Sunday, May 26, 2013

Santa Clara CA University Graduation Event on Memoral Day Weekend

Remember these great finds close to home

I enjoy walking around one of my favorite universities, Santa Clara University, because of the beautiful Mission which is located on the university grounds.  Santa Clara University is one of the oldest "private universities" in California. Many times I get to see the set up or break down of weddings and events held over summer weekends.

This weekend (2013) I saw this behind-the-scenes set up of the Santa Clara University Law School Graduation which took place yesterday.  I don't know any of these graduates personally, I still pause as I know this is an accomplishment for our students.

I looked down the rows of empty seats and my thoughts went to the celebrations taking place with each graduate and their family and friends taking place this weekend. I remember my own graduation celebration with my family ... I didn't know what I would do after that one day, there was the dream of what might be possible...

The green lawn was covered with hundreds of perfect aligned white chairs on both sides of the stage waiting for their arrivals the next day and uniquely placed around the palm trees throughout the area. 

I talked with the kind, friendly security officer, who let me wander a bit behind the closed off areas and on the stage.  

Happy Memorial Day! So much has happened this past year ~ throughout our own country and world, how may we help each other? ~ The Fun Tour Guru

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

3 Most Frequent Questions from Travelers on Trips (FAQ)

What questions do you ask during the trip?

The trip is planned and now you are ready to leave.

I know it is fun to start reading favorite blogs and websites for additional region stories and information.  Yet, I wonder why am I still asked the same, repeat questions from travelers during their trips?

I chose three of the most frequent asked questions that people ask me, whether the trips are for business or leisure.  The answers to these questions are not readily available by social media. 

And remember, if you arrive in the evening or over the weekend, people in tourism and information centers will most likely NOT be available to help. 

Where is the toilet, bathroom, or restroom?

Don't get caught with your pants down...Picture taken at Gilroy Hot Springs, CA Courtesy of DW
I did a Google search for  “how to ask where is the restroom internationally”  and received  about 4,830,000 results (0.38 seconds). 

My tip, don't forget the many variations in each language of “restroom” and “bathroom”. An example is Spanish may be different in Spain and Mexico.  And, the definitions of these 
words are different in each country.  

This is even true when you travel across the USA.  I giggle as I mention this because I know even New York City is very different from Los Angeles and San Francisco.

This is a list of how to ask in five of my favorite languages:
  • German:  Toilette
  • German = Wo ist die Toilette, bitte? (Vo ist dee toy-LETT-uh, BIT-uh?)
  • Spanish:  Bano (North American Counrty)
  • Spanish = Perdone/Disculpe, ¿Dónde está el baño?(Formal) (Per-DON-eh, DOHN-deh es-TAH el BAHN-yo?)
  • Italian:  stanza da bagno
  • Italian = Mi scusi, dov'è il bagno?
  • Greek:  τουαλέτα
  • Greek = Parakalo, pou ine i tualetta? (Πού είναι η τουαλέτα;)
  • French : Salle de bain
  • French = pardon, où sont les toilettes? (pahr-DAW, oo saw lay twah-LETT?)
Do you understand what I mean now? 

Gilroy Hot Springs, Gilroy, CA Courtesy of DW
 The next frequent question… 

Do you have wi-fi? And, how much does internet access cost, what is the code to use to connect?

I admit, I am spoiled living in Silicon Valley and Northern California where most towns offer free (complimentary)  wi-fi , or connection to the internet.  I take it for granted. This is not always provided for you or sometimes a challenge to find the code access.  

Luxury hotels and resorts charge for this additional service.  Less expensive hotels usually provide this service, yet sometimes it is only provided in the lobby. 

On my trips, I ask where the local public libraries, coffee shops, or internet cafes are located.  By doing this, I  get the additional benefit of talking with the local people by doing this. 

Where may I charge my smartphone?

This is an active question now.  Even people locally ask this question when they attend meetings and conferences.  There is not that many electrical outlets available.  And, if you are traveling internationally, you may not have the right plug-in connection.  

Modern airports now have more convenient outlets to use in the sitting areas, how many times do we see someone sitting in a chair next to an outlet yet not using it?  Should we add a sign on the chair saying, 'reserved for those wanting to re-charge'? Or add more re-charge stations per chair?

There are many lightweight, inexpensive, emergency smart phone re-chargers available now. I use these to recharge my phone while on the plane or at dinner.  I keep my phone with me which eliminates a chance of someone stealing the phone.

There was one hotel in Germany that I stayed at with a lobby bar that had phone/computer charging stations in the center of their tables - how cool is this?

I also try to buy equipment like small cameras with re-chargeable batteries. Don't forget the cords! You may put cords in your extra socks and shoes to keep organized.

I hope this helps to get prepared for your next trip! Let’s go! ~ The Fun Tour Guru

More tips - read My Hit and Miss of my Last Trip and Trip Planning Advice

I want to go on vacation now!  My latest trips to go on are at my website.  Ask.