Monday, 26 June 2017

Travel Makes the World Go Round!

Welcome!

Okay, okay so if you've been to our blog before you know we love to travel. Here, there or just about anywhere it doesn't matter just give us the opportunity to explore and we'll take it.

In fact we have just come back from a weekend away in Devon but more on that in a future post.

The reason for this post is to share a travel post I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to do for thewanderingdarlings.com/. A fellow travel enthusiast, adventurer and wanderer in this amazing world of ours.

Having followed Mel's blog for a while we were keen to participate in her Globetrotters feature. Partly because the name Globetrotter sounds cool and partly because if anything our travels have given us stories to tell.

We always appreciate any blog that brings together travel advice and experiences and hope by sharing stories we are adding some value to The Wandering darlings already amazing blog. Make sure and check out the featured posts for great tips!

If you want to check out our post click here.

https://thewanderingdarlings.com/2017/06/25/globetrotters-sarah-plus-laura/
This pic was taken on our recent trip to the Grand Canyon, as I wrote the post before our trip this highlight missed out but you can our post about it here.

Happy Travels


Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Think it's hot now?!

Okay it is hot right now! Hot and clammy right. And that's an observation not a complaint - I try to avoid complaining about the heat as I am so desperate for it an all other points. I even pay to have hot holidays so I can enjoy the heat.

Although as Laura always tells me British heat is humid so that makes it feel hotter than it really is so I have to let her complain - occasionally.

The thing is after waking up from a rather warm 28 degrees Celsius sleep I was about to say how hot it was when I saw a friends Facebook post saying that it was 58 degrees where they were in Death Valley. Now that is hot!

When we visited Death Valley it was raining so we never got the EXTREME heat. It was still hot but mid 30's hot not 58! Now if our friends car thermometer was right then they were experiencing RECORD BREAKING temperatures as Globehunters published a post recently about how hot it can get around the world and at the time they published the article it contained this fact:


It turns out California also had the hottest rainfall - surprisingly not in Death Valley when we were there but:

Reading the article it tells you where the hottest temperatures have been recorded on each continent and I found the Europe one pretty interesting, and helpful for knowing where to head for my next trip to the sun:

If you want to check out the whole article click here

So things might be hot right now but they could be hotter!!!

Hope you have found your way to cope - ice packs under the pillow and in front of fans are our current go-to's!


Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Glenilen Farm Yoghurts - Our Verdict

How's your summer health kick going? Is your beach bod ready to go? After a trip to Vegas we are trying to get back to being good - what has made it slightly better easier is having a delicious alternative to the sugar treats we've been craving.  Mainly in the form of yoghurts! Surprisingly refreshing on a hot day and better for you than an ice cream!

So when we were contacted by Glenilen Farm, and asked to try some of their yoghurts we couldn't refuse.


Just a quick side note before we continue, in the UK they spell yoghurt with an H, I, as an American, like to say it like it as if it's a battle cry 'YOG-HURT, so it's not a typo it is just one of those British vs Americanisms :)

Onwards

We were so excited when we opened the cool bag to find the cutest little glass jars! Such lovely packaging - the little glass jars are adorable, better for the environment than the usual plastic, and reusable! I immediately started planning what I would make to put inside them once I'd eaten the yoghurt. There are plenty of ideas on how to reuse the pots on their website, including candles and desserts. I’d love if the larger pots were also glass!


The yoghurt is from a little family farm in County Cork, Alan and Valerie's family have owned Glenilen Farm for generations. Valerie started selling cheesecakes made with milk from their cows in 1997, and the business has grown from there. The cows are treated very well, kept warm in the winter, allowed to roam and they are never over milked. You can read the whole story here.


Because of this, the yoghurt is absolutely delicious - and good for you, too! It is natural yoghurt absolutely no artificial additives or preservatives, with limited sugar/sweeteners, and fruit at the bottom. It was refreshing to know that the fruit wasn’t loaded in sugar, especially as we are attempting to eat healthier and cut out sugar at the moment.

My personal favourite was the blueberry flavour, which I found most sweet, and Sarah enjoyed the mango and passion-fruit most – but really, all three flavours we tried were scrumptious.


You can find a whole list of products available here.

Glenilen Farm know how important environmental sustainability is, which is why as well as selling yoghurts in glass jars, they are using solar energy, harvesting rain water, and making other small changes that will make a large impact. I would say just like us but we're small time with our water butt and couple of solar panels.

So here's a question - do you know how yoghurt is made?

Strange question I know but when looking into Glenilen Farm I cam across some interesting stats so thought I would make this post educational as well as informative!

If you don't know how yoghurt is made don't worry you're not alone, in fact out of the 2039 people surveyed here was the result:

So the actual answer is......

Fresh milk (and/or cream) is fermented using lactic bacteria starters or “cultures”: Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. The bacteria are added to heated, pasteurizedhomogenized milk, and the milk is then incubated at a specific temperature to maximize the activity of the bacteria.
The bacteria convert the lactose (milk sugar) to lactic acid, which thickens the milk and gives it the tangy taste characteristic of yoghurt.
The yoghurt is then cooled and can be flavoured with fruit, sugar, other sweeteners or flavourings. Stabilizers, such as gelatin, may also be added.
(Thanks Wikipedia)

Now you know how the yoghurts made - and in case of the Glenilen's - the au natural way why not get creative - we have the Greek Yogurt Fruit Pots on our to try list! Check out the recipe and other ideas for healthy snacks here.

And so to the final note, if you are in the UK and fancy trying them you can find these yoghurts at Sainsburys and Waitrose – we would definitely recommend you check them out, we enjoyed them enough that we actually bought more once we had finished the sample! The full website can be found here: http://www.glenilenfarm.com/ 


Thursday, 15 June 2017

Neon Museum, Las Vegas

Have you heard of the Neon Museum? If you haven't check them out on Instagram, that's where we found out about it before our trip to Vegas.


Put simply the Neon Museum is a sign graveyard, stacked full of amazing neon signs, some in working order and some not. Located about 15 minutes car ride from Vegas (we recommend a taxi) in an area locals describe as 'not that desirable' this is definitely a more random Vegas find.


One key point to note is that you NEED to book ahead, and not just a day ahead. When we went to look at tours a week ahead of our visit the only time available for the week we were staying in Vegas was at 2pm on Sunday. The evening tours, when some of the working signs are turned on can be booked up months in advance.

The other thing worth noting is that there is no roof and therefore no shelter so if you go on a boiling hot day bring water and a hat. The museum provide sun umbrellas and a free water fountain but it is worth being prepared. The signs reflect the heat so for the hour tour prepare to get hot!

Each tour is guided, this is for a number of reasons. Firstly the signs are dangerous, some are massive - like stories high massive, some have rusty sharp edges or broken light bulbs. Secondly the guide provides context, history and some really interesting information about the signs and how they came to be in the graveyard.

In our short trip we learnt about how different signs were used, how different colour neon effects were created, how the use of neon has changed over the year and our guide gave an interesting back story of Vegas. Did you know that Elvis only played in Vegas once in heyday because his promoter had set up a gig in a club but when the youths, that loved Elvis, turned up the bouncers ID'd everyone and sent them packing. Elvis's audience was so small he thought the town hated him and he didn't come back....for years! Strange when you think of Viva Las Vegas being synonymous with the place.

Our group covered the age range of 31-65 and we all loved it and learnt something. While some of us were a little more distracted with photos others were engrossed with the stories. The rest of our tour group was made up of a range of people all their to see something different.

Opening in 2012 the Neon Museum is:
'The nearly two-acre campus includes an outdoor exhibition space, known as the Boneyard, which features more than 200 signs, seven of which are restored, a visitors' center housed inside the former La Concha Motel lobby and the Neon Boneyard North Gallery which houses additional rescued signs and is used for weddings, special events, photo shoots and educational programs.'


There is history in everything, even the check in lobby is interesting, it is set up inside the La Concha Motel lobby that was moved to the location in 2006 to save it from demolition. Originally it was built on the strip. This is the story of a lot of the signs. Originally signs were built for hotels or businesses on the strip or around Vegas but as they have been replaced the signs have been gifted to the museum. Sometimes by the venues or in most cases by the sign companies - it turns out renting signs was more common that buying them due to the cost.

In fact the cost of making a bespoke sign actually put a company out of business - the sign was this duck.....the company a car wash who had spend $250,000.....on A SIGN!



This sign had to be dis-assembled as it was too big..... any guesses on what it originally said?

Moulin Rouge - did you get it?
We really enjoyed the tour and the experience and if you like a great photo opp and/or a bit of history make sure this is on your to do list....just book ahead!



Have you been? What did you think?