I grew up around manatees and have watched when there was little regulation to a fantastic preservation program. Getting up close and personal to these beautiful and and bizarre animals while still maintaining their personal space is a spectacular experience one won’t soon forget. In the Crystal River you can see lots of West Indian Manatees congregate in it’s warm waters. Get in and snorkel with them. You can’t touch or feed them but you will enjoy the wild animals grace in the water and wonder how they were ever mistaken for mermaids. Manatee season at Crystal River is November to March. The rest of the year they can be found wandering the intercoastals trying to avoid boats.
I wish they were thriving and could exist without tourism but manatees need our help to survive in South Florida. Awareness about these majestic animals is important.
You know those places that you just happen upon and they end up being one of the best places ever….that happened when we drove past the weird and wacky signs of puzzling world and just had to stop. We ended up staying the better part of the day there and it was such fun. Life-size optical illusions, giant wooden mazes, and all sorts of puzzles to tease your brain await inside this fun museum/fun house. It’s fun for the whole family and even worth taking time away from New Zealand’s gorgeous scenery to just play.
If you like Monkeys then a trip to the Sacred Monkey forest in Ubud, Bali is for you. Long-tailed macaques roam freely throughout the area and wayward tourists mingle amongst them. Be forewarned, you should not buy the food or try to feed them. You will get bitten. There are some beautiful temples within the forest and it is important to remember that this area is still a worship center for many of Balinese who live here and is sacred and should be treated respectfully. It’s hard not to fall in love with Bali.
The Petronas Towers are an amazing site. They are an impressive 452 meters high and once held the tallest building record for six years. We really enjoyed visiting downtown Kuala Lumpur. The food was delicious, the shopping was amazing and there was a fabulous discovery museum by Petronas inside the towers that the kids loved. They are absolutely worth a visit!
It’s a full moon in Kentucky tonight. If you go just up the road to visit Cumberland Falls you might be lucky enough to see the only “Moonbow” in the western hemisphere. The only other true lunar rainbow can be found at Victoria Falls in Zambia, Africa. Great hiking, fishing, and camping can be found all around in this State Park but the Moonbow can only be seen a few days a month during the full moon.
I am not a skilled enough photographer to catch a great picture to here are some beautiful ones courtesy of the State Parks.
The People of The Karen Longneck Hill Tribe have a long history. They left Burma to escape the conflict there. They have refuge and safety in Thailand and have found trade among the tourism industry here. A visit to their tourism market or the village might feel like you are experiencing a human zoo. Walking through stands and staring at the expanding necks supported by rings. Even some of the children wear them. Although these people have been removed from what was a normal way of life in Burma they have found a new way of life in Thailand. Although controversy surrounds the neck rings and the tourism trade I found it incredibly interesting to visit. The women were lovely to talk to. The crafts were beautiful and our family discussed many of the issues that surrounded the village before and after our visit. It was an experience I’ll never forget.
Watching an FC Barcelona game was at the top of my son’s bucket list. We had ordered tickets in advance once we realized our visit to town coincided with a home game. We were hopeful that we would get to see Lionel Messi play. What I was unprepared for was the amazing tour that you can take of Camp Nou – the FC Barca stadium. The “Camp Nou Experience Tour and Museum” is a fascinating history of the football club and plenty of up close and personal moments to thrill a football fan. We loved walking through the orange hallway like the players do before a match and getting right down to the field where the players sit. It’s a brilliant tour and one that doesn’t disappoint!
Our day was topped off with a big Barca win and two goals by Messi – who also doesn’t disappoint!
I had never even heard of a cassowary until we landed in Mission Beach, Australia. The signs were all over the place telling us to slow down or we’d hit them. The local guidebook told us to be careful when walking if you happen upon one as they are listed as the “most dangerous bird in the world”. Standing at about 5 feet tall, with a blue head, a huge protruding horn-like crest on top and giant claws makes them they resemble something out of a Road Dahl book rather than an actual living creature. But they are real and you will see them walking along the side of the road in and around Mission Beach. They are beautiful and frightening.
Mission Beach is a quiet, beautiful town. We made great friends there. Learned to fish for baramundi, went diving on the Great Barrier reef and enjoyed the quiet life of Northern Queensland. The Cassowaries are just a part of what makes this this little area so special.
#66 Visit a Children’s Home in Guatemala, Volunteer:
There is a children’s home in the center of Guatemala City that is doing fantastic work. Hope for Tomorrow offers a real home environment for the abandoned and orphaned children of Guatemala. Home to about 17 children, Hope for Tomorrow provides for the physical, educational, medical, psychological, nutritional and spiritual needs of each child and is also now opening the doors to a new preschool program. The preschool will offer more needed services to the community. Hope is truly a home and the people living and working there are a family. After our family visited the home it became a place very close to our hearts. Meeting the children and spending time with them makes you willing to undertake every effort on their behalf. It also makes you appreciate the family you have and mourn the families that these children have lost. Hope offers a wonderful environment in which to grow up. The home works with the government to assist the children in returning with their families or placing them with new adoptive families. Taking time as a family to work with these children, and the fabulous people who have dedicated their lives to them, is a rewarding experience that makes you want do more.
Visit Hope for Tomorrow’s page and see the important work they are doing.