Wine Types: Wine Bottle Sizes & Shapes

A client called me the other day inquiring about a wine cooler that could store Magnum bottles of wine.  I knew a Magnum bottle of wine held about twice what a standard 750 ml bottle held, but I did not know what the specific bottle dimensions were.  I needed a quick lesson on wine bottle sizes in order to respond to customer questions.  What I found out is wine bottle shapes and sizes can vary by region, state, country and even wine type.  Also, I came to realize that they are so many different bottle sizes that a single article about all of them would be impossible.  Subsequently, I decided to concentrate my research on a few of the basic standard size wine bottles.

wine bottle

WINE BOTTLE SIZES

Most wine will come in a standard 750 ml. bottle and in fact this size bottle is the basis for naming many of the other bottle sizes.  Wine cooler and chillers are typically sized to handle the standard 750 ml. bottle.  Some of the standard sized wine bottles that you are most likely to come across are: Split (1/4 bottle, 0.1875 liters ), Half (1/2 bottle, 0.375 liters), Bottle (full bottle; 0.750 liters), Magnum (2 bottles, 1.5  liters), Double Magnum (4 bottles; 3.0  liters), Jeroboam  ( 6 bottles, 4 ½ liters), Methuselah (8 bottles, 6.0 liters), Salmanazar (12 bottles; 12.0 liters), Balthazar (16 bottles; 12.0 liter), and Nebuchadnezzar (20 bottles; 15.0 l.).  It is interesting to note that many of the larger sized wine bottles were named after Biblical Kings and other figures.  The United States waited until 1979 to adopt the metric measurements for bottles of wine and use the 750 ml. standard bottle.

The Split size bottle stands about 7 ½ inches tall with a bottom diameter of about 2 ½ inches.  These wine bottles are often used for desert and sparkling wines and are small enough to drink in one serving as they lose their fizz rapidly after opening.   The most widely sold standard 750 ml. bottle stands about 11 ½ to 12 inches high and is typically 3 ½ inches in diameter at the base.  Magnum bottles stand about 14 inches tall and are around 4 inches in diameter.  Jeroboam bottles stand 19 ½ inches tall with a base diameter of about 5 inches.  The higher capacity bottles such as the Methuselah (22 inches tall) range upward in size to the Nebuchadnezzar that is 31 inches tall.  Imagine picking up a bottle that is over 31 inches tall and pouring its wine into your delicate glass stemware.

WINE BOTTLE SHAPES

Wine bottle shapes are as varied as their sizes.  Most wine producers opt for bottle shapes that are most appropriate for their wine.  For example, Chianti and some other Italian wines come in a round-bottomed bottle encased in a straw basket.  Champagne and other sparkling wines come in bottles that are thicker walled because of the excess internal pressures.  Wine producers often choose a wine bottle shape strictly for marketing purposes.  For that reason, a German Company uses a bottle shaped as a “house cat’” for a Riesling wine it produces.

WINE BOTTLE COLORS

There are several traditional colors that you will find being used in wine bottles.  Dark green bottles are typically used for red wines (Bordeaux, Burgundy and Rhone).  Mosel, Rhine and Alsace wines often use a lighter green or amber colored bottle.  Clear bottles seem to be the most popular for white wines in many countries.  Champagne is typically bottled in a dark to medium green color.  Some wine producers also use colors relating to their individual marketing strategies.

FUTURE WINE PACKAGING

The future of wine packaging is wide open.  Many producers are opting for cost reducing screw type caps instead of corks.  Because the weight of the bottle approximates about 40 percent of the total bottled wine weight, plastic bottles and tetra packs are being explored as a lighter alternative that is cheaper to handle and ship.  Packaging wine in lighter containers and exporting wine in bulk quantities then bottling it in smaller bottles closer to the point of consumption are all strategies being explored to improve wine sales and reduce shipping costs.  Perhaps, the cost of a good imported French wine will become more affordable in the future.

Read More: Wine Types- Dessert Wines

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Wine Types: Dessert Wines – A Pleasant Surprise

I have enjoyed a good glass of table wine many times with my meals.  Wine tasting parties have always been a favorite pastime, especially when combined with cheese.  No, I am not from Wisconsin so I do not rate a “cheese head hat”.  Recently, after a pleasant dinner party with good friends, I was introduced to a new class of wines that I had never tried before.  The dessert wine I was served turned out to be the fitting end to a fabulous evening.

table

Grapes used for dessert wines are not harvested in the same fashion and timing as your typical table wine grapes.  The goal is to increase the sugar content of the grape by mainly harvesting them later in the season.  Often in dessert wines a noble rot forms on the grapes before harvest.  In another dessert wine type named ice wine, grape harvest is delayed until the first freeze.  Sometimes these wines are developed by pausing the fermentation process.

There are several types of grapes primarily used in the making of dessert wines.  Semillon grapes are commonly used in Sauternes that often smell like the wildflowers where it is grown.  Muscat grapes may remind you of orange and honey.  Fendant and Chasselas are typically found primarily in Switzerland.  Spicy Gewurztraminer wines are good tasting and seem to age well.  Fortified wines like sherry, port and Madeira are made differently than your typical dessert wine, but are also a great choice and considered in many circles to be “honorary dessert wines”.  Be aware that some wineries are making great dessert wines by “late-harvesting” table wine grapes used for Cabernet Sauvignon and Viognier.

When serving dessert wines, a general rule is the wine should be sweeter than the food it is served with.  Good matches include fresh sweet fruits, bakery goods and chocolate and toffee based dishes.  White dessert wines should be served chilled but not too cold, while red dessert wines are mainly served at room temperature.  Because of their sweetness, dessert wines come in smaller bottles and often are more expensive than table wines.  It is best to serve these wines in a small glass with a pour of only 2 ounces.  Dessert wine can be served without dessert, but in any case with or without, ready your body for the sugar high that will result.

Selecting the right dessert wine for your next entertainment event could be a little challenging.  A great suggestion is to try a “test-run” before you plan your gathering.  Get your chosen dessert prepared ahead of time.  Taste the wine you think will compliment your dessert choice and note your impressions.  Lastly, taste your wine along with your dessert.  If you find the combination pleasant to your palate, you are home free.  If the combination dulls the flavor of the wine, consider going with a less-sweet dessert or a sweeter wine.

What I learned about dessert wines has been known for a long time by cultured Europeans.  On this continent, we have always appreciated having dessert after our meals, but have not extensively appreciated what a good accompanying wine could do to our “taste-buds”.   I have decided that having a dessert wine in my cellar to enjoy occasionally is a personal requirement.  As I always say, select your wine to fit your individual taste, store and serve it properly, and enjoy. Ah! Wait ! For storing, what’s your plan ? I must recommend under counter wine cooler .

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Know About Vehicle Automotive Diagnostic

Automotive diagnostic tools are now as essential as a good socket wrench when it comes to car maintenance and repair. Ever since General Motors installed the first onboard diagnostic computer in their pioneering model in the 1980’s, the need for automotive diagnostic software and devices has steadily increased. With the advent of the universal installation of onboard diagnostic computers in all cars made from 1996 onwards, the need for diagnostic scanners has exponentially increased. Now that cars are becoming more and more complex, their dependence on computers to modify and adjust on the fly to keep the whole system functioning at maximum potential has made the car of today vastly superior to those made only a few years before. However, along with all the improvements that computers bring into the automotive industry, it also adds more complexity and host of new problems that require more than just a wrench and screwdriver to fix. This is where vehicle diagnostics comes in. It is the new staple tool to have in the garage. Using these diagnostic scanners, anyone from a professional auto mechanic to an amateur do-it-yourselfer can do faster and more efficient work on any car.

automotive diagnostic tools

There are various forms of automotive diagnostic tools. The most common and practical is the hand held diagnostic scanners, such as the Actron Global Scanner and the Code Scout AX2500. These hand held devices offer convenience and ease of use when it comes to automotive diagnostic devices. They do not require any bulky equipment nor do they need many peripheral attachments. With the use of OBD II computers in cars, these hand held devices can even obtain power directly from the cars battery, eliminating the need for an outside power source or a bulky battery. Most of the hand held diagnostic scanners offer only code reading and code resetting features. This is mainly for use of the common car owner. They generally do not offer additional diagnostic options but are usually enough so that the car owner can direct the mechanic to the problem area and stay informed about the repair process. There are, however, hand held devices that offer more advanced automotive diagnostics. These rival even the computer software diagnostics in features and options but are more expensive.

Another type of automotive diagnostic tool is the automotive diagnostic software for computers. This is used with a computer interfacing with the car’s OBD II computer via the OBD port. These diagnostic software programs offer more in terms of diagnostics and data recording due to their advantage in power and storage space. These are generally used to run advanced diagnostics. Some even offer features that help more hands-on owners through the process of fixing the problem themselves. Others also offer more advanced aid in the form of online support. However, these types of automotive diagnostic tools also have their down side. While they offer more in terms of diagnostics and storage, they are also bulkier and more complex. Due to this complexity, they are also generally more expensive than their hand held counterparts. The use of either automotive diagnostic tool depends highly on the user’s preference and circumstance.

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All You Need to Know About Diagnostic Scanner

A diagnostic scanner is the general term for any device that allows the car owner to plug into the car’s computer and determine the presence of problems in accordance with the standards for auto fault codes set by the government regulators. The most commonly used versions of this are also known as on-board diagnostic or OBD scanners. Diagnostic scanners give the car a voice which allows it to tell the auto mechanic the state of health of its various subsystems. A diagnostic scanner cuts down on all the time that mechanics have to spend on the vehicle to look for the trouble area. This will make tune ups and repairs for the vehicle faster, cheaper and more efficient. It can also help guide those individuals who have a hands on and do-it-yourself approach to maintaining their vehicles. Whether doing it yourself or having a professional do it for you, automobile maintenance is definitely made easier with a car diagnostic tool.

bar code scanner

Of course, not all cars are capable of using diagnostic scanners. Most cars made before 1980 have little or no ability to interface with diagnostic scanners. The good news is that all modern American cars, starting from those pioneering General Motors vehicles in 1980, have some form of diagnostic scanners. These range from the simple “Check Engine” lights to the more specific indicators. Moreover, many non-American car makers have followed suit and diagnostic scanners are now commonplace tools for any car owner.

 

Today’s cars are equipped with on-board diagnostic scanners II, which improves on the first OBD scanner’s capabilities and adopted a standardized system of fault codes to make diagnosing car problems more efficient and universal, no matter what the make and model of the car is involved. One of the more prominent improvements of this new diagnostic tool is the inclusion of a power source straight from the vehicle’s battery so that hand-held diagnostic scanners that interface with the best OBD2 scanner do not need to be connected to individual power sources. This makes the use of hand-held diagnostic scanners more practical.

There are many types of diagnostic scanners available today. The simplest of these are the hand-held fault code readers that only display the general fault codes. An example of these scanners is the Launch X431 Car Diagnostic Scanner. It only reads and clears fault code readings in the car so that one can tell mechanics where the problem lies. A more complex hand-held scanner is also available, such as the Actron scanners. These scanners pinpoint fault codes and can access more advanced diagnostics. These also offer real time recording of the car’s health status for more accurate analyses of problems. More advanced scanners such as computer-based diagnostic scanners can delve even deeper. Although these are less handy, computer-based scanners can offer advantages of having infinitely large storage, simultaneous programs running and better resolution. Other types of diagnostic scanners are the data-loggers which collect data while the vehicle is functioning normally for a baseline comparison when problems appear. More peripheral scanners include supplementary instrumentation that allows drivers to monitor such things as battery current and manifold vacuum data.

 

The more advanced hand-held diagnostic scanners have a wider and more specific diagnostic range. Where simpler scanners are only able to identify the fault code and removing the code when the problem has been addressed, more advanced scanners like the OTC Genisys and the Autoboss V30 are capable of additional tasks. These scanners check out problems throughout the car, including the driving functions, the body, the chassis and the air conditioning. More specific areas such as the transmission and motor electronics are then pinpointed. They can pinpoint which specific parts of the faulty areas are most likely to cause the problem and suggest solutions. Some are even capable of issuing reminders regarding commonly overlooked problems in that area.

Using diagnostic scanners will help car owners understand what is wrong with their cars. It will also help them point out problems to auto mechanics so that these can be addressed quickly and efficiently. Diagnostic scanners are a great way to pre-check cars. Users might find that the problem is within their abilities to solve or confirm that professionals should be called in. This will translate into increased savings for car owners, in terms of eliminating unnecessary mechanic’s fees and long-term savings from keeping the car in good condition. It will also allow owners to take a more active and informed role in their cars’ repairs.

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Planning a European Trip Itinerary

European Trip Itinerary

How to Plan a European Trip Itinerary

Are you thinking of traveling to Europe? Not sure how to start planning your trip? There are a lot of factors that come into play when planning a European vacation, one of the most important being your trip itinerary. Once you have an itinerary, you can then start looking into accommodations, thinking about your travel clothes, fine-tuning travel arrangements, among other considerations.

When planning your European trip itinerary, you’ll first need to consider when you’ll be able to go, for how long, and approximately what type of budget you’ll have to work with. Once you know when you’ll be able to leave for Europe, the duration of your trip and your budget, you can then start working on an actual European itinerary. Although it takes time and effort to put together a trip itinerary, it is well worth it. Your trip will be much more efficient and stress-free.

 

Picking Your Destinations

Where Would You Like to Go?

Plan a European Trip Itinerary

Once you know how many travel days you have to work with, you can then decide whether you’d like to visit a country or region, or if you prefer, you can decide which major cities you’d like to visit. Keep in mind that the first and last day of your trip will automatically be travel days. Also, your first day there is really only a half day at best, since you’ll need to rest and recover from jet lag.

You could decide to focus on a single country, such as Spain or Germany, or you could pick a region, such as combining southern Germany with Austria, southern France with northern Spain, Austria with northern Italy, or Belgium, Luxembourg and The Netherlands. If you’ve decided to visit a relatively small area, you can choose to use a home-based approach to your trip; that is, you can fly into a major city and use it as a home base for your entire trip, or you can fly into a major city, stay there for a few days, and then move on to what will be your home base for most of your trip. The idea behind the home-based approach is that you’ll be doing a lot of day trips but not having to pack and move your luggage nearly as often. There’s no wrong or right approach – it all depends on what you want to see and do during your vacation.

Another possibility is to select the major cities that you’d like to see; for example, London, Paris, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Venice. At this point, you are still brainstorming, but it’s important to write things down so you can fine tune your plans as you go along. It’s important to do this even if you’re not planning on moving around a lot; that is, you plan on using the home-based approach.

Start with your dream itinerary, then write down how many days you’d like to stay in each city, town or region. Once you’ve done this, you can start looking at other factors to help you finalize your itinerary.

 

Here is the Map of Europe :


 

Weather

Too Hot or Too Cold??

Do you prefer cooler weather, or are you someone who doesn’t mind warm weather? It’s important that you do a bit of research on average temperatures during the time of year that you’re going to be traveling to your selected country, region, or cities.

Here’s an example of how to plan your itinerary if you prefer to avoid warmer temperatures. Let’s say that you’ve decided to travel to Italy, or you’d like to see Spain and France. If you’re traveling in the spring/late spring, then start in southern Italy and work your way north; for example, fly into Naples and fly out of Milan. You could also start in Rome, in central Italy, and work your way north. For Spain and France, you could fly into either Madrid or Malaga, and work your way north to Barcelona and then into France. You could then fly out of either Marseilles or Nice.

If you’re visiting major cities in various parts of Europe, the same principle would apply; that is, work your way up from cities in southern Europe to the more northerly destinations. For example; if you’d like to visit Paris, Rome and Munich in the late spring, then you’d start in Rome, go to Munich, and then save Paris for last.

Keeping average temperatures in mind will not only help you plan your itinerary – it will also help you plan your activities and travel wardrobe.

Travel Itinerary & Journal

Some travelers may prefer to document their itinerary in a travel journal. Keep notes about your trip and any information that you may want to pass on to friends and family, such as names of restaurants or accommodations or what to stay away from. This travel journal will also be a great souvenir of your trip and can later serve as a starting point for writing travel articles.

 

Transportation

Trains, Planes, Boats and Automobiles

How to Plan a European Trip Itinerary

Choosing your flights to and from Europe are crucial to your trip planning. If you plan on only visiting a particular area, you could fly in and out of the same city. An example of this would be if you plan on visiting southern Bavaria in Germany. In this case, you could fly in and out of Munich. Another example would be if you’re planning on visiting the Cote d’Azur area of southern France. In this case, you could fly in and out of Nice.

However, if you’re planning on visiting several areas within the same country or visiting more than one country, you’ll save both time and money if you fly into one city and out of another. You won’t have to budget time and money to travel back to your first destination.

Another critical factor is transportation between destinations in Europe. If you’re planning on visiting major urban areas in several countries, you can either look into train travel or low-cost domestic flights. Keep in mind that for both of these scenarios you’ll want to be traveling light. Depending on the distance between major cities, you could also consider bus travel, but keep in mind that buses will be slower than trains or flights, so you’ll have to budget more time.

You can also consider traveling by boat from one destination to another. For example, if you want to travel from southern to northern Italy, you could take a boat from Naples to Livorno. There are a number of port cities on the Mediterranean. Another possibility is taking a river cruise; for example, taking a boat from Budapest to Vienna along the Danube. Part of the fun is sometimes including different types of transportation during your trip.

Basically, you need to consider how much time it will take to travel from one destination to another. If the journey is fairly long, you could consider a night train (or other mode of transport). If you’re going to be renting a vehicle, then try to estimate travel times between destinations and plan for breaks and possibly a quick stop along the way to take in the scenery.

When you know the approximate travel times between destinations, you can start fine tuning your itinerary. If at all possible, don’t have more than one overnight stay, and try not to have too many two-night stays. Schedule at least one longer stay somewhere so that you’ll feel that you’ve had a chance to linger.

 

Tourist Attractions

What to See and Do

There’s definitely no shortage of museums, cathedrals, churches and castles in Europe. You may have a few that are on your must-see list, and that’s fine. You’ll be wise to pick and choose, though, as you really don’t want to overdo it early on in your trip. You’ll need a break from museums and churches at some point during your trip. You don’t want to arrive at one of your destinations and no longer feel like visiting something you’ve always wanted to see because you feel that you’ve already seen enough museums or cathedrals.

As you build your itinerary, write down what you’d like to see and do at each destination, but don’t over schedule. Make sure that the attractions that you’d like to visit will be open on the days you’ve planned. Most museums are closed one day a week.

It’s also important to schedule a few days during your vacation where you can really relax and not have anything scheduled. This will allow you to rest and feel recharged for the remainder of your trip.

 

Your Itinerary & Security

Your finalized itinerary will include your travel dates, destinations, and number of nights at each destination. It should also include addresses and contact information for your accommodations, as well as notes regarding possible places to visit and/or possible day trips.

Once you have finalized your itinerary, print off a few copies. Make sure everyone who will be traveling with you has a copy. If you’re planning on bringing your laptop, make sure your itinerary is saved on your computer or e-mail a copy to yourself. If you don’t have your computer, you can visit an Internet cafe and access your e-mail. You could also save your itinerary as an e-pub and put it on an e-reader. All of these options allow you to have a back-up in place.

Remember to leave a copy of your itinerary with a friend or family member who will not be traveling with you. This will ensure that someone outside the group has a copy and knows where the group can be reached.

 

Documents and Personal Items – Carry On Purses and Bags

Choose one of these carry-on bags or purses to keep personal items secure during your trip. You may want to keep a copy of your itinerary in your carry on, in addition to either on your person or with one of your traveling companions.

 

Your Turn

My comment box is open for comments from visitors. Let me know you’ve dropped by.

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Sailing Croatia – All That You Needed To Know

sailing croatia

Sailing Croatia? Well, a good idea! Historically called the Dalmatian Coast, this is a popular coast for cruising because of its many islands and coves. The area is divided into north and south by the ancient city of Split.

This area has plenty of island destinations to explore, including the national parks of Kornati, Brijuni, Cres, Krk, and Susak. Kornati in the north features a lot of rocky islands. You can reef dive here in the beautiful turquoise water. Split, Pula, Zadar, and Dubrovnik offer plenty of charter options for visitors.

Croatia Yacht Charter

croatia sailing ideas

Sailing Croatia in a yacht charter is one of the best ways to spend time here. You not only awe at the spectacular scenery, but also take home the sweet memories of this beautiful part of the world.

Besides the usual crewed charter options and bareboat, gulets are an amazing option too. They are basically motor-sailers – just the perfect thing for families or a group of friends longing for a terrific cruise holiday. The boats have a fully functional rigging and motors. A typical gulet can accommodate eight to 12 people at a time. The attraction of gulets is the separate accommodation they offer to the passengers. The chartering ones also have recreational facilities and other services. To say it in other words, gulets serve as mini hotels with great service and terrific sea view from each of its rooms.

Modern gulets have all the basic amenities of home. This provides vacationers a home-like experience away from home. The wonderful thing about sailing in gulets is that you strike a relationship with other people on board. It creates an atmosphere of sharing, friendliness, and having fun together.

Croatia Sailing Charter

croatia sailing

For over a decade, the charter industry in Croatia is offering a great time to its visitors hungry for the sea. The beauty of this place is mind-blowing and cruising makes it even more exciting and convenient, as you can reach its many Croatian islands that are dipped with natural freshness. The islands feature harbors, coves, beaches, and lagoons. There are hardly any tides or currents to disturb your sailing Croatia expedition.

Visiting Croatia

sailing croatia idea

The best time to come here is in June and September. These months are pleasant and warm. July and August have plenty of sunshine and are hot. These are not sailing months because the thermal breeze blows hard from the northwest and the mountains are too hot to explore. It is necessary to have sun protection during all summer months here.

People of Croatia are warm and hospitable. They welcome sailors cordially and provide the best advice and help possible. German and Italian are widely spoken; English is getting popular too. You can find lots of restaurants on the islands and along the coast. Cuisines made from locally grown vegetables, fresh fish, and seafood almost lure the visitors toward food.

So, are you Sailing Croatia this summer? This is your chance to dump the fireplace and cozy indoor settings and venture out in the open, amid the vines, enjoying the local red wine. Log online and get your week-long sailing holiday planned.

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How to Pack It in a Pencil Box

pack pencil box

Travel and Storage Packing in a Pencil Box

The pencil box has become my favorite way to pack small items for travel and storage. While many have used them for safely transporting their crayons, pencils and markers, most have yet to discover how truly versatile the pencil box can be for travel. They’re also inexpensive and water-resistant, which makes them ever so clever!

Here’s a few ideas for using snap-closure plastic pencil boxes to transport and store items while traveling. But don’t stop there. Pencil boxes are also great for storing things in small spaces like RVs, cabins, art studios and apartments. You’ll most likely think of dozens more items you can store by the time you finish the article.

It may be hard to believe you can get all the items pictured in my travel first-aid/emergency essentials kit into one pencil box, but scroll down to see how it’s done. I did it in my last Croatian Island tour .

I Told You It Would Fit!

 pencil box pack

What’s included in my basic travel/first-aid kit that fits in a pencil box?

  • An assortment of band-aids
  • Matches
  • Ear plugs
  • Tweezers
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Lens wipes (works on glasses, laptops, cell phones and cameras)
  • Dental floss
  • Toothpaste
  • Allergy medicine blister packs
  • Small tube of headache relief (Tylenol, aspirin or Motrin)
  • Sample size Origins Peace of Mind (a light cream containing essential oils that calm and relieve)
  • Individual packets of burn cream, insect bite cream, lip balm and skin lotion
  • Small roll antacids
  • 3-4 Cough drops
  • Small sewing kit
  • 2-3 sticks chewing gum

    When packing this many items, I like to think of it like the video game Tetris – move the blocks around so they are interconnecting. I pack square and flat items on the bottom, then fill in the gaps. On the top are the individual packets. The snap closure box only slides out about 1/2 way, but with a little finesse, you can slide the interior box from the sleeve.I can easily drop this into a backpack for hiking and day trips, or into a large handbag or carry-on when I travel by plane, train or bus. Not only have many of those items come in handy for me, but I’ve been able to share with others when needed.

    NOTE: If you use a pencil box to store prescription meds, never, ever share with others – especially while traveling.

pencil box

Packing Tip #1

If you pack individual blister pack OTC meds like Benadryl, AZO, Tylenol Cold etc. make sure you can read the label on the back. If not, use a fine point Sharpie to label the packet.

  • I honestly use them for so many things like:

    Extra reading glasses

  • Phone chargers, plug converters, earphones, USB cables, flash drives and SD cards,
    batteries
  • Playing cards and dice (1 deck of cards + 5 dice + small notepad + copies of Yahtzee score pad I printed online = HOURS of fun on family trips, in hotel rooms, on a boat, a train…)
  • Makeup brushes, Q-tips, lipsticks, eye shadow quads and cosmetic sponges
  • Doggie-doo bags and extra plastic grocery bags — see link below on how to fold them into tiny triangles!
  • Condiments, wet wipes and plastic (or metal) cutlery
  • Craft supplies (beads, tools, scrapbook embellishments)

Packing Tip #2

Store multiple packed pencil boxes in a shoe box, tackle box or similar sized plastic box. Shoe boxes can be conveniently stacked on shelves. Tackle and plastic boxes with handles go easily from the trunk of a car to a boat, motel room or vacation rental.

Packing Tip Videos on YouTube

Check out these handy travel packing tips and be sure to watch the 2nd video in this list for the how-to guide on folding plastic grocery bags into tiny triangles for really compact storage. (You could put about 30 of these in a pencil box if you fold them correctly as shown in the video!)

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Interesting Facts about Canada

Discover interesting and fun facts about Canada. Learn about the Canadian landscape, government, anthem, literature and food.

Did you know Canada’s motto is A MARI USQUE AD MARE (It means from sea to sea.)?Or were you aware that Canada’s official colors are red and white? Our official colors were the result of King George the fifth’s proclamation of the arms of Canada in 1921 and our official colors are displayed on the Canada flag.

Sports fans might be interested to know that our official sport of Canada was declared on May 12, 1994 to be Lacrosse in the summer and Hockey in the winter.

Animal lovers might enjoy knowing that the official horse breed of Canada is the aptly name Canada Horse. It was recognized as the national horse on May 2002 by an Act of Parliment.

Continue reading this page to find more fun and interesting facts about Canada.

The Canadian Flag

canadian_flag

The Official Canadian Flag was adopted in 1965. If features two red bands with white square with a stylized 11 point maple leaf. The Canadian Flag was designed by George Stanley and John Matheson. Their design was based on the flag from the Royal Military College of Canada. The flag was officially unveiled on February 15, 1965. Today we celebrate this date as National Flag of Canada Day.

Map of Canada


Canada is made up of ten provinces and three territories. The ten provinces are named British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Foundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. The three territories are named Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nanavut.

When you consider land mass and bodies of fresh water Nanavut’s total area is the largest in Canada. It represents 21% of the national total area. Prince Edward Island makes up .1% of Canada’s total area making it the smallest province in Canada.

It is important to note that Ontario has only 10.8% of Canada’s total area but most of Canada’s population (about 38% of the total national population) lives in the province.

Fun Facts About Canada

Here are some fun facts about Canada you can share with your friends.

The National Anthem of Canada – O Canada

“O Canada, our home and native land” are the first words sang in the Canadian National Anthem. The song is played at sporting events, over the PA at schools and to represent Canada on a world stage.

Theodore Robitaille, Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, commissioned the song for Saint Jean Baptiste Day in 1880. Music was created by Calixa Lavallee and the words were written by the judge and poet Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier. Lyrics were originally written in French and translated into English. In 1908 Robert Stanley Weir wrote an alternative English version that is considered the most popular version of the song. By 1935 the song was commonly used to represent Canada; however it was not until 1980 that the song was made Canada’s official National Anthem.

Some of the Canadian Anthem lyrics – the English version – have been called in question. The line “our home and native land” has been found problematic because not everyone in Canada’s mosaic has been born in Canada. It was suggested that the words be changed to “our home and cherished land.” The other line that some wish to alter is the lyric is “in all thy sons command.” This lyric is sexist and is exclusionary. The suggested change would be “in all of us command.”

Interesting Facts About Canada

  • In Newfoundland you can find local delicacies such as cod tongue, caribou steak and seal flipper pie.
  • Canada has one castle within its borders called Casa Loma. Casa Loma features 98 rooms and secret passages and underground tunnels.
  • It is no wonder Tim Hortons is a big success in Canada when you consider that Canadians have be said to consume more donuts per person that any other country.
  • Fort McMurray, Alberta has the second largest oil reserves in the world.
  • French is spoken by about six million people in Canada.
  • At the Calgary Stampede more than 200,000 pancakes are served to visitors each year.
  • Toronto Ontario is Canada’s biggest city.
  • Quebec City is the capital city of Canada.
  • Quebec City was founded by French explorer Samuel de Champlain over 400 years ago. At the time Quebec city was just a fort.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

facts about canada

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police serve as an agency to the Ministry of Public Safety Canada. They are Canada’s national police service. Members o the Royal Canadian Mounted police can be distinguished by their red jacketed uniform. It is important to note that the RCMP is a national, federal, provincial and municipal policing agency. It has contracts with all 3 territories and 8 out of the 10 provinces. Ontario and Quebec are the two exceptions.

Canadian Rocky Mountains

rocky mountain canada

The Canadian Rocky Mountains or the Rockies boast picturesque scenery. The Rockies is the name given to the collective group of mountains in western Canada. They extend from the Interior Plains of Alberta to the Rocky Mountain Trench of British Columbia. Mount Robson is an example of the high peaks that can be found in the Rockies.

O Polar Bears – We Have Them

polar bear canada

Is seeing a polar bear in the wild on your must see list? You can check it off your list by traveling to Churchill during October and November. This is the best time to see the polar bears because during these months the polar bears are moving from their summer habitat on the tundra to go seal hunting. They do this on pack ice that covers Hudson Bay during the winter months.

Niagara Falls

niagra falls

In Niagara Falls Ontario Canada we are lucky enough to see views of all three of the waterfalls. 2/3’s of Horseshoe Falls, the largest of the three falls, lies on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls while the American Falls and the smaller Bridal Veil Falls are located on the American side of Niagara Falls.

90% of the Niagara River flow over the Horseshoe Falls. The Horseshoe Falls were named for the horseshoe shaped that spans 671 meters. The river passes over the crest at about 32 km per hour. The Horseshoe falls is 53 meters high.

It is said that Niagara Falls developed after the last ice age when water from Lake Erie made a channel towards Lake Ontario.

Tim Horton Dots the Land

All around the Canadian landscape you can find Tim Hortons. Tim Hortons is a coffee and donuts franchise. The First Tim Hortons restaurant was opened by Tim Horton (Canadian Hockey player) and Jim Charade. It was originally called Tim Hortons Donuts but was eventually changed abbreviated to Tim Horton’s. The apostrophe was eventually removed.

In 1992 Tim Hortons merged with Wendy’s. This merger continued until September 2006 when Wendy’s passed all of their remaining Tim Hortons shares onto their shareholders. In September Tim Hortons Inc. announced it had reorganized itself as a public Canadian company.

Today Tim Hortons is Canada’s leading food service provider. In July 2012 Tim Hortons had 3,326 where customers could enjoy their double doubles and Timbits.

If you got an interesting or important Canadian fact share it below. This page is open to anyone to leave a comment.

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Best Croatian Islands | Get Ready for an Amazing Tour!

croatian island

Planning A Vacation In Croatia?

Croatia is famous for its long cultural heritage and its beautiful islands and beaches. There are a number of islands and beaches that one can plan to visit during a vacation. The scenic beauty and the breathtaking view from the beaches can leave anyone breathless. One will find it really difficult to get back to the hectic daily life after visiting these quiet and amazing beaches of Croatia.

One can easily plan a vacation here with their families and loved ones. One can indulge in many activities that are available on beaches or can just loiter around on the beaches and praising the clear blue water and the sandy beaches. There are also different cafes where one can sip a drink and enjoy a good book.

Best Croatian Islands

let’s take a look on some of Best Croatian Islands :

Kornati Islands

croatia island

Kornati islands are islets consisting of hundreds of islands and coral reefs. It got its name from Kornat, the largest island in Croatia. These islands are full of rare species of trees and grass. If you are planning a visit to Croatia, then Kornati islands must be on your list. There are two famous cities near the Kornati Islands that are famous for their cultural beauty.

Since the last hundreds of years, the size of the Kornati Islands have decreased. This has happened due to the erosion and also by fire which occurs frequently in this place. Even though this island in not inhabited by humans, few areas are used for growing olives and vineyards. These areas are not under any ownership, but few wealthy people from the cities have started to fight for ownership on these islands. The sea surrounding the island is also rich in aquatic animals.

Kornati islands are a must see when traveling around Croatia.

Dugi Otok

croatia island

Dugi Otok or Long island as it is commonly known is located in Croatia. It is long in length but not so wide. This island is located between the north and the central part of Croatian seaside. It can reached by a boat from Pag islands or ports of Zadar, Sukosan and Biograd.

Dugi Otok is famous for its innumerable diving spots. Most of these spots, do not require any snorkeling masks. There is also a ship wreck that is famous among the tourists. This ship sank in the sea and one side of the ship is outside the water is is visible from the shore. One can also take a plunge into the sea and see some astonishing fish here. There are also a number of Plankton in this area which are food for the fishes. This is the reason why this place is visited by some beautiful fish.

Hvar Island

best croatian islands

Hvar island is famous among yacht owners and a favorite among tourists. Hvar island is 300 square kilometers and is among the top visited islands in the Croatia country. It is located on the Dalmatian Archipelago, between the islands of Brac, Vis and Korcula in the hvar Channel. It is known as the queen of Croatian Dalmatian Islands for its rich natural beauty, beautiful architecture and old traditions.

Many luxury yacht owners visit this place every year to spend their vacation and sail in the crystal blur waters surrounding the island. The scenic beauty and the nightlife is what attracts these yacht owners to this place. This place remain isolated during the most of the year, but remains crowded during the peak season. Night parties during summers are a big draw and one can witness people of all ages crowding the place during the summers. If one wants to spend a cozy time with their loved ones, then one can head to a hotel in the towns of Vrbodks or Stari Grad and rent a room at an affordable price.

If you are visiting the island of Hvar, you will be amazed to see a place which you thought never existed. It is a perfect example of a beautiful island with sandy beaches and blue waters. There are a number of luxurious hotels one can opt for. There are also a number of private houses and apartments which can be rented if you are planning a long vacation. One can easily find the cuisines of their own choices in many restaurants that are opened on the beach that offers delicacies which will make you coming for more.

Korcula Island

best croatian island

Korcula, which is part of the Republic of Croatia, is situated very close to the Dalmatian coast and is regarded as one of the beautiful island in the Adriatic Sea. It has the sixth largest population in Croatia, mostly by Ethnic Croats and is around 47 kilometers in length and 8 kilometers in breadth. This island is part of the Dalmatian archipelago of Croatia. This island mostly has a mild climate but receives around 1100 mm amount of rainfall every year. The island has a Mediterranean climate and is mostly covered by dense pine forests.

Korcula island has a number of small towns and villages and are linked together by a single road. This single rad is the spine of the island as it connects all the major town and villages. Boats are the main mode transportation for the people of this island. During few times in the year, there are special ferry lanes which directly connects the island to the Italian Adriatic ports. The island is very old and dates back to the 12th century. The island has been divided into four municipalities which helps in better maintenance during the peak season.

The island is full of great art and culture and one can learn a lot from the history of this place. The famous traveler and writer Marco Polo was born on this island. There are a number of museums and galleries which showcases items which were used in the ancient period by the people. One can also witness a number of festivals that are held on the island. One of the famous festival of the island is the Moreska which is a famous sword dance and is celebrated throughout the Mediterranean region. The island also has a number of traditional crafts and stone masonry which are a treat to watch.

Lokrum Island

Lokrum island is a must visit place in Croatia if you are visiting here with your family. This island is a perfect blend of beauty and culture and one can easily spend an amazing holiday here with your family. One can enjoy day trips and visit to nearby cities. One can rent luxurious villas in these cities, which will make your holiday worth remembering. For those enjoying FKK nudist beaches, Lokrum island is a place to visit as it has one of the most beautiful and discrete FKK beach in Croatia.

Dubrovnik that is very close to Lokrum island is well known for sea kayaking. So, if you love adventure, then this place is for you. Make sure you rent a hotel or villa before you plan your holiday to avoid disappointment.

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