Month: February 2019

Plan now for good times on vacation

Some days you might not know what you are fixing for dinner that evening, but you know which speciality drink you are going to order at an exact restaurant in seven months when you are on vacation. Planning ahead for vacation is not only great for giving you something to look forward to, but it can also help your budget and help travel go more seamlessly. After you’ve decided the “where” of the place you’d like to visit, spend some time figuring out the when, what and how long part. When? Picking your destination is a good part of the planning, but equally as important is when. Check out the city and county’s tourism sites for the area — there’s nothing like finding out you missed a unique and popular festival by a week. … Or, if it is not something that interests you, plan on being there when the crowd of the event is not. You may also come across “off-season” deals which can be very tempting. Before you save a few dollars, make sure it doesn’t hinder the purpose of your trip. For example, if you are going on a beach trip you may not want to plan it in a month where it won’t be warm enough to get in the water regardless of the savings! Or if you are heading to a quaint little town,...

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Sailor’s Valentines

Sailor’s valentines were shells arranged in intricate, symmetrical designs, encased in glass cases, hinged in the middle, so when you opened them, it was a sort of “valentine” made of shells. They were marketed to sailors as gifts to bring home after long voyages in the service to the sea, to loved ones who were awaiting their arrival from the journey. The name of the item implies that sailors made these shellcraft boxes themselves. However, most of them were made and sold to sailors, a large number of these objects being made in Barbados, which was a large seaport to sailors during the period the valentines were most popular, 1830 to 1890. Research into the boxes of shellcraft suggests that the women of Barados made the valentines using local materials and shells, although sometimes they would import items needed from areas of the world such as Indonesia. Some valentines that are deconstructed have newspapers backing them from Barados, further supporting the story that many were made and sold in that area. The idea of an encased glass case with shell mosaics was initially developed by a few seaman wanting to bring home a special gift to loved ones, but two Englishmen, George and B.H. Belgrave, changed all of that. Entrepeneurs in their own right, they recognized that seaport shops could make money in Barbados using the local shells and...

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