Italy Europe

Florence, Venice and Rome are at the top of the list for any visitors (tourist) to see, in this beautiful and marveled country of Italy.
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Venice The most Romantic City in the World

Venice can be a sightseer`s dream come true, only if you have planed and done a little bit of homework ahead of time. Since the city is made-up of more than 117 separate islands, specific sights should be planed prior to arrival. A couple of gems of interest that need mentioning, are the outlying islands of Murano, Burano and Tolerllo.

With much walking (with many footbridges to cross) or taking slow, expensive and often crowded water buses (called a Vaporetti) – it is recommended to stay near a convenient arrival and departure point, especially if you are traveling with more luggage than carry on bag.

Choosing a hotel near the sights you intend to see will save on your budget and time waiting on a water taxi. Also keep in mind if your hotel is on the mainland (around the district of Mestre), to reach the city, it will require a bus, taxi or train to cross the 4 km (2.5 miles) cause way.

For the romantics, early morning and late evening sets a scene more personal (due to the lack of huge tourists crowds during the day). Exploring a little further inland from the Grand Canal to find the typical Venice neighbourhoods, you will avoid the souvenir stand crowds and discover Venice`s authenticity. To find the true treasures of Venice, Explore and discover some of the lesser-Known sights on your own.

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Jones Gap State Park Marietta S.C. USA

As soon as you turn on to Jones Gap Road, your spirit is essentially woed.

Upon arrival there is one of two parking lots to choose from, and the driving is done, it is recommended to visit the office and learning center at the upper parking lot before deciding on either one.

Whether your intent is to Cycle, Hike, Picnic, Photography, Fishing, relax or just to bring the kids out to the learning center or playground to have some fun, You`ll instantly realize your nature adventure has just begun.

From the avid to experienced hikers that challenge these trails, the hikes are not for the squeamish at heart, it is imperative to purchase a trail map and orientate yourself with the colored trail markers before you start.

The dangers of rocky, slippery conditions, snakes, wildlife, fatigue, and sheer cliffs I must impart,
so don`t forget (or keep in mind) : Proper attire, a walking stick, plenty of water (if you have room in the backpack, a set of binoculars and first aid kit and maybe a snack), and to fill out a hiker registration form at the trail head on your journey before you depart.

The water constantly moving among the rocks is like a symphony to the ear,
when in reality, it`s literally nature`s livelihood we hear.

Jones Gap State Park Joins Caesar`s Head State Park to encompass over 13,000 acres with over 60 miles of trails for one to explore, with geographic marvels such as: Rainbow Falls, Jones Gap Falls, Dargan`s Cascade, Raven Cliff Falls, Hospital Rock, Weight Watchers Rock and the Rim of the Gap… you can return here  year after year and find another gem to adore.

For whatever reason or purpose you come to Jones Gap to achieve, you will most likely find it difficult to leave.

written by Michael Parker




Recomended Hiking Shoes

A good quality pair of hiking shoes will help keep your feet warm, wick away moisture and make for a much more enjoyable hiking experience. When hiking, we rely on our feet and ankles to keep us upright and moving. Be sure to take care of them with good foot gear! Here is a great selection of the best men’s hiking boots and women’s hiking boots so you can avoid a disaster like mine and enjoy your camping trip with proper foot wear.

Greening of the Mountains Festival Sylva N.C. USA

Sylva is the County Seat of Jackson County, situated amidst the Great Smoky Mountains. Sylva downtown, a Main Street community, has many restaurants and shops along its tree-lined streets.

Sylva, North Carolina is the hub of cultural activities and recreational resources. Downtown Sylva has independent businesses, unique restaurants, and quality events for families and visitors. we came to visit here during the festival and it was a very new experience to me.



The way  there was an amazing sight to see, you can`t remove your eyes from the window… the mountains in the background are amazing.

The Greening of the Mountains festival started the moment we parked our car at the nearby Blue Ridge Inn and exited the vehicle. The senses are inspired immediately by the sights, sounds and smells before me. There are two streets lined with canopies, vendors and one sound stage per street on main street and the west side street parallel with main street.

Starting on the west side street my mouth begins to water from the variety of smells coming from the many different food vendors. As we dive into the crowd of people, our eyes are dazzled by all the many different arts, crafts and agriculture exhibits. Nearing the sound stage (music stage) we have heard since first exiting our vehicle, we find a wonderful delight to the ears as a blue-grass band entertains with much enthusiasm.


After stopping to watch and listen and snap a few photos, Eden stops me from continuing on and asks me, “What is that?” I say,”What is what?”  She points to a child eating a Funnel cake. “You`ve never had one?” I asked, as she shakes her head no. “Oh-oh, what a treat you`re in for today”, I say smiling.

After a few seconds of looking around, a couple selling the Funnel cakes are spotted. After buying the 5$ treat, the expression on her exited face was priceless, and the cake was delicious as well.


Walking from the west side street we have to walk over a set of Rail-Road tracks to get to the main street side of the festival . At the mid point (halfway) of the tracks I paused, to reflect on just how important these tracks really were back in the day… the heart of towns being the tinny cities, the smalls roads being the veins, and the Rail Road tracks being the main arteries for the small towns.



Moving on to main street we find many more different and unique vendors, canopies, arts and craft exhibits.






Nearing the end of our journey, I just have to mention the nice surprise we received from First Baptist Church of Slyva, which was a cup of free popcorn for the two of us.



The court house is the most photographed area, it`s built on a hill high above all… and has very nice architecture.

Greening of the Mountains Festival Sylva N.C. USA

After a few pictures at the court house together and not far away from our starting point, I turned around and smiled and said to my self … there is a Sylva in many states, if only you know where to look.

Written by Michael Parker



Hotels in Sylva North Carolina USA 


very recommended hotel in Sylva North Carolina

Sylva Blue Ridge Inn motel is located in the Plott Balsam Mountains.

The motel is located less than 1 miles from U.S. Highway 74. Dillsboro town center is a 10 minute drive away.

Book Now Sylva Blue Ridge 


J. Verne Smith Park (Lake Robinson) Greer S.C. USA

Lake John Robinson in Greenville County is a 2,250 acre man-made lake on the South Tyger River operated by Greer Commission of Public Works. Public access is provided by a public boat ramp and fishing pier. Put in is a J. Verne Smith park.

Great idea to spend whole day Greenville South Carolina area. Nice view of mountains to North. Lake has a very little boat traffic, a few fishermen, lots of geese, blue heron and ducks. No overnight facilities at park, shelters, picnic tables and outdoor grills. It is very recommended to single or group travelers to park there for the  whole day or as a self lunch break, there is no shops at the park.

My first step was visiting Park Ranger office and it was quiet an experience. I met very warm rangers who explain me about the park and offer me to arrive when it is sunset, they said the park has different view in sunset and showed me some pic… WOW.

Then I went to the deck the view from there was amazing. If you didn`t come for fishing you just can just relax, have meditation, listen to music and when you become hungry, there are grills and you have fresh meal in seconds. For us was enough for the first time some fruits, coffee and Orange juice .

Location: Lake access is Mays Bridge Road of South Carolina Highway 101 a few miles North of Greer.



Recommended hotels in Greer south carolina

A corridor To the Heavens – J. Verne Smith Park (Lake Robinson) Greer S.C. USA

As I begin to walk along one of the many pathways ahead,
it is toward one of the many perfectly placed picnic tables I am being led.

With my coffee in hand I notice all of nature`s treasures beginning to unfold,
the rolling waves of water that turns into the rolling waves of mountains,
that turns into the rolling waves of clouds is within itself a magnificent site to behold.

The clarity of the water gives way to the lush greenery along the shore,
as the distant mountains that touch the beautiful skies silently whispers…
“remember me forever more”.

As a wasp inches itself closer with intrigue and some sort of purpose in mind,
as he flies away to a nearby budding flower, guess what else I find?
he flies from the flower and back to my seat to show me that beneath me, he too has a family to feed

If we`ll only look there is purpose and meaning in everyone and everything we meet,
and just like that… he planted within me, a seed.

written by Michael Parker

Recommended hotels in Greenville south carolina