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The World’s Most Massive Mansions

Some mansions are old, some are new, but they all have one thing in common- they’re gargantuan. We’ve put together a collection of the world’s largest and most luxurious mansions that will outright just blow your mind. Enjoy! 

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5 Cities You Must See in the Winter

Winter Wonderlands  Wintertime brings out a certain beauty in cities that is much different than their summer counterparts. To truly appreciate a city’s beauty, one must see it in all four seasons. I believe that the cold harshness of winter unveils a beauty hardly seen by many travelers. Winter vacations are usually reserved for ski […]

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Winter Wonderlands 

Wintertime brings out a certain beauty in cities that is much different than their summer counterparts. To truly appreciate a city’s beauty, one must see it in all four seasons. I believe that the cold harshness of winter unveils a beauty hardly seen by many travelers.

Winter vacations are usually reserved for ski resorts and the complete opposite: warm beaches. I however can appreciate stripped down essence of cities in the winter. The gloom and cold highlight interesting aspects of a city’s brilliance.

Here are 5 of my favorite cities to visit in the winter and what makes each so unique.

 

New York City, NY, USA

New York, New York, what a magical city. Each season brings out the best in this majestic old city and winter doesn’t disappoint. My NYC highlights include Central Park and Rockefeller Center; visit these to see the quintessential New York experience. Try ice-skating at Rockefeller Center underneath the glow of the humongous Christmas tree or taking a hansom cab around central park at night. As snow blankets the city I recommend getting a bird’s eye view to truly take in the city’s massiveness.

Because of the cold and windy air, the visibility in the winter can be extraordinary.

 

Gothenburg, Sweden

The Swedish people do winter better than any other country and their high sense of fashion takes no season off. Gothenburg is a very cold destination but a spectacular city to enjoy the winter sights. A relatively cheap place to travel to in the winter, inexpensive airfare can be found easily. The traditional Christmas markets often reach critical mass and spill onto neighboring streets, creating a literal winter wonderland. In January and February make sure to check out the Gothenburg International Film Festival, a top-notch event.

 

Reykjavik, Iceland

No wintertime city top 5 can be complete without Reykjavik. Simply a stunning places to visit in the winter and possibly one of the most naturally beautiful places on earth. The Northern Lights are visible almost every night in the winter and are astonishing in person. Pictures and video do no justice to one of the natural wonders of the world.

A must visit place in Reykjavik is the Blue Lagoon Spa, where natural hot springs create the largest hot tub you’ll ever visit. The memory of the incredibly blue water will stick with you forever, as I personally have never seen such beauty.

The more adventurous traveler can venture out to the Solheimajokull Glacier and try Ice climbing.

 

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark and the quintessential old European city. The architecture and ambiance of Copenhagen is undeniable and remarkable. Wintertime just suits Copenhagen so well; it should be classified as a cold weather city.

Make sure to visit here in February so you can catch the Wondercool Festival, which is their answer to the dreary, chilly days.   This festival celebrates all that Copenhagen has to offer in the worlds of art, fashion and food.

My highlights are the tall wooden boats adorned with Christmas lights and looking as winter as a boat can. Remember, Copenhagen is a water city, fully embracing maritime life.

 

Budapest, Hungary

A beautiful wintertime city, full of life no matter what the season: Budapest has it all. One cannot visit Budapest in the winter without going to Szchenyi to try the thermal baths. The standout is the outdoors bath to enjoy a nice soak while in the elements and the city’s beautiful architecture. This old world city is also cheap and affordable all across the board.

Take in Budapest’s wonderful café culture and enjoy many fine meals in the tranquility of a winter’s evening.

I wouldn’t go to Budapest without stopping by the Museum of Fine arts, a favorite museum of mine.

Enjoy these winter wonderlands and remember to dress warm and take lots of pictures.

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Skiing vs Snowboarding: How to choose

Skiing versus snowboarding is an age-old discussion or at least a few decades old. It’s winter, the snow is falling all around and you can’t decide which winter sport you want to try. Sure, you have friends who have done both and they all give you differing opinions as to which sport you should give […]

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Skiing versus snowboarding is an age-old discussion or at least a few decades old. It’s winter, the snow is falling all around and you can’t decide which winter sport you want to try. Sure, you have friends who have done both and they all give you differing opinions as to which sport you should give a try. Skiers will tell you that snowboarding is for kids and snowboarders will tell you that skiing is lame. Who do you listen to and how do you choose?

 

I’ll be your impartial observer who gives you both sides of the story and you can decide your own fate. I’ll dictate some good talking points and some funny observations I’ve made in my over 20 plus years of winter sports participation. That’s all I’ll classify my activity as, I’m not an Olympic athlete nor am I completely uncoordinated. I am however a decent athlete and more than competent at both sports.

 

Snowboard

Style:

When discussing snowboarding, fashion is number one. Snowboarding culture is closely related to skateboarding, including their style and general demeanor. Snowboarders wear baggier clothing, the funkier the better with multiple clashing patterns. Snowboarders think they are cooler than they are and that attitude to important if you wish to emulate their style. Baggy pants and loose fitting jackets are the norm and you’d benefit from a cool beanie, like the hipster wear.

Vernacular:

The way one speaks is definitive to their culture and snowboarders definitely have their own traditions. Get ready to drop more “Dudes” and “Bros” than you are accustomed to. A snowboarders’ verbiage is similar to surfers and skaters. Also, break out your high fiving hand and be prepared to slap a few.

Boots:

The boots may be the classic difference between the two sports. Snowboarding boots are softer and cooler than ski boots. Snowboard boots are also much easier to walk around in, which makes a huge difference. These boots resemble normal winter boots except they are generally thicker and stiffer.

 

 

Ski

Style:

Skier style is more focused on speed and function than form. Skiers normally travel at a higher velocity than snowboarders so their outfits are tighter and more aerodynamic. You’ll notice bright colors and smoother fabrics, which help with speed and control.  

Also a huge difference between the two is skiers have poles. Poles help with balance and increase in the ease of moving on flat ground, which is a huge disadvantage to snowboarders.

Vernacular:

Skiers will speak of moguls and black diamonds, which will hardly be spoken by a snowboarder. Moguls are the bumpy sections of harder slopes and black diamonds reference the hardest and steepest courses. Snowboarders tend to stay away from black diamonds and tend to hang in the snowboard park. Skiers tend to speak in perfect sentences and mention lattes often.

Boots:

Once again the biggest divide between the two are the boots used. Ski boots are extremely stiff and almost impossible to walk around. Snowboarders will habitually make fun of the duck like walks of skiers. Ski boots are stiff to give the rider much more control at high speeds.

 

These are just a few of the differences between skiing and snowboarding, now it’s up to you to chose your poison. Skiing or snowboarding, it’s a tough decision, why not try both, and see what fits your style better.

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Glamping (Glamorous Camping): Pick your Shelter

Shelter Camping is a wonderful way to connect with nature and clear out all the stress that a modern world creates. This is true unless the idea of being dirty in the woods is a nightmare scenario, for these people I introduce GLAMPING. Glamping is glamorous camping, or camping with more modern conveniences and amenities. […]

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Shelter

Camping is a wonderful way to connect with nature and clear out all the stress that a modern world creates. This is true unless the idea of being dirty in the woods is a nightmare scenario, for these people I introduce GLAMPING. Glamping is glamorous camping, or camping with more modern conveniences and amenities. It is possible to camp and not get dirty, I know it’s blasphemous to many, but so is not being clean to others. It’s time to open up your mind and accept that some people enjoy being clean, so here are my tips to Glamping shelters and picking what is best for you.

Glamping all begins with choosing which type of shelter fits your needs best.

 http://www.rainier.com/

Yurt:

Yurts are an interesting option and not just because they are fun to say. Yurts are basically permanent tents and possibly the most rustic many glampers will go. You will soon find out that a yurt is usually canvas covering wrapped around a wooden frame. Seems pretty basic and that’s exactly what it is. There will be zero insulation for warmth but these are waterproof so you will stay dry but not cozy.  

Comfort level: 4 out of 10

 

Luxury Tent:

This is the baseline for glamping and anything below this is just camping. A luxury tent usually is made up of multiple rooms, zipper less doors and as little modern conveniences as possible. Don’t be fooled by their false claims of luxury, these tents are just bigger and more difficult to set up. These are basically made as an introduction to normal camping or glamping, dependant on where you are coming from.

Comfort Level: 2 out of 10

 http://www.momondo.com/

Tree House:

Now we are getting into some interesting choices for glamping shelters. Tree houses are becoming more and more popular because of popular television shows about tree house builders. Gone are the days of tree houses just being for children, now adults are enjoying their functionality. Tree houses give users an out of the ordinary perspective on nature and help increase the overall enjoyment of outdoors living. Many will have some power but few have running water. Expect a pretty primitive experience.

Comfort Level: 5 out of 10

 http://www.stardust.com/tipigigante.html

Teepee:

Bringing it back to the native’s preferred mode of shelter, the tipi is a favorite among the spiritual travelers. Teepees bring out a real primal sense and create a mystical meeting place for glampers of all levels. You must remember that teepees are basically yurts or a tent, so your luxury lies solely with the coverings used. Many times animal pelts are used to cover the teepee.

Comfort Level: 2 out of 10

 http://www.countryliving.com/

RV/Tiny House:

The most luxurious way to glamp of course is to stay in a RV or a tiny home. RV’s have always been a favorite of the glampers whether they are at Coachella or the Kentucky Derby. Tiny homes are relatively new to the glamping world but are also popular due to many new reality shows. These little guys have all the conveniences of a larger home but on a miniature scale. Running water and electricity are almost always included. RVs and Tiny homes are the ultimate tool to any glamper.

Comfort Level: 9 out of 10

 

 

Cabin/Cottage:

Glamping at its finest and truest form, a cabin has all the amenities of a normal home. Renting a cabin will be the easiest way to ease someone into the outdoors lifestyle while still maintaining his or her level of luxury. Cabins usually have electricity and running water, but don’t expect it, that is something I recommend checking on before booking. Bugs and vermin may be an issue since many cabins and cottages go empty for long periods of time

Comfort Level: 7 out of 10

 

Enjoy these choices for glamping and get your hands an acceptable level of dirty.

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