6 Great Apps For Traveling

Traveling in unfamiliar places can be frustrating. Where’s the cheapest gas, the best food, free WiFi? Load these FREE apps and the answers will be at your finger tips. Don’t leave home without this FREE App! Gas prices can vary enormously by up to 20 cents a gallon or more. The Gasbuddy App will find the cheapest gas price in the USA or Canada by city/zip or postal … Continue reading 6 Great Apps For Traveling

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It’s Not Too Late to Start A Bucket List . . . .

Is this on your bucket list?
Is this on your bucket list?
When it comes to what’s on a bucket list I would imagine some folks are more adventurous than others; like wanting to sky dive in the Swiss Alps or climb Mt. Everest, the highest peak in the Himalayas, but then again a lot of people just want to go somewhere they’ve never been before. That pretty much sums up my bucket list.

In doing my curating for this blog I happened upon an article by Travel & Leisure about the most visited tourism sites in the world, so I thought I would compare their list of 52 popular tourist sites with my list. Much to my amazement, it appears I’ve done that, been there, a lot!

New York City was ranked #1, and although I did not see Central park (ranked #2), attend a Broadway show or see Times Square; during my two brief trips to the Big Apple I did stretch my neck upward in seeking out as many iconic structures in the New York City skyline as I could. I was in awe of the Twin Towers, Empire State Building and other historic skyscrapers, and well remember the excitement I felt in experiencing such a vibrant city with its crescendo of honking horns and a myriad of voices adding to the overall din. Perhaps not a complete bucket list accomplishment, but close enough. Have you been to NYC?

Photo of Lincoln Memorial - Wikimedia Commons
Photo of Lincoln Memorial – Wikimedia Commons
I missed seeing #3, Washington, D.C.’s Union Station, but was fortunate enough to tour our nations’ capital and visit #30 National Air and Space Museum, #34 Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and #36, the Lincoln Memorial: sites that many, especially Americans, would like to visit. I still get goose bumps, and feel a sense of pride when I think of the history of our country through so many historic buildings and places in Washington, D.C. This a major bucket list must see!
Continue reading “It’s Not Too Late to Start A Bucket List . . . .”

Tis’ The Season to be Shopping . . . Fa La La La La … La La La La

What can be more festive than a holiday bedecked mall - flickr image by e e paul
What can be more festive than a holiday bedecked mall – flickr image by e e paul

Although statistically speaking, it has been said that approximately 71% of Americans will do their shopping online this year, for many it’s just not the holidays without a mall visit. After all, the jingling of bells, the hustle and bustle of people mingling and jostling bags and boxes, the aromas of holiday treats wafting from various food vendors, decorative store fronts with tinsel and twinkling lights, Santa’s here and there, and just the happy chaos that is reminiscent of the past that many of us have not forgotten is reason enough to at least abandon our online shopping for one or two store bought gifts.

So where are the most popular shopping places anyhow? While Travel and Leisure listed 32 of the most popular shopping malls during the holidays, we’ll spare you all the details and list the top 5, although you can learn more about this phenomena here

Number 1 Shopping Mall during the Holiday Season
Number 1 Shopping Mall during the Holiday Season

No. 1 Mall of America, Bloomington, MN
Annual Visitors: 40 million
Year Opened: 1992

With more than 400 shops and a nice blend of retail and entertainment (a roller coaster inside no less) it is no wonder the Mall of America is at the top of the list.

Is that a snowman we see outside of Aventura Mall in Miami, Florida?
Is that a snowman we see outside of Aventura Mall in Miami, Florida?

No. 2 Aventura Mall, Aventura, FL
Annual Visitors: 28 million
Year Opened: 1983

Oh my, what isn’t good about Aventura Mall? Its located in sunny Miami, Florida and hosts special events like the Chocolate Festival and the Great American Bake Sale, plus has the added advantage of Gulfstream Park thoroughbred horse racing and championship golf courses among other features in its enclave.

By the way, if you’re in need of a good night’s sleep after you shop til’ you drop, check us out.

Continue reading “Tis’ The Season to be Shopping . . . Fa La La La La … La La La La”

FALL: It’s All About Falling Leaves and Festivals

Fall in Aspen, Colorado is evident by the stark white bark of the Birch Trees and their brilliant yellow leaves sprinkled with radiant reds.  Flickr photo by snowpeak
Fall in Aspen, Colorado is evident by the stark white bark of the Birch Trees and their brilliant yellow leaves sprinkled with radiant reds. Flickr photo by snowpeak

Every October the same phenomenon occurs when leaves of the quaking Aspen glow in various shades of yellow, and the Beech dazzles with golden bronze while the Birch tree’s’ bark’ is as captivating as its leaves of golden-yellow brillance. Probably the most favored trees in the fall for resplendent foliage are Maple and Oak trees. Japanese Maple trees are drenched in bronze, purple and red leaves come October, and then there is the Paper Bark Maple with its bright red leaves, or one of my favorites, the Sugar Maple with its explosion of orange foliage and the silver maple with its shimmering yellow leaves.
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It Takes My Breath Away . . .

We’ve all had an awe-struck sensation a time or two in our lives. Even viewing a single sunset or sunrise can cause us to mouth an exclamation of sorts, and in an instant the site takes our breath away.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

me-with-dancers1me-blue-bear1Every time I return home to Denver. It matters not if I am flying in or driving in, for as soon as I glimpse the panorama of the Rock Mountains as a back-drop to the Denver skyline I get a lump in my throat and have that awe-struck moment . . . .Denver is also a city that embraces the arts, so much so that no matter where you go you are visually impacted by the city’s love of art, and the beauty of this is that there is no cost to see sculptures that will make you smile (like the big blue bear) or stop you in your tracks for that second look (like the dancers).
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FREE is GOOD! Part 3 of a 3 part series

Macy's 4th of July Parade flickr image by Joyce Andes
Macy’s 4th of July Parade
flickr image by Joyce Andes

Why not Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the birthplace of our country? You might head over to Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing for the Philadelphia Orchestra Neighborhood Concert or simply watch the fireworks at the Philly 4th of July Jam.

If Philly is not on your mind, perhaps the beauty of the Smoky Mountains is calling your name – so head over to UNC’s Kenan Memorial Stadium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to hear live music by Kenny Mann and Liquid Pleasure, and a spectacular light up the sky fireworks display. You don’t want to miss the watermelon eating contest as well . . .
Continue reading “FREE is GOOD! Part 3 of a 3 part series”

FREE is Good! (part 2 of a 3 part series)

What’s the buzz about, you ask?

Coker Aboretum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Wikemedia image
Coker Aboretum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Wikemedia image
There are FREE tours on each 3rd Saturday at the North Carolina Botanical Garden located in one of the most beautiful University campuses in the nation: the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This includes Coker Arboretum. June 23rd and June 29th both feature “Honey beehive and summer wildflowers and pollination tours,” where you will learn that “bees are responsible for pollinating 1/3 of the world’s food and produce. You’ll also be treated (rain or shine) to a 60-minute long tour of the Display Gardens and get a close-up look at their new pollinator garden. For more information about events, check out http://ncbg.unc.edu/calendar/

A special footnote: Dogs are not allowed anywhere in the display gardens (inside fenced areas) but leashed dogs are allowed on the Piedmont Nature Trails.
Continue reading “FREE is Good! (part 2 of a 3 part series)”