My Wordsmith Vantage Point

goodbye summer, hello autumn
Great Sunny Day, Batman!

With only five official days of summer left, I had planned to close out in a memorable way. These last 46 days have been hectic, enjoyable, upbeat, and adventurous. The summer of 2014 has definitely reminded me that each day should be appreciated. And even though the days have flown by, I’ve learned that there’s something appealing about simplicity. I’m glad that I spent the last six weeks with the ones I care about.

  • August 4: Annual check-up for my son
  • August 5: Girl’s lunch with my cousin Jessy
  • August 8-10: Family reunion in Fredericksburg, Virginia
  • August 13, 14 & 18: Interviewed childcare centers
  • August 16: Kiddie birthday party with my son / Saw Lucy
  • August 17: Guardians of the Galaxy with my friend Temple
  • August 19: Happy hour with my good friend Wesley
  • August 23: Shop and lunch date with Nikki, fashion and beauty expert
  • August 28: Kindergarten orientation with my son
  • September 2: First day of school for my son
  • September 9: Celebrating my cousin’s 5th birthday with the family
  • September 17: Root canal procedure instead of the Matisyahu concert at The National (Sept 16)

Here’s to the escapades of autumn.



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If you ever wondered where the best places are to watch a sunset around the world, check out The Hand Luggage Only blog for the 16 top places. At least two of my dream vacations are on the list!


Uncle Sam wants YOU!

Uncle Sam wants YOU!


Can you believe it’s September already? That means in about a week or so, summer will be over. I don’t want it to end! To celebrate the ninth month of the year (in the Georgian calendar), here are a few fun facts about it:

  • It used to be the seventh month on the Roman calendar. And it had 29 and 31 days but was later changed to 30 days by Emperor Augustus.
  • September is the only month with the same number of letters in its name in English as the number of the month.
  • In any year, no other month ends on the same day as September.
  • September 8 is International Literacy Day.
  • September 13 is International Chocolate Day and Uncle Sam Day.
  • Shakespeare did not mention September in any of his plays.
  • National Sickle Cell Month
  • In the U.S, the first Sunday after the first Monday (Labor Day) is National Grandparents’ Day.
  • Mexico’s War of Independence began on September 15, 1810.
  • On September 3, 1900, Wizard of Oz was published.
  • On September 1, 1905, the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan were established.
  • On September 2, 1789, the U.S. Department of Treasury was established.
  • On September 25, 1789, the Bill of Rights were created.
  • President McKinley was assassinated on September 6, 1901.

For more interesting facts, check out September Facts and Random facts about September.



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This is why I chose to keep my son at home when he had a 104* fever two days ago. Parents, don’t allow your sick child to go to school and spread this sickness.

Originally posted on Q13 FOX News:

SEATTLE — Dr. Keith Jerome with the University of Washington Department of Laboratory Medicine has some advice on how to better understand enterovirus-D-68.

[ooyala code="84OXg5cDpVDPdw4BwjuEFZLAfsEuFTbP" player_id="c8cff4cec9d94ae0896f6443af7ee837"]

During Q13 FOX News, Dr. Jerome answered some of YOUR questions in a live chat on the Q13 FOX News Facebook page.

Click on the Facebook post below to see the Q & A:

View original

Salutations Readers,

We’re going to the wild and arid land of the Serengeti for destination number six. Who hasn’t wanted to go on a safari to take in the picturesque view of this reserve? The area is best known for its vast migration of herbivores (mostly zebras and wildebeests) and the predators (lions, cheetahs, hyenas, oh my!) that pursue them. What most don’t know is that the Serengeti is one of many national parks of Tanzania. So let’s explore this natural reserve on the motherland of Africa!

Sixth stop: Serengeti, Tanzania!

Map of Serengeti, Tanzania

Located in north Tanzania and extending to southwestern Kenya, the Serengeti ecosystem is one of the oldest on earth. Its climate, vegetation, and wildlife have barely changed in the past million years. The Serengeti is most famous for hosting the largest continental mammal migration in the world, which establishes it as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa.


Wildebeest of the Serengeti plains.

Over a million wildebeest and about 200,000 zebras flow south from the northern hills to the southern plains for the short rains every October and November, and then they swirl west and north after the long rains of April, May and June. The primal, yet ancient, instinct of these herbivores to move is so strong that no drought, gorge, or crocodile infested river can hold them back.


Massai Warriors

The land is also known as Massailand, named after the fierce Massai warriors that live alongside the wildlife.


Ol Doinyo Lengai in the Serengeti

Another attraction of the Serengeti is Ol Doinyo Lengai, the only active volcano in the area that ejects carbonatite lava. It is also a Massai holy site.


Serene SerengetiWhether it’s for the splendor of leisure or going for business, the Serengeti is one place that shouldn’t be missed on your trip in the area.




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Good day everyone,

More often than not, we tend to get caught up in the glamour of big cities and their charms. As a seasoned traveler, I’ve been lost in the metropolitan glitz and ignored the appeal of America’s towns. I’ll never forget that feeling of old-world living and peace when I stopped for breakfast at a café in Burlington, Vermont. With more thought, the small towns of America need our attention.

Based on Travel + Leisure’s list of America’s most romantic towns, I’ve chosen the top five of the 26 that have captured my attention:

  1. Burlington, Vermont
Burlington, Vermont

Burlington, Vermont

I fell in love with the quaintness of this small New England capital in the summer of 2007 on the way to a Montreal wedding. I wish I could’ve stayed longer. Well, at least to watch the sunset over Lake Champlain. I can only imagine the fall foliage and then the first snowfall of winter. Apparently, one sip of Lake Champlain Chocolates’ decadent hot cocoas is all it takes to see why the town also scored highly for cafés and ranks among the top 10 for winter wonderland holiday-season visits.


  1. Annapolis, Maryland
Annapolis, Maryland

Annapolis, Maryland

I’ve been an east coast girl for roughly over half of my life. It’s mostly due to family, but blue crabs and fresh from the farm food help significantly. The food isn’t the only highlight of this Chesapeake Bay getaway, this city also ranked well for its wines. And after you visit Annapolis, you’ll discover much more to keep coming back to right coast too.


  1. Amelia, Florida
Amelia, Florida

Amelia, Florida

If you’ve ever dreamed of horseback riding with your lover on a beach then this is the perfect spot to do it. Amelia Island State Park is one of the few places in the country where you can still saddle up on the sand. This barrier-island town is prominently known for its parks and quaint historic inns, such as the Fairbanks House (a Victorian-era home filled with fireplaces, four-poster beds, and claw-foot tubs).


  1. Telluride, Colorado
Telluride, Colorado

Telluride, Colorado

Surrounded by the majestic San Juan Mountains and only having one road leading into the township, you realize how amazingly isolated Telluride really is. This southwestern Colorado town is perfect for a romantic rendezvous with its colorful Victorian homes and charming Western downtown. Winter or summer, complete the experience by hopping on the gondola and looking out over Telluride’s incredibly scenic canyon.


  1.  Fairhope, Alabama
Fairhope, Alabama

Fairhope, Alabama

With five rivers converging at this scenic Gulf Coast town, Fairhope boasts plenty of Civil War history (even the nearby Marriott was the site of a Confederate hospital). Be sure to explore this southern town’s own small French Quarter, which is home to a dozen little shops and the largest crape myrtle tree in the South, called the Alabama Champion Tree.


Check out T+L’s complete list: America’s Most Romantic Towns



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Fun Facts: Pizza


For the love of pizza

For the love of pizza

Cowabunga dudes and dudettes!

In the spirit of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie I’d like to share some fun facts about pizza (TMNT’s favorite food). As many of you may know, the modern-day pizza originated in Naples, Italy and the circular bread topped with tomato sauce and cheese has been prominent around the world ever since. It also happens to be my son and boyfriend’s favorite food. This isn’t surprising news since 94% of Americans eat pizza regularly.

Other fun facts about pizza:

  • In 1889, Pizza Margherita was created in honor of Queen Margherita, who strongly preferred her pie be covered in the colors of the Italian flag: red (tomato), green (basil), and white (mozzarella).
  • October is National Pizza month in the U.S.
  • Pizza derives from the Latin root word picea, meaning the blackening of crust by fire.
  • Domino’s Pizza is the world leader in pizza delivery.
  • The longest pizza delivery was from Cape Town, South Africa to Sydney, Australia. For more interesting facts, check out Pizza Fun Facts.



Follow Anita on Twitter and Bloglovin’: @Emranija & Anita Young

Howdy Partners,

I’m bringing y’all to the good old U.S. of A. as Grand Canyon, Arizona is in this week’s spotlight. Seven years ago, I was fortunate enough to have a Las Vegas experience, but my only view of the Grand Canyon was the plane. I really wish I had taken the time to visit this majestic natural wonder carved out by the Colorado River.

Fifth stop: Grand Canyon, Arizona!

Map of Grand Canyon

Nearly two billion years ago the Colorado River and its offshoots cut channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau uplifted to create what CNN called a natural wonder of the world in 1997. Today, the river continues to erode and form the magnificent Grand Canyon. The canyon was granted federal protection in 1893 but did not make National Park status until 1919.

Grand view of the canyon

The Colorado River creates a barrier parting the canyon into the South Rim and North Rim; most people visit the South Rim while the North Rim has a short season. With an average distance across of 10 miles, it takes five hours to drive the 215 miles between the South Rim and North Rim villages.

Colorado River Separating Canyon


There are plenty of activities to do in this park, which receives almost five million visitors every year. There are free ranger programs, visitor centers, a museum, mule trips, view points, whitewater trips, bicycle rentals, and more. Audio tours via your cell phone and hiking are also popular.

Mule tour


For more information on planning a trip to the Grand Canyon, visit the National Park Service.




Follow Anita on Twitter and Bloglovin’: @Emranija & Anita Young


Aloha People,

Although we’re a little over a month into the summer of 2014, I’ve already made some headway in my activities. To piggyback on my 5 Things You Should Do This Summer post, I’ve dedicated this blog to my summertime goings-on. Here’s what I’ve been up to in the last 42 days:

June 18: Rebelution concert

June 21: Crab Fest with family & friends (water balloon fight included)

July 4: Fireworks & fun

July 12: A day out at Busch Gardens

July 17: Evening swim with family

July 19: Bonfire with family & friends

July 26: Bowling with my son

July 27: Backyard birthday BBQ

July 30: Happy Hour with an old classmate

August 2 & 3: Road trippin’ with the boyfriend

Road trippin'


I wonder what the next 30 days will hold…



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Godmorgen ven!

I’m in the mood for something unconventional this week. The first three destinations were all popular islands but now it’s peninsula time. I chose Copenhagen, Denmark because I loved the Little Mermaid movie as a child. And what better way to honor that timeless tale than to dreamily visit the hometown of Hans Christian Anderson.

Fourth stop: Copenhagen, Denmark!
Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen has come a long way from being a simple fishing village and trade center. Today, the capital city of Denmark is home to many famous sights and attractions, including Tivoli Gardens, Amalienborg Palace (home of the Danish monarchy), Christiansborg Palace, Nyhavn, and the Little Mermaid sculpture. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s the most visited Scandinavian metropolitan, drawing over a million visitors a year. I guess that’s good enough reason as any to visit!

The Little Mermaid statue is not only a popular attraction but also a Danish icon. Although the fair tale was published in 1837, it took about 70 years for a Danish brewer to commission the waterfront statue.
Little Mermaid statue

Tivoli Gardens: The world’s second oldest amusement park opened in 1843. This attraction is more than just an amusement park; it’s also a great place to people-watch and dine. This 21-acre park is beautifully landscaped with more than 400,000 colorful flowers. Rumor has it that this place may have inspired Walt Disney with his theme parks.
Tivoli Gardens

Frederiksberg Palace: You can’t go to any European city without visiting a palace. Completed in 1703, this palace was only used as the royal family’s summer residence until the mid-19th century. Now, anyone can visit and relax on the 25 acres of Frederiksberg Park.
Frederiksberg Palace

Rosenborg Castle was built in a Dutch Renaissance-style designed by Bertel Lange and Hans van Steenwinckel for Christian IV of Denmark. The castle is now open to the public for tours and its museum is home to the Royal Collections, artifacts spanning the royal Danish culture from the 16th to the 19th century.

Rosenborg Castle

Copenhagen Jazz Festival is supposedly one of Europe’s biggest, comprehensive international music events. The city streets, squares, clubs, and concert halls have strummed each summer with live jazz since 1979. The festival begins the first Friday in July and runs for 10 uninterrupted days.

Copenhagen Jazz Festival


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