Discounts on Party Bus Rental

My fiance and I are going to be getting married soon, if everything goes according to plan. We are having to make some fairly last minute changes to how the wedding is going to be held, and that is really making me nervous. One thing I need to do is to hire a party bus from Platinum because I have heard really good things about their customer service. But I hope that there is some way that I might be able to get a discount on how much it is going to cost for the rental of the party bus. I have looked at their rates a bit before, but I do not remember them off the top of my head. Continue reading →

Renting a Toronto Party Bus for Our Junior Hockey Team

Our junior hockey team was struggling. We did not have sponsors with deep pockets, and we had been on a losing streak. The kids were feeling low, and our old uniforms were not helping with morale. The parents were tapped out with their sports participation budgets. The money our team had for expenses was gone. I decided to rent a Toronto party bus for our next game on a credit card, and I asked for a 60 day deal on new uniforms for our team from our uniform supplier. I spent the week cleaning and refurbishing sticks and skates I had the kids drop off at our house. I got everything spiffy looking and shined up for the next big game on the weekend.

The kids did not know about the Toronto party bus until we met in the parking lot at the school to drive to the big game. I say “big game” because it was what would decide if we had a chance of making the playoffs this year. One more loss and we were out. Also, I think it was the deciding game for the kids too. They needed a big win and a fun win. Continue reading →

Canada Vacation Tips: 12 Must Know Terms to Make Your Life Easier While Traveling in Canada

Americans and Canadians speak the same language – right?

Well, not quite and if you want to make the most of your vacation in the beautiful and rugged north, you probably want to brush up on a few local terms to feel right at home.

Of course, you will see labels and signs all over in Canada in both French and English. But, through my extensive travels I’ve learned that some Canadian words just don’t translate into American English, and vice versa.

So, here is a handy glossary of 12 Terms You Need To Know When You Visit Canada:

  1. Loonies and Toonies – These cutesy words are far weightier than they sound. They mean money. Loonies are gold colored $1 coins. Where does this term come from? Well the Loon is the national bird appearing on the front of the $1 coin. The lonesome call of the Loon is a familiar sound in the Canadian wilderness.
  2. Toonies -Yes, you guessed it. Toonies are the Loonies $2 cousin.
  3. Tuque – The quintessential winter accessory in Canada. We hear that these winter hats are called “ski hats” or “beanies” elsewhere. But Canadians will keep their tuques, thank you very much.
  4. Tim Hortons – Canada’s favorite coffee and donut shop. Located throughout the country and often referred to as “Timmies”, it’s a staple in the Canadian diet.
  5. Double-double – Often heard at Tim Horton’s, this is the way the “pros” order a coffee with two creams and two sugars
  6. Pop The common word for a soft drink, deriving from “soda pop”. Up here, soda is the fizzy water that’s good for getting pop stains out of clothes.
  7. Washroom – A synonym for bathroom, restroom or toilet. Don’t waste precious time looking for the bathroom when all signs point to the washroom.
  8. Poutine – With all the multi-cultural foods peppering Canada, be sure to try this homegrown favorite on your vacation. This dish of French fries, cheese curds and gravy originated in Quebec has won fans across the country. Trust me, it tastes better than it sounds!
  9. Canuck -This is a term of endearment for “Canadian” as in the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks, who can be seen on Hockey Night in Canada. Hockey Night in Canada is a must see TV event for hockey lovers…meaning most of Canada. Ask any Canadian on your vacation to hum the theme song – it’s a catchy one!
  10. Runners – These are casual sports shoes, otherwise called sneakers or tennis shoes. “Runners” can join “sneakers” on my unofficial list of oddly named items.
  11. Click/Kilometer – Kilometer is such a cumbersome word for measuring distance. The slang “click” is a much faster way to share how many kilometers you’ve traveled on your Canadian vacation.
  12. Bill – Although you may run into a few friendly Canucks named Bill, chances are you’ll meet bill more often. In Canada, a bill is what you pay at a restaurant.

So, next time you’re in Canada, counting your loonies and toonies while enjoying your double-double after walking 10 clicks in runners and thinking about asking for the bill …you’ll feel right at home.

Before you die . . .

Possibly one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s finest achievements is Fallingwater on route 381 in southwestern Pennsylvania. It has been acclaimed by the American Institute of Architects, designated as a National Historic Landmark and listed on Smithsonian’s Life List of 28 places to visit before you die.

Its unique construction of reinforced concrete and native stone dramatically cantilevered over a waterfall blending within mountainside terrain cause it to appear as if it grows out of the site. The multi-leveled house has over 100 steps from its first level to the guesthouse atop the hill.

Frank Lloyd Wright has a reputation as a renowned architect. He was architect of many types of buildings, including churches, hotels, offices, museums, residences and skyscrapers. They are located in states including New York and Pennsylvania.

Fallingwater sells a ground pass, guided house tour and In depth tour. Special tours of a landscape hike, a brunch and Sunset Tour are also given. To avoid disappointment purchase tickets in advance. Comfortable shoes are encouraged with the walking tours.

The unique residence was built at 1491 Mill Run Road, Mill Run, PA 15464. It is 69 miles southeast of Pittsburgh 100 miles southwest of Altoona PA, 8 miles north of Ohiopyle State Park and 20 miles north of the West Virginia border. It is partly over a waterfall on Bear Run in Allegheny Mountains Laurel Highlands.

Fallingwater was built for Edgar Kaufmann Sr. a successful Pittsburgh businessman and president of Kaufmann’s Department Store. It was built at a total cost of $155,000 in 1937, and valued at $2.6 million in 2013.

Tour Hours

January and February tours closed
Thursday – Tuesday 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM mid March through Thanksgiving weekend
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Tour prices
Ground pass – $8
Guided House Tour
Adult @ $27
Youth 6-12 @ $20

Bear Run is a 5-mile long tributary of the Youghiogheny River, a 134-mile branch of the Monongahela River in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland. The river is well known for Ohiopyle a center of whitewater rafting.
Fifteen miles southwest of Fallingwater is another of Frank Lloyd Wright’s creative works at Chalkhill PA, known as Kentuck Knob. It is also known as Hagan House.

Fallingwater is a 5 ½ hour drive of 350 miles from Rochester NY. Drive west on I-90 Thruway to Erie PA then US 79 south toward Pittsburgh, and US 76 south passing Donegal to route 381 south. Follow signs to Fallingwater.

There is much that can be written about this impressive creation but mere words are a poor substitute for a visit. Here is one reviews of their visit.
“Some places don’t live up to the hype and fall short of your expectation. This is not one of them.”

Where the boys of summer spend the winter

I am not a baseball fan, in part because of a ten-year bout with “bleacher butt” acquired while cheering three kids through Little League. My song of summer is “Take me out of the Ball Game” and, for the record, I hate peanuts and cracker jacks. If I root root root for anything it is for my dog to escape the village dog catcher so I won’t have to pay yet another fine to Animal Control.

I did not become a Chicago Cubs fan until the day I barely made it out of a Chicago blizzard to the warm breezes of Mesa, Arizona. The fine Mexican food and light-sweater evenings were expected, and I luxuriated in them. But wait. Why was I hearing “Cubs” every where I went? Even I know there are no Arizona Cubs, no Mesa Cubs.

Mesa is where the Chicago Cubs go for spring training, and the Cubs are so important to Mesa that the town built them an $84 million training facility with six fan-accessible practice fields and a 15,000-seat stadium. This is all part of a 140-acre community park and pond so Mesa Cub fans who footed the bill can picnic and watch the kids run around while watching practice games and getting a sun tan,

Mesa’s Cubs Park may look like Wrigley Field with light standards and cantilevered roofs matching those in Chicago and a replica of the Wrigley Field marquee, but there is no snow during spring training season. There are plenty of activities for the Chicago-weary, both travelers and ball players, to forget about the “s” words: snow, sleet, slush, slips, slides, and expletives deleted.

I came for the sun and the food, and I left with a Cubs hat. Baseball still strikes me as kinda dumb and dull, but the Cubs are a savvy team to winter in Mesa. I’ll buy a ticket for that. See you at Wrigley in June. I’ll even eat a hot dog. Hold the cracker jacks and keep your mitts off my Cubs hat.

Tips to Get a Cheap Ticket for a Flight

One of the most expensive parts of journeying or traveling is buying the ticket to travel to the location that you want to reach. And if you buy a flight ticket to your vacation destination then you will have a very hard time coping with a huge spending of money. A lot of vacation destinations are far away with respect to people’s home. This is why they have no choice but to go on a flight to the vacation destination. This can prove to be quite expensive. So how do you buy yourself cheap flight tickets?

Well that is quite easy; there are a few ways in which you can get hold of these tickets. One of them is that you buy a return ticket. A return ticket is actually quite cheap as compared to buying a ticket to the destination and back from the destination separately. A return ticket is cheaper because many people never really know when they have to return. International flights are actually quite hard to follow and there is a huge probability that you could miss the flights. In this case when they let you buy a ticket, they are actually bargaining on whether or not you will make it to the flight back to your destination or not. If you plan to travel on weekdays rather than on weekends, then you will end up realizing that the flight tickets will actually be cheaper on weekdays than they will be on weekends. That is obvious. There is a little possibility that people will fly on weekdays until and unless it is absolutely necessary.

Similar to this when you buy a ticket during the time when there are no holidays, you will realize that the flight tickets will actually cost quite cheaply and it would be very easy for you to book a ticket too. During the holiday season, the ticket sales are on fire. There is little or no chance that you will get a ticket if you reach the airport without prior booking. During the holiday season because of the immense number of people moving to and fro between different holiday destinations, the prices of the tickets are kept up so that the air flight company could get huge amounts of profits.

There are lots of websites that help tourists find cheap flight tickets all year round. These websites are updated regularly. Whenever there is an availability of tickets, these websites are told about it and the information is displayed on the website. These websites are also the best way to get to know about those tickets that are available at very low prices. Such tickets are made available when the flight has seats that are not taken or booked. The tickets are also made available when the flight companies put up promotional offers for buying tickets in advance. Tickets that are made available at the very last moments are the ones that cost very cheaply.

Five fun reasons to stay and play in San Pedro, California

You may know San Pedro as the cruise port of Los Angeles. What you may not know are all the reasons to spend time visiting this southern California city on the coast—especially if you’re in town to catch your cruise ship.

Fanfare Fountain

Created by the designers of the spectacular Bellagio fountain in Las Vegas, San Pedro’s version dances to music during daily shows. You’ll find the fountain on the waterfront near the cruise terminal. In fact, you’ll probably see it from the deck of your ship.

Ghost Fish

As the tuna fishing and canning capital, San Pedro was booming in the mid-1900s. Those days are commemorated by a giant tuna sculpture titled “Ghost Fish 107.” At first glance, the mesh fish appears to be partially filled with debris from the ocean. In fact, it is filled with maritime artifacts—floats, a brass porthole, rope, etc. The artwork was unveiled in December 2012 and hangs in San Pedro at Berth 73 at the Port of Los Angeles.

Arts and crafts

Check out Crafted, an expansive crafts market housed in a World War II-era warehouse set on the water. It is a newly created outlet for hundreds of individual crafts people, designers and makers of artisan food treats. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday with free parking.

Fish and chips

The moment you step through the door of the Whale and Ale, you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to jolly old England and right into an authentic British pub. The ground floor says it all with iconic British décor—oak paneled walls, a cozy fireplace and massive bar. The upstairs balcony is appealing for listening to live music (piano on Fridays, New Orleans jazz once a month), and there’s that requisite dartboard.

Come to the Whale and Ale for the award-winning fish and chips or beer by the pint. “People travel for miles for our beef Wellington,” boasts London-trained Andrew Silber, who opened his pub in 1995. It’s a dish you don’t find on menus much these days—except on cruise ships’ formal nights.

More to do

There’s much more to see and do in San Pedro, including the 1874 Point Fermin Lighthouse, the recently and beautifully restored Korean Friendship Bell, Marine Mammal Care Center, USS Iowa and the Los Angeles Maritime Museum.

Travel Can Be Stressful – Try These Ideas To Help Relieve Stress

Most people travel at some point during their lives. You can still learn a lot about traveling whether you are experienced or not. In this article you will find some great advice about traveling.

Wear simple slip-on shoes for flying. Security checks at airports now require you to remove your shoes. Being comfortable is the most important thing. While flying and navigating airport terminals, you will spend more time sitting than walking, and therefore you do not need tremendously supportive shoes. Therefore, it is smart to wear sandals or flip-flops when flying.

Bring your hotel business card with you when you are on your trip. This will help you get directions from locals if you get lost. It is especially useful for anyone without a firm grip on the language.

Plan in advance for possible travel disruptions, like a lost passport. The United States. State Department keeps a website available for you to check information on contacting the Consulate or U.S. Embassy in the country you are visiting. Carry this information while traveling. You shouldn’t have any trouble that way.

Have a green vacation by choosing services that are environmentally friendly. There are several hotels that offer an eco-friendly program. Staying green will help you feel good about your traveling experience.

Rental firms typically require customers to be at least 18 years old, and some even have a lower age limit of 25. Chances are a rental agency will charge an under 25 driver a higher rate, and also a credit is needed. Certain locations don’t let senior citizens rent cars. Be sure you ask what the age requirements are before making reservations.

If you have booked a hotel room, don’t forget to pack some travel candles. This will make both the room and your luggage smell better. The scent creates a relaxing and romantic environment, and it may help you sleep better. There are several companies that manufacture miniature scented candles that are easy to pack.

Weather can be a huge factor in your travel plans. Keep a close eye on the forecast and check it regularly until the moment you actually depart. Nothing ruins a trip faster than going to a freezing cold beach or ending up at a sweltering hot ski slope.

Whenever you enter a new country, avoid changing your currency. This is not the easiest way to get foreign money. That way would be obtaining foreign currency from a bank ATM. ATM machines usually have better exchange rates and are actually cheaper than currency exchanges.

Don’t be stingy when tipping. As you enter the cruise, give the steward a $20 tip. Since you’ll probably have the same employees caring for you on the whole trip, being generous with them will ensure that your trip goes well.

If you are flying, you can forgo your luggage. The idea here is to save money, lessen your efforts and reduce the worry we experience when our luggage gets lost. Let FedEx or UPS deliver your things straight to your destination. This may cost you some more money but it is valuable.

Traveling is often times something that people want to do at some point. By learning more about traveling, you can better prepare yourself for future travel experiences. These tips can be very useful someday.

Bavarian charm awaits you at the Hofsas House in Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Driving up from Southern California to Northern California is always a treat. As you pass through the Grapevine and leave Los Angeles County behind, California’s Central Valley opens up with aromas of fresh produce wafting in the air from the acres and acres of farmland and trucks with trailers of garlic, onions, and tomatoes – the main ingredients for a great marinara sauce. As you emerge from the Central Valley, the southern end of Northern California becomes apparent with forest areas and cooler temperatures. As you drive closer to the coast, fog and the scent of the sea invite you. Carmel-by-the-Sea is a charming town by the sea. The interior of the town reminds me of Big Bear, CA – very quiet in the morning and night. In the morning, you can hear the beautiful sound of birds chirping, woodpeckers pecking, and the sound of the waves crashing on the beach.

Being my first time visiting Carmel-by-the-Sea, I had the pleasure of staying at Hofsas House. This 60-year old inn has a great history. It all began when Donna Hofsas and Fred Theis moved from Los Angeles to Carmel in the late 1940s. They bought a few cottages and rented them out, thus the Hofsas House was born. In 1957, the main hotel building and a pool were added. Unfortunately, Fred and Donna divorced but Donna kept the Hofsas House. In the mid-1960s, she added on a north wing and meeting room. Donna’s friend, Maxine Albro, was commissioned to paint the Bavarian-themed welcome mural on the driveway next to the front office. Donna passed away in 1981 and the reins were passed on to her son, Jack Theis, and ran the inn until he passed away in 1996. His wife, Doris, and his son, Scott, ran the property from 1996 to 2000. In 2000, Doris’ daughter, Carrie Theis, became the General Manager and carries on her grandmother’s legacy of great service and hospitality. Carrie and her staff make you feel like you’re at home – very welcoming and helpful to new and returning guests, whether it’s where to eat for dinner or activities to do during your stay.

The rooms are homey. We stayed in Room 41 which was a great size for a family. The living area had two day beds with a 4-seat dining table, small television, small kitchenette (small refrigerator, sink, dishes, microwave), fireplace, and glass-sliding door to an outdoor deck with views of the ocean. There was even a rustic BBQ in case you wanted to grill up some steaks. Next to the living area, is a guest full bathroom. Down a short hallway is the master bedroom complete with a master full bathroom. After a couple of hours, we started our activities with a scenic drive to the Big Sur Foragers Festival in Big Sur, CA.

Upon our return, we enjoyed some Ventana Chardonnay and cheese from The Cheese Shop on the deck which can be ordered from the front office. After a couple of hours of relaxing, we decided to head down to the beach to find a spot to enjoy a beautiful sunset. Everyone else had the same idea and we were stuck in a bit of traffic. The sun started to set while we were trying to find a place to park. But, we were able to enjoy and photograph the sunset from the car. When we finally found a parking spot, we grabbed our S’mores Kit (from Cypress Concierge which can be ordered from the front office) and booked it to the beach. The sun was quickly becoming a memory in the sky with just the very top peaking over the horizon. But there was still enough ambient light to find a spot on the beach and start our fire. The S’more Kit included everything you needed: newspaper for kindling, wood for the fire, wire skewers, lighter, graham crackers, chocolate bars, and marshmallows. The fire started up quickly and the wood crackled as with excitement. We readied our graham crackers with pieces of chocolate and started to slowly roast our marshmallows. The slow roasting gets the core of the marshmallow warm enough to melt the chocolate on the graham cracker making the perfect s’mores. After a few of these, we needed to stop to save room for our dinner reservation at Mundaka. We enjoyed the relaxing sound of the ocean and brisk ocean air, carefully put out our fire, and donated the last of our firewood to a neighboring group. Hofsas House also loaned us flashlights, which came in handy as it was very dark getting back to our car.

As we settled in for the night, we decided to keep the window open so we could experience the nature sounds of the night and ocean. The air got a little chilly, but the comforter on the bed kept us warm. The bed was comfortable and floated off to dreamland. The next morning we awoke to birds chirping. A blue jay perched on a tree across from our window and I heard a woodpecker pecking away. We got dressed and headed downstairs to check out the continental breakfast in the front office. The continental breakfast includes fresh fruit, yogurt, fresh pastries, juice, and coffee. You can eat in the parlor or grab a basket and take it back to your room. We decided to take it back to the room and enjoy the beautiful morning. As we sat on the deck, we enjoyed nature and watched an elderly woman playing with a cat in the neighborhood street below.

We were sad that our stay ended so soon, but definitely would like to come back to walk around town, window shop, and head over to the beach a little earlier for a front row seat for another beautiful sunset.

Specials:

Lovin’ Long Weekends
Tail Wagging Package

For more information:
Hofsas House
Between 3rd & 4th Ave on San Carlos Street.
P.O. Box 1195
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921
888.530.8875

Hofsas House is dog-friendly so bring your four-legged family members with you!

Celebrate Your Relationship by Taking a Romantic Holiday

If you are looking to go on a holiday with the one you love, you can check out some of the options that fulfil all the requirements you are looking for. Taking a romantic break with your partner just might be the trigger that will put the spark back into your relationship. There are a few well known websites on the internet that have lists of all the places that offer the type of accommodation you are looking for. You can take a look at all of them and choose the one that seems to be the most attractive. There are excellent discounts as well.

Calming effect

When you are on a romantic break in UK, you should always make sure that you select a destination that is quiet and calm. Booking a room near the sea can be one of the many excellent choices you can take. You can wake up to the sound of the gentle waves of the ocean lapping at the shore repeatedly. The beauty of nature and the birds around here will only make that much more serene and beautiful. The very thought of getting to spend some quality time with the special person in your life can light up your mind.

Getting back the thrill

It is always a lovely sight to see newlywed couples because they seem to be so much in love and just cannot keep their hands off each other. If you feel that your relationship is not as happy as you would like it to be, you can schedule a romantic weekend break. This will give you the opportunity you need to make it up to your partner and show him or her exactly how special they are to you. It is time for you to bring back the joy and the excitement of being committed.

Extra perks

All the hotels in Cots wolds that offer special packages for couples provide a lot of facilities that are sure to excite them. The rooms are designed especially for those who are on their honeymoon. If you specify this while making your reservations, the management of the hotel will ensure that you get the special rates and amenities. You will even be given complimentary drinks such as champagne so that you can celebrate with your spouse. All the other Luxury hotel deals facilities are also provided so that you can feel pampered for the entire duration of your stay here.

White House has first ever Student Film Festival in collaboration with the AFI

The American Film Institute announced today its collaboration with the White House on its first-ever film festival. With President Obama delivering opening remarks on February 28, 2014, the White House Film Festival will be held inside the East Room of the White House where the winning short films created by K-12 students on the subject of technology in education will be screened.

The AFI’s work with the White House marks a continuation of its presence in the nation’s capital where the Institute was founded in 1965. In 2012, AFI celebrated the 50th Anniversary of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD with President Obama, who introduced the film both at the White House and before a national televised screening of the classic film. Annually, the Institute presents its highly regarded documentary festival, AFI DOCS in landmark venues throughout Washington, DC and the historic AFI Silver Theatre. This year, AFI DOCS is June 18-22.

“AFI is proud and honored to support the White House in its celebration of tomorrow’s storytellers, ” said Bob Gazzale, President & CEO of AFI. “Here they have shown that film and technology will help lead the nation forward – an enduring reminder that movies matter.”

Last November, the White House announced the first-ever White House Film Festival, a video competition created for K-12 students to create short films on how technology is used in their classroom, the role technology will play in education in the future, and to support learning in key fields such as science, technology, engineering, and math. More than 2,000 videos were submitted and finalists have been invited to the White House for a film festival where they will have their short films screened.

The White House Student Film Festival highlights the Administration’s commitment to getting high-speed Internet connectivity and educational technology into classrooms, and into the hands of teachers trained to take advantage of it. As part of the event, the President will deliver remarks on his ConnectED goal of transforming American education by connecting 99% of students to next-generation broadband and wireless technology within five years.

Governor Jan Brewer vetoes SB 1062

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed SB 1062, a bill that caused a nationwide controversy over whether the Bill was based on discrimination or was in rooted in religious freedom rights according to CNN News. Both sides are sharply divided, and businesses in Phoenix have voiced their opinions as well.

Demonstrations that caused the media frenzy have been going on since last week. In the meantime, Governor Brewer was in Washington, D.C. and only returned to Phoenix on Tuesday. She met with both sides today before making her decision on whether to veto or sign the bill. In a news conference at the Capital on Wednesday afternoon, Governor Brewer said, “To the supporters of the legislation, I want you to know that I understand that long-held norms about marriage and family are being challenged as never before. Our society is undergoing many dramatic changes. However, I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve. It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want. Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value, so is non-discrimination.”

Businesses that pressured Brewer included American Airlines, GoDaddy, American Airlines, and Apple Inc, which plans on opening a manufacturing plant in East Valley’s Mesa, Arizona according to a Channel 12 Fox News in Phoenix. Additionally the Hispanic National Bar Association has canceled its 2015 convention in Phoenix. Some believe that Governor Brewer was hard-pressed to veto the bill. While the NFL did not make an overt threat that they would cancel the 2015 Super Bowl, the message was clear.

The Governor’s decision was criticized by Doug Napier, the attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom. He said, “”Freedom loses when fear overwhelms facts and a good bill is vetoed. Today’s veto enables the foes of faith to more easily suppress the freedom of the people of Arizona.” Although the law passed both houses, perhaps the definition of “service” should have been included in Section 1. Section 41-1493 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. Many laws do not pass due to ambiguity in the wording of the bill. Those opposing the Bill say that businesses could refuse to serve gays and lesbians.

Those in support of the Bill say that by service, they mean a caterer could refuse to cater a same-sex marriage or a minister could refuse to perform a wedding and the bill would protect them from a lawsuit. Most people have not even read the bill. Those who actually care and wish to make their own decision about the Bill can read it themselves on the Arizona State Legislature’s website.