Thursday, July 15, 2010

travel

What is one of the perks of Steve's job?  Free flights.  As we all know, nothing is really free.  For domestic travel we can catch a free flight if there are open seats on the plane, and the cost may be extreme stress.  I could go on and on about our crazy non-rev stories (and believe me, we have plenty).  But, I will focus more on the amazing trips we have had, which we could only do with our pass privileges.  Oh, and for international travel, we actually do have to pay taxes.  I am not sure how much they are, but they are minimal.

I was a Peace Corps Volunteer after I graduated from college.  I served in Slovakia.  It was an amazing experience!  When I was over there, Steve actually came to visit me three times.  It was great!  He would bid his schedules so that he could come out every couple months for about two weeks at a time.  Nice!  During his visits, we traveled Slovakia (of course), Poland and Hungary. 

Here is a picture of us in 2001 in Strbske Pleso, which is in the Tatra Mountain.  We stayed at this lovely hotel and had a wonderful time.  Goodness, we look so young!
I don't have any other pictures of us, since this was before digital cameras were popular. Wait, just found another shot...this was just in the hotel room I believe (again, we look so young!)






and since this everyone loves pictures, here is a picture of me in front of the University I worked at


** anytime I look back at these pictures I almost start crying since that really was just such a special time of my life...and I am sure any RPCV feels the same way!

In the 12 months before started our family we traveled a lot!!!!  We went on four amazing trips - two we flew as revenue passengers (St. John and Alaska) since we just didn't want to mess with non-reving.  But the other two trips we non-reved (Paris and Poland). 

We actually took my father with us to Poland.  We stayed there for 8 days, or something like this.  We flew into London and then bought tickets on Central Wings to fly into Krakow.  This is one of Steve' most favorite trips. 

Here are a couple pictures from our train ride from Worclaw Poland to Krakow.  That day we each drank about 2 liters of beer...needless to say, we had a great time!




Steve is one liter down!



And this is how the night ended at a bar in Krakow. No, I wasn't asleep, but I was afraid to have a face shot since my eyes were probably not looking too good.
Here is my cousin's friend which shows detail about the bar were we in...the bars in Krakow are just so cool - so old and so unique...what charm!

We went in September, and it is always nice to celebrate a birthday over there since you get tons of flowers and the cakes are just delicious!



times two!




Here we are in Wroclaw, of course with beer!








Paris was actually a last minute trip (which happens a lot when you non-rev).  We thought about Rome and even Disney, but ultimately we decided on Paris.  We flew over in a 777, business first, and I can honestly say it was one of the best flights I ever had.  Not only we were in extremely comfortable seats, but the plane never hit a second of turbulence. 

We stayed at a little hotel that was very suitable.  Here is a picture, but I forget the name

The view from our room (yes, that is Notre Dame)
 

We were there 5 days total, and aside from me getting a foot injury from walking so much the first day, we had an amazing time.  Oh, and the Eiffel Tower is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen in my life!  I have a girlfriend who thought it was a hunk of ugly metal and she doesn't have the same fondness, but I am the exact opposite. 



Can't be in Europe without drinking good beer! These were expensive, but when in Rome...
We actually did Paris for about $1,000 total for the both of us. Not bad, not bad at all!


We went at the end of January.  Aside from it being rather cold, we loved that time.  When we travel in Europe we like to fly under the radar as a tourist and being in Paris in January allowed us to do that.


My sister lived in Paris for a year and gave us some really good advice.  We ate dinner one night at La Volcan and it was perfect!





based on another sisterly recommendation we hung out at this bar one night, and had a great time!  Poor Steve used the "toilet" there and will forever be scarred with the memory.  The "toilet" was a hole in the ground...no joke!









When Ben was about 15 months old we decided to go to Europe again, but this time to Switzerland.  My sister came with us too.  I have a cousin that lives in Zurich, so it made sense to visit and stay with him.  Just a side about our flight over there: it is always nice to fly to Europe in the front simply because there is more room in the seats.  Leading up to the trip we were all set to be up front.  Well, there was a plane swap right before the flight and that knocked out, something like, 20 first class seats.  So, there was just one available for us.  Anytime this happens I always let Steve sit up front.  I figure that since he is in planes so much, why not let him be the most comfortable.  As long as he doesn't brag about the ice cream cart I am okay.  On the way home, we got the last two first class seats.  Steve sat up front, and I gave mine ticket to my sister.  International first class is something to experience, so I wanted to let her have a go.

Here we all are in his apartment:



One of the places we had to visit was Wing Airline Bar and Lounge.  From what I gather, former employees of SwissAir started this bar after the company fell.  Overall, it was okay.  Glad we visited, but nothing too special, which could have been a function of the time we were there (mid afternoon)

We did some hiking

the view from the top is always worth it!


Overall that trip was just okay...sort of a "been there, done that"...not sure if I would go back again.


We have also gone on multiple cruises and trips to Florida, Chicago, NYC, Phoenix, Austin, San Antonio...I am sure I am leaving out cities, and I am sure we will just keep adding to the list.

2 comments:

  1. Wow, I'm completely jealous of your awesome travels! We almost never non-rev. I've had too many bad experiences where I've tried it and then had to buy a ticket to get home at the last minute. It's hard with a 9-5 government work schedule. They're not very flexible! It also doesn't help that for 4-5 years Greg has been a first year FO with no vacation time to actually go anywhere! Maybe someday!

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  2. I have a fantastic boss, so if I ever did get stuck he would totally understand. At one point Steve had 3 weeks vacation, and the whole trip touch thing, so he could easily get weeks and weeks and weeks off a year. That is where the last minute trips would come in. Right now he just has two weeks, so we are a bit limited.

    Someday is right!

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