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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Porque con una foto...

se expresan más de mil palabras...

Millones de sensaciones positivas: risas, cariño, confianza, amistad, apoyo, diversión...
¡¡Son tantas las personas que he conocido aquí!!

De izq a derecha: Yo, Margherita, Sandy, Erskine, Alicia, Elena, Anaïs, Natalia e Igor (amigo de las italianas)

Esta actualización va dedicada a todos ellos, a todos los que están aquí en mis momentos de risa y alegría, y también de tristeza y enfado. ¡Hemos vivido tanto en tan solo 3 semanas! ¿Qué voy a hacer sin vosotros?
Salir a la Place Plum', a la Rue Nationale, e incluso ir a la universidad con vosotros es lo que me anima aquí, sobre todo en esos momentos de bajón en los que España y mi gente se ciernen sobre mis recuerdos y mi nostalgia continuamente. Sois vosotros los que me hacéis sacar una sonrisa y darme cuenta, que aunque en otro país, no estoy sola. Me faltan muchas cosas de mi tierra... pero desde luego con vosotros consigo evadirme y disfrutar poquito a poquito de la vida francesa que tanto me fascina.
Por eso os los quiero presentar, creo que tenéis derecho a conocer a esta gente. No me quejo, ojalá encontréis todos en vuestras vidas a unos amigos como los que he tenido la suerte de conocer, tanto aquí, como por supuesto en España. Ojalá, si vais de Erasmus o salís al extranjero por X razón, no os encontréis solos... ya que: "una persona sin amigos es como si viviera en el desierto".
Aquí las horas de máxima pereza en España significan cosas diferentes... nunca me había gustado tanto ir a cocinar y luego fregar los platos, riendo y soltando bromas continuamente. ¿Estás cansado? Tranquilo, vemos una película. ¿Quieres salir? Tranquilo, nos vamos al centro a dar una vuelta, y luego nos pegamos el inmenso "pateo" andando hasta la residencia.
¿Y todo por qué?
Para conocer juntos esos fabulosos detalles que tiene esta mágica ciudad, cada uno de sus rincones, cada ladrillo, cada viga, cada pintura... Todo tiene un por qué...
En la foto faltan aún muchas de las personitas con las que vivo diariamente. Una rutina, hecha con ellos. Porque el erasmus es estudiar, es "salir de fiesta" (no es cierto, en realidad hay que currarselo bastante, yo aún no he salido y llevo tres semanas aquí)... pero también es aprender a vivir solo, y a aprender a organizar el tiempo con lo que se tiene... porque el erasmus... es estar con VOSOTROS.

Vosotros sois MI erasmus.
Os quiero.

Besos,
Lola.

P.D: Nuevo tesoro comprado hoy: "Los misterios y leyendas de los Castillos del Loire", libro en francés que tengo ganas de empezar a leer y del que solo he encontrado un ejemplar...

Marg & Peter & Rockpool Grill & Bar

 
Margaret & Peter at Circular Quay
 
 
 


 
 
Soaring green marble pillars in the interior of Rockpool Grill & Bar
 
 
 

Seared King Prawns, with Goats Cheese, Tortellini , Burnt Butter, Pine Nuts and Raisins The best tortellini I have ever had in my life, I want to be able to make it just like that, 4 big prawns peeled. Goat’s cheese tortellini is amazing, plump soft and warm. I definitely want to try burnt butter on my pasta with pine nuts and raisins all four of them.


Singleton Whisky Prune, Crème Brulee 

I had this & was in heaven: Passionfruit Pavlova
Over all the food was wonderful!! Faultless, the service great, noise level was O.K where we were siting to the side; noisier in the centre, could have had tablecloths for the price. But really I just want to go back and have it all again.
Too dark to see any architectural attributes or showcaseing design elements, disappointing décor they did nothing, it could have been spectacular & interesting; or my eyesight maybe going, but I could see the food looked  & tasted sublime. 
 
This is day time & there is more light;
 much darker at night.
 
Open kitchen at Rockpool Grill & Bar
 
 
Exterior of Rookpool grill & bar on the corner of Hunter & Blight Street
Glasses stacked on top of one another is a design statement

Doorway

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tips For Your Vacation - Family Camping Fun


Family Camping Fun - While getting away from the hustle and bustle of city life is one of the reasons families choose to go camping, for kids – it’s the ultimate adventure.   If you are planning a family camping trip this summer, here are some tips that will ensure your vacation is both a safe and fun experience.

1. Pre-camping preparation. If you have small children, you may want to select a tent that will accommodate all if you comfortably.  On the other hand, if you are camping with older children, it may be a good idea to purchase additional pup tents to give them some sense of independence. 

Another great tip is to practice assembling the tents in your backyard so as to avoid wasting time at the camp site.

2. Selecting a campsite. Depending upon whether you decide to “rough it” or choose a campsite that is close to amenities, you can research the many campsites online that offer comprehensive information on the area.  This will enable you to decide not only what equipment, clothing, and food you need to take, but the available hiking areas and points of interest as well. 

Ensure that the campsite you select is an official campsite area.  Moreover, when researching camping sites it’s a good idea to look for those areas that are on the high ground.  Thus, if it rains, your tent and equipment will not become water logged.   

3. Make a checklist.  This is very important to ensure you do not forget anything on your camping trip. Among the items on your checklist, some of the more important items you will need are:

* Cooking gear such as a frying pan, a few pots, a bucket, barbecue grill or stove, bags with a Ziploc, and cooking utensils.  In addition, food containers and canned goods are best.  It is also recommended that you prepare meals at home and package them in containers for the trip.  Also bring water, a can opener, hot water kettle and coffee pot, and a cooler with a block of ice. 

* Packing the appropriate clothing is also essential.  Depending upon the location, wearing light layers is a good idea as well as packing some sweaters and jackets for the evening hours.  Extra socks, hats, and gloves may also be warranted. If you intend to engage in some hiking, proper hiking boots are necessary.

* Sleeping bags, first aid kit, flashlights, cell phone, garbage bags, toiletries, sunscreen, ointments, a map of the area, insect repellent, games for the kids, and rainwear.

For a complete checklist on what to bring on a camping trip, there are many camping websites that offer a myriad of suggestions.

4.    When you reach the camp site, choose an area to set up the tents. Ensure there are no rocks or debris where the tent will be set up.  Most campgrounds will post warning signs or instructions regarding specific animals and vegetation.

5.    When preparing a campfire, if appropriate, ensure that it is set up further away from the tents.  After you have roasted the marshmallows, sang songs, and told ghost stories; douse the fire before going to bed. 
 
Finally, enjoy the entire camping experience.  Sleeping under the stars, communing with nature, and relishing the time spent with family will not only bring a family closer together, but the memories of this experience will last forever.

Primera Semana de Clase + Aventura de la Cabra

Buenos días mis lectores,
La semana pasada fue mi primera semana de curso, algo caótica pero al fin y al cabo ordenada. Comencé el lunes con un curso de teatro a las 17h, durante esas 3 horas tuve que hacer contacto físico con mucha gente que no conocía... abrazar, dar la mano... nada peor podía haberme pasado para mi estado de ánimo que tan sensiblemente se hayaba. Aquí van muy a saco, y ya me he tenido que aprender un extracto de una obra de teatro para hoy. Las clases no comienzan con un "esto es lo que vais a tener que hacer para aprobar, hasta mañana". No. Aquí las clases comienzan de verdad.
Una diferencia que me sorprende en comparación con España es que aquí no tienes una clase durante 4 horas semanales, aquí das cada clase una vez al día, una vez a la semana, durante 2 horas, y te despides hasta la semana siguiente. Y es duro. Al principio creía que me iba a perder, ya que tengo curso en un aula que está a 20 minutos (aunque yo tardo 10) andando desde la universidad, y tienes que ir perdiendo el culo para llegar a tiempo. Menos mal que soy Erasmus y a mi me tienen un poquito más en consideración.
El segundo día de clase no paré desde las 8 de la mañana hasta las 18h 30. Al igual que el tercer y el Cuarto día. Viernes libre. Un fin de semana de 3 días... creo que me gusta la idea. Doy asignaturas como traducción, literatura francesa del siglo XVII y varios talleres de teatro para compensar los 30 créditos que en España hacen 5 asignaturas y que aquí hacen 10 o 12.
He conocido en clase a gente, pero solo han conseguido caerme bien una chica de color que ya tiene una nena y que se llama Natasha y otra española (de valladolid, creo) que se llama Fátima y que asiste conmigo a bastantes cursos. Ha sido una semana cuanto menos interesante, me encanta enterarme de todo lo que los profesores dicen, es como en España, doy gracias por que ahora veo que mi universidad me ha instruido muy bien. Mi francés ha mejorado notablemente, aunque creo que no en el acento, sí en el vocabulario y en mejora de expresión.
Fuera de lo que va siendo la universidad ha sido bastante "perfecto", entre comillas, ya que he discutido con gente a la que quiero mucho, y todo por la distancia. En la residencia siempre me voy a cenar al otro edificio en el que tengo a mis amigos. Estas personitas maravillosas que he tenido la oportunidad de conocer en estas 3 semanas casi que llevo aquí, en general sus nombres son:
España: Anaïs, Alicia, Claudia, Natalia (esta vive en otra residencia)
Italianas: Elena, Margherita.
Alemana: Diana.
Franceses: Sandy, Erskine, Arnaud... y muchísima más gente con la que hablo en la cocina y que me caen muy bien como Melanie, Jordan (aunque este es caso a parte).
Los he conocido y me gusta, porque no me hacen sentir tan sola entre estas paredes, ya que la distancia es dura, y tengo unas ganas locas de volver a ver a esas personitas que hacen mi día a día tan especial en España. Por ejemplo, el martes pasado fue la fiesta de integración y bailamos la "zumba" (en realidad era imitar como bailaba una brasileña, todos, absolutamente todos, hicimos el ridículo, pero nos echamos unas risas), el miercoles fue la soirée des crêpes, organizada por Erskine, y de la cual aún tengo un recuerdo en mi dedo índice (maldita sartén ardiendo). Allí conocí a muchísima gente, y, aunque solo comiera un crêpe y luego me muriera de hambre no estuvo nada mal.
Algunas noches nos hemos ido a habitaciones y hemos visto películas con Sandy y Erskine, películas al principio fáciles como Río o Rapunzel (Raiponce), hasta llegar a musicales como Burlesque (de Christina Aguilera y Cher, me encanta).
Tenía tanto miedo de no hacer amigos... por eso, cosas como que puedo llamar a Alicia por telefono, o presentarme en la puerta de Anaïs, o ver que Erskine y Sandy vienen a llamarme a la puerta para ver qué tal estoy, me hace sentir que no estoy tan sola y que la gente cuenta conmigo. Incluso me han regalado un llavero que podéis ver en mi otro blog: Llavero nº87

¡¡Pero españoles míos no os pongáis celosos que a vosotros os quiero mucho y me faltáis aquí!!

Y ahora viene la sesión fotográfica:
Todos sabéis quién soy yo, debajo de mi, Margherita,
a la derecha, de abajo hacia arriba: Natalia, Anaïs, Alicia y Elena.

Sandy (francesa) y yo.

Yo, Erskine y Anaïs.
Aún me faltan fotos con más personas como Claudia, Arnaud, Diana... pero ya las ire subiendo.

¡¡Y ahora la tan anhelada aventura con la cabra!!

Veréis, la noche que salimos a tomar algo al centro subimos en el bus, y Elena puso cara de incredulidad, cuando me giré a ver que sucedía me quedé asombrada... ¡¡UNA CABRA EN EL AUTOBÚS!! Sí, aquí en Tours se pueden subir perros, gatos... pero ¿una cabra? Todo el trayecto estuvimos intentando hacerle fotos, incluso unos chicos (que luego veríamos luego por la calle y dirían "la chèvre la chèvre") se apartaban para que pudieramos fotografiarla, pero como el autobús se movía no pudimos hacerlo.
Bueno, pues al bajar del autobús, con nuestro inigualable morro, le preguntamos al dueño si nos podíamos hacer una foto con ella, lo que pasa es que la cabra se movía y aquello era imposible. Al final el hombre (que iba bastante borracho) me preguntó "¿tienes miedo?" y yo le respondí que no. A lo cual dejaré la foto siguiente como fin de esta historia:
Jamás pensé que en el ERASMUS las cabras fueran tan importantes, hemos creado muchos insultos con cabra y aquí a la gente parece que le hace mucha gracia, por eso incluso saliendo y yendo a ver animalitos me hacen fotos desprevenidas como esta:

En fin, y con esto queridos míos, otra entrada más de esta aventura que estoy viviendo,
Besos,
Lola

Yoga class seem to be much larger in India

Yoga classes seem to be much larger in India, than Neutral Bay, I wonder how or if they are ever adjusted or corrected or even seen.
Would any one know if you were doing right or wrong?
 
 
 
 
 
There could be over a thousand students here.
 
 
 
 I did this mudra in Friday \weeks class.

Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die

I have just watched most of "Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die" that was shown on SBS Sunday 23 September 2012.  It was rated 'Show of the Week' and I read the critique but for some reason decided I didn't want to watch it.  I was speaking to Suzie after yoga today and she said how good and well done it was, and although a challenging subject, it was so good, I googled it and watched it.


 
 
 
 
 
 
It is utterly captivating, compelling.  Regardless of whether you agree with the actions taken, these are some of the bravest people you'll ever see.  You witness a man taking his life in a very peaceful, and conscious way.  A wife sits by her husband as he willingly takes poison and dies before her eyes.  I am gobsmacked.  I hate hearing that word, but it is appropriate here.  The documentary was so very powerful, it left me speechless.  I can't get my head around it.   Although I feel people should be allowed to decide for themselves about euthanasia: witnessing it is altogether something else. 



Full name: Terence David John Pratchett. Add a ‘Sir’ onto the front there as well, thanks to an OBE. Born in 28th April 1948. Frequently works in the comical fantasy genre, and is most famous for his long-running series, Discworld.   Awarded an OBE in 1998 and knighted in 2009. In December 2007, Pratchett announced that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease at an early stage, and donated heavily to charities based around that disease.
 
 
 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Top 5 Kid Friendly US Destinations

Top 5 Kid Friendly US Destinations - Although there are a multitude of destinations considered kid-friendly, here are the top 5 you may want to consider on your next family vacation.

1.    Disney World.  

Disney World

This ultimate family vacation has been the source of great joy for adults and kids alike.  Whether you stay several miles from the theme park or enjoy the onsite amenities, this vacation affords you an endless array of activities designed for the entire family.  From Epcot Center to Sea World; from Disney Village to Universal Studios; Water parks to Wildlife parks; no time is wasted at this world-famous resort.

Moreover, many online travel sites are offering special packages to Disney World as well as Southwest Airlines and others.  In addition, you can save quite a bit of money by selecting hotels that offer free stays for children, as well as free meals for the little ones. This is one destination where you can easily book a trip based on your budget and stick to it.

2.    Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch.  

Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch

From Alaska to Wyoming, there are a multitude of dude ranches perfect for a family vacation.  But, one of the most notable is the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch in Colorado, approximately 20 miles from Rock Mountain National Park.  Here, your family can engage in an array of activities including: horseback riding, hayrides, nature walks, and a host of amenities provided by the ranch.

This dude ranch is perfect for families who love the outdoors as well as enjoy visiting such historic sites as Fort Collins, Old West Museums, and Cheyenne (where you can buy tickets to the world’s largest rodeo held from July 17 to the 26th).

3.    Hawaii.   

Hawaii

While Oahu has always been a popular destination, it is Maui that attracts family vacationers more than any of its islands.  The reason is that it offers a wide variety of activities such as whale watching (seasonal); Lahaina, a famous whaling village; and Maui Ocean Center, home to the largest aquarium in Hawaii.

Your family can also take a ride on the Sugar Cane Train, circa 1890; visit Oheo Gulch to marvel at the spectacular waterfalls; spend a day at Iao Valley and view the Iao Needle; or visit the black-sand beaches at Waianapanapa in East Maui.

For fabulous weather, magnificent sunsets, and beautiful beaches; Maui is the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy spending quality family time.

4.    New York.  

New York City

Probably the most exciting vacation spot for families is New York.  The “Big Apple” has something for everyone; from Broadway to Rockefeller Center, you will never run out of things to do here.  Among the many sites to visit is Radio City Music Hall where you can take in a show; Madison Square Garden; the Empire State Building; the Village; 42nd Street, the Theatre District; museums; shopping, fabulous cuisine; the list is endless.

Spend a day walking along Fifth Avenue and stop at St. Patrick’s Cathedral; take a tour of NBC Studios; spend an afternoon in Central Park and visit the zoo there; go to the South Street Seaport or take in a matinee performance on a Wednesday afternoon.

Whether you stay uptown or downtown, you will always be in close proximity to the many historic sites and sounds that comprise Manhattan.  Moreover, your kids will enjoy all this city has to offer.

5.    Las Vegas.  

Las Vegas

The city that never sleeps offers a wide range of attractions for kids.  This is why it is among the top family destinations in the US today.  Moreover, it is an affordable vacation because the hotel packages and meals will fit any budget.

Among the many attractions offered for families include: M&M's World, the Lion Habitat at MGM, Adventure Canyon, Game Works (a video game-playing wonderland), Sports Park, Circus Circus rides; Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage hotel; Shark Reef; New York, New York’s roller coaster; Madame Tussaud’s; Lake Mead; Children’s Museum (the largest of its kind); and Adventuresdome, the largest theme park in the U.S.



Many of these attractions are free and are well worth visiting.  Don’t forget the Flamingo Habitat at the Flamingo hotel or the spectacular water fountain show across the way at Caesars Palace.

For great fun and awesome rides and venues, Las Vegas is a wonderful choice for your next family vacation.

Romantic Weekend Getaways



Romantic Weekend Getaways - Some of the most romantic weekend getaways exist in the most populated destinations in the US.  Here are a few to consider.

I’ll Take Manhattan.  You can spend a fabulous weekend in New York City and stay either at the Marriott Hotel on Broadway, for example, which is right near the Theatre District; or you can book a weekend at the Plaza Hotel overlooking Central Park. Perhaps you would like to stay at the Mandarin Hotel and Spa where you can both be pampered for the weekend. No matter what your budget is; Manhattan is more than accommodating.

Needless to say, Manhattan is considered one of the most romantic spots in the U.S.  Whether you enjoy dinner in your hotel suite or dine at any one of the five star restaurants, the night is always young for lovers who seek solitude in a city that hosts millions of tourists each year.  Whether you take a carriage ride through Central Park, enjoy an opera or symphonic performance at Lincoln Center, or walk along Fifth Avenue during the evening hours; the city offers something for everyone.

San Francisco. With its rolling hills, fantastic cuisine, and friendly people; San Francisco offers hotel stays that are sure to enhance your romantic side.  Among the most notable hotels are the Fairmont hotel, located in the Nob Hill area; the Mandarin Oriental, which is known for its best views of the Bay and the city; or the downtown W San Francisco hotel that is close to cable cars, shopping, restaurants, and theatres.

Stroll along Fisherman’s Wharf and stop by Ghirardelli Square where you can pick up some of their famous chocolate before having dinner at one of the many seafood restaurants there such as McCormick and Kuleto’s, where the panoramic view of the Bay, as well as Alcatraz island; both of which are a stunning backdrop.  You may also wish to stop by O’Neill’s Irish Pub for an after-dinner drink. You may leave your heart here after departing this great city by the Bay.

Las Vegas. Time will stand still at this resort destination.  With a myriad of hotels to choose from you can enjoy your time here without having to worry about time, because there are no clocks in the casinos.

With great weather year round (hot, but always dry), you can wile away the early morning hours at the hotel’s pool and enjoy the evening attending a fabulous show or visit lady luck at the casino. 

Whether you take a stay at the Venetian Hotel and enjoy a romantic ride on a gondola; enjoy the Spa and Salon at the Hotel Bellagio; or marvel at the lush indoor gardens, aquarium, and the Secret Garden at the Mirage; Las Vegas is both affordable for any budget and is the perfect weekend romantic getaway. 

Lake Placid.  Far away from the maddening crowd, you will find comfort and romance at the Mirror Lake Inn.  With gorgeous mountain and lake views, fireplace, and very large tubs, you will find the accommodations more than satisfactory.  In fact, they are quite conducive to a romantic weekend.

Among the many things you might like to do is to take a walk to the neighboring town of Lake Placid, only two miles away. Here you will find shops along Main Street and you can stop at the Cottage for lunch.  Swimming, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking are some of the activities available at Mirror Lake Inn.

The calm and quiet ambience of this Inn is the perfect weekend getaway destination for couples.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Time for a Family Road Trip


Time for a Family Road Trip - Deciding on a family road trip can be a daunting challenge, not to mention an exercise in patience.  However if you prepare ahead of time, the trip can be one of the most memorable experiences of your family’s life.

Here are some quick and easy tips for making your family road trip a fun and safe one.

First, prepare a checklist of items you will need.  This will include first aid kit, food, snacks, drinks, and lots of toys, coloring books, paper and crayons, a portable DVD player so your kids can watch their favorite movies; and a cooler.  A good idea is to ask the kids what games they would like to take, within limits of course.

Ensure that the snacks are healthy in nature.  Too many sugar snacks can have the kids bouncing off the car seats.  Remember, this is a relaxing family vacation and you want to avoid the kids getting bored or repeatedly asking you when you are going to arrive.

Check online to print out games for the road that you and the kids can play along the way.  There are an assortment of puzzles and riddles as well.

In addition, if you have very young children you will need to take the diaper bag and wipes for the occasional spills, blankets and pillows if applicable and a favourite item or stuffed animal for the young ones is a good idea as well. 

Second, decide on the destination and then contact AAA for a trip ticket.  Ask for the scenic route, one that is much more calming and pleasing to the eye, especially the driver!

Third, as you check out the planned route you may want to check online to find gas stations along the way that offer the cheapest gas.  Also if there are any points of interest along the route mark them on the map and plan to stop at these sites.

Fourth, while on the road ensure that you make pit stops regularly.  This will allow the kids to run around and let off some steam, while allowing the adults to stretch and reenergize.  Bring along a football or soccer ball so that the entire family can have some fun while exercising at the same time. 

Finally, it is very important that safety concerns are met.  This includes having the car checked at your local mechanic or gas station.  Ensure that the oil and filter are changed; the tires are well inflated (don’t forget the spare tire, too); the windshield wipers are replaced (if needed); and the car is in great condition before you head out.

In addition, you may want to place the following items in your trunk: a lawn chair, extra blanket, emergency road kit, umbrellas, water, flashlight and batteries, a battery-powered radio, and windshield wiper cleaner.  In the glove compartment include a first aid kit and cell phone charger.  Keep all medications in a Ziploc bag in the glove compartment as well.

Another good idea is to take a list of telephone numbers including the hotel or motel where you are staying as well as those of family and friends you may need to contact.

If you enjoy scrapbooking, this road trip may be a perfect opportunity to add new treasures to the book.  As you make stops at some scenic sites, ask the kids to find an item they would like to include in the scrapbook.  Or if the kids point out something along the way that they find fascinating, take a picture of it to include in the scrapbook as well.

Engage the kids in the decision making, age appropriate, and allow them to decide what they would like to bring.  Have them pack their clothes (check the suitcases afterwards) so they feel part of the overall experience. Planning ahead of time for a family road trip will save you time, stress, and money.  And the kids will enjoy this adventure, too!




Best Family Beach Vacations

Best Family Beach Vacations - The best beaches can be found along the Atlantic and Pacific Coast.  Here are a few ideas you may wish to consider for your next family beach vacation.

Florida Beach

Florida Beach

From Ft. Lauderdale to Miami Beach, Florida is a prime resort area for family vacations.  With perfect weather and miles and miles of beaches, this area is affordable, diverse, and has a wide variety of water-sports, restaurants, and a myriad of activities for children. Cocoa Beach is only an hour away from the Kennedy Space Center and Disney World.  In addition, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort is considered one of the best in Florida.

Fringed by more than 2,000 kilometres of powdery-sand shoreline, Florida provides a perfect setting for a romantic beachside sunset walk, an intimate al fresco dinner or even a relaxing glass-bottomed boat ride amid the azure waters of the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico. On this enticing merit alone, holidays to Florida 2012 are increasingly desirable for romantic, couple-only breaks and the demand for picturesque, boutique-style and most of all, private, beachfront resorts is growing. Booking Florida holidays for 2013 may seem like a big jump ahead, but with popularity continuously increasing now would be a great time to book a fabulous early-bird deal.


Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach.

Among the many favourite activities for children include: Ripley’s Aquarium, Le Grande Cirque, a show quite famous for its acrobatics and other circus performers; and Myrtle Waves Water Park.  For older children, a definite must-see is the NASCAR Speedpark.

 The city of Myrtle Beach is known as one of the best places in the United States to go for family oriented fun for Myrtle Beach itineraries. Golfing, fishing, swimming in the ocean or lying on the beach are only the beginning of the wonderful ways to enjoy Myrtle Beach. Both Myrtle Beach vacation rentals and Myrtle Beach hotels are available for accommodation during your vacation, as well as a stunning array of resorts">golf resorts for Myrtle Beach golf vacations. Below, you will find suggested itineraries Myrtle Beach which includes information about some of the most popular activities in town.

With a myriad of dining options, shopping, and other historic sites; Myrtle Beach has been named the number one choice for beach family vacations in the U.S.

Hampton Beach

Hamptons Beach. 

One of the most affordable vacations for beach-loving families is East Hampton, New York.  The best place to stay is at the East Hampton House.  The rooms are available in one and two bedroom units that contain fully-equipped kitchens and/or kitchenettes.  Moreover, you have guest privileges at the nearby beach. 

At the Hampton Beach, a day can be spent spectacularly on the sand that is sandwiched between the refreshing Atlantic’s surf and row of amusements, accommodations, restaurants, beating adventures and shops. Hampton Beach has been rated as the safest beach to swim because of its cleanliness of water.

The beach has also been rated one of the top four superstar beaches in the United States in the year 2011. Hampton Beach is one of the busiest beaches and a popular tourist destination in the United States. There are several shops, boardwalk and seasonal hotels along the Hampton Beach. The Casino ballroom is an attractive point

Although this vacation spot does not offer food, it does have an indoor gym and offers morning coffee there as well.  But, across the street is a deli that has an array of items on their breakfast menu and is very affordable.  In addition, there is a Chinese restaurant across the street as well as a take-out barbeque, and deli. 

The grounds are impeccable and there is a very large pool (one for the kiddies, too) where you can lounge in the sun.  A tennis court is also on the premises.  Every room has its own balcony with lounge chairs and a table. 

If you live in the New York area, it is a 90-minute trip by car.  The East Hampton Inn is centrally located – five minutes from town, restaurants, shopping, and a movie house.  You can even take a short trip to Montauk and visit the historic lighthouse or spend time at the beach there.

Hawaii Beach


Hawaii Beach 

Of course, nothing can compare to the beaches that are in Oahu, Maui, and Kauai.  No matter what island you choose, Hawaii has the most pristine beaches anywhere in the U.S.  Moreover, there are black-sand beaches on the island of Maui as well as a myriad of activities for the entire family.

Hawaii Beaches

The best way to determine which beaches you want to visit is to think about what you want to accomplish while you are in Hawaii. If all you want to do is lie on the sand and soak up the tropical sunshine, you might want to go to Sandy Beach. If you are more interested in snorkeling and seeing Hawaii’s aquatic life, you should stop at Hanauma Bay. If surfing is your thing, you will have to find a beach where the waves match your surfing skills.

San Diego Beach


San Diego. 

Shifting to the west Coast, your family might enjoy a stay at the Beach Cottages.  This site offers numerous amenities such as water sports, biking, as well as an amusement park.  For the kids, San Diego Zoo and Sea World are not far from the Beach Cottages.  

One of the most famous San Diego beaches is Coronado Beach. This beach is well known for being one of the finest beaches in California and in the whole country. On a basic level, this beach is wide, well-maintained, and family friendly, but there’s more too: The community of Coronado adds another element of mansions lining the ocean and yacht clubs lining the bay. Beyond sunbathing and swimming, there’s plenty to do at Coronado Beach including al fresco dining, working on your skills at the skate park, or simply taking in the sunset.

Centrally located to restaurants and shopping, Beach Cottages is an affordable vacation spot where the family can enjoy the sun, the surf, and other amenities available.  In fact, you can book a studio that offers a fully equipped kitchen.

Redondo Beach

Redondo Beach.  

Located on Santa Monica Bay, this report haven is perfect for family beach vacations.  Here you can enjoy water sports, fishing bicycling, kayaking, as well as fine restaurants shops located not far from the Santa Monica Pier.  There are many hotels that are situated across the street from the beach or within walking distance.  Each has its own set of amenities that are geared towards families. 

The beach in Redondo Beach California certainly tops the list of attractions in Redondo Beach, and among the activities that you can enjoy when spending time on it include swimming, sandcastle building, playing volleyball, bodyboarding, and surfing. You can also rent a bicycle here and take to The Strand, which is a bicycle path that runs along the beach. Coincidentally, The Strand or South Bay Bicycle Path, runs for 22 miles, and it connects Redondo Beach with Santa Monica to the north. The Strand is wheelchair friendly, which means that basically anyone can enjoy it. In addition to bicycling, many of the path’s users take to it to do some jogging, skateboarding, and rollerblading. As for those who are interested in doing some surfing in Redondo Beach California, the waves here are pretty consistent, and every once in a while, they can top out at around 15 to 20 feet. Volleyball enthusiasts will find the wide and flat beach here to also be ideal for their sport of preference, but it’s understandable if you simply prefer to relax and soak up some sun when spending time on the sand here. Public restrooms and showers can be found at the beach, as can a bait and tackle shop and a number of food and watersports equipment concessions. 

Redondo Beaches

Redondo Beach was originally part of the 1784 Rancho San Pedro Spanish land grant that later became the South Redondo area. The city's territory has an unusual shape including an area along the beach (South Redondo Beach) and another strip inland from Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach (North Redondo Beach), and its just south of Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach, which together with Redondo Beach are known as the Beach Cities. These cities not only offer great beaches, but also feature an array of dining and shopping opportunities. When you’re not frequenting the downtown shops, restaurants, and bars in downtown Redondo Beach, you can check out those found at the pier or at the marina. Other attractions in Redondo Beach include the city’s parks and its Historical Museum.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Tips and Guides For Travel to Bali

The following list has been compiled to help you make the most of your stay in Bali. If you have any further concerns that are not mentioned here, please do not hesitate to contact us via E-mail with any questions or queries that you may have. 

General things that you should or shouldn't do...


√ Do...
...change money at a reputable looking location, use your own (or the hotel's) calculator before changing! ...put on loads of High Factor Waterproof Sun Cream (especially if you intend to spend a lot of time in the water).

...drink a lot of bottled water and eat a lot of fresh fruit - do your body a favor.
...be careful with your belongings at all times. Crime is on the increase and can ruin your holiday. Cases of handbag snatching have been reported, so leave important documents in your hotel safe and wear your bag across your shoulders!  

...try not to step on offerings in the street (walk around them).  
...respect the slow pace of processions when stuck behind one, i.e. don't honk!  
...haggle when buying (except on price-tagged goods.)  
...buy 'Immodium' to relieve bouts of Bali belly.  
...have a great holiday! 
 
× Don't ...
 
×
...Forget to take your passport (or a photocopy of your ID), with you at all times and a copy of Bali Plus!  

×...swim outside designated swimming areas on the beach, currents can be very strong. Swim between the red and yellow flags.  
×...do drugs! It can carry the death penalty, and there are enough foreigners residing in Bali courtesy of the Govt. prison service! 
×...touch people's heads - it is very offensive to Hindus. 
×...enter a temple during menstruation. Sorry Ladies!  
×...forget to put salt on your food & drink water - you will probably sweat a lot.  
×...worry too much about the ice - it's government-quality controlled in established bars and restaurants. 
×...forget to look and listen while you cross the road. Cars may stop, motorbikes may not!
×..forget to reconfirm your flight 72 hours prior to flying. Airport Departure Tax is:
International = Rp. 100,000 Domestic = Rp. 20,000 

Passports and Visas Bali Visa. Important change to Indonesia's Visa Policy for Tourists.
Please read carefully as there have been changes to Indonesia visa policy. This affects all arrivals to Indonesia after February 1, 2004, are subject to new visa regulations
Countries that do not require a Visa to enter Bali.

  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Chile
  • Hongkong Special Administrative Region,
  • Macao Special Administrative Region,
  • Malaysia
  • Morocco
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
Countries that require and are eligible for Visa-On Arrivals - cost for these visas are US$10 for a stay of up to 3 days, US$25 for a stay of up to 30 days.
 

  • Arab Emirates
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom
  • United States America
 
It is important to also note the following:
  • The Visa on Arrival is non-extendable and cannot be converted into a different visa.
  • The Visa purchasing system will take approximately 3-5 minutes per applicant.
  • There are 6 payment counters, a bank and a money changer set up to process payments
  • Once you have paid for and received your visa you will need to proceed to Immigration where your visa will be processed
Citizens of countries not on the visa on arrival or visa free lists will be required to apply for a visa before entering Indonesia.
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry into Indonesia, and you must have proof of onward passage (either return or through tickets). If you cannot fulfill both of these requirements, you may not be allowed to enter the country 
 
Currency
The Rupiah. Notes 100, 500, 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000. Coins 25, 50, 100, 500, 1000. Currency Converter click here
 
Bali Time
Bali Time Zone is GMT + 8 hours. 
 
Electricity
Most hotels use 220 volts, 50 cycles and a round, two-pronged slim plug. Bathroom shaver plugs usually have a transformer switch. We suggest taking an adaptor for your appliance. 
 
Getting Around
You will find a range of chauffeur driven limousines, self-drive cars, taxis and hotel courtesy cars. Many taxis are not metered so it's wise to negotiate the fare before you climb aboard. Bemos are a unique form of transport. They are a mini-van masquerading as a communal bus. You simply hail the driver and negotiate the fare that suits you both. Motorcycles can also be hired in many places but special care should be exercised at all times as road and traffic conditions can be somewhat hazardous in certain locations. Traveling around Bali is made all the easier because everywhere you go you'll find friendly people only too happy to give you advice and directions on how to get where you want to go. 
 
Driver's License
If you wish to hire a car you must be over 18 years of age and posses an International Driver's License or license from ASEAN countries. 
 
Clothing
Light, airy, casual clothes are the most practical and you'll find natural fibers like cotton or linen are the most comfortable in Bali's often humid conditions. Waist sashes should be worn when visiting temples.
A Word of Advice
 
ATTENDING CEREMONIES
remember these are serious occasions and should be treated as such. Religious guidelines:
  1. Always wear a sarong and sash.
  2. Do not walk in front of people praying.
  3. Do not use flash camera or push your camera into the priest's face!
  4. Never sit higher than the priest or the offerings.
  5. At cremations, do not get in the way of the attendees - however important that photographic opportunity is!
  6. Women are not allowed to enter temples during menstruation.
DANGEROUS SPORTS
make sure you either have personal insurance or travel insurance that will cover any accidents.

DRIVING
In Bali always expects the unexpected; always keep your eyes open and your mind on driving. Beware of motorbikes! It is best to rent a car with a full insurance as this will save time and money if you are involved in an accident.

MONEY CHANGERS
be very careful when changing your money. Always check the rate of exchange and commission (if any) the money changer is taking. Most importantly, always count your money before you leave the premises and if you can, bring your own calculator, as the ones used by some places can be "a little inaccurate".

PETTY CRIME
  1. There have been a few cases of handbags being snatched after tourists have cashed money at Banks or Money Changers! Put your money away in your 'bum-bag' or hold onto your handbag tightly!!!
  2. When changing large amounts of money please check each note carefully as there are a number of (noticeably) fake notes in circulation.
  3. When trying on garments do not take your jeweler off and leave it lying round - give it to a friend or leave it in the hotel safe.
SWIMMING IN THE SEA
Current underflows can be strong, always swim between the red and yellow flags, don't swim too far out! Do not leave your belongings unattended on the beach.
N.B. When attending Special Ceremonies or Anniversary Celebrations as a guest or onlooker, small donations are gratefully received. Your donations will help in paying for the offerings and upkeep of the temple.
Thank you for respecting these suggestions

Estonian Holiday Tips and Guides

Are you aflame on your Estonian getaway?! You should be! It's a abundant anniversary destination in the Baltics region. Located at the on the north-eastern bend of the European Union, adjoining Russia and Latvia, Estonia is home to Medieval Old Town Tallinn, comfortable estate houses, congenital over the centuries that are accessible for visitors to explore. Whether you're searching for an amazing anniversary break or artlessly wish to relax, Estonia is the abode to go!


When planning for your cruise to Estonia, you can consistently assurance the name that has continued been trusted by abounding travelers about the apple - Baltic Biking Company. They would not alone accommodate you with the a lot of all-encompassing adviser to Estonia but they will aswell let you analyze Estonia's countryside at your own leisure! That's right! Don't you just abhorrence it if your anniversary vacation becomes too abundant planned by your biking bureau to the point that you don't get to accomplish the a lot of of your getaway. Be the bang-up of your travel, Baltic Biking Company gives you the adaptability and the appropriate bulk of advice on your trip.
At Baltic Biking Company, you will adore guided tours so you will get to apperceive the humans and the ability of Estonia and you don't accept to anguish about accepting absent in the crowd. You will aswell adore the associate of a adviser who will accommodate you with tips to advice you acknowledge the adorableness of Estonia and even its adjoining countries. You can aswell adore Spa Breaks and baby yourself in amid the campaign to Estonia. That agency there's never a backbreaking moment - alone adequate and comfortable biking acquaintance on your cruise to Estonia!

There’s so abundant you can adore in a country that is not alone affluent in ability but is aswell abounding with abounding agitative and absorbing places that are cat-and-mouse to be explored and discovered. In adjustment for you to absolutely adore had accept a abundant acquaintance in traveling the country, you will charge the aid of an able if it comes to alignment trips and accouterment tips to millions of travelers about the globe: Baltic Biking Company.

Travelling Tips to Austria

Travel Tips to Austria

About the Austria

Located in central Europe, Austria celebrates world’s best music festivals like the Salzburg Festival, Haydn Festival in Vienna, and the International Chamber Music Festival. Vienna is the capital of Austria as well as the musical capital of Europe. Music and art are in full flare here after centuries of hardship and innovation. That explains Vienna being the birthplace of Mozart. Horse dances are also part of these festivals. Since it snows in winter, the snow covered Alps is a must be visited place during the winter. Austria experiences a moderate summer. Rains can be expected year round. Incase of emergency call 120 or 123.

Site seeing

The romantic castles simply leave you astounded. The Schloss Durnstein provides a magnificent view besides the River Danube. A 10% tip should be paid to the taxi drivers, which is customary here.

Culture

German, Hungarian, Slovene, and Croatian are the languages spoken by the locals. To greet the locals, a handshake will do. When meeting someone for the first time, its better to refer them by their last name, but once better known they can be addressed by the first name. When out in the public, say Guten Tag or Gruss Gott to greet people and while leaving say Auf Wiedersehen. Carry along flowers when going over to someone’s house. The locals here have a passion for horse riding. The world’s best art of horsemanship can be found here which is as old as 400 years and to watch the horses perform at these schools; tickets must be booked in advance. Although service charge is levied on restaurant bills, an extra 5% should be paid as tip.

Getting there

Three national airlines operate in Austria, Austrian Arrows, Austrian Airlines and Lausda Air, which work in collaboration with the Austrian Airlines Group. The Vienna airport is 18 km away from the city. Airport buses transport passengers to the South Train and West Train Station. Railway, chauffeur-driven car and taxi service is also provided at the airport. Duty free shops, post office, bank, eateries, left luggage, tourism information, conference hall, nursery, car hiring and car parking facilities are provided to the passengers at the airport.
Salzburg airport is 4 km away from the city and buses, trains, taxis and hotel coach shuttle passengers to and from the airport. Facilities such as duty free shops, post office, currency exchange, left luggage, conference hall, restaurants and car hire exist at the airport. Check out the other airports such as Klagenfurt airport, Graz airport and Linz airport for more details. All the airports charge a fixed rate for porter service. 

International tourists can get to Austria by Austrian Federal railways, if planning to travel by train. It has a large network which connects the major cities within Austria and also outside Austria. Travelers can find connections to/from Germany, Russia, Greece, Romania, Turkey Brussels, Paris and Italy. International rail passes or Eurail pass can be bought to travel around Austria as they provide unlimited travel and other offers too.

A good network of roads here provides an interesting journey. Take Eurotunnel when crossing the Channel Tunnel while traveling by car. Bookings should be made in advance. The cars can be hired at the airports and railway stations and if driving own car carry documentations like UK driving license or national driving license and car registration papers. Toll booths are installed on the motorways and ‘S’ roads, so if change is carried in advance it will ensure no delays in the journey. Registration documents should be carried along all the time while driving. The lights should be turned on while driving, in the city or outside, all the time. There are strict laws for seat belts and drinking while driving. If using the motorbike, high visibility jacket and helmet must be worn, it’s a compulsion for both the passenger and the driver. Many federal, private companies and local authorities provide bus service. Coaches are provided for moving around within the cities.

Wurm and Kock provide cruise passenger service. Along with the cruise trip, packages include stay at a hotel. Check out, before hand, for offer. There are many Ferry service providers too.

Duty Free Items

1. 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g tobacco or a proportional mix of these products
2. 1l of spirits over 22 per cent or 2l of fortified wine or spirits up to 22 per cent or 2l of sparkling wine or liqueur and 2l of still wine
3. 500g of coffee or 200g of extracts, essences or concentrates of coffee, and 100g of tea or 40g of tea extracts
4. medicinal products sufficient for the journey
5. 50g of perfume or eau de toilette
6. All the above mentioned goods should be carried by a person over 17 years of age.