Cat Goes On Epic U.S. Road Trip, Has Better Holiday Than Most People

 

Cat Goes On Epic U.S. Road Trip, Has Better Holiday Than Most People image

This cat went on an epic road trip around the U.S., and if these photos are anything to go by it looks like he’s having more fun than most humans are right now.

According to Distractify, Gandalf – excellent name – is from South Korea originally. His owners decided to make the trip across the Pacific late last year to embark on a cross country road trip in the States.

Overall they visited nine states, going to such landmarks as the Golden Gate Bridge, Hollywood Walk Of Fame and Grand Canyon.

Hopefully these photos will lift those January blues, although I’m slightly jealous a cat is having a better time than I am…

The Grand Canyon:

The old Gold Country:

Over in snowy Tahoe:

The Golden Gate Bridge:

The Hollywood Stars:

Jackson State Forest Redwoods:

Point Arena Lighthouse:

The Alamo:

And off on his next adventure:

What a lucky bastard!

The Ultimate Michigan Waterfalls Road Trip is Right Here – And You’ll Want To Do It

You’ve been planning a road trip in the UP for the longest time, but you just hadn’t quite figured out how to maximize your time. Do you zigzag from one quaint mining town to the next? Do you focus in on one specific area? How about tour one of Michigan’s unsung heroes, our state’s gorgeous waterfalls. All but maybe one of the some 200 waterfalls in the Mitten are in the Upper Peninsula.

We’ve ID’d some of the very best, which will take you from close to the Wisconsin border, east to nearly the full length of the UP, all in a day-long trip. The trip takes just over eight hours to complete. We have included a link to the Google Map here.

What a trip. And the great thing is, we’ve covered so much ground in the UP, including some gorgeous falls on Lake Superior, some stops at popular state and national park space, and some inland waterfalls that are no less beautiful to gaze upon.

While it’s still early in the year, we encourage you to plan ahead for your next springtime adventure.

Flight Deal of the Day: U.S. to Paris for Under $450 Round-Trip

Paris is the perfect trip to ring in the fall.

The French budget carrier XL Airways also has deals to Paris from San Francisco and Los Angeles for around $600.

A small-scale French carrier with an oversized name is offering direct round-trip flights from New York-JFK to Paris for as low as $448, and from Los Angeles and San Francisco for $600. Paris is a special place in the fall, when the air becomes a little cooler and an outdoor, early morning pain au chocolat, that much more enticing—so this deal on XL Airways for September is not to be missed. Direct flights from New York to Paris usually hover closer to the $1,000 mark, while flights from the West Coast are generally a few hundred dollars more, and these seats are not going to last.

How to Fly for Free has the full list of dates that take advantage of the deal and most seem to fall throughout September, with Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday hitting the deals most frequently. The prices are slightly higher through the airline’s website, so find the dates that work through Google Flights and then run those through Momondo: here’s a sample search provided by How to Fly For Free.)

Like other budget airlines, XL Airways generally charges for every extra, from headphones to food to baggage fees, but this deal includes one carry-on and a free checked bag. We would still recommend paying the $50 for a seat with extra legroom, because with a base fare this cheap, it’s worth shelling over a little more so that you don’t waste a day recovering from an exhausting transatlantic hop.

You probably don’t need convincing to go to Paris, but in case you do, imagine a hotel that drifts down the Seine, or a crisp, foliage-filled stroll through the historic Tuileries Gardens. After a few days exploring Paris, use the city as a launching point for a weekend in Gascony, or a day trip to Fontainebleau.

Top 25 must-visit travel destinations

Destinations

Croatia is over, Ibiza is overrated and Spain is packed during the summer. So, where to spend the last of your annual leave without feeling like you’re holidaying with everyone and her Pug from back home? In a bid to find a peaceful place to lay our beach towels, we spoke to some of the UK’s top travel websites and bloggers to discover where in the world we should be holidaying now. From hidden beaches and paradise islands, to sparkling cityscapes and hip harboursides, here are the top 25 must-visit holiday destinations…

Find Out The Peak District High Spots To Visit

THE destination to enjoy proper pints, roaring log fires and some breathtaking scenery.

Peak District national park

Peak District offers wildly contrasting landscapes

SEE: This is a spectacular area, a national park of wildly contrasting landscapes. From the broad, open moorland of the Dark Peak in the north to the dales and gorges of the White Peak in the south, it has a rugged remoteness about it.Even in winter you can’t help but be bowled over by the beauty of the scenery. With ideas of rejuvenating morning rambles and cosy afternoons sipping proper pints in front of roaring log fires, my husband and I arrived one blustery Friday evening.Keen to explore, we donned our hiking boots and tackled the famous Dovedale Walk on our first morning. It was a four-mile hike, largely along the River Dove, with a couple of steep inclines achievable for people of all ages and perfect for two Londoners who needed to be eased in gently.By day two we were feeling more adventurous so we headed out again, this time along the six-mile Longnor Walk which took us into the hills of the Upper Dove Valley,revealing some of the area’s most magical landscapes.We weren’t disappointed when we reached High Wheeldon. At 1,387ft, it is one of the area’s finest viewpoints and you can see across the national park for miles, over the Dove and Manifold valleys.For something a little less taxing visit the market town of Bakewell with its low-lying, honey-hued buildings, home to inviting cafés and independent boutiques.

It would be rude not to make a pit stop at the Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop.

A man hiking in the Peak DistrictGETTY

The famous Dovedale Walk is perfect for people who need to be eased into hiking gently

DO: If you tire of hiking there are plenty of things to keep you occupied in the Peak District. Save your feet and ride the old pack horse trails on horseback or enjoy a Go Ape zip-lining adventure through the trees at Buxton Country Park  which is a stone’s throw from Poole’s Cavern (01298 26978/poolescavern.co. uk), a two million-year-old, natural limestone cave.Beautiful Chatsworth House, home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, is surely one of Britain’s finest country houses with ornately decorated rooms including the first Duke’s painted hall and state apartments.It’s set in 1,000 acres of manicured gardens with a maze and a farm for the children too.Right now it is hosting its Peak District Artisan exhibition (until Monday), a free event in the stable courtyard where you can browse ceramics, furniture and textiles made by Peak District craftsmen.

Chatsworth HouseGETTY

Chatsworth House is surely one of Britain’s finest country houses

STAY: Wheeldon Trees Farm  is actually a group of cottages converted from an old dairy barn. A 12-minute walk from the village of Earl Sterndale in the Upper Dove Valley, and little more than six miles from Buxton, it’s perfect for a self-catering break with an on-site games room, children’s play area and laundry.Our one-bedroom cottage, Walker’s Rest, had a lovely open-plan kitchen/living room and looked like any traditional stone-built Peaks property from the outside but was surprisingly contemporary with oak furniture and under-floor heating.For those who are visiting in the summer, there’s a private patio, a lovely suntrap with a seating area, overlooking the mystical dome-shaped hill of High Wheeldon.In the cottage we found a really handy book packed with many suggested walks, hikes and other activities nearby. We also received a breakfast basket packed with delicious treats (an additional £15) including homemade bread, eggs courtesy of the Wheeldon Trees chickens, granola and a mouth-watering chunk of Peakland white cheese made nearby in Hartington at the Old Cheese Shop.The personal touches also extend to your pets. In fact, furry friends are treated like royalty, with toys, towels, bowls, mats, leads, an exercise paddock and even doggie hairdryers should you require them.

The George IG

The George opened in the 18th century

EAT: The Royal Oak in Hurdlow sits on the High Peak trail. The intimate bar and dining room has low oak-beamed ceilings, a roaring fire and quirky décor including hanging copper kettles, bed warming pans and horse brasses.There’s a wide range of ales on tap and an extensive menu offering everything from seafood sharing platters to slow-cooked lamb shank (its pies, such as the beef and Stilton have won awards). Mains from about £10.On the Dovedale Walk, stop off at The George, with its copper-topped bar and Georgian fireplace there’s not much that has changed since it opened in the 18th century.

Solomon Islands: The Hottest Holiday Spot In 2016!

Solomon Islands is the HOTTEST holiday destination for 2016. Trust us. Don’t say you weren’t told!

Scuba divers, snorkellers and surfers have been keeping the Solomons Islands secret treasures close to their chests for too long. But that’s about to change. With Qantas announcing a codeshare agreement with Solomon Airlines recently and Virgin Australia already flying to Honiara from Brisbane and Sydney things are hotting up in this Pacific Island nation.
Solomon Islands

Blessed with coral-filled lagoons and dreamy tropical seascapes neighboring Fiji and Vanuatu can only dream of, the Solomons are paradise for water babies. Accommodation is low key and personal. Think freestanding bungalows built by villagers within the village on the shores of white sand beaches. Saeragi village claims to have the best beach in the Solomons. I’m not disputing that, though I’ve only seen a handful. There are actually a gazillion contenders for the title.

Solomon IslandsSolomon Islands

Oravae Cottage can lay claim to being an exclusive island resort. Though the exclusivity part is relative – the island is tiny and accommodation is hand crafted and charmingly typical of the islands.  It is possible however to book the entire island if you absolutely insist on not sharing share paradise with the great unwashed. Oravae is well set up to cater for small groups in three separate cottages if you’ve roped in all your besties but don’t want to be so close that you hear them snoring. Hospitality here is warm and friendly. So much so that offspring of owners Naomi and Pattson serenade guests after dinner with acoustic guitars and gentle melodies that drift gently across the water. You want serenity? You’ll find it here in spades. There is no beach, however swimmers will be easily satisfied by steps leading from the cottage directly into deep clear water.

Solomon Islands

Fatboys Resort is one of the best known hotels in the Western Province. We land at Gizo airstrip and are picked up in a boat for a 15 minute trip across Vona Vona Lagoon. By the time we arrive at the overwater restaurant the turquoise sea has seduced us and I’m totally smitten with the place. Chilled out and ready to relax I’m dazzled by the beautiful seascape and immediately slip onto island time. A chilled Sol Brew helps, not that I was struggling to wind down.

Solomon Islands

But the gin-clear water is way too inviting not to dive into. Beneath the restaurant a living aquarium thrives. Giant clams and colourful fish clamour for attention (at night so too do black tipped reef sharks but I try not to think about them). I slip on my swim goggles and swim for an hour or more, though I could have stayed in this glorious water all day. Stepping onto a SUP board is a satisfying alternative as the lagoon is flat-arse calm with little wind, no current and is just a few metres deep. The visibility is astounding.Solomon Islands

Fishermen paddle into the hotel to sell the days catch. Which in this case happens to be a sizable Spanish mackeral. Seafood features heavily in the Solomon Islands diet. Lobster is in such abundance that I manage to consume delicious morsels for lunch and dinner practically every day for an entire week. There’s also shellfish that looks similar to a Moreton Bay Bug which is slightly juicer and tastier than lobster. History buffs will be interested to know that Kennedy Island is behind the fisherman’s left shoulder below. Future US President John Kennedy was marooned here during WW2 after his ship was sunk by a Japanese destroyer. I swim around the island and manage to avoid a similar fate.

Solomon Islands At Tavanipupu Island Resort, in the south east corner of Guadalcanal in Marau Sound, I find myself wondering about the personal habits of William and Kate, otherwise known as their Royal Highness’s the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Which is a little odd since I’m far from a Royalist, not even a celebrity watcher (I’ve only recently learned there’s a family of Kardashians famous for being…. err, I’m not sure what). However I’ve checked into the Royal Suite and am literally sleeping in the same bed that Kate and Wills slept in. So too, I’m peeing and pooping in the same toilet. Gosh, what a claim to fame! Perhaps that’s what the Kardashian clan is famous for, who knows. I admire the same view William would have during his morning constitution (palm trees and landscaped garden in the foreground, a turquoise sea in the background). Did they share the glorious outdoor shower I wonder idly,gazing into the overhanging palm trees as I lather up. Plumping up my pillows as I crawl into bed I wonder if Kate did the same thing. ‘Good Lord, get a grip,’ I admonish myself!Solomon IslandsSolomon Islands Sleeping with Royalty, the Royal Suite at Tavanipupu is named after William and Kate. Perfect for loved up couples, there is no secret about Prince Georges July 2013  birth date. What’s not quite so well known is when, or more importantly where, the young prince was conceived. Wills and Kate visited in September 2012 visit. You do the math… Solomon Islands Solomon Islands Solomon Islands

The Royal visit certainly drew attention to the Solomon Islands ample assets. The archipelago nation of around 1,000 islands is quite simply divine. Particularly if you’re a water baby but equally so if you’re looking for somewhere that’s close to Australia, is safe, friendly and relaxed, has fabulous food and plenty of equally fabulous accommodation, the Solomon Islands ticks all the boxes. The only thing it doesn’t have is plane-loads of tourists jostling for sun lounges. My tip? Get there soon. The word is starting to get out…