Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Route 66 Kicks: See the Oklahoma Sites Along This Famous Stretch of Road

Route 66 Kicks: See the Oklahoma Sites Along This Famous Stretch of Road

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“If you ever plan to motor West, travel my way, take the highway that’s the best,” Nat King Cole crooned in 1946. Route 66 was the first highway to connect the Midwest to the West Coast, and it still symbolizes the spirit of American independence. Though it’s not the longest or oldest public highway in the country, it is the most romanticized, and when it was decommissioned in 1985 many felt that a bit of American optimism was lost. But several of the eight states that boast a piece of old Route 66 are working to recapture the glory days of motor travel. Of them all, Oklahoma may be doing it best.

According to LegendsOfAmerica.com, Oklahoma was the birth place of Route 66, the brainchild of Cyrus Avery. He hatched the idea to link two of America’s most powerful cities, Los Angeles and Chicago, with a continuous ribbon of pavement. Taking a trip across Oklahoma’s revitalized portion of Route 66 is like visiting another era, a time when cars were big and gas was cheap. So wax up your iron beast and treat it to some road-worthy tires—it’s time to get your kicks.

Claremore – The Will Rogers Memorial

route kicks see oklahoma sites Route 66 Kicks: See the Oklahoma Sites Along This Famous Stretch of Road

Photo by K.Muncie via Flickr

A stop to honor one of America’s most beloved figures is only fitting when you’re touring Route 66; one of the many nicknames for the highway was the “Will Rogers Highway.” The memorial includes a museum and theaters where visitors can watch clips of Rogers from his vaudeville days.

While you’re in Claremore, take a tour of Belvidere Mansion, one of four allegedly haunted attractions in the area. This one is a beautifully restored Gothic mansion, where people claim to have seen the ghosts of the original home owner (who died during construction) and his wife.

Claremore Area – Totem Pole Park

route kicks see oklahoma sites1 Route 66 Kicks: See the Oklahoma Sites Along This Famous Stretch of Road

Photo by Dustin M. Ramsey via Wikimedia Commons

Just 10 miles north of Claremore off Route 66 stands a once-in-a-lifetime sight: the world’s largest totem pole. At 90 feet tall, this monolith was conceived and built by Oklahoma legend Nathan Edward Galloway and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Afton – The Buffalo Ranch Travel Center

route kicks see oklahoma sites2 Route 66 Kicks: See the Oklahoma Sites Along This Famous Stretch of Road

Photo by KellyK via Flickr

If you’re a fan of nostalgia, this may be the best photo op you’ll get. Gas up and buy some road snacks at the travel center, and be on the lookout for a roaming buffalo or two. Take a tour of the vintage architecture; you’ll find 20s’-era gas stations, old businesses and buildings. The crown jewel in this Americana tour is the Rest Haven Motel, where it’s easy to imagine a tired traveler stopping for the night.

Oklahoma City – Big City Fun

route kicks see oklahoma sites3 Route 66 Kicks: See the Oklahoma Sites Along This Famous Stretch of Road

Photo by Soonerfever via Wikimedia Commons

It’s not all ghost towns and open prairie along Route 66. You can find fine dining, first-class accommodations and cultural events in Oklahoma City. The Diamond Ballroom is a famous-with-the-locals music venue, where you can hear everything from rock to honky tonk with plenty of room for dancing. If visual arts are more to your liking, make a stop at the historic Paseo Arts District or take a group tour of Blue Sage Studios, a glass-blowing studio where you can even take a lesson in the ancient art.



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The Newbie Diver Guide To Exposure Suits

The Newbie Diver Guide To Exposure Suits

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Divers wear exposure suits to protect against jellyfish stings, sunburn, scrapes, scratches, and uncomfortable temperatures. Despite the fact that most types of exposure suits serve the same general purpose, different diving conditions require different levels of protection. This quick guide will help you understand the difference between the three major types of exposure suits so you know which is right for your first underwater excursion.

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An Explanation Of Exposure Suit Categories

Wetsuits, dry suits, and skin suits each fill a different niche – exposure suits are easier to understand once you know the unique purpose and functionality of each.

1. Wetsuit

Wetsuits trap a layer of water between the suit and body. This water quickly warms to body temperature, providing effective insulation against the cold. Fit is very important; too tight and the suit cannot trap enough water, too loose and the water circulates faster than it can warm up. These suits are available in a variety of thicknesses for various climates.

Most wetsuits cover the entire body but you can find shorts-style wetsuits as well. The most versatile wetsuits are of the “farmer john” variety, left sleeveless so that divers can wear other types of exposure protection over top.

2. Dry Suit

These exposure suits are true to their name. Dry suits seal at the neck, wrists, and ankles to block water from entering. The dry suit (also called a “shell”) often has very little insulation of its own and divers instead wear insulated layers underneath. The bulkiness of the suit makes layering easier. Of course, some divers still wear their dry suits in temperate waters to prolong their diving sessions.

Make sure to invest in a high quality dry suit – sealing against water requires precision manufacturing, and any little leak will work against the suit’s intended purpose.

3. Skin Suit

Skin suits often do not provide any thermal insulation but still protect against stings, scrapes, and sunburn. These are the thinnest and most flexible type of exposure suit. These are perfect for warm water exploration and many divers choose to keep a pair on hand at all time to use as an under-layer for wetsuits and dry suits. Skin suits are supposed to fit tight (hence the name) so fit is extremely important when purchasing.

4. Accessories

Compliment your suit with the right accessories. Exposure suit accessories like gloves, booties, hoods, and hoodies serve very important purposes – and all are available with low and high levels of insulation to meet various needs.

Accessories serve a variety of needs besides insulation and protection from stings and scrapes. Gloves help to improve grip, booties can reduce fin-chafing, hoods and hoodies can protect the sensitive ears and neck from sunburn. Some divers will use these accessories as a way to make a low-insulation exposure suit work better in colder temperatures.

Quick Tips: Sizing And Buying For Beginners

Are you unsure about where to begin? Unless you are familiar with the seasonal air and water temperature of your diving destination, you may not want to invest in a bunch of expensive equipment at risk of ending up with the wrong gear. The good news is that most modern diving supplies retailers have experienced staff on hand to help you choose.

Make sure to buy your first round of equipment from a dive shop with a pool so you can test for fit and comfort. Avoid ordinary sporting goods stores unless you already know how to size a particular brand. Fit tends to vary from brand to brand, and from style to style.

If you are booking your diving experience with a beginner-friendly tour company, you should have no problem obtaining high quality rentals. If your tour company does not provide rentals, ask for local recommendations. Beginners who are planning to dive in Hawaii may want to check out the Oahu-Scuba.com packages – this company provides all the equipment a beginner could need, from dive mask to regulator to exposure suit and BCD.

Exposure suits may seem like simple diving apparel at first, but they are just as important to diving safety and comfort as the fins or goggles. It’s important to have the right exposure suit for the climate and environment you wish to explore and we hope this guide has helped to guide you in the right direction.



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Injured While Traveling Abroad? 4 Steps You Should Take

Injured While Traveling Abroad? 4 Steps You Should Take

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ITALY TOURIST Injured While Traveling Abroad? 4 Steps You Should Take

Injured While Traveling Abroad? 4 Steps You Should Take

Many people never get to travel abroad, so when they do, it’s an amazing experience that most people absolutely enjoy. Unfortunately, just like anywhere in America, the possibility will exist that a person could be injured. In America, even the most out-of-touch citizen travelers could likely figure out what to do if injured while in a different state, but this is completely different in a foreign country. Luckily, handling these situations isn’t rocket science; it just takes a little forethought and knowledge.

1. Be Prepared

Though being prepared isn’t a step that could be taken after an injury, it definitely is one that can make the occurrence much easier to deal with. An individual should check with their health insurance company to ensure that they’ll be covered in the event of an injury abroad. Additionally, it’s a good idea to look into traveler’s and medical evacuation insurance. Both of these will help cover costs related to medical emergencies and the altered travel plans that occur because of them.

2. Keep Receipts

This holds true of absolutely any injury that’s sustained anywhere: a person should always keep their receipts. This is regardless of whether the bills have been paid or not. Additionally, documentation of changed flights, altered travel plans and the costs related to these should be held onto safely. The preparation mentioned in the previous step will ensure that these documents go a long way in helping a person cover the costs of their injury suffered abroad.

As noted by the law firm of Doyle Raizner,”When catastrophic accidents occur, they can cause significant injuries to those involved.  If you have a suffered an injury while traveling on a cruise ship, you may have a claim for damages. When catastrophic accidents occur, they can cause significant injuries to those involved. If you have a suffered an injury while traveling, you may have a claim for damages.”

3. Contact The Embassy

A majority of countries, especially the ones that America has good relations with, have an American embassy locally. This can help a great deal, and those at the embassy can even alert loved ones of the situation if necessary. It’s important, especially in an emergency, for U.S. officials to know where their citizens are and their condition. Additionally, embassy personnel may be able to act as liaisons between an injured traveler and their insurance companies.

4. Alert Travel Agency

A person should never be afraid to contact their travel agency when they have suffered an injury. These people are meant to help those who are paying customers. There’s no need for an individual to have to go through all of the aforementioned travel plan changes on their own. Traveler’s agencies are quite adept at doing this since Americans can get injured abroad just as easily as they can in America.

It’s important to have all information, including whether or not a physician has cleared the injured party for travel, before contacting the agency. This will help them to make manageable plans to assist the injured individual in getting home safely. Prepared travelers will have already obtained travel insurance, so speaking with the travel agency should be a smooth endeavor.

Being injured anywhere is definitely a hassle, but when an accident occurs in a different country, the outcome can be outright disheartening. Luckily, anyone can handle these situations with the right preparation. The main goal is for a person to receive treatment and get home. After this has occurred, all of the other technicalities, like bills and compensation, can be handled from the comfort of the States. Foreign countries have tort laws as well, and this means that an injured American does have the right to compensation for negligent acts.

Having vacationed abroad gives Nadine Swayne the insight to present these tips to fellow travelers. Doyle Raizner has experience in a wide range of cases and will aggressively fight for clients who have sustained injuries while on vacation.

Photo credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/fdiotalevi/273897213/



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