Tag Archives: Escape

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Top Five Cruise Destinations to Escape the Cold Winter Weather

What better way to escape those cold weather doldrums than a relaxing cruise to a warm destination. Cruises offer all the amenities of home, and many more. The all inclusive nature of a cruise vacation makes it easy to relax and put the thought of cold weather and work behind you.

Choosing a destination to escape those cold weather blues can be a fun challenge. There are many options for warm weather cruising. Some may choose the more exotic routes such as the Panama Canal, Australia and New Zealand, or even the Nile River. Others may choose the allure of the Mediterranean and the French Riviera. Still some prefer the South Pacific or the Mexican Riviera.

All of those destinations have a lot to offer, but the five destinations below are the top five for the warm weather seeker.

Multi-Destination Caribbean Cruise

This is by far one of the most popular cruise choices. The Islands of the Caribbean have so much to offer. They are as diverse as they are similar. The sandy beaches, blue waters, and lush jungles entice many visitors to jump ship at each port and explore the many offerings.

These cruises range from a 3 day excursion to 10 day island-hopping expeditions. Some cruises focus on only a couple of islands, while others make a swing around the entire area. On board the ship you can enjoy the entertainment and meals, while resting up for the day trips to the islands. Scuba, snorkeling, fishing, hiking, or simply exploring villages and mountain trails, are all examples of some of the adventures that await you on the islands.

While it is impossible to experience all the Caribbean has to offer in one multi-destination cruise, it does allow the traveler the opportunity to sample a little of each culture.This smorgasbord of experiences opens new opportunities for future vacation planning.


While we are still in the Caribbean, Barbados is a superb destination. With nearly constant 80 degree temperatures, soft sand beaches, cool blue waters, and lush vegetation, this is a vacationer’s paradise; a relaxing cruise to the island makes it even more enjoyable.

Barbados offers a rich cultural history coupled with many modern amenities. Friendly, laid back people also make this a choice destination. Throw in some great water recreation, posh resorts, and a hopping nightlife and Barbados becomes an even better choice.


Although not well known as a cruise destination, Hawaii has always been a warm weather destination for travelers. The problem for most vacationers was choosing which island to spend their vacation on. A cruise through the islands eliminates that choice. You get to experience them all.

You could choose a cruise that started in Honolulu and then hop to each island for a great cultural and entertaining vacation. The time aboard ship could be used to rest up between visits to the islands. This is a great way to experience all the islands have to offer in a short amount of time.

For those who enjoy the on-ship part of the cruise the best, there are cruises that depart Mexico or British Columbia and float across the pacific for a very relaxing trip. These are much longer excursions. The onboard time can be spent enjoying all the amenities the ship has to offer before embarking on the many island adventures.


Another Caribbean destination, Aruba, is well known for its nightlife. Aruba has often been called the Caribbean’s answer to Las Vegas, with its many lavish casinos and upscale resorts. This island relies on tourism to keep it going, with over fifty percent of its gross national product coming from tourism. That explains why the people are so open and friendly.

The trade winds help keep the temperatures down from the extremes, but the arid, dry climate promises plenty of beach weather. Days spent on the beach and in the warm waters, coupled with nights spent enjoying the resorts and casinos equals fun and relaxation. A low crime rate just adds to the air of relaxation.

U.S. Virgin Islands

This popular string of islands is a hotspot for cruise ship tourism. St. Thomas is the port of choice for shoppers. There are many other attractions and beautiful beaches, as well. Many cruise ships focus their trip on St. Thomas alone, and the passengers are not disappointed. However, the other islands cannot be ignored.

St. John is not a common cruise ship destination, but it is an easy ferry trip from St. Thomas. St. John offers a great look at the nature and history of the islands. And, if it is history you are looking for St. Croix is the destination of choice. It is rich in history with many historical attractions. And Water Island, although not on the cruise ship docket, is a short ferry ride from St. Thomas and offers a relaxing taste of paradise. With less than 200 residents it is an unspoiled gem in the chain of islands.

Jeremy Foster, a freelance writer who writes about travel tips and vacations, also discusses specific kinds of vacations such as a Caribbean cruise.

Family Holidays to Montechoro Provide Great Escape

Whether you are looking for a great escape from the lively crowds of Albufeira or simply want a nice and relaxing holiday to call your own, package holidays to Montechoro are sure to please. You can enjoy the vibrant nightlife of the larger resort located very nearby by escape to the retreat that Montechoro is known for providing once the party is over. Last minute deals to Montechoro make this an incredibly affordable holiday option for families and singles of all ages and financial circumstances. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for cheap holidays and need to focus on package deals that include more than one aspect of your holiday or want cheap holiday offers that cover the bare basics of your travel plans there is surely something that will meet your needs and get you on your way to this lovely resort.

Montechoro needs no nightlife of its own. It only needs to borrow from the nightlife of nearby Albufeira, which it does so well. There are a few smaller options available to enjoy the nightlife in Montechoro proper if your holiday wishes are for something much more relaxed and inviting than what many find in the livelier neighbor. There are plenty of shops, restaurants, and bars that are part of Montechoro that are perfectly adequate by many standards for a holiday nightlife. It isn’t nearly on the scale of the nightlife on the Albufeira “Strip”.

Montechoro is also well located for plenty of tours and excursions. If you want to explore the best of the Algarve Region of Portugal then you should definitely consider package holidays that include many of these tours.

Water sports are available nearby and include popular sports like wind surfing, banana boats, water skiing, and jet skiing. It is also quite popular to charter fishing trips from Montechoro so keep this in mind if there are avid fishermen (and women) in your family. For something a little different you might want to consider dive school. It shouldn’t be too hard on the budget if you were able to secure last minute deals to Montechoro by booking online.

Family holidays to Montechoro can be a great deal of fun for everyone in the family. Check out the options for package holidays before you book. You might discover that packages make for many great cheap holidays options for families to consider. Don’t wait around for last minute deals to Montechoro. Book your cheap holiday deals right away.

More Holidays at search4sun.com

Cheap holiday deals

Wayne Bromiley

Escape the cold and spend Christmas on a Sri Lankan beach

Christmas is a time for family and festivities, but that doesn’t mean you need to be in your own country to enjoy this time of year. Christmas is actually a very popular time for travel, with a lot of exotic countries enjoying their nicest weather of the year. It’s not uncommon these days for families to spend the winter on a beach in warmer climes and enjoying the different style of festivities that other countries have to offer.

It can be quite pricey to take your holiday over the Christmas period as some countries experience their busiest tourism periods during December and January. Accommodation can be snapped up quickly, but there are deals to be found if you search hard enough. If you don’t mind travelling on Christmas Day there are big savings to be made. Often airfares will be slashed by up to 30%. You also get the unique experience of being in an airport without any queues for security or a lack of parking spaces.

One of the best Christmas beach destinations in the world is the country of Sri Lanka, which is situated just off the south eastern coast of India. Sri Lanka has been through some tough times in the past, but it is on the rise again. The country is full of warm, friendly and welcoming people and although the majority of the population is Theravada Buddhist, the country still celebrates this time of year and you can often find a decorated Christmas tree here and there.

Sri Lanka has quite an interest climate, where one half of the island can be in the middle of a monsoon and the other is enjoying its best weather for the year. During December and January, the best parts of the island to stay on are the west and south coasts. Whilst you are sunning yourself on a stretch of pristine beach, the north and east of the island will be experiencing the Maha monsoon. On the west coast, the capital Colombo averages around 28C and seven hours of sunshine a day during December.

The beaches of Sri Lanka are famous around the world and a major attraction for those looking to escape the winter blues. Negombo, which is only 6km from the international airport and just north of Colombo, is a popular first stop for anyone visiting the country. This trendy fishing village has some of the best seafood Sri Lanka has to offer and a long golden sandy beach with some excellent diving spots and a 40 year old shipwreck that serves as an artificial reef for many different varieties of colourful fish.

Two other beach highlights in this part of Sri Lanka are Mount Lavina, which is just south of Colombo and is a popular beach with locals. Each weekend people come to enjoy the water sports and live music, so it is a great place to mix with local people and join in the fun. The other beach is Unawatuna, which is right on the southwest tip of Sri Lanka. This stunning beach stretches around like a horseshoe and is a peaceful alternative to the busy beaches of Colombo and the surrounding coastline. This area also offers some of the best diving that the country has to offer.

Beach holidays are a great way to escape the winter blues and an interesting and exciting way to spend your Christmas break. Not everyone celebrates Christmas around the world, but as long as you are with your family or friends you can have your own Christmas celebrations no matter where you are.

Jonathan Wallace writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.

A Tranquil Escape To Nature On Watts Bar Lake Near

Enjoy the tranquil and peaceful environment of Watts Bar Lake at Lighthouse Pointe, a growing community that offers beautiful views of the river in a boutique community setting. Lighthouse Pointe is one of Knoxville’s first boutique communities, a place to rest, relax, and escape from the cares of the world and enter a welcoming and distinctive neighborhood instead.

Watts Bar Lake is located between Knoxville and Chattanooga, and attracts millions of visitors each year. Fishing, swimming, camping, and boating are just a few of the outdoor opportunities available on this scenic lake in Tennessee, and both cabin and cottage rentals are a valuable choice for regular visitors. Now the residential options at Lighthouse Pointe make a trip out to Watts Bar Lake even more simple.

Just a short drive from the city center of Knoxville, Lighthouse Pointe on Watts Bar Lake is a welcome escape from stress and a fast-paced lifestyle. The community offers a neighborhood atmosphere with walkways and green landscaping. The homes scattered throughout the area are built with deluxe amenities and easy access to the main community areas. An outdoor kitchen, observation deck, and a private beach are just a few of the benefits of staying and living at Lighthouse Pointe.

Both families and singles can enjoy the safe, gated community on Watts Bar Lake. Lighthouse Pointe is the perfect place to enjoy a waterfront home, and each home has easy access to all of the community amenities as well. Sit back and enjoy the sunset with friends and neighbors at the RiverWalk; this is the place to take a break and make use of the dining deck, stone fire pit, or just enjoy a cool beverage with friends. The RiverWalk is the most distinctive attraction at Lighthouse Pointe, and makes a visit or stay here very unique; life at Lighthouse Pointe is simply lakefront living at its finest.

Each home at Lighthouse Pointe at Watts Bar Lake is located inside a gated entrance, and the main boulevard leads out to the Lanai Overlook. With plenty of parking at the river-walk, it’s easy to travel around the resort and neighboring communities. A clubhouse within the resort is the ideal spot for parties, events, and get-togethers; decorated with timbers and a stone fireplace, the club house is yet another setting to enjoy the venue as a group.

Landscaped jogging trails and nature walks are located nearby and these cover the banks of Watts Bar Lake. Residents can enjoy the sunrise with a gorgeous view of the lake, and then head back to the club house for refreshments and relaxation. Boating and fishing options are also available, and Lighthouse Pointe has easy access to both.

A visit to Watts Bar Lake isn’t complete without a trip to the coves and small islands scattered throughout the region. Staying at Lighthouse Pointe makes it easy to take part in a water adventure with local guides, and those who prefer land-based explorations may enjoy a scenic drive from the community grounds to the local towns and cities instead.

Outdoor adventures and luxury clubhouse amenities are readily available at Lighthouse Pointe. A tranquil escape to nature awaits at this luxury residential community that will soon become a highlight of Knoxville and Tennessee.

Tim Stewart is a contributing writer for Ideal Living magazine which covers planned and gated communities like Lighthouse Pointe on Watts Bar Lake as well as other topics of interest to baby boomers. Request a free issue

Romance Escape Motif Today

Romance escape motif today


American literature has adopted the motif of romance escape. Ernest Hemingway’s book A Farewell to Arms (1929) has the theme of romance with two types of romance. First, the hero Henry Fredrick portrays false romance of fleeing and secondly the real romance which he genuinely falls in love with Barkley Catherine. The false romance in this text covers up for the ugly picture of the war which is a harsh realty and that is why Lieutenant Henry eventually flees. Though in the text, we have to question what the real motive for the hero who escaped was. He runs away in an attempt to run away from war and death into fulfilling his hopes to his love Catharine and towards life itself. He succeeds partly but the story tragically ends as we discover Catherine is dead. Henry acknowledges that even though people escape to find love and life, death is inevitable.


The movie Legend of the Fall starred by Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins and Edward Zick is a movie with a romance escape motive. The three brothers in the play have fallen in love with Susannah the beautiful female character.  Samuel comes home with her only for us to find out that Susannah gets attracted to Brad while the third brother Alfred also falls for her. It is at the end where we see Brad and Julian Armand (Susannah) escape after the brother Samuel has been killed in the world war.


Easy Wedding advertisement based on honeymoon bookings for locations to visit and wedding guide connoted the theme of romance and escape.

The poems ‘Bait’ and ‘Passionate Shepherd’

The poem of John Donne, “Bait” is written to bring out the limitations in Christopher Marlow’s ‘The passionate Shepherd’ poem which is hyperbolic of euphonic love. The Bait is therefore a parody of Marlow’s as expressed from the point of view of Donne. This poem is structured logically just like Marlow’s poem with its progressive aspects that shows a more darker and serious tone that is adopted from Marlow’s light and simple tone. At the end of the stanza we see a proverb that tells of the happiness of love with unhappiness hidden within it.

We find that the first stanza appears like Marlows poem with imageries that are related and which talk about fishing such as hooks, brooks and sand but the hook giving a more unpleasant connotation. The second stanza is an exaggeration of warmth in which the sun is more inferior to it. As the poem progresses it provides a more cautious message as seen in the last line of the third stanza. The fifth stanza talks of what happens when caught up by the hook. Legs are cut and they freeze; the fish has been betrayed. The last stanza talks of how the fish has been deceived which is a paradox that it is ones own lust that draws him / her into a trap. This poem is therefore more realistic than Marlow’s ‘Passionate Shepard.’

Herrick’s “To the Virgins”

This poem focuses upon the idea of carpe diem. It is for the idea of marriage while love and flesh is still young or else, one may suffer in the last years of life loveless and alone. The poet says Virginity should not be wasted for it is a gift to the husband.

Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress”

Marvell presents the same literature theme of carpe diem meaning seize the day in Latin. A young man declares his love to a young lady. The lady is hesitant and playful. The young man advises just like in Herrick’s poem that youth passes swiftly and ladies should take advantage of the moment. However, from the poem To the Virgins we get the feeling of urgency and duty which is not present in Marvell’s poem.

The 1500 centaury

The phrase ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ in life in 1500 century connotes that aspect of urgency in belief that we as human beings are immortal and things should be done at the right time. The poems teach us that we should be realistic in view of love all and all of our activities by doing what needs to be done. The poems are also against procrastination of life stages. The poems talk about love and marriage.


Baym, N (2007) The Norton anthology of American literature. Seventh edition. W.W

Norton publisher. Issue number 393930572.

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Escape to RuneScape this Summer

Ten to fifteen year olds all over are leaving their home this summer and running off the world of Gielinor, perhaps ending up in the Kingdoms of Misthalin, Asgarnia, and Kandarin or the tropical Karamja island, the Kharidian Desert region, and the lawless Wilderness among other places. However, their parents are not worried-this magical place isn’t far from home. In fact it isn’t out of the home at all; it’s right at their computers.

RuneScape is the latest in the online adventure game craze that is taking hold of teens and pre-teens across America. This magical place holds two million players across 132 international servers. Players can design their own character and then will be set loose on a virtual world of magic and monsters. Fishing, mining, combat and casting spells are only a few of the many skills that can be acquired. Novice, intermediate, experienced and master levels are available deepening on a player’s skills. The game allows you to not only search a world of unknown in cyberspace, but also encounter other players on your journey. Other players may offer alliances or new items through trade, but are mostly used as a guide to help players that are not familiar with the game. The site’s forum even suggests that those who find themselves bored could give a new player a tour of the virtual world.

RuneScape is not the first of its kind; Guild Wars, Everquest and Final Fantasy, to name a few, have preceded this online adventure. Such games have offered Player versus Player (PvP) or Player versus Environment (PvE) options, but RuneScape gives no such choices. EverQuest allowed parts of the game to be individual, but it too took a “group-centric” approach. Final Fantasy began without the ability to “play with others”, but now having version XIII it can be used with others not only on the computer but also PlayStation 2 and 3 and Xbox 360.

Although not offered anywhere but online, RuneScape offers Free to play (F2P) or Pay to Play (P2P) options, with paying customers having access to quests, items, map area, skills, shortcuts, and mini-games that are not available to F2P players. Created by the British company Jagex, RuneScape went live on January 4, 2001. This 5th version of the game is updated weekly, bringing new areas to explore, new items to collect, new skills to train, and new monsters to fight. Tip forums are spread throughout the web to aid new and even experienced players in maneuvering through the cyber world.

Many parents may squirm at the thought of their pre-teens interacting with potentially millions of strangers, but RuneScape tries to keep its virtual space safe. Offensive language and personal information requests are prohibited both within the game and on the help forum. Players are only known by their user name and are not allowed to discuss any other information within the site. Spam is also prohibited within forums and the game and users are expected to alert the webmaster of any problems. These precautions help to keep those online safer and parents happier.

Now all they have to worry about are eye problems.

Sarah Deak is a contributing business writer for http://goliath.ecnext.com. Goliath is one of the Internet’s largest collections of business research, news and information.

A True Tropical Escape in Fiji

Situated in the South-West Pacific Ocean in the Australia Continent, Fiji is one of the most beautiful archipelagic destinations in the world. Officially the Republic of the Fiji Islands, Fiji is located to the north of the Tropic of Cancer, and is about 1850 miles east of Australia and about 1200 miles south of the Equator.

Further, via air, Fiji is about three hours from Brisbane and Auckland, about four hours from Sydney, and about ten hours from Los Angeles. Sprawling over an area of about 240000 square kilometers, Fiji is made up of more than 300 islands and more than 500 smaller islets, of which about only 100 is inhabited. Fiji’s two largest islands are Vitu Levu and northern Vanua Levu, both of which together occupies about 85% of the overall land mass.

Once served as a British colony for more than 100 years, Fiji has now become the hub of trade in the South Pacific as well as the prominent stopover for flights between the USA and New Zealand. With its incomparable sheer natural splendor and unspoiled serene environment comprising a variety of unique flora and fauna, glorious beaches, lush rain forests, coral islands, salubrious tropical climate, and sparkling waters, Fiji is truly a paradise for nature lovers. Above all, Fiji is much favored for its rich culture as well as the presence of amicable Fijian people.

Fiji Islands are highly famed as a romantic destination. Let it be for an enjoyable vacation or to celebrate honeymoon or wedding anniversary, or to indulge in an array of fun filled activities, Fiji is an ideal destination. The archipelago of Fiji has been categorized into three island groups such as the Central Islands covering the two major islands: Viti Levu and Vanua Levu; the Ra Islands, with islands such as the Yasawas and Mamanucas; and the Lau Islands.

As mentioned earlier, Viti Levu is the most prominent island in the country, and is home to the capital city, Suva. Boasting of highly sophisticated cities, verdant areas, dazzling waterfalls, and magnificent as well as secluded beaches, Viti Levu indeed has everything to make your vacation in Fiji memorable as well as fun filled.

Situated about 65 kilometers north of the Viti Levu, Vanua Levu is the most popular island in Fiji, after the Viti Levu. With such well maintained town as Savusavu and Labasa, Vanua Levu is a perfect destination for those interested in exploring the country’s indigenous life. If you are a nature lover or a traveler seeking peace and tranquility, then one of the most suitable options would be to take a tour to Taveuni, which is sometimes acknowledged as the Garden Island, due to its plentiful of magnificent, exotic flowers. Most popular among the attractions in this region are Lake Tagimaucia with a volcanic crater and Bouma Falls. Apart from these, Taveuni has to its credit some of the best diving spots in the world, such as, the Rainbow Reef and the Vuna Reef.

Popular island destinations in the country also include Kadavu, which is situated to the south of Viti Levu. Majority of its land mass is covered with rainforest, apart from several soaring mountains, beautiful waterfalls, and gorgeous beaches. It is also an area to spot some rare species of birds. Apart from these, Kadavu is home to one of the scuba diving resorts in the country, Great Astrolabe Reef.

Attractions in Fiji are not just confined to majestic volcanic mountains, secluded mountains, scintillating waterfalls, and stupendous beaches. But, it is beyond all these things. People touring Fiji can also come through a range of museums, art galleries, historic shrines and monuments, and cultural centers. For instance, the Fiji Museum in Suva is one of the not to miss attractions in Fiji.

On display here is an amazing collection of artifacts hat throw light on the interesting past of the region. A gallery housing prehistory-related items can also be found within the museum. Aside this, the museum provides opportunities for the visitors to take a ride in Vitian drua, a traditional type double hulled canoe.

Likewise, for devotees, Fiji has some superb options in the form of Sri Siva-Subramaniya Temple, which is in Nadi. The shrine is the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. Dedicated to the Lord Muruga, the temple is much famed for its exquisite architectural styles. Attractions in Fiji also include Orchid Island Fijian Cultural Centre in Suva and Suva Municipal Market, the South Pacific’s largest as well as liveliest market.

Additionally, Fiji is a mecca for water sport lovers, and provides opportunities to enjoy a range of attractions from scuba diving, swimming, and snorkeling to fishing, surfing, and sailing.

When comes to accommodation, Fiji boasts of some of the best choices in the world. Some of the most sophisticated hotels in the area come with excellent rooms replete with high end amenities such as air conditioning, comfortable beds, and superb bath area. There are also some resorts that provide services via packages covering accommodation, dining, and facilities to enjoy a myriad of water based as well as land based activities.

The Accor Group manages Hotels with the Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure, All Seasons, Ibis, Formule 1, Grand Mercure brands and offers services to corporate clients and public institutions: 23 million people in nearly 40 countries use a broad range of services engineered and managed by Accor Services.

Manawatu, an Escape Into Heaven on Earth


Situated mid-way between Rotorua and Wellington, the Manawatu region merges the rural lifestyle of New Zealand with the charming appeal of Palmerston North (aka Palmy). The greenery in Manawatu has been carefully landscaped by environmental conservationists. These scenic landscapes span the Ruahine and Tararua mountain ranges and sweeps across the breathtaking Manawatu Gorge and through the beautiful Pohangina Valley, down to the coastal plains of Tangimoana and Himatangi along the Manawatu River.


The mild climate and ideal environmental conditions in Manawatu have contributed to its chosen main industry, agriculture. The region is famous for its beef, sheep and deer produce. The region’s main centers are Fielding and Palmerston North. Taihape is the biggest town along the way to Mount Ruapehu and central plateau. Popularly known as the “gumboot capital,”, Taihape holds an annual festival to celebrate these essential rural kiwi footwear. The gumboot throwing competition is a special event during these festivities.


The Rangitikei river provides for an excellent trout fishing industry in Manawatu. Along this river, you can also experience bungy jumping, hiking, scenic and white water rafting adventures. Delicious country cooking and rural life experiences are available for visitors who opt to partake in the Farm-stay programs offered in Manawatu. Golf courses are also abundant in Manawatu, and visitors are able to enjoy the natural scenery, fresh air and the myriad of nature adventures and activities to the fullest in this amazing unpolluted region.


Besides the scenery and adventures, some remnants of historic structures also provide a few interesting sightseeing opportunities for the traveler. Most of Palmerston North’s original buildings from the early 1920s onwards are still standing and have been restored for use as cafes, restaurants and quaint boutiques.


When you visit Manawatu, your best accommodation options are available in Palmerston North hotels. From the majority of rural New Zealand hotels, the most recommended are those operated by recognized international hotel groups, as their standards are the same all over the world.

Naveen Marasinghe is an Online Marketing Executive at eMarketingEye which is a search engine marketing company that offers integrated Internet marketing services and specializes in serving the online travel and hospitality industry.

Escape! Travel to New Hampshire

No matter how much you claim to love living in the city, I’m sure you’re often tempted to hit the road and disappear into the wilderness. I know I am. I sometimes question my inability to fall asleep without a subway train rumbling by.

I recently followed one of my escapist temptations and steered my VW Bug toward New Hampshire’s Lakes Region. I attempted to travel light, but after a bit of research, I found my car quite stocked:

1. Fishing Rods (there was a bass out there with my name on it).
2. 1 Tent (I actually booked a New Hampshire Hotel Room, but felt as if the trip deserved a tent)
3. Costco-sized bag of Trail Mix (aprox. 10 lbs.)
4. Extra Fluffy Down Pillows
5. A laptop with EVDO broadband card (we all gotta stay connected somehow)
6. A hammock I picked up on the way out
7. My flatmate Alan (aprox. 245 lbs)
8. A suitcase filled with clothing and a wool jacket.
9. Hiking boots
8. Alan’s stuff (mostly consisted of two thirty racks of beer)

We filled the silence of the five hour drive with Bruce Springsteen’s greatest hits. You know you’ve crossed over to the Granite State’s highways when they become lined with a surplus of gun shops and discount liquor stores. More blatant were the thousand or so bikers that cut past us on Route 93.

They growled by on packs of silver and black Harleys; I imagined them off to some grass-and-dirt battlefield to clash with a rival gang. Turns out it was Laconia Motorcycle Week, an annual June rally for the displaying of bikes and girls and the consuming of copious amounts of beer. Alan wanted to go, but I decided against it.

Just as the sun dipped below the horizon we arrived at beautiful Steele Hill Resorts, set amongst 500 acres of unspoiled fields and hardwood forests, and perched proudly on top of New Hampshire’s lakes Region. We were hungry from traveling, and were provided a fantastic meal in Steele Hill’s restaurant which offered stunning views of Lake Winnipesaukee and Lake Winnisquaum.

I lay awake that night, amazed at how quiet the world was outside of the city. A symphony of crickets had replaced the subway trains and drunk revelers. I fell asleep well-traveled and ready to catch my bass in the morning.

I lay awake that night, amazed at how quiet the world was outside of the city.  A symphony of crickets had replaced the subway trains and drunk revelers. I fell asleep well-traveled and ready to catch my bass in the morning.

Times are hard for the American currently. My goal is to start a conversation about how we can use eachother’s knowledge to better our lives and country. Now is the time for us to stand together, and the internet is the perfect vehicle for us to traverse this difficult path and emerge to a bright new era.

Madagascar 2 – My Escape

It’s a world where lions and hippos get to walk upright on their hind legs, and, perhaps unfairly, giraffes and zebras still have no hands for gesturing; a lion can dance as gracefully as a ballerina, perhaps even better; a giraffe can fall in love with a hippo; a zebra can crack jokes like a black man; and all animals speak the same language, ours.

It’s an entertaining world if your imagination is able to run loose, more so if you watch it with your kids, and an easily entertained crowd.

(Warning: following contains spoilers (even though the movie doesn’t need one) and loads of craps.)

Four urban animals (a lion, a zebra, a hippo and a giraffe) that were stranded in an island a long, long time ago (like in its prequel), finally got to go home in an airplane that was piloted by none other than the birds that can’t fly, penguins.

Right at a few thousand feet above Africa, the fuel of the airplane ran dry and they bungee-jumped and crash-landed into no other place than the birthplace of our main character, the lion. There he was happily reunited with his long lost parents and his clan, who all had great looking hair that Elvis would be proud of. The zebra found his brothers who all had the same number of black and white stripes, same pattern, same hair, same height, same legs, same tone of voice, same humour, same … same everything. The hippo found her clan where being big and very big were beautiful. And the giraffe found his mates who, to his horror, didn’t have a doctor amongst them.

With their new found family, a scenic water place as their home and the protection of the place being a reserve, all was well and rosy, until they need some twists and turns to stretch it to a 90 minutes affair.

The lion was conned and banished from the clan, along with his mother and father, who happened to be the alpha lion. The zebra found out he’s not unique, and all of a sudden had an identity crisis. The giraffe found a brown spot (amongst many others) behind his neck and thought he had only a few more days to live. The hippo … well, she’s happy, gotten to date a six-abs hunk with cute butts.

But all’s not lost (except for our times). God, or in this case, the movie makers, always had something uplifting spiritually saved for the last for those with bravery and perseverance, to stay until the end of the movie.

The waterhole at the reserve was running dry. And nobody had, or should have, a clue regarding what to do, except for our heroes.

The lion saw a chance to redeem himself and his parents, and boldly took up the challenge. After convincing his zebra friend that uniqueness was all in the mind and not in the eyes (he’s white stripes with black, as opposed to the black stripes with white of the other zebras), they ventured into the wilderness to remove the block in nature’s water piping.

As sure as the ozone layer was getting bigger and bigger day by day, they found out the source of the problem and its perpetrators – us human, who does not spare thoughts for other inhabitants on the earth, and claims ownership on everything that is on it.

At the end, with some smooth dancing moves, a father and son collaboration, a wing-flapping airplane, some great stunts from a giraffe and a hippo, a few penguins and loads of monkeys, they saved the day, and their waterhole, and a fish who was able to hold his breath on dry land longer, way, way longer, than I can hold mine in the water.

Our heroes returned as heroes to the reserve and decided that the reserve would be their home and lived happily ever after. And the penguin leader wed his beloved wooden bobblehead doll.

And if you find yourself leaving the cinema twisting your butt while humming “I like to move it, move it …”, you’re probably enjoying a bit too much of the movie. If you leave doubting the logic in a shark’s ability to hop from the sea to the beach, through the forest, up the mountain, and into a volcano; or the technically able mind of the penguins, or their organizing skills, or their shrewdness on the negotiation table; or how a zebra could switch on an iPod with his hooves, you’re probably not loosening enough the rein on your imagination to enjoy the movie.

I never had any control over my imagination, and my kids liked it, so I found it to be an enjoyable experience.

I like to Move It, Move It …

Father of 2. Husband to 1. 40 years+ I have lived. Fusses and Buzzes I have many. Blog I have 1:

Bricks For Jades.

Aldeburgh, the Perfect Escape for 2009

Sometimes just getting away from it all after such a hectic period as Christmas and New Year is all you need to recharge the batteries. A simple stroll along the beach or a walk through the countryside is enough to invigorate you and melt away the stresses and strains of all the planning and organising for the Christmas holidays.

Suffolk has an abundance of great locations for getting away for the day, with a host of historic buildings to visit and a number of bird sanctuaries and country walks. If you’re looking for a brisk walk along a fabulous part of the Suffolk coastline then Aldeburgh is a great location. With its wide stretch of shingled beach and amazing views along the coast it’s difficult to beat.

Aldeburgh is a fantastic coastal town for a wander too, antique shops, quaint boutiques and fantastic hotels and restaurants right along the promenade. One such restuarant, The Bru, part of the Brudenell Hotel, starts it’s Winter Offers on January 5th where you can reward yourself with a delicious lunch or dinner starting at just £12.95, a perfect retreat for those that have worked up an appetite. With it’s choice of delicious dishes all prepared by Justin Kett, the chef, whose passion for using local suppliers from locally reared meat to the freshest of fish, caught locally where possible, there’s something to delight everyone. There’s also a great wine selection too.

Kris Smith has been living and writing about Suffolk for several years, and especially the Bru Restaurant. To find out more information about Bru Restaurant visit – www.thebru.co.uk or Call: 01728 452071.

A Great Escape – Vacationing in Florida

Vacationing in Florida is on the wish list for many families. Whether you’re looking to spend time in Disney enjoying the many theme parks, or you want to spend a relaxing vacation on the beaches of the Florida Keys- Florida offers a nice variety of vacation options for every lifestyle and budget.

Florida Panhandle: Many popular destinations lie within the area known as the Florida Panhandle, including Panama City Beach, Santa Rosa, Destin, and Pensacola Beach. You can find a nice variety of vacation rentals that are right on the beach, as well as rentals located more in the city limits. Florida Panhandle vacation rentals are year-round destinations. In Destin you can enjoy over 24 miles of sandy white beaches, water activities including snorkeling, deep-sea fishing and diving, and dolphin watching.

In Panama City Beach, popular vacation rentals include condos and houses on Shell Island and M.B Miller County Pier. There is no shortage of activity in Panama City- from water sports to deep-sea fishing to amusement parks and the ever-popular, glass bottom boat tours, you will always find exciting things to do while on vacation. If you’re interested in marine life, visit the Gulf World Marine Park while staying in your vacation rentals, for shows and encounters with lively dolphins.

Orlando: The most popular vacation destination in Florida, Orlando boasts hundreds of theme parks, amusement and water parks, and family fun centers. Rentals can be found right in the heart of vacation activity, or a little further away from it all depending on your preference. Home to Walt Disney World, Sea World, Universal Orlando and Daytona Speedway, it’s easy to forget everything else Orlando has to offer vacationers.
Orlando is also home to some of the most beautiful botanical gardens and nature trails. You can find an abundance of biking trails, as well as natural springs. Vacationers wanting relaxation rather than nonstop action can enjoy many of the areas natural attractions instead of the amusement parks that share the geographical location.

Miami: A gorgeous Florida vacation destination, and the only state to have two national parks. The Everglades National Park is considered an untamed ecosystem that cannot be found anyplace else on earth. The Biscayne National Park boasts the only living tropical reef in the United States. There is a nice variety of vacation options within Miami. Speedways and amusements for the active types and tropical relaxation for those looking to get away for some much needed “R and R”. You have a multitude of options in your choice of rentals also, from beachfront resorts, to art deco boutique hotels in the city, to private homes along the beach.

Florida Keys. The keys are actually several islands that are part of Florida. Key West is home to the famous “Duvall Street”. Many popular establishments have a Duvall Street Address, including “Sloppy Joes Bar”, which was a favorite stop for Ernest Hemingway when he was living in Key West. The street also boasts several art galleries. Each night, both tourists and locals gather in Mallory Square to enjoy what is known as the Sunset Fest. The Sunset Fest allows people to enjoy one another’s company while watching the beauty of the sunset and listening to local musicians and watching Key West Carnival acts. Key West vacation rentals include cottages, motels, hotels and homes. Key Largo is the diving capital of the world! Whether you are new to the undersea world or are a seasoned diver, Key Largo offers exceptional quality diving vacations. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, a favorite underwater park, is located in Key Largo. Even if you are unable or unwilling to try diving, you can enjoy the beautiful coral reefs by taking a ride in one of the glass-bottom boats. Key Largo is the closest island to Miami, located about an hour and thirty minutes from Miami International airport, which makes the destination perfect for day visitors from Miami, or for extended vacation stays in a variety of rentals.

Whether you’re looking for an action packed vacation, or one that allows you and your family to relax on sandy beaches- Florida has many locations to fulfill your desires.

Matthew Kekelis is employed by http://www.vacationmls.com an online source for vacation rental homes, condos and villas.

Escape to the Florida Keys

Sprinkled off the southwest coast of Florida, the sandy gems known as the Keys offer one exciting opportunity after another for vacationers in search of stimulation and relaxation. The islands stretch for 120 miles, and within that span you’ll find art, history, music, wilderness, and as much natural beauty as your senses can handle. Each island has its own distinctive qualities, but you’ll find that they all share the ability to impress and enthrall anyone wise enough to stray from the mainland.

Key Largo, the northernmost island, is a great place to start your tour of the Keys. Known as the Diving Capital of the World, this area of land and sea will provide underwater explorers access to North America’s only living coral barrier reef, as well as Spiegel Grove, a 510 foot sunken navy ship. Sport fishing is also a popular attraction, so arrange for an experienced captain to take you out for a spin if you have your heart set on reeling in an exotic catch. Key Largo’s close proximity to the Everglades make eco-tours exciting prospects, and kayakers with a love for the environment can be seen paddling all around the lush marshland.

Next in line is Islamorada. Though ocean fishing is an activity common in all the Keys, Islamorada claims the title of Sport Fishing Capital of the World. Reel in a sailfish, tuna, tarpon, or bonefish, or just watch the saltwater hunters do their thing. Diving, too, is popular here, as the coral reef winds its way all around this enchanting string of islands. Islamorada has a few state parks for your enjoyment, and plenty of shops and galleries that surely contain the perfect souvenir.

Marathon is the Heart of the Keys, and offers up plenty of reasons to make it a valuable addition to rest of its sisters. An airport and hospital give it a modern, practical feel, but there are lots of light-hearted diversions to keep you feeling mellow. Sombrero Reef is a haven for snorkelers, Crane Point Hammock holds 64 acres of museums and a nature center, and the Dolphin Research Center and Turtle Hospital take care of the marine animals that make their home in Marathon. Spend some time enjoying the wonderful conditions for ocean activities in Boot Key Harbor, and then continue your journey to the next blissful island.

The Lower Keys have a quieter appeal, but still offer plenty to see and do. Bahia Honda State Park on the Key of the same name is considered one of the most beautiful beaches around, and Little Duck Key is home to Veterans Memorial Park. Big Pine Key has the best shopping in the area, and it also exists as a refuge for Key Deer, the tiny and delicate creatures who add another fascinating detail to the already entrancing atmosphere of the Lower Keys. This is an ideal area to set up a tent or rent a vacation home, as its uncultivated land and stunning sunsets make it utterly appealing.

Finally, at the end of the line you’ll find the biggest personality of all, Key West. Home to Ernest Hemingway, a healthy artistic community, and festivals galore, this fun-loving shelter from negativity is the place to be for anyone looking to enhance their lust for life. Whether you feel like sipping a margarita on Duval Street or raising your hands to the sunset on Mallory Square, you’ll feel comfortable and embraced by the diverse population that inhabits and visits the most open-minded Key.
Anywhere you stop along the sprawling collection of cozy islands will welcome you to slow down for a while and listen to the sounds of sweet contentment. Stay active or stretch out on the sand, no one will be judging you for putting your own interests first and truly enjoying your hard-earned vacation. On this note, be sure to choose a place to stay that will reinforce the lessons of the Keys; treat yourself right and stay comfortable.

Renting a vacation home might be the perfect way to carry out these goals. Crowded resorts and bland hotel rooms might be unavoidable in some situations, but the Florida Keys have a number of different choices. Reserving an oceanfront condo in Key Largo or a secluded beach hut on its own little island will give you the chance to truly retreat from the outside world, reconnect with your traveling companion, and enjoy the glorious surroundings as they are meant to be enjoyed.

Go online to start searching for the Florida Keys Vacation Rental that will top off the undoubtedly marvelous experience you are sure to have as you head south to paradise.

HomeAway.com has an extensive array of vacation rental listings, and will surely point you in the right direction when it comes to achieving your next fabulous vacation.

Escape From America Without Leaving America

By: Jim Scherrer

As we all know, Christopher Columbus, while searching for China, first discovered the Americas when he arrived in San Salvador in 1492. On his second voyage, he landed in the Caribbean Islands, and on his last voyage in 1498, he arrived in the area of Venezuela. In 1497, the Italian sailor Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot), exploring on behalf of England, landed in Labrador and Newfoundland. Unfortunately, neither of these sailors was very well educated nor inclined to thoroughly document their voyages.

In 1499, an educated Italian named Amerigo Vespucci joined a Spanish fleet and sailed to Venezuela. A few years later, the king of Portugal enlisted Vespucci to pilot another voyage to Brazil and by 1508, the voyages that Vespucci participated in were well documented. Although Amerigo Vespucci was a relatively insignificant person and had never led an expedition or discovered anything, his name appeared on much of the documentation and many of the New World land surveys.

Using all of the freshly generated documentation, a German cartographer named Martin Waldseemuller prepared the first map of the New World in 1507. With documentation prepared by Amerigo Vespucci as his guide, he merely used the word Americus, the Latinized version of Amerigo, to indicate the New World. Consequently, the entire Western Hemisphere eventually took on the name Americus which later became known as the Americas. It probably should have been called Columbus or Cabot but it could have been even worse; just imagine, The United States of Vespucciville!

Before we get too far into this article let’s first define “America”. The Americas are the lands of the Western hemisphere or New World, comprising of the North American and South American continents with their associated islands and regions. Today, in the minds of most United States citizens and for that matter, in the minds of people throughout the world, the term “America” refers to the United States of America; however, that term is open to debate. For the sake of this article, we’ll be referring to the United States of America when we use the term “America”.

The next term that we must accurately define is “North American”; all too often we think of North Americans as those from the United States and Canada. Again, that’s a misnomer because North America actually encompasses the entire North American continent which includes the US, Canada, Greenland, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean Islands. Therefore, “North Americans” are those residing anywhere in the North American continent. However, for the sake of this article, we’ll be referring only to those from the US and Canada as “North Americans”.

Typically, when we think of escaping from America, we’re referring to Americans emigrating from the United States to some other locale. With the current depressing state of the economy, politics, crime rate, standard of living, etc., there are numerous reasons why US citizens are more interested than ever in retiring abroad (beyond the boundaries of one’s own country). Today’s broad availability of inexpensive international telephone, Internet, satellite TV, transportation, medical care, etc. have essentially eliminated the primary reasons for retiring and remaining in the US.

Now, more than ever, with the numerous reasons why one might desire to escape from America, the question is; where in the world would be the most logical retirement destination? Most would agree that it would be somewhere that has a lower cost of living without compromising on the standard of living, someplace that has relatively close proximity to the U.S., a safe and clean place where English is understood, etc. Other important criteria for retirement include the size of the community of like minded North Americans (US and Canadian citizens), the availability of activities for retirees, of world class medical care, fine dining, telecommunications, etc.

Most travel and retirement magazines list a number of wonderful retirement havens in the Americas including Costa Rica, Panama, and Ecuador. Although all espouse fine climates, beautiful scenery, low costs of living, etc, Mexico generally tops the list. Many of these locations are either too far away or lack all of the amenities that North Americans are accustomed to and require whereas certain Mexican retirement havens have all of the required prerequisites for North Americans retiring abroad.

After residing in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for almost 13 years, we can state emphatically that PV has it all! During the past decade of growth in Puerto Vallarta, the city has more than doubled in size with its infrastructure being completely upgraded to current international standards. Every amenity that one would expect in a city of 350,000 inhabitants can be found in Puerto Vallarta.

Regarding Vallarta’s proximity to America, please refer to the North American map. You might be amazed to see that PV is approximately the same distance from Chicago, Minneapolis, and Portland as New York is from Houston, Dallas, and Denver. Relatively speaking, cities such as Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, and Los Angeles are virtually next door to PV. Another factoid; Puerto Vallarta is nearer El Paso, Texas than is Texarkana, Texas.

For comparison’s sake, let’s consider Maui, Hawaii which lies on the same latitude as Puerto Vallarta and obviously has an ideal winter climate. However, Vallarta’s winter weather is better; during the seven month period of November through May, the average daily temperature in Vallarta is 73°F with virtually no rain whereas Maui’s average temperature is about the same but with more than two inches of rain per month. Needless to say, as great as Maui is, traveling to and from there is quite expensive and time consuming; retiring there could be cost prohibitive.

This map puts the whole concept of moving abroad into a totally new prospective. With the many advantages that Vallarta has to offer, including its proximity to the US, it’s quite obvious why approximately 50,000 Americans (those from the US) have escaped from America and now call Vallarta home. The fact is that their new home is still in America (the North American continent) and generally a short 2-3 hour flight away from their family and friends. 

In summarizing, now you know how you can escape from America without leaving America. Puerto Vallarta still has all the charm of a Mexican fishing village yet now has all the amenities necessary to make it one of the finest retirement destinations in the world. Just pack up your bags and head south to PV this winter and find out for yourself, but do so with caution; you’ll not want to return home!

Jim Scherrer has owned property in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for 26 years and resided there for the past twelve years. The mission of his series of more than 70 articles pertaining to retirement in Puerto Vallarta is to reveal the recent changes that have occurred in Vallarta while dispelling the misconceptions about living conditions in Mexico. For the full series of articles regarding travel to and retirement in Vallarta as well as pertinent Puerto Vallarta links, please visit us at PVREBA.


Jim Scherrer has owned property in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for 26 years and resided there for the past twelve years. The mission of his series of more than 70 articles pertaining to retirement in Puerto Vallarta is to reveal the recent changes that have occurred in Vallarta while dispelling the misconceptions about living conditions in Mexico. For the full series of articles regarding travel to and retirement in Vallarta as well as pertinent Puerto Vallarta links, please visit us at Puerto Vallarta Real Estate Buyers‘ Agents

Looking For An Escape To Maui To Watch Whales

Have you lately absolute to take a Maui escape? If so, have you absolute which theme of Maui you would like to leave? Depending on the chunk of your Maui escape, there is forever an ability that you may have time to explore the common of the island, but if not, you may want to focus on one given quarter. That matter should be Wailea. Wailea, which is located on the Maui Island, is known as a prevalent break destination among tourists. One of the reasons for that is everything that you can do and see while in the Wailea matter.

A must see in Wailea is the La Perouse Bay. The La Perouse Bay is known as a historical momentous. This historical momentous is most well known for it magma rock shore. In truth, the statement that the shoreline is commonly unruffled of lava rocks is one of the reasons why La Perouse Bay is a must see for vacationers, especially those on a first-time Maui break. Although the shore may be a little bit stubborn to saunter or sit on, the bay is supreme for snorkeling, scuba diving, and even surfing.

When on a Maui rest, particularly in the Wailea locale, you will also want to take the time to trip the Ulua, Mokapu Beach. The Ulua Mokapu Beach is located in Wailea and it is a must break for all vacationers, especially those who like the shoreline. Whether you are looking to bask by the shore, have a picnic, go swimming, or snorkeling, you are really to like the Ulua, Mokapu Beach. What is nice about this general Wailea shore is that it is open twenty-four hours a day.

The Ulua, Mokapu Beach and the La Perouse Bay are just a join of the many Wailea attractions that you should stopover while on a Maui trip. Besides visiting the previously mentioned attractions, you can also have several fun, exciting, and adventurous activities in Wailea. One of those activities involves climbing. Whether you yearning to slog along La Perouse Bay or another lovely locale, you can do so. Hiking on base is the most common, but it is also feasible to find hiking tours in Wailea that compose the use of bicycles or cattle.

Besides enjoying Wailea on bottom, you can also like it from the water. The, above mentioned Ulua, Mokapu Beach is just one of the few areas where you can have ocean or seashore activities. These activities may compose, but are in no way narrow to, swimming, sunbathing, surfing, boating, fishing, scuba diving, and snorkeling. The coastline and water activities that you have open to you will all depend on where in Wailea you are.

If you are looking for exciting ways to end your days, you can also find exactly what you are looking for in Wailea. Wailea has a mass of admired restaurants, some of which embrace Restaurant Taiko, Longhi’s Wailea, SeaWatch Restaurant, and Nick’s Fishermarket Maui. Besides several restaurants, Wailea also has many night activities that you can enjoy. These activities can steadily be found along the coastline or in confined bars.

As important as it is to focus on what you can do and see in Wailea, while on a Maui vacation, it is also important to scan where you will spasm in for the night. Oceanfront condos in Wailea are the most popular form of overnight accommodations in the sphere and among tourists. If you are looking to enjoy all that Wailea has to submit, plus the exquisite beaches, you are advised to book a halt at one of the the oceanfront condos in Wailea; you will likely be delighted with your certitude to do so.

Learn about whale migration and whale pictures at the Whale Facts site.