Monday, September 24, 2012

Things To Do on a Staycation

Why should holidays be spent only traveling and sightseeing, when you can indulge in some fun activities in and around your home front. One of the best aspects of having a staycation is that you can indulge in all sorts of activities without worrying about what others have to say. After all, you are having fun at your expense in your backyard; why should someone else have the right to question you about the things you do? Here's an extensive list of ideas, for you to enjoy your staycation with your family and friends.

*Clicking on the images will give you a better view.
Backyard Fun

Some of my best memories as a kid have been, playing for hours together in the backyard; mostly with my cousins and a few friends. I vividly remember playing Hopscotch, House etc., during the vacations and I should say that they were indeed one of the best times of my life. Those days of loitering around in the sun, in addition to spending quality time with my family, posed as an opportunity to explore the surroundings to the fullest, as well as to learn something new on a daily basis. These ideas are definitely tried and tested ways of enjoying a stay-at-home vacation. The best part is, you can try something on a daily basis during the tenure of the vacation.

Go CartingGo Carting
Ditch your car, use the cart and go sightseeing! Your children will surely have a gala time exploring the surrounding like this. Go RakingGo Raking
Take your shovels and rake the leaves around. It's a fun way to get your garden cleared while spending time together.

Friday, September 21, 2012

What to Pack When You Travel by Train

Of all the modes of transportation, train travel is often the most confusing, when it comes to packing. Like plane trips, you are allowed 1 or 2 carry-on bags and heavier baggage, which should be checked in. You cannot access checked-in baggage, until you disembark. When it comes to carry-on baggage, which travel accessories are really necessary? The ironic thing about packing (especially last-minute packing), is that you realize what you should and shouldn't have packed, only when you have boarded the train. You can prevent such irony by packing right. In this article, learn what items should make it or be erased from your train travel packing list.

How to Pack for a Train Trip

Carry Your Own Entertainment

Train journeys can be a moving visual treat with scenic views and outdoor beauty, but after a while, the countryside seems to look the same. Come nighttime, and you won't be able to see anything outside; so, pack something that will amuse you on the journey or keep your brain cells whirring.

Bookworms should make the most of a train trip by indulging in some heavy-duty, uninterrupted reading. Pack a
or two (or even more) to sink into your seat and read. A book of puzzles or brain-teasers will also keep you on your mental toes. Grab some
for light reading. You can also pack a lightweight journal or diary and jot down notes. An
saves you the hassle of carrying heavy books, as it can store a whole library of literature in one small device. If you are traveling with company, then get a portable board game like a miniature
chess set
or a
deck of cards

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Popular Tourist Attractions in Lima, Peru

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How much about a city should you know before you visit it? Everything? Here it is then! Lima, today, it is the largest city in Peru and the fifth largest in Latin America. A huge financial hub, it boasts of financial districts, and the metropolitan area hosts almost one-third of its population. If the etymology account is to be believed, the city was earlier known as Limaq. Today, this city is visited by tourists in numbers that are astonishing. There is something for everyone: a rich history and culture, fascinating monuments, and contemporary art and infrastructure. A trip to this city will leave no one disappointed for sure. Given below are 10 most famous tourist attractions, followed by a list of places you wouldn't want to miss once there.

1. National University of San Marcos

This university is officially the oldest university in the Americas. It was started on the 12th of May, 1551 by Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor. It also happens to be one of the oldest universities globally. In Peru, it is the most respected institution. The Natural History Museum or the Museo de Historia Natural is a part of this university. Along with this museum, you can also visit other famous museums in Lima, such as the Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Gold, Museo Nacional de Arqueología Antropología e Historia del Perú, the Sala Museo Oro del Perú Larcomar, the Museum of Italian Art, Museum of Art of Lima and Museum of the Nation. Lima is home to approximately 11 museums. As a matter of fact, Mario Vargas Llosa studied Literature here, and won the Nobel Prize for it later.

2. The Temple of Pachacamac

Situated in the Valley of the Lurín River, this temple is an archaeological site southeast of Lima. It takes round about 45 minutes to reach this site, as it is a distance of approximately 25 miles from the main city. Roughly, it was built around 800-1450 CE . Just after that, the Inca Empire arrived and conquered it. Since it is considered to have flourished more after the Inca Empire conquest, it is considered a part of the Inca culture. Archaeologists have discovered some 17 pyramids here, and you can see them all when you visit. The Temple of the Sun is a must-see site here. There also exists a cemetery. Archaeologists also found a fresco of fish; multicolored and somewhat intact.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How to Travel on a Budget

Many people decide they cannot take a vacation because it will be too costly. This is unfortunate because you miss out on some quality family time, and your kids will miss out on seeing the great sights this world has to offer. Plan your next vacation frugally, and you won’t come back from your trip in debt. If you take some time to do some extra planning, your next vacation doesn’t have to break the bank.

Continental Breakfast

Few hotels do continental breakfasts anymore, but if you can find one that does, book it. When you’re on vacation, the costliest part is eating out. For a family of four, you can easily spend over $100 on each meal, including breakfast. By taking breakfast out of the equation, and taking advantage of the continental breakfast your hotel offers, you can easily save a ton of money on your next trip. Sure, the breakfast food might get boring, but lunch and dinner are the fun meals to eat out, anyway.

Stock Up On Food

Once you get to your destination, you can always make a quick trip to the grocery store and buy food to eat. For anyone who cooks regularly at home, you know this is a great way to save money, especially if you’re on vacation with the whole family. Unless your hotel room has a refrigerator, be sure you buy things that won’t go bad at room temperature. If you can, get a hotel suite that has a kitchenette, so you can prepare lots of your meals in your hotel room. This will save you even more money. Sure, going out to eat is fun, but seeing all the attractions you want is even more fun.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Camping as an Affordable Vacation Alternative

When the Yearly Vacation Can’t Happen

In certain circumstances, some families may find that their usual vacationing plans are no longer financially feasible. Airplane journeys, hotel stays, and tourist activities require disposable income, and any number of events can threaten those extra funds. An economic downturn, a lost job, or a new, unexpected medical expense are just a few examples of reasons that a usual family vacation could turn into a non-starter. Financial difficulty, however, doesn’t mean that life can’t still be fun. No matter where you live, there are inexpensive vacation opportunities to be found.

Camping Close to Home: An Inexpensive Trip

Camping is one of the best choices for families looking to save a little money on this year’s vacation. Not only is camping an exciting and fun family activity, it can be accomplished on a very low budget. The biggest expense incurred on a camping trip is often the cost of transportation to and from the campsite. Staying close to home, however, keeps travel costs down. Look into natural areas and campsites near to where you live. Often, there are beautiful camping opportunities to be found right in your backyard. In addition to saving money, camping close to home can help you and your family cultivate a deeper respect for your particular corner of the world.

Keeping Camping Costs Low

Once you have chosen a campsite and arranged transportation, costs for a camping vacation are almost negligible. In the United States, most campsites have a small fee for using the campgrounds. This fee can vary depending on what style of camping you choose. If you have an RV or camper, the fee may be a little higher than if you are using a tent. To save money, pack a tent in the back of the car and sleep under the stars. Camping in a tent has the added benefit of bringing campers closer to nature and adding an extra adventurous feeling of "rouging it."

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Best Places to Visit in Iceland

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Hmm! Picture this: an ebony frame, laced with snow, and interspaced with fiery flames of red. No, I am not describing Snow White but a land that is made up of ebony beaches; and of mountains covered with thick blankets of snow under which lie fields of molten lava. Picturesque and exotic - that's how I relate to Iceland and its many aesthetic places.

Velkomin to Iceland, home to some of the most splendid ice sculptures, resplendent waterfalls, and huge glaciers. A land that comes across as being a unique and exquisite destination, tells the tale of lava fields and mystical light displays. Brimming with a life of its own, Iceland puffs and spurts to make its presence felt. Thanks to its vibrant hues and colors, it is open to wanderers who like to charter an unknown course, be it in summer, spring or even somber winters. From pristine nature that will enthrall not just nature enthusiasts, to lazy days spent in some of the geothermal pools, everything about Iceland waits to be explored. Djammið, Þetta reddast. Here are just a handful of places you can take on...

*Click on the images for a better view. The links provided below the images serve as an Index.
Up North
Coming to the West
Bláa lóniðBláa lónið
Traveling Down South
And Finally, the East

Up North (Norðurlands)

North Iceland provides charming trails for the adventurous spirit to ride along. Its resplendent nature trails and rich bird life make it a hot destination for tourists to flock to. Here, you can enthrall yourself at Europe's biggest waterfall, or thrill yourself with river rafting. You can choose to explore the highlands or get up close and personal with the whales. You can otherwise be entertained with the mystical dance of The Northern Lights or Norðurljós.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Kentucky - Interesting Places to Visit

Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park

This park located in Dawson Spring is a quiet and peaceful resort which is scenically situated overlooking a small lake and beach. The park has been named for an aromatic wildflower known as Pennyroyal. These wonderful wildflowers blanket hillsides here and begin to burst forth in small lilac-blue blossoms come in May. Here one can find the Pennyrile Lodge which was built from native stone and is surrounded by flowering shrubs along with the fringe tree which gives off a delicate scent. During the summers many swimmers are attracted to the 55-acre lake which has sandy beaches and a bathhouse complex. Visitors can rent both rowboats and paddle boats. For those who enjoy fishing four miles down the road from the park is Lake Beshear which offers crappies, largemouth bass, channel catfish and bluegills.

There are several trails including one for horseback riders, so that visitors to this park can enjoy taking long strolls and can also take a walk through the adjacent 15,000 acre forest. The forest is home to white-tailed deer and wild turkeys which can be seen quite often. Some other residents are bobcats, but they are not seen often. Among the bird population there are cardinals, wrens, and mourning doves that fill the forest with song. Within the park there is also a riding stable, a nine-hole golf course, two tennis courts and two playgrounds. The lovely picnic area overlooks the lake and has tables and grills. In a more remote part, one can find campsites which offer water and electricity hook-ups.

MainStrasse Village

Can be found in Covington. A group of German settlers came to the area at the end of the 18th century and like what they saw, so much that they established the town of Covington on the banks of the Ohio River. Today this peaceful town has become a bustling, modern metropolis. As the years went by, a lot of the older neighborhoods fell into disrepair. Then in the 1970s a plan was set up to restore a 30-block section of town which dated back to the 1830s and at this time the Carroll Chimes Bell Tower was built. This section is now called MainStrasse Village and the tall, narrow, closely built buildings reflect their German origins. This area has many arts, crafts and antique shops and among other restaurants and pubs, the Strasse Haus offers German and American dishes.

The Carroll Chimes Bell Tower is a 100-foot clock tower built of brick in traditional German medieval style. There is an illuminated clock on all four sides of the square top of the tower and is capped off by a peaked roof. The carillon of 43 bells strikes each hour as animated figures step out onto a balcony and you can see the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin reenacted. Opposite the clock tower is a mall which has a center row of linden trees ending at a fountain which has been decorated by a statue of a goose girl. However this village is not a museum, it is an area where residents of Covington live, but has the charm and appearance that is associated with the Old World as it was in the 19th century.

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site

This is in Hodgenville. The Sinking Spring Farm stands on a hill and consists of 300-acres. The farm was purchased by Nancy Hanks and Thomas Lincoln in 1808 and now one can see a Doric-columned marble and granite memorial building with 56 steps which represent each year of Abraham Lincoln’s life. Within the memorial is a single-room log cabin in which the 16th President of the U.S. was born on February 12th, 1809. The cabin had only one window which was covered in the winter by oiled paper or animal skin. On one wall of the memorial building, visitors can see photos of President Lincoln in the office. It was in 1900 that the Lincoln Farm Association was formed by such prominent Americans as Mark Twain and William Jennings Bryan in order to preserve Lincoln’s birthplace. It was ten years later that President Theodore Roosevelt put down the cornerstone for the memorial building and the cabin finally had a permanent home. Around the area are several hiking trails winding through fields, and forests within the park and picnic facilities are also available.

Mill Springs, Grist Mill

This mill has been part of this steep and wooded hillside since the early 1800s. However the present mill found here dates back from 1877 and in 1912. A 40-foot iron overshot waterwheel was added and is thought to be one of the largest in the world. Thirteen springs provide power for the mill as they come together to form a stream which then runs down the hillside into a large pipe that leads on to the waterwheel. The mill building itself is a large, white clapboard structure which has a stone foundation and it overlooks Lake Cumberland. By way of a walkway you can get under the mill to take a look at the wheel and the main drive shaft. The belts go running to the upper floor where the corn gets ground and you can purchase the ground cornmeal at the gift shop.

This place has its own bit of history as well. On January 19, 1862 here at Mill Springs began the battle of the Kentucky-Tennessee campaign during the Civil War. It was a conflict which ended with a victory for the Union troops. Here you can still see upon a hillside overlooking the mill the Brown-Lanier house which was once the home of the early mill owner and served as Confederate headquarters. It is listed on the Register of National Historic Places. You’ll find a path which leads from the mill to the Mill Springs Park on Cumberland Lake where you’ll find picnic areas and a boat dock. Throughout the park are several scenic hiking trails.

Yahoo Falls Scenic Area

Located in McCreary County, Kentucky. It was during the American Revolution that a man known as "Big Jake" Troxell was sent by George Washington’s staff to live among the Indians of Kentucky in order to prevent them from supporting the British. He was welcomed by the Cherokees (Tsa-Waagan) and lived in the village eventually marrying the chief’s daughter, Princess Cornblossom. Together they had a son who they named Little Jake. It was in 1810 when Princess Cornblossom saw how difficult times were for her people that she moved the tribe to Tennessee. To begin the trip the tribe gathered near Yahoo Falls and at this point were massacred by a group of settlers. Princess Cornblossom and her son arrived toward the end of the attack and shot three of the surviving white people. Princess Cornblossom was so grief-stricken that she died soon afterwards and Big Jake died two days after her. Losing his parents Little Jake terrorized settlers in the area for several years and then finally surrendered.

The Yahoo Falls Scenic Area is located within the Daniel Boone National Forest. Here there is a picnic ground and shelter at the parking area. There are several hiking trails including 250-mile Sheltowee Trace meant for backpackers. The falls can be reached by a signed ¼ mile path which leads through the forest to the head of a deep gorge. Here there is a walled observation platform from which one can look down on Yahoo Falls as it plunges down 113 feet from the Cumberland Plateau into the gorge below. The best seasons for viewing the falls are spring and autumn.

Duncan Tavern

This is located at Paris, Kentucky. The tavern stands three stories high and is made of gray Kentucky limestone. It faces the Paris public square which dates back to the days when this area was still a part of Virginia. This tavern was built in 1788 by Major Joseph Duncan. When the major died he left behind his wife Anne Duncan and six small children. His wife being unable to take care of the 20 room tavern leased it and built an adjoining log and clapboard structure which is now known as the Anne Duncan House. Since the tavern was located near the Bourbon County Courthouse where many lawsuits over land claims were presented. Duncan Tavern became a place for gatherings of distinguished early Americans such as Daniel Boone and Michael Stoner. Then in 1940 the tavern and the adjoining house were taken in trust by the Kentucky Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. All the buildings were restored and furnished with antiques. All the carpets, silver, china, paintings, carvings and furniture date before 1820.

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

Located in Millsboro, Kentucky. A creek flowed north toward the Cumberland River which first showed the war through this section of the Appalachian Range. Here you could see herds of buffalo wandering along Yellow Creek soon to be followed by the Indians who created what was known as the Warrior Path, which linked the Cherokees of the east with the Shawnees to the northwest. This route was traveled by fur traders, hunters and pioneer farmers. It was in 1775 that Daniel Boone and a crew of axmen came along the Wilderness Road and opened up a corridor which led to the first migration to the west. In the early 1800s as more and more westward routes developed, the Cumberland Gap lost its significance. However it remained as an interesting piece of history.