Archive for June, 2008

Buy Local and Vacation Local, the Best in Staycations

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

In April we went on a beach vacation for 10 days in the Caribbean. With all the increases in airfare, I wondered how much the cost of the same airfare would cost today. Using the same itinerary, with the same two month advanced booking, on the same airline; the cost has increased by 67 percent, not including the extra charges for baggage. The only difference was traveling in September, hurricane season, instead of April, tail end of the peak season, another reason September should be less expensive. Now we all know airfare can change drastically from hour to hour but this gives an indication of how the airfares have increased.


So what is a person to do? When people start looking into vacation plans, what comes to mind is a week or two on an exotic beach, skiing in the mountains, Disney theme parks, a cruise or some other popular resort hot spot. With the price of gas and airfare increasing, maybe it is time to consider a different idea. One trend, “Staycations”, is vacationing closer to home.


With this in mind and a little research, it is easy to come up with many ideas to stay closer to home and save on the transportation costs. The idea here is to not only buy local but to vacation local. Local means anywhere you can get to on one tank of gas. Also consider instead of a full week or two once a year, try several long weekends. Anyway here are some thoughts on how to have a vacation at a reasonable price and help the local economy.


  • Adventure guided trips
  • Art shows
  • Bicycle tours
  • Big city shopping
  • Bird watching
  • Boat and canoe trips
  • Botanical gardens
  • Comedy acts
  • Factory tours
  • Festivals
  • Fishing
  • Flightseeing
  • Galleries
  • Ghost towns
  • Hiking
  • Historic places - great learning experience for kids
  • Luxury hotels
  • Monuments
  • Museums - another learning experience for kids
  • National and state parks
  • Natural hot springs
  • Play golf or tennis a couple hundred miles away
  • Rafting
  • Renaissance festival
  • Theater
  • Trail rides
  • Zoos


In very round numbers; a four day weekend could cost $100 for gas, $300 for lodging, and $200 for entertainment for a total of $600, not including food. Airfare for one person to some beach resort will be around $800 and add a second person, lodging and basic entertainment; the total could easily be $3000. Going locally saves $2400, enough for 4 more long weekends.


One place to start looking for specific locations is the state tourism web sites. Have a save and fun vacation at reasonable prices.

White Dove Releases or is it a Pigeon Release?

Monday, June 9th, 2008

The tradition of releasing white doves at weddings and funerals has become increasing popular. You may be surprised to know that white doves are domesticated birds that can not survive in the wild. These Ringneck Doves come in a variety of colors, are easily kept in captivity, have a gentle nature but don’t last long outside the cage. So why would anyone want to release these beautiful white doves knowing that their existence would be short lived.


To the rescue comes the white racing or homing pigeon. White racing pigeons and the white doves look much the same, the difference is mainly in size. Doves are smaller with pointed tails while pigeons are stockier with rounded tails. Most people will not be able to tell the difference.


So the popular white dove releases at special events are said to be “dove releases” but any ethical business will use the white racing pigeons. These racing pigeons will more easily survive after being released. These pigeons have been selectively bred to return home immediately after being released, safe and sound.


If you are planning a special event and want to symbolize the love, devotion, peace and unity of the white dove, always use a White Dove Release Professional and the white racing pigeons.