Monthly Archives: May 2013

Sonar image may show Amelia Earhart’s plane

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You can view the article here as well as below

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Sonar image (Photo courtesy of International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery)

A sonar image may point to the wreckage site of Amelia Earhart’s plane, the Electra, The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery announced. The nonprofit organization has been on the hunt for the Earhart plane for the last 25 years.

“What we have is something that looks like what we think the expected wreckage should look like right in the place where we expect it to be,” Ric Gillespie, TIGHAR’s executive director told Yahoo News. “That’s what’s so enticing about this, it looks different from anything else out there.”

The image was taken from a remotely operated vehicle 600 feet below the water off an uninhabited island in the southwestern Pacific republic of Kiribati. It shows, says the TIGHAR website, an “anomaly.”

“The most prominent part of the anomaly appears to be less than 32 feet long,” states TIGHAR, which also notes the plane was 38 feet and 7 inches long.

Earhart, the first female pilot to fly across the Atlantic solo, disappeared while attempting a circumnavigational flight around the globe in 1937. The hunt for Earhart and her Model 10 Lockheed Electra plane has been on ever since.

A decade ago, TIGHAR focused on the Pacific island of Nikumaroro as the likely spot where Earhart’s plane went down, which is the area in which the possible wreckage has been spotted.

The next step is raising money—Gillespie said $3 million is needed—to further investigate the site. The group hopes to return to it in 2014.

“It’s not like ‘Indiana Jones,'” said Gillespie. “You don’t part the bushes and the silver airplane is sitting there. You do the work and do the analysis. Then you go back and sometimes it’ s nothing and other times, it’s what you hoped it was.”

 

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Masonic Temples

Everywhere I go I tend to spot a Masonic Temple or Lodge. The buildings are usually architecturally interesting and often have various Masonic symbols on them. They tend to have a lot of security and I have been yelled at for lingering too long or for snapping pictures of the outside. In Philadelphia I even got the chance to tour one (more on that in another post). I love listening to the stories behind Masonic rituals. The stories blend fact and fiction, but I am ok with that. There definitely is a lot of mystery surrounding the Masons and authors like Dan Brown help add to it. Here’s a small sample of some of the lodges/temples I have seen:

 

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Silk City Diner

I’ve been quite lazy in the last week or two about posting blogs. I’ve been busy at work so by the time I get home I’m exhausted. Plus I’m planning my trip next month. Back to Philadelphia posts…

Silk City Diner

I first heard about Silk City on Diners, Drive ins, and Dives. I’m a mac n cheese fanatic and they had baked Mac n cheese with gold fish crust. I love gold fish as well. So this sounded like a match made in heaven. My parents and I finally decided to go. It was packed!! There were only a couple of booths so it doesn’t take much to the pack the place. I got my mac, my dad got either a veggie burger or crab cake sandwich, and my mom got a chicken sandwich. My mom didn’t like her sandwich. She thought it was too exotic, but she liked her fries. My dad loved his sandwich. I loved mine!! It was heaven. It was also huge! I went to buy a t-shirt, but they didn’t have my size. By the way, the first time we went we got super lost and wound up driving into Camden. So get clear directions because it is confusing.

We went back a couple months later. My mom got a grilled cheese with fries, which she liked. My dad and I got what we had before. Again everything was good. I finally got my shirt. We learned our lesson and went early so we got a table easily. The neighborhood was a little sketchy.

A couple months later we were back again, but the menu had changed. No more mac with gold fish. 😦 It was replaced with a tiny portion of mac with garlic bread crumbs. I was very sad. To equal the previous portion size I would need to order 3 of the new one. The first half of the Mac was good, but once the garlic layer was gone it got bland. I told them that they needed to double layer the bread crumbs. They need a layer in the middle and one on top. I got a grilled cheese as well and that was really good. My dad’s sandwich was gone. I can’t remember if it was the veggie or the crab. If it was the veggie then he switched to the crab if it was the crab then he switched to the veggie.

We went back again and got the same things. This time we went for dessert as well. We got the Chocolate Banana Brioche Bread Pudding which was recommended to us and I believe it was on DDD as well. It was very good.

We stopped going to Silk City because they changed the menu again. My dad’s sandwich got cut and the mac was just too small for me. That being said I would definitely recommend that people check it out. The menu is great for people that eat meat. My dad doesn’t eat meat (except for fish), my mom doesn’t eat red meat, and I rarely eat meat so that limits our choices.

I sadly don’t have any pictures because I went there before taking pictures of food became popular. 😉

Current Menu

The DDD Video

You can see a postcard of it by visiting my Philadelphia Postcards Page

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Travel Advice

I’ve had some interesting travel experiences. I’ve gone to places in the middle of war and revolution. I’ve also gone to places right after terrorist attacks, kidnappings, and other horrible incidents. Additionally, I went a week without my suitcase in a country and climate that were unforgiving. So I’ve had a wide range of travel experiences. I was thinking about travel advice and what I would tell people. So here’s my list:

1) If you are traveling internationally let your government know when and where you are going. If something horrible happens they know they have to get you out. I sign up for every trip overseas. For US citizens enroll here.

2) Before leaving copy down the address and phone number of your embassy in the country you will be traveling to. Give that info to a loved one back home and keep a copy yourself. Better safe than sorry.

3) Keep a copy of your passport at home or with a loved one.

4) Bring some food with you. You never know when the food might not be good or if you’ll be stuck somewhere without food for a while. I often travel with crackers, animal crackers, and cereal.

5) Always have a water bottle with you. Tap water isn’t safe in many countries and even in some states after weather issues. Additionally, stay hydrated. Not doing so can lead to becoming very sick. I’ve seen travel mates get extremely sick from lack of water.

6) Bring more cash than you need. Make sure to have multiple currencies on you ( your home currency and the currency of the country you are traveling to). I brought what I thought was enough cash to Egypt but then my suitcase got lost. I suddenly had to buy overpriced items to get by. I burned through my cash. I had planned on money for souvenirs and not for toiletries, shoes, socks, etc.

7) Bring more than 1 credit card. I was told AMEX was accepted in Egypt. It was but they charged an insane fee every time. After that I carried two so I had choices at every shop.

8) Just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean you should let your street smarts go on vacation. If you wouldn’t trust someone in your home city then don’t trust them overseas. Same goes for certain neighborhoods and streets. We almost got robbed in Tel Aviv. I was the only one that got suspicious of the two guys. Always stay alert!

9) Be careful with what you eat. Stick to safe foods and hot foods. The heat kills bacteria. You can easily pick up a parasite. Trust me you don’t want one. They don’t go away easily! I’m speaking from experience.

10) Plan ahead. Research days and times the places you want to see are open. So many of my friends missed out on places they wanted to see because they went on a day the place was closed. The Louvre was a popular example if this. Last thing you want to do is go to Paris and miss the Louvre. You never know when you’ll go back.

11) Don’t be afraid to ask questions and speak up. Learned this the hard way in Concord. I was really good about this in Egypt. I didn’t want to miss a thing. My tour guide needed to know exactly what I wanted to see to make sure it happened.

12) If you are going on a group tour try to make friends via email or Facebook with the people on your trip before you go. I did this for Israel and Egypt. In Egypt it came in handy. My Australian friends I had made on Facebook lent me clothes.

13) Keep a travel diary. Even if it is just bullet points.

14) Keep receipts or make notes about what you spent money on. When you get home you always wonder where your money went.

15) Use Yahoo Trip Planner, Trip Advisor, Foursquare, or some other travel resource to plan your trip. I’ve found out about great deals and discounts. I also have received lots of great advice.

16) Print a copy of all your reservations and bring it with you. It’s easier to fight hotels, airlines, trains, etc if you have the proof with you.

17) Don’t bring a lot of things to entertain yourself with. I always pack a lot of books and never read them. I never have the downtime I think I will have and when I do I’m usually too exhausted to do anything.

18) Bring extra camera batteries and memory cards. These items are hard to find and are very expensive overseas.

19) Bring a wide range if medicines. You never know what you’ll need. I travel with tums, pepto, Advil, itch cream for bites, Benadryl, cough drops and seasick pills (if I’m going to be on a boat). In Egypt I wound up needing anti-septic cream and in Israel I needed cough drops but didn’t have any (now I never leave home without).

20) Have no regrets!!!! If you think you are going to be upset because you didn’t do something, buy something, or went somewhere then do it, buy it, or go. I hate coming home and going I wish I…

Happy traveling!! Have more advice? Comment below with it.

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Massive Submerged Structure in Sea of Galilee

My boss brought this to my attention and I thought it was worth sharing. I will go back to posting updates from my trips this weekend. Needed a break for a bit.

All rights belong to the Daily News

You can view the original article here

Massive submerged structure in Sea of Galilee stumps Israeli archaeologists

A massive circular structure at the bottom of the Sea of Galilee has puzzled Israeli researchers who have been unable to excavate it. Now archaeologists are trying to raise money to allow them access to the submerged structure, which is made of boulders and stones.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Friday, May 24, 2013, 2:00 PM

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File - In this April 14, 2011 file photo, a boat is by the jetty of the Capernaum National Park in the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel.  The monumental structure, made of boulders and stones with a diameter of 70 meters, was found through a sonar scan at the bottom of the Sea of Galilee in 2003. Now, archaeologists are beginning to put together grant proposals and funding requests in a bid to permit them access to the submerged stones.(AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)

Bernat Armangue/AP

A boat on the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel. A massive structure, made of boulders and stones with a diameter of 230 feet was found through a sonar scan at the bottom of the Sea of Galilee in 2003.

The massive circular structure appears to be an archaeologist’s dream: a recently discovered antiquity that could reveal secrets of ancient life in the Middle East and is just waiting to be excavated.

It’s thousands of years old — a conical, manmade behemoth weighing hundreds of tons, practically begging to be explored.

The problem is — it’s at the bottom of the biblical Sea of Galilee. For now, at least, Israeli researchers are left stranded on dry land, wondering what finds lurk below.

The monumental structure, made of boulders and stones with a diameter of 230 feet, emerged from a routine sonar scan in 2003. Now archaeologists are trying to raise money to allow them access to the submerged stones.

“It’s very enigmatic, it’s very interesting, but the bottom line is we don’t know when it’s from, we don’t know what it’s connected to, we don’t know its function,” said Dani Nadel, an archaeologist at the University of Haifa who is one of several researchers studying the discovery. “We only know it is there, it is huge and it is unusual.”

Archaeologists said the only way they can properly assess the structure is through an underwater excavation, a painstakingly slow process that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. And if an excavation were to take place, archaeologists said they believed it would be the first in the Sea of Galilee, an ancient lake that boasts historical remnants spanning thousands of years and is the setting of many Bible scenes.

In contrast, Israeli researchers have carried out many excavations in the Mediterranean and Red Seas.

Much of the researchers’ limited knowledge about this structure comes from the sonar scan a decade ago.

Initial dives shortly after that revealed a few details. In an article in the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology published earlier this year, Nadel and fellow researchers disclosed it was asymmetrical, made of basalt boulders and that “fish teem around the structure and between its blocks.”

The cone-shaped structure is found at a depth of between three and nine and 40 feet beneath the surface, about 1,600 feet from the sea’s southwestern shore. Its base is buried under sediment.

The authors conclude the structure is man-made, made of stones that originated nearby, and it weighs about 60,000 tons. The authors write it “is indicative of a complex, well-organized society, with planning skills and economic ability.”

The rest is a mystery.

Yitzhak Paz, an archaeologist with the Israel Antiquities Authority who is involved in the project, said that based on sediment buildup, it is between 2,000 and 12,000 years old, a vast range that tells little about it. Based on other sites and artifacts found in the region, Paz places the site’s origin some time during the 3rd millennium B.C., or about 5,000 years ago, although he admits the timeframe is just a guess.

“The period is hard for us to determine. No scientific work was carried out there, no excavations, no surveys. We have no artifacts from the structure,” Paz said.

Archaeologists were also cautious about guessing the structure’s purpose. They said possibilities include a burial site, a place of worship or even a fish nursery, which were common in the area, but they said they wanted to avoid speculation because they have so little information.

It’s not even clear if the structure was built on shore when the sea stood at a low level, or if it was constructed underwater. Paz reckons it was built on land, an indication of the sea’s low level at the time.

In order to fill in the blanks, archaeologists hope to inspect the site underwater, despite the expense and the complexities.

Nadel noted that working underwater demands not only a skill such as scuba diving, but also labor-intensive excavations that are particularly difficult in the Sea of Galilee, which already has low visibility and where any digging can unleash a cloud of sediment and bury what’s just been uncovered.

Also, divers can remain under water only for a limited amount of time every day and must choose the best season that can provide optimal conditions for excavating.

“Until we do more research, we don’t have much more to add,” Nadel said. “It’s a mystery, and every mystery is interesting.”

Here’s another article. All rights belong to Scotsman.com:

Mystery of giant structure under Sea of Galilee

Sonar of the mysterious object. Picture: compSonar of the mysterious object. Picture: comp

Published on 24/05/2013 08:28

Archaeologists are keen to explore a massive structure which was discovered beneath the biblical Sea of Galilee near Israel, which could reveal the secrets of ancient life in the Middle East.

The mysterious object, said to have a diameter of around 230 metres, is a large circular conical shape and was initially discovered in 2003, but scientists are looking to explore the area on the seabed in what would be an expensive feat.

Constructed from giant boulders, the unknown structure has archaeologists and historians stumped, as the area features several times in various biblical tales.

Estimates have put the age of the structure anywhere between 2000, and 12,000 years old, and is indicative of a highly organised society.

A sonar sweep in 2003 showed the monument, but it is thought that an underwater excavation would be the only way to learn more about it, a process which could prove lengthy and expensive.

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Extreme Travel Savings

Extreme Travel Savings

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All rights belong to Yahoo

You can go to the original article by clicking here

To watch the video click here

Andrea Gearllach loves to take vacations with her husband Lee. What she doesn’t love is paying for them.

“My husband and I love to go exploring and we just like to hit the road, throw a few things in the car and bail out of town,” says Gearllach. “I don’t necessarily like to have a budget. A budget seems too restrictive, so I like to just get everything as close to zero as possible.”

After Christmas last year, Gearllach and her husband took a 3,000-mile, 10-day road trip from their home near Seattle to visit friends in Nevada. Their only expenses were gas, a few groceries and a single-night hotel stay. The rest of the time they stayed with friends and family. She estimates they saved about $1,500 by not eating out or staying at hotels.

Along the way, they either dined at friends’ homes or cooked on the road. That’s right, in their car! Gearllach found a crock-pot online that plugs into a car’s cigarette lighter. She packed Christmas leftovers, and the two ate at rest stops or while driving.

“We were getting hungry. It was about dinnertime at that time but I didn’t want to stop to get fast food. So we ran into the grocery store, got some meat, vegetables and some beef broth and just dumped it all in a crock-pot and it cooked for about four hours on the way home, and we stopped at a rest stop and ate dinner,” Gearllach says.

OK, so maybe using a crock-pot in your car isn’t for you. But thinking outside of the box can certainly save you a bundle. Here are four radical savings tips for your next vacation.

Skip Restaurant Meals

First, take a cue from Gearllach and make dining one less expense on your plate. Instead, enjoy affordable, local cuisine from street vendors, outdoor markets or grocery stores. Stay at hotels that offer free breakfast and search travel social-networking sites like Couchsurfing.com for free dinner party meet-ups.

Join a Hospitality Club

You can also join a hospitality club where you can also receive lodging hosted by locals. Check out sites like AffordableTravelClub.net, HospitalityClub.org and BeWelcome.org. Another alternative to a hotel is a house swap. You trade homes with another family, and you both get a vacation. Visit sites like LoveHomeSwap.com, Vacation Home Rentals and HomeExchange.com to connect with other house swappers.

Don’t Pay for Gas

Now, if the price of gas has you running on empty, consider letting someone else do the driving. Express bus services, like Megabus, offer fares for as low as $1. Megabus serves 135 cities within the U.S., plus they offer free Wi-Fi on board. Similar services include BoltBus and Greyhound Express.

Find Free Activities

Finally, once you get to your destination, the question becomes how to spend your time. Pricey activities can quickly blow your budget.

Plan your trip around free activities, such as the Treme Creole Gumbo Festival held yearly in New Orleans, featuring free jazz concerts. Outdoor attractions such as beaches or national parks offer endless ways to spend a day. Even exploring a city on foot is a great way to spend an afternoon, and best of all, it’s free!

Back in Washington, Gearllach has seen her frugal efforts pay off, and she’s looking forward to her family’s next adventure. “Because we saved so much money on our road trip during Christmas, I felt very [confident] that we could take a second road trip in January,” she says.

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Plymouth

We walked over to PF Chang’s from our hotel. This was the meeting point for our bus to Plymouth. My mom and I boarded the bus and sat in the front. The driver seemed nice and told us about a great Cupcake place called Cupcake Charlie’s. We couldn’t wait to try it.

Our first stop was Plimoth Plantation. The first area was about the Native Americans. There were hollowed out canoes and wigwams. They had actors inside that were making blankets and other items. We walked further and came to the wall and entrance to the settlement. It was like immediately stepping back in time. There were all the hatched houses. There were men and women walking around in costume. There were animals wandering around. Some homes you could look around and some had actors completing chores in them. Some of the actors were building a roof for a house. Some were taking care of the animals. Others were farming. The homes were in a long row. It was informative and a lot of fun. You could even see the spot where they originally landed all the way out in the distance. We saw the meeting house and the canons on top of the meeting house. We went into a workshop where the actors were making furniture.

There’s a cafeteria and two gift shops. I did a press a penny and bought several things at the gift stores. We even bought fudge. I enjoyed the stores they were a step above many I have been to. We boarded the bus and were headed to see the Mayflower. The bus driver took us to the town of Plymouth which has the famous Plymouth Rock, the Mayflower II, and a bunch of shops.

We did Cupcake Charlie’s first. Turns out they were about to be on an episode of Cupcake Wars with Duff as the guest judge. I got a cookies n cream one or something similar to that. My mom got a red velvet one. They were amazing! Some of the best cupcakes we’ve ever had. So we bought more to bring back with us. Next we headed to Plymouth Rock. We took pictures and heard a local tell us that the local teen males like to try to pee on the rock at night. Lovely. After that I bought a ticket to go on the Mayflower II. Why II? The first one disappeared and no one knows where it is. So they built a replica of it. I was able to walk around on deck and below deck. Such a tiny space for so many passengers! Glad I wasn’t a Pilgrim. After that we found first street, which is the first street in America. We also found the creek that the pilgrims used to use. We went into several tourist shops and I bought a black and white Mayflower shirt that was on super sale. There were statues commemorating the pilgrims and the Native Americans. We used the public restroom near the Mayflower and got back on the bus.

We then were brought to the National Monument to the Forefathers. It’s 81 ft tall and has the names of the pilgrims on it. It also shows an image of the Mayflower Compact. There’s a section for liberty, morality, law, and education. It was pretty interesting to look at. Once the photo opportunity was over it was back on the bus. The bus driver asked where he could drop everyone back in Boston. We told him we wanted to get off right where he picked us up since we were going to go to Maggiano’s for dinner.

The tour was great and so was dinner. We got fried zucchini and pasta to share. The restaurant wasn’t busy and the waiter offered us a free meal to go. We declined because we didn’t have a fridge at our hotel. We then went to see Make Way for Ducklings and Cheers.

Categories: Boston, Family Vacation, Food, History, Plymouth, Travel, Trip with a Tour Group, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Boston, Plymouth, and Salem Trip Plan

My mom and I traveled to Boston, Plymouth, and Salem in June of 2010. We had both been to Boston and Salem before. However, this was our first time in Plymouth. To view our trip plan please click below. Unlike my other trip plans the times aren’t exact, but the days are.

Trip Plan

 

Massachusetts Postcards

Categories: Boston, Family Vacation, History, Plymouth, Salem, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Hauntingly Good Time in Salem

I went to Salem for the first time when I was in 7th grade. We went in February for a class trip. It was freezing! I got sick the day we left and was miserably ill the entire time. I was looking forward to the trip for a while because I love Halloween and everything that has to do with it. I spent my childhood wishing I was a witch. So I was beyond upset that Salem wound up being one giant blur for me. Since then I wanted to go back. During my freshman year of college I thought I would finally have my chance, but our bus broke down so we cut Salem from our trip.

About 5 years after that incident I finally got to go back. We took the train from Boston to Salem. Then we walked to the visitor center. We got to do Salem Tees again. We did Salem by foot instead of taking one of the trolleys. We did the Salem Witch Museum. You enter into a giant dark space and they light up different scenes to help tell the story of the Salem Witch Trials. I enjoyed it years ago (it’s the only part of the trip I remember) and I enjoyed it this time as well. It really keeps your attention. After the museum we went in and out of shops. We took a picture of Brothers Restaurant, which is where my tour group ate all of our meals years ago.

We went to the House of the Seven Gables . It really does have seven gables. There was even a little secret staircase we climbed up. I was a little too tall for it but I managed. Unfortunately, you couldn’t take pics inside the house. I was able to take a picture of the original door to the house and I pressed my camera against the window to try to capture some inside shots. The tour was great.

We also went into a graveyard to look at some of the very old headstones. I couldn’t believe that they were from the 1600’s! We also did the Salem Witch History Museum. It was extremely cheesy. You were allowed to take pictures. We had a guide that sort of lead us through things. The mannequins or whatever you would call them were old and a bit creepy. It was definitely not worth the $8 per person.

My favorite part of Salem were all the stores. I loved all the magical, Halloween, mystical, and other worldly items.

The funny thing was that the first time I was here I didn’t feel well and about an hour into the trip this time I started not to feel well either. I guess it’s become a Salem tradition.

We walked to the train station and were told that there was an issue with the trains. The next one would be by in an hour. A woman asked us where the nearest bathroom was. It was quite far and too difficult to explain. We decided to go with her and show her. We caught the train and there wasn’t any lights in the train. So they didn’t take our tickets. We got a refund at the train station.

My boss goes to Salem every year for Halloween. One year I would like to visit  during Halloween and participate in all the festivities.

Brothers Restaurant-7th Grade

Categories: Family Vacation, History, Salem, Travel, Trip with a Tour Group, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pirate’s Admiration Award

 

piratesadmiration1

My wonderful train companion Alli nominated me for the Pirate’s Admiration Award. Alli and I also traveled on a ship down the Nile together. It was a cruise ship instead of a pirate ship, same difference in my opinion. Alli has a great blog called The Vintage Postcard. She’s the one that inspired me to join wordpress. I was using other blog sites and just didn’t like them. She writes about her travels around the world. She just got back from New Zealand.

Now I get to pass this award on to bloggers I admire, so if ever I’m completely adrift in Blogger Sea I’ll have my own band of pirates to rescue me.

The rules for Pirate’s Admiration Award are:
1. Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and a link back.
3. Put on somethin’ frilly, ‘n be tellin’ a blogger ye desire to admire that a Steamin’ Pirate admires ya, ‘n yer passin’ that admiration to him or her to be plundered, if ye so desire.
4. Nominate bloggers for the Pirate’s Admiration Award, provide a link to their blogs in your post, and notify them on their blogs.
5. Copy and paste the award somewhere on your blog.

 

If you ever need help with your pirate speak here’s an English to Pirate Translator

 

I nominate t’ followin’ blogs for t’ award. Thanks for keepin’ thin’s interestin mateys.

1. History Kicks Ass!

2. Around the World with Steve

3. YQ Travelling

4. Travel Fudge

5. Fly Away World

 

 

Categories: Blog Awards, Mish Mash, Travel | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

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