Travelers and Wanderers around the Universe

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Indian Echo Caverns: Inside View: Part4

This is the continuation of my Indian Echo Caverns posts that you can find here and here.  I love the tour guide that was assigned to us, he was very entertaining and  knows a whoiole lot about the cave.
He showed us different shapes that you can see such as this one below.  If you look closely, you can see a  crocodile's head in there.  The tour guide  told us a  made-up stoy about the crocodile which made us all  laugh.
The following photos are just different formatuins that I thought were pretty neat.  It's not a everyday thing that you get to go inside a cavern so I took lots of photos.
It's nice that they  put lighting system in  every part of the cave,  There are times that tour guide will turn off the life just to let you experience  how it is  inside during the  days when there's no light in there yet.
At the end of the tour, he took us a place where a guy lived there for years and died there but that would be another post.  Fir now, I want you to enjoy these different photos inside the cavern.
Glad we had hats that day, water are dripping and if you're not lucky, you'll get wet and it's not a good thing as it was cold inside the cavern.

Please tune in for more photos next time.

Tops Tips for Enjoying Cold Weather Sports With Your Whole Family

Winter is a great opportunity to get outside with your family and enjoy some activities. There are so many opportunities to have fun, especially if you head to a dedicated resort where you will find plenty of activities to enjoy. Here's what you need to know to make the most of your time in the cold.
 
Why Get Outside in the Cold?

Getting outside in the winter is healthy and fun. It's great to keep active even though it's cold, and it stops your kids from getting too bored inside. There are many activities that you can only do in the winter, and now is the time to enjoy them or you will miss out until next year. Many of the activities are fast and furious and perfect for kids, so give some of them a go.
  
Book a Winter Activity Holiday

One of the best ways to enjoy the winter is to go somewhere like a ski resort where there will be lots to do. A winter holiday resort like Mont Tremblant in Quebec is ideal because it is fully geared up to provide you and your family with everything you need for a great time. There are plenty of Tremblant hotel deals to take advantage of, as well as lots of activities, clubs, restaurants, attractions, and stunning scenery.

Choose Some Activities

There are plenty of activities you could try on your vacation, and it depends how old your kids are. They can ski from a young age as long as they get proper instruction, but there are many other activities you may want to try together like dog sledding, tobogganing, snowshoeing, hiking in the Laurentian Mountains, and more.

Stay Safe in the Snow

Always wrap up warm when you head out into the cold for any length of time, and make sure your children don't get too cold. If they start complaining that they are cold, take them back to your accommodation, get them into a warm bath and prepare some warm drinks.
 
You should also take hot drinks out with you during the day, and make sure they use suitable clothing and equipment for the activities that you have planned. If they are not experienced in an activity like skiing, make sure they have classes with a certified instructor.

Watch Out for Frostbite and Frostnip

Frostbite is when body tissue freezes, and it can result in permanent damage. It often affects exposed areas like fingers, feet, and the face. Kids are at more risk because they often play outside for longer and they may not cover up properly. They also lose heat more quickly, so make sure you keep a close eye on them.

Frostnip is milder, but it can be uncomfortable. It is when skin that is exposed to the cold, like fingers and ears, become red and numb. This can be treated at home by warming the affected area with warm water.

Have Fun This Winter

Start thinking about the winter holidays and all the fun you can have. Family holidays in the snow are a fantastic way to make the most of the winter and have a great time. So find a resort that you can visit, plan your activities, and make sure everyone stays safe. Then have an amazing time this winter with your family.

Richard Page is a fitness instructor and passionate about sport. He enjoys the chance to share his insights online and has already posted across a number of relevant websites.

Super-Fun Snow Day Activities in Jackson Hole Sans the Skis

To outdoor lovers, the mention of Jackson Hole conjures images of fresh powder and premier skiing, yet locals know that skiing the slopes is just one activity taking place on a snow day.  Below, find a range of exercises and pastimes to take part in when the snow graces the grounds at Jackson Hole.
 
Snowmobiling

Wyoming features incredible wildlife and focal points.  Taking a snowmobile tour is a great way to see the sights while enjoying the ride.  Most tours include transport, clothing, and lunch.  Call ahead to ensure you can get a reservation.  If you’re a seasoned expert, enlist in the Hill Climb hosted on Snow King Mountain.  The four-day event unmasks the man or woman who has what it takes to master their machine on the hills.

Alternatively, book a snowcoach tour (which can be combined with a snowmobile tour).  Tours cost somewhere between $200 and $350 per person.  Lastly, if you feel comfortable guiding a snowmobile through the landscape alone or with friends, rent snowmobiles for a self-guided tour.  Rental cost between $100 and $200 per person.

Sleigh Rides

Take a half-hour or one-hour tour of the country slide in an old-fashioned sleigh.  Dress appropriately and take along a warm beverage as you prepare to be pulled along at a leisurely pace by a horse.  Depending on time of day and your mood, combine the ride with subsequent dinner and entertainment.  You can find an outfitter close to Jackson Hole lodging or venture farther from the main park area.  The National Elk Refuge charges $18 per person, and if you want to combine dinner, the price ranges from $100 to $150 per person.

Snowshoeing

Take a snowshoe tour through the Bradley Taggart Lakes area.  Paths spread far and wide from the trailhead, so it’s easy to find a road previously untaken.  For safety and time management purposes, grab a map from the trailhead and embrace the wilderness.  Alternatively, Jenny Lake is a groomed road and well traveled, yet the trail to the lake is not a short walk; plan to spend the full day trekking and pack food and necessary provisions.

You may want to complement the exercise with a bit of learning.  Take a tour with a ranger who can tell you about the area and a bit about how to survive in the wilderness.  The Grand Teton National Park offers tours and shoe rentals; shoes are $5 but the tour is free of charge.

Ice Skating


Sure, in the winter you can likely go ice skating in a number of indoor or outdoor locales, but very few will offer the kind of atmosphere that Jackson Hole can provide.  While in the area, head to Town Square to enjoy live music, cocoa, and rent skates.  Also, Snow King Arena, at the base of Snow King Mountain can deliver an incredible skating experience.  Additionally, Owen Birch Park, Rodeo Grounds, and Kolter Ice Arena (in Idaho) are venues for ice skating.

Sure, there is unbelievable skiing to be found at Jackson Hole, but that’s only one activity among many to enjoy alone or with the entire family!


Patricia May works in a senior role as a travel consultant. She likes to share her insights with an online audience and has already written for a variety of different websites.

Indian Echo Caverns - Part3

As I have mentioned on part  2 of our cavern adventure, here are some of the  photos  of what you can see  inside the Indian Echo Caverns.  According to our tour guide, the Caverns were first opened to the general public in 1929, when Mr. John Bieber opened the doors to the caverns. 
 Mr. Bieber realized that many people wishing to visit the caverns might be put off by the treacherous, uneven terrain that nature created. Bieber undertook a massive commercialization process, in which all of the pathways in the caverns were made safe for travel, as well as opening up many rooms closed off because of huge mineral deposits.
 The caverns were a natural Mecca of the region, attracting thousands of visitors in its first years. However, sadly, the caverns fell upon hard times during the Great Depression, and Mr. Bieber lost ownership to the bank. 
 All was not lost, for in 1942, Mr. Edward S. Swartz, a Hershey native purchased the caverns. Today, the ownership of the caverns still remain in his family, with hundreds of thousands of visitors walking the paths of the Susquehannocks each year.
 If I were to get lost there, U would be scared especially if the  lights are off  because it  would be a total darkness inside and cold too!
 It's amazing how this natural beauty  could  make your  imagination travel to a different  time and place.  
 Seeing all of these beautiful formation  inspired my daughter to dream of becoming a geologist.
 The tour guide was very pleased when we told him about what  our daughter said and what she think she should do when she grows up.
 There are so many things that tour guide have told us including make up stories of the  different shapes of the stalactites and stalagmites
More photos to come  in the next series of photos.  Thanks for reading and for leaving your thoughts.

Beauty All Year Long: Hiking and Camping Mont-Tremblant National Park

There are scores of reasons to visit the Mont-Tremblant region, and if you’re interested in fresh air, exercise, and pristine views, hiking is a major one.  Those who head to the National Park are doubly rewarded, enjoying Mont-Tremblant’s views and the peace of mind in knowing the property is used responsibly, for entertainment purposes while maintaining the land’s beauty and dignity.  If you’re considering going out to the region and putting your boots to its grounds, consider the following.
Respectful Exercise

The National Park is open to the public while philosophies are set in place to preserve and protect the land.  The philosophy of those behind the development and preservation of the trails focus on three major points.  Firstly, all visitors must be respectful of the environment and promote the sentiments of having a minimal impact on immediate surroundings.  Secondly, all participants must keep safe, being concerned about their own safety and promoting techniques and thoughts that protect other people, animals, and the land.  Lastly, preservationists want the most appealing landscapes to be enjoyed by goers, and continually develop trails to capture the attention and wonder of those visiting the park.
Classification Systems

Those overseeing the development and preservation of Mont-Tremblant National Park use classification systems to indicate the difficulty level to newcomers and seasoned hikers.  An “easy trail” does not require any previous experience of hiking and involves minimal physical effort.  An intermediate trail is reserved for those with rich experience and who behold a technical knowledge of the area and the sport of hiking.  Finally, a trail labeled difficult warrants mastery of walking techniques, demands those traveling be in good shape, and invites those who are more than comfortable in a forest setting.
Park Specifics

Mont-Tremblant is a destination for both hikers and backpackers due to its diverse trails, hundreds of lakes and rivers, and breathtaking surroundings.  Also as an added note, those who enjoy the pastime of bird watching flock to the area; it hosts 196 species.  Specifically, the backpacking network involves 120 km of trails, lined with communal huts that can hold 2 to eighteen people.  The Diable route is 47.6 km, considered an intermediate trail, and usually takes 3 days and 2 nights to complete.  Of course, other Mont Tremblant accommodations are available for those opting to reserve only a few hours for hiking each day of their stay.

Short Hikes

As suggested, you don’t have to commit to a multi-day hike through the area.  For those who are beginners or taking small family members, beginner and shorter hikes are suggested.  You won’t miss the majesty of the mountainous region while staying close to more family-fitted accommodations.  Aside from hiking and backpacking, runners are free to test their endurance along the trails.  Also, dogs and family pets are more than welcome in the pedestrian village yet are not allowed to traverse the mountain with you.  To save time and gain access to a bird’s eye view, take note of the gondola schedule, which is a nice option to have at the end of the day if you’re tired and decide to take an expedited passage back down the mountain.     

Louise Harrison has been working as a travel consultant for a number of years. She enjoys the opportunity to offer her insights with an online audience. Her thoughts have been shared across a number of travel-related websites.                        

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Indian Echo Caverns - Part2

This is the continuation of our   cavern adventure in Hummeltown, PA.  After  30 minutes of waiting for our tour, we  started  our journey by going down this steep  concrete steps going the hill with our tour guide.
Going down was easy but coming back up is a different story.  It did not bother us but a lot of people where stopping on the way up catching their breath.  
Near the cave is the Swatara Creek.  According to our  tour guide, the first visitors to Indian Echo Caverns, were most likely were the Susquehannock Indians. They lived along the Swatara creek, upon which the mouth of the caverns sits. It is currently believed that they used the caverns as a refuge during inclement weather because of the constant 52° temperature inside the caverns. The Susquehannock vanished from the area in the 1670's leaving the region around the caverns virtually unoccupied.
Then he went to tell us that the first non-Native American explorers of the caverns were most likely French fur trappers. They traveled along the rivers and creeks of the north east during the latter part of the 17th Century and into the early 18th Century. Most likely they discovered the mouth of the caverns as they traveled on the Swatara Creek. These intrepid explorers wrote about their tales in the caverns attracting more and more explorers.
That's the cavern entrance.  We have to wait for outer tours to  get done before  we finally enter.
The  tour guide was really good in what he does.  You can tell that he take pride of the knowledge that he is imparting to the tourists about the place.
It was   cold inside the cavern.  I am so glad I wore a cardigan that day.   I don't think I  would have enjoy the  tour inside if I wasn't wearing something warm.
This is just  the beginning our  exploration inside.  I will share more photos next time so please tune in.

Friday, August 21, 2015

The 3 Best London Soho Boutique Hotels

Boutique hotels are quite particular to the United Kingdom. In fact, the trend itself started in London during the 1980s. While it is now becoming more of a global phenomenon, London in particular still leads the way in terms of quality of hotels. A boutique hotel is located in unique settings and the accommodation is truly upscale. Often, boutique hotels follow a specific aspirational and/or stylish theme.

About Soho
The area of Soho, in London’s West End, is the entertainment district of London. It has been going through regeneration since the 1980s, when residents and commercial buildings started to make the area more fashionable and upmarket, something they have succeeded in. Soho is very multicultural and the place to be for people with all types of interests. Certain streets in Soho often have to be closed to vehicles because it is so widely visited. Yet, despite being busy, it never seems to lose its class and style. Therefore, if you are looking for a London boutique hotel, Soho truly is one of the best places to be. Let’s take a look, therefore, at the 3 best London Soho boutique hotels.

Hazlitt’s
Hazlitt’s first opened in 1718. In those days, there were no bathrooms in the rooms, the plumbing was poor and the hotel was lit solely by candles. The hotel opened with a philosophy that guests should spend time in beautiful, civilised surroundings and that they could enjoy an efficient, friendly and hospitable service. While the amenities in the hotel have now been modernised and updated, the philosophy remains the same. The hotel, on Frith Street, is made up of a number of historic Georgian Houses and is close to all of London’s main attractions.

The Nadler Soho
The Nadler Soho is brilliantly located, allowing you to access other parts of London such as Oxford Street with ease. The rooms are incredibly elegant and have all the necessary modern amenities, including free Wi-Fi, LED TV and digital newspapers from all over the world. In each room, you will find a very modern bathroom with a shower, and some rooms also have a bath. Furthermore, the rooms include a hairdryer, small kitchenette, desk and a laptop safe. You can also request a room with speakers in the bathroom, which are linked to the TV system. You will find the Nadler Soho just 850 metres away from the British Museum, 400 metres from Tottenham Court Tube Station and 1.2 miles from the London Eye. Within a five minute walk of the hotel, you will be in the heart of vibrant Soho with its many restaurants and bars for an evening of enjoyment and merriment.

Sanctum Soho Hotel

The Sanctum Soho Hotel is a firm favourite among tourists because it used to be the MI5 research building, and people still hope to find clues of the work the secretive organisation was involved in. The boutique hotel is nothing short of cool, with its bling room handles, dark colours, louche art and deco lamps. Some of the rooms have rotating beds, and the no-questions-asked policy is reminiscent of the ancient history of Soho, when the area was mainly a hive for people in the sex industry. Each of the rooms follows one of four possible colour schemes and they look like powder-puff or deco boudoirs. The hotel has managed to use a theme that could be seen as trashy, and they have turned into something truly classy. There are mirrors all over this hotel, giving people an almost voyeuristic feel. The bar is open 24 hours per day and is open to residents only. It is small, but very funky and it opens up to an outside two level terrace. On the top level, there is a huge Jacuzzi that can be used by residents as well. At reception, you can have your guitar tuned. The hotel also includes a for hire screening room downstairs, as well as a darkened bar restaurant. This is less of a hotel and more of an experience.

The Z Hotel Soho


Finally, there is the Z Hotel. One of the things that makes this hotel stand out is that it is incredibly affordable. At the same time, however, this affordability does not take anything away from the quality of the service. The hotel truly is in the heart of Soho, with a breakfast room and bar that exits onto the famous Old Compton Street. The hotel itself is nothing short of chic. It has a beautiful interior courtyard, where you can sit and look up to the stacked open ‘corridors’ of the hotel. At the bottom, you can sit and relax with a drink and a smoke. The hotel is very cheerful and you may even be able to get free nibbles and wine to further enjoy your evening. The rooms are comfortable and come with free Wi-Fi and a little desk. Other than that, the rooms are not overly luxurious, but they are comfortable. The hotel is also in the process of adding more rooms.

Tips for Traveling to Sri Lanka with Children

If you are planning to embark on a family vacation to Sri Lanka, you’ll be glad to know that Sri Lankans love children, and travelling with kids will pretty much guarantee you a warm welcome wherever you go. The local people are known for doing whatever they can to help and entertain those with children. There is certainly no need to start worrying about whether or not you’ll be getting disapproving stares if you baby starts crying or your toddler starts messing around, even in the poshest of establishments – children are accepted and cherished, making Sri Lanka a brilliant choice for a family vacation with little ones.

Travelling With Babies

Although children are welcomed in Sri Lanka, it’s inevitable that traveling with a young baby may prove to be somewhat stressful. Baby formula milk is readily available to buy in Sri Lanka, however you may have trouble stocking up on other essentials such as disposable nappies and baby food. Services for childcare such as babysitting, day-care, baby changing facilities, high chairs and sterilizers are largely unheard of, and the pavements in most areas render prams and buggies useless. Along with this, parents with small babies also need to be aware of the risks due to heat, dehydration, and mosquito-borne diseases.

Travelling With Older Kids

Older children are likely to get a lot out of visiting the island, as there are plenty of activities and places to visit that children will really enjoy. The beaches in Sri Lanka are likely to be a favorite amongst children with endless strips of golden sand to play in and warm waters to splash about and swim in, although it’s important that you double check local swimming conditions before you allow your child to swim in the sea.  There are also a lot of family friendly accommodations to stay in.

Tourist Attractions for Kids

Sri Lanka has a number of tourist attractions aimed at families, with one of the most popular being the Elephant Orphanage at Pinnewala, one of the few places in the world where your children will be able to visit cute baby elephants who are even smaller than themselves. Sri Lanka has a range of national parks that are likely to get your children excited thanks to the wildlife spotting opportunities including crocodiles, peacocks, flamingos and even more elephants.
If your children are up for an adventure, there are a number of activity sports available such as banana boating or kayaking, and for those who want to explore, a train ride through the countryside or a boating trip through one of the island’s lagoons or rivers will be an experience that the whole family can enjoy. If you’ve got an energetic child with a good head for heights, they may enjoy climbing up the rickety iron staircases of Sigiriya.

Shopping

Don’t forget to take your children shopping in Sri Lanka, as there are a wealth of different unique and quirky souvenirs that you’ll be able to buy that they will absolutely love. The markets are home to a number of amazing and fun handicrafts from gruesome masks to painted elephants, and there is definitely no shortage of unique, handmade wooden toys. The Barefoot in Colombo has a range of colorful cuddly stuffed toys that your child will love.

Safety

When travelling to Sri Lanka with children, it’s important that safety is carefully considered and prioritized. You will need to think very carefully about your itinerary, as Sri Lanka is a small island with poor infrastructure, crowded roads, and can take a very long time to get around. Most traditional itineraries when visiting Sri Lanka include a week long rush around the island before a week spent on the beaches, however traveling the island can often prove boring for children, so it may be a better idea to take your time and spend a few days in each location exploring and participating in activities.
When exploring different areas, it’s crucial that you beware of poor quality vehicles and drivers. Hiring a car in Sri Lanka to drive yourself is not the best idea due to the crowded and unorganized roads, therefore many tourists opt for a private car with a qualified and experienced driver. As the traffic rarely moves above forty miles per hour, accidents can be avoided by those who know the roads, however it’s still vital that you opt for a reputable driver with a car that is properly fitted with seatbelts. For smaller children, booster and car seats are not widely available, so you may need to bring one from home.


Have you travelled to Sri Lanka with children? We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Roadtrip to Hershey, PA

a As mentioned in my other blog, we went on a road trip to Hershey, PA  and spent a couple of days there.  We got charged  over a hundred bucks when we cancelled our reservation for our Virginia Beach and  Busch Garden  trips.  It was bummer but unexpected things happen.  The kennel  that supposed to take care of our dogs  got an emergency so they had to close the business for the time being which affected us also.  We did not find a place to take care of our dogs  that time but  luckily, we have found  a place  at a later date and was able to  do a road trip.  
 Anyway, here are some of the photos taken during our road trip.  We  took a quick photo before we left,  Even though I always take pictures  every time we go on the same road, I can't help but click  the camera as hubby drives to keep myself entertained.
 I dunno what's in the tunnel that always captivate me.  To me tunnel represents excitement, I know that's weird but that's always how I feel when  we go through tunnels.
 U would love to go on a Pittsburgh River Cruise via the Gateway Clipper Fleet.  It would be nice to see the  Pittsburgh  are on a total different route, the river.
 Road trips are fun especially when you have well-travelled kids.  Our kids  share the same passion as we do with traveling so we don't really have any problem with them when we are on the road.  The great thing about it educating the kids of what you see on the road.  Like this pile of sand, they usually ask what this is for and we  explain to them about it.
 You know that you are in Pittsburgh when you see one bridge after another.
 I told you, there's something about tunnels .. hahaha!
See, there's always  light at the end of the tunnel which is a great thing.
 I love good signs like this church.  I mean, let's face it, road trips  involves risks so it is always  a good feeling when you feel protected on the road.
 Aside from tunnels, silos on the farm  is also an interest of mine when it comes to photography subject.
Sometimes people would look at us weirdly when we take a picture during rest stops but hey, who cares, lol.  We're making memories here so what they  think doesn't bother us.  Well, it does bother my husband from time to time but he goes along with us.  I am sure, the kids will appreciate all these when they  are older and have their own families.  They will have something to look back to.

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