4 Southern Dishes and the Best Cities to Try Them

The American South is home to some of the most interesting and adventurous cuisine in the world. With the combination of soul food cooking, Cajun influence, and region’s wild game, you’ll find some of the best recipes for pork, seafood, and even gator meat.

Whether you’re a born and raised southerner or taking a trip to the south, there are some undeniable standouts in regional cuisine. Here are 4 of the most delectable southern dishes and where you need to try them.

Louisiana Gumbo

If you’re taking a trip out to New Orleans, you’ve got to get yourself some gumbo. Every gumbo needs to have celery, onions, and bell peppers. From there, a gumbo is usually categorized by the type of thickener, roux, or fat used to make it stick together.

Where it was once a way to throw all sorts of kitchen scraps and leftovers together, it’s now been perfected to such an art that the Smithsonian has taken notice.

Shrimp and Grits

You can find shrimp and grits throughout many parts of the south. In Georgia and South Carolina, you’ll find people mixing all kinds of combinations of seafood and grits. While it’s more often eaten for breakfast, shrimp and grits can be had any time of day.

If you want to get a broad range of takes on the dish, book a hotel for a trip out to Brunswick, Georgia, for the annual Shrimp & Grits Festival. Take a drive 2.5 hours north and compare what you had to the famous shrimp and grits in the Charleston area.

Key Lime Pie

Key limes were brought to Florida in the 1800s by a botanist who imported them from Mexico. Since then, they’ve become ubiquitous in drinks, fruit salads, and desserts. The most important of all of these dishes has to be the key lime pie. Key lime pie has grown from its humble days of mostly condensed milk and merengue. It’s now been turned into chocolate-dipped popsicles, hard candy, and even soda. The standard Florida diner key lime pie is still an undefeated classic.

Brunswick Stew

Brunswick stew is a cousin to gumbo, but with a bit of a twist. German immigrants supposedly brought the dish to Virginia along with the standards of a tomato base, beans, meat, and vegetables. The most common take on the dish involves chicken.

While it can resemble a soup with meat, it’s often thicker than a traditional soup, much like gumbo. The most common variations on the dish will include more meat and vegetables than soup base.

From Memphis barbecue to the peach cobbler of Georgia, every part of the south has their own set of recipes and distinct flavors. No matter what you’re interested in trying, there is sure to be a dish that will whet your appetite. Spend enough time in the south and you may even end up taking a side in the age-old battle of whether you should eat grits with salt or with sugar.

18 Jul 2018

4 Classic Midwest Dishes to Try on Your Trip

The Midwest isn’t exactly known for its distinctive cuisine. You won’t find Midwest restaurants in New York City as you would Mexican, Chinese, Cajun, or Southern-style restaurants. However, you can find some dishes that got their start in the Midwest. If you’re on a trip through the area, you can try some for yourself if you know where to look.

Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza

A Chicago deep-dish pizza is an experience you have to try at least once in your life. While a regular pizza is a flat plane of dough covered with tomato sauce, cheese, and toppings, a deep-dish pizza is dough in a deep pie pan. You add cheese and the toppings of your choice, and on top of the pizza, you pour a thick layer of chunky tomato sauce. The best place to find a Chicago deep-dish pizza is in Chicago, but you can find restaurants that serve it throughout the Midwest.

Quad City Pizza

The Quad Cities in Illinois and Iowa along the Mississippi River have their own take on the classic pizza. The crust is the usual shape, but the crust contains malt that adds a nutty sweetness, and the tomato sauce is spicier than usual. You’ll also find toppings placed under the cheese, with the pizza cut into strips instead of wedges.

You may find it difficult to locate Quad City pizza outside the Quad Cities themselves, so it may be worth the time to book a hotel in Moline, Illinois, to stay at so that you have an excuse to eat this type of pizza for dinner.

Cincinnati Chili

Don’t let the name fool you: Cincinnati chili has little to do with the Mexican-style chili you eat as a meal. They both use tomato sauce and ground beef, but the resemblance ends there. Cincinnati chili is the creation of Macedonian immigrants, and it uses cinnamon and cloves, and maybe some onion and cheese, served as a sauce on spaghetti or hot dogs. The easiest place to get some is Cincinnati, but you can also find it on menus of restaurants in Ohio and in parts of Indiana.

Wisconsin Brats

Bratwursts look similar to the grown-up version of a hot dog, and they’re the tube meat of choice in Wisconsin. Different parts of the state and different cooks have their own interpretation of how to serve the perfect brat, but a few common choices exist throughout the state. Say no to ketchup but yes to spicy mustard; use a sturdy bun that can handle a juicy brat, and top it with warm sauerkraut and raw onion. Wisconsin brats are available at German restaurants and sports stadiums throughout the state, such as the parking lot of Milwaukee’s Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Thanks to all the individuals who settled in the American Midwest and all the city centers that developed their own take on classic foods, the Midwest is home to all types of dishes you’d have a hard time finding elsewhere. You may not find a Midwest restaurant on the East Coast, but if you head through the region itself, you’ll find plenty of delicious regional favorites.

18 Jul 2018

Book a Rugby Tour to See the Most Exciting Sport in the World Up Close

If you love sports with non-stop action and you enjoy traveling to the world’s top cities, you should book a Rugby Tour.

Rugby is a sport that has one of the most loyal fan bases in the world. Most people don’t understand why this is the case, until they see a rugby match. The sport is a combination of the things that sports fans love; fast paced action, hard-hitting, great strategy, heroes and villains, and lots of exciting scoring. Although this describes several different sports, Rugby might be the sport that puts all of these factors together best.

The sport is played for fun and professionally all around the world, with the most popular professional teams in Western Europe and many island nations including Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji. Also, rugby South Africa’s most popular sport and Rugby stars are treated like Superheroes there. Rugby players must have a combination of strength, stamina, agility, and speed and be excellent on offense and defense in order to consistently win matches.

There are variations of the sport, but the most popular styles are Rugby Union and Rugby League. Each has its own distinct rules and gameplay, but use the same oval ball that is ran, thrown and kicked down a field and carried or kicked into a goal area for a score. There is a debate about which style is superior but Union is generally accepted as the more exciting game.

Rugby Union has Several International Professional Tournaments

Rugby Union is played domestically in many countries and is also competed internationally fir trophies and prizes by the most active Rugby nations. The most prominent tournaments are the Rugby Six Nations which includes, France, Italy, Scotland, Ireland, England, and Wales and the Rugby World Cup which features the top 20 world teams and annually features national teams from England, Wales, France, Fiji, South Africa, New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland and the UAE.

Rugby Sevens is Now in the Olympics

Rugby Sevens is an even faster version of Rugby Union where each team only has seven players competing instead of fifteen per side, and the two halves are only seven minutes each as opposed to the forty minute halves in a standard Rugby Union match. The game relies heavily on strategy and speed and is often decided in the final minutes of a match. Sevens requires very versatile players who can quickly change speed, direction and offensive / defensive positioning. There are in-country Rugby Seven leagues and an international league that competes in the World Rugby Seven Series for both an international trophy and entry in the Olympic Games. The first Rugby Sevens Olympic matches were held in Rio in 2016 where perennial powerhouse Fiji beat England in the finals.

Living With the Lions Sports Travel provides International Rugby Tours

Talking about a sport can never truly give you a sense of its excitement, the only way to appreciate it, is to experience it live. For this reason, die hard Rugby fans travel around the world to see matches and cheer for their favorite players and teams.

If you live in the UK, Living with the Lions Sports Travel provides England Rugby tours where fans and newbies can experience the best Rugby matches featuring the world’s best teams. They offer all-inclusive travel packages with great seats at the best matches, and a chance to go shopping, sightseeing and dining in great cities like Hong Kong, Singapore, Cape Town, Dubai and Vancouver. Living with the Lions even picks you up at the airport, and takes you to the matches. A Living with the Lions Rugby Tour is the best way to enjoy the most exciting sport in the world.

31 Mar 2018

Avoid Airports During Your Upcoming Vacation Time and Drive Instead

Road TripWhen pondering vacation plans, most of us involuntarily recall disastrous and stressful experiences flying and nearly missing flights. If you are trying to steer clear of stressful travel this summer, there are many “staycation” options or destinations that your family mobile can easily get you to. Don’t forget to take it into your local autozone for a good spruce before you hit the open road, because there’s nothing worse than a sweet summer day turned sour and getting stuck waiting for your AAA guy to show up.

If you reside on the West Coast region of the county and are pining to reconnect with the great outdoors, a great option for you and your family is Yosemite National Park. From most places in California, you can reach this destination in less than a day by car and, if you’re feeling adventurous, camping in this beautiful park is the experience of a lifetime. For those who need their shut eye indoors, the Yosemite Valley Lodge is quaint and cozy, as well as located just a short walk from the Yosemite Falls trail. In order to get the full experience, I recommend staying for at least 4 or 5 days and if your schedule allows, even a week, giving yourself sufficient time and flexibility to enjoy relaxing breaks in the valley in between hikes.

Some tips for your upcoming road trip can really help it to go over as ideally as possible. First off, clean and check your car before departing. Even if you clean your car before, try cleaning it out when you stop at gas stations in order to avoid an uncomfortable environment. Second, pack light so that you can save some room for souvenir shopping and any other treasures your travels may place in your path. Third, take a real map and a sharpie on board. Though it is extremely easy and practical nowadays to just type the destination into google maps, track your trail on a big traditional map and when it’s all said and done, you’ll have a cool keepsake to hang up on your wall. Additionally, consider getting a gas card so that you can reap the benefits of all the gas guzzling you’ll be doing on your trip, accumulating points you can use in hotel stays and the like. Last but not least, plan but don’t over plan. It’s important to have an idea of what stops you will make and of course your key destinations, but the awesome thing about road trips is that you are allowed the flexibility to make your itinerary as you go. Be spontaneous and don’t forget to take pictures of even the unexpected moments as they come.

Take into account the pros and cons of traveling on four wheels this summer and look into unique and famous sights across the country that can help you check off a few bucket list items and have a summer that will go down as a memorable one.

26 May 2017

Visiting the Edinburgh Festival

The Edinburgh International Festival began all the way back in 1947 and has since developed into something much, much bigger and farther reaching than it used to be. What began as a single festival to celebrate art and culture blossomed into a world famous festival as the decades went by.

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What happened was that several other festivals began to appear around the same time. They were completely unrelated and started by different organizations but they quickly became a part of the same festival season. There are still other festivals taking place at the same time as the main one, called the Fringe. These occur on the outskirts of the festival proper and involve gatecrashing theatrical companies presenting their own festival to ride the original’s coattails.

The Fringe is a non-stop assortment of theatrical productions, music, art performances and cultural celebration. While the performances at the Queen’s Hall and various other venues are a big part of the festival and its major draw, the vendors that sell handmade crafts and local cuisine are a big part of the celebration as well.

The entire area is blanketed in advertisements for upcoming performances and festivals within the festival. The performers dress up in theatre garb for weeks on end, performing in public to make people aware of what’s upcoming in the festival. Banners fly throughout city announcing the festival long before it even begins and grow in density as the festival starts.

Once it begins, it seems like there isn’t anywhere you can go in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas where you won’t be affected by the festival in some way; whether it is the jovial spirit of the people or the permeation of cultural celebration through the area.

If you are planning to visit during festival season, which runs through most of August, then you should look into the schedule of events for both the Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe Festival. Both offer websites that list a full set of events and how to get tickets for some of the more prestigious events.

The real challenge can be finding somewhere to stay, with most places filling up fast when the dates are announced. There are dozens of high quality hotels in Edinburgh, including fantastic boutique hotels like Hotel du Vin in Bristo Place, which is nestled among the action in the city centre. Many local residents actually leave the city for the month and rent their home to visitors, so there are plenty of accommodation options out there.

No matter what kind of art you enjoy, there is sure to be something you’ll be interested in each day of the festival, as almost every day holds multiple events in a variety of artistic forms. Some days will have two theatre performances and a classical music concert while the next day will have a theatre dance group performance followed by an orchestral concert and a speech by a renowned local artist.

Whatever you go to see, you probably don’t want to miss the fireworks celebrating the end of the festival, which are a form of art all their own. This isn’t your typical fireworks display either, as they are designed to celebrate the accomplishments of art by the local community and to finish off the festival in a big way.

You can enjoy the festival on any budget, as there are a variety of free shows as well as ticketed ones, so no one has to feel left out.

21 Jun 2016

Paris Van Java or Bandung, Indonesia

Known as “Paris Van Java,” Bandung, Indonesia has been termed “Paris of Java” by its Dutch colonizers. Today, Bandung still retains its European vibe. While it is likely that Bandung may resemble a Parisian city of the 19th century more than a modern Paris of today, given this Javanese city’s relaxed more rustic vibes. Here are a few reasons Bandung is the Paris of Java.

Paris Von Java
Shopping
Bandung is one of the top locations in Southeast Asia to buy designer clothes, so in this way it resembles Paris. But where you would expect to pay top dollar (euro) for designer duds in Paris, luckily Bandung is different in this way. Paris Van Java is home to a mass of outlet stores which sell legitimate top brands(most of the time) at discount rates. It is possible to get a complete wardrobe of high quality clothes for a fraction of the price you would pay for the same items back home. So just like Paris of France, Paris Van Java  is a perfect place to shop til’ you drop.

Hotels
Bandung has hotels that counter those of Paris. Ranging from high-end classical, to budget hostels, to funky artsy themed hotels, there is something for every palette.  Many of these places can be booked booked via sites such as Traveloka.com including the luxurious Grand Royal Panghegar, famous for its world class charm.  Bandung is also home truly unique lodgings, including waterside wood huts with glamorous interiors, rustic mountainside cabins complete with lawn gnomes, a waterpark hotel that is perfect for the kids, and a romantic castle true to Paris‘ 19th century gothic style.

Paris Von Java
Cafes and Restaurants
If Paris is known for one thing more than any other it is its cafe culture. In terms of unique cafe experiences Bandung rivals its European counterpart.  Bandung has cafes to suit any taste, ranging from simple steet-side coffee shops perfect for a quick cup; to elegant places great for dinner or lunch. The Javanese and international food in Bandung is some of the best in Indonesia. Paris Van Java is also home to some magnificent themed cafe, including garden themed and several retro themed cafes as well. Badung also has several art galleries doubling as cafes, could it get any more Paris than that?

So if you are looking to rekindle your romance why not give Java’s city of a love a try instead of the French version. Not only will have the opportunity to experience a gorgeous country filled with natural wonders beyond compare, you will also get many of the charms you would get in Paris itself, often at a fraction of the price. So sipping coffee while taking a break from designer shopping can be equally rewarding in Java as it is France. It is with good reason the Dutch dubbed Bandung, Paris Van Java.

30 May 2016

5 Fairy Tale Locations around the World That You Can Afford To Visit

The world is a beautiful place and there are some scenes in this world that you wouldn’t believe actually exist. For many seeing is believing, and without visiting these stunning places, you won’t understand how beautiful places can be. When you get a chance to visit these places, you will agree on the fact that they are taken out of a fairy tale. One notable fact is that some of these places are very affordable. Following are 5 such fairy tale locations around the world that you can afford to visit:

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Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech is the most fascinating city in Morocco. It is known as the “Jewel of the South” with a great combination of old and new. Laying low and dominating the Haouz Plain at the foot of beautiful snowcapped High Atlas Mountains, Marrakech boasts luxury hotels, the Agdal Gardens’ vast orchard, the Menara Garden’s tranquil olive groves and lagoon, bustling bazaars, mansions and hidden palaces amongst the mysterious labyrinthine medina. Marrakech is thus one of the fairy tale destinations that you should plan on visiting someday.

Paxos, Greece

Paxos is a lovely little Greek Island located about an hour south of Corfu. The west cost of the island has steep limestone cliffs and caves. There are few small beautiful villages in the island, surrounded by wonderful nature and exciting ancient architectural wonders. The views of the villages and its nature make it one of the fairy tale places you can afford to visit.

Tuscany, Italy

Tuscany is a vast region in Italy with superb natural beauty. The landscapes in Tuscany are unparalleled. The nature in Tuscany constitutes rolling hills, olive groves and cypress trees. Spending some days in a luxury Italian villa in wonderful natural landscapes can be a fairy tale experience of a lifetime. Some of the medieval towns in Tuscany are no less beautiful than its wonderful nature surrounding.

Santorini, Greece

The Greek Island of Santorini is often regarded as the most beautiful island destination in the world. Santorini boasts of stunning 360-degree views, colorful small villages, a couple of beautiful beaches, spectacular sunsets, world-class accommodations, and great reputation for its food and drinks. The architectural beauty of Santorini is unique with lots of white color small houses and cathedrals in its beautiful villages like Oia and Fira. Santorini is a perfect destination for family travel and honeymoon. You can expect to get surprised beholding the beauty of this Greek Island.

The Cinque Terre, Italy

The Cinque Terre is the name for five beautiful fishing villages located on the rugged portion of the Italian Riviera. These wonderful small villages are known for the nature and colors of the houses and buildings. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Modern vehicles are banned in this part of the world, making it a serene location to spend some relaxing days of your life.

02 Mar 2016

Live like the rich and famous (for a few nights)

Want to live like the rich and famous? Liz Taylor's home is available as a vacation rental these days ... photo by CC user Warner Brothers - eBay - Frank Driggs Collection (public domain) on wikipedia.org

Fancy yourself a fan of the homes of Hollywood stars? For the longest time, the star-struck among us had to content ourselves with going on tours of celeb homes, and standing on the outside looking in, imagine in our minds what it must be like to have a home that resembles a palace more closely than one in which we would raise our families.

In the past decade or so however, enterprising entrepreneurs have snapped up the former abodes of A-list names like Elizabeth Taylor and Merv Griffin, and have converted them into holiday rentals for those wanting to live out a long standing dream. What’s more, the price on many of these beauties is more than reasonable … if you save up a bit of money, paying less than £400 a night to stay in Liz Taylor’s former castle becomes very doable.

Intrigued in the possibilities that await? Check out the infographic below, or for more info check this page

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30 Nov 2015

The most popular holiday destinations in the USA

New York City is one of the best holiday destinations in the USA ... photo by CC user Francisco Diez on Flickr

Seeking to get away on an exciting holiday in the near future? Across the pond, the most popular holiday destinations in the USA contain a variety of experiences that are certain to fulfill you, as each of the places mentioned below will appeal to a certain sort of person.

So, what are you waiting for, take advantage of these unbeatable American Holiday offers, and get overseas to see any one of the following holiday destinations in the USA…

1) New York City

If there is any one city you visit in America, be sure to make it the Big Apple. Easily the most cosmopolitan city in the United States, the challenge won’t be finding things to do, it will be determining what attractions and sights to cut and which ones to keep during your time in this dynamic place.

If you love food, then visiting Chinatown and Williamsburg in Brooklyn will yield good finds.

Culture hunters will have a multitude of museums to jump between, and shows on Broadway to take in.
Those that are fans of landmarks will be busy checking out the view of the top of the Empire State Building, scoping out the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry, and strolling through the relative peace of Central Park.

Long story short, you won’t have a hard time keeping busy in NYC.

2) Miami

Seeking some sun on your American holiday? If you are looking to insert a little rest and relaxation into your itinerary, then stopping in Miami is a must.

With miles of beach lying along the subtropical Atlantic or on Biscayne Bay, you’ll have your pick of what type of experience that you are looking to have, from quiet and serene to lively and youthful.

Once the sun sets, Miami really comes into its own, with nightclubs boasting a scene that is the stuff of legends.

When you aren’t looking to veg out on a sun lounger, the Miami area offers much in the way of culture, as it has Cuban and Haitian neighborhoods that are brimming with restaurants and shops that are indicative of their nationality.

3) Las Vegas

Looking to really let loose on your time off in America? If this is your goal when heading to the USA, there is no better place to go than Las Vegas.

Billed as being the Entertainment Capital of the World, this shining city in the desert has resorts that cater to kids, and shows featuring entertainers from Penn and Teller to Celine Dion.

Of course, this says nothing of this city’s gaming options, which allow those that are inclined to do so to employ their money in a variety of ways in the hope of winning more at the end of the night.

21 Nov 2015

How to save big time on any future travel purchases

This site is called Best World Travel Deals.com for a reason! Today we’ve got a great tip for you all. Most people are familiar with Groupon for being the deal-a-day giant, but they have recently gotten into a new vertical, online coupons. Leveraging their massive relations with retailers small and large, they were able to secure over 70,000 exclusive coupons with more than 9,000 different retailers available on their website, sans annoying sign-ups.

You can find coupons to save money on virtually anything you might be shopping for, but there are an especially large amount of coupons available in the travel arena. There are all the companies you know and trust like Travelocity, Orbitz Fox rent-a-car and much more. Check out Groupon Coupons today and start saving!

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25 Oct 2015