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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

 

The big new Disney nature film “Oceans” was released last week in the U.S. on Earth Day (a French version came out last year). A while back, Hudson Valley Life was able to interview explorer and ocean advocate Jon Bowermaster, who helped edit “Oceans: The Threats to Our Seas and What You Can Do to Turn the Tide,” the companion book to the movie. To find out more about Jon, read our story and check out Bowermaster’s website to see what he’s up to these days. The movie looks like a must-see for those who love films about our natural world. It uses innovative cameras to capture unique views of marine life.

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I love reading the Hudson Valley Wine Goddess blog. Her blog has really opened my eyes up to how much the Hudson Valley has to offer in regards to the wine community. I had no idea what was out there. She recently posted a blog on an upcoming event that I didn’t think our readers would want to miss. On Saturday April 17th and on Sunday April 18th the Shawangunk Wine Trail wineries will be hosting Pasta Primo Vino! This event will be a fun way to introduce yourself to the Shawangunk Wine Trail wineries. Tickets are available for $22 plus tax.  Here are the details: 

Celebrate spring with a self guided tour of the Wineries as they pair their great wines with delicious pasta recipes. A number of the Wineries will have new releases to taste.

Choose your starting winery and write it on your ticket. It will not be printed on your ticket. 

You must begin at your starting winery.  It is there where you will receive your wine glass.  You may then travel the wine trail in any order your choose.  You will receive a free taste of pasta and wine tasting at each winery. Tickets are good one day only.

Wine Taster price includes sales tax of 8%.($22 + $1.76 = $23.76) – includes wine glass, wine tasting and tapas tastings at 11 wineries.

Designated Driver price includes sales tax of 8% ( $5 + $.40 = $5.40) – includes free pasta tasting at each winery.

Ticket is good one day only.  Event time is 10am to 6pm each day.

And here are what the wineries are serving:

Adair Vineyards – Spring Orzo Salad
Applewood Winery –  Rigatoni Provencal
Benmarl Winery – Gnocci with sage & Butter sauce
Brimstone Hill – Pasta Provencal
Glorie Farm Winery – Kicked up Mac & Cheese
Whitecliff Vineyards – Pasta Fagioli
Warwick Valley Winery – Lasagna Bolgnese & Vegetarian Lasagna
Palaia Vineyards – Penne Chicken Pesto Ragazzi
Stoutridge Vineyards – American Cold Pasta Salad
Brotherhood Winery- Orzo Pasta with wild mushrooms, herbs and truffle oil
 
Yum! I hope you venture out this weekend and visit these great vineyards. Also, be sure to check out our wine guide coming up in the May issue of Life!

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Now that spring is coming, it’s the perfect time to start planning your outdoor activities. Working here at Hudson Valley Life our staff is exposed to so many great Hudson Valley activities, clubs, groups and organizations and we love to share them with our readers. One organization we have come across recently is Exploritas.                                              

The website describes Exploritas as participants who are curious, adventuresome and open to experiencing the world through learning and travel.  According to Exploritas, you can “choose from nearly 8,000 educational adventures a year in more than 90 countries. From single-day Day of Discovery programs near you to overnight programs in cities and locations around the United States and the world, you’re sure to find an Exploritas adventure that captures your interest, dreams and desires.” 

There are plenty of local Hudson Valley locations and activities to choose from. Get out and explore our beautiful region. 

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Are there any other fans of the tv show Lost out there? I am. I was preparing myself last night for the première of the show’s sixth and final season and I couldn’t wait to find out what has happened to my favorite characters. If you watch the show you know that it focuses heavily of the concept of time travel through flashbacks and flashforwards’. I have always thought this was a fascinating subject. That’s why when I saw this article yesterday, I couldn’t help but write about it.

The article stated that, “when people think back to the past or look toward the future, their body language reflects their sense of time travel, a new study suggests. Researchers at the University of Aberdeen fitted subjects with motion sensors and asked them to imagine events in the future or the past. The bodies of those who thought about the future actually moved forward. Those who thought about the past swayed backward.”

This definitely makes sense. When I shared this news with the staff, our office manager started nodding immediately and said, “Yeah, I can see that. When my grandma would all tell us stories about her past, she would lean back in her chair almost as if she was trying to go back in time.” Try observing someone telling a story about their past or their future and see what they do. Does this story ring true?

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This world that we live in never ceases to amaze me. Recently, a video was sent to our office revealing the world’s rarest—and most camera shy—great ape on film. 

With the assistance of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Cameroon Program, a film crew from the Hamburg-based NDR Naturfilm managed to video the elusive Cross River gorilla earlier this year in a stand of montane trees after weeks of effort in the Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary. The protected area was created in 2008, with the guidance of WCS, specifically to protect the world’s rarest great ape. 

“These gorillas are extremely wary of humans and are very difficult to photograph or film,” said Dr. Roger Fotso, Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Cameroon Program. “Eventually, we identified and staked out some of the gorillas favorite fig trees, which is where we finally achieved our goal.”

“It’s unbelievable that one great ape subspecies has never been filmed for TV so far,” said Jörn Röver, Head of NDR Naturfilm. “We hope that our international production helps to raise awareness for these magnificent creatures and the work of the WCS.”

 The only previous footage available of the rare apes was taken from a long distance with a shaky, hand-held camera in 2005 by a field researcher. See the footage here courtesy of © NDR Naturfilm and the Wildlife Conservation Society.

It is really amazing. Sometimes in today’s busy (and highly connected) society I think we tend to forget about just how big the world is. Seeing this video makes me want to travel and see what I can find out there for myself. In the meantime, I suppose I’ll just be grateful that I can see this video through email, it might not be as amazing as seeing the gorilla in person, but it’s better than not seeing it all. Thanks for reading, I hope this post inspires you to do some exploring of your own.

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John Grisham speaks!

John Grisham speaks!

John Grisham is an accomplished and entertaining speaker. What did he have to say?

I will answer that, but first I want to mention that my kids, Amy and Eliot, came with me to the festival. Amy is a wonderful photographer and the still shots you see are hers. And Eliot heard the first author to speak, John Grisham.

My son came with me to the event... and acted as my assistant.

My son came with me to the event... and acted as my assistant.

According to Eliot, the presentation was conduction in two parts, first a reporter from The Washington Post interviewed Grisham on-stage; and then members of the audience asked questions. On the way home Eliot regaled us with the highlights. According to Grisham his first book bombed. The publisher printed 5,000 hardcover copies and never did a reprint.  Grisham was determined to find out what it took to be successful, so he read all the bestsellers. And he said to himself, “I can do that.” After that he wrote The Firm, which went on to be a bestseller. He does minimal research and keeps to his successful fiction format. His first foray into non-faction (I think it was Last Man Standing, about an innocent man on death row.) took him three years to write while his fiction takes about 6 months. So his is sticking to that which he does best.

One funny sidelight was when someone asked Grisham why he doesn’t include intimate sex scenes in his books. Without a thought he answered. First he said his wife is usually in the first row in the audience as she was today. And that when he was asked that question before, his wife chimed in from the first row that he writes about what he knows best.

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If you love books you would have loved the 2009 National Book Festival held in Washington, DC on September 26th. There were more authors and their books in one spot than you could possibly visit in a day. It is true that we have many book fairs in the mid-Hudson region, like the Millbrook Book Festival in late spring, but there is an excitement in the Mall in DC that can’t be beat.

Here I am, arranging author interviews!

Here I am, arranging author interviews!

Although I am the publisher of Hudson Valley Parent and Hudson Valley Life magazines, I really went as someone who loves reading books. And I also had the privilege of having a media badge which allowed me to meet and greet nationally recognized authors from John Grisham to Judy Blume and 75 authors in between.

Kids…kids…and more kids. They were the best!!!

But the most exciting experience was meeting the kids and their parents. I know that many say that reading and books is a lost art. But you had to be the Book Festival to see the 1000s of parents and their kids anxiously waiting to speak to a specific author whom they love. With books clutched in their hands, kids were excited at the thought that they would personally meet the author who wrote their favorite book.

I was lucky that several parents permitted me to video tape an interview with their kids. Kids quickly told me what book they were reading and who their favorite author is. Of the four families I interviewed two of moms shared a similar story. Each night they sit down as a family and read, one for a half hour, the other for 20 minutes. Sometimes they read aloud, and sometimes they each read their own book. One mom mentioned an author, sorry his name escapes me, who wrote about the civil war and now the same author is coming out with a version for teens. Both parents and their kids will read about that time in history and then share their ideas.  All great stuff for getting kids excited about reading.

I interviewed many wonderful parents and their children.

I interviewed many wonderful parents and their children.

Does that mean that we have to read with our kids in order to get our kids to read? Maybe not, but it helps. My dad did not read books although my mom read some. Yet, since I was young, I have always loved reading. But I do think it helps when kids and their parents share the reading experience. I know my husband Clay and I read together on the couch at night. We enjoy sharing passages and the details of the characters. I think it adds to the pleasure of reading. I guess that’s why people join book clubs. There is a pleasure in sharing the experience.

Kids interviewing authors…what a switch

I also met two groups of kids who came to interview the authors and share the experience with the students in their school. I think one group had a school radio program. Not sure about the second. I have some pictures of these enthusiastic kids’ groups. I was more delighted to be in the midst of these kids who were interviewing authors than meeting with the authors. These kids are the ones who will lead us into the future.

Students excited about interviewing their authors!

Students excited about interviewing their authors!

Kids talk about their author interviews.

Kids talk about their author interviews.

The speaker’s presentations were all taped and are available for viewing. You can see some videos on our Facebook page too! Make a point visit next year’s National  Book Festival.  You need to be there to grab the excitement.

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