Wednesday Cute: Corgis Frolicking In The Snow!

Categories: News

This week’s Wednesday Cute was written by editorial intern Perry, who, if she were a dog, would be a Corgi.

As many of you know, New York  City has spent the past week gearing up for Winter Storm Juno, which we were told would be the storm of the century. It turned out to be a major non-event! We were expecting 2+ feet of snow and we got about 6 inches. I, for one, was pretty disappointed! I wanted to go sledding! I wanted to make snowmen! I wanted to frolic through the icy tundra! So to make up for all the snow-related fun New Yorkers missed out on, here are a bunch of corgis having fun in the snow!

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#TravelTuesday – Wyoming, USA

Categories: News, Travel

27

 

Today’s Travel Tuesday destination is Wyoming, USA, courtesy of the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die Page-A-Day calendar.

Top Attractions:

1. Cheyenne Frontier Days: Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA. The Cowboy State’s capital city was once nicknamed Hell on Wheels, and during its annual Frontier Days you’ll understand why. This celebration of all things Western was first held in 1897, a mere 15 years after William F. Cody, aka “Buffalo Bill,” created the rodeo tradition with his traveling Wild West Show.

  • Where: 100 miles north of Denver. Tel: 800-227-6336 or 307-778-7222; www.cfdrodeo.com.
  • Best Time: Late July

2. Bitterroot Ranch: Dubois, Wyoming, USA. Fifty wild, mountainous miles from Yellowstone, Bitterroot Dude Ranch rests in a remote valley flanked by the Shoshone National Forest on one side and a 52,000-acre wildlife refuge on the other. Mel and Bayard Fox own and operate this 1,300-acre rider’s paradise, with a dozen hand-hewn log cabins—some a century old—scattered along the trout stream that runs through it.

  • Where: 85 miles east of Jackson. Tel: 800-545-0019 or 307-455-3363; www.bitterrootranch.com.
  • Best Times: June-July for wildflowers; September for aspens.

3. Grand Teton National Park (pictured above): Wyoming, USA. Craggy, glacier-chiseled and rising to 7,000-plus feet above the floor of Wyoming’s Jackson Hole Valley (itself more than 6,000 feet above sea level), the dramatic peaks of Grand Teton National Park win America’s topographical beauty pageant. With no foot-hills to mar the view, the oft-photographed Tetons dominate the skyline with a grandeur that’s starkly primeval.

  • Where: 12 miles north of Jackson. Tel: 307-739-3300; www.nps.gov/grte
  • Best Times: July-August for warmest weather; September for foliage and fewer crowds.

4. Jackson Hole: Wyoming, USA. One of the art, recreation, and lifestyle capitals of the New West, Jackson has evolved from a fur-trading cow town into a bustling tourist center that borders on being cosmopolitan. While the scenic 50-mile-long Jackson Hole area (the “hole” is a high, enclosed mountain valley) is full of trophy homes and gated communities, Jackson itself draws an egalitarian mix of ski bums, the moneyed elite, hikers and climbers, and even a real Wyoming cowboy or two.

  • Where: Jackson is 275 miles northwest of Salt Lake City, UT.
  • Best Times: January-March for skiing; late May for Old West Days; July 4 for Music in the Hole Concert; mid-September for Fall Arts Festival.

5. Yellowstone National Park: Wyoming, USA. Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is America’s oldest-national park, known worldwide for the geysers and geothermal pools that hark back to its volcanic past. Yellowstone’s 3,500 square miles encompass rugged plateaus and heavily forested peaks, steaming hot springs, crystalline lakes, and 290 thundering waterfalls. Over 3 million people visit every year, so if you plan to go between June and September, expect plenty of company in the park’s popular areas.

  • Where: The park has 5 entrances: 3 in Montana and 2 in Wyoming; www.nps.gov/yell
  • Best Times: May-mid-June and September-mid-October for nice weather without crowds; September-mid-October for fall foliage; winter for cross-country skiing.

Read more on 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and the calendar line here.

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Wednesday Cute: Armadillo Edition

Categories: News

This week’s edition of Wednesday Cute was written by editorial intern Rachel, who has had a change of heart about armadillos.

When you think of cute animals, I’m guessing that your mind doesn’t immediately jump to armadillos. Mine didn’t either.

standing armadillo

I mean, you know, they’re not bad-looking and they do that cute roly-poly thing.

roly poly armadillo

But I wouldn’t have compared them to kittens. Well, not until now anyway:

I promise you, if you watch this, you will also change your views on armadillos.

 

Have a happy Wednesday!

 

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#TravelTuesday – Tanzania, Africa

Categories: News

20

 

Today’s Travel Tuesday destination is Tanzania, Africa, courtesy of the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die Page-A-Day calendar.

Top Attractions:

1. Mount Kilimanjaro: “Wide as all the world, great, high, and unbelievably white in the sun,” wrote Ernest Hemingway in his famous short story “The Snows of Kilimanjaro.” As global warming has caused temperatures to creep up, those snows have been melting, but even now, few mountains rival Kilimanjaro—Swahili for “mountain of greatness”; at 19,340 feet, it dwarfs all of Africa’s other peaks. The 9-day, 25 mile round-trip trek to the dormant volcano’s oddly flat top, ascending by way of the remote, seldom-used Shira Plateau, has several advantages over the more popular, five-day Marangu Trail, or “tourist route.”

  • Where: Arusha is 168 miles/270 km south of Nairobi.
  • How: U.S.-based Mountain Madness offers 12-day Shira route trips. Tel: 800-328-5925 or 206-937-8389; www.mountainmadness.com; Cost: from $4,975 all-inclusive.
  • Best Times: September-October and December-January for clearer, warmer, and drier days on the mountain, but also biggest crowds.

2. Greystoke Camp: Just 60 miles south of where Stanley uttered his famous greeting, “Doctor Livingstone, I presume?” on the remote eastern shores of Lake Tanganyika, lies Mahale Mountains National Park, home to the world’s largest known population of the wild chimpanzees, mankind’s closest relatives. The 600-square-mile, road-free park remains almost untouched by the outside world, yet on the lake’s sandy shores at the foot of the mountains lies Greystoke safari fantasies and a strong candidate for the most beautiful in all of Africa.

  • Where: On the shores of Lake Tanganyika, in western Tanzania; accessible via charter from Arusha, plus a boat to transfer to camp; www.greystoke-manhale.com.
  • Cost: From $1,075 per person per night, all-inclusive, with round-trip charter from Arusha (off-peak), from $1,225 (peak).
  • How: U.S.-based Africa Adventure Company offers custom itineraries. Tel: 800-882-9453 or 954-491-8877; www.africa-adventure.com.
  • Best Time: Trekking can be easier August-October when chimpanzees are often closer to the bottom of the mountains.

3. Ngorongoro Crater (pictured above): The volcanic Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest unflooded, intact caldera is considered one of the natural wonders of the world, both for its unique beauty and for the staggering concentration of animals that live there.

  • Where: 120 miles/190 km west of Arusha.
  • Best Times: Animal numbers are high year-round, but expect rain in April-May; June-August for cooler, drier weather.

4. The Serengeti: The Serengeti, one of the oldest ecosystems on earth, is Africa’s No. 1 World Heritage site. It has barely changed since early humans first appeared about 2 million years ago, a fact that remained unknown until Louis and Mary Leakey began excavation work in the Olduvai Gorge in the 1950s. It remains an important region for the study of human origins, but what brings in the Land Rovers packed with wide-eyed nature lovers and shutterbugs is the grandest of all wildlife shows: the great migration.

  • Where: Northwestern Tanzania.
  • How: U.S.-based Africa Adventure Company arranges custom trips. Tel: 800-882-9453 or 954-491-8877; www.africa-adventure.com.
  • Best Times: Wildlife abounds throughout the Serengeti year-round. June-July are typically good months for the migration in the Grumeti Reserves.

5. Zanzibar: The very name Zanzibar conjures up images of romantic spice islands, and—like legendary Timbuktu or Kathmandu—the name alone is almost reason enough to make the trip. The historic center of its capital city is known as Stone Town, a maze of narrow streets, crooked passages, and crumbling houses once owned by Arab traders, with enclosed balconies and carved, brass-studded doors.

  • Where: 22 miles/35 km off eastern coast of Tanzania.
  • Best Times: December-February and June-October for dry season; early February for Sauti Za Busara African music celebration; July for Stone Town’s Festival of the Dhow Countries, with film, art, and cultural events.

Read more on 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and the calendar line here:

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Wednesday Cute: Puppies vs. Stairs

Categories: News

This week’s Wednesday Cute was written by editorial intern Perry, who also struggled with the complexities of stairs in her youth.

Hello dear readers, and welcome back! Now that Christmas is over and New Years is past, it is that time of the year when resolutions are made. We all vow to be healthier, exercise more, work harder, be kinder, or call our mothers more, but the point is that we all try to recommit to the idea of our best selves. No matter what your resolution this year, take inspiration from these adorable, courageous pups, trying their best to figure out how to get up and down stairs. Some do it gracefully, some do it ridiculously, and some not at all, but they all try and that’s what counts!

So if you too find yourself facing a challenge in the year ahead, remember the puppies who did their best to conquer the stairs. Their bravery, perseverance, and cuteness is an inspiration to us all;)

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#TravelTuesday – Devon & Somerset England

Categories: News

13Today’s #TravelTuesday destination is Devon & Somerset England courtesy of the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die Page-A-Day calendar.

Top Attractions:

1. Exmoor National Park (pictured above): Devon & Somerset England. In a beautiful corner of the West Country, where Somerset becomes Devon, sits the dramatic and romantic landscape of Exmoor National Park. On the high hills, bare of trees, are the remains of Bronze Age settlements, while streams and rivers cut steep-sided valleys down to the sea—most famously, the boulder-scattered Valley of the Rocks.

  • Where: 200 miles/320 km southwest of London.
  • Visitor Info: www.visit-exmoor.co.uk 
  • Best Times: September-November for heather at its most beautiful.

2. Dartmoor: Devon, England. England’s Southwest Peninsula—and especially the county of Devon—is renowned as a green and lush destination. Fertile conditions and a long farming heritage explain why it’s the home of Devon cream and the sacrosanct tradition of sitting down to a Devonshire tea.

  • Where: 230 miles/384 km southwest of London.
  • Visitor Info: www.dartmoor.co.uk 
  • Best Times: April-September; May for wildflowers; August for heather on the moor turning purple.

3. Bath: Somerset, England. Legend has it that an ancient Celtic king first discovered the healing properties of the thermal waters here; then, between A.D. 50 and 300, the Romans built elaborate saunas, temples, and bathhouses around the hot springs. More than a millennium later, in 1702, Queen Anne’s visit launched the city’s rebirth as the country’s premier spa town. Throughout the 18th century, English high society would come here for the season to “take the waters” as depicted in the novels of Jane Austen.

  • Where: 115 miles/185 km west of London.
  • Visitor Info: www.visitbath.co.uk
  • Best Times: May-September for nicest weather; late May-early June for Bath International Music Festival.

4. Wells Cathedral: Wells, Somerset, England. In the heart of the sleepy rural county of Somerset is England’s smallest city, delightful little Wells. A settlement since Saxon times, Wells reached its pinnacle of prestige around the 12th century, when the magnificent Cathedral Church of St. Andrew was built to reflect the city’s affluence. Although St. Andrew is one of Britain’s smallest cathedrals, it dwarfs the perfectly preserved surrounding streets that spread out in its shadow. A special feature is the catherdral’s west front, heavily ornamented with six tiers of 365 carved life-size figures that compromise the most extensive surviving array of medieval sculpture in Britain.

  • Where: 120 miles/193 km southwest of London.
  • Best Time: May-October for the nicest weather; late June for Glastonbury Festival.

Read more on 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and the calendar line here.

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#TravelTuesday – Madrid, Spain

Categories: Travel

6

Today’s Travel Tuesday destination is Madrid, Spain, courtesy of the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die Page-A-Day Calendar.

Top Attractions:

1. The Plaza Mayor (pictured above): The huge cobblestone square, completed in 1619 in the Baroque style, has seen its share of bullfights, hangings, riots, wild carnivals, and the nasty doings of the Inquisition. Today it’s the gateway between the Centro and La Latina neighborhoods. Its nine arched exits lead into streets crowded with tabernas and tapas bars.

2. Centro de Arte Reina Sofía: Home of Picasso’s Guernica, Spain’s modern and contemporary arts museum is just a few blocks from the Prado, in an 18th-century former hospital building and a Post-Modern minimalist extension designed by Jean Nouvel. Its collection includes works by Spanish artists such as Miró, Dalí, Juan Gris, and Antoni Tàpies, as well as Alexander Calder, Man Ray, and Jean Dubuffet.

4. The Prado: The keystone of the “Golden Triangle of Museums” (with Reina Sofía (see above) and Thyssen-Bornemisza (see below)), the Prado is a treasure-house that could keep Madrid on the cultural map all by itself. The museum is primarily known for its collection of more than 8,600 paintings by El Greco, Goya, Murillo, Rubens, Titian, Bosch, Raphael, Botticelli, Fre Angelico, and many others.

5. The Tapas Crawl: Embrace the Madrileno style and wander from watering hole to watering hole nibbling as you go, leading up to inner around 11:00 P.M. (or simply replacing it). Grazing possibilities are endless, from albondigas (meatballs) to zamburinas (small scallops). The streets around Plaza Santa Ana remain the premier tapas districts for locals: Don’t leave without trying smoked trout on toast at la Trucha.

6. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum: Two of the most extraordinary private art collections amassed in the 20th century—both assembled by Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza of Switzerland and his Spanish-born fifth wife, Carmen Cervera—fill artistic gaps in the Prado and Reina Sofía with superb Italian and German 13th-century Gothic art through 19th-century Impressionists (notably Monet) and 20th-century works of American Abstract Expressionists.

Read more on 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and the calendar line here.

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Books and Booze

Categories: News

This post was written by editorial intern Rachel, who is thinking about doing a cross-country book and bar tour.

If you’re anything like me, then at some point in your life, you’ve been planning a night out with friends and thought, “Man, I wish there was some sort of establishment that catered both to my desire to be social and my desire to stay in and read.” As it turns out, you and I are not alone in this dilemma.

A quick search online shows that there are a number of literary themed bars in cities across the country (and the world, for that matter.) The ones included on this list were chosen for various reasons; some have histories tied to famous literary figures, some hold literary events, and some just have a particularly literary atmosphere.

The Dead Poet (New York City)

Dead Poet

Opened in 2000 and found on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, owner Drew Dvorkin was inspired by a passion for Irish pubs and literature. Inside, you can find old fashioned lampposts, a working jukebox, free popcorn (which is delicious, based on my personal experience), and a menu full of signature drinks named after famous authors. There’s even a lending library of sorts, with a number of classic books that patrons can sign out to take home.

Bukowski Tavern (Boston)

Bukowski Tavern

Named after the famously boozy author, the Bukowski Tavern was founded in 1994 and has locations in Back Bay and in Cambridge.  It may be a little bit dark and cramped, but it has a neon “Dead Authors’ Club” sign in the window and both locations have a “wheel of beer.” (Think Wheel of Fortune, but for beer.) Most recommended dish? Something the tavern calls “white trash poutine tater tots,” which are, by all accounts, excellent.

Sheffield’s Beer & Wine Garden (Chicago)

Sheffields Chicago

Sheffield’s is routinely voted the best beer garden in Chicago. Though their unique craft beer menu (rotated daily) and their smoked-in-house BBQ are certainly commendable, the big reason that Sheffield’s is on this list is the monthly Reading Under the Influence series that takes place in the back room. Every month, a few writers read a short piece of original work on a given theme. Then they read a few lines of famous writing and follow it up with a trivia contest for the audience. Previous themes have included “dude ranch,” “save it for later,” and “attitude adjustment,” among others.

Vesuvio Cafe (San Francisco)

Vesuvio

Open since 1948 and located across the street from the infamous City Lights Bookstore, Vesuvio was commonly known as a favorite west coast drinking spot for the Beat poets. The bar was famously frequented by such notable figures as Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, and Francis Ford Coppola. The alley that Vesuvio shares with the City Lights Bookstore was even renamed to Jack Kerouac Alley in 1988.

The George Inn (London, England)

George Inn

The sign out front of the George Inn reads:

“It is known that the George Inn existed in the late 16 Century although the present building dates from 1677. Both Shakespeare and Dickens knew the hospitality of the inn which has continued right up to the present day.”

The George Inn is located not far from Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and even has a mention in Dickens’ Little Dorrit. Because of all this, it can get pretty busy, but its ties to the past make this a draw for all you literature lovers out there.

La Rotonde (Paris, France)

La Rotonde

Around since 1911, La Rotonde was a favorite among the inter-war American ex-patriots. Frequented by Gertrude Stein, T. S. Eliot, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and mentioned by name in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, La Rotonde remains popular, even today.

 

This is, of course, only a small sample of the literary bars out there. I’ve only had a chance to visit the first bar on this list (it’s excellent), but if you’ve ever been to any of the others, or know of any other literary bars that you love, leave us a comment down below!

Happy reading (and drinking)!

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Wednesday Cute: A Year In Review

Categories: Holiday, News, Pets, Wednesday Cute

This week’s Wednesday Cute was written by editorial intern Perry, who is looking forward to drinking pink champagne tonight!

Dear Readers,

Over the last few months, we’ve been bringing back the Wednesday Cute with exotic animals, adorable videos, and cute food art. Intern Rachel and I have very much enjoyed bringing you something cute every week and we will continue to do so in the new year. But as this year draws to a close, we thought it was time to reflect on some of the cutest stories of 2014:

1. Olympic athletes adopting Sochi strays

Puppies

During the Olympics,  it quickly became clear that the stray dog population in Sochi would be a problem.  Gus Kenworthy, an Olympic skier, decided to do something about it and adopted five puppies that accompanied him home. Some of his fellow athletes joined him, making this the cutest Olympics ever.

2. Four-year-old fashionista makes incredible paper dresses

Dress

“Mayhem”, as her mother calls her, is the delightful model and co-designer of these paper masterpieces. The internet took notice when Mayhem and her mom started instagramming paper versions of the designs celebrities wore to award shows. I can’t wait to see their 2015 collection!

3. Father/daughter Leia and Han Solo costumes

Leia Dad

Halloween always produces it’s fair share of cute costumes, but this was one of the cutest. When Tom Burns’ daughter asked him if she could be Han Solo for the holiday, this was his response:

“When she asked if she could dress up as Han Solo, it seemed as if she was asking permission, and I could tell that part of the hesitation was the gender thing. I immediately said ‘Yes, of course that’s ok! The gender thing shouldn’t even enter your mind.’ So when she said, ‘If I’m Han Solo, you should probably be Princess Leia,’ I couldn’t argue that point.”

The result: a pretty great picture for the scrap book!

4. Tiny hamster eating a tiny burrito

This needs no explanation. Just watch and be enchanted.

5. December babies go home in stockings

Babies

Some hospitals like to get in the holiday spirit and send babies born around Christmas home in stockings! These are the cutest little stocking stuffers you are ever going to see.

So on that adorable note, Rachel and I bid you a fond farewell for 2014. We’ll be back in January with more cute animals and babies. If you see something cute that you’d like us to share with the world, let us know in comments!

Lots of love,

Perry and Rachel

 

 

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#TravelTuesday – Alberta, Canada

Categories: Travel

12-30-14

Today’s Travel Tuesday destination is Alberta, Canada courtesy of the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die Page-A-Day Calendar.

Top Attractions:

1. Calgary Stampede: Calgary goes Western during its world-famous stampede, kicking up its (boot) heels for ten rodeo-filled days in July. Rodeos have been a part of Calgary summers since 1886, soon after the city was founded as an outpost for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

  • When: 10 days in mid-July

2. Banff, Jasper, and Yoho National Parks (pictured above): Spanning the crown of the majestic Canadian Rockies are Banff, Jasper, and Yoho National Parks, collectively known as the Rocky Mountain Parks. Banff was Canada’s very first national park and is now a 2,656-square-mile giant and Canada’s No. 1 tourist destination. The park’s pride is a pair of shimmering jade green lakes: the stunning Moraine Lake, nestled beneath soaring 10,000-foot peaks, and Lake Louise, known for its dramatic setting at the base of Victoria Glacier.

  • Where: Banff is 80 miles/129 km west of Calgary.
  • Best Times: April-June for wildlife; September-October for pleasant weather, foliage, and smaller crowds.

3. The Canadian Rockies by Train: When railroads first crossed Canada in 1885 (“an act of insane recklessness,” read the headlines), they did not more than bring settles: They opened up western Canada to tourism.” Traveling by train through the Rockies is still one of the best—and most relaxing—ways to explore this massive and inspiring country. VIA Rail Canada, Canada’s national passenger rail network, offers a year-round 4-night, 2,775-mile trip between Toronto and Vancouver. It passes through Jasper National Park, over the Continental Divide, and past the Canadian Rockies’ highest peak, 12,972-foot Mount Robson.

  • Best Times: April-June for wildlife; September-October for pleasant weather, foliage, and smaller crowds.

Read more on 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and the calendar line here.

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