Top Art Centers In Orlando You Should Not Miss

Top Art Centers In Orlando You Should Not MissAlthough considered one of the most modern cities in North America, Orlando has...

Where One Gets Passports

Where One Gets PassportsBefore I had ever purchased a passport or had a reason to hold one, I imagined their acquisition...

Travelling With Your Dog Or Other Pet – Essential Tips

Travelling With Your Dog Or Other Pet – Essential TipsWe know from our own experience that when preparing to travel with...

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Top Art Centers In Orlando You Should Not Miss

Top Art Centers In Orlando You Should Not Miss

Although considered one of the most modern cities in North America, Orlando has a healthy number of art centers. A visit to this wonderful city in Florida cannot be called complete without taking a tour of the several excellent museums. The list below will give you a brief introduction of the museums.

Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

If you are into jewelry and art glass hunt, do not miss to visit the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park. This place has a huge collection of famous pottery and Tiffany lamps. The interior of the chapel is a sight to behold. The design was created for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in the year 1893. Check out the free concerts during Fridays of November and December for free.

CityArts Factory

This huge gallery has five sub-galleries that feature five different forms of art. The historic Dr. Phillips building houses the extraordinary glassworks by Charles Keila. The Pound Gallery is dedicated for the music and art collections of both Jim Faherty and Gene Zimmerman. Should you want to see African sculpture, the Zulu Exclusive Gallery is a home to many such wonderful pieces.

Grand Bohemian Gallery

Associated with the Grand Bohemian Hotel, visitors of the gallery can either be guests of the hotel or not. There is no admission fee upon entry to this famed gallery. The works of art on display include local contemporary jewelries, art glasses and paintings of Europe’s painters from 19th and 20th centuries.

Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens

Another excellent place to visit in Winter Park, the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens offers many beautiful sculptures anytime of the year. This place is usually close during summer although the sculpture gardens can still accommodate visitors without any admission fee.

Cornell Fine Arts Museum

Created to cater to students, this place does not charge visiting students who can present their valid school I.D. while adults are charged $5. The main attractions in Cornell Fine Arts Museum are the Madonna and Child Enthroned of Cosimo Rosselli and The Seasons by J.B. Leprince. Both of these pieces are located in the museum’s permanent collection area.

Bach Festival Society of Winter Park

Although it is not a permanent event in Winter Park, the Bach Festival Society usually hosts concerts for free in Winter Park like the “Christmas in the Park” and the “July 4th Celebration in the Park”. The society has an organic choir and instrument ensembles that regularly perform in Annie Russell Theatre and the Knowles Memorial Chapel.

Fred Stone Theatre

Located in Rollins College, guests can witness student-produced “Second Stage Series” during the evenings of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Matinees are sometimes performed on Saturdays and Sundays. Visitors are encouraged to be early since this is free admission and seats are on a first-come-first-served basis.

Art Centers are also very important in promoting the artistic side of Orlando. Although, not everybody may find these places enjoyable, they are good places to stay whenever you are bored during your vacation. For art lovers, these could be the places they can complement their taste of art.…

Where One Gets Passports

Where One Gets Passports

Before I had ever purchased a passport or had a reason to hold one, I imagined their acquisition to be something akin to what you would see in an old detective or spy movie. I knew that there were pawn shops that made passport photos, but imagined them to be (once again) like in the movies. I thought the advertisements were offering to take a photo of me and put it onto some forged document so I could get into countries I would otherwise not be able allowed into.

In September of 2001, I went with a bunch of my friends to Uganda. In preparation for that, we all had to acquire passports and hundreds of dollars of shots and malaria medicine. That’s when I found that carrying a passport is a legitimate thing to do. It is not disrespectful to own one. Until that time, I had no idea that everyone who travels outside of the country carries one – even the president of the United States.

Part of the mystery of passports was what made the task of purchasing one difficult to just begin doing. But, after I got started, I found it to be very simple, but time consuming.

When preparing to purchase a passport you will need:

Proof of citizenship.

Application for passport.

Photo identification.

Passport photos.

Travel itinerary, if you have it.

After those documents have been gathered, there is the question of, “Where to get the passport?”

After the application has been filled out, you will have to locate a Passport Acceptance Facility. It’s easy to do by putting your zip code in the space on the “Passport Acceptance Facility Search Page”: When you get there, you will pay your fee and have your documents authorized for the creation of your new passport.

These facilities are found in:

City halls.

US Postal Offices.

Elections offices.

Records management offices.

If you are at a post office, you can then turn around and have the paperwork mailed to the proper governmental agency so that your passport can begin processing. The wait time for a passport is between six weeks and a few months. The wait time depends on how busy they are and how soon your trip is going to be. That is why you want to bring your itinerary if you have one prior to going to the acceptance facility.

If you are going to want your passport expedited, on-line passport expedition services can deliver your passport to your door quicker and for less money when you consider compatible time frames. In that case, you should avoid mailing your paper work directly from the post office because, after you mail it, you can’t get it back to expedite it by other means.…

Travelling With Your Dog Or Other Pet – Essential Tips

Travelling With Your Dog Or Other Pet – Essential Tips

We know from our own experience that when preparing to travel with a dog or other pet there is a lot to think about.

We thought about our own experiences and concerns and came up with this list of tips to help your planning. We hope it might even ease your pet travel worries. These tips are not aimed at any specific form of transport so hopefully they will be of interest whether you are driving, taking a ferry or even a plane with your beloved dog or other pet.

Your dog will need to be chipped to travel under a pet passport, but get a simple tag for their collar anyway. You don’t need to put the dog’s name on it (some say this could help a dogknapper), but make sure your phone number has some kind of country indication.

Take a recent photo of your dog or pet with you. This will be invaluable should you lose them!

Take a supply of your pet’s normal food. Even if you can’t carry enough for the full trip, you can mix it with local food to slowly move your pet onto a ‘foreign’ diet.

Give your dog or pet something soft to lie on in the back of the car.

If your car has aircon, then get it working! Open windows will not cut it when you are stuck at a French tollbooth in 30 degrees centigrade.

Carry more drinking water than you think you need.

Keep the pet passport documents in easy reach. Check, check and check again that the paperwork is in order

If you are travelling with a cat, then get a proper cat carrier. Do not risk your cat jumping around the inside of the car (it will only be funny until you crash).

Carry a simple pet first aid kit (watch out for our forthcoming article).

If you have satnav or phone navigation, then try to download vet surgeries as Points of Interest along the route of your trip.

Make sure your dog or pet is acclimatised to car journeys. This is probably not the time to take a puppy or newly rescued dog on vacation!

Consider overnight journeys. The car will be cooler, the roads quieter, the ferries cheaper and your dog or pet far more likely to be asleep.

Get a set of solar shades for your car side windows.

Get a rear window car sun shade.

Get a simple car harness for your dog.

Remember that you need to see a vet 24-48 hours before you return to the UK. Don’t plan your trip so you are trying to find a vet on a Sunday!…

Top Theme Parks to Visit During Your Vacation in Orlando

Top Theme Parks to Visit During Your Vacation in Orlando

If you are bringing your family to a vacation in Orlando and you want to have the kids to have the best experience ever, you should consider visiting these top theme parks. Here are some of those that your kids would definitely love.

Universal Studios

A mini-HollywoodA�that is what Universal Studios is. But there is nothing miniature about this massive park where you will see recreation of movie sets and rides. Some of the most popular attractions in this theme park include those taken from movies like Twister, Jaws, Back to the Future, and Terminator. Kids, teenagers and adults will all have a grand time in this world famous theme park.

Wet n Wild Orlando

This one is an awesome water park filled with speedy rides and exhilarating water slides. This park also boasts of having the Wakeboard attraction where you get to experience the thrilling sport of wakeboarding. Whether you are a beginner or an expert wake boarder, you will love how you can ride the waves and feel an incredible rush. Wet ‘n Wild Orlando is open all year round. During winter months, heated pools are available so you can enjoy water fun without shivering.

Aquatica

An extraordinary water park that features white water rafting, white sand beaches, and breathtaking landscapes and shoreline vistas, Aquatica is a must-not-miss attraction in Orlando. One of the focal points of the theme park is the Dolphin Plunge that would have riders speeding in clear tubes to splash into the Pacific Blue Lagoon where charming and cute dolphins live. That is one unique experience you do not get to have every day.

SeaWorld Orlando

The top marine adventure park in the world is no other than SeaWorld. Here, you will get amazing marine creatures like sea lions, killer whales, sharks, turtles, fish, and so many more. Catch awesome shows of Shamu, the famous character in SeaWorld. Experience exhilarating rides that would give you and the kids the best time ever.

Discovery Cove Orlando

An interactive and educational theme park situated right beside SeaWorld, Discovery Cove is filled with family-friendly activities that you can enjoy while you are in a verdant tropical setting. Swim with the dolphins, snorkel to explore grandiose reef environments, meet sharks and stingrays, discover shipwrecks, and feed exotic creatures to make the most out of your time here.

Magic Kingdom and Epcot

The list will not be exhaustive without these leading theme parks of Disney World. Meet the whole Disney gang when you visit these prime theme parks. You can stay inside the Disney Vacation Homes to make the most out of your trip to these places.

If you’re going only for the weekend or for a few day stay in Orlando, you and the kids won’t be able to see all these parks but you can make the most out of your vacation by choosing those that would your kids love the most. Also, it would be best to stay at nearby accommodations like Disney Vacation Homes so you can save travel time. Now, if you have longer time to stay in this part of Florida, it would be all right to stay in Kissimmee Vacation Homes because you don’t have to worry much about saving time.…

What To Think About When Considering The Purchase Of A Vacation Home

What To Think About When Considering The Purchase Of A Vacation Home

Everyone loves the thought of owning a vacation home. However, if you are considering buying one, whether big or small, be sure to be realistic in your thoughts and search.

In today’s economy, many people are struggling to pay their bills. So if you don’t own your primary residence free and clear or have debt, you may want to hold off on purchasing a second home, at least for now.

But if you are serious about looking for a vacation home, you need to be practical in your search. Understanding exactly what you can afford is the most important step to finding a property.

Be honest with yourself about the real costs of buying another home. You will have down payment expectations, monthly payments, taxes, utility costs, and even costs associated with purchasing furniture and linens.

As you can see, buying a vacation home can be expensive. So be realistic – you want the home but can you afford the home?

If you are truly interested in a vacation home but you have a limited budget, you may want to consider a timeshare. A timeshare can allow you ownership advantages of a vacation condo or home but can be a less expensive venture and can give you a little more flexibility in your vacation destination. If you are only planning two to four weeks of vacation time a year, a timeshare can be a great option.

There are also other considerations when thinking about buying a vacation home. If you aren’t going to be there regularly, who will keep an eye on your home, clean it, or take care of the lawn and general maintenance? Also, if you are thinking of this purchase as a retirement home, are you certain you will want to live there when you retire?

All in all owning a vacation home can be an exciting thought. If you decide to proceed with this endeavor, be certain of your needs and requirements and make sure you don’t get into a situation you cannot afford.…

Are Vacation Home Rentals Right For You?

Are Vacation Home Rentals Right For You?

To determine whether vacation home rental is right for you or not, you should study the pros and cons of vacation home rentals and at the same time understand the limitations of hotel rooms. There can not be two opinions that the basic purpose of availing vacation is to get away from the drab routine of daily life and spend quality time with your family members and other loved ones. The extent to which you can enjoy your dream vacation largely depends on the type of accommodation you get to stay.

It is a fact that till some years back, there were only hotel accommodation for holidaymakers and there was no alternative. But since then things have changed and today most people opt for holiday homes instead of congested and prosaic hotel rooms. People have realized that vacation homes are indeed home away from home where you can follow your own lifestyle.

Most vacation homes feature multiple bed rooms, living room, dining area, a full fledged kitchen where you can cook your own food, ample floor space to freely move about and for children to play around, balcony etc. The other amenities provided by holiday homes are a flat television, computer with internet connection, music system, DVD, washing machine, refrigerator etc.

Most vacation homes also offer facilities like front desk check-in, 24-hour maintenance, house keeping, laundry facilities and concierge services. If your family or group size is large and if you are planning a long vacation, then vacation home will prove terribly cost-effective. As vacation homes come in different sizes and varying features, you can choose the one that best meets your requirements, taste and budget.

There is a popular misconception that vacation rental are unaffordable – but the fact is vacation homes range from the luxurious and costly ones to economically priced ones. Vacation rentals can are found in different type of locations. You can opt for one on the beachfront, in the heart of a city, in a calm peripheral area or close to where tourist spots abound.

As opposed to hotel accommodation, you can enjoy greater degree of freedom as well as privacy in vacation homes. This is not to outright condemn hotel accommodation as hotel rooms are best suited for persons planning a couple of days’ stay and those on business trips.

Of course, it will also be wrong to infer that vacation rentals are completely devoid of demerits. If your family loves socializing and interacting with local folk and other tourists, then a vacation rental will be less than ideal for you. Again a family-orientated hotel will have facilities like creches, kids’ clubs and child minding services throughout the day and this will be highly helpful if you and your partner wish to share some quality time alone.

As with every other choice you make, there has to be some compromises – but in the final analysis the merits of hiring a vacation home will far outweigh hotel accommodation.

Identifying the right vacation rentals on the Internet will not be difficult with the availability of such extraordinarily resourceful sites. There are many agents out there who provide a wide range of vacation homes in many parts of the world. All you have to do is to enter your basic requirement on the search form on their home page, and you will be presented a choice of properties for you to make your pick.…

Searching for Fun in the Sun This Winter? How About a Florida Keys Holiday

Searching for Fun in the Sun This Winter? How About a Florida Keys Holiday

With the weather in the Great White North starting to cool off, now is the time to begin thinking about a holiday in the Florida Keys. Getting to the Keys can be tough. The prices into the airport in Marathon (central Keys) can be high and the only other alternative is to fly into an airport like the one in Miami and rent a vehicle. After settling in comes the difficult part, figuring out what to do. And don’t forget, in the Florida Keys, there is nothing wrong with doing nothing at all!

The list of fun things to do in the Florida Keys is exhausting. A long walk or even a jog along the Old Seven Mile Bridge provides an amazing view of the open water. Beach lovers will find plenty of sand to spread out on at Sombrero Beach or Coco Plum Beach. Both are a shell hunters delight! Golf enthusiasts can play nine holes at Key Colony Beach but the Sombrero Country Club is a private course so to play it you must be accompanied by a member. With all these options, one will never lack for things to do on a Florida Keys holiday!

Florida Keys vacation rentals offer a great way to enjoy the Keys and offer all the comforts of home. Many of these rentals provide full kitchens and all offer fresh linens. Prices vary so be sure to check around and never be reluctant to negotiate your rates, except in the busy season when rental homes are at a premium. Just remember to plan ahead for your vacation and it is always best to have diverse options. If you want to stay on the beach, it will always be more pricey than renting on a canal.

Finding Florida Keys vacation rentals is not difficult. Just search the web and you will come up with many options. Make sure you tell them I sent you!…