- February 14th 2013
It’s President’s Day in the next couple of days and what better way to commemorate President George Washington‘s birthday, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, and all the rest of our presidents than to give some facts about Mount Rushmore. This American monument is carved on Mount Rushmore, which was named after a New York lawyer. He was sent to the Black Hills who was investigating mining titles in the area. When asked what the name of this mountain was, the lawyer’s guide supposedly said “Rushmore.”
Located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, the carving was started in 1927 and completed in 1941. Doane Robinson was trying to energize tourism to the Black Hills, and after visiting Georgia and viewing the Confederate Monument that was carved into Stone Mountain. Gutzon Borglum was selected as the sculptor for the monument, and he had also worked on the Stone Mountain project. Borglum suggested Mount Rushmore’s south facing slope so his sculpture would be in the sunlight most of the day.
Each of the four Presidents were very specifically selected. George Washington was selected to represent democracy in the United States. Thomas Jefferson was selected to represent for his authorship of the Declaration of Independence. Abraham Lincoln brought an end to slavery. And, the most controversial choice was Theodore Roosevelt. And, he was picked for his efforts of the Panama Canal and his conservationism.
The monument took 14 years to complete. About 90 percent of the carving was done with strategically placed dynamite. This was done until there was only a three to 6 inch layer of granite left on the mountain. The 400 workers who worked on the mountain used air-hammers, wedges, nails, jackhammers, chisels, etc., to carve the Presidents’ likenesses into the granite. Through a process known as “honeycombing,” the final layer of granite was removed and the stone was polished to leave the faces smooth and refined. About 450,000 tons of granite was removed from the mountain.
The original concept was to have the Presidents depicted from head to waist, however, funding was depleted and quality granite was no longer available on the mountain. Even with the heavy use of dynamite, no one was killed or seriously hurt during this project. Unfortunately, Borglum died unexpectedly before the project was done. His son, Lincoln, took over the reigns and in October 1941 declared the project completed.
The monument is open free to the public, however, there is a fee to park your vehicle on the grounds. It draws over two million visitors annually.
Whether you plan on visiting this breath-taking monument over Spring Break or later this summer, it is one vacation that will last in your kids’ minds for a lifetime.
For your next flight, check out ParkRideFlyUSA.com for the greatest parking rates at any of our off-airport vendors. They provide guaranteed reservations, transportation to and from the airport terminal, and luggage assistance. They provide secure parking and you won’t have to worry about the safety of your car. You make your airline reservations, your hotel reservations? Why not your airport parking reservations?
- December 10th 2012
First, make sure before your photo shoot that your battery is fully charged, or you have plenty of extra in case the low battery light comes on. Invest in a big memory card, or have plenty of smaller ones handy so that you are always ready and don’t have to utter those words, “My card is full!”
You don’t want to be haunted by photos of Christmas Past, right? You know what I mean. Pictures of your kids holding up their newly opened gifts right next to their cheek and giving you that cheesy smile? We all have those. Let’s exorcise that ghost of an idea right out the window. Instead, for a few of the photos, take a photo of your daughter right as she is discovering the gift she’s been wanting. Try to get that special moment of excitement, because those cannot be recreated!
Take photos of the decorations before they are hung on the tree. Take a photo of the lights burning. Take pictures as you wrap your pretty presents. Let your mind go and take photos of anything and everything.
Some great photos may come from the kitchen with Mom and the kids baking the Christmas cookies. And, don’t stand so far away from your subjects. Move or zoom in closer to fill up your frame. Focus on your subjects faces, the cookies, their hands making the cookies, or anything you find interesting. You will get some great, memorable shots.
For outside shots, I often take a tripod, turn the flash off and set the camera to auto. For more experimental shots, I play with the settings. After all, with digital you can see what they look like on the camera and either keep or delete it. After all, you’ve taken enough of those amateurish photos, play with some shots.
Step out of your comfort zone and just go for it. Take a few photos from a different perspective. Get down on the floor or on the ground and shoot up at your kids. Take a shot from your dog’s eye view. (You’ll understand why he is always stealing your food with it right at his nose.) Don’t always make the middle of your photo the focal point. Making it off center will add some interesting perspectives to your shots.
There are some great free, or inexpensive, photo editing tools, like an online version of Photoshop. It’s a very limited for the free version, but I’ve used it before when away from my photo editor. Play with filters and you can make a mediocre photo look like a work of art.
Let your imagination go wild and just let your inner Ansel Adams go wild. Christmas memories are some of the most precious moments so grab that camera, tripod, and extra batteries and get to snapping! And, send us some of your favorite photos. We’d love to see them here at ParkRideFlyUSA.com!
- November 19th 2012
Wow, Thanksgiving weekend is almost here and it is the busiest travel weekend of the year. Here are a few tips and suggestions to help you get the most out of your travel preparation and more time to enjoy your visit with your family and friends.
Traveling by air?
- Be sure to allow plenty of time to check your bags and get through the security lines. The lines are expected by be long. In fact, if you are checking a bag please arrive at the airport at least 2 hours early. Some airlines may not allow you to check a bag with less than 45 minutes before your flight.
- If you have any questions about what to bring on a flight, check out the TSA page for answers.
- Check the status of your flight before you leave for the airport to prepare for any weather delays.
- Secure your airport parking reservation in advance. It will save time driving around the airport.
Traveling by car?
- Pad some extra time in your plans to allow for any traveling delays.
- Service your car. You really don’t want to miss the big dinner by sitting along the side of the road? Be sure to check the tires, top off the fluids, and your GPS is set.
- When traveling by car, Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day. Have some games planned for the kids in case of any delays in traffic.
- Fill up the car with extra water and snacks to keep yourself awake and hydrated.
- If possible, leave on Wednesday to avoid the traffic on Thanksgiving.
- October 8th 2012
Today is Columbus Day, commemorating the 520th anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas. To mark the occasion, here are some interesting facts about this holiday.
- Christopher Columbus actually arrived in this part of the world on October 12, 1492.
- The day is celebrated in many places around the world with several different names. For example, in Latin America it is called Día de la Raza to commemorate the arrival of Hispanic peoples in the New World. It is also known as Día de las Americas in Uruguay and Fiesta Nacional in Spain.
- People have been commemorating this event since colonial times but in the US Colorado was the first state to make the day an official holiday in 1906.
- Columbus Day was named a federal holiday in 1937.
- San Francisco has the oldest continuously running Columbus Day celebration in the US. Its annual Columbus Day parade started in 1868.
- Instead of Columbus Day, the state of Hawaii celebrates the discovery of the territory by the Polynesians. This holiday is called Discoverers Day. Alaska and South Dakota do not celebrate the holiday either. Dakota has another state holiday around the same time.
- Christopher Columbus started his voyage on August 3, 1492. During the voyage he travelled for three weeks without seeing land, the longest journey of this type.
- Although Columbus sailed from Spain he was actually born in Italy.
- Columbus never landed on the American mainland on any of his voyages. On his first voyage, he landed on San Salvador (or Watling Island) in the Bahamas.
- Columbus was actually looking for Asia on his voyage but obviously he didn’t find it here. Amerigo Vespucci, who gave the country its name, was the first to realize that these lands were not part of Asia.
- Some people oppose the celebration of Columbus Day because of the cruelty to and decimation of indigenous peoples that followed his discovery.
- Columbus’s body was buried, exhumed and re-buried in places as diverse as Valladolid and Santo Domingo. However, recent reports suggest that his bones are in Seville, Spain.
Will you be celebrating Columbus Day?
- September 28th 2012
It’s October and the leaves are turning. Anyone who suffered a summer heat wave will welcome the cooler air as we head towards winter. Here are some of the occasions we will be celebrating in October.
- October 8 is Columbus Day, celebrating the legacy of the great explorer who took knowledge of the Americas back to Europe.
- October 9 is Leif Erikson Day, honoring another explorer. It marks the date of the first organized immigration to America from Norway. Leif Erikson is said to have beaten Columbus to the punch by discovering America in 1001 AD.
- October 11 is General Pulaski Memorial Day, commemorating, a Polish hero who died in the American Revolution.
- October 15 is White Cane Safety Day or Blind Americans Equality Day, an occasion to celebrate the achievements of visually impaired Americans.
- October 16 is National Boss Day, an observance to appreciate bosses which dates back to 1958.
- October 20 is Sweetest Day. Celebrated on the third Saturday in October, this day is used to show acts of kindness to the underprivileged. It is celebrated widely in Buffalo, Cleveland and Detroit.
- October 24 is United Nations Day, which publicizes and celebrates the work of the international organization.
- October 31 is Halloween – more on that later in the month.
Other October observances include:
- Child Health Day – October 1
- World Vegetarian Day – October 1
- Walk to School Day – October 3
- World Mental health Day – October 10
- English Language Day – October 13
- Universal Children’s Week – October 1-7
- World Space Week - October 4-10
- Earth Science Week – October 14-20
And it’s the month for shelter dogs, AIDS awareness, bullying prevention, dyslexia awareness, Halloween safety, dental hygiene, ergonomics, chili and much more. Which celebrations will you be observing in October?