Whether you’re headed to the beach or are just lounging in your backyard hammock, summer is the perfect time to escape with a good book. Our summer reading list includes quintessential steamy beach reads and quirky family memoirs, but all of our picks also have us wanting to pack our bags for summer vacations of our own — from sexy Spanish beaches to the wild Amazon rainforest.
Photo by The Cosmopolitan
Wide-eyed. A little overwhelmed. And, admittedly, a bit dazzled. That sums up how I felt my first few hours in Las Vegas, on my first ever trip to Vegas. “You haven’t been to Vegas?!” most people exclaimed when I told them this was my first trip. It seems no one could believe that I’d reached my 30s without at least 1 rite-of-passage, wild weekend in Vegas. And maybe that’s why I hadn’t felt a need to check this city off my list before now – I felt I could go without visiting a city full of Hangover-style debauchery laced with cheesy tourist traps. While I did find these things in Vegas, I surprisingly learned that it’s also possible to have a sophisticated and unexpected weekend here, too.
So if you want a mix of class and whimsy and OK, a few adventurous drinks, follow my first-timer’s 48-hour itinerary for Vegas.
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World Cup fever is growing hotter and hotter around the world, and while soccer watching has not always been associated with the US, the 2014 FIFA World Cup seems to be capturing America’s interest. Last night’s nail-biting USA-Portugal match on ESPN scored a 9.6 rating, making it the highest-rated World Cup match ever in the US. While the world’s game is growing in popularity across America, what US city can lay claim to having the most World Cup fans? The nation’s capital: Washington, DC.
It’s official – summer is finally here (well, this Saturday, to be exact)! Now you have roughly 13 weeks or 95 days to take advantage of all the best things about summer, from food-fueled road trips to rooftop cocktails to lazy beach days. Don’t have a plan yet? Get inspired to create your own list with our 7 summer must-dos.
Photography by Kenji Croman. GoKenji.com
Near drownings. Shark attacks. Broken bones. Trips to the ER … All in the pursuit of the perfect wave. Kenji Croman isn’t a big wave surfer with a death wish, but a photographer chasing mammoth waves in his native state of Hawaii. Like a lot of Hawaiians growing up, Kenji started out bodysurfing, but it wasn’t until he was 30 years old, when he combined his love for photography and his love of the ocean, that he felt he could truly communicate how he saw the waves: as art in motion.
We were lucky to catch up with Kenji on dry land, and find out what it takes to capture the perfect wave the split second it breaks and barrels over his head, how he survived surf that nearly killed him, and ultimately, what keeps him heading back out into the water. Take one look at his photos and you’ll understand why.
Worried that you’ll be unprepared for a zombie apocalypse? No need to fear that humanity will come to an end; the US federal government has a contingency plan in place for the unlikely event of a zombie invasion.
Foreign Policy details the US Military’s defense strategy to “preserve the sanctity of human life” among all the “non-zombie humans.” This zombie survival plan was reportedly found on a secret computer network as an unclassified document. While this plan, known as “Counter-Zombie Dominance” or CONOP 8888, might seem like a hoax, it was dated April 30, 2011 and included a disclaimer section that stated, “this plan was not actually designed as a joke.”
REUTERS/U.S. Library of Congress/Handout via Reuters
Could a sunken shipwreck off the coast of Haiti be the biggest discovery since 1492? Underwater explorer Barry Clifford claims he may have discovered one of the most significant ships in history, Christopher Columbus’ flagship Santa Maria.
The shipwreck was found in the exact area, off the north coast of Hispaniola, which is now Haiti, where Columbus said the Santa Maria ran aground on his first voyages to the Americas more than 500 years ago, Clifford reported to CNN. Stuck on a reef off Haiti’s northern coast, the wreck sits just 10 to 15 feet beneath the water’s surface.
All photos courtesy of Sonia Gill
A self-described language geek, entrepreneur and an award-winning travel web series host, Sonia Gil is Our Type of Traveler.
Founder of the digital language learning company Fluenz, and host of “Sonia’s Travels” web series, Sonia shows that you can travel the world and enrich your life without breaking the bank. With a mission to “crack the secret code of cities,” “Sonia’s Travels” uncovers the local flavor of destinations, avoiding the tourist-trodden spots, to dig deeper to find the true soul of a city.
Sharing her love of language, Sonia’s projects include the non-profit Fluenz.org that distributes free English language programs for people in need. Recently, Sonia partnered with Lonely Planet to create FluentRoad.com, a unique online program for travelers interested in learning travel Spanish.
Sonia also has her own video series “Almost Free” on Ulive.com. As winner of the Webby Award for “Web Personality of the Year” in 2012, Sonia continues to “recapture the small moments that add up to the art of travel.”
We caught up with Sonia on the road to find out about all those small, but meaningful moments in her travels:
Hello, spring! After a long, dark and cold winter, we couldn’t be more ready for the weather to warm up and the days to get a little longer. Need more reasons to head outside? Nature is blooming, music festivals are heating up and the summer crowds are still at bay.
So quit hibernating and savor spring outdoors with our to-do list:
The mountain village of Furcy, Haiti. All photos by Kathleen Rellihan
“You’re going where?!”
I got that reaction a lot when telling people I was going to Haiti. That, and a long silence … or a raised eyebrow.
As someone who’s been known to plan last-minute trips, sometimes solo, I have been used to people doing double-takes. Usually, though, it’s just my dad who’s shocked, like the time I told him I was skipping Thanksgiving and heading to Iceland, alone, in the dead of winter. But this time, it was pretty much everyone who was surprised.
Did they think Haiti was too dangerous? Did they have mixed feelings about the voluntourism that I was about to embark on … that, perhaps, it wasn’t sustainable and, at best, just a feel-good activity. Or maybe my friends and family were just shocked that once again I was skipping Thanksgiving, and this time for an even less likely location … Haiti.