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New England – video Prayer stones

Oh, just when you thought that New England was all about pretty ‘English’ early American architecture, or just the place where the claim chowder came from, think again. New England was ‘discovered’ and populated well and truly before the English came around.

Review this video, for example. It features an unusual sight that is of interest to New England’s locals and tourists alike. They are the sight of the ancient stone structures built by native Americans in the woods of Southern New England.

The United Southern & Eastern Tribes (USET) calls them Ceremonial Stone Landscapes.
They are characterized by dry stone walls, rock piles (cairns), stone chambers, unusually-shaped boulders, split boulders with stones inserted in the split, and boulders propped up off the ground with smaller rocks.

USET about the sites:
“For thousands of years before the immigration of Europeans, the medicine people of the USET Tribal ancestors used these sacred landscapes to sustain the people’s reliance on Mother Earth and the spirit energies of balance and harmony”.

S.E. of France: Top 10 Places to Visit

By Vera Lang

Looking for places to visit in the South East of France? Well, I would not skip the Cote d’Azur as it’s a special place. If you’re traveling by train from Italy back to the UK, you’ll most likely pass right through it.

Top 10 Destinations in SE France

(places in order of driving from Italy;
not ranked as best to worse)

1. Monaco: casino & nearby garden with meat eating plants

2. Nice: various impressionist art museums.

3. Nice old town. It’s beautiful and filled with fun little shops and places to eat. Did you know that the streets are narrow as a natural ‘air conditioning’-system for the town; not because towns at that time were build that way….

4. St. Paul de Vence: the world famous Maeght Foundation museum; and the fantastic old town itself. Walk along the outskirts of the town and make sure you get a coffee with a view. Gorgeous view, gorgeous town, gorgeous art everywhere!

5. Antibes: see the old market, and the old fort where Picasso used to work (there’s a Picasso museum now), and of course the wonderful harbour. Eat fish in the old town.

6. Villefranche: the Musee Renoir there was the artist’s home for the last twelve years of his life.

7. Biot is an ancient town known for its pottery. Very pittoresquely set on a mountain top.

8. Cannes: old town and harbour side. Gorgeous. Have a wonderful meal on a terrasse with ocean view and enjoy the sun, year round.

9. Grasse: visit the parfume factories and their nearby flower fields

Go beyond this, and drive for a couple of hours more and you’ll be in ..

10. Comptes: a town in inland Provence which is ‘in the middle of nowhere’. In the Auberge you can get a beautiful room and a wonderful 3-course meal that is just unbelievable for its location. Besides the auberge, the pub, the police station, a shop and the great, region-serving bakery, there’s nothing there, … oh besides, of course, its tower church. Beautiful hiking trails nearby. A once in a lifetime experience to be in a town where nothing seems to happen. Therefore, the road is just 1 horse (car) wide. There are campsites/ chambres d’hote not too far out of town.

For the coastal destinations 1-8, I’d find a campsite near Antibes and take daytrips to the other towns. All towns can be reached by train/bus.

There you have it. A great top 10 in the south east of France.

Your Motor Home Camping in America’s National Parks

By Andrew Stratton

Those of us who live in the States are lucky. We have one of the best National Park systems in the world. We also have fast, efficient Interstates that will take you close enough to most of them that you don’t have to worry about off-roading in your RV!

But what makes those parks so great is really the breathtaking natural beauty that is preserved there. Every place in the world has its unique sights to see, but you just can’t beat standing on the south rim of the Grand Canyon watching the sun go down.

Here is a brief introduction to 3 of America’s oldest and still best national parks, Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Great Smoky Mountains.

Yellowstone National Park – Southern Montana and Northern Wyoming

Yellowstone is the first, and many consider the greatest National Park in the United States. It’s a wonderland of spouting geysers, unique rock formations and other leftover evidence of a massive volcanic explosion over 600,000 years ago.

Don’t worry, it’s all cooled off now. At Yellowstone, you can see the world’s most famous geyser, Old Faithful. Early settlers thought it was a noxious spew from hell itself, but nowadays we know it’s just a geothermal process, but that doesn’t make it any less interesting.

Yellowstone has a reputation for being crowded, and it’s true that it’s a popular destination. If you really want to see the park, park your motor home and hike off the beaten path. Yellowstone has lots of great hiking trails, more than enough for everybody to enjoy without crowding each other. There are plenty of day hikes with spectacular views.

Yellowstone has at least 12 different campgrounds, and they’re all first come, first served. Before you go, you’ll want to call ahead and see about fire restrictions. If you’re with the family and you want to stick to some luxurious digs, there are KOA’s and other commercial campgrounds just outside the park with more modern conveniences where you can park your motor home or RV.

Yosemite National Park- Eastern California

Yosemite is another one of the oldest national parks in the United States. The wilderness of Yosemite represents all kinds of terrain, including meadows, valleys, mountains and great forests, and it’s not too far from San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Probably the most amazing thing about Yosemite is the waterfalls. It has more waterfalls than any other single place on earth. Steep cliffs of granite abound, and from certain points in the valley you can see seven or eight big ones at once. It may be tempting, but don’t try swimming in the pools, because the force of the water can knock you senseless.

Yosemite also boasts one of the biggest forests of sequoias in the world. These ancient trees stand tall, their tips pushing way up into the sky, like the California Redwoods.

There are 13 campgrounds in Yosemite National Park, and some of them accept camping cars, trailers, motor homes and RV’s. If you plan on heading to Yosemite, it’s best to call ahead and make a reservation. In the summer months, the campgrounds fill up quick.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park – The North Carolina and Tennessee Border

If you like the outdoors, Great Smoky has it all. There are more hiking trails than probably any other area in the US, as well as great fishing and camping. Compared to the parks out west, you’ll see lots more wildlife and plants. Also unlike the west, the weather is mild and there’s plenty of humidity to keep you from dehydrating.

Another reason to head for the Smokies is to experience real, authentic Appalachian mountain culture. There’s mountain music, storytellers, and all kinds of family fun.

Great Smoky is also a great place for RV drivers, because there are lots of auto tours. The park boasts roads where you can see great views, old historic buildings and vast forests as far as the eye can see.

Of course, this is just a basic introduction. You have to see these parks to believe them. These are definitely three places you want to hit at least sometime in your life.

See the States coast to coast in your home on wheels. Your family motor home lets you travel in style. Visit Bankston Motor Homes,, to search for your next motor home or come by and visit with us at any of our five locations.

US National Parks That’ll Blow your Mind

By Mike Selvon

No matter which of the US national parks you choose to visit, you will discover intriguing wildlife and breathtaking scenery.

grand canyon arizona - photo by Nina Briski

There are a handful of parks, however, that offer things that you won’t find anywhere else.

From the Grand Canyon in Arizona to the stunning gorges of northern New York, the United states offers some spectacular natural scenery. Enjoy this brief journey through those parks.

Everything about California’s Yosemite National Park is big. The park itself is roughly the size of Rhode Island. The Sequoia trees are absolutely humongous, while the El Capitan is the world’s largest granite monolith, standing 3,593 feet tall.

If you really want to see Yosemite in all of its glory, make your way to Glacier Point. You will see the incredible Half Dome, as well as the grand Yosemite Valley. Everything about the park makes it one of our national treasures, a gem of our US national parks system.

Yellowstone National Park was the very first US national parks and the prototype of many future parks. Home to nearly 300 geysers including the infamous Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone sits atop an active volcano bed centered over Yellowstone Lake which has been theorized to erupt only a few times over the past two million years.

Hot springs, steam vents, and waterfalls heated by the lava flows just beneath the surface provide extraordinary scenery for any visitor of the US national park. Life still teems in every corner of this hostile environment.

From the colorful micro-organisms found at Mammoth Hot Springs to the bald eagles soaring overhead, Yellowstone proves that life can propagate anywhere.

Upon first glance, the Grand Canyon National Park seems to be the ripped off of an alien planet and dropped in northern Arizona. The canyon itself is a wonder to behold unmatched by anything else in the national parks system.

Carved out by the winding Colorado River, some parts of the canyon are a mile deep and eighteen miles wide creating multi-colored vistas revealing the Earth’s prehistoric past.

The south rim is where most of the more popular scenery can be found because it is the most easily accessible. The north rim is a much longer drive but has been touted by many explorers to have the best views of the canyon inside this beauty of US national parks.

The canyon is the main event for this park but there are plenty of side shows to explore: ride the rapids down the Colorado River, explore the Hermits Rest history landmark, or hike in the backcountry to discover your own secret part of the Grand Canyon. Whatever you do here, you will leave with new respect of the grandeur of nature.

These US national parks are but a select few from the national parks system that defy the definition of what is a national park and treads into a territory of wonder.

There are many spectacular parks to visit, each with its own beauty and wonder. Exploring nature and parks around the country is a wonderful way to learn of history and respect for the environment.

About the Author

National Parks can be an intriguing and beautiful experience for anyone. Learn more about the US national parks at Mike Selvon portal. While you are there leave is a comment at our National Park blog, and receive your FREE gift.

Queensland, Beautiful One Day, Perfect The Next -1

By John Morrad

Brisbane itself is a thriving cosmopolitan city of about 1.2 million people, situated in Queensland’s South East.

It is the fastest growing area in Australia, famed for its relaxed, easy going lifestyle and its wonderful climate.

Al fresco dining here is as good as anywhere in the world with superb seafood, locally caught, being the order of the day and whether you want to eat “5 star” or “fish and chips” style you’ll find something to tempt your taste buds.

A small city by comparison to it’s southern counterparts (Sydney and Melbourne), Brisbane has everything the visitor could possibly want (except snow, you’ll never be able to ski in Brissie!!).

The climate is superb, winter days are generally quite warm with sunny blue skies and no rain, summer can get very hot and humid, sometimes with severe thunderstorms in the evening.

Take a coach ride to the famous Gold Coast or the Sunshine Coast , both less than an hour away, and spend a day or two on the best beaches in the world, (at least that’s my opinion), enjoy the surf, soak up the sun, chat to the locals, they’re all very friendly and they’ll tell you the best places to eat, dance, and have fun.

Stay at the Hilton or the Sheraton for 5 star luxury, or go to one of the local backpacker inns and receive a good clean bed in very safe and friendly surroundings, Brisbane has both, as well as a good supply of accommodation which fits between the two extremes.

To find the best, and cheapest places to eat, what’s on in town this week, gigs, movies, live theatre, the best bars and so on try here , you’ll find all you need to know.

In the central coastal region of Queensland is a collection of 74 beautiful islands, only 8 of which are inhabited and, together with the adjoining coast they make up The Whitsundays.

Approximately seventy percent of the region is national forest and marine park, protected by legislation.

Stunning beaches and spectacular rainforest where many species of native birds, mammals and reptiles abound.

Local estuaries and wetlands that meander inland from the coast to the Proserpine River are also a feature.

The Whitsundays are unique, exotic and spectacularly beautiful – one of those rare and unforgettable places where Mother Nature is at her best, and where there is nature, there is adventure.

The Whitsundays experience is indeed something extraordinary, particularly when it comes to outdoor adventure and recreational activities, offering something for everyone.

On the islands you can indulge yourself in all the creature comforts you could want, sip cocktails while sitting on the beach alone or around the pool with friends, pamper yourself with a relaxing massage or party into the night with a loved one.

You choose.

Most of the islands cater for families as well as couples, many offering such delights as ‘kids clubs’ with organised activities, a boon for frazzled parents who just would like some time to indulge themselves. Whether you visit Daydream Island, renown for its world class spa, Hamilton with its 10 restaurants, 7 swimming pools and more than 40 activities or Hayman’s five star luxury surrounded by calm crystal clear water, whether its Long Island ( perhaps the prettiest of them all ) with its 20 kilometres of beautiful bush walks or casual and relaxed South Molle, you’ll find great food, from silver service to ‘cheap eats’, cocktails and cold beer ( an Aussie icon ) and enough entertainment to keep you amused or wear you out.

If you’re going to the Whitsundays let’s not forget the mainland where the dining and entertainment options centre around Airlie Beach.

The food is excellent, clubs and bars are plentiful and the shopping is as good as anywhere.

Every Saturday the Airlie foreshore and parkland transforms into a bustling market with stalls selling fresh fruit and veges, local arts and crafts and all manner of goods under the shade of the coconut palms.

Airlie Beach is lined with unique shopping experiences from clothing to jewellery to gifts.

There is a range of diverse shops, most opening all day, every day, into the early evening.

Most of the islands have kiosks selling basic provisions for any unexpected holiday needs and some of the larger islands also have general stores to allow for self-catering if desired.

All the islands have gift shops or boutiques to satisfy all of your shopping cravings.

— Check back tomorrow for Part – 2

About the Author

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Things to Do in Lake Tahoe

Still want to go to the snow?


By Sam Berman

For a location known primarily for best of class skiing Lake Tahoe offers an amazing choice of activities. Even though outdoor activities are the most most familiar ways to have fun there are so many indoor activities that everyone is sure to find something to please.

Let’s start with the casinos. Most of the Nevada side casinos, including MontBleu Casino, offer a full range of activities besides gambling. Also featured are top live shows, truly fine dining and every kind of shopping.

Hiking has always been among the favorite activities at Tahoe in the warmer months. The Mount Tallac/Glen Alpine trail offers a six mile hike to a breathtaking vista of Lake Tahoe, Fallen Leaf Lake and the High Sierra. For the truly adventurous there is the Tahoe Rim Trail which, at 152 miles, completely circles the lake and provides some of the most jaw dropping landscapes to be seen anywhere in the world.

For a glimpse into the heritage of the Lake Tahoe area try the Thunderbird Lodge, begun in 1936, which started out to be a vacation resort, but as the building went on the eccentric owner found himself more and more interested in the indigenous history, the flora and fauna of Tahoe. The site was eventually sold to the US Forest Service and the mansion remains as the last and best example of a great individual residence in the area.

For those interested in the natural wildlife of Tahoe no stay could be complete without a stop at Eagle Lake, famous for the wild Eagles often spotted at the lake. It can get very busy on weekends so plan to arrive early.

Additional leading hiking trails typically include Echo Lakes offering an easy to moderate trail past both the lower and upper Echo Lakes and many other smaller lakes along the way. An even easier choice is the Rainbow Trail which is a handicapped-accessible, paved trail and features many signs by the walkway creating a self-guided tour.

Another great view point that isn’t well known is the Stateline Fire Lookout just a 45 minute hike off the road. The lookout area is cleared so nothing obstructs the alluring views that are worth the easy walk.

A beautiful way to enjoy the lake if you enjoy biking is the Ring Around the Lake bike trail. At 72 miles you will probably just select one portion to do.

While we’re talking about the lake we must mention the Dixie Queen paddlewheel boat providing daytime and dinner cruises. The Dixie Queen offers a fun and memorable bring out of any trip to the Lake.

If you want the ultimate in views with very little effort then check out the Squaw Valley Tram. The tram runs year round from Squaw Village up to the observation facility, restaurant and swimming pool build for the 1960 Winter Olympics. Heavenly also offers an thrilling Tram ride operating all year.

This list should not be considered close to complete. I haven’t even touched on many of the other popular adventures such as hot air balloon rides and, of course, the main winter attraction of downhill skiing and boarding.

With so many fun adventures awaiting you why are you sitting there reading this article? Go have some fun. Go find some Tahoe fun!

Vacation Rentals 4 Lake Tahoe ( offers a complete resource for Tahoe fun and adventure.