The History Of My Outdoor Toys

The first outdoor toy I ever played on was a trampoline. It was a cheap facsimile of the theme park versions that I had hopped up and down on as a small child. Barely two metres in width on both sides, it gave out after a month of heavy usage. The springs simply could not take my youthful exertion. So my father upgraded to an adult-sized trampoline with a safety enclosure for good measure. This outdoor toy was hardy and could take the weight of myself and my brother’s incessant jumping sprees. We would not have to upgrade it for a very long time afterwards.

My taste for outdoor toys grew as I did. After another summer disappeared into memory, a swinging bench was installed under the much-maligned fig tree which stank up the garden with its rotting fruit. I could scarcely believe the amount of fun I had, swinging like a hyperactive monkey under the thick branch of this evil tree. The fun quickly ended when I discovered that the base of my swing had become a colony for button-spiders. Instead of telling my father and letting him eradicate the problem for me, I decided to never use it again. I believe that this option was the best.

When swings and trampolines could no longer contain my boundless energy, my parents erected what was possibly the greatest outdoor toy of them all, namely an above-ground swimming pool. The sheer elation that teemed from my tiny body could barely restrain my enthusiasm for this project. It was quickly assembled and filled with water. It came with a simple filter and one rickety set of stairs, but I will be dammed if it wasn’t the most fun (pre-Nintendo) that I had ever had in my life. It rapidly become dirty and stained with grass, beetles loved to dive-bomb into the waters and swim into my hair and the pool-stairs became a danger to all and sundry, yet it remained a firm favourite for many years.

As I matured, my tastes in outdoor toys became slightly more advanced and wanting. The countless action movies that I had watched on repeat had inspired my cousin, my brother and myself to purchase BB guns. The upgraded versions of course, aptly named ‘Gats’. These were heavy, steel instruments of prepubescent destruction and felt dangerous in our fingers. The irony was of course that the pellets could do as much harm as shooting a pea out of straw. An eye could be damaged of course, but it was impossible (much to my dismay) to shatter bottles or break wooden beams. The Gats quickly became too underpowered to keep our waning interests, so we simply discarded them in the neighbourhood drainage systems.

My final outdoor toy came in the form of a mountain bike. It was an economy model, with tight brakes and a propensity for slipping on rainy surfaces. That particular craze lasted all of three months, roundabout the time I received my first Nintendo console. The world of gaming drew me out of the child-like succour that outdoor toys had gifted me. One day, my child can revel in their own dream world, filled with whichever outdoor toys they wish to own; and I will happily stand by their side as they enjoy it.

Why You Can’t Wait To Go Home Again

It’s finally here. The vacation you planned three months ago. It’s time to go. You’re thrilled. Everyone is so happy and excited for you; they know how much this means to you. Your boss calls, as you barrel out the door, “Have a good time!”

Don’t you worry about that, Boss Person. You’re out of here and won’t be back for two weeks. You’ve been waiting for this vacation time for three years, and now you’re taking it by the horns and grabbing it.

You dash home, where the suitcases are packed and just waiting for you to take them to your Dream Vacation destination. You have all the essentials: The suntan lotion, the bathing suit you starved yourself for the last three months for so you could wear it in public without embarrassment. You have the brochures, the map and the sunglasses (several).

You’re bound and determined to get away from home. If anyone deserves a vacation, it’s you. You’ve worked so hard, and now you’re going to have a great time, and nothing’s going to stop you now, no sir.

After the seven-hour drive, you arrive with your family to the Dream Destination. It’s just like the brochures said it would be! It’s beautiful! You’re here!

It’s always a good idea to lie down once you get settled, after you’ve checked in, looked at the beautiful view from your window, and gone through the manual to figure out how to operate the personal alarm system. You’re tired. It was a long drive, and you’re on vacation, for goodness’ sake!

Pretty soon, it’s time to go have a nice bite to eat at one of those places that advertise the best in “local cuisine.” It’s also a time to splurge and have a few drinks, then coffee and dessert. Everyone’s just so happy to be here.

Boy, that food was good! When you return to the condo after you’ve stopped by the supermarket to fill up on groceries to stock in the brand-spanking-new, Comet-clean refrigerator, you glance out the window again and have another little rest.

It seems strange that, when we get to go on vacation, we start thinking about the place we just left — our home. You know Fluffy and Terminator will be fine; you know your next-door neighbor will feed them and give them water on a daily basis. You stopped the mail: You can trust the postal service, so quit thinking about it! You’re going to have some real fun!

It’s important, while on vacation, to see as many of the sights and do as many of the activities as you can; you also need to remember to take the camera everywhere to document these experiences. The other thing you can’t miss is the tourist shops and little boutiques where you can find the “perfect” gift for your dog-sitter and several postcards that you should address and mail — before you get back — to all your envious but supportive group of friends.

A few days into this, and you’re working on getting a pretty even tan. The pool is great, the ocean’s fun, but you haven’t had time to check out some of the places of interest that you had on that list. It’s OK. There’s still time.

It’s really great to be here. No, the beds aren’t as comfortable as your old, lumpy mattress, but that’s fine. And the water is never the same, somehow. It’s either too “soft” or too “hard,” and it doesn’t taste like the water that comes out of the tap at home. You can’t do anything about the ice cubes either, so you drink everything straight out of the can.

Pretty soon, after a few more dinners out, where you used your array of credit cards and cold, hard cash to lap up more of that “vacation cuisine” that you just can’t get at home, you’re in the car, heading back.

What happened? Is it already time to go home? What did we do? Did we have fun?

“I’m sure looking forward to going home,” you hear yourself saying. Others in the car agree, saying they want to mow the lawn first thing, because it’ll sure need it. That makes you think about that book case you have been working on in the basement: You better stop by the hardware store after you get home and unpacked.

What’s happening here? What is this phenomenon? Why is it that when you plan something as important as this down to the letter, and you’re finally there, actually free to frolic in the sun and waves with not a care in the world, just like those people in the brochures who look so rested and relaxed, you feel kind of homesick?

The truth may be that, no matter how much fun it is to leave home for the Perfect Vacation, when it’s time to come back, everyone’s relieved, because home, after all, is where you get normal-smelling water and really good beds.

Plus, you can set the alarm system with your eyes closed.

A Venue Planner Can Help You Make The Best Decisions

A venue planner can help you make the best decisions when it comes to where to hold your event. There are several ways that you can access a venue planner. A printed venue planner can give you an idea of the various venues and what they have to offer. An online venue planner can give you the same information, but it will be more updated. A personal venue planner can take away the strain of planning your event and do it all for you.

Printed Venue Planner

There are many forms of printed venue planners that you can find. Usually, news organizations such as newspapers and magazines put out printed event planners. These venue planners can give you an overall idea of the various venues in the area, and what they have to offer you. Many times, they will show photos of the venues. They will also give lists of amenities, and some general information on costs for renting the venue. A printed venue planner can be very useful because you can see side-by-side information on the various venues located near to where you hope to have your event. Sometimes, there may be venues listed that you had not thought of checking. Also, the printed venue planner will have phone numbers and other contact information that you can use to plan your event.

Online Venue Planner

There are also several online venue planners that you can find and take advantage of. These will contain roughly the same information that you will find in a printed venue planner. However, with the online varieties, information can be more easily updated, and therefore the information online will probably be more current. Some online venue planners might also have information about which venues have already been booked and which of them are still open for reservations. People also prefer online venue planners because there is often much more information. This might include virtual tours, more pictures, and testimonials from people who have rented out that particular venue. Also, it is easy to access an online venue planner, because you can log onto a computer at any time and do your own research.

Personal Venue Planner

If you have the means, you might consider hiring a personal venue planner. A personal venue planner can take all the requirements of your event and find a venue in which these requirements are met. They will do all the hard work for you, such as figuring out what size venue is needed, dealing with the various amenities that must be available at the venue, and even booking the venue and paying deposits.

When using a personal venue planner, it is very important that the lines of communication are open. If the venue planner is not involved in actually planning the event, it is important to give this person all the information that they will need about the event. Be sure to include the number of persons invited, as well as the percentage of these people that are expected to come to the event. Also, be sure to tell the personal venue planner exactly what the purpose of he event is, and list all the things that will be needed at the event. Having all this information is the only way that a personal venue planner can make sure the venue that is chosen and booked for the occasion will be the right one.

When dealing with any type of venue planner, it is important to decide upon several different venues. These should be within your price range, in the right area, and the appropriate size, as well as having the right amenities. That way, when you go to book one of the venues, you will not be at the end of your rope if your first choice is already booked. Remember that when you are using any type of venue planner, you should always be aware that many circumstances might change the information regarding the venue. The photographs might not be current, and the information about what the venue offers might be incorrect. The best way to choose a venue with a venue planner is to use the planner to pick out a few venues that match your specifications. Then, you should personally visit these venues to see which of them feels the best, and if all the information in the event planner is accurate and up to date. That way, you will be able to make an informed decision and choose the best venue for your needs.

Venue planners can make your life much easier because they can be a way of having all the pertinent information in one place. However, be sure that you are doing your own research in addition to the venue planner, and be sure that you are also checking with more than one venue planner to see if the information provided about each of the places is the same.

When Traveling In London Travel Smart With London Chauffeur Services

Some people need to travel repeatedly on business to various cities. For instance many people travel to London every year in order to do business. For those who travel frequently it becomes quite necessary to hire executive cars and a chauffeur service. London chauffeur services provide professional travel services to the clients. The best chauffeur services are those which provide the correct vehicles and chauffeurs with extensive knowledge of roads and offer outstanding client service.

In order to get the most suitable chauffeur services one must keep some things in mind when looking for one, such as:

When one is traveling in London on vacation then the best chauffeur service to hire is a limousine. Limousines are the ultimate vehicles associated with Luxury, Extravagance, Style and Flamboyance. Limo service London is becoming popular every passing day due to the fact that more and more people chose to have an impressive entry into any party that they are invited as well as with a rise in the money that can be spent on such luxuries. A limousine is fit in with unimaginable services like an open bar, neon flashing lights, compact disc player, dance floor, karaoke machine, satellite radio, DVD player, mini kitchen, snacks, audio system and ice cooler.

Limo services can be booked online prior to the event which helps to save a lot of money and time. Limo service also comes with highly well-mannered chauffeurs who possess good knowledge about the city’s roads. However before hiring any limo service one must ensure that the limo service that one wishes to hire has the appropriate license to function within the city of London.

The passengers traveling to and from the London airports can find a lot of travel services that help to travel throughout London and reach the airport on time. There are a lot of travel options for the passengers ranging from minicabs, taxis, shuttle cars to mini buses. There are many personal car hiring companies that present trouble-free trip around the whole of London. London airport transfers present true value of the client’s money as the comfort and services offered by them are incomparable and are simply the best. The private transport services offer facilities that suit the budget of one and all and therefore never disappoint any of its clients.

Japan Festival In Berlin

Occidental countries are getting more and more interested in both these peculiarities of Japan: evidences of this are given by the great number of sushi restaurants and Japanese furniture shops that we can find in our cities, but also by the several technological devices that we use daily and by the manga, Japanese cartoons and videogames that we spend our free time with.

For this reason it is not surprising that Berlin, one of the most multicultural European cities, and one of those cities that pay more attention to new trends, organises each year an event devoted to Japanese culture and traditions: the Japan Festival. The 2008 edition of the Festival will take place from the 14th to the 16th November in the Postbahnhof (by the Ostbahnhof), a recently restored building that in the past was home to the post train station, and that nowadays includes two storeys, two clubs and a heated circus tent that will host around 50 exhibitors and 100 events, attracting more than 10,000 visitors wishing to discover or broaden their knowledge of Japanese culture.

The event will be opened by a speech pronounced by Prof. Willibald Veit, the director of the Asiatic Arts Museum, who will introduce the Rising Sun country to visitors. The speech will be followed by a great number of scheduled events, and during the three days of the Festival visitors will have the possibility to choose among a variety of dance shows, sessions of tasting of Japanese dishes, fashion shows and much more, and they will not take part in the event in a passive way, on the contrary, they will have the opportunity to participate in workshops and seminars, and all this will be included in the ticket cost.

As far as food is concerned, an important role will be played by sushi, a dish which is well-known all over the world, but there will be also much more: the Japanese cook Takao Udagawa will prepare also udon (soft wheat spaghetti), misu (a soya soup) and much more, and everything will be accompanied by the typical green tea, by Calpico (a Japanese lemonade), Japanese beer and a variety of sake, which will be offered also during the tasting sessions.

Also Japanese fashion (both traditional and contemporary) will play an important role in the Festival, which will host both kimono and Hello Kitty (which is become well-known all over the world) fashion shows, but particular attention will be paid also to the Cosplay, the habit that Japanese people have to dress up in various ways, above all as manga and anime characters. People who will visit the Festival wearing a cosplay costume (the term comes from the words costume and play) will be granted a reduction on the ticket price.

Visitors will have the possibility to go thoroughly into Japanese dance and music, thanks to the performances of traditional Japanese chorus, of daiko players and kabuki, a particular type of dance connected to theatre. Space will be given also to samurai and martial arts demonstrations, including both the best-known arts like karate and kendo and the ones that are not famous in Europe yet, like aikido, but an important role will be played also by completely different activities: from shiatsu massages to origami and calligraphy workshops, visitors will have the opportunity to immerse completely in Japanese culture.

Berlin, a multiethnic and multicultural city, hosts also this year the Japan Festival, which always attracts thousands of visitors. If you want to get to know the thousands features of this city, and in the same time to immerse in the oriental culture, book now a cheap hostel in Berlin.

Kenya Real Estate – To Buy Or To Build A House?

Kenya real estate opportunities are enormous.

Buying a Home:

Some people choose this option as they consider it to be hassle free. This means that you will not stress out on identifying a plot of land or finding professional builders, architects or surveyors. All you have to do is to identify the area that you wish to live in, find a house and buy it.

The advantage of buying a home is that you can afford to live in a nice neighbourhood for less. Better still, some of these homes may be in an apartment complex that has facilities such as a heated pool, sauna as well as good security.

The flip side of buying a home is that you have no guarantee as to its actual quality. Some houses have been known to collapse suddenly due to faulty foundations.

Building a Home:

This option offers you flexibility. You can chose where you want to live plus how the house will look both inside and outside.

Ideally you would need to first identify a suitable piece of land and purchase it.

Great care and caution need to be exercised at this stage to avoid scams. Always participate in finding out whether the land title and the seller are genuine.

After you have the land, you need to identify a good architect and plan the kind of house you want. This is where the beauty of building your home comes in. You get to choose the number of rooms in the house, their exact location, size of the garden and much more.

Usually building a home tends to cost much less. This is because you can source for the building materials and services yourself.

The flip side building your own home is the location. Land in prime areas tends to be so expensive yet security is usually better.

The decision as to whether to buy or to build a house is one that needs to be considered carefully. Whichever option you choose it is always best to ensure that you get involved in the process as much as you can and do not be afraid to ask many questions before you commit your money.