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Posted by Victor Crew on

Hawaii’s Volcanoes

It took 70 million years of volcanism, migration, and evolution to produce the unique ecosystems and distinct human culture displayed by the volcanoes in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

It was over 1,600 years ago when Polynesians from the Marquesas Islands migrated to Hawaii. They came in great double-hulled canoes guided by the sun and stars, and reading the winds, currents, and the flight of seabirds.

The beautiful park you see today was created to preserve the natural setting of Kilauea and Mauna Loa and as a refuge for the islands native plants and animals.

If you plan on visiting and hiking the wonderful trails, be sure to wear light layers and hiking boots or shoes. The temperature and weather can vary from rainy and chilly to hot, dry and windy depending on the elevation and area you are visiting. Park trails range in difficulty from easy walks (Bird Park/Kipuka Puaulu or Thurston Lava Tube/Nahuku) to longer hikes such as Kilauea Ike or Mauna Iki.

The true character of the park is best discovered on foot. With over 150 miles of trails in the park, exploration by walking and hiking can be a fascinating and enjoyable experience.

Located within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and nestled on the rim of Kilauea caldera is the Volcano House. With its unique charm it has captured the hearts of travelers and islanders alike. The Volcano house has offered spectacular views and warm hospitality for decades as Hawaii’s oldest continually operated hotel with a history dating back to 1846.

Hawaii has always been one of our family’s favorite vacation destinations. Add in the spectacular volcanoes and you’ve made a wonderful choice for the whole family.

Posted by Victor Crew on

Family Summer Vacation Suggestions

One of the greatest parts of our national heritage is diversity: of people, places and cultures. With international travel becoming easier and the popularity of luxury vacations the family road trip has lost popularity.  This is the perfect time to help our young people experience and connect with the beautiful and varied landscapes all over our country.

Travelers might also consider Lonely Planet’s top ten must-see destinations in the United States. As one will see, this list suggests cities and regions that will provide very different experiences for travelers.

Lonely Planet’s Best in the United States for 2016
1. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2. Natchez, Mississippi
3. Yellowstone National Park (Montana, Wyoming, Idaho)
4. Birmingham, Alabama
5. Alaska
6. Somerville, Massachusetts
7. Northwest Arkansas
8. San Antonio, Texas
9. Southern New Mexico
10. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Posted by Victor Crew on

New Neolithic Complex Discovered in Jordan

In Jordan’s southeastern desert a Neolithic complex of 9,000-year-old stone carvings was uncovered by archaeologists.

Jordanian and French archaeologists were responsible for the find and announced it through a press conference held by the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

Experts believe that the site is a ritual installation uniquely dedicated to the hunting of gazelles. It features huge stone traps called “desert kites.” Experts think they may be the world’s oldest large-scale human sculptures.

The desert kite hunting traps are made of long stone walls that led prey to an enclosure where they could be corralled.

Archaeologists also discovered the campsites of the hunters whose whole lives centered on the traps and hunting game. They lived in semi-subterranean circle shaped huts.

Experts say this new discovery will give them new understanding of these ancient people’s spiritual and creative expressions. Two stone carvings, named Ghassan and Abu Ghassan make up most of the discovery. The taller, 112 centimeters, is carved with a desert kite incorporated into a human figure. The smaller, 70 centimeters, is a very detailed human face.

Other finds in the dig revealed a ritual altar stone, a purposefully arranged collection of about 150 marine fossils, a hearth, animal figurines and finely crafted flint objects.


Posted by Victor Crew on

Holiday Travel Safety Tips

The first step is preparing your home. You can begin with basics like making sure all windows and doors are locked before you leave. A sticky note of reminders for last minute items like checking door locks can be placed on the door you are most likely to exit through to start your trip. Lights one timers, stopping your mail, and home security systems are all good measures to help protect your home.

However, the best protection against a home robbery is making it look like someone is around, especially if you plan on being gone for quite a while. If possible, have a trusted friend or family member spend some time at your home, let their vehicle be seen in the driveway. If you think it is going snow, scheduling a plow service while you are gone can help make it look like someone is home. Of course, the ideal in this regard would be someone trusted to house sit for you.

Getting your vehicle serviced, if you are driving, is a great place to start making sure the actual trip goes off without a hitch. Getting your tires checked is essential. If you are close to the time for an oil change you should probably get it. Also having fluids and belts checked is a good idea. Having an emergency kit with things like road flares, a first aid kit, blankets, maybe even some basic food (protein bars) and bottled water.

Even in populated areas extreme or sudden bad weather could make it difficult for one to drive to some place safe or for emergency vehicles to make it to you. You may also want to schedule cellphone check ins with someone at home and someone at your destination.

Giving yourself more time to get to your destination than you need, especially if there is only a single driver. For long trips, one would ideally want at least two legal drivers in the vehicle.

Stay safe!


Posted by Victor Crew on

Universal Studios, Beijing, China to Open Soon

Dementors, Decepticons, Minions and Raptors are just a few of the fantasy encounters one can have at the new Universal Studios Resort, Beijing, China. It will fully open on 20 September 2021 after delays due to Covid.

It will include seven “themed” parks that will include 37 rides. The Beijing location will be the fifth Universal Studios theme park.

While it shares many of its popular attractions found at its sister sites in Los Angeles, Singapore, Osaka and Orlando. But it will also include some new attractions unique to the Beijing location including the the Kung Fu Panda Land of Awesomeness.

Some park visitors who were invited to a soft opening for trial operations reported that some wait times could be high and that some of the most popular shows were almost impossible to get into.