Tag Archives: vacation

101 Things to See & Do for $10 & Under in the Kenosha, WI Area – Part 4 of 4

I’d rather pay for experiences than hoard a “rich deposit” of materialistic goods that will sit around most of the time collecting dust.  Yes, I need and want basic items to satisfy my likes, values, desires, habits and hobbies, but after a while a lot of possessions will start to control ones mind.  I’m wealthy but not rich.  Being wealthy is more rewarding and satisfying.

When Meridith Jumisko compiled the list of 101 Things to See & Do for $10 & Under in the Kenosha, WI Area for the Kenosha Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website, I had to share.  There is a wealth of knowledge one will gain by experiencing these attractions and events that will not break the bank.  Shed the rich man mindset to become truly wealthy.

76. Create art in the Clay Studio at Lemon Street Gallery! Clay costs $3 per pound

77. Also see incredible art at Re:Vision Gallery, Pollard Gallery, Anderson Arts Center,Kenosha Art Association,Carthage College, and UW-Parkside! FREE

78. Enjoy a scenic bike ride on the Pike Bike Trail or the Kenosha County Bike Trail.FREE

Even the dogs enjoy the Kenosha Harbor Market. Photo by The Walking Traveler

79. Mikey’s features a new menu with gourmet Hot Dogs, create-your-own pizza, and more! Prices vary

80. Find your favorite childhood video game and try it out at Inner Child Comics & Collectibles. Many under $10 /FREE to try

81. Exhibitors bring samples, brochures, giveaways, and smiles to the I-94 Visitor Information Center for First Fridays.FREE

82. Pick up a homemade Bloody Mary mix or lemonade mix at Elsie Mae’s Canning & Pies, who offer more than pies and jams! $6.50/$8.50

83. Hike 4.2 miles of trails at KD Park. FREE

84. Checkmate! Play chess or checkers at the chess tables in Fox River Park; bring your own pieces. FREE

85. Take time to enjoy the distinctive wall murals, unique hand-painted storefront signs, and amazing historic architecture in Downtown Kenosha! FREE

86. Visit Abe! Library Park is home to an Abraham Lincoln statue, as well as the Kenosha County Soldiers’ Monument “Winged Victory”. FREE

87. Take a selfie by the red 1906 Pierhead Lighthouse.FREE

88. A slice of Kenosha nightlife can be found at Fusion, a Downtown performing arts venue. Some events FREE

89. At Scoops Ice Cream, ask for the Badger Brownie: two scoops of ice cream on a warm chocolate chunk brownie, with many toppings! $5.75

90. Aspiring young paleontologists will dig this: Dino Digs are held most Saturday andSunday afternoons at the Dinosaur Discovery Museum. FREE

91. Bring the kids to the Field Station inside the Kenosha Public Museum, where they can explore the arts and sciences in this popular hands-on activity area. FREE

92. Labor Day weekend includes Cheese-A-Palooza (Sept 3-4), the Downtown Kenosha Classic Cruise-In Car Show (Sept 3), and the 14th Annual Car Show To Benefit Our Wounded Warriors (Sept 4). FREE for spectators

93. All ages enjoy getting artsy at Alpaca Art Pottery Painting. $7 studio fee plus the cost of your pottery ($3+)

Street Festivals are better when live music hits the air. Photo by The Walking Traveler

94. At NovelTea Bookstore, you can purchase 2 oz. packaged loose leaf tea in a variety of flavors. Most under $10; average price $7

95. Meet internationally-known cartoonists during the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning,Sept 15-17. FREE

96. Enjoy a picnic at Wolfenbuttel Park, next to Lake Michigan. FREE

97. Electric Streetcars are celebrated during Kenosha Streetcar Day on Sept 17!  $1 & under fare

98. You can’t go to Brat Stop without having the Famous Charcoal Grill Original Bratwurst served with chips! $6.99

99. You’ll find the Lilli Soapworks product line at A Summer’s Garden Florist. These soaps are handmade in Kenosha with shea butter. $5.50

100. Enjoy a delicious made-from-scratch soup in the outdoor Garden of Eatin’ at The Coffee Pot. $2-4

101. The famous “backroom” offers amazing savings at the Jockey Factory Store in Downtown Kenosha. Get a $10 off coupon in the FREE 2016 Kenosha Area Visitors Guide

Thank you again Meridith for your help over the past couple of years.

Oh Those Unhappy Tourists

God dammit! I want to scream at these people who write this nonsensical, irritating bullshit.  Are these people down to their last remaining brain cells?  Do I laugh or do I cry for humanity?  What about laughing my ass off?  It’s a mix. Scream at the stupidity, laugh at the feeble-mindedness.  I read this list of complaints from dissatisfied customers of Thomas Cook Vacations.  I’m compelled to share these complaints along with identifying the differences between a tourist and a traveler.  There are vast differences, in fact, the differences are polar opposites.  These complaints fit the very definition of a tourist.

This is not a complaint about Thomas Cook Vacations.  This is a highlight of those who complain for the sake of it, who feel entitled but are not, who lack cultural understanding and/or who simply don’t have common sense.  At first, these complaints don’t seem legit, but they are and they are ignorantly absurd.  Who could be so ignorant?  The next time you travel, be open-mined and adventurous.  Stop your complaining and don’t be an entitled douche bag.

Here are some simple differences between a tourist and a traveler.

Tourists – Tourists tend to stay in their comfort zones that are familiar with their home lifestyle.  They huddle around an area with the masses speaking their native tongue – unwilling to learn local languages and phrases.  Tourists normally stay around large cities and don’t go off-the-beaten-path.  The amenities they seek are similar to home.  They can often be seen staring into oblivion like a deer in headlights, asking for the nearest fast food chain or franchise restaurant, wear non-cultural clothing and have their minds stuck on an itinerary that has no flexibility.  Yawn, snore, Zzzzzz!

Photo via www.stylespalace.com
Photo via www.stylespalace.com


Travelers –  Travelers are open-minded and want to learn everything they can while in a new place. They go off-the-beaten-path to immerse themselves with the locals.  Travelers will eat unique local foods, sit in boutique coffee shops and converse with strangers and consider their trip an adventure not a vacation.  Travelers understand they are in a foreign place – the culture, language and vibe is different and they love every minute of their experience.  Travelers may have an itinerary and use a guide-book, but they are flexible and willing to alter their plans at any given moment. Spontaneity and adapting is key.  Being uptight and rigid is not a sign of a traveler.  Travelers want fun and mental orgasms not stiff unhappiness – what do you think jobs are for?

Photo via www.afs.org
Photo via www.afs.org


Brace yourselves for dullness, ignorance and hilarity. Thank you Thomas Cook Vacations for sharing the mindset of the unhappy, bored, simple-minded tourist.


1. “They should not allow topless sunbathing on the beach. It was very distracting for my husband who just wanted to relax.”

2. “On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food.”

3. “We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish.”

4. “We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our own swimsuits and towels. We assumed it would be included in the price.”

5. “The beach was too sandy. We had to clean everything when we returned to our room.”

6. “We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as white but it was more yellow.”

7. “It’s lazy of the local shopkeepers in Puerto Vallartato close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during ‘siesta’ time — this should be banned.”

8. “No-one told us there would be fish in the water. The children were scared.”

9. “Although the brochure said that there was a fully equipped kitchen, there was no egg-slicer in the drawers.”

10. “I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local convenience store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts.”

11. “The roads were uneven and bumpy, so we could not read the local guide book during the bus ride to the resort. Because of this, we were unaware of many things that would have made our holiday more fun.”

12. “It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair.”

13. “I compared the size of our one-bedroom suite to our friends’ three-bedroom and ours was significantly smaller.”

14. “The brochure stated: ‘No hairdressers at the resort.’ We’re trainee hairdressers and we think they knew and made us wait longer for service.”

15. “When we were in Spain, there were too many Spanish people there. The receptionist spoke Spanish, the food was Spanish. No one told us that there would be so many foreigners.”

16. “We had to line up outside to catch the boat and there was no air-conditioning.”

17. “It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel.”

18. “I was bitten by a mosquito. The brochure did not mention mosquitoes.”

19. “My fiancée and I requested twin-beds when we booked, but instead we were placed in a room with a king bed. We now hold you responsible and want to be re-reimbursed for the fact that I became pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked.”

where the magic happens


Here’s to the free-spirited, laid-back, open-minded and common sense travelers.  I’m one of them.  If I’m with an up-tight, complaint filled tourist, I go off on my own.  I’d hang with the locals, learn from them and alter my plans based on their suggestions to experience the magic of their hometown.

Feature photo via blogs.hrhero.com by Dan Oswald

Hipmunk City Love: 12 Fun Activities in Houston for Those on a Budget

Blog Post Type: Planning a Trip to a City

If you’re visiting Houston and you need to stick to a tight budget, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a wonderful time. A number of destinations in Houston are free or low-cost.

1. Spend an evening under the stars watching classical music, ballet, dance, film, and more at Miller Outdoor Theater in Hermann Park. The events are free of charge, and BYOB is welcome.

2. Art enthusiasts can check out the Menil Collection. This art collection by philanthropists John and Dominique de Menil is a local treasure and one of the top free destinations in Houston. If eclectic, eccentric and surrealism captures your interest, the Menil Collection will satisfy your cravings.


Photo by Scott Roth Events via Trover.com

3. Go on a walk and talk while shopping for fresh produce at the Green Market in Discovery Green Park. If you are visiting in the spring or fall, come back in the evening to listen to live music in the amphitheater.

4. Enjoy a history lesson of the Port of Houston with a 90-minute boat tour. Visitors will see freighters and barges leave and arrive along the 50-mile channel. Reservations are required, but the tour is free.

5. Tour Houston using Houston Greeters. This unique tour offers insights from local residents as they take travelers to local attractions and cultural destinations. Do you need someone to jog with or play a round of golf? You may join a Houston Greeter to take part in various activities.

6. Do you love museums and the great outdoors? The Heritage Society is an outdoor interactive museum and park in Sam Houston Park. The Heritage Society educates and preserves Houston’s rich history through collections and exhibits.


Photo by Albert Nurick via Trover.com

7. If the summer heat is getting to you while you explore Houston, make your way over to Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park and cool off with the park’s architectural fountain, which pumps 78,500 gallons of water every three hours. This 3-acre park, surrounded by 186 oak trees, is perfect for an afternoon break.

8. If you’re hungry and don’t want to wait in lines for a meal, go to Doozo Dumplings and Noodles. The line moves quickly, so have your cash ready. Doozo’s is takeout only, so you’ll be in and out in no time to enjoy a classic Japanese meal.

9. Enjoy a $1 afternoon espresso Monday through Friday (4 to 7 p.m.) at Antidote Coffee House. Exposed brick walls, motley groupings of furniture and artwork, and rubberized concrete floors gives this coffee-house a homey feel for those seeking an eclectic getaway and a caffeine rush.

10. Houston will fulfill your sweet tooth with a variety of gourmet bakeries including The Chocolate Bar, Dessert Gallery, Pondicheri Bake Lab + Shop, and more. Don’t deny yourself a tasty sweet treat, especially when you know you’ll burn it off as you continue your city tour.


Photo by Julia Anuras via Trover.com

11. To save money on Houston’s popular attractions, buy a CityPASS. This booklet of tickets costs $51 for adults or $41 for children. Each booklet has tickets for five attractions. Overall, the CityPASS will save you about half the regular prices you would normally spend.

12. Start your budget savings by staying in cheap hotels in Houston. Hotels are more expensive during the week, but rates go down over the weekend. Plan your travels right, and you’ll save a lot of money in America’s fourth-largest city.

Feature photo by Alonzo Williams Jr via Trover.com

About the Writer

Tony is a freelance travel writer and photographer, roller coaster enthusiast and self-proclaimed Sudoku master. He’s based in the Midwest U.S. and blogs at The Walking Traveler. He is working with Hipmunk on their #HipmunkCityLove Project.

Dubai: An Eclectic Mix of People and Their Ideas – Hipmunk City Love

Blog Post Type: Summary of a City Guide

There is nothing small about Dubai. The expression “go big or go home” is fitting for this desert city. As one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is modern and progressive. With its liberal policies and forward thinking for the region, tourists can engage in sunbathing, partying, and other sinful pleasures otherwise not seen in the Middle East. Dubai has the largest immigration population in the world, including people from India, Pakistan, China, and Europe. It’s a smorgasbord of music, architecture, food, arts, and sport, giving travelers various perspectives of world culture in an unlikely place.

Dubai 1

Photo by Emily Sabo via Trover.com


Dubai is often portrayed as a playground for the wealthy. While this is true, it has a food scene for every budget. Travelers can spend high for international cuisine at one of the various hotels, save a little with access to a variety of quality mid-range foods, or stay within budget while enjoying many regional foods and local cuisines that will please any palate. If street food is your choice, try shawarma. This Arabic version of a burger is meat cut into thin strips and placed in a kuhbus (pita) with vegetables and dressing. It’s cheap and found throughout the city and at various restaurants.

Water Activities and the Great Outdoors

The Arabian Peninsula offers some of the best water-sport activities in the world. The Sharjah enclave on the east coast, Khor Fakkan, is known for pristine diving on coral reefs. If you’re a fisherman, spend a relaxing day catching queen fish, snapper, Spanish mackerel, cobia, and more on one of the modern luxury vessels suited for comfort and convenience. Travelers can charter yachts for a relaxing ride on the water, speed yachts are available for the thrill seekers, and couples can enjoy a romantic time in tranquil waters.

Dubai 2

Photo by Anna Nicolai via Trover.com

With desert dominating the landscape, the adventurous can rent quad bikes, dune buggies, and 4×4 safari jeeps to go dune bashing. Patrons have access to an extensive fleet to drive and rip through the desert sands at speeds that are comfortable to the individual driver. For those who don’t want to risk bodily harm, travelers can tour the local zoo, visit the 72,000 square metre Dubai Miracle Garden with its 45 million flowers, or enjoy a hot air balloon ride. If you are traveling in the winter, witness the area camel races that are held on Thursdays and Fridays.


Dubai is synonymous with shopping. There are hundreds of malls and markets scattered throughout the emirate for the consumer enthusiast. Escape the heat in these air-conditioned oases where textiles, gold, and electronics are the popular goods and the best things to buy. One can even experience a taste of winter in the Mall of the Emirates by skiing down an indoor ski hill built into the mall. Dubai is so shopper friendly, they host a Dubai Shopping Festival from the beginning of January until the end of February and the Dubai Summer Surprises festival in the summer.

Dubai is a vacation kingdom for the wealthy, but it also caters to the business traveler and international tourist. There are many hotels in Dubai to choose from in this desert playground that caters to everyone’s needs. Think big and play big when traveling to Dubai and you’ll fit in.

Feature Photo by Ahmed Hamada via Trover.com

About the Writer

Tony is a freelance travel writer and photographer, roller coaster enthusiast and self-proclaimed Sudoku master. He’s based in the Midwest U.S. and blogs at The Walking Traveler. He is working with Hipmunk on their #HipmunkCityLove Project.

Hipmunk City Love Orlando: 8 Spa Hotels for Relaxation After a Day in the Sun

Orlando, FL is one of the world’s top travel destinations for families. Adults love the warm weather and kids enjoy spending time at Walt Disney World, Epcot Center, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, SeaWorld Orlando, and Universal Studio’s Orlando. There is nothing better for a parent than seeing a smile on their child’s face. But after a long day playing on the kid’s stage, parents are ready for relaxation and downtime. Orlando has amazing spa and sauna hotels to sooth mom and dad after a long day in the sun. Here are 8 spa and sauna hotels to rejuvenate every parent.


Photo by Dalyn Ripley via Trover.com

1. A stay at the Universal’s Lowes Royal Pacific Resort will give guests access to the Mandara Spa. Relax and recharge in one of the 14 treatment rooms before going to the Wantilan Luau.

2. The Poseidon Spa inside the Grand Bohemian Orlando, Autograph Collection offers massages from its Jewels of the Sea Collection. Other amenities offered by Poseidon include body wraps, body scrubs, couples massage, facials, and in-suite massages. The Poseidon Spa is perfect for couples to indulge after a long day with the kids.

3. Select Massage, Inc. inside The Florida Hotel and Conference Center offers luxurious spas including a Swedish and sports massage. After a long day in meetings or at a theme park, a reflexology session is a perfect way to end the day. Romantic couple’s massages are available as well.


Photo by Kim Coulombe via Trover.com

4. With only 17 rooms at The Eo Inn And Spa Hotel, guests experience special pampering and extra attention. Surrounded by a quiet atmosphere and tranquil environment, travelers can receive facials, massages, and body treatments at this posh hotel.

5. The kids can get in on the action at The Seasons A Two Bedroom by swimming in the kids pool as mom and dad enjoy the outdoor pool and hot tub. A sauna is also available for further pampering.

6. Rock ‘n’ Roll is here to stay. When guests stay at Universal’s Hard Rock Hotel,  they will enjoy an exciting swim in the outdoor pool and a relaxing time in the sauna. Of course this comes after playing air guitar and rockin’ out to great music.

7. Whether in town for a conference or leisure, the Sheraton Orlando North Hotel offers a fitness room, outdoor pool, and spa tub. Conveniently located north of Orlando, the Sheraton Orlando North Hotel allows travelers to get away for a while from the hustle and bustle of the theme parks.

Downtown Orlando

Photo by Mathias Pohl via Trover.com

8. Universal’s Lowes Portofino Bay Hotel has three themed pools on its property including one with a water slide that looks like a Roman aqueduct. The Portofino also has a fitness center and a steam and sauna room to relax in after a jog or walk around the property’s walking path.

Orlando is a giant playground for children and adults. Staying young at heart is essential to longevity and happiness. After a day of playing in the sun with your children, enter into a state of relaxed bliss in a spa and sauna hotel in and around Mickey’s paradise.

About the Writer

Tony is a freelance travel writer and photographer, roller coaster enthusiast and self-proclaimed Sudoku master. He’s based in the Midwest U.S. and blogs at The Walking Traveler. He is working with Hipmunk on their #HipmunkCityLove Project.

Hipmunk City Love: 7 Spa Hotels in Toronto

Toronto is a world-class city that offers many attractions to explore and photograph. The winters are long and cold, and the shoulder seasons are cool with chilly evenings. With an average monthly temperature of 11 degrees Celsius / 51 degrees Fahrenheit, relaxing and rejuvenating in a spa or sauna is a perfect way to end your day. Here are seven hotels with spas and saunas to warm the Toronto traveler.


Photo by Jonas Galura via Trover.com

1. Enjoy a soothing time in the spa tub after a nice cardio workout swimming in the indoor pool at the Eaton Chelsea. Guests can also cleanse their bodies by spending quality time in the sauna. These premium amenities will energize everyone’s soul.

2. Men and women become kings and queens in the Votre Beaute European Day Spa inside the Westin Harbor Castle. Located on Lake Ontario at the Toronto Inner Harbour, the Votre Beaute offers advanced European spa treatments that balance one’s body, mind, and soul. Face & body, foot & hand, and hair services are available. Spa packages are available, as well.

3. Spend 30, 45, 60, or 90 minutes receiving a registered Swedish or Aromatherapy massage in the health club at the Fairmont Royal York. Whether guests are in town for business, pleasure, or are finishing a workout or swim, a soothing massage is the perfect way to end the day before a relaxing night of sleep.

4. An aromatic foot bath is a perfect complement for a tourist who has walked the streets of Toronto for hours. For those who have been in business meetings or seminars all day, a body treatment with purifying body glows with herbs and salts will ease your tension and worries. These are samples of what the Senses Spa at theSheraton Centre Toronto Hotel offers to those looking for peace of mind at the end of a productive day.

Sheraton Centre Toronto

Photo by Timandra Dyer via Trover.com

5. The Grand Spa at the Grand Hotel & Suites Toronto has an extensive menu offering a variety of facials, manicures & pedicures, and massages. From a classical facial and a variety of waxings for men and women to a luxurious SPA Pedicure to a Hot Stone Massage, it would take a guest weeks to exhaust all the options offered.

6. The Spa Intercontinental at the InterContinental Toronto Centre is an 8000-square-foot oasis guaranteed to sooth anyone’s soul. With 10 treatment rooms, a 48-foot saline pool, salt hot tub, and solarium, the highly trained staff is ready to serve and pamper guests with superior service. Follow Spa etiquette and an experience at the Spa InterContinental will increase tenfold.

7. The Stillwater Spa at the Park Hyatt Toronto features 17 treatment rooms, a couple’s massage room, steam room, sauna, whirlpool, and aqua therapy room. Through the use of creative and trend setting products, Stillwater Spa has guests relaxing in tranquillity allowing them to escape the demands of daily life. Stillwater also has a tea lounge to help you relax before or after a treatment. If hunger overcomes you after a treatment, ask about the Toronto Spa Cuisine that is sure to delight.

About the Writer

Tony is a freelance travel writer and photographer, roller coaster enthusiast and self-proclaimed Sudoku master. He is based in the Midwest U.S. and blogs at The Walking Traveler. He is working with Hipmunk on their #HipmunkCityLove Project.

Feature photo by KHYLAsophy via Trover.com