Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving and wish for fun holidays!

Happy Thanksgiving to my family, local friends, and travel friends!
Each trip we take, our experiences open new doors! With the challenges of today (economy, war, jobs/no jobs, apartment rent increases in a negative economy, etc) facing us, I am grateful to have and share these memories with everyone.

Travel friends are different than any other type of friend. You meet these people just one time. These new friends which we share ONE moment of our lives and will remember forever! We may never meet our travel friends again, we will always have that one common experience between us. Sometimes we do meet them again.

Enjoy these images from Italia! Peace!
Happy Thanksgiving! The FunTourGuru

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Italian Cars

Dear Detroit car makers,

Please pay attention to this message. Economical cars are not really new and a great source for drivers now. Please contact me for ideas for your 2009 biz plans .... ways to save money, engineer new products and help the environment.

Best Regards,

The Fun Tour Guru

Italian cars in Florence, Italia

Maybe we should take note of these with our latest gas crisis in USA. It really is not new to drive vehicles like these.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Current Events this Week October 2008

Jean Jennings Bartik
Events at the Computer History Museum

This is an event of interest about a significant person from Missouri and who attended Northwest Missouri State Teachers College (my Alma Mater) which I will be attending this week. I hope to see local people there!

ABSTRACT OF TALK (copied directly from the Computer History Museum link and belongs to the Computer History Museum).

Born on a farm in Missouri, the sixth of seven children, Jean Jennings Bartik always went in search of adventure. Bartik majored in mathematics at Northwest Missouri State Teachers College (now Northwest Missouri State University). During her college years, WWII broke out, and in 1945, at age 20, Bartik answered the government's call for women math majors to join a project in Philadelphia calculating ballistics firing tables for the new guns developed for the war effort. A new employee of the Army's Ballistics Research Labs, she joined over 80 women calculating ballistics trajectories (differential calculus equations) by hand - her title: “Computer.”

Later in 1945, the Army circulated a call for computers for a new job with a secret machine. Bartik jumped at the chance and was hired as one of the original six programmers of ENIAC, the first all-electronic, programmable computer. She joined Frances “Betty” Snyder Holberton, Kathleen McNulty Mauchly Antonelli, Marlyn Wescoff Meltzer, Ruth Lichterman Teitelbaum and Frances Bilas Spence in this unknown journey.

With ENIAC's 40 panels still under construction, and its 18,000 vacuum tube technology uncertain, the engineers had no time for programming manuals or classes. Bartik and the other women taught themselves ENIAC's operation from its logical and electrical block diagrams, and then figured out how to program it. They created their own flow charts, programming sheets, wrote the program and placed it on the ENIAC using a challenging physical interface, which had hundreds of wires and 3,000 switches. It was an unforgettable, wonderful experience.

On February 15, 1946, the Army revealed the existence of ENIAC to the public. In a special ceremony, the Army introduced ENIAC and its hardware inventors Dr. John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert. The presentation featured its trajectory ballistics program, operating at a speed thousands of time faster than any prior calculations. The ENIAC women's program worked perfectly - and conveyed the immense calculating power of ENIAC and its ability to tackle the millennium problems that had previously taken a man 100 years to do. It calculated the trajectory of a shell that took 30 seconds to trace it. But, it took ENIAC only 20 seconds to calculate it - faster than a speeding bullet! Indeed!

The Army never introduced the ENIAC women.

No one gave them any credit or discussed their critical part in the event that day. Their faces, but not their names, became part of the beautiful press pictures of the ENIAC. For forty years, their roles and their pioneering work were forgotten and their story lost to history. The ENIAC Women's story was discovered by Kathy Kleiman in 1985. Bartik will discuss what it means to be overlooked, despite unique and pioneering work, and what it means to be discovered again.

Out and about in Silicon Valley ~ The Fun Tour Guru

Explore the day at this fascinating Computer History Museum

Ongoing events at the Computer History Museum

Friday, September 19, 2008

Consumer alert - Alitalia Airlines

Please confirm with your travel agent if you have a ticket issued to travel on Alitalia Airlines

Alitalia (Italy's national airline)European media are reporting this afternoon that Alitalia -- the Italian national airline that has struggled financially for years -- now faces an effective deadline of Monday, Sept. 22, to come up with additional financing to stay afloat. However, the prospects appear grim, as yesterday the last group of Italian investors interested in the carrier withdrew their bid in the face of withering opposition from Alitalia's unions.

Thank you ~

Monday, September 8, 2008

Airline Industry Deregulation

I want to share this article from USA Today, by Bill McGee. Let me know any thoughts?

With industry in crisis, experts question deregulation
Thirty years after the landmark Airline Deregulation Act went into effect, lawmakers and industry experts are no longer unanimous that deregulation was a boon for U.S. fliers. Bankruptcies, higher prices and widespread service cuts have helped spark talk of re-regulating the airline industry. "Three decades of deregulation have demonstrated that airlines have special characteristics incompatible with a completely unregulated environment," says Robert Crandall, former CEO of American Airlines. "To put things bluntly, experience has established that market forces alone cannot and will not produce a satisfactory airline industry, which clearly needs some help to solve its pricing, cost, and operating problems." USA TODAY (9/2)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sightseeing Tourist Attractions Verona ?

Name this city and country ?

Verona - What Country? and name the river?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

More from the street dance in the city of Santa Clara

A great 'ol fashion' street dance ... excellent music, great food & drink, good company! At the annual street dance in the city of Santa Clara (CA).

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Canals of Venice & Streets of Santa Clara

From the canals of Venice

to the streets of Santa Clara

It is important to find the adventure in what you do. Of course there will be small hiccups along the way as you explore. Focus on the adventure. I am grateful to have such a rewarding, fun, and ADVENTUROUS summer. Tell us your adventure?

If you missed this street dance, the Joe Sharino Band will be playing at Santa Clara's Art & Wine festival in Sept. (again, it will be free) If you missed the canals of Venice .... well, call me and we'll go on this special trip again.

TIP - visit the new tasting room of Beauregard Vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains, (the old tasting room located on Santa Cruz Wharf has moved). You may visit their new facility at: 10 Pine Flat Road, Bonny Doon, Ca, 95060. Only 9 Miles north of Santa Cruz on scenic HWY1. Picnic facilities available, first come basis. And, I recommend their wine - very tasty! 4 STARS

When you are traveling local or afar, remember to turn the corner, and go down the street that is not on your plan, to discover a new adventure! ~ The Funguru

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Think Green

Are you not sure of what you might be able to do about saving our environment? I found this link to help you.

Go ahead and click on this link and leave my blog, this is great reading. Do something today!

Join others in learning how to change and think differently. Change is uncomfortable, one feels good after they have gone through. Especially if we save the earth.

You may also join me on my Facebook profile and find out what you might start doing today. Take a walk this afternoon .... exercise is good for you, and the earth!

What did you do today to "think green"?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Which cities have you seen from this song?

A quiz for the Huey Lewis and the News fans or any music fan. Remember the song, Heart of Rock & Roll? I copied all the city names mentioned in the lyrics of this song.

New York, LA, Hollywood, DC, San Antonio, Boston, Baton Rouge, Tulsa, Austin, Oklahoma City, Seattle, San Francisco, Cleveland, Detroit, Toronto, Montreal

A. What do these cities have in common?
B. How many of these cities have you actually visited for 2 nights or more on a personal vacation?
(List your name, number of cities, and year(s) if possible - any short stories)

Please share and post any interesting stories or information about this song or these cities - the story behind the song? I do not know ... does anyone?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Locally this summer - what to do?

I returned from my own international trip this month which was most agreeable to me. It was a great get away and to explore. Travel is fine, and I (personally) did not experience any irritations or challenges.

I need to update a few items of local interest since I have been away.

I read the latest issue of the Concierge Valley Access e-zine, which highlighted their recent (outstanding) hospitality event in May. This event recognizes the best of the best of the hospitality industry in Silicon Valley. In my opinion, this Hospitality Event is the best of all events – the Concierges really know how to create a fabulous and exquisite evening.

This year, the Best Concierge is Robin Kuborssy, Abbott , Corporate Concierge. Congratulations Robin!

My favorite categories recognized:

Best New Restaurant - San Pedro Square Bistro and Wine Bar
Best Kept Secret - San Jose Jazz Sunday Series
Best Winery - Cinnabar Vineyards and Winery

The remaining list may found at , click on the June Valley Access. Be sure to visit these establishments this summer. What better entertainment is our local jazz music, a new restaurant with great eats downtown San Jose, and good tasting wine ~ and all local in Silicon Valley!

By the way, the new tasting room for Cinnabar Vineyard is located in downtown Saratoga and is delightful. Try their Mercury Rising and 2006 Late Harvest Chadonnay – I enjoyed them. I did learn something about wine after planning numerous events for groups.

Tips for this summer – most wineries are closed on the 4th of July, open again on the 5th July. Summer passport weekend in the Santa Cruz Mountains is July 19 – when you may visit most wineries (even the smaller, boutique wineries) for free with purchase of a passport. Some of the best wineries are located on mountainous, windy roads. Be careful and designate a driver in your group. Buy the driver a delicious dinner at the end of the day!

What is your favorite trip?

When you are traveling local or afar, remember to turn the corner, and go down the street that is not on your plan, to discover a new adventure! ~ The Funguru

Monday, May 26, 2008

More tips for your vacations

Back to my updates ~ of tips from professionals in the Travel/Tour industry. Mariann Millard, Professional Tour Director, offered this tip about the Boston region: "a favorite of mine is exploring Beacon Hill on foot with its narrow streets and ecletic shops."
Do you use a Travel Professional (agent) (TA)? They have the knowledge, will be able to steer you away from the internet deals and inferior internet travel companies, and support you through your travels. A valid TA works with other bonded companies as suppliers. Yes, they do have ways to save dollars if this is what you are searching for. The TA will also give you the value for the dollars you do spend.

Remember with all the mergers and acquisitions in the corporate world, how do you know whether a company is still valid and strong? If you see a great deal on the internet, it is probably too good to be true. Ask questions and call you Travel Agent (TA).

Vacations are a time to get away, relax, and enjoy.

I recommend you connect with a valid Travel Professional to assist you with your plans, before, during and after your trip. A Travel Agent (TA) assists the planning before and after your trip. A (paid) professional Tour Director is with you during a tour – they manage your needs. They are NOT just a leader escorting the trip for free.

When you are traveling local or afar, remember to turn the corner, and go down the street that is not on your plan, to discover a new adventure! ~ The Funguru

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Visiting New York City only for the weekend?

Did you know that through my professional tour network I am able to connect you to hundreds of tour/travel professionals across the USA with in depth knowledge of many regions like I have written about locally in Silicon Valley?

Yes, a small niche of this network is the “professionally paid tour director” which may work with major tour companies that sell fun escorted group tour vacations to the consumer like you to different destinations and/or “local tour guides” specializing in showing people an in depth experience in one region. These colleagues will lead you to the key attractions in their regions; they will also guide you to significant places to visit and people to see off the beaten path for you to enjoy.

Did you know that now New York City is a neighbor to San Francisco where you may want to fly to New York City for the weekend?
I asked a professional tour director, colleague and tour friend of mine what are the top 3 MUST DO’s in NYC on a weekend visit. The first is:

”Go for a walk in a local neighborhood like the Lower East Side, Chinatown, the West Village, etc. Step AWAY from the highlighted areas from tour books and walk the side streets so you may see there is peaceful, everyday living and uniqueness all around you in this vibrant city. Be sure to stop at a local merchant's shop -- a cafe or pastry shop, a bread baker or a traditional Italian market where they still slice the meats and cheeses. Try a small sample, the local shop owners love a visitor to step into their world, even if for only a moment and experience the real NYC,” says Tom Schoenewald, Professional Tour Director and President of USA Tour Pros.

This would be a great experience and fun walk with Tom on a tour to see these places that you might not want to step out on your own to see! And, you will hear the special stories from Tom about the local, unique NYC.

Watch for tips off the beaten path I may connect you to across the USA. Sign up at our website to be a part of this network. We do love to hear your comments here.

"When you are traveling local or afar, remember to turn the corner, and go down the street that is not on your plan, to discover a new adventure!" ~ The Fun Tour Guru

Sunday, March 16, 2008

San Benito Wine Country

Are you a wine tasting enthusiast? Try the treasures found in San Benito County wine country. Calera and DeRose Wineries! Another favorite is Pietra Santa Winery (viewed in picture).

Pietra Santa Winery

San Benito Wine Trail 

This is a trip into Silicon Valley’s Deep South – beyond the most southern region of Santa Clara Valley.
Keep driving south and exit east off of Hwy 101 at San Juan Bautista, to find the fascinating, San Benito County Wine Trail close to Hollister. 

Tucked away in these foothills, is the fantastic family-run winery of Pietra Santa Winery, surrounded by their own vineyards as far as you can see. The winery dates back to the 1850’s, and resembles that of a Napa Valley Wine Villa as you go down the driveway.

Grapes - San Benito Wine Trail
There are fabulous wines and olive oils for tasting, and the wine personnel have great stories to tell. There is a beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright residence located on their property, which you may reserve for events. 

It is a real hidden gem close to home to visit. Be sure to allow time to visit DeRose Vineyard and Calera Winery this same day of your trip. Is this one of the best kept secrets? 

Exploring central coast California ~ The Fun Tour Guru 

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All images are credits to the FunTourGuru.