How to Plan an Awesome Family Trip to New York City

New York

Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Every family that has an opportunity to visit the Big Apple should be sure to take advantage of it. However, it can be very stressful managing your family in this bustling metropolis, especially navigating the many options for entertainment and fun. Every family will have different needs and interests, so be sure to keep in mind the tastes of your individual family members, and be ready to compromise. Here are some more tips on making the most of your family vacation in New York City.

First, consider your family members’ interests and check out the major locations that meet your needs. There are famous museums like the Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as world-renowned landmarks like the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty. If you try to do them all, however, you will burn out and have a less than stellar time. Keep in mind the distance between activities and locations and plan accordingly.

One way to maximize the number of sights that you can see is by using an organized tour service. Look into double-decker buses as well as walking tours and ferries. All of these options allow your family to conveniently see a number of interesting things without the stress of organizing your own routine. If you choose to tour the city by yourself, consider using public transportation to save time and money. Otherwise, stick to taxis, as parking in New York City is inconvenient and costly.

Finally, don’t over-schedule your trip, and leave yourself opportunities for surprises and spontaneity. You may spot a TV show being filmed, or take part in a public art project like Sing for Hope, which installs street pianos in new york city. Stay open to trying new kinds of cuisine and checking out smaller establishments, off the beaten track. You will find that, contrary to some old stereotypes, New York City can be a very friendly place for tourists, provided you follow the usual rules of pedestrian etiquette on the streets. If you’re staying at a hotel, ask your concierge for tips.

Your family can have a great time visiting New York City as long as you plan well but stay flexible. Choose a few major trips, considering joining a tour, and look out for surprising opportunities. And don’t forget to take pictures!

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The Moth

moth

This photo of a moth perched on the side of our big aquarium was taken months ago. I just found the picture on the files of my computer, where it was long forgotten, lol. I hope I gave justice to the image taken with my canon digital camera. I got interested with this little creature, as it was kind of beautiful, weird and creepy, the hairy body and antenna plus the second short transparent wings on the head besides the main wings on the body. Well, it’s not very common to see this kind of insect everyday, in fact this was my first time to see one alive. I think it has a very short life span that’s why.

I searched the internet as to what kind of moth is this through google images and the closest I got was Gypsy moth, but not that close either, I feel like a newbie pianist looking for a beginner piano with this insect, lol. I think I need to review my Biology book or go back to my Science subject.  🙂

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Keeping the kids busy during rainy days

No typhoon but Low Pressure Area (LPA) is making the week until weekend raining non-stop. Two days in a row that classes were suspended and you know how it is for parents like us, with kids around the house, chaos and riot, lol. They can’t get out of the house because of the rain and we know how restless they can be, haha. They will play in a while and later will get tired and will try to find something to keep them busy again. They can watch TV or play with their gadgets, but of course we can injected something constructive to tap some of their hidden talents. Like playing musical instruments as guitar from tyler tx or practice singing via videoke machine. So many talented singers without any formal singing lesson were discovered because of this.

photo credit: rabotavuk.com

photo credit: rabotavuk.com

Artworks to keep them busy too. Anyways, back to the kids, always make their free time worthwhile and it will be both beneficial for them and for us parents too.

A low pressure system has lower pressure at its center than the areas around it. Winds blow towards the low pressure, and the air rises in the atmosphere where they meet. As the air rises, the water vapor within it condenses forming clouds and often precipitation too.  source: scied.ucar.edu/shortcontent/highs-and-lows-air-pressure

Tips on picking the right contractors for home remodeling

exterior remodeling

Renovating a home is a big emotional and financial investment. You may have to invest long hours in your project if you are personally involved in decision-making. Having knowledge of what to expect will help you become well prepared before the project begins. Here are tips on how to pick the right home remodeling contractors.

1. What is our schedule?
A functioning schedule should include chores and timing to give you a better view of targets and progress for things like countertops and tiles. Setting a schedule provides a point of reference for you to know when things are going wrong. Plans for baths and kitchens must have a schedule. Make sure you have a schedule that indicates the days and times your workers will be working.

2. Who will be here every day?
Many renovators use top carpenter system where superintendents work daily on site. The size and organization of the company you employ will determine who will be on site every day. Your contractor should inform you of who will be in charge of opening and closing, supervising sub-contractors, and who to communicate with on daily basis in case you want to make inquiries.

3. How will you protect my property?
This should be one the first questions to ask before hiring a home remodeling contractor. Your remodeling contractor should provide a plan on how the area to be renovated will be accessed and protected from damage. Consider taking away all books, drapes, furniture, paintings, and delicate vases from the renovation site.

4. How will you communicate with me?
Make sure you agree on the means of information that you and your contractor will use. Consider scheduling meetings with your contractor to meet them personally and get answers to your questions.

5. What will happen if there is a change order?
The best way of filing a change order is through writing. Changes in work schedule and costs should be recorded in writing and signed by you and the contractor. Ensure you have a plan for managing changes in work schedule or costs.

home remodeling

Make sure you have copies of inspection reports, marked-up plans, lien releases, and other end-of-project paperwork once the renovation project has been completed. In addition, ask the contractor for operating manuals for installed equipment, a list of subcontractors and their contact information, and a well-marked electrical panel. These documents will be invaluable for future reference.

Citronella plant as mosquito repellent

Citronella looks like an ordinary grass plant, but did you know that it can repel mosquitoes that bring Dengue and other diseases? Yes it does according to studies, mosquitoes hate its smell and is also used as ingredient in some insect spray product.

citronella

Rainy season have started and of course, this is the time when mosquitoes breed often due to stagnant waters left by the rains, even if we clean the surroundings, we are not 100 percent sure that we can get rid of this pest. So we have to be vigilant in protecting our loved ones from these dreaded disease-carrying mosquitoes.

citronella2

And a safe and effective shield is the citronella plant, a do-it-yourself repellent you can make at home like what I did. My niece sent me these citronella cuttings from Palawan, hubby planted it and now have grown leaves that I cut to make citronella spray.

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I only use water and boil it until the leaves wither and water changed color with the citronella extract. I strained it and put in a spray bottle. I haven’t tried to make a citronella oil as it’s not safe to use directly on skin, though got the recipe online, here it is:

using 1 cup olive oil and citronella leaves and stems, cook in slow heat of up to 4-8 hours, add more leaves and stems to reach the desired scent. Using cheese cloth or strainer, strain the mixture and put in a spray bottle or dark bottle.

After placing the concoction in the bottle, I sprayed some of the dark areas in our house to make sure the mosquitoes will smell the scent and leave the place, hubby also use spray some on his skin and so far no mosquito bites nor skin allergy as he manned our shop while searching for some musical instrument accessories from musicians friens online store. It is safe because it is natural and no harmful chemical added.