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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Ideal Resorts in Europe for Beginner Skiers

For those who have not been skiing before many versions of the holiday come to mind. There the ones where the entire family are gently lacing down the mountain taking the whole event in their stride. Others think of wipe outs, head first snow diving and sitting at the resort covered in plaster. When in reality it’s mostly spent whizzing down the mountain after you have found your ski legs but by that time the holiday is almost over and you were just starting to enjoy it. Unfortunately you may have gone with a travel broker who had no idea about skiing holidays and he just landed you in the most competitive amateur ski resort.
In this article I will give you some tips to help prevent all the tedious confusions from happening so you can pick a resort which matches your skill level and night time activities you will enjoy, because you can only sit in a heated pool sipping wine for so long.

Beginner Resorts in Europe

    Les Arcs 2000 and 1950 from Aiguille Rouge
    Les Arcs from Aiguille Rouge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  1. Les Arcs is the ideal beginner family resort it has many nursery slopes for you to ease your way onto and it also has a free beginners lift. Once you’re feeling confident it has more advanced slopes you can take a hit at. For those who want to get professional help there is an award winning ski school called New Generation, who have patient and friendly instructors. If you get bored of skiing there are many activities in the surrounding areas to keep yourself busy, from paragliding to tobogganing, there are many restaurants and for the local bars with modern and traditional entertainment and there are 2 clubs near Les Arcs.
    Bansko Ski Resort Main Area (with notes)
    Bansko Ski Resort Main Area (Photo credit: Nacho y Adriana)
  1. Bansko is a ski resort located in Bulgaria, it is on par with les Arcs as it is popular with beginners who want to learn how to ski as they have plenty of nursery slopes for those taking it easy and once they are up to it they can fly down the 16km intermediate stretch which takes them back to the resort. Not only does it have great runs but it is Europe’s cheapest ski resort and prides itself on its value for money. So prideful are the Bulgarians that Bansko’s mayor George Ikonomov has cancelled all construction work surrounding Bansko until march 31st so that tourists on their winter holidays will not be disturbed.
    English: Poiana Brasov din Postavaru'
    English: Poiana Brasov din Postavaru' (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  1. Poiana Brasov is a ski resort in Romania, it focuses mainly on beginners which isn’t surprising as its home to 10 main ski and snowboarding slopes. 4 of those which belong to beginner slopes, when combined is an impressive 5840m stretch.  They then have 2 slopes for intermediates and 4 more for advanced skiers. Maybe you will want a bit of variety so you can hang up the skis for a bit and go visit the infamous Dracula’s castle.
  1. Mayrhoven is a winter sports haven and known for being quite a party town. With much snowboarding skiing, paraskiing and sledding to be done it is a wonder how people have the energy  left to party, but they do. So it’s no surprise that it annually hosts the “Snowbombing music festival” which is a major electronic dance festival.

Chill Factor

So this is not a resort but it’s a worth a mention.  It is the UK’s largest indoor ski dome which can provide many soon to be holiday skiers with the practice they need to immediately enjoy their holidays.
It is located in Manchester and it is only £17 for 50 minutes of skiing on actual snow so it’s a good idea to snap up the lessons while they are cheap. It doesn’t only provide skiing but also snowboarding lessons. Ever fancy going on an avalanche simulation? Well now you can just climb into a giant ball with your friends and then you will be flung down a snowy hill you will experience 4gs of pure adrenaline rush. It provides practice grounds and that little bit extra entertainment you weren’t expecting so it makes a good day trip.

John Ferguson is a Ski Holiday travel agent for Dare 2 Ski. When he’s not organising everyone else’s ski holidays he likes to spend time on the slopes himself.

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Strong Museum Butterfly Habitat

You may recall from my earlier post how much Noah enjoyed the Strong children's museum in Rochester, NY. Well, these were taken inside their butterfly habitat. Inside the Strong Museums butterfly habitat are hundreds of butterflies and all kinds. As you walk around a small loop you will have a chance to see them all.

I don't believe I had ever seen a neon green butterfly before.

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Ohanas at the Polynesian Resort at Disney World

Ohana is an absolutely wonderful restaurant at Disney World located inside of the Polynesian resort. Out of all the restaurants at Disney, I am going to recommend this to be the one you must go to. Ohana's is an all you can eat Hawaiian cuisine restaurant. The cost is $36 for adults and $16 for kids. So, our family of five ate here for $120. In my opinion this is a great deal. Wonderful food, awesome atmosphere, and you can see the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom.

 You do not need a park ticket to eat here. Parking is also free for guests dining at the hotels restaurants.  So, if you are in Orlando go eat here.
Here is what to expect:
‘Ohana Welcome Bread

Mixed Greens Salad with a Honey-Lime Dressing
Pork Dumplings and Chicken Wings

Meats are grilled over an open fire in the center of the restaurant including spicy peel and eat shrimp, pork loin, chicken skewer, and sirloin steak.

Noodles and stir fried veggies
At the end of your meal you will receive a heaping portion of bread pudding and it's to die for. I'm a dessert person and this is one of the best bread puddings I've ever had. 

Ohana on Urbanspoon

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Monday, January 6, 2014

Keller Fountain - Portland, OR

Portland, Oregon has amazing fountains and the best part is almost all of them are open to the public to play in for free. We make it a point to go play in a few of these every summer, because they are awesome. This one is Keller Fountain, right across the street from Keller Auditorium in downtown Portland, Oregon; and it is one of my favorite Portland fountains. Some of the areas are deep enough to swim in. 

To get a solid idea of what kind of fountain this is check out the pictures. Keller Fountain in Portland, Oregon

Keller Fountain in Portland, Oregon

Keller Fountain in Portland, Oregon

Keller Fountain in Portland, Oregon

Keller Fountain in Portland, Oregon

Keller Fountain in Portland, Oregon

Keller Fountain in Portland, Oregon

Keller Fountain in Portland, Oregon

Keller Fountain in Portland, Oregon

Keller Fountain in Portland, Oregon

Keller Fountain in Portland, Oregon

Keller Fountain in Portland, Oregon
Keller Fountain in Portland, Oregon
Keller Fountain in Portland, Oregon

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