How to know your Airbus from Boeing

I’ve always wanted to know the differences between the planes commercial airlines use and this post has an extensive explanation of that! After a little while, I was able to at least tell the general differences between Airbus and Boeing. It’ll take me a while to fully understand all the different classes and their names, but hey, baby steps!

Arun Rajagopal

Many of us admire airplanes for the graceful, elegant and sleek flying machines that they are.

How many of you have wondered about the type or kind of the aircraft that you are traveling in or flying over you in the sky? Is it a Boeing or an Airbus? Is it an A330 or a B777?


Here’s a simple aircraft identification guide for those with a budding interest in aviation. I’ll try to make this post as visual as possible since plane-spotting works best by observing as many different types of aircraft as possible and drawing your own inferences. Now sit back, relax and enjoy this journey!

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Confusing “Chips” for Chips: Exploring English Food Culture

This is a really interesting take on the difference between mealtime in the U.S. vs the UK as seen by an American 🙂

ISA Study Abroad Student Blog

Rachel Lewis is a student at St. Ambrose University and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in London, England.

Sitting down for a meal, in general, is one of my favorite pastimes. It’s even more exciting to explore an entirely new food culture when doing so. Sitting down for a meal at a restaurant in England is an entirely different experience than say, sitting down at an American diner. One of the reasons: customer service in England is a lot different. English waiters and waitresses do not usually receive tips, so they aren’t “working for their tip” so to speak or waiting on a person hand and foot. That’s not to say they aren’t friendly and lovely people, but it is something to get used to when you don’t have someone constantly asking if you need your drink refilled (did I mention refills aren’t free?).

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“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert

May 15 – May 19 2015: San Antonio Texas

My Freshman Orientation is literally three days away now, so in honor of this big, looming step into my future, I decided to reminisce on the last major moment I had with my classmates – before graduation of course.

For our Senior trip, we decided to go to San Antonio, Texas! As the class president, it was my job (along with my Vice President/best friend) to figure out all the details of the trip, including our itinerary, accommodation, transportation, etc. It was a difficult process (lots of tears), but we all got through it and it was a really successful and relaxing trip!

Even though our trip was cut a little short because of our Senior Capstone presentations, we still made the most of all the time we had, which made the trip all the more worthwhile.

So here’s how it all went down:

Day 1: Road Trippin’ (Part 1)

We started our day pretty early because we knew that we would be on the road literally allllllllll day, so we left Albuquerque at around 6:30am (which by my standards wasn’t early enough, but if we had left any earlier, our drivers probably would have been the cause of one or two accidents).

In attendance, we had 19 students and four chaperones, so the three 12-passenger vans weren’t very crowded, luckily, but that didn’t make the ride any less uncomfortable. Twelve hours in an upright sitting position with no comfortable way to lie down and stretch out is not fun. And I, of course, was unable to get much sleep, literally two hours at the most.

Despite the discomfort, however, our van members survived and made it fun; learning Korean games from our friend to pass the time, playing heads up, reading, singing, and pretty much anything to distract ourselves from the fact that we weren’t there yet and still had six hours and how many hundreds of miles to go.

We didn’t arrive in San Antonio till around 7:40ish, but it was still light outside, so most of us had enough time to freshen up and walk around and get to know the city a little bit. I had been to San Antonio prior to this trip, but it was more exciting to explore the city with my best friends rather than my family members.

With a curfew of 11, we didn’t really have as much time to explore as we wanted, but it was still nice to be out in the fresh air after being cramped in the vans for over 12 hours.

Obligatory "Welcome to San Antonio" picture on the Riverwalk
Obligatory “Welcome to San Antonio” picture on the Riverwalk

Day 2: Six Flags 









Going to amusement parks is always fun, but being there with my friends (which I’m going to keep saying) was extremely entertaining. We went through almost the whole park and we had so much fun just walking around, riding terrifying roller coasters, and (obviously) taking lots of pictures. I had never been to Six Flags before, but it was a great experience and I would definitely go there again! The only two things I would change would be to stay there longer and wear a swimsuit so I could actually go to the water park area.

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Later on that night, we were all tired out, but still had energy enough to go swimming in the hotel pool. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a more intense game of Marco Polo!

Photo creds to my friend Kelsie and her Polaroid camera
Photo creds to my friend Kelsie and her Polaroid camera

 

Photo creds to my friend Kelsie and her Polaroid camera.
Photo creds also to Kelsie

Day 3: White Cap Beach, North Padre Island

Excuse me while I go full teen girl, but

THE BEACH WAS LITERALLY THE BEST DAY OF THE ENTIRE TRIP OMG I HAD SO MUCH FUN AND I ALMOST DROWNED LIKE A MILLION TIMES BUT IT WAS SOOOOO WORTH IT. Okay, done. Sorry about that.

Honestly, though, it was so much fun and if my phone was waterproof, I would have lots of amazing pictures.

Initially, we went to a beach in Corpus Christi, and although it was quite gorgeous and peaceful, it was a little boring, as our group would have literally been the only people there. So after a two hour drive from San Antonio, myself and our head chaperone agreed that it would be a good idea to drive another 45 minutes to the White Cap Beach on Padre Island. I have only two words to say to that decision: Worth. It. We all had so much fun jumping over and into waves, big and small, and floating around, seeing who could go the deepest. (Note: I won because I had a pretty awesome floaty ring thing, just saying.)

During our lunch, the boys bravely decided to feed the birds some of the pizza we were having and THEY WOULD NOT LEAVE. It was so annoying and terrifying, but also kind of hilarious to watch the boys interact with the birds. And of course, the only picture I have from our beach adventure is of the moment one of the boys tried to feed the birds while laying down on the ground:

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Later that night, we had dinner at a restaurant called The Republic of Texas. The food was amazing, the decorations were equally great, our waiter was extremely attractive 😉 and the atmosphere was very laid-back and dare I say, very “Texan”. (Having lived in Texas (Houston) for about 7 years, I think I have the right to say that haha) So shoutout to my new favorite restaurant in San Antonio! Dining with my friends is always great, but this experience was especially special.

It also happened to be karaoke night when we were there, so we had an absolute blast singing along and dancing while other people were performing, and a couple of us even decided to give it a go! I had an awful sore throat, but I sang anyways (which made it worse), but I had so much fun because most of the people were probably thinking “oh that poor girl thinks she can sing, but at least she’s brave enough to go up there”. Not to brag, but on a normal day, I get compliments on my singing voice, sooooo um just letting you know 😛

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My beautiful girls ❤

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Day 4: Outlet Mall, Schlitterbahn, Birthday Dinner

Our last day in San Antonio was also probably our busiest day. We started the day off at the San Marcos Premium Outlets which was super exciting because there are no outlet malls in Albuquerque, and until we got there it hadn’t even occurred to me that there wasn’t an Abercrombie & Fitch here until my friend pointed out that we just had to go there cause she hadn’t been there in forever. My favorite part about our shopping trip was that I got to buy my very first Michael Kors bag!! I was literally in heaven in the store and for once I got to walk out with my own purchase!

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After our quick shopping trip, we went to Schlitterbahn! Unfortunately, the summer season was not in full swing yet, so the park wasn’t fully open, but we made do with what was available. The beach wave pool was our major hangout spot. Overall, it we had a pretty awesome time!

Our last stop of the day and of our entire trip was the Hard Rock Cafe on the Riverwalk for my friend’s birthday. It was really crowded, so we were all seated at different parts of the restaurant, but it was still really fun, and as usual, the food was delicious! I guess good food was one of the main themes of this trip!

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For everyone that made it this far, thank you for sticking with me till the very end of this post, I really appreciate it! I had an amazing time with my friends and we made memories that I will cherish forever and ever, and now you all have virtually been a part of such an amazing trip!

I really believe it was a phenomenal way to end our senior year and our individual and collective high school experiences as a whole.

Class photo at Schlitterbahn!
Class photo at Schlitterbahn!

Until next time, ladies and gentlemen! Thanks again for reading! 🙂

 

Important travel items

For my first official post, I decided to do something that I had a little knowledge about instead of talking about a trip to a museum or something. Obviously, these aren’t the only items one needs for a trip, but I think leaving without these would make a trip a little difficult.

Passport

1) Passport/Visa:

This is probably the most important thing that any traveler needs if he or she is planning a trip abroad. I think it would be just a little bit awkward to not be allowed into your destination country… There are places where you can obtain a short visitor’s visa at the place you’re visiting, but I think getting a visa ahead of time is the safest bet.


 

Camera

2)Fully Charged Electronics:

Personally, I’m not the world’s best photographer, and I like living in the moment, so I don’t take many pictures, and if I do I just use my iPhone, but I know there are really talented photographers who take beautiful shots in exotic locations, so having a camera is a must. For me, I can survive with just my iPhone and maybe an ipod. I would also probably take a laptop or an iPad (cough Netflix).


 

Walking shoes

3) Comfortable Walking Shoes:

I love exploring new places when I travel, so these are absolutely essential and kind of self-explanatory so I won’t go into it.


 

Backpack2

4) Backpack:

This one I guess is also kind of self-explanatory, but it’s important to have somewhere to put your things while you’re out walking around, hiking, etc. Ladies, a cute purse would work too!


 

Credit Cards

5) Credit cards/Money:

I’m not 100% sure how travel credit cards work because I don’t have one, but it’s necessary to have. Also, I know there are certain cards that don’t have international transfer fees, so those are probably the best kind to get. For cash, there are currency conversion kiosks set up in airports all over the country, so be sure to exchange your dollars for pounds before you jet off to London!

 

So there you have it, my top 5 list of things that are most important to think about when planning a trip!

 

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson