Driving Long Distances

Driving long distances is something that most people with a driver's license will have to face at some point in their driving career. For some people, they actually make their living from driving across the country in order to make ends meet. My uncle, for example, is a truck driver and has chosen to make a career out of driving long distances.

For most people, driving a long distance usually comes up during the holiday season. For instance, during the thanksgiving season that is currently going on, millions of Americans crowd the roadways in order to drive out to see loved ones, friends and family. If you are planning on making your first long distance road trip, there are a few things that you should consider before you jump into the car. For starters, make sure that all of your vehicle maintenance is up to date. The main things that you need to be concerned with in this area are things such as oil changes, tune ups and tire pressure, rotation and balance.

Most importantly, make sure that you pack your vehicle with an emergency kit. In your emergency "kit," you should include things such as a first aid kit, a flashlight with extra back up batteries, jumper cables, flares, a blanket, a paper road map of the United States, a swiss army knife, bottled water, some other non-perishable food items and at least one full set of clothes to include an extra pair of socks and a winter jacket. Now, while some of these items may just seem like you are being paranoid, you never know what kind of a situation you are going to come across.

A few years ago, North Carolina got hit with an awful ice storm that wound up freezing the roads over in a fine sheet of ice. The sheet of ice was more dangerous than any snow that could have hit the area, and before people knew it, they were sliding all over the roadways, off the roadways and into each other. I, myself, was caught in the middle of the ice storm mayhem. On my way back from classes, it should have only taken me approximately thirty minutes to get back to my apartment. However, due to all of the bad weather, it wound up taking me almost nine hours to get back! In nine hours, I could have easily driven home to New York!

While driving for that long (and obviously not being prepared to spend nine hours in traffic), I began to get hungry. That's when I remembered that I had some non-perishable snacks in the back of my car in my emergency kit along with some water. So, when we were stopped in the middle of traffic for a while, I crawled into the back seat of my car and retrieved a small bag of granola and a bottle of water. I was also thankful that I had chosen to fill up my car prior to leaving for class earlier in the day. There were actually people around me who had run out of gas and were abandoned on the side of the road, waiting for help to arrive (which was going to be a while). This is why it pay to always be prepared, because you never know what situation you're going to be faced with!

Chinese New Year – The biggest and most important of all events in China

The most important event in all of China, the marking of the New Year on the lunar calendar is an event that brings about massive celebrations throughout the nation. The upcoming Chinese New Year is set to fall on the 26th of January 2010 and visitors to the country will be privy to a host of Chinese culture and celebrations put on display. When it comes to Chinese tradition the city of Xiamen and the surrounding hillside are famous for representing Chinese heritage and the New Year is no exception to this rule. To celebrate the Chinese New Year a special festival known as the Lantern Festival is put on each year during the respective date. Interestingly Chinese New Year unlike its traditional counterpart is celebrated over a period of over 2 weeks (15 days) in which the festival is held. The streets of Xiamen come to life with the instantly recognisable traditional Chinese red lanterns which are draped around the streets on the last day of the festival. Other items that can be seen include Chinese knots and Chinese calligraphy displaying popular Chinese idioms. Parades featuring dragon and lion like creatures make their way through the roads with dancers and other performers providing stimulating visuals that are quite unmistakeably Chinese to all observers. These parades are accompanied with the beating of a Chinese drum which is meant to drive away evil spirits. Fortune Gods also make an appearance in static images that are located in various locations in cities across the nation. During the festival locals will exchange gifts and undertake the time honoured activity of cleaning their homes which is also meant to wash away the bad luck of the previous year allowing good luck to take its place for the coming one. The windows and doors of houses are also decorated with red coloured couplets (traditional wall hangings) and paper cuttings, echoing themes of wealth, happiness and longevity. China being a nation renowned for its fireworks tradition does not shy away during the biggest celebratory event of the year and the skies of Xiamen and the rest of China come to life with creations of all colours and shapes. Finding a suitable Xiamen hotel to reside in is an absolute must, especially during the celebrations of the Chinese New Year. Millennium Harbourview Hotel Xiamen allows travellers the benefit of making an online reservation in advance, removing the hassle of searching for a hotel upon arriving in the city.

Hawaii attractions

The whole of Hawaii is served by two main newspapers. They are Honolulu based; Honolulu Advertiser and Honolulu Star Bulletin. They are both high in circulation throughout the U.S.A. There are other local newspapers also available in the different islands. South Point is the farthest point south in the entire United States...not Key West Florida, as some guidebooks claim. The road to Ka Lae from the Hawai'i Belt Road is infamous, but has been greatly improved in recent years, although it's still only 1-lane wide in many places. Even today some rental agencies admonish you not to take their cars down this road. Relax. The road is fine, although blind turns and hills command your attention and should curb your desire to speed. Also, all the roads, beaches, boat launching facilities and parking are free and public, despite what some signs and unsavory characters might try to tell you.
Fresh from the lush and flowery ambiance of Honolulu, my wife and I found ourselves staring at parched red earth and desiccated shrubbery. It seemed like the middle of nowhere. Even the tiny airport reminded me of all those end-of-the-earth little island airstrips I had flown into in the South Pacific: roll-away stairs to get off the plane, a tiny, cinder-block terminal, and a couple of burly guys tossing baggage on a bench. At the moment, though, things didn't look promising. Our rental car had failed to show up at the airport. A call to the agency only resulted in an answering machine. There is also an online newspaper available, called the Hawaii Reporter. It is used a lot by the locals and even the people who need to know anything about Hawaii. Hawaii is also home to a number of newspapers that differ in ethnicity like Chinese, Filipino, Korean or Japanese newspapers.
Please do not feed the fish, it disrupts their natural feeding habits and you may be injured. Reef fish are territorial and do occasionally "nip" but you should not chase, harass or touch them (this includes octopi). The oils on your fingers will injure their skin and they may carry diseases which they can pass to you on your hands. For photographing reef fish, whether snorkeling or scuba diving, simply find a feeding spot (usually a boulder or dead coral head teeming with algae, and wait calmly and silently nearby. One perfect way to take a trip through the ocean surrounding the islands in Hawaii is fishing charters. In Hawaii, fishing charters are prepared in an exceptional way by the use of rods, center trigger, holders and outriggers. There are also fishing tournaments that take place in the islands. It is held regularly inside the boats and one must know first the entry fees. Boats to be used in the events are prepared well a day before the competition day. So we were left sitting on the curb, wondering what to do. Finally, I got in touch with Ray Miller, the real estate agent from whom (over the internet) we'd rented an ocean front condo for the week.

Kerala Beach Tour - Live the Adventure

Serene Backwaters, sun-drenched beaches, rippling waves, green hills, there is no other state in the India that can present so much enthusiasm for life as it is visible in Kerala. This small State in the southern tip of the Indian peninsula is an easy winner owning to its great mind-blowing landscape and infinity of intriguing customs, high-intensity cultural life and educated public so often dressed in white. The pure fun of lazing on the golden palm fringed beaches and riding the motorboats are unparallel experiences. Combine all these factors and you would know why Keralites consider their state as God's Own Country.
Some of the popular beaches in Kerala where you can go for trips are:
Alappuzha Beach: A vast network of lakes, lagoons and fresh water rivers crossing it makes it the 'Venice of the East'. This wonderful relaxing beach is also frequented for fishing. The beach is also a home to several avifauna (bird) species.
Kovalam Beach: Surrounded by lush greens, the Kovalam beach is always dotted with a number of boats and Kettuvalloms (houseboats). Kovalam beach is an ideal destination for surfing and it enjoys a pleasant tropical climate throughout the year.

Dharmadam Island Beach: Positioned 17 km from Kannur, this small 5 acre gorgeous island is dotted with coconut palms and green bushes. The island is about 100 metres from the mainland of Dharmadam and a special permission is required to enter this privately owned island.

Marari Beach: Situated at a close nearness to the Cochin city, Marari is the most wonderful stretch of soft sandy and palm fringed beach. It offers an idyllic location for relaxing holidays far away from the hustle bustle of the urban life.

Fort Kochi Beach: The beach is famous for a number of water sports activities and a Naval Academy.The historic city near the beach showcases a different kind of lifestyle inspired by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British. This cultural influence is clearly revealed in the Indo-European architecture in Fort Kochi.

Varkala Beach: Varkala beach is a highly well-regarded place because of a prehistoric shrine of Lord Vishnu dating back around 2000 years. Consisting several mineral water springs, popular for their medicinal values, the beach is also called 'Papanashini'. People believe that a dip in the holy waters of Varkala beach purifies the body and the soul.
Beypore Beach: Located in north Kerala, the Beypore beach was initially developed by the Arabs. Remnants of the ship building industry and the old wood industry can still be seen here. Tourists can take sunbathe or just lounge around the golden sands, Swimming and Ayurveda therapies is an ideal spot. The beach is surrounded by black rocks.
Visit India, Kerala Travel, Kerala Tourism

St. Lucia All Inclusive - A Unique Getaway

Located in the Eastern Caribbean between Martinique and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia is a scenic and friendly place known for its unspoiled natural beauty and its unique French-infused culture. It is a strikingly beautiful island with secluded coves, gorgeous beaches and lush rain-forests. The range of activities, services and amenities offered by the all-inclusive resorts and villas on the island are virtually limitless and caters to all vacationers. From honey-mooners, to families, to group travelers; everyone is guaranteed to find a St. Lucia all-inclusive package to fit their vacation needs and budget.
When it comes to unique St. Lucia all inclusive vacation packages, the Jade Mountain resort comes to mind. Don’t let the boring all-in-one stereotype of all inclusive resorts mislead you - Jade Mountain is one of a kind in its own right. Located in Soufriere, St. Lucia, the resort is literally carved out of a rugged slope overlooking the Twin Pitons. Here, see for yourself...

Jade Mountain is an eco-luxury resort that places great emphasis on sustainable tourism and has managed to incorporate the concept of environmentally friendly travel into every aspect of their service – from the resort décor to the all-inclusive activities. The resort sits on over 400 acres full of biking and hiking trails, not to mention the scuba-diving available at the marine park. Guests here are at one with nature because there are only 3 walls to every room at the resort! Each suite comes with an infinity pool and has views to the magnificent Twin Pitons mountains and the Caribbean sea. I assure you, there is no view at any other St. Lucia all inclusive resort that is more stunning. I'll be remiss not to mention the mineral waterfall located less than two kilometres from the resort, as well as a drive-through volcano, positioned three kilometres away.
There are no telephones, radio or television. Each suite has a unique bell pull chord to summon a dedicated room service and house keeping team 24 hours a day. Internet access is available at reception for those truly determined die-hards who simply cannot let go, forget the outside world and float away as this St. Lucia all inclusive resort would like them to do. You get the best of all worlds at Jade Mountain Resort, with all the facilities of a luxury resort whilst maintaining the exclusivity of the perfect St. Lucia all inclusive hideaway.
This St. Lucia all inclusive package includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon tea and snacks as well as unlimited beverages (house wine, beer and other alcoholic drinks using premium brands included), free reign over your stocked in-suite mini-fridge, use of the tennis court and equipment, use of non-motorized equipment for sports such as snorkeling, ocean kayaking, sunfish sailing, windsurfing and mountain biking. As part of the package guests also get access to the facilities of Anse Chastanet Resort. That includes two exclusive beaches and sunset sailing on the resort yacht. The package covers all taxes and gratuities.