4 Tips to Moving Your Stuff While Traveling

When planning to travel for adventure or due to duty calls, it is always a hard task to decide on the stuff you need to carry or leave behind. It is also difficult to determine how to move the items across the world or even the states. Some stuff is delicate and requires special handling. Others are too expensive or precious and can be risky and costly if lost or stolen. To ease this hassle while traveling, apply the following tips:

1) Use a Moving Company

If you are in Australia, you may be wondering, “Where do I get credible removalist Melbourne services?” Brilliance Removalists Melbourne helps you move the stuff you need to a location of your choice.

The company has invested in different sized trucks, and this reduces cramping and damage on your stuff, scenarios that may be experienced if you stuffed them in the boot of your car or a smaller truck. They can also help you pack and label your stuff, thus saving time reducing confusion.

They also offer special packaging to fragile items. This helps you receive your stuff in one piece. They have employed qualified and experienced personnel. This ensures that your items are handled safely and carefully. The company has replacement and insurance policies that protect your stuff while on transit in case of any eventualities.

2) Only Carry What You Need

The temptation to carry every little thing in your house can be hard to resist. It can be hard to move the whole house especially if you do not know the size of the house you might be staying in next. You might also have a hard time every time you have to pick up and go to your next travel destination. To ease this, carry only the essentials. This can be done by preparing a packing list that helps your packing process. The items you do not need can be left behind for future use once you come back or give them out. You can also sell and make a few dollars out of the stuff you do not need while traveling.

3) Storage Facilities

While traveling for a long period, it might be costly to move with all your stuff from one place to the other. It is also expensive to pay for an apartment to hold the stuff that you do not need for the period you will be away. To reduce such costs, consider keeping your stuff in a storage unit. The units are locally available and are cheaper. They come in different sizes, but in case all units are of equal sizes and one is not enough, you can get two or several units. The units are safe and secure reducing the risk of losses from burglars. You can also send your items to storage units before you get to your location. Once you get there, you can get your stuff from the storage units and use them.

4) Insure Your Stuff

Items risk being stolen, breaking, or getting their parts damaged while in transit. Some can be salvaged and repaired while others are rendered useless. You can insure your stuff while on transit to cater for any eventuality. This helps reduce losses. It also enables you to get back to your previous position without straining. A local or international insurance company can offer transit insurance. Check and compare prices and terms that each provider sets out to ensure you are fully protected.

Venice with Kids: 10 Fun Things to Do

Venice with Kids: 10 Fun Things to Do

San Marco Bell Tower

Piazza San Marco Photo by Savvy Nana

Last summer we took the fast train from Rome to Venice, one of our favorite cities.   We left Rome on the Frecciargento #9406 at 07:50 and arrived at the Mestre Train Station by lunch time.
The kids love taking trains around Italy.  The seats are comfy and the passing scenery is beautiful. The dining car helps too!
Train travel in Europe is fun and can be economical with train passes.  I always buy ours on Italia Rail.  You can get several types of passes for 1st. and 2nd.  class seats.  I always check their specials before I buy passes, sometimes it’s less expensive to buy point-to -point tickets, specially if you will mostly be taking the Eurostar or fast trains.  Seats on those trains require you pay a 10 Euro reservation fee per person  per train ride.  If you have a pass you must buy the reservation before you board the train, city-to-city ticket prices already include the fee.

Italy Trains

First Class Seats on the Eurostar Trains Photo by Savvy Nana

Italy Trains

Photo by Savvy Nana

First Class Seat

Photo by Savvy Nana

 

 A trip to Italy wouldn’t be complete without a visit to this magnificent city.  From its opulent mansions to the grandiose Basilica, Venice is a city of Byzantine splendor.
But a trip to Venice does not come cheap.  Hotels, even the lower rated ones cost a pretty penny.  If you feel like a splurge the Danieli, Cipriani (where George Clooney and his guests stayed on his wedding weekend),  or the San Clemente Palace are high end luxury hotels.
San Clemente Palace Hotel

San Clemente Palace Dock

 I love the San Clemente Palace , built in the late 1700’s as a monastery, the hotel is located on a private  island in the lagoon.   It retains the ancient atmosphere and some rooms have awesome views of San Marco.  The hotel, as all other hotels in the lagoon, have their own private boats to ferry guests to San Marco Square.
A more family budget friendly alternative are hotels on the mainland in the town of Mestre.  This year we stayed at the Novotel Venezia Mestre Castellana  located just 4.3 miles from the city center of Venice.  It has larger rooms that accommodate 2 adults and 2 children.  Kids under age 16 stay free in their parents room and breakfast in included.  The hotel has a small pool and playground as well as a couple of video game stations in the lobby for kids to use.  The hotel is around the corner from the bus stop where you can hop a Venice bound bus for the 15 – 20 minute ride.

Novotel

Novotel Venezia Mestre Castellana Photo by Savvy Nana

Novotel Venice

Photo by Savvy Nana

Novotel Venezia Mestre

Photo by Savvy Nana

Another plus to staying in Mestre is that you don’t have to drag your luggage on the cobble stoned streets of Venice, or hire a porter, to your Venetian hotel.  Cars are not allowed in Venice.  Buses drop you off at the Piazzale Roma which is a short walk from Venice’s Santa Lucia train station.

Where ever you decide to stay here are kid friendly things to do in Venice.  Some can be done for little costs, others not so little.  Approximate costs are given to help you plan and budget.
 
1.  Buy a 1 Euro bag of corn nuts from one of the feed vendors in Piazza San Marco and feed the pigeons. The kids love it!  You get great pictures.  The Piazzetta di San Marco is right off the main square towards the lagoon, try feeding the pigeons there it is usually less crowded.  Keep away from and do not feed the big seagulls, they can be very aggressive and will “bite”.  
 
Piazza San Marco

Pigeons in Piazza San Marco Photo by Savvy Nana

 

 

 

 

 

St. Mark's

Piazza San Marco

 

             2.  Visit San Marco Basilica to see it’s magnificent mosaics.  When inside you can visit the Treasury, Museum, loggia, the tomb of St. Mark, and the spectacular high altar – each attraction has its own entrance fee, I believe we paid about 5 Euro per person for each attraction..
      Entrance to the Basilica is free, but you will have to stand in line for a long time.  Skip the que, make online reservations for a 2Euro service fee per person, kids 6 and under are free.   To book your ticket click here!
      You can get some great photos out on the loggia, you have an awesome view of the piazza in front and the piazzetta and lagoon from the side.  Photography is not allowed inside the Basilica or in any of the attractions, having said that I will share some photos my kids took in spite of my scolding.  To be accurate they took them in full view of staff, everyone else was taking photos, and at least they did not use flash.

za

 

3.   Ride a gondola in one of Venice’s side canals.  A must do for first time visitors although it is a bit pricey.  About 100 Euro for a gondola that seats 6.  Otherwise you can book a shared gondola tour for 30 Euro per person.  Click here to book your tickets.

Gondolas

Gondolas in the Lagoon

 

 4.      Hop on the slow moving Vaporetto #1 (public “bus”) for a scenic cruise down the Grand Canal, this is the best deal in Venice.  It cruises by many landmark buildings.   Get on at one end, I prefer getting on in front of the train station Venezia Santa Lucia, and getting off the other end at Piazza San Marco.  You can buy a one way ticket or a 24 hour pass if you will use it to get around during your stay, or want to go to other islands such as Murano and Burano.
 
ACTV

Vaporetto

5.   Make your own mask.  Visit Ca’ Macana one of the oldest and finest mask making workshops in Venice.  They have mini-mask making courses, at the end you get to take home the mask you made.  
Click here for more info.
Mask workshop

Ca’ Macana

      6.   Hop on a Vaporetto to visit a glass blowing studio on the island of Murano.  These fine craftsmen having been making beautiful glass jewelry, figurines, and more for 700 years.  You can also pick up strings of glass beads here at half the price as those in the shops and vendors in the city.
Murano glass

Murano glass factory

 
7.  Take a day trip out of the city to the Brenta Canal (towards Padua). Take a bus to Stra or Mira, you can rent bikes  (they will deliver the bikes to any bus station) and bike alongside the canal to Villa Pisani, its hedge maze in the gardens will surely interest the kids. You can get lost in one of the most difficult hedge mazes in the world, Il Labirinto.  The maze is made of a dozen concentric rings of tall hedges that surrounds the tower in the center. The tower is climbed by a double-spiral staircase — someone is usually posted there to direct those who are hopelessly lost. 
 
Maze

Il Labirinto

 
8.  Walk up to the center of the Rialto Bridge for classic views of the Grand Canal. Then wander thru the shops and markets around the bridge.
Grand Canal

Grand Canal as seen from the Rialto Bridge

 

Rialto Market

Peppers at the Rialto Market

 9.      Enjoy a gelato and listen to music in Piazza San Marco.  If you feel like a splurge have at seat at Caffe Florian  or GrancaffeQuadri  they’re located in the Piazza across from each other.  Their outdoor diners  are entertained by the orchestra, my husband calls them the dueling orchestras.   Both are iconic landmarks in the piazza having been around for over 300 years.  My husband usually grabs a table and sits with the grandkids while the rest of us go shopping.  The good thing is once you’re seated you can occupy the table for the whole day.  
 
Expect to pay 14+ Euro for a few scoops of gelato plus a 6.25 Euro coperto per person.  A snack for a family of 4 will cost about 80-90 Euro.  

A pleasant surprise we found in the Cafe Quadri ladies’ room was a nice clean IKEA baby changing station.  These are hard to come by in Italy in general.
 
For a budget friendly option buy a gelato from one of the gelaterias in the piazza and enjoy the music standing up.  Unfortunately there is a lack of public seating in and around the piazza. If you try to sit at one of the café’s  tables someone immediately appears to tell you about the cover charge to sit and if you don’t agree to pay they make you leave, they can be rather rude about it. 
 10.   Have a nice meal by a quiet canal, away from the pricier places along the Grand Canal.  Try Trattoria da Giorgio ai Greci or one of the restaurants behind San Marco at the Fundamente ai Greci. Or Trattoria Pizzaria da Roberto on Campo San Provolo not far from St. Zaccharia church. 
 
     Whatever you decide to do in Venice I’m sure you will have a memorable vacation.  Venice is truly a magical city.A word on restrooms, this is crucial when traveling with kids!  There are public restrooms located throughout Venice.  Look for the sign that says “W.C.” there will be arrows pointing you to them. Some may have a small fee of  about .50 cents Euro to use.
M Most cafes and restaurants have bathrooms, they are usually very nice about letting tourists use them even if you aren’t purchasing anything from them.   I found Italian shop owners very helpful when you have kids that need to use their bathrooms.  But ask first to avoid problems.
Ciao!


VENICE GONDOLA ITALY TOUR

America’s Most Haunted Hotels

America’s Most Haunted Hotels

My cousin recently told me that the only thing his 7 year old daughter wanted for her birthday was to stay at a haunted hotel.  Ever the indulgent father and avid fan of the paranormal,  he and his wife packed up and took their only child for a stay at the Jerome Grand Hotel.

Reportedly a haunted hotel in Jerome, Arizona, a historic artist community that really plays up the “haunted town” theme as reflected in area businesses such as The Haunted Hamburger, Asylum Restaurant, and the Spirit Room Bar.

They didn’t have a ghostly experience but had a great time exploring the town, browsing the art galleries, and dining at the various restaurants.

There are many “haunted” hotels across the country.  Here’s a list of the top haunted hotels in America according to the Travel Channel and Haunted America Tours.   Are you brave enough to book a stay at one of them this Halloween? Let Savvy Nana Travel help you book your spooky vacation this year!

The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel was built in 1926 and is located on Hollywood Boulevard.

Over the years many Hollywood greats stayed there.  Its Blossom Ballroom was the venue for the first Academy Awards Ceremony and many movies and TV shows were filmed in various areas of the hotel.

And Marilyn Monroe is said to haunt this famous Hollywood hotel.

 

 

Located in Estes Park, haunted hotelsColorado’s Stanley Hotel inspired Stephen King to write his novel “The Shinning”.  The hotel offers a 5 hour ghost hunt as one of their activities.

New York’s Hotel Chelsea is rumored to have many famous ghosts, including that of Dylan Thomas who fell into a fatal coma there in 1953.

Unfortunately it’s currently closed for renovation.  The new owners hope to open in 2018.

 

 

haunted hotels

Old West spirits are said to hang out at Santa Fe’s La Fonda Hotel.

 

 

 

 

 

Guests staying in room 6, Emily’s Room,  of the Logan Inn in New Hope, Pennsylvania reported hear the soft crying and smell the lavender scent of Emily, the former owner of the building.

 

 haunted hotelsMary Todd Lincoln is said to haunt Vermont’s
Equinox Resort.

haunted hotelsDocked in Long Beach, California the Queen Mary is touted as the “haunted ship”.  They have various ghost hunting tours and also offer accommodations.

Guests report strange occurrences and sightings at the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs. AR.

The Myrtles Plantation, located in the heart of Louisiana’s Voodoo land, is said to be one of America’s most haunted houses.

The most famous haunt is Chloe, a green turbaned former slave.  She joins over a dozen more ghosts rumored to haunt this plantation.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

A former Confederate hospital in New Orleans in now Hotel Provincial.

Guests have reported ghostly sightings and blood stains mysteriously appearing and disappearing on the linens in some rooms.

Located on Coronado Island in San Diego the Hotel del Coronado is a historic luxury hotel.

It said to be haunted by a lonely jilted lady, Kate Morgan, who checked in to the hotel in 1892.  She was there to meet her estranged husband who never showed up.  She was found dead on the beach from a gunshot wound.

Le Pavilion Hotel in New Orleans is said be the hotel with “real” ghosts.

Employees and guests have reported many strange happenings, voices, and sightings.

Room 703 in The Heathman Hotel in Portland, Oregon,  is said to be a hotspot for paranormal activity.

The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, NC.

Paranormal investigators, guests, and staff report many strange happenings in a particular room on the second floor.

The Sagamore Hotel in Bolton Landing, NY is very haunted.

Golfers report that a ghost steals their golf balls and flings it at them.

Rumor has it that it’s owner Walter Schoreder was murdered in the Ramada Plaza Hotel.  He is said to haunt this Fond du Lac, Wisconsin hotel.

Still looking for more haunted hotels?  Listverse.com has a list of the top 10 Haunted Hotels in the world.  Or check out The Telegraph’s list of 30 of the most haunted hotels.

 

 

Ready to book your Spooky Vacation yet?  Let Savvy Nana Travel help you plan your dream vacation.  We specialize in custom itineraries for everyone!  And we love, love, love Halloween!

 

For more Halloween fun check out Savvy Nana’s Corner or follow my You’ve Been Booed board on Pinterest.

Shop Halloween Party Supplies on Zazzle.com

Haunted Places in the 50 States

Haunted Places in the 50 States

Haunted

England’s Tower of London is said to be one of the most famous haunted places in the world; not surprising given it’s bloody history.  The Tower counts among it’s prisoners Anne Boleyn, Henry the VIII’s second wife, and Lady Jane Grey who was Queen of England for just over a week.
Both ladies were subsequently executed on the Tower’s grounds.

England boasts many more haunted places from castles and churches to parks and cemeteries.  But haunted places aren’t limited to England, or for that matter Europe.  Just about every continent, country, city, and town has at least a ghost story or two which is inevitably linked to a specific location.

America is no different, from coast to coast and from north to south our country has hundreds if not thousands of reportedly haunted places.   Some, like the Queen Mary in California, are world famous, others local legends famous only to the town’s inhabitants and serious ghost hunters.

In the fall, specially closer to Halloween,  many of us like to experience a little thrill and go on a ghost tour or drive by places that look spooky.  There’s definitely no lack of haunted places in each state. Here’s a list of haunted places, one from each state, some famous, others not so.   Perhaps one or two of them will be close enough for you to visit this year.

HauntedThe Sweetwater Mansion in Florence, Alabama has seen plenty of history.

Construction began in 1828, it was here that Union and Confederate officers stayed during their respective occupation of the city during the Civil War.  It is said that many of its former residents reside here still.  Children’s laughter is said to be heard and  items that  mysteriously move.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

HauntedScary Mary is said to have checked into the Golden North Hotel in Skagway, Alaska during the Gold Rush and has never checked out.

Filled with  hopes for a bright future she came to Alaska as the fiancee of prospector Klondike Ike. Mary locked herself in the couple’s hotel room to await her beloved who went off in search of gold, he never returned.

When concerned hotelkeepers finally gained entrance to her room they found her dead, dressed in the wedding gown she was to wear on her wedding day.

Today  guests have been spooked by a pale ghostly figure looking out the window still awaiting her lover’s return or by a figure standing over their bed checking to see who’s in it.

 

 

 

hauntedThere is no shortage of haunted places in the state of Arizona, but one of the most famous is the town of Jerome, a quaint community in northern Arizona.  All sorts of specters are said to haunt many of the town’s historic buildings.  The most haunted is thought to be the vintage Jerome Grand Hotel.

It opened as the United Verde Hospital in 1927.  Miners from the nearby copper mine were treated here for serious injuries many of which proved fatal; insane people were also treated here for their mental illness.  The hospital closed in 1950 and re-opened as the hotel in the late 1990s.

Today ghost enthusiaists, including my cousin and his family, book rooms here hoping to catch a phantom nurse or hear a scream or two during their stay.  My cousin and his family have stayed here twice and have never had a paranormal experience, but the town has many nice shops and restaurants making it a nice place to spend the weekend.

I can’t talk about Arizona ghost towns without mentioning the town of Tombstone.  During my last visit the lady at the fudge shop told me the whole town is filled with spirits.  She claimed their their presence could be felt as you wander the towns streets and buildings.  I’m not sure about the streets, but whenever we’re in town we usually stop for drinks at the Crystal Palace Saloon, and I hate going to the restrooms located in the back of the building.  Walking down the hallway to the restrooms always gives me the creeps and the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.  Haunted or imagination?
I’m never quite sure.  We did the Bird Cage Theater ghost tour, it was fun, but we didn’t really have a ghostly experience.

hauntedDriving along Arkansas 365 just south of Little Rock can turn into a paranormal experience.

Motorists driving this road on dark rainy nights have claimed to have encountered a young girl on the roadside.  They give her a lift, she tells them where she must go, but when they get to the destination the girl has vanished.

I think just about every town has a similar story, here in Hawaii it’s said that Madame Pele, the volcano goddess, has been seen asking for rides along many of our roads.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

HauntedCalifornia has many haunted places including Alcatraz in San Francisco and the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, but I would never had thought of Disneyland as a haunted place.

It is said that the “Happiest Place on Earth” is truly haunted.  The Space Mountain Ride and the women’s employee locker room is said to be haunted by a man who died on the ride in the 1970s and The Christmas Shop on Main Street, Tom Sawyer’s Island, and Tomorrowland all house a spook or two.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

Haunted

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado is hands down the most famous haunted hotel in the Rockies.  This sprawling luxury hotel that opened in 1909 is a favorite with dignitaries and ghost hunters.

This hotel inspired author Stephen King to write his bestselling book “The Shining”. Today there are many stories of paranormal activity, particularly in room 217.

 

Union Cemetery in Easton, Connecticut is said to be the most haunted spot in the state and possibly the most haunted cemetery in the country.

The famed “White Lady” is said to wander this 400 year old cemetery.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

Haunted

Photo courtesy of Haunted Houses.com

Fort Delaware sits on Pea Patch Island just off Delaware City.

Built in 1848 and decommissioned in 1943 this fort was never attacked.  It did house has many as 16,000 prisoners at one time.

Reached only by ferry today Fort Delaware is part of the Delaware Park System.  No one lives there anymore, just the ghosts of past inhabitants.

The park services offers ghost hunting tours on the island.  Click here for more info![spacer height=”-20px”]

 

HauntedThis particular bend of the St. John’s River in Seminole County, Florida with a cluster of cypress trees, is known as Round Cypress Head.

Many have said they have witnessed paranormal activities in this dark dank area of cypress woods.  It is said that the woods is home to demons and/or witches.  Folks are warned to not venture there for fear of being eaten by these monsters.  Locals claim that fishermen have gone missing in this river and many claim the woods are most definitely haunted.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

HauntedThe quaint southern city of Savannah is arguably the most haunted city in Georgia.

Known for its southern charm and hospitality along with its antebellum architecture many of it’s historic buildings and spaces are said to host a specter or two.

Madison Square was the site of a Revolutionary Battle and British soldiers were buried there.  Shadowy figures are said to be lingering in the park.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

hauntedSteeped in legends and lore from ancient Hawaiian days to missionary days and beyond the 50th. State has its own host of haunted places.

Night Marchers are said to walk the land at night and Madame Pele the volcano goddess can be frightening or almost playful.

The islands are filled with many haunted places including schools, bridges, libraries, drive-in movie lots, and hotels.

The luxurious Hilton Hawaiian Village is said to be one such place. Folks have reportedly seen the Lady in Red wandering the halls or even the beach.  It’s said she could have been a guest who tragically died at the hotel or Madame Pele herself.

Haunted

The Idaho State Penitentiary in Boise is supposedly the most haunted prison in the state.

Constructed in 1870 and added to over the years this prison has seen more than its fair share of violence.  It is said the hauntings began soon after the riots that started to erupt within the prison walls in 1935.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

Haunted

The Nellie Dunton Home in Belvidere, Illinois is said to be haunted by this broken hearted woman who lived here before the Civil War.

Folks claim to see her in the house and around the neighborhood.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

hauntedFrench Lick Springs Hotel is a historic resort in the town of French Lick, Indiana.

Among the paranormal activities here it is said that its former owner lingers in the service elevator.[spacer height=”-20px”]

Haunted

Originally known as Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts when it was founded in 1858, Iowa State University (it was renamed in 1959) is known for its agriculture, engineering, and science programs.

It is also home to the ghost of Frederika Shattuck who was said to haunt the theater named after her for her contributions to the theater department.  Shattuck Theater was torn down hence this other worldly being has moved to the Fisher Theater on campus.

 

HauntedThe Hutchinson Public Library in Hutchinson, Kansas is said to be haunted by its former librarian named Ida Day.

Locals say she wanders the building sometimes sorting or looking thru books.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

HauntedThe Waverly Hills Sanitarium in Louisville, Kentucky opened in 1910 to house victims of the Tuberculosis Epidemic.

Over 63,000 people including patients, doctors, and nurses died there.  The death toll in this building is comparable to a battle field, it’s no wonder it is said to be haunted.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

 

 

HauntedFrom haunted bayous to voodoo queens, Louisiana is host to many ghosts, and goblins, and other things that go bump in the night.

The historic city of New Orleans is home to the blues and filled with many quaint shops and restaurants, it’s also steeped in mystery.  Walking down the streets of the French Quarter on a foggy night can be very creepy.  I know we were creeped out one dark and foggy February night as we walked down Decatur Street.

But did you know that it was in this state where the infamous duo Bonnie and Clyde met their end?
This lone stone in Gibsland, Louisiana marks the ambush site.  Legend has it that on nights when the moon is full you can still hear the gunfire.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

hauntedEllis Pond, also known as Roxbury Pond in serene East Andover, Maine is said to be haunted.

Visitors walking along the shores have reported hearing or feeling a presence.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

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Haunted

There are hundreds of haunted places in the small state of Maryland, but the Antietam Battlefield is possibly the most haunted.

Over 23,000 souls lost their lives here making it the site of America’s bloodiest single day battle.

It’s no wonder those poor souls still wander the field and battle sounds can reportedly still be heard[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

HauntedSite of one of the most infamous double ax murders in American History, the Lizzie Borden House in Falls River, Massachusetts is now a Bed and Breakfast.

I would be surprised if it wasn’t haunted.  It is reported that guests have seen apparitions in the house.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

HauntedFamed pilot Amelia Earhart was a guest at The Landmark Inn, located in Marquette, Michigan before she mysteriously disappeared somewhere over the Pacific Ocean in 1937.

They say that she sometimes shows up in room 502.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

HauntedStaff and diners claim this St. Paul, Minnesota restaurant is haunted by the building’s former owner and his mistress who committed suicide here in 1892.

Back then it was the home to Joseph Forepaugh, today it is Forepaugh’s Restaurant.[spacer height=”-20px”]

Haunted

Stucky’s Bridge in Enterprise, Mississippi is said to be haunted by the inn-keeper named Stucky.

He supposedly robbed and murdered guests who stayed at his inn.  He was caught and hanged on this bridge.

hauntedThis 14 room Victorian mansion in Independence, Missouri is now a museum.

It was the home of President Truman, and of course it is said to be haunted by the President himself.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

HauntedThe scene of the historic battle known commonly as Custer’s Last Stand the Little Bighorn Battlefield in Montana is home to many spirits.

Apparitions and Native American war cries have been reported here.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

HauntedBrother Sebastian’s, a restaurant in Omaha, Nebraska is said to be haunted by Bill Walden, a regular patron who passed away but still frequents the joint.[spacer height=”-20px”]

Haunted

The Riviera is one of the oldest casinos on the Las Vegas strip in Nevada.

Many mob-related murders took place here and staff reports strange happenings in the hotel, specially on the 9th. floor.  [spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

HauntedBuilt in 1926 at Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire this college dorm called Huntress Hall is said to be haunted by its namesake Harriet Hunter.[spacer height=”-20px”]

Haunted

One fateful evening, May 6, 1937, the airship Hindenburg caught fire and crashed killing 36people.

Today it is said that screams can still be heard at the crash site in Lakehurst, New Jersey.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

HauntedChaco Canyon National Historic Park in New Mexico is an eerie place.

It’s haunting beauty and great stone work is a testament to past ages.  Folks claim to have the eerie feeling of being followed while visiting this park.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

 

Haunted

Built in 1884 the Dakota is one of the most sought out residences in New York City.

This landmark building built in gothic style architecture was where the horror movie “Rosemarie’s Baby” was filmed.  But it’s most known as the building where former Beatle John Lennon lived and was shot and killed on December 8, 1980.

It is said that the famous musician sometimes appears to the building’s residents, although he is not this building’s most famous ghost.  That honor belongs to the two children dressed in late 19th. century style  who have been seen since the 1960’s.  It’s not sure who the children are, but it is assumed that they were once residents of the building, more likely around the time it was constructed.

HauntedBuilt in 1924 Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, North Carolina is said to be haunted by no fewer than 20 ghosts.

The most famous one is that of Dr. William Jacocks.  He lived in room 256.  He pulls pranks and locks guests out of his former room, even after it was renovated in 1990.  The room was partitioned to become part of 4 other rooms and electronic locks were installed to prevent such pranks.  No go, he still manages to jam the new locks.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

HauntedApple Creek Country Club in Bismarck, North Dakota is reportedly haunted by a former chef.[spacer height=”-20px”]

Haunted

The Big Four Train Depot in Galion, Ohio is said to be the most haunted building in town.

It’s seen its share of tragedies and historic events of the town.  Folks claim that at times the building shakes as if a train is passing by.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

HauntedGuests at the Skirvin Hilton in Oklahoma City, Okalhoma claim to hear infant cries and female voices during their stay.

It is thought it’s the ghost of  a former maid who killed herself and her illegitimate child by jumping out of one of the windows of the hotel.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

 

 

HauntedBuilt by Universal Studios in 1927 the Bagdad Theater in Portland, Oregon housed both vaudeville type shows and moving pictures, today it’s a cinema and pub, it also is home to 2 haunts.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HauntedStraight out of history books is Valley Forge.

Every American knows or should know about the hardships the Continental army suffered here during the Revolution.

Today it’s a National  Historical Park in Pennsylvania.  Visitors claim to have seen men dressed in period army dress.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

 

HauntedThough Belcourt Castle in Newport, Rhode Island is not really haunted, some of the furnishings and decor is reportedly so.

The objects here have a haunted history including chairs and a suit of armor.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

 

 

HauntedHolley House or the Hotel Aiken in Aiken, South Carolina was built in 1878.

It is reportedly haunted specially on the second floor.[spacer height=”-20px”]

Haunted

The 1880 Train in Hill City, South Dakota was the first locomotive steam engine brought to the area.

Today the Highliner Eatery is located within the train.  Employees report seeing a spectral in a brown suit.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

HauntedThe Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennesee is more famously known as the Grand Ole Opry House  because it was the site for the show, was built in 1892.

It is reportedly haunted by none other than Hank Williams, Sr. whose voice has been heard within singing his songs.[spacer height=”-20px”]

Haunted

I’m sure just about everyone’s heard of the Alamo located in San Antonio, Texas.

Many American folk heroes including James Bowie and Davy Crockett died here defending the Alamo against the forces of General Santa Ana during the Battle of the Alamo in 1836.  During that battle over 2000 lives were lost.  It’s not a stretch to hear reports of restless spirits wandering here.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

HauntedReports claim that the Mormon Militia massacred a group of settlers at this site in Central, Utah in 1857.  Today visitors to the Mountain Meadows Massacre Site report hearing screams in the wind.[spacer height=”-20px”]

Haunted

Legend has it that Glastenbury Mountain in Shaftsbury, Vermont is believed to be cursed by Native Americans, they used it as a burial ground.

There have been several unsolved disappearances on the hiking trails.  All the trails stop partway up the mountain as if forbidding hikers to continue.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

Haunted

The beloved home of Thomas Jefferson, Monticello, located outside of Charlotteville, Virginia is said to be haunted by the famous former owner himself.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

HauntedThis inn located in Tacoma, Washington is where Stephen King’s movie “Red Rose” was shot.  It’s called the Thornewood Castle Inn and guests and staff have reported seeing strange apparitions and lights.[spacer height=”-20px”]

Haunted

Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park in West Virginia is on the site known for its battles during the Civil War.

Many apparitions including a marching army have been reported here.

 

 

 

HauntedBuilt in the 1800s and rumored to have been owned by Al Capone the Maribel Hotel in Maribel, Wisconsin burned down in the 1920s.

It’s rumored that it’s haunted.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

 

 

HauntedBig Horn Medicine Wheel in Big Horn, Wyoming is said to be at least 12,000 years old.

It’s not known who built it.  Legend has it that if you fast within the circle for 4 days ancient spirits will come to you.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

 

HauntedAlthough it’s not a state this post wouldn’t be complete without a haunted place in Washington D.C.

Our Nation’s Capital is not lacking for haunted places, many of them famous, or more appropriately infamous.

At the top of the list would be Ford’s Theater where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.  It is said his footsteps can still be heard echoing up the back stairs to the President’s Box.[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

I’ve taken you thru the states from A-W and the District of Columbia.  Each state has many more haunted places, let me know if  you’ve visited any of them!  Better yet contact me to book your haunted adventure at one of these spooky places!

Smart Ways to Fund Your Family Trip

Smart Ways to Fund Your Family Trip

43% of Americans don’t take a vacation largely due to the cost according to The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Travels bring us joy, reinforce family bonds and helps us get away from the daily grind. Although holidays are a time to relax, they are undoubtedly expensive. Fortunately, you can still visit your dream destination even on a tight budget. Here are some tips to help you raise money for the trip.

 

 

*Cut Back on Costs*

There are many ways you can slash the expenses. Instead of eating out, cook at home and carry a packed lunch. Your family will not only benefit from a healthy diet, but it can also help you save up to $5,110 a year. Restaurant meals are pricier compared to those cooked at home, and the costs can significantly rise if the whole family eats out regularly. To save on transit costs, consider walking, cycling or carpooling with your coworkers. You can also utilize inexpensive technology such as smart power strips to cut your utility costs.

*Set Up a Dedicated Account*

If you are serious about that family trip and you want to have enough funds before the D-day, open a dedicated savings account. This will give you financial discipline, as you don’t have to worry about burning through your emergency fund. Also, you will be able to easily track your expenses during the trip. Decide the amount you can afford to stash away, set up an automatic transfer and start saving early. To reach the target, make it a team effort and stash all extra money into the account including money earned from your side job, work and all loose change.

*Consider Getting Help*

The average cost of a vacation in the US is $4,580 for a family of four according to Forbes. Instead of going it alone, why not join hands with another family. By combining your efforts, you can split the vacation expenses and have a good time together. If you are still short of cash, you can also look into other ways of receiving a financial boost.

There are various personal loans available, and you just need to look for a deal with low interest , no hidden costs and with reasonable terms. With this approach, you will be free to make any plans without stressing about your financial situation.

*Sell the Stuff You Don’t Need*

You probably have a lot of clutter in your home. Items that you don’t useand are gathering dust in the garage or those stuffed in your closet may be a potential source of money. Cash in on unwanted stuff by selling them online on sites such as eBay, Facebook or Craigslist. From furniture, appliances, electronics, bikes to toys, you can make a tidy sum. All you have to do is take quality pictures and post them online. For any deal you seal, send the money to your dedicated vacation account.

Funding for a vacation shouldn’t be overwhelming. First, determine your vacation costs early by deciding what features of the trip are of great importance to your family. Make sure you take into account every possible expense that you may encounter so that you can save enough for every scenario and avoid using your emergency fund. With this approach, your trip will go smoothly, and everyone will have a fun and memorable time.

Exploring the Venetian Lagoon – Murano and Burano

Exploring the Venetian Lagoon – Murano and Burano

BuranoVenice, a city in northwestern Italy’s Veneto region.  It’s situated across 118 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges.  It’s a city of mystery, romance, culture, art, and so much more.  Not all of its islands are linked to the Venetian “mainland” by bridges, there are many islands including Murano and Burano that due to their distance are linked only by watercraft.

buranoVenice is one of our favorite cities.  We try to get there at least once a year.  So of course we’ve done the touristy things like hanging out at Piazza San Marco and the Rialto Bridge.  We’ve done the Basilica and Doge’s Palace tours, checked out Harry’s Bar and of course ridden the gondola.  These are all worthwhile endeavors, don’t get me wrong, they are definitely the first timer’s must see and do things.  But if you find yourself in Venice for the third or fourth time (believe me this is not a hardship!) or if you have an extra day or two in the city, it might be time to explore the Venetian Lagoon; particularly the islands of Murano and Burano!

First let me say if it is your first time in Venice and you only have a day or so then stick to the beaten path and enjoy the main attractions of the city.

buranoHang out at Florian’s or Quadri’s at Piazza San Marco.  It’s pricey I know, but it’s part of my Venice routine.  We splurge  about €100 on drinks and snacks at one of these cafes and people watch.  I can do it for hours!

Then check out the Basilica and Doge’s Palace, the Secret Itinerary tour is fascinating!  Explore the markets by the Rialto bridge and yes go on that gondola ride!  And don’t forget to hop on vaporetto #1 for the best ride on the Grand Canal!  For more things to do on Venice click here!

Now that you’ve got that out of the way let’s explore further afield.  There’s more to Venice then Piazza San Marco, the Rialto, and gondolas.  Venice has islands!  Lots of them in the lagoon and along the southern coast.  In fact if you want to go further a field we can explore the Veneto!

But for now let’s just go to Murano and Burano.  They’re pretty easy to get to via public transportation and are both picturesque little villages with local specialties to offer even the most avid shoppers.

buranoMurano is a series of bridge linked islands in the Venetian lagoon.  There are 7 islands linked by bridges over 8 channels.   In 1291 Venetian glassmakers were forced to move to these islands due to the risks of fires.  It quickly became known for the exquisite glass chandeliers, sculptures, and beads produced by the talented glassblowers.

To this day Murano is  well known for its glass and crystals.  Many of the companies that own historic glass factories on the island are some of the most important glass companies of the world.

 

buranoEven if you’re not a glass enthusiast you won’t be able to resist the items you’ll find on the island.

Over the years I’ve brought home many Murano glass pieces including jewelry, vases, and even a huge tree with colorful birds perched on the branches.  Oh, and I’ve also go a set of Murano glass pendant lamps.  I’m working on acquiring a glass chandelier, I’ve just go to find a place for it in my house![spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

buranoburanoAlthough shopping is a big part of Murano there are also churches and museums one can explore.

Murano is home to the Museo del Vetro or Murano Glass Museum in the Palazzo Giustinian.

We stumbled upon this giant glass abacus on display in one of the alleys leading to a restaurant.  The kids thought it was pretty cool.

We passed  this blue glass display in one of the piazzas on the way to the glass museum.  Lot’s of surprises along the walkways of Murano!

burano

burano

And don’t forget the restaurants and gelatarias along the way.  I’m sure you could use a cool drink or a creamy gelato during your wanderings!

Unless you’re a real big Murano glass fan and want to shop for some serious pieces a visit to Murano should take about 2-3 hours at best.  Honestly we were there for under 2 hours before we made our way to the Faro station and hopped the vaporetto to Burano.  A much more picturesque town in my opinion.

buranoFurther north in the Venetian lagoon closer to the island of Torcello is the small island of Burano.  It’s about a 30 minute vaporetto ride away from Murano and is linked by bridge to the island of Mazzorbo.

Burano was likely settled by Romans in the 6th. Century.  It became an important island in the 16th. Century when women on the island started making fine lace with needles.  The lace was exported across Europe and in 1872 a lacemaking school was opened.

Today Burano is known mostly for it’s richly painted  houses and of course lace.  There are many shops offering lace but most of the lace is no longer handmade as it is a very time consuming method and  very expensive.

 

buranoburanoIt’s also known for it’s seafood restaurants that serve fresh seafood brought in everyday by the local fishermen.  It is after all a fishing village as well.

Try the seafood linguine or the frito misto.  You can’t go wrong![spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

buranoThere’s not a whole lot to do on Burano other than eating, shopping, and wandering.

Wandering’s the best part!  Just cruise around the islands crossing over bridges and enjoy the colorful homes in the different neighborhoods.  I promise you won’t be disappointed!

buranoDid you know that “The colours of the houses follow a specific system, originating from the golden age of its development. If someone wishes to paint their home, one must send a request to the government, who will respond by making notice of the certain colours permitted for that lot.”

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buranoIf your more energetic and a stroll thru the village is too mundane you can explore a few other attractions  including the Church of San Martino, with a leaning campanile and a painting by Giambattista Tiepolo (Crufixion, 1727), the Oratorio di Santa Barbara, and the Museum and School of Lacemaking

buranoFor me strolling thru the town with a yummy cone of gelato is more my speed.

burano

Getting there:

Murano

It’s easy to get to Murano and Burano on the public Vaporetto water bus or ACTV.  You can do both islands easily in a day.  Some day trippers add Torcello to their day but I find it just too tiring specially with kids.  (Torcello is an island in the northern lagoon.  It was first settled in 452 and is often referred to as the island from whence Venice began.  Today it’s a sparsely populated island with some old churches and homes.)

buranoThe easiest way to get to Murano is from the Vaporetto stop by the railway station Venezia Santa Lucia.

As you walk out of the main station go to the vaporetto stop on your right.  You can purchase a ticket good for 70 Minutes heading in one direction, cost is €7.50 per person, kids under 6 are free.  Or I find it cheaper to buy a day pass for €20 for adults and €15 for children over 6.  It’s good for 24 hours from the first validation.  You must validate it every time you board a vaporetto.

If Murano is your first stop take the #3 vaporetto, it’s known as the “Diretto Murano” and connects the 5 stops on the island to the railway station and Piazelle Roma.   It runs about every 30 minutes.  You can get off at any of the 5 stops on the island, the first one being Colonna.

buranoIf you miss the #3 water bus you can take the 4.1 or the 4.2 which are both circular routes that run from the railroad station to Murano stopping at Fondamente Nove, San Zaccaria (close to Piazza San Marco and the Doge’s buranopalace), San Michele the Cemetery island, and a dozen other stops.

 

If you’re adventurous you could hop off at the Cimitero stop and explore the cemetery for a bit.

I’ve heard you can find some interesting old graves and vaults on the island as well as the church of San Michele.

burano

If you’re on the 4.1 or 4.2  the Murano stops are Colonna and Faro.  I like to get off at Colonna and stroll my way to the center parts of the island eventually making my way on foot to the Faro stop.

If you find your self far from the railroad station then make your way to the San Zaccaria stop to take the 4.1 or 4.2.  Or you can make your way to the Fondamente Nove stop and catch the #3. 4.1., 4.2, or 12.

Burano

If you’re around the train station then take the 4.1 or 4.2  to Fondamente Nove and transfer to the #12 to Burano, if you want to go to Torcello stay on the vaporetto after the Burano stop and get off on Torcello.

If you’re on Murano then make your way to the Faro stop and hop aboard the #12.  It will take you to Burano, the ride is about 30 minutes.

For a great view of Burano get off at the Mazzorbo stop and walk over the bridge to Burano.  It’s a nice walk and a great introduction to the picturesque island of Burano.

The easiest and least crowded way to get back from Burano to the train station or even the Piazza San Marco area would be to take the #12 from the Burano stop heading towards Murano.  Get off at the Faro stop in Murano and transfer to the #3.  This gets you to the train station or Piazelle Roma.  If you take the 4.1 or 4.2 it will take you to San Zaccaria, from there it’s a short walk to the Basilica or the Doge’s Palace.

Ready to plan your Venetian adventure?  Let us at Savvy Nana Travel help you with all your travel needs.  From budget to luxury travel and everything in between, at Savvy Nana Travel we are passionate about travel!  808-372-7734

 

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