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Headlights on?

Illinois law states that motorists must use their headlights from sunset to sunrise and when rain, snow, fog, or poor weather conditions require the use of windshield wipers. Headlights are legally required when objects 1,000 feet away from your vehicle are not visible. Your lights must be dimmed 500 feet before meeting an oncoming vehicle, or 300 feet before you plan to pass another vehicle.

 
 
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Traveling for the Holidays? Be Prepared
Many people choose to travel during the holidays by automobile, with the highest fatality rate of any major form of transportation. In 2013, 343 people died on New Year's Day, 360 on Thanksgiving Day and 88 on Christmas Day, according to Injury Facts 2015. Alcohol-impaired fatalities represented 31% of the totals.


Remember, when guests are staying in your home, make sure areas have night lights or easy-to-reach lamps in case they need to get up during the night. And, whether you are visiting someone else's home or you have guests in your home, make sure all medications are kept up and away and out of sight from young children.




 
 
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Things to Do:

Within the mountains of Peru lies a wealth of ancient Inca temples, Spanish colonial towns, and breathtaking Andean vistas. Discover the magnificent capital of Cusco, hike to ruins in the Urubamba Valley, meet artisans and archaeologists, and examine pre-Colombian treasures at the renowned Larco Herrera Museum. Then spend the night among the enchanting ruins of Machu Picchu, excavated by Hiram Bingham with funding from National Geographic more than a century ago. 

For many travelers to Peru, a visit to the lost Incan city of Machu Picchu is the whole purpose of their trip. With its awe-inspiring location, it is the best-known and most spectacular archaeological site on the continent. Despite being swamped by tourists from June to September, it still retains an air of grandeur and mystery. Alejandro Toledo, the country's first indigenous Andean president, impressively staged his inauguration here in 2001.

Apart from a few indigenous Quechuas, nobody knew of Machu Picchu's existence until American historian Hiram Bingham stumbled upon it in 1911. When Bingham returned in 1912 and 1915, he also discovered some of the ruins on the so-called Inca Trail.

Knowledge of Machu Picchu remains sketchy. Over 50 burial sites and 100 skeletal remains have been discovered during excavations. Some believe it was founded in the waning years of the last Incas in an attempt to preserve Incan culture, while others think it may have already become a forgotten city at the time of the conquest. A more recent theory suggests that the site was a royal retreat abandoned at the time of the Spanish invasion.

What is obvious from the high quality of the stonework and the abundance of ornamental work is that Machu Picchu must once have been an important ceremonial center.

Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/peru/cuzco/sights/historic/machu-picchu#ixzz3YjzFAGOL

 
 
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Did you know?

Istanbul is a city in Turkey that straddles Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait. One part of Istanbul lies in Europe and the other part lies in Asia. Istanbul’s European part is separated from its Asian part by the Bosphorus strait, a 31-km-long waterway that connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara, and forms a natural boundary between the two continents. Two suspension bridges across the Bosporus - the Bosporus Bridge and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, also called Bosporus Bridge II, connect the two sides, yet many tourist prefer to visit the European side of Istanbul because of its historical significance. The European side is also the city’s commercial center with banks, stores and corporations and two-third of its population. The Asian side feels more relaxed, with wide boulevards, residential neighborhoods and fewer hotels and tourist attractions. The Old City reflects cultural influences of the many empires that once ruled here. In the Sultanahmet district, the open-air, Roman-era Hippodrome was for centuries the site of chariot races, and Egyptian obelisks remain. The iconic Byzantine Hagia Sophia features a soaring dome and Christian mosaics.

Approximately 12.56 million foreign visitors arrived in Istanbul in 2015, five years after it was named a European Capital of Culture, making the city the world's fifth most popular tourist destination. Present-day Istanbul is a flourishing city, with a constantly growing skyline which is one of the most prominent in all of Europe and Western Asia.  New developments are constantly being implemented including new metro lines, residential buildings and underground transportation projects such as the Marmaray Tunnel which is the deepest underground tunnel in the world.

Turkish Culture and Food

It is said that three major kinds of cuisine exist in the world; Turkish, Chinese, and French. Fully justifying its reputation, Turkish Cuisine is always a pleasant surprise for the visitor.

Kebabs are dishes of plain or marinated meat either stewed or grilled. Almost every district of Antolia has its own kebap specialty. Lamb is the basic meat of Turkish kitchen. Pieces of lamb threaded on a skewer and grilled over charcoal form the famous Sis Kebab, now known in many countries of the world. 

Soups are coming in a wide variety. These may be light, or rich and substantial. They are generally based on meat stock and served at the start of the meal. Lentil soup is the most common and best loved variety, but there are other preferred soups such as yayla , tarhana, asiran and guli soups.

A delicious Turkish specialty is known as pilav, which is a rice dish which is difficult for the inexperienced cook to prepare. In the Black sea region of Turkey they make a great dish with rice and small fish called hamsili piliav.  Another interesting dish from the same region is known as Miroloto.

If you like alcohol you can try Raki made of anise, it is called the "lions drink" because you must be strong as a lion to drink it.

 
 
The Benefits of Gardens:
It seems as though in the past few years gardening and backyard farms have become more and more popular throughout the United States. With spring quickly approaching in the northern hemisphere, many homeowners throughout the U.S. will take to the outdoors with the intention of sprucing up winter-wrecked yards. While many homeowners will concentrate on their yard, many others will focus on their backyard gardens. Traditionally, a garden is assumed to be a place to grow fruits and vegetables, but gardens can take on a many different looks and styles. Whether mainly for food, or for the beauty and aroma only flowers can produce, home gardens have a number of benefits for homeowners, and should you consider giving your yard a revamp this spring, consider adding a garden or a small garden area to your outdoor space.


Benefits of Home Gardens:
Gardens, whether for the joy of flowers or for fruits and vegetables, come in a number of shapes and sizes. While providing a great sensory experience and a way to reconnect to the natural world around us, gardens also help to keep the body limber and improve overall mood. A study done in the Netherlands suggests that the relaxing nature of gardening can help fight stress, and a study in Norway found that people who suffered from depression and other mood disorders showed measurable improvements in their symptoms after three months of gardening (where six hours per week were spent in the garden). If you're not interested in the potential health benefits of gardening, adding plants and flowers to your yard is a great way of updating a meager outdoor space and makes a backyard more enticing to potential buyers from additional textures, scents and organization. Also, adding touches of color by way of plants and flowers is an excellent way of improving curb appeal should you consider putting your home on the market in the coming months.

Community Gardens:

Don't have time for an outdoor garden, or are you lacking a space large enough for a garden? There are a number of alternatives to bring the joy of gardening into your home or life. A very popular option that has popped up around the U.S. is community gardens. Located throughout communities from the east to the west, community gardens have helped provide a place of retreat from urban areas plagued by noise, or for those individuals who want a relaxing place to go to when they have free time. Community gardens provide a number of benefits, from a place for recreation and exercise, to providing health benefits by easing stress and helping to improve overall mood. Studies have also shown that those who participate in a community garden generally eat healthier, more nutrient dense diets, and a community garden helps to create and foster relationships throughout a community.

Container Gardens:
Another option for those who don't have a yard or outdoor area large enough for a traditional garden is a container garden. Another trend gaining popularity throughout the U.S., container gardens allow homeowners to have small gardens in tight spaces. Plants (which can be anything from traditional flowers and shrubs to fruits, vegetables and herbs) are placed in containers, usually one plant per container, and allow the gardener the ability to choose specific plants for their needs and wants. Only interested in succulents, or just interested in plants that require little water and maintenance? A container garden is a great option. Container gardens can range from small to robust, and they provide an excellent alternative to a traditional garden. Other popular options for 'alternative' gardens are hanging gardens and indoor gardens. These gardens can be fully indoors and very much take on a container garden feel. Container gardens can also help add pops of color to porches and patios, and they are a great way of adding appeal to drab areas for potential home viewings.

Backyard Farm:
Do you feel particularly adventurous when it comes to adding a garden or outdoor feature? If you have the time, resources and space, consider a backyard farm. Chickens have become a popular backyard feature throughout the U.S., in both urban and rural communities. Chickens can provide a number of benefits to a yard or outdoor area: they act as natural pest control; they produce eggs; they will eat table scraps as well as weeds and garden clippings, and chicken manure is also considered one of the best fertilizers for gardens due to its high nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous content. While not for every homeowner, backyard chickens can be fun for every member of a household.
 
 
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Did You Know? 

Uruguay
is a country in South America. It has a South Atlantic Ocean coastline and lies between Argentina to the west and Brazil to the North. It is the second-smallest country in South America.

What about those Beaches on the South Atlantic Ocean?

Punta Del Diablo is a small seaside village in the Department of Rocha and is perched on a gentle rise overlooking the ocean and centered around a square of brightly colored buildings, including houses, gift shops, several restaurants, bars, and grocery stores that line sandy lanes. Tourists can rent homes and cabanas or stay in hostels and small hotels. Most of the hotels and hostels are open only during the high season; however, some like El Diablo Tranquilo are open year-round to accommodate the increasing number of visitors to the seaside village. In response several restaurants including fine-dining options are also open off-season. The high season for tourism runs from December through February, as well as through Easter week. During high season, the population of the small fishing and artisan village of approximately 400 people, grows to approximately 25,000.

Pocitos Beach located in Montevideo known for  is white sand stretching beneath a long strip of high-rises, this beach features a youthful, urban feel. It attracts some of the largest crowds of any of the city's beaches during the summertime. Restaurants and ice cream parlors abound along Avenida Brasil, as do bikers, joggers and beach-sports enthusiasts. It is easier to join a beach football or volleyball game at Pocitos than at any other of Montevideo's beaches. 

Buceo Beach is among Montevideo's most picturesque, with calm waters and a pleasant marina lined small boats and yachts. Its tranquility makes it an option for families, while sports activities are common both on the sand and on the water.  Buceo is known for its windsurfers. Adjacent to the beach is a bar and the must see Montevideo's Oceanographic Museum.

Malvin Beach is set on a large, calm bay to the east of Buceo, its sands growing wider as they stretch farther away from the city center, eventually connecting with Honda Beach, another attractive beach farther to the east. Malvin is relatively calm and quiet, with less activity than other Montevideo beaches, although it too has a share of restaurants and bars, as well as the picturesque views to the west back toward the city.

 
 
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Namibia, is a country that is located in southwest Africa, and is distinguished by the Namib desert along the Atlantic Ocean coast. The country is home to very diverse wildlife, including a significant cheetah population. The capital, Windhoek, and coastal town Swakopmund contain German colonial-era buildings such as Windhoek's Christuskirche, built in 1907. In the north, Etosha National Park’s sprawling salt pan draws game to include rhinos and giraffes.
Please Note: The park is malaria free.

Namibia is a paradise for photographers, a land of contrasts and clear colors. Those who are looking for peace and stillness and enjoy mesmerizing landscapes and wide desert expanse, are going to fall in love with Namibia, one of the least populated countries in the world. Namibia is Africa at its best, with friendly, natural people, with endless savannah and bushland and an amazingly diverse animal world, protected in the vast Etosha National Park and in many other game reserves.  Namibia is an adventure, but one doesn't need to be an adventurer to experience this country. A well maintained road network, comfortable hotels, and many guest-farms, and luxurious games lodges make travelling a pleasure. The areas with thicker vegetation are home to elephant (some of the largest in Africa due to the vitamins and nutrients found in the ground), the endangered black rhino and even leopard. Lions are camouflaged in the pale- golden colour of the grasslands, while giraffes rise- high above most of the dry vegetation. Birders will love the rainy season in Etosha. After good rains the salt pan fills with water attracting a cloud of flamingos. More than 340 bird species have been counted in Etosha National Park. Among the migratory species, the European bee-eater is possibly the most popular sighting. The game reserve is also home to the world’s largest bird, the ostrich, and the heaviest flying bird, the kori bustard.

Some Cheetah Facts

The cheetah is the world’s fastest land animal. They can run 70 mph (or 110 kph), which is as fast as cars drive on the highway. The cheetah can reach its top speed in just 3 seconds!

The cheetah has a long, muscular tail that has a flat shape. The tail almost functions like a rudder on a boat because they use it to help control their steering and keep their balance when running very fast.

The cheetah has “semi non-retractable” claws (almost like dog claws) that work like the cleats on a football shoe to give the cheetah a lot of traction when running. The pads of most cats’ paws are soft, but the cheetah’s pads are hard kind of like the rubber on a tire. This also helps them grip the ground when they are running so fast.

The cheetah’s fur is covered in solid black spots, and so is their skin! The black fur actually grows out of the black spots on their skin.

There are less than 10,000 cheetahs left in the wild, making the cheetah Africa’s most endangered big cat.


 
 
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Looking for a cool place to go?

If You decide to visit Copenhagen you will for sure find a wide range of entertainment, culture and shopping. You can enjoy a continental atmosphere and visit the classic destinations such as Tivoli Gardens amusement park and the Copenhagen Zoo. The city is historic and at the same time very youthful and innovative. Many visitors come here to enjoy the great food. There are plenty of well-known gourmet restaurants, many nightlife spots with beer gardens and of course the traditional Danish open-faced sandwiches.

Denmark is home to the world's oldest monarchy and the royal capital is home to a number of beautiful castles. The Amalienborg Palace serves as the royal couple's home in winter, while during the warmer part of the year they spend their time in the Summer Palace Marselisborg or else in the Queen's summer residence Gråsten Palace. Copenhagen is also is home to the beautiful castles of Christiansborg and Rosenborg.

Copenhagen has an open coast both the south and east sides and therefore it is often windy. The city has typical coastal climate with cold winters and hot summers. The warmest time of the year is usually in July and August and then a hotel with air conditioning is preferable. During the winter it is colder, but not always below freezing. Snow can occur but seldom stays on the ground for all that long.

Do you enjoy fine art and tours?

Also in Copenhagen you will find a considerable collection of fine art galleries and museums, among them are the city's Museum of Art, Thorvaldsens Museum, and The Hirschsprungske Collection. Charlotte's art gallery is one of Europe's largest exhibition halls for contemporary art. A couple miles south of the city lies the Arken Museum of Modern Art, which often shows interesting exhibits. In Humlebaek, just north of the city, there is the world famous art museum Louisiana (Louisiana Museum of Modern Art).

Many people start their visit with a guided tour or city tour. There are both publicly organized and smaller, private tours with special themes available. Some examples are beer tasting, food and culture. There are also guided historical tours of the city. You can include visits to the curiosities about Hans Christian Andersen and the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, which is representative of the time period is known as the Danish Golden Age.

A convenient way to experience the city is to use the hop-on hop-off buses. When you decide for yourself where and when you want to go on and off. Additionally, you can choose how long you want to stay in each place. For those who want more excitement it is possible to go on a private cruise or boat trip. Then you can experience the sights from the water and experience a great panoramic view of this beautiful city.


 
 
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