The Outdoors Blog

Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo | Voyages Along the California Coast

February 24, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Sailing under the flag of Portugal, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo is the man credited with the exploration of most of the western coast of North America. He is the first recorded European to land in what is present day California, and by many accounts discovered the area we know as San Diego.

He was sailing under Hernan Cortez in New Spain, which we would know as Mexico today, and he was part of an expedition seeking gold. Cabrillo’s history is full of turmoil, benefitting greatly from slave labor as he moved from land to land. He was considered a self-made man, but history exposes the bloodshed surrounding him. Lucrative contracts, paved in slave labor and brutal crackdowns, financed his newest expeditions.

Not all of his expeditions involved such brutality, and his exploration of the California coast showed his diplomatic side. Befriending natives gave him valuable intelligence on which tribes were positioned along the coasts, who would be friendly, and where he could find uninhabited land like Anacapa Island.

He also discovered Xexo, which is today’s Santa Barbara County. It was ruled by an old woman who led her tribe to war against the Xucu who occupied Ventura County. Although they found Point Reyes, they missed the entrance to the San Francisco Bay. He’d established extensive trade routes by that point and looked to make landfall for supplies and repairs.

He was attacked by natives, and is said to have cut his shin on jagged rock while trying to make landfall and fight them. He died January 3rd, 1543 of a gangrene infection.

James Provence is an avid reader and blogger of history. Retired Archbishop James Provence currently resides in Vacaville.

How to Find the Cheapest Car Rental Deals

January 30, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Use the same strategy that you would with booking a flight to obtain the most reasonable car rental prices.

Written by: Monte Carlo Rent A Car, LLC

Nothing beats travelling to a new country and exploring the sights and sounds. The freedom of exploration does however come at a cost. One of these costs comes at the hands of finding a rental car to travel around in.

Sure, you can opt for public transportation. But, many families prefer a rental car over a taxi or a bus for convenience purposes. And, if you’re searching for a short term car rental in Abu Dhabi for example, you’ll want to ensure that you’re getting a good deal versus being overcharged.

Always Book in Advance

Once you’ve booked your flight and handled all the accommodations, the next thing you’re going to have to do is find a reasonable rental car deal. It’s important that you always book your rental car in advance. Doing this will almost always get you a better deal than at the actual location itself. And, it’s much easier and quicker. A cheap car rental in Abu Dhabi that is booked in advance will save you a significant amount of money than doing it on the day of your vacation. You don’t want to have to deal with negotiations and price comparisons the day that you land. Also, be sure that you carry all the necessary documents with you to avoid any difficulties or hassles.

Prices Will Fluctuate

Similar to searching for the best deals on flights, do the same for car rentals as well. Check prices frequently as they can change on a daily basis. Depending on the season, their might be a price hike and you could find yourself paying double than what you saw the previous day. Many aggregator site will do all the searching for you and compare prices to make your job much easier. For instance, if a long term car rental in Dubai International Airport is going for $30 on Monday, you might think that waiting a day or two will have it drop down a bit. This might not be the best idea as you might find that the price will double on Tuesday. It’s all about supply and demand. If you’re booking around the summer time, be sure that you book way in advance to avoid watching a great deal slip away.

The basics of a Kayak

January 12, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Written by Crystal Seas

Going on a sea kayaking tour is amazing. It is just you, the water and a breathless view of the ocean.  However, those new to the Kayak should take every precaution before going out to see. This includes learning the very basics of the Kayak. Here are the most important basics that every kayaker should know.

The top of a kayak is known as the deck, while the bottom of a kayak is called the hull.

As with any boat, the front of the kayak is the bow, and the back is the stern. There are handles attached to both the bow and stern for carrying the boat. Usually at least two people are required to carry a kayak.

The openings on a kayak are called hatches and generally there is a wall inside sealing the compartment called bulkheads. These keep the compartments relatively dry and provide buoyancy in case the kayak overturns.

The seats in a kayak are adjustable and are generally quite comfortable. The best posture for kayaking is sitting up straight. This provides maximum efficiency by engaging the core muscles. There are foot braces inside the kayak that help support your legs. There are adjustable.

With regards to the posture and the various adjustments, all of these can be fine-tuned when you do your first run. Build some confidence and then go on a Washington kayak tour.


Crystal Seas can give you everything you need – including training – and guide you through your kayaking San Juan adventure.

Why You Should Put More Effort and Time Into Car Rentals

October 26, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

By investing both time and research, you could save a significant amount of money on your next car rental.

row-of-rental-carsTaking advantage of a car rental in Abu Dhabi may sound like a reasonable idea, until you find out about all the complications that dealing with a “legitimate” company can bring into your life. In the Middle East, a feasable way to around is by car, otherwise you’re forced to take a taxi wherever you go – which can be relatively expensive if you aren’t careful. Here are some practical tips on car rentals so you can avoid problems and traps that many people blindly walk into.

Look Beyond the Name Brand

While you may be inclined to just call up a major company and see if they have a branch in the Middle East, it’s also worth looking beyond just the popularized car rental businesses. Take advantage of some of the smaller companies that are looking to provide honest services to you. Now, this requires some research, no doubt about that, but you could be saving a significant amount of money and obtain a vehicle that’s perfect for you and your family. It never hurts to ask.

Inquire About Discounts

Many car rental companies will offer discounts for major national organizations, credit card companies that you are with, or other programs. Your rate can essentially be negotiated if you fall into certain categories. Even some of the smaller car rentals in Abu Dhabi may offer you a discount if you sign up with them – although it’s important that you be on the lookout for shoddy operations.

Monte Carlo Rent A Car, LLC can help you find a long term car rental in Abu Dhabi for a competitive rate. For bookings, visit them online.

Can You Change Your RV’s Seat Cushions?

September 29, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Seat cushions are more important that you might think.

Written by: The Foam Factory

rv-brownHere’s the straight truth about most RV cushions: they’re not comfortable – at all. When it comes to the manufacturing of RV’s most of the emphasis goes towards the amenities and the aesthetics of the RV, not the cushions that you’re going to be sitting on when you take those 5 hour road trips. But, here’s the good news – you can easily replace these cushions to make them more comfortable and supportive.

Check Your Seats

It’s important to note that in order to change your RV’s seat cushions, you’re going to have to identify whether or not they are even able to be changed. Meaning, some of the cushion covers are designed not to be opened up and are stitched together tightly. If this is the case, you can easily take it to an upholstering shop and have them recover your seats. However, if you have seats that have zippers to allow for cushion access, the only thing that you’ll have to do is to find the right type of foam to replace it with.

Now, when it comes to the RV bedding or seat foam that you are going to buy, make sure that you find one that is both comfortable and firm. Long road trips take a toll on your lower back. Be sure that you provide yourself with the right amount of support to avoid any major discomfort or soreness. It’s more than likely that you know how much of a nuisance a sore back is when it comes to a vacation.

Three tips for beginners to kayaking

September 21, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

crystalseas1Written by Crystal Seas

Kayaking is a balance between a person, boat, and paddle. Once you have your first taste of the  intricate dance of strokes, it is almost a guarantee that you will be hooked. For newbies, here are three very important tips:

Dress for the water

As in all sports, Kayaking also has its own sports appropriate clothing. While this clothing can largely depend on the location, always dress for the water temperature and not the weather. If your Kayak tips over for any reason, you will learn how important a tip this is. In terms of clothing , go for layers of quick-dry fabric. Hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen are also highly recommended. Wear sturdy, strap-on sandals or water shoes in terms of footwear.

Select an appropriate boat

Always choose a board that is appropriate for your level of experience. Ask the rental company for which one they recommend given your experience in the water. Most providers will have two or three person kayaks that go from 14 to 17 feet.

Rescue know how

Most rental providers will provide safety and rescue gear like life vests, pumps, and inflatable paddle floats. It is also extremely unlikely for the Kayak to tip over in calm waters. Regardless make sure that basic know-how on how to get back in and help others will be essential.


A kayak trip is like nothing you’ve ever experienced. The next time you want to take an adventure for your vacation, just leave it to the team at Crystal Seas.

Why Reputation Should Be a Factor When Renting a Car

July 28, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

car-rental-reputationDon’t let the scammers get to you, make sure you do the right research before signing that contract.

Finding the right car rental company overseas can be a difficult and frustrating experience for the traveler that just wants to enjoy his vacation. Price negotiations, insurance policies, and hidden charges are only some of the hassles that you may have to go through. The last thing that you’ll want to see on your bank statement is a thousand dollar charge for something that you weren’t even aware of when you signed your contract. Here are some tips that will help you get through this process painlessly.

Reputation is a Key Factor

To find a car lease in Abu Dhabi, you’ll want to first be sure that you’re dealing with a reputable company. One cannot stress how crucial this is. A shady dealer will only end up stealing your money and giving you a tin can on wheels – that’s likely to break down. Prior to signing your agreement, check online to see what other travelers have said about the car company.

You can find a long term car rental in Dubai International Airport for a solid price. Because they are located at the airport, you can feel a bit more confident knowing that you’re dealing with a reputable car rental business. It’s a bit more difficult for these companies to scam you, since they’re contracted with the airport itself. Nonetheless, it is still important that you take the time to research what type of contract that you are looking for. Be sure that you make a copy of the prices that are listed as well, so you can physically show them what you want in the case that they want to “up” the prices.

Monte Carlo Rent A Car, LLC has a reputable car rental in the International Airport in Abu Dhabi. With seasoned car specialists, they want to ensure that you always get a fair deal. For more information, visit them online today.

Top Reasons Why You Need to Visit Jordan

June 23, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Jordan has always been a misunderstood travel destination. It’s been known as the “land of the lost” by many, as well as a location that’s been shrouded in mystery. However, this country couldn’t be more safe and hospitable – which people often make the mistake of ignoring due to the fact that it’s in the Middle East. Jordan tends to suffer from guilt by association due to its criticized location. But, if visitors and tourists take the time to discover this jewel of a country, they’re more likely to come out with an open mind, a taste of the exotic, and a new perspective on the humility of the Middle East. Here are some travel tips that will help you throughout your Jordan journey.


Jordan is Safe

Yes, Jordan is indeed safe. People are often warned about the many dangers of the Middle East. However, this doesn’t apply to every bit of the Middle East. Jordan, on the other hand, is known for its warm hospitality and openness to visitors. The truth is, it is a peaceful and stable country that’s stuck in the middle of a bad neighborhood. Now, since the United States and Jordan have had strong ties for decades, travelers needn’t worry about feeling threatened.

Visit Amman

Amman is the capital of Jordan. It’s a large, bustling city that you must spend time in. If you are interested in both history and architecture, Amman has plenty of gorgeous destinations that you can visit – which include areas that date back to the 13th century. You’ll be able to witness the many impressive Roman and Greek ruins as well as the old souks and markets. If you’ve taken the route of a care hire in Amman airport, travelling from one destination to the next will be a breeze as well as time efficient.

Enjoy the Food

Jordanian cuisine has mixed elements of both Middle Eastern and Mediterranean influences. First off, the food is plentiful, flavorful, and delicious. Meals tend to start out with a variety of mezze or small dishes that include hummus, baba ghanoush, and numerous meats. Main courses range from roasted meats to fermented yogurt with spices and rice. It’s a delicious social experience that travelers tend to go head over heels for. Essentially, no matter what you decide to eat, you cannot go wrong when it comes to Jordanian cuisine. Keep an open and adventurous mind and try the many dishes that this beautiful country has to offer. Travelling from one restaurant to another should pose no issue if you are taking advantage of car rentals in Jordan – which are definitely affordable.
Monte Carlo Rent A Car, LLC can help you with short term leasing a car in Amman Jordan. With the most competitive prices and variety of models to choose from, Monte Carlo Rent A Car, LLC is your number one stop for rentals.

Save Big Money for Any Trip

April 4, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

By Samuel Phineas Upham

If you’re planning a trip to another country, you’ll need substantial savings to cover the time you’ll spend there. You’ll need to cover your necessities while you’re away from home, like food and board, but you’ll also need to cover expenses for the time you’re gone too. Read on for money-saving tips you can use to prep a budget worthy of your next trip.

Interest Savings

The importance of an interest savings account cannot be overstated. If you’re banking without an interest savings account, you’re leaving money on the table. As of this writing, most interest-bearing accounts are around 1%, but it’s better than nothing or fees to hold money if you’re below a certain amount.

Cut Back

We’ve all heard of the Starbucks problem, but you don’t have to eliminate it entirely. If you brewed your own coffee at home and only bought lunch at work, let’s say, you’d already save a few hundred dollars each year you could apply to your travel budget.

Sell Off

If you have old furniture, clothing or electronics lying around, post the items on Craigslist or eBay to sell. You can easily get a few hundred in quick cash depending on what you’d be willing to part with.

Get a Job

Not your full time job, look for opportunities online. Can you write, design graphics or provide some form of consulting? You might be able to pick up gigs on Fiverr or Craigslist if you have the right resume. The extra bump in pay means more you can see or do, so it’s worth it to try.

About the Author: Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Samuel Phineas Upham website or LinkedIn.

Protect Your Boat from Pets When You Install Foam

March 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Protect-Your-Boat-from-Pets-When-You-Install-FoamWhen you have a noble watercraft, whether it be an obnoxiously flamboyant yacht or a small fishing dingy, you’re going to want to share your love of the water with your pet. However, you may be hesitant, because you already have to worry about your boat cushions being exposed to the elements. On top of mildew, mold, and premature fabric rot induced by saltwater, you don’t want to have to worry about your cat, dog, parrot, ferret, or guinea pig soaking the soft spots of your boat in urine.


Fear not. If you’ve got custom cushions, there’s no reason to worry about them being ruined by bodily fluids, human or otherwise. Just like foam’s moisture-resistant properties help prevent mold and mildew from springing up, it’ll also make it easy to clean when your pet can’t wait to get back to shore. No matter what they’re soaked in, you can just dunk the foam in warm water, wring it out, leave it to dry, and call it a day. And if there’s permanent discoloration? The simplest trick is to order canvas you can use as a cover for your foam. The dense fabric will withstand sunlight, and help waterproof your cushions as well. Canvas is affordable enough to replace as needed, but you can store the cushions below deck when you’re not using them to increase their lifespan.


No matter the environment or the frequency of pet barf, you can’t go wrong with upholstery foam from Canada.



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