California’s Must Eat Foods!

There are so many good reasons to hit the road and explore California. From the big city lights of LA to the bohemian cafe culture of San Francisco. From the picturesque scenery of Yosemite to the lazy golf days at Palm Springs. California is a treasure trove of beauty and lifestyle. But, there’s another jewel in the crown. The food! California has so much to offer when it comes to the foodie traveller. The long coastline makes it great for fish dishes. LA is home to both culinary stars and awesome street vendors. San Francisco has its own unique take on food culture too, unlike anywhere else in the states. Here’s checklist you can take with you on your next trip!

 

Double Mint Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches

Photo credits to Isabelle Boucher – https://flic.kr/p/oyzHW1

 

Ice cream sandwich – Sure, LA has some of the finest restaurants on the planet. After all, it’s home to the rich and famous, who demand fine dining! However, you’ll actually find some of the best food right there on the street. There’s a particular food cart in the heart of UCLA campus that has become legendary for one particular foodie favourite. The ice cream sandwich. Once you sink your teeth into it, you’ll realise why you just queued for such a long time! And you thought New York was the only place with good street food.

 

Smoked salmon pizza – San Francisco have a somewhat experimental attitude towards pizza. It’s not a recipe that needs much experimentation if you ask me. So, I was sceptical about Frisco’s smoked salmon pizza. That is until I tasted it! It’s one of those dishes that really shouldn’t work. But it does. Oh, it does!

 

Pork Xiao Long Bao – You can’t visit San Francisco and not explore the wonderful Chinatown. It’s like stepping into a whole different world. Now, you’ve got to be careful in this part of town. Because there are a lot of wannabe restaurants. It’s your job to hunt out the authentic, classic Chinese restaurants. My advice? Look for the ones that have Chinese-only menus! Once you’re in there, ask for the Pork Xiao Long Bao. It’s a dumpling soup, and it is the tastiest thing in Chinatown.

 

Seafood Cioppino – California’s coast is home to some of the best seafood restaurants in America. Some even rival New Orleans (seriously!) It won’t take long to find a delicious seafood lunch here on the west coast. My favourite meal is the seafood cioppino. It’s classic seafood chowder or soup, with a slight Italian twist. It’s full of clams, mussels, prawns and calamari.

 

Chopped fruit with chilli and limeWhat?? Yep, that was my reaction too. But, just wait until you try it. This is another classic vendor food on the streets of LA. It comes in a little plastic bag. You’ll find chopped melon, apple, and oranges laced with chilli powder and lime juice. It’s a weird combination, but it works! It will also keep you nice and healthy on your wandering travels!

 

And so we come to the end of my Californian foodie tour. Fellow Sunshine Staters, what have I missed? Let me know in the comment section below!

 

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Three of the most picturesque places to visit when on a Caribbean to Mexico cruise

A Caribbean to Mexico cruise may well be one of the most desirable journeys a keen traveller can experience. But with so many beautiful islands to choose from, where should you aim to have on your itinerary. Here are three suggestions.

 

Cozumel

Home to the world-renowned Palancar Reef, this divers paradise is a real must-see. Settled by the Maya around 2,000 years ago, Cozumel is today the largest Caribbean island in Mexico. However, two-thirds of the island remains undeveloped, meaning swathes of beautiful island scenery for all to enjoy.

 

Colorful Corals Paradise Reef Cozumel Mexico

Image by: amanderson2 – https://flic.kr/p/pWFhkD

Located on the southwest side of the island lies the large coral reef Palancar, which is an ideal spot for novice divers who’ve always wanted to try their hand. Turtles are common, while if you’re lucky, you may well spot Angelfish, Butterflyfish and Parrotfish. Back above sea level, the beaches look like they’re straight out of travel brochures.

 

Labadee

On the northern coast of Haiti lies Labadee, a piece of paradise that remains largely untouched even to today. From the main beach, visitors can take short boat rides to private beaches, many of which cap their numbers at only a couple dozen of people. Back on the mainline there are all sorts of activities for the braver individual, including a zip-line over the clear turquoise sea and a 300ft waterslide which winds through the lush trees and back towards the ocean. Labadee is a privately resort leased until 2050, but can be accessed today via companies like Cruise Deals. What are you waiting for?

 

Club Orient - Labadee, Haiti

Image by: Lee Cannon – https://flic.kr/p/dXf6di

 

Aruba

Anywhere with the phrase “One Happy Place” on the licence place has to be well worthy of a stop. With reliable weather, thanks to the low humidity, rain is a rarity and sunshine is consistent. Aruba is an island of contrasts, with sugar sand beaches on one side and towering dunes and cliffs to the other. It’s an island filled with European influences, thanks to its Dutch heritage. This makes for interesting architecture and a mixture of four languages spoken by the locals; English, Dutch, Spanish and Papiamento, the local dialect. Aruba is also home to the aptly-named Flamingo Beach, where you can sit amongst and feed the elegant pink birds that call the beach their home.For the historically minded there are the remains of a Spanish goldmine, but for those wanting to simply relax, you’ll also find ample beaches adorned with sun loungers and hammocks.

 

Aruba

Image by: Fred Matos – https://flic.kr/p/e6vN7c

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Dramatize a Travel Video Using a Split-Screen Video Effect

Are you an adrenaline junkie who goes on tons of high-octane travel adventures like skiing, skydiving, white water rafting, and so on? Or maybe you had a particularly action-filled trip hiking, biking, or something else? Sometimes regular travel videos don’t just cut it when it comes to emphasizing the intensity and dramatic nature of your adventures – which is where the split-screen video effect can really be extremely useful.

 

Multiple Perspectives of an Event

The advantage of split-screen video when it comes to action sequences is that it will allow you to showcase multiple perspectives of the same event. For example, for a sequence of you skiing down a steep slope you could show a side profile that will really demonstrate how fast you were going, a back view that will show your moves, and maybe even a head-cam that shows your perspective.

 

 

Frankly the options are close to endless – but with these multiple perspectives you could really show viewers what it was like, all at the same time. Of course, you’ll need to plan it out so that you have video footage of all these multiple perspectives that you’d like to show, but the end result should be pretty amazing.

 

Choosing the Right Software

Once you have the video footage that you need, creating the actual split-screen effect is really all about choosing the right software. With video editing software like the Movavi Video Editor, you’ll find that it really is relatively easy to create this effect and all you need to do is:

  1. Click ‘Add Media Files’ and add the videos to the software.
  2. Add video tracks by clicking the ‘+’ button above the Timeline and selecting ‘Video Track’.
  3. Drag each individual clip onto a track of its own.
  4. Go to the ‘Effects’ panel, find the ‘Transform’ section and select the split screen effect that you’d like to use.
  5. Apply the effects to your videos one by one to create the final split-screen effect.

Once you’re done you can save the final video using one of the many presets that are available to optimize it. Because the Movavi Video Editor can do far more than act as split screen software, take advantage of it and crop, enhance, edit, trim, and even add special effects as required. Be sure to add a music track as background music too – it could really give it that special touch that is needed.

 

Image source: http://www.movavi.com/support/how-to/how-to-make-a-split-screen-video.html

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Want To Book The Perfect Adventure Holiday?

Image via https://www.flickr.com/photos/cathrinelindblom/8209436137/

Booking an adventure holiday can be very complicated. There are so many deals and offers out there that it can be overwhelming. Many people are left with the feeling that they have paid more than they could have. But don’t worry – use these top tips to work out the best deal for you.

 

Set Aside Time

The first bit of advice is simple: put aside some time to work out what you want from your adventure trip. There are a lot of ways to save money, and you need to look at what is on offer. More time spent investigating at the beginning means you will be able to enjoy the magic of an adventure holiday for the best possible price.

 

Getting Started

You’ll need a pen, some paper and a calculator to work out exactly what you are paying for. Adventure holidays are available from many different sources, and each of them offers different deals. Take a look at ActivitiesAbroad.com and see the types of things that are on offer on the current market. Jot down the activities that catch your interest.

 

Work Out What You Want

OK, so now you have to make some decisions. It’s important to cut the wheat from the chaff here, as there may be components of an adventure package that you don’t want. There is no point in paying for them. Make a bucket list of interests and you should have a good idea of what you are looking for.

 

Image by Di Jones – https://www.flickr.com/photos/lesotho/7299665194/


 

Find A Base Price

You won’t know if you have a good deal or not if you don’t know the base price. The best way to get it is to go through the process of buying each component of the holiday that you want – but make sure it is at the full price.

 

Compare Cost To Full Packages

Now compare the cost of what you actually want with the discounted package price. If the package is cheaper and includes everything you want, then it might seem like a no-brainer. But don’t book just yet! The chances are that the package will also include a lot of things you don’t want. Discounts on activities you will never use, visits to places you aren’t interested in, for example. Packages are sold as a convenience, and it is usually the case that convenience costs more.

 

Book Flights Separately

Although it is tempting to book your flights through your tour operator, it might be best to plan your own journey there. You may get a better deal and a more straightforward trip. For example, your tour operator will get you from A to B, but may not take into account stopovers or tricky changeovers.

 

Read The Small Print

All packaged tours have a lot of fine print that could affect your trip – and it’s no different with adventure holidays. There could be restrictions on your activities that mean you will never get to use them. For example, let’s say you have free golf as a component and want a round in the evening – but the small print states you can only use it before 5 pm. If you are planning a day on the beach, it is worthless. So, make sure you go through your terms and conditions with a fine toothcomb.

 

OK, so that’s all there is to it. Good luck with booking your trip and enjoy your adventure holiday!

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Everything You Need to Know About Organising a Business Trip in the US

Travel isn’t all about leisure, all of the time. Sometimes, we have to go for business. Although it’s technically working, a business trip is a great way to see the world. As long as you plan correctly! If you’re clever about organising your trip, then you may still get to enjoy your time away. One of the most popular destinations for business vacations is the US. With some of the biggest and busiest cities in the world, it’s no real surprise. To help you get the most out of your time away, I’ve put together this handy guide. Here’s how to organise a business trip in the US.

 

 

Visas and Travel Documents

You need to make sure that they’re actually going to let you in the country before you book anything at all. Those visiting America on business may have to apply for a visa and other travel documentation. It’s important to see what the laws are before you book up flights or accommodation. Applying for a visa can take some time, so be sure to do this well in advance. If your colleagues have visited the US on business before, ask them for some advice. What did they need to do? How long did it take? All of their answers will help you to get it right first time.

 

Booking Flights and Accommodation

Once you’re happy that you can actually get into the country, it’s time to book those flights and accommodation. Some companies may entrust this job to a member of HR or a personal assistant. Other times, you may be asked to do it yourself. Firstly, find out if there is a particular protocol for booking flights and accommodation. You may have a strict budget or have to do so through a recommended supplier. Next, find out what’s covered. Are you allowed to fly business class? Will you be staying in one of their corporate apartment rentals or a 3-star hotel? Are all meals going to be paid for by the company? It’s important you know exactly what the business covers and what you have to pay for yourself. You’re now ready to book your flights and accommodation.

 

 

Planning the Trip

If you want to make the most out of this time in the US, then you’re going to need to plan ahead. Chances are, most of your time will be filled with business meetings and impressing clients. However, you may get a few spare hours to explore. As long as you plan in advance, you’ll be able to see some of the sights that the city has to offer. Write up a schedule that includes all of the things you have to do for work. Don’t forget to include travelling times between each meeting! You’ll then be able to see how much time is left for play. Use a map to determine what areas you’ll be in when you’re finished up with each client. You can then choose which sights to explore, that are nearby. This will ensure you make the most out of the time you have available. From sunny Florida to bustling New York City, there will always be something to fill your time.

 

A business trip to the US doesn’t have to be all work and no play. As long as you follow this ultimate guide, you should be able to see some of the beautiful sights and attractions on offer as well. In fact, you’ll enjoy it so much you won’t be able to wait until the next business trip.

 

Images are from pixabay.com

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