Brooklyn Graffiti and Street Art Tour

I have been getting more and more into art, especially modern art.  Whether it is in a museum, like the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, or just on the street, I am really inspired by the creativity and bright colors.  I know there is a lot of amazing street art in New York City, but I haven’t really taken the time to explore it, so I was excited to take the Brooklyn Graffiti and Street Art Tour with Brooklyn Unplugged.

Anisa posing by one of the colorful murals that is part of the Bushwick Collective. - "Brooklyn Graffiti and Street Art Tour" - Two Traveling Texans
Anisa posing by one of the colorful murals that is part of the Bushwick Collective.

Logistics of the Brooklyn Graffiti and Street Art Tour

The tour meets in front of ‘Wyckoff-Starr’ coffee shop located at 20 Wyckoff Avenue in Bushwick Brooklyn.  It is a short walk from the Jefferson St. L train station.  The tour runs daily at 3 pm and lasts about 2 hours.  You will be walking about a mile and the tour ends at right by the Morgan Avenue L Train station.  The tour costs $32 per person or it is included as part of the New York Pass, Smart Destinations Explorer Pass and NY Sightseeing Pass.   Brooklyn Unplugged also has several other tours in Brooklyn and Queens.  Check out the expert tips below for a special discount code! (more…)

UK Registered Traveller: Speed through Airport Immigration

I have had Global Entry (a fast pass through US Airport Immigration and Customs), for years.  I remember the first time I landed in London after I got my Global Entry, I thought that must mean I could use the fast track lane.  Well no, although the name of the program is “Global” Entry it is only available in the United States.  Now though, there is an option for non-UK citizens that want to go through airport immigration faster.  The UK has expanded their UK Registered Traveller Program to include non-UK citizens who meet certain criteria.  

The UK Border is one of the most strict I have gone through.  You may remember my friend Steve who is an American citizen, who was deported back to the US because he didn’t have a Visa.  I had become accustomed to being grilled each time I entered the UK.  I made sure to be prepared to show my itinerary to confirm that I had onward travel.  

 

The Thames and Houses of Parliament - "UK Registered Traveller: Speed through Airport Immigration" - Two Traveling Texans
The Thames and Houses of Parliament

Recently though, I noticed a change in the airport immigration officers.  I was still going to England frequently but I didn’t get a lot of questions like I had before.  Instead, they started trying to sell me on the UK Registered Traveller program telling me how I would save time. (more…)

Algarve Caves By Boat with Bom Dia

The Southern Coast of Portugal has some of the most beautiful beaches that I have ever seen.   The water was so clear and the different shades of blue in the water made me feel like I was in the Caribbean.  Plus, I loved the cliffs and different rock formations along the coast.  The best way to appreciate the Algarve caves is by boat because you can reach areas that are not accessible from the beaches.

These rock formations reminded me of El Arco in Cabo, Mexico. - "Algarve Caves By Boat with Bom Dia" - Two Traveling Texans
These rock formations reminded me of El Arco in Cabo, Mexico.

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Fatima Pilgrimage: 100 Years and Counting

You may not have heard of the town of Fatima, Portugal, located about 70 miles north of Lisbon.  While the city only has a population of 11,000, thousands more make a pilgrimage to Fatima each year.  This year even more pilgrims are expected to flock to Fatima since it is the 100 year anniversary of the events that started it all.   Since we were so close, we thought might as well make our own Fatima pilgrimage and learn what all the fuss is about.

You can get an idea of the size of the plaza from this photo. It's huge! The church is the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary. "Fatima Pilgrimage: 100 Years and Counting" - Two Traveling Texans
You can get an idea of the size of the plaza from this photo. It’s huge! The church is the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary.

The Story of Fatima

Several popes have visited Fatima and Pope Francis will be visiting on May 13, 2017. "Fatima Pilgrimage: 100 Years and Counting" - Two Traveling Texans
Several popes have visited Fatima and Pope Francis will be visiting on May 13, 2017.

I was really intrigued to know why a Fatima pilgrimage became so popular.  Between May and October of 1917, three young children, Lucia Santos and her cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, reported visions of the Virgin Mary on the 13th day of each month at approximately noon.

Mary urged the children to do penance and to make sacrifices to save sinners.  She also explained to the children that war is a punishment for sin and warned that God would further reprimand the world for its disobedience by means of war, hunger and the persecution of the Church.  Additionally, Lucia said that the Lady asked them to say the Rosary every day, reiterating many times that the Rosary was the key to peace.

At first, no one believed them and they faced ridicule.  Their parents and city officials asked them to retract their story, but the children stood their ground.  During the last apparition on October 13th, 1917, there were 70,000 people present.  The Lady told them that she was the “Lady of the Rosary” and that a chapel was to be built in her honor. (more…)

Porto Food Tour: Taste the Local Specialties

Food can shape a destination’s culture, so I always feel like it is nice to try the local specialties when I travel.  I had been to a few Portuguese restaurants, but I knew there was so much I had not tried.  In Portugal, and Porto more specifically, food plays a big part in everyday life.  It is not uncommon for a dinner to last hours because it really is an event.  Our first dinner in Porto lasted from 8 pm until almost 1 am!  I wanted to experience more of the local food culture so we decided to try a Porto Food Tour.

Walking to our next stop - Porto is such a pretty city to explore. "Porto Food Tour: Taste the Local Specialties" - Two Traveling Texans
Walking to our next stop – Porto is such a pretty city to explore.

The Porto food tour we took was the Finger Food Tour with Porto Walkers.  According to the  website, we would have eight snacks and three drinks.  The tour runs from 11:30 am to 2 pm and they suggest you come hungry.  We were also warned that we would be going to very local spots and might run into some rowdy locals.  I was excited to try some new dishes and see more of the city.

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