Dec 22, 2012

Coming Back


Although I didn't really go anywhere, I am back!

I have been very busy with school and with the new job, though both of them are going great!

I'm really enjoying the new job, it's great to be back into the management side of things, because I get to play with excel spreadsheets and all that fun stuff. I'm slowly catching on to the product line, and my sales are actually better than most of the associates who have been there for a while, so I am going to take that as a good sign.

I didn't do an end of month for November, but I did update my account, which can be found in the side bar. I'm slowly making progress, still paying down the same old debts and still saving for my dental surgery in June.

My girlfriend and I have chosen to take a small camping/road trip this summer, which should be both fun and relatively cheap!

Other than that, I've really had no news. I'm doing my income tax this Friday, and am expecting to owe the government about $300, which is no fun. I will let you know how that works out!

Nov 30, 2012

In Loco Motion

School's back in the full swing of things and all is well so far. First grade is definitely more hands-off for me than K was. I'm happy for that because it takes a load off my shoulders. It also gives my daughter the independence she needs to grow more mature and responsible. Her teacher is pretty tight with the rules but also kind and seems to know how to reward as much as correct. Since that's the way I run the ship around here she responds well to that kind of method. I think it's going to be a good year for all of us.

It's Thursday already and I am feeling ultra lazy. That's doing me no good. I've got auctions to work on and the box purses are starting to haunt my sleep. If I get the ball rolling I'll feel better. Unfortunately Summer has left my house in a state of slight discombobulation and I've got to get it under control first. It just drives me nuts to try and create anything in the middle of a mess. Which is funny because most of what I create causes a mess before it's done! So, I'm going to finish watching Lost In Translation (again) and tackle the home asthetics first. Afterwards I need to do a supply inventory since the kiddos have been using my gear a lot lately. Hopefully I'll have enough energy and motivation later to actually create something. Yeah, gonna need more coffee with that...

Oh!! Hey!! I got a really nice comment by a Park Ranger blogger from Virginia and I found a super cool art blog by Coop. It's gonna to be a good day Tater!

Nov 9, 2012

Daily walk around the decks

Here's a tip for a successful rail and sail tour experience. When you go on the train tour portion of your trip don't stay confined to your room. Trains might not seem like the easiest place to hang out with other travelers, but it isn't that difficult. The tables that are set up for dining are a great way to sit down and socialize with new people! I have found that a lot of trains scatter dining tables throughout different cars so if you don't like the people you meet, you can always go somewhere else! 

Spending time with other travelers is a little bit easier on a cruise in my opinion. Why not take time out to join the enthusiastic band of 'deck-walkers' on board ship. Every morning, these happy groups stroll the decks, doing a circuit several times around. It's an excellent way to start the day (leaves more room for your on-board breakfast) and you can meet new friends and acquaintances on your walk!

While we're on the subject of doing circuits around decks, I recall that years ago, a friend of mine decided to go to Taiwan on a cruise. When he was in port there, he purchased a motor-scooter. They were very cheap at that time. The only problem was, being a new machine, there were no kilometers on the odometer, and he knew that when he returned Down Under, he would have to pay import duty due on a new scooter. So under an arrangement with the captain, he was allowed to 'scoot' around the deck every morning (carefully avoiding fellow passengers) and by the end of the cruise, he had accumulated quite a few km. This effectively meant his machine was now second-hand, and he thus avoided the import duty!

Happy traveling! 

Aug 23, 2012

Traveling With Money on your Mind

There's certainly places around the world that are cheaper to travel to than others, but telling someone to go to Kenya instead of Paris is too simple. Little tips and tricks add up when it comes to saving money while traveling, and here are a few of my favorite ones:

Always stay in Hostels
Hostels, like this Interlaken hostel, are tremendously cheaper than getting a hotel room. If you do a bit of research in advance, you can find the nicer ones that make it all worthwhile. Do a search for travel blogs, with the city you plan on visiting in parenthesis and you'll find forums and blog articles about the best hostels to stay in in a particular town. It's also good to be able to weed out the run down and creepy places!

Make Your Own Food
It might seem nicer to go out to a fine restaurant wherever you're visiting, which is fine to do once or twice, but by the 7th day of traveling, you may not be as excited to go out to a fancy restaurant. Make a quick trip to the local grocery store or market and make something from which you find. Buy some drinks or crackers that you've never heard of before. I'll never forget eating my first Tim Tam in Australia!

Pick and Choose your Activities
Tourism countries know that travelers will easily make impulse purchases, saying "well I'm only in ___ once!". Which is true, YOLO, but it's not going to help out your bank account in any way. Plan out your activities well in advance, so you have time to compare prices and rates. It also lets you scope out reviews and tips for activities in the area, so you don't get sucked into paying for something that wasn't all that great.

Aug 13, 2012

Alaska Trivia: Snow, Ice and Everything Nice

Out of all the places I'd like to visit, Alaska is one at the top if my list. Alaska is one of the major tourist destinations and every year a large number of people visit this place. But most people are confused as to which is the best time to go for train vacations in Alaska. Normally, the winter months are severe and one should avoid those months in order to go for Alaska train tours. Summer months are the best time to visit the state and enjoy its natural scenic beauty. A lot of people visit Alaska during their summer vacations, and enjoy a bountiful amount of its natural gifts.

Check out the Alaska trivia to know more about this place:

Truth or False: Temperatures fluctuate a lot in Alaska
In the interiors of Alaska like Fairbanks, the temperature fluctuates a lot.  You should note here that the interior traditionally gets warmer in the summer and colder in the winter. However, the fluctuation in temperature is not much felt in other parts of the state. So, if you go for train tours, you can choose the summer months. If you want to visit the outskirts of Alaska, you can even visit them in the winter months.

Truth or False: The Snow and Ice found in Alaska is extremely dry
The overall climate of Alaska is extremely cold and dry. It is absolutely true that the snow found here is extremely dry. Normal wet snow in other areas takes 5-8 inches to make one inch of water whereas in the interiors of Alaska, the ratio is one to 20.   

Truth or False: The snow is crunchier in Alaska
The snow is actually crunchier in Alaska and everyone can vouch for it. Thus, there’s no way anyone can sneak up on you when it is cold as with every footfall, you will be able to hear "CRUNCH!"  If it is actively snowing after dark, the lights get reflected straight up into the sky for a long way, looking like a forest of searchlights.   

Truth or False: Long days and long nights in Alaska
It is said that the night descended on Alaska along about the end of summer, and daylight did not come again until spring or summer came again. In the winter months, the nights are surely longer compared to any other state. In the month of June, the state of Alaska does have the longest days. Anchorage receives only 19.5 hours of sunlight. So, now you know the best time to go for train vacations or Alaska train tours.   

Truth or False: The highest mountain in North America located in Alaska
Mount McKinley is the highest mountain of Alaska. It is also the highest mountain of North America. So, if you’re visiting Alaska, don’t forget to visit Mount McKinley. You can take profession help and go for trekking.

Truth or False: There are around 100,000 glaciers in Alaska
There are an estimated 100,000 glaciers in Alaska, which take up 29,000 square miles of the State's surface.  The longest glacier in Alaska is Hubbard Glacier. A number of the larger cruise liners sailing Alaska waters visit this huge river of ice.

Alaska is an interesting state with lot to visit and enjoy. It is more beneficial if you go on a long vacation to Alaska. This will give you the much needed time to visit all major attractions in and around Alaska. You should also take some time to plan your Alaska train tours so that you don’t miss out on any of the beautiful places. It is very important to note the places of your interest in advance so that you get them in order and plan your budget accordingly.

May 15, 2012

Traveling the World

Eartha - Southeast AsiaEartha - Southeast Asia (Photo credit: herzogbr)One of these days, I would like to pack bags and travel the world for a month or two. I've done a fair amount of traveling in my time, but one place I've never come near but would love to go to is Southeastern Asia. From what I've heard it's absolutely gorgeous and is rapidly developing to accommodation more tourism. If you know anything about the area or have any recommendations, I'm all ears.