Tag Archives: Trip Report

My Confession: Hooray for the Bidet

A few months ago, Jason over at Fly&Dine, wrote an article about bidets. He got hooked after a recent trip to Asia. He called his post “In Defense of the Bidet”, but I’m calling mine, “Hooray for the Bidet”. Now, I clearly know that there are three responses, three different groups, if you will, of you reading this. The first group is already clicking away because maybe you have no idea how a bidet works and why I’d say hooray. But I encourage you to keep reading because maybe I’ll get you to change your mind. The second group is intrigued by the idea of using a bidet and has maybe used one and wants to know why in the span of a few months TWO Boarding Area bloggers are writing about bidets! The third group is already thinking of their reply to this post, because, like me, the words Hooray and Bidet are a natural fit. Bidet users are nothing less than overly enthusiastic about their love affair with bidets. We say things like, “bidets changed my life.” After all, we miles and points folks are generally more open to trying new things, are we not?

Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bidet

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5 Things to Experience in Slovenia: Caves, Parks, Fish Restaurants, Gelaterias & Milk Machines

If you’re looking for reasons not to love a place you’re visiting, sLOVEnia is not for you! After being there a week, which was not nearly enough, I kept looking for excuses to stay :) My visit came about rather oddly in that I was never planning to visit Slovenia. I had a trip planned to Italy, which I’d visited before, and this idea floated into my head. Since I was going back to Italy, maybe I should use the opportunity to visit a country I hadn’t been to before. But one not too far from Italy. That’s when the planning wheels started turning. Because I was starting my Italy trip in Venice, I looked at the map and noticed that Slovenia shared a border with Italy. Hmmm, interesting.

Then I remembered that Adam, over at Point me to the Plane, talked about his trip to Slovenia. He went there in 2013, so his wonderful impressions of Slovenia must have really stuck in my brain for me to recall it all in 2017! When I emailed Adam, all he could say was, “Just go, you’ll love it!” So I booked my trip! So now I’m paying Adam’s advice forward and telling you, “Just go, you’ll love it!”

When you read about Slovenia it always says its capital, Ljubljana, is a city made to the measure of man. It’s always interesting to me how places describe themselves. Not only is this way of describing Ljubljana totally true, it gives you a window into the energy and feeling of this city and its people. They are warm, friendly, full of life, and certainly living in a beautiful mid-sized city. Ljubljana lies between Venice and Vienna, which makes for an interesting mix of cultures and cuisines, though I found Slovenia to be uniquely its own place.

Without gushing too much about how wonderful this country is, I want to give you 5 ideas for what to do and see that, with the exception of one of them, won’t likely end up on any MUST SEE lists you’ll find online. I wrote a separate post on the coffee scene in Ljubljana – Shelli’s World Coffee Tour – Coffee Houses in Ljubljana, Slovenia (Part 1). Hint: if you drink coffee, you’re in for a real treat! Continue reading

Shelli’s World Coffee Tour – Coffee Houses in Ljubljana, Slovenia (Part 1)

I guess it’s time for a true confession. I’m a coffee snob. And when I travel, I have a passion for supporting local roasters and coffee houses. Let’s just say I’ve BEAN Around the World and I’m feeling like now is the time to start sharing the love… and caffeine, one city at a time. Recently, I had a fantastic holiday in Slovenia. Given the shared border with Italy and all the cafes around Ljubljana advertising Illy brand coffee, I wasn’t sure if I’d find coffee shops worth sharing with my fellow Bean Around The World travelers, so I was thrilled to find two fantastic places owned by some very special people. I’ve got lots to share with you, so let’s open the TWG cafe society doors and talk coffee, Slovenian style.

Before I talk about these individual places, let me first describe a bit about what you’ll find in Ljubljana. What you won’t find is Starbucks. And as in many countries and cities, there aren’t “just coffee” cafes. By this, I mean that many restaurants and smaller eateries consider themselves coffee houses too. Cafes in Slovenia also serve meals and alcohol (it’s not hard to get a liquor license) even though they may advertise as the “best coffee house in Ljubljana.” This made it tricky because what I wanted to find and be able to recommend were great COFFEE places for people who wanted the vibe and coffee quality of the kinds of places I always refer you to.

In my search, I actually eliminated a few places because I didn’t care for their vibe and didn’t think they were paying enough attention to the coffee end of their business. So I was super happy to be able to find two that not only were worth reviewing, but proved to be up there in the “best of” levels of any I’d been to anywhere in the world!

TOZD was created and established 5 years ago by Robert Henigman. I immediately liked the feel of TOZD because when I say Robert created this space, I mean it’s a creative, fun environment with books and artwork all over the space. Even the menu on the wall had anatomical x-ray like images of parts of the human body. As a health & fitness professional, I personally loved it.

TOZD Front Entrance

TOZD front entrance

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Shelli’s World Coffee Tour – San Francisco (Part 1)

I guess it’s time for a true confession. I’m a coffee snob. And when I travel, I have a passion for supporting local roasters and coffee houses. Let’s just say I’ve BEAN Around the World and I’m feeling like now is the time to start sharing the love… and caffeine, one city at a time.  You may recall, I started this series with San Diego. When I wrote about the coffee scene in Hawaii, the topic of coffee in San Francisco came up. Readers gave me a bunch of places to check out the next time I was in the Bay Area and I had a chance recently to do that. And I’ve got a LATTE to share! So let’s open the TWG cafe society doors and talk coffee.

First a few parameters. Readers gave me coffee places to try all over the Bay Area, but this time I only visited places within San Francisco. Next time I’ll explore places outside the city. Secondly, I’m going to talk about the cafes in the order I tried them. You’ll know by my comments which ones were my favorites :) As you might recall, I’m judging more than the coffee. I’m also taking into account the ambiance, service, and general vibe.

The first place I went to is Andytown Coffee Roasters. They have two locations, both of which are in the Outer Sunset. They turned out to be one of my favorites, so besides the fact that their beverages are 50-75 cents less than the other coffee places, the whole experience is worth heading out to the beach for!

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A Cheap Day in Bogota, Colombia (Monserrat, Funicular, Roasted Corn & Uber Rides)

Good morning everyone, I hope you all had a great weekend.  Before I go on, I wanted to give a quick shoutout to all the people who attended my SF Travel Hackers weekend meetup in SF on Saturday – it was great to talk to all of you.  This post is the second trip report from my recent South American trip (part 1: Aloft Bogota Colombia Airport Hotel Review (SPG Category 1 + Free Airport Shuttle)).  In this post, I will show you how cheap things are in Bogota, Colombia.  The current exchange rate as of February 13 is 1 US Dollar = 2,878 Colombian Pesos (You can round up to 3,000 to make the math simpler in your head).

1 USD to Colombian Peso

During our time in Bogota, we took 2 Uber rides.  The first ride was from the Aloft Bogota Hotel to Montserrat (one of the highest peaks in the city with a great view of the city) and the second from somewhere in town back to our hotel.  The first Uber ride was 12,300 Colombian Pesos (~$4.27 for a 35 minute Uber ride) and second Uber ride was 11,000 Colombian Pesos (~$3.82 for a 19 minute ride).

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