Holiday destinations: Barcelona, Spain

It was my husband’s 30th birthday last week so I decided to treat him to a mini-break to Spain. I love Barcelona and as he has never been there before, it was a very easy decision to make whilst deciding where to take him.

Barcelona is the largest city of Catalonia, and the second most populous municipality of Spain. It has a population of 1.6 million within city limits which makes it the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, Madrid, the Ruhr area and Milan.

There are many places worth visiting in Barcelona. Please find a quick summary listed below:

  1. Sagrada Familia – a landmark church designed by Antonio Gaudí
  2. Park Güell – a lovely park with mosaic-covered buildings, steps and sculptures providing amazing panoramic views of Barcelona. It was meant to be an exclusive housing complex with 60 houses however only 2 houses were build and a show home where Gaudi stayed was transformed recently into a museum.
  3. Casa Milà – another beautiful building by Antonio Gaudi popularly known as La Pedrera or “open quarry”, a reference to its unconventional rough-hewn appearance.
  4. La Rambla – a street in central Barcelona, popular with tourists and locals alike. Great for shopping or a bit of relaxation in one of its many eateries.
  5. Plaça de Catalunya – the most famous square filled with fountains and sculptures surrounded with many shops & cafes.
  6. La Barceloneta – a beach located short walk from the central Barcelona.
  7. Palau Nacional – hilltop museum for 11th- to 20th-century Catalan art plus important Romanesque collection.
  8. Arc de Triomf – Classical archway built as the main entrance to the Universal Exhibition hosted by the city in 1888.

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Pauline

Holiday destinations: Universal Orlando Resort, Florida, USA

I have recently visited Universal Orlando Resort with my husband. It is based in Orlando in Florida (USA).

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Universal Orlando consists of three theme parks:

  1. Universal Studios Florida,
  2. Universal’s Islands of Adventure,
  3. Universal’s Volcano Bay water theme park.

If you like theme parks then you will love Universal resorts as it brings yours and your children stories, myths, cartoons and tales to life. As we were in the resort only for a day we decided to visit only 2 out of 3 parks.

Firstly, we made our way to Universal’s Islands of Adventure. This park consists of lots of theme specific attractions such as:

  • ‘Skull Island: Reign of Kong’ – multi-dimensional, interactive ride on a mysterious island.

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  • ‘Marvel Super Hero Island’ – where you can find attraction such as The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man (3D thrill ride) , The Incredible Hulk Coaster (high-speed roller coaster) or a Doctor Doom’s Fearfall.
  • ‘Toon Lagoon’ with a range of water rides.
  • ‘Jurassic Park’ where dinosaurs have been brought back to life.
  • ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade’ where you can walk around the Hogwarts castle, visit the shops of Hogsmeade and enjoy some more exciting rides.

As we had a Park-to-Park admission ticket, we were able ride the Hogwarts Express train from Universal Islands of Adventure to jump in to the 9 and 3/4 platform at Kings Cross in London. As I love the Harry Potter movies, it was a great experience as I was able see characters and creatures from the movies whilst commuting between the parks.

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Once we disembarked the train, we were at the  Universal Studios Florida. This second amusement park consists of many picture and television studios where guests can experience films and TV shows at the variety of locations. There were many attractions to enjoy and these were my favourite ones:

  • ‘Production Central’ where you can experience TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D, Shrek 4-D or Despicable Me Minion Mayhem.
  • ‘New York’ where you can experience a thrilling Revenge of the Mummy the Ride or party with the The Blues Brothers.
  • World Expo where you can take the rides with the characters from The Simpsons or shoot some aliens on a MEN IN BLACK™ Alien Attack ride.

To sum up, we had an unforgettable day full of adventure experiencing many cutting edge and interactive rides. If you are looking for spectacular entertainment for the whole family then you should definitely visit Orlando Resort. In addition, there are many on-site hotels and eateries for an endless fun. I would definitely recommend to visit for a few days though. Although we had an amazing day, our visit felt rushed as we were running from one attraction to another. I will definitely visit this resort again however next time I will stay for a few days to enjoy it fully.

For more information visit:

https://www.universalorlando.co.uk/

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Pauline

Holiday destinations: New York, USA

I have recently traveled to the USA with my husband for our autumn / winter holidays. Our first stop was New York City.  It is the most densely populated city in the USA and it has a population of 8.5 million. New York City is one of the most famous cities worldwide and it has been described as the cultural, financial and media capital of the world. New York City consists of five boroughs – Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, The Bronx and Staten Island. I have recently read that there 800 languages are spoken in New York, which makes it the most linguistically diverse city in the world.

Many districts and landmarks in New York City are well known and 61 million tourists visited the city in 2016. There are many places worth visiting in New York. Please find a quick summary listed below:

  • Empire State Building – a perfect way to see the city’s major highlights from the highest building in New York.
  • Statue of Liberty – a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor in New York City.
  • Grand Central Terminal – beautiful train station with a wide range of shops and eateries to relax in.
  • Fifth Avenue – a famous shopping street with a range of boutique and high-street brands where you can shop until you drop.
  • Times Square – exciting and colorful square that just cannot be missed. Sometimes referred to as the Crossroads of the World.

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  • Rockefeller Center (Top of The Rock experience) – an observatory on top of Rockefeller Center, with great city views.
  • National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey – amazing entertainment experience in the heart of Times Square which uses ground-breaking technology that takes its attendees on a journey into the ocean. It is super interactive with escaping sea creatures and underwater maze. A perfect destination for a day out with a family especially if you have kids as everyone can experience being face-to-face with whales and sharks, squids or sea lions.
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum – an American military and maritime history museum. I especially enjoyed learning more about the Space Shuttle ‘Enterprise’ – the first space shuttle, a Cold War-era submarine Growler and British Airways Concorde, the world’s fastest commercial jet that can take passengers from London to New York in under 3 hours.

I hope you enjoyed reading this review.

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Pauline

Holiday destinations: Tudor Place, Washington D.C., USA

As some of you might know, I traveled to Washington D.C. a few weeks ago. During my stay, I decided to visit some historic homes and gardens. Today, I would like to tell you about the Tudor Place. The name of this place is a bit deceiving as it doesn’t have anything in common with a Tudor era but even though it is definitely worth visiting.

Tudor Place House and Garden is an elegant neoclassical house dating back to 1816. To start with it was a home of Martha Custis (a granddaughter of Martha Washington) who built her estate with her husband Thomas Peter.

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The house was extended and through six generations (until 1983), the Peter family celebrated their heritage here while also embracing contemporary art and fashion.

Today, visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the estate, giving them an opportunity to admire displays of family artifacts. I enjoyed walking through the drawing room, dinning room and kitchen while admiring the antics and listening to the stories of each of these rooms.

After the tour, as I love the gardens, I really enjoyed relaxing at the expansive, quiet historic gardens that are located in front of the property. Perfect to unwind when you are busy and fancy a bit of peace and relaxation.

Location:

Tudor Place is located in Georgetown Heights at 1644 31st Street, Northwest.

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

Competition time! 9 days to win Marco Polo travel guides

Starting from the 22nd of February, I will have an amazing competition running in partnership with Marco Polo to win a different travel guide each day.

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All my new and old Twitter followers from UK have a chance of winning a different travel guide each day (22/02-03/03) if they follow me and re-tweet the competition.  Prize will be send by 2ndclass recorded delivery to the winners in the week commencing on the 6th of March 2017. 

The competition will be run over 9 days and each day 1 of my Twitter followers will win a different guide:

  • 22/02/2017 – Australia
  • 23/02/2017 – Boston & New England
  • 25/02/2017 – Dublin
  • 26/02/2017 – French Rivera
  • 27/02/2017 – New Zealand
  • 28/02/2017 – Portugal
  • 01/03/2017 – Sardinia
  • 02/03/2017  – Scotland
  • 03/03/2017 – Vancouver

To enter the competition and for your chance to win you just need to follow @1stclasslounge on Twitter and re-tweet the competition to your followers.

Terms and Conditions:

  1. The competition is run on Twitter by Firstclasslounge.net
  2. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
  3. The competition is open ONLY to residents of Great Britain aged 18 and over as at the time of the competition opening. Failure to comply with any part of this clause will disqualify the respective entry from the competition. Prize will not be posted outside of Great Britain.
  4. Only one entry per person per weekly prize draw competition will be accepted.
  5. Each entrant shall enter the prize draw via Twitter only, in the way of re-tweeting the competition message and following @1stClassLounge Twitter account.
  6. The winning prize is a travel guide from Marco Polo. Destination of the travel guide will depend on the day of the competition.
  7. The promoter (FirstClassLounge.net) will not be liable for any failure of receipt of entries. The promoter takes no responsibility for any entries which are lost, delayed, illegible, corrupted, damaged, incomplete or otherwise invalid.
  8. Prizes are non-negotiable, non-transferable and non-refundable. No cash alternative is available.
  9. In the event of unforeseen circumstances beyond the promoter’s reasonable control, the promoter reserves the right to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the prize draw competition or these terms and conditions, either in whole or in part, with or without notice.
  10. These terms and conditions and the competition prize draw are governed by English law and subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.
  11. Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.
  12. The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  13. This promotion is in not sponsored, endorsed or administered by Twitter or any other Social Network.
  14. The promoter’s decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.
  15. The winner’s twitter username will be posted on Twitter by @1stclasslounge after the winner has been selected.
  16. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 14 days of notification, we will pick a replacement winner.
  17. All guides will be posted by Marco Polo company in the week commencing on the 6th of March.

Good luck everyone!

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Pauline