Traveling Thursday – A different type of airport connection

Two new websites Meet At The Airport and Planely are designed to help layovers a bit more bearable by allowing travelers to meet up for romance, conversation or networking.

Travels answer questions about themselves and their purpose for using the site. They are then matched with others based on these answers.

It’s rather ingenious really. Business travelers spend countless hours at the airport so why not give them an option to ease personal connections.

So what do you think road warriors? Would you use these services?

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Traveling Thursday – Cinderella was right.

Cinderella knew the importance of the right pair of shoes.

As travelers we should take a page from her book when it comes to selecting the right footwear. Blisters and sore feet can ruin your vacation.

I highly encourage you to read this article about the shoes that travel professionals recommend. There are a lot of great recommendations.

Personally, I love my Sketchers, Privo by Clarks, and my cute Crocs. Whatever you pick, find something that is comfortable, durable, and well broken in. I also always take along a few blister band-aids just in case.

 

 

 

Traveling Thursday – Privileges of Membership

Are you a member of a zoo, garden, or museum? Did you know that many of those attractions offer reciprocal membership benefits at other facilities across the country? This could mean that you would enjoy free, or greatly reduced, admission during your travels. It’s a great way to save money and take full advantage of an existing membership.

The AZA offers this list of zoos with reciprocal membership benefits.

For other types of attractions, check your membership materials or the member’s section of their website.

Traveling Thursday – It’s worth a shot.

Mr. McB and I are booked on a Med cruise in the fall. Last Friday we were looking up some details about the cruise and noticed that the price of our cabin had decreased by $900 per person and that there are now other goodies (free WiFi, shipboard credits, prepaid tips) in addition to the reduced fares. I decided to call the cruise line to ask about a fare adjustment and am very happy to report that Oceania gave us the new price and incentives.

The moral of the story, watch for price breaks even after you book a cruise and don’t be afraid to ask your cruise line or travel planner to honor the new price.

Paisano’s Italian Pizzeria and Restaurant

Last Friday night we were in the mood to try something new so I used Google map’s “nearby” feature to find restaurants close to us.

From this search we stumbled onto Paisano’s Italian Pizzeria and Restaurant, at the intersection of Rte 14 and Pelham Road in Greer. For all my adventurous eating, I am not a fan of “red sauce” Italian but this place had a full range of Italian items and a lot of Greek cuisine choices too. We began scanning the extensive menu and were in the car just as our mouths started to water and our bellies began rumbling.

Paisano’s is located in a strip mall. Mr. McB described the location as a culinary UN as there are Korean and Japanese groceries, a Thai restaurant, a BBQ joint, a deli, and this Italian-and-Greek establishment.

The restaurant itself will not win any design awards and the lighting is a little dim but it’s got a comfortable, family feel. While I appreciate good restaurant design and decor, it’s not a must for me. I have been in far too many fancy restaurants with substandard food. I go to art museums for my eyes and restaurants for my belly.

We were seated quickly and began another scan of the menu. I had already decided to go Greek and picked the moussaka. McB decided on the tortellini with chicken.

Both of our meals came with a salad. We both selected the house (Greek) dressing. It was quite good and tangy. The salads were fresh and while they weren’t huge, they were a good start for the meal.

M’s pasta came out on what can only be described as a platter. He had a mountain of tri-colored tortellini and grilled chicken. The dish was served with an alfredo sauce and garlic bread. He was a big fan of the pasta and sauce. He said the chicken was nothing special and actually took away from the enjoyment of the pasta. He couldn’t put his finger on what was wrong with the chicken but it just didn’t measure up to the pasta. He’ll definitely order the tortellini again but won’t ask for the chicken to be added in the future.

I was a little apprehensive about the moussaka. I love Greek food and this is one of those areas where my travels work against me. I have consumed some of the most delicious food of my life in Greece and am often disappointed by what passes as Greek food here in the US. One bite of this moussaka but a big smile on my face. The beef was perfectly seasoned. The eggplant was not mushy or bitter. This was a big hit. My meal came with a side of pita (freshly made) with yogurt dip and Greek potatoes. I enjoyed the pita but found the yogurt dip to be too thick and a bit bland. The Greek potatoes were a little too lemony for my taste. The sides made the meal a great bargain but with the salad it was just too much food for me to handle. This is especially true since we were guided by our hunger and made an ill-advised choice to order the cheese stick appetizer.  The cheese sticks were good and they came with a wonderful homemade marinara but they were just unnecessary given the size of our entrees.

We are both looking forward to a return trip to Paisano’s and are so glad to have this gem in our area. It’s not often that the ubiquitous Italian/Greek combo restaurant does justice to both cuisines.  The service is wonderful and the prices are very reasonable. I highly recommend stopping in the next time you’ve got a rumble in your belly and no particular place to go.