Summer party season around the corner

The summer party season is around the corner, so it’s time to start planning your road trips. There are so many great events out there to choose from, it’s really just a matter of picking one or two and then lining things up to enjoy it as much as possible, whether you’re going with friends and looking to hook up with women or taking your gal.

The Kentucky Derby is always a classic party and it kicks things off in early May. The key here is deciding what kind of experience you want. If you’re going to the infield, then you’re looking at a truly wild time with plenty of drinking. If you’re looking for a classier experience where you can enjoy all the lovely Southern hotties in their elegant hats, then that’s a whole different affair where you’ll be dressing in classy clothes and enjoying Mint Juleps in the grandstand. Remember, the hats are a great way to meet women at this event, as it’s the perfect conversation starter. You’ll meet tons of women if you make the effort.

Of course if you’re heading to that race you’ll have betting on your mind as well. With the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby set to take place soon on Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 we trust the guys at www.Kentucky-Derby-Online-Betting.com to give us their latest Kentucky Derby online betting predictions with live odds updates to get us ready for the first leg of the Triple Crown.

It’s been so long since we had a Triple Crown winner that everyone gets really excited when a horse wins the first two legs. With that in mind think about the Belmont Stakes as well in June if a horse has a chance to win the Triple Crown. That will suddenly elevate that event to one of the bigger parties of the summer.

Of course there are tons of music festivals as well, and the lineup at this year’s Lollapalooza with Eminem and the Kings of Leon leading the way. You won’t be drinking fancy drinks or looking at elegant hats at this event. It will be much more like the infield experience at the Derby. With the event in Chicago there will be plenty of opportunities to plan an awesome trip around the concert, with the bars on Rush Street and around Wrigley Field being great options.

So unless you’re the type to go with last-minute road trips, now is the time to start planning.

  

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Deals in Las Vegas

Caesars Palace

Now that the holiday rush is over, we’ve hit the part of the travel season where you can find some deals out there. But of course that depends on where you’re going and what you want to do. If you’re looking to hit South Beach or go skiing, you’re going to pay top dollar this time of year. On the other hand, if you’ve been looking for an opportunity to hit Las Vegas, you’ll find tons of deals this time of year.

Keep in mind that it will be cooler in Vegas for the next several months, so the whole pool scene is non-existent. That’s probably the main reason things slow down this time of year. But if you’re looking for a luxury weekend with your wife or a sexy date, and you want a great hotel and the chance to see some great Vegas shows, then this timing is perfect. Of course, many people go for the old school reason of gambling in the casinos. Of course you can play these games online at places like 888, but the social aspect of playing in a casino can only be matched in a place like Vegas. Even the local casinos aren’t the same.

Sites like Vegas.com have tons of deal specials, but if you shop around you’ll have plenty of options. This time of year you can even get better prices on the hot casino hotels like Cosmopolital and Aria, or the traditional luxury spots like Wynn and Bellagio. Places like Caesars Palace pictured above have added even more upscale hotels within their main hotel. Here they added the Nobu hotel which offers a unique and upscale experience. Places like this are perfect for a romantic getaway. Plus the wild side of Vegas is always there as well. Your date can also book great spa experiences at many of these hotels. Look for deal packages that offer these as part of the price.

The shows in Vegas are always excellent as well. We’re still partial to the Beatles “Love” show at the Mirage. Even if you’re not a huge fan of their music you will love this show, and your date in particualar will probably love it. But there are plenty of other great shows, and show tickets are sometimes included in these deal packages as well.

Finally, if you’re looking to go with your buddies instead, keep in mind that we have the NFL playoffs this weekend and then the Super Bowl in several weeks. March Madness is just around the corner. Those big weekends may not have as many discounts, but for sports betting they offer some fun times. Enjoy!

  

Los Angeles – The City of Lights

This is a pretty awesome video of Los Angeles in time-lapse mode from angles all over the city. The theme involves light, and the views are breathtaking.

  

Fish & Frolic in Coffs Harbour

ID-100141014 By criminalatt sea bass
Free image courtesy of criminalatt/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In Australia, the No.1 recreational activity is fishing, with more people choosing to participate in this pastime than engaging in any other hobby or spot. And due to its popularity, many families choose to holiday at places around the country that provide optimum conditions for fishing. Often better known for its tourist attractions (like the Big Banana) and great beaches, Coffs Harbour is actually one of the best places to fish in Australia. Enthusiasts can catch a variety of fish species all in the local area — something not found in most fishing havens. Apart from offering world-class fishing spots, the Coffs Coast is also the perfect place to enjoy swimming, snorkelling, diving, sightseeing, shopping, kayaking and more. If you’re ready to visit this holiday hot spot, then book a hotel in Coffs Harbour and read on for three of the best areas for fishing and frolicking.

Solitary Islands Marine Park

In New South Wales, the Solitary Islands Marine Park is the largest marine protected area in the state. Extending around 75 kilometres along the Coffs Coast, this group of islands is popular with fishing enthusiasts who love to get offshore for deep-sea fishing. While the area has zones where fishing is not allowed, in the regions where you can dangle a line you’re likely to catch an array of species such as snapper, pearl perch, Spanish mackerel, jewfish, amberjack, kingfish and more. Visitors to the Solitary Islands Marine Park can also enjoy scuba diving and snorkelling in the waters, and are sure to be impressed by the area’s 550 species of fish, 90 varieties of coral and 600 types of molluscs. The region is home to various turtle species, and hosts humpback whales during the autumn and winter months. While in the area, you may also be interested in visiting Southern Cross University’s National Marine Science Centre that is adjacent to the Marine Park. The centre is suitable for all ages and is home to the Solitary Islands Aquarium, and has guided tours and visual displays.

Repton

A small community in the Coffs Coast region, Repton is approximately a 20-minute drive away from Coffs Harbour. It’s popular with both locals and tourists who enjoy freshwater fishing. The region boasts clean rivers and lakes, and is ideal for anglers who want to try their hand at fly fishing, salmon or trout fishing. The two most popular fishing spots nearby Repton are the Repton Rail Bridge and Repton Hole. They both provide deeper-water fishing where tourists are likely to catch mangrove jack, school jewfish, flathead, mulloway, trevally, perch and stud bream. While visiting Repton, travellers can also enjoy boating, swimming, relaxing picnics along the river, canoeing and horse riding. Repton is adjacent to Bongil Bongil National Park, so hikers and bird-watching enthusiasts are well-catered to. If food and wine are more your scene, then head to nearby Raleigh Vineyard and Winery to sample local cheeses and wines; if you prefer to get the adrenaline pumping, then don’t miss a visit to the Raleigh Raceway.

Boambee Beach

Boambee Beach, near the village of Sawtell, is popular with locals and tourists alike. It’s regularly visited by fishermen, four-wheel-drive enthusiasts, joggers and Jet-Ski owners. The Beach provides anglers with both beach and river fishing, and the standard catch includes blackfish, flathead, whiting, mulloway and brim. At the southern end of Boambee Beach, you’ll find Boambee Creek Reserve. Although it’s a popular spot for families with young children (due to the shallow water and picnic and playground facilities), there is also a pedestrian bridge located under the rail bridge which provides fishing enthusiasts with access to the southern end of Boambee Beach. When not spending time catching fish in the area, tourists can enjoy amazing views from the Boambee Lookout and perhaps even spot migrating whales from June to November. There are also plenty of walking trails to explore, lots of shops, cafes and galleries to enjoy in nearby Sawtell, and many safe cycling tracks in the region.

About the Author: Fiona Charles is a travel writer and mother who enjoys exploring Australia’s best fishing spots with her husband and kids.

  

Watkins Glen International: Why NASCAR fans have the most fun

Impossibly fast.

With a revolving mixture of amusement and awe, those two words became a chorus in my head, going off like clockwork as each lap unraveled and 43 of the world’s best NASCAR drivers roared past the finish line and screamed into turn 1.

I was leaning against the railing of Zippo’s viewer-friendly suite in Watkins Glen, New York, for the annual NASCAR event that consistently draws tens of thousands of gung-ho fans. Aside from checking out Zippo’s current endeavors (which are stellar) and cataloguing the races themselves, an additional chunk of my focus at the Glen was to find out exactly what it is about NASCAR that has propelled it to remain an absolute juggernaut in the world of spectator sports.

Is the hype justified? Do the legions of diehard fans, movies and media coverage actually represent a sport deserving of such a pedestal? Many would scoff and issue a flippant dismissal, rebutting that NASCAR is simply a redneck obsession that has nonsensically acquired its popularity.

Having avoided any groundless perspectives, I was an unbiased sponge before my arrival; ready to soak in the scene and hammer out some concrete conclusions. To make a long story short: the naysayers have it wrong – very wrong.

“The Glen”

Watkins Glen International is by all means in the country, which for us meant a rolling and scenic cruise from the Buffalo Airport.

Fate had bestowed our driver with two notable characteristics: an encyclopedia-deep knowledge of upstate New York, including the Glen, and a superhuman ability to maintain unbelievably casual conversation despite vigorously tailgating any car that deviated below the assigned speed.

Given our empty stomachs and the familiar anticipation that any traveler feels before arrival, I wholeheartedly appreciated his quirks.

You begin to sense the immensity of the Glen even before you enter the gates. Signs that designate parking and directions slowly start to pepper the side of the road, tirelessly providing a first wave of guidance and defense to the most assured calamity that was already coalescing.

Gate 2, our drop-off point, was bustling with the quintessential festival entrance proceedings, complete with walkie-talkie clad workers, stop-and-go traffic and lots of chatter. Above us, in the distance, mammoth grandstands loomed.

After bidding farewell to our driver, our Zippo rep, Hunter, arrived moments later and we transitioned ourselves into his Jeep for the final voyage to camp, or as I like to call it, Ground Zero.

It didn’t take long to realize Hunter was friendly, down to earth and adept – a great ambassador for what was to be a hearty weekend.

Upon entering camp, which was at non-event dates a sprawling grassy area, crisscrossed by dirt roads and encompassed completely by the road course, I realized several things almost immediately. For one, my North Face and loafers, indiscernible at SFO, were now about as out of place and impractical as Hannah Anderson’s pajamas bottoms amidst the Montana forest. Too soon?

Also, I had widely underestimated the degree of revelry and madness, which reared its head wildly as we slowly rolled towards our spot. I found myself rubbernecking, hastily trying to take it all in.

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