Travelrific® Travel Journal

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Archive for December, 2009

Geoparks Celebrate Geological Diversity

By Linda Tancs

Shetland is, as its website says, an area where Scotland meets Scandinavia and the North Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. Given this description, you would imagine there’s a fair degree of diversity in the landscape. Indeed, the region boasts a geological bonanza of newly-birthed mountains, ancient rivers, tropical seas and deserts. No wonder that Shetland has recently been designated a European Geopark. Simply put, a European Geopark is an area with a unique geological heritage that fosters the development of geotourism. There are currently 34 geoparks among 13 European countries. Learn more here.

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 The author has not received any compensation for writing this content and has no material connection to the brands, topics, products and/or services that are mentioned herein.

Gifts That Travel

By Linda Tancs

Humans and their furry companions aren’t the only things traveling.  During the holiday season in particular, gifts travel too.  For those traveling into the U.S. bearing gifts, you might be interested in knowing the Customs and Border Patrol regulations on the subject.  As a nonresident, you are allowed up to $100 worth of merchandise, free of duty and internal revenue tax, as gifts for other people. To claim this exemption, you must remain in the U.S.  for at least 72 hours, and the gifts must accompany you.  This $100 gift exemption, or any part of it, can be claimed only once every six months.  U.S. residents returning to the U.S. from a foreign country with gifts must declare them on a Customs declaration form along with items purchased or received.  The goods may be eligible for an exemption or reduced duty rate depending on the total amount of goods involved.  If you’re sending goods not exceeding $100 via mail, put the words “Unsolicited Gift”  on the outside wrapping.  Gift packages should also indicate the donor’s name, the nature of the gifts in the consolidated package (e.g., to or sweater), each gift’s accurate, fair retail value and the name of each recipient.  Now make like Santa and let the gift giving begin.

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 The author has not received any compensation for writing this content and has no material connection to the brands, topics, products and/or services that are mentioned herein.

Hog Wild in Carmel

By Linda Tancs

Did you know that the Hog’s Breath Inn restaurant in Carmel-by-the-Sea is owned by actor and former mayor Clint Eastwood?  I’m sure you’d make his day if you stopped by for a visit, but that’s not the only attraction in this city in California’s Monterey Peninsula.  The town is known for its story book-style cottages, characterized by turrets and stone chimneys, like those at Torres Street and Sixth Avenue.  Another feature is its mile-long pure sandy beach.  And then of course there’s the visual and performing arts centre along with the third oldest art gallery in the country, Weston Art Gallery–not surprising, considering Carmel’s origin as a bohemian art colony.  This pet-friendly destination was rated a top ten locale by a leading travel magazine.  If you go, consider a scenic walking tour.  Then eat, shop and explore some more and find out for yourself why they call it California’s Jewel City.

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 The author has not received any compensation for writing this content and has no material connection to the brands, topics, products and/or services that are mentioned herein.

The Cognac of Napoleon

By Linda Tancs

In the vineyard-embellished countryside of Jarnac in western France stands the house that Courvoisier built. That is, Maison Courvoisier, a refurbished warehouse of brandy barrels overlooking the Charente River. The story goes that Napoleon sailed away to oblivion with several barrels of Courvoisier’s doubly distilled elixir. Enough to forget one’s troubles, I suppose. No wonder this house markets its drink as the cognac of Napoleon. Just a three hour train ride from Paris, this region is the homeland of cognac. Nearby you’ll find Hennessy, Martel and Rémy Martin.

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The author has not received any compensation for writing this content and has no material connection to the brands, topics, products and/or services that are mentioned herein.

Tattoo You

By Linda Tancs

The 19th International Tattoo Convention gets underway in Berlin at Arena Berlin from 4 to 6 December.  Here’s where you’ll find Isobel Varley, the most tattooed senior woman in the world, as indicated in the Guinness Book of World Records.  Also appearing are legendary tattoo artist Herbert Hoffman and well-known illustrator Sarah Horwath.  Will Elaine Davidson of Brazil, the most pierced woman on Earth with 6000 body piercings, make a return appearance?   Some things really must be seen to be believed.

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 The author has not received any compensation for writing this content and has no material connection to the brands, topics, products and/or services that are mentioned herein.

Rockefeller Tree Lighting

By Linda Tancs

From today until 7 January 2010 you can enjoy one of the most famous trees in the world, New York’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.  This tree is green in more ways than one.  Following a tradition begun with the 75th tree in 2007, the 75+ foot spruce will be illuminated with 30,000 energy-efficient LED bulbs.  Tonight is the lighting ceremony, beginning at 7:00pm and concluding at 9:00pm.  The two-hour long program features various celebrity appearances and top musical entertainment, together with the countdown and tree lighting.   Better get there early for the best views of the event, taking place at 30 Rock.   The nicer the weather, the larger the crowds.  Not in the area?  Watch the tree online.

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 The author has not received any compensation for writing this content and has no material connection to the brands, topics, products and/or services that are mentioned herein.

Book Now for Shroud Viewing

By Linda Tancs

The Shroud of Turin will be available for viewing after a ten year break from 10 April to 23 May 2010.  Revered by many as the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, it underwent restoration in 2002 and will be available for viewing at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Torino, Italy.  You can now book your ticket online.  Without a ticket, you can still enter the central nave of the Cathedral but access to the shroud will be foreclosed.

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DISCLOSURE OF NO MATERIAL CONNECTION
The author has not received any compensation for writing this content and has no material connection to the brands, topics, products and/or services that are mentioned herein.

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