Acclaimed Photographer and Avid Adventurer Shares Techniques
Expressive Nature Photography
“Expressive Nature Photography: Design, Composition, and Color In Outdoor Imagery” author Brenda Tharp makes a very clear distinction between photos that are creative versus correct.
To clarify that statement and not underplay the importance of knowing your camera and its settings inside and out, Tharp, a landscape, travel, and fine art photographer with more than 30 years experience, offers her readers an extraordinary guide to adding emotion and creativity to their photos. Don’t be mistaken. She covers in depth the technical details of photography, from the camera settings as they relate to light, exposure, and composition and inspires photographers to get outside early in the day and late at night to capture nature’s drama and beauty without the harshness of mid-day lighting.
Shooting at night, using filters to create long exposures, creating natural effects using light painting, and following and breaking the rules of composition are a few of the topics Tharp covers in this magnificent instructional book. More than 250 awe-inspiring outdoor images drive home her point that we can all improve our approach to nature photography.
Does having a working knowledge of your camera guarantee an extraordinary photo? No, and most photographers encounter more than one roadblock on their journeys from beginner to expert or professional photographer. Tharp cultivates a greater understanding of how and when photographers should stray from the rules of composition.
Whether you use a high-tech, point-and-shoot, or cell phone camera, Tharp will teach you to move beyond what you already know about photography through a series of challenging exercises and tips. Each page features Tharp’s brilliant photographs as examples of the end result of combining masterful technique with a trained eye for detail. Her instruction is practical and inspiring.
Singer, actor, TV host, producer, songwriter, author, motivational speaker, TV pitchman, radio personality, record company head, TV station and sports team owner, family man, and humanitarian are all titles attached to the legendary and iconic Pat Boone whose career has spanned more than five decades.
Pat Boone was the first child born to Archie Boone, a building contractor, and his wife, Margaret, in Jacksonville, FL on June 1, 1934. He described his life growing up in Nashville with his parents and siblings – a brother and two sisters, as “wonderful” and “idyllic.”
Although no one in his family was a musician by trade, his mother played some ukelele and taught Pat and his brother to play some chords. Pat became known as “the Boy on Roanoke Rd” – “the kid who knows all the pop songs of the day and will come to sing for you with no strings attached.”
“We entertained our family at all our gatherings as we were headed toward our teen years. So in the midst of my athletics and school and other activities, I became an amateur singer, a little dreaming that might lead to a career.” ~Pat Boone (via an email interview)
Indeed, a professional career followed – one that has endured more than 50 years. Pat is 83-years-old with a long list of accolades and recordings to his name; a record company, “The Gold Label” that’s dedicated to legendary and accomplished artists, (who incidentally, all come with million-selling gold records to their credit); and he is regarded as the #10 all-time top recording artist, according to music industry magazine, “Billboard.” His career has spanned more than five decades. Read a full list of his accomplishments at patboone.com.
As much as music has been an integral part of his life from an early age, Pat says reading the Bible and attending church services are the backbone of his life, then and now.
I learned that the whole Bible from the first words in Genesis, “In the beginning…” to the last words from the book of Revelation in the New Testament…all the Bible was written by Jews about Jews and for Jews, and focused on Israel and God’s chosen people.
While attending a Christian high school in Nashville, he met his wife, Shirley, whom he lovingly refers to as his high school sweetheart. They were married when Pat was nineteen and by the time he had graduated from Columbia University (Magna Cum Laude), Pat quips, he had four girls, only three-and-a-half years apart.
I should have been neutered or perhaps jailed – but my wife did become a great mother as well as a wonderful wife and having those responsibilities kept my feet on the ground when my career took off like a whirlwind, luckily 11 months ahead of Elvis and “Heartbreak Hotel”.
His affinity for music continued through his teens and adulthood. In late 1959, a love affair with the Ernest Gold melody to the movie Exodus and the theme song led Pat to put his faith and songwriting skills to work when he subsequently wrote the words “This Land is Mine,” the lyrics behind the esteemed show tune. The song is referred to by many as “the second Jewish national anthem.”
How do his Christian beliefs tie in with his connection with Israel?
He explained, “We knew then, and I know now, that we Gentiles get in on this exquisite and unique relationship with God through our acceptance of Jesus the Jewish Messiah, the one who fulfilled all the prophesies of Isaiah about the One who would come to lead his people out of captivity and bless them more then all the people in the world.”
He further explained Christianity, properly understood is a direct outgrowth of historic Judaism and it’s clear that God wants every believer to understand our “Jewishness” as well as our Christianity and the word. Christ, he noted, is a Greek translation of the word “Messiah” or God’s anointed one.
“When I’ve spoken to groups of Rabbis in the past, I tell them I’m representing the 4th branch of Judaism; there is Orthodox, Reformed, Conservative and Messianic. Everything we believers in Jesus hold sacred and true is a direct outgrowth of the Bible which deals ‘explicitly with Jews and God’s promises to the people of Israel.”
According to Pat, Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, a longtime friend, has said on many occasions, “Evangelical Christians are Israel’s best friends in the world – we know that.” He and the Israel Prime Minister got to know one another during an Israeli water function at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
“He (Benjamin Netanyahu) became of fan of mine when he was at M.I.T. in his college days, and loved my record of ‘Speedy Gonzales.’ We’ve been good friends ever since,” Pat remarked.
Although the prime minister was not able to attend Pat’s Tel Aviv concert three years ago for security reasons, Pat met with him privately, “just the two of us at his request, the night before in his office in Jerusalem,” he says. When Pat walked into his office they shook hands and Netanyahu said, “Hello Speedy, come on in!”
“And the beaming smile on his face made some of my Israeli friends jealous. Our friendship is real, deep, and based on our understanding of God’s expressed intentions for his chosen people…,” says Pat.
HISTORIC PILGRIMAGE TO THE HOLY LAND PLANNED
Pat has joined forces with Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, an Israeli American Rabbi, and the founder and current president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews headquartered in Chicago and Jerusalem, as they host a most memorable “Historic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land,” a 10-day journey that will depart North America on May 9, 2018. In addition to sightseeing opportunities at some of Israel’s most cherished sites, the tour coincides with the actual 70th birthday of the modern state of Israel and the dedication of the U.S. Embassy on May 14. As part of the celebration, Pat will film a TV special in the Roman amphitheater in Caesarea for national and international distribution.
He referred to the tour as “a loving seminar in the things that we hold in common, much more than things that might divide us in understandings or beliefs.” The trip is a historic pilgrimage designed for Christians and Jews, with sites selected that are of particular interest to the Fellowship of Christians and Jews and “we” the believers in Jesus as the Messiah.
“We believe that everyone who comes back from this tour, whether invited by Rabbi Eckstein or me or a couple of other co-hosts, will have a lasting and permanent sense of identification to Israel, the Jews, the one God of the Bible and the sense of destiny that unites us.”
Together, he and Rabbi Eckstein’s collaborations have helped to fulfill God’s prophecy by paving the way for tens of thousands of poor and persecuted Jews from all over the world to return to and settle permanently in the land God promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Their efforts, particularly a television special Rabbi Eckstein and Pat co-hosted, prompted the Christian community to donate tens of millions of dollars to relocate and care for the displaced Jews in modern Israel.
Pat said, “I’m proud of that.”
From his days as a budding entertainer on Roanoke Rd. to his humanitarian work in Israel, Pat believes God will continue to bless his efforts if they’re good and ensure the happiest life he could possibly live.
“I’m convinced God won’t let horrible things happen to me. If all young people today could have that kind of assurance we would have a better society. And most psychiatrists would be out of work.” ~Pat Boone
Imagine following Jesus’ footsteps to historic sites where he walked, taught, and lived.
If you’ve never been to Israel or this historic destination is on your bucket list, legendary singer, former teen idol, composer, actor, writer, television personality, motivational speaker and spokesman Pat Boone is inviting 200 to 300 special travelers to join him on a 10-day “Historic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land” May 9 – 18, 2018. Boone has visited Israel more than 20 times and refers to this adventure as his last proposed trip there. Boone says his guests can count on the trip to be “first class in every way,” with an opportunity to be part of “history in the making” in Jerusalem on May 14, when the U.S. Embassy is dedicated during the 70th birthday celebration of the modern state of Israel.
“We’ll be doing a TV special in the Roman amphitheater in Caesarea for national and international distribution,” Boone said via an email interview. “We and all our tour members will not only be there for the celebration of 70 years and God’s fulfilled promises to Israel, but we’ll also be in Jerusalem when the U.S. Embassy location is dedicated. WE’LL BE A PART OF HISTORY AS IT OCCURS.”
Boone and Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, an Israeli American rabbi and the founder and current president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews headquartered in Chicago and Jerusalem, along with other hosts, will lead the tours to the most significant places in Israel.
“The tour is a unique opportunity for Christians and Jews to follow Jesus’ path as brothers in our faith and the one GOD,” Mr. Boone explained. “Rabbi Eckstein is making sure that we will visit sites that are of particular interest to the Fellowship of Christians and Jews but also Jews will visit the sites that are of particular interest to we believers in Jesus as the Messiah.”
The “Historic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land” will feature days of breathtaking sightseeing with Mr. Boone and Rabbi Eckstein that also includes spiritual guidance by Dr. Richard Lee, editor of The American Patriot’s Bible, a Rendition of The Exodus at Masada with details covering how the song was written; an opportunity to explore Israeli cuisine during the daily breakfasts and dinners (in Israel); roundtrip air transportation from from New York City, NY (JFK) or Newark, NJ (EWR) Airports; Baptisimal in the Jordan River; deluxe and first class hotels; professional, English speaking Guides; deluxe land transportation via private motor coach (with Wi-Fi on the bus); tips, ($85) taxes, and fuel surcharge ($685) included; entrance fees to all sites along the journey; and a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee and cable car ride up Masada.
Author Stephanie Longo grew up with a kinship to her Italian ethnicity that has grown stronger with each passing year. Stephanie’s Italian American heritage has played an integral roll in her life since she was a child. Although her grandparents passed away before she was born, she says her mother never missed an opportunity to teach her about her ancestors.
“I always felt a deep connection to them.My grandfather and my other ancestors walk side-by-side with me every day of my life,” Stephanie remarked via an email interview.
Known as an expert on the Italian American history of Northeastern Pennsylvania and a spokesperson for the Italian-American community, her latest book, “Images of Modern America: Italians of Lackawanna County,” is her latest endeavor. She has authored previous works on the subject, including Italians of Northeastern Pennsylvania and Dunmore, both published by Arcadia Publishing.
“I wanted to demonstrate how we as Italian Americans are part of a whole, yet we all have individual ways that we celebrate who we are,” Stephanie says of her books.
Italians of Lackawanna County is indeed a celebration of all things Italian American in the county. The photos are arranged in an easy-to-follow format with the first and fourth chapters designed to focus more on the individual stories. Readers will find her work reads like a photo essay, although don’t be mistaken, the research, compilation, and writing took more than three years to complete despite life circumstances that forced her to temporarily shelve her project.
Another hurdle she faced was finding people to contribute photos – those who actually responded to her photo requests.
“I tried to cast my net as wide as possible to include as many people and stories as possible, but many emails and phone calls were not returned. I had previous connections with many people thanks to my previous works and, of course, social media was a big help in getting the word out,” she commented.
The photos are strategically placed so readers get a sense for the evolution of one of the county’s largest ethnic populations but Stephanie says there are many Italian American stories yet to be told. She deliberately placed the final photo in her book – Tony Cerminaro running, on the inside of the back cover. The final chapter serves to drive home the point there are many stories that either aren’t finished or have not been written.
She noted, “if you look closely, he’s running off of the page—metaphorically speaking, he’s running toward the future.”
Stephanie is a dual citizen of the United States and Italy and has made it her mission to continue to preserve the history her ancestors brought to the United States from Guardia dei Lombardi, Italy (her grandfather’s birthplace). She is the founder of SIAMO, the Italian American Heritage Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania and through her efforts, the City of Scranton, the Borough of Dunmore, and Guardia have been named sister cities.
“My family, like so many other immigrants sacrificed so much to come to this country. I feel a deep sense of gratitude for what they did for me and I try to honor them with how I live my life. You can’t separate me from my heritage, to do so would leave you with a very fragmented description of me as a person. I am Italian American.” ~Stephanie Longo
Stephanie Longo is presently the director of marketing and communications at the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.
Up and down the main thoroughfare in South Abington Township, PA, travelers will find a mix of palate-pleasers for practically every taste bud.
One week ago, my friend, Maura and I decided to take a break from our usual lunch spot. We met for lunch at Jumbo Seafood Restaurant, a comparatively new addition to the Japanese food scene in the Abingtons.
Whether you’re driving through Clarks Summit on your way home from work or you’ve decided to take a travel break, Jumbo Seafood is less than a half-mile from the Clarks Summit exit at 918 Northern Blvd. (Rt. 6 and 11). Extraordinary food and service is an irresistible combination and Jumbo Seafood Restaurant offers both to anyone with a taste for Japanese-style food. In fact, I was so pleased with the “Bento Box,” Jumbo’s flavors beckoned me to return this week for a late lunch.
What is a “Bento Box?” It’s a compartmentalized box (sometimes lacquered) with a section for meat, fish, chicken, or shellfish; rice, sushi, shumai, pickled vegetables, and condiments. Servings are rather small in comparison to typical American portions but if you have a hearty appetite, don’t worry your belly will be satisfied.
When I opt for a Teriyaki sauce, I’m typically pining for a non-dessert that will numb my sweet tooth. This week, I was hankering for an equally traditional saltier salmon so I asked my server (co-owner, Jolin Chen) to hold the sauce. Salted and grilled is one of the most popular ways the Japanese prepare a variety of fish (http://www.otakufood.com/salted-salmon-shiozake) and the chef and co-owner, Qin (Tim) Chen must have known exactly what I was craving. As I finished the salad with a dollop of ginger dressing, my lunch arrived with the two modest strips of salmon filet artfully presented atop a bed of crisp, lightly sauteed asparagus, carrot slices, broccoli, snow peas, and onions. In addition to the salmon, I found six sushi rolls, three Shumai, a cup of white rice, wasabi, and pickled ginger. While all but the Shumai are staples of Japanese meals, Qin offers traditional food but he adds his own flair.
Before making a reservation at a Japanese restaurant, you can learn more about the cuisine by clickinghere.
If you’re not accustomed to eating salted food, you might want to request “light on the salt.” There are reasons why Japanese food is characterized as “salty.” Not only does it lend a crispier texture, the white crystalline substance has long been used as a preservative. Visit this site for a more detailed explanation.
Jolin and Qin also cater to patrons with special diets. Diners with a gluten sensitivity can opt for gluten-free soy sauce and pasta. You can choose from brown or white rice. Access the full menu here.
Jumbo Seafood Restaurant is best described as relaxed, casual dining. You won’t feel rushed and if your schedule allows you the extra time, savor every bite. Begin your meal with sushi and sashimi or order a round of appetizers. The restaurant is BYOB but you can make a quick stop to pick up a bottle of wine before dinner at Weis Market,Gerrity’s Supermarket, or the Fine Wine & Good Spirits.
Lunch is served Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. If you prefer to order ahead or take out, call 570-586-5920. Party platters are also available.
Yogmata Keiko Aikawa’s initial attraction to yoga was the promise of a healthier life but her desire to master the teaching of truth has fueled her affinity for yoga.
“Deep down, it was my desire to awaken the hidden harmony and everlasting fulfillment inside.I hoped to be able to love myself and others around me,” Ms. Yogmata said in an email interview.
Ms. Yogmata shared her struggles as an advocate for peace through the practice of yoga and meditation at the celebration of International Women’s Day: Women Leadership Advancing the Culture of Peace, a special evening hosted by Yoga and the UN Culture of Peace on Fri., March 9, 6:30 – 9 p.m. The event was held at the Millennium Hilton New York One UN Plaza, 44th Street between 1st & 2nd Avenue, across from the United Nations headquarters. Ms. Yogmata also led the audience through a meditation session she hopes will help attendees develop mindfulness and individual awareness.
As a world-renowned yoga master, the world’s first female and non-Indian (Japanese) Siddha Master, and only one of two Siddha Masters ever to appear in public, Ms. Yogmata is deemed as “The Mother of Yoga” for her tenacious breakthrough of cultural and gender barriers throughout her journey to learn and practice meditation and yoga. Her efforts have spanned more than 60 years and have empowered women in Japan, India, and Nepal.
What is the correlation between yoga and world peace? Ms. Yogmata says yoga is about harmonizing the mind and body, and our body and mind is a micro-universe made of the same material comprising the whole universe.
“So when we are harmonized ourselves, within each of us, that will have the same effect on the universe as a whole,” she explained.
Her work began as a teenager and since then, she has blazed a path to peace as a mentor to countless women and children, a compassionate spiritual leader, and humanitarian. Among her contributions to society is an organization she founded – NPO: Yogmata Foundation, a social welfare service foundation in India, donation of mobile hospitals to remote villages in India, and holding lectures and seminars as part of the World Peace Campaign. Ms. Yogmata has performed 18 public Samadhis, (the deepest level of awareness for the meditation practitioner) and most notably at the Maha Kumbh Mela, a festival held once every 144 years that draws more than 70 million people.
How does yoga facilitate a better balance?
“It encourages everyone to choose goodness over negativity, love instead of hatred, trust rather than doubts. All these choices are leading to the experience of oneness,” according to Ms. Yogmata.
Yoga: A Messenger of Peace
Can yoga and meditation foster peace throughout the world?
Consider Ms. Yogmata’s native Japan, for example…a country Ms. Yogmata says has a history of different cultures existing side-by-side with one another peacefully and an inclination towards eating and living together in openness with less privacy.
“Someone once said to me that, since we are an island nation, there is no escaping from one another. That forced them to accept one another and co-exist,” she says. “And when each one of us is in harmony/balanced, it will naturally create peace and love, and that will lead to a peaceful world. That is the correlation between practicing yoga and world peace. If you look at the Americans and Europeans, they have much greater emphasis on individuality. It is visible in the structure of the language where sentences start with “I.” Japanese does not use the subject word when spoken. This is similar to the concept of yoga – losing the sense of ego, becoming empty. Yoga creates a peaceful mind and will lead to a peaceful world.”
Denise Scotto, Esq., chair of the International Day of Yoga Committee, was the master of ceremony. Ms. Yogmata; Indian spiritual guru and writer Pilot Baba; Denis Licul, president, Yoga in Daily Life NY, SSMWPC and YIDL-USUN representative; Deepali Sharma, head of HSS, White Plains and HSS Core Committee member; and Dr. Valdemar Prado, Senior Fellow, World Association of Former United Nations Interns and Fellows (WAFUNIF) and Executive Director, Gliese Group were panel members.
UN International Day of Yoga
BACKGROUND: This special event is a continuation of the “UN International Day of Yoga,” proclaimed by the UN on December 11, 2014 (Resolution 69/131), to be celebrated on June 21 every year. Since December 2016, yoga has been declared an “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO. This event is organized by Coplanet International, with the sponsorship of the Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations.
Join Thousands of People on the Imperial Beach by the USA-Mexico Border for a four-day yoga festival.
Dates: March 9-12, 2018
Instead of paying the full $188, the San Diego Yoga Festival and joanmatsuitravelwriter.com have teamed up and are giving you a gift: A donation-based-pay-what-you-want-ticket for 2-days: March 10 and 11th, getting you into all the classes.
The ticket is valued at $188. Simply give a donation using the promo code below, give any dollar donation (no strings attached) and get access to all of the classes on Saturday and Sunday, March 10 and 11. Beach camping sold separately.This gift is open to the first 50 who claim it so please register online.
Read all about this fun event and see the full schedule here. Scroll down to learn more about the Yoga festival.
Dozens of Life-Changing Classes
There’s something for everyone at The San Diego Yoga Festival. Organizers aim to bring health, peace, and wellness to its attendees and supporting community. The festival will be held in the most southwesterly part of the USA right next to the USA-Mexico Border.
The festival will open with a pre-conference on Friday and culminate with a post-conference on Monday. “Yoga for Kids” to “Yoga for First Responders,” “Yoga for Cancer,” healing, meditation, essential oils, face yoga, “Reiki for Animals,” live music, conscious vendors, a healing center and a HUGE meditation circle by the USA-Mexico border are among the classes and events on the schedule.
“This festival features non-stop yoga and holistic healing classes held right on the beach until sunset for four days straight. Festivalgoers can look forward to unforgettable classes and healing experiences led by the top healers and teachers in Southern California!”
FOUNDER, SAN DIEGO YOGA FESTIVAL
Non-stop yoga and holistic healing classes are held right on the beach until sunset for four days straight as festivalgoers experience unforgettable classes and healing experiences led by the top healers and teachers in Southern California and throughout the world. Among them will be one of the world’s oldest yoga teachers at 93-years-old. You won’t be at a loss for a style of yoga you yearn to try. Schenk says you’ll find virtually every style of yoga known to modern yogis for all levels from beginner to instructor.
Schenk noted she decided to put this festival on as a fight against pain, fear, anxiety, depression, addiction, cancer, and disease. How is the location significant? According to Schenk, staging her event in the last town before the Mexican border is an act to celebrate unity.
“Yoga and health know no borders. Stress and cancer know no borders. When it comes down to it, we all feel, we all get sick, we all hurt at some point in our lives,” she explained via email.
Calming and relaxing yoga and meditation classes
Fun and energetic yoga classes with live DJs or live music
Beginner-friendly and advanced yoga classes in many different styles of yoga including Hatha, Vinyasa, Kundalini, Bowspring, Shakti Naam, Acro-Yoga, Yoga Nidra and Partner Yoga
Workshops on various holistic topics including plant medicine and fermentation/gut health
Meditation beach walks to the USA-Mexico border
A Spanish-English yoga class
Yoga for cancer survivors and fighters
Yoga on skateboards
Reiki clinic and chakra balancing
Yoga for the military and first responders
Yoga for recovery and addictions
An interactive vending center with live music and epic products from local vendors
Yoga with the mayor
Yummy, healthy food vendors
A yoga class on balance for those 50 and older
A kid and family yoga center
Vinyasa en Espanol
The festival even welcomes pets! There will be a yoga class and Reiki healing sessions for your dogs and cats!
Find your way to health and peace at the San Diego Yoga Festival.
Schenk explained, “What is more beautiful than people coming together, working on themselves, finding peace and doing something healthy, in an area of the USA that is often talked about in a stressful way or with the focus of segregating people even more? When we segregate ourselves, stress and pain happen.”
Don’t miss our Special Offer. Use the link at the top of the page to register for the festival.
A donation has been provided by the creator of this article to help with the running costs of the site.
Article prepared by Dale Clark, outreach assistant and Rowena Davis, researcher
For many parents, traveling with children can feel like a juggling act.
On the one hand, you want to create a memorable holiday that is filled with laughter and activity. Yet on the other, not all of the places you want to visit are suitable for toddlers.
So what can you do? How can you get the best out of your holiday?
The first thing you need to ask yourself is – what can my toddler handle? Is the destination age appropriate, or are the children likely to get bored? Worse, will the experience go completely over their heads?
Next – is it safe? Does the place have safety procedures and precautions in place to guarantee that their services and activities won’t injure your child?
All of these are real and genuine questions that you need to ask yourself when planning a holiday, yet they are all relevant.
Take a museum for instance. It’s educational. It’s safe. It is a space designed to capture history and pass it onto the next generation. It is everything that you could want as a parent. Yet… will a two to three-year-old really be interested in looking at objects that they can’t touch; that is hidden behind glass, and that can only be learned about from signs that they can’t yet read.
Unless you’ve got a child prodigy on your hands, then sadly a toddler probably wouldn’t enjoy it.
And this is not the only thing you’ll have to deal with…
Common Challenges When Travelling with a Toddler
Dealing with their fears
Most fears at this age are based on trying something new e.g. getting on a boat, staying in a strange, new place etc. The key is to be positive; to help them push through it (sometimes by preparing them beforehand), and to make it into a game or a new adventure.
Boredom, Whining, and Tantrums
The reality is, you won’t be able to please everyone with every activity. However, with careful planning, it is possible to choose places that cater to the interests of all, including a stubborn toddler. Taking advantage of tools such as TripAdvisor can help you to plan your holiday, so each day everyone gets to enjoy something they love. It will take the edge off potential tantrums/whining as you’ll have done your research and will know exactly what to expect.
Every child is different and some you can trust to do more safely than others. However, visiting somewhere new is always a daunting experience for a parent, especially when you have got a toddler in tow. Again, with careful planning and by first checking out the places and activities reviews, website and safety policies; you can escape this fear and quickly discover whether or not your child will be safe to attend.
Tiredness and Naps
Most toddlers tend to still have a nap at this age, so when planning your day you need to consider their sleep patterns. Are you visiting a place where you can take your car/pram so they can nap? Are there things for you to do/or a place you can sit – whilst they are sleeping – so you don’t have to return to the hotel?
Freedom Is Limited
As I mentioned before, not every activity or place is suitable for their age group. From being unsafe to the activity and theme of the museum being targeted at an older audience; you need to consider what is appropriate and what is not. Similarly, given their age, it is likely you won’t be able to explore at night but will be restricted to your hotel during the evenings.
Now don’t get me wrong…
Having a toddler doesn’t have to spell the end of your holiday adventures. You’ve just got to be clever with your planning and location choices.
Do that and then the real fun can begin!
You see, whilst traveling with a toddler will naturally raise planning, safety and age concerns; it can also offer you a variety of hidden perks:
People are more generous and compassionate when you’ve got a child – from offering you a seat and letting you cut to the front of the cue; children make those around you more compassionate and considerate.
Children encourage you to make every moment count and see the world through a new lens – children can offer you a newfound appreciation for even the simplest of things, especially if you try to view the activity/place through their eyes.
Make you slow down – instead of rushing from one activity to the next, children help us to become better observers capable of enjoying our surroundings more.
Your children will develop better habits – can’t get them to eat at home? The excitement of being away will often encourage them to sit better at the table, finish their meals and use their cutlery properly.
Toddlers can harness your inner child – have you ever wanted to watch an animated film, but felt too old for it? Children can give you the freedom/flexibility to get involved in childish activities and enjoy things not normally available to adults.
Where to go with Toddlers in North Wales
Travelling with a toddler doesn’t have to be as stressful as you imagine.
And as you can see from the examples below when traveling to North Wales, there are plenty of funs places for you to explore:
Greenwood Forest Park, Y Felinheli – with an assortment of water and rollercoaster rides; a dedicated toddler play area, and a sandpit with a toy JCB; this location boasts indoor and outdoor activities that are suitable for all the family, all year long.Children can also: take advantage of the longest sledge run in Wales; jump on the Giant Jumper; explore the turrets of Treetop Towers; ride donkeys and go-karts; venture into Crocodile Maze, and the older kids can even have a go at archery.Alternatively, they can try den building and create their own shelters.
Animal attractions – North Wales boasts a whole host of animal attractions. From the red panda cubs and chimpanzees at Welsh Mountain Zoo (Conwy Bay), to Dwyfor’s Ranch Rabbit Farm; you can even take a trip under the sea at Anglesey Sea Zoo and introduce your toddlers to the creatures of the deep.Other places to consider are:- Greenacres Animal Park, Mancot
– Bodafon Farm Park, Conwy
– Foel Farm Park, Brynsiencyn
– Pili Palas Nature World, Anglesey
– Puffin Island Pleasure Cruise
– Greenfield Valley Heritage Park, Holywell
Rhyl Miniature Railway – ideal for budding train enthusiasts, you can take your toddler for a train ride and visit the Teddy Bears Picnic.
Gypsy Wood in Caernarfon – this another fantastic location, where toddlers can happily ride the train and explore nature at its finest.
Penrhyn Castle, Bangor – rich in history, what is amazing about this particular castle is their choice of activities. They regularly host trails around the grounds, where children can spot items that will earn them prizes. They also love to offer themed outdoor activities, ranging from World War One obstacle courses; dress up, and converted rooms immersed in history.Other fantastic castles to consider:- Harlech Castle, Harlech
– Caernarfon Castle, Caernarfon
– Beaumaris Castle, Beaumaris
– Conwy Castle, Conwy
Now, if you would rather keep your holiday centralised to one town – instead of traveling around – it is still possible to find lots to do in one location. Take the following examples:
Anglesey – Menai Suspension Bridge, Anglesey Sea Zoo, Greenwood Forest Park, and Glynllifon Park and Garden.
Conwy – Conwy castle, Llechwedd Slate Caverns, Great Orme Tramway, Great Orme, Bodnant Garden and Welsh Mountain Zoo.
Port Morien – a small fishing community, from here you can visit Cape Breton Island.
Llandudno – 19th-century pier and arcades, ancient tunnels, Little Orme Nature reserve, and Conwy RSPB reserve.
West Hartford, CT, a thriving suburban hub in one of my favorite New England cities, offers a variety of restaurant choices that range from Asian to a fusion of flavors and aromas from around the world. As is the case with many cities, finding the restaurants, cafes, and bars that are popular with the locals requires some research or a leap of faith.
I happened to be on my way home from an interview in Hartford at the Hartford Denim Company (Hardenco)(story to follow)and fantastic overnight accommodations provided by the Avon Old Farms Hotel when I decided to stop for lunch in West Hartford. I decided to park in a lot in the center of town but as I searched my pockets for loose change, I realized the meters are set up to accept debit and credit cards, so I asked a young woman who was on her way to work for a meter lesson.
“Excuse me,” I said. “Can you help me? I don’t know how to pay for parking. I’m also looking for a restaurant that has a light fare. Can you suggest something close by?”
“Follow me,” she replied after I programmed the meter with two hours of parking.
We walked around the building as she led me to a hip, bustling neighborhood eatery known as “bartaco.”
Thrilled to find a casual dining atmosphere, I knew I was in for a treat and I’d fall in love with bartaco. My server stopped at my table within a few minutes after I was seated to place my drink order.
“Have you eaten at Bartaco before?” iI nodded ‘No’ and then she asked. “But first, before I tell you about our menu, can I get you something to drink?”
“No alcohol for me. I’m driving back to Pennsylvania but I’d love a glass of water,” I told my server, a cheerful young woman.
As she walked away, I had a chance to glance around the room and take in bartaco’s white-washed interior- a perfect fit for downtown West Hartford and its upscale shops. Add to the mix the framed photography that denotes a nomadic, carefree lifestyle and a center bar with plenty of additional seating. bartaco reminded me of Friday afternoon. The decor is trendy and speaks of South America and is inspired by the beach cultures of Brazil, Uruguay, and Southern California.
How so, you might ask?
After a long week of work, Bartaco beckons you to relax, sip a cocktail, share the small plates of food, and catch up on conversations with your friends and family.
The menu selections are indeed light, lively, and laced with a variety of flavors that whisper “street food” and sophisticated food truck. Some of the tastes you’ll encounter in the “chopped salad” and the “spicy cucumber salad,” are citrus and mild spices. Order those on days when you want a different spin on vegetables. During my next trip, I’ll order the tuna tatako (lettuce taco).
bartaco’s kids’ menu is reasonably priced. Some of the choices available are guacamole + chips (not spicy) $6; quesadilla, $2; corn wheels $2; and beef, chicken, and fish tacos $2. A large tray of quesadilla, guac + chips, three tacos, corn wheels, cucumbers, and fruit skewers will feed three kids for $14.
Specialty cocktails, freshly-squeezed juices, (Aguas Frescas, pineapple chicha, ginger grapefruit and pomegranate limonada) and beer out of a bottle are among the selections on the drink menu.
Here’s a fantastic opportunity for your children to explore their love for BAKING…and win a prize, thanks to the Women’s Food Alliance.
“Why I Like to Bake for My Family”
Kids’ Cookie Contest
Hosted by the Women’s Food Alliance
Create a Great Cookie and Win the Grand Prize
Ponte Vedra FL. (February 2018) Kids love to be in the kitchen and cookies are a great way to launch their creativity by baking something yummy for the family. The Women’s Food Alliance is hosting a ‘Why I Like to Bake for My Family” Kids Cookie Contest for children 8 years – 12 years of age with culinary prizes that they can share with their family IF they come up with a tasty and unique cookie. Whether it’s gingerbread, butter, chocolate chip or a family favorite, baking cookies is about having FUN in the kitchen!
Many cherished family recipes and baking memories are disappearing from tables of family and friends in America today. The Women’s Food Alliance believes in nurturing young children with an appreciation for healthy delicious ingredients that combine to express their individuality and curiosity about food.
The Grand Prize Winner will receive ……
Sunday Brunch for (4) at the Casa Marina Hotel, Jacksonville Beach
Admission to the Colonial Experience & Pirate Museum in St. Augustine for (4) guests
Party for (10) at Your Pie ~ Southside in Tapestry Park ~ Value $100
The Everything Pizza Cookbook by Belinda Hulin
A Kids Meal at Players Grille, Jacksonville
$25 gift certificate to Williams-Sonoma Cookware from the Women’s Food Alliance
The 1st Runner Up will receive…..
Sunday Brunch for (4) at the Casa Marina Hotel in Jacksonville Beach, Florida
Admission to the Colonial Experience & Pirate Museum in St Augustine for (4) guests
A Kids Meal at Players Grille, Jacksonville
$25 Gift Certificate to Williams-Sonoma Cookware from the Women’s Food Alliance
The 2nd Runner Up will receive…..
Sunday Brunch for (4) at the Casa Marina Hotel, Jacksonville Beach
Admission to the Colonial Experience & Pirate Museum in St. Augustine for (4) Guests
A Kids Meal at Players Grille, Jacksonville
EVERY ‘Finalist’ will receive…..
A Culinary-themed Swag Bag from Sugar Snob Chocolates
A Kids’ Meal at Your Pie ~ Southside at Tapestry Park
“Why I Like to Bake For My Family” OFFICIAL RULES:
Email Cookie RECIPE and STORY about “Why I Like to Bake Cookies For My Family” to:
Include Cookie Recipe Name and brief story about Why I Like to Bake for my Family
Who can enter:
Entrants must be 8-12 years old. There are no substitutions or transfer of prizes. Prizes are not redeemable for cash. By acceptance of prizes, winners consent to use of their names and/or photographs for publicity purposes without further compensation. Winners will be notified by June 1, 2018.
DEADLINE: Email must be received by May 15, 2018
The Women’s Food Alliance will select the Top 12 Finalists by judging on:
Cookie Name and Story about ‘Why I Like to Bake for my Family’
FINALISTS Attend ~ In Person Cookie Contest:
The Top 12 Finalists will be invited to attend the OFFICIAL COOKIE JUDGING on Monday, June 25, 2018, at 5:00 pm. Location is Jax Kitchen ~ Address: #1850 Emerson Street, Jacksonville, Florida 32207
All children must be accompanied by an adult.
A minimum of 12 cookies must be on a presentation serving plate.
Each child must bring the Cookie’s Name, Recipe, and the Child’s Name on a piece of paper to accompany the cookies.