Travel The World From The Comfort Of Home

Posted on January 29th, 2014 by Jean

Last week I was working very hard, and wanted to take a brief mental break throughout the day and night. I remembered someone saying, “Check out Mapcrunch. I’m so glad I did! Mapcrunch posts random street views anywhere in the world. Bonus: You can navigate them!
My first stop, a Japanese cemetery.
Japan Cemetery Mapcrunch
Then on to Cape Town, South Africa.
Cape Town South Africa
Mapcrunch even brings you inside places such as Saint Audoen’s Church in Dublin, Ireland.
Saint Audoens Dublin Ireland
What I like best about Mapcrunch is it’s ability to take me places I never knew existed.

Calle Tramo de Unión, Sevilla, Spain

Calle Tramo de Unión, Sevilla, Spain

Giant Rubber Ducky in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan

Giant Rubber Ducky in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan

Nail Salon in Moscow, Russia

Nail Salon in Moscow, Russia

Elbe Tunnel, Hamburg Germany

Elbe Tunnel, Hamburg Germany

So I highly recommend you try Mapcrunch to unwind and travel from your armchair.
Mapcrunch has another site called Instant Street View, perfect for visiting a specific destination! The kids and I have toured ….
Parthanon in Athens Greece

Parthenon in Athens Greece

Hint! Drop onto a blue dot to tour that area!
Instant Street View map

Instant Street View Map – Drag Little Person To Blue Dot To Visit Area

Queensland, Australia - Great Barrier Reef

Queensland, Australia – Great Barrier Reef

Vatican City

Vatican City

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

And even our own town!
Colorado River flows between Laughlin, Nevada and Bullhead City, Arizona

Colorado River flows between Laughlin, Nevada and Bullhead City, Arizona

I’ve started a Pinterest Board for our Mapquest and Instant Street View destinations, but we need your help! We’re running out of ideas!
• Where should the kids and I visit?
• Where will you visit?

Go, explore, enjoy, and share!

California Vacation ~ Part 1

Posted on October 17th, 2010 by Jean

Our family reunion/vacation has come and gone. It really flew by, as I knew it would. Our first day consisted of driving to Vegas, hopping on a plane, landing in Sacramento, renting a car, and checking into our hotel. At 4pm, we gathered at my brother’s house for my sister’s surprise birthday party hosted by our nine year old nephew. He had the dining room decked out in a Spider Man theme, and had personally made spidey cupcakes to compliment the bakery cake my Mom brought. High on a sugar rush, the kids played Wii games while we adults talked, laughed, and absorbed the warmth of family.

After the sun set, our rumbling stomachs insisted we toss down a sacrifice, so we gobbled burgers, nuggets and fries to appease them. We slept well in our new surroundings, but I dreamt of cutting open my pillow and removing half of the stuffing. I wasn’t meant to sleep with my chin resting on my chest, eyes staring at toes.
At 5am, we woke and began to kill time before contacting family. We drank coffee and fed the kids ramen noodles. The girls bathed, using the cinnamon-scented soaps and lotions. Tom retrieved plates of complimentary bacon and english muffins. Finally the hour was respectable enough to make a phone call, and we were soon in my parents’ kitchen. The girls wasted no time drawing pictures to adorn Grandma & Papa’s fridge.

At 11am, we caravanned to the Texas Roadhouse for lunch. I hadn’t heard of this fine establishment, but we were encouraged to throw peanut shells on the ground while the staff burst into spontaneous dancing. Birthday celebrants, such as my sister, are forced to sit on a saddle while patrons yell, “Yee Haw!” Don’t believe me? Watch the short video.

After a delicious lunch, we ventured over to the Jelly Belly Factory for a tour. The best part? Samples were handed out along the way. We tasted honey and plum beans and juicy pear centers.Family at Jelly Belly The pace was brisk, and we soon popped out at the Gift Shop. I couldn’t resist buying souvenir socks, water bottles, sour worms, and super fruit beans for the girls. Of course, I grabbed a bag of chocolate malt balls for myself. I love chocolate!
Still full from lunch and jelly bean snacks, we walked to a local pond, admiring the ducks & geese, and tossing them bread.
Returning to my brother’s, the kids entertained themselves with Wii until Uncle Jim performed an impromptu magic act. Tom got in at the end, and it was dueling card tricks to the astonishment of us all. Note to self: Learn a card trick!
We called it an early night because the next day we were heading to Six Flags.
To be continued.
• When was your last family reunion?
• Have you been embarrassed in a restaurant on your birthday?
• Know any card tricks?

San Diego Vacation – Day 3

Posted on July 26th, 2008 by Jean

Before heading home, we decided to visit the Wild Animal Park.
First stop, the Conservation Carousel.

Did I mention I forgot to put on sunscreen?
We were lucky to see a family of coots. Perhaps you’re familiar with all 3 stages.

In the Petting Kraal we were able to approach several deer species.

Tom managed to pet the deer without spilling a drop of beer.
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

I’m not sure of the correlation between Wild Animals and SpongeBob, but we donned our 4-D glasses for a really cool motion ride!

The movie took us on a journey to the bottom of the sea to snatch a wayward pickle. Let me tell you, being sprayed with pickle juice at the finale, well that was the icing on the spongecake!
Here is a beautiful gorilla that walked off after a man in the crowd wouldn’t stop barking.

We viewed these stunning macaws in the aviary.

We finally arrived at the Journey Into Africa Tour, a 2.5 mile (4 kilometer) tram ride.

Many wild animals roamed relatively free, while others had secluded habitats.

Cheetah was not roaming free.
The tram ride ends at Lion Camp. Look at this gorgeous fellow taking a siesta!
After seeing the wild animals, there was only 1 thing left to do: buy souvenirs!

Anybody have a carseat for a giraffe?
That concludes our San Diego trip. Thanks so much for coming along!