Monthly Archives: August 2017

Travel Off the Beaten Path for a Great American Adventure

When it comes to travel, most people opt for the vacation standards: a cruise, a Disney vacation, or booking a hotel in New York or another major city. Yet there are many American vacation destinations that are often overlooked – cities that offer wonderful sights and sounds, and even better value. When you book travel to one of these destinations, you’re sure to be delighted and surprised – and all the more appreciative of what our great country has to offer.

Think about it. When was the last time you visited Cleveland? Unless you’re from the Midwest, chances are you’ve never been there. That’s means that you’ve never experienced the gorgeous architecture of I.M. Pei’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, nor have you seen Jimi Hendrix’s handwritten lyrics to “Purple Haze.” While you’re in Cleveland, you can catch a Cleveland Indians baseball game, attend a performance of the Cleveland Orchestra, and visit the Cleveland Museum of Art. If you’re into thrills and chills, you can rent a car and drive about an hour and a half to go to the “Rollercoaster Capital of the World” in Sandusky, Ohio.

If you’ve never been to the American Southwest, you’re missing both rich history and fantastic fun. A vacation to Austin, Texas, gives you the best of both worlds: the features of a big city with the atmosphere of a small town. Home to the University of Texas and, of course, the Texas State Capitol building, Austin is known as the “Live Music Capital of the World.” If an evening listening to music isn’t your thing, perhaps hanging out with one and a half million bats under the Congress Avenue Bridge will do the trick. During the day, you can visit the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library or visit one of the city’s 20 museums.

If you love outdoor adventures, Bangor, Maine, should definitely be on your travel itinerary. Home to author Stephen King, Bangor is the perfect place from which to explore the Maine Highlands, Acadia National Park, and quaint fishing villages. With nearby mountains, coastlines, lakes, rivers, and some of the best fall foliage to be found, Bangor is the perfect travel destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

In case you haven’t heard, there’s more to Florida than a Disney vacation. Sarasota, Fla., located on the state’s Gulf Coast, offers spectacular white sand beaches and numerous small islands. It was also the resting spot for the Ringling Brothers, so when you’re not clowning around, you can visit the Ringling Estate, two Circus museums, and an art museum.

One of the best things about vacation destinations that are a bit off the beaten path is that it’s often a bargain to travel there and to stay there. Online travel packages often include both airline and hotel accommodations at steeply discounted rates. The best online travel companies allow you to choose, for example, the hotel room and type as well as flight options. So, the next time you think about packing your bags, consider travel to one of America’s overlooked vacation destinations.

Travel and Scenic Photography

When you are driving through the mountains somewhere, & you notice a automobile parked half off the road & some guy leaning to the left to avoid a branch with his Rebel 2000 camera in the act of focusing, you have met me. I do this because, to me, a trip isn’t fulfilling unless i have preserved that beauty for posterity. I’d like to share a quantity of the techniques that make scenic photography such a wonderful artform – simple, yet elegant.

First off, equipment. As much as the cheapo disposable camera beckons, get real. These cameras have fisheye lenses which I call “spam” lenses. we cram everything in, with equal blurriness & boringness. nice photos are sharp, unless you use blur for artistic effect. Sharp comes from an adjustable lens. It can be a fixed lens or a zoom, but it must focus specially for each picture. Fixed lenses are limiting for scenic pics, where to frame the shot you may require to move long distances. Imagine using a fixed lens on the Washington Monument, when you are half a block away! Zooms get my vote, even though we often don’t have as wide an aperture, which limits their capabilities in low light situations.

Practically speaking, an SLR is the absolute best. we are lightweight, & can be used with top quality lenses. Film SLRs tend to be less expensive, but have the limitations of film, meaning you have to get it developed & so forth. Digital SLRs are VERY expensive, so for the budget conscious either go with a film SLR or a high quality basic digital camera. With digital, resolution is also a critical factor, so look at the specs before you buy.

OK, we have got the camera, emotions are jogging high, & that’s great, but not great! sometimes I find a spot that’s so wonderful, I start shooting like a madman, only to be disappointed by the pics. What happened? Emotions. When you experience a place, there are sounds, aromas & breezes as well as the visuals of the spot. Needless to say, you cannot photograph all of these elements, only the visual. When overwhelmed by the spectacle of a scenic hotspot, we are often overwhelmed by all of these elements.

Now, I was a tad dishonest in saying that you cannot capture all of the elements of a scene. You can hint at them. For starters, motion. Yes, even in a still picture, there’s motion. Something happened before, during & after your picture. In a mountain vista scene, you may find something that hints at motion, whether it be a branch of a tree that has been swaying in the breeze, or a river flowing through the valley below. These add a sense of motion.

So what to do? Look through your camera. The viewfinder does not lie (usually). Try to see what you are looking at as the finished picture. Most people perfunctorily take pics, hoping that somehow the shot will come out great. If you wonder how the pics came out when you are on the way to the drugstore to get them, you are doing something wrong. At the moment you click the pic, you should know exactly what you will get. (Of work with digital, that’s not a trick!).

Then there’s the “rule of thirds.” When you place the main object of the picture smack-dab in the middle, it is static & boring. Place it one third of the way from either side, & you IMPLY motion. Put the horizon in a landscape photo a third of the way up or down, not across the middle.

Remember, when a person looks at a picture, their eyes move. You require to frame your photo to help that movement. If you can find some lines in the scene, such as a skyline, cloud formation, path through the forest, etcetera, use it interestingly, & with the rule of thirds to draw your viewer’s eyes into the picture

Travel Preparation For Trips At Sea

Packing your bags for a cruise may seem like a no-brainer but there is travel preparation involved. While forgetting an item or two won’t ruin your vacation, it will create unnecessary headaches and hassles. Here are some things to remember when packing for your trip.

Cruise ships are not required to have doctors or medical facilities. That being said, there is usually a first aid station and a physician or nurse onboard. The ship’s gift shop usually stocks some basic over the counter medication but you’ll pay for the convenience. You can also purchase things at your ports of call but dealing with this hassle can take away from enjoying your trip.

First off, make a list of the things that you usually forget. After you’re done packing consult your list to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.

Be prepared for the sun. The sun can be the most deceiving in cool weather destinations or when it is overcast. While returning with a nice bronze glow can be ideal, don’t be over anxious. Bring sun block and sunscreen and apply it frequently. Getting a burn early on in your vacation will limit your activities on your cruise ship tour and make for a less enjoyable holiday. Don’t forget a hat, sunglasses, and lip balm as well. Again, you can (and should) buy these onboard the ship but it will be an added hassle and expense. If you’re especially sensitive to the sun then consider bringing loose fitting long sleeve shirts and long pants; linen clothing is perfect for the warm weather.

Sea sickness is a problem for many and if you have a tendency to get sea sick then come prepared. Bring sea sickness pills or other alternative treatments. Remember that the center of the ship sways the least. Your first couple of hours (if not day) will be adjusting to the movement of the ship so don’t plan any big activities.

Pack all of your prescription medication since filling a prescription will be a hassle, if not impossible, at sea. Make a copy of your prescriptions or a copy of the medicine bottle; if you loose your medication then replacing it will be easier. It’s also a good idea to bring an over the counter medicine kit for tummy aches, headaches and allergies. If you’ll be traveling to other countries, your digestive system may not be immune to the bacteria in the food and water. Your doctor can prescribe you anti-diarrhea pills to take just in case you encounter this problem.

Travel And Accommodations In Altea And Around The Costa Blanca

Altea is located fifteen kilometres north of Benidorm. This is one of the few villages on the Costa Blanca that has kept the fishing village feeling. They have created a tourist area without sacrificing the natural beauty of the surrounding area.

This village offers a tranquil atmosphere that is more relaxing and quiet than the larger cities in the area. The weather is mild in the summer and winter. The surrounding hills keep the temperature comfortable in the summer months and keep out the cold winds in winter.

Travel and Accommodations in Altea

Most visitors take a flight into the Alicante airport. The airport is located about an hour drive away from the village. You can get a car hire at the airport for transportation. Buses and trains are available from Alicante to Altea.

Just outside the village is the mountain area, which offers a beautiful view. Real estate is growing in this area. There are new hotels and apartments. This is a great place to stay for a quiet, relaxing vacation.

Villa or apartment rentals are available in the village for a more private vacation experience. This offers more flexibility, privacy and a relaxing atmosphere. Consider a villa with a pool for a summer vacation. Most owners rent directly to tourists. This saves money on a travel agent. Rentals can be found on the internet.

Altea Attractions

Altea is one of the most beautifully landscaped areas in the region. The tranquillity of the area attracts Spanish and international writers and painters. Some stay for short periods and others live in the area all year. Most stay in the area surrounding the old church.

The village is home to a famous church, Nuestra Senora Del Consuelo. The church was built in 1910. The design is Mediterranean style architecture. The tiles are all hand painted with old world craftsmanship. The blue dome roof is a landmark in the area.

The village has a nice harbour with restaurants and bars. The restaurants offer great seafood and authentic Spanish cuisine. In many of these restaurants, you can sit outside on terraces overlooking the sea. The beach area is 5 kilometres long. This is great place to relax and soak up the sun.

A little away from the beach and harbour area are a variety of quaint stores for shopping. Most shops are open from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Many break for afternoon siesta from 2 p.m. until 4 or 5 p.m. and then re open. Some of the larger stores remain open all day.

A walking tour is the best way to experience Altea close up. Walking tours are available in the town and surrounding mountain areas. The mountain walking tours are a great way to enjoy nature in a tranquil atmosphere. You can take a private tour or a guided walking tour of the many trails around the village. All inclusive tours are available for a few days to a week.

A craft market is open in Altea from Easter through September. The market is located near the harbour area. Local crafts people offer a variety of items for sale at the market. You can get beautiful hand made items at a reasonable price here.

The sun and mild temperatures are popular for golf vacations as well. The Altea Golf Club offers a great course for visitors.

Travel, More Than The Home Court, Is The Key Factor In Nba Betting

Actually, there’s not much difference in courts. They’re all made of wood and while the court logos are of varying colors, designs and questionable tastes, all have a 10-foot basket at each end. Supposedly, there’s some advantage to “knowing the rims” but since metal mostly comes into play on missed shots and no one deliberately tries to miss, it’s difficult to see where the advantage lies. Yes, we know from a rudimentary 10th grade course in physics that longer shots produce longer rebounds but the direction of the carom is based more on the trajectory of the shot than anything to do with the condition of the rims.

Another supposed advantage of the home court is the local fans. But it’s hard to accept the notion that professionals, who balk at signing autographs unless they’re paid, are motivated by the very same people they so willingly shun. Besides, what did all that ranting and raving by Spike Lee at Madison Square Garden ever do for New York? Reggie Miller still did the right thing by the Pacers and destroyed the Knicks.

The final alleged advantage of playing at home is that players gain some sort of “comfort level” from sleeping in their own beds. Excuse me, but weren’t you paying attention to the Gold Club trial in Atlanta a few years ago? Based on the evidence, it seems that many a player readily would relinquish a night under his own satin sheets if an, ahem, “dancer” were made available for some companionship.

That being said, there is an advantage to playing at home but it has little to do with the court, the fans or the sleeping conditions. It has everything to do with getting to the court.

Clear and simple, visiting teams are disadvantaged most by travel, a factor we touched on but did not fully explore in a previous article. In fact, how far a team has to travel, how many time zones it crosses, the direction it travels and how many games it’s forced to play in a given number of nights are crucial elements in both NBA oddsmaking and NBA betting.

Remember how tired and out of synch you were after a cross Atlantic flight? Now try running six miles (the average distance a basketball player runs in a game) in a different venue, three out of four or four out of six nights and see how it impacts your athletic performance. NBA betting pros understand that no team can be “up” for every game, that fatigue can become a significant factor, and pointspreads often grow in proportion to the length of a road trip.

It’s also worth noting that it’s more difficult on the body to travel against the sun, or west to east, than it is to go east to west. So, NBA teams based in the Western and Rocky Mountain Time Zones often are disadvantaged more by long road trips than are teams in the Eastern and Central Time Zones. One way they overcome this handicap is by flying all the way east to start the road trip then work their way back west.