Texas – The Destination for Passionate Travelers

Whenever we think of Texas vacations, what primarily comes to our mind is the beautiful scenario of Alamo located in San Antonio. During the later part of the sixteenth century, the Spanish explorers crossed the Rio Grande River in order to give formation to one of the first missions in Texas very close to El Paso. Texas became an integral part of Mexico after the latter achieved independence from Spain.Texas revolution gained full momentum in 1853 due to the conflagration of internal conflicts between the original settlers and those who came from outside. In 1845, Texas was proud to be declared as the 28th state of US mainly after a series of devastating battles, which include the battle of the Alamo and the battle of San Jacinto. Texas has gained immense recognition as a leading agricultural and industrial power and the state is significantly noted for its wealth and prosperity.Texas occupies a total area of 695674 sq km with a population of over 19439337. A unique cultural combination of the Indians and the Spanish, French and other European explorers and missionaries have made Texas a colorful land of diversified cultural unifications. Some of the major attractions of Texas include the famous Johnson Space Center, which is the seat of significant space information seat. In order to enjoy the essence of Texas vacation you must surely visit the meandering banks of the San Antonio River situated in the Central or South Texas regions.Other places worth visiting in Texas includes the official museum of the state of Texas, successfully named after the late Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock. Texas Stadium has always been an international attraction as the home of the Dallas Cowboys. If you are interested about the various secrecies of marine habitation then you are free to take a glimpse at the Corpus Christi’s Texas State Aquarium. Other eminent Texas attractions include Buckhorn Saloon and Museum, Cathedral of Junk, Forbidden Gardens, Texas Prison Museum, Cascade Caverns and Ezekiel Airship.The Austin Airport Marriott South is a suitable Texas vacation rental from where you can enjoy the pleasure of Texas hill country. This well provided hotel is situated five miles south of downtown Austin and six miles from the University of Texas campus. Some of the other well-sufficed lodges of Texas are Camp Wood, Marathon, Water Valley, Austin, Ant Street Inn, Mariposa Ranch, Kyle, Fort Worth and MD Resort.In order to enjoy your stay in any Texas vacation rental you can hire cars from several companies available at the airport. Some of these significant car rental companies comprise Advantage, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz and National.In the whole of United States, Texas is the only destination where activities and attractions have taken wide dimensions to attract the attention of a large number of tourists internationally. Great food, golf, beaches, hunting, great accommodations and bird watching have enhanced the prestige of Texas as a foremost traveling destination.

A Visit To Canada British Columbia Is Truly A Worthy Experience

British Columbia is situated on the extreme west of Canada. On the northwest side, it is bounded by the US state of Alaska. The direct northern portion of Canada comprises Yukon and Northwest Territories. The eastern side of British Columbia is demarcated by Alberta and on the south, you will get to see the states of Washington, Idaho and Montana. Victoria situated at the southeast of Vancouver Island is the capital city of British Columbia. Towards the center of British Columbia, you will find Prince George the main center of modern urbanization. In 1871, British Columbia joined the confederation as the sixth most important province of Canada. In the year 2004, the population of British Columbia was 4168123.If you really want to enjoy the essence of British Columbia vacation then the various lodges, village country inns and river run cottages will surely make your dream come true. These interior provisions are wonderful locales where you are sure to discover calmness and peaceful environmental set up which usually lacks in the busy country life. An abundance of fauna and flora gives a splendid visual pleasure to cherish for the rest of your life.The British Columbia Real Estate Association precisely known as BCREA characterizes twelve member real estate boards and associated 14000 REALTORS® on all regional matters. They provide an extensive communications network, standard forms, government relations, required post-licensing courses and continuing education. The British Columbia Real Estate Association is also liable to encourage financial vivacity, provide accommodation prospects and builds societies with standard institutions and hospitable localities comprising respectable citizens.To have a real taste of British Columbia vacation and to let yourself melt away into the wild Canadian Rockies you can easily go for car hire Vancouver. Whether you are going for a shopping trip or for visiting the special and exotic locales of British Columbia, the easy car rental facilities in Vancouver at reasonable costs will surely prove a helping hand for you.Some of the main attractions which has successfully made British Columbia a glorious remembrance forever include Whistler Blackcomb Resort, Stanley Park of Vancouver, Butchart Gardens of Victoria situated on the Vancouver Island, Whistler Mountain, University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, Grouse Mountain in Vancouver, Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Center, China Town in Vancouver and many more to add on to the list. These attractions significantly establish British Columbia a paradise worth visiting in Canada.

Jamaica – The Perfect Destination For The Avid Tourist

Jamaica is the third largest of the Caribbean islands. The country has a richly diversified topography encompassing seas, mountains and coastlines. The tropical marine climate is tempered by high altitudes, north-east trade winds and land-sea breezes. Occasional floods, droughts and hurricanes are also known to occur. The highlands and lowlands are traversed by many rivers and waterfalls. The Yallahs river delta is a natural wonder. The Rio Grande is another main river.The history of Jamaica is as versatile as its geography. The country’s history ranges from the arrival of Columbus, the Spanish rule to the British colonization. Such a diverse history has resulted in a rich medley of cultures in Jamaica. Although crime is common in the crowded towns like Kingston, Jamaica is largely a safe tourism center. The predominant language is English. Jamaica offers a rare mix of modern city life and pristine natural glory. Tourism is augmented by the comforts of the many Jamaica beach rentals and Jamaica rental villas.There are virtually limitless options for a tourist in Jamaica. The crowded towns of Kingston and Montego Bay are alive with myriad activities. Montego Bay is the main tourist center of Jamaica. It is just the spot for partying, nightlife, shopping and golfing. The beautiful beaches are lined by different forms of Jamaica beach rentals. These include hotels, resorts or a luxurious private Jamaica rental villa. The capital city of Kingston is the seat of the traditional reggae music. The city also houses many museums, art galleries, theatres and nightclubs.Across the harbor of Kingston lies Port Royal, the once thriving historical city of Jamaica. Apart from beaches and cays, there are museums depicting the past of the city as a maritime piracy center and later the British naval base. Appleton estate produces the best of Jamaican rums. Mandeville is a quiet mountainous area with chilly weather. Falmouth is a typical Jamaican fishing village. Both these places offer good views of British architecture. Moore Town is the dwelling center of the native races enslaved by the Spanish.The Black River safari of Jamaican crocodiles is a major attraction. The Cockpit country houses the unique limestone formations which attract many tourists. The Discovery Bay has inviting beaches perfect for picnicing. The Blue Mountains offer exciting possibilities with natural vistas and famous coffee plantations. The Blue and John Crow National Park houses hundreds of endemic species of plants. It is also home to rare humming birds and buzzards.Hiking, water sports and beach hangouts are the most popular options in Jamaica. All in all, it proves to be a complete package of fun and leisure for any tourist.

Own A Slice of Paradise in Mexico Quintana Roo

Is your heart set on a getaway home in Mexico Quintana Roo? Real estate Mexico Quintana Roo brokers offer a plethora of rental and purchase options from ocean front villas and bungalows to condos and apartments to make your Quintana Roo real estate dream come true.Quintana Roo, the youngest state of the Mexican Republic stretches down the eastern part of the Yucatan Peninsula and has an area of 50,212 square kilometers. This enticing state is bordered by the Bay of Chetumal and Rio Hondo to the south, the Caribbean Sea to the east and the country of Belize to the south. It is the youngest state in the country.Being the eastern most state, it is the first state to receive the morning rays of the sun. It is also one of the only states that can boast of magnificent underground rivers with limestone sinkholes, perfect for diving. Its beautiful natural landscape, idyllic location and wonderful climate make it the perfect holiday destination. The state of Quintana Roo with its magical beauty and mystical history lures all types of travelers.From untouched beaches and large coral reefs to important archaeological zones and state-of-the-art spa-treatments, Quintana Roo has enough to offer both the luxury as well as the budget traveler. As far as accommodation is concerned, whether you are looking for a simple studio unit to rest at the end of long day, a large private vacation home for your family or a full service star hotel to pamper yourself; you are sure to find what you want at Quintana Roo.Chetumal, lying on the shores of the Bay of Chetumal is the capital of magical Quintana Roo. Chetumal Bay forms the mouth of the Hondo River, the only river in Quintana Roo and the natural border between Mexico and Belize. Some of the most stunning Mayan ruins are to be found in this bewitching state, including Tulum, Coba and Kohunlich. Sian Kaan, the largest reserve in the state, and Holbox, a splendid place for bird-watching, are a delight for naturalists. The state is also well known for its pristine beaches and exclusive tourist facilities at other destinations like Cancun, Cozumel, Puerto Aventura, Isla Mujeres, Akumal and Playa del Carmen. Activities range from ecotourism, horseback riding and golf, to fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing and sailing.Over the past five years, the Quintana Roo real estate has generated a great deal of interest from citizens from the United States. Its proximity to the US and gorgeous beaches tempt the holidaymaker to own a piece of paradise in this enchanting terrain.Because Quintana Roo was, until recently, an underdeveloped region, the Mexican government has simplified real estate Mexico Quintana Roo acquisition by foreigners. Anchored by Cancun, Cozumel Island and Playa del Carmen, the entire Mexican state of Quintana Roo’s Caribbean coast of over 200 miles is rapidly being developed, and you too could own your own little apartment, condo, villa or bungalow in Mexico Quintana Roo.

When Diplomacy Fails with Tobacco Beetles

Tobacco beetles (Lasioderma serricorne) are nasty little buggers; left to their own devices, they will eat tobacco, lay eggs in cigars, and make cocoons, completely destroying your cigars in the process. Because their eggs hatch quickly, 5 to 10 days, and tobacco beetles can lay up to 100 eggs at a time, it is important to act at the first sign of an outbreak: a pin-sized hole on the wrapper of one your cigars.Once you have discovered an infestation, you have two options: you can either dispose of the infested cigar or freeze it.1. Disposal:Carefully place the infested cigar in a couple of well- sealed plastic bags so the tobacco beetles won’t spread, and place the bag in the garbage can.This method may be quick and easy, but it is not particularly cost effective; chances are, if eggs have hatched in one cigar, they have hatched in other cigars as well. So unless you’re absolutely sure the tobacco beetles haven’t spread to other cigars, or you’re willing to throw out all of your cigars, freezing them is probably a better route to take.2. Freezing:Tobacco beetles die at temperatures below 40,,aF (4,,aC), so freezing your infested cigars is the most effective way to kill any tobacco beetles. However, freezing does have its risks: the cold air can dry out the cigars, and if the cigars are warmed to quickly, they can split as the filler tobacco expands. Additionally, freezer smells can negatively impact the flavor of the cigars.But, if you follow the directions listed below, you shouldn’t have any problems, and you will be smoking your beetle-free cigars in no time.

Of course, it is always easier to prevent an outbreak from happening in the first place. Follow the 4 tips below, and you should remain free from outbreaks.

Keeping your cigars in a cool, dry place is an excellent preventive measure against tobacco beetle outbreaks. And, if you do happen to have find an infestation of tobacco beetles, simply freeze your cigars for 3 days, and then slowly return them to room temperature.

Swimming with the Dolphins

I have always felt an intense pull toward marine mammals. This is a weird sensation for someone from Iowa with no substantial bodies of water nearby. Swimming with the dolphins has always been a goal. Two years ago, I got that chance. I was planning a trip to Florida with my son and some friends. At the beginning of the trip, we participated in several boat rides where we had the chance to view dolphins in the wild. I had seen whales on whale watching trips in California but they were always so far away. Which is the way it should be, I would not want to be harassing a whale in the wild. But on this Florida trip, the dolphins would come right up to our boat. I even actually heard air as it was blown out of a dolphin’s blowhole, which was a thrilling event for me. I can still remember hearing it.After leaving Ft. Myers, we drove down to Key Largo to stay for two days and soon I would actually be in the water with a dolphin. Dolphins Plus was our destination. This trip was planned with the dolphins as the highlight, it had been in the planning for a year. I was so excited that sleeping the night before was difficult. It was finally morning and we headed for the Dolphins Plus facility. Dolphins Plus is a education and research facility located on Key Largo. Dolphins Plus heads up the Marine Mammal Conservancy, which works to rescue, rehabilitate and release injured marine mammals. While we were there the Conservancy was working with a group of pilot whales that stranded themselves in the Keys.We had reservations to participate in a structured swim with the dolphins. During the structured swim two people entered the water with two dolphins. A trainer was present. We were asked to get in, my son and I went first. The next step was to hold out our arms with palms down. The dolphins swam close to us with their backs arched so we could touch them. This was how they got used to us and us to them. I could not believe I was in the water with a dolphin…touching one! The dolphins skin was not what I expected it to be. For some reason, although I was well aware that they are mammals, I expected something cold and rubbery not warm and silky. We were instructed to do certain activities with the dolphins. It was truly an exhilarating experience. My son and I swam with L.B. and Dinghy, two of ten Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins at the Dolphins Plus facility. It was such a powerful experience being so close to those beautiful, intelligent creatures. As we were leaving L.B. hung out near the surface, just floating there, with one eye out of the water watching us. I felt so connected with all the world, making eye contact with him. After you look into a dolphin’s eye, it seems unfathomable that anyone would do anything to harm them.There is still much controversy surrounding the dolphin-safe tuna issue. I did not know this, just like I am assuming that most Americans do not. Dolphin-safe labels do not necessarily mean no dolphins were hurt or killed, just less. That is unacceptable. Since the onset of purse seining in the 1950s, seven million dolphins have been killed. Purse seining, the preferred method for tuna fishing, involves the use of a large net that would capture dolphins and the main target tuna, which swim in schools under dolphins. The idea is that the dolphins get out but they all do not. Since dolphins breath air they can be easily drowned or injured when trapped in a net. In 1990 the three main companies, Starkist, Chicken of the Sea, and Bumble Bee, that supply 90% of the tuna in the US started using the dolphin-safe label, which indictes that no dolphin deaths have been observed. Observed being the key word. Now the government wants to loosen these dolphin safe rules, so we can import more tuna from Mexico, the country that both harvests the most tuna but also kills the most dolphins.Especially after actually meeting a dolphin in person, I want to do whatever I can to help. It is essential for letters to be sent to the Whitehouse to let them know how important dolphin conservation is to people. A letter can be sent to the whitehouse by going to http://www.savedolphins.org, filling out your name and address then hit send. Hopefully, President Bush and the Secretary of Commerce will soon realize that loosening the restrictions protecting these amazing creatures is totally unacceptble.

Tahiti, Mon Amour

Every time I write of Tahiti I find myself using the cliche – Tahiti, Mon Amour. But Tahiti is my love. A place that I have returned to more times that I can count. A place to which I shall return again and again.We had landed at Faaa airport in Tahiti at two o’clock in the morning. The air was warm and heavy with the scents of tropical flowers and fruits. Vahines in pareus had put garlands around our necks. The bus was taking us from the airport to the main town of Papeete. There was a full moon.On our right was the dark bulk of Tahiti. On our left, the sea – a silver tray in the moonlight. In the centre of the sea, the black high mass that is the island of Moorea. Along the harbour walls were moored the island traders and the yachts. Ahead were the flickering lights of Papeete. The Australian lady behind me tapped me on the shoulder and said: ‘Excuse me, if this was the Parramatta Road, would this be about Homebush?’Thankfully most travellers to Tahiti have a little more romance in their soul. I am at one with Maurice Baring who wrote: ‘Tahiti is the whole thing; the real thing; the thing that one has dreamt about all one’s life; the thing that made Stevenson leave Europe for ever. All tellers of fairy tales, and all poets from Homer downwards, have always imagined the existence of certain ‘Fortunate’ islands which were so full of magic and charm that they turned man from his duty and all tasks … and held him a willing captive.’Tahiti is, indeed, the Fortunate island. It is so damn beautiful it hurts your eyes. True, Tahiti has changed, is changing.No longer is Quinn’s on the waterfront the bar for ramping, stamping, tearing, swearing sailors, French legionnaires and misfits. (Was it not there that a legionnaire, taken with le cafard, smacked a wine bottle against the side of my head because, as he later explained, I reminded him of someone he disliked? It was).And LaFayette, the most notorious night spot of the Pacific, no longer runs from late night to dusk with a non-stop demonstration of the hip-snapping tamure – a dance which is, indeed, a vertical expression of a horizontal desire – or features fights on the hour, every hour.Yes, some of the sweet simplicity of the islands and the vahines is now missing, but this is still Tahiti. The island of Gauguin, of Nordhoff and Hall, of Melville and Somerset Maugham, of Pierre Loti and of, yes, Marlon Brando. A Fortunate isle which is the most romantic spot on earth.No longer can you clamber on a slow steamer and work your way to Tahiti through a pattern of islands. Instead, fly direct to Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia. The cheapest way to visit Tahiti is by package tour. You need a visa.Please note that there is no tipping in Tahiti. Tipping is considered offensive by Tahitian standards and customs and you will look an illiterate boor if you insist. Do not tip.Bring certain essentials with you for in Tahiti, where everything is imported over a long distance, they can be expensive. The essentials are sunblock – and a lot of it, insect repellent and at least three swimming costumes and a pair of reef sandals so that you do not cut your feet on dead coral. You need bring no formal clothes and, indeed, hardly any clothes at all. This is not a formal dressing up sort of place.The weather is never less than perfect. The scenery never less than stunning. There are, in theory, two seasons. From April to November it is said to be cooler and drier and from November to March warmer and wetter. I have never noticed this.In the past I always stayed on the island of Moorea opposite at the Bali Hai simply because of the insanity of the then owners Muk, Jay and Kelly.On the lawn of that splendid hotel I played frisbee with Art Buchwald and James Michener and lost. And then sat with a bucket of banana daiquiris and listened to Shel Silverstein sing mad, bad songs and then danced the tamure through the night.I was younger then.The Bali Hai Hotel is still there as both a time share establishment and a hotel.Kelly has gone but the place is now run by Rose, a most splendid person,with Muk and Jay around there somewhere. If you stay at the Bali Hai try and get an over-the-water bungalow, well worth the extra money. The hotel used to have an advertisement – If you are coming to Tahiti and are not booked into the Bali Hai someone has made a terrible mistake. One of the few advertising campaigns with which I ever agreed.The Hotel Hyatt Regency Tahara’a probably is the most upmarket hotel and is visually stunning; built on a cliff face. A bus takes you down to the beach for water sports. I also have stayed at what was The BeachComber and is now the InterContinental Resort Tahiti and has amazing views of Moora. The Puunui hotel is on Tahiti Iti, the small extension at the end of the island which tourists rarely visit. It has spectacular views and is near the golf course.Purely in theory to get around there is le truck which is unscheduled, disorganised, impossible to predict but great fun. Most visitors never venture although it is an amazing experience for this is the basic form of transportation on Tahiti and may very well get you to where you are going, eventually. These open-sided trucks start from the market in Papeete. Taxis are ruinously expensive and should be avoided. Around midnight the prices double. Most hotels provided regular bus shuttles. Hire cars are widely available and are good value.The French influence in Tahiti is all pervasive.The serious restaurants range from good to very good. Your only problem may be getting a table, especially on Sunday lunchtime when tout Tahiti goes out to eat. Wine is a silly price and can range from rotgut to sublime.Restaurants where I have eaten and which I can recommend are L’Auberge du Pacifique, Le Rubis, and Les Trois Brasseurs. The local French population is serious about food and standards generally are high and the prices match this. At some stage try a Tahitian tamaara’a feast. But it is not a gourmet experience. Do not eat at your hotel. It is too damn expensive. Wander into town when you want breakfast. It will be half the price and twice as good.In the evening there is a site on the waterfront – cooked food stalls called les roulottes. Inexpensive, good food, very Tahiti. Not expensive certainly compared to hotel food prices.What else do I do when I am in Tahiti?Hire a car and drive around (the road does not go all the way around the island). Go up into the singing mountains. Visit the Gauguin museum. See how accurately he portrayed the beauty of the place and the people. Visit poor Pierre Loti’s pool. See the only memorial to a member of a royal family – the Pomare dynasty – that incorporates a bottle of Benedictine. Sit at a sidewalk cafe in Papeete and watch the passing parade. In ten minutes you will see a dozen of the most beautiful women in the world. Noel Coward did this and hated it. In this, as in much else, he was wrong.Go out to the lagoonarium – oh, horrid word – at Punaauia and see the fish life of the Pacific. Take the ferry to Moorea – about 45 minutes on the Moorea ferry. While on Moorea go horse back riding on the Rupe Rupe Ranch or ride underwater in an aqua-submarine and pretend you are a fish.One of the great attractions of Tahiti is the staggering beauty of the islands and the even more staggering beauty of Tahitian women. Because of fiction, because of Mutiny on the Bounty, because of folklore, because of the unbelievably sexy dance, the tamure, there is a worldwide myth that they are morally loose and available. Nothing, nothing could be further from the truth. Act with respect and decorousness and all will be well. Push your luck and you will be in for a bad time. Tahitian girls are gorgeous, proud, smart and sophisticated and not into falling for holiday making visitors. For certain sure.That still leaves the dancing.In 1820, article 23 of the law of the Leeward Islands was passed. It stated clearly that ‘all lascivious songs, games or entertainments are strictly forbidden’. A law, thanks be to all the gods, eventually totally ignored. The true nightlife of Tahiti, of Papeete, revolves around the tamure, a dance which has no equal. The Tahitians love music, love to dance, love to celebrate. Papeete reflects this. Especially on a Friday night when the town is wild. There is a tradition in Tahiti that you should wear a flower behind your ear. Wear one and go out on the town.Useful sitesTahiti Tourismhttp://www.tahiti-tourisme.com/Club Bali Hai Mooreahttp://www.balihaihotels.com/Tahitihttp://www.tahiti.com/Tahiti Explorerhttp://www.tahiti-explorer.com/

Packing for a Caribbean Vacation? Check This List

No matter who you are, it’s easy to get caught up in the fun and excitement of taking a trip to the Caribbean. And, of course, that means it’s easy to forget a few items along the way. Most can be picked up later, but the items on this list are essential.If you’ve considered everything on this list, you shouldn’t be missing a thing during your trip to the Caribbean. After all, these islands are known for what they offer travelers. Style, seclusion, niche gifts, and nightlife all play a part in creating the Caribbean atmosphere.