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Archive for June, 2010

Blue Ridge Parkway Celebrates Milestone

By Linda Tancs

Did you know that the most heavily visited unit of the U.S. National Park Service is the Blue Ridge Parkway? Now in its 75th year, the longest roadway planned as a single unit winds through portions of Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains, providing panoramic views of mountain passes, waterfalls, forests and meadows. There are plenty of celebrations taking place to honor this natural resource, like traditional mountain music and dancing at Beacon Mill Village near Asheville, North Carolina. Or perhaps you’d like to bike through the Shenandoah Valley on a five-day tour with the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains as your backdrop! Enjoy the region’s rich heritage through a multitude of festivals celebrating food, culture and scenery. After all, it’s more than a road; it’s a way of life.

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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.

Puppet Lore in New York City

By Linda Tancs

There’s a new stop on the NBC Studios tour in New York City these days. As reported on NBC Nightly News, the pipes that Frank Oz, Jim Henson and others painted into early versions of The Muppets characters during breaks on “The Jack Paar Show” have been discovered and now offer studio visitors a peek into the origins of those beloved puppets. Gives new meaning to the phrase “pipe dreams,” doesn’t it?

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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.

A New Decade of Celebration in New Zealand

By Linda Tancs

Matariki or Aotearoa Pacific New Year is a unique festival dictated by the rising of the Pleiades star formation, occurring this year on 14 June. Matariki is especially important to the Ngati Kahungunu people, the second largest tribal region which stretches from the Wharerata ranges in the Wairoa district to Cape Palliser in South Wairarapa. This tribal region is credited with reviving modern-day Matariki celebrations, naming Matariki 2010 “A New Decade of Celebration.” New Zealand’s national museum in Wellington, Te Papa, is developing a full events program that will run for 18 days from 10 – 27 June. Be sure to view Pleiades at Wellington’s newly refurbished Carter Observatory, which is organizing a public observation of the constellation from the top of Wellington’s Mount Victoria early on 14 June. Happy New Year!

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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 Big Blast in Montreal

By Linda Tancs

Starting this Saturday through 14 August the rockets will be blazing at Montreal’s LaRonde, the largest amusement park in Québec. Since 1985 they’ve been hosting an international fireworks competition, now known as L’International des Feux Loto-Québec. Facing off this year will be the U.S., Canada, Italy, Taiwan, Poland, Portugal, Sweden and France. Don’t miss the tribute to Celine Dion on 10 July, a 30-minute fireworks display set to her greatest hits (in French and English). The event will culminate with the Jupiter Awards ceremony. Buy your tickets today!

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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.

New Passport Fees in U.S.

By Linda Tancs

Nothing may be certain but death and taxes, but you can rest assured that fees for governmental services will rise with the tides (especially when economic conditions dictate). So the following represents the proposed fee increases on U.S. passports arising from a federal rulemaking back in February:

• $135 for a first-time U.S. Passport for adults (age 16 and over)
• $110 for U.S. Passport renewal (age 16 and over only)
• $105 for a U.S. Passport for minors (under age 16)
• $55 for a first-time U.S. Passport Card for adults (age 16 and over).
Note that the Department of State reported that 658 U.S. Passport Cards issued on March 29, 2010 were found to be defective and therefore invalid at land border crossings or sea ports of entry. Affected individuals are being contacted and provided with passport card replacement procedures.
• $30 for a U.S. Passport Card for adults (age 16 and over) who currently hold a fully valid U.S. Passport
• $40 for a U.S. Passport Card for minors (under age 16)
• $82 for additional visa pages
The fee for expedited service will remain $60.

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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.

Old Masters in London

By Linda Tancs

Now through 13 June enjoy Old Master paintings, antiques, furniture and jewelry at Olympia International Art and Antiques Fair, London’s oldest and largest summer international fine art and antiques fair. Vetted by a team of 200 experts, the offerings are diverse enough for every level of collector. Olympia Exhibition Hall, the venue, is outside the city’s infamous congestion zone. Pre-book parking or take the tube to Kensington Olympia.

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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.

Poker Faces Galore in Las Vegas

By Linda Tancs

They’re making history at the World Series of Poker championships at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. For only the second time in WSOP’s history, a pair of brothers made it to the final table for the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy and $1.55 million in prize money. The action is hardly over, however. The biggest poker gathering of the year runs until 17 July, culminating in the 13-day No-Limit Hold’em Championship. Wanna play? Better pre register to guarantee a seat at the pot of your choice.

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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.

Man’s Best Friend Unleashed at Sydney Film Festival

By Linda Tancs

Sydney’s film festival has gone to the dogs, as 2010’s theme, Unleashed, suggests. On the festival’s home page you’ll find a pageant of pooches, including Derek the stuntman (or stunt pooch). Well, they do say the festival is open to everyone. Now in its 57th year, it’s one of the longest running festivals. From 2 June to 14 June, you can experience a good share of thrills, chills, passion, humor, action and traction in a variety of venues at the heart of Sydney’s business district and along the harbor. In fact, 150 feature-length films from around 45 countries, including features, documentaries, short films, retrospectives, a silent film presentation, and films for families await you. And with fares at historic lows, you have no reason to bow out of this one.

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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 Four-Footed Van Gogh

By Linda Tancs

Van Gogh remarked, “Keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to understand art more and more.” Who better to love nature than those who dwell in it? I’m talking about members of the animal kingdom, some of which are budding artists at animal arts programs like the one found at Indianapolis Zoo in Indiana. There you can meet and greet your pachyderm Picasso, penguin Pannini or sea lion Storck and take home your own custom masterpiece. The marine animals will paint through May and in autumn; the elephant program runs through October.

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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.

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