Getting the Right Ski Gear

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Getting the Right Ski Gear
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My name is Ross French!

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Travel Blog

Top Tourist Attractions in AustraliaFeatured

Australia is a vast country that is just slightly smaller than the continental United States. So it probably shouldn’t be surprising that a country this large would also be home to some of the most unusual destinations and creatures in the world. Among the many iconic sites and landmarks you can visit in Australia are Ayers Rock and the Sydney Opera House. While these spots are very popular with tourists, there are a number of tourist attractions in Australia that aren’t as well-known but are just as impressive.Continue reading

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Travel Blog

Best Places to Visit in North Carolina

North Carolina genuinely has something for each explorer. It is a state favored with excellent shorelines, staggering mountain view and a lot of Old South appeal. North Carolina is additionally the accepted home to NASCAR, America’s main observer sport. Guests can appreciate open air exercises from trekking, mountain climbing, and skiing, alongside an essence of Appalachian society in the Blue Ridge and Smokey mountains or visit some of North Carolina’s inexorably different urban communities. Sun, and sand anticipate guests to the state’s waterfront district with segregated boundary islands in the Outer Banks and the clamoring shoreline side city of Wilmington. A review of the best places to visit in North Carolina:

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Chimney Rock State Park

Smokestack Rock State Park, which is found around 25 miles (40 km) from the town of Asheville, brags miles of trekking trails and the excellent 400-foot (120 meter) Hickory Nut Falls. Obviously, the most popular destination in this state park is the more than 300-foot (90 meter) stone monument known as the Chimney Rock, which gloats astonishing perspectives of environment. Guests can either take the 26-story lift or climb 500 stages — or what might as well be called 31 flights of stairs — to achieve the highest point of the Chimney. This park is moderately new, having just been approved by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2005.

Bald Head Island

Guests searching for a destination where the pace is slower and there are no autos ought to make a beeline for Bald Head Island. This island, which must be come to by ship from the town of Southport or by private pontoon, gloats 14 miles (23 km) of shorelines and a laid-back environment. Setting out starting with one spot then onto the next on this island is by foot, bike or on a golf truck. The island’s 1andscapes incorporate swamps, sea timberlands and the Bald Head Island Golf Course. This island is likewise a turtle settling ground and amid the late spring months, its Bald Head Island Conservancy has Turtle Walks for guests who need to screen a home for rising infants or to look for moms coming around to settle.

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Hanging Rock State Park

This dazzling park, which is found near the Winston-Salem zone in the Sauratown Mountains, offers guests more than 18 miles (29 km) of trails that range from simple to troublesome, and a lake that is ideal for sailing, angling and swimming. The recreation center is likewise home to various pretty waterfalls. Hanging Rock State Park has ten lodges and in addition a tent and trailer campground accessible for guests who need to stay in the recreation center. Hanging Rock State Park is popular for its dazzling quartzite arrangements and edges, for example, the Devil’s Chimney and the eponymous Hanging Rock.

 

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Are These the Best Burgers in L.A.
Travel Blog, Travel Tips

Are These the Best Burgers in L.A.?

Are These the Best Burgers in L.A.e City of Los Angeles is home to some of the most creative culinary institutions in the world—beloved restaurants that don’t scrimp on the flavor, the imagination, the elegance, or the class. But for as great a city as it is for fine dining, there are times when you don’t really want a silver-plated entrée or a tasteful appetizer. There are times when what you really want is to sink your teeth into a big, juicy burger—and on that front, Los Angeles doesn’t disappoint. In fact, it’s no exaggeration to call this a burger-loving city—and its culinary scene encompasses some of the country’s most notable burger joints.

In fact, the hard part is deciding which of Los Angeles’ decadent burgers you want to try first.

We can’t decide for you, but we can help you narrow it down. After the jump, we’ll list a few of our picks for LA’s best burger spot.

Contenders: The Best Burger in Los Angeles?

Pono Burger. A joint with strong California flavor and a decidedly tropical vibe, this is the place you turn to when the burger you’re after is made with organic beef, cooked on a wood-burning grill, and served on a brioche bun. The hippie undercurrents don’t do a thing to distract from the decadence and deliciousness of this burger. Turkey and veggie burgers are also available, and they’re unbelievable.

Umami Burger. Here’s another one that’s made with love and offered with a range of organic ingredients. Umami is so-named because it strives to maximize that beefy, meaty taste that makes burgers so addictive and irresistible—and in our opinion, they’ve succeeded mightily. Even the black bean burger is mouth-wateringly good.

Stout Burgers and Beers. Oh, yeah. Talk about a filling, flavorful menu! This burger joint is known for its beef, all ground in house and served up with an array of toppings that include various cheeses, bacon, arugula, and more. And oh yeah: This is also a great place to snag a beer!

Birch. This Hollywood establishment is at the higher end, but is a great place to grab a tasty burger and a classy cocktail. The one to order is the Birch Burger, which includes not just all-natural beef but also pork belly and even a red orange marmalade! Yum!

The Golden State. Many of the best burger joints are marked by their simplicity, and this one is no exception. It’s all about world-class ingredients and an unfussy presentation. The burgers are hand-shaped and the toppings are all picked fresh—nothing fancy, but it’s all oh so good.

There are plenty more great places to grab a burger in LA—so tell us: Which burger joint are we missing?

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Travel Blog

Having the Best of Both Worlds: Renting a Condo

When you think it is finally time to move outside of your current residence for one reason or another (or you are just being forced out), the fact remains that you need to decide what option makes the most sense for you on where to go next. There are more than enough options of where to live, but even more important than where you actually live is the idea of what type of unit and living arrangement you settle on. Instead of buying your own home or living in an apartment, why not consider a condo as a unit that comes with the best of both worlds?

Your Own Place

The reason that people jump to owning condos right off of the bat and the reason that they continue to see such high property values is simply because you can literally have your cake and eat it too. You do have ownership, but without the same level of responsibility. For example, the fact is you don’t have to do the chores outside as someone else takes care of the actual property itself. That being said, you do still “own” the unit because you have purchased it. That is real ownership and not just that you are passing through for a while like in an apartment.

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The good thing is that with this ownership you still get the lifestyle of owning something yourself and having flexibility and freedom that comes with making changes to your living space. With respect to the interior changes, you have the right and the freedom to make those changes. It will depend on the specifics of your condo agreement, but in short you get to decide what to do and where to do it so long as you are doing it within the walls of your unit. For more minor items such as painting, changing the carpeting, adding some different appliances or even carpeting the interior, you should be ok. The key is to make sure you aren’t doing anything beyond the walls of the unit. That being said, you do have to refer back to the buyer’s agreement and condo association rules because those are what you are agreeing to and those may differ from association to association. However, in short you own the unit so you can do what you like.

Minimal Maintenance and Upkeep

The biggest thing that many people see as the best part of the deal is the personal freedom that comes with your place. When you think about the maintenance work that you need to do, it’s virtually none. The upkeep that comes along with owning a home may be a lot, but with a condo that is already taken care of for you. The truth is you don’t need to worry about maintenance and upkeep other than doing your dishes and laundry within your unit. Other than those sorts of personal things, the rest of the work is done for you!

When you think about how much time, effort, and money can be saved (not to mention the general stress) by owning a condo, you can see why some people prefer them to owning a house. The work is done, you get the lifestyle you desire, and when it comes to actually breaking your back to fix things or make sure that they are kept up to date, you don’t have to worry about doing work or taking on extra stress.

Grounds Are Top Quality

The grounds being done is a nice thing. Not only does this mean that you never have to mow a lawn, trim hedges, or pick up trash in the area again, but it also means you can take pride in your area. And, when you consider what else this level of sophistication brings, you can see why so many are drawn to it. By having an area that is pristine and always in the best of condition you are able to essentially keep out the wrong crowds. Not that there is anything wrong with anyone, but if you are a hard working professional do you really want a class of kids who are going to make noise living next door to you? Or do you really want people who are going to be up all night and keeping you awake as well? The benefits of a condo having their grounds maintained may not directly be put in place in order to keep out a different type of noisy people, but it can absolutely help.

When you consider the pure security point of view, it also makes sense to search for a condo for rent with PropertyGuru Singapore. These properties are well-kept, but that could attract those who may want to steal or to vandalize in general. Seeing as many condominium associations can actually have security in place, however, general riff raff is kept out and you and your belongings are going to be safer and more secure than before. This not only helps with the general crime levels being lower, but it also helps because people don’t like crime so in turn property values go up.

Still Have Equity and Resale Value

When you consider the general costs of renting an apartment, there are significant costs in the form of cash flow each and every month, however, you don’t see any of that money ever again. When you consider the costs of buying a full home, you can build equity but you are also stuck because when you think about equity you are thinking about the sweat, effort, and stress that needs to be put into place first. With a condominium, however, you can build significant equity fairly quickly without putting in the effort. In fact, the condominium association does the work for you and you can actually just sit back as they continue to manage the property and have the whole thing work to your advantage. Rising equity means strong resale value, and it also means you are earning that return on someone else’s effort.

Flexibility of a Condo

One thing that people in general don’t seem to gravitate towards until later in their years is the general flexibility a home provides. It’s nice to have a rental or a home that is huge if not gargantuan, but at the same time it can be a pain to even leave for a few days because who is going to watch over and take care of the place for you? The key with a condo is that someone is always taking care of it for you. You can travel and not worry about the grounds or the crime or the upkeep in general. So while your personal plans don’t have to include traveling all of the time, it’s nice to know you can be flexible because your responsibility list is minimal.

A condominium in general provides so many options with respect to living that more people are jumping into the game all of the time. The key is simply making sure you know what makes the most sense for you. If you want to focus on the responsibility and the stress that comes with owning a home, then that is simply your decision. However, if you have the ability to live stress free, then why not look to a condo for your home base?

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Travel Blog

The First-Time Renter’s Guide to Apartment Hunting in Thailand

Moving to a new place of residence is always a big step and can be especially daunting if it’s your first time, whether you’re buying or renting. There are a lot of things that must be taken into consideration, and it’s easy to overlook seemingly small details that may turn out to be important in the long run. Here is a list of tips that any first-time renter or buying would find useful, from beginning your search for that perfect new home, to being part of the immediate community.

Set a Budget

Setting a budget is always an important step in any big purchase. Rent is ideally 25-30% of your monthly income, including utilities such as water and electricity. If you are certain that you will be staying in the area for a long period of time, it could be a good idea to look for a condo for sale or rent-to-own as an investment. Websites like DDProperty can help you check for prices and options that will allow you to set a reasonable and realistic budget for your next home. Remember that there may also be additional costs such as the security deposit, permits, and utility fees. Some landlords will also require rent up front, sometimes not only for the first few months, but also for the last month of your stay.

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Make a Checklist

It’s always a good idea to ask your potential landlord questions about the property. Topics such as lease agreements and utility maintenance could be key points in choosing a place as well as making your stay more pleasant. By preparing these questions beforehand and bringing along a checklist, you can make sure you don’t leave out important queries. Bring along a blank copy for every apartment showing and jot down as much information as you can get. These will come in handy when considering which place to choose, and also for later reference while you’re living there.

Know What You Need and What You Want

Your living space should be practical and also comfortable. Knowing what you need in a residence can eliminate choices and narrow down your search for an apartment or condo for sale or lease. Ask yourself how many rooms you will need, how much storage space you will need, even how big or what kind of a kitchen you imagine yourself using. If you work from home, having an office would be ideal. Pets and children are also very important considerations for choosing the place you will live in. Certain types and parts of architecture such as stairs may be hazardous to dogs and young kids. If you are a pet owner and are looking for a condo unit, ask the building administrator about rules regarding pets, and if there are any parks or similarly open areas for play nearby. Facilities and amenities for your furry friend should also be on your list of needs. Other things that may make your stay more pleasurable such as a balcony, a view, or even nearby establishments may seem petty or unimportant, but if those things will help your living condition become more comfortable, then you should also factor them in.

Observe the Location

When looking for a condo or house for sale in a new location you’re going to want to check how well the area fares regarding safety and convenience. Check if the streets are well-lit at night, if the community is prepared for calamities such as a fire or flood, and if the place is generally safe. Transportation can also make or break the deal. If you are a car owner, you should secure a parking space and make necessary arrangements. If you take public transportation, study the stations and terminals in the area. Knowing the quickest, cheapest, and easiest routes will be of great help in the long run, not only for you but also for friends or family who might be visiting. Your lifestyle should also be a factor in choosing a neighborhood to live in. Younger people would usually prefer an area with a bit of an active night life, bars and clubs, cafes and places to hang out. Those with children might prefer a more family-oriented community with wholesome activities. Nearby grocery stores, restaurants, and convenience stores are always a plus.

Inspect the Utilities

For both your safety and comfort, inspect the utilities in your potential place of residence, especially if you are considering a pre-owned house, apartment, or condo. Remember to consider factors such as weather; for example, according to Stat Travel, Thailand has a tropical climate with an average temperature of 28°C, and while the country does not experience snow, it does rain for about a third of the year. This is why checking up on airconditioning and ventilation, roof maintenance, and drainage are necessary steps prior to moving. You should also check for any possible gas leaks, termite infestations, or any other similarly alarming issues. Aside from checking up on the condition of the household, you should also find out who to contact in case any problems come about.

Know Your Responsibilities

Whether you are a homeowner or a tenant, you should be aware of your responsibilities as part of the community. Condos and apartment buildings will usually have a set of rules that ensure neighbors can coexist peacefully. Some residential areas may be strict towards pets, loud music, and various other factors that may disturb those in the vicinity, so know the rules before setting up a party or event and plan accordingly. Attend homeowners meetings in the area and familiarize yourself with the other residents, as well as any possible events and routines like garbage collection days and community clean-ups.

Renting can be intimidating but fulfilling. Following these simple tips can help make the experience of moving and adapting to a new community go more smoothly. Whether the next place you will be living in is a condo or a house, you deserve a safe, comfortable haven to come home to.

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Destinations

Best Places to Visit in August

The summer month of August may be a colourful time once it involves celebrations. There are the oranges and yellows of fire, the fiery redness of tomatoes and lobsters, the blues of pristine waters, and superb sunsets under the midnight sun. Travelers in search of a colourful expertise want solely decide a destination for the fun to start. An summary of the most effective places to go to in August:

Rockland, Maine Lobster Festival

Lobsters, all fiery red when cooked, are thought of rules of the food eating place scene. What better place to celebrate this crustacean than the Maine Lobster Festival, control annually at Harbor Park in Rockland, a well-liked place to go to in Maine. From eating lobsters to racing them, this festival has one thing for everybody. Lobster-centric activities embrace individuals racing over lobster crates floating on water, a fun run, and a lobster cookery contest, amusement, a parade and displays on marine life. Proceeds from the annual event are given to local organizations that improve people’s lives, that makes the festival a good place to have fun while supporting good causes.Maine

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

The skies over city, England, withstand a colourful look in August as hot air balloons participate in what’s thought-about the most important flying event in Europe. Over a hundred and twenty hot air balloons start up at dawn and dusk as well as do night glows once they come back to earth. The four- day festival draws half a million annually. Guests will watch balloons run as they breakfast on bacon sandwiches within the morning. Once the balloons aren’t up, different craft fill the sky with exhibition flying. Different fun includes carnival rides, face painting, food stalls, music and fireworks.

Japan Bon Festival

While China holds its Lantern Festival at the end the Lunar New Year festival, Japan waits till August once the weather is additional contributing to enjoying the sights of thousands of lanterns lighting up the night sky. The Bon or Obon festival may be a Buddhis tradition aimed at honoring one’s ancestors. The three-day celebration, that has been going down for five hundred years, revolves around Japanese returning to their ancestral homes for family reunions. Japanese dressed in traditional costumes sing and perform folk dances that vary from region to region.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is considered the world’s largest arts festival. Started in 1947 as another to the capital International festival, it concentrates in the main on the performing arts,significantly live theatre. The event attracts actors from forty seven countries who perform in everything from the traditional Greek classics to today’s experimental theatrical productions. It’s not juried, which suggests there are not any limitations on the kinds of performances. Music, together with opera, and dance productions are performed, though as much as theatre. Nearly two million people attend the annual event which offers 40,000 performances.Edinburgh_Fringe_620

Kandy – Escala Perahera

Esala Perahera is considered to be one of the foremost elegant celebrations in Asia also united of the oldest within the world, since it dates back to the third century BC. The festival, held within the Sri Lankan town of Kandy in July or August, is believed to possess originated from 2 ancient celebrations, one praying to the gods for rain and therefore the different focused around Buddha’s Sacred Tooth Relic. The perahera, or procession, really involves 5 parades, all of that should be done in a specific order. The parades involve elephants, whip crackers, colorfully dressed dancers and a tooth custodian wearing ancient royal garb from when Kandy was a kingdom.

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Travel Tips

Don’t let the summer heat bite. Tips on caring for your skin during hot weather.

Frolicking in the summer heat is all fun until you develop a searing pain on your face and back – congratulations! You’ve just developed a sunburn. While the hot, humid climate may temporarily save you from shoveling snow, it can also wreak havoc on your skin. Whether you’re traveling to the local beach or a foreign destination this summer, the extra moisture and heat call for special skin care protection. Here’s how you can protect your skin no matter how humid and hot it gets.

Keep your skin clean. Oily skin will render you prone to breakouts and sunburn. To cleanse properly, choose an oil-free gel cleanser as it will help dissolve the oil on your face. Choosing a solution with salicylic acid is good if you have an oily face and in humid climate as it effectively exfoliates both inside and surface pores to avoid acne. Try a cleanser with a two percent salicylic acid solution so you won’t dry out your skin.

Remove excess oil buildup. Starting your day with a shine-free, clean skin is well and good. However, the constant humidity and heat will eventually make your face greasy again. To prevent excess shine, simply apply a mattifying product before applying a moisturizer, sunscreen or makeup. The mattifying product contains silicone polymers and talc that instantly absorb excess oil, removing the shine on your skin. Gel and lotion mattifiers are generally the best solution for both humid and hot weather.

Don’t put too much moisturizer. Humid climate tends to be different to people with oily skin. If you have an oily skin, you won’t need to apply a lot of moisturizer during the day since your skin is likely to retain its moisture. You can just rely on broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin from excess sun exposure and provide extra moisture to your skin. Buy an oil-free formula to avoid getting oily skin. Sunscreens with mineral-based solutions are ideal in humid and hot weather since minerals like titanium dioxide and micronized zinc can effectively absorb excess oil. You should choose a waterproof sunscreen if you plan to hit the water or expect to sweat a lot. Buy a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher even on cloudy days.

Treat yourself to facials. Having a facial is an absolutely great skin care regimen aside from the products you are using at home. Giving your face some weekly TLC will further help reduce oil and keep your pores clean. During your travel, at night after your summer activity, exfoliate your skin with a gentle facial scrub to get rid of dead skin cells that clogs pores and cause acne. Buy a formula with a clay-based mask to absorb facial oil. Try using a formula that has salicylic acid to clear out your pores more effectively.

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Extra summer skin care chill solutions:

• Mist your pulse points and back of the neck with a refreshing green-tea, citrus, or mint body spray. You can do this at home using kitchen ingredients. Use it whenever you feel uncomfortable in the heat.

• Fill a pitcher with ice water and add some cucumber slices. The cold water will keep you from dehydrating, keep your temp down, and the added flavor will make drinking more fun.

• DIY spa-style cold compress. Add two drops of concentrated lemon, mint, or grapefruit essential oil into a liter of water. Soak some of your washcloths, then wring them out, roll them up, and store in the fridge. Drape one over your forehead or neck when you’re feeling the heat.

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