Expert Travel Reviews

Snorkeling at the Cayman Turtle Farm

January 31, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Article written by RE/MAX Cayman Islands

As one of the Caribbean islands, Grand Cayman has no shortage of snorkeling spots. In fact, it is home to some of the best snorkeling and diving spots in the world. Although Grand Cayman has plenty of natural snorkeling spots to enjoy — from Eden Rock Dive Center to Lobster Pot Dive Centre — the island also offers a safe place to explore underwater marine life that is not in the ocean. This manmade snorkeling paradise is called Turtle Lagoon. Whether you’re visiting the island to see Cayman Brac real estate, or you’re on a family vacation, we recommend diving into Turtle Lagoon for an experience of a lifetime.

What is Turtle Lagoon?

If you’ve ever wanted to see marine life up close and personal but were afraid to jump into the wild ocean, Turtle Lagoon is the place for you. Ideal for adults and children of all ages, Turtle Lagoon is a 1.3 million gallon tidal lagoon located in the heart of Cayman Turtle Farm.

Cayman Turtle Farm is the largest land-based attraction in Cayman. Although it offers many aquatic adventures, Turtle Lagoon is definitely one of the park’s most unique and attractive offerings. What will you find in Turtle Lagoon? The lagoon features live green sea turtles and a host of other marine life – the same tropical fish and marine life that’s in the Caribbean. The lagoon is also home to coral, iguanas, and peacocks.

While you’re at Cayman Turtle Farm, RE/MAX also recommends checking out the park’s other fun adventures, including Predator Reef, Blue Hole Nature Trail, and Cayman Street.

RE/MAX Cayman Islands is a real estate agency in the Cayman Islands. The agency specializes in buying and selling property in the Cayman Islands including Little Cayman real estate. To schedule an appointment with a real estate agent in Cayman, please contact RE/MAX Cayman Islands.

 

Planning a Kid-friendly Trip to Grand Cayman

January 30, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Article written by Andys Rent-A-Car

A vacation in Grand Cayman offers something for everyone, including the kids. Parents will love the shopping and nightlife; children won’t pass up water activities and Stingray City; and everything will enjoy the beautiful beaches. The island also offers plenty of opportunity for exploring and relaxing. But if you’re travelling with children, it might be difficult to plan a trip that will keep adults and kids satisfied. Here’s how to plan a kid-friendly trip to Grand Cayman without losing the adults along the way.

Rent a Large Vehicle

It’s hard to get around the island if you don’t rent a car. You can find affordable rental cars in Grand Cayman at many companies including Andys Rent-A-Car. But the key to planning a kid-friendly trip is renting a vehicle large enough to accommodate everyone and their toys! Consider renting a van or SUV to get you around the city and to all the hot spots. If you have the budget, make it fun for everyone and rent a car in Grand Cayman such as a convertible.

Visit Stingray City

It’s not an aquarium and it’s not a zoo. Stingray City is an area in the Caribbean where people are invited to pet and play with stingrays in their natural habitat. Adults and children alike are sure to enjoy this unique experience near the shore. How many will you get to see? It isn’t unlikely to be surrounded by a dozen of them at one time!

Enjoy Seven-Mile Beach

What’s not to love about one of the most beautiful beaches in the world? Seven Mile Beach is a public beach dotted with resorts, mansions, and hotels. Kids will love the opportunity to go swimming and snorkeling, while parents might enjoy relaxing on the sand or eating at one of the restaurants at the resorts. If you don’t want to spend an entire day there, consider a family picnic under one of the trees.

Go Horseback Riding

Children get restless easily, and parents get tired of finding new ways to entertain them. A great way to keep children entertained and get some much-needed rest is to go horseback riding. It’s not hiking and you don’t have to know the way. Most journeys are led by tour guides, which means all you have to do is enjoy the view.

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 Andys Rent-A-Car offers rental cars in Grand Cayman. With two convenient locations on the island, the company provides great rates on all types of cars including jeeps, vans, and convertibles.

Constructing the Interior of the Great Pyramids

January 30, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

This article was written by Phineas Upham,

The exterior of the Great Pyramids of Giza is an incredible feat of architecture, with angles measuring precisely at 51 degrees and heights that make lifting those huge limestone blocks seem impossible. Yet the pyramids’ most intriguing fact is that within that precise structure, a network of tunnels and alcoves exist. Were these tunnels carved out after the fact? Did the planners actually have the knowledge to build these pathways into their structures? The truth is fascinating.

Tunnels

For a long time, archaeologists believed that the Egyptians completed the pyramid, then carved their own way through the structure to bury their leaders. In fact, we now believe the Egyptians actually plotted these tunnels into their construction. This is amazing considering that these tunnels did not collapse under the weight of the structure above them.

Small Notches

There were also notches etched into the edge of each pyramids, which Egyptologists now believe was used to pivot blocks on their way up the structure. This would have made lifting the blocks up each ramp possible with levers and ramps, only if there was a ramp there to begin with.

Internal Spiral Ramp

The tunnels may have served a practical purpose. There have been infrared cameras that uncovered evidence of a spiral ramp leading up into the interior of the pyramid. This suggests that the outer ramps had been constructed of stone that was later recycled to build the inner portion of the pyramid. This created a new ramp, where the finishing blocks were moved into place using the same techniques to build the bottom.


About the Author: Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phineas Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phineas on his Twitter page.

Start over in Virginia

January 29, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Richmond was rated by MSNBC as one of the top places to start over, and why not? The city has a rich history from the Civil War period onward. The region has several Civil War museums dedicated to the battles fought there, and there are outdoors activities galore for the outgoing. In Richmond, you’re about a half hours drive from anything and the city has several businesses on both the Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 lists. Before you make the move, be sure that you have researched the purchase and decided that Richmond is for you.

The First Steps

Before you begin shopping for homes for sale in Richmond Virginia, it’s a good idea to get prequalified from a lending institution. Prequalification typically carries no strings, meaning it’s good to learn what you can afford without being tied into a loan. You should also think about things like schooling for your children (or future children) and have a vague idea of what you actually want in a home. This is different for everyone: some people will want a huge kitchen with an island, some want ample gardening space and others are happy with a fixer-upper they can customize over time.

Lastly, secure about 20% of the purchase price of the home for a down payment. When it comes time to purchase, you want to make sure you can put down enough on the home to secure the purchase.

Due Diligence

By this step, you should have a full-fledged wish list of items you want in the home. Find a realtor in Richmond VA for yourself and go over your wish list with your agent. You should also obtain a copy of your own credit report so that you know upfront whether there are obstacles between you and your new home.

Shopping Around

Your agent should have a better working knowledge of the Richmond area than you do. Even natives might be surprised at the small pockets of suburbia unearthed by an experienced realtor. Remember to do plenty of drive bys at different times during the day. You should also ask your agent questions about the area to fill in some of the blanks you’re not aware of. Things to know include:

  • Crime rating
  • School system quality
  • Proximity to airports and other sources for noise pollution
  • Proximity to manufacturing plants and other sources of air pollution

There will always be things that you didn’t expect, especially after moving in. The point is to try and reduce those surprises by repeatedly viewing the home.

Purchase Contracts

When you’re ready to make an offer on a home, your agent will typically guide you through the process. Beginning with the amount to offer, the agent should help you establish which items you’re actually purchasing and hammer out additional details relevant to the contract.

Other Concerns

Escrow can feel like an eternity. Use that time to shop around for home insurance providers and get the best policy for you.

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Relocate to Richmond can help you find Virginia homes for sale in the Richmond area. To speak with a knowledgeable realtor, visit Relocate to Richmond online.

What Science is Learning from Antarctica

January 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Written by Phin Upham,

Antarctica is the center of many scientific activities. The region is one of the most difficult places in the world for organic life to inhabit, so that makes the few creatures who do call the Antarctic home quite fascinating. Here is a brief review of the most recent discoveries made by scientists.

Pine Glacier

The Pine Island Glacier is one of the best indicators for climate change. Scientists have studied the glacial formation for years, and have recently noticed rapid rises in sea level. Scientists expect a rise in sea level of 3.5 to 5 millimeters in the next twenty years, which could have considerable consequences for the world at large.

100 Year-Old Photos

Scientists setting up a supply depot on the New Zealand side of Antarctica made an intriguing discovery. 100-year old photographs from the Ross Sea Party, dated 1915, show snapshots of exploration life shortly after Amundsen discovered the South Pole.

The pictures are various shots of the teams and landmarks in the region. The supply depot where the pictures were recovered was built almost 100 years ago by Robert Falcon Scott.

Diamonds in Antarctica

Scientists claim that there is evidence of diamonds existing in the Antarctic mountains. Though researchers have made the discovery of mineral-rich rocks on the continent, the removal of these minerals is currently illegal. The diamonds are made of kimberlite, a material also found in hotter parts of the world like Africa or Australia. There is no telling how much kimberlite is on the continent, as scientists have only found three samples, but there may be more diamonds in the snow.


Phin Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website

Seeing Arlington National Cemetery

January 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

If you’re traveling to Virginia, you’ll have your arms full with all the places to see and things to do. Henrico County real estate is a popular placed to live for the very reason that there is so much to see. Chesterfield County real estate has been receiving a lot of attention for the same reason. One tourist destination you don’t want to miss is Arlington National Cemetery.

While it’s a popular place to visit, it probably isn’t right calling Arlington National Cemetery a tourist spot. This national treasure is a place that deserves the utmost respect as it’s the final resting place of over 400,000 Americans who served in the armed forces as well as many of their family members.

The cemetery is 612 acres in size, so if you’re going to visit a relative who has passed on, you’ll want to know where you’re headed first, although there are also plenty of services that can make your search easier.

Of course, Arlington National Cemetery is also home to many notable Americans including presidents like John F. Kennedy and William Howard Taft. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Robert Kennedy were laid to rest there as well.

Whether you have family there of your own or  you simply want to pay respects to the men and women who served, Arlington National Cemetery is a place everyone should see as a reminder of what so many sacrificed.

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Article submitted by Relocate to Richmond. They’re experts at helping people find homes for sale in Richmond, Virginia that are perfect for them.

Make Grand Cayman More than Just a Vacation

January 23, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

If you’ve ever been to Grand Cayman, you probably had a difficult time getting back on a plane to leave. There’s a reason the island is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the entire world, after all.

Next time you go, or if this is your first time, you might consider Cayman Islands residential rentals. They offer you so much more comfort and freedom to explore and enjoy the island.

While Grand Cayman doesn’t lack for awesome hotels, those can get old after a while. You have to share them with hundreds of other people, after all. A residential rental will extend to you all the comforts of home while you enjoy your time in the sun.

Now if you like going to Grand Cayman often or if you know you’ll be back soon, you should think about purchasing your own property down there. Imagine always having a slice of heaven you can return to at will.

Best of all, you have plenty of options for Cayman residential property management. This means that while your away, your property will be looked after. But there’s another reason to get a home in this paradise. You can rent it out to others. By employing a management team you get the peace of mind that comes  from knowing your home is looked after and the whole time you collect rent checks you can use on your next vacation.

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Article submitted by Rem Services. The company specializes Grand Cayman condo rentals as well as property management.

A Backpacker’s Guide to Oktoberfest

January 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Posted By Phin Upham

Backpacking is a European staple, and the country side is gorgeous and relatively easy to traverse. Oktoberfest is a good reason to be in Germany, but flying there directly can be expensive. Use this guide to get into the festival on foot, then set up base camp and enjoy your days in one of the world’s most exciting celebrations.

Where to Fly

Flying directly into Munich, even into Germany during Oktoberfest is costly. It’s even pricey to fly from Europe, so flying into London with the hope of a connecting flight from there is a no go if your goal is to save money. Instead, set your destination to a nearby city like Salzburg and hike in from there. You can even arrange rail service to carry you part of the way.

Where to Camp

Chances are that the accommodations for Oktoberfest are outrageously expensive or already booked. The cheapest hotels in Munich tend to disappear quickly, and they aren’t ideal for someone on an extremely tight budget. Fortunately, you can camp near the festival.

What to Pack

Aside from the basic gear you need for a camping trip, you’ll want to pack some essentials just for the festival. Make sure you pack lightly, as you won’t want to carry 30 pounds on your back in the hot sun. Be sure to pack lederhosen as well, because you will be the only person not in costume. Sunscreen is also a good thing to have, and international travelers should keep their passports handy.


About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website or Facebook page.

Carnival Cruise Lines finally getting out of trouble

January 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Finally, the world’s largest cruise company Carnival Cruise Lines appears to be making some progress. After the disastrous Costa Concordia mishap that killed 32 people in 2012 in Italy and several subsequent mishaps along the way, Carnival is making progress under the new leadership. Its new CEO Arnold Donald took office in July 2013 and working hard to reestablish the brand and currently spending $700 million on shipboard fire prevention and backup power systems. Carnival accounts for more than 21 percent of the worldwide cruise market.

The British-American owned Carnival is based in Doral, Florida and operates the largest fleet of ships with a total of 24 vessels. Its ten brands range from the lowest-cost brand of Carnival to very pricey British Cunard Line, the world’s oldest line with a 173 year old history. Its strategy is to conduct shorter, less expensive cruises that people love to take. One other crowd pleaser is its Las Vegas style décor and entertainment onboard. Since 1996, Carnival operated the world’s largest passenger ship, Carnival Destiny at the time and its bigger vessel, Carnival Dream came into operation in 2009. Carnival is also building the world’s largest ship ever with a capacity of 4,000 passengers.

Rent a Car to See the More of the Cayman Islands

January 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

If you’re looking for a vacation destination, you can’t go wrong by choosing the Cayman Islands. They’re known the world over for their amazing scuba diving, amongst other attractions.

However, though the islands are not large in and of themselves, you’ll want to rent a car while you’re down there. This will give you an opportunity to see as much of the Cayman Islands as possible.

Yes, there is public transit down there and, by all accounts it’s sufficient. But keep in mind that public transit isn’t made for tourists, even in the Cayman Islands. Cayman Islands car rental means you get to decide where you go, when you go there and how long you stay for. Relying on public transit means someone else makes all these decisions. Even if you plan ahead accordingly and have your time budgeted for each attraction, what happens if you decide you want to stay longer? A local might tell you about an attraction you hadn’t considered. When you rent a car, it’s no problem getting there.

Cayman Islands car hire is a great option for those of you who want the above benefits without having to drive yourself. Maybe you’re from a country that drives on the right side of the road and you don’t want to put up having to switch.

No matter which option you choose, consider renting a car or service to make sure you and your family get to see as much of the Cayman Islands as possible when you’re visiting.

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Blog submitted by Andys Rent-A-Car. They operate Cayman car rentals, providing tourists with all the transpiration they need to make the most out of their stay.

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