Category: travel

Prepare Ahead Of Time For Your Next Fishing Trip

Fishing can be so much fun, but it can also be very frustrating when you don’t catch anything. Granted, even sitting there relaxing with your fishing pole enjoying nature is enjoyable. Still, you want to catch those fish, and it’s not always as easy as it sounds. Many factors come into play when it comes to fishing, and of course each location is different.

The type of fish you are trying to catch is important, and you have to choose the right fishing rod, proper fishing tackle, a good fishing backpack, and other gear. You don’t have to go all out and get the most expensive equipment, but you do need to be sure that you have at least the basics for the type of fishing experience you’re planning.

Do you plan to use live bait or artificial bait? Artificial lures are very popular when it comes to certain types of fishing, but make no mistake about it, live bait is also very popular. When I go fishing, I prefer live bait, but I am used to fishing out of ponds along the countryside. Remember, location and the type of fish you’re going after have much to do with what you bring along with you.

Are you fishing out of a pond as well? Perhaps you’re going to be at a lake, river or saltwater fishing in the ocean. Are you going out by yourself, or are you fishing with family or friends? Maybe you’re chartering a boat, and in that case, you will have quite a bit of help indeed. Or, maybe you’re fishing from shore instead, which is always fun, too.

When fishing, you don’t just need to think about the gear you’re going to bring along to catch the fish. You also need to think about what you need for your fishing trip in general. You’ll want to bring some drinks, perhaps some food, maybe a comfortable chair, a cooler for whatever you catch and more. It’s up to you what you bring, and of course it will have much to do with the type of setting you select for your fishing experience.

The most important thing is to have fun. Everyone has different ideas about fishing and what they expect. If you ask me, my favorite type of fish to go for is catfish. The catfish are bottom feeders, and boy do they taste great. A good catfish fry is always enjoyable after a fun day of fishing.

8 Of The Best Surf Spots In Oregon

Oregon’s coasts are well known for surfing. If you’re a thrill seeker looking for surfing resorts off the shores of the state, then make sure you check out each resort and find out whether they have facilities that suit your level of skill and experience. Beginners should take heed. Surf spots are not built equally. Know your skill level.

Seaside Cove

Longboarders love to hang out on this cove where the rocks give way to the sandy shores during the low tide. Note to beginners: This is probably not for you. The beach terrain is good for intermediate and advanced surfers. Boulders make this place ridiculously challenging, even impossible, for newbies.

Indian Beach

Although you can see more kayakers and stand up paddle boarding on this beach, it’s still noted for its great surfing opportunities for all people with varying experience. Get to this venue via the Cannon Beach, heading north and coursing through the Ecola State Park. Mountains shelter this beach from the westerlies.

Short Sands

The surfing adventure depends on wind direction and swell. Start from either north or south end. This is more like a spot for beginners, so if you’re pretty much advanced, you may find beginners on surfboards distracting, maybe even annoying. It gets crowded in summer too. It’s 10 miles away from Cannon Beach.

Pacific City

This is a gorgeous beach where you can pick among several breaks. Along the south side of the cape is a reef peak where you may experience the west northwest swell, the area that’s good for beginners. Intermediate surfers may check out the peaks to the south. The beach breaks and currents may excite advanced thrill seekers. It’s not the safest spot though due to presence of sharks, speeding jet skis, and even swimmers.

Otter Rock

One of central Oregon’s popular surf spots for beginners is Otter Rock, but there are areas for intermediate and advanced surfers as well as longboarders. Like any other spots, it gets crowded during weekends and holidays.

Agate Beach

Awesome beach breaks lure surfers, new and old alike, to this paradise, which is on the south rim of Yaquina Head. A huge headland blocks the north wind. A disadvantage with surf spots like this one that cater to all types of surfers is the presence of untrained beginners, which make surfing a bit risky for adventurous enthusiasts.

Florence South Jetty

Strong currents favor only intermediate and advanced surfers. Huge winter swells attract water adventure buffs. The beach gets crowded though, and that can be a deal breaker. Watch out for the sharks, albeit threat is not severe.

Coos Bay

It’s a sandy cove along Bastendorff beach. Winds blow offshore in winter, and surfers may find that cool, but strong rips and sharks are to look out for.

Other spots to visit are Brookings, Hubbard Creek, and Port Orford.

image: By Visitor7 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

My Tips For Staying Healthy While Traveling

Traveling means leaving the comfort and convenience of home. You go to a different place where you’re unsure whether food preparations are good and water supply is clean. You’re prone to certain illnesses while traveling. You can also wind partying too much and neglecting your diet and fitness. So how do you stay fit and healthy whilst somewhere far from home?

Pack some healthy snacks.

Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you have to abandon your kitchen and all the healthy stuff in the cabinets. You can pack some of them to wherever you’re going. That way, you will still be able to healthy food while you’re away from home. Bring nuts, berries, diced fruits in a container, dark chocolate, and whole grain crackers.

Eat healthy.

Vacation is not an excuse for eating high-fat, sugary stuff no matter how delicious that ice cream looks…and those cookies. Well, occasional indulgences aren’t so bad, but you have to choose what food to eat and what to pick in restaurants or hotels when you’re not preparing your own food. Don’t be too carried away by local cuisine that you forget you’re supposed to be staying fit. Try it, but don’t binge.

If your hotel room has a kitchen, by all means do your own local grocery shopping and cook your own meals.

Stay fit.

You will be away from the gym, but that’s not an excuse for skipping on your fitness regimen. Running and even brisk walking are two activities that burn fat and keep you fit while away and on vacation. You just need a pair of good running shoes. For weight trainers, abandoning the gym could mean no muscle stimulation for sometime. But no! Learn body weight exercises, like pushups, pull-ups, mountain climbers, lunges, squats, and planks. These will keep your muscle tone while you’re away from the gym. You don’t need equipment for these exercises, so you have no excuse. You can get some good ideas for a whopping 50 body weight exercises you can do from this site.

Stretch!

If you’re on the train or bus or plane, and the travel takes several hours, you can do stretching every hour. Stand up and stretch! If you’re traveling by car, make hourly stops. Get off and do some stretching. That will keep your muscles from getting stiff and sore. You can even do some stretches in your airplane seat if you follow the tips on this site.

Bring a hand sanitizer.

It may be impossible to wash your hands while you’re traveling. A handy hand sanitizer or a bottle of rubbing alcohol should keep your hands clean and keep you from catching infectious diseases. When you aboard a plane or a train, you have no idea whom you’re getting in contact with. The handrails and grab bars can be contaminated with cold viruses. The last thing you want is to come home from a vacation and come down with an annoying cold. Always make your hands clean before handling food. If you can’t wash your hands, daub some sanitizer and rub it on your hands.

Get enough sleep.

Sleepless nights due to excessive partying can stress you out. Traveling is not an excuse for staying up late at night and getting insufficient sleep. You can even get good sleep on planes if you follow the sleep tips on this site. If you stay late every night while you’re on vacation, you would come back home listless and lethargic. You’re supposed to come back from your travel energized and rejuvenated.

Got A Spider Bite On Holiday In Turkey

When you go on holiday somewhere, even if it is not to a place that is new, you hope to come back home with some type of little souvenir or trinket to remember the good times you had while away. Often for me, I just end up with photos as I do not like to collect a lot of junk, but sometimes I will find some really cool local artwork that I take back home with me.

While in Turkey on holiday, I found lots of really interesting looking Turkish lamps that I would have loved to take back home and decorate with. The only reason that I did not buy them is that they are glass and I was afraid that the baggage handlers would not be gentle enough with my luggage to keep the items safe. And it would be heart breaking to get home and discover that the treasured Turkish lamps were nothing more than broken shards of glass.

But anyways, I did actually end up with a bit of something to take back home with me when leaving Turkey. It seems that while I was sleeping one night a spider decided to give me a proper bite on the arm. When I woke up that morning, there was an odd little mark on my arm that I just assumed was a dry patch or something as it had a similar shape to ringworm or a dry patch of skin. Fast forward to later in the day and it had started swelling up, making it obvious that I was bit my something. Now, I had seen a mosquito in the bathroom and wondered if that could be the culprit, but ruled that out since the bite was flat till later in the day.

And since I didn’t actually wake up when it happened, I can only assume that it was a spider. And after looking on the internet, I have narrowed it down to either the Mediterranean brown recluse or the Turkish jumping spider. At least that what I found on this site. The bite itches like mad and should last for a few weeks 🙁

I hate spiders 🙁

My Favorite Foods When Traveling This Summer

Recently I took a bit of a holiday that had me traveling to a few different countries and cities where I got to spend a lot of time sampling the local cuisine. There were some things that I absolutely loved and some that was just okay. Fortunately, I did not try anything that I absolutely hated so that was nice. Now, I want to recount some of my food adventures with you real quick.

Greece

I have been to Greece before, so it was no surprise that their food was some of the best of my entire trip. I do not know what it is, but the local Greek honey and olive oil is so much better than anything that you van buy in the grocery store. And the feta! oh, the feta! It is so tasty there.

Some of the things that I ate were baked chicken stuffed with olives and feta; grilled feta with olive oil, onions, tomatoes and green peppers; chicken souvlaki, feta in a pastry shell with honey, cinnamon and sesame seeds; greek salad; and pizza with prosciutto.

All really great meals there.

Turkey

In Turkey, I ate a lot of things that were basically grilled meats in different recipes. Everything from gyros to donners to shepherd stew to chicken kebabs. It was also really good to eat, with the low point being traditional Turkish coffee. What can I say? I just do not like the coffee grounds in the bottom of my cup. But I am a huge fan of traditional Turkish tea. I would drink that stuff all day long if I had access to it!

Scotland

A lot of the food here was really rich, but oh so tasty. I ate Scottish pancakes with fresh cream and strawberries for more than one meal. So decadent! I also had a really yummy steak and ale pie that was such great comfort food. More than once I had fish and chips, but from different places. The worst of them had all the little fish bones still in the filet which made eating it a real pain. Also got mushy peas with it once, which was interesting.

Scotland is also big on pulled pork sandwiches apparently, and I tried one of those. It smelled a lot better than it tasted, but it was not bad. Not as good as Memphis style BBQ in the South US, but still pretty decent and definitely something that I was surprised to find. I also tried a little meat pie thing that was kind of like a hot pocket with steak meat, gravy and spices inside. It was a tasty little treat, even if it was super high in calories!

Spain

Since I was in Spain the longest period, I got to try to most amount of different foods. I had so many tapas that I lost count! I had some really terrible jamon Iberico that put me off of it until a local convinced me that what I had tasted was not typical and I tried it again (better the second time). The little croquettes are probably my favorite of the tapas, but I also really like the fresh olives. Pretty much everything that I tried in terms of tapas was great. I even got pizza from a local place a few times and it was really good too! And since it was warm there, I tried a few frozen treats that were yummy, like granitas.

Madurodam

After a brief stay in Paris last June, we stayed for two nights in Amsterdam. It was some sort of a pit stop (along with Bremen after the Amsterdam stay) because our next destination, Copenhagen, was too long a drive directly from Paris. Too many films have been made about Amsterdam (especially ones with plots involving crazy dudes on some hash brownie misadventures) so I have decided instead to write about the less well-known miniature city near Amsterdam, Madurodam, located in Scheveningen, the Hague, the Netherlands.

in amsterdam, we stayed in the infamous bilderberg hotel, known in conspiracy theory circles as the first meeting place of the mysterious bilderberg group. at breakfast every morning, the husband would discuss things – the news, world economy, plans for the future – and would get a kick out of relaying these things to me in a hushed tone. “just in case somebody had planted a bug under our table.” i guess i should be grateful he had not resorted to writing things down on the table napkin, haha.

Madurodam is the smallest city in the Netherlands and is about an hour’s drive away from Amsterdam. It was a spontaneous decision to visit the city (right before we were to leave for Bremen) and one that we never regretted making. The kid, who’s into miniatures, enjoyed this visit very much.

Madurodam is made of miniature structures (at a 1:25 scale) of popular Dutch places and landmarks.  It’s a great way to see most of the Netherland’s interesting landmarks in one place!

This mini city has its own mayor despite having no actual constituents. In 1952, then teenaged princess Beatrix, became its appointed mayor. She later relinquished this title when she became Queen of the Netherlands in 1980.

To know more about Madurodam, visit their official website here.

Baguio – A Short Trip

Baguio is named the summer capital of the Philippines because of the relatively cool climate that the city is blessed with. People drive roughly 250 km further north of Manila to take a vacation away from the summer heat in the metropolis. Discounting the traffic and the potholes on the road, the GPS that we brought indicated 3 hours and 30 minutes as our total travel time but it took us 6+ hours to get to Baguio. Not bad considering that we left Manila at 10+ a.m. and that we had a 1-hour pit stop for lunch. The last time we went, it was Holy Week and it was a literal 10-hour, 1-inch per minute,  pain-in-the-behind drive up the mountains. The rainy season is really the best time to go (we went during the first 3 days of July). Accommodations were 50% off in The Manor, traffic was light and there were no crowds. The pace was more leisurely, people were happier and the services were a tad better.

On the downside, it was a scary climb. We were in Marcos Highway by late afternoon and some areas had almost zero visibility because of the fog. The road was wet and zig-zaggy. I’ve experienced sitting through blinding fog and snow while Bongo was driving in Zermatt 3 years ago but this was scarier because of the people we were with – my Mom was reciting the rosary at the back and my 7-yr. old nephew just had to let his emotions out, “Hala, mamamatay na tayong lahat!” (”We are all gonna die!”).

The pine-scented air in Camp John Hay and the green vista that greeted us in The Manor more than made up for the long and arduous climb. We booked the two-bedroom suite for 5 adults and 1 kid, while my brother and his family booked a de luxe room (as I said, rainy season rates rock). Service is always five-star there for us but the furniture needs some serious re-upholstering (or a good washing and scrubbing!). Plus, I wish they’d get rid of the carpeting – my imagination goes wild (bugs, snot and other unidentified follicular objects) whenever I see carpets in hotel rooms. The living/dining/kitchenette areas were tiled but the rooms were still carpeted *shudder*. But hey, we got a great non-peak season deal, plenty of space, a great view and service totally wowed us!