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ARRIBA   ARRIBA   TO   ARUBA!

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Now as we fly over the beautiful skies high above the Caribbeans; we see many small polka-dots that are in fact islands; but where shall we land next…Jamaica, Bahamas (all of those wonderful places we have been before–and loved it!), …now where shall we land our plane next—-yes ARUBA .  What of this apparently beautiful island?

Well according to research, I learned a few facts about Aruba.  First, is that it “is 20 miles island of the Lesser Antilles in the southern Caribbean Sea, located  about 7 miles north of the coast of  Venezuela and east of Colombia.  It is referred to as the ABC Islands.

FYI:  Aruba together with Bonaire and Curaçao,  forms a group referred to as the ABC islands of the Leeward Antilles, the southern island chain of the Lesser Antilles.  Collectively, Aruba and the other Dutch islands in the Antilles are commonly referred to as the Netherlands Antilles or the Dutch Antilles.” (wikipedia)

Pictured above is ARUBA in relations to South American, as you can see it is nestled just south of Venezuela and north of  the other Caribbean Islands, much like a small package or gift to us, the passengers and crew members aboard the “Pilot to the World”.

…now above is a closer look of the island of ARUBA; it seems indeed a wonderful place for Tourist such as oursleves looking for something unique…”unlike much of the Caribbean region, Aruba has a dry climate and an arid, cactus-strewn landscape. This climate has helped tourism, as visitors to the island can reliably expect warm, sunny weather. It has a land area of about 69.1 square miles and is densely populated with a total of 101,484 inhabitants last counted at the 2010 Census.  Also, what is most beneficial is that it lies outside the hurricane belt!”

FYI: The hurricane belt is an area in the Atlantic Ocean, including the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, which is prone to hurricanes during the Atlantic hurricane season (June 1 through November 30…with September being the most active and May being the least). So we are travelling in a good time frame:)

Brief facts about our new destination of Aruba:

‘Aruba is widely known for its white sandy beaches on the western and southern coasts of the island, relatively sheltered from fierce ocean currents, and this is where most tourist development has taken place! The northern and eastern coasts, lacking this protection, are considerably more battered by the sea and have been left largely untouched by humans.”  Therefore, we shall spend our time on those western and southern coasts…because safety is enjoyment and it is why we vacation!
Area: 74.52 sq miles (193 km²)
Currency: Aruban florin
Government: Constitutional monarchy
Population: 108,141 (2011) World Bank

What we should know about spending MONEY?: The Aruban Florin AWG

 AWG is the 3 letter currency code representing the currency of Aruba which is commonly known as the “Florin” (pictured above).  “The exchange rate of the Aruban florin has remained steady in recent years at 1.78 florins to 1 US Dollars.   Because of this fact, and due to a large number of American tourists like ourselves, many businesses operate using US dollars instead of florins, especially in the luxury hotel & resort districts.”…and that is where we plan to book our stay.  As my dear mother stated “live like a pauper and vacation like a QUEEN!”.
FYI:  “Pauper” is a very poor person that is living a meager (lacking fullness or richness) life.
           “Queen” is a woman, or something personified as a woman, that is foremost or preeminent in any respect.

What Language may we hear spoken while in Aruba?

Now, when we are in Aruba we should now what languages may be spoken (regardless if we can speak them of not….knowledge is POWER): “On the Caribbean island of Aruba, there are many languages spoken. The official language is Dutch, and schools there require students to learn both English and Spanish.  Although French and, to a lesser extent, Portuguese are also present on the island. However, the mother tongue and primary vernacular of almost all Arubans is a local creole language known as  “Papiamento“, according to  the Government it is an Afro-Portuguese Creole”

TIP: Whenever one reads or hears the word “Afro”  as a prefix of any nationality or country, to my experience, it is used to denote someone with also a African of Black desent (for example Afro-American or Afro-Latina).

FYI: Papiamento is a creole language with roots mainly from Portuguese, and to a lesser extent, from Dutch and English, and originated in the 16th century as a means of communication among slaves and slave drivers.

Selected Aruban Papiamento phrases (to aid as we experience the bueatiful island):

Papiamento Spanish Portuguese Dutch English
Bon dia Buenos días Bom dia Goedemorgen Good morning
Bon tardi Buenas tardes Boa tarde Goedemiddag Good afternoon
Bon nochi Buenas noches Boa noite Goedenacht Good night
Bon bini Bienvenido Bem vindo Welkom Welcome
Danki Gracias Obrigado Dank u/Dank je Thank you
Ayo Adiós Adeus Tot ziens Good-bye
Pasa un bon dia Que tenga un buen día Passa/Tenha um bom dia Fijne dag Have a good day
Con ta bay? ¿Cómo estás?/¿Cómo te va? Como está/vai? Hoe gaat het? How are you?
Mi ta bon (Yo) Estoy bien (Eu) Estou bem Met mij gaat het goed I am fine
Cuant’or tin? Cuanto ora tin? ¿Qué hora es?/¿Qué horas son? Que hora tem?/Que horas são? Hoe laat is het? What time is it?
Mi por papia Papiamento (Yo) Puedo hablar papiamento (Eu) Posso falar papiamento Ik spreek Papiaments I can speak Papiamento
Si Sim Ja Yes
No No Não Nee No
Aruba ta bunita Aruba es bonita Aruba é bonita Aruba is mooi Aruba is beautiful

What should we do while in Aruba!

Now that we are acquainted with a few words and catch phrases that will allow us to get around comfortably as tourists while in Aruba, we can better absorb some of the local culture. Luckily most hotels and restaurants proudly display the local Artworks and Exhibits that appear to have continual expositions throughout the year.  There are weekly outdoor markets showcasing local handicrafts from the local artists.  Many products are proudly labeled “made in Aruba”, and it is included with the edibles and collectables, and handicrafts.  All these items can make interesting souvenirs for our friends and family back home. What is most thrilling are the Carnival theme nights; with their delicious and sumptuous buffets.  We will love that fact that there are a great dinner options for tourists, like ourselves, to get our fill of the variety of the local cuisine.  If we wish, we can try your hand at the popular casinos tables, even the gaming chips reflect various cultural elements (although I strongly recommend doing this only as a form of entertainment and not a means of gaining wealth)…let’s spin the wheel of fortune for fun!

Therefore, lay back relax and take in all of the beauty that is ARUBA! or we can sit back with your friends and instead of taking in a picture show, which we can do anywhere, take in the: mise en scène !

Okay, so now who would not want to go to a beautiful location with its white powered sugary beaches, with crystal blue clear waters?!  As one of the most popular of the Caribbean islands, Aruba is the farthest west of the Dutch “ABC” islands.  Located only 15 miles off the coast of Venezuela.  One thing that becomes apparent is that Aruba is not: a lush, tropical destination. If fact, the desert-like terrain is quite the flat and arid with scattered fields of cacti and aloe vera plants, similar to New Mexico or Arizona.  Strange to share the experience, on the same Caribbean island, of visiting a white powdery sand beach along side turquoise blue colored waters then visit brown grainy sands with sprouting prickly cacti!

FYI:  Cacti (plural of Cactus) are almost exclusively New World plants. This means that they are native only in North America, South America,  and the West Indies.  The Tehuacán Valley of Mexico has one of the richest occurrences of cacti in the world (the earlier name of Mexico City) means “place of the sacred cactus.” The coat of arms of Mexico to this day shows an eagle, snake, and cactus.).

Well just how beautiful is it…have you ever heard the saying…”this looks like it could be a postcard”!?  Well, Aruba is an island for lazy beach days and energetic late party nights, so we took other’s recommendation and made Aruba a land-based vacation (translation not our usual  cruise).  Because of the fact that it is a relatively long flight from the US,  we should allow ourselves to spend at least a five nights’ stay.  This will enable us enough time to relax and enjoy the pleasures of this unique island

So grab your family members,  girlfriends, boyfriends …even your enemy, which will become your best friend after your stay in Aruba; and walk the powdery beaches together (LOL)!

During the dim warm Aruban’s Nights or the sun bright Days any hotel you select, like the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino for example, will sure to be lustrous, relaxed and lush!  Aruba has several beaches, the calmest being Baby Beach, located on the far southern tip of the island near San Nicolas.  The most popular beaches in Aruba are on the Southwest end of the island, where the major hotels are poised.  The most popular beaches are  Palm and Eagle Beaches!

…other points of interest that may be interesting

DIVI DIVI TREE

I am sure that we will get a chance to picnic under those divine divi trees with my Co-Pilots and Passengers:) …seems like a perfect “natural” beach umbrella for a  beautiful island such as Aruba!

Divi Tree in Aruba

Divi Divi trees (like the one pictured above), may be strange to us as tourist but they are quite a common site in Aruba, they grow at a forty-five degree angle because of the wind that constantly blows .  Another interesting observation is that any attempts to plant this tree in other parts of the world have proved futile – then it seems that the Divi Divi is most comfortable in Aruba! .  In Aruba, lost tourists are told to follow the Divi Divi trees, as they always point to the hotels (ask.com). LOL what a sales pitch (lol).

FYI: Divi Divi Tree are trees that behaves like a compass.  It always points in a south-westerly direction because of the trade winds (ask jeeves).

NATURAL POOL

Natural Pool in Aruba, also known as “conchi” or “Cura di Tortuga” these are a uniquely formed from sets of volcanic rocks encircling a small depression.  Aruba Natural Pool is a natural attraction on the eastern side of the island.  The location of the Natural Pool is close to the Quadiriki Caves and therefore is surrounded by some of Aruba’s most rugged terrain…so let’s step carefully!  Also, it will be wise for us to take  plenty of water, sunblock and shoes that are made to get wet.


Along the island’s windward coast we will  find this natural delight with its huge volcanic rocks that are jutting like razors from the water!  Separating the Natural Pool from the rest of the sea, those rocks do not hinder it’s salty flavor, however it does allow the Natural Pools to attain a crystal clear appearance.  As we peek around to find the Natural Pool, which wa in a hidden spot surrounded by rock cliffs; we should feel lucky that  it’s a natural pool that is formed on the edge of the sea, because this makes it protected by the high cliffs and thus is an ideal spot to swim away from the open water.  Also, it’s really a beautiful and romantic getaway.

…if you are “friendly” you will want to take that cooling dip with a group of friends new and old……but if you are getting “frisky” you may want to take that dip when it is quite deserted with a party of 2! (splish splash!).  It is estimated to measure at about 23 feet at its longest stretch and 16 feet at its deepest depth…so if you are not a great swimmer take caution to these facts further it is imperative to know that when the sea is at it’s roughest, forceful waves can dump into the Natural Pool from the sea and render a weak swimmer helpless!  Therefore swim with sense.

NATURAL BRIDGE

The Aruba Natural Bridge was a tourist attraction that was formed naturally out of coral limestone.

Natural Bridge

Though Aruba’s most photographed and largest Natural Bridge collapsed in 2005, the Baby Natural Bridge next to it still thrives as a tourist attraction; additionally the park features rock outcroppings, boulders and crevices between the various formations which create micro-climactic conditions that support unique examples of indigenous flora and fauna; as a result, the park is the habitat of several animal species found only in Aruba including two snake and lizard species; you could easily spend several hours here so consider taking the hiking tour or you can sit down with the Pilot and wonder at one of God’s wonders!   WEBSITE: http://www.arubanationalpark.org

FYI: Flora: The plants of a particular region or period, listed by species and considered as a whole.
Fauna: The animals of a given region or period considered as a whole.

HOOIBERG ARUBA

The Hooiberg is probably one of the first things you’ll notice when our plane lands in Aruba.  Not because this “mountain” is so tall (541 ft.), but because the rest of the island is so flat.  Climbing the Hooiberg  is a nice little adventure, especially for the kiddies (this is one of those times you can tell your children “go climb a rock” and not worry so much that they will actually do it (lol).  There are 561 concrete steps, some with rails, and a few rest stops. When we reach the summit there will be is a log book to sign (so practice your John or Jane Hancock).  From the peak, it is rumored that we will apparently be able to see Venezuela so don’t forget to pack our pair of binoculars!

 

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Hooiberg is a volcanic formation which 165 meters above sea level, and is located almost in the center of the island and can be seen from virtually anywhere.  Named for its shape (hooiberg means “haystack” in Dutch), this 541-foot peak lies inland just past the airport.  It’s the 3rd highest peak on the island.  The biggest tour operators in Aruba is the DePalm Tours , they offer excellent half day tours in a comfortable well conditioned motor coach.  The most popular tour is the Jeep Safari.  We are driven in an open-air jeep along the islands beautiful countryside, bouncing along the desert terrain (get ready to get bounced out the Rock Club ).

FYI: Translated into English as ‘haystack,’ this hill has long been a popular outdoor location for visitors and Arubans ALIKE!

GUADIRIKIRI CAVE ARUBA

The Guadirikiri Cave is located on the east coast of Aruba in Oranjestad.  Although there are several caves in the area, the Guadirikiri Cave is famous for its two chambers that are illuminated by sunlight that shines through holes at the top of the cave.  Be careful of the bats…(doesn’t that second picture look like a bat-image (l0l)…where is the Dark Knight when you need him (lol).

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These caves are likely one of the only attractions in Aruba to be completely overrun with cockroaches.  So for those squeamish about such things, like your Pilot make sure to wear closed-toe shoes for la cucaracha(Spanish for cockroach).  You will not be sorry (yikes).  The combination of ancient history with the natural wonder of these Aruba caves make Guadirikiri an impressive stop on any tour of the Caribbean.  The history behind it is actually and ancient folklore: ” somewhat dubious folk tale relates to a daughter of an Indian chief who fell in love and was imprisoned in the cave as her paramour was not acceptable to her father. Her beloved one was imprisoned nearby, in Huliba Cave (Tunnel of Love), but both lovers managed to meet underground. Both reportedly died in the cave and their spirit vanished into heaven through the holes in the roof of the cave.”

TIP: This folk tale has a ring of authenticity; because we know that there is no such thing as “spirits” left here on earth. The Bible is very plain.  Look at this text:  According to the Bible it reads that: “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:7

DePALM ISLAND

De Palm Island is Aruba’s only all-inclusive destination at an affordable all-inclusive price. …much to the liking of the Pilot and her crew.  So let us, Snorkel in an underwater paradise rich in spectacular coral formations and colorful fish.

A stunning white coral-sand beach, palm trees, mangroves, a natural pool and pristine turquoise water are just a ferry ride away. De Palm Island offers spectacular coral formations complete with a huge variety of tropical fish including the friendly blue parrotfish.  No worries as they say on the island, all snorkeling equipment and instruction will be provided. The highlight of our De Palm Island trip will definitely be Snuba!  Snuba (SNorkel+scUBA)! Aruba’s most popular underwater activity. Explore the beauty of Aruba’s underwater world in the most convenient way. ‘Go Beyond Snorkeling’ and breathe easily underwater without wearing heavy restrictive scuba diving gear.  After our snuba experience, let’s take advantage of an open bar with snacks. Cabanas and lounge chairs are provided tpp.  Swim, snorkel, or just simply chill!

MALMOK BEACH

Malmok Beach is for the more serious diver amongst our group; not in need of a large sunning beach.  Malmok Beach is a narrow stretch of sand beside shallow, clear waters where  visitors can snorkel among reefs and sunken wrecks. Steps lead down to Boca Catalina Bay, which is small, secluded and perfect for a private swim…which is also perfect for a “honeymoon”.

Read more:  Cheap Honeymoons in Aruba | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_7282744_cheap-honeymoons-aruba.html#ixzz2EDo7nfVq

Powder soft white sand, with a lot of pebbles and stones, and superb swimming / snorkeling in peaceful water….little wonder why Aruba is perfect for not only a Destination Wedding but a sweet honeymoon as well.  Although there are no facilities, the beach huts do however offer shade and escape from the bright sun.  Thankfully it is accessible by car (there’s plenty of parking), taxi, or a 10 minute walk from the last bus stop on Malmok.  Swimming, snorkeling, windsurfing, jet skiing, scuba diving or any other water sport you can think of can be enjoyed on Malmok Beach. Beautiful bays along this white coast line make it a wonderful place for enjoying frolicking, swimming and snorkeling. There are several fish that are active along the shoreline and are a sight to see.   Also, Malmok beach, has a  reef with turtles and other reptiles so crawl onto the beach and enjoy God’s handiwork.  The colorful and exotic fish each can be viewed any time during the entire year and make for a wonderful treat to watch and no longer wonder why it was fun to finding Nemo (lol)!

ARASHI BEACH

Arashi Beach is really the most northern swimming beach on the island, very near the California LighthouseArashi Beach is one of the most photographed beaches in the whole Caribbean, especially during the sunset hours. (www.snorkelinginaruba.com).  Besides that then know the sun setting will lend itself to a beautiful photograph of you on the beach (say cheese!).

This beach has white powder sand.  Recently upgraded with palapas and beach huts for shade, and plenty of parking.  Arashi Beach is one of Aruba’s more secluded stretched of white sand. Although “arashi” means storm in Japanese, the waters are calm, and the swimming and snorkeling some of the island’s best.   One word of warning: because Arashi is at the end of the island, the waves can sweep you further out if you are not careful. Be wary of getting so far out you are over tired. Because it seems to stay quite shallow for quite some distance from the shore, it can be easy to over extend yourself.  SWIM WITH CARE; ALTHOUGH YOU SWIM WITH THE FISHES, YOU ARE NOT A FISH TOO!

EAGLE BEACH

Eagle Beach Aruba was recently named one of the top ten beaches in the world with its white sands and crystalline blue waters!   Miles of white powder sand and friendly surf.  Lots of motorized watersports (jet skis, etc), or just lay out like a crab for the sunning in the sun…ps SUN BLOCK!

Eagle Beach is a beach and neighborhood of Oranjestad, Aruba. The neighborhood is famous for its many low-rise resorts and wide public beach.  It has soft white sand and has been rated one of the best beaches in the world.   The sunsets and views of the crystal-clear waters you will see on Aruba in the Caribbean Islands.  It is one of two beaches in Aruba that allow nudity, the other being Baby Beach (sorry no pictures OR Facebook, myspace, Twitter or posting Instagrams photos please  ( lol) www.wikipedia.com

FYI:  Instagram: It is the hottest iphone startup right now it’s a simple photo-taking and photo-sharing app that has taken over Silicon  Valley and is filling our Twitter feed with fun, cute photographs. (businessinsider.com)

Read more:  http://www.businessinsider.com/instagram-2010-11?op=1#ixzz2Enn9wech

<a href=”http://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotos-g147249-d150447-Eagle_Beach-Palm_Eagle_Beach_Aruba.html”><img alt=”Photos of Eagle Beach, Palm/Eagle Beach” src=”http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/02/46/72/6e/overview-of-eagle-beach.jpg”/></a><br/>This photo of <a href=”http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g147249-d150447-Reviews-Eagle_Beach-Palm_Eagle_Beach_Aruba.html”>Eagle Beach is courtesy of TripAdvisor

TAKE A TOUR OR ANY TYPE OF EXCURSION…DON’T BE BORING BECAUSE ARUBA ISN’T….

Aruba is a great place to tour: with Island Tours, Jeep Tours, Sail, Snorkeling and Scuba Tours, and all kinds of Underwater Tours available to you…couressty of De Palm Tour company call 582-4400 or visit then online at www.depalmtours.com  Although you might be tempted to stay on the beaches, be sure to take a tour of the island (drink it all in…)

Ride it by yourself  on a segaway, or three of a kind on a trike or even ride it 6 deep in a jeep…just ride in Aruba (vroom vroom)

 SegaWaying                                                       Trikes  Riding                                     Jeep Tours

FYI:  Segway is a two wheeled electric vehicle that a person rides standing up and controls much like a motorcycle, however there is no foot brake, only a hand break.
FYI: Trike Bike is a three wheel motorized bike “tri” being the operative word meaning 3.  Like a motorcycle but a bit more comfortable and safer.
                         Wind Surfing                                                                    Kite Surfing
Because of the strong trade winds, Aruba is also one of the world’s top windsurfing spots!
TIP:  Which do you prefer as a beginner Wind Surfing vs. Kite Surfing.   Wind surfing: The basic skills can be learned in a few hours, but this depends on sufficient wind. More advanced techniques, such as planing and jumping, can take a long time to master.  and as to Kite surfing you have to learn how to control a power-kite before you’re allowed into the water, but once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll progress faster than in windsurfing and you need less wind to be able to go out.
Scuba Diving Tours in Aruba                                                                         Snorkeling in Aruba
TIP:  Scuba diving is a form of underwater diving in which a diver uses a scuba set or tank to breathe underwater (swimfins are employed to enhance propulsion).  Whereas, Snorkeling (British spelling: snorkelling) is the practice of swimming on or through a body of water while equipped with a diving mask, a shaped tube called a snorkel, and usually swimfins as well. In cooler waters, a wetsuit may also be worn. Use of this equipment allows the snorkeler to observe underwater attractions for extended periods of time with relatively little effort.  However both primary appeal is the opportunity to observe underwater life in their natural setting!

THE GOLD MINE RANCH HORSE BACK RIDING TOURS

Have you ever watched one of those ads on television or watch a motion picture where you saw a couple horse riding on a beach?  Well now is your turn…lights, camera…giddy-up!  Visit one of the most popular horse ranches in Aruba!

If you can’t get enough of the the animals try visiting Aruba’s Farms…
Keep your head above it all at an Ostrich Farm in Aruba… or flap your wings to a ….Butterfly Farm in Aruba!
 

OKEANOS SPA

Okeanos Spa at the Aruba Renaissance Resort offers spa treatments to relax and renew. Try a couples massage on the private Renaissance Island…say ahhh that feels so good…and mean it (lol)!

Relax and lay on your tummy or back  at a spa while in Aruba…my suggestion get painted green, after all it’s hip to GO GREEN!
After a DAY of fun, and AFTERNOON of relaxation; do not gamble on your NIGHT try visiting….

CASINO AT THE HYATT REGENCY

Experience Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Casino, with luxurious pampering and exquisite touches that enhance every moment of our vacation in paradise.

Aruba’s lively nightlife has earned it a reputation as the Las Vegas of the Caribbean. Many resorts have casinos for gambling, live music, cabaret shows and dance clubs. For a moveable party, Aruba Adventures offers several all-you-can-drink party cruises. The Bon Bini festival in Fort Zoutman is held every Tuesday night year-round. It is a folk event celebrating Aruban music, local cuisine and crafts. Late nights of reveling are another trademark of this party destination.

NIGHT LIFE IS THE BEST LIFE…(let me qualify this by writing stay with a group of friends you know very well)

Tattoo Party Cruise http://www.arubaadventures.com

The Tattoo Party Cruise has a Dj, live music, and great food. They play all kinds of different music genres which includes disco music from the ’70s to Latin music. They sell cheap drinks which cost between $1 and $3 a drink. The Tattoo Party Cruise is a 4 hour cruise which starts at 8 p.m. and lasts until midnight. You start the night off with a buffet dinner, then you can dance on the upper of lower deck to different types of music. There is also a water slide on board, so you can make a nightly splash.

Banana Bus http://www.bananabusaruba.com

The Banana Bus is a fun and exciting bus excursion which drives you to 3 different bars. One of the bars is the famous Carlos N Charlies. The cost to ride the bus and go to the 3 bars include one drink at each of the bars. The Banana Bus picks you up at your hotel and drops you back off at the end of the night.

Blue

Blue is a bar which is located in the lobby of The Renaissance Resort. Along with serving drinks, they serve very light meals. Blue is open daily between the hours of 10 a.m. and midnight. This is a great bar to go to where you can enjoy the ambiance.

TIP: Be careful and be safe…all vacations have a factor of risk; but not knowing who you are partying with is reckless…stay with friends throughout your nights!

HUNGER YET…I KNOW I AM; LET’S TRY SOME TRADITIONAL ARUBAN FOODS…

Aruban food is great because of its global infusion of African, Spanish, French, Dutch, Indian, and Chinese cuisine (all my favorite flavors). These traditions were brought from the many homelands of this region’s population. The gastronomy of the island is based on products such as fish and seafood cuisine which are rich, quality and cosmopolitan, where in addition to the typical gastronomy of the island, you can enjoy international cuisine.

Among the typical dishes of the island are the keshi yena, a typical dish consists of seafood (of course we are surrounded by beautiful waters) and plenty of cheese on top, the stoba Kreeft, a stew of lobster, crepes, crab meat, fried fish, fillet of puppy shark, turtle soup and the goat stew, if you want a different menu than fish or seafood.  Also, bati bread, a kind of bun corn and plantains, fried bananas.   Other traditional Aruban cuisine includes dishes with goat meat, stoba – stew pots filled with vegetables that are locally grown – fish and maize. These days, some of the most common ingredients in meals include beef, chicken, rice and fish.  A favorite snack is known as pastechi, a pie that’s been filled with beef or cheese look out below!

Flavorful Beef                                                                   Spiced Chicken

Chicken Roti (Indian flat bread)                    Pastechis, a popular Aruban snack (the turnover).

FYI: Aruba has a highly influenced Caribbean and Spanish cuisine, so finding their version of the empanada was easy. A pastechi is a delicious and economical snack. Very similar in style to the empanada, but with a pie like crust, the pastechi is the simplest introduction to Aruban cuisine.  They remind me of our Honduran pastelitos…hmmm “Pastechis”…”Pastelitos”!

Beef Stew and Beans and Rice         Funchi (is the yellow mound it is a classic dish of cornmeal porridge).

FYI: Funchi: Any food that has a strange name will often appeal to travelers, like me.  Based on corn meal, this is a common dish served as an appetizer. Think of it as Aruban polenta (Polenta is coarsely or finely ground yellow or white maize (cornmeal) used as a foodstuff. It is cooked by boiling to a paste in water or a liquid such as soup stock) ; the corneal is poured and stirred into boiling water seasoned with butter and salt. It is left mushy and served into a mound; almost like a jello-like substance with a rich taste.  Remember the old commercial for Malt O Meal “Hey Mikey, try it you’ll like it”…in this case or may like it! LOL)

Below is a tradition of Aruba called “Pan Bati” courtesy of GiddyUpGo

This is tasty and reminds me of flour flitters from Honduras (except for the vanilla which sweetens it)!

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl, then gradually add water until the batter is slightly thicker than pancake batter.
  2. Turn on your pancake griddle, adding a little spray butter to prevent sticking.
  3. Pour the batter on the griddle. When the Pan Bati is a golden color on one side, flip.
  4. Remove from the griddle when the Pan Bati is firm and golden on both sides and keep warm until ready to serve.

Below is a typical meal from an average restaurant in Aruba…the mainstay…fresh seafood!

I hope you love cheese especially Dutch Gouda (Aruba is a Dutch colony afterall) because most of the traditional dishes are smothered with it!!!

Aruban Curry Goat Stew is “the other red meat” lol!

Traditional Aruban cuisine includes dishes with goat meat, stoba – stew pots filled with vegetables that are locally grown – fish and maize. These days, some of the most common ingredients in meals include beef, chicken, rice and fish. A favorite snack is known as pastechi, a pie that’s been filled with beef or cheese. Also, many food chains featuring international foods such as those from Italy and China have become much more popular. Many of the foods in Aruba are imported.  Aruban cuisine draws from the delicacies of countries around the world, including the Netherlands, South America, Europe, the Caribbean, and even from the native people of their own island.

FYI:  Aruba is home to a multicultural population that is reflected in its cuisine.

Aruba’s national dish is Filled Cheese Shells called Keshi Yena. Get the taste in your own kitchen with this recipe.

Keshi Yena (Aruba). Photo by GiddyUpGot

FYI: Keshi Yena: Once again, don’t be fooled by the strange name; this dish is extremely delectable. This is a popular dinner choice with a strong Dutch influence. The infamous Edam cheese is the star center of this dish; baked with either meat or seafood in a brown sauce. It was famously known on the island as a poor man’s dish used as a frugal dish during earlier times

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter over medium heat. Then add the onions and sauté until they turn a golden brown color.
  2. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, except for the cheese.
  3. Butter a baking pan and line it with slices of Gouda. Then pour the chicken mixture on top, and top with the rest of the cheese slices.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, then put it under your broiler for a few minutes, just long enough to start browning the cheese.

Ajaca: Traditional food eaten during Christmas in Aruba, it is made of plantains and stuffed with chicken or beef (Photo:Mourinhospenis.tumblr.com)

Aruba. Christmas traditions around the world is there foods in my country of Honduras it is “tamales” in Aruba there are called “ajaca”.  Regardless of their name what is constant is their deliciousness, wrapped in banana leaf as it was a “gift”!  This is something my mother made for the holidays too!

Kesio: To end the culinary Aruban experience, one must end it in sweet temptation with a taste of Kesio, consider it the Aruban flan. This sweet dish is made from sugar, eggs, vanilla and two types of milk; a perfect delicacy served in many restaurants. Sweethearts in the romantic mood often share this delicious sweet treat in the romantic ambiance of the island spirit.

…with its strong Dutch influence we will find a variety of pastries and goodies for desserts (sweets for the sweet!).

Soenchi

Rum Bread Pudding has that Carribean rich flair…after which try a kiss of Soenchi‘s Aruban Cuisine.

Soenchi are basically Meringue kisses – Local recipes are frequently well-guarded secrets!

Instructions

Ingredients

Soenchi

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tbs. Sugar
  • A drop of red or green food coloring
Preparation Directions

Preheat oven to 250°F.

  • Beat until stiff and dry:
  • 1 egg white

Gradually stir in:

  • 1 Tbs. Sugar
  • A drop of red or green food coloring

Soenchi should be lightly tinted, never boldly colored. Drop by teaspoonfuls on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Place in the oven for about one hour. Permit to cool and serve at once. If neglected, soenchis absorb moisture and become sticky.  After eating these you will love kisses too:)

Simple, yet delicious…bananas-sweet bananas

Banana Na Binja!  Photo by GiddyUpGo  food.com (basically Plantains and brown sugar, butter, port wine and cinnamon).

CHEERS (English)…SALUD (Spanish)…SANTÉ /A LA VOTRE (French)…SALUTE /CIN CIN (Italian)…PROOST (Dutch)…NA  ZDROWIE (Polish)…SKÁL (Islandic)…SEI GESUND (Yiddish)…ΥΓΕΙΑ (Greek)…Å’KÅLÈ MA’LUNA (Hawaiian)…GESONDHEID (Afrikaans)…干杯 /GāN BēI (Chinese [Mandarin])…MABUHAY (Filipino/Tagalog)..לחיים/L’CHAIM (Hebrew)…

As for the typical drink, it is necessary to emphasize the Aruba Ariba cocktail consisting of tequila, banana cream, triple sec, rum, vodka, lemon juice, orange, pineapple, Grenadines and cherry.  But remember my motto: Drink but not until you stink (lol)!

FYI: The Apostle Paul says drunkenness originates from one’s sinful nature (Galatians  5:21). He says Christians are not to be drunk with wine, but rather be “filled  with the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).

Read more at Suite101:  What Does the Bible Say About Drinking? | Suite101 http://suite101.com/article/what-does-the-bible-say-about-drinking-a164414#ixzz2EoSVPOjS
Follow us: @suite101 on Twitter | Suite101 on Facebook

Aruba Drinks 2

…there are many local drinks that are refreshing and can be served sans the alcohol…yes a”virgin”!

FYI:  sans:[sanz; Fr. sahn]  French word for “without”.

TIP:  non-alcoholic beverage (also known as a virgin drink) is defined in the U.S. as a beverage that contains less than 0.5% alcohol by volume.

However before you leave all nice and tanned try a Brown Lady…much like the Pilot! (lol)!!  Interestingly, Aruba’s legal drinking age is 18!

                                                Brown Lady
Ingredients (serves 1)
  • 1 oz (2 Tbsp.) Vodka
  • 1 oz (2 Tbsp.) Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1 oz (2 Tbsp.) Ponche Crema
  • 1 oz (2 Tbsp.) Kahlua
  • 2 oz (4 Tbsp.) Coconut Cream
Preparation Directions

Combine all ingredients in blender with a 12 oz. cup of ice and blend till it becomes a cream and serve.

TRADITIONAL  CLOTHING

The traditional clothing in Aruba is not to be worn but to be viewed and awed (unless you have the body for it and then you are stilled awed by the Pilot)!

Aruba’s Miss Universe 2011 National Costumes (Left Photo)…However, we shall dance the dance the dance of the Folks Dancers…so let’s join in to the numerous festivals, celebrations and parties!

TIPS OF THE DAY AND INTERESTING SIDE NOTES

1.  Drinking Water: Aruba’s water meets the highest quality standards of the World Health Organization and is distilled in the world’s second largest desalination plant.

2.  Your cell phone will work There but check on roaming charges.  Contact your local service provider before traveling to Aruba.

3.  To change florins to US dollars, divide florin amount in half and add 10%.  This formula will be especially useful when shopping in supermarkets.

4.  Drinking age is 18.  Gambling age is 18.  Identification may be requested in both cases.

5.  Prescriptions – Be sure to bring all your prescription medicine with you.  Foreign prescriptions cannot be filled in Aruba.  It will be necessary to make an appointment with a house doctor who can provide you with a local prescription for your medicine or an equivalent, if not available here.

6.  Average temperature year-round is in the mid-80s Fahrenheit (about 30 degrees Centigrade).  It is a good idea to bring a sweater or sports jacket for breezy evenings and air-conditioning.

7.  There is daily bus service all along the hotel strip.  Fare is US $ 1.50 / one day or $ 2.30 / round-trip.

8.  Passports is required of U.S. and Canadian citizens.  A departure tax of $34,25
per person is imposed upon departure.

BEST TIP: One -If you can, fly to Aruba mid-week and leave mid-week. Weekends are peak travel times so flights are more difficult to get, and they are more expensive. Also, the airport in Aruba – while very modern – is not large and gets crowded pretty quickly. If you fly there for example on a Wednesday and leave on a Wednesday the crowds will be far fewer and you’ll definitely have a more relaxed time coming to and leaving Aruba. You also might save some money on your airline tickets.

After all that is said and done, don’t you want to lie your well scrubbed body down on soft white sugary and sandy beaches and then dip your carefully manicured toes in turquoise waters?
SO LET’S DO IT, LET US “ARRIBA” TO “ARUBA”…LOSSELY MEANING :

Rise up let’s go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link

FALLING IN LOVE WITH FALL

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Perhaps no one loves the changing of the seasons more than I.  The smell of the crisp leaves burning to an ash from your neighbors’ yard, the crunching of the dried fallen leaves under-foot as you kick-step your way down a winding path that is littered with Autumns’ foliage.  Also, the chill in the air that signals to all, that winter is soon to make its  d’ebut into the year.  As this time comes near many of us query to oneself, “why do we get or are so blessed with this bounty of colors?”  I am sure that most of us have learned while in Sabbath School, that God created the earth and all that is therein… But still how does it happen, through what wonderous of creation and  science.

As I am have learned (and I am sure you did too), in Grammar School your teacher taught you that “leaves make food for the trees”.  Then some kid in class probed “O’kay, but why are leaves green sometimes and change colors later?  Another student analyzed, with the mind of only a 7 year-old could,  and queried, “is it because they have finished feeding the trees?”.   The teacher would give a small grin and tilt her head and responded to us, “not quite; but the leaves that do change colors in the fall, do so because of a chemical called “chlorophyll”.  Then as the teacher peered into our inquisitive faces, she knew she captured our interest, and further taught that “chlorophyll is the pigment that turns the green leaves their green color AND makes food for the trees,  during the Spring and Summer the leaves of trees are able to receive more light because the days are longer; then later chlorophyll begins to disappear;  and during the Fall-when the days become shorter, they get less. light…and this is how we get the other colors:  yellow, brown, orange and red.  Our teacher went on to state that “these colors where always there during the summer; but the green covered them up!  Of course, as a child, I thought that my Teacher, next to my mother, must me the smartest person in the whole world! LOL! 

However, if my small trip down Memory Lane, did not help you; here is a poster I found that may help you understanding why we get these beautiful colors in the Fall or Autumn.

FYI:   “According to Wikipedia, Autumn is is one of the four temperate seasons. Autumn marks the transition from summer into winter, in September (Northern Hemisphere) or March (Southern Hemisphere) when the arrival of night becomes noticeably earlier…According to United States tradition, autumn runs from the day after Labor Day (i.e. the Tuesday following the first Monday of September) through Thanksgiving (i.e. the fourth Thursday in November), after which the holiday season that demarcate the unofficial beginning of winter begins..”

YKSD Physical Science Chapter 6 Introduction, “How Matter Changes

(ykonline.yksd.com)

Simple right, or not so simple…well to educate you more. now some Hight School stuff, which I shall attempt to make it as simple as possible.  You heard the term “the darker the berry the sweeter the juice, well there is something to that because sweetness means sugar, and sugar means photosynthesis.   Darker leaves and fruits have more sugar and thus more process of photosynthesis.

In photosynthesis there are three distinct phases. These phases include receiving light, converting it into  nutrients and releasing waste products back into the atmosphere.  According to Dictionary .com, photosynthesis is the complex process by which carbon dioxide, water, and certain inorganic salts are converted into carbohydrates by green plants, algae, and certain bacteria, using energy from the sun and chlorophyll.

1.   Receiving Light:  In the first phase of photosynthesis, a plant absorbs ambient light. The amount of light the plant can absorb depends on its  pigmentation; darker colored plants can absorb more light.

Read more:  Explain the Three Stages of Photosynthesis | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/facts_7598064_explain-three-stages-photosynthesis.html#ixzz28uqQk5oj

2.  Converting it into nutrients:  In the second phase of photosynthesis, a plant converts absorbed light into  chemical energy.  According to David Clark, professor of Microbiology at Southern Illinois  University, plants facilitate a chemical reaction involving light, soil  nutrients and water during this phase that includes splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen atoms.

3.  Releasing waste product back into the atmosphere: In the third phase of photosynthesis, a plant takes carbon dioxide, or CO2, from the atmosphere to aid in the chemical reaction.  Light is not necessary for this process, known as CO2 reduction, and  this phase leads to the production of carbohydrates.  The plant releases a  byproduct, oxygen, back into the atmosphere as waste.

FYI:  The chemical process for photosynthesis: 6 CO2 + 6 H20 + (light energy) + C6H1206 +  602

Photosynthesis means “putting together with light.” In photosynthesis, plants  use the energy of the sun, water and carbon dioxide from the air to make their own food, which they use to grow. In the process, they release oxygen, which is  part of the air we breathe in, as well as sugar, which is the plant’s  food.  Photosynthesis is vital for all living things by maintaining the oxygen level of  the atmosphere.   So take a deep breath! (lol)!

Read more:  Explain the Three Stages of Photosynthesis | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/facts_7598064_explain-three-stages-photosynthesis.html#ixzz28ur0GIgf

Leaves on plants and trees can’t change color unless they are exposed to light. Choose a tree with large leaves that changes color in the fall, such as maple  place it near a window that receives sunlight then place another similar in an area that does NOT receive sunlight…notice after a week the growth…that is why we should all take another deep breath and be thankful we have trees with leaves.

Autumn leaves

All the science aside, we know that a leaf changing color is part of a chemical reaction.  Above is an example of how a leaf gradually changes its color from Green to Yellow, Orange, and Brown…then falls when dead and at its darkest color.

Varying fall temperatures and precipitation amounts affect the intensity of colors (Kate Smith).

Leaf color chart

FYI:   Leaves of many plants will vary significantly — from gold to orange to crimson — depending upon the ratio of carotenoids to anthocyanins in each leaf.  carotenoids (which produce yellow, orange and brown colors) and anthocyanins (which provide reds and purples) (syracuse.com).

Finally enough about biology, chemistry and all other sciences…lets get to STYLE;  and how it changes as the season changes…is that a science too!  During Fall you may notice certain things falling away as well as the leaves fall to the ground.  The end of summer signals a time to say good-bye to Tank Shirts, Shorts, and Flip-Flops….and hello to Sweaters, Long Pants, and Boots!  The great thing is that you are covered stylish and cute.  Also, time to take care of your skin and hair.

Falling in Love with your inner Fashionista

Fall is a wonderful season but it is a cooler season…therfore you got to get cool with your fashion!  As Fall falls away, we reflect on the season’s harvest of our lives.   As the leaves turns colors so does our wardrobe. The colors of our wardrobe change to deeper tones as well as autumn’s colors change for the season.   This is the time of the year where the root vegetables become more  abundant, with their substantial nourishment to replenish us from a summer of long sunny days and expansive activities.  Now we turn to indoor activities instead of those that relate strictly to outdoors.

Now is the season of our content and comfort…our comfy comfort that is…  Ladies can swaddle themselves in scarves, hug themselves in oversize sweaters, pull-overs and ponchos.

Blend the traditional Fall colors of  Midnight Black, Chocolate Browns, Smokey Grays and Dark deepest Blues with a POP of color to draw visual appear and flair (much like the photograph to your Right).

or…pair a bright colorful corduroy skinny pant with an oatmeal colored bulky Cable Knit Sweater like the one on the Right!

Whether you wear these bold tones with a Corduroy longer maxi skirt or with a Knit Mini with Bright Tights…this is the look to “fall” for…

…word on the street is…that you stay warm; but look hot in the Fall season.  Remember a woman does not have to show cleavage, legs or any kind of skin to be sexy; her self confidence, security in herself, and intelligence allows her to show that and more!  In other words do not confuse “sexy” with “slutty” (lol)…no one needs to see your boob tattoos–keep it under wraps like a gift (lol).

black, blonde, dark, fall 08, fashion, girl

Rock the look of a Cropped Jacket…whether it is corduroy, wool, or  leather… this look can imbue the colors of fall and elongates your torso (now shorties like me can appear leggy) lol!

whether you wear your cropped jacket with a bright skirt, blue denim or with Shorts & Tights, feel free to add accessories that pulls the look together.  For example a knit cap and scarf is not only whether appropriate; but fashion apropos!

So ladies head on out to T J Maxx, Target, Marshalls and The Rack®  and grab a corduroy Cropped Jacket, Dark-wash Pants, snuggly long scarf, and an oversized slouchy handbag…don’t forget a pair of Dark Brown tortoise-shelled pair of shades…now you got the look of Fall!

However, just before Fall, or pre-Fall sometimes called “indian summer”, you may still get away with cute sweaters with scarves,  gloves and hat to boot!  Just remember besides styling, staying warm should be your main objective.  Because smart and intelligent ladies dress warmly and care more about their health and less about having their chest on display—-but you can still do it with flair and pizzaz!

Think you have to be skinny to wear “Skinny Jeans”; don’t Fall for it…but rock it!

Great thing about Fall, if you are like me and not at your desired weight, Fall allows you to cover-up and “hide-out in the open” (lol)

Now, plus-size comes in cute Fall clothing too.  Psst…grab a flared leather skirt for all parties you plan to attend.  These skirts are so “in” and “hip” at the same time and can be paired with virtually any Top, Shirt. or Turtle-neck Sweater.  Lastly, “stand to attention” with the Military look–but rock it in a different color than green while making the other ladies “green with envy” because of your fall stlyle (lol)!

Grab a Fall fashion plaid shirt in several colors (slip on a lace body shaping tee with it to feminize the look)…and buy a sweater that has a modern construction like the one pictured to your Right.

Luckily accessories see no weight (lol)!

Just as there are colorful pops of color in the Fall…I will suggest to let your accessories pop too!

Large oversized Bags, Purses, Handbags  and Clutches are the look for the Fall season, and the reason:…where else can you store your extra tubes of lotions, creams,  lip balms and mittens, ear muffs, scarf and Hand Sanitizer!

Your handbag or purse does not have to be the only thing that POPS; but your footwear can too (wear this Fall looks above on a causal days with skinny jeans or pants).

…Or put your feet in a dressier shoe, one that fully covers your feet or strap on some boots!

…to heel or not to hell, that is the question….I will let you decide.  As for me being 5′ 3″ I need to heel (well a little heel about 2-3 inches of it)

One look that is in vogue are shoe boots…I suggest purchasing those with traction–since afterall…safety is always best!

Fall into an updated makeup look with vibrant & cool colors for the Fall season!

…bright and vibrant colors is beautiful on any and all skin tones and colors…therefore if you are “white” as a Snowflake to dark brown as a Hershey bar…you can rock the POP!

Just a suggestion…if you POP the Lip Color, you can go easy on the cheeks.  Remember the Lips needs to be at the center stage to truly POP!

However, I am an eye person and I know that the “eyes have it”.  Although the “smokey eye” is still in vogue–it is less smokey and has a bit of sparkle for the upcoming season of shine!

When smokes get in your eyes

FYI:   Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” is a show tune written by American composer Jerome Kern and lyricist Otto Harbach for their 1933 musical Roberta. It was sung in the original show by Tamara Drasin. It was originally recorded by Gertrude Niesen, on October 13, 1933. I remember listening to it sung by Nat “King” Cole (performed in 1946).

~~~~~~Evening Look~~~~~~~~~~~Daytime  Look~~~~~~~Shadow & Sm. Liner Brush

Here is step-by-step diagram on how to get that look…

(glam s.c.a.m. beauty).

May I suggest using quality products like “Nars” or “Bobbi  Brown”.  You can find these great Fall colors for a great price at Sephora®!  Using quality brands allow the look to last longer and not absorb so quickly in your skin as the evening goes into night!

If you have almond-shaped eyes…lucky you–if not–time to do make-up tricks to “get it got it”!

TIP the Nail tip with saturated colors of Fall on a nude nail color bed…may I recommend a new brand I found “Essie ®“…loooooooove it!

This look is eye catching yet professional enough that will not offend the sensibility of your supervisor at work…she may even ask you…”where did you get that look?”

Tips for Fall: Don’t let your skin fall away from its summer glow!

As grasses and flowering plants contract, wither and drop their fruits so do we, we become a little dryer, our bodies’ conserve energy, require more and deeper rest.

1. Wear sunscreen every day :  Yes, in the colder seasons like Fall or Winter the sun is still out there; and although you may not be exposing as much to it as you would in summer, the dangers to your skin are still there (Yahoo).  A dermatologist, Dr. Jeanine Downie, says that: “You should be wearing an SPF 30 every day, not only to protect against skin cancer but to prevent fine lines, wrinkles, large pores, and uneven skin tone.”It is important not to “forget that applying sunscreen once a day is not enough you should reapply every couple of hours! (Perfect Locks)  Also, “Just because you may not be laying on the beach in the Caribbean it doesn’t mean you can forget the sunscreen for the next 6 months. Sunscreen is a daily essential, so don’t set it aside. (about.com Skin Care).

FYI: Despite the lack of sun some of us might be starting to experience, you still need to exercise caution when it comes to protecting your skin from UV rays.  Winter doesn’t necessarily signal a break from sun exposure, especially for those who exercise or work outdoors. UV rays penetrate through clouds and overcast skies, and reflect off waters, cement, sand, and even snow.  It is important to note that some of the most common sites of skin cancer lesions are the areas of the body that endure year round exposure, such as your hands, face, ears, and the left arm of drivers in most countries (some countries it is the right arm like our neighbors across the pond…e.g Great Britain).  Continue using SPF rated products (vashonorganics.com/education).

2. Body Care:  “You will want to find a shower gel that is “soap-free” as well as hydration.  In the Fall and Winter, I like to put away the gels and bring out a creamy body wash. (about.com Skin Care).  Summertime shower gels are fruity and sweet smelling and we love them.  However, the extra alcohol used to give these cleansers an aroma may be detrimental to your fall skin care. In Fall and winter use products that are gentle and without fragrance. For example, milk bath and creamy shower gels the work best during the colder seasons. Celebrate the season with skin care products that contain oatmeal or pumpkin in them (Yahoo).  “Ditch the soap. Fragrant soapy scrubs might feel (and smell) wonderful after a day at the beach, but they leave your skin dry. When Fall arrives, switch to a soap-free hydrating cleanser. It’s time to put away the gels and bring out the creamy body wash

TIP: Avoid baths and showers that are too hot, and cool the water before you get out. Your skin will retain more moisture this way and you won’t go through the temperature shock so much when you get out (beautytipsonline.com).

TIP: A lukewarm bath with oatmeal or baking soda, can help relieve skin that is so dry it has become itchy (webmed.com/health-beauty).

2.  Exfoliate regularly: The summer sun and chlorine may have left your skin feeling dry and flaky. Start the new season off with a full-body exfoliation session ( A Womans Health Magazine)   According to Dr. Fusco: “A good exfoliating agent will slough off the dull top layers, minimizing wrinkles, acne, and dry spots to reveal new, healthy, glowing skin.” You don’t have to exfoliate everyday- perhaps only 2-4 times a week.  “I think oily based scrubs are perfect for Fall and Winter because you are getting the exfoliating benefits with the extra bonus of hydrating oils. And when it comes to oily scrubs, the choices are endless! (about.com Skin Care).  Also, it will improve your skin as it brings healthier cells to the surface of your skin. Use an oil-based scrub instead of a salt scrub to protect your skin in the fall season. Avoid massaging your skin vigorously when exfoliating your skin (eCellulities.c0m).  It may look odd and gloopy, but an oily scrub is an excellent product to use for sloughing away dead skin cells and tiny bumps on your legs, arms and tushy.

TIP:  Avoid exfoliators with large crystals or chunks, as they are too abrasive. Use products with the tiniest beads possible to successfully exfoliate without destroying the surface of your skin (sheknows.com/beauty-and-style).

TIP:  Another tip to aid in the removal of toxins from the skin this Fall is to use an exfoliating loofah while bathing. Loofahs help to remove dead skin cells that accumulate on the skin’s surface, help to open your pores and can also increase blood circulation, all of which will aid in the faster elimination of toxins exiting through the skin’s surface (vashonorganics.com/education)

FYI:  Harsh soaps full of dyes and fragrance can often strip your skin’s essential oils, leaving your skin dry and cracked (vashonorganics.com/education).

3.   Keep it Moist:  Moisturize EVERYDAY I cannot stress this enough; if you want to keep dry skin at bay, you must hydrate your skin on a daily basis. The best time to apply your lotion is right after you have dried off after your shower or bath. Seal in the moisture that is already been absorbed into your skin ( A Womans Health Magazine).

3.   Switch from lotion to cream. Shower, dry and dress is the summer routine. For good Fall skin care that should change to shower, dry, moisturize and dress. Add plenty of moisture to your body every day (Yahoo) As the air becomes drier, your skin needs a thicker moisturizer. Creams provide a stronger oily barrier, which means they both reduce water loss from the outer layer of skin and provide hydration to this layer of skin at the same time (A Womans Health Magazine).

TIP: When you wash your face with a cream cleanser, you will not have to worry about it stripping the natural oils from your skin (voices.yahoo.com/tips).

4.     What you eat and drink influences the condition of your skin: It is a well-known fact that staying hydrated by drinking water can only do good things for your skin. What you may not know is that adding antioxidants to your skin care and diet will “will help to combat free radical damage, reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and inflammation,” says Dr. Jessica Wu. Eat brightly colored fruits, vegetables, and olive oil and use topical products that contain vitamin A (retinol), vitamin E, vitamin C, and coffeeberry on your skin. (perfect locks)

TIP: When you don’t drink enough water and fluid volume becomes diminished, the ability of the body to remove toxins through urination is also decreased. These toxins must then be eliminated in other ways such as through the skin. The increase in body toxin levels can also cause headaches and fatigue.  However, no matter how much water you drink, some toxins will still try to exit the body through the skin (vashonorganics.com/education)!

I read a great article that I will like to share and it reads: “To promote inner harmony and clear skin, the time of the autumnal equinox is a traditional time to adjust our dietary intake and pursue some form of internal cleansing with herbs, juicing, or modified fasting. Eliminating all sugar, wheat, dairy and fried foods for 2 or 3 weeks is very helpful for decongesting your system and cleansing and will noticeably increase your energy and sense of clarity. Drinking burdock (Arctium lappa) tea, an alterative and liver support, is noted for promoting clear skin. I have found Healthy Skin Tonic or Burdock-Red Root Compound very effective for general support of organs of elimination and lymphatic system cleansing. Taking elder flower (Sambucus nigra) tea helps support the skin’s elimination functions, helpful in preventing or eliminating papules, milia and retained sebum in the fall when we generally perspire less and there is contraction of the tissues. Keeping well hydrated internally and humidifying room air will help prevent the tendency to develop chapped skin and dry, uncomfortable nasal passages. Do keep exercising to keep your system from feeling sluggish – Tai chi or qigong are wonderful for staying energized and fit in the dark months (eco-beauty.com/skin-care-fall-winter).”  For more suggestions see “Autumn Health Tips at ElisonHaas.com website.

Because of the onset of dry Fall and Winter, don’t forget about your lips and skin around your eyes in your fall skin care regimen.  The delicate skin around your eyes can be impacted by Autumn and Winter dryness because they do not produce oil or moisture like the rest of the face, so  make sure you’re using a moisturizing eye treatment cream for the skin around your eyes. (Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6606899)

P.S. Don’t forget the Lips: Use Lip Balm. It’s good to use a lip balm with SPF as it will protect your lip from the sun, wind, and cold. Usually, the lip skin becomes chapped in colder months. By using a lip balm, you can easily avoid dry and chapped lips. “Use a non-petroleum based lip balm for best results (A Womans Health Magazine).

TIP: To remove any unwanted dry skin off of your lips, you can exfoliate them with your toothbrush when you brush your teeth.  In a pinch, add a dab of Vaseline to protect them (beautytipsonline.com).

TIP:  Good ingredients to look for in lip products are jojoba oil, shea butter, avocado oil, and mango oil. These moisturizing lipids can work wonders to keep your lips luscious  (vashonorganic.om/education).

P.S.  Don’t forget your Hands:  Dead give away of the cooler weather are hands with dry cracked cuticles.  And many times your regular hand cream isn’t heavy-duty enough to tackle those super dry cuticles.   But by investing in a cuticle oil,  you can quickly take care of the cracked skin and avoid that painful condition that is so wide-spread in the colder months.

TIP:  Simply apply oil onto your cuticles and rub in. Do this a couple times a week for best protection.  Be proactive in your nail care by apply a drop of cuticle oil to the nail beds and rubbing the oil into the cuticle at least once a week.

FYI: Hands that may have been damaged from UV rays this summer need extra care to stay soft and moist during the dry season .  Your hands also need special attention and specific products because the skin on the hands tend to be thinner than on the rest of your body, and is often exposed to more drying agents.

P.S. S.S.  Don’t Forget your Feet:  Repeat after me, “I will not let my feet go without proper care this Fall and Winter”.  Say it, and mean it.  Your feet are going to be stuck inside your boots and heals for months to come…no more freedom of the flip-flops,  and if you continue taking care of them and exfoliating them on a regular basis, you will have no problem popping back on your sandals when the time comes.

Plus, having nice feet just make you feel good, so grab a foot scrub and brush and keep it in your shower.  My all-time favorite is H2O Plus: Pumice Foot Scrub.  Scrub your feet 1-2 times a week and you will enjoy soft feet that will not  snag your blanket (lol).  Ouchie!

Oh yes Ladies and Gentlemen treat yourself to a Spa Treatment during the Fall, you and your body will thank me!!!  Your body needs to detox, de-stress, and it is deserving (lol)!

During the dry season of the Fall and Winter you may begin to notice not only a drying of your body; but that of your hair as well…and this can lead to shedding which means more hair is Falling out in the Fall.  Therefore you may want to change your Hair Care treatment like you change your products for your skin (afterall the scalp is skin too).  Rock a new look or Update your old look this Fall

…whether you add length for a longer style hitting your back or keeping it simpler with a just past shoulder length…

or even shagging it out to your neck or selecting a chic look shorter pulled back behind the ear

Hair can be used here to accentuate your gorgeous facial features, illuminate your skin color  and make you smile with approval when you look into the mirror!

MEN,  it is the season to PREP for the Fall PREPPY LOOK!

Now there is a look called “Urban Preppy”..it is has traditional tailored construction with a dash of cool.  Clean straight lines are in style…fabric with tweed, wool, corduroy, and leather.

 

Pull out of he back of your closet…or head out to T J Maxx, Marshall, Target or The Rack® purchase a Cotton button-down Shirt or a Cashmere Turtleneck, Wool Argyle Sweater or Chunky Cashmere Cardigan, Dark Wash Denim Trouser or Corduroy Pant,  Tweed or Houndstooth Jacket, and a Houndtooth scarf with a Leather Jacket or  Pea Coat.

The above is an example of the Argyle Pattern.  (Can be displayed in Pullovers and Socks).

Above is an example of the Houndstooth Pattern (Can be displayed in Jackets and Ties)

Above is an example of Tweed (Can be displayed in Coats and Jackets)

Above is an example of Corduroy (Can be displayed in Pants and Jackets)  Don’t forget the gold framed Aviator Shades or the iconic Tortoise-Shell Rayban® sun glasses to put the look in prospective.

Thank you to the influence of television programs/shows like “Mad Men” and Gossip Girls”; because no more sloppy looking sagging jeans that placed mens underwear on display and over-sized white t-shirts.  Now, men are dressing smart and dapper…so bye-bye super baggy & sagging low riding jeans “hello” Skinny or Straight pants.

FYI:   Sagging began in prison, where oversized uniforms were issued without belts to prevent suicide and their use as weapons. The style spread through rappers and music videos, from the ghetto to the suburbs and around the world.

Now, it is cool and laid back…and chilled out!  You can take this look from the College Campus to the Board Room!

don on a Driver style cap:                            cap it with a hunting-inspired Scottish Walking Hat

Harris Tweed Ivy Cap - Credit: MensHats.com                            Borsalino Casual Hat - Credit: DelmonicoHatter.com

..why not try on a Wetherby style hat:             or tip your hat with flair with a Fedora:

Still Life Wetherby hat - Credit: StillLifeNYC.com                               

Only men that are not afraid of looking good can pull off these looks…I find it reminiscent of the 1940s…..all the way smooth as jazz!

Fall Time: Things to do in the Fall without it being a season that is a total fail!

1. Read a good book or better yet “the” Good Book!

…no excuse you can now read a book on your tablet or a kindle®

FYI:  Non readers or poor readers often have low opinions of themselves and their abilities.  Feelings of isolation and have low self-esteem can surface.  As we live in an age overflowing with information, reading is the main way to take advantage of it.  “Reading, like no other medium, can transform your life in a flash, and you never know which book, at which time in your life, might be the one that rocks your world and inspires you to grow in ways you never thought possible.”  Also, another benefit of reading is that it  builds your vocabulary from book reading.  Further,  reading gives you an insight into the diversity of ethnicity of people, their customs and their lifestyles. You’ll become more aware about different places and their codes of conduct in those places.—Burke Hedges.

2. Start a Scrapbook or Create a “Vision Board”.

FYI:  Vision Board (similar to the one pictured above) is simply a visual representation or collage of the things that you want to have, be, or do in your life. It consists of a poster or foam board with cut-out pictures, drawings and/or writing on it of the things that you want in your life or the things that you want to become. The purpose of a vision board is to activate the law of attraction to begin to pull things from your external environment that will enable you to realize your dreams (By Tristan Loo).

3. Clean /and/or Organize a room in your house.

FYI:   It is said that “cleanliness is next to Godliness”, although this is NOT a direct quote from the Bible.  According to the fourteenth edition of ‘Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable,’ it is an old Hebrew proverb used in the late 2nd century by Rabbi Phinehas ben-Yair. First attested in the United States in the ‘Monthly Anthology and Boston Review’ . The proverb is found in varying forms.”  However, come-on you know that a clutter unkept house is akin to a clutter and unkept mind.  For example in you had a meeting with a lawyer and his or her office was cluttered and disorganized; would you be comfortable with him or her handling your concerns?  I think not.

4. Begin a Work-Out Program and Start Eating Healthier and Drinking more Water.

FYI:  According to studies from the Mayo Clinic ” if you are worried about heart disease? and are  Hoping to prevent high blood pressure? No matter what your current weight, being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases. In fact, regular physical activity can help you prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer, arthritis and falls.”.

FYI:   Eat healthy to combat diseases like type 2 diabetes. Obesity is a major risk  factor in this disease. According to the American Diabetes Association’s  website, other complications affiliated with type 2 diabetes are heart disease,  blindness and kidney failure.  Decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes by consuming food and beverages that are  low in sugar. Eliminate food and drinks  made with high-fructose corn syrup. Substitute with herbal tea and water. These  healthy alternatives help lower calories and are refreshing. Also, eat salads,  raw or steamed vegetables, and whole grains.  Most healthy foods have low to no cholesterol. For instance, fresh fruit and  vegetables have zero cholesterol. According to the American Heart Association’s  website, high cholesterol raises the risk of heart disease. Your arteries may  slowly develop a buildup, which narrows the arteries. Narrowed arteries can lead  to a heart attack or stroke. An active digestive system is another reason healthy eating is important. Avoid  constipation by including whole grains, like whole-wheat bread and oatmeal for  fiber, in your daily eating plan. Other high-fiber foods include fresh fruits  and vegetables, as well as beans, such as kidney, black and pinto.

Read more:  Why Is Eating Healthy So Important? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_4696584_why-eating-healthy-important.html#ixzz29CPRJEoZ

Being overweight can be an unpleasant and embarrassing experience. Unwanted fat  deposits on the thighs, stomach, and back may leave you feeling self-conscious  and depressed.

FYI:    How much water do you need to drink? At least twenty percent of the water you need comes from the foods you eat. The rest comes from the beverages you drink. Some experts believe you can estimate the amount of water you need by taking your weight in pounds and dividing that number in half. That gives you the number of ounces you may want to drink each day. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you might want to drink at least 80 ounces of water or other fluids per day. Other factors include amount of physical activity and the climate where you are located.  The lungs, muscles, brain and blood are all composed of water and they must be  properly hydrated to ensure their functioning. Additionally, water is needed to  regulate body temperature.

Read more:  Why People Should Drink More Water | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/facts_6172398_people-should-drink-water.html#ixzz29CKYft9B

Discussing eating and drinking there are certain Foods and Drinks that are very complimentary to the Fall Season.

What is Falling into the Pot in the Fall Season!

Time to warm-up “ike the spy who came in from the cold”… may I suggest a Stew or Soup!!!

FYI:  The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is a 1963 Cold War spy novel by British author John le Carré. It has became famous for its portrayal of Western espionage methods.

Is Chili a stew or a Soup?  After doing a little research I discovered that Stews are heartier, thicker, and more flavorful than soups, with so many ingredients introduced; chili would have to be a Stew in my humble opinion.  Therefore, chillin’ with Chili can take off the chill of Fall (lol)!

I must confess after tasting “Turkey” Chili…I will never go back to beef (and of course swine or pig is out of the question).  Add to Turkey Chili, a sprinkle of 3 shredded Cheeses (namely Sharp Cheddar, Parmesan, and  Gruyère), a tablespoon of  finely chopped Scallion Onions, and a dollop of Crème Fraîche.

do not care for that fowl…then try Chicken…

White Chicken Chili Soup Recipe

                                                White Chicken Chili Soup

Ingredients for white chili soup:

1 pound boneless chicken breast

salt and pepper

2 tablespoons virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion diced,

4 garlic cloves diced,

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon anise seed

1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

3 15 ounce cans cannelloni beans

1 cup chicken broth

1 7 ounce can diced green chilis

1/2 cup whipping cream

1/4 cup dry white wine

shaved parmesan cheese

chopped cilantro

Instructions for white chili soup: 1. Rinse chicken pieces and remove skin. Chop into 1 inch size pieces. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 2. In a large pan….Saute onion olive oil along with the oregano, cumin, anise seed,and red pepper flakes until slightly softened. 3. Add chicken to the pan and saute for another 5-10 minutes. 4. Drain the juice from the cannelloni beans. Save 1/2 cup of the liquid from the beans. Add this liquid, beans, chicken broth, green chilis, and whipping cream to the pan. Simmer for 15 minutes on low heat. 5. If desired, top with shaved parmesan and chopped cilantro.

While on one of my vacations I visited France and visited my, then boyfriend’s family, his mother prepared a delicious Soup called French Onion Soup (the best I ever had)!

Yes underneath that crisp French Bread and Cheeses is a savory soup that is riddled with onions and other tasty seasonings..so eat it with a “Fork” on top than use a “Spoon” on bottom!

…and for dessert Fall into a pot of Chocolate Fondue…

FYI:  Fondue is Swiss in origin and is a baked soufflé-like dish of hot liquid in which small pieces of food (in this case fruits, cakes and marshmallows) are cooked or dipped: beef fondue; chocolate fondue.

…and it can be quite romantic too ( yet another method to stay warm in the chilly Fall season=Fondue>>>>>>just kidding I meant Romance)!

Now that we have discussed the Science, Skin Care, Fashion, and Dishes of the Fall season…we know it is a time of “coming to the end” as we will “lose an hour” (you remember daylight saving…fall backward and Spring forward),  we know that when coming to any “end” you should look back in reflection and reevaluate your past actions and decisions as you look forward to what is new!

The Beauty of Fall…allows one to easily fall in love with Fall!

So, as you walk through the Fall leaves, drink in the fresh crisp air, think not of chemistry; but of the wonderous of creation and of our God and His beautiful handiwork…think of Fall!!!!

Fall is a great time to settle back and reflect on your life!

Link

HONDURAS!

ahí los vidrios

Flying over the bluest blue oceans I was wondering where shall we land next; where should our next destination be now?…feeling a little homesick I decided to land in my home country—Honduras!  Afterall, should not the Pilot visit where she first took her scheduled flight!?!  I love Honduras and all the memories of childhood.  Nestled in my mother’s arms I felt the safety love and security which one feels as a child with loving parents.  Therefore there is little wonder why I long to revisit my homeland!  Oh how I hope, it will still be the beautiful land from which I remember as a child?  I hope it will.  As I search for the coordinates, the very name- Honduras- evokes memories of delicious foods, wonderful scenery, and loving family, friends and neighbors–I knew I must make this special visit meaningful.

First some facts about our destination to paradise.  Geographically, Honduras is at the heart of Central America, and is quite unique (other than being the birth place of the Pilot), it has both shores on the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean.  Further, attributed to it uniqueness, Honduras has borders with three of its sister countries in Central America: Guatemala and El Salvador to the west, and Nicaragua to the southeast.  Also, it is the most mountainous country in Central America, and yet the only one without any active volcanoes.  Additionally, the Bay Islands of Honduras enjoy a privileged geographic location that puts them on the south-eastern end of the great Meso-American Barrier Reef,  which is the most bio diverse barrier reef in the World!  (travelpedia)

Honduras is home to a wide range of ethnic and indigenous peoples

As you view the old black and white photo pictured below, you can surmise that I do not appear to look like the phenotypical Spaniard.   It is important to learn that Honduras was home to several important indigenous cultures, most notably the Maya.  Although, much of the country was conquered by Spain, which introduced its now predominant language and many of its customs in the sixteenth century. It became independent in 1821 and has been a Republic since the end of Spanish rule. (wikipedia)

FYI: Maya a member of a major pre-Columbian civilization of the Yucatán Peninsula that reached its peak in the 9th century a.d. and produced magnificent ceremonial cities with pyramids, a sophisticated mathematical and calendar system, hieroglyphic writing, and fine sculpture, painting, and ceramics.

Further background of what makes Honduras so special.  During the first millennium, Honduras was inhabited by the Mayan civilization in the western part and other Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures in the rest. Columbus  (yes, “the” Christopher Columbus) first explored the country in 1502, and Honduras became a  Spanish Colony. Honduras, with four other Central American nations, declared its independence from Spain on September 15, 1821 to form a Federation of Central American states. In 1838, Honduras left the federation and became independent.

Over 90% of the seven million people in Honduras are mestizo.  This means that they have a mixed ancestry of Europeans and natives.  There are also 7 minority groups including native tribes and Garifunas, descended from African-Caribbean slaves.  The largest indigenous group is the Lenca tribe, known for their distinctive pottery. Many Honduras call themselves indios, or Indians.

Read more: Honduran Americans – History, The colonial era, The independent republic of honduras http://www.everyculture.com/multi/Ha-La/Honduran-Americans.html#ixzz26vrb7VIB

FYI: a person of racially mixed ancestry, especially, in Latin America, of mixed American Indian and European, usually Spanish or Portuguese, ancestry, or, in the Philippines, of mixed native and foreign ancestry.

IMG-20120915-00060.jpg

Interesting Basic Facts about our newest destination: HONDURAS

Official Name: República de Honduras
(It was formerly known as “Spanish Honduras” in order to differentiate it from British Honduras, which is now Belize)
Population: 7.5 million
Capital: Tegucigalpa
Area: 112,492 km² (43,433 sq miles)
Currency: Lempira (HNL)
National Holiday: 15th of September
Calling Code: + 504
Time Zone: GMT-6
GDP: Total – US$ 15.288 billion (2010)
GPD: Per Capita – US$ 1,912  (veinte mundos).

Basic facts are important to know when traveling, although you are a “tourist” you do not necessarily want to look and act like a tourist.  No problem since you will be traveling with a catracho!

A “catracho” is a Honduran. The expression comes from Nicaraguans mispronouncing the name of Honduran General Xatruch, who in the 1850s beat back the numerous attempts of a North American adventurer bent on colonizing Central America and turning it into a collection of slave states. His defeat was and continues to be a huge source of pride for Honduras. Well done, amigos! (Hungry Passport).

Now, how shall we navigate throughout this wonderland/homeland I have set down upon?!

It is true that Spanish is the official language of Honduras. Although Spanish is the primary language, English is spoken widely in the North and on the Bay islands of the coast of the Caribbean (and the Bay Island is where we shall be spending much of our time).  (“World Travel Guide”)

Other languages spoken:

  • There are 10 individual languages listed in Honduras. Some of the Amerindian languages include Garifuna, Miskito, Tol and Pech.
  • Bay Islands English– over 10,000 people speak an English-based Creole along the Caribbean shore of Honduras. It shares similarities with Belizean Creole language.
  • Arabic – there is a large Arabic population living in Honduras, most of them are of Palestine descent (over 150,000 inhabitants). They are fully integrated in the country and played an important role in the country’s economic development. Today there are over 40,000 Arabic speakers in the country.
  • Other important immigrant groups that have maintained their language are Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese) and Armenians.

Spanish dialects and variations:

  • The Spanish spoken in Tegucigalpa is the norm for Honduran Spanish; however this Spanish has many influences from more rural forms of Spanish due to strong migrations to the city.
  • Northern Honduran coastal Spanish has developed with influences from the British (that occupied the surrounding area), local tribes, as well as the large population of people of African descent. In some cases in the north, Spanish is only spoken as a second language.
  • Spanish in the interior of the country has a less pronounced accent. The aspiration of ‘s’ , for example, is less pronounced.
  • Honduras has bilingual (Spanish and English) and even trilingual (Spanish, English, German/Turkish)  schools and numerous universities.

These words are some slang words used in Honduras and therefore may be useful to know.  Some may also be used in neighboring El Salvador and elsewhere.

  • Bolulo – bread roll
  • Trucha or pulpería – corner shop
  • Relajo – mess
  • Jura – police patrol
  • Pisto -money
  • Birria – beer
  • Maje – dude
  • Cipote(a) – kid (male, when it ends with “e”; and female, when it ends with “a”)

With the largest region of tropical rainforest in the Northern Hemisphere, mango groves, beautiful beaches and coral reefs, Honduras has much to offer in natural beauty, other than the Pilot (lol).  Added to that is a rich cultural heritage of both native and Spanish influences, one that can easily see how Honduras is becoming an eco-tourism mecca. Known for being less westernized and commercialized than other Central American countries, like for example Costa Rica, Honduras is attracting those seeking a more authentic travel experience…like what we are seeking to discovery!

FYI: The term westernization means “to influence with ideas, customs, practices, etc., characteristic of the Occident or of the western U.S.”

In part because of the lack of Westernization, it may be more difficult to find eco, sustainable, or community based tours online before you arrive in Honduras.  Often the owners of hotels are able to help find local options…so no need for us to worry.  Below are a few of the different locations we shall visit while our stay in Honduras. (Honduras Wiki).

Since Honduras is a country of diversity,  depending on your tastes you can have a variety of experiences.  All locations below have the 3 lodging options that meet our needs for some of the most popular Honduran destinations: luxury, midrange, and budget.

Honduras is hot and humid almost year-round so bring a large selection of swim wear…and by the way get swimming lessons, if you are not able to swim.   Temperatures vary by altitude rather than season. The average high temperature nationwide is 32°C (90°F) and the average low is 20°C (68°F). Temperatures are coolest in mountain areas.

Where shall we go exactly…with so many choices?!

So, where shall we stay while on our visit, due to the fact that it has so many many choices depending on your taste…:

What is your flavor??…?

Do you want to lay out onto the white crystal-like  Beaches and Coasts located on the – Bay Islands, Cayos Cochinos, Roatan Island (where scuba-diving, coral reefs, fishing is preferred), and the Gulf of Fonseca.

Then when you grown weary of the Beaches, why not tarry in the Cities, Towns, and enjoy the regional folklore – Comayagua, Garifunda Communities, Tegucigalpa, La Ceiba, Trujillo  (local customs, museums, music, gastronomy abound).

But if you are open to adventure, thresh through the Lowland and Jungles – Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Cacao Lagoon, or Pico Bonito National Park (if you get a chance please be sure to visit the Parque Nacional Montana de Celaque has one of the highest mountains in Honduras and is home to a beautiful cloud forest. The small town of Gracias is about 6.5 km away from the park entrance….you will thank me).

FYI: A cloud forest is similar to a rainforest, but at high altitudes.

If your brain is what requires  stimulation, visit the Historical Heritage of – Copan, Omoa Fortress.

Lastly in you really want to see “what is up” climb unto the Highlands – Lake Yojoa, Celaque National Park, Ocotepeque (thermal baths, hiking, bird watching called ornithology…).

However our first visit should be the town where I was born, La Ceiba.  Why La Ceiba?…not only was I born there but; La Ceiba is a gateway to the Bay Islands and the Rainforest, also, La Ceiba is well known for its nightlife.

ROATAN  the largest of the three bay islands, Roatan is a short ferry ride from the main land.  The island offers a true Caribbean experience with snorkeling, diving, and fishing.

on my last visit to Roatan, what was most notably were the crystal clear waters…I explained in glee “I see fish people”

IMG_0092.jpg

wow, I was glad I got a pretty pedicure…LOL!

COPAN RUINAS Known as Xukpi in the Mayan Empire, Copan Ruinas is a popular tourist attraction in western Honduras. An easy 1 km walk from town brings you to the ruins where you can choose to take an organized tour.  I suggest booking a tour at your hotel or resort (even asking a nice waiter or waitress).

…From gorgeous reefs to verdant rainforest and ancient Mayan ruins, Honduras has awakens the adventure travellers desires. (Imagine Costa Rica, only quieter and cheaper.).  Roatan and Utila are two of the world’s top scuba destinations; so take a lesson before you book one of these excurions.  If you fly right into Roatan and staying on a resort, I wouldn’t hesitate to say you  are totally safe while on vacation; but lets keep it “Pilot smart”, here are a few TIPS:

  • Don’t flash jewelry, cellphones, watches or wallets.
  • Don’t hike alone in remote areas; as the Pilot always suggest Travel in Groups…especially with your friends.

Yes there is so much to do and so many places to visit within your visit…for example here are some of my TOP PICKS:

1.  LITTLE FRENCH KEY:  A private island retreat in Roatan island.  Both eco friendly and mystical, this place is built with kindness to the environment and people in mind, Little French Key is where you get back to your essence. Roatan is an uncommon place to rejuvenate physically, mentally and spiritually.

getlstd_property_photo

2.  SANDY BAY BEACH (where my dear sweet mother lived as a child) The property is unique to Roatan. Just off the main road to a private beach area. This area is part of the Roatan Marine Park preserve. The reef system parallels the white sand beach of Sandy Bay. The closest swim to a underwater ecological paradise teaming with tropical fish and corals. This area is a quiet tranquil area of Roatan without high end hotels and condos

3. BAY ISLAND UNDERWATER MUSEUM: An awesome snorkeling adventure at the depth of a swimming pool. The Bay Islands Underwater Museum will take you on a guided snorkel tour of one of the most beautiful reefs in the Caribbean and so much more! Discover Mayan artifacts, a Spanish Galleon ship wreck and the Treasure Chest. This is fun for the whole family. The Bay Islands Underwater Museum is an experience you will never forget.

the world’s largest underwater sculpture museum while at the Bay Islands…it is a must see!

*The Bay Islands of Honduras are gems in the Western Caribbean, providing a different culture and scenery to that of the mainland.  The islanders of UtilaRoatan and Guanaja are all proud of their British heritage, and these English speaking islands have become a true favorite for both leisure travellers and diving fans, as well as for investors looking to purchase a piece of paradise to retire in.

4. COXEN HOLE’s FINS AND FLIPPERS is a Private island off of Coxen Hole. snorkeling, beach massage. Shuttle from Roatan cruise pier every 30 minutes.

5. WEST END, Roatan

6. COPÁN one of the most impressive ruins of the Maya civilization, known for the quality of its sculpture

beautiful beaches as well as Hot Springs to sooth the soul and the soles of your feet! lol

You can find good hotels even in small towns if you are willing to pay a bit more (Honduras is not really an expensive country). Nevertheless a visit is worthwhile, especially to the ancient Maya ruins in Copán, the colonial towns of  Gracias and Comayagua, and the fantastic Caribbean Coast.

<a href=”http://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotos-g292019-d1441401-Fins_n_Flippers-Roatan_Bay_Islands.html”><img alt=”Photos of Fins ‘n Flippers, Roatan” src=”http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/01/8b/29/8d/the-reef.jpg”/></a><br/>This photo of <a href=”http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g292019-d1441401-Reviews-Fins_n_Flippers-Roatan_Bay_Islands.html”>Fins ‘n Flippers is courtesy of TripAdvisor

6. WEST BAY Roatan has a tranquil tropical island feel…translation easy breezy!

7. UTILA is the smallest of the Caribbean Bay Islands and it is said to offer more inexpensive travel options than Roatan

The world’s second-largest barrier reef runs alongside Utila island, and teems with varied and awe-inspiring marine life (Central America Travel).

Other cities or places to visit …the Hot spots:

  • Tegucigalpa (Spanish pronunciation: [teɣusiˈɣalpa]) — the capital and largest city of Honduras with an international airport.
  • San Pedro Sula — located in the Sula Valley in the northwest corner of the country, this is a major transportation and economic hub.
  • La Ceiba — port city on Caribbean coast with great beaches and daily ferries to the Bay Islands.
  • El Progreso — located at a strategic crossroads where major highways towards Comayagua, San Pedro Sula and Tela all converge.
  • Comayagua — the former capital of the country is today a quiet colonial town with a beautiful cathedral, notable Spanish architecture and an historic town centre.
  • Gracias— a pleasant colonial mountain town; nearby Parque Celaque is home to the highest mountain in Honduras set amongst wonderful cloud forests.
  • Puerto Cortes — the main harbour town on the Caribbean coast.
  • Tela — an old city with a beautiful sandy coastline and is also home to the second largest humid tropical botanical garden for commercial plants in the world.
  • Santa Rosa de Copán — temperate mountain city in the western part of the region, and the nearest place of any size to Copán.

 What shall we eat…lets go local?!

The Honduran “Plato tipico” is the most famous lunch. It consists of rice, beef, fried beans (frijolitos), and fried bananas (tajaditas). If you are lucky, it will also come with chimol, a fresh, non-spicy salsa made of tomatoes, green peppers, onions, cilantro and lime juice.

No,  this is not your ordinary  Pico de Gallo its CHIMOL!  Basically it is like the Mexican  “Pico de Gallo” but: without the the spicy chili and sweetness of fruits. We will typically use it with grilled meats, assada,  but goes well with most any meal!

Say Good morning  or Buenos días Honduran style …with a Baleadas are a Honduran original. A baleada sencilla (simple) consists of a thick flour tortilla filled with fried beans, cheese (queso), and a type of cream similar to sour cream but not sour (crema or mantequilla).  A baleada especial usually also comes with beans and cheese in it also you can sometimes get avocado or even meat (I would urge you to use Beef, Chicken or Turkey…no swine please).

Other choices are tacos and enchiladas, but do not expect them to be like those in Mexico. The tacos are meat rolled in a corn tortilla and deep fried. The enchiladas are a flat fried corn tortilla topped with ground beef, cheese and a red sauce….below is an example of what my mother oft prepared when there was not much in the left…little that we knew we were eating like Princes and Princess…and it was good!

My mother made this for us all the time; she called it  Enchilades (she used ground beef…no pork for her family).

Other mainstays include atól, corn soup (roots in Mayan cuisine. They are a sort of thick drink often eaten with a spoon.);  mondongo; and tamales.  Also, the diet of the Garifuna is based largely  on cassava, a   starchy root that is similar in texture, consistency, and  taste to the  potato that we all know. The Garifuna create combinations of cassava, coconuts,  plantains,  avocado, pineapples,  and meat, sometimes  all in the same stew. A favorite is Machuca, a stew of fried fish and mashed plantains in a coconut base.

Cassava root and cassava boiled and served as a meal. (my mother will utilize this in most soups and stews.

Machuca Stew (Left Picture)….. Atol de elote (is based on fresh corn (elote) and has a wonderfully fresh flavor)

Tamales are a White masa, and Red masa (add achiotoe with the sauce or gravy from your chicken) wrapped in a Banana Leaf with the chicken that you stewed, olives, white potatoes, garbonzo also called chickpeas, white rice, among other ingredients.

Mondongo soup is a tripe soup in a tomato base with corn, plantian, potatoes and yucca.  It is also loaded with local vegetables and home grown spices and seasonings.

Tapado De Pescado, is a traditional stew made from fish or meat, sowly cooked with cocount milk & plantains.

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In Honduras, a “pastelito” is a lunch time favorite to order. Pastelitos consist of a flour or corn tortilla filled with either beef or chicken, as well as potatoes and various spices. They are folded in half and then deep fried (Corn to your left, the filling, and Flour to your right).

The staple of the mestizo Honduran diet is Rice and Beans .  My mother has always enjoyed using chicken as well…con pollo!

TIP: Use coconut milk to stew the rice and beans…this adds a smooth creamy flavor!

Oxtails (tail of an ox or steer) was prepared many times in my home…even today I see this as a special treat…made during the holidays and my birthday!

Another typical meal which my mother prepared quite often was flitters  (this could be eaten as a side dish for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner).

my mother called these “johnny cakes” a bread-like rolls and /or sandwich pockets from South and Central American food called arepas.

Pictured to your right are what my mother called Sweet Banana, the middle Yellow Plantain, then Green Plantains on your left.

Ripe Banana Plantain………….Yellow Plantains……………..Green Plantains (left)

Pictured in the center of the bunch (in the upper center photo) are Yellow Plantains

When you are Honduran an over ripe banana…meant Banana Bread or Plátanos Fritos (Fried ripe plantains) o your right!  When you are poor ecomomically you can actually be rich in resourcefulness; and my mother was a resourceful woman.  Afterall it is said that” necessity is the mother of invention”?!

Coco (Coconut) Cake with Yucca for dessert was a common but savory treat……Banana Cake, on your right  (with a little whip cream to top)

Nances are a fruit that taste tart, yet has a sweet undertone.  In some areas Nance fruit is called “craboo”.

Mango, If you grew up in Honduras hearing the dropping sounds of Mangoes are common and seemed to be quite annoying when I was a child…little did I know, that as an adult in the USA I will craze it so (oh how I long for those sounds of childhood)…!

When there was an important affair in the family during the summer months, my mother prepared a Fruit Basket.  Now this was not any traditional basket like they design at Edible Creations; no my mother bought a melon-baller and tenderly balled out perfectly rounded melons of all kinds (Cantelope, Crenshaw, Honeydew, Santa Claus and Watermelon).  Then she placed all inside an excavated Watermelon; along with Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, and Raspberries. oooooh what a treat!

Tamarind Drink is made from the Tamarind  seed; which can be made into a very refreshing and tasty drink!

Horachata Drink is a drink that is basically soaked rice water with spices such as cinnamon, all spice and nutmeg!  My mother would always place a stick of cinnanon into the drink…afterall she knew a thing or two about presentation!

Pinapple Drink: My mother would soak the rind of the pineapples, after serving the meat of the pineapple, to prepare for us a Sweet Piña Drinks in the Summer ater we played the day away outside.  It was as though I had extra energy to jump rope with my friends:)

 

Fruit Drinkwhen Holiday season arrived my mother would prepare a apecial fruit drink, (with fresh Fruits of various kinds, Seagrams’ Ginger Ale, Sprite and other secrets).  As a child I would drink this as it was water…not quite understanding the time it took to prepare. Just understanding the main ingredient was  her “LOVE“!

my favorite drink of all time is CoCo water….basically it is the juice from the coconut plant

whether it is your normal coconut……………………………. or the “young” coconut

our Lemonades; where actually made of Limeade………….Guayaba Drink (she made it fresh)

Despite their unlovely exterior, the inside is sweet and soft.

According to authoritative internet sources such as Wikipedia, the lychee tree originated in southern China, but grows well in semi-tropical and tropical regions. An added bonus is the nutritional bonanza of a lychee: nine lychee provide 100% of the recommended
daily allowance for Vitamin C, along with a variety of minerals.  If you happen to find some lychee north of the border, I suggest you use a sharp  knife to open the tough exterior, as well as for dislodging the stony pit. The center somewhat resembles an almond, but it is bitter, although edible.  Of  course, if you live in Honduras, the closest thing you will find in the stores  to a sharp good blade is a machete.

What shall we wear…when it is time to celebrate?

     

Traditional Honduran Dress….Mayan Girls in traditional wear…..Traditioal Garifuna “punta” instruments

young children dressed in traditional clothing……Ms Honduras dressed in National Costume (2010)

Honduras Independence Day festivities start early in the morning with marching bands. Each band wears different colors and features cheerleaders. Fiesta Catracha takes place this same day: typical Honduran foods such as beans, tamales, baleadas, cassava with meat, and tortillas are offered.
Important Celebrations

Some of Honduras’ national holidays include Honduras Independence Day on 15 September and Children’s Day or Día del Niño, which is celebrated in homes, schools and churches on 10 September; on this day, children receive presents and have parties similar to Christmas or birthday celebrations. Some neighborhoods have piñatas on the street. Other holidays are Easter,  Mauny Thursday, Good Friday, Day of the Soldier (3 October to celebrate the birth of Franisco Morazán), Christmas, El Dia de Lempira on 20 July, and New Year’s Eve.

Travel Tips

• Purified water is used in big-city hotels and restaurants, but bottled water is definitely recommended for outlying areas for Travel:

• It is not recommended to buy much food in the streets (people who are selling food just by the sidewalk). Remember Honduran food can be spicy too, so be careful if you are not used to it.

• Many travel agencies and different places will tell you that Honduras is a dangerous country concerning illnesses, this is not true. People are just as ill all over Latin America (nothing out of what is normal), just take the necessary precautions.  HIV is a problem in Honduras so be careful as you would in your own country.

• Use caution when traveling alone in Honduras, at night its best to take a radio dispatched taxi no matter what part you’re in.

• Use common sense at night. Foreigners are sometimes robbed on the streets of Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula at night by thieves who stake out areas in front of tourist hotels.

Honduran Americans are a very diverse group. They include those of Spanish,  mixed, Mayan, black Carib, African, Palestinian and Chinese   ancestry, among  many others. They have made important improvements in their own standards  of living, major educational and professional achievements, and important  cultural contributions to American society.  In the future, they must face  the challenges of prejudice from some Americans and overcome a history of  poverty.

Read more: Honduran Americans – History, The colonial era, The independent republic of honduras http://www.everyculture.com/multi/Ha-La/Honduran-Americans.html#ixzz26vq5cCpM

 Miss Universe Honduras 2010 Pictures

Miss Universe Honduras 2010 Kenia Martinez’s Crowning Moment

Miss Honduras 2011, Keilyn Gomez

Remember in order to appreciate life you must enjoy the richness it has to offer…so go lay on a beautiful beach, eat exotic foods, meet new people and enjoy HONDURAS!

If you believe that: DIVERSITY IS A BEAUTIFUL THING…

visit

Honduras!

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What to wear of a 7 Day Cruise to the Western Caribbean if you are MALE by Jackelín

Since swimming is going to be one activity that you will engage in quite frequently while in the Caribbean’s; I would suggest that you bring along:

3 Different Swim Wear

1)      Longer Trucks (length hitting your knees.)…perfect for the beaches!

Longer trunks allow you to perform all types of beach side activities like surfing, jet skiing and wake boarding with ease!

2)      Mid-length Trucks (length hitting up to your mid-thigh)…perfect for the pool side!

Select the traditional cut, and colors, from elastic waist band, to draw-string, and try the brand name cooltan where you can get a tan all over (NO visible tan lines)…buy a pair with an animal print to cause a roar at the pool (meowww)!

3)      Shorter truck (Speedo type)…perfect for the hot tub/whirl pool nights.

Pack a short pair that shows off that body you work so hard to achieve…emerge out of the cabana like 007’s Daniel Craig!

**TIP: Most cruise lines have an “Adult Only” section…away from the screaming and splashing ninos!

2.  Get a cover-up to wear on the beaches; when you are not in the water the sun in Caribbeans will be very very hot and tend to burn…so protect yourself!

Purchase a matching cotton polo shirt that compliments some element from you swim trunk, or a white cotton button down shirt, why not try a mens super sexy sarong; like they wear in Hawaii…aloha!

3.  Wear some head gear; if you decide to rock the low cut as most men commonly do…(e.g. Common, Michael Jordan and Pitbull) pack: a Hat, a Cap and Scarf/Bandana.  Trust me you will be glad you did…the brim will keep that blazing sun at bay!

3.  Sunglasses (important to get ones with UVA protection lenses). As your Personal Stylist, I suggest the aviator style, this particular shape frames well with most male strong facial features.  Protect your vision and get relief from eye strain from squinting so much.  Also, you won’t be so obvious peeping at the ladies (lol)!

4. Be sure to pack Swim Goggles (especially if you would like to look underwater in the Caribbean Seas…and that is one thing you would not want to miss). Pack a Beach Towel & Beach Bag to carry your Suntan Lotion/Sunblock, Beach Towel, Bottled Water, and wallet…when swimming at the beach. As with most cruise lines to prevent “stow-a-ways” you need to show your ID or Room Card to re-board the Ship.  Also, although the cruise line provides towels while on board…when you are on the island beaches you may not be allowed to carry them when you leave the ship.

 

5.  Get a pair of flip-flops the type that you place between the big toes, (like the picture to your left), for the beaches…these are easier to rinse off the sand after leaving the beach front.  Also, a pair that you can slip at pool-side (like the picture in the middle)….if you have nice toes, and most groomed men do…so show them off! (Invest in a manicure & pedicure before you sail, cool men with swagger do it ALL the time.

         

…and get an extra pair that is a bit nicer with arch support, like the picture to your right, for those Causal Dinners (they will not be full of sand for the afternoon’s beach swim).

TIP: Get a manicure and pedicure…

since you will be going barefoot quite often you will want to have feet and hands that are appropriate on a quality vacation.

6.  Get some Lip Balm to protect your lips from the sun (get the type with an SPF sunscreen).  Healthy lips look nice…sun burnt, dry cracked lips, not the style for a man on a quality cruise line!  It will be the hottest time of the month so your “saliva“ is NOT going to work to keep them lips looking supple (LOL).

7.  Get sun protection for your face and body….you can still get that dark tan look; but you should  protect yourself from getting burnt and red (not cool).  Getting deep brown and tanned in a healthy manner is not only smart; but aids in the prevention of skin cancer too.

8.  Pack a set of Cleanser, Toner and Moisturizer of your face. (I know you are such a smart guy… so you want to be one of those brotha’s who is wise about their skin STAYING in good condition for years and years).  A man with nice skin, unless he is born with it, did something to…get it and keep it…that way.

Cleanse/Exfoliate                                         Astringent/Tone                            Moisturize/Protect

FYI:  Use quality products…afterall doesn’t your skin deserve it!!

Step 1:   Cleanse/Exfoilate:  Daily Facial Wash/Cleanser –
Preferably, a soap-free product that removes dirt, grime, dead skin cells, pollutants and excess oil-reducing blackheads and shiny spots.  After use, your skin should feel clean and refreshed.

Step 2:    Tone/Astringent:  This clear lotion removes excess oil, cleansing/shaving residue, reducing shine while toning the skin.  By removing excess oil, clogged pores are eliminated and blackheads are prevented.  Toning closes the pores and refreshes the skin.

Step 3:   Moisturize/Protect: Lotion or cream formulas that add moisture to the skin, protecting and conditioning against harsh environments, while assisting with anti-ageing.  After use, your skin should feel smooth, not flakey nor tight.

*TIP: The following two products are used once to three times a week, depending on your skin type, in place of your daily face wash.

Facial Scrub/Exfoliate –  This is similar to a daily wash/cleanser; but, also includes small particles and enzymes that  works to remove built up dirt in the pores and dissolve dead skin cells.  By removing dead skin cells and ingrained dirt that cause blockages, it reduces problems with in-grown hairs.  After use, skin should feel smooth and soft.   These should be used two to three times a week, depending on your skin type, so as not to dry skin out.

Clay Masks – For a truly deep cleanse of your pores, use a mask on your t-zone area.  Masks help reduce excess oil buildup, enhancing your skin tone and texture.

9.  Get a great Body Wash for your Bod (body washes help keeps your skin in good condition:  looking nice, smelling good, and maintains your healthy skin; from the top of your head to the tips of your toes and everywhere in between lol).

 

one the BEST shave creams is from The Body Shop…EVER!

12. Pack a new tooth brush (manual or electrical brush head)…

 

  

According to webmd  You can’t overestimate the importance of good oral hygiene — not only for dental health, but for your overall wellbeing. In fact, gum disease is a major risk factor for the development of serious health conditions, including  heart disease and diabetes.

Also, Numerous scientific studies have been conducted to investigate whether manual or powered toothbrushes are more effective at reducing gum disease and eliminating plaque. A review of nearly 30 studies comparing disposable and electric toothbrushes found that, overall, there was not a significant difference between electric and manual toothbrushes in their ability to remove plaque and prevent gum disease. But, evidence suggests that a certain type of powered toothbrush called a rotation oscillation toothbrush (the bristles go round and round and back and forth) is more effective than manual toothbrushes

FYI:  You should change your tooth-brush whether it is electric or manual every 3 months.

TIPBRUSH YOUR TEETH . . . BEFORE BREAKFAST
Tooth enamel begins to dissolve when the pH in your mouth reaches an acidic 5.5. Since fruit juices can have an even more acidic pH of three, it’s worth brushing before downing them. “If you forget, wait for an hour, by which time the enamel will be tougher,” advises dentist David Cocket.

11.  Pack at least two fragrances

1. Daytime:     Calvin Klein’s Eternity Cologne is a clean, crisp and fresh blend a  refreshing scent for days under the sun. Top Note: Aldehydes, Bergamot, Tarragon Middle Note: Floral Notes, Lavender, Cedar, Glasswort Base Note: Floating Wood, White Amber, Musk, Patchouli.

2. Evenings:     Fahrenheit Cologne by Christian Dior has a fragrant note is a Woody Floral Musk fragrance for men.  Top notes are lavender, mandarin orange, hawthorn, nutmeg flower, cedar, bergamot, chamomile and lemon; middle notes are nutmeg, honeysuckle, carnation, sandalwood, violet leaf, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley and cedar; Base notes are leather, tonka bean, amber, patchouli, musk and vetiver.

12.  Pack deodorant that is water proof, and shows no visible signs that you are armed with deodorant…

p.s. without aluminum in it.

TIP: Finding a deodorant without aluminum can be quite difficult, but it is something you should make an effort to do. If you do not yet understand why aluminum is a toxic substance that can be harmful to the human body, keep reading.

FYI: The presence of aluminum in the body has been linked with various health risks. It is commonly cited that an accumulation  of aluminum in the body is a leading cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, research has demonstrated that aluminum may increase the risk of breast cancer. Aluminum is in fact classed as a neurotoxin – that word alone should indicate that it is not intended to be applied to the body!

TIP:   APPLY FRAGRANCE . . . BEFORE MOISTURISING
“Fragrance tends to last longer on well-hydrated and moisturised skin,” says fragrance expert Roja Dove. He suggests applying the scent first, then the moisturizer later. Try NIVEA FOR MEN Sensitive moisturizer.

TIP:  SCRUB YOUR FACE . . .  THE NIGHT BEFORE SHAVING
“Many men make the mistake of using scrubs just before shaving,” says Sally Penford, of the International Dermal Institute. “But shaving itself exfoliates the skin, so a better idea is to scrub the night before – that way you’ll reap all the benefits but won’t further aggravate your skin in the process.”

TIP:  SHAVE . . . AT LEAST 10 MINUTES AFTER WAKING
Skin is puffy first thing,” says male-grooming expert Jason Shankey. “Give it 10 minutes to settle and for any creasing to subside and you’ll have a smoother surface for shaving. Having woken up properly, you’ll also be more accurate with the blade.”

TIP:   MOISTURISE . . . LAST THING
“Studies have shown that water loss through the skin is greatest at night, so apply moisturiser before bed,” says dermatologist Nick Lowe. “Moisturising is more beneficial then because the cream will be better absorbed in a warm bed.”

WHAT TO WEAR: Rock these looks for most days:

Relaxed light colored shorts and pale colored polo-styled shirts and some short sleeves, a few sleeveless tees, with flip-flops or sandals and sunglasses!

Pack as many pairs of shorts that there are days you will be sailing…after all you will be able to mix-and-math with your various tees.

Since you will sweat your way through the day…pack more tees than shorts…use the “roll” technique to hold as many as possible in your suit cases.

 

a few Graphic tees,  a couple of brightly colored “v neck tees”, a low neck tee for an International look!

   

get the guns ready and pack a few tank tee shirts with a sleeveless tee (bang bang)!

 

pack a 3/4 sleeved baseball tee (represent your home team), and a comfy long sleeved tee as well.

For the Dinners there will be 3 types: On a 7 day Cruise

3 Nights for Causal, 1 Night for Smart Causal, and 2 Nights for Formal

1.   Casual Dinners:

    

PACK: a light weight pattern shirt, a solid colored dressy-feel tee shirt, a Polo-styled shirt.  A khaki long pant and a dark colored light weight pant.  This is the time to bust out the sandals (sorry no flip flops allowed).

2. Smart Casual Dinner:

   

PACK: 1 Sport Coat/Jacket,  a pair of lightly colored pant.  Try the Jeremy Hackett the Mr Classical’s european chic look, a modern cool vest look, and a smart buttoned long-sleeved cotton Shirt with a flat front pant…please pack a belt and matching shoes!

3.   Formal Dinners:

  

PACK: 1 Dark dapper Navy Suit with a matching Jacket a Pant, 2 Silk Shirts that will compliment your Suit and 2 Silk Ties that coordinates with your Shirt (one can be stripped and tones of the most subtle color of your Silk Shirt, the other Tie can be a solid color that is daring and shouts for everyones attention and bring your dress shoes and socks!

EXTRA TIPS:

  • Have single dollars bills handy to tip the individuals carrying your luggage and loading them on the Shuttle Bus (remember you can “ check-in” 2 free pieces onboard  and have  1 “carry-on” …TSA approved of course)  according to Southwest Airlines.
  •  Bring gum to chew for the decompression on board the Airplane.
  • Bring extra cash to buy your family and friends’ souvenirs (…Let your memories be theirs too).  I would suggest to bring cash…since Credit Card use may be a bit risky.
  •  Bring a digital camera to take lots of pictures and videos (get a Memory card the standard card is capable of storing a wide range of data files, such as audio and video clips, images, and text documents.  In general, the memory card makes use of flash memory in order to maintain the integrity of the files loaded onto the card.  Now you can get one  from 2 to one with 64GB (gigabyte) of storage capacity (that  is like 12,230 photos or 480 minutes of video taping or 545 hours and 8 minutes.
  • Binoculars are another often forgotten, yet indispensable travel item. Be sure to pack a pair for magnified excitement onboard and onshore.
  • Your cell phone will probably not work or the price of sending and receiving messages may be VERY expensive so check with your Cell carrier.
  • Check with your Banking Institution to inform them you are on an “international vacation”….for your protection, some banks place a hold on your card as “theft protection” when they detect unusual spending.
  • You may become ill from eating strange exotic foods and partying the night away; so pack: Alka-Seltzer, Pepto-Bismol, Milk of Magnesia and Aleve Pain Reliever…no time to take a night off to recuperate!
  • I am not sure what you are looking for on this cruise so bring “protection” too (after all you some of you are a single man, not currently in a committed relationships,  remember you are going to locations with mucho attractive women…so be prepared just in case you may want to sample the taste of the local cuisine). Trojan man!
  • Bring one of those Travel Toilette Bags (comb, toothbrush, nail clippers, razor, file, scissors (less than 4”) etc.; that will make you all the more prepared when it is your turn to get ready in the morning or for Dinner, and not  inconvenient your Cabin mate who you are sharing a room and only 1 compact bathroom.
  • Purchase s few of those Luggage Tags (this will be invaluable if your bags are lost or misdirected). While you are at it, get a Passport Cover (this makes it more difficult to misplace and easier to identify in a pile).
  • Take a picture of your packed suitcase and keep all receipts of purchases (for insurance purpose or in case you need to file a claim with the Airline).  Place a sheet of paper of your final destination inside of your suitcase, to make it easier to get it to you in case of lost luggage!

….Please take the advantage of these suggestions that I have offered about these tips…I am living proof that it can help make your vacations that more stress-free (after all vacations are a time to de-stress and have good times; which will make wonderful memories with family, old friends, and the new ones you are sure to meet).

Most importantly bring your fun personality and warm smile.  There may be things that do not go as planned while cruising or someone may get you irritated at times…but enjoy the ride while enjoying your life…life can be short and fleeting!.  Hey, book an Excursion (SOMETHING DIFFERENT) go on the same one as your friends and group, this is a once in a life time experience so experience it to the fullest!!!!  ….as they French would say Bon Voyage!

 FYI: Bon Voyage is a French phrase borrowed into English meaning, literally, “good journey, and usually translated as meaning “have a good trip”!

 

LAST TIP…PLEASE DO NOT PEGGED TO BE THE “COMPLAINER” OF THE GROUP…EVERYTHING DOES NOT ALWAYS GO AS PLANNED AND THERE MAY BE FOODS, DRINKS AND ACTIVITIES YOU DO NOT LIKE OR CARE FOR;  BUT YOU DO NOT WANT OTHER COMPLAINING, THAT YOU COMPLAIN TOO MUCH (AND TRUST ME THEY WILL…) last last tip: if you love complaining it is suggested that you go on a vacation planned, booked, and coordinated “by yourself”…that way it will ALL be perfect!…LOLOLOL

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1.  Since swimming is going to be one activity that you will engage in quite frequently while in the Caribbean; I would suggest that you bring along:

                                                                                 3         Different Swim Wear Options

   

1)      Tankini (this style will enable you to engage in numerous activities, while maintaining a youthful style, perfect for the beaches, try a neutral color with bling or sparkle edging, a two layered brightly colored suit that can disguise a plump tummy, try a tankini with the visual interest of a keyhole or a suit with a skirted bottom that can conceal the “cottage cheese” (aka cellulite) !

   

2)      One Piece Swimsuit (this option can offer you the peace of mind of movement)…perfect for the pool-side use with colorful nautical poka-a-dot playful prints, geometrical lines to enhance your curves,  floucy one shouldered bright red suit or a daring monokini-suits (one with a peek-a-boo cut out with bling it up to the edge !

3)      Bikinis could be an option if you have religiously stuck to your Workout Routine and Diet Program! (from cowgirl fringed, to the ultra popular animal print, a skirted banned bottom to color blocking (a patterned color on top paired with a solid color on the bottom)…perfect for the hot tub/whirl pool nights.

**TIP: Most cruise lines have an “Adult Only” section…away from the screaming and splashing kiddies! So ready yourself to meet new people with interesting conversations and let your swim suit be the ultimate ice breaker!

2.  Get a cover-up to wear on the beaches; also when you are sojourning to the beach-front the cover-up provides a bit of a surprise when you disrobe to reveal your cute suit…like a “ta da!”

   

3.   When you are not in the water the sun in Caribbean will be super-hot and tend to burn…so protect yourself!  Also, wear something to protect your head and hair so pack: a Hat, a Cap and Scarf/Bandana.  Trust me you will be glad you did…the brim will keep that blazing sun away…why not don on a fedora for a retro look, it is stylish and practical (wear a bold color that compliments your outfit)!

  

4.  Sunglasses (important to get ones with UVA protection lenses). Select a style which will work with the shape of your face.  Protect your vision and get relief from eye strain from squinting so much at the sun.  Also, you won’t be so obvious peeping at the fellows (lol)!

oblong face shapeheart-shaped facesquare face shape

  ROUND FACE:                OVAL FACE:                OBLONG FACE:              HEART FACE:             SQUARE FACE:
(full cheekbones;     (balanced forehead,   (long face; narrow      (wide forehead &     (broad  forehead;    narrow  forehead;    cheekbones & jaw)     chin & checks)             checkbones;             square jawbone        and jaw                                                                                                 narrow chin)
  By Brooke Kosofsky Glassberg Photos: Ben Goldstein/Studio D

1. ROUND:  For a round face, choose frames that are equal to or slightly wider than the broadest part of your face. For example, oversized sunglasses will make your face look longer and leaner. Rectangular or angular shapes offset roundness as well, so square shades, cat eyes, sport sunglasses, or wayfarers are perfect for you! Frames to avoid are shield styles and circular shapes; these will add extra width and softness to a round face.  (Example: Selena Gomez)  * AVOID:  Small frames that are out of proportion;  Short frames that accentuate face length.

2. OVALOval face shapes are ideal, because you can basically pull off any type of round or square frame, as long as you keep proportion in mind! Smaller frames look best on petite faces, while larger frames are suited for bigger ones.  (Example: Sarah Jessica Parker)   *AVOID: Frames that are too large for your features.

3.  OBLONG:   Oblong faces are longer than they are wide, so choose a pair of oversized sunglasses. For example, aviators  can help shorten and soften a long face by adding width and dimension. Square-shaped frames with a bit of softness — like a classic pair of wayfarers  — work well, too.  TIP: Don’t forget to play around with patterns and colors: Wear a pair of glasses with décor on the temples or colored sunglasses that pop to make the ultimate style statement   *AVOID:  Small frames that are out of proportion; Short frames that accentuate face length.

4.  HEART:  A heart-shaped or triangle-shapedface is characterized by a wide forehead and pointed chin. Super popular cat eye and butterfly designs help to balance a narrow jaw line with upswept, wide angles at the top of the frames. Generally, any frames that are wider on the top than the bottom work well, as they minimize the forehead’s width, help balance the face, and draw the eye upwards. Wayfarer and sport frames work perfectly to this effect, too! (Example: Reese Witherspoon)   *AVOID: Top-heavy styles that draw attention upward; Decorative temples that accentuate the broad upper face.

5. SQUARE:  A square face is characterized by a strong, rectangular jaw line, a wide forehead, and wide cheekbones. To soften these angular features, opt for glasses with soft lines or rimless edges, like chic round, classic aviator, or sexy shield frames. Cat eyes also work well on square shapes because they soften and add intriguing dimension to these features (Example: Lea Michele)    *AVOID: Geometric and square shaped frames that accentuate angles of the face; Low-set temples or color accents on the bottom of the frames that draw emphasis to the chin.

* IF YOU ARE STILL CONFUSED AS TO THE SHAPE OF “YOUR” FACE…TAKE A LOOK AT THESE CELEBRITIES…WHICH ONE MOST RESEMBLE YOUR FACE SHAPE?

    
               ROUND SHAPED                                OVAL SHAPED                                   OBLONG SHAPED
 
 
               HEART  SHAPED                                                      SQUARE SHAPED 
5)  Make sure to pack THE SWIM ESSENTIAL FOR FUN:  Swim Goggles (especially if you would like to look underwater in the Atlantic Ocean  and the Caribbean Seas…and that is one thing you would not want to miss).  Pack a large Beach Towel (for you and a guest that may have forgotten that Beach Towel) and Beach Bag to carry your Suntan Lotion/Sunblock, Beach Towel, Bottled Water, Water-proof Camera, and Wallet…when travelling to the beaches. As with most cruise lines to prevent “stow-a-ways you need to show your ID or Set-Sail Card to re-board the Ship make sure this is in with your items.  Also, although the cruise line provides towels while on board…you are on the island beaches now, and they may charge you to carry them when you leave the ship (TIP: the sand will be VERY HOT in July so lay out on a cool brightly colored towel deflecting the rays of the sun.
WHILE YOU ARE ON THE BEACHES IN THE OCEAN OR THE SEA….

USE YOUR GOGGLES TO “SEE” THE “SEA” !             SHOT OF THE BEAUTY OF THE OCEAN  BLUE!      

    

LAYING ON A RAINBOW COLORED BEACH TOWEL..don’t forget the sunblock!

BAG IT ALL UP BEFORE YOU ARE HEADED OFF TO THE BEACH…BELOW ARE A FEW ITEMS

  

Always have a few single dollar bills, your SetSail Pass, Picture ID, and your Compass Pass to see the activities.

6.  Get a few pairs of flip-flops the type that you place between the big toes, (like the picture to your bottom left), for the beaches…the rubber or plastics flip-flops are easier to rinse off the sand after leaving the beach front.  Also, a pair that you can slip at pool-side that is dressier, ones that you can wear with your cute sundresses and at the Causal Dinners (like the pictures in the middle)! This is the perfect time to have fun in water sports.  why not pack footwear that is fun and safe for waterskiing and jetting across the waves!

Time to  invest in a professional manicure & pedicure before you sail…cute shoes are more attractive with cute toes…the more natural colors are so “in” …but you can still add a little bling-bling  or art to have a more festive look while you are on vacation.

Short Nail Designs,nail designs,nail polish,nail art,nails,nails designs,nail design,nail art designs

say peek-a-boo as you show your pretty pedicure coming out of thee blue!

…go for a clean “french manicure”  or dress it up with the details.

French Manicure                    Pastel Gel                                   Black Flower Child

As with anything good…the importance is in the details.  If you are planning to wear light, cute and fashionable outfits you may want to “polish” it up with light and pretty art.  Dark and deep colors may not as appropriate for the tropical. breezy and tranquil Caribbeans!…just look at the photo in the center, bright fresh colors “pop” to the surface in the water (lol)!

7.  Pack a few Lip Balms to protect your lips from the sun (get the type with a least 30 SPF sunscreen).  Healthy lips look nice…sun-dried is good for raisin, but not ladies lips.  Cracked lips are not the style for a woman on one of the top quality cruise lines according Travel Destination Magazine!  It will be the hottest time of the month so your “saliva “is NOT going to work to keep them lips looking supple (#truth)…try Higher End Department Stores  brands:  Kiehls, Philosophy, Nars, Origins, Clinique or some Affordable Drug Store over the counter brands: Neutrogena and Aveeno.

8) Get sun protection for your Face and Body too….you can still get that dark tan look; but you should protect yourself from getting burnt and red (not cool).  Getting deep brown and tanned in a “healthy” manner is not only beautiful but prevents skin cancer and is therefore beautifully “intelligent” too!

9) Get a good set of Cleanser/Exfoliate, Astringent/Toner, and Moisturizer/Emollient for your face. (Don’t cheat your skin, you are worth the investment)! I know you are such a smart ladies so it is time to STOP using bar soap on that pretty face and use a 3-STEP treatment according to whether you have Dry, Oily or Combination skin type … be a woman who is wise about their skin STAYING in good condition for years and years to come).  A woman with BEAUTIFUL skin, unless she is born with it, which is by “nature”, did something to…get it, and keep it that way…which is by “nurture”.  Therefore that care of your skin and invest in a quality sunblock or sunscreen lotion.

                              Cleanse/Exfoilate

Begin by using GREAT products with GREAT tools.   The Clarisonic Skin Cleaning System uses a  patented
sonic frequency or more than 300 movements per seconds to clean, soften and smooth skin. In just 6O
seconds, the micro-massage action removes 6X  more makeup and 2X more dirt and oil than cleansing
with your hands alone. Removing more dirt and oil from your pores also helps products work more
effectively.

                             Astringent/Tone

Try using an oval cotton pad it is the perfect accompaniment for a meticulous cleaned skin.

The fine particles of these oval exfoliating pad removes dead skin cells of the face, neck and
body very gently.  The shape works better than the round or the square.  The absorbancy is
more efficient than the cotton balls.

                             Moisturize/Protect

Leave skin dewy don’t dry too much; Wash hands well.  Open your moisturizer
and gingerly dab (with your left ring-finger) the cream on your forehead, cheek bones,
and nose, then chin.  Massage it in fully until it is absorbed completely.  Chin up and dab the
mositurizer on your neck, ears and shoulders.
11. Get a Body Wash for your body (Body Washes help keeps your skin in good condition: it  looks nice,  smells good, and maintains your healthy skin, from the top of your head to the tips of your toes and everywhere in between (lol).  Try the layering approach to skin care…1. Use a SCENTED BODY WASH 2. Apply SCENTED BODY LOTION 3.  Spray a SCENTED BODY MIST these steps gives your body a layered scent try using products from The Bath and Body Shop; the scent you select will linger all evening long. ..yummy!
                         

Try skin brushing. This technique is very simple and relatively inexpensive.  Simply use a loofah sponge or a soft body brush and scrub your hips, thighs and  belly. This not only helps you to exfoliate, but it also stimulates blood flow and  supports lymph functions. This will help to minimize the appearance of  cellulite.  Maintain a daily dry brushing routine for at least 5 months to achieve maximum  results.  Pack a Loofah Puff or Mitt to wash…scrub scrub. A well-scrubbed surface allows you to have a more dark deep even tan faster than with a washcloth.

TIP:  I would suggest that a loofah is better than using a cloth washcloth because loofahs actually exfoliate the skin removing loose and dead skin particles. This makes your skin cleaner and has a healthy radiance.  It also better prepares the skin for applying lotions, creams, and gels!

11.  Be sure to pack a “new” Tooth brush (at a minimum, you should change your toothbrush every 3 months). Don’t forget because poor oral health can have a negative impact on physical health. Toothbrushes can be breeding grounds for germs, fungus and bacteria, which after a while can build up to significant levels. After using your toothbrush, shake it vigorously under tap water and store it in an upright position so that it can air out. FYI: It is known that “soft” bristles are better for your gums, not hard or medium.  Soft circular motion is better than “back & forth” or “up & down”.

FYI: A Cute Comestic bag helps you carry all essentials in one easy carry while in that limited space of the bathroom (I snag the one on the right on ebay for a few bucks!).

TIP: How can you protect your toothbrush when traveling? Answer: A plastic toothbrush case will protect toothbrush bristles from becoming squashed or flattened in your traveling kit. After brushing, however, you should let your toothbrush dry in the open air, to help reduce the spread of germs. (also pack it in a Ziploc/Hefty  bag in case of “accidental spillage…yuck).

12.  Pack deodorant (women’s Secret Clinical Strength Antiperspirant/Deodorant it comes in different scents, including a hypoallergenic version for those with sensitive skin.  TIP: A waterproof version is also available.) …bring a female razor to keep the hairs in check from your wax job (…underarms, legs, and not to forget the bikini area…after all you will want to have freedom of sitting akimbo on the chaise lounge chair at pool front):

FYI:  akimbo comes from the Icelandic phrase in keng boginn, “bent into a crook”, and creatively used to describe sitting cross-legged.  (…or called sitting “Indian-styled).

FYI: Chaise Lounge a chair that is long enough to support the legs.             FYI: women sitting legs akimbo!

TIP: The brand pictured has the ability to safely shave the bikini area as well!  NOTE: if possible get a “waxing”

               FYI: Pictured is a photo of a chaise lounge

13.  Pack a fragrance for those special times you want to give out a special memory.

Black Cologne for Dinners and going out to the Dances and Parties! (This one has dark and sultry sent that will marry well with those dark and hypnotic Caribbean Nights)!

Heat Rush is a sweet and sugary sent for the daytime or morning (wakes up the sensation of day in bloom)!

14.  Be sure to pack your comb and brush combo…throw in any hair gel, sprays, or creams that help your do survive the humidity of Caribbean weather!  Now that we have the freedom of Cornrows, French Braids, Weaves, Wigs and Hair pieces, and the list can go on and on…my only tip here will be choice a style and color that is versatile in which you can let it flow for the Evening; put it in a chignon bun (A chignon, pronounced “sheen-yon,” is a popular type of French bun)…during the day for water activities  and other sports while staying current and beautiful.  Take the hair off your back during this hot climate but stay chic!  TIP: BRING SCRUNCHIES, HAIR BANDS, HAIR BARRETTES, HAIR SCARVES, ETC

A   chignon  works with any hair texture and any ethinic background

   

Afrian American/Black  Sistas                                                Hispanic/Latina Chicas

   

Asian Chicks                                                                                           Caucasian  Girls

How to RE-create this look…

    • Create a deep side part. Separate one section in the front and split into 3.
    • Start with a french braid toward the back center of the head.
    • French braid until you are even with the ear and braid the rest of the hair  normally.
    • Seal off with a hair elastic. Tie the rest of your hair and hold it into a low ponytail.
    • Use your fingers to make a little opening in the middle, pull the ponytail through it.
    • Grab your tail, pull it again it in the little pocket to making a half loop.
    • Dont pull all your hair down all the way through, letting the end.
    • Divide the end of the hair into 2 section and wrap around the loop and pin in place with hair pin.
    • Pull back the braid and wrap around your chignon, secure with bobby pin in place.

   

  

HairStyles-MakeOver.com

ROCK these looks for most days: relaxed light colored shorts, miniskirts, capris and long flowy skirts that can be paired with colored blouses,

shirts that can be spaghetti straps, t-shits, capped sleeves, short sleeves, quartered sleeves, and long sleeves.   

TIP: Please leave behind the Daisy Dukes and Tube Tops…this is a classy cruise after all (lol).

    Summer Vacation Embellished Shorts and Tank Look

Shorts are the call for the leisurely days while on vacation; great thing is that you can dress than up with a paisley printed
silk blouse and belt with chunky heals pictured to your left), toss on a denim blue jean shorts with a relaxed jersey bejeweled
collar sleeveless shirt or dress it down shorts with a tye-dyed  inspired T -Shirt (pictured right).
   
Bermunda Shorts are always a classic look; wear a linen, denim or cotton pair.  Which ever you select, make sure to wear a crisp
top to compliment.  Also, you can opt to wear heels or flat sandals, depending on the activity of the day of your vacation.  This look is
great for those who have not yet had time to work on those thighs…can anyonw say “cellulite”.
FYI:Bermuda Shorts are shorts that are worn in a semi casual attire by men and women, they sit around one inch above the knee.
 
A pair of Full-Length Pants can be used in many different ways and with many different looks.  Dress up a flared pant
with a chic top and clutch purse.  Also, you can don a bright skinny pants with a bright color to block out the color of the pant.
 Loud and proud colour combinations make for a dynamic, confident look (Middle photo).  For the walk-about throw on a pair
of easy capris pant with a matching graphic tee.
FYI: Capri Pants (capris) are a style of pants usually worn in warm weather. They are designed to end mid-calf or just below the calf.

  

Skirts are ideal in any length as well for your summer vacation wear.  Slip on a striped bright mini skirt with a bold color figure hugging tee;
allow the tee to compliment the mini, then layer it with  a diaphanous top to emphasis your first layered tee.  Why not Shimmy into an above
the knee mid-length skirt that is a bold color and a bright white quarter length skirt, the length and the color will work when you visit exciting locales!
For those midnight cocktails slip into a fluncy long skirt o To me, this dress is the perfect representation of the early Mod era. It is trendy for the time,
but not out date…perfect for a classy relaxed date on deck!
TIP: Purchase a Cross-Over Purse; this allows you an  “arms-free” experience while still maintaining the ability to have cash, passport,                                                                                                                     and
 stateroom key/SetSail Pass, within a quick access if necessary.  Like the first one pictured below (I got it for a steal on ebay)!
       
…the above are the various styles and look o your crossbody purse, as you can see, it can be worn with various styles and looks.
 
 …also consider bringing along an “oversized” bag…or a backpack style purse, which allows you that “hands-free” movement you may need
while going through the martetplaces or towns while meandering downtown or trekking through the wildlife on the islands.

If you opt out of getting a crossover purse…I suggest either a backpack purse or any slouchy bag you can carry your accoutrements (FYI: accoutrements: an accessory or piece of equipment associated with a specific object, task or role.)

Hey all the Single Ladies: yes there will be Night Clubs and Bars and other themed Parties on board to Mix & Mingle and Stir.  So, bring your party gear of party dresses and heels!  No need to show pictures here…you know what I am “talkin’ ‘bot” (sic).

FYI: The adverb sic – means “intentionally so written”. This is used when you want to misspell words. (personally I abhor slang and shorten words)

  

Catch Zzzs in your Short & Tee * Dress down in your Night Dress  *  Say ‘Nighty-Night’ in your Pant & Night Shirt

Psst…do NOT forget the “baby doll” (ooh la la)

there is always a chance for Romance at Seas (lol)

For the Dinners in the Main Dining Room …there will be 3 types

3 Nights for: Causal,   1 Night for: Smart Causal and   2 Nights for: Formal

Remember, shorts, T-shirts, and bathing suits are not considered appropriate attire in the Dining Rooms at dinner. Casual dress dining is available nightly in the Windjammer Cafe. And be aware you’ll also need smart casual attire for some of our specialty restaurants.

CASUAL DINNERS

 

1. Casual:     PACK:   Sport Shirts and Slacks for men, Sundresses or Dress Pants & Blouse Outfits for women. Those dressier sandals are apropos for this event!

SMART CASUAL DINNERS

  1. Smart Casual:     PACK:  Sport Jackets and Ties for men, Dresses or Pantsuits Outfits for women. Kitten heels are fine for this dinner (FYI: A kitten heel is a short, slender heel, usually (1.5 inches) to (1.75 inches) high.

FORMAL DINNERS

 

  3.   Formal:     PACK:   Suits and Ties or Tuxedos for men, Cocktail Dresses or Formal Gowns for women

P.S. do not forget to bring your higher heels. (bring along your heels with you when you select your Formal Outfit, this gives you a more real idea of how your gown will fit and drape the floor).

EXTRA TIPS:

1).  Have single dollars bills handy to tip the individuals carrying your luggage and loading them on the Shuttle Bus (remember you can “ check-in” 2 free pieces onboard  and have  1 “carry-on” …TSA approved of course)  according to Southwest Airlines

2) . Bring gum to chew for the decompression on board the Airplane.

3).  Bring extra cash to buy your family and friends’ souvenirs (…Let your memories be theirs too).

4).  Bring a digital camera to take lots of pictures and videos (get a Memory card the standard card is capable of storing a wide range of data files, such as audio and video clips, images, and text documents.  In general, the memory card makes use of flash memory in order to maintain the integrity of the files loaded onto the card.  Now you can get one  from 2 to one with 64GB (gigabyte) of storage capacity (that  is like 12,230 photos or 480 minutes of video taping or 545 hours and 8 minutes.

5).  Binoculars are another often forgotten, yet indispensable travel item. Be sure to pack a pair for magnified excitement onboard and onshore.

6).  Your cell phone will probably not work or the price of sending message may be VERY expensive so check with your Cell carrier.

7).  Check with your Banking Institution to inform them you are on an “international vacation”….for your protection, some banks place a hold on your card as “theft protection” when they detect unusual spending.

8).  You may become ill from eating strange exotic foods and partying the night away; so pack: Alka-Seltzer, Pepto-Bismol, Milk of Magnesia and Aleve Pain Reliever…no time to take a night off to recuperate!

9).  I am not sure what you are looking for on this cruise so bring “protection” too (after all you some of you are  single ladies not currently in relationships,  going to locations with mucho attractive men…so be prepared just in case).

10). Bring one of those Travel Toilette Bags (comb, toothbrush, nail clippers, razor, file, scissors (less than 4”) etc.; that will make you all the more prepared when it is your turn to get ready in the morning, or for Dinner, and not to inconvenient your Cabin mate who you are sharing a room and only 1 bathroom.

11). Purchase s few of those Luggage Tags (this will be invaluable if your bags are lost or misdirected). While you are at it, get a Passport Cover (this makes it more difficult to misplace and easier to identify in a pile).

12). Take a picture of your packed suitcase and keep all receipts of purchases (for insurance purpose or in case you need to file a claim with the Airline).  Place a sheet of paper of your final destination inside of your suitcase, to make it easier to get it to you in case of lost luggage!

13).  If you are sharing staterooms…be a good roommate and do the “courtesy flush” (FYI: courtesy flush is the act of flushing a toilet several times before or after defecation to reduce smells or the risk of clogs or floaters…)

….Please take the advantage of these suggestions that I have offered about these tips…I am living proof that it can help make your vacations that more stress-free (after all vacations are a time to de-stress and have good times; which will make wonderful memories with family, old friends, and the new ones you are sure to meet).

Most importantly bring your fun personality and warm smile.  There may be things that do not go as planned while cruising or someone may get you irritated at times…but enjoy the ride while enjoying your life…life can be short an fleeting!.  Hey, book an Excursion (SOMETHING DIFFERENT) go on the same one as your friends and group, this is a once in a life time experience so experience it to the fullest!!!!  ….as they French would say Bon Voyage!

 FYI: Bon Voyage is a French phrase borrowed into English meaning, literally, “good journey, and usually translated as meaning “have a good trip”!

 

LAST TIP…PLEASE DO NOT PEGGED TO BE THE COMPLAINER OF THE GROUP…EVERYTHING DOES NOT ALWAYS GO AS PLANNED AND THERE MAY BE FOODS, DRINKS AND ACTIVITIES YOU DO NOT LIKE OR CARE FOR;  BUT YOU DO NOT WANT OTHER COMPLAINING, THAT YOU COMPLAIN TOO MUCH (AND TRUST ME THEY WILL…) last last tip: if you love complaining it is suggested that you go on a vacation planned, booked, and coordinated “by yourself”…that way it will ALL be perfect!…LOLOLOL

Link

 Royal Caribbean:   ALLURE OF THE SEAS!!!

As I am preparing to pack for only my third Cruise, (I use the word “only” because I met people on my last  cruise who had Cruised for more than 10 times!),  I decided to blog about it!  Why not lend some of my tips to those who are cruising for the first time!  …yes there are those who have not cruised as yet (lol).

One of the most important aspects of a cruise is WHAT TO PACK?  As with any vacation, you have limited room and access, especially on a ship.  However, there are many essentials that are know as MUST PACK!

Of course after your trusty toothbrush and change of underwear what else is there?

So anchors away…

…it all depends on the  3 Ws: When: Season, Where: Destination, and Why: How many nights you need to get-away to de-stress (lol).

A.  Addressing the WHEN; depends on the season Spring, Summer, Fall/Autumn or Winter, in the locale of which you are cruising.

1) If you were able to read one of my earlier blog posts, dressing in layers is smart and healthy for fall and winter (the cooler/colder) months. depending on the seasonal temperature of the region in which you are cruising.

B. addressing the WHERE; depends (as mentioned earlier), the locale you are cruising.   If you are scheduled to go on a “Caribbean cruise” or “Hawaiian Cruise“, bring  along:

1) Swimsuits (more than one swimsuit will be advisable; just in case you came back from a day swimming in the cholrified pool; and would like a late night soak in the steamy hot tub).

2) Swim gear (goggles, beach towels, cover-ups, flip-flops and brimmed hats & scarves).

3) Protective arsenals (bug repellent, sunblock/sun tanning lotion, and Sunglasses).

4) Clothing that you can mix-and-match (this will double your wardrobe options).

a) Shorts, Skirts, Bermudas Shorts, Capris, Skinny Pants, and Boot-cut Pants.

b) Tees/T-shirts (long, quartered, short, capped, and sleeveless tees).

c) Throw caution to the wind and bring a sweater, jacket or blazer (in case you get any of those cooler gentle breezy Caribbean nights).

If you are scheduled to go on an “Alaskan Cruise” or even a “European Cruisein the cooler months) bring  along:

a) Warmer clothing that you can layer and de-layer (depending on the change of the temperature and climate).

b) Outer wear that has various density (coats with flannel lining and those with bulkier wool or cotton lining).

c) Protective arsenals: Lotions, creams or even sun protection for the  reflective sun on the snow…(care for your skin which may tend to be dry in cooler/colder climates) and Sunglasses to protect your eyes against the rays on the snow-capped mountains or glaciers.

d) Do not forget to toss in that swimsuit for those heated hot soaks under clear starry nights!

C.  Addressing the WHY, most of us have to work very hard for a living; and our bodies, brains, and  emotional well-being needs a “time-out”, but in a good way.  I have heard others retort “I can’t afford to get-away now.  But, I reply…”if not now …then when?”  Our work issues and personal problems will be there where we left them ashore.  So relax and decompress.

Vacations are  M A D E  for those who HAVE NO TIME (the busiest of the busy)…yes you and I.  But do not abandon ship just yet…

It is important to pack the necessity because when you are miles/knots* away from shore you just may need what is necessary

FYI: *knots: A unit of speed: 1 nautical mile (1.8520 km; 1.1508 mi) per hour. Originally speed was measured by paying out a line from the stern of a moving boat. The line had a knot every 47 feet 3 inches (14.40 m), and the number of knots passed out in 30 seconds gave the speed through the water in nautical miles per hour.

cursing is an adventure onto itself…beside the fact that you are visiting multiple locations/islands, rather than staying at only one, as you may have on your other vacations. 

On this particular cruise we are charted to sail the ocean blue on a 7 NIGHT WESTERN CARIBBEAN CRUISE departing from Port Fort Lauderdale, Florida:

Ports of Call: Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Labadee, Haiti; Falmouth, Jamaica; Cozumel, Mexico; Fort Lauderdale, Florida

YOU CAN’T HATE ON HAITI!!!

  

JAMMIN’ IN JAMAICA

  

GETTIN’ COZY IN COZUMEL

   

in visiting numerous ports you can experience different cultures as you relish in their cuisine, groove to their music, and acquaint yourself with their customs.  How many vacations can you deliver a sultry Haitian creole in the morning: “Bonjou”, and in the evening “Bonsoi”; then in Jamaican patois holler: “What a gwaan?” or “yuh good mon?”, and a days or two later cry out a exuberant  “Hola“!

FYI: Patois:  Patois (English pronunciation: /ˈpætwɑː/, pl. /ˈpætwɑːz/[1][2]) is any language that is considered nonstandard, although the term is not formally defined in linguistics. It can refer to pidgins, creoles, dialects, and other forms of native or local speech, but not commonly to jargon or slang, which are vocabulary-based forms of cant. Class distinctions are embedded in the term, drawn between those who speak patois and those who speak the standard or dominant language used in literature and public speaking, i.e., the “acrolect“.

FYI: Creole: Haitian Creole is one of Haiti’s two official languages, along with French. It is a creole based largely on 18th to 21st-century French, some African languages, as well as Arabic, Spanish, Taíno, Arawak and English.

Whatever is your mother tongue, or the language you choose to communicate…when cursing..cruise with class!  Meaning cruise with an open mind and heart to the *indigenous people of the place you are visiting.

FYI: Indigenous: ɪnˈdɪdʒənəs/ Show Spelled[in-dij-uh-nuhs] adjective. 1. originating in and characteristic of a particular region or country; native (often followed by to ): the plants indigenous to Canada; the indigenous peoples of southern Africa. 2. innate; inherent; natural (usually followed by to ): feelings indigenous to human beings.

…Just imagine what if friends, relatives or even strangers were visiting your home;…would you not want them to behave courteous, respectful and considerate?!

Afterall, the way one treat others is a reflection of oneself.  My mother, who always loved travelling, carried herself with propriety in a thoughtful, cultivated and urbane manner.  Whenever I was blessed enough to travel with her…I garner tips on “how to pack”.  I treasure the memory of when we packed to visit our family in my country of birth, Honduras.  I learned to not only pack the essentials, but the extras.

However, when cruising you may be limited as to the ability to “pick-up” those forgotten items.  Therefore, it is important to begin with a check list of items to pack on your adventure to paradise!

Your attire is dependent on the cruise length, be it a 3 night to a 14 night adventure.   During most cruises you will have dinners that require a specific attire or mode of dressing.  For example on my 7-day Western Caribbean Cruise, I need to pack a for a least 6 nights.  Therefore, I will need to pack for dinner:

Casual          Smart Casual          Formal

3                          1                                   2

Casual For the ladies this means Sundress, Skirts & Tees, and Pants & Blouses.  For the gentlemen it means Sport Shirts and and Slacks (no not jeans; but slacks, which are informal trousers).

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FYI: a Sport Shirt is a long- or short-sleeved soft shirt for informal wear by men, having a squared-off shirttail that may be left outside the slacks, usually worn without a tie.

Smart Causal: For the Ladies this means Dresses or Pantsuits.  For the gentlemen Jackets (or sport coat: a sport coat is a lightweight single-breasted jacket; often striped in the colors of a club or school sometimes labeled Blazer) with a Tie.

Formal: For the Ladies this means a Cocktail Dreess (a dress suitable for formal occasions) or Formal Dress.  For the gentlemen Formal Suits with Ties, or Tuxedos (on most cruises you can rent a Tux while onboard).

…above are just some ideas, suggestions, thoughts, of what you may want to consider packing for the Dinners.  Why have I spent an inordinate amount of space to discuss this topic of Dinner? ; because the Dinners are quite an event.   On my last cruise the mat maître d’ sang a special song to us almost every night, and the Dinner Crew (host and hostesses) performed for us on other nights (dancing, singing and other kinds of merry-making galore)!

Now after the basics of the Nights…you should think about packing for the  DAY(s)!

Tees, Shorts, Mini Skirts, Sun Dresses, Swimsuits, Lounge and Sleepwear, Underwear (new). and the other accessories such as: Headbands, Scrunchies, Hats, Caps, Sunglasses, and a mired of footwear (formal, Smart causal , and beach) and lip balm and makeup for the ladies!

Depending on the locale, it may not be as practical to wear heavy denim jeans or dark-colored clothing.   You should wear natural fabrics, such as cotton, silk, linen and rayon.  These materials tend to breathe more than synthetics such as polyester do, and a great attribute is that they come in a variety of colors and thicknesses.  However, there are colors which are more conducive than other colors to wear in hotter climates. 

FYI: Colors such as whites and other paler shades, should be a definite staple in your color choices; as it reflects all of the colours that make up the spectrum of white light, which is why we see it as white.  White and other lighter shades are all reflected, there is nothing to convert into heat.  Whereas Blacks and other Darker Colors, these absorb the rays of the sun and thereby convert into heat.

TIP: If you are planning to go on to an excursion, be sure to book it early because space may be limited  (you can book online).  Please be sure to make a note  if there are any dressing requirements.  For example for riding an ATP you need closed toe footwear (ie Gym Shoes, or Deck Shoes). 

FYI: Excursion: A temporary deviation from a regular course or pattern.  For example you can book to go Horse-back riding,  ATV driving, ParaSailing, Swimming with the dolphins or stingrays, or visiting certain Historical Monuments and Places of Interests.

In closing, I HOPE I have detailed the “smart packing” so that you and your family can Cruise into Cruising with 2 suitcases!

OH oops almost forgot…………ONE LAST THING…………………..PACK YOUR SMILES, APPETITE, LAUGHTER AND DESIRE TO HAVE A GOOD TIME!:

 BOOK AN EXCURSION OR JUST LAY BACK AND ENJOY THE VIEW!

 

Link

What is HOT and what is NOT!!..

When you are addressing the ever probing question, what is hot and what is not?; \you really are telling others what you like and what you do not like any longer.  It could mean anything from an exciting place to visit or vacation, to a fashion statement or faux pas.  Therefore, what do I personally think is HOT and what do I believe as NOT is as follows:

However, let us begin with one disclaimer:  This article is written not necessarily to tell one what to do, eat, or wear; but only what I like to do, eat or wear (Therefore,  please do not take offensive if you are committing any of these crimes of “NOTNESS”….

Now, let us begin, for example with the ideal of “ going green what is HOT about the color green?  Other than green being one of the primary colors of the spectrum, it is the mixture of the two primary colors of the spectrum Blue and Yellow, and can be tinted by adding the color white ; it also symbolizes “harmony” and “balance”.  These days, the phrase “going green” is attributed to being ecologically conscious.

FYI: The Colors of the Spectrum was first observed by Roger Bacon, and later in the 17th century written about by Isaac Newton in his book Opticks.

FYI: Did you know that there are over “forty shades of  the color Green” (well according to a song sung by Country singer (song-writer, author, and actor) Johnny Cash; while on a trip to Ireland, he witnessed all shades of green.

One of the best example of “going green” refers to motor vehicles.  The SMART CAR is not only HOT; but literally smart, why is it smart?; because its, according to an article I researched, conscious of the environment.  The “”Hybrid Technologies” plans to sell an electric version of the Smart vehicle in the U.S. starting at US$35,000. It is being called a hybrid car even though the vehicle is all-electric. The electric Smart car will have a range of 120 to 150 miles (190–240 km), a top speed of 80 mph (130 km/h), and charge in 5 to 6 hours using a standard 120 VAC outlet. An electric Smart is currently undergoing testing in the UK and will only be offered to commercial clients as a trial for the time being.[36][37] The electric model is scheduled for a U.S. release for the 2012 model year with some test market cars surfacing in 4th quarter 2010.”

….so does size really matters?  When it relates to fuel efficiency, safety regulations for your family and style ?!  Yes, with the added bonus of the new HOTNESS is to be ecologically conscious as to our green earth….

FYI: Ecologically consciousness basically implies that one keep in mind that their actions, thoughts, and deeds are dedicated to the “Protection of nature and its resources”

As opposed to the Smart car the Hummer is noted to have ” Poor fuel economy, even compared to other heavy passenger vehicles, Hummers without the Diesel engine options have very poor fuel economy. Because the H2 is built to the over-8500-lb GVW class, its fuel economy is neither published by the U.S. EPA nor counted toward Corporate Average Fuel Economy.[38] For instance, H2 in one engine configuration averages about 14 mpg-US (17 L/100 km; 17 mpg-imp) on highways, 10 mpg-US (24 L/100 km; 12 mpg-imp) in the city.  In other words, the Hummer is a gas-guzzler, thereby being not very “smart” to purchase if you are interested in saving money or the environment. In general, cars are bad for the environment because they release bad toxins or fumes into the air. Basically, when a car starts, it gives off exhaust.  Also, many cars use gas, a non-renewable resource, they release carbon monoxide which destroys the environment. They also release carbon dioxide  (CO 2: It consists of simple molecules, each of which has one carbon and two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom. ) which is the gas that creates a greenhouse effect trapping the heat in the atmosphere…It pollutes the air, releasing carbon monoxide ((CO) is a colorless, practically odorless, and tasteless gas or liquid. It results from incomplete oxidation of carbon in combustion.), which deplete the ozone layer thus causes global warming.  Therefore, larger cars equal larger damages, to the environment which is definitely NOT HOT!!

Now, that social networking is as popular as texting on your cell phone ( it is almost the equivalent to texting or SMS; but on your computer)…I would say that the new social network hotness is by Google.

FYI: SMS is an acronym for “Short Message Service”.

Now, joining the social media of AOL, YAHOO, MSN and BBM is GOOGLE+ . it is not only fun but a practical method to keep in touch with family, friends, Co-workers, and business acquaintances!

…adding to your circle on Google+” is super cool and thereby HOT;….

       

What is old and woeful is bemoaning about your failed relationships (either of a boyfriend or girlfriend who is just not that into you) on “facebook”  NOT. Now is a good time to become empowered by life & love lessons; use a break-up as a way to place your life into a new perspective.  This is a time to re-evaluate your priorities;  take a new class, begin a new project that will enhance your career, personal life, or family.  Focus on others instead of stressing about “why doesn’t  s/he “love” me anymore, or did they ever truly?!  Get more in touch with the One that loves you GOD (let Him be your primary focus and become even more than ever concerned in making Him pleased and happy)!  Crying about lost love publicly unless it is a poem or “cautionary tale” NOT NOT hot!‎

   
I ask my friends, question yourself honestly,  “is that the same person that will run to you. if they WIN the lottery or some other Grand Prize,  with the same speed as if they needed to borrow something, huh???

Dining on a salad at “Salad Creations” especially a Salmon Ceaser Salad, yummy and  HOT;….eating a salad anywhere with iceberg lettuce NOT as Hot and as healthy for you.

 

Did you know that there is a difference in the nutritional quality of Iceberg and Romaine lettuce?  Iceberg lettuce is the more common type you find in salads, shown below, and is the type used most often in sandwiches. – that is, until now! Romaine lettuce (shown above to your left) is being increasingly used these days. It is darker green in color, and a smaller leaf.  Although, both types are low in calories (8 calories per cup), but when it comes to micronutrients, romaine lettuce has a leg up on it’s iceberg cousin. The following table lists the food facts for a cup of iceberg and one of my all-time favorite, romaine lettuce.   Good health always HOT!   Refusing to change your eating habits over taste NOT!

 

ICEBERG ROMAINE
Calories:        8 Calories:      8
Protein          0.5g Protein         0.5g
Fiber              0.7g Fiber:            1.0g
Calcium       10mg Calcium      16mg
Potassium    78mg                                                                   Potassium 116mg
Vitamin C     1.5mg Vitamin C     11.3mg
Folate           16mcg                                                                Folate              64mcg
Vitamin K     13.3mcg                                                                 Vitamin K      48.2mcg
Beta carotene 164mcg                                                             Beta Carotene 1637mcg
Glutein+zeaxanthin 152 mcg                                                  Glutein+zeaxanthin 1087 mcg

One of my favorite markets for fresh vegetables and Fruits is Whole Foods Market in Naperville, you can find me and my family there around most holidays (lol) !   The wonderful thing about Whole Foods Market is that they are committed to bringing to their customer an extremely wide variety of Fresh, Organic, and Innovative arry of foods both form Local Farmers and International Markets.

Wearing Hudson jeans skinny stretch jeans in any brightly colored wash with wedges wash HOT…wearing daisy dukes shorts with stiletto sandals after the age 31 (especially with Cellulite )  NOT

  

I just love these jeans with their distinctive back pocket design…it helps those with a “not-so” perky booty appear a bit perked (LOL)!

 

…as the story goes there is a time “you got to know when to let go” (LOL)!

 

August Rodin, French – (1840-1917)
“Rodin has been appreciated for decades as one of the pre-eminent Realist sculptors of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century. 
Rodin’s goal, as he put it, was “to render inner feelings through muscular movement.” He achieved this aim by joining his profound knowledge of anatomy and movement with special attention to the body’s surfaces, saying, “The sculptor must learn to reproduce the surface, which means all that vibrates on the surface, soul, love, passion, life…Sculpture is thus the art of hollows and mounds, not of smoothness, or even polished planes.” To this end, his detailed modeling and energetic poses are strikingly vigorous and lifelike…even one hundred years after they were created!”
The Kiss Sculpture was inspired by Dante’s tale of Paolo and Francesca, lovers entwined for eternity in the Inferno, this statue was initially part of Rodin’s Gates of Hell. Of the many couples sculpted during his tumultuous liaison with Camille Claudel, The Kiss is the most sensuous. The poet Rilke compared it to “a sun that rises and floods all with its light.”
One of the original castings of Rodin’s The Kiss resides at The Baltimore Museum of Art. Wrote the poet Rainer Maria Rilke of this masterpiece: “One has the impression of seeing the delight of this kiss all over these bodies; it is like a sun which rises and its light is everywhere.”
By Tom Irvine

What is deliciously HOT Chewing Extra spearmint flavored gum before “french kissing”  red HOT;…smoking or drinking beer before kissing NOT so appetizing (yuke)!

            

on the same note…ROMANCE …always H O T!  Simple sweet pda (Public Displays of Attention) is always so exciting with the

right person who does it tastefully, respectfully and most important playfully (oh là mon chéri)!

FYI: Oh là là mon chéri: Ma chérie/ Mon chéri means Dear, Darling, Sweetheart. [My Cherished one] Cher- means expensive in the  French language .  Further,  mon chéri” if the object of affection is male or “ma chéri” if said to a female 😉  On a personal note, I once had a French boyfriend and I must say that his French expressions of endearment were very beautiful “Oh là là“….EVERSO   H<3T

This Spring nail color that is fresh and almost nude in tone (with American-white tips) trimmed at a functional length–HOT; wearing very long neon colors NOT anymore!

     

 HINT:    tastefully nail art is hot too (the ring finger and thumb are popular fingers to apply your artful expression).

   

or use the technique termed “fanning” if you have “no nail tips”, like me (lol).

FYI: “Fanning” the nail means that you are running the contrasting color (with French or American Tip: white/offwhite) polish across the  area were the nail tip should appear…

TIP: According to Glamour magazine article about Nail Trends:

10 Big Nail Trends to Try From Spring 2012 Fashion  Week

Read More http://www.glamour.com/beauty/2011/09/10-big-nail-trends-to-try-from-spring-2012-fashion-week#ixzz1qcPJeyDS

The soft, whimsical pairing of Demure Vixen & Au Natural complements the delicate and airy creations of Zac Posen is known for,” said Essie manicure Elle. “There’s nothing more chic or lady-like than a natural, nude nail. The multi-dimensional tones in these two shades work in tandem to bring this timeless look to new heights. Matchy matchy is making a comeback in a whole sophisticated new way,” said founder Essie Weingarten.

* new look if you dare… BLINGED OUT NAILS!!!

… and don’t forget the tootsy toes nails too!

What is HOT is traveling to the isle of Rotoan (near Honduras)

 

What is NOT vacationing in the same locale year after year…be adventerous!

    

…if you do decide to go and lay your limbs on the beaches of the Isle (Island) of Rotoan then please try to bring cute swim wear that will not only compliment the beach but your HOT body too!

Wearing a “Tankini” that holds you in place and covers most of your tummy  HOT!  The right Tankini can flatter all figures…Bright bold colors, patterns, or ruffles are all cute options.

wearing string bikinis that can not hide a secrets… NOT…your body may have changed when you were 18…but what should NOT change is your style and taste!!!

…in this sense size does NOT matter…just because you are super thin does not mean that you can wear “whatever” style of bikini on the rack…sorry but we have to see you too (lol)!

I am happy to say that words that you can use in your in your College thesis statement are now HOT and words such as “like” and “OMG” are NOT  for example…

Young Lady: “I had the opportunity to read a book I never normally would have purchased; and I enjoyed it from cover to cover.”

HOT — an Educated woman and one who speaks in an educated manner — always  H O T!  On the other hand if you are NOT challenging yourself in what you read, listen to or watch you will have a difficult time improving your communication skills.

Girl: “…like I read this book and like I thought OMG it is like the best thing I like ever read.”

NOT so hot!

TIP: Begin reading to your children at an early age will help improve “their” reading later in their life.

FYI: The more young children are read to, the greater their interest in mastering reading. Reading out loud exposes children to proper grammar and phrasing. It enhances the development of their spoken language skills, their ability to express themselves verbally  According the U.S. Department of Education:

Why is Reading Aloud to Children Important?

It helps them acquire the information and skills they need in life, such as:

  • Knowledge of printed letters and words, and the relationship between sound and print.
  • The meaning of many words.
  • How books work, and a variety of writing styles.
  • The world in which they live.
  • The difference between written language and everyday conversation.
  • The pleasure of reading.

having a sport or anything to stay mentally sharp and healthy…HOT

 

…most of these pictures I morally refused to post –anyone breeding, using or enjoying dogs for a sport in “dog fights” NOT  ( on some level one must be very mentally and emotionally disturbed to enjoy this as entertainment or sport 😦 VERY SAD FACE.

Love is HOT, and being capable to love and being able to receive LOVE from others…smoking HOT

NOT so hot: HATE………………………………………………………………. or indifference of and to others…

TIP: Love is vital for our survival as a Human race!  Loving others is the way we show charity to those in need, and the tool in which we can use to fight Racism, Sexism, and other forms of intolerance, hate and ndifference….as the singing group  en vogue bellowed “FREE YOUR MIND AND THE REST WILL FOLLOW BE COLOR BLIND DON’T BE SO SHALLOW!”  the words are HOT and the group of ladies are HOTTIES!

What is now HOT are the more demure  and modest makeup application and stylish in vogue hairstyle…what is NOT is heavy handed or “over the top” garish makeup and hair…even in the “club”

When it comes to hair ,what is HOT and what is NOT, can  most often depend on what enhances your face shape and bone structure….other than that; what flatters you is how you can wear your style with confidence and coolness.  Hair can be worn in any lengths whether you decide to “add”; with a weave or “detach”; with a short wig or cut …you are the artist look to the 3 C(s) (Color, Cut, and Curling Iron (lol)!

THE LONG OF IT…

.

..AND THE SHORT OF IT

whether you decide to opt to a simple bob

…or rather you rock a mohawk-afro

do it with confidence…even if you add pieces of weave, extensions, or a wig…stand up tall, chest out, shoulders back”, and smile bright on!….you go girl—you are HOT!!   There is actually nothing that can be considered NOT except if you do “not” want to experiment or are afraid of trying something new that you have not tried before…thus, having low self-esteem and fearful of what other may think of you…NOT !!

YES!!! I am one chica who loves make-up on myself as well as on others.  I understand that a great  “face”  begins with great skin care…but when it is time to application:  “apply with care“.

…although it may look great of Ga Ga, Nicki, and the icon Cher lots and lots of  cosmetics can be striking….but on you….maybe NOT so much; after all that is their shtick therefore keep it “real”.

FYI: A shtick (Yiddish: שטיק) (or schtick) is a comic theme or gimmick. “Shtick” is derived from the Yiddish word shtik (שטיק), meaning “piece”; the closely related German word Stück has the same meaning. The English word “piece” itself is also sometimes used in a similar context. Another variant is “bits of business” or just “bits”; comic mannerisms    A shtick can also refer to an adopted persona, usually for comedy performances, that is maintained consistently (though not necessarily exclusively) across the performer’s career. In this usage, the recurring personalities adopted by Laurel and Hardy through all of their many comedy films (despite the fact that they often played characters with different names and professions) would qualify as their shtick. A comedian might maintain several different shticks of this sort, particularly if they appear in a variety show that encourages them to develop multiple characters, such as Saturday Night Live.

Please do not get me wrong, as I wrote before “I love makeupas well as the next nina.  Also, I am not one of those chicks who believe when a guy utters to a lady “I like it when you don’t wear  makeup…I like that natural look on you”—–PLEASE ladies do not buy this; wear makeup to enhance “your” look not his will!  Trust…when you are not there, and for some ladies–even when you are…he “stares down those women wearing makeup !

  

 

I love love love my Clarisonic Plus in the limited edition “Lavender Blossom” design…it is great tool to cleanse the skin and sloush away those old and dead skin cells lazily sleeping atop your younger newer  skin cells.   I own the Body brush (for the body, on the left middle picture) and the  Deep Pore brush (for the face, neck and décolleté, on the right of the same picture).  I like products that are natural with very little chemicals (Aveeno, bliss, Clarins, Clinique, DDF, Fresh,  Neutrogena, Origins, Peter Thomas Roth,  and Philosophy…just to name a few ROTFL (Rolling On The Floor Laughing)

FYI: Décolletage (or décolleté, its adjectival form, in current French) is the upper part of a woman’s torso, between her waist and neck, comprising her neck, shoulders, back and chest, that is exposed by the style of her clothing. However, the term is most commonly applied to a neckline which reveals or emphasizes cleavage .

Again ladies invest money in GREAT Skin Care products some may be a little expensive; but if you shop on-line at certain sites like www.sephora.com you are likely to find reasonable pricing unlike paying retail at high end department stores like “Neiman Marcus“.   I happily recommend combining products and urge you to use the best of the best skin care system, in my experience Obagi!  After a great cleanse, exfoliation, and mosturizering, it is important to use a great foundation makeup.  Use makeup that will give you a great sheer coverage of those blemishes that are only between  you and God!

TIP: Philosophy’s supernatural with SPF has an almost “airbrush” appearance; although it may be quite difficult to find the right color for the more “chocolatious sistas”.

FYI:  There are more variant shades of “blackness” than there are shades of “whitness”. According to scientific studies, natural human skin color diversity within populations is highest in Sub-Saharan African populations,[2] with skin reflectance values ranging from 19 to 46 (med. 31) compared with European and East Asian populations which have skin reflectance values of 62 to 69 and 50 to 59 respectively.  Human skin color is primarily due to the presence of melanin in the skin. Skin color ranges from almost black to white with a pinkish tinge due to blood vessels underneath.[1] Variation in natural skin color is mainly due to genetics, although the evolutionary causes are not completely certain.   On a personal note; perhaps that is why it seems so difficult to match foundation coloring because there would be just too many to match (lol)!  For example look below.  I think I am number 32!

*

*Skin colors according to von Luschan scale

What is HOT….loving yourself and others no matter what the color is…what is NOT  “not” loving yourself and others due to the fact of skin color!

Speaking, or rather writing, about color…I LOVE makeup colors that compliment the skin tone, regardless of your color!  My personal brands are the ones below…

         

   , Make Up For Ever, Mary Kay, Benefit, Smashbox, Tarte, Cargo, Urban Decay, Revlon,  Anastasia,  

TIP: you can purchase these more High-End products at outlet stores such as Shepora, Ulta, and makeup Outlet Stores.

TO THE MY MEN, yes skin care such be important to you as well, after all skin is skin and “skin is in”.  For almost any female skin care treatment there is those for males!  I know many males that can handle an easy  Skin Care Regimen!

P.S.  men please take care, or have someone else,  of those strong Hands and sexy Feet too…and why not get a facial too—good Skin Care is not gender specific (lol)!!!

Men taking care of themselves and know that “manscaping”is for the STRONG— so HOT…men that believe it is only for ” metro-men” and are fearful and weak NOT!

According to an article entitled “Keeeping it Neat and Trimmed”, by Dave Alexander, the Uber Masculine guys among us may ask, “You want me to trim WHAT?”   The answer  is, of course, everything from the top of the head down.  Trimming the hair on the chest, back, and nether regions is known today as “manscaping” or “body grooming.” Keeping a neatly trimmed chest, back, shoulders, and more will make you appear cleaner and send the message that you care about grooming.  It is many womens opinion that  your body’s musculature and shape are enhanced when the body hair is well groomed  like tha old adage says according to  Steve Nesle, who spearheaded the Philips Body Groom campaign for marketing agency Tribal DDB, “Trimming the hedges makes the house look bigger.” (hint hint)  ‘Nuff said.

HINT: Guys, the ladies think that men that take care of themselves are super HOTTTTTTTTTT!!!

Ladies, leaning on your girlfriends when you need someone to talk with,  laugh with,  and watch television with,  while  just sitting back feasting on Pop Corn or Pizza is HOT…leaning on one another just to hold each other up, after a night of over drinking and debauchery NOT!

…try ordering Garrett’s Popcorn (try the Cheese and Carmel Mix known as the Chicago Mix in the 3.5 gallon tim can.  If it is a Pizza party order from Giordanos!

what is HOT watching televisions movies with your family or friends…what is NOT watching your good friends getting another DUI!  I enjoy “going out as well too;  but in a fun and safe manner.  I really enjoy going out to listen to good music.

what is NOT hot any longer hardcore rap. especially the type that consistently denigrate the female gneder…even if it is a female dj spinning the vinyl!

what is HOT… although it may be old, but it remains HOT  even today,:”ole’ school hip hop

ALSO WHAT IS HOT ARE FEMALE  DJ(s) that are fully in touch with their “feminine identity” as well as their artistry!

Watching the “Shahs of Sunset” HOT….still watching “Keeping up with the KardashiansNOT (sorry Haley lol).

The Kardashians’ shows must be scripted or contrived somewhat…even real life is not that inane!

What is HOT: education and being a source of inspiration to other young ladies to have careers and financial independence!

What is NOT… uneducated and being uninspired; thereby remaining dependent on others (once you are an adult).

Writing as a form of your expression, learning to play a musical instrument, or learning the historical background while cooking foods from different cultures–HOT!

especially of someones’ name

Using your body as a canvas to express your thoughts, and if you ink someones’ name on your skin, it may  at the time seem  like it is  “forever” HOT but what if…NOT!  Try expressing oneself through other modes; such as learning a new Language, Art or Instrument…noe that is HOT!

Getting tattoos and Body Piercing…if you are part of a biker gang or into wrestlemania” and other certain entertainment field…may be apropos..if not —NOT

FYI: apropos: “fitting; at the right time; to the purpose; opportunely” (dictionary.com).

Dating the “bad boy” or “bad girl” NOT so hot anymore…once you are past the age of 21….

dating and getting serious with a “good guy” who is educated,  kind, and playful HOTTTTT!!!

as to my Young Ladies and Gentlemen: “hanging with the wrong crowd“…NOT HOT!

…hanging out with your friends that are positive, fun, and enlighten and sharing  good laughs  always HOT!

Link

There is a new trend in camping…no longer do you have to “ruff-it” now you can camp in a stylish “ruffled” camouflage shorts (lol).  Camping the luxury-way can be enjoyed with all the lavish style of a 5-starred resort.  Although chichi Camping can be experienced in a luxurious way;  what has not really changed is where you would camp.  One can still camp on the Sugary Beaches in the Deep Forest or the Woody Woods, the Majestic Mountains,   Sandy-Dusky Desert., or what about in the Crystal Snow   However what has modernized is the “way” of camping…now you can camp in glamorous fashion…it is not now, as much as the “where”, as it is the “how”—YES Luxury Camping!  Now, all the comforts of the luxury accommodations of some of the most lavish Hotels and Resorts in the top cities can be experienced while camping.  The visual experience can be quite impressive…

CAMPING ON THE BEACH OR NEAR THE SEA SIDE

The Where?

With one of the best State Park systems in the country, Florida has literally dozens of great places to camp within a swimmer’s stroke of the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico.  For example:

  1. Long Key State Park  |  Long Key  Campsites are $28.50. Call (305) 664-4815 or go to floridastateparks.org/longkey  (This park has several Nature Trails, including one for Kayakers that runs through a shallow-water Lagoon, and 60 waterfront campsites, each with a Picnic Table and Grill.)   2. Cayo Costa State Park  |  Boca Grande  Campsites are $27.03. Call (941) 964-0375 or go to floridastateparks.org/cayocosta ,  (The warm gulf water is great for swimming, snorkeling, fishing and kayaking.  Each tent site can accommodate up to eight people.  Showers, Toilets and Potable Water are centrally located. Visitors must bring Food and Drink, but the extra work is well worth it.  This is wild Florida at its best.)     3. Fort Clinch State Park  |  Fernandina Beach Campsites are $22 a night. Call (904) 277-7274 or go to floridastate parks.org/fortclinch.  (this state park has great Surf. Fishing, Swimming and a 6-mile Trail for Hikers and Bicyclists.  Fort Clinch has two campgrounds, one overlooking the Beach and the other in a Hardwood Hammock overlooking the Amelia River.)

 

For example resting on the sugary white Beaches on a billowy pillow of the Egyptian 1000 thread count pillow case  (thread Count refers to the number of horizontal and vertical threads in one square inch of fabric. So if a fabric is 1000 tc or 1000 thread count, that means there were 1000 threads square inch of fabric) is truly a lux way to Camp on the Beaches.

Tip: Thread count has become a buzz word for marketing Luxury Sheets, Shirts and other woven Fabric Goods. The idea is that the finer the threads you can weave together, the softer and finer the fabric.  But that is not always the case.  According to  an article in the magazine Consumer Reports, a thread count of 200 is fine; and 400 may be softer. But anything above 400 will likely only provide a higher price tag.

What to Do when you are there?

Beach Camping is great to do in the summer and can be a great vacation for the entire family as well as with friends..  How many camping trips can your spouse or significant other throw a “spray”: (Spray is a term used when water that is thrown into the air, causes the displacement of water by a boat or the  water-skier”) , while you relax to a good book on your Tablet as your children do somersaults, in the warm fresh salty air…later after flipping through the pages of reading your “good book”,  you can be able to tantrum (Tantrum – a rider approaches the wake heelside and back flips over the wake on an axis perpendicular to the direction of the board.); on wakeboard  as catch air too!… Between the sunshine and water, beaches truly have something for everyone. Whether you will be Luxury Camping at the lakeside, along the ocean, or near a rocky coast, certain things are usually the same case while Beach Camping…

    

One of the time honored activities while Beach Camping  is to have a “campfire” or “bonfire” together as a group, hopefully someone in that group knows how to play an instrument and then a “Ye Olde Fashion sing-a-long” will ensue. 

FYI:   A “campfire” is a fire lit at a campsite, to serve the following functions: light, warmth, a beacon, a bug and/or apex predator deterrent, to cook, and for a psychological sense of security. In established campgrounds they are usually in a fire ring for safety. Campfires are a popular feature of camping, particularly among organized campers such as Scouts or Guides.  In some regions it is called a bonfire, especially when it is of a very large size.  The celebratory bonfires are typically designed to burn quickly and may be very large. The name ‘bonfire’ is believed to be derived from the Celtic custom of burning the bones of the cattle which were slaughtered aka “bone fire”.  However, which ever term you wish to use….food cooked over an open flame can be just as tasty, and the best part is its preparation!

FYI: Ye Olde is a pseudo-Early Modern English stock prefix, used anachronistically, suggestive of a Deep England feel. A typical example would be Ye Olde English … en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ye_Olde

What to Eat when you are there?

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Pack a couple packages of Beef Hot Dogs or Frankfurt, Franks, Wieners, and Weenies ( any of which can be sausage served in a sliced bun (note: there are also whole wheat buns with fiber available rather than the white bleached breads)  that can be garnished with mustard, ketchup, onions, mayonnaise, relish and/or sauerkraut.   Here is where you can be quite creative and “glam” it  up with your toppings!  And for those that are non-meat eaters there are Vegetarian hot dog usually referred to as ‘veggie dog” or “not-dog”, which are hot dogs produced completely from non-meat products (third picture).

FYI: Vegetarian hot dogs are sometimes eaten by non-vegetarians because they are lower in fat, calories, and contain no cholesterol, with little to no saturated fat, compared to hot dogs from animal meats. Therefore they are preferred by people following a low calorie, low fat or low cholesterol diet. Unlike traditional home-made meat sausages, the casing is not made of intestine, but of plant based ingredients. Vegetarian hot dogs are usually based on some sort of soy protein. Some contain egg whites, which would make them unacceptable to vegans.  Although, there are also vegetarian hot dogs made from tofu. However, like ordinary hot dogs, vegetarian hot dogs contain little to no fiber too.

But, Fiber can be tasty to add fiber too.  Why not add grill veggies that are high in fiber such as; Broccoli, Spinach, Green Peas, Swiss Chard, Kidney beans, Lima Beans, Black-eyed Beans and Lentils. Grab a pot and cook over an open flame…try flavoring it with natural seasonings and instead of using butter try using Fleishemans® Brand margarine (now sold with sea salt to enhance the flavor, and omega-3s to help you maintain your health).  Fleischmann’s® is better than butter for your health. Notably, one of the most popular veggies to throw on the barb-b is Corn on the Cob, and it  is a Good Source of Fiber!

FYI:  One cup of corn provides 18.4% of the daily recommendation of fiber.  Its high fiber content is one of the biggest benefits of corn.  Fiber has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels and help reduce the risk of colon cancer.  Fiber is also useful in helping to lower blood sugar levels in diabetics.

…due to all of  your that time and energy spent on the beaches; Swimming, Snorkeling, and doing  other Water Sports… a bit of protein should maybe enjoyed on the grill as well..why not grill either Chicken, Beef, or Fish such as Salmon, Red Snapper or Perch.

FYI: Catfish has been shown to be one of the  bottom feeders  which means that they are a species that eat dead materials on the bottom of the waters. Thus, it can be argued that they might be thought to be less nutritious than other fishes for your health.

…if you enjoy a Veggie Burger or Beef Burger,  like me…why eat a real grilled  burger with potatoes wedged-cut fries ..now see whether Burger King has the taste creation correct  (lol); but  I bet yours will be better :p…

Veggie Burger with Humus Spread……………….Beef Burger with fresh Vegatables……………..Natural Cut Potatoes with fresh Herbs

After your entrée get the gang  together to prepare one of the most traditional Camping Dessert treat…eat some “smores”…like they say “after eating them…you will always want some more…:smores! (ha ha); but who can not resist those Graham Crackers, Chocolate and marshmallows melted into one tasty bite.  Now, you can Glam it up…try packing Whoopie Pie Smores (third picture) !  Now after all of that eating time to fit into your Beach Wear!

What to Wear when you are there?

…whether you decide to wear a One-piece, Two piece or Tankini even a sweet Summer Dress…whichever you may decide; just top it with a wide brimmed Beach or Straw Hat for protection as well as fashion and you are set!

…and fellows,  if you are not exactly “6-pack” ready. wear a suit with a looser fit and a roomy t-shirt now cap to match and top-off your look!

   

When hitting the beach Glam it up…pay attention to your colors.  Forget about the  old adage that wearing black makes you appear slimmer.  NO!…wearing fun colors and enjoying yourself makes you appear happier!  Try to be sure that you are wearing colors (White and Brights) that “reflex” the sun, not “absorb” (Black and Darks) the rays.  Also, what is important is to protect your skin…because  in years to come you do NOT want your skin looking like the lizard that just scampered  across the beach (lol)…on the beach bring along clothing that are Fun and Cute as well as  Protective from the sun

Although Beach can be fun, do not waste time worrying about your body image…it is better if you forget about being “bathing suit ready”… .just do not forget about the Sun–Be sure to pack some bottles of SunScreen or SunBlock.  Many people ask about  the difference between the two…Sunblock vs. Sunscreen. “Which is best for my family“? and “Is there even a difference between the two“?  Most of the lotions on the market are a combination of both Sunblock and Sunscreen…so it is important that you read the ingredients carefully if you are needing a pure sunblock.  Listed below is what I was able to research on the issue of Sunblock versus Sunscreen.  I thought this was important subject to elaborate because of the current awareness of skin cancer being a real concern for families.

SUNBLOCK

“Sunblock contains physical or inorganic ingredients that reflect and scatter the UVB light and acts as a wall between your skin and the sun. Look for Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide as the main ingredient. (sunblock do not protect against UVA rays.) This may be a better choice for your family if you have anyone with sensitive skin since titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are less irritating than Parsol 1789 found in sunscreen. Because most brands of lotion are a combination of both sunblock and sunscreen, if you are looking for a true sunblock try Blue Lizard Australian Sunblock and Neutrogena Sunblock.

Whereas…

SUNSCREEN

Sunscreen contains chemicals that protect your skin by absorbing and reflecting UV rays and allows a certain range of UV light to be absorbed into the skin. Look for Parsol 1789 in many of today’s sunscreen brands. It helps protect against UVA rays as well as UVB. So, you get a bit more protection.

TIP:  While sunblock and sunscreen are both great for preventing sunburns, if you really want complete protection from both UVA (the ones that cause wrinkles and the deadliest form of skin cancer!) and UVB rays, look for the newest product on the market called mexoryl (Mexoryl SX™ is the commercial name of two ingredients found in some sunscreens  also known as ecamsule, is said to provide better protection against ultraviolet A (UVA) rays than most other sunblocks on the market.  Mexoryl™ XL, also known as drometrizole trisiloxane, provides excellent protection against both UVA and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays and  can be found in sunscreens.).  Which ever you decide be sure to look for a sunblock or sunscreen that does NOT contain vitamin A and its derivatives, retinol and retinyl palmitate, as this may speed up the cancer that sunscreen is used to prevent.

FYI: Here is a link to the SKIN CANCER FOUNDATION’S website with more important information on sunblock vs sunscreen and for an overview of the FDA’s new guidelines: SKIN CANCER FOUNDATION

What Equipment and Tools you might what to bring with you?

Also, Pack along the equipment and gadgets that will make your Luxury Beach Camping that more enjoyable, as well as practical… for example a Beach Chair that has a dual purpose and also serves as a cooler for your refreshing beverages…a Beach Blanket Tarp that has weighted corners (this helps you and your family from having a ” I’ll fly away” beach blanket).  However, what is most important is to remember to stay well hydrated  with water ( FYI:  water is needed to stay healthily hydrated – not to mention avoid fatigue, light-headedness, nausea, and even heat stroke – quickly climbs. The body loses water via the skin by perspiration, kidneys by urine, lungs by exhaled water vapor, and intestine by feces. Additionally, water keeps your energy up, weight down, muscles strong, joints supple, digestive system smooth — your whole system in physical balance. ) drink plenty of water using one of those colorful Stainless Steel  water containers that are Eco-friendly and have Sustainable!

FYISustainability is the idea that an action can be continued indefinitely with little impact on the environment.

FYI:  Not only can it be argued that using Stainless Steel water bottles socially responsible and safer than plastic bottles…but the colors can be so lux and match your other gear too!

TIPStainless steel is a neutral metal and doesn’t leach – that’s why silverware and cookware are made of steel. Aluminum bottles need to be lined to prevent the metal from leaching into your water (may be harmful) and imparting a metallic-like  taste.

Do not forget to consider bringing along other essentials, if not provided by the facilities where you and your group have set your Camp site.  For example after taking a swim…rinse the salt water off in a solar-powered shower (YES!…warm water) …and carry along a wash/sanitize for your hands try using a  with a touch-free sanitizer!

a 5-gallon Lightweight, non-toxic PVC

absorbs heat from the sun Sufficient
amount of volume for multiple showers.

CAMPING IN THE WOODS OR FOREST

Camping in the woods or forest can be like “getting back to nature”, like the camping many of us experienced as children.   However, let us start at the beginning ,what is the difference between “woods” and “forest”? After a little research I have found that Forest is a large area of open grassland containing a larger density of trees than Woods.   Also, it has much more underbrush, due to the fact that the sunshine does not filter through the forest as easily, because of this fact, nothing small can really grow.  Further a Forest, can be, depending on where in the world it is located, subdivided into the shrub layer, herb layer, and also the moss layer and soil microbes. In some complex forests, there is also a well-defined lower tree layer.  Whereas, in the Woods you  would see underbrush, blackberry, brushes and scrubs.  The basic word here is “Wood”, which refers to a growth of trees. Other similar words are “grove” (small orchard or stand of fruit-bearing trees.).; and “copse” (a thicket of small trees or bushes)  if the growth is natural, and “plantation” (ususally small farm of estate of which something is produced for sale)  if man-made. FYI: Forests are central to all human life because they provide a diverse range of resources, they store carbon, aid in regulating our climate, purify water and mitigate natural hazards such as floods.  My understanding is that woods would primarily comprise of similar kinds of  trees with very much nothing else. Whereas, you would find a much larger variety of flora and indeed fauna in Forests.  Whether you are camping in the Forrest or the Woods it is important to camp the luxury way! FYI:  “Flora means Plants of a particular  region or period various species and considered as a whole; whereas Fauna are the Animals of a given region or period considered as a whole”.

The Where?

Big Timber Campsite located in Montana  (406) 932-6569.   Big Timber and the surrounding communities of Melville, McLeod and Greycliff offers Shopping, Schools, Medical Facilities, Building Supplies, Churches and Peace and Quiet. Big Timber is bordered on the north and east by Prairie, and on the west and south by mountains. Granite Peak, located in the Absaroka Mountain Range, is the highest mountain in Montana at 12,799 feet. Activities and guided services for this area include Ranch vacations, Hiking, River Floats, Hunting.  Gifford Woods State Park located in Vermont ( 802)775-5354 (May-October) There are 4 Cabins,  22 tent/trailer sites and 20 lean-to sites situated in two camping  loops. Each loop has a Rest Room with modern plumbing and Hot Showers  ($). There is a Trailer Sanitary Station, but no hookups. Fire and ice  are available for sale. A wooded picnic area is located behind the  ranger’s quarters with a play area. Day hikes are available and there  is an easy hook up with the Appalachian Trail.

Luxury Camping in the Wood or Forest allows you to still have that rustic feel; but still have the comforts of a luxury lofty country resort.  Try sleeping in a sphere cabin elevated among the trees much like “George or Georgia of the Jungle, but this time…in the Woods or Forest”  (lol).

What to Do when you are there?

Camping in the woods or forest is what you can do in most seasons. there are campsites that accommodate those who enjoy it in the spring, summer, fall or winter.  There are some exciting activities such as gently canoeing down a peaceful River Stream,  an awesome experience as you White Water Rafting down a raging river, and doing a little relaxing fishing as you are dressed “fly” in your gear

!

…or go “hi-ho-hi-ho” hiking along a wilderness trail with the gang a-tow…then stopping along to “spot” wild life like…the Spotted Owl perched on a Douglas-fir !

The National Park Service provides information on hikes available in their parks. Some parks, like Yosemite, are so popular that they have spawned websites, such as Yosemitehikes.com, dedicated to providing information on hikes specific to the particular park. Other sites, like HikingUpward.com, focus on hikes in a particular state, in this case Virginia.

What to Eat when you are there?

One of the classics to dine on while camping is a hearty pot of Chili made in a cast iron pot over an open fire!  However do it with a bit of gourmet style and add  garlic-flavored Carne Corn Bread and various cheeses to burst the flavors of your robust chili.  I am sure you can find many  great recipes and styles of Chili on www.foodnetwork.com Why not glam-up  your meals with a touch of luxury by molding your Wild Brown Rice and garnish it with a sprig of Organic Fresh Herb Leaf to add that gourmet appearance… no reason why you can not say…

… Bon Appétit! while you are dining by…instead of candlelight…latern-light (lol)! FYI: Bon Appétit is the French phrase for “Enjoy your meal”, after all it is widely know that  visual allure is an important component to enjoying any meal.

Also, there is always the favorite of grilled corn in the husk infused with a clove of garlic, dried goods can trial well in a backpack or knapsack, and let us not forget the smores; but this time, gourmet cupcake smores.  Instead of your ordinary Hershey Chocolate (use gourmet chocolate such as Godiva either Dark or Milk chocolate), instead of Fluff marshmallow (use Artisan Gourmet Plush Puffs), try the Graham Crackers from Nabisco Brand! TIP:  All you need to make smores are graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate (either dark or milk). Instead of a campfire, use your a rack to warm the marshmallow and melt the chocolate over a heated stones.  For cupcakes, prepare the cupcakes before hand, package and heat and EAT…do not forget to bring enough for those who will surely ask for some more!

What to Wear when you are there?

What you wear while luxury camping will surely depend on the season you are camping in…if in the Summer months you will want to camp in Denim shorts,Cute printed T-shirt, Old sneaker and a brightly colored bandanna to protect your head from the sun.  In the Fall you may want to consider wearing the standard a long sleeved “Red Gingham flannel Shirt” or even layering your body with embossed  flannel undershirt and a comfy fleece cap and complimentary socks to stay warm during winter camping.  However you may decide to find some outfits with lux style and taste…but not that high price tag.  Please visit some of my favorite sites that have style with the price of a frugal shopper…www.DrJays.comwww.bodyc.com, or www.10dollarmall.com, www.charlotterusso.com

 
       Summer  Camping                            Fall/Autumn  Camping                                   Cooler Weather Camping   

What Equipment and Tools you might what to bring with you?

with Luxury Camping you can bring all of the comforts that you are accustomed even in the woods or forrest!

Grill fresh fish as you relax in your tent, make fresh Preo (the answer to coffee without caffeine), or “Cafix”.  Cafix offers a rich coffee like   none of the acidity and additives of real coffee or tea which is known to cause an upset stomach or overstimulated the Central Nervous System in the average individual. TIPPero is a 100% natural beverage with a coffee like taste. It’s 100% naturally caffeine free and blended from select all natural ingredients–malted barley, chicory, and rye; and because Pero contains no stimulants, it will not elevate heart rate or blood pressure, cause sleeplessness or create any adverse physical ailments typically associated with caffeine consumption. Plus the low acidity of this natural beverage makes it easy to enjoy morning, noon or night without the fear of an upset stomach.  Pero can be mixed with your favorite ingredients to create your own hot drink specialties to relax and enjoy. So, take a break– and make Pero the beverage of choice for you and your family. Also, you may want to set up a private area for you and your fellow campers private “bathroom breaks”.  You may want to consider bringing axe with you…be sure to bring one, like the one pictured below, with a “safety” cover and closure…even Paul Bunyon would agree (lol)!

FYIBunyan, Paul, is giant hero of many tales told by lumberjacks of the Great Lakes region and the Pacific Northwest. Originally, the stories may have described a French Canadian, “Bon Jean,” but in their later form they are pure mythology. They tell of the exploits of the greatest of all boss loggers, which include such fantastic feats as the creation of the Grand Canyon and Puget Sound, and the invention of the double‐bitted axe.

Camping in the Woods or Forrest calls for the protection of some type of bug or insect repellant, because after all you are now in their environment (lol)!
        

CAMPING IN THE DESERT OR ON THE SAND

One of the myths is that the desert is dry and lifeless, void of plants and animals,” says Dr. Christopher Van Tilburg, a Hood River, Oregon-based doctor and a member of the board of directors at the Wilderness Medical Society.  “People who don’t know the desert think the desert is desolate.” As a result, inexperienced campers often make the mistake of assuming that the desert will be a barren, overbaked wilderness—but in-the-know folks are prepared for an environment of extremes, where both heat exhaustion and hypothermia, bone-dryness and flash floods, are possible

 The Where?

Grand Canyon National Park: Over five million visitors a year flock to the Grand Canyon (928.638.7888; www.nps.gov/grca), but most head for the South Rim, leaving the North Rim quieter and less crowded. While the entire park is classified as a semi-arid desert, the North Rim, at 8,000 feet, receives enough snowfall that this section of the park is only open from May to October. Take the bone-jarring hour-long drive to Tuweep campground on the North Rim for an awesome start to any canyon trek; the campground looks virtually straight down the canyon’s gullet to the Colorado River. Read More: Guide to Grand Canyon National Park White Sands National Monument: Located at the north end of the Chihuahuan Desert, and headquartered in Alamogordo, New Mexico, White Sands (505.679.2599; www.nps.gov/whsa) offers more than missile testing. Nester cites White Sands for its variety of animals (44 species of mammals have been observed, including oryx, coyotes, and even mountain lions), while others enjoy extraordinary full-moon camping, as the bright light reflects off the gypsum sand. Read More: Guide to White Sands National monument

The big three things to address before going desert camping are dehydration, heat exhaustion, and hyponatremia (a debilitating lack of sodium in the blood). “Being prepared, and planning, are the best defenses,” says Van Tilburg. “A little bit of foresight can go a long way.”

Problem: Dehydration
What It Is: Dehydration is defined as “an excessive loss of body water” and is a familiar enough term to not only outdoorsy-types but also athletes. Signs of dehydration are dizziness and nausea.
 What You Can Do: The best defense against it, of course, is bringing enough water orH2O ( means two atoms of hydrogen combine with one atom of oxygen to make one molecule  of water. The H stands for hydrogen and the subscript 2 of the H indicates that  there are two atoms of hydrogen. The O is the symbol for an oxygen atom), but should you or your partner start suffering from dehydration while out in exposed, parched stretches of desert, Van Tilburg suggests drinking half-strength Gatorade (or another sports drink) to replace electrolytes. If you only have water, pair it with salty snacks, to replace essential sodium.
Problem: Hyponatremia, or "water exhaustion"
 What It Is: Defined as “a deficiency of sodium in the blood,” hyponatremia occurs when people drink too much water without replacing essential electrolytes. Symptoms include blurred vision and nausea, but according to Van Tilburg, “urine is the best objective sign,” where a light yellow color is ideal.
 What You Can Do:Load up on salty snacks.
Pack some bunches of Salty snacks like…
Nuts of all kinds, pretzels, popcorn okay from Garretts…can be balanced with Snap Sugar Peas
Problem: Heat Exhaustion
What It Is: Often co-existing with mild dehydration, heat exhaustion is marked by a subnormal temperature combined with dizziness, headache, and nausea. It differs from heat stroke, where body temperature is dangerously elevated.
What You Can Do:  Seek shade, eat a little food, and drink a little water. In general, when you encounter a problem, don’t make a decision right away. “I advise a lot of people to sit down, get some shade, get the group together, and address the initial problem,” says Van Tilburg. “Wait a half-hour, and then re-evaluate the situation.’
TIP: Just in case you can not scout out Natures’ Shade…
pack and bring your own shade along!

What to Do when you are there?

Have you ever wanted to  rip-out on a Dune Buggy (Go kart racing, or karting)  or ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) through the sand, or mountain  (cross country [XC] ) biking, or ride a camel in the sand as you witness the sun setting as it  nestles between the hills?!  Well, these may be just a few of the thing you are able to experience while Luxury Camping in the Desert sand. FYI:  There are two species of camels: the dromedary or Arabian camel has a single hump, and the bactrian has two humps. Dromedaries are native to the dry desert areas of West Africa, and Bactrian camels are native to Central and East Asia. Both species are domesticated; they provide milk and meat, and are working animals.

 What to Eat when you are there?

Eating foods high in protein will allow you to have the energy that may be spent doing the activities which are most common in the desert.  Also, preparing dishes high in carbs allow you to have that added nutrients to endure the fatigue on your muscles as you hang on the bars as you rip a roar down the trial!

What to Wear when you are there?

Clothing: Solid boots, long-sleeve cotton shirts, long pants, jacket or sweatshirt, and a wide-brimmed hat like the Packable Canoe Hat from Orvis ($29; www.orvis.com). Since cotton holds essential moisture, “the desert is one of the few places where cotton is useful in the wilderness,” says Van Tilburg. All three experts  interviewed highly recommend wearing long-sleeve T-shirts and long pants, topped with a wide-brimmed hat. At night, be prepared for cooler weather, and pack appropriately. “People don’t bring enough warm clothes,” says Van Tilburg. “Even hot deserts can get cold at night.

What Equipment and Tools you might what to bring with you?

May I suggest some type of Water filtration system equipment, also lighting is important and a guide explaining about the nuances of camping in the Desert.  In order to stay hydrated you can purchase pouches that will allow you to keep fruit fresh and sealed and packaged to maintain its moisture while on the road.

Pack Cast Iron cookware that will allow you to heat evenly to  and maintain the heat for longer periods of time.  Bring with you a portable shower for those hot and dusty days…also having a portable toilet, just in case the facility you are camped does not provide it….but I hope it does (lol)! All said camping in desert can be beautiful the scenery captures your attention as you scout for the perfect campsite. You will be itching to explore by the time the tent is setup. Some National Parks have nearby horseback rentals. Either on horseback or on foot the beginner gets a gratifying close-up look at desert wonders. Look far and look near, the drama fully surrounds you.

CAMPING ON THE MOUNTAINS OR NEAR THE MOUNTAIN

For the true nature lovers camping on or near the mountains is a wonderful way to camp.  From the lush green grasses seen during the summer and spring time,  to the crisp cool mountain streams in the fall and winter months. Camping in the Mountains can be a wonderful and memorable experience.  Mountains are magical.  With their snow-capped peaks, sheer rock faces, and dramatic ridgelines, mountains call us in, begging to be explored.  From the ancient, well-worn ranges of the east to the towering young upstarts of the west, mountains offer much more than pretty scenery.  They have a spiritual quality that is undeniable, bringing people closer to the heavens and lifting their spirits.  This year, why not head to where the wild things are and spend some time camping in the mountains TIP: Carry water. If you’re going to hike more than ½ mile – it’s a good idea to bring along some water. Never drink out of streams or lakes – Water sources can be tainted with bacteria and pollutants

The Where?

The best place to camp year round is in the Great Smoky Mountains and whether you wish to camp with all the amenities or in the rugged wilderness you can find the camping experience you are looking for in the Smokies.  Reservations for camping in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park can be made online or you can call the park reservation toll free at (877)444-6776. Gatlinburg TN is a popular vacation spot due to its seclusion and beauty. Surrounded by mountains, high ridges rising up on all sides, Gatlinburg Cabins provide you with privacy, allowing you to fully enjoy the majestic beauty of nature. Our Gatlinburg Cabins offer a variety of locations to give you the choice of seclusion, amazing views, and convenience. Choose a budget cabin for a great price, or go all out with a level of luxury that defies any preconceived notions you might have had of “roughing it” in any of our Gatlinburg Cabins.  4 Nights for the Price of 3 on All Cabins! Or 15% off 2 Night Stays Special on Cabins Available After 12/27/2011  www.yourcabin.com or call 1.877.704.2224 Utah has a series of lofty ranges that offer incredible mountaineering, skiing, and climbing. The Great Basin National Park hosts numerous peaks and the area is dominated by Wheeler Peak. At 13,063 feet it gives participants a big mountain feel at a moderate altitude.  The steep snow slopes, rock ridges, and remote wilderness experiences found in this area make it one of the best locations for developing mountaineering skills. Students get a taste of moderate altitude and develop their guiding and leadership skills in an incredible wilderness location.  Salt Lake City has a variety of lodging options. For an affordable and convenient hotel, we recommend the Econo Lodge in downtown Salt Lake City: 715 W. North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT, US, 84116 Phone: (801) 363-0062 Fax: (801) 359-3926. Camping in the Mountains can be very peaceful, serene and luxurious!

What to do when you are there?

The most important thing to do is to ENJOY the view!!

Rock Climbing Climbing is not all about strength anyway. Many a strong man has been humbled by the feminine graciousness and apparent ease of a woman moving over rock. Climbing is all about balance, knowing your body and being able to reposition it in space. It’s about creativity, learning to adapt to what the rock has to offer. It’s a whole-body exercise and though your upper body gets a fair share of grunt work, your legs and feet are your most important instrument for upward motion. It’s about concentration and overcoming your fears for the void.

Zip lining is safe with the proper equipment and reasonable precautions. Check for certification by an organization like the Association for Challenge Course Technology or Universal Zipline Technology. Expect age and weight restrictions on zip lines and canopy tours. The company should provide a helmet and gloves in addition to the harness and trolley used in zip lining. Tie back your hair, wear close-toed shoes and a shirt and shorts or pants that will protect your skin from harness chafing. Pregnant women, people with back and shoulder injuries and people wearing casts are usually prohibited from zip lining.  CONQUER THE MOUNTAIN TOP!

It is all about discovering the natural world around and within you. Climbing will bring you to lots of lovely places and will definitely give you a unique perspective on the world below you. You will learn a couple of things about yourself and the people you climb with so go ahead and belt out a guttural scream! Now that you went to the TOP it is time to try the BOTTOM…r find a Cave in those Mountains and become a “spelunker“..no it is not what you think….it is one who explores caves chiefly as a hobby; a caver.  Guide http://www.gorp.com Find the Best Caving in the US! Get Tips, Maps.

What to Eat when you ar there? …try eating things like Fish, Steak, Chicken, and Turkey, etc

!

In particular, you’ll want to get lots of carbs the day before you make a climb, so make sure your muscles are fully “fueled up”. A good hearty pasta dinner the night before is a common choice.

The morning before, get more carbs. Oatmeal is a very heart healthy choice; Combine that with some fruits…Nothing too heavy.  Pack a backpack for the climb…consider piggy backing foods to

consume later, standard nutrition applies:  Fruits, vegetables, and lots and lots of water, etc.

What to Wear when you are there?

Wear long spandex exercise pants, loose-fitting pants or sweats on your legs in  cooler weather. Don’t wear tight jeans, which will restrict your range of  movement and make you uncomfortable.  Wear a few light layers on your upper body in cool weather, along with a  windbreaker or light jacket. It’s important to choose items made of breathable  fabrics that wick moisture away from your body.

Explore the beauty of the mountains styled like a real Adventurer. Wear a  v-neck organic-cotton t-shirt, khaki side-pocket cargo shorts, matching  timbs and a canvas backpack with leather trims,  round-frame sunglasses  and a large square scarf!

Rock climbing is a strenuous sport that requires your concentration. So the  clothing you wear needs to be functional, flexible, durable and comfortable since it is completed in the great outdoors keep the weather in mind.

Read more:  How to Dress to Go Rock Climbing | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_2123027_dress-rock-climbing.html#ixzz1iHMMqKWx

What Equipment and Tools you might what to bring with you?

The mountains are susceptible to unpredictable fluctuations in weather. Warm sunny days can become cold and rainy in a matter of minutes. Carry a rain poncho; you can buy the small folded-up ones for $1. Remember that even though it might be 70º F in town, it could be 55º F on the mountain. (In addition to the extra clothes, you should consider bringing a first aid kit, insect repellent, sunblock, snacks, a flashlight, a lighter and a pocketknife

Every harness should have a tie-in point and a belay loop on the front to allow  a climber and belayer to safely tie in to the rope. The waist belt of a harness  should sit on top of the hips and fit snugly. The leg loops should be adjusted  so they fit comfortably around each thigh. A harness is only safe if it is  properly fitted and correctly buckled. Harnesses are only necessary for certain  types of climbing and not typically needed for bouldering and most solo climbing


Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/250984-what-gear-is-needed-for-rock-climbing/#ixzz1iHY5zc64

A rope is one of the most important pieces of equipment for indoor, sport and  traditional climbers. There are two basic types of rope–dynamic and static. A  dynamic rope makes a good rock climbing rope because it has the elasticity to  absorb the energy of a fall, while a static rope is stiffer and is more useful  for rappelling and rescues.  Ropes can also be dry treated. Dry treated ropes  tend to be more expensive but are easier to handle and less likely to be damaged  if they get wet
Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/250984-what-gear-is-needed-for-rock-climbing/#ixzz1iHYVELMc

Since your feet are your most important instrument for upward motion you want to put some care in choosing your shoes. Climbers tend to wear shoes a couple sizes smaller than their normal shoe size. It’s probably not a good idea to kill your feet but your shoes should never feel loose. Take your time determining the size: cram your feet in the smallest shoes possible, then add some sizes until you feel comfortable. Remember that your feet should never slip inside your shoes.  Shoes cost between US$ 50 – 150. Some of the top brands include: La Sportiva, Five Ten and Boreal.

When climbing or belaying, especially outdoors, a climbing helmet should be  worn. Climbing helmets protect the head from both side and top impacts. Helmets  provide the climber protection in case of a fall and protect the belayer from  any falling rock or debris the climber kicks loose. A properly fitted helmet  should be adjusted to sit comfortably but snugly on top of the head, and the  chin strap should be securely fastened. A safe climbing helmet will meet the  UIAA (Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme) and CE (European  Committee for Standardization) standards.   Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/250984-what-gear-is-needed-for-rock-climbing/#ixzz1iHXgeZ1O

FYI: Carry a cell phone. This may be your most important safety item. Although there may not be service in remote locations, I’ve found that there are often pockets where you can pick up a signal. It’s best to turn your cell phone off to save the battery when you venture into the back-country (cell phone batteries quickly deplete when they are searching for a signal). This season, why not take a camping trip to the top of the world?  From hillsides full of wildflowers to amazing views of peaks and ridgelines, mountains truly have it all.  So warm up your sense of adventure and see what mountain camping is all about

CAMPING IN THE SNOW OR DURING THE WINTER MONTHS

Camping or backpacking in the snow appeals to anyone who enjoys the beauty and peacefulness of a pristine winter wonderland. There are no bugs or crowds, and who doesn’t enjoy playing in the snow? With a little preparation, you also might be surprised at just how comfortable it can be. Here is how to get started if you have the right equipment and warm clothes, Winter is a great time for camping and there is plenty to do; cross-country, skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, animal tracking, bird watching, and ice fishing.

The Where?

RV camping in Oregon offers a chance to see wildlife unlike any other.  RV parks in Oregon are right in the middle of some of the most incredible surroundings.  The Klamath Basin of Northern California and South Central Oregon is home to over 350 species of birds throughout the year. It is world famous for spectacular flocks of waterfowl on the lakes, rivers and nearby Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges and is home to the largest concentration of wintering bald eagles in the lower 48 states. In fact, every year hundreds of these majestic birds flock to the Klamath Basin where they find plenty of food and safe sites for roosting.  You have a chance to see the magnificence all while camping in Oregon. Camping trips to Oregon encompass a variety of scenery and activities.  In addition to the festival, the Klamath Basin is rich with things to do in winter. There are tours to: Crater Lake National Park, one of the natural wonders of the world, Klamath National Wildlife Refuges, and Lava Beds National Monument. The Klamath Basin has thousands of acres of public land and also boasts many natural attractions for visitors who enjoy wildlife and beautiful scenery. You can hike, cross-country ski, snowmobile, dog sled, horseback ride and enjoy other activities in the wilderness areas.  Visit RV parks in Oregon to be right in the midst of it all.  1-800-234-3450 M-F 6am–7pm MST, Sat 8am–4:30pm MST Manzanita Campground is located just south of Slide Rock State Park in scenic Oak Creek Canyon. The campground is located right on Oak Creek. 19 campsites are small and some are now reservable. Come early and during the weekdays to have a chance at one of these prime campsites. The camp area is so small that there no room for RVsFrom Phoenix, take I-17 to Hwy 179, north to Sedona. Go north on Hwy 89A in Oak Creek Canyon 6 miles. If coming from Flagstaff on I-17, take Hwy 89A south into Oak Creek Canyon 23 miles

Huddle in a igloo type tent…or chill in a Cozy Winter Chalet or Villa!

FYI:  Villas are associated with luxury and/or expensive real estate, whereas,  Chalets can be a weekend  rental at many ski resorts.
Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What’s_the_difference_between_a_villa_and_a_chalet#ixzz1ijsqvFEU

What to Do when you are there?

Zipping down a hill at what feels like a million miles an hour can be an exhilarating time — as long as you’re sledding safely. When you grab your sled, make sure it’s sturdy and that it’s one you can really steer. The handholds should be easy to grab, and the seat of the sled should be padded. Never use homemade sleds like garbage-can lids, plastic bags, or pool floats — these are dangerous and you may lose control while you’re sledding.   Before you hit the slopes to ski or snowboard, make sure you have the right equipment — and that it fits you correctly. Many kids have problems because the equipment they use is too big for them. It may have belonged to an older brother or sister and they’re hoping that they can “grow into it.” Equipment that is too big will make it hard for you to keep control…so be safer rather than sorry!

…Flying High Snowboarding, Swishing down the Slopes Skiing, Rive-up your engines and go Snowboarding, family fun Ice Skating! …OR A GOOD OLD FASHION SNOWBALL FIGHT AMONG FRIENDS!

FYI: Even though it might seem odd in winter, don’t forget to put on sunscreen (with a minimum SPF of 15) when you’re skiing, sledding, skating, or snowboarding. Sunlight reflects off all that bright white snow and ice and back onto your face — so cover up with sunscreen, and put some lip balm that contains sunscreen on your lips (even when it’s cloudy outside).

What to Eat when you are there?

If you’re snowshoeing, skiing or boarding, you are using a lot of energy. Be sure to eat before, during and after your activity to keep your energy up and help your body recover.

Proteins, fats and carbohydrates all provide energy.

  1. Proteins (meats, dairy and eggs) help build muscles and body tissue.
  2. Fats (nuts and meats) are used primarily for energy.
  3. Carbohydrates (cereals, legumes, vegetables, fruits, breads and candy) also provide  energy.

During your activity, consume some of the many  energy foods, performance beverages and snacks available. Consider food that does not take  much cook time or clean up. Look for one-pot meal or, better yet, buy some freeze-dried entrees and breakfast foods—just add hot water in the pouch and pack the garbage  out. No dirty dishes!

FYI:  Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Alcohol increases blood flow and cools your core  temperature; caffeine restricts blood flow and cools your extremities.

Tip: Carry a small vacuum bottle with a hot drink or soup—it’ll warm you up when you’re getting cold.  Use  one with a wide mouth in case the liquid freezes you are more able to :break: through the frozen layer!

   

Some essential equipment might be a portable Generator, Heater, Hot Plate, and Battery Heater…you get the idea—stay warm to enjoy your experience!

TIP: You may enjoy online shopping with stores that specialize in Winter Wear AND Gear…

      

Always protect your eyes from sun and wind. There are different lens tints for various weather conditions

What to Wear when you are there?

The simple rule of winter camping is to stay dry and warm. Carefully choose clothing  layers that are moisture-wicking, quick-drying, insulating and      waterproof/windproof/breathable. By adjusting your layers of clothing, you can regulate the amount of warmth you need. The 3 basic layers:

1.  The  base layer  is basically your underwear—the layer  next to your skin. Synthetic and merino wool fabrics work best (avoid cotton). They wick perspiration away from your skin to outer layers so it can evaporate. They dry quickly so you spend minimal time in wet clothing.

2.  The middle layer is your insulating layer. It also moves (wicks) moisture away from your body, but it is primarily designed to help you retain body heat.   For snow camping, consider expedition-weight fleece or microfleece shirts, pants and jacket and/or a goose down jacket.

3.  The outer layer, or shell, is your waterproof/windproof/breathable layer. Shells made of laminates such as Gore-Tex, eVent or REI Elements offer premium protection. Less expensive alternatives typically use polyurethane-coated fabrics that are equally waterproof but somewhat less breathable. Many are designed with core vents and underarm vents to help you expel excess heat and moisture.

TIP:   If you take a break, put on a layer so you don’t cool off too much. Your body will have to work harder to warm up again.

BASE LAYER

MIDDLE LAYER

*YOU CAN ADD ANOTHER MIDDLE LAYER

OUTER LAYER

       

Dressing warmly does not mean that you have to sacrifice luxury and fashion…wear the “new” black and wear Brownie in you  with your toasty:

Snow pants, Hat, Scarf, and mittens (…no big secret that mittens keep your fingers warmer than gloves).

FYI: Mittens allow your fingers to be in direct contact with one another can keep your hands warmer than Gloves that isolate each finger)

        

Protect your appendages: It is important to keep your feet and hands from freezing, for this can result in dangerous frostbite.  Buy a pair of warm battery operated mittens and socks. It might make it harder to use your hands than gloves, but they will keep them warmer.  Also, protect your feet by wearing thick socks made out of warm materials like wool,  purchase battery operated soxes too!  ahh the ears are appendages too so take care of those babies too wear Ear Muffs or Ear Warmers.

FYI:  Ears are appendages of your head. To make the word “appendage” more special to each kind of appendage, we say that your fingers are “jointed appendages” and your ears are “unjointed appendages.

FYIIMPORTANT THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND ABOUT CLOTHING: – No cotton, when cotton gets wet it conducts heat away from your body. Use synthetic materials or wool, these materials keep you warm even if you’re wet (and you will always get wet when you’re snow camping)

TIP: Bring extra blankets…try fleece.  The material is an example on a good insulator: it’s a light, fluffy and often thick material with some sturdiness. Good fleece is quite firm, but most fleece will be compressed a bit when worn under waders. The same goes for certain types of wool (Wool is a very good insulator because it absorbs moisture and can be worn next  to the skin, although some people find it itchy.),  Fleece has another advantage: it doesn’t suck up moisture. And that is good because moisture is the enemy of good insulation.   Down is lightweight and a very good insulator, as long as it does not get wet.  Also, Polypropylene and Hydrophobic are man-made fabrics will keep you dry and help prevent heat  loss.
            

What Equipment and Tools you might what to bring with you?

                   
If you are camping in a remote area…you may want to bring along a portable sink and toilet for sanitary purposes.
TIP:  Also,  one thing, which is also important if you want to stay warm, is to be clean. I know this sounds odd, but sweaty residues on your body, particularly on your feet, seems to attract moisture and stimulate further sweating. Clen feet in particular can save the day.  So shower or at least wash your feet before you get into those warm clothes if you have the option.
Sanitation in the Snow…As with any backcountry trip, you should always practice good hygiene habits.
  1. Camp at least 200′ from a trail, water sources and other campers.
  2. Pack out toilet paper. A plastic zipper-style bag works great for this.
  3. At lower elevations, you can dig a hole in the dirt about 8″ deep, bury feces and put a rock on top to deter animals from digging it up.

Snow camping requires extra steps to be taken with your body wastes. You should always  bag your waste using sanitary kits. These often include bag neutralizer (to reduce odors  and turn the waste into a gel for easier transport) and a hand sanitizer.  For more information, read the REI Expert Advice article on backcountry sanitation

A sleeping bag helps retain your body heat to keep you warm, and keeping warm is  essential to snow camping. Make sure you use a bag that’s rated at least 10°F  lower than the coldest temperature you expect to encounter. You can always vent the bag if  you get too warm.  For further warmth consider bringing a Battery-operated Electric Blanket and Mattress Pad!
     

When heading into the backcountry—especially in snowy or cold conditions—it is essential to have the right gear for your comfort and safety.  Developed in the 1950s, the “Ten Essentials” are a time-tested group of items that has more  recently been updated into the 10 essential systems.

  • Navigation
  • Sun protection
  • Insulation (extra clothing)
  • Illumination
  • First-aid supplies
  • Fire
  • Repair kit and tools
  • Nutrition (extra food)
  • Hydration (extra water)
  • Emergency shelter
No matter what type of camping you can also do it the luxury way….add a touch of color or style!
Listed are a few Important facts to keep in mind when you Camp in the Cold Weather

Hypothermia

This is the body’s temperature decreasing due to exposure to the cold conditions.  It can be life threatening.                                                                              A person can become hypothermic without even noticing it.

Symptoms:

  1. Shivering.
  2. Slurred speech.
  3. Non-communication.
  4. Lethargy.

Prevention:

  1. Stay warm.
  2. Stay dry.
  3. Stay hydrated.
  4. Eat well.

Remedies:

Put on dry clothing.

  1. Eat and drink warm foods and fluids.
  2. Put the person in a sleeping bag pre-warmed by another person—a hypothermic person doesn’t have enough heat to warm the bag.
  3. Put warm water in bottles and place them in the sleeping bag with the person.
  4. Use another person to warm the hypothermic person.
  5. In severe cases, careful evacuation to a medical facility is required.

Frostbite

This happens in cold-weather conditions. Frostbite is a freezing of the tissues usually on the fingers, toes, nose or face. It is a result of heat being lost faster than the blood can circulate. In severe cases, appendages may have to be amputated.

TIP:  Use chemical heat packs to help stay warm and to avoid getting frostbite.

Symptoms:

  1. Numbness to an area.
  2. Loss of sensitivity to touch.
  3. Tingling that feels like burning.
  4. Shivering.
  5. Skin appears red and then white-to-purple.

Prevention:

  1. Don’t put yourself in that position. You don’t have to reach a summit, your health and  well-being are more important.
  2. Be aware of your body signals.
  3. Stay warm and dry.

Remedies:

  1. Place the cold/frostbitten appendages against warm skin, such as your feet against a  companion’s stomach or armpits, or your fingers in your own armpits.
  2. Use warm water—99ºF to 104ºF—on the afflicted area.
  3. Do not use fire to thaw area—speedy relief can increase the injury.
  4. Do not rub because the abrasive action could damage tissue more.
  5. Evacuate to a medical facility.

Dehydration

Even when the temperature is low, you can still get dehydrated and that’s not good for  your kidneys, heart or brain. So drink plenty of water—even if you’re not  thirsty.

TIP:  Keep the fluids flowing in freezing weather with an insulated reservoir and tubing.  In extreme cold, leave the reservoir at  home and use a water bottle cover for your bottle. Turn the bottle upside down. (Water freezes from the top down, so by turning it right-side up you’ll be able to unscrew the cap and drink.)

A good way to determine if you’re drinking enough is to check the color of your urine.  If it’s dark, you are dehydrated. If it’s pale in color, you’re doing a good job hydrating!

Other symptoms of dehydration in extreme temperatures:

  1. Increased heart rate.
  2. Dry mouth.
  3. Dizziness.
  4. Muscle cramps.
  5. Confusion.
  6. Weakness.

For treating water:

  1. Water filters do not work in sub-freezing weather—the filter and seals  freeze.
  2. Chemical water treatments take longer to work in cold water, so allow extra time. Keep in mind that iodine is not effective against cryptosporidium and should not be used; sodium chloride is effective but requires about 4 hours contact time.
  3. Melting snow is a good option. Putting a little bit of water in the pot with the snow will help it melt faster.
  4. Portable UV light systems offer another effective option.

Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness is a result of being in a low air pressure at a high altitude.  Symptoms include nausea, severe headache, dizziness, insomnia, shortness of breath, lethargy, body ache and not wanting to eat. The remedy: Descend to a lower elevation for a  few days.

TIP:  Make a camp base and acclimatize for a few days before climbing higher. One strategy—don’t ascend more than 1,000′ a  day.  Contributor: Linda Ellingsen, freelance writer and outdoor  enthusiast based in Everett, Washington.

The Ten Essentials

(for safety, survival and basic comfort)

1. Navigation

 2. Sun protection
 3. Insulation
  • Jacket, vest, pants, gloves, hat (see Clothing)
 4. Illumination
 5. First-aid supplies
 6. Fire
 7. Repair kit and tools
 8. Nutrition
 9. Hydration
 10.    Emergency shelter

When planning a winter camping trip, especially if snow camping, remember that travel will be much slower than in the summer. Reduce your mileage goal by 50% to 60%. Daylight hours are fewer in the winter, which will also limit your time. Normal activities around camp take longer in cold weather.  In closing, it really does not matter where, when, or why you decide to go camping…just remember that you can always add a new flavor to your trip and do it in a glamorous fashion and flair…GLAMPING!  You can still enjoy the smell of an woodsy campfire, the taste of a sumptuous toasty smores, and the fun of a rollicking sing-a-long with family and friends…just do it luxuriously!

LAST TWO SUGGESTIONS REGARDING HAVING A FUN TIME CAMPING NEXT TIME….

1.   GRAB SOME FRIENDS WHO LIKE TO HAVE FUN

2.   …THEN GO GLAM…GLAM CAMPING THAT IS….