A Day in the Museum: Visiting the Louvre Part 1 – The Lower Ground Floor

No visit in Europe is ever complete without visiting what is considered as the world’s largest museum. Having 11 collections all in all, excluding the history of the Louvre and Medieval Louvre Collection, (Near Eastern Antiquities, Islamic Art, Egyptian Antiquities, Greek and Roman Antiquities, Decorative arts, Sculptures, Prints and Drawings, Paintings, Coptic arts, The East Mediterranean in the Roman Empire, and lastly the Arts of Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas) it is overwhelming to simply go inside the Louvre and start from there. That’s why we have a guided series on helping you plan your next visit to this historic museum starting with the notable pieces in the lower ground floor.

TIP! Make sure to always get the information map that they offer for download on their website and print them out so that moving from one collection to the other won’t be as confusing. Audio guides for smartphones are also available. Be sure to visit their website (http://www.louvre.fr) to have a complete guide of the floor plans as well as the collections available.

  • Mary Magdalene by Gregor Erhart

1510 (Sculptures room C)

Photo credit: Flickr Paul Beattie
Photo credit: Flickr- Paul Beattie
  • The Marly Horses by Guillaume I Coustou

1745 (Sculptures – Courl Marly)

Photo credit: Flickr- Brian Leon
Photo credit: Flickr- Brian Leon
  • Al-Mughira’s Pyxis

968 (Islamic Art room A)

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
  • Portrait of a Woman Known as L’Europeenne

2nd Century AD (The East Mediterranean in the Roman Empire room I)

Portrait of a Woman Known as L Europeenne Flickr Carole Raddato
Photo credit: Flickr- Carole Raddato
  • Jupiter Heliopolitanus

2nd Century AD (The East Mediterranean in the Roman Empire room 3A)

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Food Festivals-Rectify the Reputation of British Food

As a friendly wicked person who likes to troll the closest friends, I often tease my English friend Ken and send him awful British food pictures for confirmation. After having a few authentic Chinese family meals, Ken suddenly decided he would cook for us the next weekend. I  predicted immediately it would be the fast food type of meal. Little Ken never fails me. Spaghetti, one can of sauce and several cherry tomatoes were all he brought for the meal. I seized the chance to say “what did I tell you!” Of course, a young man in his 20s without much life experience doesn’t represent British’s actual strength. Friends who have stayed in England for some time said delicious British food does exist. The following food festivals will lead you to the real British delicacies.

The Isle of Wight Garlic Festival

With the setting of rolling hills and farms, the Isle of Wight Garlic Festival is a carnival of food and entertainment. You will find garlic can go with any food, candy, cookies, ice-cream, corn and all the food you can think of. Farmers with over 70 garlic planting experience will give you the recipes and teach you how to plant garlic. So you think garlic is only edible? Those garlic-themed game booths will give you more ideas on garlic.

Garlic Festival

Garlic Festival 2

Address: Fighting Cocks Crossroads, Bathingbourne Lane, Sandown

*Photo credits: The Garlic Festival Facebook page

The Big Feastival

The Big Feastival is a grand celebration of food, music and entertainment. A food carnival hosted by a chef and a cheese manufacturer will never disappoint you. Besides the classic fish and chips, fresh lobsters are well worth your expectation. The Big Feastival invites many big names as performing artists each year. Kaiser Chiefs and Duke will show up this year. Music loving foodies can’t miss out!

The Big Feastival 2

The Big Feastival

Address: Alex James’ Farm near Kingham, Oxfordshire, OX7 6UJ

*Photo credit: The Big Feastival Facebook page

Meatopia UK

Meatopia is finally in England! As one of the world’s big meat lovers, the U.S. people would not miss the chance to throw a meat party for sure. Just as its name implies, meat is the forever theme of Meatopia. To take the best of meat, Meatopia pursues the highest quality as always. From the wood and coal used to roast meat to the center of the festival-meat, Meatopia has very strict requirements on everything. What do meat, beverages, fire and music remind you of? They remind me of hot summers that make you want to do everything to sweat.

Meatopia UK

Meatopia UK 2

Address: Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, London

*Photo credits: Meatopia UK Facebook Page

Loch Lomond Food & Drink Festival

Attracting over 30,000 audience every year, Loch Lomond Food & Drink Festival is one of the biggest festivals in Scotland. You can wander among the food stands to have a taste of everything and interact with vendors while enjoying the fascinating view of Loch Lomond. Foraging, eating competition, kids cooking class and live shows are held on site.

Address: Loch Lomond Shores, G83 8QL Balloch, West Dunbartonshire, Scotland

Written by: Francis Alvin Doloroso

The District: Must Visit Monuments in Washington D.C

The State Capital, Washington DC holds many of the landmarks and monuments that are symbolic of the country’s history as well as freedom. Along with the monuments the district also holds the three branches of government making it a central figure in American politics. Make sure to visit these areas to make the most of your visit to the capital.

  • Lincoln Memorial

Built to honor then president Abraham Lincoln, the memorial is symbolic of the impact that Lincoln was able to give to the United States of America. From the symbolic columns to the inaugural speech one cannot help but feel the amount of history that the monument represents.

Photo credit: Pixabay MonicaVolpin
Photo credit: Pixabay MonicaVolpin
  • The Washington Monument

Erected in commemoration of George Washington the Washington Monument is an obelisk that is considered as the tallest of its kind as well as being the tallest stone structure. With various memorial stones coming from various groups also added to the solemnity of the structure.

Photo credit: Pixabay Swan44
Photo credit: Pixabay Swan44
  • The Three Branches of Government

No visit to the capital is ever complete without visiting the US Capitol, the US Supreme Court, as well as the White House. Make sure to book guided tours to fully enjoy your visit. Some tours (like the case viewing for the Supreme Court) have limited slots so be sure to book in advance.

US Capitol Flickr Nicolas Raymond
US Capitol Photo credit: Flickr Nicolas Raymond
US Supreme Court Flickr www.GlynLowe.com
US Supreme Court Photo credit: Flickr www.GlynLowe.com
White House Flickr www.GlynLowe.com
White House Photo credit: Flickr www.GlynLowe.com
  • The Holocaust Museum

A very solemn memorial, the Holocaust museum is a must visit for anyone who plans to go to Washington DC. The museum provides guided tours that explain the events that led to the holocaust as well as its impact during its time.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
  • National Museum of Natural History

Administered by the Smithsonian Institution, the museum offers various collections of specimens and artifacts from geology to human origins and western cultures.

Photo credit: Flickr www.GlynLowe.com
Photo credit: Flickr www.GlynLowe.com

TIP! Make sure to check out guided tours as well as museum hours for visits! Given that the museum is free of admission more often than not the place is packed with people.

Not the Typical Rodeo: Must See Unusual Places to Visit in Texas

The great state of Texas has a lot to offer. From historical sites to arguably the best barbecue joints, Texas is a must visit place whenever you visit the USA or if you plan on having a road trip with friends and family. Texas has a lot more to offer especially for those who would want to visit offbeat, off the grid, wacky and unique attractions. That’s why here’s a shortlist of must visit wacky and outrageous Texas attractions.

  • Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame

Relive those old western films in this homage to the “Wild Wild West”. From viewings on collector pieces to interactive cowboy exhibits the Cowboy Hall of Fame has everything for anyone who wants to be like John Wayne.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
  • Stonehenge II and Easter Island heads

A replica monument for those who can’t go to the real thing. This scale replica stands in an empty field which is perfect for a side stop during a road trip.

Stonehenge II Flickr Andrew Nourse
Photo credit: Flickr Andrew Nourse
Easter Island heads Corey Taratuta Flickr
Photo credit: Flickr Corey Taratuta
  • Sparky Park

Another place for eccentric art, this abandoned electric sub-station is now the home of various eccentric pieces of art made from the very same pieces of the station. It’s a quirky place to bring family especially the kids.

Photo credit: Flickr lee leblanc
Photo credit: Flickr lee leblanc
  • Barney Smith’s Toilet Art Museum

I know not the most appealing art museum to visit but then again art is free expression. This is precisely what retired plumber Barney Smith did to express himself through art on toilet lids. Believe us it’s worth it to drop by and enjoy the art work while chit-chatting with the artist himself.

Barney Smiths Toilet Art Museum Flickr juliegomoll
Photo credit: Flickr juliegomoll
  • Starship Pegasus

What better way to cap off a roadtrip than to have a photo op with an intergalactic vessel. This former eatery and entertainment center is perfect for those random stops during a long road trip.

Photo credit: Flickr Beth Felice
Photo credit: Flickr Beth Felice

Fabrics and Culture: Some of the best Fabrics in the Philippines

One of the best souvenirs that you may bring home from your trip to the Philippines are clothes that are locally woven and made. By bringing these home, you carry the Filipino Heritage with you. Here are some of the fabrics that you might want to check when you are in the Pearl of the Orient.

  1. Ifugao Tapis

The tapis is usually a piece of cloth that is wrapped around one’s body as clothing. The “Alampay” of the North is a kind of handwoven fabric that is used to wrap one’s waist.

Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons
Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons
  1. T’boli T’nalak

This fabric from the T’Boli tribe in the southern part of the Philippines, particularly in Mindanao, is a rare product, since the weavers aren’t as numerous as before.

Tboli Tnalak Flickr Constantine Agustin

  1. Jusi and Pina

These two are both from the pineapple plant, and are traditionally used to make Barong Tagalogs, or the Philippine National Costume for Males.

Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons
Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons
  1. Abaca

The Abaca is one kind of Filipino Fabric that has been known worldwide for the longest time. Strong and strudy, this expensive fabric is usually made into slippers and ropes.

Photo credit: Flickr Ronald Tagra
Photo credit: Flickr Ronald Tagra
  1. Abel Iloco

Made from “sagut” or a locally grown cotton fabric, this kind is also found in the northern part of the country. This handmade fabric may be made into garments, bags, and others.

Useful Travel Tips

Traveling is exciting, but preparing for it can be a big headache. We have collected the most-approved travel tips to save you from troubles you might encounter during your trips.

  1. Roll the clothes instead of folding them to save space. Rolled clothes can make full use of the suitcase space. You can fill up the small space with socks, underwear and other small items. Rolling can also prevent wrinkles.
  2. Exercise the day before your trip to avoid jet lag.

    Photo credit: Pixabay Wokandapix
    Photo credit: Pixabay Wokandapix
  3. Scan your passport, identity cards and itinerary then send copies to yourself to prevent important materials being stolen or lost.
  4. Put necklaces through straws to prevent tangles.
  5. Wear clothes with many pockets so you don’t need to frequently open your luggage.
  6. Take pictures of maps, notes and itinerary with your camera or cell phone to save space.
  7. When choosing flight seats for two, choose the window and aisle one. It’s most likely that the middle seat will remain empty. Even if it’s taken, you can swap seats and sit together.

    Flickr SuperJet International
    Photo credit: Flickr SuperJet International
  8. Mark your suitcase as fragile and it will be handled carefully. It will also be placed above other suitcases and be the first to be put onto the conveyor belt.

    Photo credit: Flickr Alessandro Prada
    Photo credit: Flickr Alessandro Prada
  9. Can’t remember where you were when you took photos? Simply take a picture of the ticket or road sign before taking photos of a new destination.

    Photo credit: Pixabay joakimstamming
    Photo credit: Pixabay joakimstamming
  10. Unpack everything upon arrival. The longer you wait, the more reluctant you are to move.

The Must-Attend U.S. Music Festivals

Being the largest music industrial market, the U.S. is the most chosen place to host numerous music festivals every year. Some of the music festivals become annual events because of their extreme popularity around the world. Whether you like rock, country, R&B, hip-hop or electronic, you can always find the one you want to attend from the following list of the most famous U.S. music festivals with all themes.

Bonnaroo 

Copy of Copy of AKM_Bonnaroo_2015_BestOf-65

Bonnaroo Music Festival was founded by Superfly and AC Entertainment which has been held on a farm in Tennessee every summer lasting 4 days. With jazz rock and folk rock as its base, it has gradually become a diverse music festival. Arctic Monkeys、Elton John、Nine Inch Nails、Paul McCartney、The White Stripes、Metallica、Red Hot Chili Peppers, these familiar names are driving nearly 100 thousand audience to Bonnaroo every year. After experiencing the hot wave of music, you can go to art booths, food stands, the movie tent or the ferris wheel to clear your mind.

BONNAROO_2016_JORGPHOTO_JP2_3022

CMA Music Festival 

Jason Aldean performs at Nissan Stadium on Thursday, June 9 at the 2016 CMA Music Festival in downtown Nashville.
Jason Aldean performs at Nissan Stadium on Thursday, June 9 at the 2016 CMA Music Festival in downtown Nashville.

Organized by the Country Music Association, CMA Music Festival is held in Nashville, Tennessee every year. Besides all the fascinating mini concerts, this four-day music festival includes autograph session, meet-and-greet sessions and gatherings of fan clubs. With over 400 musicians attending CMA each year, music lovers from all countries catch the festival to take a close encounter with their favorite musicians.

CMA

Coachella 

Coachella

Coachella Festival is an annual music event hosted in Indio, California lasting 2 to 3 days. As the largest local music festival, Coachella never fails to assemble an amazing lineup. AC/DC and Drake were invited last year. Several stages take turn to host visual and aural feasts, taking audience to the heaven of music. Besides live music, art is another feature of Coachella Festival. Local and international artists are eager to participate and showcase their works in one of the most popular worldwide event. What’s worth mentioning is Coachella uses a different activity to promote environmental friendly initiatives.

Ozzfest

Ozzfest

Centering on heavy metal and hard rock, Ozzfest has a U.S. tour every year. Marilyn Manson, Disturbed and Slipknot are the frequent guests of Ozzfest. Creator of Ozzfest, Ozzy Osburne, has performed at Ozzfest with his wife and son ten times. Since heavy metal and hard rock are the visual pioneer of music industry, Ozzfest no doubt brings massive aural and visual impact. When your soul stirs with the music, you will have the profound feeling of “rock never dies”.

Sasquatch! 

Sasquatch Flickr k.par.photo

Sasquatch! Music Festival takes place on the Memorial Day weekend in Washington, lasting three to four days. Even though Sasquatch! has a focus on indie rock, it covers a wide range of music genres. Because of the high demand on tickets in 2014, the organizer made an exception and extended the event to two weeks. You can choose to camp near the venue to make the most of the festival.

Warped Tour

Warped Tour has toured the U.S. every summer since 1995. It’s a rock music festival with the largest scale and longest history in North America. Rock is Warped Tour’s forever theme. Other music elements have been added gradually. Here is a fun fact about Warped Tour. Each year, there is a designated “BBQ Band” who cooks for other bands and crew in order to have the chance to perform at Warped Tour. Warped Tour rapidly became a hot issue since the first tour. Its fire has spread to Australia, Japan, Europe and other places. Warped Tour will perform in 41 cities in North America with big names like Mayday Parade, New Found Glory, Sum 41 and Yellowcard in the lineup. Rock kids must not miss out!

The scene today at #vanswarpedtour Cuyahoga Falls #warpedtour Photo @dahermike

A photo posted by Vans Warped Tour (@vanswarpedtour) on