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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ittoqqortoormiit

 

As I find myself getting older, I want to see what the world is really like, I want to meet real people and see real stuff, and Lord knows I want to get away.  I should have been the one who got paid for that Southwest catch phrase.  At any rate, it's that time of year when northern travel is winding down, and people are starting to go south for the winter.  My parents told me that the snowbirds are back in Sun City, so I know it's that time.  But, there's time for that one more look at something amazing before heading south for the winter.  That something is Ittoqqortoormiit.



This is one of the most remote towns in the world.  It's on the Eastern coast of Greenland along the longest, deepest fjord in the world.  In the winter it is dark, frozen, and only accessible by helicopter.  It's a thousand kilometers from pretty much anywhere, and the warmest place around is the hot springs.  So, with Nuuk and the whole southern tip of Greenland that is way more hospitable, inhabitable, and enjoyable; why would anyone venture up to Ittoqqortoormiit?  That's the adventure for anyone folks.  This is one of those things that you never thought you would do, but you did, and afterward you couldn't imagine passing on the experience.

 

Sure, the town is one of those colorful little Nordic towns that you see on postcards and jigsaw puzzles, but it's more than that.  It's one of the great places to sail, which is why the Vikings loved it so much.  It's ruggedly beautiful and full of amazing wildlife.  It's true that not everyone is that taken with muskox, polar bears, and whales, but some of us just go for it and find out that it's really amazing, and makes a tropical island just look boring.



Greenland is one of the best spots on Earth to see the northern lights.  This time of year starts the prime watch time for the northern hemisphere.  I, personally, don't like to wait until the middle of winter, because that is just harsh.  So, early in the season, like now, is a great time to go.



The amazing thing about Ittoqqortoormiit is that there are only around 450 people there and they are natives, who have lived off this land for a very long time.  The experience that you get by going there is one of living amongst them and seeing how they live.  You stay at a seven room guest house, which is the only lodging in town.  You spend time with the locals and see how they live and learn about their ways.  It's that thing that you can't get by watching documentaries on television.  It's that hands on experience that you will never forget.  It's not that often that you go and see how a people lives, and they really are living like they say.  It's not Sturbridge Village or Old Plimouth Plantation.  It's the real deal, and you may well see polar bears and muskox while you're there.  It's all possible.

 

While you're in Ittoqqortoormiit, you will go dogsledding, because it's how they get around.  You will eat seal, bear, ox and whatever; because it's what's for dinner.  You will get to go to the school and the store and church, just like the Inuits do.  It's an amazing experience.  Oh yeah, you'll get to see the northern lights too.  You'll also get to see amazing sunrises, sunsets, hot springs, archaeology sites, icebergs, mountains, fjords, dancing, and so much more.  There's no place else on Earth where you get such a totally submersed experience as making the trip to Ittoqqortoormiit.  You'll never forget it, and honestly, you won't want to go home.  It will make you into a northern traveler.  You'll quit looking at Jamaica and start looking at Siberia and Iceland.  Promise.



People are people, and the folks in Ittoqqortoormiit are just like anyone else, but they live a little differently.  Culture is one of the best reasons to travel.  You don't get to see the world if you only look at the tourist attractions.  Go beyond that and learn something truly amazing.  Step outside your life and see what it's like to live like someone else.  I remember watching a Goldie Hawn movie called Overboard a long time ago and I heard her butler say the most amazing thing.  He said, "Most of us only get to see on little slice of life.  You've had a chance to see life from a completely different perspective.  It's a gift."  It is, so cherish it.  Do it.  Enjoy.

http://www.flight965.com/2014/04/24/unusual-travel-igloo-village-ittoqqortoormiit-greenland/
http://www.greenland.com/en/destinations/east-greenland/ittoqqortoormiit/
http://www.greenland-travel.com/tours/greenland/all-greenland-tours?utm_source=airgreenland&utm_medium=kampagneside&utm_content=packagetours&utm_campaign=packagetours
http://www.airgreenland.com/destinations/greenland/ittoqqortoormiit
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28UzsfWM_xg
http://www.ittoqqortoormiit.com/
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http://www.greenlandexpeditions.com/
https://www.airiceland.is/destinations/greenland/ittoqqortoormiit
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/greenland/ittoqqortoormiit-scoresbysund-village/hotels/ittoqqortoormiit-guesthouse
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https://www.fictionpress.com/u/530752/Nina-Kindred


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Halloween Is Coming to New York City

 

Halloween is coming very near, and it's my favorite holiday of the year.  Put that together with the simple fact that New York City is one of my favorite cities in the world, and you have a great place to spend a fall vacation.  New York is one of the countries oldest and largest cities.  It's history as a melting pot makes it one of the most diverse cities around and it's never sleeps attitude makes any holiday a lot of fun.  Now, what do you do and where do you go?  That's the question.



It's New York, so we've got it all.  Tompkins Square is home to the Halloween dog parade.  Here for a few hours, you can see folks having a great afternoon out with their favorite furry friends.  It's a well known fact that for some reason, dog owners love to dress up their dogs for Halloween.  It makes them  feel like part of the family, even if the family is just a little touched.  But, I say that you can never have too much fun on Halloween, so go for it.

 

The most well known event for Halloween in all the city is the parade in Greenwich Village.  This is the biggest party in town with the best costumes, the best Halloween music and dancing and all the drag queens you can handle.  Everyone that goes to this parade will have a good time.  I mean everyone.  It's one of those events that you cannot have a bad time at, I promise you.  If you go to the parade, you should try and snatch up some of the last tickets to Webster Hell, the official afterparty of the parade, held at Webster Hall (just in case you didn't already get that).  The party will take you well into the night and it's crazy fun.



If you don't like crazy, but you do like creepy, come on downtown to Manhattan's oldest neighborhood for a ghost tour.  The Financial district is home to some of the most haunted sites in town (not to mention one of my favorite neighborhoods), and the walking ghost tour that is offered almost year round has the great stories to go with the haunted places.  They have stories about George Washington, Aaron Burr, Trinity Church and it's massive cemetery, and even Federal Hall.  It's a great way to get your geek on and enjoy the hauntings of the  night.  You'll learn a little history too.






If you want to do something a little different while in the city for Halloween, you should check out Roosevelt Island.  They have a parade and a small festival for the occasion, but they also come with some really creepy history.  Roosevelt Island was used for decades as a penitentiary, and an insane asylum.  Take a tour over there and find out all the weird history that goes with the entire island, including the iconic Octagon, which is now luxury condominiums, but was once a notorious looney bin.



If you want to take the family to something that they will never forget, stop by the New York Botanical Gardens for the haunted pumpkin gardens.  You never know what you'll find, but the last weekend before Halloween, you will find some of the biggest pumpkins in the world at their once a year special gathering.  The whole place comes alive with pumpkin spiders, pumpkin skeletons, and many other things all pumpkin.  The botanical gardens are a great place to visit with some of the most beautiful grounds I've ever seen, but it really becomes a lot of fun around Halloween.

  
 

Coney Island will be closing for the season this week and you don't want to miss out on the final hurrah.  It's a lot of family fun at Luna Park's Halloween Harvest.  There's pumpkin carving, rides, food and lot's of costumes for the kids to have a lot of fun with.

Insomniac's Halloween event at the Barclays Center is 

It's the Halloween Massive at Barclay's Center in Manhattan.  If you want to dance, and have a great time with costumes and music, then here's your spot.  This party always has top names in music, and draws a really fun crowd.  It all starts at 7 on Halloween.



But, if you come to the city for the holiday, you might want to attend a party.  They have so many that I couldn't list them here.  Check online at the links I leave and see which ones you might be interested in.  They are all over, lots of them are open to the public for a ticket fee, and all of them will be a really good time.

  

For you crazy partiers, there's the famous New York City Halloween Pub Crawl.  Just show up with $20 at 5 pm at Public House, 140 E. 41st St., Manhattan or McFadden's, 800 2nd Ave., Manhattan.  It's a great time for those who partake in the wines, ales, and liquors, and it's a lot of adult fun.  This is one of the best parties roaming around town, just remember to drink responsibly.

 

 

So, whether it be by day or by night, with the kids, family, or rowdy friends; New York City is one of the most fun places on Earth to enjoy Halloween.  Come see the city, pick a pumpkin, ride a roller coaster, see a parade, check out haunted history, go to a festival, dress up and go to a party, or get drunk while on tour.  It's all possible in the one and only Big Apple.
Enjoy!

http://halloweennyc.com/?date=10-31-2014
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http://www.nyctourist.com/halloween.htm
http://www.nyc-arts.org/collections/115531/halloween-in-nyc-2014
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http://www.amny.com/lifestyle/halloween-2014-nyc-events-parties-parades-haunted-houses-and-family-fun-1.9481636
http://www.partyearth.com/new-york/holidays/halloween-7/
http://barcrawls.com/newyork/halloween
http://mommypoppins.com/content/the-haunted-pumpkin-garden-at-the-new-york-botanical-garden-halloween-fun-for-nyc-kids
http://websterhell.com/
https://www.wallstreetwalks.com/Ghost_Tour.html
http://www.newyorkfamily.com/event-nyf/downtown-nyc-ghost-tours/
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http://www.onboardnewyorktours.com/halloween-in-new-york-city/
http://socialeyesnyc.com/nyc-halloween-2014-events-haunted-houses-ghost-tours-parades-and-more/
http://www.funtober.com/haunted-houses/new-york/
http://newyorkcityhauntedhouses.com/
https://www.walksofnewyork.com/blog/halloween-in-nyc-events
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

The One Place I Am An Expert On...Connecticut






I've written a lot of blog entries about travel around the world.  It occurred to me that sometimes we take things for granted, and I've kind of done that with where I live.  Thirty years ago, I came to Connecticut to visit friends, and fell in love with the place, to the point that I have lived here for the last 22 years.  In that time, I have been out and about, lived all over the place, and learned about everything that I want to know about this state.  So, today I will talk about the place I know best...Connecticut.





Connecticut is famous for it's foliage.  That's a given.  But, the amazing thing about Connecticut is that it's so compact.  It has it all, folks.  We have a couple of the world's largest casinos, ocean beaches, deep sea fishing, Appalachian Trail hiking, Revolutionary War time history, mountains, skiing, aquariums, zoos, planetariums, museums, world class performing arts, ivy league colleges, high end sports colleges, amazing foods, and so much more.  Here in Connecticut you can visit a tiny village and go antiquing by day and head into the city and go clubbing by night.  There's really not a place in the whole state that you can't reach in two hours or less, and there's almost anything that you can find in most of the rest of the country.  We've just shrunk it all down and made it convenient.



One of the things that we have are castles.  That's right, we've got some.  One of my favorites is the home of the one time famous William Gillette.  He was an actor back in the stage days, and he was famous world wide for several reasons.  One of those reasons was that he was a little nuts.  He built the reclusive castle that he called home on a cliff overlooking the Connecticut River in Haddam, and it was a little weird in his house.  There were huge wooden beams everywhere, and everything was a little dark, but elegant.  But that was okay, because if you wanted some air there were the amazing gardens overlooking the river and the train that you could ride around on.  That's right, the guy had his own train.  Now Gillette Castle is a state park and we all enjoy spending the day there, because in addition to the castle and tour, they tend to have live performances to watch.  The other castle that I enjoy visiting is just a turret but Castle Craig sits in a great location high above the cliff overlooking Hubbard Park in Meriden.  It's a great walk, a great view, and Hubbard Park is home to one of our best drive through light displays at Christmas time.  For those who thought that Connecticut was just a paved piece of I-95 between Boston and New York, I think that some of our parks and countryside might just surprise you.


Another thing that we have here in Connecticut is educational fun.  We have two aquariums, one in Norwalk and one in Mystic.  The one in Mystic is larger and has more stuff to see, but the one in Norwalk has more hands on stuff for the kids, an educational program that you can sign up for that does hands on work on Long Island Sound, and an IMAX movie theater.  Both cities are interesting outside the aquariums as well.  Norwalk has a beautiful downtown to wander through, and great boating.  Mystic has all of that plus the Mystic Seaport where you can spend time wandering through a period historic settlement and look at some real life old tall ships.  Mystic also has beaches, and the famous Mystic Pizza Parlor that was the centerpiece of the movie "Mystic Pizza."





Just in case you like mountains, we've got them.  Hublein Tower sits on top of Talcott Mountain in Avon, and the tower is the museum that was once a private home.  The view from the top is amazing, and the grounds are a great place to have a picnic and enjoy the view.  The best way to reach the top and the tower is to take the hike up the path.  The ridge walk is full of amazing views and it's a must see.  But that's not the only mountain worth taking a look at.  Mohawk Mountain and Mount Southington are great places to go skiing in the winter.  There is also Haystack and Ski Sundown.  You don't think about it, but you can do a lot of skiing in Connecticut.  If you don't wish to ski, you can always take a walk on the Appalachian Trail.  There are parts of the trail running through Kent and in the northwest corner by Salisbury and Canaan.




We love water in Connecticut too.  We have lakes, shoreline, and rivers, oh my.  The entire southern border of the state runs along Long Island Sound.  True, it's not the Atlantic exactly, but it sure looks like ocean when you're there, and for another half hour's ride, you can go to Rhode Island and see the actual ocean anyway.  We have beaches, marinas, harbors and all that.  Ocean Beach Park in New London has a small amusement park and a boardwalk and arcade to go along with their fabulous beach.  They have bands on the weekends and everyone has a great time.  New London and Groton are also home to the submarine base.  Groton's Submarine Museum will tell you all about the home of the country's first subs.  But there are also great beaches and shoreline all along the coast.  The cute little villages offer all the antiquing, craft shopping and seafood that you ever dreamed of.  They also most likely will have deep sea fishing available for hire.  In the northwest corner we have Satan's Kingdom.  This is a great tubing trip that goes down the Farmington River from New Hartford to Collinsville.  It's a lot of fun, but just remember that the mountain rivers are a little brisk and quite refreshing.  The lakes of the interior and the rivers are home to any number of places that you can go fly fishing, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding and rafting as well.



If you like the water and love rides, Connecticut is home to Lake Compounce, the country's oldest theme park.  They have all kinds of rides and entertainment, plus a great water park along the lake.  It's over 150 year's old, but as modern as they come.  They have a haunted graveyard at Halloween and it's a whole lot of fun.  That's in Southington.  If you'd rather have a little more toned down good time for the little ones, Quassy Amusement Park is over in Middlebury with a more carnival like atmosphere, but still a good time.  In the fall all of Connecticut has fairs, but in the summer the theme parks are the way to go.  Connecticut is also covered with mini golf courses and go kart tracks.  Some of the go kart tracks run all year round inside and out with leagues and tournaments.  You will also find a lively fish and game community with clubs all over the state.  They have archery tournaments and target shoots all year round.

 

Now, if you need more educational things to do, there's the science center in Hartford.  This new age building houses hands on science exhibits and a 3D IMAX theater.  If that's not enough for you, there's the Gengras Planetarium and Science Center in West Hartford, and a dozen children's museums around the state for the little ones.  On the art museum front there are art museums all over the state including Hartford and New Britain.  The Mark Twain House and the Harriet Beecher Stowe Homestead in Hartford are just two of the famous homes that you can tour throughout the state.  Connecticut is the Constitution State and our history goes back hundreds of years.  Hartford is also the home of the Hartford Courant, the country's longest running newspaper.  We were also the first colony to have our own constitution or at least a set of independent laws.  Also on the list of historical places in the state are the Nathan Hale House in Coventry, The Newgate Prison in East Granby, The Essex and Naugatuck train rides in Essex and Thomaston, and the Indian Institute in Washington.  If all of that educational fun isn't enough for you, you can take a visit to the Yale Campus or eat at the home of the very first hamburger, Louie's Lunch Box both in New Haven.  If you want to take it outside you can visit the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport or the drive through zoo at Action Wildlife in Goshen.



If you like the arts, you've definitely come to the right place.  The Bushnell in Hartford is a historic and famous theater.  They have concerts, play, and all kinds of performances there.  But they aren't alone.  We have theater all over the state.  There are theaters at both of the huge casinos.  There are theaters of great note in Hartford, New Haven, Goodspeed, Torrington, Thomaston, Waterbury, and so many more.  Here in Connecticut we have professional theater, local theater, community theater, and several schools for the performing arts.  There are many towns that have an old theater that is part of the community, and is still going strong.  If you like other forms of art there are numerous art galleries around state.

 



Then there are the casinos.  Foxwoods is the father of the Indian Casino.  They started as a bingo hall the rest is history.  At one point, it was the biggest casino in the world.  Then along came Mohegan Sun to give them a run for their money.  Foxwoods is bigger, but it's more like Vegas.  If you want something unique, I recommend Mohegan.  If you happen to live across Long Island Sound, a few years ago the casinos provided a high speed ferry for travel back and forth.  It's a great ride.  You can also see great shows, go to the museums, eat at great restaurants and so much more at these resorts.  At Foxwoods you can also attend the Schimitzun once a year in the summer.






Do you like to hike?  Well, here in Connecticut we went a little wild.  We have a ton of state parks.  Two of my favorites are Enders in Granby, and Kent Falls in Kent.  They both have amazing waterfalls to see.  But they aren't the only places to go hiking and they aren't the only places to see waterfalls.  You can also see waterfalls at Devil's Hopyard, Campbell Falls, and others.  We have hiking along the shore at Rocky Neck and Hammonasset State Parks and more.  We have countless river walks like the one that goes through Collinsville.  We have all kinds of railroad paths like the one in Granby.  They are amazing and they go all over the state.  You will never run out of places to hike and bike in Connecticut.  We even have a river walk right in the middle of Hartford.





We have so much to do in the state of Connecticut that we're almost never bored.  In the fall we have foliage to look at and a whole bunch of events to go with it, like the Connecticut Renaissance Faire in Norwich.  This is a great place to get your geek on.  You can dress up like olden times and watch a jousting exhibition or any number of other great shows.  If you come out on Columbus Day you can even participate in a Dr. Who costume contest.  In the fall there is also the Hartford Marathon, also on Columbus Day Weekend.  But there are many things to do in the fall.  There's the haunted things.  There are haunted hayrides, haunted houses, haunted graveyards and so much more.  There are great farms where you can go apple picking, pumpking picking or wandering through a corn maze.  In Stonington, you can go to a real cider mill to see how the enticing brew is made.  There's so much to do in the fall that we all get a little tired from trying to do it all.





But at the end of the day, we have some amazing sunsets to watch.  I can't describe everything that there is to see and do in Connecticut.  It's taken me twenty two years to see as much as I have.  I still haven't driven all the scenic drives in the state, but I hope to have done that one day.  It's on my bucket list.  One thing that I can say is that we have a terrible tourism board that doesn't know how to market this place.  If everyone knew that in one tiny state you could do all the things that you have to go to separate parts of the country to do in most other areas, the place would be full.  The beauty is amazing here.  The activities are first rate.  I didn't even discuss the food and concerts which tend to be amazing.  I didn't even mention that we have a Christmas Village in Torrington where the kids can not only see Santa but his elves at work and his reindeer.  I didn't mention the dinner cruises on the Connecticut River.  I didn't even mention the great Air Museum at Bradley International Airport.  I didn't even mention everything that goes on at the University of Connecticut.  I didn't even mention the race tracks in Stafford Springs and Lime Rock.  I didn't mention the wineries or the breweries.  I didn't mention the hot air balloon rides or the professional golf courses.  I didn't mention the jazz festivals or the Celtic festivals or the summer festivals or the trapeze school, or the summer camps or the flea markets.  I didn't mention the Dinosaur Park in Montville with real live track fossils.  There's a whole lot to do.  There's a whole lot of things to see.  You should save on gas and come to Connecticut and do a whole lot of amazing things in a small space.  You'll be glad you did.  It will change your view of Connecticut.
Enjoy!

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Some Different Cruises

 

One of the most popular things that my friends do is go on a cruise.  Now, let me be more specific, they go on a Caribbean Cruise.  Sometimes they go to the Disney Island on one of their cruises.  Sometimes they go from Sandals Resort to Sandals Resort.  Sometimes they stop and visit some dolphins or go where their guides take them and things like that.  It's fun.  The ships are like theme parks with malls and casinos.  It's sometimes like Vegas on water.  I get it, there's a waterpark on deck.  There are all kinds of restaurants.  There are nightclubs and shows to go see.  There are movie theaters and spas.  It's a great way to travel and I would never argue that.  I just wonder if most people are aware of how many truly amazing cruises there are that most people don't really know about.



Do you really want to spend your time on the ship when you cruise?  If so, I have a great one for you.  Take the transatlantic trip on the Queen Mary II.  This ship goes from New York to England and vice versa.  It's a luxurious trip and it gives you all the time in the world to spend on the ship.  They have great food, great entertainment, great shopping, great accommodations.  You can't beat it.  It gives you that sense of living in a much older time and getting to experience the honor of travel as your ancestors did.

 

Extreme is your thing?  Well, you can cruise to either pole on icebreakers built and run out of and by Russia.  The cruise to the North Pole leaves from Murmansk and the the cruise to Antarctica leaves from Argentina.  You get great accommodations, because they have not just turned over a working ship for a cruise.  They have all the amenities, including swimming pools.  Just tell your friends that you went swimming while on a cruise to Antarctica.  No one will believe you, so take lots of photos.  Take some of the penguins and the weather stations too.



Now, if you take a river cruise, say to the Amazon, you may not be getting the luxury accommodations that you would find on a standard cruise line.  However, you will get to see the Amazon.  River cruises are one of the great compromises of travel.  Let's say you like to go on a cruise.  You get to move around and see lots of locations in exotic parts of the world.  Say your partner likes to get out there and explore an area to see how it works.  This is your middle ground.  River cruises run all over the world.  They go on the Mississippi, the Hudson, the Yangtze, the Amazon, the Nile, the Volga, the Danube, the Rhine, the Rhone, the St. Lawrence Seaway, you name it.  They don't have a lot of fancy stuff and they tend to have a smaller group of travelers, but they do spend a lot more time in port so you can see what goes on in the part of the world that you're visiting.  You get to see a lot more of the cities you stop in.  You have the time to go shopping on shore, so you don't need all the shops on the boat.  You have a chance to go to the opera in town, so you don't need a lot of shows on board.  If you want to go to a casino, you can just get off the boat.  It gives you a chance to try local restaurants, activities, museums, entertainment and shopping instead of doing so much on the ship.  It's a great way to travel.

 

There are cruises for the adventurous.  There's a cruise to Cape Horn, which is one of the most difficult places on Earth to get to.  As any sailor throughout history will tell you, the weather around that cape is horrendous.  Even if you take the cruise that goes there, you may not get to walk on that piece of land, because the weather may be too bad to stop.  It happens on these cruises.  They make no bones about it.  But adventure cruises are great for some folks.  They love to say they did some of the riskier things in life.  Cape Horn is one of those trips.  Some people also like to take a schooner cruise, where you can be part of the crew if you want to and help sail the giant ship.  Some folks like to go out along the big island of Hawaii where Kilauea is erupting.  Some people like to get up close and personal with whales and glaciers in Alaska.  It all depends on what you're looking for.

 

Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, and many other Asian countries have cruises.  There are all different kinds.  You can go on a Junk, a ferry, any number of private sailing boats, or a standard cruise ship.  In Ha Long Bay you can cruise around and see grottoes.  In Indonesia and Malaysia you can cruise from island to island.  You can dress up like drag queens and sing in Karaoke contests on some of the ones out Japan's way.  It's all about what you want to do. 



Here's one for you, you can cruise the whole world.  They do have world cruises.  That's the creme de la creme of cruising.  It takes the better part of the year, and you never have to move your stuff.  If you really want to see the whole world, cruising is not a bad way to go.  You'll be on one of those ships that has everything, and you'll be stopping in a lot of ports and for longer than on a standard cruise.  If you are in no hurry and you want to see the world, try that.

  

But cruises are readily available pretty much anywhere that there's a suitable body of water.  Baltic cruises have been all the rage for years.  The elite love to cruise the Mediterranean.  The fjords of Norway have always been a big favorite.  To go to Pitcairn Island, be prepared to take a boat that only goes there every couple of months.  There are ferries that run from Denmark to Iceland.  There are cruises off the coast of Greenland, and through the inside passage up the west coast of Canada into Alaska.  They cruise along the Columbia River and the Kamchatka Peninsula. Cruising has a lot to offer, and I've been trying to let people know that there is more to cruising than just having fun on a ship in the Caribbean.  Be different.  Take a cruise that none of your friends have ever heard of.  Go see the North Pole.  Cruise the rivers of Russia.  Take a riverboat up the Mississippi.  It's all about adventure, and this blog has always been Adventures for Anyone.  Cruising is an adventure that anyone can enjoy.  Take a shot.  Choose something that everyone has heard of but put a twist on it by picking a cruise that isn't that normal to most.  Go through the Panama Canal.  Stop in the Galapagos to see what Darwin once saw.  Swim with pink dolphins in the Amazon.  Try to reach Cape Horn.  It's all about the adventure.
Enjoy!

http://www.seabourn.com/main/Main.action?ibp-camp=Yahoo_Brand&WT.mc_id=PPC_HQ_Yahoo_US_YahooBrand
http://www.victory-cruises.com/cape_horn.html
http://poseidonexpeditions.com/northpole/
http://www.americancruiselines.com/cruises/mississippi-river-cruises
http://www.polarcruises.com/antarctica?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Antarctica%20-%20Exact&utm_term=antarctica%20cruises
http://www.rainforestcruises.com/
http://queenmarycruises.com/
http://www.crystalcruises.com/mediterranean-cruises
http://www.silversea.com/worldcruise2015/?campaign=USA%23bing%23Search%23Generic%23PPC&website=337dc751&77tadunit=69de49e2&77tadvert={creative}&77tkeyword=%2bindonesia+%2bcruise&77tentrytype=s&77tentry=USA_32B04_adE_lpWC&utm_content=5513513441&utm_term=%2bindonesia+%2bcruise&utm_campaign=USA+-+32B%3a+Generic+Discoverer+Location+Broad&utm_source=Bing&utm_medium=cpc
http://www.balicruises.com/index.html
http://www.vikingrivercruises.com/?refsrcprg=sem:Brand-Search-USA&medium=tsa&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=bing&utm_campaign=Brand-Search-USA&gclid=CIHAxeyGoMECFYUL7Aod1hEAJw&gclsrc=ds
http://www.stlawrencerivercruise.com/
http://www.sanctuaryretreats.com/egypt-holidays?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=nile%20river%20cruise&utm_campaign=US|Destinations--Egypt--%28E%29
http://www.silversea.com/destinations/fareastaustralia-southpacific/?region=004?campaign=USA%23bing%23Search%23Generic%23PPC&website=337dc751&77tadunit=69de49e2&77tadvert={creative}&77tkeyword=%2bcruise+%2bsouth+%2bpacific&77tentrytype=s&77tentry=USA_32B03_adE_lpDS&utm_content=5513513572&utm_term=%2bcruise+%2bsouth+%2bpacific&utm_campaign=USA+-+32B%3a+Generic+Discoverer+Location+Broad&utm_source=Bing&utm_medium=cpc
http://www.china-cruise.com/
http://www.sanctuaryretreats.com/china-yangzi-river-holidays?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=in%20china%20cruise&utm_campaign=US|Destinations--China--%28E%29
http://www.hollandamerica.com/main/Main.action?WT.mc_id=PPC_HQ_Bing_US_Brand
http://www.princess.com/?gclid=CMGn4fWRoMECFQ6U7Aod1WIAjA&gclsrc=ds
http://www.carnival.com/
http://www.alaskacruises.travel/?utm_source=Yahoo-BingCPC&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=alaskacruises&utm_content=alaskacruises&utm_campaign=destinationsnational
http://www.royalcaribbean.com/home.do?wuc=USA&cid=ps_agt_yh_13917
http://www.vikingrivercruises.com/?refsrcprg=sem:Brand-Search-USA&medium=tsa&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=bing&utm_campaign=Brand-Search-USA&gclid=CIngyKySoMECFQ6U7Aod1WIAjA&gclsrc=ds
http://www.windstarcruises.com/?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=branded&kmas=3&kmca=Branded&kmag=Branded&kmkw=windstar%20cruise%20ship&kmmt=b
http://disneycruise.disney.go.com/
http://www.galapagoscruise.com/?source=msnadc
http://www.zazzle.com/imagings
http://www.cafepress.com/artisticcreationsbyninakindred1
http://pixels.com/profiles/terri-dixon.html?tab=artwork

Friday, October 3, 2014

It's Time For Oktoberfest!



 Every year Oktoberfest is held in Munich, Germany, and for two weeks--give or take a couple of days--the visitors to this 182 year old tradition have a really good time.  Millions of people visit Munich during the festivities, and a truly immeasurable amount of beer is served.  There are carnivals, parades, music, dancing, eating, drinking, contests, beer gardens and crowds everywhere you go.  There's just that something about October that says it's time to drink.  And we all love it.

 

However, most of us can't get away to Munich every fall just to drink and learn to play an Alpen Horn.  That's just the facts.  Let's face it, we can get beer almost anywhere, and we love to make an excuse to have an extra beer and some fun whenever we can.  We, the working folks who don't get to run off to Germany at the drop of a hat to have a bier need a way to celebrate the fall with polka music, beer, bright colored clothes, and a great festival.



So, in today's world, you can go to Oktoberfest in any number of locations, and some of them you probably hadn't really thought about.  Frankenmuth, MI.  If you didn't think of this one, then you weren't thinking very hard.  Frankenmuth is Michigan's taste of Germany all year round.  Bronner's is one of the most famous Christmas Stores in the country, and the whole town looks like it got up and walked to Michigan from Bavaria.  It's in September, so it's a little early, but it's a great party.



Fredericksburg, Texas.  Surprise!  There's a huge German community here, and they do both the polka and squaredancing at this festival.  They have parades, rides, oompa bands, and a lot of beer.  They also have the Haupstrasse Chicken Dance which you have to partake in to truly appreciate and a massive amount of Tuba music.

    

San Francisco.  Oktoberfest by the Bay is a great time, and the views are fabulous.  San Francisco has a whole lot of people from all backgrounds and the city loves to throw a party.  You'll find that this city celebrates most traditions from all over.  All the best stuff is here from parades to lots of beer and everyone has a really good time.

 

Minneapolis, Minnesota.  These guys brave the cold in October for their giant party that has spilled out all over the state fair grounds.  Long time famous for their Nordic backgrounds, some forget that there are a lot of German folks running around the state.  This is a big festival with lots of music, dancing, food, and of course beer.

 

I could go on forever about Oktoberfests from Tempe to Phoenix to all over Arizona.  I could talk about Asheville, North Carolina or Nashville, Tennessee.  From Columbus, OH to Denver, CO.  From Chicago, IL to Ft. Lauterdale, FL.  Everyone has some kind of October celebration that they call Oktoberfest.  My point is that you should look around and see what goes on in your area, so that you too, can partake in the festivities that make fall the amazing and fun time that it is.







My favorite Oktoberfest is on Hunter Mountain in the Catskills of New York.  These guys give you your choice of four weekends to come and enjoy what throughout the winter is an amazing ski resort.  There's music and fun for the kids.  You can polka until you can't stand anymore.  It's a great time to go and enjoy that foliage that I'm always talking about too.  I love to take the ski life up the mountain, and if you like, you can now zip line back and forth from mountain to mountain, 600 feet in the air.  It's a great place to go and relax, enjoy the music, enjoy the schnitzel, and have some beer.  There's not better way to get out in the fall, so take the time and find one of these great festivals in your area.  It's a true adventure for anyone.



So come and enjoy a tradition that actually started 182 years ago in Munich, but has brought a lot of happiness to the whole world, and seek out and find an Oktoberfest near you.
Enjoy!

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http://www.cafepress.com/artisticcreationsbyninakindred1