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admin | Category: Ed Treatment For Migraine | 17.12.2015
It is with great honour and pleasure that the team at Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza has been recognized as the inaugural recipient of The Isadore Sharp Award of Excellence. In choosing a winner, Sharp has selected Four Seasons Nile Plaza to be the first ever recipient of this significant award for its sheer excellence demonstrated through its top performance and for continuously portraying the company’s principles in a superior fashion. The team at Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza has proudly set a benchmark for performance across all Four Seasons properties and have been a true inspiration to all. Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to. I’ll explain why we did it, how the sit was arranged, and what the experience was like (sneak peak: there was more to it than you might think). Since I read The Art of Non-conformity by Chris Guillebeau about two years ago, I’ve been obsessed with travel. My husband and I have kids, two of them, who will hopefully be attending college in the coming years, which we all know can be a real wallet-buster.
In order to make travel a bigger part of my life, I needed to embrace alternatives to the American Dream version of a vacation.
I’m no expert, but from what I’ve learned so far, house-sitting can be a job, an occasional travel strategy, or an entire lifestyle. Earlier this year, The New York Times published “A Primer in House Sitting.” Written by a full-time house-sitter, it provides some basic information and tips to get started. Now that my husband and I had dipped our toes into the world of house-sitting by having a sitter in our home, our comfort level with the concept grew. I started following the House Sitting World Facebook page more closely, trying to get a feel for how the process worked and what the experience might be like.
Today, as I write this piece, only one-third of the approximately 1,500 house-sitting listings are indicated to be “Suitable for families with children” by the advertising homeowner. On the other hand, I’ve come across many house-sitting families online, even some who sit full-time. To avoid the severe disappointment of an awful vacation, other house-sitters recommended sitting locally before committing chunks of time and money to a long-term, faraway sit.
Since I have two children in school, I wanted to have a test run under our belts sometime during the academic year so we’d be ready to pursue an overseas sit by summertime if we chose to. After a few weeks of searching, I came across a sit posted on House Carers for three nights on the North Fork of Long Island, New York, from December 31 to January 3, to care for two cats. Our scheduled time of arrival was noon, but a quick stop to relieve my caffeine-stricken bladder turned into an hour-long lunch at the Slow-Poke Diner, causing us to arrive a half-hour late. It turned out that the cats were a fun and interesting change for a family with a dog (please don’t tell Casey!). The cats’ jumping skills were highly entertaining, and my son, in spite of being kicked out of his intended bed, was especially fascinated with their I’m-cool-until-I-need-you semi-swagger. The house was situated a few blocks from the northern edge of the Peconic Bay, which separates the North Fork of Long Island from the South Fork, near the elbow where the land splits.
For our second and final full vacation day we planned a visit to the Long Island Aquarium followed by more exploration through the car windows and dinner out. Which brings me to the best part of our house-sitting experience—the relaxed, together time. Once we cleaned the house on Long Island, washed the linens we had used, and put out the trash, we started our drive back home. On January 31, I applied for a house-sit that involved caring for two dogs, two cats, and one turtle. We have a 3 week house sit coming up in KL Malaysia, and they too were hoping to find a family.
My personal crusade to get as many people as possible on a path to house sitting is made easy by the continued stories of thrilled families like yours.
Qantas’ first Boeing 747-400, celebrated for having flown the longest commercial flight in history from London to Sydney, made its shortest and final journey earlier from Sydney to Illawarra Regional Airport in New South Wales. After less than 15 minutes in flight, Qantas’ B747 touched down at 07:47 and was delivered to its new home with the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society where it will become the only B747-400 in the world to be put on public display.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said donating the aircraft to the HARS museum will provide not only a great tourist attraction, but also an opportunity to preserve an important piece of Qantas’ and aviation history. The delivery flight from Sydney International Airport to Illawarra Regional Airport was the first time a Boeing 747 has landed at the regional port. The Qantas pilots operating the final flight worked with industry stakeholders on a number of approvals and training procedures given the flight was outside normal Qantas operations to a non-Qantas port.
A number of considerations were factored in to the preparations including ensuring the appropriate ground handling equipment were positioned at Illawarra Regional Airport for the arrival and giving the aircraft livery a ‘Permaguard’ coating to protect the paintwork for many years to come.


The aircraft interior was also given a full spruce up, with the only items removed from the aircraft being the Qantas Flight Operations manuals in the cockpit, the galley carts that store in-flight meals and the fresh flowers in the lavatory.
The aircraft engines remain in good operational condition so will be removed for further use.
Nine of its newest jumbos, the last of which was delivered in 2003, have been refurbished and will continue flying into the future. Since 2008, the Qantas Group has taken delivery of almost 150 new aircraft, lowering its fleet age to an average of just over seven years.
The aircraft will join an impressive line-up of famed aircraft located at HARS including a Lockheed Super Constellation, Catalina, Douglas DC3 and DC4 and a Desert Storm US Army Cobra. This award was created in honour of Four Seasons Founder and Chairman Isadore Sharp to recognize the hotel team that not only defines excellence through its performance, but also best exemplifies the company’s values and spirit. I think the passion was always there, but it had to lie dormant all those years, waiting for my spirit to catch up with it. They are now in school full time, which of course means vacation opportunities must be wedged in narrow frames of time when hotel and airfare prices can be their highest.
The Wagoners are an American family who sold their house and belongings more than two years ago to move to Spain and are now on an extended travel adventure in Southeast Asia. An experienced house-sitter who travels frequently with her husband and two kids, Kirsty invited me to join the Facebook group House Sitting World last summer. She arrived the night before we were to leave so we could spend time getting to know each other and I could explain the ins and outs of our home and neighborhood, and, of course, Casey’s care.
I have to admit that she probably treated our dog better than we do, taking her to the dog park every day and spending the bulk of her time at the house, in spite of my encouragement that she venture out and explore the area we live in. Some people charge homeowners for sitting, but for the most part sitters and homeowners both view the arrangement as an exchange of services for lodging. We had gained a new option in arranging care for Casey while we traveled; the next step would be to make ourselves house-sitters, too. These sites provide listings of available sits and offer sitters a chance to advertise themselves.
At $20, their annual fee was much cheaper, and they seemed to have enough listings to give me a taste of what opportunities might be out there.
I’d need to find an opportunity for a short sit during a school vacation, and the only option that offered enough days off was Christmas break. I applied for the sit, received a pretty quick response from the owner, and after a couple e-mail exchanges, our plans were set. I deeply regretted failing to arrive at the planned time, but road trips with young’uns always veer off course in some way.
She showed us around the house, explained how to adjust the heat, use the sound system, manage the trash and recyclables, and, of course, take care of the cats. I was too busy being impressed by the wood-fired bread oven and envious of the art-covered walls. One of them was AWOL almost the entire time we were there, even risking losing her meals to her less stranger-averse companion. We devoted New Year’s Day to a drive to Montauk, the easternmost point of the South Fork and of all Long Island.
But after a few hours meeting sharks and sea lions, we remembered the cozy cottage and decked-out kitchen at our disposal, loaded up on dinner and dessert supplies at a grocery store, and headed home. Instead of watching football, we played games brought from home, sharing some crackups over HeadBandz. I was sad that our intimate family time was ending and our own television would be one of the first things we’d see after opening the front door of our house. I’m happy to pass on my growing knowledge and experience to help more people, especially families, travel outside of the box.
The first edition (July-August), readers get introduced to Crikvenica, a popular tourist destination in the Kvarner Gulf, find out why the island of Ugljan, near Zadar, is ideal for a weekend vacation, and what attractions you should not miss out on while in Zagreb, the Croatian metropolis.
You have not only met or exceeded all measures of success, but you have managed to do so under extraordinary circumstances. What Chris’s book taught me is that my bank account doesn’t necessarily have to catch up, too. It took a while for the idea to gel in my mind, but as I became more motivated to find creative (read: cheap) ways to visit other countries, house-sitting developed from a curiosity into a goal. Most often, the primary service provided is pet care, even farm animal care, but gardening and home repair may also be on the table, depending on the circumstances. Even though she and her family were living a nomadic lifestyle, as do many sitters, she was determined that house-sitting would not be part of it.


Before I bought four airline tickets to Europe at ghastly summer rates, I needed to make sure my family and I would feel differently than this woman. Later, I had a chance to join Trusted House Sitters at a reduced rate, and decided to throw caution to the wind. I was willing to include the holiday itself in our sit, but only if no other options were available.
With respect to the kid question, this owner no longer had children at home, but was comfortable with my two being there.
She also left us written instructions and some recommendations for places to eat and things to do in the area, and went on her way. But they both made it clear that the bed in the master bedroom, where my son had planned to sleep, actually belonged to them.
Summer is surely the ideal time to take in Montauk’s beaches and rocky coastline, but although the air was frigid, the sky was sheer blue. That meant that the usual big picture concerns all homeowners share—the glaring organizational issues, projects to be undertaken, etc.—weren’t on our minds at all. My husband and I started and finished the owners’ tough puzzle of a painting that’s probably hanging at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. We realized that even though we could live without watching the most recent version of Dick Clark, missing the countdown of those last ten seconds along with the hordes in Times Square was not an option.
Not London, Kentucky, or London, Ohio, although I’m sure those places are lovely that time of year. Your ability to thrive in the face of adversity and to stay true to Four Seasons culture and values is a true inspiration to us all,” said Sharp. It turns out that seeing the world, instead of being a pie-flying-through-the-sky-in-first-class dream, can be a goal to work toward, and many strategies exist to help me, or anyone, reach that goal without robbing my nice, middle-class neighborhood bank.
My family and I had two short summer trips planned and needed to arrange care for our dog, Casey. Pulling my family out of our house and away from our dog to watch someone else’s house and pets would be enough of a shift for us; the thought of forcing them to spend Christmas around someone else’s tree didn’t sit well.
Our host’s husband, whom we did not meet, is a professional chef who teaches cooking classes at their home. With New Year’s Rockin’ Eve (for my daughter) and New Year’s Day football (for my daughter and husband) in mind, after our host left we immediately scoured the rooms in search of the magic box, but after a couple of passes it was clear there was no box to be found. My son, reluctant to shoo them or sleep on top of them, retreated to the living room couch.
My kids did have their electronic devices on hand; nevertheless my son spent hours at the piano, an instrument he’s never played, attempting to find the notes that matched his favorite music. I had gained a connection to two people I would otherwise have probably never met, even though I’d only spent about twenty minutes with only one of those people. She said that because she has children she thinks of her home as a place where children belong. For example, if I’m a full-time writer penning a novel about an Italian family in Tuscany and I have no other obligations and am not put off by cows, I might be willing to spend nine months maintaining a dairy farm in Tuscany while I devote the bulk of my time to writing. I also wanted to keep the precious travel points I’ve accrued on my credit cards, so we had to stay within driving distance from our home.
Could we make it through the night without watching Jenny McCarthy flirt with drunken sailors? Since we had a computer with us, we searched for a live stream of the hoopla, and, voila!, the Internet came through. By sleeping in and looking after their home, using their Calphalon pots, perusing their books and photographs, I had gleaned an experience of living that was different from my own which could enhance my understanding of people in general. My husband and I have hit it off with her very well, and are looking forward as much to meeting her and her family and pets as we are to being in London.
The online magazine, aimed at promoting Croatian tourism, is available in both Croatian and English. Now, these people hardly know me and will probably never visit my house, so this intimacy is destined to be a one-way street, but I’m okay with that.



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