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As part of the travel blog community, we like to keep a weather eye on the horizon and bring things to our readers that happened to catch our attention this week on the blogroll. We found some tips on traveling to London for the Olympics, as well as gorgeous photos of Ecuador and the cenotes of Mexico.

Peter Greenberg offers suggestions for how to avoid hotels when traveling abroad for the Olympics.

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By Mommy Points

There’s only 1 week left until the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic Games in London! I’m lucky enough to have tickets to a few official events, but I am still in search of other inexpensive things to do while enjoying the festivities. It turns out that there are plenty of activities going on in the city that don’t require spending a bunch of cash — you can even watch some Olympic events for free!

Free Official Olympic Events:

Road Cycling: July 28(men’s), July 29(women’s), and Aug. 1 (men’s and women’s)

Triathalon: Aug. 4 (women’s) and Aug. 7 (men’s)

Race Walking: Aug. 4 (men’s) and Aug. 11 (men’s and women’s)

Marathon: Aug. 5 (women’s) and Aug. 12 (men’s)

Swimming Marathon: Aug. 9 (women’s) and Aug. 10 (men’s) READ MORE

Discovery aired an Animal Planet documentary this past weekend called Mermaids: The Body Found. Unfortunately, a mermaid body has not been found, despite many internet crawlers’ assumptions.  But cheer up, Ariel — here are some ways you can travel like a mermaid (and, no, it doesn’t involve growing a tail).

Eat Like a Mermaid

*Dine lakeside on fresh seafood at the Mermaid Café in Mississippi.

*Enjoy the eclectic atmosphere as you fill up on Floridian cuisine under the sea-green tin roof of the Sign of the Mermaid Restaurant on Anna Maria island in Florida.

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Attention cubicle nomads and desk travelers: Google announced yesterday that their ever-popular street view now includes updated panoramic images of the Antarctic wilderness.

New Fortuna Glacier, 1915 / photographed by Frank Hurley

Google launched the first street view images of the Antarctic in September 2012, but the search giant  added panoramic imagery of historic Antarctic locations as part of their World Wonders project, with which Google hopes to bring modern and ancient wonders to people’s desktops. You can find even more world wonders with our collection of World Heritage Sites photo galleries.

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 Casa de Campo 

Chances are, if you’ve been keeping up with the Kardashians, you know that the famous family stayed at Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic. But Casa de Campo is more than a respite for the rich and famous – as one of the best sporting resorts in the world, it’s offering its guests the opportunity to get away with family and friends to create their own 2012 summer games in the Caribbean.

Enjoy their luxurious accommodations, world-class sports facilities and 5-star meals while following the actual games on big screens displayed throughout the resort. When you’re not following the official Olympic Games, Casa de Campo’s summer inclusive package includes sporting adventures such as tennis, horseback riding, skeet shooting, 63 holes of legendary golf on 3 Pete Dye-designed courses, and an array of water sports ranging from freshwater fishing and kayaking along the Chavon River (backdrop to 1979 film, Apocalypse Now!), to deep-sea fishing in the Caribbean Sea and sailing at the 370-slip Marina & Yacht Club. Guests work with preferred travel professionals or the resort’s concierge service to personalize their adventure itinerary.

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Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month in 1984. And lucky for us and the 90% of Americans who are ice cream lovers, today is National Ice Cream Day! We want to help you celebrate this most appetizing of summer holidays with tips on where to find the very best places for a bowl (or cone!) of the creamy stuff. Sure, you could have your own ice cream social, but there are a few events happening around the country that might spark your appetite for some chilled confections.

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For today’s Daily Escape, we take you to Place de la Bastille, a square in the heart of Paris, in celebration of Bastille Day. But what is Bastille Day? Well, Place de la Bastille was where the notorious and oppressive Bastille fortress, which was used by many kings of France as a state prison, once stood. Then came the fateful day of July 14, 1789 – Bastille Day — when it was stormed by a crowd of workers, mutinous soldiers and traders, triggering a major flashpoint in the French Revolution. That single moment turned what was once a symbol of autocratic cruelty into a spirit of defiance.

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“Are you frightened?”
“No.”
“I don’t know … they’re pretty big girls …”

YouTube Preview Image

Not everyone can travel to Spain to run with the bulls — luckily, New Orleans has you covered! Tomorrow, the “Encierro” takes place at 8 a.m. sharp, but the festival is happening all weekend. Just head to the Big Easy to run with the … bulls. Or rather, roller derby girls decked out in bull horns and brandishing whiffle ball bats. Totally the same.

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If you live in a major metropolitan area, you probably already know that the traffic in your city is pretty bad, so seeing your home make it on a list of cities with the worst traffic isn’t too much of a surprise. But maybe you’re planning on renting a car in Miami or taking a family road trip to San Francisco. In that case, TomTom’s North American Traffic Congestion Report might come in handy.

According to the report, the cities that saw an increase in traffic over the last year were Seattle, Houston, Ottawa, Ontario, San Francisco and Miami.

The cities that saw a decrease? Edmonton in Alberta, New York, Boston, Minneapolis and Toronto.

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By Mommy Points

If you’re anything like me and don’t have quite the athletic ability to make it to the Olympic Games as a competitor, then the closest you can get to the experience is as a cheering spectator in the stands. The good news is that being a spectator at the Olympics is an absolutely amazing experience, and the even better news is that it still isn’t too late to get tickets to events at the 2012 Olympic Games in London!

Olympic Tickets Still Available

 Photo By Getty Images

As recently as early July I had success purchasing tickets to gymnastics finals at face value via the official ticket source in the United States.  (More on that later). READ MORE

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