City View Trolley Tours – Key West Florida

Okay, even a guy who writes about mob guys needs a break once in a while. So me and the wife took a four-day vacation to Key West, Florida for a little R&R before I go back to mob-busting again.
The quandary you face when going to Key West is what to see and how to see it. There are scores of attractions to see and great food to eat at dozens of restaurants. And every hotel, and even the Key West Express boat we took to Key West from Fort Myers, is pushing a Trolley Tour Bus that goes for 29 bucks for maybe an hour, or so, tour of downtown Key West.
So we decided not to decide on anything until we actually took a cab to downtown Key West from our Comfort Inn Hotel. Our cab driver Richie from Brooklyn (who moonlights as an excellent drummer for several Key West bands) dropped us off at stop number 5 on the City View Trolley Tour. We stepped up to the information counter and was greeted by a cheerful young lad named Marty. We asked Marty a few questions, which he answered effortlessly, and then Marty told us about the City View Trolley Tour.
The City View Trolley Tour makes eight stops in all, each stop having its own great tourist must-sees in the area. And get this: you can get off the bus as many times time you want, get on as many times as you want, see the sights, and a bus stops every 15 minutes at all eight stops to pick you up again and continue on the tour. And if you want to take the tour again that day, no problem. Just get on the bus again at any of the eight stops. The City View Trolley Tour costs only $19 a person, and if you come back the following day, it’s only 9 bucks a person.
The best part of the tour is the constant banter and boundless information the cheerful and always humorous bus driver regales you with over the bus loud speakers, as he tools around downtown Key West. It seems that every street on Key West has its own story, and even the cemetery is filled with fun-stuff information. Like the one tombstone that says, “I told you I was sick.” And another tombstone, where a weary wife put on her philandering husband’s tombstone, “At least I know where you’re sleeping tonight.”
In the course of the two days we took riding the City View Trolley Tour, we must have seen everything two or three times, but never told in the same manner, by one of the tour buses dozen or so drivers. Of course tips are permitted, and believe me even a buck or two is greatly appreciated, and much deserved.
In addition, Marty gave us several discount tickets for various attractions, and bars and restaurants, including 2 for 1drink coupons (he gave us four) for the Conch Republic Seafood Company, which has the best sea food this side of heaven.
One place you must see in Key West is the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum ($12.50 per person). A nice lady gave us a grand tour of Hemingway’s house, and besides all the great tales of Ernie, you get to see 44 of Hemingway’s six-toed cats, which are all descendants of Hemingway’s original six-toed cats. (Actually, the genes for six toes are present in all the cats, but only about a half of them actually have six toes.)
Other grand tour must-sees are: Harry Truman’s Little White House, West Martello Tower, Southernmost Point (which is actually the Southernmost tip of the United States), all of Duval Street (which is like Key West’s Broadway), Clinton Square Market, Higgs Beach, Pat Croce’s Rum Barrell, Sloppy Joe’s Bar (Sloppy Joe Russell was Hemingway’s best friend in Key West), Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, and Fort Zachary Taylor State Park.
So remember this folks, if you plan on visiting Key West for the first time, or maybe you’ve been there before but wanted to see more of the attractions, stop at the City View Trolley Tour. The main office and stop number one is located at 105 Whitehead Street, right across the street from the Clinton Square Customs House. Or see Marty at stop number 5, where you can also buy tour tickets, Stop 5 is located one block from the Southernmost Point near the end of Duval Street (upper Duval Street.
As for me, I’m back home and have my head up the butts of the world’s worst mobsters again. But I’m looking forward to going back to Key West as soon as possible. And of course, I’ll take the City View Trolley Tour again. Maybe twice.
If Key West was good enough for Ernest Hemingway, it’s certainly good enough for little old me.
PS – Did I mention Al Capone visited Key West frequently when he had his winter home in Miami Beach? I wonder where he buried all the bodies.

Tools You Need to Learn English

Many people are not aware of the right approach and right tools to learn English easily and quickly. The moment we think of learning English, big books that are difficult to read or understand come to our mind. Another thing that strikes our mind is spoken English institute.
Are they really helpful? Ask anybody who tried these things. The answer will most probably be ‘No’. Then why are people still following these things which never provide efficient results?
Before you look for an easy and quick way to improve English, you should first understand that English is a skill and not a subject. Hence, stuffing the information from every nook and corner of the English books will not help. It is not the right way to go about learning a language.
Learning English is simple and all it takes is the right process of learning. Firstly, you need to have a minimum set of tools to learn English quickly and easily. Let us have a look at them.
Vocabulary book: What is a language without words? Until and unless you are aware of the words, you cannot use the language properly. Vocabulary book, may sound like any other boring book, but is actually interesting as it contains all the commonly used words in that language. Probably, the fast way to improve English is to learn commonly used words.
Dictionary: Dictionary and vocabulary book may sound similar but they are not. The vocabulary book gives only a list of commonly used words along with their meanings, their origin plus some examples to make it easy to use the words. Whereas, the dictionary gives the words and meaning and sometimes how to use them in the language; along with some grammatical information. It is good to be familiar with the most common words and their meanings in English. Dictionary makes it easier to understand the words. You use a dictionary to find meanings of words for which you are not sure of the meaning, especially as you are reading something. You use the vocabulary book so that you can use the right words easily while speaking and writing.
Illustrated comics and stories: If you think that above sources are serious, then here comes the entertainment side of the language. The smarter way to learn English is to find something easy and fun so that you put more effort to improve English skills. It’s not advisable to do difficult language exercises or go through serious literature to improve and learn English quickly. Illustrated comics and stories are the best aids to improve and learn English quickly while having fun.
Note book: A dedicated note book for writing notes while learning English makes it easy to progress quickly. English learning process will take longer without this. A good learner will make a note of important points to remember for future reference in the process of learning. Later, he can look through the small notes or refer them regularly to improve English skills.
The number of tools mentioned above may appear less, but they are the most effective ones which help in going through the English learning process easily. I believe that learning process should always be kept simple, to be productive. It is not about struggle, it is about smooth process. Proper usage of these tools will ensure you get command over English quickly and easily.

Vacation Spots – Travel World Wide

According to the research which place is best for the tourism, the name comes with the highest percentage by the visitors is Europe. Travel Europe is one of the best destinations for vacation in the world. There are many reasons to travel Europe and the perception of each individual is different from the other. Europe is the mother of all the states which are present in it including England, France, Italy, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Poland and many more. There are many attraction and activities held for the visitors. Those who feel to have there vacation with full blast can come down and travel Europe. It offers many museum, arts, theater and music with endless cultural activity present here.
People like to visit Europe due to the famous landmarks are located in the hands of Europe including the world famous Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, The Coliseum and lot more which gives a flavor to Europe. Many of the visitors visit here to see their homes which once were made by their forefathers. Lets checkout some best vacation spots which are famous while travel Europe. Belarus is a wonderful place with rich culture and history. The most beautiful site is to see the Mir Castle. In Italy one can see a spectacular view standing at the top of the hill in the Island of Capri. One can walk in the Miniature Holland and experience you as a giant monster crushing the houses and trees, but one cant do this in that place. It is just a project where whole Holland is made in a small version. The best place to travel Europe is in the month between November and March where there is majority of cold and one can enjoy in the best islands and watch the romantic sunset.
Travel Australia is the exotic place and the most popular place for holiday destinations. While exploring this place you can come through various cultures, arts, museums and the best sightseeing monument. In Australia you can find countless vacation spots which can make your vacation more memorable. There are around 16 Australia’s icons which are famous for the landscapes and national park including Red Centre, Great Ocean Road, Kangaroo Island, Kakadu National park, Blue Mountains, Australian Alps and the list goes on. Things to do in this vacation spots features dive in Australia’s depth, whale time watch, and Australian cultural attraction, surfing in the blue water, canoeing and kayaking in Australia. In travel Australia one can do scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming and parasailing in the blue water of Australia. An Australian event is the main and plays a major part in this place. You can participate in the events as per the choice and also have fun and joy in the event. Events held here are of all types including Australia’s international events, uniquely Australian and aboriginal events, sports, food and wine, summer events, cultural, winter, autumn, spring events and Australia’s surf and surf lifesaving events. There are also various transports available to reach here.
Travel America is not a big deal to go for your holiday. It is the most famous and popular place in the world and is best for holiday destinations. In the mind of an every individual they wish to go to America at least once in a life. Today let’s check out what is special in America and why one has to travel America. While your busy exploring in America one can make a list of the best and the top famous vacation spots to be visited. The places to visit in travel America including Santa Fe the best area to ski in the snow, Albuquerque, Miami, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Honolulu and lot more to enjoy in the California beaches and experience the activities in water sports like swimming, scuba diving, rafting and lot more. Don’t forget to watch the spectacular monument in USA is Mount Rushmore, Manhattan Bridge, Las Vegas casinos for gambling and beaches and night clubs to groove.

Water And Phoenix Real Estate

If you really know your American history (and/or have ever read the book or seen the PBS documentary Cadillac Desert) you understand full well that settlement of the West and water issues are inextricably bound particularly in desert areas like Phoenix.
The fact is that without water, there would be no Phoenix AZ real estate – nor the city of Phoenix proper, for that matter. Fortunately, the Gila River is nearby, as well as a number of creeks and reservoirs. Over 1300 years ago, these enabled the Hohokam People to grow crops on the exceptionally fertile land. Almost a century before the time of King Charlemagne, the Hohokam created a highly developed civilization in the Valley of the Sun that endured for seven centuries. Their systems of irrigation canals formed the basis of the modern metro area’s water systems today.
Those of you planning to invest in Phoenix real estate or settle down in the area will do well to remember however that Maricopa County is a desert. Water is a precious resource, and in order to maintain the quality of life we enjoy in this area, it is important to practice water conservation.
Many Phoenix homes are landscaped using the native vegetation within attractively designed rock gardens. While a home with a traditional lawn may appear to have greater value, the cost – both financially and ecologically – of maintaining a lawn will be high and not a particularly wise use of resources.
It’s also popular to have private swimming pools in climates such as we have here in the Phoenix area. Aside from tremendous drain on local water resources, your Phoenix real estate agent will advise you that a swimming pool, while lifting your property’s value, represents a considerable investment in terms of maintenance and a potential liability as well. The possibility of someone being injured or drowned in your swimming pool is something that home insurers take into consideration when determining risk and potential liability.
In general, when planning to settle down in Maricopa County, it’s good to consider living in harmony with the environment rather than attempting to adapt it to your own tastes. Choose a home with environmentally-friendly, less water intensive landscaping. Make sure your home has low-flow toilets and shower heads – then learn all you can about water conservation. The Arizona Department of Water Resources at azwater is a good place to start learning about the latter topic.

Travel World Wide With Very Little Cash

Travel world wide without much cash? You must be crazy! Everyone knows that world travel takes a lot of money and that if you don’t have money, you can’t do it.
Wrong! The only thing it takes to travel the world is a passport and the will to travel. Just pick up one foot and put it in front of the other. The hard part is getting away from your attachments to the things that hold you back. If you have to pay a hefty mortgage bill, auto payments, insurance premiums, and credit card bills, chances are that you aren’t going to break free from your job and move out into the world of travel.
So, how do you break free and become a world traveling vagabond? First of all, you have to get rid of all that debt. If your house payments are costing you more than your house is worth, sell it. Get out from under that monstrosity, even if you take a loss. Next, get rid of your hummer and start taking the bus. Get a consolidation loan for all of your debts and then negotiate for a lower interest rate, or just go bankrupt! Why not! The whole world awaits you!
Worried about pulling your kids from school? Why? Public education stinks and your children will get a better education on the road than they will ever get in some under funded, state supported school. Maybe it’s your family that is holding you back. Wife doesn’t want to travel? Dump her, put her at her mother’s, or let her support the household while you are gone. Same goes for husbands. Who needs a stick in the mud?
Finally, the job. Tell your boss that you don’t want to come to the office any more. Tell him you will be more productive from home. Tell him that you need some time to figure things out. Or just quit. The world is waiting and you are dying! It’s time to live! Travel world wide and damn the consequences.

Laminate Flooring Services

Laminate Flooring is an advanced form of flooring which is available in different types. One needs to follow certain tips to decide the best type of laminate flooring for one’s home or workplace. These tips are:
• Floor measurement
First step towards the selection of laminate flooring type is the measurement of floors properly. With measurement, one can come to know about the actual proportion of buying laminate floors. Some floor service stores send somebody to take measurement of floor which includes cut parts and waste parts of floors to avoid money wastage.
• Tools required
Table saw and saber saw are simple tools which are used during the time of flooring. Table saw is required for faster cuts as well as plank ripping. Saber saw is used in cutting floor vents nearby doorways or cabinets. Spacers are useful in maintaining the distance of planks from walls. Hammer, Small Square, tape measure etc are some other simple tools which are simple yet useful.
• Repair work
If floor surfaces are uneven, then they are needed to repair before laminate flooring installation.
• Length of wood pieces
Another useful tip in installation of laminate flooring is to mind the correct length of wood pieces. For every row of floor, various lengths of wood pieces are required. Slight difference in the wood size can give floor a distinct look. And speed of flooring increases and installation work becomes simpler from row to row.
• Proper use of tools
Either tools are simple or complex, but they are needed to use gently during laminate flooring. On needs to use tools for cutting properly as per width of the room. Moreover, using tools hardly may damage the floors. Tools should be use properly during special cuts. In this way, one can come to know the correct way of wide plank laminate floor installation easily.

Buying Model Home Furniture – Great Deals and a Lot of Fun

Have you ever wandered through a model home and admired the furniture? Have you seen a piece that would fit perfectly in your house and you wish you could get it? Well you can and for significantly less than buying from a retail furniture store. You can buy model home furniture if you know what you’re doing.
All of the big developers like Pulte, Meritage and Beazer buy attractive furniture for their models to help sell the unit. When the development is completely sold out, they typically auction off the furniture from the model homes. What you need to do is this.
Talk to the sales manager of the development and get an idea when the close out will be and what auction service they will be using. Typically these auction services will only invite the homeowners in the development and members to the auction.
Once you have the auction service name you can look it up on the web and see what it costs to be a member. Usually this is around $30 a year and it gives you the right to be at the auction, provides mailings with times and dates of auctions and displays photos of things to be sold. Once you have this you’re good to go.
The auction is normally held in the largest room in the house. A four model development can easily have 200 items up on the block. These auctions are cash only and normally you have two hours to remove the item from the site. There are no minimum starting bids. The people at the auction determine just what an item is going to go for.
You can save some big bucks on these auctions and it’s a great way to add a new piece for your home on a budget. One excellent idea though is to try to find the piece you are interested in on the internet to see what it would go for from a discount furniture dealer. Armed with that information you’ll be in a better position to bid wisely.
One caution. If you have a full size house and the model is a smallish town home, the furniture may be slightly smaller than standard. Smaller furniture makes a small space look larger and it’s a common marketing practice. Measure the piece you are interested in before you buy it and regret it when you get home.
So you can buy model home furniture and it can actually be fun if you enjoy auctions.

Solo Travel As a Business and Lifestyle Phenomenon

“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.” – Henry David Thoreau
If the statistics are any indicator, many travelers agree with Thoreau. In increasing numbers, individuals are traveling alone rather than just waiting for others to join them.
Solo travelers in the recent past have totaled 21 million in just the US and UK combined. According to a New York Times article in Nov. 2012, Internet searches for “solo travel packages” were up 60% over the prior year. The US Department of Commerce’s Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (“OTTI”) reported that a staggering 42% of U.S. citizens/residents that went abroad in 2011 traveled alone. Of those individual travelers, 38% traveled for leisure or to visit friends & relatives (“VFR”) and 66% for business. Similarly, inbound solo travelers from abroad totaled 36.2%. Of those, 23.6% were on leisure trips and and 62.2% for work. This business and lifestyle phenomenon has been growing exponentially.
Who are solo travelers?
Solo travelers are a much broader group than just the single population. They may be:
• Two-career couples on business travel or “DINK’S” (Dual Income No Kids).
• Those with relatives or friends abroad.
• Family members pursuing separate sports/hobbies overseas.
Abercrombie & Kent’s Jill Fawcett has described their solo travelers as: “often… married or have partners, but the spouses don’t share the same interest… They want to travel with like-minded people and the small group gives them some interaction. Then they go back to the privacy of their own room… 25% of people who opt for our Extreme Adventure series are (also) solo travelers,” she said. “People feel a little more secure in a group if the destination is intimidating or there’s a language barrier.” Solo Travel Is Growing at a Rapid Rate | Phil Hoffman travel blog, 10/25/11.
According to Grand Circle Corp chairman Alan Lewis, “Women are a growing force in the solo travel market… where the solo market has grown from about 20% to 25% of [Grand Circle’s] overall bookings during the past five years.”
Single travelers do still continue to play an active role in solo travel. Their growth is clear in Europe and North America where people are marrying later and may be divorced, widowed or never married. According to a March 19, 2013 article entitled “The Growing Solo Travel Market”, average single households total as follows:
• 35% of all households in developed countries
• 40% in Finland and Norway (2011)
• 37% in the Netherlands (2011)
• 27% in the US (2010), 29% in the UK (2011) and 28% in Canada (2011).
How do solos travel?
Solo travel may not necessarily mean traveling as a “group of one”. Individuals may choose
1. Escorted group tours
2. Independent tours
3. Travel alone and select their own hotels/tours
What Issues Confront Those Traveling Alone?
There are two main challenges for individual travelers.
• Attractive pricing: Lodging, tours and cruises are priced routinely on double occupancy. Most cruises and tours require a single supplement for those traveling alone. Although this is not necessarily 2X, the price differential can be substantial. This is most pronounced in tour packages, particularly cruises that have “2-for-the-price of 1” early booking promotional. As a result, those traveling alone may pay 3-4X couples/pairs.
• Top quality access and service: In a busy holiday or tourist season, the unaccompanied traveler may be given less desirable accommodations or tables in restaurants. In fact, even 5 star hotels may be unwilling to take a dinner reservation for one even when the individual traveler is a guest of the hotel. This is particularly true on Saturday nights and holidays. The alternative may be sitting at the bar for dinner notwithstanding that the dining room has vacant tables. On cruises/river cruises or other tours with “open seating”, tables are typically set up for even numbers. The result? These travelers are faced with a “standup” buffet or engaging in sleuthing to find an available seat.
What is The Business Opportunity?
This travel phenomenon is growing exponentially and still represents an under served niche. The opportunity for the industry is substantial, prioritized as follows:
Leisure travelers: They are the largest percentage of industry revenues. However, a smaller percentage go alone for leisure trips. The beneficiaries: airlines, hotels, tours, car and concierge services.
Business travelers: Although a small portion of revenues, a greater percentage are on business. Moreover, they may have a larger budget than an individual on vacation. The same industry segments would benefit with the exception of tours except as potential additions to an international trip.
VFR: Those visiting friends and relatives may be met at the airport and have access to local transportation. While staying in a private residence, meals may not be taken out as frequently as hotel guests. Accordingly, such travelers will continue to generate new revenue primarily for airlines but are unlikely to augment the existing market for other travel services.
This sector represents a largely untapped market. Given the sheer numbers of affluent professionals and business executives, with the right mix of well-priced, top quality offerings, both sides benefit. The travel industry will increase their existing revenues while those traveling alone will achieve more competitive pricing and access to higher quality. It is a market whose time has come.

Fall Gardening Tips That Make Home More Enjoyable

Take time to enjoy the Fall sunshine and warmth to implement Fall gardening tips that make home more enjoyable. Many individual only see fall gardening as a time to tuck away the garden and wait until spring time to enjoy the garden’s harvest and activities again. Home gardeners can follow savvy Fall garden tips and enjoy Fall at home in the process of tackling Fall gardening tasks.
1) Store Garden Hoses With Care
Coil garden hoses neatly, tie to prevent uncoiling and hang on a garage storage hooks. At growing season’s end, drain all garden hoses, connect the ends to protect them for bumps, and store away from harsher weather. Store garden hoses with enough space around them to offer protection from getting caught or tangled. Proper Fall care of your garden hoses will mean they are in working order next Spring and may save you the time of running to the store for replacements. Another option for storing garden hoses is to use a galvanized bucket for holding the hose in off-season gardening months.
2) Fall Mulching Protects Flower Beds
Wait until the ground has frozen and then mulch around the crowns of perennial plants to reduce the chance of frost heaving them upward. The best Fall gardening practices are always to take care of existing plants that thrive. There are many varieties of mulch; however, the best source may be fresh garden compost. Test the soil for its Ph balance to help determine the best mulch for each flower bed. For example, soils that tend to be too alkaline will benefit from a cocoa bean mulch which has multiple purposes: protecting the perennials during winter, contributing toward more acidic conditions, reducing weeds, and adding nutrients to the soil as it breaks down.
3) Organized Garaged Store Garden Tools Safely
By next Spring it may be hard to recall just where garden tools were stored in the Fall. Save hunting time by organized the garage storage area. Convert garage wall space into store for large gardening tools. The choices for DIY garage peg boards and hook assortments is nearly endless. Consider first what specific garden tools need to be hung and kept out-of-the-way, and then purchase the perfect hook for the job. Gardening tools stored vertically on secure hooks attached to the wall are easy to sort and see just what is needed next.
4) Keep Gardening Through Fall With A Garden Cold Frame
Don’t allow hardier herbs and vegetable gardens fade too early as frost starts nipping around. With a little planning, they keep growing and harvesting beautifully under a little extra protection from a garden cold frame. Even using a old sheet to cover them at night can add weeks of eating pleasure and the ability to cut and bring the last blooms indoors.
5) Use Fall Planter For Fall Color
Add Fall colors to your porch for bright curb appeal with Fall planters. Tuck in colorful perennials, the last of your climbing vines for a few training branches, orange and yellow gourds that echo Fall’s features. Place them on a pedestal for eye-catching displays for the neighborhood to enjoy.
These Fall gardening tips mean spending less time hunting for gardening tools next spring, enjoy a garden that flourishes with healthy soil, and make mulch that will yield better blooms next year and fewer weeds. All the while, savvy home gardeners can enjoy Fall gardening and it’s harvests longer.

How to Teach a Cat Not to Scratch Home Furniture?

A cat that scratches is a cat that was not taught as a kitten that scratching was unacceptable. If your cat is scratching whenever you try to play with him you need to learn how to teach your cat not to scratch.
One of the ways how to teach a cat not to scratch your home furniture is to simply show him that you won’t play with him when he scratches. If you are playing with him and he scratches you tell him “no” firmly and then ignore him until he calms down. Once he settles down you can resume playing as long as he continues to behave and does not scratch.
Another way how to teach a cat not to scratch is by playing dead. If he scratches your hand or foot because it is moving then immediately hold it still, not moving it at all. His attention will soon turn to something else. Do this consistently and he will soon learn that it is no fun to scratch at you.
Giving your cat a good squirt or water from a clean spray bottle is another good way how to train a cat not to scratch. Cats don’t like being squirted with water and he will soon learn to associated getting sprayed with his scratching.
In cases where the cat is scratching at the furniture and not you, giving him a scratching post and awarding him whenever he uses it will encourage him to use the post instead of your furniture. If you combine the reward for using the post with a negative reward when he scratches the furniture he will soon choose to the post and get the positive reward.
Note: Using a negative reward to teach a cat not to scratch furniture can include a Spitz with clean water or placing tinfoil which cats don’t like around your furniture legs until he learns to use his scratching post.