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Friday, December 13, 2013

Five Ideas Of Great American Family Friendly Getaways

Lower Yellowstone Falls closeup. Yellowstone N...
Lower Yellowstone Falls closeup. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Looking for something fun to do with your family? Getaways are always a great treat. Seeing the world, learning something new – it draws families closer and builds memories that your children will tell their children. There are many places in the United States that you can take an excursion to, whether driving for a short trip, renting an RV and driving cross-country, or flying for a weekend stay.

The sights and sounds of the United States are varied and dynamic. Our rich history, local specialties, and down home charm are sure to keep even the most seasoned travel guessing what’s next. Here are some ideas for family friendly getaways right here in the United States:

Yellowstone Park
Yellowstone National Park is the very first national park in the United States. With 2,219,789 acres to explore, you could easily spend days seeing the incredible natural displays. The wildlife alone will captivate you: several species of bear, elk, bison, and wolf call this park home. Waterfalls and hot springs are abundant in Yellowstone Park. Grand Prismatic, the third largest hot spring in the world, is particularly interesting because of its coloration, which mirrors that of a rainbow. Perhaps the biggest attraction at Yellowstone Park is the geysers. With 6 grand geysers that shoot water up to 100 feet in the air, it is easy to see why these are one of the most visited thermal features at the park. Old Faithful, the most famous geyser at Yellowstone, erupts every 45-90 minutes.

Washington DC
Museums, theater, art galleries, monuments, restaurants… the list goes on and on. Our nation’s capital offers something for everyone. Immerse yourself in history or take a scenic walk by the tidal basin. Revel in the beauty of the city’s architecture or enjoy one of the trendy restaurants that line downtown. Whatever you fancy, Washington DC can provide it in abundance.

San Francisco
From cable cars to Alcatraz, San Francisco offers unique attractions that you won’t see together anywhere else in the world. Bustling Pier 39, cobblestone roads, and some of the steepest streets in the United States round out the San Francisco experience. Tour Alcatraz, where hardened criminals like Al Capone were housed, or ride a cable car just like the ones that were in operation in the late 1800s. Interact with history.

Turner Falls
Chickasaw County, OK has something to offer every type of traveler. Outdoor activities abound, as do indoor recreation centers for family fun. Perhaps the most scenic of all attractions in Chickasaw County is Turner Falls. The water feeding into the falls forms Honey Creek just before dropping 77 feet to a natural pool. As the state’s oldest park, Turner Falls has served as a family gathering location since 1868.

The Arches
Natural wonders like you have never seen before fill this national park. With over 2,000 arches and countless other rock formations, this national park is a wonder to behold. Beautiful colors surround you as you feast your eyes rock that has been in place for thousands of years.
There are many hours to be spent traveling in the Unites States. Whether touching rock that dinosaurs saw around them, swimming in natural springs, or celebrating technology in one of the world’s cultural epicenters, treating your family to a getaway should be on your bucket list.

As a mom of 3 young boys, Shelley Warner enjoys finding fun family friendly vacations to go on annually. She recommends thefamilywithoutborders.com as a great source of inspiration that has helped her when deciding on her next travel destination.

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Koi Fusion - Portland, OR

Koi Fusion
Koi Fusion at Bridgeport Village
Koi Fusion is an extremely popular food cart in Portland, Oregon with multiple food carts and two permanent locations offering fusion of Korean BBQ and fresh Mexican flavors. It also happens to be my favorite food cart so far. They have tacos, sliders, hotdogs, tamales, kimchi, and more. Their hotdogs are wrapped in bacon! I still remember the first time we ate here. We were in a hurry and just needed to grab something and go. I took one bite and was like holy..... Their food is amazing.

The food carts change locations, so check their website to see where they are on which day. 

Koi Fusion
Koi Fusion tacos

Bo Kwon's Koi Fusion on Urbanspoon

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Tips for Moving Internationally

Moving Internationally

Before moving internationally, there are many things to consider that can help you have a smooth move and transition into your new country. 

The first thing to determine, which could affect many aspects of your move, is the reason for moving and how long you will stay in your new home. Are you moving indefinitely, temporarily for a job or any other reason? This could help you decide what lengths to go to when moving all of your personal belongings. If moving indefinitely, will it be more cost effective to sell what you can and start over upon arrival? If you will be back in a set amount of time will you store your belongings? Shipping belongings is an option in either scenario, but comes with a price. 

The biggest thing to consider when deciding what to ship or bring with you and what to leave or sell is electricity. Many countries do not function with corresponding outlets or hookups. You can buy a converter, but it will probably be more cost effective to buy the item so it is compatible with your new outlets or hookups. 

Other important things to consider and plan for before moving can include

Transportation - Does your new city utilize public transportation? Would that be sufficient for your needs? Will you ship your car? Do you know the regulations for obtaining a new license?

Communication - Will you be able to use your current cell phone? Will it be more cost efficient to make your current cell phone plan international or to set up a new plan with a new carrier once you get there?

Health - Are you up to date on your immunizations? Many countries require certain immunizations before traveling or moving there. Make sure you and everyone in your moving party is up to date. Where will you receive health care in your new country? Will it be covered by your current insurance? Will you need new insurance upon arrival? Consult a travel clinic or infectious disease specialist for more personalized information. 

Currency and Banking - Do you know the exchange rate? Will you need the currency before you get there or will you plan on using your credit card or other form of payment until you reach your new home? Make sure to notify your credit card company that you will have upcoming international transactions. Where will you bank? Is your bank currently international? Will you need to find a new bank?

Language - Will you have to learn a new language? Is your current language nationally recognized and spoken? If you have to learn a new language, will you try and learn some of it beforehand? Check out classes through your local community or invest in an online language learning course to help prepare.

Weather - What is the current climate in the country you are moving to? Does the country have different weather patterns from your current one? You may need to invest in some new clothing such as coats and scarves. Reversely, you could downsize and get rid of current clothes if you are moving somewhere where they aren’t needed. For example, if you move somewhere warm year round, you may not need your heavy winter coats. 

Income and Cost of Living - If you are moving for work, will your pay change? Do you know how much you need to afford to live? How much will the margin change between cost of living and income? Will you need to change other aspects of your budget to afford it? 

Passports and Visas - Do you know the regulations for traveling and moving to your new country? Does everyone in your party have proper and current documentation? This is not a step you want to leave for the last minute. 

There are many things to consider when moving internationally, and these are only a few of the basic ones. For more information, embassy websites are a great resource.

Once you've decided to move it's time to start getting Moving Supplies.

This Guest Post was written by Christine Fleming

Christine Fleming grew up in Rochester, Minnesota. She attended Brigham Young University-Idaho and studied Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations. She now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah and works as a Clinical Research Assistant at the University of Utah. She enjoys running and baking in her spare time.

Two Man Movers and Storage was started in 1998 by two brother with one truck helping move families and businesses in Heber City, Utah.  Since then, Two Man Movers has successfully grown to be one of the top moving companies in the Salt Lake City area.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Puerto Rico a 5 Star Vacation Destination

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Puerto Rico, The All-Star Island for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Live your own 5-star vacation story in Puerto Rico.     
Puerto Rico has become a 5 star vacation destination with an assortment of world class attractions and there is no need for a passport of foreign money. You can just hop on a place and go.
Puerto Rico's list of attractions is truly amazing, including El Yunque Rainforest the only rainforest part of the US  National Park Service full of waterfalls, scenic walks, and even a zip line. Here you can literally climb into the clouds. I can't imagine how cool this would be, especially with my kids.

Don't feel like going to the rain forrest, then go to the beach!

Puerto Rice also has 270 miles of beaches. One of their beaches, Flamenco Beach, is consider one of the best beaches in the world. We are a family of beach bums, so this sounds like heaven.
Puerto Rico is home to multiple Bioluminescent Bays and just going to see these alone would be create a 5 star vacation experience. These bays glow at night due to a micro-oranism that glows whenever the water is disturbed, leaving a trail of neon blue. You can go kayaking in the moonlight and enjoy the glowing waters. 

Need more adventure? Check out the caverns.

The Camuy Caverns are here too. The caverns are part of a large network of natural limestone caves and underground waterways carved out by the third-largest underground river in the world, the Río Camuy. There is over 10 miles of caverns with 220 caves and 17 entrances
Have you been Puerto Rico? What was your favorite thing? Leave a comment below!

Discover more about Puerto Rico here

Follow @PRTourismCo on Twitter
Like SeePuertoRico.com on Facebook
Click Here
Visit Sponsor's Site

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

ZooLights at the Oregon Zoo

Zoolights Oregon Zoo
Each year the Oregon Zoo goes all out for Christmas and decorates everywhere. Everywhere you look are beautiful lights and it is the perfect place to take fun pictures with your family. 

 In past years there has been a train to take you around to see the lights, but this year the train was closed so we walked around. The zoo has it set up so you walk through certain parts ensuring you see all the lights. I found this to be a much better way to see the lights. I doubt we even ride the train next year. Even though it was 30 degrees outside we stayed warm walking around, much warmer then we ever did riding on the train! 
Zoolights Oregon Zoo

Zoolights Oregon Zoo

Zoolights Oregon Zoo

Zoolights Oregon Zoo

Zoolights Oregon Zoo
Even though most of the animals are put up they still keep open the viewing areas. Which means you can go see the baby elephant, Lily. When we got there she was sleeping, but the other elephants kept tapping her until she got up.
Zoolights Oregon Zoo
For the first time we ate at the Cascade Grill, which is the restaurant that you can go to without paying for zoo admission. Normally this restaurant closes at 2 PM during the winter, but stays up for ZooLights. They have soup, salads, Sheppard's pie, and kid's meals. You order food at the counter and then find a seat and they bring your food to you. The food was great and my kids think they have the best french fries in Portland and I would have to agree. You can get a coupon at the gate for a free kid's meal.
Zoolights Oregon Zoo
Cascade Grill at the Oregon Zoo

Zoo members get free admission to ZooLights for everyone else it is $10 for adults and $7 for children. Seniors get a discount as do groups of 20 or more.

Disclosure - I was offered free tickets by the zoo in exchange for this review, but opinions are my own, and we would have gone anyway.

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Splash Condominiums Pool and Water Park in Panama City Beach, Florida

Splash condominiums are fantastic beach front condos in Panama City Beach. This would be a great place to stay on vacation in Panama City Beach. They have a small water park, a few pools, mini lazy river, and a splash pad. Needless to say we all had a lot of fun.
Behind my husband is a bar area where you can get food and drinks. It's where you see the umbrellas.

There is a small tube slide that is safe for even small children.

Noah is getting totally drenched on the slide.
The hot tub is next to the kids area, so parents can sit in the hot tub and keep an eye on the kids. This was my favorite part.
They also have a nice size regular swimming pool.

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Monday, December 9, 2013

6 Ways to Make Money From Home

MyPoints - Earn "points" for taking surveys, reading emails, and buying products.  If you participate in Buzzagent you can connect the accounts and earn more points. Eventually you will get enough points to be able to redeem them for a $10 gift card.

CashCrate - This company has an assortment of tasks you can do that pay various amounts. Surveys, free samples, coupons, and other stuff like that. 

Upromise - Join Now 125x125
Upromise.com is the smart way to save for your child's college education This program is completely free.  I've already saved over 200.00 by registering my grocery cards.

Inbox Dollars - Earn a few cents for reading emails.  You also have the option to do online tasks or take surveys to earn money. So far, I've earned $17.

Resolution Research - Sign up and they will email you when they have surveys available. I made $10 on the last survey I did for them.

Forward Focus - This company tends to have high paying surveys.

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