escape rooms

Escape Rooms – A Fun Group Activity To Consider This Cold Season

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As the cold weather settles in, there are fewer fun activities for groups to choose, since outdoor activities are not as appealing as they were in the summer. However, if you can think outside the box, and with proper planning and timely booking, there are still a lot of fun activities to get into. One of them is the relatively new craze called escape rooms. What are Escape Rooms? Basically, an escape room is an interactive, physical adventure game. Participants are tasked with solving complex puzzles, riddles and challenges using hidden clues and hints, all in hopes of figuring out a way to escape the room. Usually, the rooms will have a special theme or plot behind them, as well as a time limit on how long the players have to complete it. Read more at All Island Transportation… What makes escape rooms a lot more fun compared to your typical game night is that they are much more interactive, engaging and exciting. They require participants to work as a team in order to ‘escape’. Beating an escape room requires good communication between escapees, and each of your individual perspectives will certainly help to figure out the multiple clues and tips that will get you out. That’s why an escape room can actually be a great idea for corporate team building. Escape Room Themes There are all sorts of themed escape rooms out there, ranging from horror scenarios to fantasy and adventure. Certain escape rooms are also educational, giving participants the opportunity to improve their historical knowledge, all while having lots of fun. The following is an example:  Through the setbacks, the Rieses set up their first history-themed room, which is based on Jefferson’s daring escape from Monticello on June 4, 1781, following Jack Jouett’s warning that British troops were arriving. …The Rieses have worked to create the urgency Jefferson likely felt by having a 60-minute time limit to solve the room’s puzzles. Participants must locate clues within the room and find passageways to escape before the time runs out. Read full post at Daily Progress… You’ll be happy to learn that the above-mentioned (Unlocked History Escape Rooms) are actually located in Charlottesville. That’s one good reason to book your visit soon. Escape Rooms in Charlottesville Wondering whether there are other options available locally? Yes, there are. Cville Boasts THREE Escape Rooms It’s getting colder. Escape rooms are heated. Also fun. And there are THREE of them here in Charlottesville. Try one. Try them all! Bring the family. Corral the office. Coax your friends. If you want to  ~escape~ without any strangers in the room, make sure to bring enough of a crew with you. Check the website ahead of time (all three escape rooms have comprehensive FAQ pages). Read full post at Visit Charlottesville… For more information about the escape rooms in Charlottesville, you contact them directly. Here are their contact details: Cville Escape Room 310 E Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22902 (434) 566-9499 Immersion Escape Rooms 2125… Read More »Escape Rooms – A Fun Group Activity To Consider This Cold Season

wine tour

How To Not Lose Your Cool During Your Wine Tour

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Taking a wine tour with your friends or significant other is one way to learn new things and sample some great wines, all while having lots of fun. And if you do it right, you’ll also get a nice buzz and some great laughs without losing your sophistication or embarrassing yourself. That’s also (or should be) one major difference between a wine tour experience and hanging out with your pals at the bar. Here are some useful tips to ensure your wine tour is a success: Make lunch part of your itinerary Eat lunch And breakfast, too. It’s Drinking 101, but it’s still surprising how many people skip this step. Don’t think for a second that the palate cleanser crackers, or even a cheese and charcuterie board are going to soak it all up. Read more at… Make sure everyone eats beforehand. If your tour will start in the morning, have a lunch stop as part of it. Bear in mind that if you’re starting early, it will mean that you’ll likely be taking wine earlier than your bodies are typically used to, so you might start to feel the effects pretty fast. A good breakfast is essential in such a case. Sharpen your sense of taste and smell Smell and taste are equally important when it comes to fully experiencing all that the wines have to offer. That’s why it’s important to ensure that nothing comes in the way of these two: No lipstick before tasting To properly appreciate a wine, your palate should be as ‘clear’ as possible. So don’t drink coffee, smoke or brush your teeth at least two hours before a wine tasting. If you can, also avoid lip balm or lipstick as the oils in these can interfere with the taste of the wine. Keep your nose ‘clean’ too Avoid wearing perfume and hairspray when you taste wine, as the strong scents can interfere when you try to smell the wine. 80 per cent of what you taste in wine is what you smell (this is why when you have a blocked nose, you can barely taste any flavours), so this is indeed a very important rule to remember. Read more at Lifestyle Food… Skipping on lipstick and perfume may sound weird, but not to the pros. You’ll certainly look like you know what you’re doing at the winery. And if someone asks, you can take advantage of the opportunity to share what you know and be the wine pro. Don’t get drunk Wineries are not the place to lose your cool. Although they do not discourage their guests having fun, they are also less tolerant of disruptive behavior than your local bar. It therefore helps to know your limits, and decide just how many wines to taste (or swallow, for that matter). Do spit Wine tastings are dangerous places for the uninitiated! Of course you can swallow if you want to, but do this towards to end or you’ll end up horribly drunk… Read More »How To Not Lose Your Cool During Your Wine Tour

rent a car

Should I Rent A Car Or Drive My Own?

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The question of whether to drive your own car or get a rental for long-distance road trips, work travel and other special needs is one that may boggle you at some point. So many factors may run through your mind, such as which one is more convenient, which one is cheaper, and is my car fit to travel across the country? Read on to find out the most important factors to consider: Money Matters There are a few ways to look at driving your own car vs. renting a vehicle for your next road trip. One is to crunch some numbers – gas mileage, vehicle depreciation, etc. We’ll walk you through the dollars and cents of it all, as it’s largely based on what kind of car you drive and the specifics of your road trip. Then there are the emotions to consider. Perhaps the possibility of having your sweet little coupe exposed to the real world just gives you too much anxiety. Or maybe you’re the tight-fisted type who would never hand cash to a rental company when you have a perfectly fine car sitting in your garage. Read more at Allianz Travel Insurance… One major factor to consider when it comes to making this decision is your budget. Surprisingly, renting a car can be cheaper than using your own car for a road trip or other long-distance trips. The convenience is also a major factor to consider when it comes to this. How Exactly Will You Save By Renting? Savings sensei Clark Howard says that you could save money in the long run if you rent a car for travel rather than drive your own. If you drive your own car, because you’ll be putting additional miles on it, you’ll be literally driving down the resale value of your vehicle. “If you shop and find a good deal on a rental car, you put those trip miles and the depreciation that goes with it on that rental car instead of your own,” he says. Those highway miles will end up costing you more money than renting. “Figure putting miles on your vehicle — at a minimum “50 cents a mile,” he says. Additionally, a rental car may get you better gas mileage, which translates to lower fuel costs for your trip. Of course, it depends on which make and model you choose, but the market for car rentals favors consumers right now, Clark says. Read more at… Say you have a car that consumes a lot of gas, and you don’t typically drive it over long distances. Two ways driving your own car will cost you more include spending more on fuel, and the depreciation of your car. If you really think about it, driving someone else’s car keeps your car in tiptop condition until you come back from the trip. Second, you can get a car with better fuel efficiency and save yourself money in terms of fuel cost. Consider Other Factors Aside from Money Sometimes… Read More »Should I Rent A Car Or Drive My Own?

taste wine

How To Taste Wine Like A Professional

Going for a wine-tasting or a wine tour can be intimidating, especially if you have seen professional wine-tasters doing their thing. The good news, though, is that it takes much less than what television portrays to enjoy a wine-tasting. The rules you should follow to enjoy the experience are pretty straightforward. Read on below to learn some tips and tricks to make your next wine-tasting experience wonderful. Start with a clear wine glass. The rim of the glass should bend inwards to help funnel aromas to the nose, and allow you to swirl without spilling. Now pour a little wine into your glass. An inch or less is best. If you are tasting several wines, begin with the lightest… Read more at Outer Banks Vacations… You will taste a lot of wine, and each one should be tasted in a clean glass. If you are a novice, remember to keep the wine amounts as small as possible. Swirling a mouthful of water around your mouth to clean your mouth after each drink is a great tip too. Remember, if you are tasting a vast selection of wines, start with lighter tastes like roses and sparkling and move on to the reds last. As a rule, wine should be tasted from lightest to heaviest if you’re trying a few bottles, as heavy wine can overwhelm your palate. Start with sparkling wine, move onto lighter whites (Riesling, Pinot Grigio), then try heavier whites (like Chardonnay). Rose goes in the middle, followed by lighter reds (like Pinot Noir) before heavier reds (Shiraz or Cabernet), finishing up with any sweet fortified wines. Have water on hand to sip between tastes, and remember that wine rules are made to be broken. In fact, we’ll often taste wine the French way, with reds before whites. A sparkling or fresh white is a great way to reset the palate after some tannic reds – as is bread. Read more at Black Hearts and Sparrows… Heavy wines include red wines like Cabernet. This should be the last one you taste. Start with sparkling wines and whites, follow with a rose, and then finish with reds. However, remember you don’t always have to taste everything on the menu. Some areas only specialize in red wine making, so you might find yourself tasting a specific type of wine the entire time. When the wine is first poured into the glass, hold the tilted wine glass over a piece of white paper. This is to check for the age of the wine. If there is a transparent ring at the top, it is a young wine. If it is denser, it is a more mature wine. Our wine expert explained this to look like a fingernail. The wine is shaped like a fingernail when the glass is tilted and the lighter portion is the length of the nail. That is where you should look to see if the wine is young or old. Read more at The Planet D… Wine-tasting is… Read More »How To Taste Wine Like A Professional

wine tour

How To Make The Most Of Your Wine Tour

Wine tours are more than just wine-tasting experiences. A complete wine tour lets you experience the vineyards and learn about their history as you sample the best wines the vineyards have to offer. In addition, you want to have fun doing it. At Camryn, we have extensive experience in providing wine tasting experiences for wine lovers. We can proudly say that we’ve done our part to enhance the popularity of Virginia as a wine-tasting destination. Here are the top three things that wine enthusiasts do to ensure they enjoy wine tours to the maximum: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions The first stop of the day is usually a bit of a breaking-in period for many of our guests. We like to have fun and talk to you on the trip from your hotel or our office but it seems like the second you step into that first winery it’s suddenly real. The most important thing you can remember is that it’s all about the interaction, feel free to ask any question you might have and never be afraid to speak up. No matter how silly you think your question is, we’ve all probably been there and wondered that. Read more at Grape and Wine Tours… The more questions you ask, the more enriching your experience will be. Ask questions before and after. Ask about the history of the vineyard, the grapes used to make the wine, how long the vineyard has existed, and so on. These are the kinds of questions vineyard owners and workers like to answer. Everyone loves to speak about the things they are passionate about. Use Every Sense to Savor the Wine Wine is a sensory experience that engages all of your senses – yes, even hearing! Observe the wine before you taste. Make note of the color, the clarity, and the viscosity in the glass. Next, nose the wine (smell it). Interestingly enough, most wines don’t taste like they smell, but see if there are any aromas in there that you recognize … flowers? Spices? Animal? Mineral? Earth? Anything’s possible. Read more at Traynor Vineyard… If you want to do things like a pro, then follow these handy tips. Everything from how the wine tastes on your tongue versus the sensation it gives at the back of your throat tells you the type of wine, its acidic composition, and alcohol content. Timing Is Everything In high season after noon, tasting rooms can get packed. Staff won’t have time to discuss the wines with you. Plan your day so you are at a winery with good picnic/dining facilities at lunchtime. Obviously, it is best to visit during the off-season or midweek. Crush time, late August to mid-October, is busy and buzzing, so don’t expect to see the winemaker for more than a few frantic moments! Read more at Readers Digest… It is important to go early in the day for a wine-tasting if you can. By the evening or afternoon, vineyard employees have been answering… Read More »How To Make The Most Of Your Wine Tour

car upholstery

Thinking Of Switching Up Your Car Seats? Car Upholstery 101

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The best way to change the look and feel of your car’s interior is to reupholster your car seats. Reupholstering has the added benefit of stretching the life of your car. Of course, you also need to service your car regularly. You can reupholster your car seats to give your car a fresh new feel, or you might actually need to do it. Car seat damage occurs for many reasons, and it may get to an extent that reupholstering is a necessity, not a luxury: When Do You Need to Get Your Seats Upholstered? Anyone could get their car seats reupholstered if they wanted to. It is one way to upgrade your old car’s interior, change the aesthetics if you’re unhappy with the current upholstery, but in most cases, it is to repair damaged car seats. The extent to which your seats are damaged will play into whether or not you actually require repair and reupholstery. If you think about what goes into the actual process of automotive upholstery, then you’ll get a pretty good idea of whether or not you truly need it. Read full post at Shear Comfort… If you have a tight budget, then you might choose to forego professional services and go for a DIY car upholstery. If you’re up for it, it might not be too difficult. The following are the most important steps: How to Reupholster Your Car Seats Yourself Once you have determined that your car needs reupholstery, you can start your DIY project. The first step is to select the fabric. This is arguably the most important step because whatever fabric you choose should preferably last until you sell your car. You must decide what kind of material you want to replace the current upholstery. You have a huge range of options, ranging from leathers and vinyls to funky materials with bright colors and patterns; there’s something for every kind of aesthetic. Make sure that whichever color and pattern you choose will blend well with rest of the exterior and interior design before you finish your purchase. Read more at Do It Yourself… Next, detach the seats from the car. This is not as difficult as it sounds: Locate the bolts of the seat on its underside, and loosen them carefully with a wrench. Once the seat becomes detached, take it out of the car and separate the front, rear, and headrest pieces. Carefully unzip the existing covers or remove the staples holding them in the back with a stapling hook. Then, see where the hog rings are, and using a screwdriver, loosen them to free cover totally. Make a mark in the places where the seat tracks and rings are. Read more at Do It Yourself… Once the car seats are detached, pull apart the upholstery and check if the frame of the seat has any areas that need to be painted over. Make sure it dries completely before you start the reupholstering process. To ensure you cut out the exact… Read More »Thinking Of Switching Up Your Car Seats? Car Upholstery 101

buying a new car

The 4 Most Important Considerations To Make When Buying A New Car

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Buying a new car is exciting. You have probably been saving up for months and now that you have enough money you cannot wait to get your hands on a new car. Whether it’s your first car or you just need an upgrade from your old car, you will need to buy a car at some point in your life. But before you jump into the next car you see at the dealership, here are some tips to help you on your way. What Are Your Needs? Everyone has different needs. A family with a new baby, for example, will have different needs from a young couple with no children. The case is the same for a single man with no family and a love for fast cars. A great tip is to write down a list of all the things your new car must have and then make sure you consider them as you explore your options. If you’ve got a baby on the way, a flashy two-seater isn’t going to do the job. A Range Rover won’t help you find a parking space in the city, but might stop you getting stuck in the mud in the sticks. Write a list. Define your criteria. If a vehicle doesn’t fulfil them, it’s out of the running. Doesn’t matter how great the sound system is if you can’t fit your buggy in the boot. Read more at Citton Cars… Prepare Your Budget First, consider how you will finance your car purchase. Will you be taking a loan or have you been saving up for this moment? You can then determine your budget based on how much you have saved or how much you can repay without significantly reducing your disposal income. Remember to find out how much it will cost to maintain the car, as well as its fuel consumption. These will factor into your monthly expenses along with car loan repayments. Unless you’re paying cash for your car, you’ll need to think about financing your purchase or lease. How much can you really afford to allocate toward a car payment each month? The general rule is that your monthly new-car payment should not exceed 15 percent of your monthly take-home pay. A used car will be less expensive, but the same rule should apply. If you’re looking to lease, aim for a monthly payment that’s less than 10 percent of your take-home pay. You’ll also want to factor in an additional 7 percent of your monthly income to cover fuel and insurance costs. Knowing your budget beforehand will help you when negotiating your next car or truck. Read full post at… Shop Around That’s right. Don’t be in a rush to close the deal at the first dealership you visit. Buying a new car is a process that will certainly cost you time. Take the time to look around and compare prices and even brands. One brand could be less popular than another, but offer a better package in terms… Read More »The 4 Most Important Considerations To Make When Buying A New Car

car maintenance

How Well Are You Maintaining Your Car?

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As a responsible car owner, you should be able to list a few car maintenance centers you prefer for regular visits. This is a basic requirement that helps ensure your baby runs stably throughout the year. It’s also important to keep to the recommended car maintenance schedule provided by the car manufacturer in the owner’s manual. This will go a long way in preventing unexpected problems. The way you handle your car is a huge part of car maintenance. You’ll have a lot less to worry about if you treat your car well on a daily basis. The following post offers 74 useful tips for treating your baby with care: 74 Maintenance Tips That Will Extend the Life of Your Car We’ve compiled our best expert advice, surprising tricks, and car care tips to prolong the life of your automobile. Be patient during the break-in period You’ve bought your dream car and now you want to make it last as long as possible in top condition. Here are some things to remember as you pull it out of the dealer’s lot… Read full post at Reader’s Digest… While most drivers don’t do this, you might save yourself a lot of trouble by taking the time to read the owner’s manual when you first purchase your car. This may reveal things about your car that you need to be extra careful about, or even some tips and tricks that could potentially be life-saving. A recent story about a man that was trapped in his Cadillac for 14 hours certainly makes the case for reading through your owner’s manual. Another good reason why car maintenance should be prioritized by every driver is because it could help you avoid tickets and other run-ins with the law. The following post explores how ignoring your car’s condition could cost you: Ignore These Vehicle Repairs and You May Get Pulled Over Many drivers may feel that they don’t have the time or money to address vehicle repairs immediately, but beware that ignoring some repairs can get you pulled over and even ticketed, says the Car Care Council. “Ignoring certain vehicle repairs may seem to save money in the short term but can lead to extra costs, such as fines or ‘fix-it’ tickets, if these problems are not taken care of when they arise,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.  Read full post at Car Care… Getting on the wrong side of the law is a double cost to drivers. You’ll have to pay for the ticket, and you’ll still have to pay for the repairs, not to mention the inconvenience involved. It’s great to be ardent about car maintenance, but you also need to be well-informed. In their enthusiasm to take good care of their cars, many drivers fall prey to various myths. These can lead them to carry out tasks that are costly and unnecessary, or worse- damaging. The following post highlights some common myths you shouldn’t fall for: 5 Car Maintenance Myths… Read More »How Well Are You Maintaining Your Car?

car financing

Important Advice For Financing Your Next Car Purchase

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Apart from real estate, vehicles make up the most expensive items that most of us buy in our lifetime. However, the biggest difference between the two is that real estate appreciates with time, while vehicles depreciate pretty fast. And because of the general wear and tear of motor vehicles, you will likely buy a lot more cars than houses in your life. The amount of money you will spend on cars is enough reason to educate yourself on how to make each car purchase a smart one. Being deliberate about getting the best deal simply means taking the time to ensure that you get the best value for your money. Speaking of money, how much do you have? The down payment is a good place to start this conversation, and is explored in detail in the following post: How Much Should My Car Down Payment Be You know it’s time to buy a new car. Ol’ Bessie is sputtering at every turn and you’ve been saving up for what feels like a decade. But how do you know if you have enough cash saved up to buy a car? Most folks will say you should make a down payment that’s at least 20% of the vehicle purchase price, but you might be able to get away with a different amount. Learn more about car loan down payments and how to choose the amount that’s best for you. Read full post at My Auto Loan… As highlighted in the above post, most people will need auto financing for their car purchase. Those with enough money to pay cash for a car are the exception. Most people work with the car dealership to access financing for their purchase, but this is not the only option you have. The following post talks about what most car shoppers get wrong: What goes Wrong? Car buyers spend days in finding the car of their choice. After meticulous research, endless discussions and several visits to the dealership, you select the car of your dreams. Then, you begin the car financing process and you select the very first deal offered to you. This is where you go wrong. Read full post at PRLog… Taking the time to do some research online could help you land a better deal on financing from another auto loan provider.  Fortunately, there are many tools online, including multiple loan provider comparisons and calculators, to make your search easy. But even with all these options, how do you get around a poor credit score? After all, this is the most important factor that prospective financiers will consider. The following post offers some advice: Can I get a car loan with a credit score of 500? Yes, you can. In fact, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about because creditors already know that millions of working-class Americans have subprime credit scores. You don’t need to visit a shady creditor who takes advantage of bad credit borrowers by charging ridiculous APRs. Read full post at Complete… Read More »Important Advice For Financing Your Next Car Purchase