Well what a week it has been! First an earthquake and now a hurricane! Actually it has been quite a year with blizzards, flooding, tornadoes and droughts too.
We can’t prepare for all that Mother Nature throws at us but we can prepare for hurricanes. The National Hurricane Center in Miami has a wealth of information to help people be prepared and can forecast probabilities giving people plenty of notice. Please heed their warnings!
As for other natural disasters you can be somewhat prepared for them too, have an emergency kit on hand, one never knows when a disaster big or small may happen; downed trees cause power outages, accidents can cause gas leaks and evacuations. You may need to survive without emergency assistance for days.
Emergency kits can be purchased at various locations including the American Red Cross however they can easily be made. A rubber totes or backpack work perfectly. Complete lists are available of items to include but should be everything you may need to survive for three days. Some items to include should be water, non-perishable food, can opener, medications, flashlights, batteries, hand sanitizer, baby wipes and a basic first aid kit. You may also want to keep copies of banking and insurance information and some extra cash. Other considerations are water purifying products, clothing and entertainment (Yes I know that sounds crazy but if you are stuck in a shelter for hours you may need it… Playing Cards, word puzzles, book or game
And don’t forget your pet, have a back pack ready with food, leashes, water, and their favorite toy.
As we travel we consider everything we may need during a extended road trip or a long flight, think of everything you may need to live three days.
As Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts we are taught to be prepared but are we? Are you?
And FYI…yes I have a kit and one for my cat I was a Girl Scout Leader for too long not to have a kit! You know lead by example.
I guess I am thinking about Costa Rica because my daughter Sara and her boyfriend Jerrad are there now; and maybe some of you know I have been there twice. (You can read about are adventures in In My Head, Of My Heart.) Costa Rica is a very U.S. friendly country, is inhabited by many ex-pats and currently has some great deals on vacation packages.
In 2003 just prior to our arrival, Costa Rica had just opened its second international airport in Liberia. Now I wouldn’t say the airport was complete when we got there but it was open. Our departure gate upon leaving was an area outside under a tree, dutifully watched by a guard.
Due to its recent tourist popularity as a hot spot destination, we saw many changes in the country that had occurred in the one year between our trips. New roads had been created passing through the fields to access the beach front condos more quickly; plus new hotels and car rental agencies were being built in record numbers. And since our last visit there in 2004, friends of ours visited Costa Rica and liked it enough that they bought property there.
Costa Rica is a very diverse country, from the tropical jungles along the Caribbean, to its actively erupting Arenal Volcano and its arid land of the Pacific Northwest area of Guanacaste. The country boasts activity for all types of people…therapeutic mineral springs and spas, white water rafting, deep sea fishing, scuba diving, birding as well as ATV-ing and zip-lining.
Are you looking for a great vacation spot, look no further than Costa Rica for a “Pura Vida” (Pure Life) experience?
As I lay in bed trying not to violently scratch at the itchy little bumps taking over my ankles I got to thinking…
This summer we have heard a lot about the shark attacks along our coastlines. We have been warned to stay out of the water at sunrise and at dusk when most attacks take place, stay in a group, avoid shiny objects and areas with a lot of bait fish. There is an average of 60 shark attacks worldwide each year with about 40 deaths occurring from these attacks.
But what about the other attacks that take place during the same time frame, our beautiful sunrises and sunsets? These attacks are far more deadly than shark attacks… the warm weather MOSQUITO attacks. The mosquitoes don’t kill you with one large bite causing massive blood loss; no they kill you slowly with a massive amount of small bites drawing blood from you. These bites either cause disease or drive you crazy!
Mosquitoes kill thousands of people annually with Dengue Fever, West Nile Virus, Malaria, Encephalitis and Yellow Fever. Is anybody on the news talking about them? Come on give us some tips on avoiding those attacks, you know something besides the obvious, repellent and/or to stay indoors.
Here’s to hoping I still have skin on my body next week! Just call me.... Marsha the Mosquito Magnet!
Is that a buzzing noise I hear???
First before I begin I would like to take this opportunity to remember Navy SEAL Team 6 and the other military personnel who lost their lives this past weekend doing their job to insure our freedoms to travel to places like Cedar Point and to tourist sites worldwide.My thoughts and prayers are with your families.
Cedar Point Amusement Park on the shores of Lake Erie in Sandusky Ohio is the Roller Coaster Capitol of the World. It also is the number one rated amusement park in the world, with more rides, 75 (as of 2010) than any other park. In 2000 it opened the tallest, 310 feet and fastest, 93 miles per hour roller coaster…the Millennium Force. (Since 2000 that has changed with the addition of Top Thrill Dragster.)
Cedar Point, a seasonal park, has rides for all ages and numerous shows with live entertainment. For lodging it has a campground, several hotels and marina for boat owners.
Growing up on Ohio’s north coast it seems Cedar Point has always been a part of my life. I visited there yesterday, for the first time in many years. It was a day of reminiscing.
First were the days when I visited there as a child, the days of the horse drawn stagecoach rides and especially Jungle Larry’s African Safari. You don’t even see the stagecoach rides listed in the parks history…oh I am old! Another favorite of mine was the Sky Wheel, a double Ferris Wheel, two wheels spinning at once. Also gone are the Fun House, the Pirate Ride and the Scamper.
Then I remembered the days with my girls, and the endless trips driving them to or from “The Point” before they were old even to drive.
Wandering around the park it was comforting to see that somethings had not changed. The Sky Ride was still in the same location, through the center of the park and was the same ride as it had always been; as was the Space Needle and the Blue Streak. I also noticed the Japanese styled Pagoda Gift shop had not changed and the colorful flowers in the flowerbeds were as beautifully manicured as any gardens worldwide.
It was a wonderful day, full of fun on amusement rides and cherished memories of days gone by.
Earlier I discussed the affordability of summer travel and recently I returned home from a road trip to Charlotte North Carolina and Apollo Beach Florida visiting our girls. Since we were visiting with family we didn’t have the expenses of lodging to consider.
During this trip I found that gas prices were a bit less than I had anticipated (yea) but sadly it seemed that less people were on the roads traveling. Not that I wasn’t happy that the traffic was less congested and that we didn’t encounter any traffic jams but people were not out exploring our great country.
While driving we used a GPS to find the most direct route to travel and to save on gasoline too.
Prior to our trip we did research online (as I always recommend) to hunt for bargains. We chose to drive the smaller of our vehicles (more fuel efficient); we packed a cooler with drinks and a bag of snacks (cut down on food bill) and searched the internet for local sights to visit at affordable prices.
We also used coupons. Coupons can be obtained online, at state welcome centers, at city Chamber of Commerce offices or at City Visitor Centers.
In North Carolina we used an internet coupon for a free breakfast at Mimi’s Café. We also visited Lazy 5 Ranch in Mooresville using a coupon.
Later through internet research we found an affordable zip-line company (about half price from others in the area) in Ashboro.
In the Charlotte area there are also numerous NASCAR race shops that can be visited for no charge.
In Florida we visited the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary in Indian Shores, a facility that charges no admission fee; but does appreciate donations.
We also went to the Moto Marine Lab and Aquarium in Sarasota with friends that had a membership so again we paid no admission fee.
We attended a Freedom Fest in Pinellas Park that included free concerts (headliner country music’s Daryl Worley) and fireworks. (Unfortunately a storm came in and we left before the fireworks.)
At the Hard Rock Casino we used a new member coupon that we picked up at the Welcome Center for $30 of free play.
And don’t forget when visiting in Florida there are always the beaches! Beaches you can drive cars on, beaches with sunset festivals, and a beach renown for an abundance of sharks teeth available for the collecting.
So to sum things up, you can travel affordably with a bit of research and planning. So get out there and travel this summer….we only just finished July, there is still time.