A family road-trip results in 2.89 carat diamond find in Arkansas

Do you like adventure? Do you like diamonds? If your answer to these questions is yes, the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas could be your next destination.

You can make it a day trip if you live in Memphis, Tennessee. That’s right, you can travel to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas in four and a half hours, hunt for diamonds for four hours and head back to Memphis with your stash. It can be a great family road-trip, and that’s exactly what happened to a Louisiana family on March 6, 2014, while en-route to Minnesota to visit relatives.

After being talked into stopping at the diamond park by his mother-in-law, Brandon Kalenda of Maurepas, Louisiana found a 2.89 carat diamond in the plowed diamond field. It was the 47th diamond found there this year, with four found since the middle of February that were over a carat in size. Kalenda named the diamond Jax Diamond after his infant son. The park’s policy is finder-keepers.

The Crater of Diamonds State Park consists of 37 1/2 acres of search area, and park officials inform visitors to look for the diamonds in pockets or layers on the surface of gravel, and that’s what Kalenda was doing when he found his gem.

This diamond field is the eighth largest diamond bearing field in the world, and the only one open to the public. Diamonds are not the only gems found at this park. Other semi-precious gemstones found there include garnet, jasper, agate, calcite, barite, quartz, peridot and amethyst.

The largest diamond un-earthed here was named the “Uncle Sam.” This white diamond with a pink cast weighed 40.23 carats, and was found in 1924. It is still the largest diamond ever found in the United States.

The Crater of Diamonds State Park also has camping and recreational areas with very competitive prices. Rates for daily searches in the diamonds field are $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for children, ages 6 – 12. This would be a fun and adventurous trip for the entire family. The park is located at 209 State Park Road, Murfreesboro, Arkansas 71958 Email: craterofdiamonds@arkansas.com Phone: (870) 285-3113

This writer plans to take a family trip to this gem of a state park soon and will post the results, along with pictures in another article here in the Memphis Travel section of the Examiner.

If you don’t already subscribe to the Memphis International Travel articles in the Examiner, you can do so by clicking on the subscribe link located under this writer’s photo at the top of the page. All these articles are free. You can also check out this writer’s suggested articles, listed at the bottom of this page.

Until we meet again on these pages, we will let the “World turn onto our next destination.”

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Avenues to Consider for World Travel

Winter sports, from snowmobiling to skiing can provide you with all kinds of breathtaking worlds all around the world. A ski trip can be an excuse to visit a scenic area, learn new skills and take part in some real worlds on the mountain. In the U.S., you can find great ski trails in Utah, Vermont and Colorado. Other objectives to consider are Canada, Switzerland and Japan. The difference between world travel and simply visiting a ski resort is that with the former you can often explore a greater diversity of challenges. Rather than being limited to the offerings of one resort, you can find tours that will take you to quite a few great locations. World travel that involves winter sports are offered throughout the world and can provide you with lots of excitement.

The Galapagos Islands are renowned for having an extremely diverse population of animals. This protected area of South America is home to all kinds of animal species that live on both land and in the water. Most trips to these islands are cruises, and many are run by environmentally aware companies. Large numbers of people are not permitted on the Galapagos, so if you visit there you’ll enjoy a quiet and pristine environment that’s hard to find in the world today. Among the animals you’re likely to see on such a trip are many exotic birds, giant tortoises, seals and dolphins. This is a objective unlike any other, though trips to the Galapagos Islands are not cheap.

A trip where you volunteer is a unique form of world travel that many people enjoy. This type of travel, known as volun-tourism, allows you to learn a lot about locations and the local challenges people are facing. These type of trips are offered in many locations, often in locations where a severe problem of some kind exists. Volunteers are needed throughout the world, and there are companies that arrange trips of varying durations to match travelers with situations. Whether you want to do this by yourself or bring your family, there are all kinds of possibilities for volunteering.

There are quite a few companies out there these days that operate these kinds of worlds, as world travel is more prevalent than it ever has been. Whether you are traveling alone, with your sweetheart or your entire family, you can find an world trip that meets your needs. It’s important to know exactly what the trip will involve, and if everyone who’s going is prepared for it. We’ve shared a few ideas for this kind of trip, and you can find many other possibilities if you do further research.

A visit to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

Monticello is the former home of the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. Located just outside the city of Charlottesville, Va., it is situated on a small mountain, which Jefferson inherited from his father. He actually inherited 3,000 acres and chose this hill where he had played as a child to be the location of his home. The name Monticello means “small mountain” in Italian.

Jefferson was a self-taught architect who studied the work of Palladio among others. He designed Monticello himself and it was the work of his lifetime. He spent over 50 years getting it just the way he dreamed it should be.

He moved onto the property in 1770 when he was 27, living in a one room dwelling in what is now the South Pavilion and two years later he brought his wife to the same small dwelling. The original design of the house called for eight rooms. The family may have lived in the new house but it was not complete when his wife died in 1784. After her death, Jefferson resumed his public service and was away for most of the next 10 years.

In 1794 he decided to enlarge the house to 20 rooms. This is the basically the house that you will see today. It is one of the most recognizable facades in the country. Just as Jefferson never completed work on Monticello, the current owners are constantly uncovering more about the house and also opening more of it up to visitors.

When planning a visit to Monticello allow plenty of time. How much depends on your level of interest and whether or not you will have more than one day to visit. No matter what you decide you visit should begin at the Visitor Center. There is plenty of free parking but it can get very busy. If you know what day you will be visiting, you can purchase your entrance tickets online in advance. This is a very good idea especially if you want to take one of the twice daily behind the scenes tours. They sell out quickly.

At the visitor center in addition to purchasing your entrance ticket you can also view a 20 minute film about Thomas Jefferson and his home. It plays on the hour, at 20 after and 20 of. I highly recommend that you take the time to watch the film; it is the perfect way to begin.

Depending on what time your house ticket is for you can take the bus up to the house or visit the museum. The museum is on two levels and on the lower level includes a display about the building itself and its architecture. Upstairs there are some very interesting displays about the people who worked at Monticello during the time of Jefferson both free and enslaved.

You can hike up to the house if you enjoy hiking; it is uphill and about a mile. There is a bus that will also take you up to the drop off point. You should plan to arrive at least 15 minutes in advance of your entrance ticket.

All tours of the house are guided. All of the guides are knowledgeable and they offer similar if not identical tours. You will get lots of information about the Jefferson family, Thomas, his two daughters and grandchildren as well as some of the enslaved craftsmen who made the house possible.

When the inside tour is complete you are free to wander in the two pavilions, in the cellars under both sides of the house, Mulberry Row and the gardens. There is a gift shop in the visitor center and also one on the top of the hill.

When you have complete your tour on the top of the hill you can take the bus back to the visitor center with a brief stop at the graveyard or you can walk from the house to the graveyard. It is an easy walk and the views are amazing. You can then either walk back to the visitor center or take the bus from the graveyard.

When you return to the visitor center you can visit the restaurant, gift shop or finish enjoying the museum. If you prefer, Mitchie Tavern is very close by and offers an amazing lunch buffet.

There are additional tours offered. You can take the Behind the Scenes Tour, Garden and the Grounds Tour or Slavery at Monticello Tour. For dates and prices please check the website. The regular house tour takes about 40 minutes the behind the scene tours is an hour and 40 minutes and includes the regular house tour.

Wondering Where to Stay in Jaipur? A Host of Luxurious Resorts Await Your Visit

With a plethora of accommodation choices available, the question of ‘where to stay in Jaipur’ rarely arises. From budget hotels for the price-conscious lot to lavish resorts for the affluent class – there are lodgings for all kinds of travelers here. An array of opulent abodes in this lively city bring you a step closer to extravagance intertwined with outstanding services. Once you enter these palatial establishments, the luxury immediately appeals to you, leaving you dazzled. Exceedingly modern designs are interspersed with flashes of traditional Indian art to create a magnificent impression on the visitors. After feasting your eyes on the luxury surroundings graceful hospitality awaits the guests at these luxury holiday resorts in Jaipur.

Stroll down the elegantly designed lobbies, past the polished doors to enter a world that epitomizes indulgence. The word ‘grand’ is no exaggeration for the rooms at these enclaves. An intoxicating amalgamation of luxury, history and romantic ambiance is what they bring to the discerning travelers. Finished with a Rajasthani touch, each room here is distinctive. Additionally, rendering a tone of modern technology to these realms of comfort are amenities such as a 37 inch LCD television, Jacuzzi, coffee/tea maker, etc. In fact, the only thing that will draw your eyes away from the contemporary aesthetics is the panoramic view of the mighty Aravalli hills from the private terrace. Offering you another way of getting close to nature is the panoply of luxury tents available in these properties. Well-equipped with all necessities, these upscale camps serve as great accommodation option.

Dining is not merely an activity but a spectacular affair within these luxury holiday resorts in Jaipur. Meals are elegant and imaginative. The culinary expertise of the in-house Chefs often leaves the guests in awe. Delectable fare prepared with rich flavors, smooth textures and the finest of ingredients create a pleasurable epicurean memory. This palate pleasing ceremony is complimented by a wide assortment of drinks, completing a remarkable experience.

Add to this sensory experience a long session of pampering spa treatments, and you enter into a state of utter bliss. Feel like royalty within these wellness halos designed to de-stress the most troubled of minds and tired bodies. Soul soothing massages are delivered by trained masseurs to heal and relax you. Plus, the modern techniques united with age-old treatments bring back the sheen lost in the urban humdrum.

So the next time you wonder where to stay in Jaipur, these holiday resorts will end your search. So come on then and surrender yourself to a world of complete indulgence.

Holiday Packages for Chail-Visit the Destinations to Make Your Trip Much Enjoyable

When you wish to engage in a trip, then you need to browse a lot. Browsing can enable you with the choice of destination; thereby you can confirm the destination by engaging in the option of browsing. When you have confirmed the destination, then you can turn fixing the travel mode and also the option of staying too, whereby the choice of destination is much important. The choice of Holiday packages for Chamba is a nice option to start with.

The very first destination to visit is Saho. This is one among the very prettiest villages present in Himachal Pradesh. This is present on the breathtaking plateau. This is also on the right side of River Sal. You can also view the presence of Shiva Temple over here, which is much hidden in the trees surrounded. There is the presence of 2 Shiva statues present in the entrance part, whereby the presence of Shivalingam is also there. There is a presence of Nandi Bull, which keeps facing the entrance present. There is presence of natural spring which is much believed to have the medicinal properties to cure the ailments. There is the annual fair organizable here in the months of August and also in September. There are likely chances to people engage in trekking, as it can offer you the fantastic option to move on, since it’s much filled with greenery.

Mahal to view so

Then you will definitely have to visit Rang Mahal, which is much to be the largest monument present in this area, as it’s much built with brick. This is present in Surara Mohalla. This is the blend of both Mughal and also the British architectures. There is the presence of very much painted paintings which is under preservation at the location of Bhuri Singh Museum of Chamba. There are also some artworks displayed at the country’s capital, National Museum New Delhi.

Then you can visit Chamunda Devi temple, which is the temple dedicated to Goddess Chamunda Devi. This temple is much depicting the architecture in a rich manner. This also does feature the Mandab and a fire pit too. This mandab has the votive bell having the Nagari inscription in it. From here, you can also have the fantastic view of Chamba valley.

Temples to visit

Then you must visit Sui Mata Temple. This is much a Hindu pilgrimage centre. This temple is in the intersecting part of other two temples, Chamunda Devi temple and also Brajeswari Temple. This temple is the dedication to Chamba, who is the princess of this region, whereby she sacrificed her life for the kingdom. Also, this temple has the story of Sui Mata, in the paintings mode.

Then you can much visit Bhuri Singh Museum. This is present in Chamba Valley, whereby acting as the abode of Basohli and also Kangra Paintings.

Make Use of Online Website Review Before Booking Any Villa at Gili

Planning for an exotic trip to Gili Islands? Haven’t booked any villas or hotels to stay? You are too late! So you must be looking for some quicker hotel booking tips. Right? Well, going through the online website reviews is one of the quicker and sure shot ways of getting the right villas and luxury hotel in Gili Trawangan.

But, how can you make use of these online reviews? Well here goes the answer to your question:

  • Examine out more than one resource. Although you should view the evaluation area of a website, that is never enough. Of course you should check out the resort’s review web page, because you can get any beneficial functions detailed, but if there are any disadvantages about the place, you will never discover them on the resort’s own website.
  • Search for the place. Go through major search engines to find the name of the place. It should be readily available in the search engine. It can be recognized by the “pushpin” symbol that will be next to it. If it has reviews next to it, it indicates that the place has been analyzed on that web page. It may also say the variety of opinions the place has. If there are a lot of opinions, you can usually get a better impact of resort.
  • Click next to the reviews, where it says “X variety of reviews are listed below” and you will be taken straight to the resort’s web page, where you can study the opinions.
  • Besides Google (which usually many you will use), several other are also there. To confirm if the place you are looking for is detailed with them.
  • Check the regional Chamber of Commerce website for the town the place is in.
  • Understand that a bad evaluation might just be bitter vineyard. Look to see if the issue is reinforced by other opinions. If a resort has many four and five-star opinions, and one one-star evaluation, it may be because some goofball or dissatisfied worker or opponent has a processor on their neck. Cure such circumstances with a touch of suspicion. Don’t let one bad review mess up what might be a great holiday option for you. (You should bear in mind that it is probably unlawful, and certainly a breach of Internet guidelines, for a competitive organization to junk a company on evaluation websites.)
  • If there are many adverse opinions and only a few good ones, on the other hand, you should definitely steer of the organization.
  • If you do discover bad opinions, make sure if the proprietor or some other associate of the place has taken the persistence to react to them. See if the reaction is innovative and respectful.

Explore The Beauty of Canada With Study Travel

For incredible inspiration and an injection of adventure in the subject you study, travel to Canada, one the most naturally diverse countries in the world. Famously clean-living, laid-back and very welcoming, the Canadians have a good standard of living and seem very content and positive about their beautiful country. Combining study, travel and a touch of adventure is the perfect way to enhance a student’s learning and encourage personal development.

Canada has much to satisfy the adventurous student. With a popular outdoor culture there is the opportunity to hike, climb, ski or kayak and explore some of the magnificent natural playground that makes up the majority of this vast country. You may be lucky enough to encounter a Grizzly Bear or even spot a Humpback Whale while on a boat trip off the west coast. Seeing one of these beauties gracefully break the surface of the ocean is an awesome experience.

Visit Niagara Falls, Canada’s Most Famed Attraction

Niagara Falls is one of the world’s most stunning [and certainly its most voluminous] waterfall in terms of water flow. The Niagara Falls waterfall is actually a group of three that is located right on the border between The United States and Canada. Just standing and taking in this amazing sight is breathtaking, but the more adventurous can get really close and take an exciting boat trip right under the fall of the water; it’s a lot of fun but be prepared to get very wet! The water racing over the precipice is deafening, the spray is spectacular and the feeling of human insignificance in the presence of such a sight is heightened. Visiting these falls is certainly a memorable and also somewhat humbling experience.

City Life

Vancouver is situated on the coast of Canada and is considered one of the best places in the world to live. A visit to Vancouver helps students identify the differences between this first world society and their own, as well as question the economic disparities and reasons for these. This city is home to a very diverse population and therefore many languages are spoken – in fact, English is the first language of only about half of the people that live here.

Another great city is the provincial, cultural and economic capital of Canada, Toronto. There are so many opportunities in the city to suit several different areas of study. Travel to Toronto to visit one of the many museums, explore Toronto Island, or climb the tallest free-standing tower in the western hemisphere, The CN Tower. The more daring among your students can even do an Edge Walk, an exhilarating no-hands walk right on the outside ledge of the tower. The views are second to none even if the experience makes it tough to keep your eyes open.

Montreal is another cultural gem. There is an eclectic art scene here and some wonderful museums housing them. If French is your field of study, travel to Quebec where students can immerse themselves in the bilingual culture. Canada has endless opportunities for exploration, study and adventure and a holiday here will certainly be one to remember.

School History Trips to Unlock the History of Athens

School history trips bring students into contact with the past, showing them what their texts refer to. In Athens, where ancient monuments still stand, the distant past can be better appreciated: students can know how it felt to stand on the Akropolis beside the imposing Parthenon, or leave the city to visit the nearby Oracle at Delphi. Any school student taking History or Classics classes will benefit from visits to the great city of Athens.

The Akropolis of Athens

The most famous site in Athens is undoubtedly its Akropolis, a citadel on a rocky outcrop rising approximately 150 metres above the centre of the city. It was in use by human habitants of the region for thousands of years before the city of Athens developed and thrived in the Archaic and Classical periods. What stands on the Akropolis today dates to those periods: the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion, the Theatre of Dionysos Eleuthereus, and more.

Visiting the Akropolis of Athens on school history trips, students will first be awed by the marble steps and monumental gateway — the Propylaia — that take them onto the top of the hill. The massive structure of the Parthenon, the temple to the city’s patron goddess Athena, dominates the hilltop and draws all visitors to it. It is a staggering work of ancient architecture and the centre of Athenian celebrations in Athena’s name. Other surviving structures, such as the Erechtheion on the top of the Akropolis — with its porch held up by Caryatids — and the Theatre of Dionysos on the hill’s side, where many of the famous tragedies and comedies of ancient Athens were performed, complete this sensory introduction into the scale and shape of Athenian public life.

The nearby Akropolis Museum is an excellent next stop for students on school history trips, as it provides a wealth of material culture associated with and found on the Akropolis – from spindle whorls to statues. Elsewhere in Athens, sites such as the Temple of Olympian Zeus and Andrian’s Arch are beautiful, well-preserved monuments.

The Oracle at Delphi

Young visitors can trace the steps of many famed people in the ancient world by leaving Athens to visit the Oracle at Delphi. The Athenian tragedian Aeschylus wrote that the significance of Delphi began in prehistory with worship of Gaea, and certainly the site has long been in use, with a wealth of Mycenaean remains found there. Most of the ruins visible on the mountainside today date to the 6th century CE, including the reconstructed Temple of Athens (dedicated at Delphi in honour of the Athenians’ victory at the battle of Marathon) and the remains of the Temple of Apollo, a theatre and a stadium for the Pythian games held at the site. The rock on which the Oracle sat and prophesied is still in situ. Young learners on school history trips can stand beside it and contemplate the role of prophecy in the ancient world.

Win a VIP experience at the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Starting today, Visit Fort Wayne announced a contest offering a coveted VIP experience at the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale, located in Fort Wayne, IN. The contest runs through Monday, March 24 and features a Fort Wayne Girlfriend Getaway and VIP experience at the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale. To enter, visit: https://www.facebook.com/FortWayneIN/app194975693850063.

Every year the Vera Bradley Outlet stages a gigantic sale where savvy shoppers can save 40-60% off retail prices on Vera Bradley’s great handbags, luggage, and accessories. It is expected that over 60,000 women will be checking out the sale running from April 9-12, 2014.

So what are you waiting for? Grand prize winner receives four VIP tickets to the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale for Friday, April 11. In addition, winners will enter the sale prior to the official door opening and will receive VIP check out as well. Prize package includes a grand cargo bag, grand cosmetic, all-in-one cross body tote, umbrella, and ditty bag. Guests of the winner receive a grand tote, cross body tote, and umbrella. Plus, the lucky winner and her three guests will receive an over night stay at the Courthouse Marriott for April 10.

“Experience of a lifetime”

Uniquely housed in decommissioned Intrepid Aircraft Carrier amid an impressive view of the New York Skyline is Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum docking at Pier 86 on west 46th street and 12th avenue. It’s amazing collection of 30 restored aircraft are highlighted by USS Growler (SSG-577), British Airways Concorde and Enterprise Space Shuttle.

This remarkable collection includes a Blackbird spy plane, Harrier jet, F-14 Tomcat, Phantom and a MiG-21. Exhibits display artifacts, photographs, and videos. The complete museum inventory is too extensive to list in this account.
Aircraft Carrier Intrepid
Intrepid Aircraft Carrier was launched in 1943 fighting in World War II, surviving five kamikaze attacks and one torpedo strike. It was also used as a NASA space program recovery ship. Decommissioned in 1974 housing The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum since 1982.
USS Growler (SSG-577)
The Growler is an early cruise missile submarine launched 1955 and named after a large mouth black the growler. It is the only American strategic missile submarine ever opened to the public.
British Airways Concorde
The Concorde made its first transatlantic service in 1976 flying 1,350 mph at 60,000’ altitude. It crossed the Atlantic Ocean in under 3 hours, less than half the time of any other jet craft. Its crew of 9 could fly 100 passengers in one flight. The Concorde airship serial #100-010 G-BOAD is on loan from British Airways.
Enterprise Space Shuttle
The first Space Shuttle built for NASA was The Enterprise performing atmospheric test flights. After its first flight it was scheduled for refitting but final design changes meant would be less costly to build a new shuttle, the Challenger. Ownership of the Enterprise was officially transferred to The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on December 12, 2011.

Admission Hours
Winter Hours (November 1 – March 31)
Daily (including Holidays) 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Summer Hours (April 1 – October 31)
Monday – Friday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday, Sunday & Holidays 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Admission Fee
Intrepid plus Space Shuttle Pavilion
Adults – $31
Seniors & College students – $27
Youth 7-17 – $27
Children 3-6 $17
Veterans – $24
Active/Retired US Military, Children Under 3 free
Intrepid Only
Adults – $24
Seniors & College students – $20
Youth 7-17 – $19
Children 3-6 $12
Veterans – $17
Active/Retired US Military, Children Under 3 free
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is nearly a 6 hour drive of 316 miles from Rochester NY. First drive east on thruway I-90 to Syracuse, US 81 south to Scranton Pennsylvania, then US 380 to Bethlehem PA. Continue east through New Jersey on US 78 to Newark NJ, then US 95 south to route 495 across George Washington Bridge and route 9A south following signs to The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.
Here’s one visitor’s impression of their visit.
“This is a must visit place! You need to go!”