Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Grand Entrance Staging Area @ 2016 Oneida Pow Wow

The annual POW WOW at the Oneida Tribe Norbert Hill Center during the 4th of July weekend is a great chance to watch real authentic Indian dancers from many tribes. It always seems to great sunny and warm weather at the pow wow!

It is also a super opportunity to take loads of pictures!

 This year I was more of a wanderer than a sitter. So I meandered down over to where the dancers were assembly and took a great small video of them! I an always very careful when I pass these dancers so that I do not damage any of the feathers on their costumes!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Visit Jordan for The Food Alone

Attention all foodies! Jordan would a great place to explore some food options!

In this short facebook video, you can get a real glimpse of what a trip to Jordan could really be like. While they suggest that the food alone is a super reason to visit and revisit, I would love to experience canyon river float!

I could easily see myself floating down the river and also jumping from that boat into the Dead Sea. I would imagine that being able to float effortlessly is a great way for non-swimmers to begin to enjoy the fun, relaxation and other swimming benefits.

Of course, there is more than food and water to enjoy in Jordan. You can also get your own travel inspiration from these suggested family adventures, history & culture, Religion & Faith, Eco & Nature, Fun & Adventure, Luxury & Spa as well as Food & Wine itineraries and galleries.

For more online tips check out  #MyJordanJourney #LearnJordan  hastags in your favorite social media site.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Pack and Travel Smart

You are getting ready to pack for your long awaited trip. Some intrepid travelers will just hop on a plane carrying nothing extra. With nothing but the clothes they are wearing, a purse or wallet and possibly a cell phone, they will take off and never look back.

Sounds weird? Of course it is!

We find that some type of forethought and advance planning will make any journey a whole lot easier and relaxing. But you don't have to, or want to, schlep all over the world lugging around your whole life. So, creativity is a total necessity.

The Small Stuff - mostly everyone needs a little bit of extra room to carry around some stuff. Women usually never go anywhere without some type of 'touch up' product. Men also typically carry some type of tech. In addition to keeping in touch with home, a cell phone and it's attendant charging cord, is also great for safety! Also, even if you do not have prescription pills, a little pain reliever or heart burn medicine can spell relief for the riggers of travel.

Suggestion - this 'personal organizer' for 'men & women is sturdy, compact, discreet and capable of holding a lot of your stuff. I found this bag to actually be quite nifty. It holds a lot of stuff and keeps it separate so you actually find what you are looking for. IT even holds a bottle of water. I plan to use it as a camera bag to keep my camera, lenses, cable and what nots all organized. The 'pen holders' on each side are better than rooting around in a big bag or asking my wife for one - who seems to take 5 minutes to find anything in her purse. (video) #NeatPack

Fun Stuff - you come into contact with a lot of different people while traveling including fellow travelers, street people and a lot of service personnel. Sometimes you would love to keep memories of those encounters but are hesitant to whip out your cell phone or camera.

Suggestion - a pen camera can be discreetly stuffed into a shirt pocket or purse and quickly activated to record that horrible and snotty airline agent, indifferent sales person, filthy fast food server or that haughty tourist making a scene in response to some perceived slight. You won't win any Oscar for film making, but that youtube video just might go viral with #spypencamera!

The whole idea of travel is to get to some other place. But you don't have to act like the same person once you get there, so have fun and lighten up! That will make life and travel so much more enjoyable for everyone!

As a long time traveler and blogger, I was fortunate to receive these products at a discount or for free, just to see how they work! It was fun trying them out!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Valentines Day Travel Prescription For The Winter Blues

Valentin's Day 40% off + $30 couponFor this years Valentines Day, forget flowers that will die in a week or candy that will just add to an already over weighted holiday.

A quick trip may just be what the doctor ordered for those suffering the winter blues!

You are kidding yourself if you think that a light therapy lamp will cure the winter doldrums. Sometimes you just need to get away to refresh yourself and charge those batteries.

For longer distance and 'value based trips', the lonely planet suggests diverse destinations like Estonia, Ho Chi Minh City, East Africa, New Mexico, Bosnia, Galicia, Quebec City, Caribbean coast of Costa Rica , Timor and Western Australia.

Strangely, of all those destinations I have actually been to Galicia and found  it to be quite nice. I had previously seen TV footage of Santiago de Compostela and heard about the pilgrims walk before. But actually visiting the church was much better than any armchair travel experience I've ever had.

Travel in Spain and Portugal was blast. I'd go back anytime!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Hunt for Diamonds - Crater of Diamonds State Park

Hunt for real diamonds! Yes, it is much easier than you think. The open air diamond mine at the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro Arkansas is open to the public 361 days a year.

For a mere $8 admission fee to the park, you walk around and just look at the ground to find diamonds. Thousands of people have done it and found real diamonds as big as 16 carats. The park even shows you how to surface search for these valuable diamonds as well as sell or rent you the tools and supplies for dry and wet sifting. You can also bring your own tools and buckets.

The park has complete facilities including sluicing stations, how to hunt guides & displays, gift shop,  rest rooms, campground, summer time water ride, cafe and actual diamond samples!

Spend the day or week, it is your choice!

Murfreesboro is only two hours south of Little Rock or 3 1/2 hours northeast of Dallas so it is not that far from city life. But take heed, searching for diamonds is fun for a little while, but that will wear off quickly unless you get diamond fever.

(Resources: Photos Videos)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Save $20 Now on Airbnb

Airbnb has inexpensive room, apartment, condo and home rentals where ever you want to go. With a no obligation free account registration you can save $20 now on any bookings you may make. You can also save up to $100 just by sending your friends!

In case you have never heard of Air B&B nor Uber, these are user to user apps that connect to directly to owners that will help you save money while traveling! And hey, you can also use the Airbnb website to explore the world!

These are now billion dollar operations covering the world. Plus, you can save actually real money, simply, quickly and efficiently. One other benefit, is that you will have a local contact that can tip you off to the best places to see and things to do in that area.

Save on top destinations like Amsterdam, Bali, Bangkok, Barcelona, Beijing, Berlin, Brussels, Florence, Hamburg, Kuala Lumpur, London, Los Angeles, Milan, New Delhi, New York, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, San Diego, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei and Tokyo.

But, you can also save on practically every small city you want!

Check it out now, for free. If you have not been there lately, you will be amazed!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Secrets of Aruba Finally Revealed

There is more to the Aruba paradise that you think.

We go past the surface to explore in depth what we already knew and onto what we have recently discovered.

It was when I stepped 'out of that casino' that I almost got 'burned'. It was not casino security that I had to avoid, it was that burning hot white sand. It was a real shock! I was accustomed to that sugary white coral sand of Cancun.

But most people do not experience that when they visit Aruba. I was just lucky that day. For all I know, the hotel imported sand just to keep us inside the casino - fools that they must have been.

Most people are familiar with very Aruba's Palm Beach in the 'north'. But since it is such a small island, everyone usually finds it a breeze to eventually get out and explore the entire island. Aruba is really one happy island as the official tourism site declares.

In their videos you can actually feel the fun and warmth that the place exudes. Their Family Itinerary video shows that there is a Butterfly Farm less than a mile from a main hotel area of Palm Beach, then a waterslide park on De Palm island 8 miles away, seaside Arikok National Park in another 5miles and then only 5 more miles to Baby Beach where kids can safely learn how to snorkle.

For more active visitors, the Adventure Itinerary takes you from Eagle Beach 2.6 miles north to Malmock Beach for kite and windsurfing, then 2.2 miles offshore to the Antilla Shipwreck, then 8.4 miles for horse back riding in Arikok NP and then 2.2 miles by jeep to the Conchi Natural pool.

But most people will start their vacation with the Relaxation Itinerary beginning in the capital city of Oranjestad. Golfers may then head 2.5 miles to the Tierra del Sol Resort & Country Club. Water lover may instead head southwest toward Renaissance Island. Foodies may choose to head to Zeerovers to the southeast for seafood. If they plan it just right, they could even go a little beyond that to San Nicolas for a local parade and festival.

For beach lovers, you will love Aruba's Eagle Beach, Aruba Beach, Tam Beach, Arashi Beach, Palm Beach and all the others as much as I do.

What To Do

Here's the best way to become familiar with all that an area has to offer! Browse through the various tours and activites lists. These include the popular De Palm Island TourTour + Snuba and the Full Day De Palm Island Tour + Sea Trek tours.

Among the other organized activities which you might imitate with self exploration include the Aruba Sightseeing Tour, Discover Aruba Tour, Luncheon Snorkel Sail, Catamaran Sunset Sail, Palm Pleasure Sunset Sail, One or Two Tank Dives, PADI Scuba Diver Course, Baby Beach Jeep Adventure, Natural Pool Jeep Adventure, Palm Pleasure Snorkel Adventure and Afternoon Delight Snorkel Sails.

The Basics

  • Aruba is a very small island. It is just 19.6 miles long by 6 miles wide and is located 15 miles north of the Venezuela coast of South America.
  • The average weather is 82 degrees with constant cooling trade winds.
  • It rarely rains and is outside of the hurricane zone.
  • The island has one of the world largest desalinization plants providing you excellent drinking out of the faucet.
  • The captial of Oranjestad is on the south coast.
  • Most hotels are located along Palm Beach and Eagle Beach.
  • Dutch and Paiamento are the official language, but most people speack 4 languages including English and Spanish.
  • US dollars are widely accepted so there is no need to convert money to the official Florin currency with an average rate of 1.77 to the dollar.
  • An easy price conversion for US$ is to take 1/2 of the local currency price and then add 10%
  • Banks are open 8am to 4pm on Mondays through Fridays, but there are about 50 ATM that accept Cirrus, Mastercard, Maestro or VISA logo cards 24/7.
  • Wi-Fi is availalbe in many public places as well as hotels and various hotspots.
  • Cell service is available and you can rent phone at the airport to avoid possible roaming charges from your carrier.
  • Your hotel can direct you to a doctor, emergency room or a 24 hour pharmacy or Dutch named Boticas.

Where To Stay in Aruba

There are actually some small properties where you can feel right at home in Aruba. One of my favorite tricks for finding just the right place is to just go to a hotel reservation and look around the map. With the great quality of mapping it is quite easily to select a place in the perfect location.

In a relatively small place like Aruba, this is especially easy!

But with so many hotel reservation systems to choose from, where do you start? Our preference is the Booking.com hotel site. The page for Aruba includes ALL the properties you want to review with the most complete list we have ever seen. 

They also further suggest those ideal for Beach Coast, Romance Honeymoon, Spa Relaxation, Luxury and Families. While the isle is small, hotels can also be reviewed for their location near the main attractions of Arikok National Park, De Vuyst, Eagle Beach, Haven Barcadera, Hooiberg Mountain, Oosthaven, Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Reina Beatrix International Airport, Sint Nicolaashaven, Tierra del Sol Golf Course and Westhaven.

This Travel Now list also includes the places they offer along with helpful Trip Advisor reviews including:

High Rise and Larger PropertiesAruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, Brickell Bay Beach Club & Spa, Holiday Inn Resort Aruba Beach Resort and Casino, Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort and Casino, Occidental Grand Aruba All Inclusive Resort, Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, Riu Palace Antillas All Inclusive, Riu Palace Aruba All Inclusive, The Ritz-Carlton Aruba, Tropicana Aruba Resort & Casino, Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort and CasinoMarriott's Aruba Ocean Club,

More Properties - Amsterdam Manor Beach ResortDivi Dutch Village Beach Resort, Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort, Aruba Blue Village, Aruba Cunucu Residence, Aruba Tropic Apartments, Caribbean Palm Village Resort, Club Arias Bed & Breakfast, Del Rey Apartments, Gold Coast Aruba, Hotel California ArubaMVC Eagle Beach, Paradera Park, Punto di Oro Residences, Sasaki Apartments, Talk of the Town Hotel and Beach Club, The Mill Resort & Suites Aruba, The Vistalmar Ocean View Apartments, Villa Du Laurence, Wonders Boutique Hotel

So have fun and choose the best spot place for you!

More Resources: Riu Hotels

PDF Resources: 2015 Aruba Calendar of EventsAruba Destination GuideWedding Information and Requirements and the Kids Activities programs