Shopping for Local Products in St. Thomas

St. Thomas has long been known as one of the best shopping destinations in the Caribbean. With numerous malls and markets catering to resort and cruise tourists, you can find almost anything you want at a great price in the island’s bustling capital – Charlotte Amalie. However, not all travelers are aware of the wealth of incredible locally-produced products available in St. Thomas. From folk arts and crafts to handmade food products and spices, there are plenty of ways to shop for the best products St. Thomas has to offer.

The best location to find Caribbean folk art and local products is the Native Arts and Crafts Cooperative. Featuring the work of nearly 100 different locals throughout the year, the Native Arts and Crafts Cooperative is the largest shopping center devoted to local artisans in the Virgin Islands. Conveniently located next to the tourist information office in central Charlotte Amalie, the Cooperative allows locals to sell their artwork and handmade products directly to the public from the former United States colonial courthouse.

One of the most popular booths within the Cooperative belongs to Gwendolyn Harley, the artist behind a very popular series of hand-sewn dolls. Throughout the years, Harley has maintained an adoption log and seen her historically-minded dolls travel throughout the world in the hands of tourists and collectors.

For those in search of unique food products, a stop by Cheryl Miller’s booth will yield a number of award-winning flavors. Besides the popular jams and jellies handmade by Miller, five of her sauces – known by the label “Cheryl’s Taste of Paradise” – have taken home trophies from the National Fiery Foods Show in Albuquerque, New Mexico. You can also find Miller’s products within the store she maintains in conjunction with her kitchen at the Compass Point Marina.

One of the Native Arts and Crafts Cooperative’s strangest booths belongs to Justin Todman, known locally as The Broom Man. Utilizing traditional Caribbean methods, The Broom Man weaves date palm fronds in intricate patterns and attaches all lengths of handles to create brooms for every possible purpose. Todman’s brooms are also very popular with couples getting married in St. Thomas, supporting African and Caribbean tradition of newlyweds symbolically jumping over a broom to start their life together.

Art collectors will also want to visit the gallery and silkscreen studio located at Tillet Gardens. For nearly 50 years, Tillet Gardens has served as the home of St. Thomas’ vibrant art community. The gallery is full of paintings and prints by the island’s most talented residents with work available for all budgets and interests. Housed in an old Danish farm, Tillet Gardens is also a great place to spend an afternoon as the site features a great outdoor restaurant and occasional performances by local musicians.

As you walk through the streets of the capital city, you will also see several additional art galleries selling the work of local painters and sculptors. Outside of Tillet Gardens, the best selection of artwork created in the Virgin Islands can be found at Mango Tango. Like Tillet Gardens and the Native Arts and Crafts Cooperative, the work available at Mango Tango and other galleries throughout Charlotte Amalie is reasonably priced, with unique pieces for all tastes and budgets. Also, keep an eye out for artisans selling their work in the small, open-air markets of the city. Many talented individuals sell directly to the public each day and all love sharing their stories with visitors.

St. Thomas is also one of the best locations in the Caribbean to find exotic spices. Much like the fabled Caribbean spice markets of the colonial period, today’s spice markets offer visitors the chance to taste and purchase exotic flavors and gourmet products. The best assortment of Caribbean spices can be found at Caribbean Marketplace, a sprawling emporium that specializes in bulk spices and gourmet condiments. Spices, teas and condiments can also be found at Down Island Traders – a popular store in Charlotte Amalie that also carries locally-made jewelry and crafts.

Like many other islands in the Caribbean, St. Thomas has plenty of talented individuals creating distinctive products by hand. Wherever you travel in St. Thomas, you will be able to find a piece of the island to take home with you. Most importantly, in most cases, you won’t be able to find these special treasures anywhere else.

Travel To Milwaukee, Wisconsin – A Must Visit Place

Every year we plan our vacations in advance. Sometimes we have funds to take a long trip, order plane tickets, see thousands of attractions, some maybe a little expensive. if you live in the Midwest ( such as Chicago, IL or De Moines, IA ) – there is one city of interest for you to spend a few days of your vacation. It’s called Milwaukee.

First off first – if you are visiting the city in the summer time, get ready for the best music festival of the Midwest. It’s called “Summerfest”. General admission to this event is $15. It was started in 1968 by Henry Maier, it attracts up to one million people each year. Some of the most famous music artists have visited this event were: Def Leppard, Foreigner and Styx on one night to Panic! At the Disco and Gym Class Heroes.

The next stop – Milwaukee Art Museum. Santiago Calatrava created this new design of the building. He is famous for his futuristic style, called “New Millennium era” – you enjoy German Expressionist art, also native Georgia O’Keeffe has some work to show visitors. Located at 700 North Art Museum Drive, Milwaukee, WI – museum admission is $15 for adults, $12 students, free for kids under 12.

Betty Brinn Children’s Museum (at 929 E. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI) is a great place to go if you’re traveling with your little ones. It’s a place where youngsters will not only have fun, but will learn the secrets of human anatomy, try to play some musical instruments, enjoy animals. WBB-TV exhibit gives children the chance to dive into the world of television news production – they can actually make their own programs! Adults and children age 1 or older pay only $7.50, seniors – $6.50

Some other places or attraction at Milwaukee, WI – Brewers game at the Miller park, a tour at the Miller brewery, Mars Cheese Castle on I-94, Discovery World, Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, The Milwaukee Public Market, Bradford beach at the summer time is a great place to relax and enjoy sunny/warm days.

The weather in Milwaukee is the best in the summer time, when an average temperature is around 80F, winters are cold and snowy.

Milwaukee has so much for you to see that a week-long vacation may not be enough to see it all! From theaters, cultural centers to mansions, aquariums, breweries, and historic neighborhoods – you will have a full day of fun everyday of the year.

A Profile of Johnny Miller

We all know, from his television commentaries with America’s NBC network, that Johnny Miller can talk the talk but for a time in the mid 1970s he also walked the walk – probably better than anyone else who ever stepped on a golf course.

Everyone he competed against, and that included Nicklaus, Watson, Weiskopf and Trevino, knew that if Miller blew hot he was unbeatable, and that even on an off day he was still pretty damned good. Nicklaus said of him: ‘The player who consistently hit his short irons closer to the hole than anyone I ever saw was Johnny Miller in his prime. There were parts of his game, in particular the short irons, that were better than mine.’

Watson, meanwhile, who played with Miller as he shot 61 in the final round to win the Tucson Open in 1974, said: ‘That was the best pure-striking round of golf I have ever seen.’ To which Miller replied: ‘For the past 12 months I’ve played better than anybody in the world.’

And so he had, but his was an unlikely and swift rise to prominence, followed by an even quicker fall back to, if not mediocrity, then at least to fallible human standards.

When he was 10 his older brother, with whom he was very close, drowned while swimming in the Pacific and his body was not found for several weeks. To help Johnny cope with the devastating loss his father set up a mat in the basement where the grief-struck lad could hit golf balls all day if he chose. It paid off to such an extent that in 1966, at the age of 20, Johnny went to the US Open at San Francisco with the intention of getting some work as a caddy. On a whim he entered final qualifying and made it into the field as a player, before finishing eighth.

He went on to take 24 US Tour titles, with eight of his victories coming in one season, 1974, and one of those wins, the Tucson Open, was by 14 strokes, against one of the strongest fields of the year. He also won two Majors, the 1973 US Open at Oakmont, regarded as one of the toughest of all American venues, and the 1976 Open at Royal Birkdale, where he held off a 19-year-old debutant called Seve Ballesteros. But it was the US Open that really made his name, as he won it with a final round 63, that remains the best ever last round to win a Major, and which could have been even better.

He later said: ‘So I birdie the first four, and I immediately start gagging. I know exactly what’s going on, too. I hit it to eight feet on five and leave it short, right in the heart. On eight, I hit a great 4-wood in there, 30 feet below the hole. I leave my birdie putt three feet short and then miss that one.

‘I just kept hitting it stiff – three feet, four feet, nine feet. If Watson had been putting for me, it might have been a 58.’

Last round or weekend charges were a Miller specialty because in addition to that memorable final day at Oakmont, his Open triumph in 1976 was courtesy of a fourth round 66, and the year before, in one of the greatest Masters ever seen, he failed to catch Jack Nicklaus by one stroke, having played the weekend in 65, 66.

Miller said that serenity comes from knowing that even your worst shot is going to be pretty damned good, and for a while in his heyday if he ‘missed’ an iron shot more than three feet off line he would get mad. His swing was so grooved and pure that he could hit an 8-iron, for example, a 7, 8 or 9-iron distance, with a few slight alterations that were almost imperceptible to onlookers. This was a trick he liked to reserve for those players who tried to check out which club he used on a par three hole. So he’d deliberately hit an 8-iron a 9-iron distance, and then watch with pleasure as the other guy airmailed the green.

During those glory years between 1973-6, Miller had everything – blond good looks, talent to burn and an innate curiosity about life, golf and people, which he has continued to show in his TV work. But of all the golfing comets that have blazed across our sky, his was the brightest but shortest lived and as quickly as the magical talent appeared, it disappeared.

There are three main reasons. First, he was a lifelong sufferer of the yips – despite being as hot a putter as anybody when he was on a streak – so to compensate he simply hit his approach shots even closer to the flag. He freely admits that the reason he has only played twice on the US Champions (Seniors) Tour is that he still battles the yips. So bad are they that even in his prime he once painted a dot at the bottom of his putter grip, and instead of watching the clubhead, he stared at the dot throughout the stroke.

He confesses that his worst ever time was in a 1977 match against Jack Nicklaus for the TV series Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf. He matched Nicklaus shot-for shot – except woefully, embarrassingly, on the greens, where he three-putted seven times. He said: ‘It was like I was holding a snake in my hands. I couldn’t make a three-footer. There is no worse feeling than standing over a short putt, knowing you’ve got no chance to make it.’

Second, he says that he spent a winter working at his ranch in Utah chopping down trees and when he got back on the course his swing was effectively gone, because of the build-up of muscles and loss of flexibility. He also believes that changing clubs from MacGregor to Wilson in ’75 immediately slipped him back two notches and is no doubt the reason for one of his sagest pieces of advice, still good today, which is: ‘Once you find a set of clubs you like, stay with them until they fall apart.’

Third, and probably most importantly of all, he is a devoted family man and always felt the narrow, obsessive world of top flight sports, with its endless suitcases and hotel rooms, to be both tedious and a little unhealthy for a sane man. He became bored with the travelling lifestyle of Tour golf and always had much broader interests than 72-hole tournaments. He is a committed member of the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), has six children and resented being away from them for long periods when they were young.

When he made the transition to television analyst he achieved immediate notoriety by using one of his favourite words – ‘choke’. Miller confesses to being a real authority, as it’s a phenomenon he has studied with great interest all his life, because he believes himself to have been a world-class choker.

He says: ‘I choked so many times myself over the years that it’s a joke. To me, it wasn’t the result of a character flaw, it wasn’t that I lacked courage. Choking isn’t like that at all, it’s merely stress manifesting itself mentally and physically.’

In 1990 when he made his debut as a commentator at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. His good friend Peter Jacobsen faced a 225-yard shot over water from a downhill lie on the 18th at Pebble Beach. Miller studied Jacobsen’s body language, and everything else, before saying: ‘This is absolutely the easiest shot to choke I’ve ever seen in my life.’

The remark created an immediate furore – Jacobsen refused to talk to him for five months, and only relented after seeing a tape of the incident – and almost before he had warmed his announcer’s chair Miller was hearing loud cries for him to be sacked. It is difficult now to imagine the fuss – he didn’t, after all, say that Jacobsen was a choker, or that he would succumb to the pressure, simply that the ingredients were there for it to happen. Over the next few weeks and months an unbowed Miller continued calling it as he saw it and American TV watchers began to realise that hearing an honest opinion was a refreshing change from the bland, inoffensive pap with which they are usually served.

He has never pulled his punches and the outspokenness he has shown throughout his life, which he happily took into the commentary booth, has earned him as many enemies as friends. But in fairness, he’s not abusive or vindictive in his comments, merely as brutally honest as he has always been and in American society, especially on television, no-bullshit straight-talking is the exception rather than the rule.

His nearest equivalent in sports commentary is probably John McEnroe – but Miller has an edge even here because throughout his career his play was not only astonishingly good but his behaviour was exemplary. Therefore, when he pulls up Tiger Woods, for example, for swearing audibly (and repeatedly) on the 18th tee at Pebble Beach in the US Open, he cannot be accused of hypocrisy because he was never heard to cuss on a golf course himself, and yet fewer golfers have had greater justification for letting fly with a few epithets.

And Miller has carried on being as brutally outspoken as he ever was. In March 2004 Craig Parry beat Scott Verplank in a playoff for the Doral Championship in Miami by holing a 6-iron from 176-yards on the first extra hole. Miller said that the Australian’s swing was that of a 15 handicapper and would have made Ben Hogan puke. Parry was so incensed he made an official complaint to the US Tour but Miller remained unrepentant and his ability to make such remarks, and then refuse to back down when they cause a furore, is probably the reason he remains the most successful American player not to have been offered the Ryder Cup captaincy.

And it was the Ryder Cup that got him into more hot water. During the infamous 1999 match at Brookline. Captain Ben Crenshaw, acting ‘on a hunch’ picked an out-of-form Justin Leonard to partner Hal Sutton in the second afternoon fourballs (they subsequently halved their match with Olazabal and Jimenez). Miller responded by saying: ‘My hunch is that Justin needs to go home and watch it on television.’ Leonard was furious, and was joined by Davis Love and Jim Furyk, who all said, in effect, that Miller didn’t believe in them and wasn’t supporting the home team as he should.

Miller told them to take a hike and pointed out that his job is not to act as cheerleader but offer an honest opinion. He was also outspoken in condemning the behaviour of American fans, who abused Colin Montgomerie, his wife and father, and generally behaved like a rabble, and then severely criticised the US team, led by Tom Lehman, for the infamous charge across the 17th green when Justin Leonard holed an outrageous putt in his singles match again Jose Maria Olazabal.

He told Golf Digest: ‘If Tom Lehman had done what he did at the Ryder Cup 10 years ago, he would have been banned from the Ryder Cup for life, or at least for one Cup. He was off the charts. He was out of control.’

Miller was always in control, and in his pomp he was as good as anyone who ever swung a golf club.

Johnny Miller on:
His own game: ‘I had a stretch there for a few years where I played some golf that bordered on the twilight zone. I can remember that I was literally getting upset that I had to putt.’

Colin Montgomerie: ‘Sometimes the guy has no filter between his heart, his brain and his mouth but his opinions aren’t detrimental to the game.’

Retief Goosen: It’s the worst three-putt in the history of golf,’ (after he’d failed to get down in two from 12 feet on the 72nd hole of the 2001 US Open; he subsequently won the playoff).

Peter Oosterhuis (leading the 1973 Masters after 54 holes): ‘He’ll probably have a good night’s sleep – all two-and-a-half hours of it.’

The Greatest: ‘When Jack Nickalus plays well he wins, when he plays badly he comes second. When he’s playing terribly, he’s third.’

Lake Okareka, Rotorua NZ – Your Insider NZ Holiday and Travel Guide Including Tips For Visitors

Lake Okareka is so quiet and peaceful, it’s hard to imagine that Rotorua city with its resident population of 70,000 (and annual overnight visitor population of 1.6 million) is just 10 minutes away. Surrounded by native bush and rural countryside and teaming with bird life, Lake Okareka is a place where you can truly get away from it all but know that the luxuries of city living are a stone’s throw away.

Lake Okareka is a natural playground and with 4 other lakes; Lake Rotokakahi (Green Lake), Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake), Lake Okataina and Lake Tarawera within a few minutes drive, offers endless outdoor enjoyment and activities.

One of Lake Okareka’s many charms is that it is a calm, sheltered lake so is a wonderful spot in summer for picnics and swimming. Boyes Beach on Miller Rd or the Acacia Rd reserve are both very popular picnic spots. If you feel like working up an appetite before your picnic, take the Lake Okareka Walkway to the Okareka outlet where there is a beautiful beach and picnic spot that’s only accessible by foot or water.

The Lake Okareka Walkway is part of a local project to improve water quality and restore wildlife habitat in the area. This easy, mainly flat, 7 km walkway (with wheelchair access for part of the track) follows the edge of the lake through farmland, beaches, bush and wet lands for a real close-up look at the many native birds and water birds that call this lake home.

Lake Okareka is perfect for watersports. Kayaking is a great way to see the lake, and lets you get up close and personal with Okareka’s native flora and fauna. You can try your luck at fishing for the Lake’s many native rainbow trout. With both fly and boat fishing on offer, here’s your chance to impress friends and family with freshly caught trout for dinner. Water skiing is also a popular activity on the lake.

Some of NZ’s best mountain biking tracks are right at your back door with easy access from Lake Okareka to Rotorua’s Whakarewarewa Forest. Here you’ll find 40km of purpose built mountain biking trails and single tracks with something for everyone whether you are a beginner or hard core cyclist. Bring your own bike or hire one from Planet Bike who operate from the Waipa Mill Rd entrance to the forest.

Nearby Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake) and Lake Rotokakahi (Green Lake) are ‘must visits!’ There’s no other way to describe these two lakes; they are stunning!

Lake Tikitapu is a small intimate lake with crystal-clear blue water, pumice sand beaches, BBQ areas, children’s playground, safe swimming and a local recreational reserve for boating, waterskiing, jet-skiing & kayaking. It’s no wonder this lake is popular with families. While you’re there, take the leisurely 2 hour walk around the lake which also offers views of Lake Rotokakahi (Green Lake). This lake is tapu (sacred) to local maori so you can’t swim, fish or boat in its waters but don’t let that stop you enjoying the wonderful views of this pristine, untouched lake.

For a change of pace, treat yourself or go with a group of friends to Careem Wellness Spa and Naturopathic Clinic and rejuvenate your mind and body with a relaxing spa treatment.

Lake Okareka, renown for its natural beauty and near the well-known tourist destination of Rotorua, is the perfect location for those wanting to enjoy the tranquility of serene surroundings while being close to the action.

Social Media Do’s and Don’t For Freelance Travel Writers

Social Media networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and others have been growing by leaps and bounds recently, due in large part to the many businesses that are establishing online profiles in an effort to reach out to consumers as well as to protect and enhance their brand image. Social Media offers valuable business communication and marketing tools that any company or entrepreneur is foolish to not take advantage of, and this applies to freelance writers as well.

That said, one of the problems that some freelance writers are having is not using these tools correctly and effectively. If your goal is to promote yourself (or your company), then the idea is to gain friends and followers by providing them with interesting, relevant, and useful information that they will find valuable.

On a daily basis, though, I cringe at some of the inappropriate Blog comments, Facebook postings, and Tweets, or general mistakes that are being made by those freelance writers who are new to the medium and don’t fully understand how to use it. Too often people are trying to accomplish too many differing goals and not succeeding at any of them because of it.

So let me share with some of you a few “Do’s” and “Don’ts” when it comes to your use of Social Media:

In general:

First and foremost, DON’T try to manage both personal and professional communication from a single profile on any community. It’s fine to use Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace to let family & close friends know about what is going on in your personal life, but do that from a personal account only — set up a separate account for your “freelance writing business” to promote your travel writing, your book, or your freelance writing services. Likewise if you have a personal blog, set up a separate blog for your business persona;
DON’T link the two or try to cross-promote them — sure your family may be interested in knowing if you’re in the running for a sweet freelance writing assignment, but do you really want an Editor seeing that video of you drunkenly telling an off-color (or racist) joke that your sister posted on your Facebook page? Let me answer that for you — no. Emphatically no;
DO always keep in mind why your audience follows you, and make sure that the majority of what you are sharing is valuable to them (for example, on Twitter and Facebook I connect with a number of travel writers because I like to hear -and talk – about the business of traveling and writing. Although I DO want to get to know the people I connect with, if all they ever post about are things irrelevant to traveling or writing, they will quickly lose my interest);
DO inject your personality and let people get to know “you” – it’s great to add some sense of humor, sarcasm, or wit as you are offering up information or news that you’ve found, or announcing your latest article or blog post — It’s the “glue” that cements the connections. Just remember that the version of “you” that you share professionally SHOULD be a more professional version than the one you share with family and your closest friends;

On Twitter – all of the General Tips above applies, PLUS:

DO avoid the temptation to Tweet too much. How much is too much? Everyone will have their own threshold, but for me personally more than a couple of times per hour is too much. I only have so much time in my day to keep up on Twitter, so if someone is tweeting a lot of inconsequential noise, or simply too often, I can’t follow them because they drown out the others that I want to keep up with. I’ve unfollowed some people for too-frequent tweeting, or just too much irrelevant tweeting;
DON’T use Twitter as a replacement for IM/SMS/Text Messaging with friends for an active/personal/lots of back-and-forth conversation! Why force your followers to wade through the flood of irrelevant chatter that is better left to your IM Clients?
Follow whomever you want to, but only Retweet (RT) information that you believe your followers will find interesting;
If you’re Replying to a Tweet, DO include a snippet of the original, so that your followers can put your Reply in context – otherwise it’s just more noise to them;
DO use TwitPic, but use it wisely – keeping in mind a photo’s relevancy to your followers, it’s a great way for them to get to know you better;
DO interact with your followers and those you are following — Replying and Retweeting are ways to let people know that you’re reading and appreciating what they have to say;
And lastly – but most importantly – DON’T use auto-tweeting scripts that spit out random quotes or other nonsense – it’s fine to use scripts that Tweet your latest blog post or article, but outside of that if you can’t think of anything to say without an automated script, don’t Tweet.

Facebook, MySpace, and/or your Blog – all of the General Tips above PLUS:

If you have a personal Blog or MySpace page, go as wild or cutesy as you like with the design, but for your business profile DO keep it subdued and professional – remember, Editors and Publishers may be checking out your profile before offering or approving a writing assignment;
Just as with the last Twitter tip above, DO interact with those with whom you have connected – comment on what they share, ask questions, share things you think they’d like. Remember that it’s not just about promoting yourself, it’s about networking and establishing connections, in some cases building friendships around common business-related interests – that’s a two-way street;
DON’T allow your family or friends to “friend” you on your Facebook or MySpace profiles, unless you can absolutely trust them to never post personal or inappropriate content to your page – you don’t want to risk losing a business opportunity due to an offensive posting by someone who doesn’t mean you ill but just doesn’t know any better;

Final Tip: DO set up a business email address (use your Blog domain if you have one) and create an Email Signature that promotes your business Facebook Page, business MySpace profile, and business Twitter account (you do have all three, don’t you? You should!). DON’T use your personal email address for business.

The bottom line is that the point is NOT that you should never share personal information with business acquaintances and colleagues — there are times when it is acceptable — but simply to keep it appropriate and to a minimum. DON’T overwhelm someone you know only online with a lot of personal details about your private life. By all means DO be personable, witty, and charming (be yourself), just be the most professional YOU that you can be.

Top Five Must-See Destinations When You Travel to Milwaukee

Perhaps this city is best known for the many different breweries that it houses in the inner city, and for the major league baseball team that was named after them, The Milwaukee Brewers. But, there is so much more to the cheese capital of the world aside from baseball, fine cheeses and domestic beers. Milwaukee is a cultural mixture of many different ethnicities that have truly culminated over the years, creating the diverse community that it is today. The city sits by one of the largest freshwater lakes in the country, Lake Michigan, and offers a bustling industry and a burgeoning population as well a rich dose of Midwestern history and heritage. While there are numerous amazing attractions to see when you travel here, make certain that you note at least a few of these top five must-see attractions when you are in this awesome city.

Lake Michigan: One of the largest freshwater lakes in the entire nation has much to offer visitors. You can rent small fishing boats and try your hand as an angler for the day, and the piers are lined with vendors, many who will clean your catch for a small fee and a tip. You can also take guided boat tours and even embark on dinner cruises. It is highly recommended that you take a nighttime cruise to see the city lights reflecting on the water. During the warmer months you can go wading in the water in certain parts of the lake.

Captain Frederick Pabst Mansion: One of the coolest and most interesting doses of history that you can experience when you travel to Milwaukee is found in this preserved mansion. Originally built during the late 1800s, upon completion of its construction it was so gorgeous that the locals started referring to it as the ‘Jewel’ of the avenue manors in the upper-class district of the downtown area. When you come to this amazing city, this mansion is an absolute must-see for all!

Pettit National Ice Center: One of the most famous ice skating rinks in the entire world, many a gold medal winning Olympian has traveled here for training that can’t be found anywhere else in the country. During the week you can actually rent skates and whoosh around this huge rink, which also hosts events and shows from time to time.

Milwaukee County Zoo: You won’t want to miss this amazing animal haven that features a few thousand different animals and species. One of the older zoos in the nation, make sure that you don’t miss the amazing grizzly bear exhibit which boasts one of the largest grizzly bear habitats in the world. This is for certain a must-see when you travel to Milwaukee.

Miller Brewing Company: Perhaps the most popular of all tourist attractions in the entire city, and in the state of Wisconsin for that matter, the Miller Brewing plant is not to be missed. You can take free guided tours of the plant and see how one of the largest beer companies in the world conducts their daily operations. This plant is must-see on your list of things to do when you travel to Milwaukee!

Tokyo Travel Guide

Tokyo is not only the capital of Japan but is also the heart of all the activities relating to business, finance, science contemporary culture, fashion and entertainment. It is the perfect amalgamation of centuries old shrines with highly sophisticated activities of the modern times like skyscraping. Tokyo is a city bursting with vigor, color, king-size buildings and festivities of all kinds.

Approaching Tokyo
If airplane is your favorite means of traveling then you can easily arrive at Tokyo through Narita airport which is considered to be significantly important as an international gateway for tourists and businessmen. You can also easily make use of boats or ferries like Ariake ferry terminal located on Odaiba in Tokyo bay to reach Tokyo. Harumi terminal and Takeshiba terminal are too other options where you can access boats to reach Tokyo.

Inter-city Travel in Tokyo
You can easily utilize bus services like JR Bus Group and Miller Express to move around the city with ease. Tokyo also has a sizeable network of subways and trains which are very easy and convenient to use. Announcements in trains are mostly made in English for the convenience of the English speaking tourists. You can also use ferry, bicycle, taxis or cars to reach nearby destinations.

Tokyo has options for all kinds of tourists. Not only for the extraordinarily rich visitors but also for the people who are a little tight with their budget. Convenience stores exist for people with small budget and department stores at basements offer all kinds of prepared food for the customers who have a mid-range budget. People with astronomical ranges of budget have the privilege to try out the best sushi in this whole wide world in the confines of Tokyo i.e. in Tsukiji.

Nightlife and Some Important Destinations to Visit
There is a good range of nightclubs and pubs to pay a visit too in Tokyo. Bars of all kinds and specialties exist. If you want to party all night or just grab a drink then there are a number of good options for you. For fashion freaks, the ultimate destination is Shibuya, Harajuku and Roppongi hills. You can find almost anything and everything here. Whether you love guitars, kitchenware, antiques, electronics or cosmetics, there are plenty of options for everyone in Tokyo.

If you have enough money, there are number of options to get high luxury accommodation; expensive high end hotels in areas like Shinjuku, Akasaka and Seiyo Ginza and Four seasons Marunounchi, come under luxury accommodations. But, if you want to keep it within a reasonable cost, then you should opt for Taito or Asukasa; be warned though, there are quite some curfew times at night in these budget hotels. Other options also exist, namely Shiba Park Hotel, Court Yard by MariottTokyo Ginza Hotel, Intercontinental Tokyo Bay Hotel, ANA Hotel, Mitsui Garden Hotel and Mets Shibuya Hotel. All these hotels have splendid and awe-aspiring views that you would fall in love with. Tokyo Dome hotel has a famous point of attraction right outside of it, so choosing it would be doubly advantageous.

Advice on Cheap Travel – Want to Travel in Luxury on a Penny Pincher Budget?

Do you have champagne taste and a Miller Lite budget? Want to travel as if you have an unlimited budget even though you don’t? Well, to a certain extent, that can very well be possible with a little careful planning on your part. Here’s some advice on cheap travel to help you have a dream vacation even though your bank account may tell you otherwise.

Frequent flyer programs are a good start. Most people either never bother to sign up for frequent flyer programs, or they don’t remain loyal to that particular airline, flying with different carriers every time. If you build up a relationship with one airline and accumulate some miles, you can travel first class for your next vacation for less money than you would spend to travel in coach normally. And let me tell you, the difference is quite a bit!

Did you know there are “frequent sleeper” programs for hotels? Check around and see what offers are out there, and then stick with that company’s line of hotels (don’t forget to officially join the program though). You’ll end up being able to upgrade to suites or get free nights.

When it comes to advice on cheap travel, here’s something that is very easy to do and yet hardly anyone ever does. Ask for an upgrade! If you are flying, ask to be bumped up to first class. Oftentimes they will do it if first class is not full. If you are checking into a hotel, ask if there are any upgrades available either free or very cheap. You might end up with a suite instead of your regular room. Or they may have some other package to offer you. On one trip I had reserved a room for 4 nights and when I got there I was able to get an “upgrade” that allowed me to have the 4 nights plus a book of coupons which had loads of free stuff in it, and the total price was actually less than the amount I had reserved the rooms for. But you must ask!

A Mix of Road Trip Songs – Travel Inspiration

There’s not much better for travel inspiration than a mix of road trip songs. These songs will both help inspire you to get out on the road and see the country/world and hopefully be a good accompaniment to any trip.

King of the Road- Roger Miller
Born to Be Wild- Steppenwolf
Highway to Hell- AC/DC
Drive My Car- The Beatles
Low Rider- War
I’ve Been Everywhere- Johnny Cash
Life Is a Highway- Rascal Flatts
California – Phantom Planet
Me and Bobby McGee – Janis Joplin
Roam – B52s
Going Mobile – The Who
Open Road Song – Eve6
The Distance – Cake
Wandering Daughter – Kimya Dawson
One Headlight – The Wallflowers
Another White Dash – Butterfly Boucher

A lot of these songs are specifically about traveling or riding in a vehicle, and are from a variety of time periods and musical styles. For instance the first song on this list, King of the Road, is a country song from 1964 about a homeless man traveling without money but enjoying the trip anyhow. This song became very popular and has been used in more current pop culture, like in the film about traveling, Into the Wild. The film’s main character sings the song while hitching a ride on a train and traveling the country without money. In contrast there are songs like Low Rider, all about a car. This song has also been in a lot of movies, notably Gone in 60 Seconds. Or Going Mobile, by The Who, all about taking to the road and wandering and being free. There are traveling love songs, like Another White Dash or Me and Bobby McGee, and songs simply about driving like The Distance.

Despite all of these differences these songs have some key things in common, they’re all about hitting the road, inspiring you to travel, and are well known enough that you can probably sing along to most.

Travel Trivia – The Most in the World

Hmm, I want to swim and ride down the longest river in the world!!! Which one should I choose?

The Nile River in Africa is a major north-flowing river in Africa with a length of 6,650 km (4,132 mi) and generally regarded as the longest river in the world. The Amazon River in South America is the largest river in the world by volume. The Mississippi-Missouri River in USA is the second longest river in the United States, with a length of 2,320 mi (3,734 km) from its source in Lake Itasca in Minnesota to its mouth in Gulf of Mexico. The Yangtze River in Asia is the longest river in Asia and regarded as the third longest in the world. The river is about 6,300 km long and flows from its source in Qinghai Province, eastwards into the East China Sea at Shanghai. What should I choose?

Attention shoppers! If you wanted to head to the largest mall, you’d be going to…

The Suntec City Mall Singapore is the largest shopping centre in Singapore with 888,000 square feet of retail space until the opening of VivoCity in 2006. It also offers a club house called the Suntec City Guild House located on the fifth storey.

The Mall of America, USA is a super-regional shopping mall. In the United States, it is the third largest enclosed mall in terms of retail space but is largest in terms of total enclosed floor area. Opened in 1992, the mall received 40 million visitors in 2006.

The Sawgrass Mills Mall, USA is a popular, alligator-shaped shopping mall that is located in Sunrise, Florida. There are over 300 retail outlets and name brand discounters as anchors. With 2.5 million square feet of retail selling space, it is the eighth largest mall in the United States, and the fourth largest outlet mall in the world. The mall opened in 1990 and has been expanded three times since then, most recently in 2006.

The West Edmonton Mall, Canada is the largest shopping mall in North America and the third largest in the world. It was the world’s largest mall for a 23-year period from 1981 until 2004.

Your passion is hogs, not the kind that provide bacon but the kind you ride with wind-in-your-face, flying-down-the-highway excitement. Where would you find the largest motorcycle museum in the world?

Barber Vintage Motorsports, Alabama showcases over 700 motorcycles (although not all are on display at one time). The Sammy Miller Museum, England as set up in 1964, after the former championship winning trials rider Sammy Miller set up a parts business in New Milton, Hampshire, England. The business started after Miller put a few of his old racing motorcycles in the corner, which eventually became the catalyst of the present day museum. The museum is now held in trust, houses some 300 machines including motorcycles and 3-wheeled vehicles.

If Superman was going to leap over the world’s tallest building, over which one would he be leaping?

The Taipei 101, Taiwan is a 101-floor landmark. It is the world’s tallest completed skyscraper. Taipei 101 received the Emporis Skyscraper Award in 2004. It has been hailed as one of the Seven New Wonders of the World (Newsweek magazine, 2006) and Seven Wonders of Engineering (Discovery Channel, 2005).

The World Trade Center, New York City, USA (destroyed by terrorist attack September 11, 2001) was a complex of seven buildings. The complex contained 13.4 million square feet of office space, almost four percent of Manhattan’s entire office inventory. Best known for its iconic 110-story Twin Towers, after having survived a bombing on February 26, 1993, all of the original buildings in the complex were destroyed in the September 11, 2001 attacks; two collapsed (1 and 2) and the others (3, 4, 5, 6) were damaged beyond repair. The Building seven of the World Trade Center also collapsed.

The Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is the world’s tallest twin buildings. They were the world’s tallest buildings from 1998 to 2004 if measured from the level of the main entrance to the structural top, the original height reference used by the US-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat from 1969 (three additional height categories were introduced as the tower neared completion in 1996).

The Eiffel Tower, Paris, France is an iron tower built on the Champ de Mars beside the Seine River in Paris. The tower has become a global icon of France and is one of the most recognizable structures in the world.

OK, this last one isn’t a place at all, but when we found out about it, we just had to tell everyone about the world’s smallest guitar. How small is it? Well, according to Scholastic Book of World Records by Jenifer Corr Morse, the guitar is about the same length as …

The head of a pin – Dustin Carr and Harold Craighead of Cornell University’s Nanofabrication Facility created the Nano-guitar – it’s only 10 micrometers long (about the size of a single cell). The guitar strings are each about 50 nanometers or 100 atoms wide!

Length of a human cell – How tiny is it? Just 10 micrometers, about the size of a human cell. We’re not sure who would play this six-stringed instrument, but it would have to be someone with really tiny finger.