Archive | November, 2012

Weekend Getaway: New Orleans, LA Edition

30 Nov

New Orleans offers up many adventures for a quick getaway filled with food,jazz, history, and culture.  The culture in New Orleans is unlike any other.  As people immigrated to the United States, the people in New Orleans blended their individual cultures and cultivated one unique culture heavily influenced by Native Americans, Spanish, French, and Africans. 

Walk About

Stroll down St. Charles Avenue to marvel at 19th century mansions. 

Explore the New Orleans Cemeteries, also known as “Cities of the Dead”.  If that doesn’t spook you enough you can always take a guided ghost tour through the city.

Check out Magazine Street for local boutiiques, antiques, and galleries.

Wander around the Gardens. 

Besthoff Sculpture Garden

New Orleans Botanical Garden

Longue Vue House & Gardens



Cafe Amelie – Breakfast and Brunch

Liberty’s Kitchen – Breakfast and brunch

Dante’s Kitchen – Cajun/Creole

Cochon Butcher – Meat Shop/Sandwiches

Restaurant August – French

Tartine – French

Adolfo’s – Italian


Jazz and Blues

The Spotted Cat Music Club

The Blue Note

Candellight Lounge

d.b.a. New Orleans


Up in the Trees: North America

25 Nov

Sleep up in the trees in one of these nifty treehouses.

Cedar Creek Treehouse – Sleep among the Western Red Cedar trees in this ecofriendly treetop resort.  Located in Ashford, Washington, this spot is close to Mount Rainier National Park and Mount St. Helen’s.

Treehouse Point – Located 30 minutes outside of Seattle in Issaquah, Washington, this treehouse comes equipped with books and board games, perfect for the weekend getaway.  Leave the amenities behind and enjoy this cabin in the trees.

Out’n’About Treesort – This treesort won’t leave you stuck in a tree.  Located near Cave Junction, Oregon, this spot hosts many different outdoor activities for the adventurer.  Visitors can learn to construct treehouses at the Treehouse Insititute, zipline, go horseback riding, rafting, read in the library, and enjoy daily breakfast and socializing with other guests.

Lothlorien Woods Treehouse – Located in White Salmon, Washington is a quaint two-story treehouse.  Visitors can venture out to pick huckleberries, enjoy wine tastings, visit ice caves, and stargaze at the Goldendale Observatory, as well as many outdoorsy adventures.


Andaman Islands, India

20 Nov

The Andaman Islands are truly paradise on Earth.  Although the journey to these islands may be long and quite possibly stressful, ending up in one of the most remote places on Earth is worth it.  The payoff is a practically deserted island paradise perfect for the nature lover.  Contrast to the energy and chaos throughout most of India, these islands provide a serene escape from the world.  Located in the Bay of Bengal, these islands  offer tranquility, marine and free roaming wildlife, crystal beaches, and lush forests.

Activities on the islands range from snorkeling, scuba diving, trekking through the rainforest, day trips to more remote islands, mingling with local tribes, and even swimming with elephants.

Wikitravel has a great article that describes the culture, islands, and activities, and some safety tips for those interested in visiting the Andaman Islands.

Visitors are required to obtain permits to visit the islands.  It is recommended that travelers request a permit when applying for a visa to India.

Truly Unique Destinations

12 Nov

The writers over at Forbes put together this article on some truly unique destinations.  The article and additional picture montage explores several amazing destinations and what makes them unique.  From the remote land of Madagascar, to geothermal steam baths in Iceland, to an underwater museum in Cancun, this collection of destinations is unlike any other.

Visit plant and wildlife that exists nowhere else on Earth in Madagascar

Swim in Iceland’s geothermal baths

Snorkel or scuba among underwater sculptures in Cancun

Weekend Getaway: Austin, TX Edition

10 Nov

Austin is an extremely diverse town in the Texas Hill Country.  Mixed with art, diverse culture, and the great outdoors, Austin is the perfect spot for a fun filled weekend escape or day trip.  Austin has so much to offer it really doesn’t matter how much is in your wallet, just hop in your car and figure it out as you go.

Austin’s infamous slogan, “Keep Austin Weird,” began in an attempt to promote small businesses within the community but quickly spread, lending itself to support the local idea of individualism and expression.  This melting pot of artists, intellects, naturalists, and oddballs creates an atmosphere enjoyable for many.  The people here are proud to be Austinites and love their city for its uniqueness.

There are way too many spots to list so below are just a few spots to check according to the locals.  Austin definitely lends itself to many weekend trips.


Barton Spring Bridge and Lady Bird Lake – kayak, paddle boat, row, canoe, stand up paddle board, water bike, hike, or cycle this popular trail.  Definitely something for every adventure lover here.

Congress Avenue Bridge Bats (over lady bird Lake)- Close to 1 million Mexican Free Tail Bats escape into the night over Lady Bird Lake.  Viewable at dusk from mid March through November, with the best views in August just after the pups are born.   For best viewing contact the Bat Hotline (yes, the bat hotline!) at 416-5700 ext. 3636 for times.  Yet another unique Austin experience.  Cost: Free!

Barton Creek Greenbelt many trails with varying degrees of difficulty for the novice to the expert.  Activities include rock climbing, biking, kayaking, hiking, swimming holes:  Twin Falls, Sculpture Falls, and Campbell’s Hole where water is fed from the Balcones fault.  Entrance to the park is FREE and locals recommend visiting after a nice rain during drought season.  The trail also has several shops to stop and relax in as you wonder about in nature.

Lake Austin – A popular spot for fishing and boating.  Check out Austin Lake Park for camping and lake activities.

Pennybacker Bridge – Located over lake Austin, this minimalistic bridge was built to blend into the scenery and does not obstruct from the natural views of the city.  There is a an area that allows for a small hike, great views, and best of all it’s free!

Mount Bonnell – Another scenic point located along Lake Austin, visitors can walk the stairs for a great view of the city.

Deep Eddy This spring fed pool is the oldest pool in TX and is considered a historical landmark.   Enjoy a swim and a movie in the summer months.  Admission: $3.

Zipline over Lake Travis!

Food, Drink, Entertainment

Elephant Room – Jazz Bar

Cathedral of Junk – a fort built out of junk.  Private residnece, must call ahead

Jackalope Bar – Burgers, Booze, and pictures on a stuffed jackalope in a dive bar setting

Alamo Draft House – Eclectic shows, food, and drink

Ginny Little Longhorn – Live music, chicken shit bingo, BYOB

Magnolia Cafe – Open 24 hours, everyone raves about their breakfast

Kerbey Lane Cafe – Open 24 hours, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Supports local vendors.

South Congress Avenue – Wander around and check out the shops and restaurants.

Tour the Capitol – Tours offered daily and admission is free!

Music Festivals

Austin is the “Live Music Capital of the World.”  Check out Austin’s website for a list of music festivals by month.

Beyond Austin

Krause Springs Camping and swimming holes fed by natural springs.  Spicewood, TX, 30 miles west of Austin

Hamilton PoolTexas Outside describes Hamilton Pool as a “preserve [that] is managed as a natural area (preserve) with emphasis on habitat protection and restoration, environmental education for public and private groups, and ongoing research; it offers limited, day-use only, with recreational opportunities such as picnicking, hiking, swimming and nature study.”

Excuses, Excuses: Time and Money

2 Nov

The two biggest reasons people have for not travelling are usually lack of time and money.  Nomadic Mike addresses these issues on his blog in two seperate posts, offering some great solutions for these excuses.

The Ultimate Guide to Traveling When You have No Money outlines how to travel longer, smarter, and cheaper.

Fighting Cubicle Nation: Why You Have More Time to Travel Than You Think explores the freetime we often overlook in our day to day lives.

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