The White Sands National Monument near the town of Alamogordo, New Mexico is one hell of a cool experience. When you’re driving into White Sands, you’re greeted with a park attendant, and from there, you are free to drive where you can, on pavement, as well as wetted and flattened sand paths. Once you park, it’s up to you as to where you will go. You can walk through the valleys, between the dunes, along designated walking paths, or you can try your luck at running up one of sand waves. The entire area is rather large, so it’s very easy to get turned around and lost, and in that regard, venturing too far into the sands can be a dangerous prospect. The air is dry, but very hot here, and without an ample supply of water, I would never suggest venturing off too far. Definitely take advantage of a compass, if you decide to wander a bit – Matt and I visited the region in April of 2014, and even though the temperatures were quite decent, the White Sands felt cool to the touch, but since the air was dry, and the sand reflected the heat of the sun, it felt like a slow cooker, or a sauna rather.
The Medieval Times: Dinner and Tournament attractions strewn throughout North America are synonymous with travelers and locals alike, who are interested in having a nice dinner with some raucous fun, and live entertainment. Medieval Times is famous for its dramatic theatrical storyline, acrobatic thrills, and their open crowd-participation hijinks. You may also recognize this from the Jim Carrey movie, Cable Guy, where Jim and Matthew Broderick fight to (near) death in front of a fierce crowd of onlookers. At points in the movie, it seemed to be rather dangerous and overly-intense, but of course, they were just acting, and as Jim and Matthew had acted in Cable Guy, so do the Medieval Times characters.
The Ernest Hemingway House is set on the greatest private piece of land on the island of Key West, Florida. It once was previously owned by an intriguing fellow, who earned his living in rather interesting ways – which is best to learn by actually visiting the island, as his influence is shared throughout the island’s unique past. The Hemingway’s purchased the home in 1931, and it remained Ernest’s home right up until his divorce with Pauline Pfeiffer in 1940. He and Pauline had added a lot of their own personal touches on the house, throughout their residence, but some of the best and most entertaining stories are only told along the official tour of the house and grounds.
Sun (Records) Studio in Memphis, Tennessee is one of the most legendary origins for a genre of music in the world. The artists that have been discovered at this little studio hidden just outside of downtown Memphis is almost unbelievable. No, really… It’s mind blowing! If the names Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash (Yes, that is the same studio that Mr. Cash recorded his first songs in the film, Walk the Line!), Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, B.B. King, or Jerry Lee Lewis ring a bell, then you have my permission to be impressed. Some people have even gone as far as to dedicate Sun Records as being the ‘Birthplace of Rock & Roll.’
No other fantasy book series has captured the hearts and imaginations of their readers ever before, like the tale of Harry Potter. Fans of the series are more diehard for Harry Potter, that most would trade in their everyday life for a chance to live in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The books grew in fame over the years, but the movies simply set it off – since its inception, the Harry Potter franchise is worth more than 20 billion dollars. The popularity of Harry Potter and its iconic presence worldwide can only be described as a phenomenon.
Few houses in America are held with such exceptional regard as that of the famous Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. The house was built from 1889 to 1895, by architect's Richard Morris Hunt and Frederick Law Olmsted, for the exceptionally wealthy Vanderbilt family. The Biltmore Estate is a large private estate and tourist attraction, which is the largest privately owned house in the United States. It sits today at 178,926 square feet (or 16,662.8m sq.), with an extravagant 250 rooms.
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