Delta First Class – August 2023

Alex and I booked a flight to Brazil to visit family and catch up with friends. The upcharge to first class was very reasonable so we made the booking. My knee had been bothering me so that was one of the main reasons I made the decision. The first class lounge area was not that impressive with pedestrian food options and a routine waiting area. In retrospect we spent more time in the general areas than the Delta lounge. Our flight left from Boston Logan Airport to New York JFK and on to São Paulo Brazil and finally Londrina where we were picked up by my sister.

Waiting for flight

Decent food from the lounge nothing special

Ample legroom on all the flights made it well worth the upcharge


Arrival in Londrina to be picked up by my sister

Arapongas in the rain

Trip Itinerary – Coimbra, Portugal

This is a itinerary for a trip Rita has to take to take care of some personal business in Portugal and London.

9/12. Saturday
08:45 pm. Flight to Lisbon

9/13 Sunday
09:00 am. Arrive Lisbon
H:MM am. Train to Coimbra (TBD)
H:MM. pm. Arrive Coimbra
H:MM. pm. Check in hotel Oslo Coimbra (TBD)
H:MM. pm. Free Afternoon / Evening Coimbra

9/14 Monday
06:00 am. Breakfast at Hotel Oslo Coimbra
08:30 am. Loja do Cidadão (Cartão do Cidadão/ Cartao do Cidadao)
10:00 am. Cafe Santa Cruz
10:40. am. Igreja Santa Cruz (Monasterio)
11:30. pm. Se Velha
01:00. pm. Lunch – free pick (TBD)
08:30. pm. Fado ao Centro Restaurante/Fado Live Music
10:00. pm. Return to Hotel Oslo Coimbra

09/15 Tuesday Breakfast at hotel Arco de Armadina Jardim Botanico (picnic) Santa Clara Bridge for pictures of city Restaurant Italiano 90 minute tour of Coimbra University and Joanina Library Parade Manuel Braga (relax and people watch) World Needs Cafe Return to hotel

09/16 Wednesday Conservatoria Registro Civil Coimbra (passport) Car rental – destination Porto Lunch in Porto Check into Porto Hotel (TBD) Free day in Porto

09/17 Thursday

H:MM am. Loja do Cidadão
H:MM am. TBD
H:Mm pm. TBD

MM/DD “D-day” (TBD)
H:MM am. Flight to London
H:MM pm. Check in Hotel London (TBD)
H:MM pm. Apply Settlement

MM/DD D-day + 7 days
H:MM. am TBD
H:MM. pm. Flight to Boston

How to adapt to life in another country?

Our ancestors have done it. Perhaps someone you know has done it too. But what does it really takes to pack up and start a life in a new country? And how to be successful?


Every year thousands of people migrate for different reasons. The issue of refugees that flee their home country seeking asylum are a different topic all together and I will not attempt to cover here. I’m only talking about those who decide to leave their birth country in search of a better life for themselves and their families.

I see too often individuals arrive here in the USA thinking that they know the reason they moved (improving their fluency in English; pay up bills and recover from financial difficulties and to invest for their future in their home country, and so on), however, as time goes by, many fail to resist the temptations of a capitalist culture and they end up postponing their return.

Whatever your goal is, stay focused and the results will speak for themselves.


Once you know exactly what you want to accomplish, take a significant time to plan. Are you going alone? What language is spoken in that country? What visas, permits and documents will be necessary?

a. Planning and execution will take time. While you are preparing, try to learn as much as you can if the country’s language if it is different than yours. This is a very important step that will facilitate everything else.

b. Research and verify that you meet all the visas and entrance requirements to avoid surprises.

c. If you are relocating through employer or work, ask questions, check the accommodations they are arranging, research school district, talk to other employees that have relocated before. You might not get all answers but don’t leave your future and that of your family completely in someone else’s hand.

d. If you are going on your own, make sure you have enough money for general expenses (such as accommodation, , transportation, food, season clothing, documents such as driving licenses, professional licenses, and so on) and for those unexpected circumstances.

e. Enlist the help of a reputable and experienced travel agency. Make sure to ask questions and understand the entire process, from packing, documentation, the trip, arrival, customs and immigration. Do some research online as well.

f. Purchase tickets well in advance to ensure a reasonable price.

g. Before boarding, make sure you have at hand all documents necessary to go through immigration and customs. Ask questions and don’t make assumptions. Follow all the directions given by the travel agency, the airline personnel at boarding, during trip and at arrival.


a. Go with an open mind. It usually takes about three months or more so that someone feels totally at ease in a new environment, so don’t worry if you’re still feeling homesick or anxious after two months. You’ll only have a good idea how life will be in that place after you’ve been there for a while. Do not press to feel comfortable at the beginning.

b. Make sure you have someone you trust in your new destiny and that you always have enough money to leave the country. It’s never good to feel trapped. These two things will set the scenario so that you slowly go to become comfortable.

c. Find a job involving interaction with other people. This will help you get used to the new environment and learn the local language faster. The sooner this happens, the better you’ll adjust. Changing country with a job in Vista is a wise attitude, but, if that’s not possible, this should be your first priority.
However, you do not necessarily need to be hired: You can also move to study. Working or studying, you will keep in touch with the locals, practise the language and learn the culture of the country. Besides filling your pockets, of course.

d. Make friends who speak the local language. So you will have the opportunity to practise and you can integrate more rapidly into the country. If you think you don’t speak the language well enough, you can do some language courses, where you will meet other immigrants from the whole world. Do not be intimidated, learning a new language is difficult and most cultures are accustomed to foreigners who are not incredibly fluent in their language.
If you believe that you are fluent enough, you can also find a boyfriend, which would be a great way to learn the language and your idiosyncrasies, as it will help you.

Trip Planning How To – Short Trip

Following are the steps that we take when planning a short trip over a long weekend or over a three to four day period.

  1. Step one is to identify where it is you want to go.  The most obvious locations for a short trip are individual cities, regional areas, or festivals.
  2. Once you identify where it is you are going decide if you will be driving, taking public transport or flying.
    1. If you are flying research flights and utilize any frequent flyer type benefits you may have accrued.  I always research hotels and flights at the same time prior to booking either one.  If you have the right flight book it.
    2. Research the bus and train schedules and make any arrangements needed to get to the terminal.
    3. Researching your route by car is not as important in the days of GPS but it is still advisable to look at a map before you go too get the general lay of the land.
  3. Book your accommodations for your stay; hotel. air B&B, couch surfing, etc.
  4. Yelp the area you are traveling to
    1. Use the Yelp app to bookmark restaurants in the area that you will want to go to
  5. Google the are you are traveling to to identify points of interest and activities
  6. Draw up a tentative itinerary to include the points of interest, activities and restaurants you want to take in.  Be sure to leave enough wiggle room to adjust accordingly for unseen interruptions or unexpected attractions you will want to see.

The important thing is to be flexible so that you can take advantage of the unexpected but plan enough so that you do not miss any of the highlights.


New York City (Brazilian Day 2017)

September 2 – 4, 2017


Destination selectedBrazilian Day in New York City  Little Brazil on 6th Avenue and West 46th street.   11:30 AM – late afternoon 9/3/2017


Hotel Booked – 07012  1-800-766-6658  Check In 3:00 PM Check out 11:00 AM

 Expedia – Itinerary number 7292310713216

Yelp – Yelp restaurant search – many Turkish and middle eastern restaurants

Goggle – Large Turkish community in New Jersey

 Car Snacks – Frozen bottles of water, assorted individual bags of chips, string cheese, granola, nuts, trail mix, meat sticks, potato sticks, fruit

Hotel Snacks – Mixed olive medley, pickled stuffed peppers, pepperoni, cheese, rolls, Hostess cup cakes, fried chicken

Points of interest 

 Tentative Itinerary 

  1. Drive from home base in New Hampshire to Clifton, New Jersey
    1. Eat Lunch/early dinner at Turkish restaurant
    2. See Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline from Liberty State Park
    3. Take ferry/water taxi to lower Manhattan
    4. Visit 9/11 Memorial and Museum
    5. Go up elevator one World Trade Center
  2. Hotel – Howard Johnson Clifton, NJ
    1. Breakfast at local restaurant
    2. Ferry/water taxi to lower Manhattan
    3. Brazilian Day Festival
    4. African American Burial Ground National Monument
    5. Other Sites as time permits
    6. Dinner at Lebanese / Syrian restaurant
  3. Hotel – Howard Johnson Clifton, NJ
    1. Breakfast at local restaurant
    2. Gateway National Recreation Area – New Jersey
    3. Home to New Hampshire