Sunday, July 3, 2016

What's Better Than a Water Slide? A Natural Water Slide! - Sliding Rock

Forget Splash Zone, or whatever water park is in your vicinity, this summer. Get your swimsuit-covered butt over to Sliding Rock in North Carolina's Pisgah National Forest to experience a natural water slide. Nothing beats slip-sliding down a 60-foot sloping boulder, pushed along by 11,000 gallons of water! Just as at Splash Zone, however, long lines and strict rules still apply. That means no going down head first, troublemaker.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Germiest Place on Earth - Seattle Gum Wall

Sometimes trippy = germy, and that's certainly the case with the Seattle Gum Wall, at Pike Place Market. What started as just another wall that people would stick their chewed gun onto has turned into a major tourist attraction. At one point, the marketplace decided to completely clean off the wall, removing more than 2,350 pounds of gum, but people immediately began to add to it again, eventually resurrecting the wall to its former glory. Viva la gomme!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Think Outside the Rink - Paterswoldse Meer Lake

I love ice skating but hate going in circles (in the rink, as well as metaphorically). Which is why I'm saving up to visit Paterswoldse Meer Lake in Groningen, Netherlands, where I'll be able to skate as far as my little legs can take me in a gorgeous, natural setting.

Now please excuse me while I work on perfecting my double axle for this trip.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Visit the Home of Dracula - Corvin Castle

If you visit one castle in your lifetime, make it the spectacular and spooky Corvin Castle in Hunedoara, Romania. It is one of the largest in Europe and also just happens to be the home of Dracula. Well, technically it was where Vlad the Impaler (Bram Stoker's inspiration for Dracula) was imprisoned for seven years ... but close enough. Don't forget to admire the bear pit, the place where unwanted prisoners were once quickly dispatched.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

World's Largest Fort - The Minister's Tree House

Situated off a back country road in Crossville, Tennessee, is the world's largest tree house/hotel, dubbed The Minister's Tree House by the religious man who built it. With 10 stories supported by seven oak trees, the hotel of 80 rooms is made entirely of wood, complete with a church and bell tower on the top level.

If you think this place sounds like a fire hazard, well, the local fire marshal agrees. Even with its firm no smoking policy, the hotel was shut down a few years ago and today stands empty, although the owner is still trying to get it open.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Feeding Time at the Zoo - Crocosaurus Cove Cage of Death

If the idea of climbing into an acrylic tube and being lowered into a pool of 16-foot saltwater alligators is your idea of fun, then you should by all means head on over to Crocosaurus Cove in Darwin Australia, where you can do exactly that. Soothingly dubbed "the cage of death," the tube is large enough to fit two people -- which is fortunate, because I'd need to hold someone's hand.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

It's Possible to Get a Good Night's Rest on a Plane - Jumbo Stay Hotel

Are you the kind of person who doesn't get a wink of sleep while on a plane? Maybe you should try the Jumbo Stay Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden. The hostel is situated in a retired Boeing 457 whose interior was completely redesigned to include 27 guestrooms, a suite in the cockpit, and a café. Plus, the hotel is located right outside a real airport, so you can roll out of bed and catch your actual flight with no worries. It may the closest I'll ever come to flying first class.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Waterfall Fake Out - Hierve el Agua

"Oh, another waterfall?" you say. "What's the big deal?" The big deal, my friend, is that what we have here is a petrified waterfall - so not cascading waters at all, but a rock formation in Oaxaca, Mexico, called Hierve el Agua. It was created by fresh-water, calcium-loaded springs over thousands of years. At the top, however, is actual spring water that you can bathe in as you peer over the edge of the cliff. I know where I'm headed the next time I want to feel both relaxed and terrified all at once.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Do Some Laundry, Have Some Beer - Spin Laundry Lounge

In my day, doing a load at the laundromat was something to be dreaded and put off. Now it seems that laundrobars like Spin Laundry Lounge in Portland, Oregon, are the place to be on a Friday night. You come with your laundry, stay for a few craft beers and locally sourced menu items, and leave with a pile of clean clothes and maybe some new friends. Gotta love the efficiency.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Green Mountains Are Boring - Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park

Mountains may be beautiful, but don't you find them a little monochromatic sometimes? All that green can get a little boring, amirite? If you're in the market for a more colorful mountain, journey to the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park in Gansu, China, where the mountain ranges are decidedly more technicolor, having been formed by various layers of sandstone and minerals over 24 million years. Go, just go.

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