San Francisco - The Museum Of Modern Art


Great News! the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has cut their admission fee to zero! zilch! zippo! for it's 75th anniversary. This, according to a recent article posted in the New York Times Travel section this past week - March 2010. So chop, chop, get going! Take yourself to the museum and take in some culture for free! a cheap luxury in one of the most expensive cities in the United States!

For more on the New York Times Article, click on this link -San Francisco - The New York Times > Travel > Slide Show > Slide 9 of 14

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 3rd St.
San Francisco, CA 94103

Vacation rentals, private rooms, sublets by the night - Accommodations on Airbnb


Wow, this is a wonderful website that lists fully furnished apartments (or rooms) for rent around the world, by owner. Sort of the "Craiglist " for vacation home rentals.

I checked it out after reading an article in the New York Times Travel section by the Frugal Traveler about his recent trip to San Francisco (March 2010). In the article, he mentions the site because he rents a very nice and centrally located, downtown apartment in San Francisco, for a lower price than a regular hotel in the area for his featured trip.

The photos of the rented space looked great! I promise you. So pick a city in the world and take a look at the available places for rent. The sites address is www.airbnb.com. I checked out apartments in Paris and there were some amazing ones for only about $100 dollars a night!!! Made me want to hit the "reserve" button on the spot, drop everything and go!

For more information on this very handy site, click on the following link and let us know what you think. Vacation rentals, private rooms, sublets by the night - Accommodations on Airbnb

Happy Vacationing!


Private English Speaking Driver - Moscow


Can you read these directions in Russian? Well, neither could we, that's why we hired a driver in Moscow that spoke English when we visited a historical site outside of the city limits this past week.

Yes, you can venture out on the Metro and then connect to the public bus system to reach these sites, but if we had done this, we would have never found the place or discovered it's various stunning porcelain exhibits, for we could not read any of the signs.

In comes Igor, the taxi driver we hired for a few hours from the hotel. He was our life saver! (the Taxi stand is located in the lobby of our downtown layover hotel). We hired him by the hour for about $45 dollar an hour and he drove us in comfort in a car large enough to fit five. He found the Estate we wanted to visit with out a problem with the aid of his modern GPS. Once we got there, he asked all the million dollar questions like "where's the entry door"(this is always a tricky one in Russian tourist sites), "how much do we have to pay to enter" and "what else is there to see in this site". Honestly, there's no way that we could of figured out any of this by ourselves, I mean it. No one at the estate spoke English and you can see for yourself what the signage looked like in the photo above!

We visited that day The Arkhangelskoe Country Estate, home of the "exceptionally wealthy Prince Yusupov". The property is located about 30 minutes away from Moscow's downtown by car, depending on traffic.

The charge for his services ( through the hotel) were $45 dollars per hour, but if you call him ahead of time, he claims that he can rent a private vehicle and then charge us less - $30 to $35 dollars per hour instead. For this, one must call him ahead of time on his private phone number so he can rent a car ahead of time and get the day off. His number if you decide to call him from Moscow is 8-906-052-9597. His rates when shared between two or three people, can be real deals. We ended paying about $50 dollars each between three, including a tip.

When we visited The Yusopov's Estate, the main home was closed for renovations and we did not find out about this until we got to the property. Actually, we were not even advised of this closure at the gate when we purchased our full price entry tickets. Amazing, but so Russian, I'm afraid. Fortunately, there were a couple of other pretty amazing exhibits on the property and with Igors' help, we were able to locate them. Thanks Igor!

If you choose to hire Igor for an excursion, you'll have a wonderful time with him. He's a very tall, gentle, professional young man who studied music in college and he has lived in Moscow since he was 15 years old, so he knows the city very well. Don't forget to tip your driver at the end of your excursion please. Russians make very little money and Moscow, as you know, is a very expensive city.

Dosvitania! (see you later..)

Tretyakov State Gallery - Moscow


I visited the Tretyakov Gallery on my last trip to Moscow and it was amazing! If you love art and specifically paintings, this is the place to go. In my opinion, it's even more impressive than the Pushkin Museum of Art in Moscow.

The Tretyakov State Gallery is a mammoth collection of Russian art from the 11th to the 20th Century. It was originally the private collection of Mr. Pavel Tretiakov's, a wealthy Russian industrialist of the 1800's. He donated his collection to the city of Moscow in 1892, for the creation of a National Gallery or Art for Russia.

If you like Russian Icons or Impressionist style paintings by Russian artists, you will love the stuff in this museum. Don't miss the laminated English cards with explanations of the art in each room. You may also rent the pre-recorded English tours for additional fee.

To get to the Tretyakov Gallery, you can either take the Metro (a bit confusing ) or walk from our layover hotel. The walk is easy, scenic and really, not that far. Just head towards the Kremlin, cross Red Square and pass St. Basil's cathedral heading towards the river. Cross the river by taking the Moskvoretskiy Bridge located right behind St. Basil's. Continue on that same street until you cross the river a second time. You will now be at the start of Bolshaya Utilisa (Bolshaya Avenue) a lively commercial street. Don't go down this street, instead, turn right along the river bank and walk by the water for one or two small blocks until you reach the next pedestrian bridge that crossed back over the river. Don't cross over the river, instead, make a left on that street and walk away from the river. The museum is on your right on that first block. It's a red brick complex that has English and Russian signs pointing to the entrance doors (photos enclosed).

For more information on the Tretyakov's hours of operation, it's admission prices and about it's special exhibits, you can visit their main web site on the following link -Tretyakov State Gallery

I hope you enjoy your day at the museum like I did!

www.postcardsfromtheair.com's Fan Box