Social Whirl

Fun And Social Things To do


June 17, 2014

Hotels And B&Bs: Which Have A Better Atmosphere

 

Planning your holiday can be exciting. It can also be stressful as you arrange transportation and lodging, look up dining spots, and order tickets to various attractions. Let’s start with lodging – which has a better atmosphere, hotels or B&Bs?

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Starting with the rooms, let’s compare hotels and B&Bs. Quite often, hotels have a cold, clinical feel, while the B&B often has a reputation as being frilly and covered with knick-knacks. However, the stereotype of B&Bs is not exactly fair, considering the growing number of these businesses in the UK.

The Bed and Breakfast has come a long way from the over-the-top pseudo-Victorian. Without losing any of the ambiance, B&Bs have become modern and spacious. Land owners who convert their building, manors, and farmhouses to B&Bs are savy about the desires of modern travelers, and now install bathrooms for each room, rather than the hackneyed “bathroom down the hall”.

The rooms themselves are far from the clinical feel of hotels. Antique furnishings are sturdy – or they wouldn’t have become antiques – and they add a warmth and welcome that you seldom find in a hotel room. Antique headboards and footboards are retro-fitted with new, modern mattresses, creating a bedroom that is both comfortable and beautiful.

Location

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The weary traveller is often relieved to find his chain hotel right off the roadway. You can see the sign from a distance, and know exactly where you should go. Hotels located in town are often in the newer parts of development, with valet parking.

However, there are some benefits to hunting out the B&Bs. Those located in the city are usually right in the heart of historic districts. Mature landscaping creates an oasis around private patios that offer views of well-tended rose gardens. The advantage here is that many of the activities that attracted you to the city in the first place are within walking distance. That’s right, these older, modernized houses are often right down the street from some of the most beautiful sights and activities that drew you to the city in the first place.

Accommodation in Somerset or anywhere in the countryside have their own draw, with ready access to hiking, fishing, bird watching, and many other activities. The B&B you choose may be near the beach, where you can step onto the veranda and dig your toes into the sand. This is the best of rural holidays, with few people around.

Service

Did you know that most B&Bs serve lunch? They will often pack a picnic lunch for you to enjoy. This is especially true in the rural settings. They also often have arrangements with restaurants, cafes, and diners in nearby villages to give their guests discounts on dining. In the city B&Bs, you may well be right across the street from some of the best restaurants in the area.

So, on your next holiday, check out some B&Bs. You may discover that the space, ambiance, and convenience easily trumps that of hotels.

June 16, 2014

How To Create The Perfect Social Environment In Your Home

Creating the perfect social environment in your home can be as simple as your choice of furniture and its placement. Here are some great ideas for what type of furniture to get for your home, and how to place it in the room for perfect social interaction.

Space

First of all, assess your space. Do you have a communal room that you want to dedicate to socializing? Typically, rooms on the front of the house are more formal, while rooms at the back of the house are more casual. Around my house, that would be because, by the time a guests walks through all the clutter and dog hair, there are no illusions. Any attempt at formality would be ludicrous.

Of course, you do not have to stay with these traditions. If your largest room is on the front of the house, and you want to use it for the family as well as guests, it is your prerogative. Aside from family clutter, there are ways to maximize the space to make guests feel comfortable.

Furniture Arrangement

That larger room may or may not have room for multiple seating areas. This is a great way to maximize every square inch of space. For instance, most family rooms have a TV prominent for family entertainment and gaming. But, what about that window? There may be space there for a couple of chairs and/or nests of tables. Consider placing a chess board over there, or a jigsaw puzzle. Often, quieter guests will gravitate to such areas. When you provide them with a refuge, they feel more included, and enjoy themselves more.

   

Use the corners of your room wisely. Corners can be wasted space. I’ve always said that I would prefer round rooms, just so there aren’t any corners. This, also, is a great spot for your little table and chairs. Or, consider a corner sofa. This can free up room in the middle for a large ottoman. If you select a large, upholstered ottoman, it can serve several purposes. Use a nice tray for drinks and decorations while the family is using the room. When you have guests, move the tray, and you have extra seating. One of the advantages of this type of seating is that it is open to all areas of the room, so people can converse easily.

Clutter

So, what do you do about the clutter of the family room? I remember going to a friend’s house, and noticing a lovely wicker basket full of children’s toys near the hearth. I thought it looked so nice, like she was welcoming her children to play in the adult areas. Little did I realize that she used the basket rather than a toy box! This simple detail created a grown-up atmosphere in the room, rather than a nursery feel. Throws that the family cuddled under to watch TV matched the furniture.

As you plan your entertainment spaces, consider furniture placement and automatic de-cluttering. Guests will feel more welcomed.

June 04, 2014

Adventurous Social Getaways

Going on holiday is almost a necessity for most people. You get away from it all, and have fun without having to devote any of your attention to bosses or customers. More people than ever are electing to go on holiday with not just their families, but with their friends as well. This is partly due to the fact that so many people elect to marry later. After all, they have to have somebody to go on holiday with, right? Here are some of the top adventurous social getaways for people who travel with friends and family.

Theme Parks

Any list of holiday destinations simply must include theme parks. Disney World is everyone’s world, and in the States, the 6 Flags Resorts are popular. But there are many more theme parks you can visit and have plenty of fun. In the UK, there is Legoland, Alton Towers, Paultons Park, Gulliver’s Land, and many more theme parks for your entertainment. Rides and stage performances, along with food and souvenir vendors, create a stay-all-day venue that can help you escape from the everyday world.

In Europe, some of the same theme parks are popular, such as Legoland and Alton Towers. There is also the Walt Disney Studios Park, Tivoli Gardens, and Parc Asterix, among others.

Beaches

If you would like a holiday somewhere with less mechanics and more nature, you and your friends might consider the beach. Every continent has stunning beaches, so there are getaways for every time of year. Perhaps the best thing about beaches, besides sand and sun, is that so many people are surfing now. It is not just a sport for hippies, yippies, and beach bums. Everyone, from children to grandmas, can get a boogie board and enjoy the waves. There are even classes that teach you how to enjoy surfing at a beginner level.

Hiking

Anyone who enjoys walking for exercise will probably enjoy hiking. It is a little more strenuous, and requires special boots if you want to find purchase on slopes, but hiking can take you and your friends to beautiful places. In the UK alone, there is almost unlimited hiking that takes you to breathtaking cliffs and beaches, and across historic plains and fields.

But, don’t stop with your own back yard. There are hiking and walking trails all over the world. You do not have to be a mountain climber to enjoy some of the most awe inspiring sights in the world. Go to Peru, and follow the Inca Trail. It is a 35 mile hike, and classified as one of the world’s best hikes. It is a 5 day trip up to Machu Picchu – one of the 10 wonders of the world.

Don’t leave out the Great Wall of China. Now, there is an adventure for your group, with 1500 miles stretching out ahead of you. Of course, you don’t have to walk the whole thing, but what a trip!

 

Theres more than just hiking too,  if you’re looking for something slightly more extreme then why not try out some Adventure Activites? I found some great Adventure activities in Devon where you can go Kayaking, Surf rafting, coasteering and much much more. A very exciting adventure, that’s for sure.

So, get with your friends and family, and check out adventurous social getaways. You’ll be glad you did.

June 03, 2014

Social Activities To Keep You Calm

When a person is dealing with stress, he or she usually looks for ways to get away from life and take a break. However, there are actually ways to cope with the demands of life and still be part of a thriving social community. The amazing thing is, when you participate in social calming activities, you find a whole new world of support and strength that you otherwise would have never found.

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Social activities are great for bringing you out of your shell, sometimes you just want to be alone, but social activity can help you. It’s not just about going out and meeting people, it’s a joint activity that will help you stay calm by releasing chemicals into the brain through exercise. You don’t need to go to a weight loss bootcamp, there are activities that will help.

Yoga

Yoga has been a form of exercise and meditation for thousands of years. Over the last several decades, the West has adopted various forms of yoga for those reasons. Yoga as exercise is remarkably strenuous, if you are physically capable of doing so. However, it is also, among exercise regimens, uniquely adaptable to the physical limitations of each individual. The gradual stretching and, later, hyper flexion, creates muscle tone and amps up your metabolism.

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The spiritual aspect of yoga also makes a big difference in people’s lives. The meditation and centering that practitioners use create a more balanced emotional and spiritual life. In addition, you have the benefit of being around people who also exercise their spiritual body as well as their physical one. The camaraderie of those participating in the exercises strengthens all involved as much as the exercises do.

Meditation

It has been referred to as the “Maharishi Effect”, and it happened in 1978. For 3 weeks, over 7000 people joined together in meditation to help their city. It, apparently, worked – in fact, not only did suicide rates and auto accidents decline in their city, they were reported as being reduced all over the world. In addition, there was a huge decrease in terrorist activity while the people were meditating.

In Lebanon, in 1983, when groups participated in meditation assemblies, deaths from acts of war significantly dropped. In Wales four years later, Merseyside was suffering from the third most extreme crime rates of all of the metro areas. After initiating group meditation, the crime rate dropped by 40%.

This is called the “field effect” in physics. Once you get past the technical jargon used to explain field effect, it basically means that groups of people can affect the overall consciousness in their environment through meditation and emanating peace. Several universities are working on this, as a way of reducing violence in schools and prisons, and in any other populations where people are forced to spend a lot of time together.

Hugging

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Yoga, with its spiritual connection, may seem a little “out there” for some people, but they may still be willing to go along with it. Group meditation may seem even stranger, but worth trying if it can create a field effect.

The newest thing, coming from the States, is hugging. The Americans are always pushing the envelope, and now they go beyond psychic energy and have started “cuddle clubs”. Just as it says, groups of people get together to share hugs. Whether this will catch on with Brits is still to be seen.

 

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