For a while my friend Theresa and I had been planning to go back to Ottawa and experience "Winterlude", Ottawa's winter festival. About three years ago we went to Ottawa, only to be rained out . Our main activity had fallen through: skating on the Rideau Canal, and even the ice sculptures had melted.But that didn't deter us. So this past Friday we got in the car and after a pleasant 4.5 hour drive we arrived in Ottawa. After documenting my first impressions, we checked into the Lord Elgin Hotel, a historic landmark right in the heart of Ottawa.Friday evening we explored one of Ottawa's main entertainment areas: the ByWard Market and we had a fabulous dinner at Fat Tuesdays, complete with live music and delicious Cajun food.Saturday morning I got up early and explored the local area and took many photos in and around Parliament Hill. Then we got ready to explore one of Ottawa's main winter attractions: the "Rideau Canal" Skateway, the world's longest natural ice skating surface. The day was absolutely perfect and we were gliding effortlessly down the ice to our next destination: the 26th Annual Bedzz Races on Dow's Lake.The bed race is a fabulous charity event and it's lots of fun for the audience, the participants and the organizers alike. Then I had to race off and see what else was going on at Confederation Park, one of the main Winterlude sites.After a day full of physical exercise we discovered a historic local pub: Darcy McGee's on Sparks Street, Ottawa's pedestrian mall, and I had a chance to see how a perfect Guiness is poured, including the obligatory foam shamrock.On Sunday morning I went to the Canadian War Museum, a fabulous new multi-media museum by the banks of the Ottawa River, and I also had a chance to visit a special exhibition called "Weapons of Mass Dissemination - the Propaganda of War". I wished I had had more time to spend here.My next and final stop in Ottawa was a visit to the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, a unique museum housed in a former railroad tunnel. There I focussed on an exhibition by Sunil Gupta, who was born in India and moved to Montreal at age 15. Gupta explores issues of personal, sexual and cultural identity, and his highly personal images left a deep impact.This time I didn't have time for some of Ottawa's other main attractions, such as the National Gallery or the Canadian Museum of Civilization, but I am certainly hoping to catch those next time when I go to Ottawa, maybe even this coming May, for Ottawa's famous Tulip Festival.
For those who never have gone camping, you will find that this is something that you will have to do. There is nothing that you will find that is like the adventures of camping. There are a lot of people who will go on tours and travel an area with an expert camper, but you will also find that camping to someone new is a great way to start thinking about the things that arent seen. Once you go on a camping trip, you will be able to think about nature and how to protect and preserve the beautiful sites that you will see while camping. You may have to some time looking through your gear. There are some things that may crawl inside your sleeping bag, but you will also wan to take some time to look a the gear each time before use so that you can make sure that you are safe. Things like the wind and water can destroy a lot of your equipment so you will want to do regular checks. However, keep in mind that you dont have to sleep in a tent or in a sleeping bag. You may be able to stay in your car and you may even prepare to be outdoors, but spend your nights in the motel. There are large SUV vehicles that will allow you to sleep two people in comfortably. You will be able to fold down the seats and you will be able to use your car to give you some protection. You will find that your SUV will help you to save a lot of money that you would have to put into a tank of gas for an RV. You will also want to take some time and research things like stoves and lamps. You will be able to cook outside and make the trip even better. You will also not want to forget the flashlights for times where you will be going off and venturing away from your car. Depending on some of the options that you have, you may even be able to get internet and cell phone accesses. Its always good to have a GPS unit with you so that you can avoid getting lost.
Sacramento is the capital of the state of California, but surprisingly, many areas in the region retain that old small town charm. It is a great city for couples to visit, especially those who are more interested in the history of the area, but there are activities for those who may not be into going to museums and historical places.Old Sacramento is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area. The area looks like a section of the city stuck in the 1800s, and although there are a few modern businesses in the area, Old Sacramento is more of a hotspot among tourists rather than a residential or commercial area. There are several museums and quaint shops in the area, as well as a few restaurants. The most visited part of Old Sacramento is the California State Railroad Museum, full of artifacts and trains, many of which are intact from the time they were last used. (Travel to California became much easier and quicker with the introduction of the Steam Engine.)The city of Sacramento is also home to many festivals that many people come from all over the world to attend. The Traditional Jazz Music Festival is held annually over the Memorial Day Weekend and the California State Fair is one of the most popular events of its kind in the world. Held annually for the last 152 years, the California State Fair draws in more than a million visitors each year and is always filled with fun exhibits and entertaining performances.As far as dining is concerned, Mortons Steakhouse is a wonderful upscale restaurant to spend the night at, as is the Biba Ristorante Italiano, which has won the Best Restaurant in Sacramento award multiple times. If you are in the mood for Chinese, P.F. Chang's China Bistro is always a favorite spot among couples.Sacramento is a city that is buzzing with excitement and there is plenty to do and see in the wonderful city.
Everyone thinks of the Seychelles as a winter holiday destination, and Seychelle Island Vacations to one of the increasing number of Seychelles Five Stars Hotels tend to be taken between November and March.This is the time of the greatest Seychelles rain fall with the heaviest rain being December through to February. Its therefore a little strange that these are the popular holiday months when the weather isnt really ideal. I still remember arriving on Praslin almost twenty five years ago in early February to be greeted by grey skies, and a torrential downpour, and it was quite depressing, but that is the price you pay for lush green foliage. I should add that the rain soon stopped, and the sun came out, then it rained only in the early evening every day!!One has to assume that people suffer the very long flight because what they get is a lot better than a European winter, but there are other times to consider a Seychelles island vacation.The slight problem is that summer isnt perfect either because the tropical trade wind blows from the south east, and this means you rough seas, probably no swimming off the beach, and poor old holidaymaker who has a boat transfer!!In addition the snorkelling in the Seychelles is normally brilliant but because of the rough seas you cant see anything at all.If you want to know more about other Indian Ocean Hideaways, and the Seychelles then click on http://www.worldwidevacationspots.com/categories/Indian-Ocean-Hideways/In my opinion if you want the best of all worlds, visit the Seychelles in April or May. If you can avoid the Easter break then you have a great chance of getting a cheap deal to the Seychelles with savings of several hundred Pounds Sterling. The sea is calm, the temperature is about right, and the colours are at their best as the rainy season has only just finished.So thats it, for the best deals, the best weather, and the best temperature, visit the Seychelles in April May, missing Easter if you can
Now, lets talk about a great vacation for an adventure lover. Anyone who loves to have a good time in the great outdoors would really love to raft the New River in Fayetteville, West Virginia. There are many other activities like rock climbing, bungee jumping, camping, hiking, and more in and around the area, but whitewater rafting is one of the most popular.The New and Gauley Rivers really are big and powerful, sometimes more powerful than others, and each have their own benefits and drawbacks for rafters. There are certain times of the year when the rivers are calmer than others and other times when the rafting is downright dangerous. Knowing when these seasons are and your rafting skill level is important to determine when to schedule your vacation. Also, the age of all rafters should be taken into consideration as well. There are rafting experiences that are mild, exciting, world class, and extreme. The minimum age for the mild rafting is six years, 12 years for the exciting, 16 years for the world class, and 18 years for the extreme rafting.There is rafting all year round, but clothing requirements are very different depending on the weather. In the winter wetsuits should be worn, the summer a t-shirt or bathing suit is fine, and the spring and fall you should wear synthetic fabrics and wool socks to keep your feet warm. Dont wear cotton if its cold because it will make you colder. Remember that no matter whether it is raining or the sun is shining rafting will go on. You will get wet anyway so it doesnt matter! Never take anything with you rafting that cant get wet, because it will for sure!Prices for rafting the New and Gauley Rivers depends on when you raft. Weekday prices are cheaper than weekends and certain seasons, as well as rivers, are more expensive than others. Rafting trips come with all necessary gear, although your clothes, shoes, sunglasses, sunscreen, and hats are your own responsibility. Package trips that include showers, cabins, camping, and breakfast may also be purchased.The best time to go if you dont like being cold is during the summer months. Of course, if you really like a challenge then you might like the fall or spring when the rapids are bigger and faster and provide a more challenging trip. It really is up to you! One thing is for sure and that is when you raft the New or Gauley Rivers, or both, you will have an experience of a lifetime.There is a website that has great information on USA Vacations and Unique Travel Spots Listed State By State and Season, the website is called: Seasonal Vacation Spots, and can be found at this url:http://www.seasonalvacationspots.comBy Robert W. BenjaminCopyright 2007 You may publish this article in your ezine, newsletter, or on your web site as long as it is reprinted in its entirety and without modification except for formatting needs or grammar corrections.