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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.

Travel Advice: How To Choose Your Luggage

It is true that you cannot find a single luggage that will be able to meet all your travel needs. Knowing which type of luggage is right for you depends on your packing style and the type of travel.

An important consideration when it comes to luggage decision is the kind of trip you will be taking, the activities that you plan to be doing and the number of belongings that you plan to bring along with you. You should find a bag that provides convenience when it comes to packing, comfortable to carry and versatile.

Travel backpacks have internal frames, a suspension system and can be converted into a hand held bag. Some styles even have a removable daypack for short daily excursions. Travel backpacks are ideal for travelers who desire mobility and would prefer to carry all of their gear. If you plan to visit urban areas, these backpacks are not suited.

Available as well is wheeled luggage categorized into two namely the traditional wheeled luggage and the convertible wheeled luggage. The traditional wheeled luggage is equipped with durable and heavy-duty handles and in-line wheels. This type of wheeled luggage is not suited for the adventure seekers but is ideal for business travelers or people visiting urban areas. A piece of advice for business travelers is to have a suitcase, a carry-on and a briefcase as these pieces work well together.

Convertible wheeled luggage can be converted to a wheeled luggage and could as well function as a backpack. This luggage is equipped with hidden shoulder straps to enable you to carry the bag as a backpack. It can even be carried as a duffel bag. This type is suited for travel to an urban area. As the bags are not equipped with a hip belt, these are not suited for long backpacking as the entire weight of the bag will be supported only by the shoulders.

Duffels are of three types which include the general purpose travel that comes in varying sizes, wheeled duffels and expedition duffels. General purpose travels have various sizes and are cheaper as compared to other luggage types. This is ideal for short trips and if you are traveling light.

Expedition duffels can be equipped with straps to convert the bag into a backpack for added convenience. These are suited for travelers who have a lot of gear to bring along with them and it isn’t necessary for them to carry the duffel by hand within a considerable distance upon arriving at the destination.

Wheeled duffels provide a large storage capacity and are equipped with wheels. This is very much ideal for travelers who need to bring along with them a lot of gear but would need the convenience of wheels to maneuver their luggage at airports or train stations. This is not suitable though for travel to remote areas as compared to the travel backpacks.

For those who are into camping, climbing or backpacking, internal frame backpacks are for you. These have been specifically designed to provide good support for long periods of hauling gear on wilderness trips.

Travel Pet Insurance

Recent changes to the UK’s quarantine laws mean that it is now possible for you to obtain a pet passport (under the government’s ‘passport for pets’ scheme) and take your family pet away with you on holiday. However, before you run off down to your local travel agent and book tickets for the whole family to that exotic seaside tropical location you have always wanted to visit but have to put off because everyone else at home didn’t want to leave Fido in the kennel, you might want to consider getting you and your family some travel insurance – including that all important travel pet insurance.

A number of leading pet insurance providers now offer pet owners travel pet insurance to give pet owners the comfort of knowing whether they are far away in exotic places enjoying the sun and sea or closer to home enjoying the cultural delights of Europe, their pet will be insured against any illness or mishap that may unfortunately befall them.

Typically, included in the travel pet insurance is:

– x-rays
– injections
– lab tests
– prescriptions
– costs while they stay at the vet and recuperate

Keep in mind, however, that as with other types of insurance, travel pet insurance usually comes with what is known as an excess. In short, what this means is that you – as the owner if the pet – will be required to pay a certain amount until a threshold amount is reached. Thereafter you can claim for a reimbursement against the insurance provider. However, unlike humans, travel pet insurance premiums are usually calculated on the type of animal you have and the age of the animal. As such, it is possible to leave arranging the travel pet insurance policy until the last minute, then purchasing this online once you have decided that you will definitely be taking your family pet away with you on your family holidays!

Moreover, as with human travel insurance policies, pet travel insurance can be purchased either as annual policy or as a one-off travel policy. If you get an annual pet travel policy, this means you can take your pet with you whenever you travel one of the 25+ countries outside of the UK which the UK government currently has arrangements for the ‘passport for pets’ scheme, or any of the European Union countries (which are all part of the ‘passport for pets’ scheme already). Alternatively, with one-off pet travel insurance policies you need to name the country you are going to visit and the dates you’ll be there and the policy will only cover you for the duration and place stated.

ilmmuseum Potsdam & Babelsburg

uring the Cold War, Potsdam was the Hollywood of the DDR (the Deutsches Demokratisches Republik), and Babelsburg was the name of the studio at which all the films were produced. Now, however, it’s a museum within an hour’s journey from Berlin. Potsdam is easily accessible via S-bahn, and the museum is within walking distance of the Potsdam Hauptbahnhof (the main train station in Potsdam). The museum has a very modest entrance fee, but once inside, you are treated to all kinds of movie memorabilia.

Those who have visited the museum prior to 2005 will remember that not the entire museum at the was translated into English, but enough of it was visual so that a visitor who spoke no German could still enjoy it. The permanent exhibit is both intellectual and fun in that it deals with the politics of the 20th century and how it influenced film production. Even if one has zero interest in politics, the various film props and costumes are of interest. The exhibit is pleasingly interactive, but not overwhelmingly so: there are touch screens that quiz the visitor on which scenes movies come from, for example, and one can listen to interviews about the filmmaking process.

There are film screenings every day, usually for an extra charge. Naturally these films are usually in German, but there are English-language screenings, too, usually of fairly recent award-winning films. The best part of the museum, though, is the children’s exhibit, which is fairly unusual for a German museum. During the 1950’s and 1960’s, the studio produced many children’s films that were of traditional fairy tales. At the time of my visit, there was a large interactive exhibit featuring real items from Babelsburg sets, so children can really “experience” the movies for themselves.

Even very little children or non German-speakers can have fun with the visual and tactile aspects. The exhibit incorporates video and computer touch-screens for a really immersive experience. Families traveling with small children will find this a great treat.

Even the museum’s café is worth a visit. It’s not very overpriced, and the food with a Turkish-influence and a hint of Italian is memorable and served by friendly wait staff.

A Great Option For Family Fun

It’s vacation time! Lots of great places to see throughout Southern California-Disneyland, San Diego’s Zoo and SeaWorld, the fabulous beach events along California’s Gold Coast-the list goes on and on. But hotels and motels are almost always booked in the summer. They also lack the home-friendly accommodations kids and teens need to feel at home. All the more reason why today’s families increasingly choose vacation homes when they vacation away from home.

Close to Popular Destinations

Many vacation homes are conveniently close to today’s most popular vacation destinations. Being just minutes away from these fun vacation spots can save you a lot of local travel time. If not within walking distance, many homes are close to public transportation or vans and shuttles operated by vacation destinations.

The Feel of a Real Home

Vacation homes are designed to feel as close to your real home as possible-much more so than a motel or hotel. Families are increasingly discovering that these homes can be very accommodating to children and teens. That’s because they often have two or three bunk beds and several trundles. These allow children to share bedrooms. A number of these homes also have four bedrooms, which can sleep as many as 16 (for sports teams and girl/boy scouts groups). Some homes even have sofa sleepers in the family room.

Lots of Entertainment Options

To keep kids, teens and parents entertained, many vacation homes provide a wealth of entertainment options–something they need after a day of vacationing, The homes feature action-packed gaming consoles like X-Box, DVD players and smart TVs, Also included are Foosball, Netflix, and Wi-Fi access for smartphones, tablets and laptops. These connectivity options provide plenty of information and entertainment for all ages.

Private BBQs, Swimming Pools, Relaxing Spas

Kids, teens and especially parents need to relax after a busy day on rides and adventures. Vacation homes allow families to do what they usually are unable to do in a hotel or motel-make burgers, hot dogs or steaks on a BBQ–in complete privacy. No need to reserve public BBQs or share space with strangers. Most homes come with a spacious outdoor dining table and lots of chairs. They also feature a relaxing spa and/or hot tub-for the exclusive use of the family.

Vacation Homes: A Great Choice For Youth Sports Teams

In the event that your games group is set out toward a major competition, you’ve most likely been tested with where to remain. Perhaps you’ve gone the lodging/motel course some time recently. Furthermore, one thing you’ve educated is, it’s not the most temperate approach. Rates are out of this world and reservations are almost incomprehensible with gatherings of tweens or high schoolers. It’s the same with suppers sustaining a group of teenagers at a lodging can rapidly gobble up your travel spending plan. It’s uncommon to discover a lodging that has a kitchen or outside BBQ-where you can plan temperate home-cooked suppers. What’s more, following a prolonged day of rivalry, you truly would prefer not to impart an unwinding spa or pool to outsiders. It’s no big surprise such a large number of youth games groups are picking to remain in a summer home.

Near Youth Sports Venues

Getaway homes are as often as possible similarly as strategically placed to today’s mainstream sports scenes as lodgings and motels. Many are additionally minutes from prevalent resorts like Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Anaheim Convention Center, water parks, Orange County’s remarkable shorelines and different attractions. Most homes are near open transportation or vans and transports worked by games settings and get-away goals.

The Look and Feel of a Home

Country estates feel like a genuine home, not some indifferent inn or motel. Youth sports gatherings and groups have found that these homes can be most pleasing to tweens and youngsters. Where else would you be able to remain that offers kids/bunk rooms, at least two lofts and twofold trundles? These “group” facilities permit many children to have a similar room. A few homes even have four rooms, which can rest upwards of 16 children/youngsters. Some of these homes have a couch sleeper situated in the family space to rest two more children.

A continuous rush of excitement for Kids,Teens and Chaperones

Country estates are completely prepared to keep children, high schoolers and chaperones engaged. In the wake of a prolonged day of games rivalry, everybody needs a break. Which is the reason these homes have brilliant TVs, sensational gaming frameworks like X-Box, DVD players, Netflix, Foosball, and a lot of Wi-Fi access for cell phones, portable workstations and tablets. These network choices offer only the correct blend of data and stimulation for everybody.