Author: Tamara Rodriguez

Wonderfully Weird Places to Visit in America

No other country offers as many photo-worthy attractions as America and while most instantly think of the Statue of Liberty or the Golden Gate Bridge, there are so much more. The list of sites is cool, weird, wonderful, amassing and includes everything and anything from unusual to extra-terrestrial! Grab your camera and join us we visit the most picturesque destinations in the USA.

First Stop: Death Valley National Park

For many decades the travelling rocks at the Death Valley National park have perplexed visitors as well as scientists. This destination is famous for being one of the driest and hottest places in North America as well as its unearthly landscape consisting of towering mountain peaks, rolling sand dunes and lush forests. Yet the wonderfully weird part is the Racetrack found in the California side of the park appears visually as a tiled-like dried lake bed disturbed by travelling rocks. The rock paths are clearly visible and according to scientists these more across the hot sand when the bit of rainfall freezes, gets melt by the sun and then the rocks of around 270 kg slide. Death Valley National Park is also known for its extremes, it has a rainfall of 6 centimetres per year and its temperature can be up to 57 degrees Celsius and this is the spot used to film several Star War episodes.

From Moving Rocks to Unidentified Flying Objects

Area 51 is mentioned in every episode of Twilight Zone and 134 kilometres north of Las Vegas this testing site of the U.S. Air Force is what makes conspiracy theorists and sci-fi readers believe that extra-terrestrial life exists. They believe the unidentified flying object has been spotted in the area, which is the main reason why it remains a top-secret area and no one is allowed to even park neat the Area 51 entrance. But it is still well worth visiting as you get to fill your car at the gas station that is completely alien-themed, while several gift shops and restaurants are based along the Nevada State Route 375 best known as the Extra-terrestrial Highway.

Leaving the UFO area, Travel Towards an area known for its Spooky Presence

Found below the Seattle overpass, the Fremont district is known since 1990 for its spooky presence. It is here where the troll is, built by four artists in promoting urban removal, the troll is 5.5 meters high, and he clutches a Volkswagen Beetle in one hand while the giant supports himself with the other as he is rising out of the ground. The Fremont Troll attracts thousands of tourists from around the globe and he is perfect for anyone looking to take a truly memorable photo.

From Spooky to the Castle Built by Him who has Super Powers

Thousands if not millions of tourists have visited the area about 50 kilometres south of Miami to view the Coral Castle. Build by an immigrant Ed Leeds it is built from 1,000 metric ton of rock. The structure is truly magnificent and according to speculation, Ed had supernatural abilities as he hand-built it by himself without the help of machinery.

Christmas Day in America

With the huge diversity of cultures, there are many traditions in the United States, which makes it quite difficult to pinpoint one specific tradition celebrated on Christmas Day. Most of the holiday activities including Christmas day varies from one family to the next, mostly depending on their cultural heritage and the family itself.

Diverse Cultures Blend into A Unique Christmas Celebrating Community

The closest the celebrations of a typical Christmas Day can be described is a blend of Belgian, Austrian, Polish traditions into a unique situation of their own. With the variety of nationalities and cultures calling the USA home as well as the volume of people arriving to celebrate Christmas with families or just in the USA, what takes place on Christmas Day itself is even more unique. What also has a huge impact on the holidays and how these are spent or celebrated is the weather conditions, some enjoy Christmas under a large sparkling blanket of snow that offers the perfect white Christmas, elsewhere the day is spent on the beach. Yet the whole idea of a white Christmas is seen by most people around the world as the way this special day should be celebrated, which is also the most favoured by marketing teams.

The Christmas Tree in America

As it does almost everywhere else in the world, the Christmas tree is a hugely important part of celebrating Christmas Day in America and most homes have some form of a tree and decorations. The tree is often topped by an angel that announces the birth of Jesus, while others prefer a large star representing the Bethlehem Star. Most of the trees are decorated with ornaments passed on from one generation to the next and each peace have a special meaning. The way the tree is decorated often have a lot to do with the heritage of the family and when it comes to Christmas lights the more, the better. In just about all houses the Christmas tree is placed in a spot that makes it possible for passers-by to view from the street.


In America not only, the inside of the house is decorated for Christmas, but in most regions, it is quite the tradition to also decorated the outside of the house. It all depends on the weather conditions and apart from lights around the house and on the outside trees many Americans also decorates the outside with snowmen Santa’s, reindeers, snowflakes, streams of flashing lights and large outdoor decorations. In many towns homeowners also outline the architectural features of their houses with Christmas lights and place ornaments outside that represents Mary and Joseph sitting around the crib, to celebrate the birth of Christ.


Food served or enjoyed on Christmas plays a major part of the celebrations, and with friends dropping by to deliver gifts or just good wishes, every home is stocked with special treats. A whole different shopping list is made to ensure everyone dropping by can enjoy a special drink and something to eat, which in many cases are home-baked cookies. Many of the families in America serve a traditional Christmas dinner, which includes vegetables, turkey, potatoes, cranberry sauce a salad or two and a dessert. When it comes to desert the traditional, Christmas-pudding remains a hot favourite.

New Years in America

Ask anyone, where you should spend New Year’s Ever in America and the answers and suggestions, will include Las Vegas and New York City. It is the two places where the parties are bigger, the parties are more televised, and the countdown is dramatic as the clock ticks to midnight. Although beyond all the glitz and glamour you’ll find in Vegas and New York there are several destinations that could offer you a New Year’s Eve you’ll never forget.

Louisiana – New Orleans

The best party destination for all year-round partying is New Orleans. The locals are super friendly, the weather warm and the bars remain open till late, it is the place where people walk around with their favourite adult beverage, meet new friends and enjoy a climate perfect for all night partying. The New Year’s Eve celebrations take place at Jackson Square in the French Quarter, entertainers and bands keep the party going throughout the night, fireworks across the Mississippi River is part of the final countdown just before midnight and continues as the new year arrives. The party continues afterwards at nightclubs and bars situated on Bourbon Street. If you want to plan something really unique then book with the Creole Queen for a firework cruise or the Natchez steamboat.

California – San Francisco

San Francisco offers numerous New Year’s parties as it is located on the bay, the New Year’s events are as unique as the city itself. The Bay front is where spectacular fireworks offer a show like none other. You can cruise on the Hornblower boat where brunch and dinner are offered as you get to countdown the last hours to midnight on the fireworks cruise. Everywhere else there are several festivities to choose from, you can book at any of the New Year’s Eve balls, go all posh and book a black and white ball or join thousands at the Passport to the World ball, where several DJ’s play, entertainers and live music is played, and the bar remains open all night. If it is a more casual approach to the new year you like, then the Twin Peaks rooftop is what you’ll love, it is one of the highest points, and you still have the option to watch the most remarkable firework show at the Embarcadero.

Orlando, Florida, Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World knows how to throw a party worth attending and the New Year’s Eve Party caters for both adults and children. Decadent dining, dazzling dance parties, toasting to a sparkling new year and mesmerising fireworks are all part of the line-up planned for the 31st of December. Every year Walt Disney World also offers special New Year’s packages that include various hotels. The most popular package option is watching the Magic Kingdom fireworks while dining at the California Grill situated in the Contemporary Disney Resort. Several other events are also worth considering and include tasty treats, a dash of magic like only Disney can, and great music at the Atlantic Dance Hall situated in the Board Walk Disney Resort.

Unusual Christmas Traditions Around the World

Things that influence the traditions around Christmas more than everything else is location, culture and the weather. With the massive Scandinavian population in Minnesota, Christmas is celebrated via Nordic food and lutefisk. Wreaths in New Mexico is made of dried chillies instead of dried fruits or leaves.

Every State in America Puts Its Own Spin on Christmas Traditions

It really does not matter where you’re planning to spend your Christmas holidays, every state in the US has a special holiday celebration, which will ensure your trip to America remains memorable for many years to come, if your plan to visit Reno, you’ll get to attend the Santa Claus race, Nevada offers a holiday spirit like no other and in Rochester you get to see a massive Christmas tree made formed of beer kegs, which highlights any trip to New York during the festive season.


The highlight of the holiday season is the Alaskans parade, in which a wooden star is moved from each house to the next, the wooden star is a representation of the Star of Bethlehem.
The tradition of selaviq of the Russian Orthodox is also referred to as starring, and only days before Russian Christmas, which falls on the 7th of January, a wooden star is carried by parishioners partaking in the parade. As the star moves from one house to another the crowd increases and more and more residents join the parade.
Arizona, Chandler

This is where you will find the largest Christmas tree in the world made of tumbleweed. It is also the most popular attraction during the festive season and thousands of tourists visit Arizona to enjoy the view offered by the giant tumbleweed Christmas tree. The assembling of the tree made only of dry Tannenbaum starts already in September and once completed it remains lit for the entire Christmas season, in Chandler the tradition of lighting the tree made of tumbleweed goes back more than 60 years.


If you travelling to the USA during the festive season, one place you have to add to your touring schedule is Arkansas. Visitors get to follow the trail of Christmas lights forms one off to the other in this state. Ostentatious Christmas displays are nothing new and lights display can be seen around the globe, although none come close to Arizona. This is where each of the states connects their light displays to the giant trail that runs through the entire state. Mapped to make it easy to follow, visitors can easily follow the trail of holiday lights and enjoy awe-inspiring displays as they drive from one to the other.

Cemetery in Washington DC

With all the bright light displays and wonderful Christmas celebrations in the USA, there are no shortages of magnificent traditions, yet one stands out above all and that is the laying of wreaths on every single grave in the Arlington National Cemetery. In honouring the fallen a non-profit organization places a holiday wreath on graves in Washington as well as on graves in more than 1,200 other locations in America.

Memorable Christmas Guaranteed During Your Fairytale Visit to New York

New York is by far the most exciting city on earth and one of the greatest when it comes to coincide with the Christmas it is incomparable with anywhere else in the world. There is no other city like the Big Apple during the holiday season, adults get to enjoy shopping in some of the biggest shops, Broadway shows are line-up and no other mood-lifter works as well as Central Park. The out-of-towners may get New Yorkers to grit their teeth, but even then, they realise that no-one can resist the magic in the air. There is just so much to feast your eyes on that it’s impossible to paint the real picture in words.

Rockefeller Centre

The most brilliant atmosphere to skate in is at the most iconic rink in New York, and you get to enjoy the Rockefeller ice rink at very affordable prices. During the holidays you can also enjoy cookies and hot chocolate in the VIP tent, and then there is the 30m Christmas tree that keeps your attention for hours.

Window Displays with the WOW Factor

Whether you are a shopper or not, the window displays at Bloomingdale’s get everyone to stop and appreciate this impressive art form. Every year the displays are based on a specific theme, and the techniques used are unlike you’ve seen anywhere else. One of the shops you simply can’t walk past is Macy’s, passing by is bound to get you to stop and enjoy the displays for a while, but should you step in, you’ll be pleasingly lost in a Christmas wonderland.

Christmas Events & Shows

The place to be is Time Square in New York! The recurrent Christmas show is the NYC Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker, and it has been since 1954. Performed at the Lincoln Centre and notwithstanding its longevity, the show, now a huge success, first became this popular after it was televised in 1958. This time of the year, New York offers the best Broadway family shows, which almost always include SpongeBob Square Pants and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Christmas Holiday Worth Remembering

One of the most exciting shopping sprees would be by visiting Macy’s, while it is no secret that New York is not cheap, depending on where you’re travelling from the exchange rate could further increase your expense. But there are many ways to cut costs and enjoy the best Christmas ever: you get to go anywhere via the subway, and if you spend a day or night in Manhattan the hotdog stands do sell the best food at the most affordable prices. You don’t need much as the flashing billboards, and fantastic Christmas decorations are more than enough to provide you with a lifetime worth of memories, and you get to visit all the biggest attractions with either a CityPass or 7 Day Unlimited Subway ticket.

Proud Songs About America

Known for its ability to create the best songs about America, Country music have been responsible for creating protest tunes, patriotic anthems and country artist are known for singing about home sweet home. The large variety of song about America have been inspired by love, others by current events and it has allowed so many artists to achieve their dreams, one thing that does connect all the songs is the passion the artists have for the USA.

Putting A Playlist Together for Your USA Travels

Compiling a playlist for your holiday or some of the road trips you plan in America can include music from several different genres, there are a few go-to songs about America that no playlist should be without. While we loved listening to all of them, we finally did decide on the three most important songs you should add to your playlist before grabbing your bags to travel to the USA.

Brooks & Dunn – Only in America

Only in America by Brooks and Dunn released only a few months before the 9/11 attacks, its reached extended during a time of devastation and its inspiring and energetic tribute to the everyday life of Americans continued to promise hope for the future. Music critics feel the song is a declaration that America is the country where everyone gets to dream as big as they want. The song “Only in America” has since been used in a major way in the political arena on both sides, it featured in the 2004 re-election campaign of George W Bush, and it was also the music played after the acceptance speech of Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic nominations. Co-written by Brooks, “Only in America” reached number one and for the duo, it was a major success.

Toby Keith – Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue

It’s basically impossible not to think of Toby Keith when it comes to songs about America, his most popular “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue”, some calls it, The Angry American song. The artist built his career basically on attitude-driven patriotism, one of the biggest songs released in 2002. This song hit the nerve and gave the community the worlds they needed to process their feelings, feelings such as that brought on by 9/11. The one emotion American’s could identify with was that of anger, it was a way to deal with devastating sadness. It is something that Toby Keith felt as well. He knew it would find favour, that it would offer that what listeners wanted to hear at the time. As a number one hit, Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue now stands as the most honest depiction of the attitude of the people during the darkest time in the history of America.

Lee Greenwood – God Bless the USA

Without “God Bless the USA” your playlist would simply not make sense, and this song by Lee Greenwood is the one tune that stood the test of time. It first released in 1984 and was re-released in 2001, shortly after 9/11.

Couple’s Getaway – Most Romantic US City

When it comes to romantic cities most people think of Venice the city with the gondola-clad canals, other instantly think of the home of the Eiffel Tower, Paris, but those living or visiting the US have no reason to search for romance by crossing the ocean, there are plenty of romantic cities in the USA.

Never lost any of its lustre, Palm Beach once was the playground of the high society, but all that has been traded for a relaxed island holiday resort style feel and at the same time nothing could be more romantic. It is still home to classic events like the PGA and polo, but it is far from the Palm Beach it was yesteryear, the 47 miles of sandy beaches framed with resorts set the perfect destination to enjoy candle dinners at one of many oceanfront restaurants and reconnecting with your partner.

Sunsets & Endless Beaches of Florida

Palm Beach, Florida is perfect for everyone, including the romantic history buff, the romantic food lover, romantic water loving couples, and those who just want to leave it all behind and enjoy each other’s company. Long walks and magnificent sunsets on Florida’s beaches is all you really need to enjoy romance, but should you wish to show someone just how much you care than spending a bit of time in planning a great schedule could be just what your break-away needs.

Kick-Off with Relaxing Golf Session for Him, Spa Relaxation for Her

A great way to finally get rid of the at-home stress is to book a great golf session for him while she gets to enjoy pampering at a luxurious spa. If you both play golf, then your break-away could start by scheduling some golf followed by spending the rest of the day in slippers and a robe in-between dips in the mineral pools.

Idealistic Stay in Florida

Seaside glamour and unapologetic luxury await in the Breakers Palm Beach resort, built originally in 1896 by one of the greatest industrialist Henry M Flagler. The only downside of the Breakers is that neither of you would ever want to leave again as its panoramic views of the coastline is unbeatable, and if you climb to the very top of Jupiter Lighthouse, you enjoy a view from this historic lighthouse which is 105 tall.

Dine & Wine at Romantic Restaurants

Renato’s is the perfect place to start your holiday in pure European-style elegance in a courtyard with white table clothes and some of the best Italian cuisine. Other restaurants to add to your list include Café Boulud where Chef Daniel Boulud servers award-winning French cuisine. There are also the private dinner cruises offered by the Palm Breeze Charters, and upon return, you could have a couple of drinks at a tiki bar and a walk on the beach, but if you want to really prepare for this getaway, you might want to watch “The Palm Beach Story.”

America The Land of Apple Pie

It is said that decades ago when journalists asked soldiers in World War II, why they were fighting, the common slogan used by all was “For Mom and Apple Pie”, which then gave rise to the well-known phrase still used today “ As American as Motherhood and Apple Pie”

Apple Pie is the most classic of all desserts in America and while many think it humble, it is far from basic. Get to know all the ins and outs and you too can make the perfect apple pie, one soldier would be proud to battle for.

Apple Pie

Apple pie is greater than a heart-warming dessert that smells delicious and perfectly goes with a large scoop of ice cream, it’s traditional and it everyone in the US fondly remembers freshly baked apple pie. With several variations and twist to the traditional apple pie recipe, they all have one thing in common and that is that they all simply delicious. To make things easier pies can be baked by using the ready-made pie crusts refrigerated from Pillsbury or made from scratch.

Perfect Apple Pie Made With Refrigerated Pie Dough

You will need:

A large mixing bowl
The 9-inch glass pie plate

Apple Pie Ingredients

• One box Pillsbury pie crusts (refrigerated)
• ¾ of a cup of sugar
• ¾ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
• 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
• 6 cups of apples that have been thinly sliced and peeled
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
• 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

How to Bake American Apple Pie

First of all get the oven going as you will need a pre-heated oven of 425F before you can place the pie crust into an ungreased glass plate followed by pressing it firmly down on the bottom and sides.
In the larger bowl gently mix all the ingredients and spoon into the plate lined by the curst, once the ingredients are spooned into the crust, top with the second crust. The access crust can be cut off and the edges pressed together to seal.

Apple pie needs 40 to 45 minutes of baking and it is best to cover the edge of the crust with foil to prevent too much browning. Once the Apple pie is out of the oven it requires it a cooling down period of minimum two hours. To ensure cooling it is best to place the glass plate on a cooling rack and only when it is completely cool to the touch it is ready to be served.

Apple pie stays fresh for up to two days if it is wrapped in aluminium or plastic wrap once it is completely cooled down. Storage should take place at room temperature and the just baked freshness can be enjoyed for two days with ice-cream. (for best results heat up one slice at a time in the microwave but only for a few seconds just before serving it to your guest)

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.