St. Louis Gateway Arch Missouri USA

Gateway Arch St. Louis Missouri USA

Gateway Arch St. Louis Missouri USA

To be honest, when we visited the Gateway Arch in St. Louis a few years ago, we were not able to see the museum.  It was closed for renovation, so all we got to do was get a closeup view of the outside of the Arch.  And beware – our Google map sent us to the wrong place at first, probably due to the renovation.

Once we found the right spot, we really enjoyed seeing the Arch.  We will look forward to going back to see the museum and taking a ride up the Gateway Arch.  I had a chance to do that back many years ago and found it to be even more enjoyable than just viewing the Arch.

UPDATE:  As of the July 4 holiday, 2018, the museum and visitor’s center has now re-opened.

Our family will make a point to take a tram ride up to the top of the Gateway Arch one day soon.  Be ready for great photos from the top!

Gateway Arch St. Louis Missouri USA

Gateway Arch St. Louis Missouri USA

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River Thames Cruise London United Kingdom

Thames London United Kingdom

Thames London United Kingdom

London Thames Clippers

London Thames Clippers

 

I had very little time in London on one of my trips but sure made the most of it. It was raining but I got into a Thames Clipper (fast river boat), stayed warm and dry while watching one landmark after another go by. You can really see a lot by just taking a ride in one of these beautiful Thames Clippers.

London River Cruise

London Tower Bridge – River Cruise

I started from the Emirates Air Line (which is a cable line that goes across the Thames River), with an aerial view of London. It is a beautiful view if you don’t mind the heights. I then took a Thames Clipper to London Eye. Worth every penny spent! Once you get off at the London Eye, you can walk across the Westminster Bridge to Big Ben. You can take all the photos from the Westminster Bridge with the Big Ben and the Parliament buildings in the background. Walk a little further and visit the Westminster Abbey. It is gorgeous. There is an Underground Tube station (Subway Train)  nearby that will hustle you to your next destination.

Westminster Tube Station London

Westminster Tube Underground Subway Station London United Kingdom


Schiphol International Airport Amsterdam Netherlands

Schiphol Train Hub Amsterdam

Schiphol Train Hub Amsterdam

An amazing airport where you can shop, dine, sleep, shower, check into a hotel and it is all integrated with a sophisticated transportation hub. It is also beautifully designed to make you feel like you have room to rest and relax! You can pretty much fly from anywhere to every where. They have places where you can securely lock your luggage and leave the airport for a trip into Amsterdam or connect to major European cities by train. The airport is clean and green (eco friendly). Most locals speak good English, friendly and helpful to travelers. The security screening process is also efficient and fast given the number of passengers that are routed from this airport.

Schiphol International Airport Netherlands

Schiphol International Airport Netherlands

Schiphol is the hub for the KLM (Royal Dutch) Airlines. Many other Premium and Low Cost Carriers fly via Schiphol Amsterdam. There is no need to drive or take a train to get to your low cost airlines if that is your choice.  This makes the airport a great hub to start your journey into Europe or other continents.

Schiphol International Airport Netherlands

 


Road Warrior Tech Gadgets

Road Warrior Tech Gadgets

Road Warrior Tech GadgetsRoad Warrior Tech Gadgets

 

If you work and travel, you will need tech gadgets to stay connected to your office and still have fun.  While a speedometer will let you know how many miles you have travelled (if you are driving),  you may be completely jetlagged while flying. You may not even know what time zone you are in or what time it is at your destination.

Time Zone Globe Schiphol Airport Netherlands

Time Zone Globe Schiphol Airport Netherlands

A good smartphone is a must. It is almost impossible to go anywhere without a mobile or cell phone. Since it is quite expensive to call from abroad, we recommend purchasing local sim cards in the country you are travelling to. Problem is most US phones do not work overseas.  You will need a GSM phone like from AT&T or T-Mobile unlocked. GSM phones work well when travelling to international destinations as it will take their local sim cards. Standard Sprint PCS and Verizon Cdma do not use GSM technology.

If you have a Mobile VoIP App (Voice Over IP or Internet App), you can get your voice mail (as an audio attachment) in your email on your smartphone even when you are abroad. You can get virtual local phone numbers that you can answer live over the Internet while travelling.

For an example, you can have your family call you on their local number (say in San Francisco, USA), which you can answer while you are in London. It will be a local free call for your family. You will need to have access to the internet via Wi-Fi or local mobile data from your local in country phone company. This really opens up world travel.

You can also use apps like WhatsApp (now owned by Facebook) , Skype (now owned by Microsoft), Google Hangouts etc. The neat thing about your own mobile app is you can even program or filter which calls you wish to answer and send the rest to voice mail. If you run the mobile app via your corporate or work VPN or Private VPN, you can have better encryption and privacy.