What to Do on Your Family Vacation
By Anders Abadie
It is that time again, the time to contemplate a family vacation. It can be exhilarating to think about getting away together with your loved ones to have some fun and some rest and relaxation. One location you might contemplate visiting is the utterly unique and historic New Orleans. This is a city known for its amazing food, world famous Mardi Gras celebration, and Creole culture. It is also a city that is a big draw for music lovers. Whether you are a blues fan or a zydeco fan or anything in between, this is a location worth considering for your next trip.
If you have children, your family vacation will need to include outings that will keep the little ones entertained and smiling. Include visits to the Aquarium, Insectarium, and the zoo while you are vacationing in this most interesting of areas.
To give your trip as much flavor as possible, you may wish to combine it with a jaunt to Cajun Country, also known as Acadiana. Here you can enjoy a multitude of festivals, as well as a smattering of quaint small towns, bayous, unique music, and a rich Francophone history.
On your family vacation, bring the French Quarter to life by taking a stroll through it. This is the oldest area in New Orleans, founded in 1718 by the French. The architecture found here dates back to the time when the city was a colony of Spain. Take your time and do not rush through the French Quarter. Enjoy the appearance and appeal of the historic buildings and all of the free entertainment that is available to you and your family members. Take it all in as it truly is a feast for the eyes! There are plenty of five-piece bands that play in the street for the listening enjoyment of the passerby's.
Meander over to Jackson Square on your family vacation. There is a National Historic Landmark here that features a museum within it. Your children will enjoy the section that features the Mardi Gras. They can see costumes, floats, lots of color, and plenty of excitement. There are also special exhibits that are worth seeing such as the "100 Years of Zulu" which commemorates the Krewe of Zulu African-American Mardi Gras parade.
Ready for the Audubon-Located between St. Charles Avenue and the Mississippi River is the amazing 340-acre Audubon Park. It is home to the Audubon Zoo, which provides visitors with a real treat- the majority of the animals who live at the zoo can be found living in their natural habitats, which makes for a better life for each and every one of them. There are plenty of exhibits to see here and lots of festivals to attend throughout the year. For a family vacation, this location is a true winner!
If you thinking about taking a New Orleans family vacation, be sure to plan ahead. For tips about some of the best place to go in this city, visit
|Weekend Ski Breaks Offer Flexible Breaks at Affordable Prices!
By Naomi S Wilson
We all lead very hectic lifestyles nowadays. I know there are many people who have very demanding jobs and for some, it's hard to tear them away from the desk. This is perhaps one of the reasons why people are reluctant to take long ski holidays. As they don't want to take too much time off work, especially around this time of year when we don't have many holiday days left to take. This need not be the case; you can still get away on a quick ski break. For instance, have you heard about weekend ski breaks?
Workaholics need time off too! So if you have limited holiday time left then weekend ski breaks are perfect! There are so many tour operators offering great value for money when it comes to short ski holidays. Often included in the package price with some companies are ski passes and ski hire, which leaves the stress of organising this yourself. With weekend ski breaks and low-cost flights to Europe you can fly out in the morning and be on the ski slopes in the afternoon; enjoy a fab weekend and be back in the office the next week! Sounds great doesn't it?
But how do know you are getting the most for your money? Some companies offer the complete package; flights, accommodation, ski hire, passes, meals and so on. And you can sometimes get a very good deal. But did you know that arranging your own travel and looking at packages with only accommodation, ski passes and self catering options actually works out cheaper? If you look at the cheap flights airlines are offering, to places such as Geneva and Salzburg, you will find that there are ski resorts close by and you can save yourself loads!
Don't think that cheaper means poorer quality! There are lots of companies out there who offer very flexible weekend ski breaks, which means that time away is stress free, wonderful resorts with great facilities and super slopes for some excellent skiing. Hotels which are clean and comfortable and offer everything that you need!
There are lots of destinations to choose from for weekend ski holidays; such as France, Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Switzerland and more! Find the cheap flights, and a great value for money package and you have yourself the perfect short ski break! Start looking today and begin to plan your weekend ski holiday this winter!
Naomi Wilson is the Product Development Manager for ActivityBreaks, who offer exciting weekend breaks & activity holidays. If you're looking for Weekend Ski Breaks, Activity Breaks specialise in these Weekend Ski Breaks and offer other activity holidays across Europe.
Visiting Family for Mother’s Day
Does Mom miss her family or home town? If so you may consider packing the suitcase, and taking Mom to visit family and close friends this Mother’s Day weekend. Show Mom you care about her family and give her the time she needs to spend time with those she loves.
Are kids out of the house and living outside daily reach? This may be the perfect weekend for a visit. Make sure to call ahead. Surprise visits are not recommended especially if it’s going got be someone else’s Mother Day.
When visiting family on Mother’s Day weekend, plan picnics, hikes, playtime with the kids and things to do that are fun and relaxing. Remember to make Mom the first priority. In other words, always keep her interests in mind. For example, make sure she’s not the one taking care of the kids the whole time.
Woman in the home has not yet lost her dignity, in spite of Mother's Day, with its offensive implication that our love needs an annual nudging, like our enthusiasm for the battle of Bunker Hill.
Clean Up the Home Front Before You Hit the Road
By Jody Hanson
Draw up a will. Yes, that right, sort out your estate. As I see it, with the freedom of travel comes the responsibility because other people shouldn't have to clean up your mess.
Suppose, for example, you drink too much Mekong whiskey in Thailand, pass out on the trail and get run over by a slow-moving ox-cart. Unlikely perhaps, but kith and kin shouldn't have to sort out what to do with your CV and DVD collection and the thousand dollars left in your bank account.
Do a search for "template for writing a will" and find one that suits you. Get it witnessed, leave a copy with your executrix and tick the responsibility number one box. The process of divvying up your possessions is a good exercise as you have to think it through and make decisions.
My will states that I want to be buried Muslim style: Wash the body, wrap it in a white sheet and bury it before sundown in an unmarked grave. Consequently I won't have an epitaph. But if I did it would read "Some loved her; some hated her; everyone had an opinion."
Write your obituary. Your obituary is your final statement to the world. Do you really want to leave it to someone else to schmaltz up? What do you want people to remember about you?
Like the will, writing your own obituary moves you one step closer to accepting your own mortality. And this is part of the travel experience. Once you have the base obit done you can update it from time to time to reflect your situation.
If you are stuck and want an example, my contact details are in the resource box. Flick me an email and I'll send you a copy mine. I had such a wonderful time writing it. Very liberating.
Take out a living will. Basically, a living will is making your wishes known so that if you are in a state where you can't act, someone else will. It might be that you are in a coma or on life-support and unable to speak.
Do you want the medical types to keep you alive no matter what or do you want them to pull the plug? I went for the latter. And I made a pact with a couple of close friends. If I'm in that state they are to inject me with Nembutal or insulin. That way I will just quietly - and painlessly - drift off into the final adventure, which is how I view death.
Leave someone with 'power of attorney.' Careful with this one. The designated person has full power to act on your behalf. That includes selling your CDs and DVDs, taking the thousand dollars left in your bank account and hawking your computer.
I once talked with a woman who said she didn't have anyone in her life that she could trust. Sad, very sad. I have left people with power of attorney in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. And although I've only had to use it a couple of times in 30 some years, it is still a good thing to have in place.
Record the reasons you want to travel. For some it will be finding themselves. Nobel in theory, but if you are lost before you leave, chances are you won't stumble across the "real you' out there. Others want to opt for adventure tourism. Go for it. And then there are those who are just after pure, unadulterated hedonism they can't afford in their home counties.
Me- I travel to meet interesting people, explore unusual markets and try different food and drink. Oh, and along the way I help when and where I can. Very simple; very do-able.
The idea of recording your original reasons is to compare them with your evolution and see how much perceptions shifted by the time you return.
Moving on. Once you reach this stage you are ready to hit the road. Think of it as "insurance" and chances are that if you have it you won't need it. But if you don't, some else is stuck with cleaning it all up.
Now you are ready to get your passport and yellow fever shot. Happy travels.
Although Jody Hanson comes from an academic background with a Ph.D in adult education, she reinvented herself as a travel writer. An insufferable travel junkie, she has visited 107 countries, lived in eight and holds passports in three.
Hanson epitomizes the concept of "travelling light" as she reduced her worldly possessions to fit into one suitcase, a carry-on and a diaper bag with numerous compartments Consequently, she can be on the next plane to Sri Lanka to cover Deepawali and continue on for the Dogan mask festival in Mali.
Black Ski Inc. Trip & Events Calendar
Black Ski Spring Fling
Telluride Ski Resort
Tanya Jones - (301) 680-8926
Vicki McGill - (202) 526-6246
July 7 2013
Annual Black Ski
Beach Party and Crab Feast
Sandy Point State Park
Darlene Bing - (202) 262-6424
January 18 - 25
2014 Sundance Film Festival
Park City Mountain Resort
Park City, Utah
Vicki McGill - (202) 526-6246
INNKEEPERS and SPA
DESCRIPTION: Don Hubbard presents a fabulous Greek Revival house filled with intergenerational wonders and Victorian antiques; beyond the wrought iron gates, the home flaunts a four-column ivory portico preceding seven-foot windows and balconies that overlook the Avenue; magnificent foyer and spiraling staircase, private quarters reveal king-size legacies of perfection, imperial mahogany beds and regal armoires with matching chaise lounges compliment hardwood floors blanketed by oriental rugs; marble whirlpool, carriage house, living and dining areas, fully-furnished kitchen, washer and dryer and 2 1/2 baths are featured as well
BREAKFAST: Deluxe Continental
PRICING: $150-$350 per night, two nights minimum
ADDRESS: 3535 St. Charles Avenue MAP
PARKING: on premises
TRANSIT: St. Charles Streetcar is in front
Martha's Vineyard Inn
DESCRIPTION: Within walking distance to the center of Vineyard Haven and West Chop; when you enter the 5-room inn with spa, you are greeted by an old trunk in which you leave your old stresses. Wake up for breakfast and then unwind in our relaxing hot tub; find Victorian furnishings, fine paintings, and hardwood floors; our living room is designed for with a high tea server in the afternoon; enjoy natural spa treatments such as massage, yoga, sauna and mineral baths
ADDRESS: Vineyard Haven
PHONE: 800-595-9996 or 508-693-0001
East Marion, NY
Quintessentials Bed & Breakfast and Spa
DESCRIPTION: Started in 1994 by Jamaican, Sylvia Daley as the first bed & breakfast and full-service spa on the North Fork, Long Island; a romantic, 1840 Victorian inn, Quintessentials blends Caribbean flavor with European style, featuring deluxe suites and rooms with gas fireplaces, private sundecks and whirlpool baths; a full-service spa, personal image development service in relaxing, elegant surroundings in Long Island Wine Country; indulge for an hour or a day in stress-relieving treatments from a relaxing hot stone massage, reflexology, effective, results-oriented skincare, steam room, Reiki energy balancing, or their signature marine and vino therapies that incorporate wine, grape seed, seaweed, Caribbean herbs and essential oils; many patrons also enjoy the spa parties and wine tours on the East End and Hamptons
PRICES: $250-$300 per night
ADDRESS: 8985 Main Road (Route 25A) MAP
PHONE: 800-444-9112 or 631-477-9400
Newport News, VA
Divine Alkhemi Wholistic Skincare Boutique
DESCRIPTION: Malikah Divine first began her natural beauty experience at the age of 21 when introduced to the world of natural skin care by a beautiful West African woman in Harlem by the name of Folasade', the owner of Sade Skin Care; her skincare boutique located in Historic Hilton Village; provides natural skin care to treat and prevent skin disorders and to maintain the skin of men, women and teens; other clients use their service for special occasions such as weddings, fashions shows and photo shoots; spa treatments and packages, catering to pamper parties, bridal parties are available; the retail shop features deluxe, handcrafted skin care products
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Fri 11a-6p; Sat by appt only
PRICES: begin at $10-20
ADDRESS: 10202 Warwick Blvd MAP
PARKING: free behind the boutique
Beverly Hills, CA
Lady Dee's Day Spa & Skincare Studio
DESCRIPTION: Founded in 1988, Lady Dee offers a wide range of services and packages to treat clients spirit and physique; the spa feature 11 relaxing parlor rooms in a 3,000 square feet spa and a well-stocked gift shop; her spa specializes in treating all skin types and hyper-pigmentation caused by child birth, sun damage and birth control pills; Lady Dee was mentored by Dr. James Fulton who cleared up her severe acne problem in college; services include chemical peels, waxing, electrolysis, facials, body wraps; the massages will make you a repeat patron they are really good; Black celebrity clients include Angela Bassett, Courtney B. Vance, Lonette McKee, Nancy Wilson, Nia Long, Toni Braxton, Chris Tucker, Tommy Davidson, Eddie Griffin, Kenny Lattimore and Natalie Cole
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Fri 9a-9p, Sat 9a-5p
ADDRESS: 155 South Robertson Blvd MAP
PHONE: 800-6LADYDEE or 310-659-7082
New York, NY
Sugar Hill Harlem Inn
DESCRIPTION: Located on Sugar Hill, high on the cliffs overlooking Harlem in a limestone townhouse renovated in 2001; the area known as Sugar Hill is steeped in the history of the Harlem Renaissance; Sugar Hill Inn is focused on this history and all of their terrific non-smoking rooms are dedicated to the many great artists and civil rights leaders who were associated with this area; celebrity-themed rooms were meticulously designed and decorated by Carol Donawa, a graduate of the New York School of Interior Design
PRICES: $125-$275 per night
ADDRESS: 460 West 141st Street MAP
TRANSIT: near 1, A, B , C & Dsubway lines
Pampered Man Pampered Woman Spa
DESCRIPTION: Walking through the doors is like entering your own private sanctuary filled with relaxing sounds of instrumentals, the gurgle of water flowing over polished stones in a copper-bowl fountain and a gracious smiling staff; offers facials, natural nail care, therapeutic massage and a variety of body treatments while strongly reflecting the flavor of Oakland -- a lobby display features hair and beauty products manufactured in the city;; by spa standards, prices are affordable, particularly combination packages; one excellent value is the 3-hour long Completely Pampered Man or Woman package, which includes a 30-minute massage, a spa pedicure, a pampered manicure and an express facial
DAYS & HOURS: Tue-Wed Noon-7p, Thu-Sat 10a-7p
PARKING: on street
ADDRESS: 458 Perkins Street, Suite 104 MAP
Black Cruises 2013 Schedule
BLACK & SOULFUL CRUISES 2013
The NPN 2013 China
Leadership Summit & Music Festival at Sea
Dates: June 14 June 25, 2013
Route: 11-Night Exotic Asia with 3-Night Post-Cruise in Hong Kong
Cruise Line: Viking River Cruises
Ship: New Viking Emerald
Port of Departure:
The NPN 2013 Bahamas
& Music Festival at Sea
Dates: July 4 July 12, 2013
November 2 - 10, 2013
Theme: Capital Jazz presents The SuperCruise VII
The Jazz Cruise With Soul!
BLACK & SOULFUL CRUISES 2014
The NPN 2014 Africa
Leadership Summit & Music Festival at Sea
February 17 February 17, 2014
Cruise Line: Silversea Cruises