Day: July 8, 2017

July 8, 2017 admin No comments exist

Christmas is a Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus. This feast was created by the pope to promote Christianity and remove pagan festivals celebrated at the winter solstice.

During the IVth century, the pope decided to bring the Christmas day on December 25th.

Christmas has always been represented by religious ceremonies and gifts and
greetings exchange.

Here are some Christmas symbols:

* The Advent consists of a burning candle each Sunday four weeks before Christmas;

which symbolize the rebirth of light after the winter solstice.

* The December 24th Christmas Mass; which celebrates the birth of Jesus.

* The Christmas Crib; which symbolizes the birth of Jesus in Christian homes.

* The Christmas tree, a symbol from the pagan celebration and representing life.

* The Yule log; which represents the log that we put in the fireplace to warm up on Christmas Eve.

* Santa Claus, an American creation, inspired by the Christian Saint Nicholas (celebrated in Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Alsace. This character wears a luxurious red cape, he has a long white beard and wears a red miter, he also holds a golden crosier. Saint Nicholas rewards good children while his companion Pere Fouettard/Black Pete punishes nasty children) and the elf Yule Goat, celebrated in Scandinavian countries.

Over the centuries, Christmas has evolved and Christmas Eve with our family, replaced the religious ceremonies.

The gift exchange: luxurious for the rich people and useful – sometimes only one orange – for the poor people, has been replaced by the modern marketing. People not only buys gifts but also spend lots of money in decoration items, food, drink…

The secularization of our society removed the true meaning of Christmas Time; which is, obviously, becoming a pagan feast.

Here are some countries which celebrate Christmas:

Belgium: Belgians have a festival especially dedicated to children; which is Saint Nicholas (Sinter Klaas) on December 6th. The Great Patron of Schoolboys, who is supposed to bring candies in their shoes, brings in fact toys by the thousands to our children.

In Belgium, Christmas is rather reserved for adults: the streets are decorated and illuminated, we decorate our houses, windows, gardens, Christmas trees. Belgium seems to forget that it is a Catholic country and closes more and more churches, therefore, the Midnight Mass on December 24th usually happens at 6 or 8 PM. We then eat with our family and at 12 PM we exchange our gifts. Children usually receive a book or some clothes.

Christmas Day has little meaning but practicing Catholic go to church. Belgian people visit their family on January 1st. In the Belgian Ardens, people celebrate December 31st and not Christmas.

France: Christmas is dedicated to children. The streets and the houses are decorated several weeks in advance. French people have lots of Christmas customs: Christmas Markets, the Christmas tree, the Christmas Dinner, Père Noël, Christmas gifts, stories, songs, Christmas turkey, The Christmas Crib, the Yule Log, and so on. In Alsace, however, Saint Nicholas predominates on Santa Claus.

The Netherlands: They organize their St. Nicholas (Sinter Klaas) festival: the old bearded man traveling by boat and accompanied by many black aids, who distributes gifts to good children. Dutch people reserve the big gifts for Christmas Time because they profit for some great bargains after Sinter Klaas.

Germany: Christmas in Germany lasts two days. On December 26th they visit their family and their friends. Christ-Kind offers gifts to the children on December 24th families and friends. Germany has also a Saint Nicholas festival on December 6th.

Great Britain: Christmas is celebrated in England with enthusiasm. Children sing “Christmas Carols” in the streets, they eat the famous “Christmas Pudding” at the end the Christmas Dinner. In England, Santa Claus fills the English children socks with gifts. British people also exchange greeting cards; which are a British creation.

Spain: If Santa Claus has little importance in Spain (Magi distribute gifts to children on January 6th), Spanish people decorate the streets with lights during the month of December. The windows of the shops are filled with lots of gifts and Spanish celebrate the Christmas Evening with their family.

Portugal: Christmas Eve is a holiday. The Portuguese attend the Christmas Midnight Mass; which is the “Missa Do Galo.” If there is no Christmas tree in Portugal, there is nevertheless a “Wooden Christmas”.

Italy: Christmas lasts three days, from December 24th till 26th. However, Christmas traditions vary from one region to another one and, depending on the region it is Babo Natale (Father Christmas) or the “Gesu Bambino” (Little Jesus) who brings gifts on December 25th. The Italian Christmas dessert is “Panettone”.

Scandinavian Countries: During the Christmas Dinner, Scandinavian people reserve a place for the souls of the deceased members of their family. Once they finish to eat, they read the bible. The whole family is singing Christmas songs and dance around the Christmas tree.

Other European countries: In Romania, on December 24th, there is a Christmas candle burning until the morning of December 25th. In Russia, Christmas Day happens on January 7th, according to the Orthodox calendar. In Greece the Christmas period begins on Christmas Eve and ends at the Epiphany. Christmas is less important than Easter.

USA: The Saturday after Thanksgiving, Santa Claus is coming to announce the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. American people love to celebrate Christmas and set up a decorated Christmas in their home. Children hang empty stocks empty on the fireplace and on the Christmas morning they find them filled with candy and small toys.

Canada: Houses, shops and streets are decorated with lights. Canadian people decorate their house with a Christmas tree, a Christmas wrap, a Christmas Crib… After the “Midnight Mass” people have a Christmas Eve with their family. Turkey and the Christmas log are the essential ingredients of a Canadian Christmas Dinner.

They send greeting cards to their friends and family who live far away.

South America: Peruvian people have Christmas parties but also learn to live better on christmas time. Their Christmas season lasts a full week. Mexican people celebrate Christmas with Las Posadas (pilgrimages representing the path by the Mary and Joseph). They celebrate the last Posada on the Christmas morning and then start the Christmas dinner. I Guatemala, immigrants have imported their German customs and the Christmas tree is essential but the Christmas gifts are reserved to the children. Gift exchange for adults is on January 1st.

Australia: Christmas happens during the summertime, so Australian people celebrate Christmas at the beach. People eat cold turkey and pudding.

New Zealand: If there are few decorations, New Zealand people organize Christmas parades and people sing in the parks. They also organize their famous “Christmas barbecue”.

Japan: Christmas is merely commercial significance in Japan. This festival represents Saint Nicholas and it is an opportunity to offer gifts to small children.

China: If Christmas Day is not a holiday, Christmas is celebrated in Chinese cities. This festival was imported into this country by foreign missionaries. For the Chinese people who celebrate it, Christmas is a religious event.

Prosperity66 is an European History, Holidays and Tarot cards passionate. For more Christmas Informations feel free to visit Christmas Time and receive a free Christmas Gifts Check List .
July 8, 2017 admin No comments exist

There are many fun things to do in Las Vegas that have nothing to do with gambling. So, if you don’t care to throw dice or drop quarters into slot machines, you can still have a terrific time in “Sin City”. An increasing number of tourists are seeing Vegas as more than a casino town and the revenue from non-gambling venues has been growing steadily over the past few years. Many casinos are investing their resources in amenities such as beautiful hotel rooms, amusement parks, luxury pools and spas, live entertainment shows, animal exhibits, upscale dining establishments and specialty stores for shoppers. In some facilities, these added attractions have taken over as the main draw. There is something for everyone in Las Vegas!

Popular Shows in Las Vegas
Casinos are just as acclaimed for their shows as they are for gambling. There is a wide variety of entertainment from the famous dancing shows featuring feathered and fringed chorus girls to many other categories. For headliner shows, there is Celine Dion at Caesar’s Palace and for some doo-wop, The Platters, Drifters and Coasters at the Sahara. Comedy shows abound with The Riviera comedy Club and the Improv at Harrah’s. Tribute shows are always fun and often nostalgic. You can take in American Superstars at the Stratoshere, Barbra and Frank at the Riviera and Legends in concert at Imperial Palace. Magic shows entertain young and old alike. Check out The World’s Greatest magic Show at the Greek Isles Hotel and Casino, Lance Burton for family fun at the Monte Carlo and Dirk Arthur at Tropicana with his white Bengal tiger and leopards. If production shows are your favorite, you are in luck. Ongoing shows include Cirque du Soliel for astonishing acrobatics at MGM Grand, Mama Mia at Mandalay Bay and Phantom of the Opera at Venetian. If you enjoy adult shows, there are numerous ones to attend, such as the renowned Chippendales at Rio, and hypnosis with Dr. Scott Lewis at Le Bistro Theater. You can even watch the longest running TV game show in history with The Price Is Right at Jubilee! Theater. For every man, woman and child, there is a great show to enjoy in Las Vegas. Tickets and reservations are available for advance purchase on many websites.

Restaurants and Buffets
Las Vegas has quickly become one of the most sensational restaurant cities in the world. New restaurants are opening almost on a daily basis. Nowhere can tourists dine so lavishly for so little as at the abundant buffets, which began in the early 1940’s at the original El Rancho Vegas Hotel. Their Midnight Chuck Wagon Buffet was invented as a way to keep customers in the hotel for the second show. What followed were other hotels offering the same. Next came breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets. Some hotels offer champagne brunches on weekends featuring all the bubbly a person can drink. Many of the top chefs in the world have opened restaurants in Vegas. While the casinos and hotels feature varied and exotic cuisines, don’t forget to check out the local restaurants as well.

Family Fun
There are plenty of family friendly venues in Las Vegas. The Lied Children’s Museum is a hands-on, interactive museum close to downtown. There are many lessons to be learned here about science, humanities and the arts. Another destination popular with children is Circus Circus with the Circus Acts and Adventuredome Theme Park. For hours of fun, ride the rollercoaster and other rides, play a game of miniature golf or challenge yourself with the many arcade games. The Gameworks Arcade at the Showcase Mall next to the MGM Grand has the tallest indoor rock-climbing wall in the country and a movie theater. Ride the rollercoaster, play laser tag or enjoy racing Daytona style at the Coney Island Emporium at New York/New York Resort and Casino. Two more places to thrill the kids are the old western town on Bonnie Springs Old Nevada 16 miles west of Las Vegas and the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay.

Outdoor Activities
If you enjoy hiking, golf, horseback riding, hot air balloon riding, or just lounging by a pool, Las Vegas has plenty to offer. Grand Canyon National Park and the Red Rock National Conservation Area are a short drive away. There are also the pirate battles at Treasure Island, the volcano at the Mirage and the fountains of the Bellagio.

Specialty Shopping
If outlets are your favorite, visit the Fashion Outlets of Las Vegas for designer clothing. Caesar’s Palace has the Forum Shops or Appian Way Shops. The Venetian features the Grand Canal Shoppes and don’t miss the Bellagio’s Via Bellagio. For more specialty shops and restaurants, visit the Desert Passage. If you prefer a mall environment, check out the Boulevard Mall.

Relax at a Spa
Las Vegas, along with the surrounding areas, boasts over thirty spas. These spas are as varied as the casinos and hotels around them. Choose from Shiatsu or Swedish massage, herbal baths, aromatherapy, reflexology or creme brulee body wraps. Relax in the many whirlpools, saunas or steam rooms. Manicures, champagne facials, pedicures, customized scrubs and hair styling are offered at the numerous salons. Do you want advice on fitness, nutrition or health? Some hotels offer trained personal trainers. Some of the most popular spas include Mandalay Bay’s Spa Mandalay, The Spa at the Palms, the Venetian’s Canyon Ranch Spa, Rio Spa, Elemis Spa at the Aladdin and the Spa Bellagio.

Terry Gates is a freelance writer with experience on las vegas hotels and casinos.

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Italian Comfort Food is certainly in the news and is popularly suggested as a healthier option for anyone on a diet plan. When there is a discussion on Italian food, one cannot resist remembering the good old delightful pie named Pizza.Its existence goes way back to the 19th centuryfrom where it got revamped several times in all arenas – size, shape and taste. The pizza that we know of today is a revised version and is more famous as an all-American popular fast food. However, there are still are a few good restaurants that take you way back to get a taste of authentic pizza. But if you prefer, these specialty restaurants will be more than happy to serve you the taste of the new-age pie. As such, when you want to take bite of this pie it is necessary that you make prudent dining choices and be particular about the dinner you would be selecting.

Try a recognized Mary’s Italian Restaurant that offers healthy nutrition in some of the best dishes you would want to savor. If you are new to the authentic Italian comfort foods, you can get detailed information on healthier choices available at these reputed eateries. There are individuals who ask for no cheese options, especially if they are following a strict fitness plan.For some others who desire to shed weight in a comfortable way, these specialty restaurants will greet them with light cheese options. You can also ask for a thin crust, or any other customized serving that can fit into your requirement.

Italian comfort foods have a long list of items. Pizza is just a popular part of the list; however focaccia, pasta, salads also make great value additions to it. Top restaurants make fresh dough everyday along with sauces and dressings. In other words, there is no room for left overs. Frozen dough, canned sauces, heat lamps and such other generically available items are a strict no-no. These top cadre restaurants are extremely particular about the food they serve to guest so as to ensure that everything is prime and proper. These specialized comfort food joints are family owned which have been running for over 50 years. Guests here get to see the kitchen, meet the chefs in action and also watch the pizza makers in action. Kids surely enjoy watching the pizza makers and how the fresh dough gets transformed into a gigantic pizza.

Pasta has been one of the most sought after dishes at such specialty eateries. Hardcore pasta eaters love their cup of soup before having pasta. When you are dining at a prestigious restaurant, you will be fed the best nutrition. Family owned restaurants do not want to see their guests leave hungry. This is why they obey all their commands with a smile. In today’s times, some of the best diners have started serving gluten-free comfort food for the people who have diet limitations. Some of the well-known Italian pastas can be cooked in meat or cheese ravioli, meatball sauce, sausages and lots more. Make sure you select the right place for dining your favorite Italian comfort food and it will surely put a smile on your face.

Family Dining is the author of this article on Italian Comfort Food. Find more information, about Pasta here

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The Boston Terrier is a truly an American breed of dog. It is the result of cross breeding an English White Terrier and an Old English Bulldog, whose offspring was bred to a smaller female, and then to a French Bulldog. This breeding practice resulted in what is today’s Boston Terrier.

Boston Terrier require a lot of time and affection, they hate being alone. In fact interactive playtime is considered an exercise for them, they like it when you give them genuine interest. Long walks are sufficient for their exercise needs. They are however sensitive to extreme temperatures, so they should not be over exerted as they may overheat.

The other thing that’s great about Boston Terriers is that they only need long walks and interactive playtime, so you won’t need a lot of space for them to exercise. The downside is that since they are very friendly, they have the tendency to go off even with strangers. That is why it is a good idea to keep them in a safe and tenable environment.

Because they don’t need too much exercise, not having a yard and living in an apartment is suitable for this breed of dog. Boston Terrier should be fed with a dry kind of dog food to make sure that their teeth will be well maintained. They should also be fed twice daily, to provide them with ample nutrition.

If you are considering getting a Boston Terrier for a pet you must remember that they crave attention and companionship and needs interactive playtime. Also remember that because your Boston Terrier has short hair, he is very sensitive to extreme cold and heat.

Even though Boston Terriers were bred to become fighting dogs, they have been bred down for companionship. It is an incomparable companion because of its being highly intelligent, alert, kind, gentle and well-mannered. Boston Terriers on the other hand are difficult to housebreak, so it is very important to start training tem while they are still young. A Boston Terrier will make a fine addition to your family. If you are single, it will make for an excellent friend. They are very loyal. This breed loves to learn, so you can train them quite easily. They have a bit of a personality and can be a bit willful. The nice thing about Boston Terrier is that they only bark when necessary, so they are not very noisy.

If you love kids, then the Boston Terrier is the perfect pet for you. They are like babies that need time, care and constant interest. Boston Terrier is a little difficult to house break, so while its still a puppy train it, they have the tendency to be willful so it’s best to start early.

Boston Terriers have come a long way. It is now one of the top breeds that the American Kennel Club recognizes. So many families decide that this is the right dog for them because of its magnificent nature and uncanny intelligence. Even singles want this breed of dog because it makes for excellent company to cheer you up.

Wendy Caples is a passionate lover of the Boston Terrier and has a popular website where you’ll discover how to have a happy, healthy and well behaved Boston Terrier. Among other topics there, you will find out more about Boston Terrier Types plus a whole lot more.

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It had been an exciting day already: my helicopter ride with Niagara Helicopter had given me a close-up aerial view over Niagara Falls and my visit to the Niagara Falls Butterfly Conservatory had made for a perfect winter escape to a tropical sanctuary. But more adventure was yet to come.

Appropriately strengthened from my very late lunch at “The Famous”, a 24-hour upscale diner at the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort, I was ready for my evening explorations. First on the menu was the Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights. Every year from early November to early January, more than 125 animated lighting displays decorate the city. In total more than three million lights illuminate the Niagara Parks Winter Wonderland.

Just driving out of the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort I was greeted by lighting displays in the form of white and blue snowflakes that were mounted on the light poles. On my left hand side at the end of Murray Street I drove by an entire collection of illuminated characters called the “Enchantment of Disney” displays. I turned right onto the Niagara Parkway and shortly behind the Horseshoe Falls I was greeted by the Canada/US Illuminated Flag.

I continued my drive southwards along the Niagara River and reached an area referred to as Dufferin Islands whose circular roadway featured an extensive collection of illuminated displays called “The Great Canadian Outdoors”. Trees were decorated in thousands of colourful lights and a whole menagerie of brightly illuminated Canadian animals, including wolves, bears, fish, squirrels, beavers, deer, moose, buffalo and many more flanked the road. The highlight of this area was Noah’s Ark, whose orange, red and green lights were reflecting in the water.

All the lighting displays of the Niagara Falls Festival of Lights can be viewed free of charge, but a group of volunteers was available at the end of the Dufferin Islands displays to accept donations which go to enhance the lights and displays. The Winter Wonderland along the Niagara Parkway includes other lighted displays such as a horse & carriage, an arrangement of grapes and wine, a menorah and a nativity scene. Even a display of Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officers stood on guard.

The Enchantment of Disney displays at the foot of Murray Street include such popular Disney characters as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, the Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, Mickey Mouse and Disney’s Pixar Cars. In addition to the lighting displays, the Niagara Falls Festival of Lights also features frequent fireworks which are scheduled to run daily between December 26, 2007 and January 6, 2008.

Together with the colourfully illuminated waterfalls these displays made for a truly enchanted environment. The mighty Niagara Falls themselves are illuminated throughout the entire year, a tradition that has been institutionalized since 1925 when the Niagara Falls Illumination Board was put in charge of illumination. But special lighting displays of the Falls were undertaken much earlier, for example in 1860 when a spectacular light display of the Falls celebrated a visit by the Prince of Wales. In 1901 special lighting was installed as part of the Pan American Exposition that was being held in Buffalo. Six year later, the General Electric Company illuminated the Falls for several weeks with 36 powerful projectors.

In 1925, 24 carbon searchlights were installed that created a total of 1,320,000,000 candlepower. Since then the Falls have been illuminated most nights other than during WWII when power was turned off and during the next few years after the war when there was a power shortage due to a construction boom. Nowadays the Falls are illuminated daily at least until 10 pm at night, and from May to December until midnight.

Now I would have a chance to see the illumination process first-hand through a visit to the “Illumination Tower”, which is really a former surge tank for one of the now closed power plants that surround the Niagara River. I parked my vehicle at the Fallsview Casino again, walked by the restaurant and retail complex at Queen Victoria Place and right to the heavy set circular illumination tower that reminded me of an early medieval Norman-style castle tower. I found a little bell in the back of the building and rang a couple of times before the door was answered by 76-year old Pete Gordon, star of the show and a lighting operator for the Niagara Parks Commission for 47 years. Pete had not expected any visitors, but graciously let me into the office area of the Illumination Tower. This special visit had been arranged for me by the Niagara Parks Commission.

Pete used to work as a painter for the Niagara Parks Commission, but together with another colleague he has been operating the lights illuminating the Falls for almost half a century. On work days he is usually there from 5 to 12 pm, creating a colourful light display on the majestic Niagara Falls. Pete mentioned that in the early part of the past century the general public was able to go up on top of the Illumination Tower, but due to insurance issues, the tower is closed today to the general public.

After this brief introduction Pete then took me onto the outside viewing platform that houses 18 very large searchlights, each equipped with coloured screens to produce different lighting effects on the huge waterfalls. From here we had a great view of the entire Niagara River, including the American Falls and the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. Pete then took me into the control room and showed me some rather ancient-looking control panels which reminded me of an outdated fuse panel, with each colour identified by white, red, green, blue, and yellow knobs. Pete even let me operate the controls and made me create my very own lighting combination of the Falls. After I had done all my colour mixing on the panel inside Pete took me outside to the viewing platform and we actually checked out the colour mix that I had just created.

When the lights overlap they create additional colour combinations and the final product of my attempts was a mix of light blue, yellow, pink and purple. I admit I was rather tickled pink at the realization that I had just changed the colours on the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. Back inside the building Pete explained that the huge lights creating this symphony of colour were actually searchlights used during WWII in London during the Battle of Britain. He even pulled out one of the light bulbs used in the search lights, which, incidentally, is made by Osram Sylvania, a German company, and carries a price tag of up to $ 2000. Today the Falls are illuminated with 500 million candle power. I tought it was rather ironic that these historic searchlights which were meant to protect the city of London from German air attacks during WWII nowadays actually relied on German technology for their illumination power.

Pete, having lived in Niagara Falls all his life, is a great fan of his home town and also has indepth knowledge of this city. He told me the story of the Honeymoon Bridge, which collapsed in 1938 due to an ice jam in the gorge which pushed this steel arch road bridge off its foundation. He even showed me some old photographs of this bridge, before and after its collapse and added that he still remembers seeing the collapsed bridge. He must have been just about six years old at the time.

Niagara Fall’s colourful history is evidenced by another disastrous event that Pete remembers first-hand. A hydro power station with the name of Schoellkopf Power Plant, built in 1895, had been located on the American side of the Niagara River. On June 7, 1956 water had been seeping through a wall and cracks were widening rapidly, despite the workers’ best efforts to stem the flow of water with sandbags. All of a sudden a loud rumble could be heard and the power plant’s wall started to collapse. Moments later the entire southern part of the power station fell into the river below. Debris was thrown as far as the Canadian side of the gorge and one power station worker lost his life. This is just one of the many colourful historic events in Niagara Falls that Pete Gordon remembers first-hand.

I was curious what Pete actually does during his seven hour shift. He said he changes the colour combinations manually every two minutes or so. In between he reads or does crossword puzzles and added that he never feels lonely. Occasionally he gets a special visit from Australian, Japanese, Dutch or Chinese tour groups, and he mentioned that particularly the Japanese travel groups really enjoy the experience of the Illumination Tower. I was admiring the dozens of international, mostly Japanese business cards on the wall. Even celebrities such as Danny DeVito, Rita Perlman and Robert Urich have visited the Illumination Tower.

Before I left, Pete extended a special invitation to me: whenever I planned to return to Niagara Falls he would take me on a personal tour of his home town and show me all the special spots. I am definitely planning to take him up on that and thought to myself that the City of Niagara Falls could not wish for a better ambassador than Pete Gordon who has so much pride and affection for his home town.

Susanne Pacher is the publisher of a website called Travel and Transitions. Travel and Transitions deals with travel to foreign countries and is chock full of advice, tips, real life travel experiences, interviews with travelers and travel experts, insights and reflections, cross-cultural issues, contests and many other features. Check out some of Susanne’s several hundred video clips at http://www.youtube.com/user/travelandtransitions
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South and Central America is filled diverse countries and cultures just asking to be explored. There is something to please anyone, from beaches to cultural sites and the vast Amazon wilderness. With a whole continent to discover, choosing where to start can prove difficult – especially if you are an indecisive person!

Below, some of the most popular adventure cruises offered in South America are explained in detail. These still represent just a small portion of what is available to intrepid travellers, so if you don’t see anything that you like, don’t hesitate to contact a travel agent specialising in South America. They will be able to help you book the perfect holiday!

Amazon Cruises

The Amazon River is the largest in the world. It stretches for over 6000 kilometres and its catchments area encompasses countries across South America. Surrounding this majestic waterway is the planets most ecologically diverse forest. Even with rapid deforestation in recent years, the Amazon is still the largest tropical rainforest on earth.

This vast wilderness is on the top of many people’s list of places to see in their lifetime and there is no better way to take it in than from an Amazon River cruise. Due to the size of the river, the boats used are sizeable enough to be fitted with all the creature comforts of home. You will be able to take in the great views alongside your fellow passengers, while enjoying fine dining and world class facilities.

Galapagos Cruises

The Galapagos Islands, which lay off the Ecuadorian coast, have been a source of wonder for nature lovers ever since Charles Darwin’s fateful expedition. The world renowned scientist catalogued a wide range animal and plant species that are unique to the island chain – this experience helped him formulate his well known theories of evolution. Today, the islands form part of a national park which serves to preserve the unique characteristics of the islands wildlife.

It is now possible to fly to the Galapagos Islands, but one of the best ways to take in the natural beauty of the island group is to book a cruise. You can experience the islands just as Darwin did and you will get the opportunity to see all the unique wildlife the island chain has to offer, all from the comfort of a fully featured cruise ship.

Antarctica Cruises

Including an Antarctic cruise in a list of South American destinations may seem weird initially, but there is a very good reason for this. If you glance at a map, you will notice that the Southern tip of Argentina is one of the closest inhabited landmasses to Antarctica. This makes it the perfect jumping off point for Antarctic expeditions and tours.

Antarctica is the height of untouched wilderness, having no permanent inhabitants – just a few research stations operate over the entire continent. When you visit Antarctica, you will get to experience true isolation and serenity. The vast emptiness of the landscape is beautiful in its own right and there are a number of animal species unique to this area. Understandably, cruise ships provide one of the only ways to experience this wild untouched continent – what are you waiting for?

Tailor Made Holidays

If none of the above options have you excited for your next adventure, don’t despair. For a full list of tours and activities in South America, contact your local travel agent. They will be more than happy to help you tailor make a holiday that will perfectly suit you and your budget.

With the holiday season just around the corner, you are probably looking for great holiday destinations. Browse this website to cut short your search and look at some incredible South America travel packages for you and your family.

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Tony Bennett left his heart there, so it’s no wonder that San Francisco, California offers a variety of options for romantic vacations or the perfect honeymoon. After all, who can resist that view of the Golden Gate Bridge on a full moon night?

Designated one of the most romantic cities in America, San Francisco boasts of tantalizing scenery. Maybe it’s the climate, or the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge, or the beaches made for long walks at sunset. Maybe the parks sprinkled with couples strolling hand in hand entice others to join in by hiking, biking, or just being together. Other outdoor activities draw couples to the city, like a romantic sunset cruise in the San Francisco bay.

For a full day’s fun, check out some of the many spas available. Schedule a couple’s massage at one of the many day spas in the area for a truly romantic experience. You won’t forget this experience anytime soon. And while you could pick any spa across the country for such an experience, nothing beats the spas in San Francisco: you’ll find as many spas as you will Starbuck’s, and you can choose the best for you.

Check out the vineyards while seeking a romantic spot. San Francisco sits just a hop, skip, and jump from some of the most famous vineyards in America. Don’t forget to check ahead with the wineries you want to visit since some require appointments for tours. Visiting the gorgeous countryside and enjoying the luxurious taste of wines will set the stage for a romantic outing, but remember to taste responsibly.

For a fun afternoon, consider a picnic at the Golden Gate Park. Rent a rowboat once you’re done snacking or ride around the lake on bikes. Let your imagination soar as you run with your sense of romance for the day. The most romantic things are not planned, but instead they just happen as spur of the moment gestures that touch loved ones more than a planned activity ever could.

To impress your loved one, consider a date at the Equinox, the revolving restaurant and bar atop the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Sure you’ll have to fork over more for this dinner, but the spectacular view will soon make you forget what you’re paying for the food.

The art loving couples will enjoy San Francisco’s museums and galleries which provide plenty of fodder for discussion. Even the art novice might find himself surprised by enjoying the diverse art in the city.

If you’re going to make the trip to San Francisco, you have to visit either Fisherman’s Wharf, China Town, or Little Italy. Not only can you find great food and intriguing sites, but you’ll experience a taste of cultural diversity unlike any you can find in one city today. Not visiting these spots likens itself to visiting New Orleans and skipping over the French Quarter.

Just a state of mind, romance can find itself blossoming from a seed into a beautiful flower thanks to the atmosphere of San Francisco. Check it out today.

Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Florida. Find more about this as well as romantic gifts at http://www.romanceandlovegifts.com