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Elegant Prom Dresses, Wedding Dresses, Oscar Knockoffs, Evening Gowns & Quincenera Dresses
Thursday, 30 September 2004
Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf Hotel
Mood:  celebratory
Topic: USA/World_Trips

Leave everything behind and get away for a week-end in San Francisco. That's what my wife and I did a few months ago. We were fortunate enough to have our in-laws volunteering to stay with our kids. I will admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the proximity of the hotel to the activities on the wharf. It's truly located at walking distance. My wife and I managed to negotiate a good price for two nights at the hotel. Paying a little bit above $230.00 was not bad at all. That's if we could really spend the second night there.

Early that Friday morning, we leisurely got on the road to San Francisco. At least, once for all, we did not have the little ones in the back of the car. It was the two of us. We had time to do the small talk and appreciate the drive. After stopping in Modesto to visit with a family member, we stopped to fill up the car. Prices were barely coming down. We did not have to worry about our Honda. Since it was a Friday morning, traffic on the reputedly congested freeway was not bad. We got to the Bay Bridge at about 12 pm. By 12:30 PM, we were already in the lobby of the hotel surrounded by a diverse and international group of tourists. As soon as we got to the front of the hotel, the valet came up and got the keys to our car. We unloaded the trunks and watched our car disappear. We did not need it at all. From walking to taking the tramway and other transportation systems in San Francisco, we did not have to drive in town. We talked to various couples who brought their children. They said that's one of the things they like the most about the place.

What about the reception at Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf?

To tell you the truth, I had nothing to reproach them. They were professional and blameless. That's before we entered our room though. We had explicitly requested a King size bed. We found two small beds in the room. Everything was so compact in there. But don't feel discouraged about your reservations. The hotel offers so many amenities. The designers and hotel managers have long figured out that tourists only use the room to sleep. That's why they provide the swimming pool, huge and long lobby area and the bar grill restaurant. After all, they know that people come to San Francisco to explore the city, not to hold up, bunch up in a room. Who would want to forego the beauty of the great San Francisco outdoors for a big room especially if the kids are not around?

What else to say about the Sheraton Fishermans Wharf?

FoodIn the comfort of your room, you can order room service. We decided against it because we did not want the room to smell food. So we decided to have buffet breakfast. The food articles were plentiful. The chefs and foodservice people were very helpful too. They were more than willing to answer our questions. They promptly refilled the missing items to the delight all all the tourists. The restaurant atmosphere is very gay. It's probably due to the effects of the right lighting.

Lobby area: The lobby area is like the Grand Central station. We were somewhat surprised that there were so many people who want to stay at this hotel. But there again, we are talking about San Francisco's prime real estate, a hotel close to the Fisherman's Wharf. The furniture and magazines are kept very neat. Right around the corner from the Car rental company are two desks for employees providing information on various shows and conferences that are scheduled in town. If you feel like reading something else or buying some souvenir for your family and friends, you can do so at the hotel boutique. Just be warned that you will have to pay exhorbitant price for the items. It would be better to purchase it in one of these sidewalk businesses.

Weatherwise: You also have to take this in consideration. If you are planning on getting out of the hotel, then you may want to have a wind breaker to say the least. When we were there, even though back home the temperature was nearing 100 degrees, we had to purchase two sweaters. It was cold. It's a combination of the sea breeze and the temperate climate of San Francisco that will get you as you go about your business there.

The Swimming Pool: After getting back from the streets, you can always go to the pool to cool off. Its location contributes to your privacy. But then again, you are at the pool. Unlike many other hotels we stayed at, the placement of the pool is a little bit out of the way. The prying eyes of the public won't bother you.

Final thoughts The phone calls started coming. The kids did not want to go to bed. Everybody was tired back home. We realized it was a better idea to just pack up and return home. We drove most of the night to reach home by 2 am. One of the kids was still awake. We just hope you can spend the whole time at the hotel.

Don't forget to tip the valet. Just go to the lobby and inform them that you are about to leave. In a matter of minutes, your car will be parked in the front.

Enjoy your getaway to San Francisco.

California: a Breath of Fresh Air is the new book by this author. Find it at

Posted by Fashionista Shopping Analyst at 8:24 PM
Updated: Saturday, 23 October 2004 6:29 AM
Wednesday, 29 September 2004
Breathtaking Views Of Yosemite & Luxurious Ahwahnee Hotel
Topic: USA/World_Trips

If you are looking for a romantic getaway that will startle your loved one, the Ahwahnee hotel is the right kind of setting to do just that. In fact, almost every visitor, tourist who has been to this hotel nestled among Yosemite's natural wonders, remains very impressed and stays with their mouth open. They just could not believe that such two beauties could co-exist so well to complement and enhance each other's attraction and service. Such was my experience each time I go to Yosemite. Ever since the time I attended a conference at this hotel, I have remained humble in front of its rustic beauty, elegance and beauty. Living in the great Central Valley of California, I have always found it interesting to have such superb wonders in my backyard. That's the kind of jaw-dropping experience I want to introduce to my kids, family members and friends who visit me from time to time. Remember that you don't have to stay at the hotel to take in and appreciate its splendor. If costs are a concern, there are free interpretive tours that you can go on once you get there. It's worth taking part in them!

What will hit you first: The Ahwahnee's Exteriors

Where does the name come from?

Ahwahnee comes from the Miwok Indians who called Yosemite Valley "Ah wah ni." It loosely translates, "large gaping mouth." Just as I mentioned my experience above, this is the same kind of renaissance and enjoyment you will experience once you stand on the well-kept grounds of this hotel.

Exterior Facade

Even though Ahwahnee is celebrating its 75th year this Summer, it still stands and looks grand. In fact, since it was built in the 1920s, a few years after the National Park System came into existence, Ahwahnee has not ceased to exert its mystique on visitors' minds. The first things you are going to notice are its massive steep, granite stones and concrete. Until you get close to the six-story, three-wing hotel, you will tend to believe that you are looking at the exterior walls made of redwood. According to the history books, this hotel was built on the site of a large stable. There is no doubt that there is some type blending of the exteriors with the rustic environments in which it settles.

Rooms: There is no bad room in this huge hotel

Once you get inside, you will have a new appreciation for space and view. In fact, based on the tours that I have been on, I can tell you that if you choose to spend a few nights there, you won't feel disappointed at all by staying in a bad room. No such things exist. To the credit of the hotel's management team, it is said that there is no big difference between what the rooms look like before and now. In fact, the rooms on the main floor look the same as when the hotel opened on July 14, 1927.

I can easily remember the ornaments, the geometric designs, adorn borders, beams, rugs and stained glass windows of most rooms. With my group, I was standing right in the dining room looking out the windows while paying attention to the tour guide. The room that impressed me the most was the Great Lounge that truly reminds you of the 17-century era and aura of elegance and pomp. Just take a look at the oak tables, writing desks etc.

Ahwahnee attracts celebrities as well as dignitaries from near and afar

Ahwahnee continues to play its magic in the minds of many famous visitors. In the 1950s, the "I Love Lucy" stars stayed at the hotel. Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball truly had a ball at the Great Lounge. They stayed there while they were filming scenes for the movie, "The Long, Long Trailer."

Ask any tour guide or concierge or hotel employee, the list of the names of past, current celebrities who have stayed at the hotel won't seem to stop. Well, for confidentiality reasons, some of them may hesitate a while. Once they remember that most of them have volunteered to sign the hotel's register, they will start talking. On any good day, they will tell you about Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt, Humphrey Bogart, Shirley Temple, Boris Karloff, Judy Garland, Clint Eastwood, Charlie Chaplin, Bing Crosby, Mel Gibson, Charlton Heston.

In 1983, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip stayed at the hotel's sixth floor. President John F. Kennedy, his family members and his entourage stayed there. All of these people are attracted to the hotel for its great views and environments.

Service and costs

You can expect to find the kind of service offered to patrons at upscale hotels. In fact, for the type of money you are willing to pay, you can expect superb services. The employees, bellmen are very nice and helpful. They are good with children as well as elderly visitors. They will help you get to your room and make sure that you have everything you need for your stay. Keep in mind that the rooms start at $336.00. Most of them get filled out way ahead of time. At any given time, you will be sure to meet vacationers from other countries, mostly European countries. Tourists from Japan and Korea can be found there too. You can hear many languages around the 350-seat hotel dining room. You can always buy a ticket and join the crowd for this elegant dinner. Many companies organize special functions there. I attended two conferences there. If you are around Yosemite for the Christmas season, you will not want to miss the Yorkshire Christmas dinner-pageant. Tickets are hard to find if you want till the last minute though. But it would be such a treat to your partner if you could leave your tent and head out to the hotel for this high-spirited meeting.

Ahwahnee hotel has Yosemite all over it

From the exteriors to the interiors of the hotel, you will be immersed in a great journey that will soothe and appeal all your senses. If you just want to enjoy the cool mountain breeze and sun, just head out to the back patio. Soak up as much sunshine as you want and feel reinvigorated and ready to head back home. More importantly, you will be in awe once you get into your rooms.


If you go to Yosemite National Park, Ahwahnee is a must-see place.

Posted by Fashionista Shopping Analyst at 5:38 PM
Updated: Monday, 30 May 2005 7:46 PM
Friday, 17 September 2004
Eleni's Thoughts About Greece
Topic: USA/World_Trips

Greece's Hotel Greca

Here are a few thoughts about this country and its people: HOTEL GRECA is continuing to give great service to folks who visit Athena. The morning manager and bookeeper is Yiannis. Every morning when I come down to the reception lobby he is playing card games on the computer (that is the only program that this computer has!) and he, of course is smoking. He can speak at least 5 languages-Greek, English, French, German, Spanish. He is a very kind person but has an intention tremour that makes his writing a bit difficult to read.

The afternoon manager is Spiro-a very happy fellow and a very expressive personality who is married and has one daughter, accountant, who was married for 2 years-no children. Spiro is very worried about her because she has indicated that she is afraid to attempt marriage again. He is very concerned about Thea Maria's health and advises her when he thinks she is too tired togo some place she is considering. Thoma is the night manager and he is married man with 3 children from 12-19. He spends lots of time with them when he is not playing tennis. He is a soft spoken man who hasan easy way about him.

Athena is the maid who cleans all of the room in HOTEL GRECA! She is Roumanian and her husband who is Russian was arrested yesterday because he was born in Russia and doesn't have the proper "papers." She has been making and receiving many phone calls trying to find an attorney who specializes in these affairs.

All 3 of the managers work 7 days per week and are all retired from previous jobs. Many people here retire at age 55to release their jobs for the youth. Most of the young people in their 20s have finished the University but there are no jobs available for them. Some of the people here are abupt in their manner because I believe that they suffer from sleep deprivation. Athens is a night city. People don't go to sleep until 2-3 am but they take an afternoon nap of about 2 hours.This would really be compatible with my body clock. I am able to stay up until midnight but not much later.

Last night was my first shift with the Paralympics. I worked from 4 until 8:30 welcoming people at the gate and then watch the dress rehearsal for the Opening Ceremonies-beautiful. I highly recommend watching it on TV. I hope it is carried in the U.S. There are 120 countries represented-the most that have ever attended the Parolympics which has been in existence for about 12 years. To make it more accessible to more people they did not ask for an entrance fee. The opening ceremonies are sold out! Because of the success of the Olympics I believe that more people will attend the Paralympics than they expected. Hopefully this will make up for some of the debt incurred because so many people didn't attend because of the fear propaganda especially in England and the USA.

Santorini was everything we had expected and then some. Our hotel with breakfast included was centrally located in the capitol city of Fira. Chris and I took a a 7 hour archeological tour of the island which is a volcano. There are hotels on the side of the volcano with magnificent views. The sunset into the sea is beautiful. The fresh fish is delicious. We met an iconographer working in the large church. He paints beautiful images of the saints. I took a dip into the sea at the red (iron causes the redness) beach. Wines are delicious. Many grapes and fig trees. Rai sins were drying on the ground. We attended a concert featuring a quartet from Prague. Flute, violin, cello and piano-many nice selections and they ended with excerts from Bernstein's WEST SIDE STORY." What a treat!!!

This was part of a series of summer concerts created by Athena Capodistriou, pianist.She was there and introduced the quartet. During intermission we were treated to cheese, wine and bread cubes. The catamaran ride was 5 hours to Santorini. Movies on board, gift shop and snack bar with crunchy delicious spanakopita (spinach & feta pie.) It is like a plane ride with stewardesses who are very helpful and polite.

More later.
Me polli agapi, Eleni

Posted by Fashionista Shopping Analyst at 8:36 PM
Updated: Saturday, 23 October 2004 6:34 AM
Monday, 12 July 2004
The Bible in our Times: Israel, Iraq or Mesopotamia; The Place of Iraq in world's civilization
Topic: USA/World_Trips

How Much Did You Know About The Bible, Israel and Iraq?

Submitted by Selca

1.. The garden of Eden was in Iraq. (It sure doesn't look much like Paradise on earth today thanks to Saddam)

2. Mesopotamia which is now Iraq was the cradle of civilization!

3. Noah built the ark in Iraq.

4. The Tower of Babel was in Iraq.

5. Abraham was from Ur, which is in Southern Iraq!

6. Isaac's wife Rebekah is from Nahor which is in Iraq.

7. Jacob met Rachel in Iraq.

8. Jonah preached in Nineveh - which is in Iraq.

9. Assyria which is in Iraq conquered the ten tribes of Israel.

10. Amos cried out in Iraq!

11. Babylon which is in Iraq destroyed Jerusalem.

12. Daniel was in the lion's den in Iraq!

13. The 3 Hebrew children were in the fire in Iraq (That's good news to know that JESUS has been in Iraq too as the 4th person in the fiery furnace!)

14. Belshazzar, the King of Babylon saw the "writing on the wall" in Iraq.

15. Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, carried the Jews captive into Iraq.

16. Ezekiel preached in Iraq.

17. The wise men were from Iraq. (where are the "wise" men today?)

18. Peter preached in Iraq.

19. The "Empire of Man" described in Revelation is called Babylon which was a city in Iraq!

And you have probably seen this one. Israel is the nation most often mentioned in the Bible. But do you know which nation is second? It is Iraq! However, that is not the name that is used in the Bible. The names used in the Bible are Babylon, Land of Shinar, and Mesopotamia. The word Mesopotamia means between the two rivers, more exactly between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The name Iraq, means country with deep roots. Indeed Iraq is a country with deep roots and is a very significant country in the Bible. Here's why.

  • * Eden was in Iraq--Genesis 2:10-14
  • * Adam &Eve were created in Iraq--Genesis 2:7-8
  • * Satan made his first recorded appearance in Iraq--Genesis 3:1-6
  • * Nimrod established Babylon &Tower of Babel was built in Iraq-- Genesis 10:8-97; 11:1-4
  • * The confusion of the languages took place in Iraq--Genesis 11:5-11
  • * Abraham came from a city in Iraq--Genesis 11:31; Acts 7:2-4
  • * Isaac's bride came from Iraq--Genesis 24:3-4; 10
  • * Jacob spent 20 years in Iraq--Genesis 27:42-45; 31:38
  • * The first world Empire was in Iraq--Daniel 1:1-2;2:36-38
  • * The greatest revival in history was in a city in Iraq--Jonah 3
  • * The events of the book of Esther took place in Iraq--Esther
  • * The book of Nahum was a prophecy against a city in Iraq--Nahum
  • * The book or Revelation has prophecies against Babylon, which was the old name for the nation of Iraq--Revelation 17 &18
  • No other nation, except Israel, has more history and prophecy associated it than Iraq.
  • And also...

    This is something to think about! Since America is typically represented by an eagle. Saddam should have read up on his Muslim passages... The following verse is from the Quran, (the Islamic Bible)

    Quran (9:11) -- For it is written that a son of Arabia would awaken a fearsome Eagle. The wrath of the Eagle would be felt throughout the lands of Allah and lo, while some of the people trembled in despair still more rejoiced; for the wrath of the Eagle cleansed the lands of Allah; and there was peace. (Note the verse number...)

    Posted by Fashionista Shopping Analyst at 9:42 PM
    Updated: Saturday, 23 October 2004 6:49 AM

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