China Travel Tips help take the fear out of traveling to China when you don’t speak Chinese.
It can be scary traveling to a foreign country and being unable to communicate with the locals. Finding your way through busy city streets can be intimidating. English, French or Spanish is often spoken in many countries, but when you go to China, Mandarin is the language of choice. Some Chinese cities like Beijing and Hong Kong – due to their cosmopolitan nature – have more English speaking people than others.
Due to China’s vast size and
population, it’s often very overwhelming for foreign tourists visiting for the
first time. Culture shock can often be something many will experience. In this
article, we are going to offer you some amazing
tips that will show you how to travel in China without speaking Chinese.
around your Hotel Card
The most frustrating thing when
traveling in a foreign country is getting lost in the streets and not knowing
your hotel name. Most of the hotels across the globe have business cards with
their contact address. You will find these cards at the front desk or in your
hotel room. You can give the hotel card to the taxi driver without uttering a
word, and they will drop you to your
hotel. If you are traveling to China for business,
have a guide to direct you.
food by pointing at stuff
Chinese cities have an array of delicious street foods. It will take time when taking a Tour in China to learn all the food names in the city. A simple way to order food is to just point at what you want to eat. Food vendors will easily notice that you are not a local and will make every effort to understand you through visuals.
Research on Historical sites
If you are still wondering what to do in China, then you need to consider touring the multiple historical sites that China has to offer. China has a rich heritage with ancient temples and palaces. If you are planning on visiting the Great Wall or Forbidden city, do your research on the historical sites. This preparation will help you relate what the tour guide is speaking – even though you do not understand what they are saying. Google should be your friend for this.
Take advantage of hostel tours
If you are traveling on a budget take advantage of the various hostel tours. These tours are convenient because you get to see what the city has to offer and get dropped at your hotel room in the afternoon. They are also budget friendly. Ensure that you are familiar with the local laws in China for tourists. This includes respect of the local cultures and habits. The Chinese economy has been on an upward trajectory, and this has made the cities relatively safe. Hostel tours reduce the complications associated with learning local languages and laws.
Using Phone Apps
With today’s modern technology, using your cell phone is a tremendous advantage when it comes to translation and traveling in general. There are many apps you can download before coming to China. The most important one, in this case, would be Google Translate app. You can simply type or speak any words into the app and a quick Chinese translation appears and comes in handy when you need to communicate with a local who doesn’t understand your language. Make sure you install a VPN before using. You can only access Google services by using a VPN connection while in China.
While you can travel and navigate the Chinese cities without learning Mandarin, it’s still important to learn a few words like help, thank you, please, hotel room or hospital. This comes in handy when you absolutely need to communicate with someone or are lost. You can also request the hotel staff to write what you need on a piece of paper. When shopping you can show the attendant the paper. Business has become one of the key reasons for visiting China.
Guest Blogger Bio
Selena Chen is a Chinese tour guide and business assistant in China. She majored in English and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in 2008. Foreigners who visit China from all over the world hire her to help with translation and interpreting services. You can find out more about her services at her website www.mychinainterpreter.com before you travel to China.
Photo sources: (Creative commons – licensed
What makes the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building an architectural masterpiece?
You need to schedule a tour of Harrisburg and while you’re in town, add this National Historic Landmark to your itinerary.
Imagine you’re standing in front of the Pennsylvania State Capitol building around the time of its dedication on Oct. 4, 1906. Close your eyes and envision you’re looking skyward at what was considered to be the tallest structure between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The capitol building held that record for 80 years. That must have been quite a sight to behold.
Until my recent Harrisburg travel assignment, I only recall seeing this stately icon from a distance. That’s nothing to brag about considering I’m a life-long Pennsylvania resident. The day I visited couldn’t have been more beautiful as the sunbeam illuminated the dome.
As the traffic whizzed by me on one of Harrisburg’s busiest streets, I took a moment to admire the dome from the sidewalk in front of the complex before I made the climb up the exterior stairs to the entrance. I also realized I had no idea what entrance to use.
While rushing up and down two flights of exterior steps not once but twice on my way to my private tour appointment, I checked my watch and realized I was five minutes late before I entered the building. Blame it on the sprawling complex and multiple sets of doors that confused me.
Fortunately, a bystander pointed me in the right direction in the vicinity of the main entrance and a security guard mapped out my trek to the information desk in the lobby. Minutes later I met my guide who was surrounded by several large groups of visitors who were ready to embark on their tours.
Travel assignments offer many perks and Rick Dunlap, of the Visit Hershey and Harrisburg office, Harrisburg’s official tourism board, arranged my tour as part of a three-day media trip to Hershey and Harrisburg. I left Central Pennsylvania with a significantly greater understanding of why Harrisburg tours are so organized and effortless.
While Harrisburg has remained Pennsylvania’s capital since October 1812, my tour guide, Jill Fetter is a storyteller who in a comparatively short time, learned the full history and stories to keep you entertained throughout your tour. She knows the building inside and out. Jill is the Capitol Visitor Services director and The Pennsylvania Capitol Shop manager in the Main Rotunda and an expert in both the building’s history and design.
As we strolled through the first area, she began by pointing out many of the materials used throughout the complex. In case you didn’t know, Philadelphia architect Joseph Huston (1866-1940), designed the massive capital structure based on his vision of a “Palace of Art” and that’s exactly what you’ll find. The building and furnishings cost $13 billion.
Aside from its obvious grandeur and size, the exterior of the building is a gateway to the splendor you’ll find inside – classic American Renaissance style architecture that’s combined with artistic details that are unspeakably magnificent and illuminated by approximately 4,000 lights and 48 portholes in the dome.
Suffice to say, the building lives up to its reputation as the most beautiful capitol building in our nation. In fact, history has it that President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed the capital as “the handsomest building” he ever saw when he attended the dedication of the building.
The interior focal point is the grand staircase – an ideal vantage point for visitors to view eight large murals by Philadelphia artists, Edwin Austin Abbey, and the famous Barnard Statues by George Grey Barnard, and 17-foot bronze doors that each weighs a ton. Keeping your eyes fixed on one element at a time might be difficult for even the most disciplined spectator as your tour guide describes each of the massive installations of stained glass, murals, and paintings crafted by the most talented artisans of that era.
Some of the largest rooms feature a European influence with distinctive Renaissance elements – Italian in the House Chamber, French in the Senate Chamber, and English in the Governor’s Reception Room. Add to that mix Greek, Roman and Victorian installations of exquisite art and ornamentation displayed throughout the building.
Historians, politicians, teachers, students, architects, travelers, and anyone with an appreciation for history and art and a fascination with politics and lawmaking, should visit the Pennsylvania State Capitol complex. Architectural students will want to study how Huston, the architect-of-record, incorporated motifs that embody Pennsylvania’s achievements in history, animals, industries, occupations, and modes of transportation into his design. Whether your glance is towards the dome, straight ahead, or under your feet, you’ll find examples of Huston’s affinity for art. One example is the Moravian tiles you’ll see intermingled on the lobby floor. They were designed and manufactured by Henry Chapman Mercer of Doylestown, PA as a way to illustrate and incorporate the talents and wares of local craftsman.
There’s so much to see and take in at the State Capitol Building. Before you go, download the PA Capitol Self-Guided Tour Mobile app to learn about the self-guided tour stops and how a bill becomes law in PA. You’ll find research additional information in five languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German.
Tours are free and offered every half hour Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. or on weekends and most holidays at 9 and 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. You won’t be able to tour the capitol building on New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving and Christmas day but you’ll have plenty of other options before or after those holidays. I encourage you to register for a tour so won’t miss a detail along the way.
Fill your head with Pennsylvania history and architectural, artistic, and political highlights that will make this building’s incomparable beauty come alive for you. If you decide to wait to schedule your tour until you arrive in Harrisburg, be sure to check the schedule before arriving at the capitol complex.
Settlers Hospitality Group Hails Carbondale’s History
Saluting Carbondale’s vast history is no easy task. This Pioneer City was founded on March 15, 1851, and is the fourth oldest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Settlers Hospitality Group chose to honor Carbondale’s coal-mining and railroading history when it refurbished the Hotel Anthracite.
Every piece of art that adorns the walls throughout the hotel tells a story. Consequently, you won’t find a stock photo in the lobby, restaurant, hallways, or guest rooms and each piece, whether it’s a framed photograph or another medium, is in some way related to the city’s rich anthracite and cultural history.
Settlers Hospitality Group is an award-winning hospitality company based in Hawley, PA, one of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s most endearing historic towns. The group owns and manages The Hotel Anthracite, along with the Settlers Inn, Ledges Hotel, Silver Birches Resort, and Sayre Mansion.
Settlers’ goal is to provide their guests with a one-of-a-kind tribute to the heritage that surrounds each of its properties. Equally as important to guests are the exceptional accommodations and cuisine and unwavering service.
“The key operating philosophy of the hotel arm of the Settlers Hospitality Group is to provide an independent and authentic lodging experience that is guest-focused, locally flavored, and pet-friendly,” Chris Simpler, Hotel Anthracite general manger, explained.
Simpler commented in detail about the hotel’s history during our lunch at KOL Steakhouse, the hotel’s signature restaurant. He delved into the features as I sampled the OUTSTANDING Baby Greens and Quinoa Salad, topped with grilled chicken and drizzled with a Champagne Blood Orange Vinaigrette. Suffice to say, the hotel has covered all the bases with style, creativity, and artistry.
Born and raised in the Hudson Valley, Simpler found himself back in Northeastern Pennsylvania to partner with Settler’s Hospitality. His wife Jenna (Simpler) runs the resort side of the Silver Birches Resort, a Settlers property that celebrates the history of the Lake Wallenpaupack region.
Jeanne Genzlinger, the matriarch of the Settlers Hospitality Group, served as the main designer. She selected a neutral color palette, which is an ideal backdrop for the history and outdoors’ themes. Jeff George, (artistic design), S. Robert Powell (Carbondale historian) and Juan H. Espino (artist: The Looking Glass Gallery) all played significant roles in the historical detailing within the walls of the Hotel Anthracite. Altogether, the decor is the best of all worlds. As you enter the Hotel Anthracite, you’ll find historical charm effortlessly blended with modern amenities guests expect.
Large chunks of official anthracite coal are displayed in the Hotel Anthracite lobby surrounded by photos of the Gravity Railroad and its first locomotive, “The Stourbridge Lion.” They’re your cue the decor is intended to educate, enlighten, and motivate you to discover more about Carbondale’s past.
“We have utilized that foundation to bring photography and recreated historical elements to Hotel Anthracite,” said Simpler.
“The feeling we were going for was to bring the hotel back to emphasize what’s out the windows. The neutral palette is great to work with because you have a lot of flexibility. It’s a clean and modern look but it also fits well with the historical theme we have,” he said.
Formerly known as the Carbondale Grand Hotel and operated as a Best Western until the Settler’s group purchased and renovated the building, the Hotel Anthracite averages 15,000 stays a year in their newly-appointed rooms. The management is in tune with their guests’ needs and expectations and delivers a high-quality package.
In the guest rooms, new beds are topped with standard and king-sized pillows. What’s more, towels, linens, curtains, and the sofas are also new. Certified botanical organic bath products are provided in dispensers rather than single-use throw-away bottles to reflect Settlers Hospitality’s commitment to conservation.
YES to Pets
Pets and their families stay in comfort with the pet program in place. Yes, the hotel has pet-assigned rooms to protect guests with allergies. But Simpler said, “We always do something personal to welcome the dogs to our property.” Be sure to inquire about the pet policy when you reserve your room.
Simpler’s way of thinking about The Hotel Anthracite is, “Why not make it a great experience that people talk about.”
KoL Steakhouse Dining: A Natural, Easy Fit
What thoughts does the name “Kōl” evoke? If your guess is a “play on words” reflecting Carbondale’s anthracite legacy, you’re correct, according to Simpler.
“It (the name) is a natural, easy fit,” he said. “It aligns with our history.”
Kōl Steakhouse is for diners who want a dining experience that’s different – fine dining in a casual steakhouse setting. Renowned Executive Chef Michael Bodner begins with locally sourced aged beef and then adds his own creative flair to the regional fare and daily specials.
My choice was the mouth-watering Chicken Milanese Anthracite, a moderately priced entree ($19) from the Chef’s Plates’ section of the menu. The savory breaded free bird farm chicken breast, seasoned with aromatic basil and arranged with tomatoes, harmonizes with the balsamic dressing, asparagus, and creamy risotto. I said “NO” to dessert because my palette was content. My meal was a perfect-sized portion and a combination of flavors.
The wine menu offers more than 100 different bottles of wine in a full range of styles and prices. A handful of local wines are available, thanks to the hotel’s sommelier who put the wine list together for all of the Settler’s Hospitality Group’s properties. Looking for a fresh, local beer on tap or in the bottle? Come to Kōl Steakhouse and quench your thirst. The bartender will accommodate your hankering with a variety of liquor and mixed drink concoctions.
“You need to deliver something more – a new experience,” is Simpler’s philosophy.
Simpler noted, “In the months I’ve been here (as manager), I’ve come to know the untapped opportunity and potential here in Carbondale is huge. Settlers Hospitality management and staff have proven that folks will drive from hours away to dine at their hotels because the experience and food are so fantastic.”
Community Partnerships = Endless Opportunities
Once you’ve taken an architectural and historical tour of Carbondale, venture into local communities and set your sights on Northeastern Pennsylvania’s four seasons. The Settlers Hospitality Group partners with local businesses in each of their hotels’ locations so guests have access to a variety of activities that range from skiing, cycling, hiking, to world-class fishing that will get your heart pumping.
Travel Tip: Hotel Anthracite is a mere 25 minutes from historic sites in downtown Scranton and less than 35 minutes from Honesdale and Hawley. Allow at least a half-day to explore each town.
The Lackawanna Heritage Trail, a popular multi-use trail system. exemplifies how a partnership is a win-win for all businesses and visitors. You’ll find the Carbondale Trailhead literally across the street and less than a half-block away from Hotel Anthracite. Simpler says guests can borrow a bike through the BikeShare program at the hotel and The Carbondale YMCA and ride to the New York border on a bicycle. The trail opened less than a week before my visit and you’ll find the link to my companion story here. Spend some time at the newly-built Riverfront Park along the Lackawanna River and stop in at The Chamber Gallery and view the latest exhibit.
Travel Tip: Buy your Pennsylvania fishing license and bring your fishing gear. The Lackawanna River awaits you with an assortment of cold-water and warm-water fish species. Depending on where you fish, the river is home to trout, bullhead, bass, perch, and bluegills.
History buffs should plan a self-guided walking tour and take in the architecture. Carbondale’s array of historic buildings has helped put the city on the map. Don’t miss the historic Memorial Square, City Hall, and the Trinity Episcopal Church and its extraordinary tiffany-windows. Similarly, guests who love snow sports like skiing will have no problems finding the perfect ski conditions at Elk Mountain Ski Resort. Inquire at the hotel about individual and family ski and rental packages. If you’re like me, combining business and pleasure does involve some advanced planning but your trips can be exceptional and memorable.
Conclusion: Whatever your reason for traveling, Hotel Anthracite is a first-rate lodging choice. Experience a small-town treasure in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the ideal base camp to explore a revitalized region alive with history and culture.
My visit was comped but my opinions are my own and based on my personal experience.
What have you heard about Georgia, a country at the intersection of Asia and Europe? We went there, and have some advice for you – the culture, landscapes, food, wine, the people are so incredible, you might be overwhelmed. To help you transition into vacation mode, check out our 7 Reasons you should visit Georgia.
Anyone who wants too much of a good thing Read on…
Its cuisine will make you feel bad…
… about overeating so much. Traditional dishes such as khinkali, khachapuri or pschali are made from locally sourced ingredients and usually cooked in wood-fired ovens. You will soon notice that Georgians enjoy long feast-like dinners and are happy to share them with visitors of their country.
The landscapes are a bit too much
Georgian landscapes may cause you problems when you will be telling your friends back home of what you’ve seen during the trip. In an area smaller than 70 thousand square km, you will see terrains of all kinds: snowy mountains, sandy beaches, desert-like flatlands, rocky hills and lush forests.
Georgians won’t let you relax…
..or get lost. Due to the long history of wars, the Georgian nation is known for its hot temper, yet this goes together with extreme hospitality. Once you enter Georgia, you will feel as if you’re visiting your old friends – Georgians will greet you, make you feel at home and will bathe you in recommendations. You do not need to worry about getting lost in the country either- and even if you do end up lost on your road trip, you will eventually find yourself having dinner with Georgian families in the countryside. Of course, if you prefer to get stressed during your vacation and don’t want to make new friends, you should not go to Georgia.
If you’re planning to make a trip around Georgia, you will have to prepare for surprises. In one trip you can visit the Red Sea coast and spend the whole day sunbathing, and on the next day climb the snowy peak of Kazbek, later returning to sunny Tbilisi or heading for a refreshing stay in Borjomi. On the other hand, if you are a fan of dull, rainy afternoons, Georgia might not be the place for you.
Sorry to disappoint you, but you won’t find French wine in Georgia. That’s because Georgians take pride in their vineries that are some of the oldest in the world. Georgian winemaking traditions that date back to Neolithic period are internationally recognized and appreciated: Georgian winemaking method using clay pots is even included in UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.
You are probably visiting Georgia for its amazing nature, right? If you are not into the art scene and are not a fan of discovering peculiar cultural things, don’t go to Tbilisi. Yet, we believe it’s almost impossible to skip the country’s capital with a population over 1 million of people and a forward-looking scene of arts and culture. Visit Bassiani club, Fabrika or Tbilisi flea market, and you will soon notice that the city is much more than the beautiful architecture and fancy restaurants.
Georgia is unpredictable
Things you don’t expect to see while visiting Georgia: waterfall in the middle of Tbilisi old town, the remains of Soviet military bases, a funicular in the inner yard of a building on one of the main streets of the capital, a monastery on a tall rock (The Katskhi Pillar monastery in Chiatura), moving statues (on the boulevard in Batumi)… yet, you’re most likely to see most of these and even more.
For more advice about Georgia, visit this site. Planning your travel itinerary? Here’s an article about New Zealand.
Are you dreaming of landing that trout, bass, or other fish species?
“Fifty Places to Fly Fish Before You Die” is full of breathtaking photography and detailed information about 50 of the world’s most spectacular fly fishing destinations. Author Chris Santella is a skilled freelance writer and storyteller who offers his readers a collection of 50 essays created by master fly anglers. The in-depth interviews feature extensive background information for each of the destinations with advice and fishing anecdotes that you’ll find enticing even on the coldest winter day. Santella’s work is one you’ll commit to memory and refer to as a resource guide when you’re planning your next fly fishing getaway.
I received a copy as a Christmas present in 2018 and although I receive hundreds of book review requests (on a variety of topics) each month, I’d never run across this gem. Santella’s guide covers all of the details and history fly anglers looking for premium places to fish need to know. The “IF YOU GO” that follows each essay: “Prime Time,” “Getting There,” “Accommodations,” and “Equipment,”is invaluable.
Santella is a regular contributor to The New York Times, Forbes.com, and other fly fishing publications.
Buy Fifty Places to Fly Fish Before You Die.
Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase but at no additional cost to you. I have experience with all of these companies and by linking to their product or a party that sells their products, I recommend the product based on their helpful and useful nature, and definitely not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something.
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 the 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
‘Trump Slump’ leads Spain to overtake US in Global Tourism; says GlobalData
Total Tourist Expenditure in Spain Projected All-Time High
Spain is expected to become the second most popular tourist destination in the world, overtaking the US, as the so-called ‘Trump Slump’ caused a dip in the US tourism industry; says GlobalData a leading data and analytics company.
Rapidly growing tourism flows herald a strong 2018 for the industry however as Konstantina Boutsioukou Consumer Analyst at GlobalData explains “As Spain overtakes the US in the list of the most visited countries in the world, the global tourist community has sent a strong message that divisive and discriminatory policies can greatly hamper sector growth”.
Despite the recent political uncertainty following the Catalan independence referendum and the terror attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils last August, the Spanish tourism industry has proved to be very robust and has experienced strong growth in the last 12 months.
According to figures from GlobalData, international arrivals to Spain increased by * 4.8%; from 75.6 million tourists in 2016 to 79.3 million in 2017. The UK, followed by France and Germany are the three largest source markets for Spain, making up 53% of total arrivals to the country. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has also confirmed that early projections reveal that the total tourist expenditure in Spain recorded an all-time high, reaching £77 billion in 2017.
Official statistics by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), have not been released, however current projections from the organization reveal that arrivals to the US are down from 75.9 million in 2016, to 72.9 in 2017. The decline of tourism is estimated to cost the US economy £140 million a week, equivalent to £7.3 billion a year. However, New York City and Los Angeles have fared better than most US cities. Arrivals to Los Angeles have increased by 2.2%, mainly due to a growth in domestic arrivals and Chinese visitors. New York arrivals have increased by 2.1% mainly due to a surge in US visitors.
Boutsioukou adds, “The travel restrictions are seen by many tourists as state-sponsored Islamophobia, and are putting off many travelers from visiting the US. The ban has given rise to a general wave of withdrawals particularly among Middle Eastern, African and European tourists. Flows from Mexico have also registered a decline, as Mexican citizens seek to boycott the construction of the ‘Trump Wall’ at the border between Mexico and the US.’’
‘*’ source: GlobalData Consumer Intelligence Centre – 2017 estimates
‘**’ source: United Nations World Tourism Organisation – 2017 estimates
Chakra Bowls in the entrance at The Lodge at Woodloch. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui.
Calm your mind, awaken your soul
Spending a day at The Lodge at Woodloch is synonymous with a day in heaven.
The Lodge at Woodloch is a family-owned, one-stop spa destination located in the Lakes Region of the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Individuals who want to experience a complete overhaul will find a phenomenal setting for total mind and body rejuvenation.
You’ll need to tailor your stay at this award-winning resort and allow time to savor every class, activity, and meal you choose. Depending on the length of your stay, I suggest you select one or two indoor spa services and one or two classes or activities and plan to venture outdoors. Use your time to tap into the adventure in your soul.
I arrived there eager for my massage session but immediately picked up a schedule of events and classes at the registration desk before heading to my room to change. A complete list of classes is available at the front desk and in each of the guest rooms, but if narrowing the selection is a bit daunting, a personal concierge can assist you with scheduling. You can view a current schedule of activities here.
Even if the thought of being out-of-doors in the cold Pocono Mountain air sends chills up your spine, bundle up and take a walk. The property is so picturesque throughout the year, with scenic hiking and bike trails that are a favorite among nature-lovers.
The dock at The Lodge at Woodloch is a vantage point for observing waterfowl and other wildlife. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui.
Your comfort is a number one priority to the management and staff at The Lodge at Woodloch. Feel free to drop in at the coffee and tea kiosk for a glass of fruit infused water, high-end herbal tea with locally-produced honey or artisan coffee. Lucious treats are available throughout the day. Hydration is important after a day of activity and guests receive a complimentary refillable water bottle and shopping bag branded with The Lodge at Woodloch name and logo. Filtered water is available in each guest room, so guests can refill their water bottles as needed.
Find Time to Socialize
If you’re traveling alone, ask to dine with other solo guests. The main dining room and bar area are warm and friendly and a popular spot for great conversation.
Unleash Your Spirit
If exercise isn’t your bag, try a gentle chakra yoga session to free the creative flow you’ll need for a cooking demonstration or a watercolor painting class. Daytime and evening events are available.
Learn New Skills
Flyfishing? Betterment is often the result of branching out and learning a new hobby. Join the knowledgeable team at the lodge and allow them to introduce you to the joys of fly fishing.
Stick with the familiar or try something new when you join in on an organized fly-fishing class designed for aspiring fly anglers who yearn to be on the water. Full and half-day guided fishing trips on the Lackawaxen and Delaware Rivers can be arranged with advanced notice.
On your way through the lobby, take note of the art that hangs on the walls in the corridors. The Lodge at Woodloch has created a venue for regional artists to display their wares, which is indicative of the management’s commitment to the arts. The paintings displayed during my visit provided a visual appeal and warmth that original art evokes.
Art at The Lodge at Woodloch. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui.
Dining at TREE, The Lodge at Woodloch restaurant, is an experience you’ll relish. The naturally-raised meats, fish, seafood; organic, locally grown vegetables and wholesome grains are combined and presented with an artistic flair.
A few of the entrees from a sample menu are Oven Dried Tomato & Charred Broccoli Flatbread – Basil Pesto, Homemade Ricotta, Calkin’s Creamery Vampire Slayer, Balsamic Reduction (veg) Shrimp Pad Thai – Shaved Root Vegetables, Local Cabbage, Scrambled Farm Egg, Pistachio, Hoisin Sauce (gf) Eggplant Cutlet Parmesan – Smoked Mozzarella, Oven Dried Tomato & Olive Tapenade, Arugula and Roasted Pepper Aioli (veg). Samples menus are available here.
Many of the selections are plant and vegetable-based and bursting with flavor and texture that’s sure to please. Feel free to begin your lunch at the Buffet Station Salad Bar & Seasonal Condiments that’s brimming with a Chef Inspired Daily Soup and energy and protein-packed selections for vegan and vegetarians. There’s no guesswork as you’re helping yourself at the stations or ordering from the menu. Vegan and vegetarians are clearly marked.
If you need a getaway, visit The Lodge at Woodloch’s website where you’ll find a package to suit your needs. All packages include accommodations in one of 57 extravagant guest rooms, three gourmet meals per night of stay, speakers and workshops, creative arts, scheduled group fitness classes throughout the day, lectures, chef’s cooking and baking demonstrations, guided group adventure outings, a personal spa concierge, pools with hydro massage waterfalls, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis®, steam rooms, saunas, and a 3,000 square foot state-of-the-art cardio weight studio.
Accommodations at The Lodge at Woodloch. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui.
The Lodge at Woodloch WILL exceed your expectations. The resort has consistently received a wide array of awards over the years from the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Award to the Travelers’ Choice Award by TripAdvisor.
Are you overwhelmed by the thought of traveling by plane with your children?
More than likely, there’ll come a time when you’ll contemplate a trip abroad or a visit with family. If traveling by plane with your kids evokes fear and anxiety and doubts about whether you have the parenting skills to pull off family travel, you’ll want to read “Super Flyers: A Parent Guidebook for Airplane Travel With Children” byDr. Lori Baudino, PsyD, BC-DMT, a licensed clinical psychologist and board-certified dance/movement therapist.
If you’re like Dr. Baudino and you love to travel, why shy away from what could be a memorable journey with your children and a valuable learning experience for children and adults?
Super Flyers is a parent’s manual that’s jam-packed with strategies you can utilize when you need support to handle those trying and awkward moments.
Dr. Baudino shares her tips to handle those fleeting moments of upset and chaos that can occur during travel when children are overtired, overstimulated or restless. She outlines skills parents can employ that will set the stage for a more joyous time.
“If you are a parent then you will eventually come across traveling with your children,” says Dr. Baudino.
Whether your child is an infant, toddler, pre-teen, or teenager, or you’ll have more than one of your brood traveling with you, Dr. Baudino’s suggestions will get you on your way. In 127 pages, she offers tips and delightful progress updates from her children, Aiden and Lyla.
Why should you buy a copy of her book?
Dr. Baudino explains, “With all that we know about parenting and helping our children succeed – I can empower parents to use these skills and take children to new heights exploring cultures, change and travel in the sky.The analogies of flying and parenting are vast- it’s a journey so we might as well share and model enjoyment for and with our children.”
You can learn more about Dr. Baudino and Super Flyers at drloribaudino.com.
Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase but at no additional cost to you. I have experience with all of these companies and by linking to their product or a party that sells their products, I recommend the product based on their helpful and useful nature, and definitely not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something.
No matter where you go in New Zealand, you’ll come across various pubs with excellent beer, fine wine and wonderful food with pleasant service and a charm that’s all their own. All one needs is to make a stopover, soak up the ambiance and have a great time. Those not from the native country can always look up locations online and find the perfect, most suitable place to stay and enjoy the culture. One can compare the costs, desirability, ratings, and locations of various places and choose the most suitable option to gain maximum utility out of one’s visit. Some of my all-time favorite themed pubs include the following:
1) The Green Dragon
The Green Dragon is a pub that takes its inspiration from the beloved “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” series. It offers followers a “True Hobbit Experience.” Art director and venture manager, Brian Massey headed the construction of the Green Dragon Pub, with a team of 80 laborers in adding the themed attraction to the beautiful Hobbiton. The Green Dragon is decorated with precise details to recreates the look and feel of the same drinking establishment as in The Lord of the Rings films.
Hobbit village, located near Matamata, was built in 1998 as a set of the films; by Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema. WingNut Films art director and Green Dragon project manager Brian Massey supervised the construction and meticulous decoration.
300,000 people have visited Hobbiton over the past decade, and the number has increased drastically after the release of “Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey.” The pub was opened to the public in late November 2012 after New Zealand Prime Minister John Key conducted the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Hobbiton Board director and New Zealand Tourism Supervisor George Hickton have stated that the establishment may be converted to allow for overnight stays to attract more tourists and provide them with convenience to enjoy the Hobbit lifestyle.
2) Leamington Tavern (Five Stags)
Leamington Tavern was established in 2012. It offers TAB dining, SKY TV, outdoor areas and a lovely open fire. It is rightly nicknamed the ‘FIVE STAGS’ as it features five impressive stag heads on the wall right above the bar that steadily view the scene below. The Leamington tavern has a hunting lodge theme that makes one want to sit by the fire and relish a hearty meal. It offers a broad range of menu items from wild boar to venison burgers and a separate children’s menu. Distinctive features of the new concept pub include columns which are exposed and integrated into life-like trees, a detached hunter’s cabin and full-sized duck shooter’s Mai Mai.
3) The Patriot
The Patriot is located in the heart of the village and is the only British-themed pub in Devonport. It is situated in the historic building of the Bank of New Zealand with its original safe vault still in place. One can soak up the ambiance while sipping a pint or drinking a fine glass of wine. The Patriot also provides a wide variety of beers, spirits, wines and soft drinks which one can be enjoyed by the warm fire during winters or in the expansive beer garden or covered verandas in the summer; guaranteeing a memorable experience all year round. It plays Live Music on Thursdays and Saturdays, has a Pub Quiz on Tuesdays and displays all big sporting events Live on their big screens for visitors to enjoy their time at the Patriot.
4) Four Kings
Four Kings are Wellington’s biggest sports pub, with 32 LCD projection screens and three enclosed booths. Four Kings is a multi-level casual eatery as well as a brew house situated in the heart of Wellington’s CBD. With over 70 plasma and LCD projection screens, Four Kings specializes in providing an excellent standard to deliver the experience, high quality, and services. The Four Kings is everybody’s dream sports pub with state-of-the-art TAB and gaming facilities which complement the particular 32 projection screens. The bar is built for comfort and ease with 15 Lazy-boy recliners that one can settle back in and check out a match or race. There usually are three surrounded booths (each consists of its LCD screen) that one can tuck oneself away along with some friends and enjoy. There are lots of different TV sets and ‘Sound Zones’ so you can choose what you want to watch. The 4 Kings Lounge could be the ultimate sports bar for sports fans. Four Kings is also a major sponsor of the “Wellington Century City Saints” basketball team, and throughout the season one can run into players when they dine in at Four Kings after home games.
5) The Riverhead
The Riverhead, 153 years of age, can be considered as New Zealand’s oldest riverside tavern in addition to having New Zealand’s second oldest liquor license. The Riverhead has been home to refreshments and conviviality. Having been recently renovated, the focus has been shed upon providing the local community a meeting place and welcoming the tourists and local families to dwell in the fresh New Zealand food with a knack, local wines, great beer, and coffee. It can be seen as a venue for a distinct and attractive destination for different interest groups. The vast lawn under a historic oak tree overlooks a creek and has been a desired place for weddings and gatherings for over a century. The Riverhead along with its history and traditions has been restored recently by owners Paula and Stephen who have reinstated this iconic establishment with a remarkable fashion. The pubs mentioned above are not just merely pubs, they are a unique experience that one must NOT miss out on while they visit New Zealand.
Author Bio – Sahiba Sadana is a content writer, well-versed in SEO writing. Her works have appeared on Business Town, The Business Woman Media and other leading dailies. The English post graduate is a Sherlock Holmes fangirl. You can read a recent article by her on drones at The Absolute Reviews.