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Weekend Trip: Short Springs State Natural Area

Weekend trip is travelentz's routine though I don't post all of them as often as I want- so many photos and attractions we've visited and I have no time to sit down and wrapped up  in this blog yet, I take my time once in a while if I have more luxury time. If you think, I have had left the blogosphere,you're definitely wrong, I just want you to miss me ;), actually  I've been busy in my little world which is taking care and running errands. Exciting isn't it?
Machine Falls ( I will post separate about Machine Falls)

Last weekend,we went in Short Springs State  Natural Area in Tullahoma. It was an hour drive from our home. After 3 hours we headed to Baby Shower were we are invited.

What is Short Springs State Natural Area?
It is primarily for used for hiking who find enjoyment in Nature,Waterfall, wildflowers. It is open year-round.Just check their website for further information.

Short Springs State Natural Area Location:
 Located Tullahoma-keep in mind the address given in the website was not found in our garmin GPS so we used the smart phone map for direction.

Free and Open to the Public: 
This is open to the public and no entrance admission. All you need is time and pleasure to hike if you enjoy waterfall and Nature.

Some Photos I took during our hiking:

The Butterfly
Some of the wildflowers
I am sure this is after storm.We have a severe weather once in a while.

Things you need to know:
  • During our hike, there is no guided tour and has a hiking trail you can follow and it is easy hiking.
  • Bring insect repellent.
  • Bring extra clothes.
  • Wear comfortable shoes for hiking and going down the hill.
  • Bring your camera 
  • Leave only footprints for everyone's enjoyment.

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2014's Best Cities for Stag or Hen Do Events

You're getting married- congratulations! With all the hard work involved in wedding planning, you could easily have an oversight on what's really needed to relieve those wedding jitters and stress, which is having a spectacular stag or hen do party. Just think about it- your nerves are probably all worked up from all the wedding planning, and making sure everything is just right a day or a few days before the wedding. So with that in mind, you definitely need a great way to release all that stress, which is by having a wonderful stag or hen do activity/party events set for the day, night, or even weekend to unwind. 

Stag or hen do events are great ways to relish that last night of freedom, before taking that life long journey with your mate. It's also a great way for more bonding with your family and friends. With all of that being said, you may wonder about what great ideas and places to go for spectacular stag or hen do parties and activities in 2014. You probably don't even know where to start looking for those great ideas and places to go. However, there are ample resources online that are easy to access in finding that information. There are also travelling agencies that can lead you in the right direction. With these resources and more, you can be on your way to enjoying your last night of freedom before walking down the aisle.

One thing to note about wonderful stag and hen do events is that it doesn't have to be so costly, to have a wonderful time. Even a travelling agency like the Holiday parks Group state that bigger doesn't necessary means it's the best. “There are value packages available, if needed. And furthermore, you will be amazed of some offers in well-known extravagant cities, where you may think it will cost tons of money, but that couldn't be further from the truth many times” says Paul Wincaster. 

Nevertheless, rather money is the issue or not, the most popular cities for stag or hen do parties and events are as follows: 

1. Manchester- This is a great cosmopolitan metropolis of northern Mecca that's splendorous with great nightlife and shopping. You can get glam, go uptown or downtown, attend the best clubs and bars, and enjoy the view while sipping on a cocktail. 

2. Riga, Latvia- This is a popular destination of Europe for stag and hen dos with affordable booze and nightclubs. There are also nice attractions like the Freedom Monument. 

3. Barcelona, Spain- This is a wonderful place complete with great museums, cobbled streets, and art. They also have a spectacular and relaxing beach, and lively clubs. 

4. Las Vegas, US- This area is so full of variety from the most relaxing scenes to the liveliest of parties and shows- this city has it all. They have a plethora of strip clubs, casinos, nightclubs, and traditional pre-wedding parties. 

5. Newquay, UK- This area is a great beach town for stag and hen parties. They also have amazing nightclubs. Also, if you don't know the foreign language, it's no need to fret. 

6. Paris, France- This city that is well known for romance is also spectacular with dance venues, cultural attractions, shopping spots, clubs and bars. 

7. Edinburgh, UK- They have very affordable flights, and beautiful buildings like the St. Giles Cathedral and Edinburgh Castle. 

8. Ibiza, Spain- This extraordinary area has a great range of activities from classic cocktails and authentic tapas at fabulous restaurants, to having wild and crazy fun on the beach or a nightclub while enjoying some of the greatest, tasting beer. 

9. Amsterdam, Netherlands- This area is spectacular with wonderful flower arrangements, pretty canals, shopping streets, great views, coffee shops, and splendid parties. 

10. Blackpool, UK- This location is known as the Las Vegas of UK. So, if travelling to Las Vegas in the states is an issue financially, this would be an excellent choice. 

11. Tallinn, Estonia- Not only does this place has a lower price tag, but it's also fully packed with trendy and lively nightclub culture. 

12. London, UK- Who can forget about the amazing London area, which is the Brits' favourite. They are fully packed with extraordinary pubs, nightclubs, restaurants, and theatres. 

13. Magaluf, Spain - Who say you need to pay yourself out of a home to have a time of your life? Being here for your stag or hen do party will forever be truly treasured in your memory as you enjoy the cheap, but tasty booze; as you go to water parks and enjoy karting; or relax at a soothing beach. 

14. Brighton- It's no wonder why this colourful and beautiful bohemian city is called the "London by the Sea". Hen do parties are really a blast in this area as they enjoy the seaside, the shopping, the baths, famous lands, and even the Burlesque lessons. 
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How to save you money on your holiday car hire costs

When you are on holiday, you don’t want to be counting every penny you spend. But that is certainly no reason to be paying more than you need. After all, every little saved is likely to help you enjoy your holiday even more.

So, it might be helpful to see just how your expenditure on car hire insurance might actually lead to the kind of savings to give you money for spending on the things you might enjoy.

Plan in advance
For example, you may have followed the advice given by Martin Lewis on the Money Saving Expert website and made a point of booking your hire car well in advance of your travel. According to his survey of the market, savings might be quite significant if you remember to book ahead.

Such advance thinking, however, may all prove to no avail, if one of the hidden catches to the rental deal you have struck comes with a high excess on the car hire insurance. Depending where in the world you are going to be driving and the vehicle you want to rent, the excess might set you back well over a thousand pounds if you are unfortunate enough to have an accident.

Excess insurance
When making your reservation, therefore, you might also take the precaution of signing up for any excess insurance cover on offer from the car rental company.
Certainly, this might save you from becoming seriously out of pocket in the event of the untoward event, but you might recoil to learn just how much the rental company is likely to charge for such protection.

The alternative
The alternative is to arrange your excess insurance through a specialist provider. Not only may you buy such cover well in advance of your trip, you might even want to take advantage of the annual deals typically offered by such providers – with the payment of one single premium, you may be covered for the next 12 months, confident in the knowledge that however many times you are likely to be hiring a car, the excess is safely protected.

It is also possible to tailor your excess cover to suit the particular part of the world in which you intend to be driving – excess cover may prove cheaper for rentals in the UK and Europe for example than rentals in the rest of the world, which tends to be cheaper again than the United States.

A further advantage in buying your excess cover from an independent provider such as this is that the protection is likely to be even more comprehensive than that offered by the car rental company. Cover provided by the latter, for instance, commonly excludes damage to areas of the vehicle such as tyres, windows, the roof and underside. Independently arranged excess insurance on the other hand may have no such exclusions but simply reimburse you whatever the excess you are charged, to whatever part of the vehicle may have been damaged.
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Souvenir from Fiji

My husband likes to do scuba diving and he brought this poster and I called it souvenir from Fiji.He travelled  outside the country once in awhile with his buddies in scuba diving. Actually, he went to school just to be in this kind of hobby. Seeing things  under the water is phenomenal, I wish, I know how to swim like a fish.

If hubby goes outside the country I usually asked to buy some souvenir,lately he doesn't want to buy posters because of his experienced which he paid ridiculous money of framed poster so I told him I  saw this website  WholesalePosterFrames.com and we should give it a try.Good thing I convinced him considering I like posters to get framed especially if it is bought from other country.

These are the islands that my husband usually goes for scuba diving.It's kinda expensive hobby but he found happiness with it and stepped his foot in a  different countries is just a beginning to appreciate your own culture and respect other people culture, every one of us are unique and has it's own values in life.

Fiji Islands:If my husband will going back in Fiji, I might go with him,I am planning to stay in my sister place which happen she is in Australia.Fiji is closed in Australia and New Zealand and great place to scuba diving because it is in South Pacific Ocean.
Vietnam ( I was patiently waiting in the boat and eat)

Asia: I went last couple year with husband for scuba diving. I just went for snorkeling while waiting for him. It was great though I can do my thing while he is enjoying his hobby.Going down under  the water is just only my dream that would never come true.

South America: This is a beautiful place to go to scuba diving and it is not that too much expensive to go with him. I, usually go with him if some of wives' are going other than that I stay at home and enjoy my thing as well.

North America: I usually don't go with husband if it is North America because most of them are man so I felt I am out of the place so I just let him go with his friends.

Buying souvenir in other country is my thing. I like to buy anything especially posters to decorate in my room or my living room. 
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Seeing the best of Northern India on tour

India Unbound offers several different India tour packages that place an emphasis on Northern India if that is the area you want to explore on your next tour. While they also cover the other areas of India, they have 3 special tours that highlight all that Northern India has to offer. Their private India tours are put together by bespoke agents that know and love India so you are sure of staying in the best places and seeing the best of what India has to offer. Here are some of the destination highlights you will discover.

India tour packages

Destination - Delhi
Delhi is old and new, bustling and full of life and everything that makes India so interesting. It is considered to be the capital of the Northern territories and is home to three different World Heritage Sites including the Red Fort. Most of the major airlines provide service to Delhi and the area is a mix of all the different cultures and ethnicities of the entire country.

Destination - Jaipur
Jaipur is considered to be one of the “golden triangle” cities of India, along with Delhi and Agra. It is also an old city but stands out for its current popularity with business, tourists and is teeming with activity. The Palace district is not to be missed, as well as the main observatory in the city which is also a recognized World Heritage Site. The unusual coloration of its native stone has led it to be called the “Pink City.”

Destination - Mughal Agra
Mughal Agra is another of the cities anchoring the golden triangle in India and it is best known as the home of the Taj Mahal. Located on the Yamuna River, it also boasts one of the most temperate climates of Northern India.

Destination - Khajuraho
Southeast of New Delhi is Khajuraho. It is home to some of the oldest and best preserved monuments and temples to Hindu and Jain deities.

Destination – Varanasi
On the banks of the Ganja you will find this beautiful and ancient city that plays a significant role in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. Here you will see many of the festivals and rites that have been restored to the Indian calendar.

What this means for the traveler
As India continues to expand its economy they are taking great care to preserve their heritage. It is a lesson they have learned from watching other countries stumble when it came to making sure what made them so wonderful was still respected as they entered into the global markets. For the traveler this means easier access to historical and cultural landmarks and events; as well as better travel accommodations and itineraries that cater to the tastes and comfort needs of travelers without losing the flavor and flair of what makes India special.

Touring privately or in a group
With India Unbound you have a choice of India tour packages that can allow you to create the dream trip you always wanted. You can arrange for a group tour or private India tours for yourself, or your own small group. One of the things that India Unbound emphasizes is dynamic arrangements. If you discover something new and interesting on your tour and want to stay longer, their agents can rearrange your itinerary while you are traveling to allow you to do that. They are agents that understand the appeal and attraction of India, plus how wonderful it can be.
India Unbound is your one stop destination if you are a travel addict who's looking for luxury / private tours to India.
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5 Vital Tips for the End of Summer

That end of summer beach vacation is always something dramatic. Sometimes it can even seem overly emotional. No matter where you go, it’s a moment of big change, big celebrations and sometimes – big families too.

In areas to the north, the fields and trees are already starting to turn. Young kids are getting ready for another year in school, and older kids go off, sometimes a long way, to university, to life, and to all kinds of unexpected thrills and classes and jobs.

For the rest of us, watching them go makes us want to hold on – just a little longer – and for that, the end of summer beach vacation is exactly what the doctor ordered. Labor Day weekend is a big one in the travel industry. But for parents, and extended families, who’ve been running already – all summer in some cases – it can seem like one last chore before returning to normal life.

We came up with these five important tips for your “End of Summer” holiday. Consider them carefully, get planning, and go for a little bit more.

1. Stay Longer
Labor Day maybe a three-day weekend, but it shouldn’t be a three-day vacation. Making this mistake is one of the big ones that lots of harried, end of summer holiday-planners make. Spending five or seven or ten days really makes a big difference and, though it may seem hard to believe, you really won’t get any rest in anything less.

Particularly when you’re coordinating with extended family, those few extra days will make a big difference. Three days is a simply not much space to cram in everything you want to.

2. Take in Some September
It might not be obvious, but all those people leaving on the Monday of Labor Day leave a big opportunity behind. As of Tuesday most prices will drop and many heavily touristed areas, including beaches, will be almost completely abandoned. The fact is, in many beach locations, September is the lowest of low-seasons simply – only – because people stop coming.  The weather is identical, the waves still crash on the beach, but now, you’ve got the place to yourself.  No lines. No crowds and no excuse for putting things off.

The point is, it’s still “emotional.” People still enjoy themselves and everything will get going again when you go home. But for lots of parents, this was what summertime was supposed to be about. If you really forgot, or didn’t have time, to plan a proper vacation, September should be exactly what you were looking for.

3. Schedule Serious Down Time
Or at least plan for it. Too many plans, activities, places, things to see and do, and you’re probably running even harder than you would without a vacation.

So, even if you’re taking the kids, all the kids, and meeting the in-laws, and scheduling lots of fun, remember to leave some big blank-spots. Plan for a baby-sitter. Plan for some couple time. Bring some books, and be sure to schedule at least a few hours every day and some good half days doing nothing. Being near the beach makes doing nothing seem like you’re doing everything. Your brain will thank you.

4. Travel Mid-Week
Tuesday-Wednesday travel is still the time to go. And lots of vacations end on a sour note ‘cause everyone is trying to go back at the same time. Returning on a dime – with a rush back to work or to school or to real life – is often a recipe for disaster.

There’s already a lot here about “staying a little longer” but plan to arrive and depart on lighter travel days. You’ll find the entire travel experience much more relaxed.

5. Overlap Travel With Extended Family & Friends
But don’t match them day for day. If they’re staying Friday through Monday, then plan on arriving on Saturday and staying through the following Wednesday. Or do the bulk of your travel, the long haul on, say, Tuesday. Then spend a few slower days getting to where you’re meeting up with the lot of them.

Every family’s worst characteristics will come out under some of the pressures of travel. But even if you’re fortunate enough to have that perfect big family, then cut them a break. Share all of the above with them, but step back, too. Encourage time alone and that same down time.

The “end of summer” – like summer itself – is supposed to be fun, relaxing, invigorating and exciting. What happened between summers is, well, we all grew up. Life is full of good things, but it’s not always full of time and space to celebrate. Celebrations really can be quiet, reflective, peaceful and relaxing.

The very best part of the “end of summer” should be your chance to quietly remember. Take a little extra time. And don’t worry if it all gets too much. Life goes around this once, and there’s never a bad time to appreciate how truly memorable it’s been.

This article was written by James T., a travel and real estate writer in Mexico City.
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Save Money on Air Travel

Vacation spending is split among several major categories requiring funding.  Food and lodging, for example, furnish some of the most expensive features of holiday travel, falling across a wide range of prices and quality levels.  Three meals each day and reasonable accommodations for bathing and sleeping are all that's required, but amenities and appointments drive food and lodging costs higher, as extra bells and whistles are added to rooms and meals.  Even spending money reserved for discretionary purchases and vacation keepsakes quickly runs out, as vacations present nearly limitless opportunities to part with funds.
Fortunately, each of the costs of vacationing can be custom-tailored to your ability to pay - within reason, of course.  Cheaper rooms and frugal meals furnish savings for budget conscious travelers, without sacrificing enjoyment.  And even air travel costs can be trimmed by following a few simple rules.  Frugal travelers use the following approaches to save money on airline expenses.

Conduct Research about Flight Options
Air travel is an intimidating prospect, especially for fliers who haven't taken to the skies with great regularity.  For starters, the landscape has changed for modern ticket-buyers, who now have the Internet and mobile resources at their disposal.  And the way consumers buy tickets has changed too.  In the past, the first step to booking travel was to call a professional travel agent familiar with the travel industry. 
Today's travel approach is a self-serve affair, in which buyers do the research themselves, rather than depending on trained travel professionals.  And though it suits many travelers to take such an active role, inexperienced travelers sometimes pay too much for airline tickets.  Fortunately, technology lends a hand comparing travel options, including Web-based travel resources capable of comparing hundreds of alternatives side-by-side.
There are no hard-fast rules dictating the best times to purchase airline tickets.  The conventional wisdom of landing the best deals by purchasing tickets well ahead of time appears to have been thrown out the window as travel providers extend promotional rates seemingly without regard for advance commitments.  As a result, the best approach for bargain-hunters is to monitor flights over time, paying special attention to dips and spikes in air travel rates.  By staying informed and available, you're ready to pounce when prices are favorable.
Flexible Options
Many times travelers are tightly scheduled, accommodating business obligations and family events in short order.  On the other, flexibility leads to travel deals, at times, so building some adaptability into your vacation planning can lead to significant savings on air travel.  Internet search providers, for example, often include flexible inputs in their flight search parameters, allowing users to check fares and flight availability for a number of proximate airports simultaneously.  Similarly, travel search sites also allow date ranges to be used in searches, rather than specific dates.  The resulting returns highlight the best deals available during a particular span of time, which can yield substantial savings for flexible flyers.
Carry On
Travel expenses apply to individuals, but the cost is also broken-down to include sums dedicated to bags and luggage.  In the past, bags flew free, unless they were bulky or required special handling.  Along the way, airlines began charging for the bags checked through to the baggage compartment.  The practice led travelers to simply carry their gear aboard the planes when traveling.  As a result, cabin space is at a premium, with limits imposed on size and weight.  The bottom line for budget-conscious travelers:  Carry your bag on the plane with you, in order to avoid baggage handling charges as high as $40/bag.  To avoid unanticipated charges, consult with your airline in advance for size restrictions and weight limitations.
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New Orleans: Oak Alley Plantation

Oak Alley Plantation in New Orleans is a must if you like history. It has so much things to learn in these plantation-slavery to the mansion and how it became part in the historic site in New Orleans. The place is interesting and caught our attention  the photos of oak tree.

Oak Tree ( The view inside the Mansion)

Husband and I usually read reviews and recommendation in the local centre and decide from there. We don't plan our trip most of the time. We swing whatever is on the road and our moods on that day and go from then. Usually rains stops us on doing outdoor so we ended up doing indoor instead but we do our best to see all the attractions we want on the place.
The Mansion

We drove all the way to Oak Alley plantation so we have had our freedom to do things afterward. It's almost an hour drive from the city of New Orleans but we don't care.Distance doesn't stop us to do thing  we want.

History of Oak Alley Plantation:
History snapshots ( you can read all of these written history in the grounds).

It is located at 3645 Highway 18 ( Great River Road,Vacherie,Louisiana). 

I forgot if my husband pay tax in the admission. The cost was $ 20.00 for adults and under 6-years old is free.

Inside the Mansion (dining table)

About Oak Alley Plantation:
I heard the most interesting story during our guided tour in the mansion-one of it were if you have a daughter and the suitor will visit in the mansion  the candle holder could tell immediately if you are going to stay longer or you're going home so soon by adjusting the candle, if you  don't like the suitor of your daughter you can adjust  the candle by lowering it so when it goes down it's to go home.The good news you can buy it in the gift shop if you are interested ;)
If you have a daughter you need one of this  candle holder ;)

"Over the years, many wonderful and fascinating individuals have had a hand in shaping a dream for Oak Alley ... some tried and won, some tried and lost, others just tried and gave up. Still, they all had one thing in common ... they CARED enough to try. "
Our tour guide  dressed up this kind of dress. She is good telling  the history of the Plantation.

Photography is allowed during the tour in mansion, don't forget your camera.
This cat likes pets.

I spotted squirrel
some flowers 
They have bed and breakfast, cafe in the Oak Alley Plantation so you get some bite if you are hungry after the tour.

Is it Recommended:
I'll be honest I highly recommended the place. You learn many things from the guided tour.I don't mind going back if ever we will be back in the area.

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4 Nights in New Orleans,Vacation: Ritz Carlton Hotel

My husband, my daughter and I stayed in 4 nights at Ritz Carlton Hotel,New Orleans. The hotel is well maintain,has an elegant old charm and upscale ambience . We had a deluxe king style bed with the view of the River and  City.
Ritz Carlton Hotel 

At this time we are a Platinum member of Marriott Cardholder so we got the free upgrades:
  • free hi-speed wi-fi.
  • free upgrades of room with great view.

Things we don't like in Ritz Carlton Hotel:
  • indoor pool is so small.
  • in our 3rd day the hut tub is broken.
  • hidden cost, valet parking is taxable ( I can't believe it).
  • We usually stayed in the hotel where valet parking is the only option, in Ritz Carlton Hotel the valet parking is hard to access by the guest- what I meant if you forget something in your car you need to go in the valet service so they will bring your car.
The Courtyard
our  temporary room for 4 nights.
view from our room-The Mississippi River
Indoor pool
They treated you like a  queen, they'll open the door for you in the lobby hotel and greeted with a friendly smile and open your door in your car once you arrived and get in the car. They're so friendly and helpful-that's what you call you get what you pay ;)
My daughter is in seventh heaven when she saw it in our room one night ;)

Travelentz's enjoyed our days and nights in Ritz Carlton hotel.

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