All posts tagged: Cruise

Mapping Bourdain

As travel shows go, the many incarnations of Anthony Bourdain’s philosophical and very real take on food, yes, but more than that, culture, is definitely a must. Though Brasserie┬áLe Halles, the now New York staple he used to helm (where my boyfriend was very sweet to have taken me), did not live up to expectations as far as steakhouses, we religiously watch old episodes of No Reservations shot in places we’re going so we can choose a few spots for our own map of places to check off our bucket list du jour. Turkey: Uphill and Soggy Buns Turkey, for example, was especially interesting. We decided our first night in Istanbul that we were going to walk to Durumzade, a small spot where Tony swears the Adana kebab was the best. It was quite an adventure as we did not know that we had to walk uphill to the restaurant. We walked until we finally gave up and hailed a cab a block from the place and got to our goal: Anthony Bourdain’s recommended kebab. …

Wednesday Sightings: Sunset in Istanbul

What do you see when you wake up? How about when your day is about to wind down? Have you had the chance to have been able to marvel at sunrises and sunsets half the world over? Aren’t these priceless, humbling experiences ones that diminish all the importance and effort we put on the insignificant, minute stresses of our everyday — and beauty, only beauty, comes into focus?   Photos taken of an Istanbul, Turkey, sunset from the Celebrity Constellation Cruise Ship, November 2013

On Endurance: Don’t Pray for Lighter Burdens

“Don’t pray for lighther burdens, pray for stronger backs.” – Anon Photo taken of hardworking donkeys, as they stop to take a quick break in Oia, Santorini, during our trip to Greece in November 2013. Tourists are often given advisories not to take ‘donkey taxis’ in Santorini as most of them are reportedly being mistreated by their handlers (something we ourselves did not witness: the man in this particular photograph seemed to us to have been intent on the task at hand, like many of the hardworking folks we met in our travels). It’s also symbolic of the endurance and strength we should — and find within us to — exhibit when we have to take on the challenges we are given. Weekly photo challenge: Endurance

World Heritage Site Tuesday: The Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa has always been on my bucket list, and when we went on our Mediterranean cruise last year, I finally had the opportunity to see the famous destination. We did our research prior to traveling and learned that Pisa is far from the port. This is the reason we decided that this time around instead of taking local modes of transportation on our own like what we did the rest of the stops, we would try one of the tours offered by the cruise line. The tour bus was crowded as expected, but the most unfortunate thing about this is that you don’t own your time. At one point we had to wait for our tour guide for an hour, time that we could have used exploring the area. In addition, not everyone on the tour came back on the time specified which caused a lot of delays. We later found out through experience that if we would have paid for a private tour, it would have cost us less than …

Crepes: Philly, Warwick and While Sailing the Open Seas

If you have a sweet tooth like I do, you have eaten as many crepes as I have. So when my boyfriend and I went on our Philly food tour last year and saw online that Alton Brown was on Best Thing I Ever Ate talking about Beau Monde‘s crepes, we had to add it on our list of places to visit. In the episode “Under Wraps,” Alton named two crepes, one savory, one sweet, as the best things he ever ate that are wrapped. If you like pears, you would like the dessert crepe, which is pear, chocolate and chestnut creme. The pear wasn’t overcooked, the chocolate and chestnut creme were a good combination and complimented the sourness/sweetness of the pear very well, but I did not like it because of the texture and grittiness of pears. This, however, is personal preference. The savory crepe, mushroom, swiss and almond, was perfectly cooked. They chose the right cheese for the crepe and the almond provided a crunch — it’s just the textural element that it …

Candid at Bodrum Castle, Turkey

What do people see in us during our most unguarded moments? When we allow ourselves to just be, at our most free, one with our truth, stripped to our core, unpretentious, alone with our own thoughts, most honest, most vulnerable? Above photos taken by MW, in Bodrum, Turkey, November 2013. We found Bodrum interesting. There wasn’t as much to explore compared to the other destinations we were to go on the cruise we were in at the time, so we spent most of the day at Bodrum Castle, looking out at the beautiful, pristine water beneath and exploring the castle itself. On our way back to the ship, we stopped for lunch at a restaurant looking out at the water. The food wasn’t as memorable as our meals from other stops so there isn’t much to tell there, but the view is definitely worth sharing. Perhaps one of the most memorable things about Bodrum for me was the walk from the ship to the castle, where we found the coolest-shaped ATM ever. We really find …