Browse Month

May 2016

Awesome Cities in the US To Take a Staycation

StaycationRest and recreation doesn’t always have to entail traveling all the way to the other side of the world. While the idea sounds very tempting, there are times that you just need to take a quick break from the hustle and bustle of the city. It doesn’t have to be some place remote either-a brief and temporary change of environment will do the trick.

Have you ever had a staycation? The United States is filled with hundreds of staycation-friendly cities. We’ve rounded up some of our favorites to help you pick the destination where you can spend 3-5 days to reboot, relax, and rejuvenate.

Las Vegas, Nevada. Need we say more? A few nights in the sin city is definitely one of the best ways to have a staycation. They have some of the world’s luxury hotels. If you’re idea of a staycation mostly involves getting a massage, dialing room service for food, or just staying in, then you’re in the right place. If you have something else in mind, though, like trying your luck in the casino, Las Vegas surely won’t disappoint!

Tampa, Florida. For most people, staycations in Tampa mean soaking up the sun and hitting the beach. That’s a good way to spend a few days in the city because the beaches in Tampa are some of the finest the United States has to offer. Not in the mood for swimming or sunbathing? That’s perfectly fine because it just means you have more time to sample Tampa’s amazing restaurants. Most of them are located in Tampa Bay, so if you’re up for some great eats, we recommend that you may the bay your first stop.

Portland, Oregon. If you want the whole package-food, fun, rest and recreation, Portland, Oregon is definitely a good choice. Find culinary gems in the food carts around the city, give your legs a workout and cycle through its bike-friendly road (while you’re at it, breeze through some of the city’s funky neighborhoods), or reconnect with the nature and hike through some of Oregon’s iconic trails. A fair warning if you have future staycation plans in Oregon, though-be ready to fall in love with the city that you might actually want to move in!

Birmingham, Alabama. One of the best reasons why Birmingham is one of the best places to have a staycation in is because it’s so low-key that it’s easy to blend in. For example, you can attend one of the free fitness classes at Railroad Park like a true local. There are also a lot of nooks around the city that could be a perfect spot for you to catch up on your reading list while sipping on a cup of Birmingham coffee.

Which ever of this city you will stay, you’re bound to find a luxury hotel that suits your needs and feels like home. Channel your inner tourist and don’t waste a moment to refreshed and recharged!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9310178

Southern California Family Vacation Without the Crowds

Southern California Family Vacation Without the CrowdsIf you live in Southern California, you know that summer brings out the crowds-visitors from around the country and around the world.. That means it’s hard to go anywhere without running into lots of people and traffic-two main ingredients that makes kids (and parents) cranky.

One place that seems to have held on to its laid-back California charm and has lots of kid-friendly fun is Ventura, particularly the three cities known as VenturaCountyWest (Camarillo, Oxnard and Ventura). Located up the 101 Freeway north from Los Angeles, VenturaCountyWest features uncrowded beaches (with free parking), ocean adventures and tons of easy-to-get-to kids’ summer activities. Here are some to check out.

Channel Islands National Park

Take a tour boat to the Channel Islands National Park out of either Ventura or Channel Islands (Oxnard) harbors. The islands are only 11 miles off the Ventura County coast. On the way, you can see dolphins, seals, pelicans and other wildlife. Hikes, overnight stays, kayaking are all available once arriving on shore. Tours are booked through Island Packers, http://www.islandpackers.com/.

Ventura Harbor Village

Ventura Harbor Village contains an arcade featuring an old-fashioned indoor carousel, arcade and a candy shop with more than 20 varieties of fudge (made fresh daily). Families can rent paddle and electric boats to tour the quiet harbor channels. Back on shore, plan on eating at one of the casual harbor side restaurants featuring freshly caught seafood. http://www.venturaharborvillage.com.

Ventura County Fairgrounds’ Raceway

“Midget” cars, motorcycles and all sorts of other racing vehicles take to the track almost every weekend at the Ventura County Fairgrounds in Ventura. It’s all good fun as you cheer on your favorite driver.

Gull Wings Children’s Museum

This children’s museum in Oxnard is very unassuming from the outside, but once inside, the eight and under set will have so much to do and see that they won’t know where to begin. They can dress up as firefighters, doctors or pretend they are astronauts landing on the moon in an Apollo spacecraft. There are snakes to hold, treasure to find in a geological dig and plenty of Legos to build whatever they wish. Kids can try their hand at rock wall climbing or let their imaginations go while in the driver’s seat of an actual car.

Sky High Sports

You won’t find a big sign announcing Sky High Sports Camarillo from the freeway. It’s in an industrial park-it has to be-the place is huge. It’s filled with trampolines with super padded floors and walls. Kids can play trampoline dodge ball and other organized games or… just jump. All under supervision. Sky High also has laser tag. Kids are sure to come out sweaty and tired-a perfect way to spend an afternoon.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8573123

Ten Reasons You Should Take a Daycation

Take a DaycationA daycation is simply a day vacation. It’s a close cousin of the “staycation,” with the advantage that at just one day it requires very little planning. Is it sounding appealing yet?

But before you get too carried away, it’s worth pointing out the ironic twist in taking a daycation: in our fast-paced, whirlwind lives the thought of taking a day off can sometimes make us feel anxious.

But wait! That’s not what vacation is supposed to do!

Maybe we feel like there are too many people counting on us or that we may compromise our responsibilities. Maybe we feel guilty about taking a day off when everyone else has to show up for work.

If we can get past that, the appeal of a daycation is self-evident:

  • Small commitment
  • Minimal planning
  • Affordable or free

So let’s be honest: The only thing stopping us from taking a daycation is… you got it: US.

When you think about what might be stopping you from taking a day off, really think about what you feel you would jeopardize. Start by taking a little time to think about any feelings of guilt, fear or anxiety. You can even write them down to look at them objectively. Then ask yourself: “Realistically, will things really fall apart if I take a day off?”

And just in case you’re still not convinced, here are ten good reasons why you should consider taking a daycation before too long:

  1. Disruption fosters creativity. Shake up the routine!
  2. Taking a daycation means you are taking a stand for yourself.
  3. Creating space can invite clarity into a life situation.
  4. Determining how you will spend a full day puts you back in the driver’s seat of your life.
  5. If you are feeling over-extended, reclaiming a day for yourself is a generous act of self-kindness.
  6. Especially with hectic schedules, having a full day to spend as you see fit is like taking a big deep breath for 24 hours.
  7. You are almost sure to see/hear/experience you wouldn’t have in a “normal” day.
  8. Inviting someone you love to share a daycation with you can create a very special memory.
  9. You can absolutely “play hookie” from your life for a day and remain a responsible adult.
  10. There will never, ever be a day exactly like this again.

Do some reasons resonate more than others? In today’s culture of always wanting to do more, you shouldn’t be surprised if more than one of these reasons rings true for you.

So… what are you doing tomorrow?

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8923988

Take A Day Trip To A Blueberry Farm

Blueberry Farmwhen blueberries come into season, both wild and cultivated high bush. Depending on how the weather has been and which part of the country you live in, it can be anytime from the beginning of the month through the first few weeks. Here are some tips for visiting a blueberry farm.

Call Before You Leave/Check the Website

If you aren’t sure what the hours of the farm are, or what the weather might be like, or if they can accommodate your Uncle Charlie’s wheelchair, call first. There is nothing more disappointing then driving there, especially if you have to drive a long way, only to find out you made your trip in vain. The farm is more than happy to answer whatever questions you have before hand on the phone. Weather is a fickle thing and it might not be raining at your house, but an hour away it could be pouring buckets. On a similar note check to see if the farm has a website, or a Facebook page. Often times the information you need is going to be listed right on the page. They will tell you what their policies are, what the weather conditions are, what they are currently picking and what their hours are.

Leave Your Strollers/Large Bags/Pets/Buckets at Home

Strollers are awkward to maneuver through the rows of a blueberry farm, and often the terrain is rough. It also makes it hard for the farm staff to keep an eye on potential “shoplifters”. The same is true for large bags. If you must bring a large bag, plan on leaving it secured in the trunk of your car while you are picking.

Most farms have a no-pets policy. This is for the safety of the visitors, and any animals they may have on their farm. Please leave your dogs at home.

You bought the cute berry picking baskets from the local basket making company. You have pails that your great-aunt Sheila picked in when she was a girl. Your family has been using the same buckets for decades. Keep them at home and put them on display, or take them hiking and use them to pick wild berries. Most pick your own farms provide you with pails to use and have policies that prevent you from using your own.

Visit Early In the Day

Blueberries thrive in hot, sunny conditions, and the fields they grow in offer very little shade. The temperature might only read 82*f on the thermostat, but out in the sun of the field it is going to feel a lot hotter. On top of that, the bushes hold the heat and it is easy on a really hot day to get overheated. The best time for picking is in the morning, before the berries get too hot. After noontime on a day when the temperatures soar into the high 80’s and 90’s, the berries will be hot and soft and once you get home they won’t keep as well.

Wear a Hat and Bring Water

A large floppy hat that keeps the sun off of your face and neck is the best choice. If all you have is a baseball cap that will certainly work as well. The goal is to keep the sun off of your head and provide you with a little bit of shade and coolness. Picking blueberries is not hard work, but on a hot day you can quickly become dehydrated in the heat of the field. Drinking lots of water will keep you safe and allow you to enjoy your time at the farm.

Leave the Bag in the Bucket

If your farm hands you a pail with a plastic bag in it, please keep it there. You may have read Blueberries for Sal with your children before you left, and they want to hear the “plink, plink, plink” like in the book, but after a handful or two of berries, they aren’t going to plink anyhow. The bag is there to help the staff weigh your berries when you are finished picking, and for you to get your berries home safely and easily. Those pails may have been on the farm for a long time and could be a little dirty and rusty. You don’t want your hard picked berries right in them now, do you?

It’s Pick Your Own, Not Self-Serve

Of course, you need to taste a FEW of the berries to make sure that you like the variety that you are picking, especially if you have multiple varieties to pick from. Selling berries is the farmer’s livelihood, and if you eat as many berries as you pick, you are essentially stealing from them. Pick to your hearts delight, then take your berries home and enjoy them.

Have you been to Monadnock Berries?