One summer my family and I took a trip to Yosemite, via Napa Valley. An Australian friend of ours was...
Europe is full of rich history and cultural delights. However, with nearly 50 nations and countless cities to choose from, determining which places would make ideal honeymoon destinations in Europe can be quite the task. Whether looking for love in the city or a private getaway, your options are limitless. However, for the ultimate romantic experience, these five European destinations have it all.
Paris is considered the most romantic place on earth to many, making it the perfect European honeymoon destination. Sip a hot coffee on the banks of the Seine, share a special moment on the romantic Avenue des Champs-Elysees and indulge in a traditional French meal. Paris can be a wonderful honeymoon choice any time of year due to its moderate climate. In the heat of the summer, temperatures rarely reach the 80-degree point. In the winter, freezing temperatures are rare.
Florence is steeped in culture and history. Few things are more romantic than watching the sun set on the ancient city in the heart of Tuscany. Enjoy some fine art in one of the many galleries or museums, catch a ride on the river or shop for unique Italian fashions. If traveling between April and October, the tourist high season in Florence, ensure that any tickets you need are reserved ahead of time, as many sightseeing activities are prone to selling out admission quickly.
South Wales, United Kingdom
For those couples seeking a U.K. getaway, consider South Wales. South Wales is a quiet area seldom seen by tourists, making it the perfect secluded honeymoon destination in Europe. Enjoy the emerald green hills, quaint old-world houses and jovial community feel. Make some time for romance on the coast at Cardiff and enjoy a few local treats like traditional tea.
Vienna, Austria’s capital city, is full of breathtaking architecture and an unmatched musical history. Listen to the Vienna Philharmonic Symphony playing the classical music of city sons Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn, dine in an upscale restaurant or opt for a smaller intimate cafe and share a moment of romance at the Belvedere palace.
Reykjavik is the northernmost capital city in the world. In Reykjavik, you can expect to find fresh seafood, geothermal steam rising from the earth and unique shopping experiences. Walk the entire city to enjoy the sights and take the time to breathe in some of the freshest air in the world. This beautiful green landscape is sure to astound any couple seeking honeymoon destinations in Europe.
Learning a second language is valuable for anyone. But if you are spending a significant length of time in a location where you do not speak the language, you will be continually handicapped until you learn. Learning a new language is not difficult; even a few months of immersion in a foreign language will help you learn enough to function in many situations.
Listen and Observe
Start by listening. Listen to conversations in the language, even if you do not understand them. If you are in a situation where you do not have to understand everything–such as at a meal with friends–ask others not to translate for you. Instead, listen to their conversation. At first, you will just hear meaningless sounds, but gradually you will be able to distinguish words and phrases.
Use What You Know
Many people hesitate to begin speaking in a new language until they are certain they will not make any mistakes. If you wait until you are sure you can speak correctly, then you will never begin communicating. Jump in and repeat what you hear, even if you don’t know exactly what it means. When you hear a new word or a phrase, begin using it immediately.
Never hesitate to ask questions or to admit that you do not understand something. Most people, even strangers, will be pleased that you are trying to learn their language and will be happy to help you. If adults seem unwilling to help you learn new words, ask children. Children are usually pleased and proud to teach an adult something. Learn how to say, “What is this?” and “How do you say…?” and use those phrases often.
Keep a Notebook
As you begin collecting vocabulary and phrases, start a notebook of everything you are learning in your new language. Keep a list of vocabulary and organize it in a way that makes sense to you. Write down any rules you learn about grammar in your notebook as well. Ask people to help you write things down so you spell them correctly, but also include a phonetic spelling so you will remember how to pronounce words later.
Force Yourself to Communicate
Put yourself in situations where you will be forced to speak the language. Run a simple errand, such as going to the post office by yourself, without a translator. Bring a vocabulary list if you need to, but do not just show a clerk the list. Take the opportunity to have as many real conversations as you can. You will remember vocabulary much more easily after you have used it in a situation where you really needed it.
As early as you can, start reading. Begin with something fun and simple, like children’s stories. Picture books for toddlers are perfect for your reading level, and even the simple language of these books will introduce you to new words and improve your spelling and grammar. You can also read your favorite books in translation; if you choose a book that you are familiar with in English, then you will be able to understand it in your new language. Keep a copy of the original nearby to help you out if you cannot figure out a phrase.
Try a Language CD or Software
Languages can also be learned through CDs and from online sites. Companies like Rosetta Stone, a leader in the industry, specialize in this type of language education (see link in References). Rosetta specializes in the total immersion technique and does not start with grammatical explanations. You learn by constantly interacting with the program.
I am almost ashamed to admit it…….,but I never thought that Seattle had an aquarium….
….on our recent December trip we decided to walk from our hotel to waterfront in a search of the best seafood restaurant.
The weather was looking pretty good considering being Seattle in December…..till we almost reached the waterfront….that’s when the sky opened and the waterfall started….
Right in front of us was a building with a big sign…..SEATTLE AQUARIUM….
I just looked at my kids and hubby and all of them were thinking the same thing…..”For Crying Out Loud Woman….Enough Walking….Lets Go In”….How could you say no to that.
Seattle Aquarium is located on Pier 59 and it’s open every day except Christmas Day and June 1st.
It is not very big, but it offers many beautiful and educational exhibit….activities….
Don’t miss octopus feeding every day at noon and 4pm….your children will enjoy seeing, touching and exploring sea life of Puget Sound in tide-pools…take a virtual trip to Pacific Coral Reef…..meet the adorable otters and seals.
….and of course don’t forget to stop by Cafe for some delicious and fresh seafood dishes.
Jamaica is always a great place to vacation, but choosing the best place is somewhat impossible because each city is equally amazing. It simply depends on what you want to do during your vacation. Do you want to lie at the beach by day and party by night, or do you want to hike on mountainous waterfalls? After finding a spot, everything else will come together.
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Montego Bay is an extremely popular vacation destination on the island of Jamaica. Being the second largest city on the island, Montego Bay is renowned for snorkeling and swimming since Montego’s bay has many miles of coral reefs. The city has amazing colonial architecture along with bright colors. Shoppers should visit Harbour Street, which features unique woodcarvings, straw arts and crafts, and batiks. Along with these arts and crafts, perfume, crystals, cigars and more are sold on Harbour Street. After a long day of shopping, go to the nightclubs and casinos of the Hip Strip and let loose for the night.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Ocho Rios is located on the northern central coast of Jamaica. This tourist-cruise hot spot is known more its wilderness than its consumerism. Home to the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls, Ocho Rios is a great place to take your family and get your adventure on. With countless forests, lakes and waterfalls, some of the activities that are popular in Ocho Rios are kayaking, river-rafting, hiking, fishing and even diving. If you are here for shopping as well, do not panic, there are some great stores and shopping spots that are sometimes overshadowed by the wilderness. Actually, there are six shopping plazas that sell clothes, Jamaican handcrafts and other great souvenirs. Overall, Ocho Rios is for that person who loves adventure and rigorous activities instead of beaches and causal living.
Negril, located in western Jamaica, is well-known for its bays and lighthouses. Along with epic rugged cliffs, white-sand beaches are everywhere in this utopian city. Negril is known as the “Capital of Casual” for a reason; the first visitors to Negril were hippies. The local hippies helped create a carefree atmosphere. It is an ideal place to hang out with friends and meet some new friends. You can stay on the beaches all day long, then clean up to go out at night. Negril is notoriously known for its excellent restaurants and active nightlife. With many places and many ways to stay within your necessary budget, Nergil’s nightlife is a great thing. In addition, there are great places to shop, such as boutiques, antique stores and clothing shops, and there are cute, little and affordable rooms and cottages.
My family has a long history of clinical depression. I see everyday what depression can do to individuals and their families.
I also see how hard it is to live with depressed person who refuses to ask for help and take medications. My own father suffers from clinical depression as does his older brother. Their mother died lonely and depressed woman because she refused help and drove everybody away. It was sad for me to watch my grandma suffer and it is sad to watch my dad making the same mistakes.The only thing my father has going for him is my loving and supportive mother.
My sister was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder few years ago. So depression will always be part of my life. It’s sad, but that’s reality and it’s up to me to take control of my life.
I am not clinically depressed , but I have tendencies towards depression. Especially during winter. Winter depression affects so many people around the country.
Winter depression also know as Winter Blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder is a mood disorder that affects many people with normal mental health. It’s caused by the hormonal imbalance due to less natural light, sun and lower temperatures.
I personally start feeling the strong affects of winter blues or seasonal affective disorder in January. I noticed lots of people around me feel the same way. Some have stronger symptoms of winter depression and some have minimal symptoms of winter depression, but it’s there.
In January the days are shorter and darker, sun is minimal, weather is cold and when you look outside the window everything is gray and sad looking (in many parts of the country).
The holiday cheer is all gone. Last visitors has left. Parties are over. The holiday credit card bills (for lots of people) start showing up…and the economy still sucks. It’s a sad, sad situation so no wonder we are depressed.
I’ve been noticing last few years that my levels of winter depression are getting higher and the winter blues are taking over.
I decided to do a little research on Seasonal Affective Disorder and on beating the Winter Blues.
There are many natural ways we can use to beat the winter blues and be free from this temporary depression.
I started following 5 simple tips for beating The Winter Blues. I am here to tell you that this is the best January I had in many years.
5 Tips for Beating The Winter Blues:
- Bright and Cheery Home – after all holiday decorations are gone many homes look very plain and sad. It’s time to bring some vibrant and warm colors in shades of yellow, red and orange. Brightly colored bedding, tablecloth, throw cushions or even new curtain accents will do wonders for symptoms of depression. These days fresh spring flowers are available in local stores in January. Pick up a bouquet of bright yellow daffodils or red tulips once a week. Make sure all your light fixtures have bright light bulbs in them. Keep the blinds open. Get as much natural light as you can into your home.
- Get Your Sleep – most of us survive on 5-6 hours of sleep during the year, but come winter it’s very important to get 7-8 hours of sleep. Two of the symptoms of winter depression are fatigue and craving sugar and starchy foods and that comes from not having enough rest.
- Exercise – it’s important to be active all the time, but for depressed people exercise is a must. Go outside as much as you can. Take your family skating, skiing, sledding or for a walk in a nature. To beat winter blues make sure you get 30 minutes of exercise 3 to 4 days a week.
- Eat Healthy and Take Vitamins – eating healthy and well balance diet is very important during winter depression especially after indulging in rich foods during the holidays.Taking vitamin D and C supplements is also very important as most of us don’t get enough in our daily diet.
- Social Interaction – after the holidays we have tendency to keep to ourselves and take a break from socializing. Don’t! Depression hits when we are left alone with our thoughts especially when we already caught the Winter Blues bug. Get together with your family and friend. Watch funny movies, have a game night…do something that will make you happy.
Do you or anybody you know suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder or Winter Blues?
Are there other things that help you to deal with winter depression?
North Carolina is one of the 50 states in the United States of America. It was also one of the original 13 colonies. North Carolina is surrounded by South Carolina to the south, Georgia to the southwest, Virginia to the north and Tennessee to the west. The Atlantic Ocean serves as the eastern border. While these facts are fairly well known, there are three interesting facts about North Carolina that you may not know.
The tallest mountain east of the Mississippi River is in North Carolina–Mount Mitchell. Mitchell is the highest peak of the Appalachian Mountains. The mountain is named after Elisha Mitchell, a former professor at the University of North Carolina. He fell to his death verifying the height of the mountain in 1857.
The Pepsi Cola company was founded in New Bern, North Carolina, in 1898. The famous soft drink was created by a pharmacist, Caleb Bradham, and originally called “Brad’s Drink”. Bradham set out to create a drink that would aid digestion. The company went bankrupt twice–once in 1931 and again in 1939, before finally becoming successful.
North Carolina boasts the largest privately owned house in America–the Biltmore House, in Asheville. The palatial house was built in 1895 by George Vanderbilt. With over 4 acres of living space, this home is outfitted with 43 bathrooms and 34 bedrooms. There are 250 rooms, and at 8,000 acres, there’s plenty of backyard to walk around in.
London, the largest city in Europe, holds much allure for the visitor. It offers a wide range of fun and fascinating activities that do not have to cost a fortune. Round the clock, at any time of year, you can find food, drink and entertainment suitable for king or commoner. If it is your birthday, consider treating yourself to something really special in London and create memories for life.
Order a Beverage at the Criterion Theatre Restaurant
Insiders and locals alike know that they can slip into the street-level restaurant of the stunning Criterion Theatre located in the heart of Piccadilly for a surprisingly inexpensive cocktail or cup of tea. The storied restaurant, dating back to 1873 and recently refurbished, will delight you with its decorative ceiling of inspired elegance.
Visit the National Portrait Gallery
Located at Trafalgar Square, the National Portrait Gallery is a wing of the National Gallery, which showcases one of the finest art collections in the world. Your birthday is an ideal occasion to savor original portraits of William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Henry VII and thousands of others. Admission to the National Gallery is free.
Tickets to a Hit Show
At Leicester Square, visitors will notice several ticket agencies offering half-price, same-day tickets to blockbuster shows such as “Phantom of the Opera.” These agents sometimes have seating availability not even offered by the theater’s own box offices. You can purchase excellent seats inexpensively, especially for matinees. Taking in a hit London stage show makes for an especially memorable birthday.