Untours Cafe

March 2008 Blog Posts (12)

Your Computer and WiFi

When I had spoken to our Parisian contact, Larry, he had warned me about using my laptop with WiFi.

He said that I would be vulnerable to other computer users within 300-feet. They could easily capture, for

example, my bank account information whenever I made an attempt to pay a bill online.



Today, one of my Tech News newsletters discussed this very topic. Rather than indicate the web

address, and leave it up to our Untour Café members to read the information, I've… Continue

Added by Eleanor - 'El' on March 30, 2008 at 6:00pm — No Comments

The Heart of a Traveller

My childhood did not include traveling. Up until the age of 15, the only time I was out of the state of New Jersey was on a grade school trip to Washington's Crossing, Pennsylvania. In high school, bus trips opened up the vast new world of New York City. The Museum of Natural History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the United Nations Building.....that was the extent of my world travels. Other than that, my world was restricted to the farm fields across the street from my home. The summer I… Continue

Added by Bill Kover on March 28, 2008 at 9:00pm — 1 Comment

Paris, Je T'aime (Paris, I Love You)

For anyone planning a trip to Paris, I suggest watching the movie, Paris, Je T'aime. Eleanor's cousin, Richard, and his girlfriend, Danielle, recommended this movie. It's about a series of short love stories set in different Paris locations, some familiar, some not familiar. A few of the stories are "off the wall" (vampire love story!). One of the stories (not the vampire one) takes place in Cimetière du Père Lachaise. This cemetery is more beautiful than I realized. The location shots… Continue

Added by Bill Kover on March 27, 2008 at 9:00am — No Comments

Do you want to hot air balloon?

We want to go hot air ballooning during our Tuscany South visit April 9-23. We have two tentative reservations, one to fly out of Montisi [30 min from Montalcino, over the crete siennese] or from a little farther north that will take us over Siena. Price for Montisi is 200 euros; if we can find another 1-3 people, the Siena trip is reduced to 220 euros. Is any one interested?





This picture is taken in 2001 leaving from Montisi. The… Continue

Added by Irene Sterling on March 22, 2008 at 7:15pm — 1 Comment

An incident in Normandy

Eleanor's cousin, Richard, is visiting us this week. He came down last weekend from Quebec and drove his girlfriend, Danielle to JFK airport for a flight to the Maldives to visit her daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren. Richard has been giving us periodic advice on how to handle ourselves in Paris. Tonight over a bottle of wine, French bread and some salad, he told us that in Paris (he pronounces it Paree) it is very common to see people bring their dogs into even the most fancy restaurants.… Continue

Added by Bill Kover on March 13, 2008 at 6:06pm — No Comments

What's a B Corporation?

Some of you may have noticed the new logo on the back of our latest catalog. It's a B with a circle around it. What's that all about?



In recent years, we've talked more about the work of the Untours Foundation and the fact that our profits go to support its efforts. We've done this a bit reluctantly because Hal and Norma don't like being put on a pedestal and getting attention for work that is deeply meaningful to them personally. At the same time, we don't want to be seen as a… Continue

Added by Brian on March 13, 2008 at 9:00am — 1 Comment

NEW AIRLINE BAGGAGE RESTRICTIONS

Today's Wall Street Journal Online has an article that could negatively impact Untourists! Beginning May 5th,

United and US Airways will only allow ONE checked baggage per traveller! A 2nd checked bag will cost $50

per round trip. Virgin Atlantic will also only allow one checked bag.



American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, and Southwest will continue to allow 2 checked bags, at least for the

foreseeable future.



A third bag or one that is oversize or… Continue

Added by Mary Lou Grier on March 11, 2008 at 7:32am — 1 Comment

Just When You Think......

Just when you think that you have heard it all, here comes another crazy story (no, not about Eliot Spitzer).



The day before yesterday, it seems that four Korean gentleman tourists decided to take the Wanderweg from Alpnachstad and walk up to the top of Pilatus. In summer, that is a somewhat boring four hour hike. In winter, it is covered with deep snow and has no train service by the steepest cog train in the world. Because of areas of avalanche danger, it is also avoided under… Continue

Added by Vance Roy on March 11, 2008 at 4:00am — 1 Comment

Very Clever Advertisement by the Dutch



http://producten.hema.nl



One of our S.W.I.M., Inc. Members had forwarded a Link

to an online Dutch Advertisement. The web page is in

Dutch, and you won't be able to place an order. However,

you will enjoy the ingenuity and humor of the message,

I'm positive.



Side Note: The Link had been forwarded to Francy.

She happens to be in Holland at the moment. Here's

part of her response to my… Continue

Added by Eleanor - 'El' on March 6, 2008 at 4:04pm — 2 Comments

A Walking Stick (but oh so much more...)

I'm nervous to bring up this topic as I know how much discussion there's been in the past, but I wanted to ask if anyone had ever heard of the "TrekPod"?

The website of the company that makes them is http://trek-tech.com/



It's apparently a walking stick & tripod in one. Here's what their website says:



"It's a Walking Staff, It's a Monopod, It's a Tripod—and the

MagMount Works Like Magic!

"A revolutionary…
Continue

Added by Powen Shiah on March 5, 2008 at 3:00pm — 7 Comments

TWO OUTSTANDING BOOKS

As a lover of all things Italiano, I've been reading a good many books lately about Italy. All have been fiction until now, and I'll tell you about them in a later blog.



But now I have found Ferenc Mate, a writer by profession, and his wife, Candace, an artist who paints mainly in oils. Most of Mate's books have been about boats, sailing and boat-building but he has now written two books'

about Tuscany - and they are outstanding.



Both are true stories about their move… Continue

Added by Mary Lou Grier on March 3, 2008 at 9:23pm — 5 Comments

So, You Think that Your Taxes are Bad?

At tax time, it might interest some to see what Europe and CH pay.

Belgium--58.2% of income
Italy-52.5%
Sweden-49.0%
Denmark-47.5%
France-44.7%
Germnay-41.3%
Austria-38.5%
Kanton Vaud in CH-37.9%
Kanton Bern-34.7%
Basel City-34.0%
Zuerich-30.4%
Kanton Obwalden-25.0%
Zug-24.0%

Now, don't you feel better?

Added by Vance Roy on March 1, 2008 at 6:15am — No Comments

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