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5 Best Things To Do In Maryland

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One of the smallest states in the United States, Maryland sits peacefully on the Atlantic shore on the historic Chesapeake Bay, near Washington, D.C. Regardless of its size, this beautiful state has a lot to offer—from museums to historic sites, breweries, amusement parks, lakes, thriving wetlands, forested mountains, lakes, and waterfalls to keep you entertained throughout.

The state is quite popular with sailors, beachgoers, and nature lovers due to the vast number of outdoor settings. However, that isn’t to say that Maryland doesn’t appeal to others. Sports betting and gambling are legal in Maryland. Meaning many people from the neighboring states often enter to visit Maryland sportsbooks and casinos.

After all, you don’t require a considerable budget to experience all the fun Maryland has to offer.

If you plan a trip to this state, here are the top five attractions you shouldn’t miss visiting.

1. National Aquarium

Located in Baltimore, the National Aquarium is a dramatic building overlooking the Inner Harbor. Inside, you will find the replicates of numerous ecosystems for marine life from across the world. The place is also home to birds, mammals, and appropriate plant life.

Though all environments are not underwater, they share a common link to water. The largest of all the ecosystems here is the five-story Tropical RainForest, where you will get to explore life at various levels—from forest floor to the treetops and from plants to frogs, birds, sloths, and monkeys.

In the Atlantic, Coral Reef exhibits are sharks and dolphins alongside other tropical fishes.

2. Ocean City Boardwalk

As the name suggests, this attraction is located in Ocean City. It features nearly 3 miles of exciting pedestrian route lined with various entertainment for people of all age groups.

You will also be able to find some of the most popular attractions for families in Maryland near the boardwalk, including museums, restaurants, rides, and hotels. So, after enjoying a stroll, taking in the beautiful beach with soft sands and sparkling waters, consider grabbing an ice cream and finding a place to relax.

If you are traveling with your kids, drop by Timper’s Rides and Amusements and Ripley’s for some added fun.

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3. The Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum in the Mount Vernon Cultural District in Baltimore is a unique cultural landmark. It is also one of the few institutions that stand for a comprehensive history of world art.

The museum features all forms of art from the third millennium B.C. through the early 20th century. The collections are displayed and interpreted spectacularly. However, the museum is best known for its magnificent jewelry, ivories, enamels, bronzes, and illuminated manuscripts.

Furthermore, the Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Byzantine antiquities are immaculate. So are the medieval and Renaissance art collections.

4. Old Town Annapolis and William Paca House

Located between the Town Dock and the Maryland State House are many blocks that feature history and charm. The State House was once the United States Capitol. It is also one of the oldest State House still in continuous legislative use.

The William Paca House and Garden are located down the hill. As you make your way there, you will get to explore narrow streets brimming with picture-worthy brick and clapboard buildings. If you are wondering who William Paca is, he was the signer of the Declaration of Independence.

The place was fully refurbished with period antiques and original Paca family items. It features a two-acre garden with a fish-shaped pond, terraces, and a topiary. The house is also an example of how an influential and prosperous Annapolis family looked and felt in the colonial era.

Fort McHenry National Monument

5. Fort McHenry National Monument

The fort was completed in 1803 to secure Baltimore’s busy harbor entrance. In 1814, Fort McHenry withstood a 24-hour bombardment by the British, thereby evolving to be a national icon. However, there is more history to this fort than the bombardment.

The fort once saved Baltimore from occupation. It also acted as a source of inspiration for Francis Scott Key to write The Star-Spangled Banner. He was held a prisoner on a British ship during the attack.

While at Fort McHenry, you can tour the buildings, walk the ramparts, or catch a dramatic multimedia presentation on the fort’s history and the national anthem.

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Europe

Visiting the Edinburgh Dungeons – Review and Giveaway

Check out our free giveaway of a family pass and review of the super spooky Edinburgh Dungeons.

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Edinburgh Dungeons Review

Edinburgh Dungeons Review

Edinburgh Dungeons Review

If you have time to kill after spending 48 hours in Edinburgh and have encountered the typical wet Scottish weather, it might be worthwhile visiting the Edinburgh Dungeons. The Dungeons were not high on our list of things to do, but one drizzly summer afternoon, we decided to head along and check out what the fuss was all about.

Located in the heart of the capital near Waverley Train station, the Edinburgh Dungeons are conveniently located so that you can tick it off your list of things to do after visiting some of the other sights in the city center as well.

The attraction is run as a tour with groups of around 40 people lasting just over an hour. All the characters and guides are dressed in period costumes and play their roles very well. We were nearly the last ones to enter the first room, which is set out like a mock courtroom, and so, of course, we had the front row seats.

Sure enough, Adela was picked out by the “judge” who made her plead guilty to her crime of dancing atop Arthur’s Seat naked. It annoys me when you visit a place like this which is all about crowd interaction, and everyone is too scared to speak up or laugh. So make sure you get involved just like we did.

All the hallways are very dimly lit, and you spend the entire hour waiting for someone to jump out and scare the bejesus out of you, which does happen from time to time. I am not sure how some of the kids on our tour handled it because even I was afraid!

You are ushered into various rooms you are given an insight into what life was like in Scotland a few hundred years ago. Including the different torture devices used, William Wallace’s beheading, meeting Sawney Bean’s family of cannibals and watching a dissection occur.

Our favorite was saved to last when we went on the “Drop Ride to Doom!” Winched up several meters to the hangman’s noose, you are dropped into the pitch blackness to answer for your crimes. It makes for some classic photos they take just as you are released.

Disclaimer: We were provided with two tickets to the Edinburgh Dungeons, but as always, our thoughts and comments are our own.

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Travel Tips

10 Dream Holiday Destinations For Couples

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Exploring new and exciting places with the person you love provides the most incredible life experiences you could ever ask for. However, while the right companion is the most critical factor, there is no doubt that the choice of destination can have a meaningful impact too.

No two couples are the same, so finding a destination that satisfies your requirements is critical. Ten perfect goals catered to different personalities, tastes, and budgets.

1| London, England

London is one of the greatest cities on the planet and is visited by millions every year. First and foremost, there are many things to see and do in London. As a tourist, though, it’s even more exciting to know that many of those attractions are near each other. The less time you spend traveling as a couple, the more time you can enjoy your break in the city.

While the attractions themselves will appeal to all, many are particularly suited to couples. Finding the romance with a walk along the Southbank, a river cruise, or meander through Hyde Park. Irrespective of the time of year you choose to visit, London is waiting to be explored by couples.

The multicultural DNA of the city ensures that finding food and entertainment that’s to your taste should be easy too.

London, Parliament, England, Ben Ben, Westminster

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2| The Seven Seas

Taking a cruise is a bucket list item for everyone. However, taking a cruise with your lover can take this incredible experience to new heights. After all, there’s nothing quite like looking out across the water. Sunrises and sunsets are particularly romantic.

Moreover, this is the perfect way to explore multiple locations and countries in a short space of time. Given that synching up your holiday time can often be very difficult, this opportunity to squeeze more into the break is beautiful indeed.

3| The Maldives

If the idea of getting away from it all to enjoy a short break of private luxury appeals, Maldives is ideal. Sun, sea, and sand are guaranteed, while the islands provide a slice of the excellent life unlike any place on earth. You’ve almost certainly seen pictures and videos. Even those images fail to do it justice.

The quiet is the perfect way to break away from the hectic nature of modern life. The food and drink are exceptional too. Combining this trip with visits to neighboring destinations such as Sri Lanka is also very possible. You will love it. This is a trendy destination for married couples, including those on their honeymoon.

This is paradise. And there’s no better way to enjoy it than with your significant other.

4| Miami, Florida

The United States of America is home to many couple-friendly destinations. Miami, Florida, offers a little bit of everything. From the Everglades to Ocean Drive, every excursion is one that you’ll cherish forever. This is the ultimate holiday destination in the USA.

There are some genuinely excellent short-term rental opportunities on Airbnb too. Better still, when you travel at the right time of the year, great weather will be virtually guaranteed. If you stay a little longer, trips to Orlando’s many theme parks can take the adventures to a new level.

Miami, Cruise, Port, Florida, Ship, Skyline, Travel

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5| Paris, France

The city of love is one of the top destinations on vacation wish lists of couples around the world. Therefore, it should be on the bucket list if you’ve yet to go. Not only is it one of those things that every couple should do. More importantly, it is a romantic city blessed with great food, stunning backdrops, and cultural significance at every turn.

Paris is blessed with many attractions that everyone should see at least once. The Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and Louvre are all significant sights. Meanwhile, Notre Dame will be a must-see after it is refurbished. The gothic architecture is also supported by a tourist-friendly city with street artists and performances. The public is very welcoming too.

The romantic venues are ideal for lovers while it’s also a great choice of venue for a proposal.

6| Riviera Maya, Mexico

Several items will be on the checklist when taking a romantic trip with your partner. If spending time in a venue exclusive to adults, saving you from screaming kids, Riviera Maya in Mexico is ideal. Many of the popular destinations’ top hotels offer this feature.

A few relaxed days can be coupled with a trip to Chichen Itza. You can take a long-haul holiday to learn how much a private jet costs to fly. Get it right, and you’ll be set for the trip of a lifetime. Seeing a Wonder of the World with your lover is a memorable experience.

Chichen Itza, Riviera Maya, Mexico

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7| Iceland

Iceland is a small country but with a big reputation. It is a welcoming destination for solo travelers, couples, and groups alike. The combination of natural beauty, friendly locals, and weather are particularly suited to a romantic holiday. This is especially true when you cozy up in a hotel pod under the stars.

The small island country boasts some truly stunning sceneries and natural features. From visiting the blue lagoons to seeing the northern lights, the experiences gained in Iceland are unique. The romantic backdrops are supported by accommodation facilities that support those sentiments. A week should be long enough to explore the island nation in style.

Frankly, every couple should visit at least once in their lifetime. It’s too beautiful to miss out.

8| Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Amsterdam is known for its liberal approach to sex and drugs. However, it offers so much more. Its culture is heavily influenced by music, fashion, and sport. Meanwhile, the canals and stunning architecture provide a romantic setting for couples, especially at mealtimes.

The country’s small size means that you can easily explore other places like Eindhoven, Groningen, and Rotterdam. Even if you stay in the capital city, boredom isn’t an option. Whether you want to visit the red light district, Amsterdam has plenty for couples to enjoy.

Amsterdam, Canals, Netherlands, Holland, Water, City

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9| Kho Phangan, Thailand

Thailand is another destination that is known for liberal thoughts. While there are many beautiful places to explore across the country, Kho Phangan is one best. You can live and explore the area at a pace that suits you. So whether you’re a couple that loves the fast life or prefers a calmer vacation, this destination is ideal for starting any trip to Asia.

A quick search of things to do in Kho Phangan will open your eyes to many different ideas. While you could undoubtedly tour the whole of Thailand, this region alone will have more than enough to keep you satisfied for the duration of your stay. Exploring by foot or bicycle is very fun, while the fact that many people don’t even know about this hidden gem is vital to remember.

Whether it’s a solo destination or part of an Asian tour, this is a beautiful part of the world to visit.

The island is full of hundreds of options for accommodation, but if you’re looking for a great Koh Phangan hostel, you should check out Mad Monkey Koh Phangan.

10| Home

Life is about creating magical memories with the people you love. While traveling the globe is a great way to celebrate this, simply spending time together is the greatest gift. Modern life encourages couples to forget this, but taking time off for a staycation will change this.

By exploring the local attractions, you can rediscover a love of your hometown and your partner. It’s cheaper, involves less travel, and can genuinely promote a greater appreciation of each other. Best of all, minimal planning other than booking time off of work is required.

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Africa

Basic Arabic Words for Travel to Egypt

Use our quick language guide to learn the key basic Arabic words that we used when travelling through Egypt and the Middle East.

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Basic Arabic Words

We knew very little about the Egyptian language before we visited earlier this year. All we knew was that they spoke Arabic. And to be honest, to my untrained and ignorant eyes, the written Arabic language looks a lot like squiggly lines.

We are not talking about ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics either, which would make me feel like an idiot if I had to translate them!

Essential Arabic Words To Get By In Egypt

Egyptian Hieroglyphics

We always pride ourselves on learning a few essential words and phrases to help us communicate when traveling in foreign countries. The locals always seem to appreciate it, and it makes us feel as if we are immersing ourselves in the culture, which is why we love to travel.

So whether you are just visiting the numerous Red Sea all-inclusive vacations or the Great Pyramids of Giza, use our list of essential Arabic words and phrases below to help you out on your next travel adventure through Egypt and the Middle East.

Keep in mind that there are loads of different ways to greet someone or be polite, etc. But by using the essential Arabic words below daily when strolling through the markets or stopping to eat Egyptian street food.

Street food in Egypt Falafel

Essential Arabic Words and Phrases

Marhaba = Hello.

Shukran = Thank you (although we usually used “la shukran,” which is no “thank you” when being offered another 100 camels for Adela).

Tatakallam ‘English? = Do you speak English?

Ya-Allah = Let’s go.

Naam = Yes.

La =No.

Min fad like = Please.

Kam? = How much?

Afwan = Excuse me.

Ilal-liqa = I’ll see you later.

‘Ayna… = Where is…

…al-Hammaam? = …the rest room?

WaaHid = One

‘Ithnayn = Two

Thalaatha = Three

‘Arbaxa = Four

Khamsa = Five

As always practice makes perfect and there is no easier way to learn a language than trying it out in every day situations so don’t be afraid to have a go. Your pronunciation might be a bit off the first few times but like we said above, most locals will appreciate you trying and correct you.

Reader question: Do you have any tips or additional words that we didn’t include that you think we should?

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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