Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mississippi Cruise Offers: A Great Holiday Revealed

By Anthony Herbert

Few holiday experiences can match the sheer delightfulness of living on a riverboat and slowly travelling down the waters, as time goes by. This is especially true in Mississippi cruises.

Mississippi cruises, especially of the luxury sort, tend to have a distinct theme to delight the passengers. This is very often historical, but it could also be something else, like a cruise that stops predominantly in secluded rural spots, as opposed to one that is made for people who like visiting cities.

A historical voyage on an old paddle boat can be a great experience, accompanied as it is by the showbiz entertainment of olden times. A historically-themed trip will take you to the prominent cities of the area, such as New Orleans, and will let you taste traditional cuisine, such as highbrow Louisiana Creole fare.

The three steamboats offering historical Mississippi River cruises are the American Queen, the Delta Queen, and the Mississippi Queen.

The alternative to a "back to olden times" cruise is a trip focussing on specific subjects, such as the area's vibrant music tradition, or Civil War battle sites.

You can participate in bluegrass celebrations. You can experience the region's Native American culture. Battle sites from the Civil War abound on Mississippi cruises.

Even the themed cruises, though, often have a link to the area's varied past. Often there will be a guide accompanying you and telling you about the local heritage.

Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's cruises are available for the whole family, and these are great ways to enjoy during the holidays with your loved ones while someone else cooks for you!

In a way, seasonal cruises can also be considered to be of the themed sort. Imagine for instance a cruise in autumn, with a plethora of different colours amongst the local forests, and a menu to match the landscape. Game, pumpkin, roasted vegetables and farm-brewed apple cider could be served on your cruse ship's restaurant.

Mississippi cruises are truly a fantastic way to explore a great and glorious part of the United States. Whatever your specific tastes and inclinations, you can be assured that you will find a cruise that will feel right for you.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Short Breaks in Glasgow

By Craig Walker

Glasgow is a great short break destination and is still one of the gems the city break tables of top destinations in Europe. It probably does not spring to mind as some people's first choice to visit but it should.

Glasgow is Scotland's largest city and has a history stretching back to the earliest times of the stone age. Celtic druids, Romans and eventually in around 540 AD a missionary founded the first Christian church in the area. In 1175 Glasgow became a burgh of barony and in 1238 work began on the Cathedral. In the 16th and 17th centuries Glasgow became an important trading centre and there were a lot of very rich traders living in Glasgow during this time.

Glasgow is widely known today as a major shopping location with numerous shops and markets to suit those of all tastes, there is only one city in the UK with better shops and that is London. There is a great selection of restaurants, clubs, casinos, pubs and music venues throughout the city.

Another great reason to visit Glasgow is to experience on of the many festivals staged in the city throughout the year. From the International Comedy Festival to the River Festival, Glasgay, Merchant City Festival, Celtic Connections and the many others. There is always an extra reason to be in Glasgow and great entertainment is only another.

Glasgow is easy to get to and has a very busy airport with arrivals from numerous towns and cities around the UK, Europe and beyond. There are flights available with the low cost airlines offering amazingly cheap flights to and from Glasgow. Travelling by rail takes you into the centre of the city to either of the stations. The coach station is also in the city centre and like the train has regular arrivals from England and the north of Scotland. There are flights daily from all four of the airports in London and most other UK towns and cities as well.

There are lots of accommodation options in Glasgow from hostels, bed and breakfast accommodation to four and five star Glasgow hotels in the city centre. There are new hotels opening all the time as Glasgow prepares for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The weather in Glasgow can be very changeable however the people of Glasgow are used to this and shopping and entertainment can be enjoyed regardless of the weather conditions.

Glasgow has a wealth of good quality attractions to visit whilst you are here including the fantastic Kelvingrove Art Gallery, which has free entry. There is also the Science Mall, which includes the Science Centre the Glasgow Tower and the Glasgow Imax.

Less than a one hours drive away is Loch Lomond and further north is the beautiful Highlands of Scotland. You are also within an easy drive away from Stirling and Edinburgh

So what ever you are looking for Glasgow has it all from shopping, amazing nightlife, restaurants, pubs, attractions and much more. Visit Glasgow before it is no longer a discovery.

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Think About The Departure Time For Your Discount Flight

By Leroy Calstard

Discount Murcia Flights With high tech runways, it's the airport that is a military air base and a civilian airport that can accommodate passenger jets like Boeing 757s or 767s; Murcia's San Javier Airport stands ready to receive vacationers from across the world. In recent years, the airport has gone through exponential growth.

The Murcia Airport that sits 17km south of the city has gone trendy with holidaymakers traveling through it to the southern areas of the Costa Blanca, including the city of Murcia. Tourists traveling to the city of Torrevieja also make their way through this airport since it is closer.

Saving Money on Murcia Flights The European Union recently deregulated airfares and this allowed air carriers to set their own rates. As a result, several discount airlines started up and the larger airports were the first to experience price competition. Then came the smaller airports such as Murcia. The benefit for the traveler is more choices, and lower fares to most destinations. The San Javier Airport is the main point of entry for the city of Murcia and the Costa Calida region.

Discount airfares to Murcia Spain from North America are scarce compared to those low fares offered from within Europe. There are some available, but you have to search for them. There are major passenger rail services that network through the country. Passenger rail service from this airport stretches across the La Manga region. And, there is rail service to the Costa Calida Spain that conveniently serves Madrid.

When you approach the major travel web sites, many of these airlines don't advertise on them. In order to locate discount airlines you'll have to spend several hours researching. Once you do locate them however you will be able to compare their rates and schedules. You'll discover that the majority of these airlines do not operate direct flights to Murcia from North America. In order to save the money you're going to have to sacrifice some of the conveniences of the more expensive air carriers and you'll also have to make at least one or more transfers during your journey. Pay close attention to this when buy your ticket. Be certain to leave yourself room in your schedule to make all the connections necessary.

Low cost airlines are less expensive however; you won't have the conveniences that you might expect from the full service carriers. When your discount flight lands at an airport, you will have to retrieve your baggage and recheck it onto your connecting flight yourself. The full service carriers of course look after this for you. However, you do save money traveling this way. As I said earlier, make certain you leave ample time for this process. Think about the departure time for your discount flights. Often, early morning departures cost less than those leaving later. You should also know that the day of the week that you depart will affect the cost of your trip. A mid week departure is not as expensive as flying on a weekend.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

The Saltwater Fishing Tackle Basics

By Jeff Nickleson Jason Flitcher Sam Charles Corey Johnstone

When it comes to saltwater fishing there are many species and sizes of fish to be caught, unlike freshwater fishing which is more limited. This is why it is so important to have the right kind of saltwater fishing tackle for the type of fish you are going after whether it be onshore fishing or deep sea fishing.

If you are inshore fishing you will be using a light rod and reel set up. For the fishing reel I would use anywhere from 5 pound test to 20 pound test, which would be good if you were inshore fishing for some tarpon or something of similar size. Spinning rod and reel set ups are very common for fishing inshore.

When it comes to fishing line there are two main types that are used, these are monofilament and braided. Monofilament is popular and has been catching fish for years, so if you are on a budget you can stick with this type of line, although it does have some flaws.

For the size of line, braided line is a lot smaller, for instance you can fit more yards of 15 pound test braided on a reel than you can with monafilament line. Braided line is easier to cast and will hold up a lot longer than monofilament line. The only downside is that braided line is the most expensive type fishing line you can get.

When saltwater fishing you will also need a leader line to absorb the initial strike from a fish. The leader line is another line attached at the end, usually 1-3 foot long when inshore fishing and up to 4 times stronger then the fishing line that is on the reel. The leader line will get a lot longer if you are deep sea fishing.

The way that a leader is connected to the regular fishing line is by a swivel, or you can tie the two lines together with a blood knot. The leaded line is a common place to put your terminal tackle, such as weights, corks, hooks and lures.

For fishing hooks you want the size of the hook to be able to fit in the fishes mouth you are aiming for. They are sorted by number with 1 being the smaller size good for small snook and snapper, while 20 would be for heavier and bigger fish like sharks and Marlin.

Another important item to have in your tackle box would be a set of fishing lures. Fishing lures are shaped like bait fish and they can range from a couple of dollars up to a hundred. You will not need the expensive fishing lures unless you are going after big marlin or swordfish.

Now that you have an understanding of what types of tackle you will need to saltwater fish you will need a place to store all of it. This is where the tackle box comes in place. Tackle boxes will give you the space to neatly organize all of your terminal tackle and fishing lures so that you can find them easy when you need them.

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Learning About Fishing Reels

By Cary Dramer Laura Fisher Donald Thomas George Stomni

There are four types of popular saltwater fishing reels that are out there today. Some perform better than others, and others are used for certain types of saltwater fishing, like deep sea or inshore. The four types of fishing reels that I am going to discuss are the bait casting, spin casting, fly fishing and spinning reels.

Spin casting reels would be the ideal fishing reel for the beginner, or for a kid that is just learning how to fish. Overall they are the least expensive of the types of saltwater fishing reels, but many of the cheap ones tend to break easily.

Spin casting reels have a closed face, meaning that you cannot see the line on the spool. There are many cons about spin casting reels, one of them is if line gets tangled up you will have to pop the face off to untangle it. There are high quality spin casting fishing reels out there that will last you a long time, but they are also more expensive.

Spinning reels, in my opinion are the most widely used type of saltwater fishing reel. They are open faced reels, easy to learn how to use, and the variety of them is outstanding. The fishing line is guided onto and off the reel by the means of a bail. There are many types of spinning reels that can be used for big fish or small fish.

You can get spinning reels for very cheap and there are also ones that are out there for a couple hundred bucks or more. You can find a high quality one that will last you a long time for around 60 bucks. Spinning reels also come with drag systems that are in most cases way better than spin casting fishing reels.

The best type of fishing reel in my opinion is the bait casting fishing reel. This is because once you learn how to use them properly you will see that you have a lot more control. The biggest plus to me is the control that they offer when you are casting the fishing line.

Bait casting reels also work great with heavy fishing line, making them a favorite for deep sea fishing for big game saltwater fish. The only bad thing about them is if you do not know how to use them you will tangle the line a lot, and they are more costly then other types of fishing reels.

When it comes to fly fishing reels, you need to know that they are only for retrieving and holding fishing line, they have nothing to do with casting. You just pull the fishing line off of the reel and then you are casting with the fishing rod using the weight of the fly and the line.

When saltwater fishing with a fly fishing reel the drag is extremely important. Another important thing you must consider is the amount of fishing line that the reel will hold, they come in many sizes and cost wise fly fishing reels can be about ten bucks to a couple hundred.

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Restful Winter Vacation Ideas

By Leroy Calstard

If you want to get away from the cold weather, but you don't want to travel too far, there are places you can go including California, Florida, and other tropical areas. There are many resorts that are open year round and that cater to those desperate to get away from the winter at least for a week or two.

Planning a vacation during the winter months should be done before the winter season as many people have the same idea and booking a flight then could be difficult and expensive. When you want to go to a resort or to a beach house on a private beach, you should make arrangements ahead of time.

You can contact your travel agent to find the best times to travel during the winter. If you don't want to be around too many tourists, there are resorts that are more secluded if you are willing to pay for them. Many resorts have a variety of activities for you to participate in so you won't get bored. Your travel agent should be able to provide you with a map to find your way around. Once you get back from your vacation, you may be better able to deal with the winter weather. Many people take a few weeks off during the winter and escape to warmer climates.

If you are looking for a more restful vacation, why not rent a beach house? You will be able to relax and not have to worry about seeing too many people. It is important to book these in advance as well so you will be able to use the house when you want. Take a few weeks and rest in your beach house. You can bring friends or family or you can stay in the house by yourself. This may be just what you need in order to relax.

Beach houses range in size and price, so be sure you choose one that will accommodate your entire family. Depending on what you want to do while at the beach, you will be able to rent a house that is large enough to have beach parties or family gatherings, store surf boards and other equipment, and be able to lounge during the day without having to worry about being overcrowded. Many beach houses have large decks, patios, and amenities like grills that you can use.

Before signing the lease on a beach house, you should ask questions concerning pet policies, the equipment you will be able to use, if you need to clean the house before leaving, and if there is an additional deposit if you have to cancel your reservation. These questions should be answered quickly by a realtor or the homeowner. Also, ask about insurance and if the home is covered in case of a fire or other emergency. Depending on the state you are renting the home in, there may be additional costs to consider. Once you understand the renter's policy, then you should sign it and prepare for your vacation by the sea.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Buying a camping gear

By reklicom

However just like buying any used gear, choose the wrong one and you more often than not have to kiss your money good-bye. So it is fair to say that buying used camping gear has both its advantages and disadvantages.

I you have never been camping before then your first task is to get yourself some essential camping gear. Buying new gear can be a costly exercise and if you do not have very deep pockets, or if you are on a tight budget, you might want to consider used camping gear instead.

Ask around among family and friends if they have the camping gear you need. There is always the practical benefit of mutual borrowing. Go ahead and buy one or two quality items that you can exchange. Just make sure that you do not cause damage to others' invested equipment. Before buying anything else, consider the best backpack you could ever get to hold in the rest of your camping gear.

This is probable the one thing that you want to invest in. Buy a good quality bag with just the right size (style is not that necessary). You certainly don't want myriads of mini bags or tied-to-rope items hanging around when you traveling outdoors. And trust me, you will know what and how much to put in right after you have a good idea of where to put it.

If you planning on staying longer, then there is a need for lighting batteries, more food supplies, or cooking equipments. It all depends on what you are planning to do on your trip. Have a list of activities to do alongside with the materials needed. Do not forget necessary items. As much as possible avoid the luxury ones. Do not bring things that you won't be needing. The idea with outdoor travels is packing light for ease of travel.

If one of your kids is in the Scouts Club and is going on his/hers first camping trip, getting used camping gear can be really worth it or if you are going on your first camping trip and are not really sure of what to get, buying used equipment at a much lower price tag can sometimes be very wise. In the event that you really enjoy camping and see yourself doing it for years to come, then maybe it would be the time to get your self some really good new camping gear.

Get information and discounts on the best camping gear from catalogues. Every now and then, camping gear manufacturers and stockers send out mags or flyers with festive sales, discounts, or special infos. So make the most out of it.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Canon Underwater Camera

By Ed J Price

Scuba diving is a fun and exciting activity that can give you memorable undersea moments that may last for that session alone. There may be some instances where you might have seen something so spectacular that you wish you took a good shot of it. Of course, many divers dont think about taking a camera underwater because normal cameras arent waterproof and digital underwater cameras are too expensive.

Well, all hope isnt lost because there is a better solution than spending high on a camera solely dedicated for underwater action. You can consider getting the Canon PowerShot G10 along with the Canon WP-DC28 Waterproof Case. Now you might do some calculations and see that the total cost of both items totals that of an underwater camera, but lets not forget that these are two separate items. The Canon PowerShot G10 is a feature-rich camera that has tons of roles on land and under the sea saving you the need of buying 2 cameras. Here you learn some things you should really look for in an underwater camera along with the Canon G10 review and its waterproof case.

The Importance of Megapixels

If you are planing on photo enlargements or even displaying photos on big screens it is recommended to get a high resolution camera. The Canon g10 is built with a 15megapixel function more than enough to create large detailed sized pictures.Of course excess mega pixel size isn't everything but it remains to be an important feature of any quality camera. Whatever on the occasion you can be rested assure that the Canon g10 has the capacity to bring out a quality finish.

No Worries Underwater

Several brands of underwater casing fail miserably when divers see their cameras no longer functioning. But a properly set up Canon WP-DC28 can turn the G10 into a Canon underwater camera. The G10 already comes with special settings for underwater use. All you need to do is perform the basic maintenance procedures and youll have no worries when you take it underwater.

Video Footage Underwater

With 30ftps VGA movie support function the Canon g10 is more than capable to take underwater video life footage.

Technological Breakthrough

When it comes to technological features and functions the Canon g10 is in a class of its own. Its powerful digital imaging core (DIGIC) image processor can handle all the algorithms. These algorithms produce all the detail and accurate colors scheme needed for stunning photo finish. If you are concerned about taking photos in the darker regions dont be. With the I-contrast in built the Canon g10 balances light distortions.So,for whatever environmental lighting circumstance the Canon g10 is able to adapt.

Solid Performer on Both Land and Water

Any keen photographer could pick the Canon g10 and master its rich features. Already built on quality the g10 can make any amateur photographer seem like a professional. With 26 stunning modes accompanied by with the proper underwater casings the g10 is ready now to undertake any photographic occasion whether on land or sea.

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Loads of Excitement in Breckenridge

By Monique Mertrandes

The fascinating view of the Ten Mile Range is guaranteed to captivate anyone's attention and it's just one of the reasons to plan a trip to Breckenridge. Certainly, the outdoor activities and endless forms of recreation are also what draws visitors to this mountain town. Still, Breckenridge seems to put on a new face every time the town comes together in celebration. In Breckenridge, there's always something to celebrate so it is always nice to consider a trip to Colorado's 149-year-old Victorian paradise and have fun.

Perhaps there's no better way to greet the New Year in Breckenridge than with the Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships thanks to the Breckenridge Ski Resort. This annual event, now in its 18th year, calls upon only the most innovative artists to transform a blank canvass of snow into a masterpiece. Sculptors coming from all over the world virtually take over the town for five days to create spectacular twenty-ton, twelve-foot tall snow sculptures with just their bare hands and a few permitted non-power tools such as carrot scraper and chicken wire. A panel of judges then present awards to the top three teams using theme, technique, and style as criteria. Championships are held in the middle of town at the Riverwalk Center from January 20-25, 2009.

There's always a reason for jubilation after a marvelous ski season and Breckenridge knows this better than any other town. The Spring Massive is held each year to express joy in the year's snow fall. This event always makes it easy for anyone attending to have a good time, whether it's through live entertainment or just a day of spring skiing. Planned happenings include free outdoor concerts, ski competitions, the Massive Beer Festival, Comedy, and a Bite of Breckenridge. The eighth annual festival will be held from April 1-19, 2009.

The 25th Genuine Jazz and Arts Festival in Breckenridge offers wine tasting, hot music, and exotic summer nights. People all over town come together every year for this free event in the Plaza above Maggie Pond when various performers are invited to play all genres of jazz including smooth jazz, fusion, and mainstream. This event is usually held during a weekend in August.

Towns all over the country join together in the fall to honor the traditional German celebration of Oktoberfest. Offering traditional German music, Bavarian food, kids' activities, and, of course, plenty of beer, Breckenridge Oktoberfest is in its fifteenth year now. So, from September 18-20, 2009, grab your beer stein, pull on your lederhosen and head to Breckenridge for some marvelous mountain enjoyment.

Winter certainly brings a reason to celebrate in genuine Breckenridge style. The start of December marks the official announcement of Breckenridge that the holiday season has arrived with its Victorian Holiday celebration. Competitions on the Breckenridge Ski Resort and craft workshops are held and of course, the holiday season would not be complete without the yearly Lighting of Breckenridge on Main Street.

All of the events in Breckenridge take place in the center of the town so it would be easy for you to find Breckenridge accommodations near the venue. There are also free shuttles that would transport you to the location conveniently. There are many reasons to celebrate in Breckenridge that are guaranteed to entertain you and make your visit memorable. Plan your family vacation in Breckenridge to experience the unique and jovial celebrations of the town.

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CEM Sales and Service

By Bart Icles
Water toys are a huge success in parks. A city who installs a water park complete with pipe flowers that shoot up jets of water, gigantic sprinklers, hoses that spray water in every direction and assorted array of water spewing toys, is a city that will increase its public image. A park like this sounds fun but in what does it really mean? Why make all that effort to set up such a season thing. Here are a few ideas as to why it is such a benefit for a city.
First, there is a myth that water parks like these use large amounts of water. The truth is they use far less than the average city pool. Kids can get soaking wet in less water and cool off from the days heat without stretching the cities water supply. Toys like this are a great answer to providing water fun on a low water budget.
Second, there are many different dealers of toys like these, for example CEM Sales and Service or Maxeys Aquatics, will walk you through the entire process and fit your city exactly for what they will use. Depending on the size of city and range of the summer months will determine what set up will work best for you. It makes planning and implementing a system like this easier than other options.

Third. These kinds of facilities dramatically increase the image of a city. A city willing to give its citizens and visitors access to a free resource above and beyond that which is usually found in a city, is showing the people that they are in politics for the peoples comfort and benefit. That can be a powerful statement. A city who is working to improve the lives of its citizens in every way not just educational debates or road construction is making powerful statements. Water facilities or aquatics can be a big tool for a city team.
Any city can maintain and build a library, any city can allow the next best restaurant to set up shop but not every city is making such a noticeable statement to its public that says youve worked hard to earn the money for this city, lets invest in some fun too. Finding the right aquatic toy for your area is an important step along with the right unveiling technique to the city. Look into aquatics as a way to noticeably improve your city and its morale.

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Did You Go To These Top 10 Places to Go in 2008

1. Bhutan
Cradled by the majestic Himalayas in a remote corner of Southern Asia, the “Land of the Thunder Dragon” has long held steadfast to its rich culture and Buddhist heritage. Though an isolated locale and high tourist entry tariffs (of up to $200 per person per night) keep crowds at bay, these factors have also permitted this last Shangri-La to keep its traditions intact. If the lush valleys and snowcapped mountains, ancient temples and monasteries, and expansive markets full of cheerful locals haven’t lured you to Bhutan yet, reconsider in 2008, when the 101st anniversary of the country’s monarchy will be commemorated by a yearlong celebration.
2. Greenland
Though Greenland promoters prefer to avoid using the term “catastrophe tourism” to describe its surging popularity, new weekly flights from Baltimore (late June through early August in 2008) have indeed made this Danish province the most accessible place to bear firsthand witness to the inconvenient truths of climate change. The midnight sun practically guarantees encounters with reindeer, seals, and narwhals, but it's the Arctic island's Ilulissat ice fjord, which has retreated six miles in just a few years, and Warming Island, which was thought to have been part of mainland Greenland until the connecting ice thawed, that tend to leave visitors dumbstruck.
3. Lisbon
The cheapest capital in Western Europe (according to the 2007 Mercer Consulting survey) is worth a visit not only for its affordability–a huge plus when considering the anemic exchange rate of the U.S. dollar against the Euro these days–but for its dramatic hillside villages, fashionable cobblestone enclaves, and innovative cuisine. No longer just a stopover on the road to Porto, the capital of Portugal is fast becoming Europe’s next “it” city, which means crowds and inflated prices are bound to follow. Visit in 2008 before the buzz signals the hordes.
4. Mozambique
Safely removed from decades of civil war, Mozambique is poised to become Africa’s next big tourist destination. The country’s recent economic success is finally permitting its natural assets–1,500 miles of unspoiled tropical shoreline, clear blue seas, and pristine reef-fringed archipelagos–to shine. Upscale, eco-friendly properties are opening along the Bazaruto and Quirimbas archipelagos, the government is restoring the million-acre Gorongosa National Park, and tour operators now run diving excursions to see sea cows, whale sharks, and staghorn coral. It’s been a long haul for this former Portuguese colony, but there’s no question that the nation is a rising star in the travel world.
5. New Orleans
any have already returned to New Orleans since Katrina, but recent events give every indication that 2008 is poised to be the best year the city has seen since the hurricane. Combine a rebuilding boom with powerhouse couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie moving in to the French Quarter, and a revitalized Canal Street beckoning musicians and ramblers back to its pretty riverside promenade, and you've got the makings of a fully revitalized city. Plus, with some of the nation’s most-beloved festivals getting under way in the first part of the year (Mardi Gras in February and Jazz Fest in late April and early May) it’s easy to make the Big Easy a must this year to herald the rebirth of one of the country’s most storied and fascinating cities.
6. Okanagan Valley
Move over, Napa and Sonoma: Oenophiles looking for a taste of the next best thing are taking their palates north, to British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. A four-hour drive northwest of Spokane, Wash., the Okanagan Valley boasts a cool and dry summer climate ideal for traditional grape harvesting, and frosty winters, which vintners use to advantage to produce Canada’s famed ice wine. With landscapes dotted with verdant fields, cascading hillsides, and ample lakes, there’s no question the area makes for a great wine-country getaway; Cedar Creek and Kettle Valley are just two of our favorite vineyards here.
7. Quito
Long thought of as just a pit stop en route to the Galapagos, the capital of Ecuador is finally coming into its own, thanks to a burgeoning culinary and nightlife scene, new attractions ranging from botanical gardens to cultural heritage museums, and the opening of several luxury hotels. Quito’s Old Town–a UNESCO World Heritage Site that just completed a seven-year, $200 million restoration–is at the heart of the city’s regeneration. Its colonial mansions and churches now flaunt fantastic face-lifts.
8. Slovenia
With Eastern Europe's popularity growing by leaps and bounds, Slovenia is now enjoying a newfound moment in the tourism spotlight. Slovenia is chock-full of the same kind of medieval towns and quaint villages that made the Czech Republic–namely Prague–a household name, but its charms can be enjoyed for a fraction of the price of its trail-blazing predecessor and arguably offer more value to boot. Though Slovenia was one of the first Eastern European countries to adopt the euro, the country’s hesitance to adapt to modern times has made its Venetian-era squares and tiny Alpine cities a fantastic bargain for the buck.
9. Tobago
One of the last remaining "undiscovered" Caribbean islands, Tobago has long been overshadowed by its better-known sister island of Trinidad. A power shift may be in the making as of 2008, however, as Tobago's pink-sand beaches and serene waters became accessible for the first time by direct flights from New York and Atlanta on Delta Air Lines in December 2007. The new flights allow visitors to bypass Trinidad altogether to reach Tobago's secluded and romantic shores, where an unpretentious, slow-paced, and eco-friendly atmosphere prevails, relatively free of tourists and overdevelopment–for now.
10. Tunisia
While 40 percent of this North African nation is swathed in arid Sahara desert, the remainder is blanketed by fertile soil and hemmed in by over 600 miles of Mediterranean coastline. No wonder it garnered a lot of (often unwanted) attention over the centuries from some of the world’s greatest civilizations. See what all the fuss was about by visiting the ruins of the ancient Phoenician city of Carthage and historic sites like the coliseum at El Jem (arguably the finest example of its kind outside of Rome). When not taking in archaeological gems, you can relax and rejuvenate at one of several beach resorts; venture through the Sahara on camelback or 4x4; or camp out in the desert in luxurious linen tents. Indeed, if there's one place on our list that packs the ultimate vacation into its borders–what with culture, beaches, adventure travel, and luxury camping–this is it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

What to Expect on a Tanzanian Wilderness Travel

By maxima maina
Tanzania is the country where more land than anywhere else in Africa is allocated to wildlife. Amazing? That is why a wilderness travel adventure in Tanzania is no ordinary experience. It is Africa at its best.

What is there to see?

Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa's highest peak and many visitors come here just to climb it. Climbing up affords some of the most breath-taking views ever seen.

See the wildlife in game sanctuaries so vast that some are still virtually unspoiled. The whole range of Africa wildlife is there to see as they interact in their natural habitat.

The Serengeti National park is known world over for research on ecological conservation. It is where the big annual Serengeti-Maasai Mara wildebeest migration begins.

The Mahale Game Park is on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. Here you will find the world's largest concentration of chimpanzees.

On the Tanzanian coast are Zanzibar Island and the other islands, rich in historic Arab- Swahili culture. The Stone City of Zanzibar is a must see.

Activities to do:

Camping Safari are special in Tanzania. Camp outdoors with campfires under open skies and listen to the sounds of the animals.

Walking safaris are a specialty of wilderness travel in Tanzania. You set off from base camp every morning and travel on foot into the wild with vehicle escort and the watchful eye of experienced guides, and get back in the evening the richer for your safari trek efforts.

Zanzibar Island and Pemba's idyllic beaches are famous as honeymoon spots and for great water sports. Here you can crown your wilderness travel safari in the interior by coming to the sun ,sand and sea.

Try the wilderness travel in Tanzania, you cannot be disappointed.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Queensboro Motorcycle Club Annual Motorcycle Rodeo

By LJ James
Queensboro Motorcycle Club has been around for over 98 years! That's right I said over 98 years, That's not only a long time for a Motorcycle Club,that's a long time for anything!

OK Lets stop and think about this for a minute, The first (gas-engined) Motorcycle was invented in 1885. (Of course some consider the first Motorcycle invented to be the two-cylinder, steam-engine motorcycle powered by coal invented in 1867 by American, Sylvester Howard Roper) Harley Davidson who started in 1903 only has 7 years on Queensboro MC!

This MC has been around since the infancy of the Motorcycle culture. Now I have only known Queensboro MC for about 8 of those 97 years but I can tell you over 97 years this group of Bikers have made many friends in and outside of the Motorcycle world! Their annual Motorcycle Rodeo Held each year at a local Park shows not only how many friends they have made but also how 98 years can teach you how to throw a great party.Just one look at the parking lot at the Rodeo shows you the wide diversity of their Friends,With Motorcycles from Harley to Honda, Ninja to Norton and so many others in between. Now you don't need a Motorcycle to be part of the FOQ (Friends of Queensboro)Crew and some of their many friends showed up in cars to enjoy the perfect Summer day!

The Event starts with sign up at Rolling Thunder in Hempstead and a Scenic ride over to the Rodeo. Once at the Rodeo there are of course plenty of great Motorcycle Events to enter,None of them more memorable then the Port-a-Potty pull ! If you need to ask what a Port-a-Potty pull is, Well all I can say is your just going to have to show up at next years Rodeo! The Event also has many great Vendors,Food and Beverages, a D.J., Children's events, a Bike Show and many games you don't need a Motorcycle to play, Such as the Hilarious game "Shoot the Biker Freak". The Final event of the day is always the Tug of War !

Queensboro MC's Motorcycle Rodeo has a permanent mark on my calendar of events to attend every year and a big gold star on it for 2010!!! Check out for info on their many other great Annual events!!!

Your Bro L.J. James Radio show at

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American Motorcycle Jamboree

By LJ James
American Motorcycle Jamboree[I:0:J]

Every Memorial day weekend Me and a bunch of my Bro's hop on our Motorcycles and pack into Trucks filled with Tents,Sleeping bags,Bar-B-Qs,Beer and many other camping necessity as we head up to the beautiful 100 year old Sunshine Fairgrounds in the scenic Schoharie Valley in Cobleskill NY for the annual American Motorcycle Jamboree, Rally and camp out. [I:1:J]

For 25 years now Am-Jam has taken place on Memorial day weekend. In my a opinion it is a weekend that should be spent with Family and for me its the ever growing Am-Jam family. The Am-Jam Family is the name given to the group of volunteer's who every year do all the behind the scenes work that make Am-Jam the Three day biker Paradise it has become over the years.

As with any family there is that one special someone in charge and for the Am-Jam Family that person is Jeannie Aldos, Some might even call her the Mother of Am-Jam and she has filled the roll perfectly for the past 25 years.

In today's Motorcycle crazed culture where you can't turn on the TV or go into a store with out being bombarded with something that has to do with Motorcycles and it seems everyone is putting on a "Biker Event" signs with the words "No Club Colors" are seen more and more often.But not at Am-Jam !!! Jeannie set out 25 years ago to host the Best three day Biker Jamboree and Camp out in New York and to make sure it was open to everyone whether they are an Independent Rider in a Motorcycle Club or just a person who loves the lifestyle. Am-Jam is one of the few Biker rallies and Camp outs left in NY that is truly Biker friendly.

Now If you have never been to Am-Jam let me do my best to try to describe it to you.First you need to Imagine an old fashion Country Fair Grounds .Then picture over where the Carnival Rides would be (and every where else for that matter) Thousands of Tents, Campers, Motorcycles and Bikers. Over in the barn area where one would usually see farmers showing off prize Cows,Pigs and other farm animals,You will instead find it filled with proud Bikers showing off their antique Motorcycles.

The tents and booths on the Midway where one would usually see home made goods, arts and Crafts and some guy trying to get you to spend $5 to win a 10 cent Gold Fish or stuffed animal are instead filled with Custom Motorcycle dealers, Leather goods, Tattoo artists, Clubs selling support gear, Body Piercing,T-Shirts,Patches and Pins,Lady's Lingerie shops, and every other thing a Biker could need or want.

Over by the Grand Stand and main stage area during the day you find Tattoo contests,a Motorcycle Rodeo with games for those both on and off their Motorcycles and even thou I didn't see one this year I'm sure there was a wedding or two.

On the Main Stage at Night you have some of the best Rock and Southern Rock Bands in the Northeast playing and in between sets are the leather an lace Fashion Shows by USA Leather along with contests like the best Lady's Legs and every ones Favorite The Wet T-Shirt Contest.

On Saturday Night at 10pm every year there is a large fire Works display dedicated to all lost veterans and it can be seen for miles around the fairgrounds!

For Those who Forgot or didn't have room on their Bike for Food and Beer there is always plenty of great food vendors including my morning favorite the all you can eat Pancake Hut where you get Orange juice,sausage links and all the pancakes one can eat (Of Course after being up all night drinking you can only eat so many) for only $5.

Then of course there is the ever popular Beer Tent! The past few years it has been run by the Owner and Staff of the Bad Pig Saloon.

For those who came alone there is the ever popular Girl's Girl's Girl's Tent with some of the Hottest Girl's Dancing just for you.

Am-Jam seems to be getting Bigger and Better every year, with new and exciting vendors and events every year .The only bad thing I could say about Am-Jam is it just isn't long enough (I'm Sure members of the Family staff might disagree as it probably seems much longer to them)

After spending three days Camping and partying and having a great time with Bikers from all over, the only thought running threw my head as I watched the Thousands of bikers pack up their gear and head home was how great of a world would it be if Am-Jam was 365 days a year?

But until that happens I have my memories of previous Am-Jam to hold me over to the next ! What Surprises await us at Next Years Am-Jam? If you want to know then you will just have to go. I'll see you there! Your Bro LJ James Listen to LJs Radio Show at

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Top 10 Travel Destinations of 2009

Every year the travel book supergiant Lonely Planet releases its list of the coming year’s top travel locations, from new trends, to the classic vacation spots that have always been popular with tourists. Their top 10 list of the best destinations of 2009 held some a few surprises, and some great tips that travel nuts have come to expect from their annual release.
1). Bay Of Fire, Tasmania
Chances are you have never heard of this little paradise off the coast of St. Helen’s, a small whaling town in the lesser traveled portion of Tasmania. But with crystal clear waters, clean, sandy beaches, and some cozy little cottages for rent right on the shoreline, this known vacation spot it’s sure to give you the perfect island getaway.

2). Basque Country, France and Spain
Both France and Spain have always been the favorite European vacation spots, with some of the most breathtaking scenery you will ever witness. But the Basque costa is an especially lovely area with some amazing travel packages that can take you to one of the most beautiful areas of the world, while still letting you keep some cash for souvenirs.
3). Chiloe, Chile
Chile is a country rich in culture and adventure, and in recent years it has been able to maintain it’s wonderful traditions, while still modernizing the region. Chiloe is an especially impressive example of this mix, with their aging architecture, traditional ghost stories, and an increasing tourist market that includes plenty of adventure tours that will take you on some of the wildest treks of your life.
4). Ko Tao, Thailand
Rich, green landscapes as far as the eye can see, incredible diving locations, and the chance to come in contact with the marine and wildlife of the island, it’s no wonder this is one of the top 10 locations of 2009. If you love the ocean, and the idea of roughing it a little bit while still maintaining a few of the comforts of a resort, then this is the place for you.
5). Languedoc, France
With so much of France conquered by frequent tourism and mass modernization, Languedoc is still a tucked away little spot that offers a little solace from the gaudy gift shops and tourist traps of modern travel. With some lovely hotels, fine dining restaurants, and some great cruise options that take you along the Canal du Midi, this is a nice alternative to the usual French getaway.
6). Nam Ha, Laos
When you think of vacations, Laos is certainly not the first location that comes to mind. However, Nam Ha is one of the most culturally satisfying trips you could ever take. From home stays with the local people, treks through the mountains, and guided tours by locals to the waterfalls and through the jungles, it’s an experience you will never forget.
7). The Big Island, Hawaii
Who doesn’t want to visit Hawaii? It has been one of the most popular beach vacation spots for the last several decades. But the draw of The Big Island is different then that of it’s smaller siblings. With reach active volcanic lava wastes, beaches filled with white, black, and green sand, and ample time to spend in a less crowded, much more affordable area, this is a less popular, but much more appealing, Hawaiian vacation.
8). San Andres and Providencia, Columbia
Columbia gets a bit of a bad rep, and in some areas it’s warranted. But the two main islands of San Andres and Providencia are two beautiful, tourist-friendly areas that are dedicated to long days spent fishing, hiking, diving, or on submarine tours through the deeps to witness the modern marine life.
9). Svalbard, Norway
Norway is a country rich with tourist opportunities, which is why it has such a crowded holiday life. But the Cold Coast is a lesser known area that is full of dark fjords and mystery. If you like cooler temperatures and polar boat tours, then you will love Svalbard.
10). Yunnan, China
Home of the legendary Tiger Leaping trek, jungle tours, and the scenery of an environmentally rich land, with scattered ancient temples and small towns, this is the ultimate Asian hot spot. Expect the unexpected in Yunnan.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

2009 tourism trends

The global crisis that shook 2008 to the core (and continues to do so) has impact in industries across the board. One of the most affected fields is tourism as it’s an elected excess and not a necessity. A recently released research by the Tourism Journalists Association shows that people will be more cautious in spending for leisure travels and will engage in more meaningful, rather than extravagant, vacations. Here are the forecasted kinds of trips that will be all the rage this year:
1. Domestic tourism—This year will see a boost in domestic tourism as tourists will go around their own countries more than flying to another. This is one of the cheapest ways to travel and may help balance out the anticipated lack in foreign tourists.
2. Travel to nearby countries—As many people still want to explore countries other than their own, the next best thing is going to neighboring countries where they’re not expected to spend as much as a jet-setting spree. Europeans may go backpacking across their continent; Americans may go either north or south; and Asians may island-hop around the tropics.
3. Faith tourism—Sabbaticals, pilgrimage, and other religious tourism subcategories are among the top travel choices this year, along with the usual religious sites. Also popular are personal spiritual vacations where the travelers meditate and “self-help.”
4. Cultural/historical tours—People, especially those tracing their roots, will also be drawn to cultural and historical tours. Parents will be keen to take their kids on these types of tours, supposedly in hopes to keep them connected with their heritage.
5. Camping—A very cheap vacation option is more preferred this year to replace five-star resorts in the meantime. This comes in the form of camping.
6. Nature trips—More folk will be interested to go on nature trips and explore the great outdoors and may even take part in adventurous activities like white water rafting and rappelling. The primary purposes of this kind of tourism are education, nature-appreciation, and retreat from city life.
7. Eco-friendly hotels—Environmental issues awareness comes into play even more as educated tourists choose accommodations that are certified green. Environmental responsibility is now a selling point and hospitality associations worldwide are advocating the implementation of eco-friendliness in hotels, inns, and resorts.
8. Visitation—More people will also choose to travel to countries where they have relatives in and most likely stay with them, instead of going to hotels. This will be less luxurious but is a sensible alternative for the budget-conscious.
9. Virtual tourism—The Internet will play a major role in people’s itineraries. Three-dimensional imaging of places will be important in planning one’s trip. Also, travelers are seeking economical alternatives, deals, and packages—thus, the emergence of more travel agency Web sites.
10. Asia—Because they’re relatively cheaper than Europe or the Americas, Asian countries will be popular tourist destinations in 2009. Other countries that are of interest include Turkey, Ireland, Syria, Egypt, and New Zealand.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Wadefishing at night with Topwaters

By Captain Jim Onderdonk

The same thing happens every year. By mid-summer people are complaining about the heat and don't want to fish. Most people are ready to stop this time of year before noon. That's why I am here, to share a secret with you about fishing in South Texas at night. At night, it is of course cooler outside, but also the water cools down and those big speckled trout start to really move and feed. There is nothing like catching one of these big fish at night, when you can't even see them explode on your lure. Here I will show you how to fish, where to go, and when to do it.

First of all, NEVER go out alone! Many things can happen while navigating waterways after dark and or while wade fishing! Here are a few safety tips:

* Your fishing partner should be aware of the aware of the area you are fishing in and your surrounds.

* Wear personal floatation devices while driving the boat.

* Be sure to leave a trip plan with someone back home.

* Plan out your trip, including your first several fishing spots.

HOW: Once you have arrived at your first location safely, make sure that your anchor light stays on. This will also give you some bearing and help getting back to the boat. Strap on a L.E.D. head lamp, they are a must. L.E.D. head lamps are readily available and allow hands-free, much-needed light.

In addition to the headlamps, get some glow sticks as well. These are the type that activate and light up when you bend/crack/shake them. What you do is tie the glow stick to some string and hang it like a necklace, draping down over your back. This will also help to prevent boaters from coming too close, and keep your fishing partner from hitting you with a lure. Worst case scenario, it can also be a good emergency backup light to get to the boat. While wading, don't get too far apart.

WHEN: I prefer to fish in the time before, during and after a full moon because of the extra light it provides. If you are using a dark topwater lure it will stand out that much better to those predator fish. The key is to use what I call the "Donk's Tangler". What you do is tie about a foot of line to the front ring on a top water lure, and then attach a dark-colored soft plastic lure on the back end with a very light fishing hook.

I know what you're thinking, but just try it and you will be surprised. Work it the same way you would the top water. The fish will hit the soft plastic every time! I like to fish with braided line (Power Pro), it allows you to feel what you can't see. You will know when you have a hook up!

Major feeding times, according to Solunar tables, are a great time to fish. I use a 5 hour time-frame around what the tables call these prime times. It's no guarantee but has worked for me in the past.

WHERE: White Bluff, Black Bluff, East Kleberg Point, Alazan bay and the Tide Gauge Bar have produced numerous, night time wall hangers. This method has been very effective for me, as I am sure it will be for you. Remember keep just what you will eat! Until next time, SEE YOU ON THE WATER!

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My new EZ-Link Card

Look at the new EZLink card.

They changed my old one with respectable efficiency.

Typical of Singapore.

Suppose to be able to store far more credit than the old one. and I will soon be able to use the card for many other purposes.

Although they said the wait would take 45 minutes, but actually took only about 20 minutes.

Can't wait to discover new ways to spend my hard earned money.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Learning How To Water Ski In Tampa Bay Is Fun

By Lane \"Dawg\" Bowers

Tampa Bay, Florida is one of the best places for activities on the water. You can do things like boating, fishing, parasailing, and even water skiing. Water skiing has become an increasingly popular water activity and Tampa Bay is no exception.

There are many things that a person should know and learn before even attempting to put the skiis on. It is important that a person goes through the proper protocol of water ski training so that they donat hurt themselves or others when it becomes time to actually go out on the water.

In Tampa Bay, there are many opportunities available for you to learn how o water ski. On the shore you can find Water ski lessons almost anywhere. But if you want to look for places where you can learn water ski, beforehand. You can do a simple online search which should show you more than enough places where you can learn to water ski.

Once you have gone through your water ski training, you will be able to have all the fun in the world out on the calm waters of the bay. Tampa Bays is extremely large so you will have more than enough space unlike if you were water skiing on a small lake. In fact, if you wanted to test your skills you could always go out in the Gulf of Mexico too.

As most people are already aware,starting up and getting up on your skis is the most difficult part of water skiing. It is essential that you find a pair of skis that are a good fit, to ensure that you can ski properly and safely. You can attempt to get up on your feet, once you have found a good pair.

The process of getting up on your feet can be a real challenge. It will be better if, you start with your knees bent, and your skis pointing out of the water in front of you. As the boat begins to pull you on the top of the water, you should stay in a seated or crouched position.

Once you have gotten on top of the water, then you can try to stand up. Planing is an official term used to describe this. You will have a better opportunity to practice this when you take your water skiing lessons, and also probably learn more details. Once you have achieved a vertical position, you are actually water skiing.

Another benefit of water ski training is that the boat operator knows how to help you. If you were to learn on your home with friends, the boat operator may not be as vigilant on your part. They may be more focused on having fun on the boat than with providing you with a fun experience. You will be waterskiing in Tampa Bay before you know it.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Equip Yourself With These Sailing And Yachting Tips

By Ferdinand Mekinsy

Many cruisers who prefer sailing holidays have already had the experience of dinghies for instance, and they are eager to adapt to bigger boats such as yachts or charters. The advantage of such a change is the fact that you'll no longer have to worry about everything on board such as maintenance, sailing and anchoring. The background is different, and since you're on holiday, make the best of it from one end to the other. And last but not least there is also the possibility to book a whole-boat and enjoy the privacy of the cruise without having to share it with other people. The crew members are very discreet and you can relax and have fun in peace.

Sailing yachts is comfortable for anyone as there is usually a crew for each such boat, and you can be totally unaware of the maintenance issues of the vessel or you could get actively involved. This all depends on personal preferences and on the kind of activities you expect to enjoy aboard. Internet sites and travel agencies are the right places to search for sailing yachts vacations, with the mention that a third option here would be the hiring of a broker. Brokers are usually familiar with all sorts of yacht charters, they also have good information and knowledge of the companies that operate them, and are very competent at suggesting one holiday choice or another.

The life jacket must never be overlooked; check its condition together with the other safety gears before leaving the shore. The location of the life jacket must be somewhere very close within reach, and on bad weather conditions it should be worn permanently when on deck. The sailing gloves are one other sailing clothing item that deserves all the attention; the design is very special so as to protect the hands when handling the ropes and hoisting the sails. Their resistance to harsh weather conditions, tearing and over-wear is also of paramount importance. They will surely cost more than any other regular pair of gloves, but the money is worth paying.

Part of the booking procedure for the sailing vacations involves receiving a special confirmation package that you need to have with you in order to present it at the check in points of the sailing charter. Even when you book a boat for a more complex itinerary that includes several different destinations, make sure to pass the documents around together with the crew list in order for things to go smoothly. Most other travel tips you'd find online cover the main aspects of sailing vacations: clothes, sunscreen lotions, day packs to keep money and documents as well as the personal first-aid kit. Include these items on the to-do-list when preparing the details of sailing vacations.

There are lots of schools offering sailing lessons, how can one know which to choose? The crucial element for the appreciation of the sailing lessons quality is the time extent you spend on water. Teaching should be a constant natural process aboard a ship, meaning that every maneuver during sailing makes an opportunity for a trainee to learn something new. Sailing lessons must focus on drills preparing the would-be sailors for more unusual circumstances when the lack of experience has to be compensated for by the superiority of skills. Be prepared for anything! This should be the motto of schools teaching sailing lessons.

Land sailing is the sport practiced in a wheeled vehicle that is powered not by an engine but by the wind, by means of a sail. Both recreational and practical in functionality, land sailing has been practiced as a sport since the 50s; it is also known under the name of sand or land yachting, while the vehicle is called sail wagon or land yacht. This vehicle is normally three-wheeled, following the same concept of the sailboat, and the sailor/pilot sits or lies, changing position with the help of pedals and hand levers. What are the best locations to practice land sailing?

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Snow Tubing in NY's Catskill Mountains

By LJ James

Right now for most Americans money is getting a bit tight. We all still want to have those great family trips that we take every year, but we have to watch how much we spend. Well I just had a great time with my family in New York's Catskill Mountains that didn't put us all in the poor house.

I was in the Catskill area with Family for the Christmas Holidays. My younger Sister has three kids. Which makes me an Uncle and I always enjoy spending time with my two Nieces and Nephew, The Youngest is 6 years old and the oldest is 13 years old. Now when the age gap is that far apart it can make finding something they all want to do very difficult. Well We where also looking for something to do that not only the kids but us adults could enjoy as well.

It took some time but my younger Brother came up with the idea of Snow Tubing. It sounded good to me. The Kids loved the idea and so did my Sister, Her Husband and even my Mother. OK so then came the part where the money comes in. I called up Windham Mountain to get their Snow tubing times and rates ( . When they told me their snow tubing rates I was surprised as they where not too bad $20 a person for two hours $25 for four hours and they had a Friday night special of only $15 dollars from 4pm to 9pm ! Only $15 for Five hours, I was sold as it just happened to be Friday.

So the group of Nine of us piled into two vehicles and we where off to do some tubing on Windham's 650 foot snow covered snow tubing slope. We where Lucky as the weather was warm for December in the Catskill Mountains. The Slope was perfect, there where about ten lanes to slide down and the Snow Tubing staff kept the line moving.

Let me see if I can explain how everything went. When we got up to the Slope we grabbed a large canvased covered Snow Tube then picked a lane. We could go down the lane in groups or by ourselves. I have to say my first trip down caught me by Surprise. It has been a few years since I have been sleigh riding but I know I never went that fast down the old hill. Now hearing me say how fast the slope is, may make you think you or your kids might be scared. Don't worry about that, I saw kids as young as three years old tubing down the Slope and they were loving it!

At the bottom of the hill there are mats placed at the end of every lane to slow you down safely, Along with attendants ready to help you if you needed it( I didn't see anyone who needed any help). Now anyone who has gone Sleigh riding as a kid remembers the trip down the hill was always the fun part, It's the walk back up that is work. Well not at Windham's snow tube park. The canvases that cover the snow tubes have long straps that hook up to a conveyor so all you have to do is sit in your tube and then slowly slide back up the Slope! The Straps also make it perfect so the attendants can spin you (only if you ask nicely) as you are sliding down the slope.

After about three hours of snow tubing everyone but my brother and his girlfriend was getting tired. So we went into the large Ski lodge, which is only about ten feet from the snow tubing lanes. While inside the lodge we all enjoyed some nice hot Chocolate while sitting by the Fire place.

I am not a big fan of winter activities, But I have to say we all had a great time even if we didn't make it the full five hours. Life can often get a little crazy and too fast paced, Every once in a while we all need some affordable old fashion family fun, (With a few modern convinces of course)

I am LJ James Radio Show

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Colonial-era hotel a reminder of romantic past in neglected Myanmar

In the colonial heyday of this elegant Victorian hotel, gentlemen in white dinner jackets and ladies in flowing gowns sipped cocktails on the shaded verandah as the sun went down, enjoying a welcome respite from the tropical heat of Myanmar.
The legendary Strand Hotel was one of the great watering holes of the British Empire. Just like Raffles Hotel in Singapore or the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok, the 107-year old Strand remains a national landmark.

The Strand was built in 1901 by the Sarkies brothers, Armenian refugees from Turkey who founded a chain of luxury hotels in the region, including Raffles, the Oriental, the Majapahit in the Indonesian port of Surabaya, and the Eastern & Oriental in Penang, Malaysia.
In the 1920s and '30s, it became a favorite hangout of famous writers, British officers, celebrities and even royalty. Luminaries such as Rudyard Kipling, W. Somerset Maugham, Graham Greene, Noel Coward, George Orwell and Lord Mountbatten were all regular customers. More recently, it has accommodated the likes of Mick Jagger and Oliver Stone.
Completely renovated in 1990, its teak floors are polished and gleaming, the antique chandeliers sparkle in the spacious and luxurious reception rooms and the quintessential colonial icon — the ceiling fans — gently rotate above tables surrounded by rattan chairs in the cozy cafe.
Before World War II, the Strand was reserved for "whites only," but during the Japanese occupation of Burma — as Myanmar was formerly known — it became an army barracks. It received its first Burmese guests only after the war.
But since the early 1990s, the property was acquired by Adrian Zecha, the founder of Singapore's exclusive Aman Resorts chain, and renovation began.
The Strand reopened in 1995 as an all-suite, top-of-the range boutique hotel. Its teak and marble floors, mahogany furniture and canopied beds complement original pieces, like period bathroom fixtures.
But unlike the other grand old hotels in the region, the Strand's restoration remained true to its architectural past, and it has no new wing, and no swimming pool or tennis courts.
"We came to the Strand because of its old-world romantic charm," said Tomas Llobet, from Brussels, Belgium, who was celebrating a wedding anniversary with his wife, Victoria. "We wanted to be in a place with a lot of historic character, properly renovated without huge concessions to modernity."
The ghosts of the British colonels would approve of their choice.

I have consensed this article that made a profound impact on me. You can follow the link to read the full article at the link.

DETAILS: The hotel is at 92 Strand Road in Yangon, Myanmar. Room rates listed on the hotel's Web site begin at $550

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A place in my memory- The Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is the one of the places that stand out in all the places that I ever visited.

Before the visit, I had never heard of it.

And after the visit, its a place that I could never forget.

I still remember, the time of day that we arrived, I remember touching the walls, the reflecting pools.

We often talk about that trip in my family, even though it is more than 25 years ago that the trip was taken. And perhaps someday I will have the chance to take my own family there, as my father did for his.

Please visit the Wilipedia site for more details -