Welcome to the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The winter solstice kicks off this Saturday, and with it, thousands of visitors from around the world have gathered at Stonehenge — the mysterious standing set of stones dating between 3000 B.C. and 2000 B.C., in Wiltshire, England — to mark the grand astronomical event when the monument aligns on a sight-line pointing to the winter solstice sunset.
Of course, who are we fooling? On Saturday morning, most of us would probably prefer to snuggle up under the covers than brave the gathering crowds at Stonehenge (even if the new $44 million visitors center, which opened this past Wednesday, sounds interesting, with an exhibition that includes a forensic reconstruction of a Neolithic man). We’ll leave it to the druids, pagans and astronomical diehards currently gathered at Stonehenge to fill us in on the grand event, which, on the flip side, ushers in the longest night of the year.
Well folks, you had the perfect gift picked out online, added it to your list, but just when you were about to add it to your “cart,” the express shipping fee made your eyes bulge or worse, the item is now on backorder. Not to fear, we have some last-minute ideas that your favorite traveler will truly appreciate: An unforgettable travel experience where the only thing to ship is yourself.
Glamping at the Resort at Paws Up in Greenough, MT
Wilderness lovers and those who prefer to be pampered (think: gourmet meals) will both be pleased with a getaway to this luxurious ranch about 30 minutes east of Missoula, MT. Guests can go fly fishing, horseback riding and hot-air ballooning before hitting the spa tent for a massage and then retiring to their own tent, complete with heated floors and electricity.
Check out more glamping spots.
Sonoma Country’s 3-Day Barrel Tasting Weekends
The Wine Road, an association of more than 100 wineries that includes household names like Clos du Bois and family-owned operations such as Stryker Sonoma, typically hosts barrel tastings twice a year along Sonoma’s Russian River Wine Road. Most wineries offer “futures” on their barrel samples — a chance to purchase wine while it’s still in the barrel, at a discount, before the wine is bottled in 12 to 18 months. So this really could be the gift that keeps on giving.
Explore more wine-tour weekends.
“I can go anywhere …”
Everyone is frightened of something, but sometimes our fears can prevent us from exploring our world. Most of the time, facing our fears can help us overcome them. But what if the fear is your child’s? And what if it’s his or her fear of flying that makes going to see grandma or taking a family vacation a nightmare … for everyone? READ MORE
The day has finally come. Almost a decade after the release of the first Anchorman film, Ron Burgundy and the KVWN San Diaaaaago news team are back. Yesterday marked the highly anticipated (and cameo-packed) release of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, where anchorman (NOT anchorlady) Ron Burgundy and his news team take their … er… talents … to “GNN,” the very first 24-hour cable news network. READ MORE
One might assume that Brasília, the capital of Brazil, has been around for more than a century, but in reality, it was built on an impressive timeline of just 41 months, from 1956 to 1960. Brazil’s capital for the longest time was the extremely populated Rio de Janeiro, but then the government decided it was essential for the capital to be moved to the center of the country. And so, Brasília was born!
Brasília, the Capital of Innovation
Unlike other host cities for the FIFA World Cup 2014, Brasília is unique in that it was entirely a planned city. As part of the country’s “50 years of prosperity in 5″ plan, Brazil’s president at the time, Juscelino Kubitschek, and urban planner Lúcio Costa approached Oscar Niemeyer about becoming the chief architect in designing the new city’s public buildings.
At the time, Niemeyer was the youngest and most influential designer on the team, having served as the architectural mastermind behind the United Nations Headquarters in New York City roughly a decade before. From the moment he signed onto the project, Niemeyer turned Brasilia into his playground, creating buildings with modern and surreal architecture that could reflect the young capital’s innovativeness. Years later, UNESCO cited Brasília as a World Heritage site.
Where is everyone dreaming of getting hitched and starting their happily-ever-after? Today Google released their year-in-review Zeitgeist list for 2013, which included the top searched destination wedding locations and honeymoon destinations for 2013.
It’s clear from Google’s data that couples are definitely dreaming of beach “I do’s,” in places such as Jamaica, Bahamas and Bermuda. While Hawaii has always been a desired destination wedding, we like seeing that the less-developed Kauai island is getting more love in 2013. We do wonder though, how many brides and grooms book these destination weddings or are they just dreaming of them?
Indeed, we can depend on the Christmas tree at NYC’s Rockefeller Center to beguile us with its size and glittering ornamentation year after year.