Awe-Inspiring Tourism Sites: For the Nature-Lover in All of Us . . .

I just recently read the latest issue of Vacations where they featured 12 awe-inspiring U.S. preserves. I have always enjoyed nature, as I’m sure many of our blog readers do, so I thought why not join in and feature some lesser know but equally ‘awe’ inspiring natural habitats that just might encourage you to load up the family and hit the road…

orange-chinned parakeet flickr sussexbirderWildwood Wildlife and Nature Center (aka Zoo of the Northwoods in Minocqua) is the 2nd largest zoo in Wisconsin, where you can get “up close and personal” while you have lunch at the all new Jambo Hut overlooking the Giraffe Serengeti habitat area, or with kiddies in hand you might want to have an interactive Budgie encounter where over 500 beautiful parakeets intermingle with the zoo’s guests. For those not into new-found feathered friends, you might want to bottle feed any number of animal bottle babies in their interactive petting zoo. Note: flickr photo of the two orange chinned parakeets is by sussexbirder
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February . . . It’s All About Fenders and Foodies!

I had meant for the title of this blog to be “February . . . it’s all about Feathers, Fenders and Foodies,” but alas, one of the two teams going to the Superbowl this year are not birds of a feather so to speak. Although honorable mention will be given to the Superbowl’s venue in the big easy – a touristy site if ever there was one, at the end of this blog.

Daytona 500 practice run
Daytona 500 practice run – Image from Wikimedia Commons
I’ve always thought of February as being a ho hum month, except for Valentines Day of course. If you’re one of those outdoorsy types; you know, snow bunny, skier, skater, angel wings maker, and are fortunate enough to live where snow flakes abound then you probably favor the month of February. For many others though this is the time of year when most days are dreary, some cold, possibly some snow and ice, but for the most part just blah! There are exceptions though, like sunny Florida, where tourism seems to shine even on a cloudy day.
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Stretching Your Travel Dollar . . .

It’s time to get down to leisure!  2013 was ushered in with some in trepidation, thanks to the political landscape over the past several months.  The news has been filled with impending disaster of the ‘fiscal cliff’, with many on edge with anticipation for the worst yet to come, halting any thought for the future, let alone planning a vacation.  Perhaps now is the time to be innovative when it comes to minimal to no discretionary income for a brief get-away, a weekend excursion, or an all out vacation.

This brings to mind my involvement with the USO while living in Germany.  One220px-Tour_Eiffel_Wikimedia_Commons of the many things USO does for its service members and their families is to provide economical recreational opportunities.  We lived in a very scenic area of Germany, less than a Berlin-zoodays drive to many popular attractions; such as Paris and the Eiffel Tower; Bavaria and its Black Forest;  Berlin and its famous zoo;  Belgium, home of the original French Fry and Luxembourg, a tiny country and home to several famous war memorials. 

Many may  not be familiar with the USO and its dependence on volunteers, and this my blog readers, is how some of my volunteers were able to venture into the French countryside, or tour a crumbling castle, or visit the famous art gallery ‘Le Louvre’ and so on.  Become a volunteer; drive a tour van, or earn a free seat on a tour. 

Today, there are numerous websites featuring volunteer opportunities tied to travel; however, they may not necessarily be FREE, but as the title says ‘Stretching Your Travel Dollar’, might just be the way to get out and go in 2013!
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