Author: Tamara Rodriguez

Do Enjoy American Folk Music During Your Visit

There is no real nameable origin for American folk music because it grew more out of communal tradition than profit or entertainment. Folk songs as a term cover several musical styles, which includes from Cajun to Western, Appalachian to Zydeco music and then all the way to tunes of the urban diaspora. Within the tradition of folk music in America, the folk songs are the ones that use traditional modes to speak or melodies. The traditional folk songs can address political or social issues such as a popular opinion, work or even war, while others are ballads telling the stories of families, then there are love songs and some that can only be classified as nonsense songs.

American Music in the 20th Century

Folk Music returned in the 20th century into the psyche of America as workers struggled, they gathered in union halls, living rooms and churches to sing folk songs. It helped them cope with their harsh work environment. Songwriters such as Joe Hill was discovered as they adapted the tunes of Baptist hymns and replaced the words with verses regarding the struggles experienced by the labours. These were sung by workers during strikes and when they gathered in union halls. Woody Guthrie was another who worked that headed full of hope to California to find employment and wrote hundreds of songs before 1967 when he died. Guthrie was one of the most important figures in folk music and his most known song “This Land Is Your Land” continues to inspire millions both musically and politically.

American Folk Music in New York


Folk music blossomed in the 1950s to the 1960s in New York, especially in the coffee houses and clubs in Greenwich village showcasing singles like Bob Dylan, Paul and Mary and Judy Collins. New York still offers visitors an array of top music halls and pubs where folk music can be enjoyed.

New York’s Best Venues for Old-Timey Folk Music and Foot-Stomping Bluegrass

One place that rocks in Manhattan is the Postcrypt Coffeehouse an all-acoustic venue in the St. Paul’s Chapel basement. It is run by students and founded in 1964. Just to confirm that New York is everything but all about rock ‘n roll, the Greenwich Village coffee shops such as Hank’s Saloon and Japoly Theatre are only two of the best honky-tonk places to visit. Hank’s Saloon is referred to by the New York Times as a Boerum Hill Bar where the old days will never end, waiting to hand you, your first drink is Jeannie Talierco who has worked at Hank’s for more than 20 years. So, if it is the search to find a bit of America’s folk song history, you’re after do book at Hank’s Saloon where there is are no history, it is still in the making.

Things Americans Think is Normal that Foreigners Do Not

It is normally outsiders that point out the unique behaviours of Americans. US citizens like to go big, and that includes the amount they tip, the size of their burgers, sodas, it is the one thing that first-time visitors are amazed by. Then there are also the things that are odd to visitors and completely normal to the Americans, which are also interesting.

Instead of Hello, how are You?


What at first throws visitors is when they just arrived in the US and the shop assistants ask how are you doing when they actually mean hello, it’s a form of greeting more than an actual question and a great way to open conversation. The funny thing is that European visitors always start talking about their well-being instead of yes accepting that it is a way of greeting.

American Flags Everywhere

Americans love their blue, red and white flags and no matter whether it is Veteran’s Day or the Fourth of July, every day is flag day. Flags can be seen on lapel pins, on cars and in the front yards of houses. There are not many countries that can compete with the love US citizens have for their flags, and it is unquestionably one of the things that make America great.

Skittles, Grape Flavour


Skittles and in particular “grape” flavour is what American’s love, in Australia and the UK the flavour is referred to as blackcurrant. Yet in America, it is the grape flavour everyone loves, blackcurrant used to be a popular flavour, but that was only until legislators banned it because it then served as a wood-destroying vehicle for the disease known as the white pine blister rust.

Where do Americans Go on Vacation?

Outside of the US, holidays or vacations are what everyone is looking forward to after a year of hard work as everyone gets to spend a few weeks away from home. In the US taking time off for holiday is actually treated as a dark secret and is not as common as everywhere else in the world. Most employees have vacation days piling up. Many outsiders find the workaholism in the USA bizarre.

In the USA they Drink from Red Solo Cups

Apart from the large portions served in restaurants and the amazing taste of the food available in the US, one thing Americans do is drinking from red cups. The red solo cups are seen in the country as a symbol of backyard barbeques and college keggers. They are used at all social gatherings, and even while they have hardly seen outside of the USA, they are the main cup from which booze are consumed. When Seth Stevenson was asked about the red solo cups he explained that the main attraction to some is the opaque colour, which makes it impossible for law officers or other authorities to tell what is inside, the red solo cup’s sturdy design and in its latest version the square bottom also makes it a cup easy to hold. Plus it is red, so it is one of the three colours most loved by the USA.

Going to America – Don’t Dare Miss These Hotdog Joints

Due to their love for hot dogs, Americans even celebrates a National Hot Dog Day, which falls on the 18th of July, this yearly event confirms that the hot dog is a symbol of the country’s ingenuity. Hotdogs are the one food to easy to make you could hardly mess it up. Yet there is a major difference when it comes to the masters of hotdogs and America has no shortage when it comes to phenomenal hotdog joints.

Coney Island – Angelo’s


What drastically differs from the brethren in Detroit is the Flint-style coneys, these differences include that the wet-style gloopy motor city chilli, the Flint’s are dry, and onions and mustard are essential. The Flint Town version is also one-hundred per cent local and the coneys comes from the Koegel Meat Company which do make the best dogs in the entire country.

No one knows the Vienna better than Anglo’s which grills these to perfection, and even though the original flint has been through an array of changes over the past seventy years, the one you simply could not miss is that of Angelo’s as they are the best coneys served with fries and gravy.

Chicago – The Hometown of Biker Jim

While Chicago is proud to have Abe Froman, Denver is quite pleased with the idea of being home to Jim Pittenger the Sausage King, started as a food cart owner his journey led first to a fleet of carts and now to several brick-and-mortar joints. Since Pittenger also became a fixture on television and his signature dogs are the favourite of millions including Andrew and Bourdain Zimmern.

The signature dogs are unique and represent a variety of meats including buffalo, reindeer, elk, rattlesnake and pheasant, and they described as glorious. Each explodes with a flavour sensation of their own and is amped with a range of brilliant topping including coney sauce, harissa roasted cactus, green Chile salsa or even Malaysian curry.

South Carolina – Jack’s Cosmic Dogs


What beach towns have in spades, South Carolina has in hot-doggery roadside joints, yet Jack’s are a piece of America that no other will ever have the right to claim. It is famed for more than one thing, including its unique home-made sweet potato mustard that is simply mind-blowing and then there are the bits of blue cheese part of the tastiest special slaw in the world.

Jack is the mastermind of flavour explosions, and this is one roadside hot doggy no one on earth should miss out on. It is well worth the trip and if you love messy do order the blue galactic dog. It will leave you in a happy mess of magical flavours, well worth the clean-up afterwards even if you might need to jump into the ocean to get all the saucy bits off.

Pastries Most Loved in the US

Humanity has been consecrated via bakeries and confectionaries since the Roman empire days. A millennium later the artform of baking has advanced into the self-indulgent day-dreams of Caligula himself. Culinary artists have bend tradition delights into new forms of brilliance, ground-breaking innovations have influenced the style of backing, patisseries reached new delightful heights, and some of the most amazing bakeries are now based in America. So, when you next plan a trip to the land of plenty, here are some of the bakeries that would be a sin to miss.

Arcade Bakery New York


Arcade Bakery is Church Street, and with its name stamped onto the outside, it is quite easy to find, while the lobby of about 300 feet takes you to the counter stacked with the most delicious pastries. The baker can be seen fiddling with the dough in the open kitchen, and the smell is overwhelming and instantly alert your taste buds of what is to follow. There is a slew of sourdough loaves, buckwheat baguettes to choose from while the pastries clearly French-influenced include whiskey-pecan babka, caramel apple brioches and savoury as well as sweet croissants.

Should you enjoy a mightily staked sandwich, flaky croissant or one of the just-prepared pizzas, chances are that you would feel like shouting at the passers-by that they are missing out on the best treats America has to offer. Once you’ve spoiled your taste buds to this kind of treats you might want to visit Arcade Bakery every day while you are visiting New York, yet we have another surprise in store, and it is also situated in the big apple.

Dominique Ansel Bakery

Dominique Ansel invented the Cronut, and he is known as the French wizard of pastries, he merely rolls a croissant into a circle, and already he has you hooked. Science defying bakes decorates the cabinet and by 7 am every morning proverbial lines find their way out the door as the baking or more than 350 croissants are freshly stacked in doughnut hybrids.

It is not easy ordering just one thing as there are Ansel’s frozen s’mores decorated with chocolate wafers and vanilla custard ice cream served in a behemoth of marshmallow torched to order, then there are the cookie shots shaped in shot glass form filled with Tahitian vanilla milk after they lined with dark chocolate. That is not even touching the list of French desserts such as Tarte tatins or chocolate eclairs on the inventory, so do yourself a favour add this one to your list of New York’s unique treats.

San Francisco & Denver Bakeries

The two bakeries that follow the boutique’s bakeries above includes B. Patisserie in San Francisco known for serving the best sugary cakes and a marvellous selection of macarons, apple tart and almond streusel. Should your travels take you to Denver, then do try and make your way to Babettes Artisan Breads the variety of bread include daily country loaves and porridge bread, while the pastry counter offers the nicest molten-centre chocolate cakes and apple croissants.

Best Teas in Tennessee

Located in the heart of country music, Tennessee, favoured for it honky-tonks, yet one thing visitors are often surprised by is the southerners infatuation with tea, not any tea sweet tea. With fruit being a regional speciality, home kitchens and restaurants throughout the state serve pineapple and orange juices, lemonade and limeade made with sweet tea and the hot favourites is fruit tea.

Right Up Tea-lovers Alley


Alley Cat tea is made with filtered water, oranges, cane sugar, pineapples and black tea. The tea contains no artificial flavours and 48% of it is juice. It is also available at most stores in the natural foods section throughout Tennessee as well as in major retailers in Virginia, Illinois, Mississippi, Indiana, Georgia and Kentucky.

Tennessee is as famed for its delicious fruit teas as what Nashville is for its super-hot chicken. The beauty of the locally produced tea is that it can be enjoyed hot as a spicy tea or served cold, while it is also used more often than not as a marinade for pork or chicken, tea is as versatile as your creativity allows. 2016 was a big year for tea lovers in Tennessee as Alley Cat added a brand new flavour to its range called Southern Mint tea. The tea offers a subtle hint of mint and was created especially for the people in the South known for liking a fresh sprig of mint to their favourite refreshment.

Tea-rrific Southern Fruity Ice Tea Recipe:

4 iced tea bags, either Luzianne or Lipton
2 quarts water
½ a cup of honey or sugar
1 can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
2 mini cans pineapple juice 12 ounces

Boil the water, allow tea bags too steep for at least 15 minutes, remove and discard tea bags, add more honey or sugar, stir well. Leave to cool and then add the brewed tea into a pitcher of at least gallon size, add juice concentrates, add the pineapple juice as well as lots of ice. Another enjoyable recipe is the Kinky Kitty Cocktail, which requires 5 parts of Alley Cat tea, 1 part clear rum and 1 part coconut rum, although it is more suited for weekends. Once the ingredients are mixed well, the kinky kitty cocktail is served over ice and garnished with fresh fruit.

Tea Drinking at Southern Restaurants

Most restaurants in Tennessee serve fruit tea including the Loveless Café, Star Bagel, Baja Burrito and American Grill. A ginger ale taste is added to the fruit tea in Brentwood, at the Puffy Muffin bakery the ginger teas offering a surprising flavour twist has been served for more than thirty years and can be ordered sweet or unsweetened. The difference between the sweet tea served in Tennessee and that in Brentwood is that the ginger tea is not made with pineapple, although it also contains limeade and orange juice.

In Columbia fruit tea is a local favourite and served at most restaurants since 2003. The thirst-quenching drink is perfect for summer or winter, while sweet tea is not only an adult treat but loved by children as well.

Awesome Things To Do in Dallas

Whether you see yourself as a life-long native or perhaps its your first time visiting Dallas, you can’t say you completely know the city like the back of your hand until you worked through our list of the best things to do while visiting Dallas. The big D is frequently overshadowed by the neighbouring city known as Austin due to its incredible festivals, coffee shops, and hip bars, but visiting Dallas has plenty of excitement and fun to offer along with delicious food and amazing restaurants. From incredible fine-dining to world-class museums and huge doses of the Wild West, you will never be bored in Dallas.

Attractions – The Sixth Floor Museum

Previously known as the School Book Depository in Texas, The Sixth Floor Museum is a one-of-a-kind centre that chronicles the death of John F. Kennedy which documents every single angle and looks at the history of presidents from a cultural and historical perspective.

Restaurants – Fearing’s Restaurant

If you consider yourself a food lover then Fearing’s Restaurant is a must-visit destination. It offers a sophisticated layout within a fashionable Ritz-Carlton Hotel. The chef specializes in traditional food with a marvellous twist, producing unusual flavour pairings that are absolutely mouth-watering. Dishes include chicken-fried Maine lobster, wood-grilled antelope sirloin, and buffalo tenderloin.

Fitness and Sports – Texas Horse Park

A short 8-minute drive from downtown, the incredible 300-acre park is situated within the beautiful Great Trinity Forest. With hippotherapy, trail rides, and riding lessons, the park is a tribute to the equestrian history of Texas. You can easily channel your inner cowgirl or cowboy with freshwater springs, ancient trees, and an archaeological Native American site, while Dallas provides a gorgeous glimmer on the horizon.

Things To Do – Klyde Warren Park

The Klyde Warren Park opened its doors in 2012 and is considered one of the best destinations in Dallas to visit. Constructed over a reclaimed railway line, the incredible greenway combines the art district and the city’s uptown together. There are also loads of free daily activities, such as yoga, concerts, ice-skating, chess, badminton, and table tennis to ensure you never get bored.

Historical Buildings – Southfork Ranch

Southfork Ranch is a mere 30-minute drive from downtown and is seen as the home of the Ewing clan, a dysfunctional TV show of the city. Your trip to Dallas will simply not be complete without visiting the renowned White House west of D.C. Explore the house and museum nearby, as you enjoy J.R’s room as well as the gun that shot him.

Art, Sculpture – The Nasher Sculpture Centre

This tranquil space is situated in the Art District of Dallas and is home to the best collection of contemporary and modern art across the globe. With temporary exhibitions and permanent collections too, there is always something for everyone to view all year round. The two-acre garden is fantastic for Instagrammers and photographers thanks to exceptional works by George Segal, Henry Moore, and Rodin. You can even enjoy outdoor movie screenings and live music.

Cost of Visiting Orlando Florida

A great way to cut costs while vacationing is staying stateside, although domestic destinations are not equally created when it comes to holiday expenses. To really determine the cost of holidaying there are several costs to keep in consideration such as the nightly rate, food and drinks. Most interesting is which destinations would lower travellers bank balances by the most, so we went all out, I mean we did “all out” in style.

In hotel stays seasonality hugely affect prices in most tourist hotspots. No matter how expensive the destination, savvy spenders know how to even cut cost in the swankiest of spots, so maybe with careful planning and using some of the saving tips that dream holiday is affordable after all.

Orlando Florida On a Budget


By searching for discounts and deals a visit to this central Florida theme park mecca could cost around $237 per person per day. The discounted prices are for September and a week stay for a single person would work out to about $1,661, or $3,322 for a couple. Meals per day can be estimated at $50 for one day per person, bottled water $4.65, local transport $49, and in entertainment, entrance tickets to shows are on average $163.

Orlando is a tourists haven for tourists from aboard and citizens of the United States. Walt Disney is the most famous, located near the Buena Lake. Over 50 million tourists visit the area yearly, and therefore the city offers entertainment options for all ages.

Orlando Climate

Orlando has the same climate as the rest of Florida, its summers are hot and humid, while winters are cooler and comfortable. At most two weeks of uncomfortable cold weather are not unusual and the best time to visit is around summer or spring break, although it is extremely crowded and prices increase during peak seasons.

Amazing Sights in Orlando


If you are planning a trip to Orlando, chances are you already know it is a destination that is really all about parks. This is the home of SeaWorld, Universal Studios and Walt Disney World, amongst so many others. The most visited, most famous and one everyone dream of visiting is Walt Disney World which has numerous parks in it, including the Animal Kingdom, Epcot Centre and the Magic Kingdom, while it also feature many restaurants as well as hotels at a wide range of quality and price levels. What surprises most is that in addition to various hotels it also offers the Disney campground.

Many tourists and visitors purchase a vacation package when visiting Disney World that includes some meals and hotel stays as well as admission to the theme parks. While for most tourists the packages offered by Disney appears to be the best option, the most cost-effective alternative would be to find accommodation at one of the discounted hotels around the park, most of these offer a shuttle service and park tickets are available at discounted rates.

All the Flavours You Can Imagine in US’ Unique Ice Cream Shops

Travelling remains exciting, and if your exploring takes place in America the weather plays a big part, hot weather is perfect for outdoor activity while the cold offers sensational activities of its own. It is during both the summer and winter months that ice cream parlours are one of the US treats no one should miss. Unlike anywhere else in the world the flavours are more interesting and include tastes, zests, and tangs you never could imagine. Here are some of the “to die for treats” travellers are bound to remember for life.

Miami


Miami’s most popular and colourful neighbourhood is called Little Havana, and this is where Azucar Ice Cream can be found. Nothing about Azucar is ordinary, that includes the variety of well over 305 tropical flavours inspired by Cuba, where the owner is from although several of the flavours are also based on his travels of the Caribbean and Central America, and all ice creams are made from tropical fruits.
Especially for the younger customers, there are over thirty different topping to choose from, while adults are treated to the most creative flavours of them all which includes Champagne Grapefruit, and then right next door to the ice cream parlour is the nightclub. The shop stays busy till late as many come to beat the heat of the dancefloor with the Miami-Cuban inspired flavours, which includes the Abuela Maria, which includes Maria cookies, cream cheese, pieces of guava and vanilla.

Peddle Your Way to A Scoop in LA

If it is your weight or the calories hiding inside a cone that puts you off, then the Peddler’s Creamery based in LA is just perfect. If you are hoping to read about low-fat bland ice cream’s you’ll be mistaken but earning your scoop will require some churning away on a stationary bike. Peddler’s Club membership requires a 20 minutes workout on the bike at a speed of 15 mph and once completed a free scoop is your reward. Each cycling session churns out one batch of delicious ice cream. But if your travels have tired you out, then the easiest way to enjoy the most amazing ice cream flavours is to buy a scoop of Waffle Nacho Sundae, Snickerdoodle or even vegan salted caramel and what makes it more worth it is the 5% donation that goes towards environmental causes.

Ice Cream Acrobatics, Funky Hats Your Kind of Thing Amy’s Ice Cream Should be Your Next Stop


Amy’s Ice Cream is all over the place, and its location include San Antonio, Houston and Austin and its 350 flavours offered by the assistants that wear the funkiest hats and know all the tricks part of ice cream acrobatics. The best flavour is the Belgium Oreo or maybe the Maple Bacon, and then there are plenty of dairy-free flavours to try while some offers quite a buzz, especially the peach infused sweet cream served with a splash of rum, or the peach schnapps splashed Peach Daquiri. While the counter staff fling scoops of ice cream into the air and dance we do suggest you don’t leave without having a Sith Happens it’s a blend of fireball whisky and dark chocolate.

Unique US Destinations that Permits You to Discover Yourself

Maybe the most satisfying journey of all is one allowing us to find ourselves, destinations that offers aspects such a history, the chance to embrace nature, expand on our knowledge and brightens our day, allowing dreams of the future. Several US destinations offer inspiration and appeal to travellers on a journey to discover themselves, their creative side, harmonious passion, somatic side and to re-discover what being stress-free is all about.

Creative Coast of Savannah


William Bull and James Oglethorpe meticulously planner their new settlement in 1734, which is the reason for Savannah’s designing and arty atmosphere, every corner, square and street was planned fastidiously. The squares are now framed in Spanish moss bearing live Oaks and became the picture-perfect destination for building antebellum mansions and elegant townhouses. It is the home of the Telfair Academy, oldest public art museum offering the visitor a collection of nineteenth and twentieth century European and American artworks. It is here where the most prestigious of all art schools can be found, and the Savannah College of Art & Design’s museum has its own art collection consisting of 4,500 artworks

Nashville The Harmonious Dreamland

Just hearing the word Nashville immediately bring images of cowboys stomping their boots to the rhythm of honky-tonks, it’s home to musicians since the early 1920s. It’s the place where live bluegrass and country music can be heard all the way down Lower Broadway, a pleasant sound carried on the beer-perfumed air. One place that is well worth stopping by is Robert’s Western World, if it is funky you’re after then the Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar is just the place. The Schermerhorn Symphony Centre is for the sophisticated, grandiose melodies further beautifies this fabulous setting.

Mythical Wonder Key West


In the same way, an ancient novels dusty pages are bound by leather, Ernest Hemingway is connected to Key West, he called it his home until 1940. It is here where he wrote “The Green Hills of Africa” and “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber”. Robert Frost lived here from 1945 until 1960, there is now a festival name after this prolific author, The Robert Frost Poetry Festival taking place in April. Stephen King fans are bound to find this an inspiring fact to visit Key West as the old Fort East Martello Museum is where the Robert the Doll” can now be found, whatever you do, don’t question its powers.

San Diego Perfect Weather City

North America’s city offering the most wonderful weather in San Diego, it is here where travellers have more than enough reason to enjoy the outdoors. It consists almost of perfect hiking trails along Harbor Drive and the waterfront, the beautifully manicured promenades are just what you need to enjoy jogging or even a long walk. California invented, commoditized and then exported skateboarding so it’s a city dotted with exceptional skateparks.

Only a few hours up to a day is needed to get back your sporty self and ready to enjoy the Pacific beaches where windsurfing, sailing and kayaking are offered along the 27-mile shoreline. Don’t miss out on diving and the change to explore shipwrecks and kelp beds. After a few days of rollerblading and cycling you be rested, motivated and ready to enjoy life with a new song in your heart, probably one that became your favourite during your Nashville visit.

2018 Road Trip Including America’s Most Surreal Destinations

The amazing natural wonders of the world is on everyone’s bucket list when it comes to travelling, yet the United States offers more than enough surreal places to keep your eyes feasting on the most incredible places for a very long time.

So, get your flights booked now to California, Alaska, Arizona, Carolina, Nevada, Wyoming, Florida, Georgia, Texas and Oregon, for a start. With so many wonderful places to visit the first stop will completely depend on personal preference, on my list the first stop-over is in Nevada.

Nevada: Fly Geyser


The fly geyser in Nevada was created during drilling done in search of finding geothermal energy sources back in 1964. Minerals surfaced from the drilling hole and formed this magnificently odd formation now known as the fly geyser. It is situated on a private property although it is visible from the road.

Texas: Hamilton Pool Preserve

A popular summertime hangout just outside Austin in Texas is the natural pool that now is in the place of an underground river that existed before erosion caused the dome to collapse.

New York: Finger Lakes State Park – Watkins Glen State Park

Watkins Glen State Park is a gem hidden within the Finger Lakes State Park of New York. It is famed for the 400-foot-deep gorse offering scenic views and a breath-taking waterfall. It is possible to enjoy this magnificent scene during a day visitor as an overnight camper. There are several activities offered including picnic spots, campsites for trailers or tents and apart from fishing visitors can relax in an Olympic size swimming pool.

California: Glass Beach – Fort Bragg

In the 1900s the locals would throw their household garbage and all sorts of things over the cliffs onto the sandy beaches below, decades later what the Pacific Ocean didn’t remove is now pottery and glass shape and smoothed by many years of erosion.

Florida: Dry Tortugas National Park


Many would find it hard to believe that there is something much cooler beside the Key West fun, it is about 70 miles, according to estimations west lies the Dry Tortugas National Park. This is where an unfurnished fortress called Fort Jefferson can be found, the building process started in 1847, and now the place remains secluded from the outside world. It is only accessible by seaplane or boat and offers an amazing opportunity to unplug from the world.

Utah: Bonneville Salt Flats

Its probably the flattest place on earth, Bonneville Salt Flats was covered by a prehistoric lake until 14,500 years ago and is now where speed records are made by racers during mid-August. It gets up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit in summer, and after some rain, it is said that the whole area turns into a giant mirror. It reminds me of the next place on my list which is the White Sands National Monument in New Mexico, a snow-white desert, what could be more awesome?