CAPE COD-activities

There is alot to do for both adults and children on Cape Cod. Families spend hours on the beaches. They seem to be more crowded earlier in the day with families and the later afternoons appear to be more popular with adults not accompanied by children. The public beaches prohibit alcohol but there are private beaches at the end of many streets where the people living/renting on the street go and bring coolers full of whatever they want. Some of the most beautiful beaches are located along the National Seashore in the outer Cape.
There are several breweries to tour and also a vineyard located in Truro if you enjoy wine. Museums, historical homes, playhouses, lighthouses, gardens, art galleries, whale watching, fishing, motorized and non-motorized water sports are just some things to keep you busy. There is even a drive in movie theater located on the outer cape. The Cape Cod baseball league hosts some of the best up and coming players.
There are walking and bike paths to enjoy. A few popular bike paths are the Cape Cod Canal path. You can enter at the Sandwich marina or Buzzards Bay Recreation Center. The path is located by the Sagamore bridge and runs along the canal heading up to the Bourne bridge. Another is the Cape Cod rail trail that runs from Dennisport to Wellfleet along an old railroad track. This trail is in the process of expanding toward Yarmouth. Race point beach has a bike path that runs through the sand dunes along the beach. The path isn’t very long but it is hilly and there isn’t much shade. The views are fantastic and there is a visitor center where you can park for free. Be sure to bring your own water and snacks.
If you have a chance to visit the Cape, the most cost effective thing to do is rent a home for the week. Beach parking is about $20-$25 per day. it is cheaper to buy a weekly pass or walk if possible. Most rental homes have grilles so you can bbq at home. Book early because many homes book in January for the upcoming season.


CAPE COD- getting oriented

Cape Cod is a popular vacation spot during the summer months located about 90 minutes away from Boston. It is broken down into several parts referred to as the upper cape, mid cape, lower cape and outer cape. The upper cape consists of Falmouth, Bourne, Sandwich and Mashpee. Mid cape consists of Barnstable, Hyannis, Yarmouth and Dennis. Lower Cape consists of Harwich, Brewster, Chatham and Orleans. The outer cape consists of Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown. Marthas Vineyard and Nantucket are 2 islands located off the coast of Cape Cod and can be accessed by boat or air.
Memorial Day week-end seems to start the season off but things really get busy when the students begin summer break. The heavy crowds die down around Labor Day weekend when the kids go back to school. September is still a nice month to visit because the weather is warm but the traffic and lines thin out. You can try restaurants that were difficult to get reservations in over the summer. Some restaurants run specials to bring in customers so you can benefit from that. Also, nobody is collecting for parking at the town beaches so you can try out new places without paying fees. Rental homes and hotels are cheaper after Labor Day also. Things seem to wrap up for the season Columbus Day week-end with some hotels, restaurants and activities closing for the season.


Andrew Jackson’s home, The Hermitage, is located in Nashville, about a 20 minute drive from downtown. The property itself is massive and the entryway into the mansion is impressive. The first part of the tour is a movie presentation orienting you to the life of Jackson and explaining what was going on at the time. After the movie, you walk through a museum area on your way to the mansion.
An interesting piece of information about Jackson is that he married a woman named Rachel Donalsen when he was a young man. The problem is that she was already married to a man named Lewis Robards. They were living separately but were not formally divorced. Donalsen and Jackson married low key in Natchez but the marriage was not actually legal because the first marriage was not yet dissolved.
She was eventually granted a divorce and was then able to marry Jackson legally. Jackson did not realize at the time that this would be used against him by his political enemies. Donalsen never moved into The White House. She died shortly after Jackson was elected President. He thought the stress associated with her name being dragged through the mud during the campaign contributed to her death.
The actual mansion is the next part of the tour. The tour guides are dressed in period costumes and are very knowledgeable about family history, history of the time period and details of the property. There are smaller buidings outside the main home to tour. They include the original smaller home and slave quarters. You are free to tour the remainder of the property on your own.
Give yourself about 3 hours to tour. The cost is about $18. There is a snack bar on the property and a nice picnic area. It can get crowded on the week-end so go during the week if possible.



Carnton is a historic plantation house and museum located in Franklin, Williamson County, Tennessee about an hour away from downtown Nashville. It was built in 1826 by former Nashville Mayor Randal MacGavock. A much larger and more ornate home was built beside it where John and Carrie MacGavock lived during the Civil War. The home and family played an important role during and after the Battle of Franklin which began on 11/30/1864.

According to the tour guides at Carnton, Carrie MacGavock woke to look out her window and find several Union cannons located across the field pointing in the direction of the family home. Union troops were setting up at a neighboring plantation and readying for battle against the Confederate Army. Up until that time, it was normal to see the move of soldiers but no trouble had occurred nearby. That was about to change. The family was informed that a large scale battle was about to occur at the site and the home was going to be used as a Confederate field hospital.

The family really didn’t have any choice in the matter. They quickly gathered up a few things and moved themselves into the original home that was located next to the newer one. Injured bodies began to arrive as the battle continued. Surgeons performed operations in the bedrooms of the second floor. The wounded filled both the inside and outside of the property. When the battle was over, it is estimated that about 10,000 were wounded, killed, or missing in total counting both sides.

The family did everything they could to help in the effort. The medical team moved on with the soldiers in a few days after the battle, leaving the MacGavock family to care for the wounded. The last soldier left the home about six months after the battle occurred. The family donated land so that soldiers could be buried properly. There is a cemetery on the property where over 1,000 Confederate soldiers are buried.

This is a great place to visit. Give yourself about 3 hours to tour. Cost is about $18 to see the museum, have a guided tour of the home, walk through the cemetery and view the battlefield. The book “Widow of the South” was based upon the events that took place at Carnton.


If you are a Country music fan, Nashville is a great place to visit. Even if you don’t enjoy Country music, can’t imagine that you still wouldn’t enjoy Nashville and the surrounding area as there is alot to do that doesn’t involve music. Broadway is the main street that runs along downtown Nashville. The street is lined with restaurants, bars and stores. Many bartenders and performers work off tips so be mindful of that when you patronize the bars.
The bars are fantastic but 3 really stood out. The Wildhorse Saloon is a favorite. It is located just off Broadway on 120 2nd Ave. It’s a massive place with live music that changes every couple of hours. They offer free line dancing lessons and the floor is packed. The $6 cover charge is well worth it.
Tootsies is another favorite. It is a multi-level bar located on Broadway in the middle of the action. It is very close to both the Ryman auditorium and Bridgestone arena and performers have been known to drop by after concerts for a beverage. The roof top bar is great if you get good weather. Try to get a table that overlooks Broadway. Lots to see from that vantage point. This bar seems to be crowded all day and evening.
Third favorite bar is Nudies also located along Broadway diagonally across from Tootsies. Nudie designed performance costumes/clothing for popular country music stars like johnny Cash. The bar is decorated with many of the costumes Nudie designed and actually has a convertible hanging vertically behind the stage. The bar is alot of fun with engaging performers who get people involved in the show.
Pedal bar tours are popular and can be seen and heard driving along the main streets. They stop at various locations for patrons to spend time at a few bars. The tour lasts about 2 hours. Nissan stadium is located on the east bank of the Cumberland River directly across from downtown. Its an easy walk over the bridge to travel between Broadway and the stadium. It hosts the Tennessee titans. The Bridgestone arena is located on Broadway and hosts the Nashville Predators. The arena is also used for concerts, gymnastic and figure skating competitions as well as religious gatherings.
Lastly, make some time to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame. It is located just off Broadway and costs about $25. Give yourself about 3 hours to tour. The museum chronicles country music for about the last 100 years and there are displays of memorabilia from both the early days and current performers. There is something for everyone to enjoy.

Destination Discovery: Australia

Destination Discovery: Australia

Thinking about planning a vacation and don’t know where to travel? This is the first in my series of blogs on discovering new destinations and what there is to offer if you travel to these places. I first explore Australia and discuss attractions to visit and what to do while down under.

Sydney Harbor

The Sydney Harbour has a multitude of activities for everyone at anytime of the day. It is described as the most scenic waterway in the world. One of it’s most famous attractions is the Sydney Opera House. You can take tours and even eat there as well as see shows. Also there is the Sydney Harbor Bridge which you can walk on foot and is a site to be seen at night. There are also many activities in the harbor itself including shopping, dining, etc.

Blue Mountains

While Sydney is known for its beaches a quick 2 hour drive away you can also be hiking and enjoying nature’s finest views. There are many hiking trails, waterfalls, and views that will take your breath away. It also isn’t far off the beaten path and won’t take up a couple days to get to if you are on a time crunch.

The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is located in Cairns and is the world’s largest coral reef system. It’s made of 3,000 individual reefs and can be seen from outer space. There are day cruises as well as snorkeling adventures to go on. You can even ride a helicopter to see an overhead view of the reef. While you’re in Cairns you will be surrounded by great restaurants and coffee bars as well as be able to go see the rainforest.

Bondi Beach

Australia’s most famous beach, Bondi Beach offers a place to relax while enjoying Australia’s beautiful clear water. They have perfect surfing waves as well as many beachfront cafes. In addition you can explore many coves and sand walkways of this huge beach. Don’t be alarmed if you see people in the nude either, the beach is very tolerant.

Australia offers a ton of things to do and check out that it can be hard to choose. When planning a vacation make sure to choose your top sightseeing destinations like the ones listed above as well as schedule time to relax and unwind.

How To Overcome Language Barriers While Traveling

How To Overcome Language Barriers While Traveling

When you are traveling to a foreign country it can be both exciting and nerve racking. Experiencing a new culture is a great learning experience but also comes with a couple of difficulties. If you don’t know the language it can be hard to find places, read signs and menus, buy things, and interact with locals. Here are a few tips on how you can break down the language barrier while traveling.

Learn Important Phrases

If you don’t speak the language the best thing you can do to prepare is to learn key phrases that will help you out when you are in another country. Learn how to say things such as asking for directions, how much something costs, do you speak english, hello, goodbye, yes, no etc. to be able to interact with people. Often times, locals will be more than happy to help you out if you are at least trying to speak and understand their language and important phrases aren’t hard to learn if you are on a time crunch before your trip.

Language Apps or Books

There are a variety of language apps that you can download and have handy if you don’t know how to ask something or someone is finding it hard to understand you and vice versa. You can type in phrases, translate what someone is saying, as well as have the apps speak what you are trying to say for you. Of course, not everything is perfect so it might not come out perfectly but they will be able to get a general sense of what you are trying to say and help you with your question. In addition, a language dictionary is also a great resource to show people what you are trying to say or help explain what you are talking about. They have pocket ones that are easy to carry and really come in handy.

Strike Up Conversation

The only way you will start grasping a language is if you are speaking it and practicing it in your daily life. Don’t be afraid to strike up conversations with native speakers even if you know you will stumble over pronunciations and finding words sometimes. More often than not, native speakers will be happy to speak to you and see that you are trying to speak their language as well as help you out if you misspeak or teach you new useful phrases.

How To Be Comfortable During A Long Flight

When you are stuck on a flight for a long period of time it can be hard to get comfortable or fall asleep. Flights can be draining, especially if you are traveling far and can take a couple days to recover from, ruining part of your vacation or travel plans. Here are some tips to stay refreshed while on a plane and ready to adventure as soon as your flight touches down.

Wear Comfy Clothes

The best thing you can do for yourself on a flight is to wear comfy clothes. While pajamas are not recommended, sweats, hoodies, and comfortable shoes like sneakers and moccasins are perfectly acceptable on a long flight. Make sure to wear layers because the plane definitely can get cold and warm depending.


It is important to hydrate both your body and your skin when you are on a flight. Drinking coffee and alcohol will not only dehydrate you, they will drain you while on a long flight and leave you feeling tired and sluggish. Instead, opt for water or other hydrating drinks to keep you healthy and feeling good while on the plane. In addition, the cabin can air quality can leave your skin cracked. Make sure to bring along chapstick and apply moisturizing lotion to your skin so that you can hydrate your skin as well.

Block out Distractions

Unfortunately, you can’t always guarantee that you will get a good seat mate or won’t be surrounded by crying babies. Make sure that you pack headphones or noise canceling headphones if you plan to sleep on the plane. In addition, a sleeping mask will block out the light and help you sleep on the plane as well. This can definitely come in handy if you are changing time zones while you are on a business or vacation trip and want to start adjusting. In addition, downloading podcasts, movies, or audiobooks ahead of time can be great to pass the time while on a long flight.

Long flights don’t have to be tedious and draining. If you come prepared you can be comfortable and feel refreshed and relaxed after your flight.

Cheap Places to Travel To

Cheap Places to Travel To

Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive or take a huge chunk out of your savings. Sometimes the cheaper the trip, the more fun you have on the experience. Here are a few destinations to visit without breaking the bank:


Thailand is one of the cheapest destinations to travel to. Naturally, near commercialized beaches and luxury resorts it is expensive. But if you go further off the beaten path then you can find a hotel with a swimming pool from $30.00 a night, surrounded by rice fields, buddhist temples, and hill tribes.

South Africa

South Africa is another great destination to travel to when you are on a budget. You can see the safari as well as explore the beautiful Cape Town. Day to day travel is really low here with food and lodging expenses being at least two times lower than other popular destinations. The most money you’ll be spending is the flight to get there, but it is definitely worth it.

Puerto Rico

The great thing about Puerto Rico is that you don’t need to apply for a passport to go there and they also accept US currency so there is no exchange fee. There’s beautiful beaches, great shopping, and amazing restaurants. If you travel end of April to December, which is low season, you’ll find even more great deals on direct flights.


Vietnam offers beautiful views, great food, and amazing sights for a small price. You can stay at a very nice hotel for cheap and there are many budget friendly hotels to relax at that are all safe and clean. In addition, the meals there cost around $5.00 for authentic vietnamese food, which is a steal for any place you travel to.


Greece’s declining economy has them no relying heavily on tourists. They have affordable hotels, 3 or 4 stars for less than $100 a night in a central location. The prices get even cheaper when you go to the countryside. In addition, meals are very inexpensive with a gyro at around 1-2$ and souvenirs are also very cheap.

Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive. If you plan, look for deals, and go to the right destinations then the options are endless. You just have to pack your bags and book your flights.

Technology That Makes Traveling Easier

Technology That Makes Traveling Easier

Going on vacation and traveling to a new place is exciting but can also be stressful. Airports, packing, planning, etc. are all known to cause a few headaches. Thankfully, technology is making traveling easier and less stressful so you can enjoy your vacation.

Portable Battery

Too many times in the airport is it impossible to find an outlet that isn’t being used. A phone dying can definitely cause stress and throw off plans, especially if you need to get in contact with someone once you land. The portable battery allows for people to charge their phones anywhere they want without worrying about an outlet as well as having a back-up plan for when your phone does die.

Nokia Treasure Tags

These tags allow you to keep track of you luggage, laptop, or carry on. The battery lasts for up to six months so you can easily see where you left something behind should you misplace it. It will beep if you misplace an item, so you can find it or tell you the location of the item should you not be close enough to hear it.

All in One Wallet

Tired of rummaging around for all of your different identification cards that you need to pass through airport security? Royce Freedom Wallet allows for you to put your passport in one side and your credit cards and identification in the other. The wallet syncs with your phone so you can track where it is should you misplace it. If you do misplace it or it gets stolen, your phone starts to beep so you can know right away, rather than leaving it behind at a hotel or restaurant.

Portable Translator

While it may not speak the full language, this portable language translator can certainly help you out with over 12,000 phrases in 12 different languages already programmed. Talking to business owners, asking for directions, and being able to communicate in an unfamiliar country with ease is extremely important to stress free travel.

These are just a few devices of many that can help make traveling easier. With technology advancing everyday, the stress of traveling can be lifted off of your shoulders and give you the opportunity to relax and enjoy your new experience.