We Need More Space

Above – A Manila Jeepney

Please Help

We have reached the space maximum for our current plan and will not be able to add more than one or two more posts without upgrading our plan or moving to a new host. This has been a hobby and we have really enjoyed sharing our travels and tips but do not want this to become a major investment. We would really like to hear what others do and what providers we should investigate.

Please Contact us:

Intent2Travel@gmx.com

And let us know your experiences.

What We Have Done

Web Site – We passed our one year anniversary just a couple of weeks ago using the free hosting at WordPress.com. We bought a couple of domain names so our total initial out of pocket was under $25 (with another $25 to renew the domains last month). In the beginning I would reduce the size of photographs to web specifications to save space but stopped after a few months. It seemed I had plenty of space and I realized that there were visual issues with the reduced size pictures (I now see that this is the main reason we now out of space).

I have learned a lot about the WordPress platform over this year including work arounds to get features of plugins that aren’t allowed under our WordPress plan. The learning curve has been steep at times and I am not looking forward to starting from scratch.

Other Sites – We have set up other social media sites primarily to help promote the blog and have managed to pull it all together with four strongly related names. We are on Pinterest and twitter with the name Intent2Travel and facebook with the name Intend2Travel.

Email – Our emails are all with GMX for a number of reasons. First they are free, they also do not cause all the security issues when traveling internationally that happen with Apple, Gmail, Outlook… Doing this also allow us to maintain these addresses even if we change domains.

Potential Problems

The Intentional Traveler site currently uses over 600 internal links mainly for indexes,  that will ALL have to be redirected with a change in address (this may be unavoidable regardless of what we decide). We also have over a thousand incoming links from shared and other social media sites that would also have to be edited (this may also be unavoidable regardless of what we decide).

I am also concerned about continuity with followers and subscribers both on the site and also with the other social sites? In looking into WordPress it seems that I can set up a redirect using a plugin but the only way I can use these plugins is to buy an upgrade  which doesn’t make financial sense.

What We Have Looked At So Far

WordPress – If we have to upgrade it doesn’t seem to make sense to pay for a service that still doesn’t allow services that we would really like to have. Some plugins are an important issue and WordPress currently would be $300 a year which doesn’t make financial sense to us.

Bluehost -This host offers a lot of what we want for less than $50 year right now. We set up a free 30 day trial with Bluehost since they use the WordPress engine and we exported and imported our site (have not published as yet). While all the posts and categories and menus seemed to have imported, about 20% of the photos are missing. Also headers, widgets and directories are missing so it will require hours of work to get ready to publish.

Again – Please Help we could really use some advice on this
Intent2Travel@gmx.com
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Pub Hopping in Dublin

The Temple Bar Pub

Temple Bar in Dublin is famous. Many people mistakenly think it actually is a bar but it’s not. In the seventeenth century a famous Dubliner, Sir William Temple  was the provost of Trinity College. Sir Temple owned property along the river. In the river in front of his land was a sand bar and around that time a breakwater was built at the mouth of the river. That resulted in the sand bar growing and as it filled it became part of the real estate of the city. Locals began to refer to this land as “Temple Bar” and the districts name survives today.

Live music at the Temple Bar Pub

The Temple Bar neighborhood today is an area famous for its nightlife and has a number of pubs and bars. In 1840 an establishment opened named Temple Bar Pub and today it is still a popular institution. It features good food, libations and live music. Every new visitor to Dublin should put a stop at the Temple Bar Pub on their list of destinations. From early in the day to late at night it is full of energy, serves good, moderately priced fair and features live Irish music.

Dining room at The Bank

Dublin has a reputation for good food and we lean strongly toward pub fare. Corned beef sandwiches, fish n’ chips, Oysters & Guinness, Irish stew to name a few. During our recent visit we took advantage of a few and were pleased with them all.

The Bank Bar and Restaurant opened in 2003 and located on College Green next door to H&M in the heart of Dublin. The name comes from the building originally being a bank and it still has its original character with lots of brass railings, tiles, and ornate ceilings. It offers primarily a pub menu and features a live piano player. We give it high marks.

Murrays Pub located on O’Connell Street just north of the Spire. This pub has a good reputation for food and features live music and Irish dancers in the evening. It had a welcoming comfortable feeling and a good Irish Coffee which was just the thing on a wet afternoon.

The Grand Central Cafe

Grand Central Café Bar is also on O’Connell Street just south of the Spire. Located in a historic building that was shelled during “The Rising”, it offers a large collection of local beers and cocktails and an extensive menu of dishes, prepared in front of you in an open plan kitchen. It features music and dancing in the evening. Good food and service at reasonable prices.

Directly across the street from the Ha’penny Bridge on the south side is The Merchant’s Arch Bar which features live music and good bar snacks. We stopped in around happy hour time and joined in on a few Irish songs and a pint of Guinness. The atmosphere was lively and the staff was friendly and efficient.

The Merchant’s Arch Bar

 

For dessert and coffee look up The Wooden Whisk at 94 Talbot Street just a few blocks east of the Spire on O’Connell Street. It has a small deli and coffee shop vibe but after a few days of trying pastries and coffee around the city this was real find and the prices were more than fair.



And than there’s Starbucks. We have traveled the world in recent years and there is an American creation that has become as ubiquitous as McDonalds – Starbucks! From Australia to Thailand to Dublin you will probably walk past several Starbucks in a day. While we prefer local we also carry our Starbucks card with us when we travel, often because we know we can access free wifi. We’ve been told we can pay with funds on our card at any Starbucks worldwide but for some reason we have been skeptical. In Dublin we broke down (I needed to reload a Google map) and were surprised at the transaction. First it was instant. Second the receipt spelled out the transaction in Euros as well as the dollars used and the exchange rate was exactly what the mornings quote showed. Lastly it also showed the balance on the card in Euros as well as dollars.. Two big thumbs up for Starbucks.


 

Index to Restaurants & Articles

Yellowston’s Old Faithful Lodge

Last summer, after years of trying to plan a trip to Yellowstone, with a stay at the Old Faithful Lodge, we actually got there.

The Old Faithful Inn is as much an icon of Yellowstone Park as the nearby geyser(s) and was an experience we had looked forward to for a long time. We planned that trip around a land tour with Caravan Tours which included the two nights at the lodge and we couldn’t say more about the tour.

Named for the famous geyser in the basin its construction started in 1903, the Old Faithful Inn epitomizes the use of rustic architecture on a large scale and has been copied a number of times. Construction was done using local stone for the building’s foundation, and local lodgepole pine logs for its walls. Craftsmen framed the windows and stairways with gnarled wood selected for its beauty in the construction. It was designed by architect Robert Reamer, and the inn combines rugged materials and organic motifs in a way that expresses both frontier sensibilities and elegance.

The Old Faithful Inn opened in 1904, and was equipped with electric lighting, but Reamer designed the light fixtures to look like candlesticks. Both the electricity and the radiators were fueled by a unique steam generator. Dinner was accompanied by a string quartet (which still plays in the lodge), and dancing was customary on most nights. The east wing was added in 1919 and the west wing was added in 1927, both under Reamer’s supervision, bringing the inn’s total number of guest rooms to about 340. Since that time annexes have been added to increase occupancy and provide for park staff.

Just being in the Upper Geyser Basin is the experience of a lifetime and spending time at the inn is just icing on the cake. The lodge is a magnificent structure with a lobby that stands four stories high with numerous seating areas, a huge fireplace and includes a main dining room, a snack bar and a bar that features light fare. The rustic architectural details are worth special attention and there is a front deck where you can sit and view the geyser.

It seems almost a requirement to have at least one meal in this historic log dining room with its impressive stone fireplace, more for the ambiance than the food. Its best buy is a buffet breakfast and lunch along with a buffet option at dinner. There are several other eating options in the main lodge including a snack bar as well as out-buildings. The general store just down the hill has a good lunch counter and there is a cafeteria in the newest building off to the side of Old Faithful.

We had a good breakfast and dinner in the main dining room and really enjoyed the bison chili and burger in the bar. Prices are not really excessive considering the location. There is very little to brag about in the Spartan guest rooms that have no air conditioning, TV or WiFi but luxurious accommodations are not what we came for.

Trimani Enoteca, a Wine Bar in Rome

We spent the entire day walking thru Rome with a late lunch on the Via Veneto. It was getting dark by the time we returned to our hotel but it was still too early to call it a day. We were staying only five blocks from the Termini and referring to our planning notes found a wine bar only a short walk away.

Trimani Enoteca

It was highly rated and Trimani deserves the praise it got. It turns out that Trimani has been a name in Rome for a very long time, with its founders selling wine for over 175 years. It is one of the best known enotecas in Rome. It features wines from all over the world at more than fair prices.

The atmosphere was welcoming and comfortable and the staff knowledgeable and friendly. We enjoyed a number of good glasses of wine and a generous cheese plate along with an order of small bites.

Trimani Enoteca
Trimani Enoteca

Italian wine bars are called Enoteche an Italian word derived from a Greek word which literally means “wine repository”. The word is used to describe a type of local or regional wine shop that originated in Italy and recently has spread to some other European countries.

Trimani Enoteca is located at via Goito 20, Rome, Italy not far from the Termini.

A genuine enoteca is intended to give locals, visitors and tourists the opportunity to taste wines at a reasonable price before buying the bottle. Regionally an enoteca is often run in collaboration with wineries and tourism organizations in a area. They were intended as a source of information on local wines rather than as regular retail outlet.

There are a number of these wine bars in Rome with many serving snacks and light dishes. If you are not looking for a full meal these are good choices. Three additional ones that are highly rated in other neighborhoods in Rome are:

Enoteca Regionale Palatium

Highlighting regional quality is at the heart of this enoteca, located only steps from Piazza di Spagna in central Rome. Because it’s a true regional enoteca it focuses on the wines and tastes of Lazio. All the best of local producers of both food and wine are showcased at Palatium, making it a must visit for every wine loving tourist in Rome.

Enoteca Regionale Palatium via Frattina 94, Rome, Italy

Enoteca del Frate

Located in one of Rome’s Prati neighborhood north of the Vatican, Enoteca del Frate is an historical wine bar and enoteca which is a meeting point for local and foreign wine lovers. With continuous efforts to bring only the very best to Roman customers at discounted prices, and with offers ranging from wine to liquors, this enoteca, along with the nearby wine bar, will have something for every palate and every occasion. On the menu there are a series of appetizers to accompany the wine as well as other more elaborate dishes for those who are seeking a great meal.

Enoteca del Frate via degli Scipioni 118-122, Rome, Italy

Tipping?

After that trip we were looking up the Trimani in a Fodor’s Rome Guide and they noted in the listing that it is customary to leave a tip at wine bars in Rome? When in Rome we are not in the habit of tipping as it is not expected. In recent years in Rome, more and more service people are getting spoiled with foreigners leaving tips and are now almost expecting them. The custom is you don’t need to tip in Italy. You’re probably already paying a supplement through the servizio (service charge) on your restaurant bill and/or the coperto (cover charge), sometimes both. At this point I am not sure what Fodor is saying but I would appreciate an thoughts on this?

 

Cheeseburgers in Paradise

Sometime you just want a good burger. We’ve seen fast food chains in places all around the world including Ho Chi Minh City (McDonalds and Carl’s Jr) Bergen, Norway (McDonalds and Burger King) Barcelona (McDonalds), Copenhagen (McDonalds), Thailand (Burger King and McDonalds).

Thailand

 

While having taken advantage of fast food while traveling we prefer non-chain restaurants and we’ve satisfied our craving for a good old American cheeseburger in a number of locations as well. We’ve had burgers from Barbados (Bubba’s, pretty good), to Barcelona (so, so), to Honolulu (a monster concoction at Teddy’s) to St. Croix (at Cheeseburgers, simply a real good burger).

East end St. Croix with Buck Island in the distance

Even the concept of McDonalds style fast food is no longer exclusive to America as more and more chains spring up. Jollibee  features burgers and

Manila

chicken and started over forty years ago in Manila. It has spread over Asia and is now well establish in the United States. Quickly growing is SuperMac’s in Ireland that features only Irish beef and serves a menu of french fries, including curry as well as covered in slaw and taco filling.

 

St. Croix

We first visited Cheeseburger In America’s Paradise  in St. Croix after hurricane Hugo in 1990 and the place hasn’t changed at all since. It’s an outdoor place under tents out on the eastern north shore on East End Road. Back then the radio played country western in honor of the Texan linemen that were rebuilding the island and had live music at times in the evening. It was becoming the place for happy hour for East Enders and probably will again as the island recovers. It offers a simple menu that mostly features really good open-flame cooked hamburgers and beer. On this visit it really did take us back as the radio was playing a C&W station.

The bottom line is if you are visiting St. Croix and want a reasonably priced, really good burger, drive on out to Cheeseburger In America’s Paradise.

 

 

 

 

Champers Barbados – Great Food, Great Scenery

On a trip this December we passed through Barbados and met up with some old friends. We joined them for lunch at Champers, one of our preferred restaurants on the island. Barbados is a favorite destination of ours and is particularly well known for the quality of its’ restaurants.

Champers is located on Skeetes Hill near Rockley Beach on the south coast, and rests on a point with commanding views of the sea and beach. Sitting on the main floor deck looking out at white

Champers main floor deck

sand, palm trees and ten shades of turquoise water you just know you are in paradise. The restaurant features great food, spectacular views and a very attentive staff, and you just can’t do much better for an elegant dinner or lunch while on the island.

We’ve never had a bad experience at Champers and this time was no exception. When in Barbados it’s a tradition to have flying fish, which I had

(fried with caper dressing) along with an appetizer of coconut shrimp with chili sauce, and both were excellent. Lunch was finished with an excellent warm bread pudding. My wife had West Indian shrimp curry with jasmine rice and grilled vegetables, also outstanding.

We were lucky enough to finish that day sitting on the porch of our friend’s house out at The Crane sipping famous Bajan Rum Punch.

Barbados Rum Punch Recipe:
  1. One part Sour (fresh squeezed lime juice*)
  2. Two parts Sweet (Demerara sugar**)
  3. Three parts Strong (Barbados Rum (Our preference is Mt. Gay Extra Old))
  4. Four parts Weak (Water)

Mix well and add a few drops of Angostura bitters. Pour over ice and add a bit of fresh grated nutmeg to each glass when serving

* Mexican or Key limes are preferred.

**Demerara is a type of raw cane sugar that has a large grain, hard texture, with a pale brown color. A substitute If you don’t have Dmerara sugar on hand, is to use an equal amount of granulated sugar and light brown sugar in its’ place.