Renting A Party Bus

Plan in Advance

Party buses are quite popular in the here and now. If you going to attend a public event, such as a concert or sports event, you won’t be the only one looking for a bus. Therefore, it’s important that you book a vehicle in advance. Ideally, you may want to book the bus at least two weeks before the big day.

Opt for the right Vehicle

The first thing that you need to consider is the number of people who are going to attend the event. This is really important as you don’t need a vehicle that can’t accommodate all the people who want to go with you. Before you pick one, make sure count the heads.

Plan your Destination

While this is obvious, make sure you plan your destination ahead of the day. You need to let your driver know about it. This will help the driver choose the best route so you can get to the destination as soon as possible. After all, you don’t have a lot of time to waste.

Figure out the total Cost

Before you rent a bus, don’t forget to understand the hourly rate. Most people rent a vehicle as a group in order to divide the cost. Therefore, if you are the group leader, make sure you know the total cost. Once you have the figure, make sure you let everyone know about it.

Take beverages with you

If your group consists of only adults, chances are that you are going to enjoy adult beverages as well. If you are in Pennsylvania, for instance, know that the company won’t provide the drinks. Therefore, you should bring your own beverages.

Main Tourist Attractions in Paris

Since the Age of Enlightenment, Paris, the City of Light, has been attracting fashionistas, artists, history buffs, and writers, all of whom are inspired by the bohemian culture and the abundance of museums and grand boulevards. Paris is like no other place on earth. To quote Owen Wilson, “… from way out in space you can see these lights, the cafés, people drinking and singing. For all we know, Paris is the hottest spot in the universe.”

The unique heartbeat of Paris casts a spell on the hearts and minds of those who have ventured to this dramatic city. Even travel writers fall under the allure of the tangled streets, outdoor cafés and inspiring boat cruises along the Seine. With its Champs-Élysées and Place des Vosges, Latin Quarter and Montmartre, Paris is the original model for other major world capitals, all claiming their own prototype of grand elegance and sophistication.

But where do you begin? Whether this is your first time, or your next time, there is so much to see and experience you likely will find yourself bedazzled and even a bit overwhelmed. Start with these top six iconic attractions: two museums, two monuments and two churches. Plan to travel about on the Seine, whenever possible, using the fun little Batobus, with its glass roof and convenient range of stops at most of your top-pick attractions. This will make the getting there as much a part of your travel adventure as the arriving.

Two Museums: Louvre & Orsay

You likely already know which two museums to put at the top of your “to do” list for any trip to Paris: the Louvre and the Orsay. Even if you already have visited these museums on past trips, do return to them again this time, and every time, you are in the city. Show some mercy to yourself though, and plan to visit only one of these colossal edifices per day.

The Louvre. There’s not much that compares to the Louvre. Even walking into the courtyard will elicit a gasp as you face I. M. Pei’s grand pyramid of glass. Photos simply do not do it justice. The pyramid stands as a puzzling backdrop to the half-sized version of the Arc de Triomphe, a companion piece to Napoleon’s other arch at the opposite end of the Voie Triomphale (the “Triumphal View”). This smaller arch is topped with the bronze horse-drawn chariot from Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Venice that Napoleon pilfered in 1798 (the chariot has now been returned to its rightful home and replaced with a copy). As you stand in this courtyard, the vast building that surrounds you dates from old to older, containing a 12th-century castle fortress within a 16th-century palace.

To reach the Louvre, take the Batobus and hop off at the Louvre stop. Look across to the other side of the river for a stunning view of the Orsay, the former train station, now turned art museum, that you will be visiting on another day. Have a solid plan before you enter the Louvre through the pyramid. And, certainly, have a pre-purchased Paris Museum Card so you can skip the lines.

As you walk this former palace, you will be following in the footsteps of the Kings who roamed these same halls and galleries, reveling in their priceless collections of paintings and sculpture. Look around, up, down and out the windows at the lavish palace itself, as well as at the artwork it contains.

Save time during your visit for Winged Victory, the Mona LisaVenus du Milo, and the Gallery of Apollo (where the Sun King, Louis XIV, held audiences). Visit the Salle des Caryatides to see the Roman copies of Greek sculptures collected by the French royals, including four Caryatides, female forms that serve as columns, balancing the musicians’ gallery atop their heads. Locate the subterranean medieval tower and moat from King Philippe’s 12th-century fortress. These ruins were uncovered during the archeological dig to remove and preserve matchless artifacts prior to the construction of the pyramid.

Stand in the glass-roofed, sun-lit, Marly Courtyard, with the magnificent and powerful Marly horses and other sculptures from the gardens of Château de Marly, the country palace on the Seine where the Sun King entertained his close acquaintances towards the end of his reign. Stop for a break at the Café on the landing of the Mollien Staircase. Sit on the terrace overlooking the Napoleon Courtyard and the pyramid.

The Orsay. As essential as it is for you to visit the Louvre, it may be even more important to reserve ample time to explore the Orsay. The collections here are so stunning they will imprint themselves on your mind for all time. As you wander this vast former train station, built to impress the masses of visitors who flocked to the city for the 1900 Paris World’s Fair, you will pass through room after room of priceless artwork by iconic Impressionists like Monet, Renoir, van Gogh, Dégas, Cézanne and Toulouse-Lautrec. Exquisite sculptures are spread about at the level of the former train tracks and on the balconies, now sculpture terraces, where travelers once stood to await their trains.

Just inside the entrance to the museum is a 1/16-scale model of the Statue of Liberty that was gifted by France to the US in 1876 to honor the centennial of American independence. Plan ahead (and make reservations) to eat lunch in the former dining room of the turn-of-the-century Grand Hotel that once adjoined the train station.

Two Monuments: Tower & Arch

Of course, any trip to Paris must include visits to the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. These are the quintessential Parisian monuments, one built as the entrance to the 1889 Paris Exposition Universelle, and the other designed to glorify Napoleon, and commemorate his victories. From atop each of these, you will have glorious views out across the city.

Eiffel Tower. Make your reservations to the Eiffel Tower well before your visit to ensure yourself entry at a specific time. Consider making a wonderful splurge by combining your tower visit with either lunch or dinner at the 58 Tour Eiffel Restaurant on the 2nd level. While you are on the 1st level, walk out onto the glass floor and look down, if you dare. Ask someone to snap your picture as proof.

If you do take the elevator all the way to the top, pause for a glass of champagne as you look out across Paris from what was the tallest building in the world for over 40 years. If you feel the tower swaying slightly in the wind, you will have even more of a story to tell once you return home.

Arc de Triomphe. At the Arc de Triomphe, take the tunnel under the frenzy of traffic circling the monument, and spend some time reading the inscriptions. Possibly climb the 284 steps to the top for another unsurpassed view across Paris. Even better, climb to the top at night to experience Paris aglow.

From your vantage point atop this triumphal arch, look back along the Voie Triomphale to the smaller arch in the courtyard outside the Louvre where you stood earlier. This will provide you some perspective of the magnitude of Napoleon’s self-admiration. Look up towards Sacré Coeur Basilica in Montmartre, perched high on its hill overlooking Paris. Gaze out along the Champs-Élysées, with its dazzle of shops and shoppers. If you are so inclined, use this opportunity to spot a few prime fashion emporiums and make a side visit to them later to see what you can find.

Two Churches: Notre Dame & Saint-Chapelle

Finally, on your list of “must visits” are two churches, a cathedral and a chapel, both located on the larger island in the Seine, Ile de la Cité. This island is where the Parisii first settled in the 3rd century BC, giving the Paris its name. Two centuries later, in 55 BC, the Romans destroyed and sacked the Parisii settlement, then rebuilt the town to their own design, complete with Temple, Colosseum, Forum and Roman Baths.

Notre Dame. The first of these necessary visits is to Notre Dame, built on the site of an ancient Roman temple. This massive architectural masterpiece took over 200 years to construct, beginning in 1160, and has stood all these many centuries despite revolutions and wars, neglect and renovations. Now it has been grievously damaged by a tragic fire that brought its spire crashing down onto its already flaming roof.

Notre Dame remains majestic even in its compromised state. It will be years before visitors can once again walk inside to sit peacefully, gazing up at the rose window. For now, you only will be able to view it from the front, back, and each side. Give yourself some time with this remarkable edifice. Cross the bridge to the Left Bank and find a floating boat-bar moored along the quai. Select a table beside the handrail and order a glass of wine. As you look across the river at Notre Dame, marvel at its remarkable life story, from its construction during the Middle Ages, before the benefits of modern tools and technologies, through to its rescue from total destruction by the 400 fire fighters who flocked here to save it from the blaze.

Sainte-Chapelle. Saving one of the best for last, walk to the opposite end of the island from Notre Dame to sit awhile in the ethereal Sainte-Chapelle, hailed as one of the greatest architectural masterpieces of the Western world. Worshipers in the Middle Ages considered this chapel to be a “gateway to heaven.” Surrounded on all sides by some of the loveliest stained-glass in all the world, amazingly preserved for over 770 years, you will be bedazzled by the intensity of the color and light. If you can arrange tickets for a concert in this exquisite setting, do so. You will remember this for life.

Now you have made a good beginning in Paris. But there is more, much more. Paris is a city to which you will need to return over and over again. Each time you revisit, you will fall a little bit more in love.

Budget Travel Guide

Find the Most Affordable Hostel

Hostels are relatively cheaper than hotels. Though structurally smaller and more cramped, they offer the same amenities and, at times, the same basic travel comforts as many hotels. If you are looking for free Wi-Fi connection, free breakfast and free airport transfers, most hostels offer these services, too. Others offer free laundry, staff-sponsored parties and a common room where guests can mingle and get to know each other.

The only things you have to put up with are space and, in certain hostels, hygiene. The trick is to do your research beforehand. Read reviews to know what previous guests think. You will have a clear idea of which hostels to consider and which ones to avoid. Lastly, be on the lookout for promos. Hostels occasionally offer discounts and other perks. A dormitory-type may be a lot cheaper, but if you want a cleaner and less topsy-turvy situation (particularly if you are female), then go for an all-girls dormitory. These rooms are usually less crowded and are more comfortable.

Walk More

Travelling on a budget means preparing to give up taxis or private cars. What most comfort travellers do not understand, however, is that they are actually spending more for transportation expenses than they are for food, lodging or souvenirs. Some taxi drivers take advantage of tourists, driving them in circles so that they will be forced to pay more than what is necessary. On one hand, if you use your feet more, not only will you be able to test and improve your sense of direction, you can also see and experience interesting spots inaccessible through regular transportation. If you are not sure where to go, then read through blogs, brochures or local magazines. They can serve as your portable travel guide.

Adopt a Flexible Itinerary

The worst that you can do to yourself while travelling is to be a stickler for rules. It is important to have an itinerary to keep things in order, but it is much more important to enjoy your trip and have a blast. Give a little room for unexpected adventures. Do not set your return date if you think you need more time to explore a place. Your itinerary may look great, but first-hand suggestions from locals and backpackers are the stuff that make travelling more exciting. Travel guide books and magazines may not have an inkling about these suggested spots, which are usually underrated, less crowded and far more beautiful than many tourist spots made famous by media mileage.

Tips to Consider Before Go on Tour

  • Get paper copies. Of course, you need to keep your passport with you while you are in a foreign country. It’s better to keep a photo copy as well.
  • Inform your credit card company. You may want to let your credit card company know that you are going to use the card. This will help avoid any issues that may arise in case the company assumes your credit card is stolen.
  • Hold newspapers. It’s better to hold any newspaper that you may have subscribed to. This is to keep the burglars from knowing that you are away for a few days.
  • Consider a house sitter. When you are away, it’s better to have someone in your house. You can consider someone in your community for this job.
  • Look for a gardener. If you have a lawn in your house, the plants need to be watered and taken care of while you are away. Therefore, make sure you ask someone to do the job. You may even pay them for the service.
  • Remove the spare key.Some people have a spare key to their house in case they need it in an  emergency. If you also have one, make sure you remove it or take it with you.
  • Drop the curtain. Burglars may look into your house if the curtains are not dropped. So, make sure you drop all of the curtains before you leave your house.
  • Activate a timer. To reduce the likelihood of burglary even further, consider installing a timer to turn on a few lights at night automatically.
  • Switch off water supply. You may consider turning off the water supply to different appliances in your house, such as ice-makers, dishwashers, washing machines and toilets.

Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are Romantic

That’s the number one qualification after all, isn’t it? A honeymoon is a romantic vacation, and the Galapagos Islands fit the bill. Moonlit cruises? Check. Exotic location? Check. Excellent facilities and service? Check and check. The dramatic sunsets, fearless wildlife and memorable landscapes combine with first-rate services to create the perfect atmosphere for romance.

The Archipelago has something for everyone.

He wants hiking, she wants a beach. He wants water sports, she wants shopping. Galapagos is about not having to sacrifice or compromise. There are great beaches and hikes on the islands, as well as snorkeling and other water sports. The towns on the islands have a surprising amount of quality souvenirs from all over Ecuador and South America. You can even decide between land-based and cruise ship tours. Why fight over a destination when Galapagos has it all?

The “Enchanted Islands” are a destination for the young and vibrant.

The Islands are on many people’s “bucketlist” of places to visit. Many retirees go because they finally have the time and money to do so. Unfortunately, by the time they get there, many seniors find that some of the hikes and islands are too challenging for them and they miss out. The Galapagos Islands are best enjoyed by those who are old enough to appreciate them and still young enough to hop from one lava rock to the next, perfect for young newlyweds!

The Islands are more affordable than you think.

Many young couples are not yet established and may avoid seemingly pricey destinations like the Galapagos Islands. Although the costs are undeniable – airfare to and from Ecuador and then to the islands, plus park fees and the cost of cruises or lodging – they are relatively low right now. The worldwide economic downturn has had one positive effect: fewer people are visiting Galapagos and the tour companies and hotels are willing to make deals they would not have considered before.

Ecuador has much more to offer than just the Islands.

A honeymoon to the Galapagos Islands carries the side benefit of a trip to Ecuador. Why not spend a few days relaxing in the natural spas of Papallacta surrounded by the Andes, or taking a romantic carriage ride in Quito’s charming colonial center? For such a small nation, Ecuador is home to a wonderfully diverse ecosystem with everything from snow-capped volcanoes to sandy beaches.

Travelling Tips for the Disabled

  • Plan well in advance
    Planning is key to any form of success. This is very important because it reduces chances of getting stranded and being inconvenienced. Booking flights and hotel rooms are the top priorities, however if you are going to stay at a friend’s or a relative’s house; notifying them in advance is very important. Then they can be prepared and even pick you up from the airport.
  • Book hotels that are disabled friendly
    Hotels with disabled friendly structures are very convenient as they allow disabled individuals to move freely with minimal effort. Most of these hotels also have special emergency protocols that ensure disabled individuals are not left behind in case of an emergency, unlike some hotels where these issues are over looked.
  • Use a travel agent that offers travel packages for disabled travelers
    Booking flights and hotel rooms with travel agents that offer travel solutions to disabled people is advantageous in a number of ways. They ensure they book for their disabled clients airlines and hotels that are disabled friendly. They strive to offer services and suggestions that will ensure their clients travel comfortably.
  • Understand and know your rights when at the airport
    Travelling, for people with disabilities, is very hectic, especially when they arrive at the airport. They face the challenge of getting proper information and directions. This is further aggravated by the huge number of people traveling and long queues. In airports, there are attendants that are supposed to attend to the needs of those travelling with disabilities. Disabled travelers should not, and are not, treated differently when they go through security measures. They are also protected from any form of discrimination from any airline. Disabled travelers are advised to be very conversant with their rights to avoid and report any form of discrimination when travelling.
  • Bring extra medication
    There is no harm in carrying an extra dose of medication when travelling. People do lose their luggage as they travel so, having an extra dose will act as a backup when one dose gets lost. This also ensures that when travelling, a disabled person does not run out of their medicine forcing them to start looking for a drug store when travelling. These medications should be stored properly to ensure their safety.

Best Place to Live in Australia

Hobart

The reason Hobart is on top of our lists is that unlike many other cities in Australia, Hobart is actually quiet and peaceful. Ideal for people wanting to get away from a hectic and fast-paced life, this city offers a lot more than just a peaceful residence.

Surrounded by gorgeous warm sandy beaches and picturesque landscapes, Hobart is nothing less than a haven for workaholics. Although you might not find high paying jobs here. What you lose in income, you’ll gain in quality. And if you’re a food sucker, this food paradise might exactly be the place you’ve been looking for.

Melbourne

Australia’s second largest city has more to it than meets the eye. Known as the cultural capital of Australia, Melbourne is ridiculously famous for its diversified climate, a rich native culture that can be witnessed in the nearby Museums, and passion for sports. Not to mention, the city itself is built as an art that can be seen more obviously.

There are multiple fine dining places that serve different cuisines both local and continental, best shopping destinations and not to forget the nightlife. The city is full of surprises and if you’re lucky, you might get to witness the four season in a day phenomenon.

Sydney

Talk about the best place to live in Australia, the name Sydney will pop-up immediately and automatically. The name Sydney alone is enough to send chills down the spine of every person who wishes to work in Australia.

This city is most commonly known for its scenic beauty; be it natural beaches and ocean or man-made marvels like Sydney Opera house and Sydney Harbor.

Sydney features a fast-paced exhilarating lifestyle and is well suited to those who are accustomed to living in such atmosphere. Landing a job in one of the firms in Sydney is something everyone wants. The weather here is somewhat of normal with the maximum temperature reaching up to 40 degree Celsius in the summers and minimum temperature falling down to 6 degrees in the coldest night of winter.

Adelaide

Adelaide seems to have gotten blur due to all the focus going towards cities like Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney. It so doesn’t mean Adelaide in any way is no worth living place, it’s just the most underrated. Earlier, newcomers used to move to one of the above-mentioned places, however, the situation has changed more recently.

With a low population, Mediterranean climate, pleasant weather and a communal diversity, it has turned into one of the favorite places to live in for the immigrants. The city is wrapped in nature, the real estate prices are lower than other city and lifestyle is pretty relaxed. Overall, the city has everything there is to offer.

Kamakhya Temple

Temple History:

Kamakhya Temple is an ancient temple built around 7th Century CE. The king of Gupta Emperor Samudragupta is one of the earliest references which mentions about the temple located in Assam. During that period, the temple was considered as a marvel of architecture. The temple was built during the rule of Pal dynasty.

The temple was damaged in the 11th- 12th Centuries by Nasiruddin in 1227 and Malik Uzbek Tughril Khan in 1225 and 1257. These rulers plundered almost all the temples starting from Bihar, Bengal, and Assam. During these expeditions, Devi Kamakhya temple was severely damaged.

Then the King Chilarai erected the temple structures of the Koch family in 1565. In 1658, when King Jayadhvaj Singha (of the Ahom dynasty), seized the lower half of the city, the temple received the attention of these rulers who restored the place to its present form.

In the following years, successors of this dynasty became ardent devotees of Shaktism and Shaivism. In 1714, when Siba Singha came into power, he handed over the responsibility of temple supervision to Krishnaram Bhattacharyya who was the head priest then.

Architecture of the Temple:

The architecture of the temple is very unique. The main temple has seven bee hived shaped Shikaras (gopuras), with each shikara having a golden Trishula. The Kamakhya Temple also consists of three chambers known as Calanta, Pancaratna, and Natamandira. The large and rectangular chamber facing west has an idol of Naga Mata, which the devotees seldom worship. In the South, a chamber is the idol of Devi Chamundeshwari.

The Pancaratna or the middle chamber leads to the Garba Griha or the Sanctum Santorum. The Garba Griha is in the form of a cave with narrow steps dimly lit by oil lamps leading to the Yoni, where the fissure of rock is found and worshipped.

The temple complex has three other temples dedicated to Lord Kedara (Kamaleswara), situated near the northern side of the main temple. On the north- western direction is located the Gadadhara temple and on the eastern foothills is located the temple of Lord Pandunath, also known as Pandu.

The Bleeding Goddess:

The temple is also popular as the bleeding goddess or the menstruating goddess. In the month of Ashaad (June), the goddess bleeds or menstruates, the Brahmaputra river turns into red. The temple then remains closed for 3 days and holy water is distributed among the devotees of Kamakhya Devi.

About Dining Amidst the Mangroves

I went to Sunderbans for the first time when I was only 14. I had no idea where we were going. But I assumed that we would be going to some old rest house hidden away in a little forest. I was rather disappointed when I could not find a rest house once we reached the place. To make it worse, my father pointed towards a boat and asked us to board it. It was a hot and humid day and we were definitely not in a mood to go on a boat ride in the dirty looking river. I could see my mom flaring up so it was up to me and my sister to douse the situation.

Thankfully, it didn’t come to that at all. The guard led us to a nice looking house boat called a ‘launch’. The deck had seats on three sides with enough space for us to walk around, have tea and watch exotic birds flying by or sitting on a tree. There was a navigator in a small phone booth sized room. There were stairs on the side which led to a tiny dining room cum living room. It had a TV that didn’t work and a couple of books on GIS and forest statistics. On one side of the dining room, there was a door that led to the bedroom with two beds that also served as storage boxes and it had its own bathroom with modern amenities. The other side led to the kitchen. I never saw it properly since every time I tried to walk in, it had always been too hot and full of steam for some reason.

After my sister and I excitedly explored the launch, we were given coconut water. I felt like a princess who gets everything without having to work for it. After laughing about our ‘boating’ experience, we were served lunch. It’s been more than a decade now so I don’t exactly remember what had been served for lunch. But I’m quite sure that there was fish, chicken, rice, dal, some vegetable, mango chutney followed by misti doi and rossogulla. And I’m quite positive that I must’ve overeaten.

After a short afternoon siesta, we woke up to steaming hot cups of tea, always served with biscuits or some snacks. Food always played an important part in all our visits to the rest houses. Since these rest houses were as old as the British period, tea was never served without snacks. There was always more food than we could eat. The British are long gone but the tradition has passed on.

I could use a lot of adjectives to glorify the beauty of Sunderbans but I don’t think it would be necessary. The marshy island covered with huge mangroves trees with exotic birds sitting on them was a treat to the eyes. I unsuccessfully tried to look for crocodiles casually swimming in the muddy water. I could have sworn that I saw something moving. My dad told me that this place had more creatures than could be identified. But I was just interested in seeing a dangerous looking man-eating tiger. Of course, I had no idea what I would do when I faced one. The idea itself seemed quite fascinating though. But thanks to my search for a tiger, I got to see a lot of natural goodness that Sunderbans had to offer. Living in the city made me forget what sunset looked like but I was lucky enough to witness it here.

After sunset, it got a little eerie since there were no streetlights or sounds of people or TV to fill the silence. I see a lot of horror movies and this moment seemed like I was in on of those scary scenes. It took a little time but I got used it. In fact, since my days in Darjeeling, I had forgotten to appreciate the sound of silence. The sound of water hitting the shores, the little bugs trying to communicate in the dark, reflections of shiny stars on the water, men trying to anchor the launch, all that seemed unnatural a moment ago seemed delightful now. We ended the day with a scrumptious dinner.

I had ambitious plans of waking up early to watch the sunrise. But my laziness got the better of me and I slept until I was woken up by my mom to have breakfast and tea. Our breakfast was nicely laid out in the deck. I felt like I had gone back to the Victorian era where one command would get you everything you wanted. I wished I would be able to see one wild animal before I went home just so I could brag about it. To my surprise, I saw a big fish like creature jump up from the water. My father, studying the waves created in water asked us to look ahead in a particular direction. When we did, we saw a swift Gangetic dolphin take a big leap. We kept following it with our eyes until it disappeared. So now I had at least one story to tell.

After breakfast, when I went for a shower, I realized that the bathroom window was stuck and I couldn’t close it. I was a little uncomfortable at first. But I realized that since there was no civilization in the vicinity, I had nothing to worry about. To be honest, it seemed like a spa right in the womb of nature, something that you see on pintrest only.

Once I was out of the shower, our guard informed us that the speed boat was ready to take us to the narrow inlands of the delta where the launch wouldn’t go. In the subsequent visits, I got to try my hand at the speed boat. But the first time, I was just sitting comfortably behind the driver’s seat with my life vest on. The shallow end of the island wasn’t more or less beautiful as the rest of it. But somehow, it seemed like we were in a danger territory since it was so close to the land. It seemed like at any point, a tiger could jump into the speed boat. And this made it very thrilling and adventurous. But our driver assured us that there was considerable distance and we had nothing to worry about. I was relieved to hear this. The sound of the speed boat was loud enough to wake a sleeping giant and so we gave up the hope of spotting a tiger since they have super sensory ears. But to my delight we saw a small crocodile sunbathing near the shore. It seemed quite comfortable for a minute or two. But it probably spotted us since it made a dash to the water and disappeared.

We then headed back to our launch to wind up our visit. I tried hard and strained my eyes to see a glimpse of the tiger till I got back at the launch. We started to pack up till lunch was laid out in the dining room. There wasn’t much to pack but it took us a long time since we were not ready to leave yet. But I had school the next day so there wasn’t any other option. The cook made a special preparation of crabs among other things. They made such delicious dishes every time we went to Sunderbans without any formal training. I wondered what they might have been capable of if they trained under Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsay.

Chandler, Arizona

As you search new homes in Chandler, you probably keep seeing certain names pop up. Sun Lakes. Ocotillo. Morrison Ranch. Fulton Ranch. Chandler is home to many new home communities, owing in large part to its rapid growth and booming economy. As the San Tan Freeway was completed in 2006, a lot of large employers made the move to Chandler, and many that were already here expanded operations. Intel, Microchip Technology, PayPal, Wells Fargo, Verizon Wireless, to name a few, are some of Chandler’s corporate citizens. As the business climate continued to thrive, the cotton fields and grazing land of south Chandler yielded to destination shopping centers, hotels, restaurants and lots of housing. Builders such as Fulton Homes, Toll Brothers and Pulte made their mark on the landscape with spacious modern homes in beautiful communities. Many older historic neighborhoods are experiencing rebirth as homes are remodeled and modernized.

Chandler Schools consistently meet or exceed state and national averages; multiple charter schools and academies also provide top-notch education. Chandler-Gilbert Community College offers a wide variety of classes and programs, and private institutions such as Western International University and Ottawa University have branches in town as well.

There is no shortage of things to do in Chandler. Downtown on the square you will find unique shopping, dining and entertainment; there is almost always a festival, farmers market, art show or other affair to enjoy at AJ Chandler Park. Take a break and enjoy a craft beer, or a glass of Arizona wine. Visit Chandler Center for the Arts and catch a national act. Drop in at Vision Gallery or Uptown Art for more eclectic tastes. Downtown is also home to the beautiful, historic Crowne Plaza San Marcos Resort, Arizona’s first golf course.

Speaking of golf, Chandler is a linksman’s paradise. Courses run the gamut from executive to championship; you can visit driving ranges and golf academies, and stock up on the latest gear at the PGA Superstore!

Looking for other outdoor fun? Tumbleweed Regional Park boasts a rec center, sports and picnic areas, as well as Playtopia-a playground paradise based on Chandler’s heritage. A perennial favorite is the constantly expanding Arizona Railway Museum where you can explore a great collection of classic railroad cars and equipment. Skate park, BMX park, dog parks, equestrian and aquatic centers; Chandler has it all!

For indoor, air conditioned fun, Chandler Fashion Center is an upscale regional shopping powerhouse! Enjoy its great variety of dining choices from fast to casual to elegant. There are shows, movies, nightlife, shops and services galore, and special events almost every weekend. Another popular destination is The Ice Den, a favorite for skaters of all ages and a great way to keep cool year round.

This just a small sampling of the great features this amazing city has to offer. Chandler is consistently recognized for its responsible and sustainable growth and a quality of life unmatched in the Valley. This is just one more reason why so many families choose to make their home in Chandler.