Hello from Austria – Medieval history up close at the Riegersburg fortress and the explorations of Styri

Having recovered from my action-packed day yesterday, which included a photo safari from my hometown, some extreme hikes and subsequent culinary feasts (to combat any possible weight loss), my last day in Austria had arrived and would also be a exciting. My brother Ewald and my sister-in-law Anneliese had planned an excursion to one of Styria’s true medieval treasures: the Riegersburg, a majestic fortress that was built in the 11th century in Austria’s strategically important border region. Empire.
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Styria is one of the least known Austrian provinces, most people are more familiar with the area around the capital Vienna; the region surrounding Salzburg (country “Sound of Music”) and Tyrol, with its high mountains and the capital of Innsbruck. Styria, although the second largest Austrian province with the second largest city in the country (its capital, Graz), has remained largely under the radar of most American tourists.
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As far as I’m concerned, it’s one of the most beautiful places, and I don’t say that just because I’m originally from there. In fact, one of the explicit goals of my trip to Austria this year was to see the area that I grew up in through the eyes of a travel writer and put it in context with some of the other areas that I have had an opportunity to visit in the past few years .

Styria is made up of eight main travel regions:

– the Dachstein – Tauern region, characterized by high mountains, great skiing and other outdoor fun

– the picturesque Salzkammergut lake area – Ausseerland

– the holiday region of Murtal, a densely wooded area that offers many outdoor activities

– Upper Styria, another mountainous region that features the “Styria Water Road”, the “Styria Railway” and the Hochschwab mountain region

– Graz, the provincial capital, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the European Cultural Capital of 2003

– Eastern Styria, my native region, a charming region characterized by medium-sized mountains, Austria’s largest pasture, orchards, fertile land, monasteries and castles

– Thermenland Styria, a region full of hills, vineyards and ancient volcanic activities that created six world-class resorts, and

– The wine region of South Styria and Western Styria, where slightly sloping hills full of vineyards and the famous White Horses destined for the Vienna Riding School invite you to an area that is often called “Austrian Tuscan”.

Today’s destination, Riegersburg, is located on the southern border of the East Styria travel region, next to the volcanic region of the Thermenland region. In fact, the fortress itself is built on the ancient volcanic cone of a long-extinct volcano. We begin our journey from Weiz through the Raab valley and the rural town of Gleisdorf. There, we left the main road for smaller roads that led us to beautiful hills, many of which have orchards and vineyards.

Many of these small side roads are official bike trails that are conveniently signposted and many of the local producers have small rural restaurants called “Buschenschenken”, whose garden terraces invite walkers, cyclists and other travelers to sit and enjoy culinary delicacies and wines. of Styria. We found no traffic and, on this beautiful hot summer day, many cyclists were out there doing a good workout and enjoying the scenery.

After about 45 minutes, we arrived at our destination: a basaltic rock crowned with the majestic fortress of Riegersburg was right in front of us. We parked the car in the village, at the foot of the rock and started our climb to the castle. The narrow road has no pavement and is essentially composed of dark volcanic rocks that have many ridges and narrow ridges from hundreds of years of use in horse carriages. We entered through the first gate, which was one of many. Altogether, Riegersburg has seven main gates and eleven bastions. The defensive wall around the fortress is an impressive three kilometers long. The combination of these features made the fortress the most important fortification on the Styrian border of the Austro-Hungarian empire.

The strategic importance of this border region is evident in the context of the Ottoman wars of the 16th and 17th centuries between the Habsburg monarchy and the Ottoman Empire. The East Styria area, in particular, was frequently threatened with invasion by forces from the East. In 1664, a decisive final battle was fought at neighboring Mogersdorf, which ended the two-year war against the Turks. Riegersburg itself was never conquered and, as a result, came to be called “the strongest fortification of Christianity”. It was part of an entire series of border forts along the border of the Habsburg Empire.

We walked slowly to the castle, on the bumpy road that was surrounded by a battlements wall that allowed snipers to target potential invaders approaching the fortress. On an open plateau below the castle’s royal building, there are numerous plaques mounted on a wall, providing a memorial to hundreds of soldiers from neighboring villages who fell during World War II. Each village had its own plaque. Another picturesque gate took us to the last part of the path that would take us to the fortress. At the foot of the fortress is the “Burgtaverne”, a restaurant with a beautiful and large open-air courtyard that offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside and attracts traditional Austrian cuisine.

As we approached the fortress, we crossed two ditches equipped with a drawbridge and the second internal ditch still had water. We were now truly inside the building complex of the fortress and, through a large internal courtyard, we approached the central building, which presents the store where we bought our 9.5 euro ticket in the central part of the fortress.

The name of the Riegersburg fortress was originally mentioned in 1138 as “Ruotkerspurch”, which actually means “Rüdiger castle”, so the fortress originally belonged to an aristocrat by that name. It underwent a major reconstruction during the late 16th century to include architectural features from the late Renaissance. The large ceremonial rooms and the arcade in the inner courtyard date from this time.

Two permanent exhibitions are being held in Riegersburg: the “Witches Museum”, in the winery, focuses on the obsession and persecution of witches who invaded the countries of Central Europe between 1450 and 1750. About 300 presumed wizards and sorcerers were persecuted in witch trials in Styria and many of them were executed. The peak of the witch hunt frenzy occurred during the 30s # 39; The war of 1618 to 1648, when the war and the so-called “minor ice age” destroyed agriculture and decimated the population, much of which, of course, was attributed to the wrong done by supposed witches.

We were planning to attend another exhibition: “Legendary Riegersburg – Legendary Women”. Two very colorful female characters are associated with the history of this fortress. The first was Baroness Elisabeth Katharina von Galler (1607-1672), who was the lady of the castle from 1648 to 1672. In a time of very traditional male and female expectations, the “Galllerin” was an unconventional character and deviated from the usual standards. Women, even aristocrats, were not allowed to own property at the time, and Elisabeth, as the sole heir to the fortress, would have to renounce any property by her husband, but she refused to comply. Even in her prenuptial agreement, she guaranteed the right to decide on her property.

Baroness Elisabeth von Galler proposed a complete reconstruction of the fortress, which included the impressive Baroque White Hall, as well as the construction of numerous bastions, gates and the extensive walls that surrounded the castle. Several inscriptions above different gates show that she spent a lot of money on this construction work. Her husband incurred large debts, and in 1649, she paid him back with a substantial sum of money and got rid of him. In total, Baroness von Galler was married three times and involved in several legal battles with her husbands and the local clergy.

The other interesting female character featured in the exhibition “Legendary Women” is Katharina Paldauf, an employee of Baroness von Galler, for whom she started working at the age of 20. From 1673 to 1675, she was involved in Feldbach’s Witch Trial and was accused of manipulating the weather and participated in witches’ Saturdays. Legends also say that she managed to grow roses in winter, a talent that earned her the nickname “the witch of flowers”. “For her supernatural powers to grow flowers out of season, she was accused of being a witch and was presumably executed in 1675.

Several exhibitions in the exhibition also shed light on the historical scenario of the 16th and 17th centuries. Serfdom and feudalism characterized power structures during the Middle Ages, and peasants had a very difficult life, while aristocrats formed a hereditary elite that had the right to maintain land and exercise broad powers over the people. The majority agrarian economy of the time forced the peasants to hand over a substantial part of their production to the local lords and nobles, who in turn promised them protection during the war. It was an era of extensive exploitation and you had the right to use the peasants. land as they liked. Often, a peasant would require a master’s permission when he intended to marry, and onerous taxes were imposed on the peasant class. These harsh conditions led to many peasant rebellions in Central Europe in the 16th century.

Nobles, on the other hand, lived a luxurious lifestyle. An inscription at the entrance to the fortress indicates that an excessive banquet during the 1600s resulted in 21 days of binge eating and drinking. The Knights Hall, opulently decorated, was the site of many of these fights and a wooden bridge connecting it to another hall was used to relieve itself after all this excitement and is commonly called the “vomit bridge”. Even today the figure of a stooped man adorns the bridge, reminding people of its original purpose.

We were impressed by the luxurious details in Riegersburg’s old quarters, in particular the Hall of Knights, with its boxed ceiling and the opulently decorated Baroque White Hall. When we crossed the premises, the White Room still displayed table decorations and leftovers from a wedding that had been held a few days earlier in the fortress. Today, the castle belongs to the Liechtenstein family, an aristocratic family that has lived in this castle since 1972. One of the family members had recently married. The beautiful flower decorations and wedding menus gave us an idea of ​​what some of these historic parties must have looked like.

We had enjoyed our history lesson firsthand and were ready to continue exploring, so we walked along the long basaltic road to the city of Riegersburg, which stretches at the foot of the fortress. A baroque church and several restaurants anchor the village’s picturesque main square and there is a large lake on the outskirts of the village that features a resort with beach volleyball, water slide, tennis and restaurants.

We continue our long journey across the country to our next destination: Kapfenstein Castle, about 20 minutes from Riegersburg, is also located on an extinct volcano close to the Hungarian and Slovenian borders. Its recorded history dates back to 1065 and was one of the fortresses that protected Austria from attacks by the Magyars and Turks. The castle was owned by different noble families, until it came into possession of the Winkler-Hermaden family in 1898.

Today, the castle boasts a 15-room luxury hotel, as well as a restaurant with extensive open-air patios that offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside. We chose a beautiful spot on the terrace and started reading the menu. Obviously, a wedding had just taken place at the castle hotel because the bride and groom were still carrying gifts for their vehicles. We decided to try some local delicacies, and I liked my mushroom soup with roasted buckwheat and a cheese platter with a wide variety of special Austrian cheeses.

Our late lunch went on until mid-afternoon and now it was time to continue our journey. But before moving on, we took a short 15-minute walk through a forest and some vineyards to a small chapel on the plateau next to Kapfenstein Castle. From here, we had a perfect view to the north and, through an enlargement viewer, we were able to see our previous destination, the Riegersburg volcanic cone.

It was time to go back, so we started our way back to Weiz. We had arranged with our friends Luis and Isabella to join them for a small meeting in the backyard of my last night in Austria. My friends are avid scooter riders and Luis allowed me to jump on one of his two-wheeled machines and accompanied me on a small test drive. I had driven a scooter for the first time and so far only one in my life on the island of Ibiza and I was happy to have another chance. After some initial balancing problems and after we got used to adjusting the gas on the handlebar handle, we finally started a decent start on our little adventure and took an exciting ride on the local country roads.

Twenty minutes later, we returned and sat in the beautiful garden, admiring the large lake that the two had created. We all remember a little about the time in 2005, when my brother, my sister-in-law and these two friends came to Toronto for a visit. It was the first time that I saw my friends again, this time in their territory. We were thinking that in one of these years we should have a ski vacation in Schladming, in Upper Styria, a phenomenal ski region that used to be the site of the world cup races and a place where my friends go skiing regularly.

The sun was starting to set and it was time for me to go back to the brother’s house and start packing my suitcase. I said goodbye to my friends and invited them to come for another visit to Toronto. Ewald, Anneliese, and I spent a few more pleasant hours at his home as I prepared for my departure, feeling quite saddened by the imminent end of my trip.

Without a doubt, this was my best visit since I left my hometown 21 years ago. Nine days were not long enough to explore the sights of my region. In addition to the wonderful connections with my family and some good friends, I learned during the past few days that Styria, the region I was born in, was certainly on a par with many other tourist areas that I visited in North America and Europe. .

The beautiful landscapes of Styria, the extensive opportunities for outdoor recreation, the architecture, the history, the music, the culture and, last but not least, the delicious cuisine will definitely make me come back again.



Even more governors in the province of Argentina are considering issuing locally-issued digital signs or stablestones.

As previously told, Mendoza Governor Josepina Canelli, Mendoza governor in the north-central part of the country, has already made public this week, claiming she is “studying” Stablokin’s proposals.

According to La La Politica, provinces across the country are being followed by governors and may be forced to act sooner rather than later, as many areas are experiencing cash shortages – as well as problems with national debt.
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Many provinces hope that the central government will come to the rescue, but others may prefer to take matters into a more proactive stance by using blockchain technology.

La Politica’s Marcia Dell’Oca writes,

It seems that while the central government is clearly engaged in debt-related discussions, the local government could decide to move.

Lawyers point to the Marco Paz municipality of Buenos Aires, which released a cryptocurrency called “Marcos Paz Asset” last summer and a compatible wallet application designed to boost local spending and reduce the burden on local residents.


Visit Redondo Beach California

The coastal city of Redondo Beach, California, is located in Los Angeles County, approximately eighteen (18) miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles and ten (10) miles northwest of Long Beach.
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Redondo Beach is a family-oriented community and is a good safe place to take the family for a day trip or vacation. There is a lot to do for everyone.
Check out the Redondo Beach Pier (the pier is open 24 hours a day, although most businesses close at 2:00 am or earlier) with its free public fishing, free shows on Thursday and Saturday nights, several restaurants, snack bars, shops gifts and boutiques, as well as bait and equipment for those who wish to fish and a kite shop (buy a kite and fly off the pier).
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There is also a dance club and bar and a jazz and blues club. Visit the Redondo Beach Marina. There you will find sport fishing charters, boat trips, water sports, seasonal whale watching excursions, dusk fishing, spectacular sunsets and more restaurants. Take a ride on the Looking Glass, a 19-passenger submersible submarine boat inspected by the USCG, or the Gondola Amore, which offers lovely harbor cruises and romantic dining, or rent a paddleboat or kayak and take your own harbor cruise. Go sport fishing on Redondo Sportfishing and fish for Barracuda, Bonito, Savelha, Halibut, Kelp Bass, White Sea Bass and many other species.
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Swim, surf, bodyboard, snore or just sit on the beach and enjoy the sunny California weather. According to the Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce, you can “walk, skate or cycle north or south along the beach and King Harbor. From the port, the south takes you through the beautiful Redondo terrace Beach to Torrance Beach. The north takes you along the coast to Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach or you can cycle through the surrounding cities for more than 20 miles to Venice and Santa Monica. ”
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Stay at the Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach Hotel, 300 N. Harbor Dr., Redondo Beach, California. 90277, (310) 318-8888 or the Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club, 260 Portofino Way, Redondo Beach, California. 90277, (310) 379-8481 “where waves break, graceful sails and exciting sea breezes set the scene for a perfect getaway,” or the Best Western Redondo Beach Inn, 1850 South Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach, Ca. 90277, (310) 540-3700, with its “heated pool, spa, sauna and exercise room” or the cheap Palos Verdes Inn, 1700 S. Pacific Coast Hwy., Redondo Beach, California. 90277, (800) 421-9241.
Whether your preference for fast food, ethnic food, seafood or steaks, you can satisfy it in Redondo Beach, where you will find everything from hamburger stands to great seafood, to sophisticated restaurants like Breakwater Steak restaurant Redondo Beach Jazz & Seafood with its candlelit restaurant tables, sparkling fireplaces, live jazz bands floating in the air “and a menu that includes everything from filet mignon with roquefort crust and 16 oz. Boneless cutlet Steak Angus halibut roasted in caper sauce with lemon and lobster tail roasted in cold water.
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For more information about the city of Redondo Beach, California, see:, a directory of links to the city of Redondo Beach, California, guides and directories listing hotels, restaurants, lawyers, brokers properties, information, resources, services, things to do, places to visit and more.


Hotel Staycation

There are vacations where you temporarily visit another city, state or country and receive all these new places to offer, in addition to others that you can stay in your own city and act as a tourist. Both are great ideas for something fun to do, and both have their advantages and disadvantages, but if you choose accommodation for this year’s vacation, how about still going to a hotel?
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Typically, stays mean that you use your home as your base and make daily trips to things in and out of your city. It could be the museum you’ve always wanted to visit, but it never came to it, it could be a new water park that just opened, it could be a trip to a nearby park to do things like canoeing that you’ve always wanted to try. At the end of the day, you come home to sleep and do something fun the next day until your stay is over. What if, instead of going home, you stay in a hotel in your own city? It’s like vacationing and staying in one place, and while it can be more expensive than going home, it adds some excitement to your vacation.
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Staying in a hotel is always fun. There are different beds, different layouts, items like the pool and gym to check out, and they usually have a bar or restaurant for snacks, meals and easy relaxation moments as well. Staying in a hotel offers something different from the same old routine. He gets up and leaves in the morning and offers a warm and comforting atmosphere when you return. You don’t have to make beds or get towels, yet you are returned to a perfect room at the end of the day.
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Nowadays, hotels have Wi-Fi and other amenities to make you feel at home while enjoying a little adventure and you don’t have to stay long, just a night or two adds to the fun factor of a stay and provide different memories that You can share. They also always have a lot of information about places and events nearby that you may have missed. So, be a tourist in your city, it’s fun and you’ll learn a lot about where you live, and while it’s always good to come home, check into a hotel, even if it’s just for one night. You’ll be glad you did!
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Travel survival tips: 13 essentials to take with you on your next business trip

Travel Survival Tips

Traveling for business or pleasure for the most part is a great experience. Traveling has its disadvantages, especially when you forget to bring an essential item. Being prepared is the secret of the travel game. Having worked and lived abroad, I had to travel in many different environments. There are certain items that I always want to have on a business trip because of their usefulness. Most items are surprisingly inexpensive. Here is the list of Travel Survival that I have compiled from items I take with me when I travel on business.

13 essentials for your business trip

1. White Hand Towel

A basic white 16 "x 27" hand towel. The saving grace of this towel is its compact size. Neither too big nor too small. It's big enough to take a shower, even for a big guy like me. Hey, it's not the "Ritz-Carlton" for towels, but it's big enough to do the job. If you need to wash it, it washes easily in your bedroom sink. If you need to wear commercial clothing, it takes up less space and also dries more quickly. This will save your money in the end. At 2 euros to wash a very small load in France, it adds. I used it to polish my shoes, rolled up like a pillow and even a dust cloth. It can also be used to clean up a variety of spills. Make sure it is white so that it can be bleached. Most of the time, I simply wash it with Zote (see item 2). Best of all, you know where that towel is. Less than $ 5

2. Zote Mexican laundry soap

I prefer the Zote brand – choose the rose, it has a great citronella scent and it just works. Zote removes stains that would never come out with anything else. When you spill your favorite tie; Zote to the rescue. It even removes old stains that have been on clothing for some time. It also has softeners. So, when your luggage doesn't arrive, you can wash your clothes again with Zote and you're on your way! Buy Zote at any Latin supermarket. It's a great product and it smells so good. Less than $ 1.

3. Castile 18 in 1 Pure Magic by Dr. Bronner Hemp Soap

The most exclusive and refreshing soap you'll ever use. Dr. Bronner's website explains that soap is "A combination of extra virgin organic oils from coconut, olive, jojoba and hemp, together with pure essential oils, creates a unique soap that effectively cleans without being aggressive and produces a velvety foam that leaves the skin silky, smooth and refreshed. "It is a little expensive, but it is worth it. The soap is ultra concentrated, so you should dilute it. A bottle will last much longer than you think. The incredible mint oil in the soap helps to wake up during the morning bath. It is also good to use as a refreshing face wash. I love this product. It is also interesting to read the bottle. Dr. Bronner brought the soap to the United States in 1948; his family has been making soap for 5 generations. All-One! 2 ounce bottle $ 3

4. Dial the "Gold" antibacterial soap

Dial makes the best antibacterial soap on the market. Let's face it, hotel rooms can have a lot of germs. Don't worry about liquid soap; bar soap contains more active ingredient than liquid soap. Forget the little soap in the box they provide for you. Use the Dial to wash your hands, the counter, the tables and you! This will help prevent you from taking home the memory of the disease. $ 3 for a pack of 3.

5. Swiss army knife

Check this item if you are traveling by plane. TSA will not allow a knife on an airplane (Duh!) I am 1/2 Swiss. I have been using Swiss Army knives since I was a child. They are reliable and useful in many ways. They are also easy to put in your pocket and can serve as a weapon for your defense. My favorite model is the "spartan". It has 2 blades, a can and bottle opener, screwdrivers, corkscrew and leather punch. $ 28

6. Leatherman multi-tool

The main objective of the leatherworker is the needle nose pliers. I use my Swiss Army knife more than my Leatherman. However, I forgot to pack it at the time when I could actually have used the pliers. You can loosen a zipper, tighten a screw, etc. A great tool to have on hand every day. $ 30

7. Happy White Plastic Garbage Bags from the Quick Connect Kitchen – 13 Gallons

These bags are good for dirty clothes, shoes or whatever you don't want to touch your clean clothes. They work very well as vomit bags for those who travel internationally. They are also good for taking out the trash! $ 7 for 80 bags.

8. Plastic cables to tie

These can withstand 40 pounds of pressure. I always wear two ties. just in case. You can use ties to repair almost anything; a luggage strap, shoes, luggage lock etc. Less than $ 7 for a pack of 20.

9. Fisher Space pen "The Bullet"

Developed by Paul Fisher. This pressurized pen was first used by NASA on the Apollo 7 space flight in 1968. Without the invention of the Space Pen, astronauts were still writing in pencil! The pen is my favorite. It fits in your pocket and always works. He even writes under water. After experimenting, you will be hooked. Made in the USA in Boulder City, Nevada. $ 25

10. Moleskine notebook

I found a Moleskine Notebook for the first time while living in Europe. I love the simple concept of a bound notepad that you can carry with you anywhere. Simple, black and rounded corners, with a pocket on the back. Now they come in many different sizes, styles and colors. I still prefer black. It is always on me with my Space Fisher pen (see # 9). $ 12

11. Zippo lighter

It is always worth having a way to light your way or start a fire. One of the first lessons you learn as a Boy Scout is how to light a fire. Always be prepared. I bought my first Zippo when I was 18. It was a great tool to have. You should probably also check this with your luggage. $ 25

12. Sewing kit

Make sure you have a sewing kit with you when you travel. If you need a needle, thread or button, this item is worth its weight in gold. $ 5

13. Adhesive tape

This is a no-brainer. One must have to go in for repairs. A million and one uses come to mind for duct tape. You can even make a good tie or wallet if you get bored. It’s great to have a roll if you need it.


Presentation: Ottawa – Capital of Canada and an exciting travel destination

Anticipating my next trip to Ottawa next weekend, I started doing some research and got in touch with Ottawa Tourism. Ottawa, as Canada's capital, is one of Canada's most popular travel destinations and has a wide variety of destinations, activities and events to offer.

I had the opportunity to chat with Jantine Van Kregten, from Ottawa Tourism, who was kind enough to give me a great overview of what to see and do in Ottawa.

1. Please provide us with some general information about Ottawa. How big is the city, where is it located, how is the weather?

Ottawa is the capital of Canada and its fourth largest city. With the neighboring city of Gatineau, in the province of Quebec, the region has about 1.2 million inhabitants. Ottawa is located in eastern Ontario, about four hours. drive northeast from Toronto; two hours west of Montreal; and an hour north of the New York state border.

Ottawa enjoys four distinct seasons, with warmer temperatures and, sometimes, high humidity in July and August; a fall seasoned with beautiful autumn colors; a cold and snowy winter; and a wet spring.

2. How can you get to Ottawa and what is the best way to get around Ottawa?

Ottawa is accessible with direct flights from Canada's main centers and several US cities, including New York, Washington, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta and more. Ottawa is an important stop along the VIA Rail and Windsor corridor, and the bus service also connects the city to other Canadian cities.

By car, the main routes include Highway 416, which connects Ottawa to Highway 401. Highway 417 runs through the city, while Routes 5, 50 and 148 are the main riverside roads in Quebec.

3. Ottawa is the capital of Canada and has played a significant role in Canada's history. Tell us more about it and the Canadian heritage experiences offered in Ottawa.

Ottawa's history begins with the construction of the Rideau Canal between 1826 and 1832 by Lt. Col. John By of the Royal Engineers and thousands of mainly Irish workers. The Canal extends 202 km (126 miles) across eastern Ontario to st. Lawrence River and was built to secure a supply line in the event of an American attack (which never came). The Canal was never used for military purposes and its 49 locks are still operated in the same way as when they were built. In fact, the Rideau Canal is Canada's candidate to be considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is expected in 2007, the 175th anniversary of its construction.

Queen Victoria decreed in 1857 that Ottawa would be the capital of the country that would become Canada. The stately buildings of the Parliament were built shortly afterwards and remain an "unmissable" attraction in the capital. Ottawa is also home to 24 Sussex Drive (Prime Minister's residence and not open to the public); Rideau Hall (home of the Governor General, with guided tours of the residence and gardens available); and dozens of high commissions and government embassies around the world.

Don't miss Laurier House, home to Sir Wilfrid Laurier and WIlliam Lyon Mackenzie King, two former prime ministers, or Mackenzie King Estate, King's summer home in Gatineau Park.

4. Please tell us about some of the main attractions, museums and galleries in the Ottawa area.

The latest addition to the national museum scene is the impressive Canadian War Museum, which opened in May 2005 in a stunning location alongside the Ottawa River. Canada's most visited museum is the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau. The National Gallery of Canada offers the largest collection of Canadian art, along with European and American masters. Other cultural facilities include the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography; the Aviation Museum of Canada; the Canada Science and Technology Museum; the Canadian Agriculture Museum; the Canadian Royal Mint; the Bank of Canada Currency Museum; and the Canadian Museum of Nature, currently in the midst of a major renovation project, to be completed in 2009.

Other museums include the Bytown Museum, which tells the story of Ottawa's early days, including the construction of the Rideau Canal; the Billings Estate Museum, which traces the story of a prominent local family; and the funky Diefenbunker, Canada's Cold War Museum, a four-story underground bunker that was built between 1959 and 1961 as the site for which the Canadian political and military elite would face the effects of a nuclear attack.

5. Our readers would like to know about festivals and special events in Ottawa.

The Ottawa festival scene is a robust subject all year round. The year begins with Winterlude, a huge winter festival held on the first three weekends of February. In March, the Irish community celebrates the Irish week and, in March and April, the maple syrup season generates a series of delicious festivals and events celebrating this tasty treat.

May belongs to the Canadian Tulip Festival – three weeks of celebrating Ottawa's favorite flower. During World War II, the Dutch royal family took refuge in Ottawa and Princess Margriet was born here, in a hospital room designated as Dutch soil for the event. Canadians played a big role in the liberation of the Netherlands, and when the royal family returned home after the war, as a gesture of friendship, respect and appreciation, they sent thousands of tulip bulbs. The lamps have followed every year since then and now 3,000,000 tulips bloom in the Canadian capital region.

The end of May brings Canada's largest marathon as part of the Ottawa Race Weekend. During the summer months, festivals abound: Doors Open Ottawa showcases historic buildings; Italian week; the Ottawa Fringe Festival; the TD Canada Trust Ottawa International Jazz Festival; the Nortel Ottawa Dragon Boat Race Festival; Cisco Systems Ottawa Bluesfest (the largest in Canada); the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival (the largest in the world); the Sound of Light fireworks festival; Ottawa Busker Festival; Ottawa GreekFest; CKCU Ottawa Folk Festival; the Central Canada Exhibition; and Pride Week.

At Parliament Hill, two free activities take place daily in the summer: 10:00 am, Changing of the Guard ceremony and the night light and sound show.

In the fall, the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival colors the skies; while the La Vendemmia Harvest Festival tempts visitors & # 39; palates. The Ottawa International Animation Festival features artists from around the world, while the Ottawa International Writers Festival offers a forum for authors & # 39; lively debates. Autumn Rhapsody celebrates the splendid colors of autumn.

The capital lights up for the holiday with the Christmas Lights Across Canada program.

6. What about the restaurants and entertainment / nightlife areas in Ottawa?

Several neighborhoods offer entertainment options in Ottawa. ByWard Market is one of Ottawa's oldest neighborhoods and also serves as its entertainment district, with over 100 food and drink options in just a four-block area. Whether it's fine dining, a good snack bar, a cozy restaurant or a romantic cafe, you can find it at the "Mercado".

Elgin Street is another popular nightlife area, with an eclectic selection of bars, restaurants and cafes just a few blocks away. Bank Street offers three or four distinct areas along its length, including a popular area known as the Glebe. In the far west, Westboro is also an attractive option for dinner and drinks.

Of course, you can also choose to explore the various options at Casino du Lac-Leamy – be it the thrill of the games or a show at its popular theater or dinner at the five-diamond restaurant Le Baccara. The region's other five diamond establishment (two of the only 11 across Canada) are subscriptions to Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa.

7. Please provide an overview of the performing arts offered in Ottawa.

The National Arts Center is Canada's premier performing arts center, offering theater performances in English and French, dance and the National Arts Center Orchestra. There are also many smaller theaters, both in English and French, including the Great Canadian Theater Company, La Nouvelle Scene, Ottawa Little Theater, Third Wall Theater Company, Odyssey Theater (offering open-air performances alongside the Rideau River), A Company of Fools, and many productions at the Arts Court, a municipal facility.

From May 18 to June 11, Cirque du Soleil will take its production from Quidam to Ottawa. The Canada Dance Festival takes place every two years (2-10 June 2006) in Ottawa and the Ottawa Fringe Festival (also in June) is one of the best ways to see new productions and innovations. Inside

The Centrepointe Theater, in the far west, offers a variety of performances, as does the University of Ottawa and Carleton University.

Larger events are usually held at Scotiabank Place and Ottawa Civic Center.

8. What are some of the shopping opportunities in Ottawa?

Some major shopping centers exist in Ottawa, including the Bayshore Shopping Center in the far west, the Rideau Center, the St. Laurent Center in the far east, and Place d Orleans in the far east. These centers offer the best of well-known brands.

For more eclectic offerings, the ByWard Market neighborhood offers great fashion and housewares; as well as Glebe, Westboro and some small towns on the Ontario and Quebec side of the Ottawa River – including Merrickville, Manotick, Perth, Chelsea and Wakefield.

9. What are the outdoor, recreational and sporting opportunities in and around Ottawa?

From a professional perspective, Ottawa senators are particularly loved by the Ottomans as they march to victory at the Stanley Cup! Ottawa offers a window to the Ontario Hockey League. The Ottawa Renegades provide excitement in the Canadian Football League, while the Ottawa Lynx is part of the International Baseball League (they are the Baltimore Orioles Triple A farm team).

But sport in Ottawa is much more participatory than that. Home to hundreds of kilometers of leisure routes, Ottomans love cycling, skating and walking. The Ottawa River offers unbelievable rafting, as well as canoe and kayak adventures for adventurers.

Canada's largest bungee freefall is located north of Ottawa, just outside Gatineau Park. Throughout the year, Gatineau Park offers something for outdoor lovers. Be it camping, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, mountain biking or swimming in the summer; or snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in winter, the park is loved by everyone in the region.

As proof of the diversity of destinations in Ottawa, is it the only place where you can skate on the largest skating rink in the world and play in the largest beach volleyball tournament in the world?

10. What kind of accommodation options are there in Ottawa?

There are more than 11,000 hotel rooms in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. The main chains (Hilton, Fairmont, Westin, Marriott, Delta, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, Best Western, Comfort Inn) are represented, in addition to more exclusive offers, such as the ARC the.hotel boutique or Brookstreet Resort.

Downtown locations are within walking distance of many major attractions. Several inn suppliers also offer a cozy alternative to hotels.

A comprehensive list of options can be found at
11. What are some of the major events and big news coming up in 2006 and beyond in Ottawa?

The Canadian Museum of Civilization celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2006. It began its life in May 1856, as part of Canada's Geological Survey. The young museum grew up in the National Museum of Canada and later in the National Museum of Man. In 1986, it became the Canadian Museum of Civilization, moving into its magnificent Gatineau buildings three years later and continuing to present informative and entertaining exhibitions for a wide range of interests.

Casino du Lac-Leamy celebrates 10 years of uninterrupted excitement in March 2006. Originally opened as the Casino de Hull, it has become one of the main attractions in the Canadian capital region, offering games every day from 9:00 am at 03:00; five diamond dinner at Le Baccara; an adjacent theater offering matinees, musical programming and variety shows of all kinds; anchoring facilities; an adjacent Hilton hotel with spa; and conference facilities. The casino is celebrating with a series of themed activities, including the popular 7-day lucky draw, which offers a different promotion every day of the week.

Emily Carr is on display from June 2 to September 3, 2006 at the National Gallery of Canada. His paintings of First Nations villages and landscapes of the Pacific Northwest coast, including many totem images, help to define Canadian art, especially that of the early 20th century.

In Indiana Jones' third film, the climactic scene took place in a spectacular desert location, carved out of the side of a cliff. This site is part of Petra, located in Jordan, and from April 7, 2006 to January 2, 2007, you can learn more at the exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Civilization PETRA: Stone Town.

The Seven Years' War is the focus of a new exhibition on the newest cultural attraction of the Canadian War Museum, which opened in May 2005. The exhibition Clash of Empires: The War That Made Canada runs from May 18 to 12 from November.

Outdoor activities are a crucial part of Ottawans & # 39; lives. This summer, residents will be able to taste others & # 39; achievements as well, as Ottawa welcomes more than 3,500 athletes and coaches during the Ontario Summer Games 2006, August 9-13, 2006.

Quebec Scene: April / May 2007: The National Arts Center has already received two previous "scenes" – Atlantic Scene in 2003 and Alberta Scene in 2005 – and in 2007, it is Québec's turn to shine, as the best of its kind. theater, music, dance, comedy, culinary arts, literature and cinema, is the basis of this cultural festival.

Beijing Treasures: May 11 to September 30, 2007: At the Canadian Civilization Museum, learn more about the development of Chinese civilization while viewing selected treasures from the National Museum of China. There will also be an attempt to glimpse China's recent history, including economic reforms and the bid for the Olympic Games.

Renoir's Landscapes: June 8 to September 9, 2007: One of the most beloved of all Impressionists, Renoir will be at the front and center of next summer at the National Gallery of Canada.

FIFA World Youth Championship 2007: July 1 – 22, 2007: Ottawa was selected as one of six Canadian cities in this three-week tournament, 24 countries and 52 matches, featuring the best youth football players (under 20) world. the world. It is the second largest event organized by FIFA, after the FIFA World Cup.

Rideau Canal as a UNESCO World Heritage Site: The Rideau Canal, which extends 202 km from Ottawa to Kingston, is Canada's gateway to being named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The designation must be received in time for the 175th anniversary of the completion of the Channel in 2007.

Canada Portrait Gallery: After the opening of the new Canada War Museum last spring, the next major cultural institution planned for Ottawa is the Canada Portrait Gallery, which is due to open across the street from Parliament Hill at the end of 2007.

Thank you, Jantine, for providing a great overview of all that Ottawa has to offer. You gave me great ideas for my trip next week and possible future excursions next year.


Historic Places in Florida – History and Culture in the State of Florida

Most tourists seem to gravitate towards expensive theme parks or hot beaches, but if you're looking to get off the beaten track when traveling to Florida, the history and some of the Sunshine State's most cultural offerings should be considered. From northern Florida, with the southern hospitality of Panhandle, to the thrilling cultural influences at the bottom of the state, a Florida vacation offers endless possibilities for unusual places to visit.

Each coast, in fact, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, including the Gulf Coast, exudes history related not only to America, but also globally. From Keys to Tallahassee, the importance of Florida's dynamic history and state history is immediately evident and residents hope to share their many cultural assets with you.

Where to go and what to do during your Florida vacation:

Tropical treasures in the keys

Key West, just off the coast of Florida and connected by a bridge, is a continually sunny destination that has fascinated everyone from President Harry Truman and Tennessee Williams to Ernest Hemingway and the U.S. Navy. The famous author Hemingway, after vacationing in Florida, decided to live in Key West, and his house has now become a museum with the descendants of his polydactyl cat still roaming the gardens.

With the proximity of the ocean, residents and tourists enjoy activities that incorporate the blue water of the sea, including rescuing ships and diving for ancient sunken treasures. Many U.S. presidents, including Harry Truman and Franklin Roosevelt, have reinforced local folklore and Florida history, calling Key West home in the winter months at the Southernmost House Grand Hotel and Museum.

First industrialists in Fort Myers

Thomas Edison and Henry Ford decided to call Fort Myers at home in the winter months, after taking a vacation in Florida. Edison's house, called "Seminole Lodge", has been precisely refurbished to reflect the period in which it was built and resided, and includes one of the first modern pools in Florida history and its laboratory, just as he would remain a good example of one of the best historic places in Florida.

Located next to Edison's beautifully designed home is "The Mangoes", Henry Ford's recently renovated winter home. After a vacation in Florida, Ford decided that Fort Myers would be better than Michigan's cold. A garage full of vintage restored Ford cars completes the serene atmosphere. Both historic houses have lush gardens along the Caloosahatchee River.

The contrasts of Palm Beach

From industrial influences to charming gardens, Palm Beach is a city of contrasts illuminated by the sun. Henry Flagler connected the cities of Florida after realizing that a sophisticated transportation system could help revitalize the state and take more tourists on vacation in Florida. From the late 1880s, Flagler began to buy railroads, combine routes and install more tracks up and down the back and, eventually, right in the middle. The Henry Flagler Museum, located in its large winter home called "Whitehall", announces its achievements and its idea of ​​bringing the first tourists to the state to make a profit, the first in Florida history.

Located outside the city limits in Delray Beach, the extensive and serene Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens take Japan to the coast of Florida. Exhibitions include galleries featuring ancient and modern Japanese art and culture, tea ceremonies, festival celebrations, tasting events and special exhibitions in the gardens. While on vacation in Florida, Morikami is a must.

Family fun in Sunny Sarasota

Sarasota is another historic center for historic places in Florida. The city has a detailed cultural history, complete with Native American and Spanish influences. Historic Spanish Point, highlighting 5,000 years of Florida history, features prehistoric Indian hills, live history performances, archaeological tours, a butterfly garden and buildings from the pioneer era. Cruises on historic-inspired ships sail on Sarasota Bay for a fun ending to your Florida vacation.

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and the Ringling Museum of the American Circus are centered in the home of the honored names of the museum who designed their mansion imitating European architecture, a beautiful example of one of the most elaborate historic sites in Florida. Ca d & # 39; Zan, completed in 1926, saw the largest and most expensive parties of the early 20th century in Sarasota. The art museum, from the Ringling collection, displays old and new American, European and Asian works of art. The circus museum, which opened to the public in 1948 and has since become a popular stop during Florida vacations, has a large collection of leaflets, posters, clothing and accessories since the early days of the circus. Also on site is a miniature circus built by Howard Tibbals, which was an integral part of the design of the small circus ensemble that is now part of Florida history.

Military origins in Pensacola

Home of the Blue Angels, Pensacola, a must for a Florida vacation, is proud to be home to naval aviation. More than 150 restored Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard aircraft are displayed at the National Naval Aviation Museum, where visitors can experience the flight simulator or learn more about naval aviation in Florida history and the rest of the world in Memorial Theater. In addition, the museum features an IMAX screen, a tour of the catering hangar, cockpit trainers and Blue Angels events on select days.

Located nearby is the historic Fort Pickens, which was built in 1834 and used until the 1940s. The fort, significant in Florida history, was influential during the Civil War and, in the mid-1880s, the famous Apache warrior , Geronimo, was incarcerated in the fort, where he became a sight for tourists on vacation in Florida. A Visitors Center displays objects of art, art and books that enhance the history of the Fort.

The beautiful gulf of the Panhandle

Surprisingly, Apalachicola, the charming and secluded city on the Gulf Coast, which is mired in Florida history, offers many options for things to see and do. The Camp Gordon Johnston Museum offers a glimpse into the lives of World War II soldiers and their intensive training. Opened in 1942, the camp, a permanent reminder of the impact of the armed forces on Florida history, trained American amphibious soldiers before they went to war, and the remnants of the training camps and the camp still survive. The exhibits include photographs, articles and trinkets from the height of the camp.

In the city center, the historic old quarter has more than 900 buildings, built since the beginning of the 19th century, listed on the National Register. Walking tours allow visitors to explore each location in depth and include an old cotton warehouse, three parks and rows of oak and magnolia trees. A Visitor Center provides maps, ideas and directions for getting to know the historic center of Apalachicola during your Florida vacation.

Coast to Coast History

When on vacation in Florida, the Sunshine State offers much more than just beautiful beaches and warm weather. From coast to coast, Florida and the history of its people and culture still influence its society and lifestyle. You shouldn't have to worry about the endless options of where to go or what to do – if you're looking for history of any kind, Florida has it!


All about Los Angeles Bars

LA has a lot to offer. Cidade dos Anjos is always on-the-go and apparently driven by glitz and glamor. And if you're willing to fight traffic, you'll find some of the best restaurants, shops and attractions in the world – from studio tours to museums, from beaches to docks.

LA is the epitome of big, bold and beautiful – and most of the hobbies in this city hover around the "scene". So, if you've had your share of the beach, head inland to visit Sunset Boulevard or Melrose Avenue, full of stars – and keep an eye out! As restaurants and bars lead to social unrest, you better allow yourself that afternoon nap if you want to accompany the cool kids.

Remember: the stars appear at night – after all, it's LA. This city seems to shine after sunset … you can enjoy it on the Sunset Strip or have fun in Hollywood. So, if you like its bars, its dry martinis and its delicious restaurants, make sure you have your wallet, your appetite and your energy for your hollywood night in the city.

Here is our guide to some of the best restaurants and nightlife options. Know this: fights broke out among our editorial team when someone silly suggested that we limit our Pod Picks journey in LA to just 10 restaurants and 10 bars. We had so much fun tearing up in Tinseltown that we had to choose 15 selections in each category. Of course, another fight occurred when we tried to assign numbers to all of these access points – cooler heads prevailed and we have since removed the ranking.

Be sure of one thing … all 30 of these places are ridiculously fantastic and require their own game A. Maybe even after a night on the town, you also understand why even people in the business think "Entourage" looks so real. ..

Bars and nightlife

1. The Derby: (Los Feliz) Wannabe "Swingers" hoping to see Vince Vaughn or Jon Favreau join swing fans in this hottest dance hall ever. With 1940s decor, live music (seven nights a week) and dance lessons, your whole group will have a blast! FYI: Derby was named a landmark / cultural landmark by the Los Angeles City Council in May. Located at 4500 Los Feliz Blvd. (and Hillhurst Ave.).

2. LAX: (Hollywood) We were all introduced to DJ AM by Nicole Ritchie – but now he needs no introduction! Known as one of the most sought-after DJs, DJ AM (aka Adam Golstein) opened this first-class airport-themed lounge for all Los Angeles jet-setters. Located in the heart of Hollywood, this destination hotspot features airplane window mirrors and metal hangar doors. The dance floor is usually tight (similar to dancing in an airplane cabin), but it's a lot of fun in the middle of the "Mile High Club"! LAX is located at 1714 Las Palmas Ave. (and Hollywood Blvd.).

3. Forty Deuce: (Melrose) The small parking lot in front of Paramount Pictures houses this modern institution that has been transformed into a retro-cool lounge reminiscent of the 1920s atmosphere. The lounge-style seats, the burlesque shows from a live jazz band) and fine cocktails keep the Hollywood crowd happy and partying until closing time. Located at 5574 Melrose Ave. (at Beachwood Dr.).

4. Barney & # 39; s Beanery: (West Hollywood) In Los Angeles, most people think that nothing can get better with age. But the city's third oldest restaurant (located at 8447 Santa Monica Blvd. near La Cienaga Blvd.) can prove that everyone in Hollywood is wrong. Since it opened its door, almost 90 years ago, it has attracted celebrities to ordinary Joe-shmoes who want good homemade food (your choice of 150 different hamburgers, 65 chilis and 90 omelets). While many may refer to this as just a "dip", good food and cheap drinks keep this bean skipping every night. (Just be sure to bring your ID – even Johnny Drama received a card here recently!).

5. Stone Rose Lounge: (West Hollywood) This newly opened LA version of the New York nightclub is located at the refurbished Sofitel Hotel (at 8555 Beverly Blvd., near La Cienaga Blvd.). A destination for young stars (and the guys who want them) has a 5,000 square foot lounge and an outdoor patio. While not your usual Los Angeles nightlife scene, it is worth visiting this relaxed atmosphere, with refined martinis and outdoor fire pits.

6. Social Hollywood: (Hollywood) What's new is new again! This place used to be the huge Hollywood Athletic Club and now has a lounge, restaurants, game rooms with PlayStations and Xboxes, a screening room and a private club. The Moroccan-inspired venue features food that has been strong right off the bat and a social scene that has won over cool kids. Located at 6526 Sunset Blvd. (on Schrader Blvd.).

7. Sky Bar: Marked as one of the hottest clubs in LA since the day it opened, Sky Bar is open, airy and makes you feel like you're floating in the clouds on top of the Mondrian hotel (located 8440 Sunset Blvd.). With some of the most beautiful views in the entire city of Los Angeles (along with its trees, pool and candlelight) and the most elegant scenery in the city – please don't let the long lines and security guards stop you. If and when you get past the bureaucracy, please don't look at that piece that appears regularly on the pages of US Weekly and People!

8. Formosa Cafe: (West Hollywood) A classic from the area (it served as a location for the film LA Confidential), this dimly lit Chinese themed hotspot features red leather booths and a bar that serves heady and powerful martinis. Known as one of the film industry's water wells, Formosa features autographed photos of Hollywood stars lining the walls (and you may even be lucky enough to find Bono or Beck at one of the booths). Better for drinks than for dinner (and make sure to wear the piece to avoid hassles at the door). Formosa Cafe is located at 7156 Santa Monica Blvd. (between La Brea and Avenida Formosa).

9. Privilege: (West Hollywood) Madonna is not the only one who knows how to reinvent herself. Nightlife guru Sam Nazarian knows very well about reinvention. Before its new look and name, this club was known as a Gothic playground called Shelter, a Nordic lounge, a st. Tropez-style resort and a simulated construction site. Now, Privilege is a white-on-white oasis with a sensual feel to a South Beach resort (without the moisture and sand between your toes). Saturdays are difficult, as Brent Bolthouse (godfather of celebrity events) organizes parties here – so if you can, opt for a visit during the week. Unless, of course, you can put your name on the guest list or go through security guards with headphones. Privelege is at 8117 W. Sunset Blvd. (and Crescent Heights Blvd.).

10. Guy's Bar: (West Hollywood) Have you ever wondered where the stars go to karaoke? You'll find Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Ritchie in this intimate and exclusive WeHo club. Guy is a simple tangle of comfortable sofas that are reserved mainly for events related to the private sector. However, try this place on a Saturday night (organized by promoters) when the door policy is a little more relaxed (and yes, show some leg!). The Guy & # 39; s Bar is located at 8713 Beverly Blvd.

11. Bar Tropicana: (Hollywood) Old Hollywood meets New Hollywood at this bar at the Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles – where you'll find stars lounging in style on an outdoor patio with a 60-seat vibe and a sparkling pool . A typical modern bar, the bar is also a tropical oasis with neon-lit palm trees, private bungalows, a fireplace and linen-covered lounge chairs. If you are not in the mood to rub your elbows with the nightly fashionista / glamorist crowd, the Tropicana Bar is ideal for sunny California afternoons. Don't forget to see David Hockney's blue wave mural at the bottom of the pool on 7000 Hollywood Blvd.

12. The Bar: (Hollywood) It's not just a bar, the Bar! Nestled between a gas station and a run-down hotel (5851 Sunset Blvd. and Bronson Ave.), this place is easy to miss. But those who find their way to one of Hollywood's hottest, coolest water wells will see recently renovated excavations and attractive customers. In a few days, you hear a rock jukebox and blow out the Ramones' sounds; in others, you find local DJ playing the old and the new pop. For those who feel like a cigarette, a little air or just a break from the sounds, head to the bamboo-lined smoking alley.

13. Humor: (Hollywood) This old 6,500 square foot office building on 6623 Hollywood Blvd. it was transformed into a tropical Garden of Eden – think of the South Pacific! The club's Balinese design features sensual colors / textures and trumpet players and bongo drummers that accompany the hip-hop and rap sounds you will hear. Crammed with exotic treasures made of bamboo, batik and carved wood, Mood attracts young sexy Hollywood socialites and other glamor and glamor from Tinseltown.

14. The Lounge: (West Hollywood) Okay, so here's the low point … This sexy Miami Beach-style club attracts a large crowd with its borderline location (WeHo and Beverly Hills) and open-door politics. The Lounge has a main room with a bar and dance floor and a spiral staircase that leads to a sophisticated lounge area, full of comfortable booths and table service. DJs here mix hip-hop, R&B and house music. The Lounge is located at 9077 Santa Monica Blvd. (and Doheny Dr.).

15. Key Club: (West Hollywood) A state-of-the-art live music venue (located at 9039 Sunset Blvd. and Doheny Dr.) with futuristic audio, video and lighting technologies, Key Club is one of WeHo & # 39 ; s most popular locations. The VIP area on the ground floor, called the Plush Lounge, is usually packed with Hollywood's "It" crowd. A full restaurant and menu is also available on the second floor (booking a table is the secret to really getting into busy nights). The Key Club offers a few bars and many ways to drink – a perfect place to start or end your evening on the Sunset Strip.


An optional clothing holiday – give an exclusive gift for Father's Day

Seems too sought after? Not really. Naked recreation is the fast-growing segment of the travel industry. It is an expanding travel niche, with more than $ 400 million in annual revenue, according to the USA Today newspaper. In a recent Roper survey, 25% of Americans were thin at mixed companies. You can also have it when you were younger. Recover that feeling of fun and freedom from your youth by vacationing at an optional clothing resort.

Traditionally, Americans had to go to Europe or the Caribbean to find luxury resorts topless or nude. Most American places were rustic old-style camps, like the "nudist colony" you saw in the old Pink Panther movie. However, in the past decade, the United States has experienced the best that Europe and the Caribbean has to offer. You no longer need to travel abroad to be pampered at an optional clothing resort, as some of the best are here in the USA.

Most American nudist resorts are still the typical weekend getaway, located in rustic camps and catering to families and all children. However, luxury resorts have flourished in Palm Springs, CA and Florida in the past decade. Of these luxury resorts, most still cater to families and children. However, a very popular place is unique and only caters for vacationing couples. So, leave the children with the grandparents or nanny. This location is located in Palm Springs, CA and is always rated one of the best optional clothing resorts in the world, the best in the west and the most popular nude resort in America. Palm Springs is a beautiful city. With an average of 340 days of sunshine a year, it is the sunniest city in America. It has golf courses, casinos, shops, theater and the best nudist resort in America. What else could anyone ask for on vacation?

Who sunbathes naked? All! Even one of our founders, Ben Franklin, was a strong supporter of naked sunbathing. Resort goers are on average 20 to 70 years old. They are teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, movie stars, businessmen, police and firefighters. The only thing Democrats and Republicans agree on naked resorts is that they both like to tan. The reason why repeat guests love nudist resorts is that they were tired of the same old, boring vacation at chain hotels. They wanted something different, fun and safe. Naked recreation is perfect. It is very romantic. It is a great way for couples to reconnect in the face of all the pressures and tensions of work in the everyday world.

So on this Father's Day, or any other day, if you're looking for a fun new vacation experience and a great gift for Dad, contact an optional clothing resort. You will be happy that you did.


Mary Lavaroni community park in Groveland, near Yosemite, combines new technology and old history

There is always something going on in Groveland, an authentic Gold Rush era city near Yosemite National Park, and chances are most of the time whatever is going on at Mary Lavaroni Community Park.

The park is lovely and offers something for everyone, from a world-class skate park for people with wheels under their feet, to playground equipment for kids and picnic tables for mom, dad and grandparents to enjoy the shade under the trees while they they make a snack for the whole family who will feel hungry after their efforts. There is a hiking trail, a basketball court and even a horseshoe pit for those looking for activity, but don't have a skateboard. The local town museum, the Yosemite Gateway Museum and the library offer a wealth of Gold Rush relics and even have a functioning arbor displayed as an oasis in the parking lot. The museum houses a historic video show and is located on the east side of the park.

Mary Laveroni Community Park is equipped with Wi-Fi, providing a strong high-speed Internet connection for free. This service is sponsored by the Community Services Department of Hotel Charlotte and Groveland for anyone traveling with their technical equipment.

The Mary Lavaroni Community Park has its own history, some details:

In the early 20th century, (after the 1906 earthquake), the city of San Francisco acquired rights to draw water from the Sierra Nevada via Yosemite and built the Hetch Hetchy system. Groveland, approximately 64 kilometers away, was the center of operations for management and supplies. Trains arrived in Groveland and were unloaded and reloaded on another type of train to deal with the slope of the dam's construction site. The first train would then be turned and sent back down the hill. To handle this process, the project had a huge train almost in the center of the city. After Hetch Hetchy's completion, the tracks were removed, the station was demolished and the land became Wayside Park, later called Mary Laveroni Community Park, in honor of one of our main women who helped put Groveland on the map.

The upper park was designed as a stop for visitors to and from Yosemite National Park. In the mid-1990s, GCSD donated land to the Museum / Library complex, which was built entirely with local donations. The Museum / Library is operated by the County and the Southern Tuolumne County Historical Society (STCHS). The lower area of ​​the park was the original roundness and foundry of the Hetch Hetchy railway. In the early 90s, a small stage and cafeteria were built at the west end of the lower park.

The lower park was used for many years at various local events and, in 2004-05, a wave of community spirit financed the development of the lower park. The grass was planted in about 1/3 of the park area and a large concert stage was donated, in addition to seats in the stands. In 2007, the Groveland Rotary Club built a large barbecue next to the cafeteria. Also in 2007, the $ 250,000 skate park was built after more than 5 years of fundraising and volunteers who actually built it. Then came the basketball court in 2008. The County Youth Center recently moved from its location on Ferretti Road to a new building financed by a donation from HUD. The latest improvements in the lower park are likely to be grass for the area around the basketball court and skateboard. In 2009, the District used the Baseline teams to follow a trail that begins in the lower park and goes north about 1.6 km to the District's baseball field, and from there goes west and south back to park. When completed, this test will have excellent bird watching.

During our event season, accommodation in Groveland fills up quickly. If you plan to join us for one of the fun festivities, don't wait to make your reservation!

The park hosts annual events and festivals such as the & # 39; 49er Festival and the Chili Cook-Off, always held on the third Saturday in September, the Where the hell is Groveland Car Show, Quilt Festival, Easter Egg Hunt, Santa & # 39; s Visits and apple swinging on Halloween and Summer Jazz Festival Day and more. On warm summer nights on Saturday, the park becomes a cinema with family performances, sponsored by the Yosemite Chamber of Commerce. Add an occasional flea market on the first Saturday of each month, from May to October and music events, and you will find that our small park is a great asset for the community and travelers.


Become a stripper in Las Vegas

Plan to arrive in Las Vegas from Monday to Friday, as you will not be able to do the necessary paperwork over the weekend. Also start early in the morning, even though it is Vegas, these government offices are only open during business hours.

When arriving in Las Vegas, take the following: 2 forms of identification (driver's license, state issued ID card, social security card, ID card, DD214, US passport, naturalization certificate, baptism certificate and wallet of foreign identity)) If you are under 25, a state-issued birth certificate is also required. This is non-negotiable, you will not receive a sheriffs card without it. If you were not born in the United States, you must bring one of the following: Naturalization certificate; US passport, birth certificate in the USA; or foreign ID. Card.

Search for clubs online and make a list of places you would like to work. If you are over 21, you can work at any club in Las Vegas. If you're between 18 and 20, don't despair! You can still work, but you're limited to full nude clubs that don't serve alcohol.

Upon arriving in Las Vegas, you will need to go to any club and obtain a signed proof of referral. You will need this referral receipt to obtain what is called the Las Vegas Sheriff's Card. Basically, it is just an ID card issued by the state to people working in the casino and entertainment industry. The club where you are nominated does not need to be where you plan to work; you just need the paperwork. Just come in and tell them that you are a dancer looking for a job and want a referral note for a sheriff card. They hear this often, and some places even have a package ready to provide all the information. Do not be discouraged if the first club does not provide documentation. Strippers are a dime in Las Vegas, and often the person you ask for the paperwork is too lazy to get up and look for it. Just move on to the next club. Reserve an hour or two if you are not familiar with the city of Las Vegas and where the clubs are located, to drive and obtain this reference bulletin.

Remember that it doesn't matter which club you receive the referral receipt from. You don't have to work there! Once you have the sheriff's card, you can take the test at any club you want. For many years, Cheetah & # 39; s was known to be the easiest club to obtain the referral newsletter. The girl at the door had a pile of them and they distributed hundreds a day. Over time, it became very well known that Cheetah & # 39; s would distribute the reference slips … so that everyone would go there first and never go back to work there! As a result, they stopped distributing references at the door and now you need to speak to a manager.

Take your two forms of identification, birth / naturalization certificate, if necessary, signed proof of appointment and $ 45 to the Digital Printing Department of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. It is in the western suburbs of Mandalay Bay, on Russell Road, between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. The address is: 5880 Cameron St Las Vegas, NV (702) 828-3271

Bring a book or magazine and be prepared to wait at least an hour and a half for fingerprints and background checks. If you have pending warrants or an extensive criminal history, your Sheriff's Card will likely be denied. If you pass, you won't have to do this process again for another five years.

Now that you have your work card, you will need a business license. You can obtain your Nevada state business license from the Taxation Department.

The two locations are:

Grant Sawyer Office Building 555 E. Washington Ave Suite 1300 Las Vegas, Nevada


2550 Paseo Verde Suite 180 Henderson, Nevada 89074

You can go to any location. The cost of a commercial license is $ 200 and is valid for one year. You will receive a temporary license that can be used immediately and a permanent copy will be sent to you by mail.

Take your work card and temporary business license to the club you want to work for. Most Las Vegas strip clubs are open 24 hours. The main night time starts at 9 pm, so go to the club at that time to be hired. Since there are so many girls showing up daily to be hired, many of the clubs don't make you change your street clothes to get tested. Instead, they rate you based on how you look in your street clothes, so look sexy! Most clubs have their own dress code rules, and they will tell you what those rules are. Some are dress clubs, others you can wear any costume you want.

The club will make a copy of your business license and want to see your sheriff card. You will need to show your sheriff card every time you show up for work. Some clubs add a barcode sticker on the back of the card, others use fingerprint recognition software to identify you when you join the club. You should also keep a copy of your business license in your purse, just in case. Make sure to renew your commercial license every year. You will receive the paperwork in the mail, reminding you to do so.

Undressing in Las Vegas is a completely different experience than undressing in other metropolitan cities. The supply and demand of this sector is unique in Las Vegas. Since the clubs are bigger and have more employees, it means that you have more bad dancers. It is just the Pareto Principle (80/20 rule) exemplified by larger numbers. It is more difficult to see the effects of this in a club with 20 dancers, but in a club with 250, it is more obvious. That's why you have guys who don't dancers or turn their backs on the trail. It's because in a club with 200 dancers, you have 160 of them who have no idea what to do correctly to make customers want to buy. As a result, you have guys who were harassed by seven or eight "I want to dance" girls before showing up. As a result, they tend to be more demanding and sometimes more distant to find the right girl to spend their money on.

Unlike your home club, you won't be able to choose the music for your scenario. In fact, many artists choose to pay more to NOT have to go on stage. There are different philosophies about why this can be beneficial. In some clubs, there are so many girls that many customers do not attend the stage. For every song that you are on stage, you may be selling a dance. In other clubs, the stage inclination is very good; so it’s worth being in rotation. Use your best judgment.

Many of the clubs publish a convention schedule in the locker room. You can access this schedule online. Some of the biggest conventions of the year are Consumer Electronic Show and The Adult Video Network in January, World of Concrete and MagicOnline in February, March Madness and ConExpo every 3 years in March, NAB in April, ICS in May, Gentlemen & # 39; s Club Expo in August and SEMA in November.

Also, cross-reference hotel rates for higher priced casinos like Bellagio, Wynn and Venetian. Whenever there is an abnormal increase in room rates, it reflects an increase in demand for hotel rooms.


Travel historic Route 66 through Arizona

Route 66 can trace its history until the late 1920s, when it was first proposed and presented. However, it was not until 1938 that the road was completely paved, from the eastern beginning in Chicago, Illinois, to the western terminal in Santa Monica, California, about 2,450 miles later. Of course, the route can be traveled east or west, although most Route 66 travelers prefer to go east to west, just as the Joad family did in John Steinbeck's famous literary work, The Grapes of Wrath.

Unfortunately, Route 66 began to be replaced in the 1960s by new interstate highways that bypassed many small towns along the way and were completely removed from the interstate highway system in 1985. However, in part for many small Route 66 organizations cities chambers of commerce, enthusiasts and historians have refused to let him die. In the past 25 years, there has been a new resurgence in historic tourism that has rekindled interest in preserving this great piece of Americana's history and nostalgia, which is Route 66.

Often called "The Mother Road", "Main Street of America" ​​or "Will Rogers Highway", the route runs through eight different states: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Let's take a look at the state of Arizona in more detail.


Heading west, Arizona is the 7th of the 8 states on Route 66 and has 401 miles from one border to the other. It has some of the most beautiful scenery, some of the most unmissable establishments, the highest elevation and the longest and uninterrupted stretch of Route 66 throughout the journey.

Geographically, Arizona is home to the Meteor Crater, Petrified Forest and Painted Desert. These places offer incredible photo opportunities, but also the chance to explore and hike these natural attractions.

About 75 miles in Arizona, in addition to the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert, is the city of Holbrook. Home to Motel Wigwam Village, most Route 66 travelers expect to sleep in a tent and many cite this landmark as a highlight of their trip. Further west is Joseph City, a Mormon establishment established in the late 1870s. Located in Joseph City, is the famous Jackrabbit Post Office. One of the most popular signature locations on Route 66 is the famous billboard that exclaims "HERE IT IS" located at the Jackrabbit Trading Post.

Further west, after the meteor crater and the cities "around the corner" Winslow, the extinct Two Guns, the abandoned twins and the "don't forget" Winona, is the city of Flagstaff. Flagstaff is home to the famous Lowell Observatory and is also the gateway to the Grand Canyon, located an hour's drive north. The canyon is well worth a trip parallel to Route 66 to see one of the eight natural wonders of the world. If you prefer, you can also access the spectacular Grand Canyon via the Grand Canyon railway from Williams, just 20 miles west of Flagstaff. Between Flagstaff and Williams is Brannigan Peak. At 7,320 feet above sea level, it is the highest point on the entire Rt route. 66

25 miles west of Williams is Ash Fork, the capital of the world. Right after Ash Fork, you can say goodbye to I-40 as you begin the longest stretch of Route 66 throughout the journey. Be sure to stop by the legendary Snow Cap Drive-in in Seligman and the fascinating general store in Hackberry before arriving in Kingman. Here you will find many commercial establishments still preserved, catering to the Route 66 traveler, including a very well made museum.

Make sure to leave Kingman while you still have daylight, because you will not miss the incredible scenery that lies ahead as you travel through the Black Mountain zigzags and hairpins ahead. Oatman waits, as do the many wild donkeys that call the old mining town home. Be sure to check out the historic Oatman hotel, where Clark Gable and Carole Lombard spent their honeymoon.

From Oatman, you can take a quick side trip to the Laughlin Nevada casinos and try your luck, or continue through Golden Shores, Topock and back to I-40 to cross the mighty Colorado River to California.