Travelers and Wanderers around the Universe

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Hoover Dam Bridge

The Hoover Dam bridge  was beautiful.   The Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge is an arch bridge in the United States that spans the Colorado River between the states of Arizona and Nevada.  We crossed this bridge when we had our road trip to Grand Canyon.  The kids were amazed because we were just looking at it when we were  exploring the Hoover Dam and to be able to cross it was a  thrilling experience for them.
They called this bridge the Hoover Dam Bypass Project during the construction but it is now named  the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. It was named to honor O’Callaghan,  a former governor of Nevada and a  former professional football player for the Arizona Cardinals, Tillman,  who joined the Army in 2002 and was killed in Afghanistan in 2004. 
According to desertusa.com, the bridge is suspended by a 1,060 foot, twin-rib concrete arch, the largest of its kind in North America, and is 1,900 feet long. The bridge is 890 feet above the Colorado River.
Aside from the Hoover Dam, the bridge is  also a beautiful  addition to this tourist spot.  I didn't notice it when we were there but there is actually a walkway along the bridge, it gives tourists a great view of the dam.  I wouldn't want to  walk there anyway, for one, height is not my thing and  it also said that it can be windy there as well.  


If you are visiting Nevada, I would suggest you include the Hoover Dam  in your list.  It's a great feeling to be able to see such an amazing  structure that took years to complete.  It's a magnificent  engineering project.  The Hoover Dam bridge is  an added bonus to see.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

9 Must-See Destinations Around the World

Anyone can take a trip to a famous tourist attraction like the Grand Canyon. But how many people really push themselves out of their comfort zones with a trip somewhere far, far away? Here are just nine far-flung destinations that are worth the travel time.


1. Daniel Campos, Bolivia

Daniel Campos is home to the world's largest salt flats. While this might not sound exciting in print, take a moment to look at pictures that visitors have snapped of places like Salar de Uyuni. The ground is so reflective of the sky above that it looks like everyone is literally walking on clouds! Now that's something that you can't get out of an ordinary vacation.


2. Seoul, South Korea

Some people think of South Korea as a simple, traditional place full of straw huts and rice fields, and while there are certainly rural locations like that, Seoul isn't one of them. Seoul is a thriving metropolis where cutting-edge fashion is advertised on gigantic billboards that make the most out of expensive technology. If you're looking for a fun, flashy vacation, consider the heart of South Korea.


3. Lisse, Netherlands

Lisse is home to Keukenhof, one of the world's biggest and most bountiful flower gardens. Millions of tulips are planted each year, and by springtime, they've blossomed into never-ending fields of yellow, red, orange, blue and pink. In fact, you've probably seen pictures of Keukenhof even if you've never heard of it before. It's a famous sight that has been printed on all kinds of postcards and immortalized in all kinds of travel blogs.


4. Niigata, Japan

Certain parts of Japan are known as "snow country" because of their heavy, powdery snowfalls. Niigata is firmly located in snow country. It becomes a winter wonderland every single year, and whether you're interested in death-defying mountain sports or just cozy cups of hot chocolate as you watch the snow fall outside of your cabin windows, Niigata will provide.


5. Belize City, Belize

Put on your swim trunks when you visit Belize City! This seaside destination is a favorite of beach bums everywhere. It also offers an endless amount of resorts, restaurants, museums, movie theaters, art galleries and shopping districts to fill your days when you're done sunbathing. You'll never run out of things to do in Belize City, and what's more, it will all be done under bright, happy sunshine.


6. Marrakech, Morocco

Home to everything from Ouzoud Falls to the Majorelle Garden, Marrakech is one of the greatest destinations in Africa. It's also a convenient layover spot if you're looking to continue your adventures in Europe or South America. See the sights; enjoy the foods; take breathtaking pictures for your scrapbook. Then contact somewhere like the Come to the Sahara Tour Company for even more travel opportunities.


7. Paro Taktsang, Bhutan

Paro Taktsang is a sacred monastery for Buddhists monks. It also happens to be more than 10,000 feet above sea level because it's located on a cliff in the Himalayas. Known to locals as the "Tiger's Nest," it's a site of great spiritual significance, so it's definitely worth a visit if you're interested in history, culture or world religion.


8. Algarve, Portugal

Nothing beats Algarve for a beach vacation. With white sands, blue skies, green trees and rainbow umbrella drinks, you'll get to relax down to your bones when you lounge in its tropical paradise. For the thrill-seekers out there, Algarve is also home to an extensive network of underwater caves where the brave can go swimming, snorkeling and exploring.


9. Auckland, New Zealand

You probably know New Zealand as the filming location for Lord of the Rings, but the country has so much more to offer than just trees and mountains! For example, Auckland is rich with the history of the Maori people, and it also boasts incredible views from its harbors and skyscrapers. You can even go bungee-jumping off its Sky Tower!


These are just a few destinations that will get you off the couch and into the world. Whether you're looking for a crazy trip overseas or a simple, quiet getaway for your honeymoon, let this list guide you.

Travel Tour Groups are Setting a New Standard for Sight Seeing

Are you interested in seeing the world? You may have the means to do so without having to join the army. If you really want to get the most out of your travel experience, there are a number of options that you can feel free to consider. One of them is to travel with a group of like minded people who are also interested in enjoying their travel experience to the maximum. A number of special designed travel tours for group are making the rounds of the world as you read this. Perhaps it's high time you found out for yourself just why these new group travel tours are so popular.

Travel Tour Groups Offer a Safe, Specialized Touring Experience 

It may be that the old adage about finding safety in numbers is more true today than ever before. There are a number of reasons why this should be so. Chief among them is the fact that many regions of the world have become a bit less safe than they used to be in the salad days of the mid-century world tourist. For this reason, many travelers in the modern age are choosing to travel together in medium or large groups. These travel tours for groups are well regulated and thus very able to give first time tourists the feeling of being part of a large group that affords them a feeling of safety.

The Benefits of Traveling in a Group Tour are Hard to Deny

There are many benefits that can had from traveling in a specialized group tour. Once you have all of your documents, including your passport and visa, in order, you can more or less leave the rest of the designated paperwork to the agency that is employed in organizing and overseeing the tour itself. This will save you a great deal of time and effort. Beyond paperwork, there is the issue of actually getting around the area that you are currently visiting. Your tour agency will take charge of actually booking the various hotels and modes of transportation that you will use during your travels.

Touring in a Group Gives You Access to Special Discounts and Rates 

Perhaps one of the most appealing aspects of joining a specialized travel group is to get the various special rates and discounts that may be available. Instead of touring the world on your own and having to handle each and every aspect of the experience on your own, you can take advantage of the special group rate that a touring service may have on hand to offer you. This not only saves you a great deal of money but will also save you time and energy. If you don't have the logistical prowess to handle each aspect of your itinerary by yourself, join a group tour, lay back, and relax.

There is No Time Like the Present to Enjoy a Special Group Tour 

You should be aware that these special group travel rates will probably not last forever. While group travel is becoming the norm in many areas of the world, the fees associated with such an experience are expected to rise in order to take advantage of the growing demand. This means that there is no better time than the present for you to plan your group travel tour to the area of the world that you desire to see. This is quite literally a once in a lifetime opportunity.

You Can Research Your Next Group Tour on the Internet

You can use the power of the world wide web to research and book your next world travel excursion. If you're in a mood to see the world but are conscious of issues with your budget, a group travel tour is an excellent way to enjoy yourself while still making ends meet. You can do all the necessary research on the web in order to find the group travel package that best meets your personal needs. Once this task has been accomplished, you can travel safely to any part of the world that strikes your personal fancy. Thanks to group travel touring rates, the sky is your only limit. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

A Firearm Transportation & Travel Guide

If you plan to transport your personal firearms from one state to another then there are guidelines you should follow and restrictions you should be aware of before embarking on your travels. There are federal laws in place protecting the rights of firearm owners to transport their personal weapons across state lines, but federal provisions only reach so far, especially when state and federal levels of training can vary when it comes to the lawful transportation of firearms.

To best prepare and educate yourself on the legal process of transportation, we advise you to review your local gun laws as well as the destination state's gun policies as well as any restrictive jurisdictions that may exist in between.

Individual Laws

Individuals who cannot legally carry firearms across state lines include convicted or indicted felons, illegal drug users, individuals involuntarily committed to mental institutes, illegal aliens, veterans who have been dishonorably discharged, non U.S. citizens and fugitives, as well as any individual convicted of crimes of domestic violence or those subject to domestic violence restraining orders.
All other individuals are legally allowed to own and transport their personal weapon in accordance with the federal law referred to as FOPA, or the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act. This provision of federal law gives protection to citizens who wish to transport their personal firearms through otherwise restrictive areas of certain states in order to travel from a place they have the right to possess and carry a firearm to a place that also allows them the right to possess and carry a firearm.

State Laws

Every state is different concerning laws and regulations on firearms both on a person and inside a vehicle. Crossing state lines can cause plenty of problems for uneducated firearm owners; you can be driving through one state with your weapon properly stowed according to their laws of firearm transportation, but the second you cross state lines you can find yourself in offense of the latter states laws. The best way to educate yourself on the laws of the state you reside in and the state that is your destination is to check out the gun laws for your rights to bear arms and print out and relevant information to have on hand.
Any person traveling with a firearm through areas with restrictive laws on the transportation of firearms regardless of the federal provisions in place should take precaution and prepare copies to have on hand of the following documents; all applicable firearm licenses and permits for individuals traveling in the vehicle, the official publications that document provisions of law in both restrictive jurisdictions and the state you’re traveling from and to, a copy of the federal law FOPA (Firearms Owners’ Protection Act), along with any pertinent reciprocity information.

Provisions to Remember

·         Proper Storage - According to FOPA the firearm must be unloaded, all ammunition should be locked out of reach in a container or trunk but not the glove compartment or console, and the firearm should be stowed out of reach in a locked container. The firearm must be in a place that is inaccessible from a vehicle’s passenger compartment and not visible from outside the vehicle.
·         Personal Carry - If you wish to carry while you are traveling you must first educate yourself with the conceal carry laws of each jurisdiction you intend to carry in. The best way to identify the laws and regulations is to visit the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Guide and identify the stops along your trip. Be sure to print out any pertinent information to have on hand during your travels.
·         National, State Parks and Wildlife Refuges - If you plan to cross through any Wildlife Refuges or National and State Parks then you should be aware that a federal law is in place to prohibit the possession of all firearms in “federal facilities.” As you can imagine, this federal law is a blanket of protection for almost any area staffed with federal employees, indoor or out. But because of an individuals right to transport a firearm there National Park Service has implemented a system that requires all prohibited locations within National Parks to be posted with signs to indicate the ban of all firearms in that area.

Transporting via Commercial Aircraft

Every commercial airline and air carrier has their own specific set of rules for transporting a firearm via aircraft. It is wise to check well before hand what the requirements are for your specific airline and the steps you need to take to lawfully transport your firearm from one state to another. The rule of thumb for most airlines are the following: The passenger immediately notifies the airline when checking their bags that their baggage contains a firearm which is unloaded and stored in a locked, hard sided container without ammunition inside, the passenger must have the key to opening the locked container, and that the firearm is then stowed in an area completely separate from other passengers and all flight crew.

Be prepared for the airline to ask you to open the locked gun case so they may check that everything meets their safety requirements. Since flying on a commercial aircraft can already be a hectic process, adding a firearm to the mix might only complicate things, so in order to avoid any delay in travel make sure you've printed off copies of the regulations for the airline you're traveling with and the general TSA laws concerning firearm transportation via commercial aircraft.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Hoover Dam: An Engineering Marvel #LasVegasTrip

We've heard about Hoover Dam prior to our visit to  Las Vegas but we did not know that it is actually a tourist attraction.  After we  saw the beautiful Lake Mead, we still have time to kill before  checking in to the hotel so we proceeded there.  It takes 12 min  to drive from Lake Mead to Hoover Dam.

It's amazing to know that Hoover Dam was built during the great depression.  It is also amazing that it supplies electricity to  more than 20 million people.  Kudos to all the men who have worked so hard in completing this  awesome project.  
Now there  are tours that you can take to see the Hoover Dam but we figured, we will just discover it ourselves  and learned  from what we can see.  I mean who needs a tourist guide if you can just explore the place, right?
According to the videos that I have watched, this Dam was called Boulder Dam then changed it to Hoover Dam.  The dam was named after President Herbert Hoover. But Secretary of the Interior, Harold Ickes, changed the name back to "Boulder Dam." Then after 14 years,  congress felt compelled to pass a joint resolution to change the name back to "Hoover Dam" in honor of the United States 31st president, Herbert Hoover.  Imagine the confusion  of it's name, I am glad they finally gave it  a permanent name.  
t is amazing how much work those dedicated men have put into doing this  project.  What a great accomplishment considering  that it was done during the  Great Depression.
Hoover Dam is described as a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, it is located on the border between the U.S. states of Nevada and Arizona
The most exciting part of seeing the Hoover Dam is crossing between the Sate of Nevada to Arizona.  It is a unique feeling that you can be at two states  for a matter of  minutes.  My children thought it was  pretty cool.  
Here are some HOOVER DAM FACTOIDS FOR KIDS from the Reclamation website.

DID YOU KNOW THAT . . . . ?
  • 1. Hoover Dam is 726 ft. tall. That is 171 ft. taller than the Washington Monument in Washington D.C. and twice as tall as the Luxor Casino (338 ft.) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • 2. At its base, Hoover Dam is as thick (660 ft.) as two footballs fields measured end-to-end.
  • 3. As many as 20,000 vehicles a day drive across the 45 ft. wide top of the dam between Nevada and Arizona.
  • 4. There is enough concrete in Hoover Dam (4 1/2 million cubic yards) to build a 2 lane road from Seattle, Washington to Miami, Florida or a 4 ft. wide sidewalk around the Earth at the Equator.
  • 5. During peak electricity periods, enough water runs through the generators to fill 15 average sized swimming pools (20,000 gallons each) in 1 second.
  • 6. Each of the 30 ft. wide penstocks (water pipes) can carry enough water to fill 900 bath tubs (100 gallons each) in 1 second, or 960,000 (12 oz.) cans of drink in 1 second.
  • 7. Hoover Dam is shaped like a huge curved axe head, 45 ft. wide at the top and 660 ft. thick at the bottom.
  • 8. Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the USA and contains enough water to flood the entire state of New York with 1 ft. of water (26 million acre ft.).
  • 9. If you drink water from the tap at Disneyland, Anaheim or Sea World in San Diego -- that water is coming from the Colorado River and Lake Mead, 300 miles away.
  • 10. Each of the 17 generators can supply electricity to 100,000 households.
  • 11. When operating at full power, the 17 generators can supply all the electricity needed by a city of 750,000 people.
  • 12. Each generator weights (4 million pounds) as much as 4 1/2 fully loaded Boeing 747-400's.
  • 13. The Colorado River is more than 1,400 miles long and supplies water to Los Angeles, San Diego, and Phoenix. Las Vegas gets almost all its water from Lake Mead. Lake Mead was made by Hoover Dam when it blocked the Colorado River and flooded the Mojave Desert.
  • 14. Between 1931 and 1936 when the dam was built, 96 men were killed in industrial accidents. None were buried in the concrete.
  • 15. The mascot dog and favorite pet of all the construction workers during the building of the dam was buried at Hoover Dam. The grave is near the Hoover Dam Tour Center and can be visited.
  • 16. It would take $2,000,000 worth of copper pennies to make the copper buses (4 inch in diameter hollow square wires) that carry electricity inside the powerhouse.
  • 17. Every state in the USA furnished supplies and materials for the construction of the dam.
  • 18. More than 8.5 million pounds of dynamite was used to blast the foundation for the dam and 8 miles of tunnels through the canyon walls.
  • 19. There are 2700 miles of transmission lines sending electricity from Hoover Dam to Los Angeles.

This was a very nice surprise during our vacation in Vegas.  We didn't know that we would learn so many things by visiting the Dam.  Remember  the romantic comedy movie "Fools Rush In"?  I believe there is a part of the movie that was  filmed  there and some parts in Grand Canyon too.  I was  trying to imagine  those scenes when we were visiting the places.  
It was super hot when we  went there but seeing how beautiful  it was is totally worth being burned by the heat of the sun lol.  I don't normally sweat but  man, I sweat like a hog in Vegas especially during our  time exploring the beauty of Hoover Dam.
We  parked all the way on the Arizona side  so when it was time to  go back, the kids  retreated so hubby decided, he was just going to the car alone and we waited at the bottom of the hill.  
Going to Hoover Dam was really educational for the four of us.  We did not know much about it till we visited.  It's awesome because both of their social studies teacher was telling them about Lake Mead, Grand Canyon, and Hoover Dam and the kids  were excited because they know what the teacher was talking about.  
If you have a spare time, try to watch the following videos I have included of how the Hoover Dam was completed.  Just by watching them, you will learn a lot.  Video credits to History.com

Below are short clips I took while we were driving around and enjoying  the gigantic boulders  scenery.

If you haven't seen this place, I encourage you to do it, you will be amazed. I would suggest not to do it during the summer though, it was so hot when we were there. We thought of going back there during the evening but it wasn't cool either so we thought maybe the next time we visit, we will do it in the Fall or Spring when it is not so hot. I hope you enjoy this Hoover Dam post. Coming up next will be the Hoover Dam bridge.

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