My Idea Caught on with All My Friends

After taking a look at I was really psyched about renting one of their busses for a fantastic night out with friends. A lot of my friends have nice places that they either rent or own and throw parties. That’s kind of our thing in our group. Everyone knows that we are all good for a night of fun at various times per year. But with no place of my own to hold any sort of event, I always had to tag along and help one of my friends get out. I really wanted to be responsible to throwing one of the best nights ever on my own. I had no idea how to do that until I came across that website and realized I could do it on a moving vehicle.

I met most of my friends in a fraternity in college. There, we had big events where 100 to 300 people would show up. We had a really large frat house and we had the room for it. But we have scaled down and only invite the most fun and hip people to the get-togethers that we have now. We have to do this because people can get really rowdy and you don’t want complete strangers wrecking your home. So, renting something seemed like a good idea to me. No moveable furniture that can be picked up and thrown. Everything is secured to the wall or flor very securely. Also, there’s only enough room for about 15 people, so that would keep down invite list to a respectable number.

After I rented one and we partied all night, everyone talked about it for many weeks to come. Other friends said that they felt it would be better if they got a bus in the future instead of inviting people to their own residences. The idea really caught on, and now we have parties while rolling through the city about 5 times per year.

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My Coworkers Proposal Using a Party Bus

My coworker James is looking for a really creative way to propose to his girlfriend. He wants to do something really creative that involves not only his friends but his family as well. I came up with a really great idea. I told him to go to and look at the different party buses that they have available. At first he didn’t quite know where I was going with that suggestion. Then, I explained to him that a party bus would be the perfect way to transport a large number of guests. The reason we would need to transport a large number of guests is because we were going to plan a flash mob.

He was really surprised. He had seen lots of flash mob videos online before, but he had not thought about doing it for his own proposal. Continue reading

5 Tips for Combining Business and Leisure Travel, Destination Mideast

As summer approaches, I always ask myself how can I run two businesses and still get away. Travel research shows that we Americans are most likely to forfeit vacation days. The best solution I see is combining business with pleasure on every trip abroad.

Having signed up for a conference in Dubai, I was intrigued by the modern-day Mideast while wanting to know more about its ancient cultures. After some investigation, I found a flight to Dubai via Jordan with a few days stopover.

Leaving nothing to chance, I arranged an airport pick-up and booked a 5 star hotel well located in a chic part of Amman with multiple restaurant options nearby and within the hotel. Having studied Arabic, I was pleased to get to practice it even though the Egyptian courses I studied differed substantially from the Jordanian dialect.

As a crossroads, Jordan has a remarkable history from the ancient Nabataeans to Alexander the Great, the Romans, Byzantine and Arab cultures. Beyond its historical monuments, Jordan has a very vibrant present day culture. Shortly after my arrival, I saw this first hand as a local wedding party made its way through the hotel lobby to celebrate with dancing and music.

The following day I headed out on a day tour of the capital exploring Amman’s Roman ruins. I stood transfixed high over the city listening to the muezzin’s call to prayer. With only a brief stay, I made the most of the time taking a driver as local guide for about 12 hours each day. Fortunately, distances were fairly close with the next day’s exploration focused on the Roman ruins in Jerash. Its popular history starts at the time of Alexander the Great but fell to the Romans under Pompey in the first century AD. With the mild October climate, my guide and I then ate al fresco surrounded by vineyards. There was not a tour bus in sight!

The next day’s journey down to Byzantine Madaba ended at the renown Dead Sea. Famous for its spa treatments, I just had time to gaze at the sea before retracing my steps to Amman.

Saving the best to last meant a full day in the rose city of Petra built by the Nabataeans. Featured in Indiana Jones’s and other films and in a mystery novel by best-selling British writer Agatha Christie, it is a World Heritage Site that rivals the Pyramids. Beyond the large Treasury, there are a series of small buildings and conveniently located outdoor cafes and handicrafts for sale. Of course, the tourist route back to the entrance had to be on camel back providing great photo opps.

After an enchanting week, it was time to make my way to Dubai for a conference and brief sightseeing afterwards. Dubai is famous for the unexpected, like air conditioned bus stops, the Palm development and ultra-luxurious hotels. For me, as an “Intermittent Intermediate Skier”, I was fascinated by the indoor ski resort located in a local shopping mall. With limited expectations of a real workout, I knew this would make a great story and the perfect venue for a holiday card photo. After a feast of Southern Fried Chicken in the Mall of the Emirates Food Court, I covered my summer clothes with a colorful ski outfit and was up the escalator ski and poles in hand. After a few runs, it was off for hot chocolate at the adjacent St. Moritz CafĂ© and the perfect end to my Mideast odyssey.

As a woman traveling solo in the Mideast, I followed two practices I find work for me globally:

1. I arrange for an airport pick-up before leaving home. In certain countries, taxis may not be safe whether for men or women. Having navigated a low-grade civil war in sub-Sahara Africa, I learned to ask my hotel what they recommended, especially when traveling alone. In major capitals when arriving in day time, I often opt for public transportation, especially trains/subways or catching a cab.

2. I choose a 5 star hotel that has multiple restaurants options ideally both inside the hotel and nearby. Alternatively, when it was affordable as I found in Cairo, I took a driver who waited for me or in Lisbon caught a taxi round trip to try out top restaurants. In any new location, I always ask a lot of questions, especially to get local women’s opinions, before strolling alone after dark.

While in the Mideast, I did also have 2 additional rules of thumb:

1. Although I would be both sightseeing and attending a business conference in very hot desert weather, I wore long-sleeved shirts with slacks.

2. When I was the only woman alone in local restaurants, I always chose a seat/table right next to other pairs, groups of women, couples or families.

5 tips I have learned trying to combine business with pleasure:

1. To save on airfare, be sure to check out connecting flights allowing for extended layovers.

2. Where possible, take care of business first, especially if complex flights can cause lengthy delays.

3. Arrive over the weekend and make a trial run to locate your meetings’ fastest routes. Even with a GPS, it is easy to run into problems. In one city abroad, I found massive construction in the area surrounding my first meeting. Even walking, it was almost impossible to get through, and street addresses were obscured by the construction scaffolding. In another foreign city, I discovered when I arrived at an appointment that the outside door was locked, and I had trouble reaching anyone inside via my mobile phone.

4. Fly in or carry on a suit or an appropriate business look in case your luggage does not arrive on time.

5. Set multiple alarms on a travel clock, on your mobile phone and with the hotel operator. Even in top hotels, I have had a missed wake-up call or room service error before a flight for a quick day trip. (If you cannot function without coffee or breakfast, have a backup plan, as needed, if room service fails to appear.)

The key is to plan ahead where possible and have some time to survey your destination. Otherwise, a video conference in lieu of a face-to-face meeting may be a better value.

The Best Boss in the World

Last week was one of the best times that I had in my life. For the entire week, our boss decided to contact a Toronto party limo bus rental company and rent a bus to take everyone to and from work. It was one of the craziest things I’ve ever experienced, but I did enjoy it. The boss did it as part of a team building exercise. Most bosses just have a retreat somewhere in the woods with their employees, but our boss likes to think outside of the box when it comes to his employees, and it really shows.

Not only did the bus that our boss hired pick us up and take us home, but it also took us out to eat after the work day. When the work day is over, everyone is generally hungry and ready to eat a good meal, but most of us don’t have time to cook during the week. Continue reading