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Brussels is Officially Bilingual

Brussels is a little bit of everything, an agglomeration of 19 communes forming one of the three Regions of the federal Belgian state. The capital of the Kingdom of Belgium, the headquarters of the French and Flemish Communities. Brussels is also the home of the European Commission and the Council of the European Union.

Since 1 January 2002 the EURO is the official currency of Belgium, together with 10 other European countries. Around the main town square there are a lot of money exchange booths, banks and automatic money machines. Most shops, restaurants and hotels accept all major Credit Cards.

In recent decades, the arrival of European officials as well as of immigrants and refugees from all over the world have made it a bustling town with a very colourful, varied population, but also one with increasing traffic and parking problems. But fortunately, there are spaces and parks where one can find some quiet and rest away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The world famous peeing boy can be seen every day and night at the corner of Eikstraat Stoofstraat near the Grand Place. Between April and September the town square and its buildings are illuminated at night to the rhythm of classical music.

Created in 1958 as part of the World Fair, the Atomium is one of Brussels most recognisable sights, and at 102 metres tall it affords a wonderful view to those who reach the top. Mini Europe is also worth a visit, with its small scale representations of the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben and more. Representing Belgian irreverence, Mannekin Pis, the world famous statue, can be found at the corner of Eikstraat Stoofstraat, near the Grand Place.

The country objectively has the best beer in the world. Therefore, your stay in Brussels cannot be complete without a visit to one of the many typical and beautiful cafes and pubs that you will find here. Try the local beers of Brussels Gueuze or fruit beer, cherry beer, raspberry beer, peach beer or a wonderful Trappist beer, made in one of the Abbeys of Belgium. Be Careful when drinking a Trappist beer. These beers tend to be very strong.

Everywhere in the city you will find chocolate shops.

Brussels is officially bilingual, French and Dutch, although French, mother tongue of the majority of the population, is the lingua franca and the most widely used language in Brussels.

Avoiding the holiday binge

It’s the holiday season and you are starting to have pangs of guilt. You have been doing great all year and now is the time of indulgence Just thinking about the Christmas dinner has added on five pound to your hips. Your Uncle Harry has a heart condition and your Aunt Maye has to watch her weight. With all the health warnings about the horrors of festive food, you just want to veg out on the couch and forget about having the family over. You needn’t have to worry as there are ways that you can simulate a traditional meal that can be healthy and nutritious without your guest even knowing, so indulge because the tricks are here.

At only 80 calories a serving, smoked salmon is an excellent source of heart protective omega-3 fatty acids, which is said to lower your risk of a stroke. So serve this as an appetizer with dry flat bread.

Your main entree, the turkey, has a wonderful source of protein as well. It contains half the fat as red meats and provides the antioxidants selenium, which may protect against cancer. Purchase a fresh bird as they are minimally processed. Leave the stuffing out of the turkey and cook separately.

You can create a delightful stuffing using whole wheat bread, assorted spices, celery, onions, garlic, chestnuts and mushrooms and place in a baking dish. Instead of butter substitute with olive oil as we know what butter does to the arteries.

The side dishes to compliment your turkey should be roasted potatoes with the skins well washed and left on. Potatoes contain not only carbohydrates and vitamin C but B6 and potassium as well. A single potato provides more than 10% of your daily fiber needs.

Add a vegetable in the green family, go for the Brussels sprouts. Clocking in at only 10 calories each, their advantages are low in fat, high in fiber and a good source of vitamin D and folic acid. Sprouts also have compounds that stimulate the body’s production of cancer-fighting agents.

It is thought that the antioxidants in red wine may help protect against heart disease by lowering levels of “bad” cholesterol and reducing blood clotting. Red wine also contains high levels of resveratrol, a substance found in grape skins that may have cancer protecting agents.

Don’t forget to leave room for desert. Christmas pudding is full of dry fruit, which would count towards your daily five portions and is low in fat. Besides that, it is high in fiber, potassium and iron. It can run up the calories though, so stick to small portions and serve with a low-fat yogurt or custard.

Now sit down and enjoy your meal with family and friends without the guilt and Happy Holidays.

Things to Do When you Travel to Belgium

When you are planning a vacation to Belgium it is best to cover all bases before you get there. This includes planning out which sites and events you would like to experience while you are there. Belgium is the perfect destination for travel because it offers a little something for everyone including the most amazing sights, shopping, and of course the delicious Belgian chocolates that we all know and love.

It is hard to find a woman who doesn’t love to shop, and in Belgium there are plenty of places to get your retail fix. Brussels, Belgium offers everything from the classy designer stores on avenue Louise to the different funky fashion boutiques that are on rue Antoine Dansaert.

Visiting Belgium always includes tasting the different authentic cuisines that are offered. Brussels is home to one of the best restaurants in all of Europe. You can also enjoy a host of other bistros, authentic restaurants, and cafes which have catering for all tastes.

If you are into the night life or just a great beer, you have to visit some of the breweries in Belgium. This country is known for their Belgian beer and has been famous for its breweries since the middle ages when monasteries first began making beer. In total there are more than one hundred and twenty five breweries in this country.

Of course you can’t leave Belgium without tasting their world famous Belgian chocolate. When you hear Belgium that is likely the first thing that comes to your mind and it is hard to find someone who doesn’t enjoy chocolate. Just about every single café and shop offers some type of Belgian chocolates.

After touring the country and tasting the different types of cuisine you will need a place to rest your head. The perfect place to stay while in Belgium is a quaint bed and breakfast which offers a room to sleep and breakfast in the morning when you awaken. They will not only save you time in the morning when you are looking for something to eat, they are also very well priced so you can save your money for the many attractions.

10 Tips To Avoid The Holiday Bulge – And Inner Thoughts About Them

Do you find it almost impossible to stay conscious and contentious about weight and nutrition during the holidays? Of course you do. More than half of all Americans are overweight. All American’s are in this together.

You can take heart from a new government study which shows most Americans gain about a pound over the holiday. You’re not alone. The study shows that during the holiday period, for the people in the study, two main things influenced the holiday weight gain: level of hunger and level of activity. Those who reported being less active or more hungry had the greatest weight gain.

If you can stay focused on dealing with just those two things, you’ll probably win.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of weight gain,” according to Dr. Samuel Klein. He is Director of the Center for Human Nutrition as Washington University in St. Louis, MO. “Preventing the increase in weight is a lot easier and better than actually gaining weight and then trying to get it off again.”

The answer is simple. Eat less and exercise more.

The good news is that most of the people overestimate how much they had gained. Fewer than 10% gain 5 pounds or over.

The bad news is that although the one pound gained seems like a small amount, that weight WAS NOT LOST during the rest of the year and those single pounds accumulate over the years and add up to obesity.

Here are some helpful hints and tips put together by skinny people to help you avoid the tiny little weight watching issues you face during this joyous season [along with the thoughts going through weight watcher Wanda's head as she listened to the skinny people happily chirping out their advice. NOTE: Wanda isn't her real name.]

1).”You SHOULD stay active, darling. The best thing for you to do is to stick to your regular schedule and routine.” [Routine? Wanda's family doesn't have no stinking routine in November and December. Wanda doesn't have no stinking time for her regular yoga classes, workouts at the gym, long dog walks, you ninny, because in addition to shopping, home decorating and cooking, Wanda has to take every one of the kids to EXTRA practices and activity for pageants, concerts and freaking fund raisers! Wanda's too ACTIVE to stay active, darling.]

2). “Don’t let yourself get hungry. Don’t arrive at the party starving. Be sure you eat your normal, healthy meals, especially breakfast. A protein rich breakfast “resets” the body and starts it off not hungry. Don’t starve yourself, thinking you can “save up” calories. Fill up before the big holiday feasts with healthy vegetable snacks.” [Normal? There ain't no stinking "normal" in November and December, and Wanda's not sure she ever has normal, healthy meals. She's got a life to run. Wanda doesn't't't know where YOU'RE having Thanksgiving, but Wanda's family's appetizer table has God's own Cheese Puffs and Ruffles with sour cream/onion dip, Brie on sourdough and 80 plates of cookies and bowls of peanut M&Ms on every available surface! There is nary a vegetable snack in sight.]

3) “How can you keep the pounds off at calorie rich parties? Stay away from the food! Literally … stay on the other side of the room from the buffet table or appetizers tray. [Wanda liked this one. She'll just go plant herself in the bathroom and lock the door. Maybe she can find a place under the pile of coats in the back bedroom. A nap sounds nice.]

4). “Wear clothes which are slightly tight and your favorites. You’ll think twice about the third helping if you can’t let your belt out a notch. Always remember there’s about 8 pounds between dress sizes.” [What skinny sadist came up with this bright idea? Wanda bets she's a size 2, and hides an eating disorder!]

5). “Portion size is the real secret. Keep salad portions large and all other portions extra small. When it comes to sweets, think quality, not availability. Just because the candy corn is there doesn’t mean you have to eat it. Don’t be afraid to cut off “just a bite” of a high calorie treat. Put the rest back on the serving tray. If you’re the hostess, pre-cut high calorie items into tiny portions to help your friends. Just a bite may be plenty to satisfy you. [Just a bite! Just a bite? Wanda's stressed to the max and darn it, Wanda DESERVES a candy treat ... and a WHOLE one. Heck, Wanda's double stressed, so she deserves ...]

6). “You don’t need to be stressed. Take Time for You. Get a massage or a nice facial. Sit down and slip your shoes off.” [Don't you know Wanda's facing a month and a half on shopping overdrive and the only place to sit down is at the mall's fast-food court? McDonald's doesn't have a massage spa. If Wanda slips her shoes off, she'll NEVER get them back on again, you fool.]

7). “Keep up your food diary … every day of the holiday … it will help you pinpoint your special weaknesses. Just one 150 calorie chocolate chip cookie each day will add up to an extra pound in only 3 weeks.” [Wanda can't even find her food diary in chaos house. And, she really needed the information on the cookies. Thank you very much. Wanda just ate three, and she doesn't need any food diary to pinpoint this little weakness.]

8). “Only eat things you really want and care about. So what if your neighbor brought okra au gratin everyone’s raving about? Use that space on your plate for a homemade roll, hot from the oven. Put real butter on it. Life is choices. Treat yourself to what you want and LEAVE THE REST IN THE SERVING DISH.”[Good advice. How thankful do you think Wanda'd be after a feast of Brussels sprouts and tofu salad while she's passing the yams, potatoes and gravy to Aunt Lucille? Wanda bets Lucille's glad she got granddad's wiry build instead of those wonderful wide childbearing hips from grandma's "peasant" stock!]

9). Drink water instead of alcohol which has empty calories and lowers will power. Avoid sugary sodas which throw your metabolism into pendulum swings. [You didn't mention eggnog. Eggnog is OK, then, right?]

10). “Don’t eat while you cook. Those little “tastes” can turn into 1000 calories before you’ve blinked.” [Wanda just spent 304 hours in the kitchen, cooking. She HAS to taste everything before she serves it, or they'll hate it and won't love her any more. And besides, cookie dough doesn't have any calories, does it?]

Well, that’s all 10 pieces of holiday advice. Here’s just one parting thought from Wanda.

[Santa's fat and everybody loves him! The baby Jesus is fat, too. The turkey is so fat it can hardly stand up! Nobody buys a skinny Christmas tree, do they? Get a grip. Get a life. Have a HAPPY holiday.]

Holidaying in France: Paris and Nice

France is the world’s most popular tourist destination and with good reason. From the cultural splendour of Paris to the snowcapped ski resorts in the French Alps to the golden beaches of the south, France has treasures in every corner. And there are wonderful hotels, too. Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of hotels in France

Paris: city of light, fashion and romance

Think of Paris and see what images cascade through your mind – chic cafes, broad boulevards, Seine riverboats, the Eiffel tower, Notre Dame Cathedral….Paris is the quintessential capital of romance and style, the home of chic.

transport:getting there and getting around

Charles de Gaulle airport is the main gateway to the country. France also boasts an impressive rail network. It will whisk you anywhere in the country and also to London, Amsterdam and Brussels. There are also ferries to the UK and Ireland.

Paris is a great walkers’ city and there’s always the metro if you get footsore or too hot. However, Paris is not cyclist-friendly. The river boats are most of a sightseeing vehicle than a means of transport.

Accommodation: from cheap stays to luxury resorts

Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of Paris hotels

climate

The climate is temperate and Paris’s location in a basin gives it France’s lowest average rainfall. .

events

A love of celebration is part of the national character so there’s no shortage of events in Paris.

*Designers showcase their spring collection during Paris Fashion Week in early March.

*The grand event of the year is Bastille Day on 14 July. As the country’s national day, it’s a time for serious celebration with fireworks, parades and riotous street parties.

*November is the time of the Paris International Photo Fair.

Nice: jewel of the Côte d’Azur

An Italianate ambiance and cobblestoned old town gives Nice an irresistible charm. Add to this a vibrant social life, great shopping and a delightful five-mile seafront and you’ve got the recipe for a perfect vacation spot.

The beaches are mainly rocks and pebbles but the water is warm (20-25°C in summer)and clear and it’s just a short hop to nearby Cannes and St Tropez

transport:getting there and getting around

Nice International Airport is around six kilometres out of town. Nice is also served by fast, extensive rail and bus networks. And there are ferries to Corsica. You can best explore the city on foot and if you’re feeling indulgent you can hire a yacht.

accommodation:from cheap stays to luxury resorts

There are a wide range of accommodation in Nice. Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of Hotels in Nice

climate

Mild is the perfect word to describe the climate in Nice. Daily temperatures average around 15 C, surging up to 40 C in July-August. Winters are mild too with temperatures rarely getting lower than 5 C.

events

*Carnival in the second half of February features lavish parades of giant figures in papier-mache hats. Carnival ends on the evening of Mardi Gras with a spectacular fireworks display.

*There are also a number of religious events of interest. In June, the city celebrates the patron saints of St Peter and St John with processions and masses in the churches.

*The big event in summer is the Nice Jazz Festival held in July. The festival attracts top international artists.

A visitors guide to Brussels, Belgium

WHO STOLE WHAT?

Of course you know what to do, and sometimes you do it. But when you don’t that’s when it counts.

The scene: La Grande Place in Brussels after a little rain a magic of shining cobbles and floodlit 17th century golden guild houses. The scene is quite enough to set you back four hundred years to when Steen was painting his canvases and this land was still part of the Low Countries, the Netherlands. These were times before credit cards, driving licenses, medical insurance cards, and ATMs.

The time: The twenty-first century when four friends were sealing a wonderful day with just another glass of wine on a terrace at 1:00 am.

We are the last on the terrace and the lone waiter is beginning to pile up the chairs and loop security chains through each pile. I suppose he wouldn’t mind if we left.

It will be another long day of touring tomorrow so a few hours in bed would not come amiss. I settle the bill with a credit card, thrust my wallet in my hip pocket and we get up and left.

There were very few people on the streets as we wander back through twisty medieval streets to our hotel. One has to be careful on the slick cobbles, one could easily fall, I think. Then, out of habit I pat my hip pocket and the wallet is gone.

We are back at the terrace in less than ten minutes but after speaking to the waiter and to the owner in the caf, there is no sign of the wallet or its contents. They are both very sorry but they suggest that perhaps we should go to the police.

The first order of business is to cancel credit and ATM cards. Fortunately, my wife has a credit card from the same bank so we have one 800 number and this one worked. Unfortunately, most US 800 numbers do not work in Europe. I am able to speak to a real voice bank clerk in her late afternoon, Mountain-Standard time. She is also able to connect me to other bank numbers and within 30 minutes the cards are all canceled. Phew! Being night in Belgium there is not much chance of them being used unless the thief has an Internet connection.

Then I have to reconstruct what my black-leather wallet had contained: about $330 and a few euros in cash, three credit cards and an ATM card, my driving license, my wife’s photograph, three medical and dental insurance cards, United Airlines mileage and lounge cards, membership cards for an Art museum and the National Parks, two spare checks, a spare car key and some scribbled notes. Did I really manage to cram all that in a small wallet?

Visiting Brussels – Special Events To Look Out For During The Year

One of the best times to visit Brussels is during September when the number of tourists drops dramatically when compared to the peak summer months, but when the weather is still warm and pleasant.

However, if the special events below interest you, you may wish to co-incide your visit accordingly.

Summertime Events

May sees the Brussels Jazz Convention which is performed at various destinations throughout the city. You can also catch the Queen Elisabeth Competition and the Kunsten Festival des Arts which is a mix of opera, theatre and dance (in Flemish and Wallonian). Lovers of sport may be interested in the Brussels Half Marathon when thousands of runners swarm through the streets of Brussels.

June entertains the City of Brussels Summer Festival where a wide range of classical musicians gather to perform in some of the cities most extravagant locations. Another opportunity to catch a music festival is provided in the last week of june when the Fete de la Musique comes to town.

July offers a wide variety of events, kicking off with the opening of the Palais Royal, when the Royal residency is opened up to visitors for a couple of weeks. There are also an entertaining mix of cultural musical events including Festival de Midis Minimes and Coleur Café Festival. Carnival lovers will want to check out Foire de Midi which offers funfair type rides. The colourful Ommegang can be found in the Grand Place where countless people take on the role of clowns, jesters, soldiers and such. This is quite a sight and approximately 2,000 people are thought to participate every July. On the 21st is Belgian National Day – celebrated by a lavish fireworks display.

August sees the Tapis des Fleurs (a colourful flower exhibition) and the Plantation du Meiboom (a giant free for all puppet show) come to town.

Autumn, Winter, Spring…

September & October affords you the opportunity to check out the Lucky Town Festival & Les Nuits Botaniques (musical concerts) as well as the Audi Jazz Festival.

December is characterised by Marche de Noel. In this Christmas fair you’ll find various festive stalls.

January & February are renowned for the Fete des Rois and Brussels Film festival. Towards the end is the highly popular International Comic Strip And Cartoon Festival (you may remember the most famous Belgian comic strip hero – Tintin and his white dog snowy who went about solving various mysteries).

March/April – The Ars Musica festival is a celebration of contemporary music (March) while the Serres Royales is an elaborate and attractive flower show. You can also take in the International Fantasy Film Festival & Eurantica which is a grand antiques fair (typically towards the end of March).

April entertains the Sablon Baroque Spring where 17th century music is performed by some of the country’s finest young musicians. Keeping to the tune, Flanders Festival is an international music festival that specialises in classical music.

Brussels is a splendid city with some marvelous attractions and special events. Whenever you decide to go, there will be something to see and do to interest even the most sophisticated traveller.

Holiday Destinations by Time Zone

This is an invaluable list of holiday destinations by time zone for those of you who like holidays minus the jet lag. It’s also a great point of reference piece.

+0 hour

 Canary Islands

Ghana (Accra)

Iceland (Reykjavik)

Ireland (Dublin)

Liberia (Monrovia)

Mali (Bamako)

Morocco (Rabat, Casablanca)

Portugal (Lisbon)

St Helena (Jamestown)

Senegal (Dakar)

Sierra Leone (Freetown)

The Gambia (Banjul)

Togo (Lome)

Western Sahar, Laayoune (El Aaiun)

 

+1 hour

 

Albania (Tirana)

Algeria (Algiers)

Andorra (Andorra la Vella)

Angola (Luanda)

Austria (Vienna)

Belgium (Brussels)

Bosnia-Herzegovnia (Sarajevo)

Cameroon (Yaounde)

Croatia (Zagreb)

Czech Republic (Prague)

Denmark (Copenhagen)

France (Paris)

Germany (Berlin)

Gibraltar (Gibraltar)

Hungary (Budapest)

Italy (Rome)

Macedonia (Skopje)

Malta (Valletta)

Monaco (Monaco)

Namibia (Windhoek)

Netherlands, The (Amsterdam)

Nigeria (Abuja, Lagos)

Norway (Oslo)

Poland (Warsaw)

Serbia and Montenegro (Belgrade)

Slovakia (Bratislava)

Slovenia (Ljubljana)

Spain (Madrid)

Sweden (Stockholm)

Switzerland (Bern, Zurich)

Tunisia (Tunis)

Vatican (Vatican City)

 

+2 hours

 

Belarus (Minsk)

Botswana (Gaborone)

Bulgaria (Sofia)

Cyprus (Nicosia, Kyrenia)

Egypt (Cairo)

Estonia (Tallinn)

Finland (Helsinki)

Greece (Athens)

Israel (Jerusalem, Tel Aviv)

Jordan (Amman)

Latvia (Riga)

Lebanon (Beirut)

Libya (Tripoli)

Lithuania (Vilnius)

Malawi (Lilongwe)

Romania (Bucharest)

Rwanda (Kigali)

South Africa (South Africa / Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town)

Swaziland (Mbabane)

Syria (Damascus)

Turkey (Ankara, Istanbul)

Ukraine (Kiev)

West Bank (Bethlehem)

Zambia (Lusaka)

Zimbabwe (Harare)

 

+3 hours

 

Bahrain (Al Manamah)

Kenya (Nairobi)

Madagascar (Antananarivo)

Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg)

Saudi Arabia (Riyadh)

Tanzania (Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar)

Uganda (Kampala)

Yemen (Sanaa, Aden)

 

+4 hours

 

Mauritius (Port Louis)

Oman (Muscat)

Seychelles (Mahe – Victoria)

United Arab Emirate (Abu Dhabi, Dubai)

 

+5 hours

 

Kazakhstan (Western – Aqtau)

Maldives (Male)

Pakistan (Islamabad, Karachi)

 

+6 hours

 

Bangladesh (Dacca)

 

+7 hours

 

Christmas Island, Australia (The Settlement)

Indonesia (Western Indonesia/Java, Sumatra – Jakarta)

Thailand (Bangkok, Phuket)

Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Hanoi)

 

+8 hours

 

Australia (Western Australia – Perth)

China (Beijing, Shanghai)

Hong Kong (China)

Indonesia (Central- Bali, Borneo, Celebes/Ujung Pandang)

Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)

Mongolia (Ulaanbaatar)

Philippines (Manila)

Singapore (Singapore)

Taiwan (Taipei)

 

+9 hours

 

Indonesia (Eastern – Irian Jaya and the Moluccas / Jayapura)

Japan (Tokyo)

Korea, North (Pyongyang)

Korea, Republic of (Seoul)

 

+10 hours

 

Australia (Capital Territory – Canberra, New South Wales- Sydney, Victoria- Melbourne)

Australia (Tasmania – Hobart)

Australia (Queensland – Brisbane)

Papua New Guinea (Port Moresby)

 

+11 hours

 

New Caledonia (Noumea)

Solomon Islands (Honiara, Guadalcanal)

 

+12 hours

 

Fiji (Suva)

New Zealand (Wellington)

Antarctica (South Pole)

 

 

 

-1 hours

 

Cape Verde (Praia)

The Azores Islands

 

-2 hours

 

Brazil (Fernando de Noronha)

South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands (Grytviken)

 

-3 hours

 

Argentina (Buenos Aires)

Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Brasilia)

Brazil (Recife, Maceio, Salvador, Fortaleza)

French Guiana (Cayenne)

Uruguay (Montevideo)

 

-4 hours

 

Antigua and Barbuda (Saint John’s)

Aruba (Oranjestad)

Barbados (Bridgetown)

Bermuda (Hamilton)

Bolivia (La Paz)

Brazil (Manaus)

Canada (New Brunswick – Saint John, Nova Scotia- Halifax, Prince Edward Island – Charlottetown)

Chile (Santiago)

Dominica (Roseau)

Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo)

Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas- Stanley)

Greenland (Thule, Qaanaaq)

Grenada (Saint George’s)

Guadeloupe (Basse-Terre)

Guyana (Georgetown)

Martinique (Fort-de-France)

Montserrat (Brades Estate, Plymouth)

Netherlands Antiles (Curacao- Willemstad)

Paraguay (Asuncion)

Puerto Rico (San Juan)

St Kitts and Nevis (Basseterre)

St Lucia (Castries)

St Vincent and the Grenadines (Kingstown)

Trinidad and Tobago (Port of Spain)

Venezuela (Caracas)

Virgin Islands (U.S.- Charlotte Amalie)

British Virgin Islands (Road Town)

 

-5 hours

 

Bahamas (Nassau)

Brazil (Acre-Rio Branco)

Canada (Quebec- Montreal, Quebec, Ontario- Ottawa, Toronto, Nunavut- Iqaluit)

Cayman Islands (Georgetown)

Colombia (Bogota)

Cuba (Havana)

Ecuador (Quito, Guayaquil)

Haiti (Port-au-Prince)

Jamaica (Kingston)

Panama (Panama, Colon)

Peru (Lima)

USA (Northern and Eastern states)

 

-6 hours

 

Belize (Belmopan)

Easter Island, Chile (Rapa Nui- Hanga Roa)

Costa Rica (San Jose)

Galapagos Islands

Guatemala (Guatemala)

Mexico (Mexico City, Acapulco, Monterrey, Veracruz, Guadalajara, Cancun)

USA (Central – Southern states)

 

-7 hours

 

Canada (Alberta)

Mexico (Baja California Sur- La Paz , Chihuahua- Ciudad Juarez, Nayarit- Tepic, Sinaloa- Mazatlan)

USA (South Western states)

 

-8 hours

 

Canada (British Columbia- Vancouver, Yukon- Whitehorse)

Mexico (Baja California Norte- Tijuana, Ensenada, Mexicali)

USA (Western states)

 

-9 hours

 

French Polynesia (Gambier Islands)

USA (Alaska- Anchorage, Fairbanks, Nome)

 

 -10 hours

 

Cook Islands (Rarotonga- Avarua)

French Polynesia (Tahiti Papeete)  

USA (Hawaii-Honolulu)

USA (Aleutian Islands of Alaska – Adak)

 

-11 hours

 

American Samoa (Pago Pago)

Samoa (Apia)

 

 

All time zones are based on GMT+0 (London, UK time)

How to Avoid the Holiday Bulge

Do you consider it almost futile to stay conscious and contentious about weight and nutrition during the holidays? Of course you do. Numerous Americans are overweight. All American’s are in this together.

You can take heart from a distinct government study which shows most Americans gain about a pound over the holiday. You’re not alone. The study shows that during the holiday period, for the people in the study, two stellar things influenced the holiday weight gain: level of hunger and level of action. Those who reported being hungrier had the greatest weight gain.

If you can stay focused on dealing with just those two things, you’ll probably win.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of weight gain,” according to Dr. Samuel Klein. He is Director of the Center for Human Nutrition as Washington University in St. Louis, MO. “Preventing the raise in weight is a lot easier and better than actually gaining weight and then trying to get it off again.”

The answer is smooth. Eat less and exercise more. The gratifying news is that most of the people overestimate how much they had gained. Fewer than 10% gain 5 pounds or over.
The bad news is that although the one pound gained seems like a cramped amount, that weight WAS NOT LOST during the rest of the year and those single pounds accumulate over the years and add up to obesity.

Listed below are some helpful hints and tips put together by skinny people to help you avoid the tiny petite weight watching issues you face during this joyous season [along with the thoughts going through weight watcher Jennifer's head as she listened to the skinny people happily chirping out their advice. NOTE: Jennifer isn't her real name.]

1).”You SHOULD stay efficacious, darling. The tops thing for you to do is to stick to your typical schedule and custom.” [Procedure? Jennifer's family doesn't have no stinking routine in November and December. Jennifer doesn't have no stinking time for her general yoga classes, workouts at the gym, long dog walks, you ninny, because in addition to shopping, home decorating and cooking, Jennifer has to take every one of the kids to extraneous practices and exertion for pageants, concerts and freaking fund raisers! Jennifer's too active to stay alive, darling.]

2). “Don’t let yourself get hungry. Don’t arrive at the party starving. Be sure you eat your ordinary, disease-free meals, especially breakfast. A protein rich breakfast “resets” the body and starts it off not hungry. Don’t starve yourself, thinking you can “save up” calories. Fill up before the big holiday feasts with invigorating vegetable snacks.” [Standard? There ain't no stinking "usual" in November and December, and Jennifer's not sure she ever has usual, sustaining meals. She's got a life to run. Jennifer doesn't' know where YOU'RE having Thanksgiving, but Jennifer's family's appetizer table has God's own Cheese Puffs and Ruffles with sour cream/onion dip, Brie on sourdough and 80 plates of cookies and bowls of peanut M&Ms on every applicable surface! There is nary a vegetable snack in sight.]

3) “How can you keep the pounds off at calorie rich parties? Stay away from the food! Literally … stay on the other side of the room from the buffet table or appetizers tray. [Jennifer liked this one. She'll just go plant herself in the bathroom and lock the door. Maybe she can acquire a place under the pile of coats in the back bedroom. A nap sounds delightful.]

4). “Wear clothes which are slightly tight and your favorites. You’ll think twice about the third helping if you can’t let your belt out a notch. Always remember there’s about 8 pounds between dress sizes.” [What skinny sadist came up with this bright idea? Jennifer bets she's a size 2, and hides an eating disorder!]

5). “Portion size is the real mystical. Keep salad portions excessive and all other portions extra miniscule. When it comes to sweets, think attribute, not availability. Just because the candy corn is there doesn’t mean you have to eat it. Don’t be afraid to cut off “just a bite” of a expensive calorie handle. Put the rest back on the serving tray. If you’re the hostess, pre-cut excessive calorie items into tiny portions to help your friends. Just a bite may be plenty to satisfy you. [Just a bite! Just a bite? Jennifer's stressed to the max and darn it, Jennifer DESERVES a candy treat ... and a WHOLE one. Heck, Jennifer's double stressed, so she deserves ...]

6). “You don’t need to be stressed. Take Time for You. Get a massage or a delightful facial. Sit down and slip your shoes off.” [Don't you know Jennifer's facing a month and a half on shopping overdrive and the only place to sit down is at the mall's breakneck-food court? McDonald's doesn't have a massage spa. If Jennifer slips her shoes off, she'll NEVER get them back on again, you fool.]

7). “Keep up your food diary … every day of the holiday … it will assistance you pinpoint your certain weaknesses. Just one 150 calorie chocolate chip cookie each day will add up to an spare pound in only 3 weeks.” [Jennifer can't even obtain her food diary in chaos house. And, she really needed the enlightenment on the cookies. Thank you very much. Jennifer just ate three, and she doesn't need any food diary to pinpoint this tiny weakness.]

8). “Only eat things you really require and care about. So what if your neighbor brought okra au gratin everyone’s raving about? Use that space on your plate for a homemade roll, hot from the oven. Put real butter on it. Life is choices. Treat yourself to what you covet and LEAVE THE REST IN THE SERVING DISH.”[Stupendous advice. How obliged do you think Jennifer'd be after a feast of Brussels sprouts and tofu salad while she's passing the yams, potatoes and gravy to Aunt Lucille? Jennifer bets Lucille's glad she got granddad's wiry build instead of those astounding wide childbearing hips from grandma's "peasant" stock!]

9). Drink water instead of alcohol which has empty calories and lowers will power. Avoid sugary sodas which throw your metabolism into pendulum swings. [You didn't mention eggnog. Eggnog is OK, then, right?]

10). “Don’t eat while you cook. Those petite “tastes” can turn into 1000 calories before you’ve blinked.” [Jennifer just spent 304 hours in the kitchen, cooking. She HAS to taste everything before she serves it, or they'll hate it and won't delight in her any numerous. And besides, cookie dough doesn't have any calories, does it?]

Well, that’s all 10 pieces of holiday advice. Here’s just one parting thought from Jennifer.
[Santa’s fat and everybody loves him! The baby Jesus is fat, too. The turkey is so fat it can hardly stand up! Nobody buys a skinny Christmas tree, do they? Get a grip. Get a life. Have a Jubilant holiday.}

Golfing Holidays In Europe

You aren’t wrong, if you title Europe as the ‘Golf Continent’. Golf is believed to be originated in Scotland in Western Europe, in 1100s. The game now rules the entire Europe. There are over four thousand golf courses on the continent. Europe certainly is a heaven for golfers.

Europe is a fantastic place for golfing. Every country in Europe is a wonderful destination for your golfing holidays. Surely, you can find plenty of golf and golf courses in Europe. If you are planning for your golfing holidays in Europe, here are some of the top golf destinations & top rated golf courses in Europe.

EASTERN EUROPE – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are the fantastic destinations, if you want to enjoy golfing in the Baltic region. These Baltic gems are best known for their lovely capitals – Tallinn (Estonia), Riga (Latvia), and Vilnius (Lithuania). You can find many fine golf courses in these fantastic Baltic States. Top rated golf courses in Estonia are – Valgeranna Golf (Pärnumaa), Estonian Golf & Country Club (Harjumaa), Audru Golf (Pärnumaa), and Niitväja Golf Course – Tallinn Golf Club (Niitvälja, Keila). Top golf courses in Latvia include – Ozo Golf Club (Riga), Saliena Golf (Riga), and Viesturi Golf Club (West of Riga). Top golf courses in Lithuania are – The Capitals Golf Club, “Sostiniu” Golfo Klubas (Elektrėnai), Central European Golf Club (Vilnius), and Elnias Golf Club (Kaunas).

NORTHERN EUROPE – is mainly comprised of Scandinavian countries including Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Famous for its natural scenic beauty, the entire Scandinavia is fantastic playground for golf. You can find numerous excellent quality golf courses in the Northern Europe. Here are some top rated golf courses in the top golfing destinations in the Northern Europe.

Denmark – København Golf Klub Dyrehaven (Kongens Lyngby), Hvide Klit Golf Club (Albaek), Fanø Golf Links (Nordby), and Simon’s Golf Klub (Kvistgaard).
Finland – Kytäjä Golf (Hyvinkää), Helsinki Golf Club (Helsinki), Master Golf Club (Espoo), and Tawast Golf & Country Club (Håmeenlinna).
Iceland – Sudurnesja Golf Club (Keflavik), Akureyri Golf Club (Akureyn), and Borgarness Golf Club (Borgames).
Norway – Borre Golfklubb (Horten), Arendal og Omegn Golfklubb (Tvedestrand), and Miklagard Golf (Kløfta).
Sweden – Falsterbo Golfklubb (Falsterbo), Båstad Golfklubb (Båstad), and Halmstad Golfklubb (Halmstad).

CENTRAL EUROPE – Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Switzerland, and Slovakia are the nice picks, if you want to have golfing holidays in the heart of Europe. These countries are best known for their capital cities – Vienna (Austrian capital), Prague (Czech capital), Budapest (Hungarian capital), Warsaw (Polish Capital), and Bratislava (Slovakian Capital). You can find numerous fantastic golf courses in the bosom of the Europe. Here are some top rated golf courses in the top golfing destinations in the Centeral Europe.

Austria – Golf Club Neusiedlersee-Donneskirchen (Burgenland), Reiter’s Golf & Country Club Bad Tatzmannsdorf (Burgenland), Thermen Golfschaukel Lafnitztal Neudauberg (Burgenland), Golf Club Klagenfurt-Seltenheim (Klagenfurt, Carinthia), Golfanlage Millstätter See (Millstatt, Carinthia), Golfanlage Velden-Köstenberg (Köstenberg, Carinthia), Golf Club Salzburg Gut Brandlhof (Saalfelden, Salzburg), Golf Club Lungau (St. Michael, Salzburg), Golf Club Urslautal (Saalfelden, Salzburg), Golf & Country Club Dachstein Tauern (Haus im Ennstal, Styria), Golf Club Erzherzog Johann-Maria Lankowitz (Maria Lankowitz, Styria), Golf Club Schloss Frauenthal (Deutschlandsberg, Styria), Golf Club Achensee (Pertisau, Tyrol), Golf Club Innsbruck-Igls/Lans (Tyrol), Golf Club Seefeld-Wildmoos (Seefeld, Tyrol), Golf Club Brand (Vorarlberg), Golf Club Riefensberg-Sulzberg (Vorarlberg), Golf Club Bludenz-Braz (Vorarlberg), Golf Club Hochmontafon (Partenen, Vorarlberg), Golf Club Montafon (Tschagguns, Vorarlberg), and Golf Park Bregenzerwald (Riefensberg, Vorarlberg).

Czech Republic – Golf Resort Karlštejn, Golf Club Alfrédov, and Golf Resort Karlovy Vary. Top golf courses in Hungary are – Birdland Golf & Country Club (Bükfürdö), Old Lake Golf & Country Club (Tata), Pannonia Golf & Country Club (Alcsútdoboz), and Pólus Palace, Thermal Golf Club (Göd).

Poland – Toya Golf & Country Club Wroclaw (Wisznia Mala), Binowo Park Golf Club (Stare Czarnowo), and Krakow Valley Golf & Country Club (Krzeszowice). Some of the well-known golf courses in Slovakia are Bratislava Golf Club (Bernolákovo), Gray Bear Golf Course (Brezno), Kosice Golf Club (Kosice), Lomnicky Golf Club (Velká Lomnica), and Prvý Golf Club Trencín.

Switzerland – Golf Club du Domaine Imperial (Gland), Montreux Golf Club (Aigle), Interlaken-Unterseen Golf Club (Interlaken), and Geneva Golf Club (Cologny).

Germany – Golfclub Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Oberau), Golf Club Hardenberg (Northeim), Golfclub Hof Hausen vor der Sonne (Hofheim/Ts.), Sporting Club Berlin Scharmutzelsee (Bad Sparrow, Brandenburg), Hamburger Golf Club Falkenstein (Hamburg), Bad Griesbach Golf Resort (Brunnwies course), Bremen Zur Vahr Golf Club, and Berliner Golf & Country Club Motzener See.

MEDITERRANEAN EUROPE – Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain are some really fantastic golfing destinations in the Southern Europe, also known as Mediterranean Europe. Typically famous for Mediterranean climate and cuisine, these Mediterranean destinations are known for their impressive art & architecture and history & culture. You can find many exotic golf courses in the Southern Europe. Here are some top rated golf courses in the top golfing destinations in the Mediterranean Europe.

Greece – Porto Carras Golf Club (Sithonia, Halkidiki), Afandou Golf Club (Rhodos), The Corfu Golf Course (Corfu), The Crete Golf Club (Crete), Glyfada Golf Club (Glyfada, Athens), Porto Carras Golf Club (Sithonia, Halkidiki), and Porto Elounda Golf Club (Elounda, Crete).

Italy – Circolo del Golf di Roma (Roma), Le Querce Golf Club (Sutri, Viterbo), Olgiata Golf Club (Roma), Golf Club Parco de’ Medici (Roma), Golf Club Toscana (Gavorrano, Grosseto), I Roveri Golf & Sports Club (Fiano, Piedmont), Castelcontrubia Golf Club (Agrate Conturbia, Piedmont), Golf Club Biella “Le Betulle” ( Magnano, BI. Piedmont), Circolo Golf Bogogno (Novara, Piedmont), Montecatini Golf Club (Monsummano Terme, Pistoia), Golf & Country Club Poggio dei Medici (Scarperia, Florence), Versilia Golf Club (Pietrasanta, Lucca), Golf Club Terme di Galziagnano (Galzignano Terme, Padua), Golf Club Ca’Amata (Castelfranco Treviso), Golf Club Padova (Valsanzibio di Galzignano Terme, PA), Golf Club Vicenza (Creazzo), Villa d’Este Golf Club (Montorfano, CO, Lombardy), Milano Golf Club (Parco di Monza, Milano, Lombardy), Golf Club Le Robinie (Solbiate Olona, VA, Lombardy), Golf Club Bergamo L’Albenza (Almenno S. Bartolomeo, BG, Lombardy), Golf Brianza Country Club (Lomabardia), Castello di Tolcinasco Golf & Country Club (Pieve Emanuele Milano, Lombardy), Il Picciolo Golf Club (Castiglione di Sicilia, Sicily), Le Madonie Golf Club (Collesano, PA, Sicily), Pantalleria Golf Club (Scauri Sicuo-Pantalleria, TP, Sicily), Villa Airoldi Golf Club (Palermo, PA, Sicily), Golf Club Pevero (Porto Cervo, Sardinia), Circolo Golf Is Molas (Santa Margherita di Pula, Sardinia), and Golf Club PuntAldía (San Teodoro, Sardinia).

Spain – Valderrama Golf Club (Andalucia), El Saler Golf Club (Valencia), Real Club de Golf Sotogrande (Andalucia), PGA Golf de Catalunya (Cataluña), Club de Campo Villa de Madrid (Black course) (Madrid), The San Roque Club (Old course) (Andalucia), Real Club de Golf Puerta de Hierro (Arriba course) (Madrid), Real Sociedad de Golf Neguri (Andalucia), Alcaidesa Links Golf Course, Hacienda del Álamo Golf Resort (Fuente Álamo Murcia), Golf las Américas, Playa de Las Américas (Santa Cruz de Tenerife), Club de Golf de Poniente (Calvià, Mallorca), and Club de Golf Ulzama (Gerendiain, Navarra).

Portugal – San Lorenzo Golf Club (Algrave), Praia d’El Rey Golf & Country Club (Obidos, Lisbon), Troia Golf Club -Portugal (Lisbon), Penha Longa Golf & Resort (near the Estoril coast), Oitavos Golfe (Lisbon), Vilamoura Golf Club (Old course), Palheiro Golfe (P-Madeira), Club de Golfe Terceira (Ilha Terceira), Clube de Golf Santo da Serra (Santo Antonio da Serra), and Porto Santo Golfe (P- Porto Santo).

WESTERN EUROPE –Belgium, the Netherlands, France, United Kingdom, and Ireland are the top golfing destinations of the Western Europe. These all are fantastic tourist destinations known for their capital cities Brussels (Belgian capital), Amsterdam (Dutch capital), Paris (French Capital), and London (Capital of UK). You can find many fine goulf courses in the western Europre. Here are some top rated golf courses in the top golfing destinations in the Western Europe.

Belgium – Royal Zoute Golf Club, Royal Golf Club de Belgique Ravenstein, Golf Club L’Empereur (Ways), and Golf & Business Club Henri-Chapelle (Henri-Chapelle).

The Netherlands – Noordwijkse Golf Club, Kennemer Golf & Country Club, Koninklijke Haagsche Golf & CC / Royal The Hague Golf & CC, Nunspeetse Golf & Country Club (Nunspeet), Almkreek Golf Course (LN Almkerk), Efteling Golf Park (NB Kaatsheuvel), and Utrechtse Golf Club ‘De Pan’ (LJ Bosch en Duin).

France – Golf Les Bordes, Morfontaine Golf Club, Chantilly Golf Club, Prince de Provence, Le Golf National (Albatros course), Fontainebleau Golf Club, Domaine de Sperone Golf, Seignosse Golf Club, and Saint Germain Golf Club.

UK & Ireland – Nefyn Golf Club (North Wales), Royal Porthcawl Golf Club, Royal West Norfolk Golf Club, Swinley Forest Golf Club, Wentworth Golf Club, Rye Golf Club, Ballybunion Old Golf Club, The European Club, Turnberry Golf Club (Ayrshire, Scotland), St Andrews Golf Culb.