Feminist Tourism, Debunked

This month women were celebrated all around the world by men and transgender people and women themselves. While it seems like people are aware of issues, and the globalization is converging the standards, misconceptions and empowering women to raise for their rights and celebrate freedom all around the world, travel experiences, especially when traveling to distinctively patriarchal countries, may show another scene. CuddlyNest follows and empowers women to travel. Here we explore the most common trends.

From the Roots of Education Trips

The travel as we know it today is largely shaped by the journeys taken by young men around Europe to learn about science, culture, and get to know art all around the world. Already from the 18th century, travel was an essential part of young men’s education but only restricted to wealthy. However, as recognized by UK tourism and hospitality scientists Seow and Brown, gender differences in leisure activities are changing over time. Cultural norms hold major influence. Since the nineteenth century, the golden age of travel, woman have been traveling more and more, and from the 1970s, with the upraise of feminism and changing social role of women, marketers started to recognize women as independent and capable of traveling solo.


Women Who Travel: Scandalous and Immoral

Leisure travel, however, is not without its burdens. Women are still more restricted than men to travel around the world, in terms of society’ s perception of their family responsibilities and otherwise more strict social norms. When going abroad and exploring other cultures, it becomes even more evident.
Today, women in India are still restricted to family responsibilities and social prejudices; women from the developing world are not usually unable to travel because of those prescribed gender roles. Asian women, for example, are considered to risk their family’s reputation by going on a public leisure trip alone. Those who step up and travel, are constrained in their travels and do not fully indulge in their leisure activities.
If you step out from Denmark, Sweden or Estonia, where gender equality is largely not problematic anymore, and enter the world of strongly religious, traditional cultures, where gender roles are highly patriarchal, as a woman born and raised in a free, equal world, then no wonder, problems arise. Violence is constraining both adult women and adolescent girls; women are objectified in the form of sexual harassment, and therefore commonly refrain from traveling to maintain harmony at home, accepting male subordination. This is to be changing, however, as more and more Islamic women are traveling, of all levels of education, income and family states. Halal tourism is on the rise, and millennial women are one of the main segments.


Transformation or Shopping?

Women travel to attractions. Women buy more souvenirs. And women trust word-of-mouth more than their male counterparts. Yet, women are not alike.
While Japanese women travelers prioritize lifelong learning, relaxation, and escape, Chinese women love to shop. Asian tourist motivations and experiences are different from each other, and even more different from women of Western origin. Dependability versus independence, group, and family versus individuals are just some of the things that matter. Women from France, Italy, UK, and the US are searching self-identity, self-empowerment, an increase in self-confidence and self-esteem. Think Eat Pray Love here. Women in the West, like the iconic German movie start from the recent 303 are willing to escape or put themselves out of their comfort zone. While all of them are strong and independent, women and their travel motivations are diverse. As they say, variety is the spice of life.

 

What’s Next?

We see women running solo marathons in Islamic states like Iraq, and we see hijab travellers discovering the world beyond their cultural space. We can expect women to travel more frequently, further away, and step out of their comfort zone even in environments that are not traditionally feminist. Traditional countries as Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan are expected to experience more midi-skirted travellers and accept women without a headscarf to be as equally treated as women in hijabs. It is not to say that every woman must jump into the adventure; women are expected to go on wellness getaways, luxurious ocean and river cruises, as well as learning, history and national park tours. Culinary adventures and art classes’ getaways are on the edge of the traditional view of women, and therefore may appeal to those who seek meaningful and calm travel experiences.

We share the excitement with all of you women around the world. Comment below on your best travel experiences so far!

A Practical Guide to US Rental Income Taxation: Property Classification and Rental Status

With April 15, the Tax Day for US citizens (except Maine and Massachusetts Residents who got lucky this year and are filing on April 17) approaching, the tax talk is ever so popular now. Are you renting out an apartment, a beach house or listing a shared room on CuddlyNest? Here is a short guide to keeping the confusion about IRS requirements at bay.

First things first, you need to know exactly what tax form to submit. Although most Americans submit the standard income tax return form 1040, there is a bit more complicated story in case you rent out a property.

As a host or property owner, you must first understand in which IRS classification – of rental property or personal residence – your property falls into. As for personal residences, these can be tax-free eligible under certain circumstances. Read on for details.

Tax-Free Rental

If your property is rented out or booked for 14 days or less, then you are eligible to take a break and relax. You heard it correct – IRS does not require you to account for income from properties that are booked for 14 days or less, but with certain conditions fulfilled. First, you have to live in the property for more than 15 days a year. Secondly, the property must be rented out at a market rate. What does it mean? You do not rent out your serviced apartment for 10 days with an income of $100.000.000. No tax fraud, please.

Personal Residence

As for personal residencies, the cutoff between tax-free rentals and personal residency is clear. It is either renting out the property 10% of the total time you use it or using it for more than 14 days, whichever is greater.  

For example, you have a family vacation house in Florida which you rent for 3 summer months, counting for 180 days a year in total. Now, if you live in that house for less than, or equal to 10% of the time you are renting it out, hence 18 days a year, it will not be classified as a personal residence.  To classify it as a personal residence, you must live in the property for more than 18 days (>10%).

On the other hand, if you rent out a ski resort apartment in Arapahoe Basin for only 83 days a year, you can live there for less than or equal to 14 days, and have your property classified as a personal residence.

Rental Property

If you rent the property out for more than 15 days or use it less than 15 days, or for 10% or the total time you are an owner of the property, then it shall be accounted for as a rental property. Rental properties shall report all rental income, but the owners are also eligible for benefits, such as rental expense deductions. In case you lose money from your rental property, you can carry the losses over to not only your rental property income but also personal income.

 

Another important classification to understand before filing your tax form on April 15, is the rental status. There are only two statuses, namely passive business activity and non-passive real estate rental activity.

Passive Business Activity

Passive business is the category in which most rental property owners will fall into. Active business activity, on the other hand, means you as a rental owner make an active decision in whom to allow to book your property, you take care of maintenance and terms of a lease.

As for passive participation, the difference tax-wise lies into tax deductions. For passive business activity, you can only deduct a passive loss from passive income, not personal income.

Non-Passive Business Activity

As for non-passive business activity, it translates into active engagement in property development, construction, acquisition, and leasing. Another condition for which your rental status may fall under non-passive activity is that of active management and renting making up the majority of your income.

Under the conditions of non-passive rental status hence active participation, IRS allows for tax deduction not only from rental income but also from personal income in the amount of 25.000, which if exceeded will carry over to be deducted in the next year.

 

All in all, it always better to double-check before reporting on your rental income. Be sure to visit IRS.com site and allow some time for developing a deep understanding of how the tax system works – and can work in your benefit. In the end, we agree with Herman Wouk saying

Income tax returns are the most imaginative fiction being written today.

You must keep up with fiction!

Pet-Friendly Holidays in Florida

There is a question arising every year when planning a trip with a family, what about your paw friends? If there is anything besides the cost of bringing your four-legged friend with you on a trip, it’s bureaucracy and restrictions. Most of us do not even want to imagine the 2-week long quarantine when entering South East Asian countries like Indonesia or Thailand, so many choose to go on a domestic trip by car. And where else is it better to enjoy summer than in Florida? Read on to get to know about the best ways to go around with your pet around Florida.


Entering Florida with Pets

There are several requirements to enter Florida with pets. First, you need to take with you an official certificate of veterinary inspection, so-called health certificate. The certificate at the date of the arrival must be issued less than 30 days back. It means that for your Christmas and New year holidays, it is wise not to wait for too long and start preparing now, while everyone is not going on a vacation yet and the lines are not too long. You can obtain the health certificate in any vet office within a few hours. Another document you need to enter Florida is the documentation of current rabies vaccine. According to state laws, the vaccine must be renewed every 3 months, although the rules vary state by state. If you need your dog to be vaccinated, do not waste any time and get it done as soon as possible. Regarding rabies tag, it is not necessary for your pet to wear it, although there are some counties in Florida that do require pets to wear a rabies tag.

Flying with Pets

If you are coming a long way to Florida or just prefer to not waste your time in the car, then there are some additional things you should check before going on a holiday. If you are flying in Florida, then please contact the airlines to make appropriate reservations for your pet. Some companies require a certificate of acclimation or health certificate, but it depends on the airline and type of flight. In both cases, these can be provided by the veterinarian. Some airlines only accept health certificates within 10 days of examination, make sure to check it before. 

Transport Your Pet with Shipping Company

If there is a sudden need to ship your pet to another country, there is no much choice other than using shipping service. To meet the requirements of import, you should get the application for import approved by the country of destination’ s  consulate, an international health certificate from Florida and accredited veterinarian, as well as an international possible testing and vaccinations. Another requirement is an endorsement of papers by a USDA APHIS Veterinary Services veterinarian. But note that some countries, like UK require very early applications, having them submitted 6 months ago, and on top of that, also require microchipping, rabies testing and special import application.

Beaches with Dogs

If you are traveling and sunbathing with your whole family, you don’t want to leave your dog locked at the rental. Florida is quite welcoming in that sense. Having both off-leash beaches and beaches your dog need to be leashed up, there is a lot to choose from. In Fort De Soto Park, for example, dog owners are allowed to swim together with their pets, and the beaches are adapted to enjoy picnics, play with your dogs, let your dog socialize with others and have fun. For an added bonus, it was named America’s #1 beach in 2008 and 2009, pushing all records. If you are in Venice, FL, then Brohard Paw Park may be a good choice. Situated in Sarasota, it is the only pet-friendly beach in the county. Other beaches you should definitely consider are Bonita Beach Dog Park and Panama City Park, both very dog-friendly.

Get Around in the Public Transport

Thanks to a bill requiring Amtrak to accept dogs and cats as passengers in the trains, now you can travel around Florida without any problem. Your pet will be welcomed and given a ticket to, and you can carry your best friend as a carry-on baggage. However, any dog that is too large to be carried in a bag will not be allowed to ride. To get around by taxi in cities, you can use Uber. There is a special pet taxi service in Florida, in all major cities from Miami to Fort Lauderdale to Orlando, but check properly before booking Uber.

Eat Out with Your Dog or Cat

Although getting around and going swimming with your dogs is not hard anymore, you could also start doing other activities, such as tackling hunger not only in parks or outdoor establishments, but also a high-end restaurant, such as especially price-friendly Voodoo Dog in Tallahassee, or Mad Dogs and Englishmen in Tampa. The best bet, however, if the hunger strikes when you are out with your pet and have not checked the restaurant selection in advance, is to go for beer gardens that are usually outdoor pubs where you can catch some sun, have a sandwich or burger, and have your dog well rested right beside you. You should mind, though, that restaurants are still more welcoming to small and medium-sized dogs, and so it may be a good idea to always take the leash with you, in case you go for a run with your large four-legged friend.

All in all, Florida is truly pet-friendly and you can find shops, vacation rentals, and restaurants catering not only for your family but also for your pets. Getting into Florida state should not be a problem if you manage your travels well ahead and try to obtain your pets’ health statements and travel cards on time. You should also check out the best places to eat out before going on a vacation with a pet, just you do not miss any of the awesomeness whilst on holiday.

 

 

 

 

Best Christmas Holiday City Breaks for Families in US

You may think there is no difference, but some cities are great, and some are the ultimate family trip destinations for experiencing the best Christmas holiday getaway. There is plenty of family attractions all over the East Coast. We have picked the best family vacation itinerary attractions for budget travelers in the most family-friendly cities in the US. Read on and get ready for the perfect family time this winter holiday season!

San Francisco, California family vacation

San Francisco has a lot to offer for families with young children, teens, and even toddlers. It is easy to travel here with infants as well, as most places in San Francisco offers free parking, so visiting museums, parks, and other attraction will be no problem. You can also get into the old cable car to get around!  From Golden Gate Park with its many attractions to Walt Disney family museum, everyone has something to do here. If your kids want to spend their day in an amusement park, San Francisco will be the perfect place to be – the Pier 39 has all you can imagine. To wrap up the day, go to Chinatown with its colorful lanterns, the smell of fresh dumplings and sweets in tea houses and enjoy the Eastern culture in the heart of the West.

San Diego, California vacation package DIY

Who needs a San Diego package holidays when your family is unique? DIY your own family trip and find the best deals, handpicked and enjoyed only by you. Visit the century-old Belmont Amusement Park or see Balboa dancers mastering the nuances of the dance in Balboa Park. Spend a day outdoors watching tide pools and exhibits, taste the seafood near Shelter Island and watch the sun go down at Sunset Cliffs. Fresh air, the right sizing of the city and location by the coast make San Diego one of the top destinations for a family trip.

Chicago

If one city calls for a “family friendly” label, then it is Chicago. From the Navy Pier to Millenium Park and Shedd Aquarium, Chicago provides loads of attractions for every family member, no matter the age and interests. You can grab an original rainbow cone at Navy Pier, shop around with your family and take the must-have selfie with Cloud Gate in the background. But there is a lot more to it; Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the Crown Fountain and Lurie Garden, among many other awesome attractions are granted to entertain you all day long. For budget travel, remember that Shedd Aquarium has free admission days listed on their website, while the 4D theatre is free for the basic viewing when purchasing the ticket.

Washington, D.C.

If you want to provide your kids with some knowledge of the US and show them the White House, Washington is a place to go. Large, yet airy and dense of parks, it has a lot to offer to those seeking a bit more of an educational trip. You can visit museums specialized in the US history called Smithsonian Institutional Office and just spend amazing time in Washington’s green areas and amusement parks.

New York

From Frank Sinatra to Kevin getting lost in NY Christmas spirit alone, New York has something to offer not only for adults but also for kids. It is exceptionally welcoming for families with pets. Starting with climbing up on the crown of the Statue of Liberty, continuing with the Metropolitan Museum of Art and finishing off with a relaxing day at the Central Park, it is hard to find a better destination for a family city getaway. Do not forget to take your dog with you – at the Central Park, dogs are allowed off-leash between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and then 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. In the middle of the day, you can leash your pet and enjoy your time with family for almost free – just check what activities are hosted beforehand. If you happen to love diversity and want to try some new foods, then Chinatown will top your family’s list. Pork buns, dumplings, and hand-pulled noodles are must, and you can also get some vegan bubble tea, or shop around in markets for everything starting from dried fish to herbs and spices. To hang out with locals, go to Columbus Park for playing Tai Chi, chess or mahjong. Still craving some nature? Check out the Bronx Zoo – the largest metropolitan zoo is free on Wednesdays, but if you cannot make it, ask for the general admission ticket for half the price of the standard ticket.

Seattle, Washington

Your family will love the Museum of Pop Culture, and you will have a great time exploring the pop culture form a little bit more scientific perspective. Bundle the museum attendance for free on Thursday with the Museum of Flight and   Pacific Science center for the ultimate winter holiday vacation. With Vietnamese restaurants popping up all around, you must try Pho along with the well-known favorite dessert of Obama Fran’s Chocolates.

No matter which city you choose to go to, remember to enjoy your time with family. Do not plan too much and run around the museums – instead, experience a little different city culture, try new foods, spend relaxing hours in city parks and go to places you have never been before. Most importantly, do not get stressed out trying to provide your family with the perfect vacation – just plan ahead, get to know the best places and take care of everyone’s needs and wants to agree on the places to go to.

Enjoy and be happy with cuddlynest.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

3,2,1 Action: New York

When planning a trip to New York, the first thing that comes to mind is a battery of images that we have all seen on the big screen. The city of skyscrapers has become a set of shooting in itself: “When I’m in New York, I just want to walk down the street and feel like I’m in a movie”, Ryan Adams.

Who does not remember those musical fights between the Sharks and the Jets in the streets of the Upper West Side? Who has not dreamed of having Breakfast in front of Tiffany’s and singing Moon River on a fire escape with the same glamor as Audrey Hepburn? Or even to spy on the neighbors of Greenwich Village from a Rear window, because as John Lennon said: “I regret profoundly that I was not an American and not born in Greenwich Village. It might be dying, and there might be a lot of dirt in the air you breathe, but this is where it’s happening”.

New York is a city with a soul and if there is someone who loves this city and has been able to transfer that passion through the screen, it is undoubtedly Woody Allen. Movies like Manhattan and that emotional final scene convince us that love may be fragile and fleeting, but it’s worth the risk every time. That’s New York, a city where anything can happen. A city where you learn to have faith in people.

But there is a world beyond the movies. You do not have to be a film buff to know the streets of the city. Let’s say: “Central Perk”, I bet that 90% of you know what we mean, right? Joe, Chandler, Rachel, Phoebe, Monica, and Ross spent many hours with those huge cups of coffee as we spend many hours in front of the TV with tears of laughter watching this group of Friends.

And what about the mythical Sex and the City? I’m sure you can picture yourself going into a Manhattan bar with Manolo Blahnik’s shoes and asking for one of those pink cocktails. Do not miss visiting Carry’s apartment on the Upper East Side (66 Perry Street) after a day of shopping on the Fifth Avenue.

If you are interested in the architecture, you are in the right city as well. Surely you have heard about Ted Mosby and How he met the mother of his children. His love for the Empire State Building or those wonderful moments with Robin, Marshall, and Lilly on the roof of his apartment, right above MacLaren’s pub (which is based on McGee’s pub on West 55th Street), are in everyone mind.

New York, it’s that city that never sleeps. That city which is always the center of the catastrophe, where the Armageddon begins and the one in which monsters like Godzilla reproduce. That city where everything can happen and in which everyone has a dream:

New York, New York

I want to wake up in a city, that doesn’t sleeps

And find king of the hill one top of the list

A number one

The options are endless, but we are going to give you a list of 5 things you MUST do if you are in the city of skyscrapers at least once in your life:

  1. Try the Katz’s pastrami sandwich sitting on the same table as Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal and “scream” in that peculiar way.
  2. Sing “Ta, na, na, na, na, na, GHOSBUSTERS!” At the National Library of Fifth Avenue.
  3. Play the giant piano of the FAO Schwartz toyshop emuling Tom Hanks while you become a child again.
  4. Stay on top of the Empire State Building with someone who could be the love of your life (you can always use the Tinder) …
  5. Cook Spaghetti and use a tennis racquet as a Jack Lemmon style strainer in the Apartment.

Because you can visit many cities in the world, but there are none the same in the world. As our favorite Taxi Driver Robert De Niro says: “I go to Paris, I go to London, I go to Rome, and I always say,” There’s no place like New York. It’s the most exciting city in the world now. That’s the way it is. That’s it”.

Do you still need more? Well, click here and start planning that dream trip in which you are the Star.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicago, a perfect balance

How well do you know Chicago? Chicago is a city that offers millions of things to do, from tours, adventure sports, shopping and other attractions. You can enjoy the city on a weekend getaway or even spend a long vacation with family or friends discovering wonderful places that will surprise you.

The first thing we recommend is to do a walking tour. There are many companies that offer this service totally free. All you have to do is sign up online and show up at the time indicated. From Cuddlynest we recommend free tours by foot, an introduction to the city, the history of Chicago and the many major tourist attractions. Once you know the basics of the city, it’s time to choose other activities more in keeping with your personality.

Chicago for adventure and nature lovers

Being on vacation in a big city does not mean you have to give up your adventurous spirit and love of nature, especially if you’re in Chicago. Do you like Kayaking? Then you should not miss the opportunity to navigate the Chicago River during the sunset.

Aren’t you a water sports person? No problem. Chicago is a cyclist’s dream, both for beginners and advanced riders. Chicago is geographically flat, enjoys hundreds of miles of bike trails, and all of Chicago’s major attractions are connected to the Chicago Lakefront Trail. There is no doubt why Chicago consistently ranks as the number one city in America to ride a bicycle. Do not think about it much and go on an adventure on wheels.

Are you passionate about the circus and new experiences? Then go to Belmont Harbor and do what you’ve always dreamed of. You do not need to be a trapeze expert, there are flight workshops for those who have always dreamed of fleeing to join the circus. It’s never too late to fulfill a dream.

If what you want is a more daring experience, what do you think of a parachute jump? Imagine the city of Chicago at your feet, the famous skyline of the city seen from a plane and the adrenaline rushing through your veins when the plane’s door opens. Are you ready to make the leap?

Chicago for art and culture lovers

Chicago is full of beautiful murals scattered throughout the city, but your best bet to detect the highest concentration of street murals is an expedition on foot through Pilsen, starting in the area around 18 and Blue Island. extending west towards the National Museum of Mexican Art. A route to get lost while admiring the beauty of street art.

You can not leave Chicago without spending a day discovering the Loop. The Loop is the financial center of the city, located in the heart of Downtown Chicago. Here are concentrated many of the skyscrapers that make the skyline of the city so recognizable as the famous Willis Tower. This is also where you can enjoy the best cultural offer in Chicago. And when you get tired of so much skyscraper, nothing better than a small picnic in the park with unbeatable views of Lake Michigan.

One of the things that Chicago stands for its the architecture. The Archicenter is a center for exhibitions related to architecture and the city, where you can find out everything related to the art of construction. In addition, you can find there a model that perfectly illustrates the urbanism of this city, a must for lovers of this field is exhibited.

Chicago for music and nightlife lovers

If there’s something we identify with Chicago, it’s Jazz. Come to the Jazz Showcase (the first jazz club in the city and the second in the States). To enter this site is to travel through time and immerse yourself in a pentagram. It is full of memories, photos and feels an atmosphere of jazz, brotherhood, and joy in the air.

If your passion is the Blues, do not miss Kingston Mines, a place to know the true neighborhood blues, the original. Sit down and taste some ribs in pure American style while enjoying the best music the city has to offer. As a curious fact, you must know that celebrities such as Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, have been there too.

There is an endless list of bars and clubs to visit if you are in the city, but these two are a MUST that you should not overlook if you want to breathe the authentic taste of Jazz and Blues in its purest essence.

Do you need more reasons to visit Chicago? We could continue with an endless list, but instead, why not visit our website www.cuddlynest.com and start looking for the accommodation that best suits your needs? Remember, book anystay everywhere with Cuddlynest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best Coffee Shops In the Colorado Mountains to Visit in 2018

There’s nothing like a large cup of coffee to give you the boost of energy you need. Even while you’re out on a vacation, it’s ideal to know where you can find the best coffee shop that will meet your expectations. Every coffee shop is different and provides a different atmosphere. Here are some to point you in the right direction:

Family Friendly

When you’re out on a vacation with your family, it’s unlikely you’re going to want to wander off without them. Thankfully, there are plenty of options to get your caffeine fix and still enjoy the company of your family.

R&R Coffee Cafe

This is not solely a coffee shop; you can also enjoy a home cooked meal. This cafe is family friendly so feel free to come in for a cup of coffee and R&R Coffee Cafe will serve your family members with their favorite breakfast.

Cafe 225

Talk about an ideal place for the entire family – This cafe offers a kids play area, so you can enjoy a hot cup of coffee and enjoy a delicious sandwich. Additionally, this place has a designated reading room and even an event space for live acts. There are several options for this place to please anyone.

Susie’s Westside Cafe

This is a small mom & pop type of coffee shop. In addition, they serve breakfast and lunch. Susie’s is the perfect spot to venture to with the whole family while on vacation. The kids can get their favorite pancake breakfast while mom and dad gain some energy with the assistance of a nice, hot cup of coffee.

Vegan Coffee Shops

If you’re looking for some vegan options, you’re in luck. Colorado has a few options for you to choose from.

Nemo’s Coffee

Nemo’s coffee is a great place to stop if you’re looking for high-quality coffee and teas. This place offers almond milk, soy milk, sugar-free, and other fat-conscious options. Additionally, Nemo’s Coffee is very health conscious and grinds their own wheat to craft delectable goods. They have gluten free and vegan options available.

Adam’s Mountain Cafe

This cafe is not only a place where you can enjoy some nice, quality coffee – but you can also order some vegan food to go along with your morning cup of coffee.

Natural Epicurean

This place is home to fresh, healthy, and organic dining. While you’re sipping on some coffee, you can flip through a menu that focuses on local, fresh, and sustainable ingredients. You can rely on quality food when you eat at this location as they use their own garden and partnerships with several Colorado ranchers and growers.

The Perk Downtown

This place believes that each customer deserves the best quality cafe. The Perk Downtown strives to make sure they are 100% local as possible. They try to get as close to 100% vegan as they can, and even include gluten-free items. They love good food, and they want their customers to have good food – but they also want you to enjoy it in a healthier version.

Enjoy a Coffee In These Trendy Settings

Some people want more of a fancier type of coffee shop, and that’s okay. Here are some options for those who love “trendy”

Alpine Modern Cafe

The layout and decor of this coffee shop will make you feel rejuvenated while you sip your coffee. Their coffee is brewed with MiddleState Coffee beans and Huckleberry Roasters.

The Pop

The rave reviews say it all – This coffee shop is trendy and serves great-tasting coffee. Not to mention, if you’re in a hurry (which you most likely are during vacations) you can take advantage of their drive thru.

Loyal Coffee

Not only can you enjoy a delicious cup of coffee here, but they also have irresistible food options. There’s no doubt your cravings will be fulfilled here.

Bring Your Pup Along While You Enjoy Your Coffee

If you are bringing your dog with you on vacation, you are likely going to feel quite guilty leaving them behind when you go to certain places on your trip. Thankfully, when you go out to have some coffee, you can bring your furry friend along to the following places:

Bon Ton’s Cafe

Enjoy a nice, warm breakfast each morning with some coffee at Bon Ton’s. Their outdoor seating is dog-friendly.

Shuga’s

This place offers several inspired eats, as well as coffee. Enjoy a cup of coffee each morning before tackling the day during your vacation – Don’t forget your dog, though, as he is welcome in the outdoor seating area.

How do you like your coffee? If you don’t like coffee, what do you reach for instead? We are excited to hear!

The Best Bars You Need To Know About In Colorado

When you’re visiting Colorado, you may feel the need to kick back and relax at a nice bar. Some of Colorado’s finest bars are included in the following list:

 

Thunder and Buttons

This bar is known for people to kick back and relax. Food is prepared fresh and daily, including daily specials of up to five specialty items and a soup of the day. Thunder and Buttons has a fantastic Happy Hour all day on Sundays and Karaoke on Wednesday – Saturday nights. This bar is so much fun that it was voted “Best of Westside and Karaoke Bar” 2012 – 2015. It was also rated as “Best Staff” and “Best Crowd”.

 

Back East Bar and Grill

If you’re looking for a bar that has craft beer, live music, special events such as pool tournaments, and one that is a sports bar all-in-one – You will love Back East Bar and Grill. Not to mention, if you visit around July 4th, you will be able to take advantage of their expansive balcony to view the fireworks! Looking for a good time with Happy Hour? Visit this car Monday through Friday 4 PM – 7 PM where you can choose select drafts, well drinks, and house wine – all on special!

 

Zodiac Venue

Located downtown in Colorado Springs, Zodiac Venue is the bar to be if you’re looking for premium craft cocktails. This place offers a laid back but fun atmosphere. There is an additional 400 ft. patio to smoke or bring your drink out to enjoy. This bar lays out their schedule a bit more in depth. Here are some exciting events for each day of the week:

  • Monday nights – Andrea Stone hosts Open Mic
  • Tuesday nights- Dance Worship and Goth Style
  • Wednesday Nights – Viva La VooDoo meetup & Ladies Night
  • Thursday Nights – Hazel Humdinger hosts Karaoke
  • Friday Nights – Live Music, Burlesque, and Performance Art
  • Saturday Nights – Live Music, Burlesque, and Performance Art
  • Sunday Days – Opens at 2 PM with Happy Hour all day and night

*Additional Happy Hour Times: Monday – Saturday 2-7 PM

 

 

Legends Rock Bar

Looking for a place that has your favorites? Food, fun, and live music? You’re in for a good time if you visit Legends Rock Bar. Appetizer food is offered all day and night. Full menu food is available after 6 PM. Fun includes karaoke, which is Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday – Additional fun includes darts, beer pong, pinball, pool, foosball, corn hole, and more. During your visit, enjoy some live music ranging from country to heavy metal with one of the best sound systems in Southern Colorado Springs.

 

Oscar Oyster Bar

If you’re in for some Cajun food and good drinks, Oscar’s Oyster Bar is where it’s at. There’s nothing like sitting back enjoying a good drink paired with some delicious food. Happy Hour is Monday – Friday 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM, which includes $1 off drafts and wine wells. Other specials include:

  • Monday- Thursday 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM: Oyster Happy Hour– Half price oysters in half shell.
  • Tuesday 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM – Fat Tuesdays – Two for one Cajun martinis, drafts, wells, and wine.
  • Tuesday & Wednesday 8:00 PM – Open Mic Nights
  • Thursday 9:00 PM – Karaoke
  • Friday & Saturday – Live Music with no cover
  • Saturday & Sunday 10:30 AM – 3:00 PM – Breakfast served
  • Saturday & Sunday after 9:00 PM – $4 Car Bombs

 

Copperhead Road Bar

If you’re going to venture out to Colorado Springs, why not go out for a night of fun? Head on down to Copperhead Road Bar. This bar always has something going on. Some of their specials include:

  • Ladies Night Thursdays – Ladies receive FREE drinks from 10 PM until midnight PLUS no cover all night.
  • Red Solo Cup Fridays – Come in at 9 and stay til Midnight to enjoy the $10 all you can drink special! Splurge with $15 and you can drink until 1 AM.
  • 18+ Saturdays – $20 cover for those under 21 years old. $5 cover for anyone over 21 years old.

*Board game nights coming soon*

 

Swirl Restaurant and Wine Bar

Located in Manitou, Colorado, Swirl Restaurant and Wine bar has a lot to offer. You can enjoy some good food until 10 PM while sipping on your favorite alcoholic beverage. If you’re looking to host a private event, they have options. Swirl bar also has events for almost every day of the week:

  • Monday – I.N
  • Tuesday – Lasagna Night
  • Wednesday – Spirit & Cinema Night
  • Friday & Saturday – Live Music
  • Sunday – BOGO Mimosas and The Wine Blitz

*You can find an entire calendar with detailed events on their website here.

 

Have you ever experienced any of the bars in Colorado? Did we miss one that should have made it to the list? Fill us in.

Florida History and Special Events & Dates

Orland is a fun place to be and that’s how many remember it. However, do you know any history of the fun getaway, aside from the Walt Disney magic? Orlando’s history goes as far back as 1838, around the time of the Second Seminole War. In a mission to protect settlers from the Indians, the United States Army built Fort Gatlin, which is southeast of the present day downtown Orlando.

 

Around 1840, Jernigan, a small settlement, grew up nearby the Fort. This name stemmed from the Jernigan family who were early settlers. As 1850 came around, a post office was available in Jernigan. By 1856, this community expanded northward – that’s when the name was changed to “Orlando”.

 

During 1857, the United States Post Office embraced this new name change. It wasn’t until 1875 that The Town of Orlando had 85 residents and 22 of them who were qualified to vote.

 

When Orlando Became Center of Florida’s Citrus Industry

Between 1875 and 1895 are known as the glory days of citrus, which is when Orlando became the center of Florida’s citrus industry. During 1894-1895, the “Great Freeze” occured and small owners had given up on groves. Several of the individuals purchased land, then expanded their operations around Lake Wales, which is south of Orlando.

 

Florida’s largest inland city, Orlando, became quite popular to visit between the years of the Spanish American War and World War I.

 

The Florida Land Boom

During the 1920’s, Orlando was also affected by The Florida Land Boom. In result, land prices reached peak points. Several tourist facilities including San Juan Hotel were constructed during those years. During the same time period, development of neighborhoods near downtown Orlando began. There are small bungalows still existing today and they are part of Orlando’s history and city charm.

 

How World War II Changed Orlando

Before, during, and after World War II, there was an immense amount of military activity in Orlando. The municipal airport, located north of Lake Underhill formed into the Orlando Army Air Base. A newer airport was constructed just 10 miles south of Orlando with a mission to use it in place of the municipal airport; it was then formed into Pinecastle Air Force Base, and finally formed to McCoy Air Force Base. Now, it’s the site of Orlando International Airport.

 

Here Comes The Jobs

During 1956, Martin Marietta, now known as Lockheed Martin, constructed a major, well-known aerospace defense plant just south of Orlando. This place provided many jobs for Orlando. Aside from the jobs, this place was nearby Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and Patrick Air Force Base, making it easy to commute from the Orlando eastern suburbs to work.

 

Due to the proximity to Space Coast, nearby Kennedy Space Center, several high-tech companies made a shift to the Orlando area.

 

 

The Walt Disney You Know About

Most people are aware of Walt Disney World; It’s the most dynamic thing that has ever happened in Orlando. Walt Disney revealed in 1965 that a Walt Disney World near Orlando was going to be built. He began working on this magical place in 1968 and it finally opened in October of 1971. The population has increased since then, there have been more jobs, and tourism is continuous.

 

 

Now that you know the history behind one of the world’s most known getaways, let’s get into some special events and dates you should know when visiting Orlando from now through the end of spring. Although Walt Disney World has made a major positive impact on Orlando, there are several events that are just as fun.

 

January

2018 Lake Apopka Wildlife Festival and Birdapalooza – January 18 in Magnolia Park

Nature Connects – Art with Lego Bricks – January 18 at Leu Garden

Porcelain Art Show – January 18 at Rosen Event Center, JCC

World Quilt Florida – January 18 at Orange County Convention Center

5th Annual MLK Jazz/Blues Cookout – January 20 at John H. Jackson Neighborhood Center

Lego Ninjago Days – January 20 at Legoland Florida Resort

 

February

Orlando Museum of Art – February 1 at Orlando Museum of Art

Orlando Magic vs. Washington Wizards – February 3 at Amway Center

Praise Wave – February 3 at SeaWorld Orlando

Orlando Magic vs. Cleveland Cavaliers – February 6 at Amway Center

Orlando Magic vs. Atlanta Hawks – February 8 at Amway Center

Orlando Magic vs. Milwaukee Bucks – February 10 at Amway Center

 

 

March

Art with Lego Bricks – March 1 at Leu Gardens

The Art of Fashion – March 1 at Orlando Museum of Art

The Lion King – March 1 at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Orlando Magic vs Detroit Pistons – March 2 at Amway Center

Orlando Magic vs. Memphis Grizzlies – March 3 at Amway Center

Seven Seas Food Festival – March 3 at SeaWorld Orlando

April

Art with Lego Bricks – April 2 at Leu Gardens

Orlando Magic vs. Dallas Mavericks – April 4 at Amway Center

Seven Seas Food Festival – April 8 at SeaWorld Orlando

Orlando Magic vs. Washington Wizards – April 11 at Amway Center

Brick Dash 5K – April 14 at Legoland Florida Resort

 

 

May

Museum of Art’s Healing Arts – May 3 at Orlando Museum of Art

Just for Kids – May 5 at SeaWorld Orlando

Lego Star Wars Days – May 5 at Legoland Florida Resort

The Orlando Philharmonic 25th Anniversary Gala Concert – May 8 at Bob Carr Theatre

 

What are you looking forward to attending? Drop us a line and let us know!

4 Top Places to Hit the Slopes in Ohio

Now is the time of the year to start hitting the slopes. If you get bored of your current destination, try out some of the ski areas in Ohio – They won’t disappoint.

 

Mad River Mountain

A fire that broke out in the Mad River Mountain lodge didn’t stop it from start over and building a beautiful $6.5 million facility. This new facility comes with a pizzeria, bar, and a 180-degree view of the slopes. The mountain comes in at a whopping 1,460 ft. elevation with a 300 ft. vertical drop. With 144 skiable acres and 20 trails, you will have all the room you need to show off your moves. Don’t worry if you’re a newbie, Mad River Mountain offers group and private lessons. If you’re bringing someone along who isn’t a skier, they will enjoy the 10-lane Avalanche  Tubing Park, which is the largest in Ohio.

 

Snow Trails

If you’re looking for some winter fun on snow, Snow Trails is where you should be. If you’re ready to take on some serious skiing, the pristine snow of Snow Trails is awaiting your arrival from December through the middle of March. During your visit, you can experience the Snow Trails Ski Shop, two restaurantes, and two bars.

The staff at Snow Trails blankets the slopes with fresh snow and grooms them each day for you, so you can get the most out of your experience. To your advantage, they also have a Cooling Tower, which allows higher quality and more snow for snowmaking.

There is even a beginner’s area so you can learn to ski with gentle slopes.

 

Alpine Valley

If you’re looking for the most natural snowfall, Alpine Valley in Chesterfield is where it’s at. This ski area not only has the most natural snow but is also the only one with wooded trails. Located just 35 miles from downtown Cleveland makes it convenient to access other attractions around Ohio.

If you’re a beginner, this ski resort offers Beginner Intro Group lessons. Additionally, you can take advantage of their group lessons, Kids Ski Academy, or the Women’s Discovery. Other offerings are a club program, group outings, birthday parties, and scouts weekends.

 

Boston Mills Brandywine

These two sister parks in Summit County is home to where several people learn how to ski each year. Brandywine has a new Magic Carpet life to the beginner area that will allow skiers to reach the top of the hill faster, which appeared in the last year or two. As always, the parks continue to make sure their snowmaking capabilities is improved so they can open the slopes early. With 18 slopes and trails, along with 88 acres, you will have plenty of room here. If you want to switch things up a bit, this resort offers snow tubing for children and adults.

Have you ever went skiing in Ohio? How was it? If not, which one of the above appeal to you? We can’t wait to hear your opinion.