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Friday, December 31, 2010

Guadalajara - A Lustrous Pearl

Also known as Perla Tapatia, Guadalajara has a harmonious blend of historical splendor and metropolitan sophistication.

it's a great place from which to enjoy the region's dazzling array of culture, sports, culinary and recreational offerings.

If you love history and culture, check the historical downtown that has a lot of monuments in the colonial area like Palacio de Gobierno and Instituto Cultural Cabanas.
La Catedral is the city's most iconic structure which shelters La Cruz de Plazas. Close by it is the Colonia Americana, a mecca for architecture aficionados. It is also the home to Guadalajara's most popular bars, restaurants, cafes and a vibrant cultural scene.

In the metropolitan area, you can visit Zapopan, Tlaquepaque and Tonala' where you can see sights of the Zapopan Basilica, sanctuary of La Virgen de Zapopan and contemporary art exhibits at the Musco de Arte de Zapopan.
Tlaquepaque, home of El Museo nacioanl de la Ceramica is just 20 minutes from downtown Guadalajara which stands today as one of the country's liveliest commercial corridors and the place to find the best selection of crafts from artisans throughout Mexico.
Tonala is known for stunning handmade crafts such as barro brunido, a celebrated local ceramics technique.

Guadalajara has easy accessibility and its roads are one of the best in the country, making it easy for visitors to visit neighboring cities for attractions from beaches of Puerto Vallarta to landscapes of Jalisco.
You can as well visit Huaxtla for a canyon adventure and Chapala Lake or to Guachimontones, the state's most important archaeological area, discovered 30 years ago.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Holiday Barbie search

Guest post written by Tabitha White

Well one thing hasn't changed over the years, little girls still love Barbie dolls. I first learned that when I had my daughter years ago and up until she was a teenager she would always want a holiday Barbie. Now that my daughter has her own daughter, I'm still doing the same and I know that every year for Christmas she depends on me to give her a Holiday Barbie.

A lot of the time when I'm online shopping now, I'm cringe when I think back to how stressful it used to be to go holiday shopping and to specifically find a holiday Barbie, which was always a nightmare. This year I just ordered it online and after I did that I actually came across the website and read through it some. I thought it over and actually changed over my home internet service to the company after that.

It's always pretty neat to see what the new holiday Barbie looks like each year, especially when you've been buying them for years like me.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Safari's Best Season To Visit

There are so many safari destinations to choose from and each place has different peaks and best time to visit. There are 7 destinations I noted on this post. These might be a good idea for you if you are planning to go for a Safari trip.
  1. Botswana - often called "the crown jewel" of safari countries due to its plentiful game, excellent conservation practices and diverse terrain, with only a population of 1.5 million although the country is about the size of France.

    Best time to go: The northern parks are best visited in May-November. Avoid May, October & November in Central Botswana.

    The Attraction: Outstanding wildlife viewing and the world's biggest island delta. Sleeping under the stars on theMakgadikgadi salt pans, and walking in the Kalahari with the San Bushmen.

    The Downsides: It can be costly unless you use an overland operator such as Drifters, and difficult to navigate on your own.

  2. Kenya - has everything the first-time safari goer is looking for like small reserves, big game, beaches, mountains and all in close proximity.

    Best time to go: Anytime, except for rainy months of April, May & November.

    The Attractions: The Sight of hundreds of thousands of wild beests and zebras crossing the Mara for days on end; Beach holiday afterward in Malindi or Lamu.

    The Downsides: The US State Department issued a travel warning in July about continuing threats of terrorism usually occuring within cities.

  3. Namibia - is a stable country with good roads, internal flights and excellent camps and lodges.

    Best time to go: Year-round, but temperature are mildest from June-September.

    Attractions: Spectacular landscape of shipwreck coasts, canyons, a vast dessert full of mammoth dunes; boat safaris down the Zambezi River, and the world's largest cheetah population.

    The Downsides: Not ideal for first time safari-goer due to lack of variety and number of game. Most parts of Etosha are dry, flat and crowded in season, and you're not allowed off the roads.

  4. South Africa - great for a safari combined with a city or beach experience.

    Best time to go: year-round; June-September can be chilly but still best.

    Attractions: Standing where the veldt meets the surf in the Phinda reserve. it is also easy to get around and to self-drive attracting more visitors to come.

    The Downsides: Kruger's many paved roads are prone to traffic jams.

  5. Tanzania - best time to go is year-round, but January, February, early March and June are the very best.

    Attractions: The chimpanzees of Mahale, on Lake Tanganyika; good game viewing; seeing lions chase baboons up a palm tree in Ruaha; snorkeling in Lake Tanganyika.

    The Downsides: The parks are not always easy to get to, like Ruaha, Selous and Mahale. Ngorongoro gets crowded due to only one road and out of the crater.

  6. Zambia - June-early October is the best time to visit.

    Attractions: walking safaris, South Luangwa, at the end of the Great Rift Valley, incredible ecosystem, Victoria falls, hundreds of cormorants, fish, eagles and storks of various colors and sizes on the banks of the Zambezi.

    The Downsides: Most parks are only seasonal and the seasons are short.

  7. Zimbabwe - June-September are the b
    est times to visit.

    Attractions: The elephants in Hwange, Victoria Falls, the Mana Conoe Trail which is an ultimate thrill.

    The Downsides: The country is still overcoming the problems created by 3 decades of Mugabe's rule. Parks have suffered badly due to government neglect, poaching and lack of visitors.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Home Safety Tips for the Holidays

Contribution by Saul Martin

The holidays are filled with mountains of chores that must be done. Shopping, cooking, cleaning and so much more has got to be done prior to the big day. You will find yourself on the run almost all the time at this time of year. When we are that busy, we tend to forget simple safety items that would otherwise be routine for us.

When you are getting ready to go out shopping, make sure that you lock all the doors and windows to your home. It is well known that at this time of year, empty homes are a welcome mat for burglars. Make sure you also set your home alarm (Adt home security information) prior to leaving as an extra precaution.

In the home, there are other important items you must make sure to do safely. When you decorate do not overload the electrical outlets in your rooms. People tend to plug everything from the tree lights to outdoor lights into one outlet. While your electrical system may be able to handle this load, it is not the safest way to light your home. Pick out different outlets throughout the house where you can distribute the load of electricity and plan your lighting accordingly.

Using simple safety precautions, you can make your home safe for the holidays.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Packing Tips For A Safari Trip

What to pack when you're heading to a safari adventure is as important as your trip.
So, take note you have with you the following, and what to avoid and leave at home:
  • The ideal clothes to have are tans and khakis which are the best colors for hiding dirt, deflecting the sun and blending in with your surroundings. So, think casual, utilitarian and inconspicuous clothing.
  • Be sure to bring a camera with a powerful telephoto lens. You also have at least a pair of quality binoculars. You may only have one chance to see a lioness feeding her cubs.
  • Pack light and in soft-sided duffels, which are best for fitting into the cargo of bush planes. Most bags of more than 40 pounds are usually not accommodated. Good thing with packing light is that laundry services at camps and lodges are offered daily.
  • Leave your jeans at home. It is bulky and takes long to dry, plus the color of it attracts the dreaded tsetse fly.
  • Avoid perfumes, colognes or scented lotions because they can attract unwanted attention from wildlife, especially flying critters.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Steam Team

If you want total cleaning or restoration for your home, office, or any business establishment you want to be cleaned, The Steam Team based in Texas is a reliable company to trust.

You would be lucky enough if you're based in Austin because if you are searching somebody to do total cleaning for your home for your floor, such as your carpet for example, - just check carpet & rug cleaning austin.

Looking for steam cleaning as well? Try commercial steam cleaners austin. As you'll see, The Steam Team has been fully experienced in cleaning and maintaining upholsteries, tiles, house floorings, etc...

If your home had gone through fire damage, check fire damage repair austin, offered by The Steam Team as well.

Important Tips For Safari Adventure

An ad about a 15-day safari trip might only mean 10-11 nights in the bush, the rest will be spent traveling. So, always ask how many actual days of safari you'll be having.

You can save on a 10-night safari by combining a few nights in a luxurious camp or 2 with a stay in a less expensive one.

Try to book the most direct flights. Although it might cost you an additional hundred dollars more, but you'll avoid overnights and long layovers and can maximize your safari time.

Take note that some safari camps don't allow children under age 12 and not all mobile camps safaris allow guests over 65.

Choose 3 different ecosystems in your safari tour to maximize the variety of animals, terrain and climates. For example, you can start a safari in Kenya at the Lewa Wildlife Conservation Area where you can get over your jet lag, ride a horse or camel near Mt. Kenya. Then see the wildlife and the plains game in the Masai Mara; then end it by taking some walking trips in Laikipia or Loisaba and sleep under the stars :).

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Is Your Advertising Effective?

One of the best way for your business company to become successful is by using an effective and credible advertising agency. And when we talk about choosing one as well as to increase your engine rankings online, you should consider a lot of things and see to it that you get your money's worth.
Of course, there are some who would just rely on free advertising, but there is no guarantee about it, because simply it's free.

Practicality wise, there is always an amount involve that should be on your budget in terms of effective advertising. Take note that in business, spending money for advertising is always part of it. It's a dangerous risk though if you are not choosing a credible advertising company to promote your site.
On the other hand, why risk spending money to a typical advertising agency that doesn't do you any good, right?

Better yet check THAT! company, - considered to be one of the leading advertising agency which develops creative, effective advertising campaigns with measurable results. The good thing is that in the midst of ever changing advertising strategies, THAT! company knows how to go with the flow. It is because they are born digital, and their clients are being introduced into the 21st century evolution. The company does create a mixed media experience by combining old amd new media made up of a team with highly skilled advertising specialists.
Wanna know more about it? Try checking the inside look of who they are through their cool video on their homepage and take the tour on what they do.

Make your money's worth and get the return of your investment with an effective advertising campaign. THAT! company is so much accessible on the internet. You can chat with them or can call them up at 800-657-4179.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Finding Hot Deals For Winter

When it comes to amazing values, this winter could be one for the record books. Flexible travelers are the ones who tend to save the most.

Resorts in Mexico Deals:
Airfare and hotel packages for Christmas and New Year are usually more than 30% down. Cancun and Los Cabos can be of good deals too.
In Fall, Tides Riviera Maya, The Tides Zihuatanejo and Four Seasons Punta Mita offer half off or even higher. If you're looking for value-added packages, try

Business Class Airfares to Europe Deals:
For the latest bargains for business class, try Steals and Deals section from

Airfare-plus Hotel Packages Deals:
If you're going for a tropical place in Europe, you can yield savings. According to Expedia, European cities packages of both air and hotel has plummeted this year compared to last year with fall prices down 32% to london and 26% to Rome.

Las Vegas & Chicago Deals:
Many hotels in these cities are open for deals due to a steep decline in conference business plus many new hotel rooms hitting the market. Try using Quickbook for best rates for smaller properties.

Last-Minute Cruises Deals:
SeaDream Yacht Club was offering 40% off its Christmas cruise in the Caribbean. There are also sales on Christmas/New Year's cruises that normally sell out a full year in advance.

North American Ski Resorts Deals:
The Little Nell, Aspen's ski-in/ski-out property is including free daily lift tickets in its room rates. Check which expects good deals at Jackson Hole & Whistler (except during the Olympics).

Monday, December 13, 2010

The North Face From Zappos

Have you checked The North Face products from Zappos? If you love them, then for sure you know what I'm talking about.
And yet, for those who are not so familiar, The North Face is popularly known as a brand, - a company retailer of high performance climbing and backpacking equipments.

And when it comes to outerwear and skiwear, they offer the highest form of quality products for jackets and coats for both men and women, as well as for kids.

Getting them online would be the smartest idea you'll ever be doing because you can get them fast from Zappos!

Experience wise, I am a regular customer of Zappos, so I can attest their credibility in delivering their products right on time!
Most of my shoes actually are from Zappos, and oh yeah, I can post countless photos of those shoes if I want to, LOL!

Happy shopping! :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Best Airline Websites

If you are looking for a good airfare finder website or trip-planning tool, the following sites are helpful.

For Organizing Travel Details: -
This site keeps track of everything from flight reservations to OpenTable dinner plans and extracts travel details from booking confirmations that you forward by email, then make them all on a private webpage. It also adds trip-specific SeatGuru tips, weather reaports and Google maps.

For Searching Far And Wide-Fast:
It swiftly scours more than 450 sites that include major booking engines, national carriers and no-frills airlines-to unearth cheap flights to destination around the world.

For Arranging Tricky Itineraries:
It assesses your needs and interests with an online questionnaire, then matches you with a savvy travel agent.

For Checking Flight Status and Delays:
It provides you with a color-coded map providing arrival and departure delay details at a glance. It's latest feature relays advice straight from fellow travelers who send updates in realtime by texting from their cellphones - on security line ups, traffic jams, cab queus, and more.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

National Park Wedding

Guest post by Ronny Mccullough

I just got back from standing in as my brother’s his best man when he married Lisa, and I have to say that he lucked out. There aren't many city girls who'd agree to get married in the middle of a national park. Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio is a great place to sightsee, bird watch, hike and now I can see it's a great place to get married.

The three of us and Lisa's maid of honor met several family members deep in the forest, after setting our inhomesecurity alarm system of this beautiful park to witness the ceremony. One of Lisa's uncles is a minister and he conducted the ceremony. Now, I'm not what you'd call a romantic guy, but I've got to say that this was the most romantic wedding I've ever been to. We were surrounded by maple and oak trees, so there was that gorgeous autumn color surrounding us.

After the ceremony, we all hiked through the hills for a while and then the younger members of the wedding party headed for nearby Findlay Lake State Park to camp. The bride and groom had arranged for tents for everyone, plus a catered supper by the lake. The next day, some of us stuck around to enjoy more hiking and boating before heading home. I've got to say again that my brother is one lucky man.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tips & Tricks of Using Frequent Flier Miles

It's never been harder to redeem miles for tickets. Here are the things that you need to do.

Try booking your flight 11 months in advance. Most airline release seat availability exactly 330 days before the flight - so plan soon.

Another trick is to fly on off days (like Tuesday instead of Friday). Picking up an unusual foreign destination also helps say for example, think about going Rio instead of Paris.

Or you can always donate your miles to charity (like and feel good about it :).

Friday, December 3, 2010

One Exciting Taxi Cab

Thanks for the guest post by Esteban Vinson

My favorite action movie has gotta be the 2004 flick Collateral. Tom Cruise, who we're all used to seeing play the hero, in most any shape or size, steps into the role of villain without missing a beat. His character, a hit-man named Vincent, takes taxi driver Max (Jamie Fox) hostage, forcing him to drive him around to various hits throughout the night.

Between shocking scenes of Tom Cruise shooting guys out of three story windows, "You killed him!" "No, I shot him. Bullets and the fall killed him," there's an increasingly fascinating banter between the cold hearted hit-man and his nervous hostage, as they start to develop a relationship; however messed up it may be. The dynamic often makes you wonder who you're actually rooting for.

Some pretty awesome gunfights and car crashes give you a good thrill, and the amazing story has kept me going back for more. I can't tell tell you how many times I've plopped myself down in front my satellite TV from and defaulted to watching Collateral. It's a must see, and a must re-see. Jamie Fox nails one of the most dynamic character shifts, going from nervous nobody who can't take a real risk to. . . well, I'll let you see for yourself. And Tom Cruise definitely has to play the bad guy more often; he's pretty scary.

Caribbean Escapades - Part 2

CURACAO - is a glorious spot for flawless beaches, incredible diving, stunning architecture with various spectrum of activities that draw many tourists to visit.
Tourists can easily find a quiet spot to bask in the sun along the shores of long sandy stretches to intimate rocky coves which most of them provide access to island's wondrous dive sites.

Curacao is also proud to share its culture when it comes to life during the annual Culture, Cuisine & Heritage Experience which showcases the 55 different nationalities and cultures that together form this vibrant island nation.

JAMAICA - is an exceptionally beautiful isle where you get to experience a holistic hideaway, enjoying your championship caliber swing on the golf course and also a fun place to do the wet and wild ocean safari adventure. it also has warm and crystal waters that are irresistible which offer visitors a unique way to experience awe-inspiring coastline with the new Ocean Safari.
This exciting excursion guests pilot two-seat, inflatable, Zodiac style boats on a wild coastal adventure. A guide leads the guests along the reefs for unparalleled views of the island's unspoiled cones and beaches.

NASSAU/PARADISE ISLAND - this is where you can have a fabulous escape that offers international glamour and tropical ease which is located in Bahamas. It's only 185 miles from Miami, FL making it one of the most accessible islands for tourists from the US.

There are lots of bigger facilities such as the newly opened Sheraton Cable Beach Resort situated on 7 acres of waterscape, with a 1,000-feet stretched of white sand beach; has 3 freshwater pools with waterfalls, a swim-up bar and oversized jacuzzis.

Another new facility is The Cove Atlantis in which visitors can make themselves at home in one of 600 ocean view suites. It has also a French balcony with floor-to-ceiling water views, sumptuos amenities and state-of-the-art technology.

Don't forget to experience the Aquaventure!

Trendy Medical Uniforms

Blue Sky Scrubs must be one of those coolest sites to shop for your nursing uniforms. Isn't it just cool to notice that you can still be fashionable in those uniforms as well?
Be sure to check the nursing scrub tops for both men and women which are all designed to have flattering styles on anybody who wears them ;).

Good thing is you can as well order from them some custom made scrubs, designed the way you want it, from color stitchings to inseam lengths, to pocket placements. Otherwise, they will make the uniform for you! How's that?

Keep browsing for more trendy designs and styles.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Caribbean Escapades - Part 1

Just a thought of a luxurious Caribbean vacation is more than enough to make you feel relaxed.
There are several islands of the Caribbean that offer the perfect escapades for every type of traveler, from a secluded romantic getaway to a fun-filled family adventure.

I will be sharing 6 of the islands which are worth considering for a visit with 3 islands in this post and another 3 of them as Part 2 of my post ;).

ARUBA - this breathtaking island makes many tourists come back again and again, the reason why it's worth the visit. Take note that Aruba is a tropical island, and always summer! Aruba is 6 miles across at its widest point and 70 sq. miles, at 19.6 miles long. Both south and west coasts feature miles of white sand beaches which rank among the most beautiful in the world.
The north east coast is a contrast in a rugged terrain where ocean waves crash dramatically against the shoreline. Travelers looking for adventure off the beaten path can go to visit the eerie rock formations in the desert-like interior, the cacti and the island's famous divi-divi trees. You can spend the day just idling on the beach or racing from an active itinerary to the next in Aruba.

Some exciting things to do are scuba diving and snorkeling, windsurfing, sailing and water skiing.
You'll alos enjoy on land activities like world class golf and tennis, horse-back riding, sightseeing and fantastic shopping.

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS - this island is considered to be a true high-rise hotels, no casinos, no crowds, just pure natural splendors.
British Virgin Islands (BVI) is composed of 60 islands mostly surrounding the Sir Frances Drake Channel. BVI is a natural playground of breath-taking beauty due to its emerald green coastlines, white sand beaches and crystal, turquoise waters making it the undisputed Sailing Capital of the World.l

If you're booking for a stay, there are simple, intimate inns, villas and cottages owned by local BVIslanders. But there are also modest seaside inns to luxurious view-oriented villas.

THE CAYMAN ISLANDS - it's simply a paradise with scores of sun-drenched beaches. Your adventure will be filled with wonderful accomodations, world class dining, breathtaking vistas, exhilirating activities and a bevy of sights and sounds; - whether you choose to stay at grand Cayman, Little Cayman or Cayman Brac.

Grand Cayman is the most cosmopolitan of the 3 islands which blends international attractions with rich local tradition.

On the northeast of Grand Cayman island are the islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman which are 89 miles away from Grand Cayman. These two islands are also known as "Sister islands" and an ideal place for marvelous diving and snorkeling. These isles have scores of hiking trails with dozens of secluded beaches and wide range of hotels, condominiums, villas, bed-and-breakfast and spa services.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Visiting St. Louis For Thanksgiving

Author: Kermit Faulkner

This Thanksgiving will be more of an adventure than the past Thanksgivings have been. The reason for this is that we will be visiting my brother and his wife in the St. Louis, Missouri area. The last time we visited them in St. Louis, we tried to go up into the St. Louis Arch, however, there was a one hour wait, and we had to get back on the road, so we could not wait. Hopefully, this time, we will get the opportunity to check it out. My brother is a great cook, although the last time he visited us at Thanksgiving, he decided to deep fry a turkey. This did not go off too well, as the oil caught on fire and ruined the turkey. We will not be deep frying the turkey this year. Although I'm excited about visiting my brother and sister-in-law for the holidays, I will not be looking forward to the five hour car ride. We could fly, which would dramatically reduce travel time, however, I am not a fan of flying either. At least when travelling by car, we can stop if we want to. In addition, I always set our home security alarm from before I go visit my family on Thanksgiving to give me a little more piece of mind when I'm away.

Monday, November 29, 2010

San Francisco City Tour

September 19, 2010

This day was our City Sightseeing Tour aboard the hop on-hop off double decker bus . Weather is still a bit cloudy and chilly.
We did signed up for the complete tour including a hop off to see the Golden Gate bridge up close.

It was a whole day activity since it includes all the 3 big loops. Unluckily, there were some spots we missed to visit. I wanter to visit the Golden Gate park, but due to time constraints, we missed the timetable. (maybe next time, it would much be easier to do it since I can pretty much recall those places I wanna visit). The next time around would all just be a focus on those certain places ;).

The only hop off we did was to go walk towards Lombard Street going to see the most crooked street around the world. The walk going to the street was uphill, and oh boy! I was catching my breath before I reached the top, LOL! I thought I couldn't make it to the top, but thank God.

Going to our next bust stop was challenging because we got lost, and I was super tired walking and it was chilly. I was getting impatient as hubby had noticed it. Thank God for portable GPS on my phone! whew! We already walked more than 2 miles before I remembered that I can use GPS on my iPhone! Thank goodness for the modern gadgets's a lifesaver!

It was a nice fun ride for our last loop that afternoon, where we visited Sausalito. It was like a small city up the mountains, and boy! The standard of living is classy up there. Many houses are built exclusively on top of the mountain where the residents are famous in the society.

We also visited the Golden Gate bridge through the North - Vista Point, but that was quick! It was getting dark, but the view was still awesome. I should have taken some good photos of it, but again, we were always catching our time. {sigh!}

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Healys - London based law firm

When it comes to family matters, it should always be a priority, including the need to seek a legal advice concerning on issues of marital relationships or family matters. A family going through a difficult problem with relationships and other matters need a serious help of a legal counsel.
For London residents, there are the best divorce solicitors london by Healys. Get in touch with them through the given link if you need one.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Alcatraz Cruise Tour

September 18, 2010

While we were in Pasadena, we finally had the weekend to visit Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, CA. And from there, we bought our tickets for Alcatraz Cruise. (Escape From The Rock"). I was thinking we can go down to the island to actually visit it, but it was just a cruise tour, where we sailed passing by the Alcatraz Island, and the Golden Gate bridge.

We boarded the Blue Gold Fleet at Pier 39. It was fun seeing a group of sea lions along the wonder why that "fishy" smell! lol.

Anyway, it was fun cruising the bay while a tour guide is telling the story about famous landmarks being seen from the bay. It was windy and cold, but bearable.

The cruise was an hour or so, and it was a good experience.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Home for Thanksgiving

Guest post written by Brandi Cook

It's been tough living three states away from my home, friends and family but I'm going home for Thanksgiving and I've really been looking forward to this for a really long time. I'm also looking forward to getting my hands dirty and cooking in the kitchen with my mom beause my kitchenette in my tiny apartment barely has enough room for my coffee pot to sit on my counter, much less enough room to prepare a good meal.

I decided to make sure that I got to contribute some, so I used my Clear TV Bundle to find some really great recipes.

I was really looking for dessert recipes so I could really flex my sweet tooth, which I've been repressing because I've been trying ot lose some weight here lately. But I found this really great different green beans recipe so I think that IÕm going to have to whip that up too. That doesnÕt mean though that I canÕt fix some kind of dessert too. I might try making some pumpkin spice mousse.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Belize Trip Essentials

Going to Belize City? belize is located in Central America, a small country that has the longest barrier reef in the Western hemisphere.

If you're wondering what and how your packing should be, you should pack light for island hopping, - shorts, T-shirts and bathing suits.
Restaurants are mostly fairly casual:-light dresses for women and nice shorts and T-shirts for men. Bring lightweight rain jacket for splashy boat rides and some occasional showers.

U.S. dollar is widely accepted in Belize which is the only English-speaking country in Central America.

Don't bother packing make up and hair-styling products. Climate is hot and windy.

Pack lots of SPF30+, lip balm with sunscreen, and a wide brim hat. Pack aloe for those spots you miss.

Bring an underwater camera even if it's just disposable.

Doctors usually recommend hepatitis A, typhoid vaccines and malaria pills. A tetanus booster is also recommended.

Make sure your water is safe before drinking - many hotels and resorts use rainwater or seawater for plumbing, including the bathroom sink.

Food is mostly traditional, like rice and beans, fresh veggies, pork, chicken, lots of seafood and tropical fruits. Restaurants like Ambergris Caye offers variety of international dishes.

Belize produces good beer. Belikin's a local fave and it's what you get when you simply order a "beer", which comes in regular, stout and premium.

Wine is less prevalent but fairly easy to obtain, especially those from Chile or Argentina.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Going to the Largest Aquarium in Kansas

Thanks for the post, Jennifer Mcconnell

My family loves going to the Aquarium. Our favorite aquarium is actually at a mall. It is the largest standing aquarium in Kansas. It's a free aquarium at the Central Mall in Salina KS. We grab our cameras, set our home security alarm)CLICK for more info) and out the door we go!

My entire family likes to visit the Aquarium. I guess since it's in the mall because can combine a shopping trip and aquarium trip. If one of them gets bored they can go shop for awhile and come back. We try to get there around 4:00 P.M. because that is when they feed the fish in the aquarium. Feeding time is frenzy time and it's a lot of fun to watch. The aquarium is 15,000 gallons so it holds a lot of fish. There is every kind of fish imaginable in the aquarium, blue gills, crappie, largemouth bass, white bass etc. It is a lot of fun to sit and watch the different types of fish and they way they interact. Sometimes you may even see a fish fight. There are benches to sit on so you don't have to worry about getting tired standing. It's a lot of family fun.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

SEOUL-Infinite Offerings of a Modern Culture

If you're visiting Seoul, South Korea, you can experience a neighborhood teeming with exotic dining and shopping variety.
Seoul has an abundant, enticing attractions and many tourists have come to witness the city's legendary history, its thriving culture and the numerous exhilarating spots on both sides of the Hangang River showcasing the youthful, dynamic side of Seoul.

Seoul is alive with energy, day and night. The Hongdae District exemplifies art, culture and style mixed with youth, creativity and passion.
Hongdae's nightlife flaunts Seoul's flourishing clubbing scene, and also a home to indi rock band concerts, live music bars, jazz and dance clubs.
Club Day, the last Friday of every month is a terrific time for club shopping.

Seoul is also a festive city. The biggest festival is called Hi Seoul Festival which is held in Seoul every year in early May for 7-10 days, featuring a wide array of fun and exciting events revolving around both traditional and new cultural themes as well as eco-friendly ideas.

The Lotus Lantern Festival (April 25-26) is another festival wherein you can see an ocean of light floating along downtown Seoul's Jongno Street, with over 100,000 lanterns of all sizes and shapes shining at the same time. This festival celebrates the Buddha's birthday.

Another traditional experience of festival is the annual Seoul Drum Festival which captures the nation's rich musical culture.

Other notable performances you shouldn't miss are the annual Hangang High-Wire World Championships and pantomime stage shows.

Friday, November 5, 2010

LA Dodgers

Thanks for the post from Lynn Guy

I am a devoted fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers and naturally Major League Baseball too. This is why I am so sad that we are not in the pennant race this year, as I have been spoiled by continuous Dodger success. It pains me even more so that the Giants are in the playoffs and doing so with a much more likable cast. While my team features a lazy bum like Manny Ramirez and guys like Casey Blake and Matt Kemp, plus a bunch of overweight slobs like Chad Billingsley and Jonathan Broxton, being a Los Angeles Dodger fan is truly the lowest form of existence in the world.

It was especially painful the way we got beat by the Giants in epic fashion this season. While earlier in the year we came back to beat Barry Zito, later we just got crushed by Juan Uribe's game-winning home run and never recovered. It was a disheartening loss that our weak-willed team could not recover from. Truly Vin Scully was rolling over in his grave after that loss, and I began to wonder if I should just give up on the boys in blue and start rooting for whatever team was playing the hated Giants. Thankfully I can do just that as I watch every baseball game of this pennant race on my satellite TV package from

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Canyons: Perfect Playground for Mastering Skills

The Canyons Resort in Utah which is at 6,800 feet offers more than 3,700 skiable acres that ripples across eight mountains.
This resort village is framed by a crescent-shaped arm of the Wasatch Range. Being one of the 5 largest ski and snowboard resorts in the country, it offers a landscape of peaks; dizzying chutes; powder-clutching bowls; quiet glades where all you can hear is your breath and "whoosh" turns; and long white stretches that weave, dip and roll down the resort's nearly 3,200 feet vertical fall.

The resort's self-contained village has shops, eateries and hotels. The Grand Summit Hotel, the Escala Lodges or the Dakota Mountain Lodge are newly debuted Waldorf Astoria property which are just all minutes away from the lifts and shops, - a closeness that reinforces the charm of the mountains.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sesame Street is Best

Posted by Winford Tillman

Can there be any doubt that Sesame Street is the best children's program? Sesame Street went in 1968 and was from the very beginning the standard of excellence by which all other children's programs measured themselves.

Sesame Street was not set in a rural or fantasy setting, but on a city street where most kids lived. A controversial choice, the setting proved to be a source of identification with most viewers. Sesame Street looked a lot like the street where they lived. The show featured short skits, songs and animated vignettes. Numbers, letters and words were repeated in fun ways to help kids learn.

Sesame Street taught good moral lessons like honesty, hard work, sharing and helping. It even taught kids about death. The episode, 'Farewell, Mr. Hooper' was quickly named one of the most influential moments in television history.

Sesame Street's excellence is proven in its longevity. Not just in its years on the air, but in its longevity in the hearts of the adults who grew up watching it on bestchoicetv. Almost every adult age 48 or younger can sing a favorite song from Sesame Street. They can recite their favorite skits and imitate their favorite characters. Without a doubt Sesame Street is my favorite children's show because I am one of those adults and I know all the words to the 'Ladybugs' picnic.'

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Deer Valley Resort

Just 36 miles away from Salt Lake City International Airport lies the historic mining town of Park City and Deer Valley Resort. It is the premier ski destination even long before the 2002 Olympic Winter Games was held.

Deer Valley is long renowned for its superb on-mountain details and continues to be the epitome of winter's grace and customer satisfaction.

Where you make that run could be the most difficult decision of your vacation, as there are six mountains, and 100 runs that create the Deer Valley experience.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Late Visit To Cousin's House

September 10, 2010

I got the chance to visit and meet my cousin whom I haven't even met since she was born! Now, she has 3 cute daughters to whom I have met all of them for the first time. It was such an overwhelming experience seeing them and I was glad I was able to see them. Another reason why there was a planned family mini-reunion the next day!

My family in CA is quite big as my husband would always say which is true. My husband is a family oriented guy and he enjoys a lot talking and mingling with them, which I am so greatful of.

This was a late visit, almost sleeping time for the kids, so we had to go. It was nice bonding with the kids even if it was only for a short time.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

One-Stop Shop For All Kinds of Sinks

Looking for sinks for your home? Don't waste your time driving from store to store because you can do it all conveniently online getting the choice you've always wanted. If you're specifically looking for undermount kitchen sink, there are a lot to choose from, and yet they are affordable too. For sure with their huge inventory of sink products, there's always one in store for you ;).

Most undermount kitchen sinks comes in premium quality at warehouse prices and by ordering online, your order comes with the same day shipping! Of course, you'll be guaranteed with superior quality products, so check the site.

Ten Romantic Hotspots in Japan

  1. Big O, Tokyo - Enjoy the views as you snuggle up downtown Tokyo while riding on the world's first centerless Ferris Wheel. The 15-minute ride is as exhilirating as it is romantic which is located in the middle of downtown Tokyo at La Qua, - the city's premier entertainment and shopping center.

  2. Enoden Railway (Kamakura-Fujisawa) - you will enjoy beautiful beach and ocean views as you climb aboard the Enoshima Dentetsu (Enoden) on one side of the train, and the historic neighborhoods on the other.

  3. Fujiya Hotel, Hakone - Spend a quiet day at this charming historic hotel where views of Mt. Fiji are simply unparalleled. The surrounding Hakone resort area offers some of the country's best thermal waters, plus countless other romantic retreats.

  4. Hyobaku Ice Festival, Hokkaido - witness yourself the fantasy world of illuminated ice sculptures, frozen waterfalls and colorful fireworks at this magical winter festival (Feb.-March) held in Sounkyo Onsen, a hot springs resort town on the edge of Daisetsuzan National Park.

  5. Kamigamo Shrine, Kyoto - enjoy an enchanting afternoon on the vast grounds of this World Cultural heritage site with more than 34 structures, that includes the famous Honden and Gonden. Close by is the Moidoro-ike Pond where you can relax, bird watch or enjoy a quiet ramble.

  6. Meiji Jingue Shrine, Tokyo - Take a stroll unto the peaceful gardens and woods of this shrine which honors the spirits of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. If you're lucky, you can even witness a traditional Japanese Shinto wedding ceremony.

  7. Restaurant Luke, Tokyo - savor a romantic dinner amidst Tokyo's most dramatic views. This elegant, modern French restaurant is at the top of St. Luke's Tower, a high-rise overlooking the Sunida River that hovers above the expanse of Tokyo Bay and metropolitan skyline.

  8. Rokko Cable Car, Kobe - get a nostalgic ride aboard a restored cable car to the summit of Mt. Rokko in Kobe. The view of the glittering Osaka Bay from the top is considered one of Japan's most awe-inspiring sights.

  9. Sunset Dinner Cruise, Tokyo - capture the romantic views of downtown Tokyo as you sail the Sumida River aboard a traditional Japanese houseboat. Savor the authentic local dishes prepared with fresh seafood and veggies as the sights of the city float gracefully by. You can arrange a private cocktail cruise for an extra special evening.

  10. Tsurunoyu Onsen (Hot Spring Resort), Akita - a historic spa with natural hot springs nestled in the beautiful mountains of northern Honshu. You can also reserve a room at the authentic ryokan (Japanese style Inn) onsite to experience a traditional dinner and overnight stay.

A Trip to Camden Yards

Guest post written by Florence Bloomberg

A few weeks ago, before the regular season ended, my husband and I got our first opportunity to finally see our favorite team Ð the Baltimore Oriolestake the mound. We love seeing them play, since theyÕre our home team. WeÕve lived in Maryland for quite some time now, so the entire roster almost feels like family! (And definitely welcome over for dinner any night-ha!)

It was a great gameÉup until the 8th inning, when the other teamÕs star player hit a grand slam and tied the score like that. I canÕt believe our 4-run lead was blown so quickly!

Well, even though the Orioles lost, the game we went to was a great experience. Bill and I had our new hearing aids in that we found at and we both had our binoculars. We heard everything so clearly that it was just like watching baseball on television, but even more exciting!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Griffith Observatory

Overlooking the city of LA

September 11, 2010

This is where we were during the 9/11 commemoration. With my uncle and cousin as tour guides, my husband and I had the opportunity to see the entire view of the city of Los Angeles, plus the famous Hollywood sign close to it.

From the Griffith Park, there was a shuttle bus who took us to the Observatory up way the hill (or mountain?). It was nice up there feeling the cooler breeze without the smug, lol!
We missed the scheduled show at 12 noon! But there were other things to see there, mostly about astronomy and other interesting information and astronomical gadgets.

High up there is 1, 134 feet above sea level located on the south portion slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Depuy Hip Replacement Lawsuit

It's time to start fighting for your right if you are one of those who suffered personal injury, particularly if you are one of those who suffered from the hip replacement surgery done by Depuy Orthopedics.
Take note that Depuy Orthopedics which is owned by Johnson & Johnson has recently recalled their hip replacement systems last August 26, 2010 due to numerous patient complaints experiencing pain and swelling.
Being said, you can file for a liability claim through a reputable Depuy recall attorney who is willing to fight for your right and to those who have undergone accidents of personal injury at the hands of others.

Once your case has been fully evaluated and confirmed, you're all set to go for the claim fight.

O’Hanlon, McCollom & Demerath – Personal Injury Lawyers – 808 West Avenue, Austin, TX. 78701 – 512-494-9949

Visit To Staples Center

This should have been posted earlier, but what can I do? I always end up being tangled into many things, lol!

Anyway, better late than never so here it is.

September 10, 2010

After checking in at our hotel, we hardly had enough time to rest before my uncle had picked us up to visit the Staples Center, the home of the NBA Lakers! They say this is a world class arena for special events and performances.
We arrived at the place around 5pm that day, and unluckily we were not able to go inside because they won't allow any camera which we were carrying that time. Besides, there was a long line going inside although it seems there was no special event that day. Other buildings surrounding it were all closed, so we didn't have any chance to go around and explore, plus we were scheduled for our dinner at 5:30pm at Ichiban Restaurant in Glendale, CA...a chance to meet another uncle and auntie I haven't seen for 30 years!
Boy! it was overwhelming to see a part of my family once again.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Quick Winter Getaway

Escape the daily grind without spending a fortune. Plan a quick winter getaway.

Save your money by traveling to where the dollar is strong.

Go off season. Consider jetting off to Europe - less winter tourism means there are great deals now. You aren't going to Paris to lie by the pool anyway ;).

Go last minute. Sites like and bundle cheap 11th-hour packages, which includes airfare, hotel and rental cars.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dead Leaves

I appreciate the guest post, Jamie Guy

My favorite animated movie to watch is Dead Leaves, because it is full of the kind of nonsensical mayhem that I find stimulating. While some people think animation is only for saliva filled children, that is utterly untrue. Animation that originates in the east has been long geared toward adults, adults who still read comic books on the train. Dead Leaves is full of guns and guts and a main protagonist who has a television for a head, so that I can watch a television in my television on TV, and that alone makes the movie totally awesome.

The plot centers around two Bonnie and Clyde like characters trapped in a prison for their various shenanigans, which then leads to a marauding break out not unlike the one in the conventional movies you see on television except for a ton of guns and security guards whose weapons are as impotent as them. Next to the television headed man is a sassy woman with her own crazy style, which makes me feel as if I am watching some a hipster would watch and raising my overall intelligent quotient. This is primarily why I watch Japanese animation, to feel as if I am part of a club or unique subculture that watches things that the mainstream are not cool enough to. I watch Dead Leaves on the SyFy channel on satellite TV from

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Avoiding The Risk of a Flight Delay

Delays will only create more delays, so dodge the domino effect. Choose to fly early in the day at most airports and avoid the late afternoon and evening rush hours.

Be sure to check at a particular flight before you book a ticket.

Try opting for nonstop flights. If it's impossible, allow enough time to make connections. In a volatile weather, even a leg of a direct flight can be delayed or cancelled, and when many planes are now flying at nearly 100% capacity, it becomes difficult to rebook on another flight.

Sign up for updates at which tracks, analyzes and predicts the performances of flights worldwide. It can also send alerts on your cell phones for particular flights, so you'll know right away if yours is late, cancelled or diverted.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Walk in the Park

Guest post written by Jillian Matthews

It’s very important to me that my husband and I stay fit, especially since we live in Manhattan where you pretty much have to walk everywhere.

After all these years of working hard in the city, we’re really enjoying the luxury that comes with living in beautiful Fifth Avenue apartment, since we’re literally steps from Central Park .

Every night after dinner we take a quick walk to the main reservoir in the park and stroll around it. The view is always spectacular. As we walk, we can see portions of the magnificent New York skyline over the trees and on all sides of the water—it’s utterly breathtaking, even for Manhattan-ites like us. Aside from the view, we always enjoy the time to talk and reflect on a variety of things. My husband has been bringing his Miracle-Ear hearing aids aids so that we can really turn our exercise time into quality conversation time, as well.

It’s been wonderful having the park as a backyard, and we anticipate enjoying these walks for many years to come.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

California Trip (Los Angeles)

September 10, 2010

After long hours of sitting on the plane (from Baltimore to LA ), we got our rented car and proceeded to our hotel. It's really worst to see the city in a traffic jam while on our way to our hotel. Then, when we reached our hotel, we thought of going to test drive the location going to my husband's training area from the hotel which was like 15 minutes away. Due to traffic, we arrived the area after 45 minutes!

Then, before going back to the hotel, we were starving as we hadn't taken our lunch yet, and good thing there was an eating place close to hubby's training office location.

Going back to the hotel was still worst, as it took as another40 minutes. We both felt tired, but we still had to meet my uncle whom I haven't seen for more than 30 years, and we promised to have a get together dinner.

After 5 minutes of getting settled and checking in at our hotel, finally! ...the meeting :)).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Our Traditional Pumpkin Carving Session

Contributed by Vickie Tyson

Every fall around the fourth week of October my family and I like to indulge in a little pumpkin carving. We line the pumpkins up around the table and set everyone up with a carving knife, a bowl for the seeds and a permanent marker for decoration. Before we start I always turn on the satellite TV from and pick a great Halloween movie to watch. This usually spices up the mood and gets everybody motivated. After the pumpkins are carved we take all of the seeds to the sink to rinse of and then place them in the oven to be baked and eaten!!! While the seeds are cooking all of us go out to the yard and pick a spot to place our pumpkins. My spot is always on the front deck on the very last step. My children love to place theirs side by side down by the mail box for all the passing cars to see. This is my all-time favorite activity to partake in with my family. Its fun, messy and a great family activity to do together.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

How To Choose a Smooth Sailing Cruise

Did you know that there are more than 160 ships in the fleets of the 24 major cruise lines from Alaska to Zanzibar? So, be sure to evaluate your options which one most suits your style by checking on the following guidelines:

Decide on where will be your destination first, the ship the second. Next would be to look at the specifics; - With Alaskan cruises for example, they tend to follow two routes. Inside Passage itineraries run round-trip from Seattle or Vancouver and call in southern Alaskan ports like Juneau and Skagway; Gulf of Alaska itineraries, which sail farther north, are typically one-way trips from Vancouver to Whittier or Seward, or the reverse.

Decide when to go. Shoulder seasons can offer more bargains and maybe more appealing than the high season.

Select the cruise line and fellow passengers that best match your personality. It will make or break your experience. Take not of cruise lines that have dress codes and assigned seating times for meals, kid-friendly, etc...

Consider the cost. Don't simply look at the slate room's daily rate and multiply by the number of nights you'll be at sea. Remember to factor in airfare to and from originating ports, the costs of incidentals like alcohol (unless the ship is all-inclusive) and shore excursions.

Many cruise lines give discounts for booking in advance.

The size of the ship matters, because it dictates the itinerary. Smaller ships clock at smaller ports and offer more personalized experience. The downside is that entertainment and dining options are often more limited.

If you are in Alaskan or Mediterranean cruises, be sure to choose a room where you can see the views.

Arrive early - and stay on after your cruise. It's wise to arrive at your starting port at least a day before your schedule to set sail.

Before you board, don't waste time waiting in line after you're pulled out of port. Be sure to plan your onboard activities early.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Secrets of The Poe House

No one lives in the Poe house. It is simply too small and obvious that there is no space for someone to live on the premises. it is owned and operated by the City of Baltimore.

There's no truth that Poe's grave is in the basement of the house. Poe is buried in the Westminster Graveyard at Fayette and Greene Streets, approximately 9 blocks east of Poe's house.

Walls on the Poe's house are stressed and has moisture damage which is very difficult to prevent and repair.

The Poe house doesn't have a climate control because there is no place to install it. A window air conditioning is the best option.
If you enter the house, you'll notice that "old" house smell and with the age comes the tell tale odor which only an old house has. Even with limited air conditioning, this odor will appear and then vanish. It is usually more noticeable after it has been raining.

The basement is not allowed for accessibility because of its limited space. The ceilings are low and there are pipes running through the walls making it difficult and hazardous to navigate the basement. Three thrash pits were discovered during the 1979 renovations.

You will notice that there are no toilets in the house because people used chamber pots or detached privies in the back of the house way back then.

Driving Directions to the Poe Grave From the Poe House:
If you're parked on Amity Street, turn left onto Lexington Street, then make an immediate right onto Poppleton Street. Go 2 blocks and turn left onto Baltimore Street.

Go to the 3rd traffic light and turn left onto Paca Street and stay in the left lane.

Turn left onto Fayette Street. The Poe grave will be on your left at the end of the block at greene Street. Look for a parking space.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Poe House & Museum

The house was built around 1830. A few short blocks south of the Poe house was the new Baltimore and Ohio train station which was also opened in 1830 and now houses the Baltimore and Ohio Train Museum.

In 1930, the homes in the area were razed for the construction of the Poe Homes, a public housing project. The house was scheduled for demolition but public vigilance and the members of the Edgar Allan Poe Society forced the Housing Authority to spare the site. An exhaustive search of city registers, deeds and maps proved that Poe in fact did live in the house. And in 1949, it opened as a historic house museum managed by the Poe Society.

In 1979, the City of Baltimore took control of the museum and restored the building spending nearly $100,000 to preserve the site. It is now currently operated under the Commission for Historical & Architectural Preservation, a division of the Baltimore City Department of Planning.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Annual Meeting Will Be A Vacation

Thanks for the post from Sylvester Campbell.

Here we go again. This will be my third year taking off for San Diego for my company's annual training meetings. In the first year, I was nervous as could be. That's what happens when you land a job in finance that pays in the triple figures. You follow the rules. Otherwise, you lose that big paycheck and your reputation in the industry will be destroyed. No one wants a slacker. At least, that's what I thought at the time. During my second year in San Diego, I noticed that the biggest money makers were missing the meetings and going to the beach, to a ball game, or to the zoo. This is the way the financial industry really works. If you know you're valuable, you can do whatever you want. Am I that valuable? No. But I think I'm on my way. And believe it or not, I think it might send a positive message if I miss the training meetings. Can this approach backfire? Possibly. But in the financial industry, if you know you're the man, you will be treated like the man. That's why tomorrow morning I will set my home security alarm ordered from, pick up my trusty bagel on the way to the airport, and be headed for an all expense paid vacation in San Diego. You've just got to love the world of finance.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Edgar Allan Poe House & Grave (The Visit)

June 19, 2010

I and my husband, together with our cousin Tanya went to visit Edgar Allan Poe's house located at Amity Street in downtown Baltimore.

The house has small rooms and has crowded winding stairways. Poe was not wealthy during his time as you can witness his house that is too small, built for just a working class family.

Inside were just a few memorabilias that Poe used while he was still alive, displayed in glass boxes, one of which was a telescope.

On the other side of the room is where you can watch a video about his biography and his entire life existence.
There is a winding stairways going up the attic that are too narrow. This used to be Poe's room where he used to write; - a small bedroom, that is.

stairways going up the attic and me

He was a well known writer, but not much of his writings and letters are there. They say his writings are all scattered around the country in various libraries, colleges and in private collections.

At the Poe Grave:
Edgar Allan Poe's grave is 3-5 minutes away from Poe's house. It will be on your left at the end of the block at Greene Street.

At the entrance to the graveyard is the Poe Monument, so you won't miss it.

Follow the brick path to the rear of the graveyard to see the original Poe Grave.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Lost Luggage - What to Do And How to Avoid It

Know when not to check. The 6 domestic carriers with the poorest baggage-handling records in the DOT's report were regional airlines, which mishandled 10.54 bags per 1,000 had the worst record. It stands to reason then, that it's a bad idea to check bags when your itinerary includes a connecting flight.
If you check your bag, make sure to put your contact information (including your cell phone no.) and itinerary inside, in case your luggage tag comes off. Also, don't forget to remove old labels, and if you are changing planes, avoid tight connections.
In 2007, the DOT increased airline's liability to $3,000 per passenger on domestic flights up from $2,800. If you can't prove your bag's contents (or don't have receipts), you'll probably collect only a fraction of that amount. Be sure to declare the value of your luggage at check-in and skip buying extra insurance. This won't expedite reimbursement for lost items and home owner's insurance often covers the loss anyway (although you may have to pay the deductible.
take note that most airlines don't consider a bag truly "lost" until 7 days after your arrival, so don't expect immediate action (claim deadlines vary by airline).
Both domestic and international carriers, however, reimburse you for items purchased while you waited for your luggage. The amount varies by airline.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

So Close to Missing My Sunday Golf Trip

Thanks to Erasmo Cortez.

This past Saturday I woke up extra early so I could make it to Edmond's Golf course before the Sunday rush. My morning was going excellent at first, my wife made me a scrumptious breakfast, I went for my early morning jog and everything seemed perfect! That was until I set my home security alarms and then realized I had locked all my keys inside of my house!! My wife had already left for church and I was completely on my own. I knew if I went through the window I would set off the Adt alarms and if I sat here and waited for her to get back home it would be hours and the course would be full. So that's when I made the ultimate, scary decision to bother my darling wife at church. It took me a little while to build up the nerves but after walking into the church and earning warm welcoming hellos along with a set a keys, I felt great!! It was only an hour after that ordeal that I arrived at the course to indulge in my now "afternoon" game. My buddies from work were already on hole 4 but that didn't matter, I had made it here before noon and that's all that really mattered to me in my mind.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Things to Do in Atlantic City

Aside from free activities worth doing at Atlantic City, there are activities that are as well highly recommended and worth your money ;).

First, if you want to take advantage of all the luxurious amenities, try checking in at the Water Club at the Borgata. They have both indoor and outdoor heated pools ideal for guests 18 yrs. old and above for a peaceful relaxation while reading and enjoying poolside drinks. If you have smaller kids, opt for one next door at the Borgata.

You can pamper yourself at the serene spa on the 32nd floor of the Water Club. You will get a relaxing massage, facial or detoxifying body wrap, scrub or polish.

Atlantic City is overflowing with delicious food options from casual to ethnic to famous fine-dining establishments run by world-renowned chefs.
For an elegant wine cellar atmosphere, try Fornelletto at the Borgata. If you want classical American food, go to Hard Rock Cafe at the Trump Taj Mahal.

if you want to try your luck in the casinos, you can choose from 11 various casinos from upscale Borgata to lively Tropicana to the kitchy Wild, Wild West.

Be sure to check your calendar before you visit for theater or comedy shows or music headliners just to be sure you just might find your favorite is in town while you are there.

Atlantic City is also best known for shopping. You can find everything from high-end stores like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Tiffany to discount outlet shopping. You can also check the Quarter in the Tropicana and the new Pier Shops at Caesars for every upscale shop you could wish for.

Try dinner at Dock's Oyster House to complete your trip. Enjoy updated dishes along with few classics that have been on the menu since the restaurant opened. Seafood is their specialty, but the steaks are also topnotch.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Saga of Roots

Written by my friend Constance Hayden

Although this classic has been around for a number of years the power and majesty it possesses never fades. At the time the writing project was first proposed by the author, Alex Haley, many people scoffed at the idea of a story that tracked an African American's family tree and history. Although Caucasions had been tracing their family lineages for hundreds of years it was felt that because of the issues of slavery and the number of times a slave may have been transferred from one place to another that this challenge would be an impossible one.
The fact of the matter is that thanks to a family tradition that managed to survive that was handed down from the first slave; Koonta Kinte, the challenge was made easier for Alex Haley, the sixth generation descendant of Kinte. Haley traveled to Africa and was even able to find long lost relatives he never knew. Aside from the appreciation of what Haley accomplished, the viewer also finds themselves lost in the storyline as they eagerly watch to see what happens next in this family's struggles. Adding to the mix the wonderful talents of acting greats such as Lorne Greene, Robert Reed, Louis Gossett, Ed Asner, Ralph Waite, Cicely Tyson, Chuck Conners, Carolyn Jones and of course LeVar Burton, you cant help but be drawn into the story when watching on satellite TV in New York.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate, Museum & Gardens - Part 2

Estate Highlights:

The Mansion Tour. - George Washington acquired Mt. Vernon in 1754. The mansion has been continously expanded to every detail of construction, design and decoration within 45 years even while he was away at war. 

One thing to take note before the tour : - NO photos are allowed inside the mansion. So, reserve your cameras for the outside photo shoots :).

Outbuildings. - Along the east-west axis lies pleasure grounds of gardens and natural vistas, while on the north and south lanes tells the story of plantation life. As you stroll along in this area, you get to see where slaves used to do their work on various buildings, - the laundry, the dirty kitchen, the place where they spin for wool and linen, the place where they cure and prepare meats, and many other jobs that constantly supply the services and goods necessary to keep a large plantation running.

Washington's Tomb. - On December 14, 1799, George Washington died in his bed chamber at Mt. Vernon. He was buried at Mt. Vernon according to his will. The entire tomb was completed in 1831 where his body along with the remains of his wife Martha and other family members were moved there. Tributes at the tomb usually takes place daily from April - October.

Slave Memorial & Burial Ground. - this site is marked by a memorial to honor the slaves who lived and worked at Mt. Vernon. The land was used as a cemetery for slaves who worked during the 18th century to the first half of 19th century. Over the years, the original grave markers have disappeared and identities of at least 75 people buried there remained unknown. Tours here are daily at 2pm starting at the Mansion circle from April - October.

Gardens. - The Upper Garden includes various types of flowers and trees with a French fleur-delis design, while the Lower Garden supplies fresh food products for the Mt. Vernon kitchen. The Lower Garden is also known as one of the most noteworthy Colonial Revival gardens in America.

Forest Trail. - In the 18th century, mostly half of the estate's 8,000 acres was native woodland. This is a quarter mile trail providing a glimpse of the wilderness that used to supply firewood and lumber. It was also used to be a source of entertainment for Washington and friends for fox hunting who are visitors of the estate.

Pioneer Farmer Site. - Washington thought of himself as a farmer inspite of being a President and Commander in Chief. He recognized inadequacies of the 18th century farming practices, thus he pioneered innovative methods which include crop rotation and fertilizer use. This 4-acre exhibition farm is just a 5-minute walk south of the Mansion, adjacent to the wharf. It also features a 16-sided barn of Washington's inventions and a reconstructed slave cabin.

Potomac River Waterfront and Wharf. - The wharf was built in the 19th century which was used to transport goods by boat to Alexandria from Washington's farming and fishing businesses. It was restored in 1991. Sightseeing cruises  for 40 minutes are available in this area seasonally. You can purchase tickets at Ford Orientation Center or aboard the boat.

George Washington's Whiskey Distillery & Gristmill. - This utilized innovative technologies that were cutting-edge in the 18th century. Today, visitors can witness the water-powered mill in action as it was before. This is located 3 miles from the estate on Route 235 South. Opens daily from April - October and tickets are available at the Ford Orientation Center and at the Grismill Shop.

Shopping & Dining:

There are shops located at the Mt. Vernon Inn Complex which included the largest collection and best George Washington bookstore in the world, a Christmas corner 12 months a year, plus huge selection of toys, games, gifts and reproductions.

The Lady Washington shop is in the historic area near the greenhouse which features china wares, needle works, food, garden items and a toy corner.

The Mt. Vernon Inn restaurant serves lunch daily and accepts reservations for candlelit dinners Monday-Saturday. The Inn has 6 intimate dining rooms designed with colonial charm with costumed servers and delicious early-American cuisine.

Another dining area would be the food court which offers quick and various variety of gourmet burgers and fries, fresh pastries, deli sandwiches and salads, pizzas, cookies and ice cream. It has a glass-enclosed pavilion and an open-air terrace as dining areas.

Monday, September 27, 2010

George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate, Museum & Gardens - Part 1

The Estate has nine (9) highlights worth visiting. Your visit to Mount Vernon begins at the Ford Orientation Center where an 18-minute action adventure film entitled "We Fight to be Free" is shown at Smith & Eagles Theaters. This film re-introduces the young heroic Washington.
Still in the center is a one-twelfth scale exact replica of the Mansion called "Mount Vernon in Miniature" which has 22 rooms that contain hundreds of tiny objects including oil paintings, china, books and more than 100 tables and chairs.
(replica at the back)
Next to it is the Donald Reynolds Museum & Education Center which depicts a memorable experience on George Washington's lifetime. The museum showcases all about Washington's world with a collection of comprehensive objects in a state-of-the-art facility. There are 23 galleries and theaters in the Education Center illuminating detailed stories of Washington's life and the accomplishments that made him first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.

(to be continued)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

An Unforgettable Caribbean Experience

Post contributed by Josue Durham

One of the most interesting places I ever visited was the twin island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. I first became aware of the islands while watching a travel show on directv channels. It was an amazing place. Trinidad is the larger of the two islands and is more cosmopolitan. In Trinidad I was introduced to a type of music called calypso. Calypso music has an up-tempo beat that made my friends and I and everyone around us want to dance and smile and enjoy ourselves.
Driving around Trinidad was great once I got used to driving on the other side of the road. Trinidad is a former British colony and they observed British rules of the road. I went to the bird sanctuary and the asphalt lake at La Brea, Fort George in St. James and the heart of the city, Port of Spain.
We took a late night boat to Tobago, the smaller island. It took us about two hours to get there. Tobago is a paradise island. The pace of life in Tobago is much slower than Trinidad. We visited Buccho Reef and experienced the Nylon Pool in our glass bottomed boat. I have never seen water so clear or fish with such weird color combinations. I'm going back next year. I was told is should try to be there for Carnival.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Washington National Cathedral (Part 4)

Washington D.C.

Lower Level (the Crypt): - The crypt is located down the stairs close to the Holy Spirit Chapel. The level is full of crypt chapels with the iconography dealing with the New Testament imagery and the promise of eternal life - Jesus birth, his death and entombment, and His resurrection.

29. Good Shepherd Chapel - this is the altar sculpture showing a shepherd holding a lamb, interpreting the role of God as protector especially to those who are injured or suffering.

30. Bethlehem Chapel - contains symbols and depictions of the genealogy and birth of Jesus.

31. Chapel of St. Joseph of Arimathea - this is located directly beneath the crossing. It depicts the story of Jesus' entombent following the crucifixion. The architectural style of this chapel together with the Resurrection Chapel are built in Romanesque style that features rounded arches.

32. Resurrection Chapel - this is the one decorated with colorful mosaics, reflecting the appearances of Jesus after His resurrection.

33. Cathedral Center for Prayer and Pilgrimage - meditation area to visitors.

34. Visitor's Lounge - visitors can take rests here and may sign state books as well.

35. Museum Store - visitors can shop for books, religious arts, etc.

The Cathedral Close
The grounds of the cathedral is called the "Close" and is 57 acres, including the cathedral, 3 schools, the offices of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, and St. Alban's church.

There is a Bishop Garden that is medieval inspired garden that opens daily until dusk. Tours are offered at 10:30am from April-October every Wednesday.

At the base of the stone pilgrim steps is an equestrian statue of George Washington.

Information about guided and audio tours are available at the cathedral.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Safe Driving in Winter

Winter is the most challenging season to drive into, especially when winter storms come. Here are some safety tips as recommended by the Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Safety and Education;

Clear off snow and ice from your entire vehicle before departing.
Allow extra time to reach your destination.
Use main roads or arteries whenever possible.
Realize that traffic moves at a slower pace during inclement weather.
Avoid using cruise control in wet weather driving conditions.
Because stopping time increases on wet or icy surfaces, slow down and increase the distance between you and the vehicle infront of you.
If you are starting to skid, ease up on the accelerator, keep a firm grip on the wheel, and steer in the direction you want the front of the vehicle to go.
Switch headlights to low beam to avoid glare.
Use common sense. Ask yourself: Is the trip really necessary? Is my car ready for the trip? Am I mentally and physically prepared to make this trip?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Control Your Crowd!

Avoid stampedes! When it comes to your public guidance needs you need to establish crowd control at times particularly for big concerts, or anywhere that involves huge crowd gathering in the public. Camelback Displays has a lot to offer when it comes to security and traffic barricades.

Other existing ones such as stanchions and velvet rope are ideal for lesser crowds such as in conventions, or any other indoor purposes such as in hotels or banks, etc...used as public guidance.

Large variety of choices for security barricades can be seen at Camelback Displays online with reasonable prices, so keep looking on the products that are made of top quality materials. All your choices are worth your money.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Learning a New Language

Learning a language in school basically begins with the basic grammar. But if you are a traveler who wants to learn actual conversations in few months or even weeks would be a different approach.

Read a book. Buy a book that deals with basics of conversation and some materials that enable you  to hear and say the correct pronunciation. You tend to memorize a language more efficiently when you blend listening and imitating with reading and writing.

Spend between 30 minutes and an hour daily absorbing the language. If that seems overwhelming to you, don't worry, - it can be spent listening to a podcast on your way to work, reading over a topic in your book, or even watching a foreign film so you begin to hear the rythm and intonation of the words.

Start catching the phrases by memorizing formula expressions, like "hello", "how are you," etc... Next is to study some simple phrases that are related to your vacation. You don't need to worry about learning to construct complex sentences. Instead, memorize as many nouns and verbs as possible because they are easier to remember than grammar rules, and you can patch your vocabulary together to communicate.

Take a notebook with you on your trip and fill it with expressions and words you've learned, especially those you find usual. Dictionaries or phrase books are okay, but it may take time to find what are you looking for.

Try learning some slang such as when you're watching foreign movies or talking to a native, listen for the frequently used words, casual terms of phrase, and even expressions of frustration that may not be covered in your educational materials.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Jimmie Johnson Will Win #5

Jimmie Johnson Will Win #5

The Author of this post is Solomon Dejesus

Love him or hate him, Jimmie Johnson is one of the best drivers around and has been the best for a long time. His pit crew is lightening fast and helps him make up time in the pits. Chad Knaus is one of the best pit crew chiefs in NASCAR and helps keep Jimmie focused on the race at all times. Knaus is great at keeping Johnson level headed and relaxed during the race, especially after a big wreck happens.
When I watch NASCAR on my the satellite TV I got after viting, I always look for Johnson. If he is not in the front of the pack, then he is usually in the pits getting more gas and tires put on his car. When he gets wrecked, he recovers well and can usually get back up into the front of the pack, even if he is 25 to 30 spots behind the leader.
That is the great part about NASCAR racing, your driver is never out of the race until he drives it into the garage. I have watched Johnson come back from some really bad wrecks and still place in the top ten, which enabled him to get more points for the Sprint Race for the Cup. He will do it again this year because he is a great racer and has an awesome pit crew and chief.