Traveling To Jerusalem

destination

Considered a holy land too many, Jerusalem is a dream destination for historians and religious enthusiasts alike. This is a place where Jesus is said to have walked and performed miracles. We’d like to review a few tips for traveling in Jerusalem.

For tourist attractions, visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, a place it is believed that Jesus was crucified. The Western Wall is believed to be built by King Herod 2,000 years ago. The Dome of the Rock, a big part of Temple Mount, where Abraham almost sacrificed Isaac and King Solomon built the first temple.

Would you believe there seems to be a little of everything for eating in Jerusalem? There is French, Italian, Moroccan Yemenite, Kurdish and Polish. You can find the hole in the wall dining or high end dining. And don’t worry about dressing up. It is pretty much casual dress wherever you go.

Most hotels are within ten minutes from the city center. Busy months tend to be March, April, September and October. With those looking to find some familiarity, you can find Waldorf Astoria.

Jerusalem is a great place to travel year round because of the weather. So visit Jerusalem and you will be educated and find great memories.

 

Exotic Animals to Ride

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Part of the fun of traveling in an exotic destination to other countries is to get to experience something new. Many people get try authentic foods of the country they are traveling to. They also visit the popular tourist attractions. But how often do you see pictures post to facebook of a traveler riding an exotic animal? Here is a list of some animals you can actually ride.

Elephant

This may be one of the first animals to come to mind to ride, not to mention the largest. Get up close and personal with one of the strongest mammals around. In Thailand, you can take an elephant safari for a few days, half of a day or even just a quick photo opportunity.

Camel

Another common animal that you may come to find in your travels, is the opportunity to ride on a camel. This is available in Egypt. Enjoy the scenery of the desert. Just be careful of whom to trust when doing so. There have been known instances where they get the tourist in a situation where you are forced to pay more than you should.

Yak

You can find the yak in China and enjoy the scenery of streams, mountains and gardens. The streams are common to use a yak to cross and keep your feet dry.

Tortoise

This one is not for everyone, due to the weight limit. Children can enjoy a ride on the Aldabra Giant Tortoise at Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservatory in Kenya. And the best part, you don’t have to worry about them running off with your child.

Ostrich

How about riding a bird? The ostrich can get a little wild and thus the ride itself won’t last very long. But hey, isn’t that the purpose-to try something exotic?

 

Sightseeing the Most Exquisite Beaches in the World

tourist destinations

Clear blue skies, calming ocean waves and soft to the touch sand. Is it any wonder that one of the most popular summer activities is going to the beach? Some go to play in the water, some go to relax in the sun, and some go to take pictures of the breathtaking beauty of the ocean front. Whatever your reason may be for going, here are National Geographic’s top ten tourist destinations beaches. Check out what makes each location fabulous then plan your vacation today.

Top 10 Beaches

Seychelles

www.seychelles.travel

One of the most photographed beaches in the world, the pale pink sands of Anse Source d’Argent unfurls across the island of La Digue, one of the 115 components of this archipelago in the Indian Ocean. The sands sparkle against a backdrop of towering granite boulders, worn by time and weather. The turquoise water is relatively shallow and protected from the ocean’s waves by a reef.

Maldives

www.visitmaldives.com

Whether your dream beach trip consists of spending a few pampered nights in a four-star resort or swimming among tropical fish some 80 feet (24 meters) underwater, the Maldives are the sort of islands where either—or both—can come true. Straddling the Equator southwest of Sri Lanka, the 1,102 islands that make up the Maldives form 26 atolls. The soft air enveloping the archipelago blends into a beautiful palm-fringed haze.

Bora Bora, Tahiti

www.tahiti-tourisme.com/islands/borabora/

This is one of the magical islands that make up French Polynesia in the South Pacific. Just 18 miles (29 kilometers) long, this lush little slip of land lies in a protected lagoon edged by white sandy shores, the best being at Matira Point. Bora Bora boasts the nickname the “Romantic Island,” a moniker easy to appreciate with its isolated beaches, intimate hotels, and quiet atmosphere.

The Hamptons, New York

www.hamptons.com

One of the hip spots for the air-kissing, well-heeled set, the Hamptons boast some of the prettiest beaches on Long Island. The unspoiled shoreline begins around Southampton and runs east to the end of the island at Montauk. Windswept dunes and waving grasses border the Atlantic Ocean.

Lanikai Beach, Hawaii

www.hawaii.com

Half a mile of sparkling sand, palm trees swaying over a white beach, lush tropical plants, and endless sunshine make Lanikai one of Hawaii’s most scenic beaches. The shore is protected by a nearby coral reef, which keeps the surf relatively calm. The water is always deep green and postcard-perfect.

Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

www.nantucket.net

The most popular beaches on this island in the North Atlantic are Surfside and Children’s. The waters here are relatively calm, and there’s plenty of sand to use for sunbathing or castle-building. Madaket Beach is known for its rougher surf and not-to-be-missed sunsets. Quidnet Beach provides great views of Sankaty Head lighthouse.

Fraser Island, Australia

www.seefraserisland.com

Perched on the sunny Queensland coast 161 miles (259 kilometers) northeast of Brisbane, Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island and home to a wonderful beach. This World Heritage Site is an ecologist’s dream, with 640 square miles (1,664 square kilometers) of unspoiled natural paradise. Rain forests with 1,000-year-old trees sprout from the sand. Lodgings here accommodate a wide range of tourists, from the backpacking ecology lover to pampered resort fans.

St. Bart’s

www.st-barths.com

One of many islands in the Caribbean Sea, St. Bart’s stands out with its blend of French chic and island relaxation. With beautiful secluded beaches, fine French cuisine, and gracious hotels, this tropical playground is popular with the Jet Set. The 8-mile-long (13-kilometer-long) island is edged by 20 beaches and small coves for swimmers and sunbathers, with sparkling water and white sand.

Langkawi, Malaysia

www.langkawi.com.my

The name “Langkawi” translates into “the land of one’s wishes,” a welcoming concept that somewhat belies the island’s historic origins as a reputed refuge for pirates. Langkawi has since become a modern hideaway for the traveler seeking an escape. If your vacation wishes extend from uncrowded white sands and clear waters to lush green forests, you will find yourself content here. Datai Bay, located on Pulau Langkawi, is a heavenly retreat on the Andaman Sea.

Kauna’oa Bay, Hawaii

Located on the Kohala Coast of the Aloha State’s Big Island, Kauna’oa Bay is the quintessential Hawaiian spot. The 0.25-mile-long (0.4-kilometer-long), crescent-shaped beach has plenty of white sand, palm trees, and calm, clear, blue water. In addition to swimming and sunbathing, beachgoers here can snorkel or ride boogie boards. (Be careful swimming, however, because there are no lifeguards on this public beach.) At night, nestle into the sands and peer out into the water to see if you can catch a glimpse of manta rays swimming.

Image and article courtesy of National Geographic

 

Blink And You Will Miss It Tourist Attractions

destination

As humans, we tend to gravitate towards the bigger the better when it comes to attractions. There is the Grand Canyon, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Pyramids, Statue of Liberty, Taj Mahal, etc. They can be a piece of beauty for many around to view and appreciate together.

But what about the smaller things? They can easily be overlooked, yet at the same time can be just as fun, maybe even more fun. Let’s review some of these destinations that come in small packages:

Mill Ends Park –

inspector mills

This is the worlds’ smallest park found in Portland, Oregon. Mill End Park comes in around two feet in diameter and just big enough for a few plants to make it look pretty.

Palastkino –

palastkino

Ever wanted to buy out a whole showing at a movie theater? At the Palastkino in Radebeul, Germany, all it takes is to purchase nine tickets…and of course tickets to Germany where it is located.

Solo per Due –

solo

The smallest restaurant resides in Vacone, Italy. There is only one table available and that table holds two guests.

Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport –

airport

This airport in the Netherlands has a runway is so short (400 meters) that the pilot has to land it just right. Thus, it can only handle flights to and from St. Maarten.

Eh’hausl Hotel –

hotel

This hotel in Amberg, Germany is popular with newlyweds as it is considered good luck if you stay there. At 53 square meters, it can hold two guests at maximum.

Cardigan Library –

library

This Library in Prince Edward Island, Canada holds just under 2,000 books and is about the size of a tool shed.

The Museum –

museum

You can find the world’s smallest art museum in Somerville, Massachusetts where you can find outside and has dimensions of 61.5″ x 20″ x 8″ and contains an exhibition of oil paintings 2″ in diameter.

Image sources: thevacationgals.com, mentalfloss.com, dresden-nightlife.de, lussuosissimo.com, ourbusinessnews.com, amusingplanet.com, viewphotos.org, Pinterest

15 of the World’s Top Waterfalls

Summer is well under way, and with it comes the hot weather. What better way to cool off then by seeing where the top waterfalls in the world are located. There may just be a fun summer destination calling your name to go explore these amazing waterfalls and see which ones you might be tempted to go water slide down or jump off the edge.

1. Victoria Falls

 

Victoria falls Zambezi

Victoria Falls, Zambezi River, bordering Zimbabwe and Zambia. Image from: places.co.za

Is considered to be the biggest, largest, most impressive waterfall in the world! Location of Victoria Falls is off the Zambezi River just bordering Zimbabwe and Zambia, in the Southern part of Africa. It was named after Queen Victoria, by a man named David Livingston who claimed to discover the falls in 1855, even though the locals called it “The Smoke That Thunders.”

2. Ventisquero Falls

Ventisquero Falls

Ventisquero Falls, Aysén del General Carlos Ibáñez del Campo, Chile. Image from: wondermondo.com

Is a 50,000 year old glacier where this amazing waterfall runs off of in Aysén del General Carlos Ibáñez Del Campo, in Chile. The word “Vestisquero “in Spanish, translates to a blizzard or snowstorm.

3. Niagara Falls

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Niagara Falls, Niagara Gorge, Ontario, Canada. Image from: planetware.com

Probably one of the most recognizable water falls in the world Located in theNiagara Gorge, in Ontario, Canada. This water feature has had many dare devils take the big plunge in a barrel going down 165ft into the water below. Many do not survive. The three individual falls are named American Falls, Horseshoe Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls.

4. Angel Falls

angel falls

Angel Falls, Auyantepui, Venezuela. Image from: world.new7wonders.com

Coming in at 3,212ft Angel Falls is the highest waterfall in the entire world. Located in Auyantepui, Venezuela and was named after Jimmie Angel who was the first person to fly over the falls and crash landed on top of it. It took 11 days to walk down to the bottom. Another little known fact is that Angel Falls was the waterfall inspiration for Pixar’s movie UP with the waterfall on the mountain.

5. Pearl Shoal Waterfall

pearl-shoal-waterfall-jiuzhai-valley-winter-23048293

Pearl Shoal Waterfall, Sichuan Province, China. Image from: dreamstime.com

Is home to some of the most breathtaking scenery around located in Sichuan Province, China with Five Flower Lake or Multi-colored Lake being one of the most spectacular Lakes you will ever encounter. You can’t go wrong with waterfalls and beautiful lakes to go around.

6. Sutherland Falls

sutherland_falls

Sutherland Falls, Milford Sound, New Zealand. Image from: worldtoptop.com

This enchanting waterfall in Milford Sound, New Zealand is one of the best around. The fall extends to 1,904 ft, making this one of the tallest waterfalls in the world. The water comes from a mountain lake on top.

7. The Faroe Islands

faroe islands

The Faroe Islands, Archipelago between Norway and Iceland. Image from: photography.nationalgeographic.com

This destination is not as well known. It is located in Archipelago which is in-between Norway and Iceland. There are not a lot of people who live in this village, which means it is not your average tourist destination.

8. Yosemite Falls

yosemite

Yosemite Falls, Yosemite Valley, California, USA. Image from: wunderground.com

Yosemite Falls is the highest waterfall in North America and number 5 in the world, Located in Yosemite Valley, California, USA. It is majestic and breathtaking. Since this ne relies on the snow it is big and full in the spring and will shrink towards the late summer. But it is still impressive.

9. Palouse Falls

palouse falls

Palouse Falls, Franklin/Whitman counties, Washington, USA. Image from: ronandonovan.com

What makes this 198ft water fall Located in Franklin/Whitman counties, Washington, USA impressive is the fact that it is 17ft higher than Niagara Falls. This waterfall became famous when Tyler Bradt a pro kayaker set a world record as the largest decent off a waterfall.

10. Plitvice Waterfalls

waterfalls-of-plitvice-lakes-croatia

Plitvice Waterfalls, Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia. Image from: onebigphoto.com 

 

This Waterfall makes you feel like it came out of a fairy tale. The Plitvice Falls in Plitvicka Jezera, Croatia are home to many emerald lakes that each drain into the next lake creating a spectacular series of waterfalls. The valley is immersed with vegetation and is only passable through wooden walkways that are built for the national park.

11. Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls, Iguazu River, bordering Brazil and Argentina. Image from: world.new7wonders.com

The Iguazu River, bordering Brazil and Argentina is translated to mean Big Water. The legend is told of two lovers that were not meant to be as the deity that loved the woman sliced the river creating the waterfalls and condemning the lovers to eternally falling forever.

12. Ban Gioc–Detian Falls

Ban Gioc-Detian Falls

Ban Gioc-Detian Falls, Bordering China and Vietnam. Image from: candleforlove.com

This waterfall may not be the most impressive in size dropping in at 98ft. But it still is unearthing buried treasure inside the many caves within the cliffs. It borders are between China and Vietnam.

13. Kaieteur Falls

Kaieteur Falls

Kaieteur Falls, Essequibo Territory, Guyana. Image from: worldtoptop.com

This waterfall has a legend that Patamona Indian Legend in which a chief named Kai wanted to save his people by paddling over the waterfall in an act of self sacrifice to Makonaima, the Great Spirit. It is located in Essequibo Territory, in Central Guyana.

14. Gullfoss

Gullfoss_Iceland-670x420-

Gullfoss Falls, Hvítá River, Iceland. Image from: travelet.com

When you translate the name of the waterfall it means Golden Falls. It is located on the Hvítá River, in Iceland. It is one of the biggest tourist attractions in all of Iceland. Make a day of seeing the falls and the local geysers in what they call the golden circle.

15. Taughannock Falls

Taughannaock Falls

Taughannock Falls, Tompkins County, New York, USA. Image from: tamron.myphotoexhibits.com

Located in Tompkins County, New York, USA is the largest single-drop waterfall east of the Rockies. You can only get to this waterfall by hiking the trail but take note that you are not allowed to go swimming, it is forbidden.

 

How To Prepare For A Road Trip With Kids

destination

Summer is upon us, which means it is time to get ready for the road trip fun. But with little kids to take along for the journey it can become a nightmare trying to make sure everyone is happy in the car. Road trips don’t need to be this way. Getting to your destination is easier than ever thanks to all the ideas on the World Wide Web. Let’s get started

Plan Ahead

Starting early to think of things that are best suited for your child will make all the difference when getting ready for a road trip. Think about how you want to organize and pack clothing. What about having an emergency preparedness kit?

plan ahead

What activities will you have for your little ones to do? How to save space in your vehicle? How to plan stopping points for the trip by looking on maps to see where local parks are to let kids take a breather are all things to consider. Having these elements together will make your stress level decrease and make for a smoother trip because you have prepared ahead of time. Also remember to plan for the unexpected.

Packing Clothing

I have seen it all, families who use garbage bags to transport their clothing in a big wadded up mess. Those who use a carry-on with each outfit rolled up into one bundle. Or transporting each child’s outfit into Ziploc baggies with the day, symbol of a sun or moon drawn on to let the child or spouse know when they are to wear that outfit.

packing clothes

I say do whatever is best for your family. While the Ziploc baggies are great for younger children, it may not go over very well for an older child. When packing clothing make sure to pack some trash bags for dirty clothing or in case in rains, they can be used for a makeshift poncho or garment bag if trying to keep certain outfits nice and pristine.

Emergency Kits

Having a roadside kit really comes in handy and can help out when things go wrong. But before you go out for the long haul make sure to have a tune up and fix any conditions you know about on your vehicle. That way you have a greater chance of not being stranded in the middle of nowhere. Besides having your roadside and medical safety kit, make sure to pack mini emergency kits.

  • Baby Kit complete with a onesie, diaper, travel package of wipes, baggies for soiled clothing, tube of diaper cream.
  • Travel Games Having lots of activities for kids is great, but sometimes you have run out of ideas and need to figure out something on the fly when you are tempted to use duct tape and lollipops to keep the noise level down. Include: brain quest, Question game. Print up journal jar questions to read and have everyone answer. Have a couple of card games ready to go.
  • Outdoor Kit Having bug spray, tweezers, sunscreen, baby powder, hand sanitizer, folded up trash bags, and hand wipes. Will get you by in a pinch.
  • Restaurant Kit eating out with little ones can be an adventure when you’re traveling and kids are tired and cranky. Have some activities ready to go when you’re about to head into a restaurant with these simple ideas. Crayons and mini activity book if crayons are not provided. Lego figurines, mini cars, have fruit snacks or cheerios in hand if the wait will be longer than expected. Little puzzles or magnetic figurines can help as well.

emergency kits

Having these kits on hand will help you not need to dig all over looking for these items that you tend to use and need in a quick hurry. Keep them all in a backpack or shoe container to save on space. But also within easy reach and not packed with the rest of the items.

Travel Activities

Having things for the kids to do while on vacation can become overwhelming and chaotic. You could pack lots of unnecessary space for tons of toys coloring books etc. The best way to manage all the chaos is by deciding how much space you can realistically have. Think about how to get many activities in one. Cookie Sheets are truly the best answer. Find a mini chalkboard and dry ease board that will fit inside the cookie sheet and put magnets on the back for a make shift chalkboard magnet board and dry ease board. Then plan activities according to age using magnets on the back to keep everything together.

  • Puzzles
  • Tangelos
  • Cars use duct tape for a roadway
  • Plastic dinosaurs for a Jurassic play set
  • Silly faces
  • Alphabet letters or magnetic words to make silly sentences
  • Make board games by using magnets as playing pieces and copying the board on your computer to fit your cookie sheet.
  • Coloring pages with twistable crayons, colored pencils.
  • Lego figurines
  • Polly pocket or littlest pet shop play set
  • Look in your party supply section at the store for other great ideas.

travel activities

The possibilities are endless and magnets will be your friend. And save you lots of space for other important items.

Playing Tetris When Packing The Car

Getting ready to head out and pack up can be stressful and time consuming if things are not done ahead of time. Try having all your gear ready to go the night before, or even start packing things up the night before. Designate a spot for each bag. Have all clothing in one spot. Have toiletries and makeup all together. Have food and coolers together. It will make things easier to get to when it is set up this way.

tetris

Also, think about the size of containers or bags you need and if you really need to take certain items.

Most importantly expect the unexpected. You never know what will happen on a family road trip, and that is what makes the journey and memories so much sweeter. Remember to enjoy each other and reconnect.

Pictures courtesy of Sheknows.com, goodhousekeeping.com, prettyprudent.com, becomingahome.com, musthavemom.com, onecraftymumma.com

Top Things To Do And See In Oregon

Destination

Oregon is such a diverse and a place where you can experience just about anything. Form sleeping in a tee pee or yurt, to staying in some of the most unique 5 star hotels. You have the ocean coast, covered bridges, Crater Lake, and some of the most beautiful bridges throughout Portland. There are many things to do and see. Adventure is calling your name and waiting for you to come explore the hidden gems in Oregon. Get ready to make Oregon your summer destination this year.

Portland

downtown-portland-and

They are known for the simple phrase “Stay Weird.” You won’t be disappointed. They have some of the most unique places around. Try having the world’s smallest leprechaun park in the middle of the street, or the world’s biggest book store that takes up a whole city block. Doughnuts and food trucks have become a big hit where other cities are now doing the same all over the US. But don’t forget about the museums and environmental friendly way to take care of the earth.

  • Mills End Park located at 899 SE Nato Park Way will make you laugh when you tell your children you are going to the park only to find out it is the size of where a lamppost once was.
  • Powell’s City of Books located 1005 W Burnside St between 10th and 11th Avenue will make you gasp with the sheer size of the bookstore. They sell used and hard to find copies of books and everything in between.
  • Oregon Museum of Science And Industry located 1945 SE Water Ave is a great place to take the family. They have a real life submarine that you can explore.
  • The Oregon Zoo located at 4001 SW Canyon Rd Is one of the best zoos around. They have live concerts in the park during the summer and have 64 acres to with at least 25 exhibits to explore.
  • The Oregon’s Children’s Museum located 4015 SW Canyon Rd is across from the Oregon Zoo. Spend the day going to both parks and have your children learn a lot of hands on exhibits and see their imaginations come to life.
  • Oaks Park Amusement Park located 78055 SE Oaks Parkway has been around longer than Disneyland. It still has the original wooden carousel and pipe organ that plays in the skating rink.

Newport

Oregon Coast and Pacific Northwest wedding and engagement portrait photography by Jaime Kae Hazen

Is one of those quaint towns that you just love to visit! They have the ocean, aquariums, lighthouses, and a little something for everyone. You can even go to some of the nearby state parks and spend the night in a yurt for around $40-$50 dollars a night.

  • Yaquina Head Lighthouse is about three miles north of Newport. You can take a tour of this lighthouse and step back in time to a period in history where lighthouses were critical in keeping oncoming ships and boats safe.
  • The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a great place for families to feel a part of the ocean and see some of the aquatic life up close and personal. They even have interactive places to touch the starfish, coral, etc.
  • Beverly Beach is a state park that has tent and RV spaces available to rent, but another fun option is to have your family stay in a yurt. They are a dome like building that is a little nicer than a tent. Plus you can be up close to the ocean and hear the waves crashing at night.

Crater Lake National Park

craterlake

Is home to one of the deepest lake in the US, Crater Lake it is located in the mouth of a volcano which means no other form of water: rivers, streams, or inlets can mix with the water that is only added in by snowfall and the rainwater. Because of this, it has some of the bluest water you will ever set your eyes on.

Tillamook

tillamook-cheese-factory

Is the best cheese you can get from anywhere! They also have some of the best ice-cream available with unique flavors to choose from. Tillamook is also a city in Oregon where all the wonderful dairy delights are made. Beside the Tillamook factories they also have some other impressive sights to experience.

  • Tillamook Factory They have a tour you can go to see how the cheese, butter, and ice-cream are made. They do a lot with machines, but will still show you how it used to be done.
  • Tillamook Air Museum They have a large number of old war birds housed in a former military blimp hangar, the hanger itself is a rarity to behold. They have one of the best world war 11 aircraft collections in the US.
  • The “Terrible Tilley” Lighthouse while you are not allowed to go for tours, the lighthouse is available to view through Ecola State Park. It has been the hardest lighthouse to maintain and went out of operation in the 1950’s. It is an impressive sight to see the lighthouse built out in the ocean with a rock the only thing keeping it from getting torn down.

There truly are many more treasures to discover in Oregon. It is the perfect place to explore for nature lover enthusiast with hiking, camping, and discovering waterfalls, the three sisters, and hundreds of other spectacular views. But they also have a wonderful underground sub culture in the bigger cities that you find anywhere else.

Pictures from: pqmonthly, tripadvisor, portraitsbyjaime, expedia, dguides