Casa San Miguel - Here's the description of this centrally located house for rent in Cozumel, Mexico.  The place is owned by an airline employee  For more information, feel free to access their Facebook page under Casa San Miguel.

Here's what they say if their Facebook page:

"...Our house was built in the early 60's by my grandfather ( not set up for air conditioning) and later split up into 2 separate homes. ( duplex) Both homes share the front and back yard/swimming pool. ( My mom, my daughter and I live on one side) The house you will be renting has 2 bedrooms each with its own private bath with shower & hammocks, one bedroom has 2 twin beds and the other bedroom has one full bed. There is a full kitchen, dining room with a table that sits 6, living room with TV & wi fi. Semi private front veranda with 2 tables and 8 chairs. It also has a private walkway to the back/pool area and access to the pool through the second bedroom. The house is completely furnished with sheets, towels, plates, pots, pans, etc.... we have pictures up on Facebook at: casasanmiguelcozumel@facebook.com We are located in the heart of Cozumel's downtown of San Miguel and only a block and a half from the ocean. Not the beach, but the ocean where yachts dock out at sea and where the sun sets. A 5 min walk to the pier with the ferry boats to Playa del Carmen. We are about 15 min walk to the closest beach. The house is surrounded with restaurants, fine dining and local cuisine, bars, live music, just around the corner from the main square, dive shops, car rentals, shops, local fresh market all within walking distance. To get to the house from CZM airport is easy. 8 min cab ride about $15 per person. To get here from CUN- there are airport buses that leave from Terminal 3 ( international terminal) to Playa del Carmen- about $15 and 1 hour. When you get to Playa del Carmen you take the ferry boat about $15 45 min ride and a 3 block walk through the beautiful main plaza of the island to the house! Prices- Low season 2012 Now- until the 3rd week of October we are renting at just $150 a week, you have to pay an additional $30 for cleaning (includes 1 light cleaning during your stay) and $5 for a 5 gallon jug of purified water. High season last week of October 2012- June 2013- $300 for the week, it includes 2 dinners at Plaza Leza restaurant, cleaning fee, 5 gallon jug of purified water, we can set up a trip around the island by a driver, to see ruins, lighthouse, and lots of beaches, snorkel & diving adventures, trips to isla de passion, a day trip to our national park chankanaab. All the information is here at your Casa! we will be charging around $400 for Holiday weeks. 2012-2013 we have a pay pal account set up, or I can send you my account info if that would be easier for you for the deposit, the deposit will be just $30usd to reserve your week. This fee is non refundable. The rest is paid in cash upon arrival. Again we thank you for your interest at staying at Casa San Miguel! Every little bit helps!Catherine Greenspan ( US Airways PHX based FA and yes CUN commuter!) please email me on facebook or at catgreenspan@gmail.com Cozumel (Mayan: Island of the Swallows) (Kùutsmil in Modern Maya) is an island in the Caribbean Sea off the eastern coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, opposite Playa del Carmen, and close to the Yucatan Channel. Cozumel is one of the ten municipalities (municipios) of the state of Quintana Roo. Cozumel is a tourist destination for its balnearios, scuba diving, and snorkeling. The main town on the island is San Miguel de Cozumel


ROME - Tours by Scooter


Want to see Rome like a true native, on the back of a scooter with your own Roman driver zipping around historical sites!  Visit www.bicibaci.com - They are a combination Tour Operator and Rental Office for Vespa scooters and bikes.

They will pick you up and drop you back off wherever you are, provide you with a driver, a helmet and four hours of city drives on the back of a Vespa (or on a bike or a Fiat car 500) in a group tour  around Rome.  Tons of entertainment Italian style.

Bici&Baci are open from 8am to 7pm everyday and they have two office locations in Rome:

-Via del Viminale 5,
  00185 Rome
  Phone - 06-48-28-443

- Via Cavour 302,
  00184 Rome
  Phone - 06-94-53-92-40

Book 24 hours in advance at www.vintagevespatours.com  or call the above mentioned phone number to reserve your spot and for up to date prices.

MUNICH - Gourmet Markets


Eating out in Munich, like in most European cities,  can be expensive.  I say explore instead some of Munich's Gourmet markets.  I found two on my last visit.  Both, located steps away from the Marien-Platz (the center of town) that serve up a mouthwatering cooked meals and a variety of drinks for a fraction of the price of nearby restaurants.

First, there's the Shrannenhalle Market, located on the south end of St. Peter's Square.  Look in you map and it's the square located almost south and cadi-corner with the Marien-Platz.  Walk to St. Peter's Square and you'll find the market on the opposite side of the square housed in a large, green industrial looking building enclosed in glass that is surrounded by awnings.

Walk inside this hall and you'll be surprised by the variety of luxurious offerings of prepared international food and upscale drinks (wine, champagne, beer, etc. ), all served (sold) inside this comfortably air conditioned, modern space.  Good you can either take out of for consume comfortably in eating areas inside or outside the premises.

The second option, the Alois Dallmayr Market.   This is a historic (since 1700) authentic Gourmet Market. Locals shop for high end hams, wines, world coffees and teas, canapés, tobacco,  baked goods, caviar, etc. It also houses an exquisite restaurant and a very pretty Cafe on the second floor.  They also sells some prepared foods, but not much of it and unlike the previous market, they don't provide tables to consume the prepared foods they sell.  It's more a buy and take out kind of place.

Alois Dallmayr Market is well worth a visit, even if you don't plan on buying a thing.  The Cafe on the second floor (which one enters via the main floor of the market), serves nice, fresh food and drink for reasonable prices. They also use the best quality ingredients and offer a lovely view of historic Munich from it's second floor windows.   I visited this cafe and had a delicious cappuccino.  The service was impeccable,  the coffee service, beautiful (photo enclosed),

the lavatories were plush (a treat in Europe), and the price, not outrageous for a cup of joe.  It was a perfect spot to get some peace from the crowds and the intense summer heat of summer days in Munich.  All this, only steps away from the Marien-Platz.

Alois Dallmayr Market
Dienerstr 14-15
Munich, Bavaria,

ROME - Take a Walk Around Monti


Next time you're in Rome, visit the picturesque neighborhood of Monti.  It is one of the last remaining authentic Roman neighborhoods, mostly untouched by tourism.  Monti, is centrally located and small enough to cover by foot in just one afternoon.  Of course one can visit more than once to simply get lost in its 's quiet, upscale, residential winding streets. Monti is located in the quadrant contained between Via Nazionale, Via de Serpenti, Via de Pretis and Via Cavour.  Ask your concierge to point this area out in your map before you head out for your walk.

What will you see in Monti?  a series of attractive wine bars and neighborhood restaurants, tinny hotels with scenic roof cafe's or bars.  Small Italian designer boutiques, gourmet bakeries and a variety of other interesting shops.  All this, can be found, a short walk away from Piazza Barberini and the Colosseum.

Avoid visiting the area on Sundays.  Most commercial spaces in Monti will be closed and you will miss the neighborhood feel of the area, more visible during the week.  When you go, peak inside the Santa Maria Maggiore Church - a gorgeous Roman Church with amazing history and impressive gold painted ceilings.  Its located on the edge of this neighborhood, next to the Piazza Esquilino and at the end of  Via delle Quattro Fontane.


ROME - Dining at Ristorante Pizzeria "Il Ponetino"


Welcome to Rome!  Are you ready to eat yet?  Well, when you are,  there are many reasonably priced, wonderful mom and pop Italian restaurants worth a visit in the Trastevere area of Rome.  Look at your map. It's the area right across the river past the Tiber Island.  From the Spanish steps, it should be no more than a brisk twenty minute walk.

I you decide to venture into this neighborhood for an authentic Italian dinner, keep Il Ponetino Restaurant in your thoughts.  It's a  picturesque, small sized "ristorante-pizzeria"that has indoor and outdoor seating areas located near the Tiber river.  The restaurant is owned by Anna, a friendly Italian mama with a soft spot for United crews.  When you go, be sure to tell her you're from United airlines and she will take good care of you.  Her manner will be friendly, her food, fresh and her portions generous.  She's also easy on the wallet.

Il Ponetino is a small family restaurant, so please, no raucous behavior or extra large groups.

Also, Il Ponetino does not require a reservation for dinner or lunch. It's first come, first serve.  However, if you feel more comfortable calling before you go, here's their phone number and address:

Piazza del Drago 10
Trastevere, Rome

Bon appetite!

DUBAI - Breakfast at HEDIARD


For a tasty and hearty breakfast in Dubai, visit Hediard in the Festival City Mall (the IKEA mall).  It's a really nice French cafe with welcoming friendly service and reasonable prices. 

During my visit, I ordered scrambled eggs with salmon and a cappuccino (photo enclosed).

When my order arrived,  I was surprised to receive along with the eggs a glass of fresh orange juice, a bowl of cereal,  two slices of toasted bread, jam and some fruit.  All this was included in the price of the scrambled eggs. It was enough food to feed two adults.  

Hediard is a French import to Dubai.  It's an old Tea Importer that specializes in gourmet teas, delicious coffees and European pastries.  They also offer free wifi to their customers.  So bring your iPad or smart phone to catch up on any news and/or email from home while dining in peace and comfort.

Here are more pictures from my visit to Hediard in Dubai.


ROME - Sunday Flea Market at Porta Portesa


If you're ever in Rome on a Sunday, when most businesses are closed for the day, don't despair, take a cab from your hotel and head for the Porta Portese Flea Market in Trastevere.  Supposedly, this is the biggest flea market in Europe!

Take a city map with you. You will need it to find your way back to your hotel.  Be careful with your valuables. The market has a reputation for pick-pocketers. Take cash if you intend to shop. Wear a hat and bring some water.  It get's crowded and very hot in the summer months. Go early. There will be less people in the market.  Don't get discouraged by the junk at the start of the market. The best stuff will be further in.

Here are some photos of what I found:

By the way, a one way taxi to Porta Portesa in Trastevere from the area of The Spanish Steps and/Piazza Barberini will run you about 8 Euros.

Enjoy and don't forget the sunscreen!


Dress Like a Parisian and More!


I am digging this book, Parisian Chic, by Ines de la Fressange.  It's the ultimate insider guide for Paris and Parisian ways.  It has a number of fabulous suggestions for French boutiques, quaint restaurants and cozy hotels favored by locals.   Ines also offers easy to follow pointers on "how to dress like a Parisian" for those who wish to "fit in" and be chic.   Lots of entertainig and informstive stuff for your next trip to la belle Paris!

So who's Ines de la Fressange? She's a famous French ex-super-model who was asked by France, to be one of the faces of Mariane, the symbol of the French Republic. She was was also named the "chicest woman in France" by Le Figaro and was the face of L'Oreal for many years.  The lady oozes style and has much to say about it, so listen up!

The book is great fun to read and her tips and recommendations, amazingly easy to follow.  Who knows, after reading her book, you may enjoy dressing and shopping like a true Parisian! Oh, lah, lah!

If you're interested in purchasing her book (Parisian Chic) click on the enclosed link to Amazon Books.   Amazon.com: Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange (9782080200730): Ines de la Fressange, Sophie Gachet: Books

Let me know what you think of this recommendation and have a wonderful time in Paris.

Return to Paris! Summer 2012!!!


This June, we return to Paris!  To prepare for the upcoming adventure, here are two awesome internet sites with information in English on everything to do with Paris.


I'm enclosing a link (at bottom of page) to the My Little Paris blog for a taste of what these publications offer. My little Paris also offers an iPhone application for easier internet access.

Here is an example of a My Little Paris article on Best Spots for Soup in Paris :

Our top soup spots in Paris

Les Cocottes, 135, rue Saint-Dominique, 7th. 
Pumpkin soup : 7 € 
tel : 01 45 50 10 31

Le Bar à Soupes, 33 rue de Charonne, 11th. 
Carrot-pineapple-ginger soup : 4,70 € 
tel : 01 43 57 53 79

Jadis, 40 Rue Notre-Dame de Lorette , 9th.
Pastry soup : 8 € 
tel : 01 48 74 94 31

Pho Bida Vietnam, 36 rue Nationale, 13th. 
Pho soup : 8 € 
tel : 01 53 79 01 61

Mémère Paulette, 5 rue Paul Lelong, 2nd. 
Sweet and sour gazpacho, in the menus and 16 € - 24 € 
tel : 01 42 36 26 08

Enjoy Paris this summer!!!

Bon voyage and Bon appetite!

Our top soup spots in Paris - Foodie Treats - My Little Paris


Zurich - Topolino Restaurant


Fresh of the press! Ivonne (ualsw) has just sent me a note that says the following about this restaurant :

"...Add restaurant TOPOLINO in Zurich! Our friends own it...Valerie and Pietro...So good to crew members! Amazing Pizza! Falkestrasse 26, 8008 Zurich, Switzerland..."

So there! give them a try and enjoy the lovely hospitality and memorable pizza that Ivonne swears by! Thanks Ivonne!!!! Keep em' coming!

Bon Voyage to all!


Application for iPhone, iPad, Android for Unimatic Access


Hey peeps, here's a great application for your iPad, iPhone or Android that will help you access Unimatic via Firefox - ALWAYSONPC. It works perfect! I just tried it. Highly recommended!!!

To get it, purchase it from your Application Store and pay a one time fee of $25 dollars. You can also Google it for additional information.

AlwaysOnPC gives you access to CHROME, JAVA, ADOBE, DROPBOX, FIREFOX and more. With Firefox, you can access Unimatic.

FYI, this does not work outside of the US and Europe, so forget South America and Africa. Still, it's a great way to access Unimatic while on European layovers and while in the United States with you iPad and iPhone.

Check them out at www.alwaysonpc.com

MOSCOW - A Great Tour Guide for Moscow!


Private (reasonably priced) Tour Guide in Moscow - NIKA SPASSKAYA. She's a professional trained Tour Guide for Moscow and she's able to set up private day time tours for crews.

Nika is very sweet and friendly and she speaks perfect English. (she learned it while attending university in Penn State for a year).

She has experience working with our crews, so give her a call to take you by the hand and show you around.

By the way, Nika also has access to a car (her boyfriend's), if one is necessary to visit sites away from the city center. Just give her some notice via email before you arrive to set this up.

To reach Nika, call her mobile - 8-903-259-7337 or drop her a note via email at spasnika@yandex.ru

Enjoy your guided visit! and let us know how it all went!


Nice Walk In Bahrain


I just returned from doing a quick turn to Bahrain this past week. During our four hour sit, I decided to venture out for a wonderful walk around the lagoon that sits behind the airport's Movenpick Hotel.

I began my walk by accessing the lagoon path from the right side of the Movenpick Hotel. Once on the path, I walked veered to the right. Remember, the temperature in the Middle East during the months of January, February, March is perfect for a walk - cool and breezy most of the day.

While walking, I came across a nice city park along the water that had a playground, a pretty water fountain, a couple of waterfront cafes and some fast food - popcorn, sodas, ice cream providers - street providers. Some of the shops were closed, maybe because it was late afternoon, but most of them were open for business. Who knew there were so many food options along the water?

Some of the options I found were a Coffee Shop, a Hamburger Shop along the water and a new small restaurant still under construction, also located on the water right after the Hamburger joint. This last place looked to be only a couple of weeks from opening to the public with furniture in place. All three options are nice alternatives for accessing food/snacks outside of our layover hotel and really, only a short walk away.

So there you have it, as I ventured out to get some fresh air and exercise in Bahrain, I discovered these new options for food near our layover hotel. I also walked the whole perimeter of the lagoon - a great exercise and really, very doable and safe for both, women and men while in Bahrain.

Next time you're you're scheduled to fly the Bahrain turn, with it's long four hour plus sit, remember this option. Head out to the lagoon, walk a bit, get some fresh air, relax and grab a bite to eat along the water.

For women, please just observe the local modesty norms for clothing and please wear something that is not too revealing. If in doubt, ask the concierge of your hotel before you head out for your walk, if your outfit is appropriate just to be on the safe side.

Enjoy your walk and happy trails!


Argentina -ARKAKAO Gelato in Buenos Aires


Elegant European Cafe setting and delicious ice cream! ARKAKAO GELATO in Buenos Aires. A must for a taste of authentic "home-made" Italian ice cream in Recoleta. ARKAKAO, a brand originally from Italy, has recently opened it's new locale a couple of blocks away from Ave 9 de Julio (the wide avenue with the obelisk).

Arkakao comes to Buenos Aires with the promise of serving delicious ice creams that are prepared daily with out chemicals, artificial colors, or additives. They also offer to deliver these yummy treats to your home or hotel room. So next time you're in Buenos Aires, make a b-line for this beautifully refurbished Parisian Style mansion where they serve delicious Italian Gelato ice-cream in style.

Some notable flavors served by ARKAKAO are Dark Chocolate with orange; Dark Chocolate with cinnamon; Vanilla from Tahiti; Caramel Flan and Dulce de Leche. Mmm, mmm, delicioso!

Arkakao's location in Recoleta also offers an interior garden room setting and a couple of tables on the sidewalk for those who prefer to enjoy their ice creams outdoors.

Quintana Ave 188
Recoleta, Buenos Aires

Thank you Elsa!!!

Geneva - Three day Train Pass - The Swiss Flexi-Pass


This just came in from Laura, an adventure seeking crew member who just returned from Geneva, Switzerland a few days ago. She sends us valuable information on the Swiss Flexi-Pass, a three day train pass that covers unlimited travel trough Switzerland on trains, buses and boat lines. All this, for a flat fee of 216 Swiss Francs per person. It sounds pricey, but it's not if you compare the price of individual train tickets to any destination in Switzerland by train. With The Swiss Flexi-Pass, if planned carefully, you can travel extensively throughout Switzerland for a more economical price.

The Flexi-Pass can by purchased at the Office of the Train Station. Bring your Passport to show that you are a non-resident, since these passes are only available for non-residents. Laura and her friends took a train to Luzern, a boat ride from Luzern through the Interlaken, had lunch (not included) along the way and then took the train back to Geneva through part of the Golden Pass route (which is the scenic route through Switzerland). She still has a day left in her pass to use when she returns to Geneva before the end of the month.

Thanks Laura! Now I can't wait for my next trip to Geneva!

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