trees (4)


When we booked the "Algarve jeep safari," they promised a tour to the interior to show there was more to Portugal's southernmost region than beaches, bars and golf courses. We passed through remote villages; stopped off at a couple of out-of-the-way places for a coffee break and lunch; visited a distillery; and finally stopped in a cork oak grove, where Tomás our guide gave an interesting presentation.

At home, I usually drink wine in a screwtop bottle. I know there’s a bit of controversy about

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In Carlsbad, California - Oh, Christmas Tree!


Just wait until Santa’s elves show off the magnificent nine-foot tall decorated tree at the Park Hyatt Aviara in Carlsbad, just a half hour up the coast from San Diego. The human elves are busily stacking, piping and contouring gingerbread, chocolate, and sugar icicles to make the fantasy tree.  These three helpers are no ordinary assistants for Santa, they just happen to have recently won the Food Network’s Halloween Wars as Team Ghoul’d.  Each has their own crafty skills, and jumped on board

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9008905880?profile=originalTo your holiday decorations this year, add some pretty Christmas plants for a living touch of good cheer. Surprisingly, many holiday plants are tropical in origin, which means that you care for them like a houseplant if you live in a cold climate.


The Else Kientzler Botanical Garden in Sarchi, Costa Rica, has several fun ideas for traditional and novel Christmas plants to decorate your home this holiday season. They recommend using decorative planters in different levels, along with hanging bask

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9008897296?profile=originalThe fascinating fact about plants and trees in Costa Rica is that each one has a story, or a folk tradition or a specific use. There is much more than meets the eye in this tropical paradise.


Ovido Esquivel, director of the Else Kientzler Botanical Garden in Sarchi, Costa Rica, uncovered the mystique of some of Costa Rica’s commonly found plants and trees, which you will more than likely see in your travels around Costa Rica.


9008897687?profile=originalBougainvillea(veranera in Spanish): Native to South America, the vibra

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