Tagged in: USA

USA - 2014 World Cup

USA Stuns Ghana

The match started off with one of the quickest goals in World Cup history (5th it turns out) at the 31 second mark by Clint Dempsey. The US had a great chance to make it 2-0 in the 19th minute, but the Ghana defense was able to keep the ball comfortably out of the net.

 

USA’s Jozy Altidore was lost due to a hamstring injury in the 22nd minute and then Dempsey suffered a broken nose in the 33rd minute, but he was able to return.

 

Ghana started to turn things around in the second half as they began to press hard for the equalizer. Their effort was rewarded in the 82nd minute when Andre Ayew took a backheel pass from Asamoah Gyan and made a superb left-footed strike to tie the match at 1.

 

The celebration was short-lived though, as only 4 minutes late, John Brooks powered home a header off a corner kick to reclaim the lead for the US.

 

USA avenges their losses to Ghana from the two previous World Cups where the losses resulted in elimination on both occasions.

 

Top 7 Favorite Celebrity Winter Vacation Spots 

When the cold and dreadful wintery months hit us, nothing feels better than a warm blanket and a drink of hot chocolate. Celebrities though, whether they’re television stars, singers, or movie stars, have the enviable option of going on vacation to any place they want to hit either the sand for some tan time, or the slopes for some ski time.

With money to spend and hot bodies to show, celebs love to kick back and relax even during the bleak winter months. Check out this very impressive list of where your favorite celebrities go to take their well deserved breaks.

1. Round Hills Hotels and Villas, Montego Bay, Jamaica

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We all drooled at the love scenes in the movie ‘How Stella got her groove back’ because the beautiful scenery and the sweeping ocean views were just as tempting. The picture perfect villas with horizon swimming pools are just what is needed to make this a perfect celebrity getaway. Some famous people who got their mojo back in this beautiful setting include Gabrielle Union and Sir Paul McCartney. If it’s good enough to impress him, it’s certainly good enough for us!

2. St. Moritz, Switzerland

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Known for it’s perfect weather condition, dry and sunny climate all year round, St. Moritz is a little piece of heaven that is 1,856 m above sea level and is located in Europe right in the middle of the Engadin valley. An example of a fabulous and celeb worthy places to stay is the Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains. This winter haven has played a perfect host to global stars such as Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney and the possible future king of England, Prince Charles.

3. Hawaii, USA

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Celebs love showing us their bodies, and what better place to do that than on the beautiful, stunning and sandy beaches of Hawaii. A perfect blend of islands, volcanoes, mountains, the heavenly ocean views, and a unique and interesting culture, this a piece of Eden right there. With Hotels such as the Four Seasons offering unrivaled comfort and activities to engage in, it’s not surprising that super hot celebrities who are far from shy about their winter bodies head there for some sun and sand.

4. Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA
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When they are not entertaining us, celebs relish their privacy. Jackson Hole is one of the very best kept secrets for winter holidays and escapes. Located in Wyoming, it has a ski area rising 4193 feet from the base of the valley. Surrounded by picturesque and breathtaking views, this is an ideal location for a downhill adventure with a perfect blend of luxury and a rustic feel to it. A perfect place for some winding down.

Funny man Jim Carrey and Matthew McConaughey have been spotted on this exclusive property.

5. Aspen, Colorado, USA

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Known all over the world for it’s winter sports, it’ s a no brainer that Aspen made it to this list. Aspen is at the top of a pristine mountain valley with four top class mountains within that area. It offers a very diverse selection of snow experiences. Skiing has never felt as wonderful the slopes Aspen offers. Most hotels are very pet friendly and we all know how celebs love travelling with their pets, thus making it a heavenly spot for celebs and their favorite animals.

Long and winding trails are present throughout the four mountains and visitors are nothing but thankful for the lavish and stunning panoramic views.

Bill Clinton and Mariah Carey are some of the famous people that have made their way to this winter sports heaven.

6. Los Cabos, Mexico

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Jennifer Lopez, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio have all packed up their bags and headed to this beautiful location that is located between the pink mountains and the desert.

The alfresco massages are not the only thing to love about this location and with exquisite accommodations such as Las Ventanas al Paraiso, you are guaranteed of having the best holiday ever. While everyone else is stuck at home, you can come back with a tan to die for that will make all of your friends green with envy.

7. St. Barts (Saint Barthélemy)

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Winding down this mega list is St. Barts. This sophisticated and saintly island is one of the most stunning and beautiful places on earth. With celeb worthy places such as Eden Rock St Barths, this is where the rich and famous go for some down time. With activities such as swimming in the picture perfect beaches, to the excellent French inspired dining, to sailing on a yacht, it’s no wonder the elite of this world come out to play here. If you are looking for romance, nothing beats watching sunset in Lurin with the gorgeous island panorama.

Did we mention that you can also shop for high end designer pieces and possibly rub shoulders with Beyoncé or the Black Eyed Peas, if not Harrison Ford himself?

 

 

17th Door: A Truly Unique Haunted House

The only way out of 17th door haunted house is to say MERCY! The 17th door haunted house is located in orange country of California and it’s a project of the couple, Robbie and Heather Luther. Neither of them have any expertise in horror films, but their overall experiences from their jobs helped them to come up with an entirely original idea of the haunted house.
 
The location of the 17th Door haunted house is in a furniture warehouse which is wedged between a party shop and mattress store in a shopping mall. There are few rules to be followed by the visitors, while entering into the haunted house. The visitors have to sign a waiver, the doors will be locked behind them, they will get wet, and they will also be touched by the performers. Only 8 people are allowed to enter to the house at a time and they have to spend around 90 seconds in each room.
 
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The 17th haunted house is a story about a disturbed girl named Paula, who is studying medicine at Gluttire University. Paula herself is battling with her own demons like bullying, drug abuse, eating disorders, and thoughts of suicide.
 

The whole haunted house is a setup of a medical university which includes a cafeteria, medical class rooms, library, locker rooms, and dorms. The participants will encounter the horror of each room through the eyes of Paula. The creativity of each room will not only thrill visitors, but it will also impact their five senses as the rooms have unbearable smells, high temperatures, detailed visuals, terrifying sounds, and the participants even have to do a taste test.
 
Each room has its own theme. One room is a buried room, than there is a door number #3 which shows Paula’s bully whereas the other room shows the effect of drug overdose. Then there is also the Tunnel room, Hospital Morgue, where one can feel creepy dead and alive bugs and its awful smell. The “Meat Locker”- have real pig skeletons hanging from the ceiling and the temperature of this room is about 40 degrees.
 
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The founder of the house wants the participants to cry for mercy, but at the same time they want them to enjoy it too. Robbie is responsible to manage the opening and closing of each door and Heather checks how much time the participants spend in each room.
 
Even the actors who worked to create an unforgettable yet fun experience are scared of the 17th door haunted house. There are many newcomers as well as experienced performers in the haunted house.
 
This couple has three young sons and has a background in business. As they love to scare people, they’ve this idea of a haunted house for quite sometime now.
 
Both of them have done so well that they are planning to open it again next Halloween.
 

 

Top Family-Friendly Hostels Around The World

Hostels all around the world are now realizing the need and consumer-preference for affordable accommodations for families and are accordingly adapting their resources to meet this new preference. There’s no denying the fact that hostels are the perfect option for people with families who are on a tight budget. Hostels receive more preference because they are centrally located, can hold multiple people simultaneously and allow cost-saving options like shuttle buses and laundry rooms. Online websites have huge databases covering a diverse range of hostels to choose from. The search filters make this task even easier.
 

When you are with kids, you need to take several things into consideration and here are a few tips to get you started when booking a hostel while with kids.
 
Look for family rooms located away from other rooms, ensuite bathrooms, amenities for children like high chairs, cots, and a good entertainment selection with indoor games.
 
Following is the list of affordable and family-friendly hostels around the world that you would want to remember for your next family trip.
 
YHA International Hostels
 
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Located in different places, YHA hostels are known for their large family rooms that can accommodate up to 5 people. They also have specifically reserved areas for children’s entertainment where they can play games and meet children from across the globe.
 
Our personal favorite is YHA London St. Pancras in UK which not only boasts of a centralized city location and is located in close vicinity of Kings Cross International Station, but is also in walking range of a couple of family-friendly tourist attractions. When inside the hotel, you can occupy yourself with a range of different board games. You will find the hostel’s environment extremely accepting of toddlers and offers to provide cots on request on their website. If you are in Australia, you are again in luck as Blue Mountains YHA is famous for their arcade games and exceptionally maintained and dedicated kid’s corner.
 
Adelaide Hostel
 
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Located in San Francisco, USA, at Adelaide, you don’t just get free breakfasts on a daily basis, but you also get free weekly dinners. This is the biggest budget-friendly gem that parents tight on cash are going to love. Most of the private rooms offer refrigerators and microwaves to provide for the ever-changing needs of fussing toddlers. The television facility can help keep them in a good overall mood.
 
Palm Lakefront Resort and Hostel
 
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Located in Orlando, USA, staying in this hostel can allow you to spend extra at the closely located Disney Land. The magic kingdom is just a bus ride away which is easily accessible at any time of the day. The family-friendly amenities that these hostels have to offer include a barbeque pit, a swimming pool, and a room for tech-savvy children with an Xbox and Playstation 2.
 
Hana Hostels, Japan
 
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Located in Hiroshima, Fukoka, Kyoto and Osaka, this group of Japanese hostels are welcoming of children and babies. Games and cartoon options in the common room can help keep the young ones occupied and content.
 
Adventure Queenstown Hostel
 
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Located in Queenstown, New Zealand, this place is ideally known for its peaceful location away from the noisy musings of the nightlife. You can rent bicycles, frisbees, and DVDs to enjoy in the nearby Frisbee golf course.
 
Stayokay Hostels
 
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Located in Netherlands, this internationally-affiliated hosteling group boasts of 26 Dutch properties that are well skilled at the art of keeping young visitors happy. They have different sports fields and interesting indoor recreation options to keep youngsters from throwing tantrums. Regular tourist groups can also benefit from the hostel’s family card facility where a certain annual fee can earn you discounts on bike rentals, accommodations, and tours.
 
Habitat HQ
 
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Located in the uptown neighborhood of St. Kilda, Habitat HQ is ideal for road trip families because it provides free and secure parking. Habitat HQ is also titled as the city’s first carbon-neutral hostel for backpackers.
 
The Valley House Holiday Hostel
 
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Located on the Achill Island of Ireland, the hostel has to offer some of the most picturesque and eye-dazzling views from the beach, just ten minutes of walking distance away. There are loads of natural trials to cater to your golf fantasies and a good point for children to burn off their energies.
 

 

Rising Stars - 2014 World Cup

Top 10 Rising Stars At The World Cup

At 21 years of age, Neymar of Brazil is expected to become one of the stars of the tournament. Equally, Lionel Messi of Argentina, Javier Hernandez of Mexico and Luis Suarez of Uruguay will be expected to shine bright, but which names will we all be talking about as the new rising stars that we only hear about for the first time after Brazil 2014?

 

By Danilo Borges/Portal da Copa [CC-BY-3.0-br (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/br/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Danilo Borges/Portal da Copa [CC-BY-3.0-br (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/br/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

Way back in Sweden in 1958, Pele entered the world stage and by the end of the tournament his name was the only one being talked about. He is still referred to as probably the greatest player ever to have performed at the World Cup. In Germany 2006, the host nation’s Lukas Podolski was named the best player of the tournament at 21 years of age. In England, in 1966, Franz Beckenbauer became a world star at the age of 20 and went on to dominate German football for decades as a player and then the German national coach. Who could forget the tormenting speed and goal of the tournament from18-year-old Michael Owen at the 1998 France World Cup? The US team saw Landon Donovan win the ‘Young player of the tournament’ award at age 20, during the 2002 Korea/Japan tournament.

 

Who are our favorite 10 rising stars for this World Cup?

 

By Catherine Kõrtsmik from Tallinn, Estonia (U-19 Spain vs France.  Uploaded by Dudek1337) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Catherine Kõrtsmik from Tallinn, Estonia (U-19 Spain vs France. Uploaded by Dudek1337) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Paul Pogba, France

The 21-year-old midfielder plays for Juventus in the Italian league.  Walking away from England’s Manchester United because he couldn’t break into the first team, he has become one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s greatest losses. As the midfield dynamo of Juventus, he has led his team to dominate club football in Italy.

At 6’1”, he is known for his devastating runs through midfield, where his strength is likened to Yaya Toure. He has appeared for the national team consistently at every level, winning his first cap for France in 2013. With only nine caps to his name and just 63 matches for his club team, he has the potential to become the most promising player in Brazil 2014, having already captained France to an under 20 World Cup win in 2013.

 


 

Adnan Januzaj, Belgium 

A 19-year-old winger and the only bright spot of David Moyes’ tenure as the 2013/14 coach of Manchester United. With just 27 appearances for his club team during 2013/14 season, he has been chased by England, Turkey and Kosovo for international selection, but chose the country of his birth, Belgium.

He has consistently brought a spark into the match when he has been introduced, often as a substitute, bringing an instant reaction from the crowd. They are pleased that such a young man is prepared to dribble and run, towards the goal, time and time again. His youthful enthusiasm also has a steely side as he is prepared to play tough and not be pushed off the ball by older, stronger and wiser professionals.

 


 

By Steindy (talk) 21:34, 22 November 2013 (UTC) (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Steindy (talk) 21:34, 22 November 2013 (UTC) (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

John Brooks, USA

This 21-year-old defenceman is an imposing 6’4” figure for his club team in Germany. His towering strength as a defender has made him a mainstay of Hertha BSC teams for the past three seasons. As the son of an American serviceman, he lives and plays football in his hometown of Berlin.

As a German and American citizen, his early international career saw him play for both countries at young ages, but has elected to make the USA his international team of choice. Since 2013, he has gradually earned three appearances for the USA and now gets the opportunity to play in the World Cup and definitely will not be short of confidence.

 

 

 

 


Fabrice Olinga Essono, Cameroon

This 18-year-old forward, nicknamed “happy feet,” explains his success in the early days by working his way to the first 11 for his club team in Málaga. He scored in his debut for his national team in 2012 and has appeared consistently ever since.

While finding it difficult to establish himself in the Málaga team at age 18, he moved to the Dutch league to further his experience, but looks to be a regular starter for Cameroon. At just 5’7”, he is short for a forward, but this helps his tricky dancing style in the opposition’s penalty area.

 


 

By Fanny Schertzer (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Fanny Schertzer (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Granit Xhaka, Switzerland

This 21-year-old midfielder plays for his club team in Germany.  Born in Switzerland to Albanian parents, his family previously escaped from Kosovo during the revolutionary years. This exciting midfield player has been described by legendary coach, Hitzvelt, as a ‘young Schweinsteiger,’ making reference to one of Germany’s most exciting and high quality players.

Following two seasons with his local Basel team in Switzerland, he transferred to Borussia Mönchengladbach, where he has performed consistently for the first 11. Despite his young age, he has consistently been picked for his national team in recent years and is the most commanding player in their midfield.

 

 


Denis Cheryshev, Russia

Dennis, a 23-year-old winger, is the only member of the squad that plays football outside of his country. As a Real Madrid player breaking through into their first-team, with incredible competition, is difficult. Which is why, after 104 games in Real Madrid’s reserve team, he is currently playing first-team football for Sevilla in Spain, which won the 2014 UEFA Europa league final.

Known for his silky skills as a dribbling winger, he has only recently broken through into Russia’s international squad, having consistently played for all the younger Russian teams in recent years.

 


 

By Xavier Rondón Medina (Flickr: Catalunya Vs Nigeria) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Xavier Rondón Medina (Flickr: Catalunya Vs Nigeria) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Ahmed Musa, Nigeria

As just 21 years of age, this brilliant midfielder and forward has amassed 37 caps for his country, scoring five goals.

Playing his club football in Russia, he has become a first-team regular and during the past three seasons, scored 22 goals. His experience as a creative sensation has helped him through Nigeria’s performances in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2013 Confederations Cup, held in Brazil.

 

Although he is not known particularly well outside of the countries where he plays football, he looks certain to dominate Nigeria’s performances in the World Cup.

 


 

Stefan de Vrij, Netherlands

This center half player has developed rapidly and he is already the captain of his club team, from the age of 21. He is known as being extremely cool on the ball and a very difficult defender to get past.

Despite his young age, he is well established in both his club and national teams and will be expected to perform well for the Netherlands during the World Cup as he was selected for his debut under the current coach, Louis van Gall.

 


 

By Crofab (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Crofab (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Son Heung-Min, South Korea

Following a move from Hamburg to Bayer Leverkusen, this 21-year-old forward has performed consistently as a lethal finisher in front of the goal.

At 6-foot tall, he shoots well with either foot and has great pace when required. Although he has acquired 24 caps for his country and scored six times, he is not well known outside of Germany and South Korea, but all that could change after Brazil 2014.

 


 

Frank Acheampong, Ghana

Anderlect paid a record fee to the 20-year-old Acheampong’s Thai Premier League team because of his incredible goal-scoring average of one goal every two games.

As a young man, he has already worked his way onto the national team and scored for his country. As a former captain of the Ghana under-20s team, he looks certain to explode in Brazil his great skills and electric change of pace.

 

 

 

DON’T DO These Things In New York City!

New York City, being one of the most diverse cities in the world, has a population of 8.5 million and attracts tourists from all around the globe. Travelers want to explore this eclectic city and don’t want to miss anything. So, why wouldn’t you want to visit this fabulous city too? Keep in mind though, that many tourists end up making blunders while exploring the city. To aid you in planning your trip in the best way possible, we have some great don’ts of the trip to the city that never sleeps. Here you go!
 
1. Don’t Push Yourself to See the Populous Spots if You Do Not Have Enough Time
 
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NYC is an extensive city and it seems almost impossible to explore everything in just one trip. So, plan your visit a few times to come back and have a different experience every time you return.
 
2. Don’t Spend Extra Money on Distilled Water During Dinning
 
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Instead, go for tap water. It’s just as good right?
 
3. Don’t Forget To Visit the Empire State Building For A Splendid View of New York
 
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You’ve been seeing images of this grand building since forever, and now is the best opportunity to view it in real life!
 
4. Don’t Forget the Metro Card
 
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This way, there wouldn’t be any need to wait for a cab. Furthermore, you will save a lot of time.
 
5. Don’t Rush on the Escalators
 
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Stay on the right side of the escalator in the subway as locals are in a hurry. So, it’s best to stand aside and let them pass.
 
6. Don’t Forget to Get a Pair of Sneakers to Keep Yourself Comfortable
 
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This city never sleeps and you will have to do a lot of walking for most of your trip. Make sure you avoid foot pain by choosing to wear the most comfortable sneakers you can get.
 
7. Don’t Ignore Tribeca, East Village, Greenwich, and Chelsea
 
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They are not to be missed! Visiting these areas will give you a true New Yorker feel. Also, these are very less crowded areas as tourists don’t visit them much.
 
8. Don’t Forget The Botanical Gardens in the Bronx
 
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The Metro North train which is located in the Grand Central Station is the best way to get to the park. Taking the subway means that you will be stuck in it for almost an hour though.
 
9. Don’t Miss the Sunday Brunch
 
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New York has a lot to offer when it comes to food and brunch, especially if you’re looking for Italian cuisine.
 
10. Don’t Miss the Williamsburg Food Market Where You Can Sample Local Dishes
 
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And if its summer time, check out the Frying Pan restaurant in the Hudson River Park.
 
11. Don’t Forget to Ice Skate If You’re Visiting In Winter
 
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Central Park offers this activity at affordable rates and you can enjoy the breathtaking view of the park. Undoubtedly, you can’t find anything cheaper than ice-skating in such an expensive city.
 
12. Don’t Reach the Times Square Later Than 10 Am If You Are Planning to Celebrate the New Year’s Eve Show
 
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The police begin to block the street almost around this time and you won’t be able to reach your destination if you arrive late. Remember: punctuality matters!
 
13. Don’t Wear Jeans Or Heavy Clothes In The Summer
 
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It gets very hot while most of the time you have to walk around the city. How about choosing some cotton shirts with light trousers?
 
14. Don’t Go for Rental Bicycles for the Whole Day
 
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Never forget that you are a tourist who has come to this city to enjoy the sights and sounds it offers. Of course, you are unaware of all those safe spots to park your bike. You can also look for the hop-on-and-off Citi Bike rental stations, which will cost you around $10 USD per day (depending upon your use).
 
15. Don’t Go to the Top Attractive Sites During the Day
 
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For taking splendid photos of New York from the Empire State Building, go at night. You can then take awesome photos of the Empire State Building itself and the Central Park in the day.
 
16. Don’t Miss the Brooklyn Bridge
 
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Take the subway, get off and just walk across the bridge. If you can manage, go at dusk and see the skyline of New York. After this, eat the yummiest ice cream from the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory that is just beneath the bridge in Dumbo.
 

 

The Best Lodges To Use While Traveling In The U.S.

If you are planning to get out of your house and travel for a bit and are interested in lodging out, here are some really awesome ones to consider renting when traveling in the US.
 
The Triple Creek Ranch
 
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The Triple Creek Ranch that is situated in Darby, Montana, is the ideal place for dudes to hang out with a great 5-star accommodation. It has the perfect combination of outdoor adventure and modern day comfort. This place also offers various eats that have won several awards. While staying here, you can also go horseback riding, dog sledding and even snowshoeing. The entertainment is as good as it gets! If you are in more of a mellow mood then you can also just sit around a fire on the rooftop lounge.
 
The Trapp Family Lodge
 
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The Trapp Family Lodge that resides in Stowe, Vermont, is an establishment of a very famous family, the von Trapps from The Sound of Music. If you are planning to go for a family vacation and bringing along the kids, this place is the best as it caters to kids of all ages. You can go on trekking adventures on the property if you are feeling adventurous or enjoy soaking in the indoor pool. There are various activities such as scavenger hunts around the property and arts and crafts classes to keep them busy and happily occupied. This lodge features two bedroom accommodations for a family of up to 5 people and will even take care of the family pets if you wish to bring them along.
 
The Whiteface Lodge
 
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The Whiteface Lodge is situated in Lake Placid, New York. Residing in the big apple, this lodge is in a prime location and offers activities such as snowmobiling along with dog sledding and even tobogganing. It also features a few outdoor hot tubs in case you wish to relax. There is also a fine dining restaurant at this lodge named Kanu which serves whole and hearty native meals throughout the day. Room service is also available in case you wish to stay warm and cozy in your rooms.
 
The Ahwahnee
 
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The Ahwahnee which is a Delaware North Resort located in Yosemite National Park, California. This lodge is the perfect place if you wish to get away from the hustle of your busy life and enjoy great food surrounded by an 18th century ambiance. Make sure to visit between the months of December and February if you want to take part in tasting food cooked by some of the best chefs from around the globe. On other days, delicious and hearty Californian cuisine is served along with special Sunday brunches. This lodge has a fascinating architecture, with vast windows that let you admire the beauty of nature with the comfort of being indoors.
 
The Stein Eriksen Lodge
 
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The Stein Eriksen Lodge that resides in Park City, Utah, features some really amazing cathedral ceilings. It also offers exciting services such as massages and spas that are sure to relax you greatly. There are about 145 fire pits in front of which you can curl up and cherish the moment with your loved ones. You can treat yourself with Apres Ski Soak & Muscle Therapy after a hard day of skiing or enjoy the luxury of plush terry cloth robes and jetted bath tubs in the confines of your own room.
 
The Salish Lodge & Spa
 
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The Salish Lodge & Spa in Snoqualmie, Washington, is the perfect place for getting warm and cozy and a great place for spending time with your significant other. This lodge features guest rooms which are equipped with jetted spa tubs that are ideal for accommodating two people at once. It has a warm ambiance with large fire places and bedding stuffed with goose down to ensure you are comfortable. The Salish Lodge & Spa also has lavish four course breakfasts on the menu featuring honey from their very own bee hives. The honey they make is also used widely in their spa treatments. Other facilities and activities include yoga, which is a sure way of relaxing and de-stressing.
 
The Lodge and Spa at Brush Creek Ranch
 
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The Lodge and Spa at Brush Creek Ranch that can be found in Saratoga, Wyoming, is last on the list, but it’s definitely not a stinker. This place allows for a wide variety of winter sports that include ice fishing, sledding, tubing, and ice skating. There is also a spa available with hot stone massages and visitors can take a long horse ride in the ranch covered in snow.
 

 

5 Best Family Thanksgiving Getaways

Thanksgiving is a time for family get-togethers and eating all the amazing food without worrying about your waistline. Well, if you and your family wish to celebrate this Thanksgiving differently, here’s a list of the 5 best family Thanksgiving getaways that will make your plans worth the change.
 
 
New York City, New York, USA
 
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If this seems like an easy and obvious a choice, think again. If it’s around Thanksgiving, it means that the most popular city in America, and probably the world, will undergoing a massive makeover to celebrate the holiday season with great vigor. A tourist destination that tops the list of most families for the thanksgiving break, New York and its Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is a great way to revel in all that the city has to offer. The best parts of a New York Thanksgiving holiday is that there are loads of good food, amazing company in the form of people from America and all over the world, and a general mood of festivity. Add to this the Black Friday sales that begin immediately after Thanksgiving and you have a combination that is hard to beat.
 
 
Hawaii, USA
 
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If there’s anything that can beat Hawaii while away on Holiday, it’s the combination of Thanksgiving at one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. The weather during this time of the year is perfect in Hawaii and this isn’t the only reason for families to head to the Big Island either. The secret to a perfect family Thanksgiving holiday is that every person should have something fun to do, but at the same time, ensuring that some genuine family time is spent together as well. Big Island offers just that. From beautiful food to beautiful people, and even adventure and frolic added to the mix, all this and more makes this destination a great one for the season. In the midst of snorkeling, bar hopping and everything in between, takeaway turkey dinners will of course help you keep the Thanksgiving spirit alive.
 
 
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
 
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If your family wishes to celebrate Thanksgiving away from everything that reminds them of it, well you couldn’t do better than Rio de Janeiro. While the Thanksgiving holiday season is big news in the US with the entire country going berserk over celebrations, Rio de Janeiro is the perfect place to get away from it all while still enjoying some fun family time. When it comes to fun, few can do it better than the Brazilians. This getaway is the perfect place for your family to bond over uninhibited entertainment. Break the ice, feel the freedom of an honest bond forming over beach walks, and move to the rhythm of the grooviest samba tunes. If this Thanksgiving is your family’s chance to get away from the usual, this place is just right.
 
 
Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
 
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If tradition matters to you and you wish to show your family what rich American culture and heritage is all about, nothing can beat Plymouth, Massachusetts as a Thanksgiving holiday destination. The pilgrims held the first Thanksgiving celebrations here years ago and even today there are several sites in Plymouth that hold on to the traditional way of doing things and give you an insight into it all. The Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth Rock and Martha’s Vineyard all make for lovely visits. You can even find a replica of the famous Mayflower here and with this timeless combination; few Thanksgiving destinations can prove to be as historic and memorable for your family.
 
 
Vail, Colorado, USA
 
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If you and your family are game for some adventure this Thanksgiving, head out to Vail without thinking twice. The snow-covered slopes of this beautiful skiing destination beckon those who love to live life on the adventurous side. Skiing, snowboarding, or simply enjoying some fun times in the snow, Vail offers all this and more. The special Thanksgiving menus at restaurants here will help you maintain the holiday spirit while the popular cookie competition to determine the Official Cookie of Beaver Creek is fun too. The Black Friday shopping expedition will of course help shed some weight gained during the previous day’s celebrations, or you can simply head back to the slopes for some more time on the hills. The lower prices during Thanksgiving also mean that the holiday will be easy on your pockets, helping you get more for your buck.

 

The options on this list are truly great getaways for that perfect Thanksgiving family holiday. Which one will you choose?

 

 

Destinations of 2015: 10 Cost-Effective Vacations

With greater information about travel-friendly destinations to visit, it’s little wonder that you’re still unsure about your travel itinerary. Should you fulfill you’re backpacking dream and hike through Europe, or go for the exotic locales of Asia? This article will help you get a better idea of some budget-friendly destinations that you absolutely have to visit this year.
 
1. Saint Petersburg, Russia 
 
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In spite of Moscow’s popularity, the city pales in comparison to the rustic charm of St. Petersburg. Its highlight is the Armitage with its enthralling art display. Moreover, the Winter Palace is a sight to see with its 1500 rooms and a gruesome battle scenario depicting the 1917 October Revolution.
 
2. Istanbul, Turkey
 
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Rich in its culture of Islamic architecture, thrumming bazaars and historical monuments, Istanbul is certainly one of the most appealing destinations to visit this year. Staying in Sultan Ahmet will facilitate your visit to Hagia Sophia and the Topkapi Palace. For the most vibrant shopping and dining experience the city has to offer, you can stroll through Beyoglu which is next to the famous Taksim Square.
 
3. Washington DC, USA
 
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Heralded as one of the world’s best museum and monument cities, this is the place for art aficionados and history lovers. This year marks the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and will thus be commemorated with notable artifacts.
 
4. Milan, Italy
 
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This is one of the travel destinations dripping with elegance and prominently displaying its wealth. However, in 2015, it opens its doors to all travelers with the Expo 2015. This fair will have 1.1 million square meters of ground so that visitors can enjoy plazas full of street musicians.
 
5. Macau, China
 
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The intriguing element in Macau’s offering is the fusion of European, African, Indian and Chinese influences. A new rail system is also underway. What’s more is that you can enjoy the world’s highest bungee jump right here in Macau.
 
6. Bali, Indonesia
 
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This Pacific paradise beckons to you since hotel prices are down by 12% in specific places. You can enjoy an array of underwater exploration and surfing activities and discover volcanoes amidst the jungle vegetation.
 
7. Khumbu, Nepal
 
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Follow in the footsteps of Hillary and Tenzing. Experience the elation that culminated in the scaling of the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest. The Three Passes Trek and the Mera Peak expedition are bound to bring out the adventurous spirit in you.
 
8. Tokyo, Japan
 
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The country’s tourism has taken a hit which is why travel expenses of such destinations are at a low this year. Tokyo is preparing for the 2020 Olympics and is rife with activity in this regard. Check out the KoishikawaKorakuen Garden and the Imperial Palace.
 
9. Svalbard, Norway
 
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Bear witness to the moon blocking out the sun for several minutes on March 20. This heavenly sight can be seen here and is situated between Norway and the North Pole. The aurora borealis will continue this year, and herds of polar bears will constitute a spectacular viewing.
 
10. Tasmania, Australia
 
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Renowned as the landing site of the first convict ships to Australia, Tasmania has a lot to offer to the avid traveler. This year, the second leg of the Three Capes Track will open up. You can make the most of coastal bushwalking and view the breathtaking sea cliffs of Tasman National Park.
 
Make 2015 the year of the traveler. Pick one or more of these must visit destinations and we guarantee an enriching and fulfilling travel experience!

 

 

Top 7 Favorite Celebrity Coffee Shops In The US

It’s no secret that Americans love their coffee. The United States coffee culture has been growing for years, but within the past several years, the world of coffee has taken over. Everyone is drinking coffee, and let’s be honest, probably taking a picture for Instagram too. Celebrities are always getting their photos taken, and more often than not, we’re always seeing photos of them carrying around their coffee.
 
Coffee has become a symbol of pop culture. Certain coffee shops have even developed a “hipster” vibe. Since there are so many coffee shops around the US, coffee shops are having to get creative in order to stand out from the rest. The atmosphere of the coffee shop is crucial to success. Having celebrities visit your coffee shops definitely helps!
 
Here are seven favorite celebrity coffee places in the US.
 
Starbucks
 
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When most people think of coffee, they think of Starbucks. Starbucks has become such a well known brand around not just the United States, but the entire world, especially since social media got started. Britney Spears is very well known to frequent Starbucks. In an interview, she mentioned that the strawberry Frappuccino was her usual order.
 
Urth Caffe
 
As coffee culture grows, more unique coffee shops are opening. Urth Caffe was the first organic coffee shop to open in America. This attracted a lot of attention and gave a high quality perception of the shop. Urth Caffe is well known for being in the HBO hit show Entourage. They have used the shop several times throughout the show, so that makes it a cool experience for fans. They have several locations in California, including west Hollywood, downtown, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica. The locals tend to favor the west Hollywood location.
 
Mud
 
New Yorkers live an upbeat, on-the-go lifestyle, and Mud brews their coffee strong, making it a popular location for locals and celebrities that are always on the go around the city. Mud is known for its signature orange cups. It also doubles as a mobile truck, so it has a unique aspect that caters to an even larger crowd of coffee lovers.
 
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The Frothy Monkey Coffeehouse
 

The Frothy Monkey is located in a quaint little neighborhood in Nashville, Tennessee, which is Taylor Swift’s hometown. Several boyfriends ago when her and Jake Gyllenhaal were a thing, they made a few appearances there. The Frothy Monkey is known for their locally roasted coffee, and boy is it top quality! Keith Urban, Nicole Kidman, and other country singers have also been seen enjoying the brews here.
 
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
 
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is known for their signature purple straws and large amount of celebrity sightings. This shop has a big celebrity clientele, which also attracts a bigger clientele in general. There are two popular locations in LA, but celebrities tend to favor the Los Feliz location because it is more discreet and free from paprazzi.
 
Caribou Coffee
 
Some people consider politicians to be celebrities, some people don’t. Whether you do or do not, the Caribou Coffee shop on Pennsylvania Avenue location has been covered a lot in the media. The Obama administration officials are often seen there and are usually drinking lattes. A “depth charge” is another popular drink for this shop, which is just simply coffee topped with an espresso.
 
Ninth Street Espresso
 
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This low-key coffee shop in New York City is used to getting some famous traffic. The East Village location draws in quite a large and diverse crowd, ranging from singers to actors to rock-n-rollers. Ninth Street Espresso has been known to be one of the best coffee shops in the United States, and definitely a celebrity favorite. The shop actually has a “use cell phone at a minimum” rule, so if you’re looking for a place to get coffee and check your Facebook feed, try Starbucks. This shop has a relaxing, under-the-radar vibe where celebrities can stay and enjoy instead of just come and go.

 

 

5 Of The Best Coffee Cities In The World

Most people would agree that they like coffee or drink coffee on a daily basis. Coffee has become such a morning staple and is even consumed throughout the day. The world loves its coffee. There are so many cities around the world that are home to some of the world’s most delicious coffee. You can find coffee anywhere, but these are five of the best coffee cities on our list.
 

London, England
 
The city’s first espresso coffee shop opened over two decades ago and they have become more and more popular over the years making London one of the best coffee cities in the world. Over the past 10 years alone, the coffee scene has exploded. Local coffee drinkers typically order a cappuccino or a flat white which is the current craze. Some of London’s most popular coffee shops include The Attendant, Climpson and Sons, and Look Mum No Hands, which reflects one of the coolest and hippest atmospheres in the city.
 
Portland, Oregon, USA
 
Portland, Oregon came in second place on Travel + Leisure’s list of the best coffee cities in the U.S. It has been said that Portland has a very intimate coffee scene which intrigues visitors and tourists enough to stop by and see what Portland has to offer. There is a large selection of delicious coffee shops and the baristas know what they’re doing and provide some of the most artistic coffee creations around. Portland has some of the finest espresso and brewed coffee in the USA (and the world) and is considered one of the hippest cities as well.
 
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Rome, Italy
 
As they say, do as the Romans do, and drink strong, hot coffee on the go. “Drink and go” tends to be the average Roman’s lifestyle. Most Romans drink five or more espressos a day so needless to say, they tend to move! Rome is a city of ambience and coffee locals are no exception. The service is very friendly and the atmosphere is cozy and inviting & tourists from all over the world mingle with politicians. You might even bump into President Giorgio Napolitano. Some of Rome’s best coffee shops are Recafe, Giolitti, and Rosati.
 
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Vienna, Austria
 
Probably the birthplace of coffee culture, Vienna has been stoking this scene since the 17th century. Nowadays, most coffee shops in Vienna offer as many as twenty different kinds of coffee drinks to their very picky patrons. It is very unlikely that you will meet a local that doesn’t drink coffee since it’s practically in Vienna’s DNA. Vienner Melange is a popular coffee drink, which is similar to espresso and can usually be found in traditional coffee houses. Vienna is so well known for being one of the best coffee cities in the world that it was listed as such by UNESCO back in 2011. The city of Vienna also hosted the World Barista Championship back in 2012.
 
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Melbourne, Australia
 
According to a booking.com survey, Melbourne was voted best coffee city in the worlds. It beat Rome, Vienna, and Sydney in the 2014 survey. More and more people are saying that Melbourne has the world’s best coffee. There is a history behind their independent cafes and brewing techniques that makes a cup of coffee from Melbourne worth the long plane ride. And, not only do visitors appreciate Mebourne’s coffee, coffee baristas appreciate the visitors, which makes the experience that much better.