Month: June 2016

Singing the blues: Lone Star Revue tour winds down

Traveling blues guitarist Charles Baty (“Little Charlie and the Nightcats”) and his fellow musicians with the Golden State-Lone Star Revue are nearing the end of their June tour through a few midwestern burgs (is Chicago a burg?). He and band members Mark Hummel, R.W. Grigsby, Wes Starr and Anson Funderburgh started in Indiana, headed across Illinois and Wisconsin with a drop into Nebraska and Minnesota. Night after night, they turned clubs and theaters into steamy joints with their blues. But when not playing this seemed to be a food-focused tour! Pizza, Greek food, pizza, steaks, pizza, cognac ice cream…....

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Busy bee in Hamburg’s Planten un Blomen garden

A visit to the Planten un Blomen Garden on your Hamburg tour is a must, whether you are a flower and garden lover, adore open spaces, enjoy dancing water fountains, or just want a nice place for a stroll or picnic. Now, not many non-Germans head there – obvious in the fact that the official Hamburg tourism website doesn’t have the garden’s page translated into English!

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Red eye to hot blues: Off to Mishawaka and the Midwest

It is heating it up again in the Midwest with our writer taking a red eye to hot blues. Traveling blues guitarist Charles Baty (“Little Charlie and the Nightcats”) and his fellow musicians have rendezvoused again, kicking off the short tour in Mishawaka, Ind., at The Midway Tavern. HI Travel Tales will run occasional musings from Baty, as we did in the spring. (Click here to see his most recent post, as well as links at the bottom to other Baty road diaries.) This jaunt, Baty seems to be focused on food! Pizza, pizza, pizza? With the Golden State-Lone Star Revue blues tour,...

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Lost in Translation: Funny Chinese English on warning signs

The eleven signs with funny Chinese English in this post are part of our second offering in a series of stories on funny Chinese-to-English translation fails. If you missed it, be sure to check out “Lost in Translation: Fire warnings become funny Chinese signs.” Now, without further ado, funny Chinese signs with extremely humorous translation fails focused on warning the public about something or other.

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National parks trip planner: 12 one-day adventures

President Barack Obama made a history-making national parks trip with his family to Yosemite in June 2016 – just ahead of the National Park Service’s centennial anniversary to be celebrated on Aug. 25, 2016. As children and teens, the team at HI Travel Tales had the opportunity that many children do not — to make many national parks trips. That perhaps has given us a love and appreciation of what you can learn from the outdoors. As President Obama noted about his visit as a child to Yellowstone National Park in his Yosemite speech: “I remember being an 11-year-old...

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Lost in Translation: Fire warnings become funny Chinese signs

Chinese English translation fails are legendary and the stuff that inspires countless online spoofs, digital highlights, published humor books and even plays. You don’t have to spend more than a few hours in China before funny Chinese signs and translations begin to leap out at you inspiring raised eyebrows, giggles and even outbursts of laughter. And while we were told by a local that there was an official Chinese government office in charge of vetting and approving English translations, it’s staff apparently needs to spend more time actually learning English rather than how to work Google translate.

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Sunrise on the Thompson River in Kamloops, Canada

Taking the Rocky Mountaineer train across Canada means early starts and, sometimes, long days too. But what better way to experience the morning than slithering out of Kamloops on the Rocky Mountaineer train on a unique scenic journey along the Thompson River.

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Travel to Panama: Wildly surprising for families

Think of travel to Panama, and if you are like most, visiting the great big Panama Canal comes to mind. Take a minute, though to give Panama a closer look. Aside from the Panama Canal, the country boasts equal parts lush rainforest, exotic wildlife and pristine ocean beaches — without the Costa Rica crowds. And it is an ideal destination for traveling families.

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A Road Trip: Refuge of the roads

Leaving home, hitting the road, casting oneself into uncertainty and danger, discovering the unknown, seeing one’s reflection in the landscape and the sky—these have been the stimuli and the “itch” that have propelled writers, artists and thinkers to abandon home, family and security and set out alone, across the seas, over the mystic mountains or out on a road trip.

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Pacsafe Travelsafe X15 anti-theft portable safe

As an increasing number of electronic devices, computers and cameras get toted along on our travels, the more we have come to see the value in packing along a little extra security for our valuables. Security that comes in the form of a Pacsafe Travelsafe X15 anti-theft portable safe. Holidays and travel are hopefully a utopian experience. Unfortunately, opportunistic criminals can quickly wipe away the smiles and good times if a traveler is not focused on safety. In a hotel room or other accommodation, that means securing your valuables when you are not there to watch over them. But...

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Spending Money in China: How to shop, bargain and tip

When it comes to spending money in China as a traveler, there are any number of strategies, insights and challenges. Do you tip? How much should you bargain and where? How much is too much to spend for something? As we noted in our article about getting money in China (“Travel Guide to Managing Money in China”), dealing with the necessity of using and spending money in a foreign country is always a challenge. But it’s not a challenge that cannot be mastered smartly with a little thought and preparation.

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