This morning as I was contemplating today’s blog, my boss came up to me and asked what I planned on writing.¬† I was about to answer that I wasn‚Äôt quite sure, but as my mouth opened, I remembered that he is taking a trip Barcelona next week. Instead of saying, “I don’t know yet.” I asked about his upcoming vacation (while secretly wishing it was me getting ready to take a winter break somewhere warm).
As we all know, Valentine‚Äôs Day is around the corner.¬† Last year, I wrote this blog, giving travelers ideas on where they should take their sweetheart in honor of the day dedicated to love.¬† But what about the single (and happy about it, thankyouverymuch) population?¬† It‚Äôs not just couples who can have fun on Valentine‚Äôs Day!
You could take a day to see the sights by booking a bicycle tour of the city. As one of the most bicycle/pedestrian-friendly cities in the world, there is plenty of space for riders on the roads and a number of bike paths throughout Amsterdam.
Soak up some culture at one of the many art and history museums. Those who love science and technology can‚Äôt miss a trip to the NEMO Science Center.¬† The structure was built to look like a boat run aground and is home to hundreds of temporary interactive displays.¬† With the number of exhibits spread throughout the museum, the coinciding games and experiments will keep visitors to the Science Center enthralled for hours.
Or, if you just need a vacation from the hustle and bustle of every day life, sit back and relax on a lazy canal ride through the city.¬† With different routes and cruises available, the choice is yours!
Call 1-800-Fly-Europe for a cheap flight to Amsterdam or check out our specials here on the website.¬† No matter what your plans are for this Valentine‚Äôs Day, I hope you have a safe and wonderful time.
I know it‚Äôs a day late, but I was snowed in yesterday!¬† ¬†For the last few days, many of us in the United States experienced severe winter weather.¬† Experts say it was the largest snow storm to sweep across the country in decades!¬† Here in Portland, Maine we saw 7.3 inches of snow just yesterday alone.¬† Cold days like these call for warm, rich, snow-day food and what better place to find such a concoction than Italy?¬† Let‚Äôs travel to Italy and bring back a recipe for the perfect comfort food!
This recipe is always a winner, guaranteed to keep you warm!
16 oz rigatoni (may substitute with pasta of choice)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
Preheat oven to 425¬∞
Melt butter over medium heat in a 2 qt saucepan.¬† Whisk in flour until smooth and slowly add milk; whisk until sauce is smooth.¬† Simmer approximately 10 minutes, until sauce is thick.¬† Remove from heat, add 1/2 c fontina and set aside.
Meanwhile, boil rigatoni until al dente. Add sauce and mix well.
Pour pasta with sauce into a well greased 9×13 inch oven safe dish and top with remaining fontina and diced butter.¬† Add salt and pepper to taste, and bake for 25 minutes.
When taking a trip to Berlin, there are always a few stops on the itinerary that you can count on.¬† The Brandenburg Gate, what is left of the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie are a few things that are likely to be on your list of places to see.¬† (Of course, you must visit the aforementioned sights while in Berlin; they are of extreme historical importance.)
Here are some other interesting spots in Germany‚Äôs capital city that you may want to add to your list of things to do and see:
Museumsinsel (Museum Island) – Exactly what its name is translated to be, Museumsinsel is an island in the River Spree with an impressive complex of museums. ¬†The museums located on Museumsinsel are:
Pergamon – contains a collection of Islamic and Classical antiquities and the Pergamon Altar
Altes ‚Äì Displays the Collection of Classical Antiquities‚Äô Greek Collection on the 1st floor and temporary exhibits on the 2nd floor
Altes Nationalgalerie- exhibits a collection of 19th century art, mostly German and French Impressionists
Bode – home to Byzantine and Antique sculptures dating from the Middle Ages and later
Neues- Recently reopened after having been closed for decades, the Neues Museum showcases Early History and Egyptian artifacts and collections (among these is the bust of Queen Nefertiti)
This complex was added as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999.
Tiergarten – The largest inner city park in Berlin is the Tiergarten (translated to Animal Park). ¬†Picturesque gardens, tree-shaded sidewalks and a large playground draw both visitors and Berliners by the hundreds.¬† At Tiergarten, you will be able to see the Victory Column and visit the Berlin Zoo. (Opened in 1844, it is the oldest zoo in Germany.) Visiting Tiergarten is a good way to get in a number of sights in just one stop!
Have you been to Berlin?¬† What were your favorite stops?