Hilton Head Accommodation

Located in the Lowcountry between Old South sister cities Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina, Hilton Head Island is plush with untouched marshlands, palmetto tree-lined roads, and 12 miles of public and private beaches. Whether you are traveling for business, golf, tennis, or family vacation, Hilton Head Island has a variety of accommodations to suit your needs.If you are vacationing with family and friends, affordable spacious homes and villas are available for as short or extended a period as needed. For those family reunions or vacations, mansions with 5 bedrooms or more have the endless seascape within walking distance or outside the living room window. For the romantic at heart, more intimate cottages and villas by the sea are ready and waiting to be rented. It’s no secret to any golfer that Hilton Head Island hosts the Heritage Classic and boasts world-class courses.Rental houses, condos, and villas in Hilton Head are tucked in along the sides of almost all courses, everywhere from first tee to eighteenth green. Whatever brings you to Hilton Head Island and however long you need to stay, Hilton Head Island will accommodate you with the type of rental property that suits and satisfies your needs.Whether visiting for an extended business trip or a pleasurable weekend at the beach with family and friends, Hilton Head Island has the hotel for you. With names you know and service you can depend on, the hundreds of island hotels vary in location and price, catering to all of our guests. With Hilton Head Island’s laws and ordinances, hotels have a limited number of floors and exteriors that blend into the natural surroundings. In a more subtle way than other resort areas, our resort hotels display refinement while still having the luxury of pools and whirlpool spas, casual and fine dining, and the excitement of bars that inhabit the shore’s edge.Traditional in their care and European modern in treatment, Bed and Breakfasts have the attention to detail the discerning guest comes to expect. Located in serene surroundings, with dancing fountain streams, lush gardens, and pampering spas, Bed and Breakfast inns of Hilton Head Island are first-rate for blissful honeymoons or the much-needed spoiling and tranquility of a getaway. After a respite in one of these Bed and Breakfasts, you will come away relaxed, refreshed, and ready for the jostle of day-to-day life.Among the more popular ways to stay on Hilton Head Island are timeshare rentals. Buying, selling, and renting timeshare property is an advantageous way to own a condo near the beach without your own efforts in upkeep and maintenance, so you can worry less about property issues and have more fun vacationing. And by exchanging your weeks and accruing points on the point system, you benefit by choosing different travel options around the world, while having a comfortable condo to come home to on Hilton Head Island.Whichever way you choose to stay on Hilton Head Island, the professionalism and courteousness of our hospitality you won’t forget. And Hilton Head Island’s beauty and charm will convince you to vacation here again.

The Poor End of Town – Tourism to the Third World

Introduction:Taking a holiday in a third world country is one of the biggest ‘trends’ in tourism today. Consider for example the boom in tourism to Cambodia; for many the epitome of poverty, strife and corruption. By 2007 the number of visitors to Cambodia annually will have risen by 1200% in just 10 years. Such interest brings the benefits of employment, revenue and foreign capital investment. Importantly, perhaps most importantly in an increasingly factious world, such international travel introduces and educates one people to another’s culture and attitudes. Unfortunately the benefits of international tourism only filter down so far. Despite all this activity the ‘poor end of town’ the world over still looks like it always did.An interview between Andrew Booth, co-founder of Sage Insights Cambodia, and Nola Hersey, an independent journalist from Australia- So of all the world’s problems why pick on this one?This problem of extreme poverty in countries attracting mass tourism seems to me to be both largely overlooked and solvable. Open a magazine like TIME. Read a serious newspaper. Watch the television news. We often see scenes of distraught and hungry people living in parched and unattractive lands: lands with few natural resources and little that the world values. Equally disturbing though perhaps more unforgivable is poverty in lands so attractive; so rich in history, culture and natural beauty, that they attract millions of people from halfway around the world for vacations. These places have valuable assets. Assets owned by everyone who calls the land their home. Yet a large section of society misses out completely on the benefits these assets can bring.- But surely international tourism to the third world brings benefits?Sure! Huge benefits. But my question is “Who benefits?” or more pertinently, “Who doesn’t benefit?” Whatever it is of value that draws international interest to such a country, the assets; the ‘family silver’ of the country; is not owned by the investors in tourist hotels. Neither is it owned by the travel agents, the souvenir manufacturers, the tour guides or even the government of the day. It belongs to each and every person that calls the country ‘home’ and by all who ever will.Of course the big idea is that governments manage the assets on everyone’s behalf. Through taxes imposed on the tourist industry and on increased economic activity they redistribute a share of the income; the ‘gate receipts to the event’, to its citizens. Unfortunately a common trait of third world countries is the lack of an accountable and transparent bureaucracy. The result: The weakest in society, those ‘without a voice’ get no benefit from international tourism attracted by their assets, their heritage.- Are you suggesting that hotels shouldn’t profit from tourists in poor countries?They must profit. Local and International investors in tourist infrastructure; the hotel groups and travel companies derive a great benefit from exploiting another country’s assets and so they should! These investors are motivated by a financial return. They are in the business of risking their investors’ capital to develop such opportunities. I also recognise that the local economies receive a great boost from such investment. Many jobs are created for local people through international tourism. New hotels need builders, cleaners, gardeners, guards, cooks and clerks.- So where is the problem?My point is not that local people don’t benefit. Rather it is that ALL the citizens of a country should benefit from an international interest in their common heritage. There remains a large group of people, especially in third world countries, who are completely disenfranchised from the benefits arising out of the richness of their own heritage.Try to imagine a country which virtually overnight lost its entire professional class. How quickly would your own country recover from an elimination of virtually all lawyers, law enforcement personnel, bureaucrats, central and local politicians? You laugh. It’s easy to joke that there would be a huge improvement but the truth is that without the ‘rule of law’ the law of the jungle quickly asserts itself. The spoils gravitate to the strong and knowledgeable, a little is distributed to those of use and nothing at all to the weak- For Example?Cambodia has had more than its fair share of troubles from which it is bravely clawing its way back. The horrors of the Khmer Rouge rule in the 1970’s deprived the country of its entire professional class. A country does not recover from this overnight. Meanwhile there is an opportunity for some. As a recent USAID assessment of corruption in Cambodia noted “the unfortunate reality is that corruption has become part of everyday life in Cambodia, that in fact it has reached ‘pandemic’ proportions”. The law of the Jungle has come home to roost and despite the efforts of the government it is a difficult pattern to break. When the consensus is that everyone is ‘on the take’ the system becomes self sustaining.So suddenly we have a boom in tourism from which the neediest in society are unlikely to benefit at all. Actually it’s somewhat worse than that. Booms in activity bring inflation. International travellers in third world countries strain precious resources and push up the prices for local commodities. The fresh fish that used to be affordable in the market suddenly all disappears up the road to fill the contract with the new hotel.- Do you see a way of giving some benefits back to everyone?In Cambodia I have helped found a venture called Sage Insights. Sage profits from the international tourist interest in Cambodia supports the neediest children in society. We are giving the neediest children of Cambodia an interest in their own heritage. Not just in the sense of the benefits of an ownership but also a curiosity and motivation to preserve their heritage.- And your investors: How do they get a return?There are no investors. All the benefits of Sage Insights go to house, feed and educate local street children, orphans and those from families so poor that they have no opportunities. The local employees benefit of course from a decent and steady income. As full time employees in quieter periods they are encouraged to research and learn more about their country and heritage to enable a responsive and ever improved service.This is no compromise of ethical tourism versus a great service for the tourist; they experience the very best of Cambodia with a reliable and considerate local guide. All services are tailor made and there’s a 24/7 personal travel assistant to help with all matters in a sometimes confusing and difficult country. Even the quality hotels and international travel agents benefit; they have a partner they can trust to care for their customers in Cambodia; a partner who does everything possible to encourage visitors to return.- To summarize, what are your hopes for the project?I hope that as the project grows in scale and profile our competitors will find themselves adopting our standards and ethics. Over time the disenfranchised will be reconnected with the value of their own heritage.

Live Nature with Xcaret Mexico

Want to get closer to nature? Want to have a lifetime experience? Xcaret Mexico is an ecological park located very close to Playa del Carmen. Known as the “sacred paradise of nature”, Xcaret Mexico has beautiful beaches, underground rivers, archaeological ruins, a wild bird aviary with 37 bird species, a local wild life farm, Coral Reef Aquarium and much more.Imagine yourself walking on the white sands of the Caribbean, swimming in the soft and crystalline water of the bay and feeling the warm Mexican sun in your skin. Doesn’t it sound nice? You can also find excellent bars and snack bars which will be the perfect treat in your well deserved rest. The sea, the sand and the beautiful views of Xcaret will make you feel at peace with nature. There is no better place to recharge batteries and continue with your life.The Underground Rivers attraction of Xcaret Mexico invites you to explore their crystalline waters and marvel at this ancient creation of Mexican Nature. Dare to explore and enjoy an experience that is unique in the world.Exploring the Cancun reefs and underground rivers is part of the Xcaret Mexico experience. You can find diving and snorkeling tours to the barrier reef, which is the second largest in the world, extending only a few feet from shore. The ecotour varies depending on the level of experience and includes a class for those who are going under for the first time.One of the amazing activities available is called “Snuba” it is a new sport that combines the technology of diving with the freedom of snorkeling at a depth of 6 meters (20 feet). Enjoy the comfort of leaving your tank with 80 ft³ of air on a raft floating above you. Breathing is possible through a regulator connected to the tank and the rest of your equipment consists of a mask, fins and lead-weighted belt to allow neutral flotation.

You can explore coral reef patches teaming with a variety of fish that live in these Cancun Mexico ecosystems.And what could be better to finish the day the way it should be than Xcaret Mexico Spectacular Night? In the Valley of the Scents, you can hear the call of the pre-hispanic drums and the notes of ocarinas, bells and conch shells. The priest and Mayan warriors, wrapped in the smoke of incense, announce a cultural and historic journey in the Grand Tlachco, the large theatre with capacity for 6000 people. Accompanied by the song of the musical instruments, Mayan children open the spectacle singing in chorus an ancestral legend. You better carry your video camera, and enough batteries.Anyway, there is so much more you can see with Xcaret Mexico, so after all this, are you convinced you should come yet?

Travel Guidebooks – The Horror Section

Travel guidebooks are like bibles for most travelers and sources of information salvation in a tight spot. Just try to avoid the horror section.Travel GuidesYou’ve saved up some hard earned cash and are ready to hit the road. If you don’t have a firm destination in mind, you’ll inevitably find yourself sitting in a bookstore somewhere reading travel guides. Regardless of the brand, you usually get an overview of the destination and particular areas recommend by the author. Hotels, restaurants and so forth will also be set forth. This is particularly good for such establishments as they often can raise their prices above anyone else in the area!Of course, you already know all of the above if you’ve so much as ventured out of your house at any point in your life. Our discussion today focuses on the fear factor of travel guides. Yes, I am talking about the warning sections.Travel WarningsEvery travel guide contains a chapter of horrors. The chapter is typically called something like “stay safe” or “a word of caution.” In legal terms, these sections are known as the “CYA” area, which stands for “cover your…” Reading them is wise, but the editors go just a little overboard.I once took a spontaneous trip to Asia. I literally walked into an airport, purchased a ticket and picked up a travel guide on the way to the gate. As the 19-hour flight got underway, I had the novel idea to actually read something about my travel destinations. Halfway through the horror section, I was ready to hijack the plane and return to Los Angeles. The various disease that were clearly going to kill me included:1. Malaria – Okay, I already knew about this and wasn’t that concerned. Fever, the shakes, joint pain – hey, that’s traveling!2. Japanese Encephalitis – A disease carried by mosquitoes that attacks the brain and causes neurological damage resulting in blindness, paralysis and, well, isn’t that enough? I’ll never look at Sushi the same way again.3. Dengue Fever – Carried by mosquitoes that are active in the day, this little bugger does nasty things to your joints and there is no cure. Not to be confused with “disco fever,” an equally dangerous disease from the 70’s.4. Schistosomiasis – My personal favorite. The larvae of flatworms burrowing into your skin cause this nasty little disease! Visions of the bursting stomach scene from the first Alien movie moved uneasily through my mind.Being skeptical, you’re undoubtedly thinking such nastiness is specific to Asia. If so, I invite you to explore a travel guide for the location you live in the next time you’re blowing time in a bookstore. You might be surprised to learn about the nasty things all around you.One of my all time favorites was a warning I read in a travel guide for Brazil. No less than five pages were spent discussing a tiny bug that could be found on the beaches. This aggressive little guy could be expected to burrow under your toenails if you didn’t wear shoes on the beach! I have my doubts. I seriously doubt the “Girl from Ipanema” strolled by wearing boots!Now, I am not suggesting in any way that you ignore the various health warnings. Read the horror section of your travel guide and form your own opinions. After all, you might be the unlucky soul who gets schistosomiasis.

Spectacular Sushi South of the Border – Nick San Japanese Restaurant Cabo San Lucas

Six thousand miles separate Japan and Cabo San Lucas. The two countries and cultures could not be more different. Yet, here in the coastal desert at the tip of Baja you’ll find a little piece of Japan that even the Japanese would envy… Nick San Japanese restaurant.Eleven years after it’s opening, Nick San still remains the most popular Japanese

restaurant in Los Cabos, and with good reason. Owned by Angel Carbajal and

Masayuki Nikura, the restaurant produces one of the most creative menus you’re

likely to find anywhere. From Sushi to Tempura, this place has it all when it comes

to Japanese cuisine. But it’s the special touches influenced by Angel’s devotion to

traditional Mexican cooking that make it unique. When was the last time you saw a

Jalapeno Chile at a Japanese restaurant?Located in Cabo San Lucas, Nick San faces Marina Blvd. from Plaza de la Danza next

to Costa Real Cabo Hotel. The décor is light and bright yet elegant. The walls are

adorned with numerous photos from famed Cabo photographer, Thomas Spangler.

The focal point of most Japanese restaurants is the Sushi Bar and the rule carries

through at Nick San. Long and lively, Nick San’s Sushi bar reinforces part of the

allure of Sushi – the art of its preparation. Razor sharp knives meet butter soft fresh

seafood and when the two come together in Angel’s masterful creations, taste buds

cheer.Angel has spent the majority of his life either catching fish or finding new ways to

prepare and present it to hungry diners. If you’re looking for Angel during daylight

hours, look to the sea. Angel spends his days aboard his boat – aptly named “Spicy

Tuna” – chasing down fresh catch for use in the restaurant. The hallmark of great

Sushi is freshness and it doesn’t get any fresher than just caught. While an

accomplished chef, Angel didn’t start out as a Sushi master. The journey from Sushi

novice to his present status as Sushimeister started with a chance meeting with his

partner, Masayuki Nikura. Masayuki ventured down to Cabo in 1986 with his wife

Kasue and some friends. Angel was working as chef at Senor Sushi; a then popular

seafood restaurant in Cabo that was often so busy that finding an open table was

difficult. Such was the situation that night in 1986. Masayuki asked Angel if he could

return the following night and use the kitchen to prepare dinner for his wife and

friends. Angel accommodated the unusual request.The following evening found Masayuki in the kitchen prepping the ingredients for a

variety of Sushi he planned on serving his group. Soon, early diners began to show

up and before you could say “Mas Sake” he was serving his creations to guests at

the bar. After finally serving his wife and friends, Masayuki and Angel had the

opportunity to escape and have a drink together. The conversation turned to

Masayuki’s Sushi and with little formality, Angel was invited to Los Angeles to learn

how to create the Japanese delicacies at Masayuki’s restaurant, Kushiyu.What began as a casual relationship became a close friendship and new business

partnership. Several trips to visit with and learn from Masayuki led to a much longer

journey… Japan. Twelve years after their first meeting, Angel made his way to the

island nation where his education in all things Japanese continued. The two visited

many fine restaurants where more concepts of Japanese cuisine formed in Angel’s

already creative mind. Trips to Japan’s many fish markets exposed him to the great

possibilities that spawn from the oceans. Perhaps most influential was a dinner held

at the home of Masayuki’s brother, a commercial fisherman whose passion for the

sea also extended to the dinner table.Angel was overwhelmed by the site of a table set for fourteen loaded with myriad

seafood dishes, most caught by Masayuki’s brother the previous night. Great food,

great Sake and lots of cerveza made for an impressive meal and left a lasting

impression on Angel. Armed with new ideas, Angel returned to Cabo where Nick San

benefited from his experiences.Nick San, started as a pet project by two new friends, but has become a true family

affair. Angel’s sister Carmen is the manager of the restaurant handling the daily

business. His brothers also joined the show. George is in charge of creating the

wide variety of tantalizing sauces, Edy runs the kitchen and Sam handles the

suppliers. Angel fishes nearly everyday and in the evening, he develops and

prepares the many specials featured at Nick San. There is no mistaking the pride he

takes in creating unique dishes for his guests and we have firsthand experience of

just how special his specials are.One hot and humid August night found us sitting with Angel for a few moments

before he advised that menus would not be necessary, he would prepare dinner for

us personally. While group after group entered the restaurant, we had the pleasure

of watching Angel at work. For starters, Negi Maguro – fresh caught Pacific Yellowfin

Tuna seared in a mixture of chives, garlic and miso butter sauce. Stacked high on a

stark white plate, it is as beautiful as it is delicious. Next, Sashimi Serranito – half

moon bay scallops from San Carlos in Baja served with Serrano Chile oil, soy sauce

and drops of lemon. Spicy, sweet and presented with paper thin slices of Chile the

dish is perfectly accompanied by Jyunmai Ginjo Sake served ice-cold as opposed to

hot. Connoisseur grade Sake is always served cold, lower grade Sake’s are served

hot to improve the taste. Although I truly enjoy hot Sake, the flavor and finish of the

Jyunmai was outstanding.Dish after dish appeared including a version of Spring Rolls created by Angel and a

wonderful Lobster roll. Tempura lobster with sliced avocado, green mango, cilantro,

sprouts, mixed organic greens, Tobico roe and a spicy Japanese mayonnaise sauce

all wrapped in Soy paper and served atop Yuzu curry oil. A masterpiece to look at

and a true gastronomic marvel, the melding of typical Japanese flavors with the

fresh, aromatic qualities of cilantro and the sweetness of the mango was one of our

personal favorites. A soft shell crab dish finished off the dinner as we had no room

left in our very satisfied bellies.After dinner, a trip to the bar is always in order and who are we to go against

tradition. Nick San’s bartenders are excellent mixoligists who have a flare for

dressing up drinks with cosmopolitan style. Try one of many martinis served in truly

unique stemmed glasses or ask the bartender to surprise you. Between their

outgoing stage-like personalities and the lively libations poured, ending the night at

the bar was just what the doctor ordered.The success of Nick San has not gone unnoticed by the major players in the Cabo

resort business. A new Nick San is due to open very soon at none other than the

ultra-exclusive One and Only Palmilla. Tentatively scheduled for an October 2005

opening, we have no doubt that more success and rave reviews are on tap for Angel

and Masayuki.For more information, visit Nick San online at http://www.NickSan.comFor more information about Cabo, visit http://www.CabosBest.com

Mumbai (Bombay), India – Getting In Touch With Your Fellow Man

India is one of the most populous nations in the world. The city of Mumbai, better known as Bombay, carries this notion to ridiculous ends.Mumbai – BombayMumbai is located on the west coast of India and is a sight to be seen. Until 1997, the city was known as Bombay, but the government for some esoteric reason changed the name. “Mumbai” was the name used by locals for years and refers to a local goddess. Most of the city buildings and agencies still incorporate Bombay into their names. I know it gets confusing which is more or less a good way to describe the city.A little know fact about Bombay is the geographic nature of the city. When originally settled, the city was actually a collection of islands. As the need for land has grown over the years, the water has been pushed back to the point where all the islands are now connected in one land mass. How’s that for a topic at a party?SerenityIf you’re looking for a serene vacation destination, Bombay is simply the worst place you could go. Upwards of 17 million people live in the city. Spend a week there and you’ll feel like you’ve rubbed up against every one of them. The city is so packed with people that getting from point “A” to point “B” can take forever. You will not find a secluded restaurant, tourist attraction or spot on the beach. Don’t even begin to think otherwise.AttractionsBombay is full of interesting things to see if you can get to them. Victoria Train Station is definitely worth taking in for the unique architecture and absolute masses of people. The gardens at Horniman Circle are good for a stroll and one place where you won’t feel completely overwhelmed with masses of humanity. For a humorous time, you can hit the beaches looking for one of the movie crews. Yep, Bombay is the home of the movie industry in India and is often referred to as “Bollywood.”In reality, the best thing to see in Bombay is Bombay. Just get out and walk. You’ll see snake charmers, vendors hawking everything under the sun, the occasional elephant and taxi drivers that put a New York cabbie to shame.PovertyIndia has serious poverty issues in the larger cities. Bombay has a brutal poverty problem. As much as 30 percent of the population is living in severe poverty. By severe, I am referring to people living in cardboard shacks with no running water and so on. Even the most seasoned traveler will be overwhelmed. If you are going to visit Bombay, be prepared for it emotionally.Whether you call it Bombay or Mumbai, there is no denying the uniqueness of this city. Some travelers can’t stand it while others find it intoxicating. Of course, you’ll never know if you don’t give it a visit.

Siberian Bus Rides – Getting Funky With Your Bad Self

Living in Siberia for a year allowed me to experience things I never would have in San Diego. Getting funky with your bad self on Siberian bus rides was one such thing.Slip Sliding AwayThe only real disadvantage to living in the Siberian city of Chita was the lack of personal transportation. This was particularly true during the winter when the temperature dropped as low as 40 degrees below zero. That may sound a bit nippy, but any negative temperature is relative. You really can’t tell the difference between 15 or 40 below. It’s just cold.My problem concerned the proximity of my apartment and place of work. Put another way, there wasn’t any. It was a health 40-minute walk during warmer months, but a frozen baton death march in February. Walking really isn’t the right word since everything was covered in ice. To get from point “A” to point “B”, one more or less just tried to fall repeatedly in the right direction and hope for a good slide. After a few trips, a sprained ankle, sore butt, incredibly sore elbows and a bit too much medicinal vodka, it was time to explore public transportation.And The Wheels Go Round and RoundIn Chita, overhead electrical lines powered most of the buses. The buses were you basic city buses, which is to say they were large with massive tires and cheesy advertisements on the side. The Gillette shaving cream ads on the side reminded me of home. Ah, sweet capitalism.Anyway, I wasn’t the only person in Chita that felt walking to and fro on sheets of ice was a bad strategy. The buses were packed morning, noon and night. We are talking sardine packed with no one able to move and lots of grunting involved in getting on or off. This condition gave rise to the “Get Funky with Your Bad Self” Siberian bus dance.Six days a week, I would pile on to a bus every morning with a few hundred other Russians. The first mile was flat and we would all surreptitiously try to position ourselves for the hills. As we waited at a light to turn down the first hill, you could cut the tension in the air. The dance was about to start.The bus would slow down to about five miles an hour and just creep over the crest of the hill. Then it would begin to slide. Everyone would involuntarily lean backwards so the person in front of you was more or less lying on your chest. Then the wheels would catch and everyone would lurch forward so you were now bent over the person in front of you in a rather compromising position. I often felt as though I should at least buy flowers for the women who happened to stand in front of me. Back and forth you would go until the bottom of the hill was reached.On occasion, Mother Nature and the bus driver would conspire to create a more aggressive dance step. If the bus gained too much speed going down the hill, it would slide towards the curb and lose contact with the overhead electrical wires. No electricity meant no power and no control. As the bus hit and jumped the street curb, the mass of people would be slammed forwards and to one side before being whipped the other way as the bus stopped.This particular dance was commonly known as the rib crusher since one tended to smash one’s ribs on the edge of the seat backs. There was no need for flowers after a rib crusher dance, unless they were for your funeral.Riding the winter bus did have one thing going for it. It was a good way to meet people. If you managed to get off at the right stop, everyone had something to chat about.

Where Rock Meets La Roca – Rock Reigns Supreme in the House that Hagar Built

For those of you who know Cabo’s history like I do, you know that there wasn’t much to the town back in the 80’s. Dirt roads, a few hotels, makeshift bars and some fishing boats were about all that was there back then. It was during those early days of Cabo that well-known rocker, Sammy Hagar, discovered the beauty of the area. After having experienced Cabo, Hagar came away with a vision. Create a club where not only he could come and play whenever the mood struck him, but a club where just about anyone who was so inclined could hop on stage and show off their licks. Some thought it a pipe dream including Hagar’s partner in the project, Jorge Viana.Persistence paid off and paid off big for Sammy. After finally convincing Jorge that

he was dead serious (by bringing him up to the States as a guest at one of his

concerts) the two came to agreement on developing the club. With Hagar’s new gig

as front man for the group Van Halen, the task of advancing the project from

concept to construction fell into Jorge’s capable hands. The two found a suitable

piece of property and put together a contest to choose the project’s architect. The

job was awarded to Cabo local, Marco Monroy.Hagar returned to his touring schedule with Van Halen and Marco handled the

daunting job of constructing the club. Although Hagar had seen the plans and liked

what he saw, he didn’t notice that all the measurements where in square meters,

not square feet. In his mind, the size of the club was just perfect. Imagine his

surprise when he next made it to Cabo and, with the club nearly complete,

discovered that it was big… way too big! To late to do anything about the size,

Hagar pressed on, planning the grand opening.Van Halen members agreed to help out by performing at the opening, complete with

MTV coverage and press from around the world. Hagar, feeling that he owed the

boys in the band for doing so, opened financial participation options up to them.

Things went great from the start, mostly due to the buzz created and the successful

grand opening concert. But once the initial excitement wore off, the club began to

lose money. With little fanfare, all the members of Van Halen pulled out of the

investment leaving Hagar to pay the bills.Poor management, no more partners and mounting bills, Marco approached Sammy

and the two formed a partnership with Marco taking the reins as the manager. That

was in 1994 and since then, Cabo Wabo has become one of the most successful

clubs in Baja. Every night of the week, live bands perform. Frequently, other famous

rock musicians pop in for impromptu performances. As many of you know, there is

no shortage of actors who have dreams of being rock stars and they too have been

known to plug-in and show their stuff. Sammy’s vision of creating a club for both

performers and serious partiers is a reality and with it’s constant growth in

popularity, Cabo Wabo will no doubt be rocking La Roca (the big rock at Land’s End)

for a long, long time.The biggest night of the year is Sammy’s Annual Birthday Bash, a two-week rock

fest with bands competing to open for Sammy on October 1st. The amazing thing

about Sammy’s Birthday Bash is that tickets are free and are doled out two at a time

on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 8:00 AM the day of the show. There

are dinner shows that carry a price tag, so if you can’t get out of bed early enough

to get your free tickets, you can always fork over the $40 for a dinner show ticket.Music isn’t the only draw here either. Sammy prides himself on his on-site

restaurant that serves up some of the best dishes in Cabo. Try their lobster burritos,

I have and have never been disappointed. Other favorites include; Grilled Halibut

Cheeks-Cabo Style; Grilled Prawns with Cabo Wabo Tequila Vinaigrette; Pan Seared

Sea Scallops with Tequila and Lime; and Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo Drunken

Shrimp. If you’ve spotted a theme there, just know that guests aren’t the only ones

having joined the party!If you’re looking for a bit of Cabo’s wild side, this is a great place to start. The best

time to arrive is around 9:00 PM for nightly shows. The place really starts to jump

an hour or so later and just keeps getting wilder and wilder. For more info on Cabo

Wabo, visit http://www.cabowabo.com on the net. For more in depth information on

Cabo, visit http://www.CabosBest.com

Trailer Vacations

Trailer traveling became popular in the 1920s, when Americans learned and enjoyed the freedom and flexibility of traveling by trailer. Today, more and more people explore the joys of a mobile vacation home, looking for perfect trailers for living and utility trailers for their belongings.Today trailers for traveling come in a great number of sizes and personalities to fit every budget and wish list of activities. Keys to enjoying your vacation on wheels are deciding the style of traveling you prefer, recognizing the common trailer issues and knowing how to fix those little bugs.The frame of the trailer, no matter if it is an RV or a utility trailer, needs proper and regular maintenance. Since the trailer frame carries a lot of weight and is constantly wet and dirty while being hit by road debris, it develops a great deal of rust. To prevent it from damaging the trailer, the frame needs to be treated with a rust preventive spray and painted regularly with at least a double coat of paint and primer.When you paint under the trailer, you have a chance to spot some other problems and damaged parts such as damaged floors or parts. You will have to fix these before hitting the road.Using propane needs a lot of care, too. Many fires in trailers start with inadequate handling of propane tanks. To detect a leak of gas from its container, gas detectors are very handy. When you notice the gas smell in the trailer, escape immediately without using the phone or light switches that can ignite the gas. Portable gas containers must be inspected on a regular basis, and kept from rusting with a coat of paint. The gas connections must be also inspected for leaks.To keep your trailer free from unwanted odors, make sure you use enough water to flush, and that a toilet seal is operational. The unpleasant odors may also enter from the roof which is not tight, so if you suffer from odors, make sure you check the roof and the exhaust fan, too.Saving fuel today is one of the most important issues for any traveler. Don’t press too hard on the accelerator and try to drive as smoothly as you can. When you need to slow down, let the trailer coast naturally instead of using a brake to slow down. A smooth acceleration may save as much as 10 per cent of fuel down the road. To save fuel, check the plugs which can eat as much as 30 per cent of fuel efficiency, and change the oil and water frequently. New tires will also save you fuel. And finally, don’t overload your trailer and clear out the storage areas at least once a year.Last, but not least, check your trailer roof for decay and rust. A leaking roof can lead to eventual damage to the trailer. Most trailer roofs are made of fiberglass or aluminum, and they can be easily cleaned, painted and sealed with silicone, if needed. Keeping your roof clean and dry is essential for overall trailer longevity.

Rosslyn Chapel – Visit the Da Vinci Code

So you’ve read the book – Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.

Or at least heard about it.Full of myths and goddesses, cyphers and secret symbols, gothic horror, legend and fantasy masquerading as history, the Da Vinci Code has sold in the millions.And Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland is where the climatic scenes are played out.For most readers, Brown’s description of Rosslyn Chapel is as close as they will get to the Chapel, at least until May 2006, when the film version of the Da Vinci Code is released.Tom Hanks and the crew have recently finished shooting at Rosslyn Chapel, so you can look forward to some great location shots.But what does a real visitor to Rosslyn Chapel feel?Is it as mysterious, overwhelming and significant as The Da Vinci Code suggests?Last month I walked, in the footsteps of Langdon and Sophie, through that small wooden door with the simple oak sign, Roslin.The Chapel does have a dramatic setting, somewhat ruined at present because the Chapel is covered with a huge metal canopy, to let it dry out.You have to remember that Rosslyn Chapel, built by Sir William St Clair in 1446 as the choir to a planned huge Catholic church (which was never completed), was stripped and totally neglected for over two hundred years when Scotland embraced Protestantanism.So the fabric of the building is undergoing a huge renovation program to repair the damages caused by centuries of neglect.Once inside, you’re immediately struck by the scale of the Chapel – it’s somewhat smaller than your imagination has painted it.Ornate doesn’t begin to describe the stonework and carvings, with every conceivable form of figure – devils, angels, crowns of thorns, stars, pyramids, roses, elephants, green men, patriarchs …If your tastes run to simple lines and minimalism, then this could be your worst nightmare.Is there a spiritual or religious experience?Depends on your concept of religion, I suppose.

But it didn’t work for me.It reeks more of a temple to Freemasonry than to Christianity.If it were not for the mythology and legend surrounding it, you would regard Rosslyn Chapel as rather a quaint and over-elaborate folly.But the visitor who arrives steeped in the folklore of the Holy Grail, and with a well-thumbed copy of the Da Vinci Code in hand, might well find what he or she has been expecting to find.It is quite fun to watch all these multi-national visitors, many of them in their teens and twenties in their jeans and backpacks, excitedly pointing out the various well-known features amongst the pillars and carvings.Cameras flash all the time, and the cacophany of so many foreign tongues bring to mind the Tower of Babel.So if you’re the sort of person who would like some quiet time to take it all in, and to stand before each feature described in the Da Vinci Code and examine it in detail, then you might be disappointed by your visit.The seasoned traveller who has stood in the great medieval cathedrals of Europe will probably be disappointed both in the scale of the interior, and the lack of beauty and ambience of Rosslyn Chapel.It is a strange building, but more odd than mysterious.

More eccentric than spiritual or religious.

More bizarre than awe-inspiring.I found it emotionally cold and lacking in spiritual beauty.Does Rosslyn Chapel satisfy our longing for mystery, or intrigue, or evil-doing, or centuries-long conspiracy as in the Da Vinci Code?It all depends on what you take into it.You’ll probably see what you want to see.It provoked in me no emotional response, no sense of reverence or inspiration. But then I regard the Da Vinci Code as sheer preposterous nonsense.Well crafted, but a plot basically lifted from other obscure and eccentric non-historical sources, riddled with errors and deliberate misrepresentation, stitched together with a calculating veneer of sophistication and romance.And ultimately the Da Vinci Code is deeply insulting and blasphemous to Christians everywhere and to the Catholic Church in particular.Is Rosslyn Chapel worth a visit?Well if you’re in Scotland at any time, it’s quite easy to find the Chapel. It’s only about an hour’s trip from the center of Edinburgh.But it does get very crowded, about 100,000 visitors in 2005. And this number is certain to swell when the movie opens.I give the final words to someone who perhaps knows more about Rosslyn Chapel than Dan Brown.Just recently Dr. Andrew Sinclair, a descendant of the St Clairs who founded Rosslyn Chapel, condemned the Da Vinci Code as “preposterous, its message pernicious, its history a bungle and a muddle”.He added: “As far as I’m concerned its a load of rubbish. It’s appalling. What it says about the grail and Rosslyn is absolute invention”.But I suspect that Tom Hanks and the Da Vinci Code movie will convince millions of gullible movie-goers to ignore the truth and to swallow the lies, distortions, and fabrications of Brown’s novel.

After all, we do so love a good conspiracy theory!