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Spring is a popular time to visit Washington, D.C. As the temperatures rise following the cold winter months, the city comes alive with activities that people of all ages will enjoy. Dozens of events — including the National Cherry Blossom Festival, embassy tours, parades, and more — are held throughout the city during the springtime, making this season a great time to take advantage of everything the city has to offer.

National Cherry Blossom Festival

Image via Flickr by Anthony Quintano

Started in 1927, the National Cherry Blossom Festival takes place during March and April and lasts about four weeks. The celebration commemorates the blossoms that festoon the cherry trees and features parades, parties, and live performances that bring more than 1.5 million visitors to the District annually.

The opening ceremony kicks off the festival every year and is followed by the Blossom Kite Festival and the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade. While the Tidal Basin is one of the most popular spots to take pictures of the blossoms, you can also find cherry trees at the National Arboretum, Anacostia Park, and the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. Many of the festival’s events are free, making the National Cherry Blossom Festival a budget-friendly way to explore the city.

Passport D.C.

Passport D.C. is an annual, month-long event honoring the international cultures of Washington, D.C. Held in May, the celebration offers residents and visitors the opportunity to embark on a global journey without leaving the District.

More than 50 embassies, as well as several of the District’s cultural institutions, offer open houses, exhibitions, and workshops throughout the month. Guests can learn about the customs and cultures of the countries represented here. During the event, guests are invited to take free embassy tours, peruse the Flower Mart at the Washington National Cathedral, attend street festivals, and more.

Explore Historic Landmarks

Spring weather provides the perfect opportunity to explore the District’s many historic landmarks. While you’re strolling through the Tidal Basin admiring the cherry blossoms, make sure to visit the surrounding monuments. The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and Thomas Jefferson Memorial are all located close by. Afterward, visit the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Don’t miss Rock Creek Park, a large urban park in Northwest Washington, D.C., where you’ll find more than 32 miles of hiking trails, a planetarium, and several Civil War–era installations.

Washington, D.C., has much to offer any traveler. In fact, visitors to the area have many historic sites, cultural events, and remarkable restaurants to choose from, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed. To make sure you don’t miss anything, you can use a Washington, D.C., city guide to help you plan your itinerary. A city guide will help you prepare for your trip while relieving some of the stress involved with planning a vacation.

Washington, D.C., is a vibrant, dynamic city year-round, but the blue skies, cherry blossoms, and crisp temperatures make spring a great season to visit. The District offers a variety of festivals, cultural events, and celebrations that are sure to please people from all walks of life.

 

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Seattle, Washington, is full of things to do and see, from beautiful landscapes and museums to historic landmarks like the Space Needle. Since Seattle is waterfront, there are also a ton of great seafood restaurants throughout the city. If you find yourself in Seattle, you absolutely have to try one of these restaurants.

Elliot’s Oyster House

Elliot’s Oyster House, located at 1201 Alaskan Way, Pier 56, is one of the best places to get fresh seafood. Their menu boasts seafood options such as grilled scallops, blackened Pacific rockfish, oysters, and roasted lobster tail, along with non-seafood options, like steak, desserts, and wines. Best of all, Elliot’s Oyster House uses sustainable practices, recycles, and works to restore the Puget Sound. If you find yourself at Pier 56 between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m., you should definitely drop by Elliot’s Oyster House for some of the best seafood in all of Seattle.

If you go a little earlier, you can catch happy hour, which takes place daily from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., and you can get a discount on oysters by the half shell.

Blueacre Seafood

Image via Flickr by cwasteson

Loved by tourists and natives alike, Blueacre Seafood has a way of bringing people together over delicious, perfectly cooked seafood. Drop by any time between 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. to enjoy their grilled whole Idaho rainbow trout, or knock back your choice of oysters by the half shell. The elegant atmosphere enhances the dining experience, and if you’re staying overnight, there are several great hotels in Seattle within walking distance of the restaurant. Blueacre Seafood also has a daily happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and an impressive selection of wines to choose from.

RockCreek Seafood & Spirits

Just because you’re eating some of the best seafood from around the world doesn’t mean you have to be stuck up or snooty about it. This is why people love the laid back, down to earth atmosphere of RockCreek Seafood & Spirits and all the friendly faces that work there. From 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., you have your choice of mouth-watering entrees, including Icelandic char, Casco Bay monkfish, and of course, plenty of oysters.

On Saturday and Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., you can also enjoy a light brunch, with seafood inspired options such as the bacon & oyster benedict or tried-and-true options like buttermilk pancakes.

Quietly nestled at 4300 Fremont Ave N., this restaurant has a large dining room, a beautiful patio, awesome bar, and a cozy upstairs loft for private dining, so you can dine any way you choose.

Of course, this is nowhere near an exhaustive list of seafood restaurants in Seattle, but it’s a few of the best. For a more complete list, be sure to check out Seattle Magazine’s list, which gives you a better idea of the wide variety of seafood restaurants that call Seattle home. Whatever you do, don’t leave Seattle without trying their famous, fresh seafood, as you definitely won’t forget it.

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Over the years, it’s been difficult to properly track the weather. Sure, we have satellite imagery, but that’s only able to show us so much. We’ve never been able to see inside of storms (in a way that actually makes a difference from a meteorological standpoint). With Earth Networks, you can easily track the weather using their fantastic network of weather drones that get inside of the weather, and tell us about impending disasters three times faster than we’ve been able to do before.

It comes down to being able to inform people, right? All of that information is great, but only if you can get that information out to people in a quick manner. The fastest way is to utilize weather displays screens for business—they come in 21” HD monitors through Earth Networks, and act as your personal weather tracker service without you having to do anything. It’s a screen that’s designated to be your personal weather channel with no commercials, no advertisements, and no commentary overlay. How often have you been trying to listen to the weather, when the meteorologist onscreen rambles off about the “what ifs” way too often?

You want to know what’s happening now. You want real-time weather tracking, and you want to bring that awesome capability to your business for yourself, your employees, and your customers to be able to see. Not only is this essential for areas that often encounter tornadoes, but it’s also fantastic if you’re in a snowy environment and you’re looking at harsh winds and hail coming in faster than other predictions stated. Basically, it’s your best line of defense, all the time.

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Gods and Goddesses won’t feel kicked out of paradise in Bali! In fact, Bali is nicknamed ‘The Island of the Gods’, and if you ask me, it is not only because of the Balinese culture where honouring the Gods and Goddesses of the sea, the sky, wind, fire, rice paddies, lakes and so on, are part of daily life. It is also because the island literally is like a paradise with its sweeping emerald rice paddies, the gorgeous black and white sand beaches, the rugged holy volcanoes, the dramatic clifftops, deep river valleys, the temples and luxury villas. Here are 4 reasons why Bali is a paradise on earth:

1. Luxury villas

Image credit: Villa-Bali.com

 

Like I mentioned before, luxury villas cannot be missed on the list of why Bali is such as paradise island. For those coming to spend their holidays on this magical little Hindu Island, you may feel like Gods and Goddesses yourself when waking up to the stunning island views, jumping in your private swimming pool and getting pampered with tropical breakfasts, in-villa massages and friendly smiles of the Balinese people who look after the villa and it’s guests. There is a wide range of luxury villas available all around the island and prices are plain low compared to those in the western world – it may even be cheaper to have your own private pool villa than to stay in a hotel. There are villas for every budget, tropical and contemporary styled. It is all up to your preferences. Find your dream-come-true private villa in Bali here.

2. Sacred and Holy places

You can simply not get around the beautiful temples and shrines that gives this island such an exotic and a deeply spiritual feel. Temples are everywhere, and even every house has got its own shrine where the Balinese bring their offerings several times a day. The culture is more than intriguing, and the list of holy and sacred places is endless. From volcanoes to lakes, the Gods live everywhere. During your stay, you will witness ceremonies, hear mystical sounds and inhale incense. You will step on holy grounds and visit ancient sacred temples. No matter where you go, your trip will be influenced by cultural and spiritual events, like a mystical paradise that somehow exists on planet earth.

3. The Balinese Spa culture

Massages and spa treatments are also deeply entwined with the Balinese culture, and it certainly adds to the paradise feel of this island. There are luxury spas everywhere and who doesn’t love to relax with a good, tension-relieving Balinese massage? You can have complete spa days, starting with a pedicure and manicure, followed by a massage and body wrap, a cream bath and a facial. You’ll return home reborn!

4. Foodie Heaven

Bali is more than a paradise when it comes to food if you ask me! Food stalls and local warungs everywhere, especially after sunset when shops start closing, little street warungs open up. Nasi Goreng, chicken soup, martabak, fried bananas, sate, you can just keep on eating. All the food is prepared with local spices, according to ancient traditions. To get the most authentic food, get your dinner at these busy food stalls or on local markets. For lunch, stop at a local warung (seek out a busy one) and get your plate of nasi campur. You simply point your finger at dishes in the display and, it will be added to your rice, with some sambal of course. Selamat Makan!

 

The article is written by Stephanie from Villa-Finder.com.

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Love needs no reason to celebrate. Love is a constant celebration of life, togetherness and a special promise between two people. Still, special occasions call for a reignited spark in the relationship. And what’s a better occasion for that than your wedding or anniversary?

Admit it – your life changed the day you started dating that one person or the day you got married. You set on an unending journey of fulfilment with your body, mind and soul. You probably still get that anxious yet exciting feeling in your stomach when you think about that day. So, you have all the right reasons to celebrate it every year with no inhibitions.

We list here some interesting ideas for anniversary celebrations to strengthen the bond with your special one.

1. Get More Intimate

Let your partner know you still cherish their physical presence in your life and you would never feel as attracted to anybody else. Sex and other acts of intimacy are scientifically proven ways to enhance the bond between two people and cement their love.

Since it’s your anniversary, do not hold back. Ever had any fantasies in mind? Share them. Take a long, relaxing shower together. People often hold their whole anniversary celebrations outside neglecting what they could do at home with even more passion.

2. Go On a Cruise – Let the ocean work its magic!

Cruise rides are always fun and refreshing regardless who you are with. But, this could mean even more when you take your partner with you on your anniversary day. It can’t get more romantic than celebrating your love on the waters.

You can have a romantic lunch or dinner there. You can play fun games. You can even observe the beauty of the gigantic whales around. You can truly spark up your anniversary celebrations through a whale watching charter boat hire.

3. Take Part in Each Other’s Passions

We all are passionate about something. These passions may include photography, cooking, movies, painting and others. As a part of your anniversary celebrations, do together whatever you both are passionate about. This will not only offer a great time but it would be liberating to know that you have someone you can share your passions with. Make special time to cherish this aspect of relationship.

4. Have a Themed Dinner

No anniversary celebrations are complete without a beautiful romantic dinner. Get some special food made or even better – cook a romantic dinner together. Add some specialness by setting up a theme. Let the theme consist of your favourite and elegant colours. Decorate the space and dress accordingly. You can select the dress you want to see your partner glow in, and let them select yours. Or simply, gift one to each other.

5. Hold a Surprise for Each Other

Another great way to add excitement to your anniversary celebrations is by surprising each other. This surprise may be of any kind and may involve any activity (or not).  You can be fully creative here and shower your love in a unique, personalised way. Catch your partner off-guard by revealing the surprise at any point of the day.

These ideas are surely going to infuse the right energy, excitement and depth into your anniversary celebrations. Happy living and loving!

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Sardinia is one of Italy’s islands and an amazing holiday destination. Sardinia has something on offer for everyone, whether you are a beach goer, thrill seeker, history buff or are more into nature. Read on for information you need to know before heading to this idyllic Italian island. the down-low on what, when and where of Sardinia.

When to Visit Sardinia

You can visit Sardinia at pretty much any time of the year although the island can look a little drab over the winter months. However, September is actually the most recommended month to visit Sardinia and it’s not advised to visit Sardinia in August as that’s the time when many Italians go to the island for their holidays. Accommodation prices often rise and the beaches will be extremely busy during August. In September, the sea will be at its warmest and the biggest crowds will have left, perfect for a nice getaway, especially when you aren’t tied down by term breaks.

Where to Stay in Sardinia

The price of accommodation is very dependent on when you are planning to visit and whether you are coming with your family, just yourself and your partner, or a group of friends. For example, there are budget hotels available to make sure that you don’t break the bank to enjoy Sardinia’s sun. Some even have breakfasts and other meals included, so that’s one less worry. If you are travelling with a bigger group, you can consider renting a self-catered apartment. There are many operators offering self-catered apartments, and you can even check Airbnb to see if you can snag yourself an amazing deal. There are various family friendly resorts to consider that offer activities for everyone such as Mark Warner’s Perdepera Beach Resort: markwarner.co.uk/sun-holidays/sardinia/. They provide childcare from ages 1 to 17 with qualified nannies to supervise a host of activities. This ensures the parents can enjoy some time to themselves, hike one of Sardinia’s many trails or have a sailing lesson.

What to See in Sardinia

To see most of Sardinia, a car is highly recommended. Whether you have driven down in your own car, or you are renting a car, having a vehicle at the ready means you are free to go where you want, when you want. Public transportation is very ineffective on Sardinia and you are bound to lose more time travelling. Such a waste if you’re only there for a short break!

Sardinia has many beaches you can visit. There are even some amazing beaches that can only be reached by foot or boat. This means it will be less crowded than those beaches close to your hotel. Cala Goloritze is one of these beaches. It’s a small rocky beach on the west coast with the most amazing blue water.

You can also visit Cagliari, Sardinia’s historic capital city and also Sardinia’s biggest city. Here you’ll see vespas buzzing around streets and boulevards, busy cafes and beautiful arcades. Cagliari is a historic town with Roman ruins and old churches. Consider a visit to the archaeological museum, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, which showcases artefacts from thousands of years ago, including bronze figures. Other cities to visit include Olbia and Alghero, housing beautiful historic sights, gorgeous churches and delicious eateries.