Ashley Z

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Ashley Z

Ashley Z

One afternoon, I told myself I would not buy new sunglasses. That night, I bought new sunglasses. Willpower. I like to buy stuff don't need and probably won't use just to get more stuff I don't need and probably won't use for free.

Aug042013

Tour/Activity

Hampton Court Palace Bike Tour from London

London, United Kingdom

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Loved this tour! My mom and I went on our last day in London, so it was a great escape from the busy city! Especially since it happened to be the same day as Ride London! We had no problems meeting the guide and boarding the train. The whole tour was great. The ride was about 8 miles, which was long but not strenuous. I was a little disappointed that we didn't actually go to all the places mentioned in the description, like Petersham Nurseries, but there's always next time. We did stop along the way to hear about the history of the area and certain historical houses. We also stopped for a drink and snack at a pub on the water. We got to Hampton Court around 1, where we ditched the bikes (you don't have to ride back!) and the guide distributed our tickets and gave us some recommendations for lunch. We grabbed lunch at Blubecker's, just outside the main gate. Excellent food with great variety (the fish and chips was excellent!). The palace is amazing, especially for history buffs (and Henry VIII/The Tudor's fans...). Definitely a fun, but exhausting, day!

Aug012013

Tour/Activity

Luxury Paris Day Trip with Champagne Lunch on the Eiffel Tower

London, United Kingdom

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Overall this tour was great. I was on a trip to London with my mom and had never been to Paris before so we decided to spend a day there. When we arrived at St. Pancras we weren't sure where to go. We got in line at the group desk and then a helpful woman approached us to ask which group we were with. The tour is operated by Premium Tours, which has a sign there, but we didn't know to look for it. She took us to the front of the line and gave us our train tickets. Boarding the Eurostar was easy and there are cafes inside the terminal to grab breakfast. Our guide found us on the train and explained where to go when we got off. We found him easily and met with another guide who would show us around Paris. The bus tour was okay...it would have been nice to get out at certain points for photos, but we did see a lot. The river cruise was lovely. My highlight was seeing the Notre Dame cathedral, even though we couldn't go in. Next we went to the Eiffel Tower for lunch. Our group got broken up in line for the lift and those of us in the back missed the Paris guide's explanation of where to meet her after lunch. By the time we got to the lift she was nowhere to be found. We made it to the restaurant and found her, but she didn't give us any further instructions. Lunch was very good. After, we went back down but had no idea where to go! A group member said we were supposed to find the red bus at the corner. Which corner? We weren't sure so we checked them all and eventually found the bus. This ordeal was frustrating. On other tours the guide offers a phone number in case of this situation but ours did not. Anyway, we had no problem with Louvre tickets (the guide purchases them for you). We saw the Mona Lisa and other key pieces. The shopping in the area wasn't great so the Louvre was a better option, even though we were exhausted! Great "Intro to Paris" tour. Would probably do it on my own next time to see specific sites. The Premium Tours guide was great!

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