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Whether you are traveling to Amsterdam or other destinations in Holland, you will find a good selection of well-appointed, family-friendly hotels to choose from. Some Amsterdam hotels, created from historic homes joined together, offer design elements from original buildings. The Conscious Hotel, also located in Amsterdam, has eco-friendly practices that should appeal to environmentally-aware travelers.Three-star hotels outside Amsterdam have on-site restaurants, and convenient access to area attractions.

Read more: Three-Star Hotels in Holland | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_7717099_threestar-hotels-holland.html#ixzz1PguX8TVU

In Nairobi, East Africa’s vibrant hub city, expect to rub shoulders with business travelers, diplomats, NGO workers and tourists on their way to destinations within Kenya, and to central and northeast Africa. Regardless of your travel purpose, the city offers a variety of hotel accommodations with rates under $100 per night. There is one caveat: Nairobi also teems with conference attendees, so book as early as possible to reserve the room you need at the price you want.Read more: Discount Hotels in Nairobi, Kenya | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_7292958_discount-hotels-nairobi_-kenya.html#ixzz1PgtY7sRx

Barbados vacation villas provide a great alternative to traditional hotel accommodations for family and group travel. When you rent a vacation villa you have the opportunity enjoy a well-appointed home away from home with luxurious extras such as on-site staff, outdoor dining with ocean views and private pools. Whether you will be traveling as a family with children, or with a group of adults, you should plan early to have the best selection of villas to choose from that perfectly suit your vacation needs.

Read more: Barbados Villas to Rent | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_7667284_barbados-villas-rent.html#ixzz1PgsE1f00

With approximately 2,500 miles of coast along the Indian ocean, Mozambique is known for its wealth of unspoiled beaches. Along the Mozambique coastline, you will find some beaches with gentle waters protected by coral reefs and teaming with diverse marine life. Other beaches have ocean waves suitable for surfing and other water sports. The Quirimbus Archipelago, along the Northern coastline, made up of coral islands is part of a national conservation preserve. Read more: Beaches in Mozambique | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_7668095_beaches-mozambique.html#ixzz1PgrZhpKk

In April of 2010, ash from a volcanic eruption in Iceland disrupted travel plans with widespread flight cancellations in European airports. Now a volcano in Eritrea has erupted spewing an ash cloud over the horn of Africa. The eruption began after a series of earthquakes near the Eritrea-Ethiopian border. Although the Eritrean volcano may disrupt fewer flights than the Iceland volcano, affected travelers include U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Secretary Clinton who was nearby Ethiopia for talks, has cut her visit short because of the possibility of flight complications. The Eritrean volcano last erupted almost a hundred and fifty years ago. Elsewhere in the southern hemisphere, ash spewing out of a Chilean volcano since June 4, wafted across the Pacific to Australia and New Zealand. On Tuesday June 14, 2011, more than 60,000 travelers through airports in Adelaide and Melbourne, Australia as well as Tasmania and New Zealand were stranded because of flight cancellations.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/clinton-cutting-short-africa-trip-because-of-volcano-eruption-in-eritrea/2011/06/13/AGsErCTH_story.html

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110614/ap_on_bi_ge/as_australia_volcanic_ash

Only one week remains before the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament kicks off in South Africa. This promises to be the event of the millennium to date. South Africa has been busy preparing for this party with five new stadiums have been constructed in the past two years, and  historic ones refurbished to boot. When I was a child I knew Pele’s name before I knew there was such a thing as the World Cup and then Maradona was the legend of the first World Cup I ever watched. I don’t know which names will go down in history following 2010 Copa, but I do know every African child now will remember this for the rest of their lives so at least two hundred years worth of legend is about to be made.

The list of the event stadiums is as follows:

Soccer City, Johannesburg Capacity: 91,700 | Built: 1989

Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein Capacity: 45,000 | Built: 1952

Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town Capacity: 68,000 | Built: 2009

Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban Capacity: 70,000 | Built: 2009

Ellis Park, Johannesburg Capacity: 62,567 | Built: 1928 (rebuilt 1982)

Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit Capacity: 46,000 | Built: 2009

Peter Mokab Stadium, Polokwane Capacity: 46,000 | Built: 2010

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth Capacity: 48,000 | Built: 2009

Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria Capacity: 50,000 | Built: 1906 (renovated 2009)

Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg Capacity: 42,000 | Built: 1999

The way this is going to play out is those of us who are not in South Africa now, will want to be there by the time July is over. So click here to read about the host cities in preparation for your inevitable journey to South Africa.

TBTG is on hiatus while I prepare for my grad school exit exam and finish up my final paper. For this reason I’ve had to cancel a trip Puerto Rico but am looking forward to seeing the Dominican Republic later in the year. I’ll be back to catch the end of the summer 2010 travel season. Till then, happy travels and be safe.

From CNN International:

(CNN) — Authorities in Jamaica declared a state of emergency in Kingston on Sunday night after gang members blockaded a large swath of the capital city and attacked at least two police stations.

The declaration follows the United States issuing on Friday a travel alert for its citizens concerning the Caribbean nation. The U.S. cited unconfirmed reports of criminal gang members amassing in Kingston and the mobilization of Jamaican defense forces.

“The possibility exists for violence and/or civil unrest in the greater Kingston metropolitan area,” the alert said.

More Details here: http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/05/23/jamaica/index.html?eref=edition&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=cnni

Most American tourists are likely to be headed to all inclusive resorts outside of the Kingston area however transit between the airport and the resorts may involve crossing through potential conflict zones so that’s something to think about. The world is a complicated place. On one hand as a traveler you don’t want to cancel a trip over situations that are magnified through mass media. On the other hand I know I wouldn’t be able to relax on the pool deck and sip rum drinks in the middle of a raging class warfare especially when I don’t know enough about the position points of each side. This is where a little research is necessary. The Jamaica Observer has several stories that provide insight into the present situation and which indicate that the unrest involved ” co-ordinated strikes on four police stations in West Kingston by criminal gunmen“. This doesn’t sound like it necessarily affects the average tourist, however tourists should exercise normal precautions and probably should not be wandering about this area alone or at night.  As always before traveling, be sure to check up on the conditions you can expect at your destination. Read the State Department website for travel advisories and be sure look up local news and weather reports on the internet. Whatever your travel destination, have a safe travel week.

More sources for updates on the Jamaica situation:

http://www.caribbeanworldnews.com/middle_top_news_detail.php?mid=3530

http://www.caribbean360.com/

Janet Jackson

Click here for a few more shots of Ms Jackson.

a) She looks fab.

b) Why do the Jacksons look so much alike? I know people say my family looks alike but with the Jacksons the resemblances are uncanny.

c) If you’re gonna be in London, being there with an ultra chic short crop is the only way to go. (Can you tell that I’m trying to talk myself into something?)

d) I feel a post about things to do in London coming on. This will be about all the things I’ve been wanting to do in London for most of my life because I haven’t been there since I was 5 or 6 years old.

e) Here’s hoping she does like Solange and keeps it – at least for a while. It’s about time the trends started to turn in favor of short hair.

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