Also known as the Alamo Mission in what is now San Antonio, Texas, it is a fortress and compound founded by Roman Catholic missionaries in the 18th century. Famous for the Battle of the Alamo in 1836 and for being the pivotal battle in the Texas Revolution.
The battle was fought between the Republic of Texas and Mexico from February 23rd to March 6th, 1836. In the end, the Mexican army won and ultimately killed the estimated 200 Texans including the national hero and “King of the Frontier,” Davy Crockett.
Built initially for the education of the converted Native Americans, it was later transformed to a fortress to house the military unit, the Second Flying Company of San Carlos de Parras.
Now it is part of a museum in the Alamo Historic District and a World Heritage Site.
The Alamo calls to all interested in history, the military, and politics. We recommend allotting around 2 hours to explore the museum, fortress and gardens available at this attraction.
First and foremost, make sure you inform your bank of your travel plans. They will be able to place the appropriate alert on your cards so you won’t get declined on vacation. In addition, they can help alert you to any suspicious banking activity while you are on the go and focusing on having an enjoyable time rather than monitoring your charges.
Secondly, research the currency exchange rate and know the ballpark for a good exchange. Look for establishments that do not charge a commission- meaning they do not benefit as much financially from the exchange. Speak to your bank in advance and they might be able to get you the currency in advance depending on their policy.
Bring enough cash for the first 24 hours or until you have time to find an ATM. A good rule of thumb is some authentic and smaller businesses will not always be able to take a card, so be prepared and bring some cash.
Also, pay attention to foreign transaction fees for your accounts and know how much you will or will not be charged per transaction abroad. Some cards have transaction fees of 1%- meaning if you charge the equivalent of $100 USD, you will be charged 1% of $100 on the transaction.
But the most important tip I like to share is pay in foreign currency! When charging something, let say a meal at a small café in a foreign country and the wait staff ask, “would you like to pay in the currency of the country or would you like to pay in U.S. dollars?” always say the foreign currency. That allows your bank to choose the conversion rate of the payment and ultimately give you a better rate than if you had paid in U.S. dollars
Lastly, don’t only bring one card. Things happen and it is better to be safe than sorry. Put this second backup card in a different, hidden location and not in your wallet. You will be glad to have it if you happen to meet a sneaky pickpocket whilst traveling.
With the Grand Canyon National Park turning 100 in 2019, they have a lot to celebrate. But the festivities shouldn’t just applaud the age of the park.
It is now certified as an International Dark Sky Park.
Now the Grand Canyon is joining the ranks of 60 other esteemed parks and reserves that are Dark Sky Parks. It is now one of 9 other U.S. National Parks to qualify out of the 61 total U.S. National Parks.
Efforts to attain this achievement began in 2016. The Grand Canyon National Park was outfitted with thousands of exterior lights to reduce the light pollution as more and more of the nights are being polluted by lights.
The famous American country music stage was founded in 1925 by George D. Hay. Back then it was known for the one-hour “barn dance” segment on the radio but now it is the longest-running radio broadcast in U.S. history.
The Grand Ole Opry is “The Show That Made Country Music Famous,” and aims to honor the music genre and its history along with bluegrass and gospel music too.
Membership in the Opry is one of the most prestigious accomplishments for country musicians. In order to be inducted, regular performers must be asked by current members on stage during a live performance. Membership must be maintained for the entire career of the musician with frequent performances and ends when the artists pass away.
The Grand Ole Opry attracts thousands of its listeners from all over and is a crowning achievement to the “country music capital” of the nation. Visit to see a backstage tour or buy tickets to a one of a kind live music show.
A recent report from the World Health Organization has linked a spike in measles cases in 2017 and connected it to “gaps in vaccination coverage.” This trend has continued into 2018 and 2019.
Recently, there have been an increase in reported cases in the Americas, Eastern Mediterranean, and in Europe. Most notably there have been outbreaks in Brazil and India and smaller flares in France, Italy and Israel.
Measles is preventable. Through two doses of the vaccine, protection is at 97%, with one dose giving 93% protection. It is very highly recommended that you are fully vaccinated two weeks before any international travel.
The disease causes abut 110,000 deaths every year and is very serious and contagious. It can have debilitating or life-threatening complications like encephalitis, pneumonia, permanent vision loss and more.
For more information on the MMR vaccine that prevents measles click here.
The famous New York landmark and building complex was commissioned by the Rockefeller family in 1931. The Rockefeller Center is one-part the original center- Radio City, with the Music Hall and 30 Rockefeller Plaza and one-part International Complex.
Initially, it was meant to be the new home for the Metropolitan Opera until the stock market crash of 1929, which left the Opera unable to afford to move. The plans for the Metropolitan Opera were abandoned and John D. Rockefeller Jr. created new designs for the location to become a mass media entertainment complex.
The Rockefeller Center is one of the greatest projects of the Great Depression and is known for its architectural Art Deco buildings. The center was declared a New York City landmark in 1985 and a National Historic Landmark in 1987.
Whether you are stopping by to see the views from the Top of the Rock, tour Radio City Music Hall, popping in the shops or restaurants, seeing the festive Christmas tree in the plaza or spinning around on the ice skating rink, the Rockefeller Center has something for everyone.
Today, July 3rd marks International Plastic Free Day. This awareness event day was created to raise awareness about the effects of single use plastics on our environment and help educate people on the friendlier alternatives to plastic.
It is the 10th annual International Plastic Free Day and is supported by a coalition of NGOs seeking a better plastic free tomorrow.
The website for the movement has a facts section that states plastic bags are used on average for 25 minutes but takes 100-500 years in a landfill to disintegrate. They recommend forgoing plastic single use straws in favor for reusable ones, bringing your own travel coffee cup to your favorite café and not buying plastic water bottles but coming prepared with a reusable one.
Many small lifestyle changes will make a lot of impact if we work together and hold our peers accountable. Learn how to make a plastic free impact and follow the movement on Twitter and Facebook for more information!
Turbulence, or atmospheric disturbance is when the normal airflow is being affected by one of a couple of factors.
The factors include: rising hot air (creates thermal turbulence), jet streams (just like currents in a bodies of water), landscapes (mountains), the Intertropical Convergence Zone near the Equator (where the winds of the northern and southern hemisphere meet), and then there is clear air turbulence.
Clear air turbulence is the most dangerous because it is the kind of disturbance you do not see coming. For many people it is the scariest kind of turbulence because it can cause sudden jolts of movement and that is the affects inflight anxiety.
But to ease your mind, turbulence very rarely ever is the reason behind plane crashes. Studies have concluded that majority of plane crashes occur during the initial take off and decent and landing. According to author Ben Sherwood, “80 percent of all plane crashes happen within the first three minutes of a flight or in the last eight minutes before landing.”
If anything turbulence causes bodily injuries. It is estimated that only 58 people in the US are injured from turbulence due to not wearing their seat belts.
Tips on how to better deal with turbulence:
Happy 152nd birthday Canada! Today, July 1st celebrates Canada Day, the national holiday of the country.
This federal statutory holiday is special because it means a large portion of the population gets the day off and other businesses in addition to government offices, libraries and schools are closed.
There are fireworks and parades and the likes of other celebrations, concerts, festivals to honor the special day.
July 1st commemorates the anniversary of the formation of the union of British North America under the name Canada. In other words, it is significant because it is the biggest national party for the country and includes plenty of fireworks displays.
Although it might sound similar to the United States’ Fourth of July, it is a Canadian national holiday and celebrated as such.
For those who need a little refresher, an eclipse is when the moon travels in front of and covers the sun for a period of time. The last “Great American Eclipse” was on August 21, 2017, and on July 2nd, 2019 there is going to be a total solar eclipse seen in parts of South America.
The “path of totality” or visibility will be seen from a section 80-125 miles wide from the South Pacific to Chile and Argentina. For those who aren’t going to be in the path of totality, you can watch the live feed here brought to you by the San Francisco’s Exploratorium Museum.
And for more information on solar eclipses and the timing of tomorrow’s the total solar eclipse check here.
Be sure not to miss it as the next total solar eclipse will not happen until December 14, 2020.