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Archives for July 2012

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Jamaica50 Giveaway

As you probably know, on August 6th, Jamaica celebrates 50 years of Independence from Britain.  Jamaica50 events that have been going on all year both here, in Jamaica, and internationally will culminate in a grand celebration on Independence Day.

You can join in the celebrations by participating in InsideJourneys’ Jamaica50Giveaway. It’s the first contest I’ve run and I’m pretty excited about it. Entering is simple.

Jamaica 50

Here are the mechanics:

Answer any one of the five questions below through the comment box. If you are selected the winner, you’ll receive $50.00 from me.

Four other entries will be selected at random to receive InsideJourney’s ebook, 50 Reasons to Visit Jamaica.

And, a late addition: 3 other prizes, drawn at random, will receive a beach bag, photo album or coffee mug from Sandals®.

The giveaway is open to everyone who has an email address. To be eligible for the first prize, you must have a Paypal account. Winners will be selected via

Here are the Questions:

1. What year did Jamaica become independent?
2. What country was Jamaica a colony of?
3. What are nationals of Jamaica called?
4. What is the capital of Jamaica?
5. What is Jamaica’s second city?

They are fairly easy questions and most of the answers may be found on this blog (hint: backread now!).


Emancipation Park dressed for Jamaica50

There Are Two Ways To Enter:

  1. Write the answer to the question you select in the comment box below. Like us on Facebook and let us know you did in the comment form or tweet this message, “Enter InsideJourney’s #Jamaica50Giveaway to #win $50.00! Ends 9/30” OR
  2. Write your answer to the question you select in the comment box below. Follow us on Twitter and tweet this to qualify: “Enter InsideJourney’s #Jamaica50Giveaway to #win $50.00! Ends 9/30”

DON’T FORGET THE HASHTAG! #Jamaica50Giveaway

The InsideJourneys’ Jamaica50Giveaway runs from July 31 to September 30, 2012. To qualify, all entries must be received by 11:59pm, EST on September 3oth.

Good luck! I am looking forward to all of your entries.

“Giveaway ends September 30th at 11:59 PM EST. Open to anyone with an email address.  First place winner must have a PayPal account.  Winners will be selected by and be notified by email. Winners have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Facebook and Twitter are in no way associated with this giveaway.  By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to me and me alone.  I do not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner.” a Rafflecopter giveaway

New York City: Library Way

New York City is full of little gems waiting to be discovered. Truthfully, though, we become so dazzled by the lights, mesmerized by the skyscrapers or are in such a mad rush to get from one place to the next that we miss some of the more obscure jewels that are in plain sight.

One such jewel is Library Way, a two-block long stretch of 41st Street between Fifth and Park Avenues that is a celebration of the written word. The project was born out of a partnership between the New York Public Library and Grand Central Partnership and was aimed at sprucing up the street.

Using passages from notable authors and artists as inspiration, over 40 unique bronze plaques created by the Andrews/Lefevre Studios  now grace the otherwise grey sidewalk.

They’re not hard to spot, these plaques, but you’d probably walk right over them during rush hour. And if you did happen to spot them then, you’d hardly be able to stop and read let alone photograph them because of the foot traffic.

[Read more…]

Menorca, an Island of Contrasts

Menorca is the second largest of the Balearic islands, and is ideal for the family seaside holiday, with a climate that offers 315 days of sunshine a year.  Life is slower and more peaceful on Menorca, compared to the highlife offered by the entertainment bars and clubs of Majorca and Ibiza.  Not many people know that Menorca has almost as many beaches as the two combined combined, so visitors are spoilt for choice.  The south coast offers a number of peaceful resorts, whilst if you favour a more rugged coastline, the little fishing villages of the north coast are likely to prove a greater attraction.

On the Beach offer all inclusive Menorca holidays with a wide range of choice, from hotels based in some of the livelier resorts like Cala Santandria, one of Menorca’s most popular areas,  to the relatively unknown little town of Binibeca, with its old and new towns, and narrow winding cobbled streets.  In contrast, Cala Santandria, with its golden beach at the end of a winding bay, offers lots of evening entertainment, and a great choice of restaurants and cafes, as well as efficient transport links to the old capital of the island, Ciutadella.

Some top tips for things to do and places to go on your Menorcan holiday :

·         Getting Around: as the island is largely flat, cycling is a great way to explore Menorca, not only for the dedicated cyclist, but also for families enjoying a day out together.  Not only do you get fit, but you save the expense of taxis or car hire! Cycling tracks traverse the island, and offer the opportunity to visit some beautiful little hidden bays, or to enjoy the spectacular views from the cliff tops of the north coast.

·         Eating out: of course you can expect that fish and seafood is a speciality of most Menorcan restaurants, and culinary treats not to miss during your visit include the  local dish, “caldereta de llagosta”, a delicious lobster stew.  In even the smallest villages you are likely to find a bar serving delicious salads with fresh prawns, but for the most popular bars and restaurants you need to visit the Placa d’Espanya in Mahon, or explore the eateries lining the harbor and waterfront.  For a more unusual dining experience, chose one of the trogolodyte restaurants carved into the cliffs of Ciutadella.

·         Places to visit: the town of Ciutadella is one of oldest towns in Menorca, first established by the Romans.  Wander the attractive narrow winding streets of the old town, visit the cathedral, and the Palace Torre Saura.  Mahon, still a busy and thriving port, is the walled capital of the island, situated in a dramatic position at the end of a large natural harbor.   It is crammed with interesting architecture, from gracious streets of bow-windowed 18th century houses and the remains of early Christian basilicas, to a military prison used by the British when they occupied the island.  Amongst the earliest tourists to Menorca were Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton.

New York for Kids

New York City is a great place for kids. Before my nieces and nephews got to the age when they didn’t want to hang out with me anymore, I’d plan a range of activities and let them choose which ones they wanted to do. Here are the ones that never failed to amuse, educate or surprise them, and entertain their somewhat slightly jaded auntie.

Sony Wonder Technology Lab: Hands down, Sony Wonder is one of my favorite places to take kids. This gem of a museum might seem a bit out of place among the ritzy shops and office buildings that line Madison Avenue but inside there are treats for kids and adults alike. Highly immersive, you log in when you arrive and a profile is created for you. At the end of the visit, you get a certificate listing all the exhibits you interacted with. You get to see how communications technology developed, feel what it’s like to perform open-heart surgery, mix music, build computer games, and other activities. There’s also a high definition theater that shows feature films on Saturdays.

Admission to Sony Wonder museum and high definition theater is FREE however, reservations are recommended. Sony Wonder Technology Lab is located at Sony Plaza, 555 Madison Avenue at 56th Street. Hours: 9:30 – 5:30 pm, Tuesday to Saturday. Closed Sundays, Mondays and major holidays. 212-833-8100.

Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum If your little ones are interested in planes, helicopters or space ships, the Intrepid is the museum to visit. The Intrepid offers an array of interactive exhibits from aircraft carriers to space ships, to supersonic jet simulations, that will keep your kids entertained and educated at the same time. Two days ago, on July 19th, the new Space Pavilion featuring the Enterprise, NASA’s first space shuttle, opened at the Intrepid. (I saw the Enterprise in 1983, I can’t wait to see it again up close.) The day I took my nephew to the Intrepid, we also saw the Aurora 7. I was shocked how small the interior was. The highlight of the visit for me was riding in the jet simulator. What a cool experience! Also at the Interpid is the Concorde.

Intrepid Air, Sea and Space Museum, 700 W 46th Street at 12th Avenue, 212-245-0072. Hours (Spring/Summer): Monday-Friday, 10-5; Weekends and Holidays 10-6. Winter Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10-5; Closed some Mondays, Thanksgiving and Christmas Days. Admission: Adults $24; Children (3-6) $12 and (7-17) $19. With admission to the newly opened Space Pavilion, tickets are $30, $16, and $23 respectively. Check the website for ticket prices for seniors, the military, veterans, and students with IDs. You’ll save $2 if you purchase online. Or buy a New York Pass, which will grant you free entry to several museums and landmarks.

New York for Kids - Barbie house at Toys R Us

New York for Kids – Barbie house at Toys R Us

Toys R Us Times Square: If you love your kids, you’ll want to take them to Toys R Us; if you love your kids, you’ll not take them to Toys R Us because they’re going to want everything they see. When you pass through the revolving door to this cavernous 110,000 square foot store, you’ll spot toys and games and the 60-foot Ferris wheel even before the photographer snaps your photo (you can decline). It’s as if you’ve just landed on the red carpet! Head to the escalator or take the elevator to the 4,000 square foot Barbie house, or the life-sized T-Rex at their Jurassic Park or take a ride on the Ferris wheel. Toys R Us Times Square is ginormous and your kids will have a whale of a time. Wear comfortable shoes, pack your patience, be prepared to pull out the plastic often. Just don’t get carried away.

Toys R US, 1514 Broadway at 44th Street. Hours: Monday-Thursday 10 a.m to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturdays until 11 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. 646-366-8800.

Have fun in New York City!