Selamat Hari Natal สุขสันต์วันคริสต์มาส Merry Christmas!
¡Feliz Navidad! めりーくりすます
C рождеством! عيد ميلاد مجيد Joyeux Noël
メリークリスマス Buon Natale
Join VLLC to celebrate Christmas around the world!
Selamat Hari Natal สุขสันต์วันคริสต์มาส Merry Christmas!
¡Feliz Navidad! めりーくりすます
C рождеством! عيد ميلاد مجيد Joyeux Noël
メリークリスマス Buon Natale
Eggnog really makes you wonder:
How did humans first think chugging a spiced and spiked egg-yolk-and-milk mixture was a good idea? It’s a bit like Gaston from Beauty and the Beast: “Now that I’m grown, I eat five dozen eggs, so I’m roughly the size of a barge!” Yet despite its “love it or hate it” fame, eggnog has charmed drinkers for nearly a millennium. While culinary historians debate its exact lineage, most agree eggnog originated from the early medieval Britain “posset,” a hot, milky, ale-like drink. By the 13thcentury, monks were known to drink a posset with eggs and figs. Milk, eggs, and sherry were foods of the wealthy, so eggnog was often used in toasts to prosperity and good health.
Eggnog became tied to the holidays when the drink hopped the pond in the 1700s.
American colonies were full of farms—and chickens and cows—and cheaper rum, a soon-signature ingredient. Mexico adopted the very eggnog varietal “rompope,” and Puerto Rico enjoys the “coquito,” which adds coconut milk. The English name’s etymology however remains a mystery. Some say “nog” comes from “noggin,” meaning a wooden cup, or “grog,” a strong beer. By the late 18th century, the combined term “eggnog” stuck.
Eggnog purists argue that those who don’t like the Yuletide drink have simply never tasted the real thing. Sugar-laced supermarket versions can’t hold a candle to the homemade goodness, especially since the US Food and Drug Administration permits that the drink can be made from as little as 1% egg yolk. That often borders on “milknog” or egg flavoring.
George Washington even penned his own famous heavy-on-the-alcohol eggnog recipe. Only one problem: he forgot to record the exact number of eggs.
Here's a very old recipe of Egg Nog that can be consumed responsibly!
3.5 cups of cream
3.5 cups of milk, 1 cup of sugar, one pint brandy, 1/2 pint rye whiskey, 1/2 pint Jamaica rum, 1/4 pint sherry—mix liquor first, then separate yolks and whites of eggs, add sugar to beaten yolks, mix well. Add milk and cream, slowly beating. Beat whites of eggs until stiff and fold slowly into mixture. Let set in cool place for several days. Taste frequently.
So as you enjoy your holiday cheer, please drink responsibly. Not just for the alcohol, but also for the calories: eggnog can pack in upwards of 400 big ones per cup.
Can you imagine what it would be like if you were unable to have Christmas if you could not speak ‘Christmasese’? If Christmas had a language all of its own, would you take the time to learn it? What would it be like if you saw people loving Christmas and enjoying it because they spoke ‘Christmasese’ and you couldn’t? It would not quite be the same, and imagine if Christmas didn’t come to you but you had to go to it?
As we all know there are some words that are associated only with Christmas, and some things that worldwide are part and parcel of Christmas. In the many and varied traditions, these words would somehow form a part of ‘Christmasese’ and you would have to learn them. These words might include:
Mistletoe – a small twig like plant that people kiss under
Presents – gifts given to people (or pets) wrapped up in shiny paper
Christ - The birth of the Lord Jesus Christ is the reason for celebrating Christmas
Holly – a dark green bush with sharp pointed leaves and red berries often used for decorations
Mince Pie – a sweet pie eaten at Christmas
Tinsel - strings of shiny, glittering tassels that are used as decoration
Carols – songs sung to celebrate the season
Turkey – a large bird, killed and cooked for lunch – normally very dry
For anyone coming to visit the land of Christmas, these simple words would be very helpful. Phrases like “Merry Christmas” and even ‘Happy New Year” would be frequently heard, or a ‘Christmasese’ translation at least. A large, portly gentleman would be seen wearing red, and cheerfully shouting, “Ho Ho Ho” and calling out these strange words: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen, and unmistakably Rudolph, but of course, we all know they are the names of his reindeer and you only ever hear them spoken about at this time of year, but if you couldn’t speak ‘Christmasese’ you would not have a clue!
Christmas would not be Christmas is if you had no idea what was going on, and if people spoke in a language you didn’t understand, you would feel like an outsider. The meaning of Christmas might just get a little lost, but thankfully, one does not have to learn a language to enjoy Christmas. Christmas is a universal language, understood by everyone, and whether Christmas is celebrated in Spain, China, Vietnam or Poland, while traditions may change, the language that is quintessentially Christmas doesn’t.
The language of Christmas is a language of love, happiness and hope, it can be translated into any spoken language you choose, but the feeling, the sentiment, and the meaning is the same wherever you find yourself. Christmas is a time where one language is spoken. The barriers of language that we know exist, can fall away when a welcoming smile, a handshake and a hug speak more than words themselves, as Christmas comes from the heart and is easily shared.
Celebrate Christmas this year, and as you do, think of your loved ones, and then think of people all over the world who are celebrating the same but saying any one of the following…
عيد ميلاد مجيد Joyeux Noël!, Frohe Weihnachten!, 圣诞快乐, Καλά Χριστούγεννα!, メリークリスマス, ¡Feliz Navidad!, Selamat Hari Natal!, สุขสันต์วันคริสต์มาส, C рождеством! and Buon Natale!
You don’t have to go and visit 'Christmas' and no matter what language you speak, the sentiment is the same, and we wish you a Merry Christmas.
“Merry Christmas” from VLLC
In the last three or four decades, the world has shrunk. As aircraft have improved, so travel has become easier and then with the introduction of low cost or budget airlines, so the cost of air travel has dropped. Furthermore, thanks to the internet travel has become easier, new destinations are easier to suss out, and ways to book experiences have just become simpler at the click of a button.
So where are the Top destinations for travel experiences? It could be said that everyone has their own idea of a great place to travel and explore and this is true. So, to get to the bottom of the Top destinations for travel experiences who better to look at than TripAdvisor. With TripAdvisor places and experiences are ranked and rated by real people thus the destinations that make their top places lists should be pretty good and interesting.
Here are the top 5 destinations for travel experiences:
Costa Rica ranks at the top of the current list and with its La Fortuna de Sam Carlos region offering unusual experiences such as Volcano Hikes and Sloth Seeing it is no surprise why. For the more adventurous traveller, Costa Rica has so much to offer. But imagine just how much more of this fascinating country you could explore if you spoke Spanish?
When it comes to the top US travel experiences, it will come as no surprise that Hawaii sneaks in at the top. To be precise Kauai is the top destination. The all year-round good weather certainly plays a part in this part of the world getting such a high ranking. Of course, there are some bucket items in the region such as surfing and yet again exploring some volcanoes. Thankfully, English is the spoken language in Kauai, so no further languages are needed unless you do not speak English.
The Nordic region is always a top destination for all travellers. Norway may lack the sunshine of Costa Rica and Hawaii, but it makes up for it some other interesting things. Tromso is the top destination in Norway according to Trip Advisor and having a grasp of Norwegian may well come in handy. Tromso tops the list because of experiences such as feeding reindeer and of course the amazing night-time views of the Aurora Borealis.
New Zealand used to be far off the beaten track in terms of distance but today is an easily accessible country. Rotorua in New Zealand has come top of the charts for great places to visit because, again, is has some awesome experiences. With white water rafting and jet boat rides through the Tatukua Gorge it is very much a place for those who like a bit of adrenaline flowing through their veins.
At number five on this list of Top destinations for travel experiences is Puerto Vallarta in Mexico. Mexico is another country that will open up dramatically if you speak Spanish but even if you don’t Puerto Vallarta has plenty of enjoyment for everyone. From an ATV adventure in the Sierra Madre to Tequila tasting after a zip-lining day out you are pretty much covered when it comes to having fun.
But these are not the only places you can visit. The world today is your oyster, and if you want to take home a few pearls, learning a language opens things up beyond your wildest expectations.
Have you ever wondered what a new city would be like or how a new country would make you feel? What about constantly dreaming of taking vacations to tropical islands? If so, I’m happy to tell you that wanderlust fever has come upon you. Below I have listed five ways you can recognize that you have wanderlust fever. Don’t be fooled, there is no antibiotic that will cure this sickness. The only cure for it is to go out and explore the world. Travel as much as you can.
1. You daydream about a destination
The first sign of wanderlust fever is constantly daydreaming about a place you’ve always wanted to visit. You go through each day and you can’t get this trip or place out of your head. No matter how busy you are during your day, you still have time to sit and daydream about that place you want to visit. Most of us have many places that we want to see. Some are big trips and some are short weekend trips. Start curing this sickness by checking these places off your list. Take the small trips first if it isn’t a convenient time to take the bigger trips. Taking the small trips will keep you satisfied until you can go on the bigger trips. Not going on any trips can affect your life in a very negative way. Don’t let it get to that point. Book a trip now.
2. You look at pictures of beautiful places
Another sign of wanderlust fever is looking at pictures of these destinations daily. It is one thing to daydream about your destinations but now you are looking at pictures of the places you want to visit every single day. I believe that looking at pictures of what you want can inspire you to eventually take that trip but it is important to actually go on the trip instead of just dreaming about it. I found that when I got to this point, it was time to book the trip. After going on this adventure, you get to come back and look through pictures again, except this time they are pictures that you are in, not just somewhere online.
3. You hear the ocean in a seashell
I’m sure everyone has heard the old saying, “If you put your ear up to the seashell you can hear the ocean.” Some people hear it and some people don’t. After some deep thinking, I realized that I could hear the ocean in the seashell because that’s what I wanted to hear and that’s where my mind was when listening into the seashell. If you hear the sound of the ocean in the seashell, that means you are seeing signs of wanderlust fever and that you need to take a trip to a beautiful beach as soon as possible.
4. You get anxious to take a trip
Getting anxious to take a trip is a very obvious sign it’s time to go somewhere. When I say you get anxious to take a trip, I don’t mean the nervousness of going somewhere you’ve never been before, I mean the eagerness of finally taking a trip and going somewhere. I find that when I don’t take a trip in a few months, I start to get anxious about getting stuck in the same scene and same routine. To avoid this feeling, take some of those smaller trips every couple of months. This allows you to keep your happiness at a high level without feeling like you will never get to see the places you want to see.
5. You constantly check for deals
Constantly checking online for deals on hotels, airline tickets, and entertainment on specific destinations is a very clear sign that you have wanderlust fever and you are well on your way to curing the sickness. If you find yourself searching for good deals weekly, even daily, that means it is time to book your trip and get your satisfaction of traveling and visiting the place that is always on your mind. Everybody wants to save as much money as possible on trips but you can constantly search for good deals for a very long time and still not find the deal you are looking for. Which puts you off from booking the trip. Don’t spend too much time looking for the right deal - if you find one that is close, book it.
Traveling and seeing the places you’ve always dreamed of can give you an incredible feeling. Being able to see the places you’ve always imagined can enhance your happiness and help you enjoy your life that much more. So if you have caught the wanderlust fever, there is no better time to book a trip than right now. Go for it. Your happiness depends on it.
What signs do you get when you catch wanderlust fever?
Spain is a popular tourist destination and if a person hasn’t visited, he or she probably wants to. Apart from some flamenco and some lounging on the beach, Spain has many attractions, but there are some that can only be done in Spain. Here are 7, with one special one at the end.
Travel on a Zip Line to Portugal: Limite Zero takes one minute to travel from the Andalucía village of Sanlúcar de Guadiana and over the border to Alcoutim in Portugal. This is the only international zip line in the world and is the only zip line that takes you forward by an hour due to the time difference between Spain and Portugal.
Eat a Gazpacho at McDonald’s: This is a fun thing that can only be done in Spain. Gazpacho is very popular in Spain and while many tourists are looking for slightly different dining experiences to McDonald’s, this is worth a try. Spain is the only country in the world that has Gazpacho on the McDonald’s menu. Come on, it is worth a try, at least for a selfie!
Eat in the world’s oldest restaurant: This is a step up from McDonalds and Madrid in Spain is the only place in the world this can be done. Sobrino de Botin in Madrid is around 300 years old and holds the world record for the oldest restaurant in the world. If you visit, you really must try the oven baked lamb… it is legendary!
Visit the Tomb of Christopher Columbus: Christopher Columbus is well known by many people. Without out him much of the world we know today may not actually have been found. It is a tough thing to consider. Maybe it is worthwhile saying a word of thanks by visiting his impressive tomb. Recent DNA tests prove that the Cathedral of Seville does really house the remains of Christopher Columbus. The tomb is ok but the Cathedral is magnificent
Near Death Experience: No, you don’t have to come close to death but you can attend the festival of the near death experience or La Fiesta de Santa Marta de Ribarteme that takes place every year in Las Nieves, Galicia. During this bizarre event people pretend to be dead and are carried through the streets in coffins.
World’s biggest nightclub: For those wanting something a little less macabre a visit to the island of Ibiza will get your heart racing. Here the world’s largest nightclub called Privilege has space for over 10,000 people to party the night away.
Tapas: Perhaps the best thing about Spain, and final thing you can only do in Spain is to enjoy real Tapas. This gastronomic part of Spanish life will come to life when you can converse with the locals in their mother tongue.
Spain has so much to offer tourists of all ages. However, these and many other hidden gems can be found in the country, famous for its rich history and culture, by speaking Spanish. Language opens up more doors than many could imagine, takes tourists down a road less travelled. To really experience Spain, find places that perhaps no one else has before; speaking Spanish will make a difference.
Because of its importance as a defining aspect of Mexican culture and the unique aspects of the celebrations which have been passed down through generations, Mexico's indigenous festivity dedicated to the dead was recognised by UNESCO as part of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity in 2008. It is an interesting festival,
Although it is a holiday from far away in southern Mexico, it's a holiday one can personalise and integrate into their own religious and cultural beliefs. It is more of a cultural holiday than a religious one. It is a wonderful way to celebrate the memories of loved ones who are now gone... through art, cooking, music, doing activities with your children, recounting family stories, fun times and lessons learned... Not how the person died, but how they lived.
Spain is a country with a plethora of diversities. Historic cities, art and cultural history, changeable landscapes, wildlife, full bodied wines and food to die for. Wherever you are there is always a lot to see, eat and drink!!!!
Here are some of our picks of 5 great places to visit in Spain:
Guggenheim in Bilbao
The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao is a museum of modern and contemporary art and was designed by Frank Gehry in 1997. It has been hailed as the most important structure of its time and is said to have changed the way people think about museums and continues to challenge people's assumptions about the connections between art, architecture and collecting.
Madrid is the financial and cultural hub for Spain and much of Southern Europe. Due to the length of time this area has been inhabited, there are plenty of historical sites to explore. Madrid is a huge city with an excellent array of bars, restaurants, clubs and entertainment. If you are a sports fan you can visit the Bernabéu stadium, which is the home of Real Madrid. For art lovers there is the Prado and Reina Sofia museums which house works from Goya, Velasquez, Picasso and Rubens.
This destination will provide you with a true Spanish experience of the Costa Blanca which was originally a fishing town but has a fabulous town centre steeped in history with its blue domes 18th century church and picturesque alley ways. Enjoy the fantastic view which you can see if you are able to climb into the surrounding Cafali hills. There is something for everyone, including magnificent rocky coves to be explored by scuba enthusiasts. Restaurants include feasts of local seafood and you can complete your evening with a walk along the Benidorm promenade.
I have been to Germany a few times and really love the atmosphere of the whole country - although I have to admit I have only been there in summer months and haven’t experienced the cold of winter. One of my favourite places is a little town called Baden Baden. We were driving to Italy through Germany and decided to stop overnight in this spa town. It is located in the state of Baden-Württemberg in south-western Germany.
It is situated in beautiful countryside on the fringes of the Black Forest – a fantastic setting. This town is renowned for the hot springs that well up from a depth of 2,000 metres, supplying the town's twelve thermal spas. The water, which reaches temperatures of up to 68°C, is used to treat a wide range of conditions so it is a popular health and wellness town - but I just enjoyed sitting in the pools and relaxing..
There is something undeniably beautiful in the way Germany's scenery unfolds. From sea scaped coasts of the north, the romantic forests and rivers and vineyards of the centre, and the amazing Alps. All of these spaces create wonderful possibilities for travel experiences. Here are our top 5 travel destinations and attractions in Germany:
Travelling is an exciting opportunity which can be enhanced by learning the language before you go. This blog contains some interesting articles about language and travel.