce…

Fried Fattening Food and Scary Carnival Rides …
(I ate my fried Halibut too quickly for a pic, and I did NOT ride this scary swingy-bungy thingy!)

and then a few things I didn’t expect…

TIny Daredevils (the youngest was 3 years old!)…

A Wine Bar (we had to check it out!)…..

Alaskan Native Dancers (this lady was so joyful and cute!)….

And Gorgeous Scenery…..

I don’t think I ever expected to be at a State Fair with views like that!

It was a terrific day, and I even remembered to make a guess in the Annual Giant Cabbage Weigh-Off, 119.85 pounds, sure hope it’s a winner!!