Jul 23

Mountain bike ride at Brown County State Park

We’ve raved about the trails at Brown County before, about how well they’re designed, about their rhythm and flow, about the way they’re nearly impervious to rain, even heavy rain. In keeping with that theme, we’ll rave again. These trails look like they’ve been part of the landscape forever. The beginner trail has been open only about six months, and the intermediate loop for just a couple of months. But they’re packed down, bedded in, and look like they’ve been in place for years, not months.
That’s due in part to the traffic volume. These trails get gobs of use. Lots of use equals lots of packing. It’s also due to intelligent design. When trails are designed properly, they fit their surroundings and become one with those surroundings. It’s the Zen of trails.

Continue reading

Jul 21

Things to do in Chiapas, Mexico

Fascinated by Mexico, but tired of the tourist hordes on the beaches of Acapulco, Cancun and Puerto Vallarta? Spend your next Mexico vacation in Chiapas, Mexico’s best kept travel secret!

Beautiful Chiapas Mexico Get “off the beaten path,” to experience the real Mexican culture without the tourist trappings and distracting crowds of fellow U.S. and European travelers.
Chiapas is a place rich with Mexican and Native American cultures, alluring mountains, ancient pre-Columbian cities, beautiful lakes, and spectacular waterfalls in bird filled tropical forests that rival the best of Costa Rica. Continue reading

Jun 12


I decided to spend our Christmas holiday in Xiamen and Guangzhou, China. It was our first time to celebrate the season away from home. We purchased our airline tickets and hotel accommodations through our local travel agency.

We arrived at the airport in Xiamen, China for about 2-½ hours flight from Manila, Philippines via China Southern Airlines. Set meals were served minutes after take off. Upon arrival at the airport, passport, visa and customs check went incredibly smooth and fast.Getting from the airport to Xiamen downtown was really easy. We took a taxicab and just showed the driver our address written in Chinese. (If you’re a foreigner, be prepared about the language barrier challenges.) As for us, we were like boy scouts ready for everything. And my hubby speaks a little Mandarin, so it’s a plus for us.) The taxi fare cost us around Y50 from Xiamen Airport to Zhenhai Road. (All taxis and other public transportation are non-airconditioned during the winter season.)

Continue reading

Jun 09

Exploring the culture of Chiapas

Food: In addition to the traditional Mexican fare of tacos, beans and tortillas, Chiapas offers several wonderful specialties including stewed lamb or baked chicken with “mole,” a spicy sauce made with chilies and usually chocolate. Street vendors sell delicious food, especially hot buttered corn. There are vegetarian restaurants and menus in the cities. You can take it easy on your North American stomach by avoiding or cutting down on very spicy condiments and salsa (“sin picante, por favor”). For breakfast, some restaurants offer “Americano”style scrambled eggs with ham or bacon, toast and delicious local coffee. Continue reading

May 05

The documents required to get into India

All foreign nationals require a visa to enter India, although there are some relaxations for Bhutanese and Nepalese nationals.

Instructions for applying for a visa

The instruction and information given here is general in nature. We recommend that you visit the website of the Indian Mission for your country for specific information.

Requirements for Indian visa:

  • Passport valid for a minimum of six months beyond the date of intended departure from India should accompany visa applications.
  • Paste one photo and staple the other one on the form at the specified place.
  • Foreigners holding other nationalities (other than the country where applying for visa), should submit proof of long-term (at least three years)/ permanent residence in the country (where applying). For citizen of other countries, a reference has to be made to their country of residence for which an additional fee is applicable and will involve extra processing time.

Continue reading