Newport Beach Gondola Ride

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The gondola, being over 800 years old, is an esteemed a symbol of romance.  While thinking of a gondola may bring about thoughts of Venice, Italy, the gondola ride found in Newport Beach can be even as romantic when it concerns the symbol of romance.

When you sit in the black and sleek gondola, you will be steered into the fairy-tale environment of the hidden canals beyond Newport Beach.  Most of the time, the person steering the gondola will seem discreet yet mysterious, saying nothing and hearing nothing.  

In this sense, the boat would almost appear to be moving along by magic, gliding with nothing to interrupt the soft music. At times, you could hear the splashing of a fish breaking the surface of the water, which really adds to the music and the tempo of the gondola ride.

Having the gondola floating very close to the surface of the water, you will feel as though every sense you have is being tapped.  The heat of the sun, the smell of the water, and the swooshing of the waves will set your mind away like never before.

As you travel by the canals, you will find yourself questioning if the houses are abandoned and just how romantic the atmosphere and setting make you feel.  Even though you could have the urge to swing your fingers in the water, the relaxing feel of the gondola would make you feel as though you are too relaxed to move a muscle!

Once the sun sets, you will pass other gondolas as they journey through the canals.  On a couple ride, the gondola can help to rekindle the fire or just take you to a whole new world.  When you return to the docks, you’ll perhaps find yourself wanting that the ride would never end.

If you have never tried gondola ride, it is one thing that you must experience.  As a honeymoon ride, wedding ride, couple ride, or just a couple of friends, the gondola ride is something that would make you feel like never before.

While there are only a couple of providers of gondola rides in Newport Beach, each one gives you the ride of a lifetime. The gondola ride adds a touch of romance to Newport Beach, which is something each and every couple ought to have the pleasure of experiencing.

If you plan on traveling to Newport Beach or if you already reside in the area, a gondola ride is something you should not hesitate to try.  It gives a whole new sense to the word romance and can quickly make you forget everything that has bothered you in life -even for a short moment.

Copyright © 2011 Athena Goodlight
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Recommended Bird Watching Locations in the US and Europe

Bird watching is a rapidly growing outdoor hobby where both children and adults engage in.  Its growing popularity has something to do with the benefits and joys hobbyist savor.  Bird watching could be done at your backyard.  But some birdwatchers prefer to combine vacation, travel and birding.

Here are some of the best locations for bird watching.

United States: The following are regarded to be the best ten places in the United States for bird watching.

• Nevada – this state recognized to be among the hottest tourist destinations on the planet functions as the home for a few of the rarest species of birds and bird favorites amongst bird watchers.  In the core of the state rests National Wildlife Refuge.

• Montana – is a likewise a bird watcher’s paradise.  The 7th most rare bird species dwells in Montana and protected by federal and state law. 

• Maine – the climate here makes it excellent for migratory birds, more hobbyist visit Maine throughout winter which the best time for bird watching here.

• Florida – this state is home for the most beautiful birds that the world has ever seen.  This state holds an yearly tour for bird watching, it's likewise one of the highly coveted destinations.

• Alaska – this state might seem cold but several native species reside in this state.

• Indiana- there are multitudes of state parks in this state making it great with bird watchers.  The parks inside this state are secured and house a lot of rare species of birds.

• Washington – this state has huge natural forests that pepper the landscape.  The second rarest bird in the country dwells in the borders of Washington State.

• Ohio – this state also has numerous state parks that serve as birds' sanctuaries.

• California- is frequently visited for their scenic beauty and of course, bird watching.

• Oregon – the rarest bird could be chanced upon in this state, which make this state its summer home.

The forests of Bulgaria and the Pyrenees of France are also teeming with bird life making it a paradise for bird watchers.   

Here are the top locations in Europe:

• Orkney Islands, Scotland – this archipelago is the sanctuary for an amazing number of birds like guillemot, puffin, kittiwake, razorbill, breeding fowl and the short- eared owl.

• Camargue, France – this location is a 210,000 acre national park in the wide Rhone delta and swarms with herons, shorebirds, and gulls. This is also the breeding place for the Greater Flamingo.

• Faroe Islands, Denmark – this group of islands contains 18 islands resting between Norway and Iceland where birdlife is abundant.

• Yell, Shetland Isles – this island is distant and scarcely habited.  You could take a coastal walk and not just see the birds but the marine life too.

• Iceland – high latitude birding could be done here because bird habitats can be found in towering cliffs.

• Bulgaria – spring is the finest season for birdwatching in this country because autumn migrating Asian birds go along here.

• Pembrokeshire, Wales – there are numerous island bird sanctuaries offering refuge for a lot of species of birds and all types of wildlife.

• Greece – there are 196 crucial bird areas in this country.  Other birds even stay in Greece throughout winter, which is an unequalled phenomena in Europe.

• Pyrenees, France – this is among Europe’s exciting birding destinations. 

• Spitsbergen, Svalbard Norway – there are abundant seabird settlements and species granting it to be one of the leading birdwatching locations.

There are excellent places to go and visit to do some birdwatching.  But if these places are not accessible, you could always do some birdwatching at your local park or in your backyard.

Copyright © 2011 Athena Goodlight

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Budget Travel Tips For Your Family Road Trip

Your annual road trip to visit your beloved relatives with your family isn't a good time to be wasting money on unimportant things or services. Road trips are the kind of holiday activities where saving money is very possible and easy achieve. Follow these simple steps to make your holiday road trip one of the best and most affordable one you have ever taken.

A large amount of money can be saved on food. Pack some snacks or even a picnic basket with a meal or two before leaving the house. Stopovers are great for stretching your legs and at the same time enjoying a picnic meal.

If you are planning to make stopovers to dine out during your trip, take advantage of the several restaurants that offer children's meals or discounted prices for children.  Research on these matters before starting your trip.  Take note of their location and what they can offer to know how much savings can be made.

Because filling the car with fuel can be the most expensive part of your trip, especially when car fuel prices are sky -high, make every necessary moves to save money on car fuel.  When filling up, use a credit card that has rebate offers on the cost of petrol purchased. Generally, nationwide gasoline station chains offer credit card rebates to their loyal patrons. Keep in bear in mind that you can only use same gas station companies when you are using a loyal patron card.

On some longer road trips an overnight full stop and accommodation may be needed. Research lodging options early. Use online resources before your road trip to look for a good hotel or bed and breakfast that offers sensible rates. When you travel with children find places that can offer free accommodation for children promos.

Look for a hotel that offers the best complimentary services. A lot of hotels provide complimentary continental breakfasts and others have snack bars as well. Hotels can also be handy in offering vouchers and discounted rates for local attractions and restaurants, too.

Lastly, be safe. Road accidents increase during the holidays due to the large number of people traveling. Only drive within the assigned speed limits. Bring a first aid kit, emergency supplies and drinking water.  Drive and arrive safely!

Copyright © 2011 Athena Goodlight 

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Surf, Yoga & Spa Retreats for Women

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Surf Goddess Retreats provides a luxury surf, yoga & spa vacation for women where guests learn to surf, while taking time to pamper themselves in an enchanting environment that revitalizes the body, mind & spirit.

Starting at US $2,195 Per Trip

>> Click For Details & Pictures

RealAdventures | Bali, Indonesia Yoga | Indonesia Yoga | Indonesia Vacations | Yoga | Bali, Indonesia

Mysterious Cities of Gold - The Secret Inca City That Was Never Found

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Somewhere in the depths of far eastern Peru lies Paititi, a legendary Inca city that has been lost to mankind for centuries. The Inca’s purportedly hid their treasure in this hidden city, to keep it safe from the frequently invading Spaniards.

Where are the possible locations of Paitit? Is Paititi just a legend or another real city hiding in the jungle just waiting to be found?
Are there any other facts behind the fiction?

Ann Davey will shed light on these mysteries. Read more about the Mysterious Cities of Gold - The Secret Inca City That Was Never Found

Travel Destinations: Sabi Sands and Safari Tours in South Africa

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Sabi Sands is the perfect vacation safari for those who truly appreciate the preservation of wildlife that is found in South Africa. Sabi Sands is a group of privately owned game preserves in the Northeast corner of the Kruger National Park, consisting of undisturbed 2 million ha of bushveld. There are not only lions, rhino, warthogs, leopards, and zebras to watch, there are over 300 species of birds, including rare birds such as the beautiful Horus Swift. Africa has much to offer to the family vacationers, for a reasonable price, beyond lions, tigers, and thatched huts.

Read more from Linda Smith's article:  Travel South Africa

How to Choose Airline Ticket Package Deals

Before you agree to purchase any airline ticket, it won't hurt to look around and see if there are any other package deals that may be a good bargain. A package deal is when you not only have your airline tickets but perhaps you get a free hotel room for a day or deductions to local attractions.

As you are going there at any rate, it never hurts to get some alternatives in the way of entertainment or lodging. Package deals are most generally related with vacations and can include anything from vouchers to VIP passes.

Package deals come in all shapes and sizes and can be influenced by a lot of things.

Las Vegas puts up amazing hotels and rides day in and day out and one way to push a new hotel or an attraction is to have it in some sort of package deal.

If you were going to fly there and stay on at the MGM Grand at regular price but the Luxor will give you a free Hoover Dam tour with in a package deal, a lot of people will choose the Luxor.

Another type of package deal can take place if you are buying several tickets at a time. You might be in charge of this for a business or just have a really large family but often you could get a group package deal.

Airlines like groups since they spend money in the airport and in the plane and if they have a really good experience, they'll likely tell somebody about it. This all leads to larger revenue in the long run even if the airline drops off a little profit at first.

Which Airline Ticket Deals Should You Avoid?

Free airline tickets. Do they really exist?

You might have been curious about advertisements or websites that  assure no strings attached airline tickets to a smashing place like Orlando or Hawaii. A few of these may even include hotel rooms!

Does this sound too good to be true? Well, regrettably, it is. These cons are usually arranged by time-share companies and what they do not tell you is that you'll be asked to attend their seminars every day. You will be able to live with a short seminar right? Think again.

These -seminars- finish at minimum 4 hours every day you are there. If you do not attend them, you might not be able to get your free airline ticket back home or even have your hotel room canceled.

Sure it's underhanded but lawfully these companies are doing what they say. They offer free airline tickets with the promise of vacation and in a sense they do comply.

If you think you are able to listen to 4 hours of sales pitches each day and still try to have a blast later, go for it. If you know it's a negative idea, stay away.

A lot of airline deals center during bad times of year. In the fall, you will see ads for very cheap Caribbean airline tickets.

Hmm..What is it that happens in the Caribbean each fall? Oh yeah! Hurricanes! The encounters of a hurricane coming to the exact place you're visiting is pretty thin but if it does happen, you're stuck there for the length of the storm.

Be very careful when slobbering over these cheap airline tickets in the fall. The same goes for for Japan and nearby islands in the spring.

Top Attractions in Beijing- The Ming Tombs

Thirteen of the seventeen emperors from the Ming Dynasty are buried in what is known as the 13 tombs. Only two of the tombs excavated are open to the public, Dingling and Changling. Changling was the first of these to be opened to the public in 1958 after a two year period of renovation. Dingling has been more extensively excavated of the two but its access leaves Changling as the better option for many visitors.

The site of the Ming Tombs are just 50 kilometres from central Beijing and easy to reach by tourist or local buses or a combination of train and bus.

Read more and take virtual journey with John Smither to  The Ming Tombs