If you haven’t heard about the ALS Ice Bucket challenge I think it may be safe to say you are out of the loop. The Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS has gone viral on Facebook and other social media platforms as a way to raise money for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease; after the famous baseball player. The premise of this challenge is to donate a dollar amount to the ASL Association OR dump a freezing-cold bucket of ice water over your head.
ASL is a degenerative disease that affects the nervous system and your muscles. It is basically a disease that causes neurons in the brain to misfire and slowly die off, leaving the patient with little to no control of their musculature, and it is terminal. Most people have chosen to take the challenge and donate to the ALS Association. The attention of this campaign has brought an unprecedented amount of donations and awareness to both the disease itself and the charitable organizations aiming to help fight it.
Tucson has seen it’s fair share of participants in the challenge and as I watched several friends and business acquaintances endure the freezing water and pass the challenge along, it had me thinking about Tucson’s community in general and how I am often touched by the amount of response our citizens give to worthy causes.
One such example actually came about this weekend, when I attended a special event for InJoy Thrift shop. A Brand new shop opening in Tucson.
The special event aimed to promote awareness in Tucson about the new treasure hunting opportunities and the excellent LOCAL non-profit the store supports.
One of the reasons I chose to write about this particular event is because not only was it fun, but it also brought me a great deal of joy to see Tucsonan’s coming out in large numbers to ‘do more good’ in our community. Endeavors like this help to bring a community together and strengthen the quality of life and social bonds our residents have with each other. When visiting someplace it may not be the first thing one thinks of when deciding where to travel, but knowing you are coming to a destination who’s hosting denizen’s care a great deal about their city, and knowing how the people in town work together to make positive changes, can be a fair indicator of how you will be treated as a guest.
Knowing that when you visit Tucson you are going to meet friendly people with big hearts is definitely a plus!
The event was held this past Saturday and took place at InJoy Thrift shop located at 250 N. Pantano Rd. Tucson, AZ 85710. The local Radio Station K-Love performed a live remote broadcast during the celebration and provided plenty of music and games, as well as contests and prizes. The event also featured one of Tucson’s local High School Choirs and various activities for kids, as well as everyone’s favorite, great food. The famous Tucson weather was out and people were really enjoying themselves.
So what was all of this excitement really about? Yes, it was about a new business opening in Tucson (and believe me, I LOVE treasure hunting, so the idea of a new 28,000 sqft, deal-finder’s paradise definitely had me excited!) but it was about more than a new shopping hot spot. It was about the fact that InJoy represents a great way for us to have fun while Helping Tucson, and Tucson families. InJoy Thrift is a non profit that benefits Sheepfold of Southern Arizona, and specifically the Tucson chapter. Sheepfold’s mission is to provide safe housing and re-establishment assistance to women and their children who are struggling, have been the victim of domestic violence, or need a welcoming community to help them during times of crisis. By making a tax-deductible donation of gently used items or by shopping at InJoy you are helping people who live right here in the Old Pueblo. People who may be friends, neighbors, or that employee serving you at one of our many restaurants, attractions, stores, or any other place of business. It’s about seeing our community take part in lifting up our friends and neighbors and making Tucson a wonderful place to call home or to visit.
The amount of participation in this event was great! People not only took advantage of something entertaining and enjoyable to do on a Saturday, but more than a few had plenty of donations to help get InJoy up and running and to contribute to it’s success. It is this type of support that makes me proud to call Tucson home and never hesitate to let anyone know it is a truly welcoming community to visit, where you are sure to meet some exceptionally kind and caring folk who are involved in making Tucson the best city it can be; no Ice required!
For more information on where to stay when you visit our wonderful community and for more information on some of the things Tucson is doing to help make our city great, click on the links below:
Vacation Rental Tips Worth Considering
Almost everyone today enjoys the prospects of a wonderful vacation rental while exploring a new part of the world. However, there are few simple vacation rental tips worth heeding that can greatly enhance the entire vacation or corporate business travel experience. For example, comparison-shopping is a great way to get an excellent bargain on a vacation home rental when planning for an extended or even a short-term getaway. A few simple strategies and tips can go a long way in making a vacation more rewarding.
Reading The Fine Print
Another consideration with regard to vacation rentals is in knowing exactly what is included in the rental agreement. Take the time to read all contracts carefully and refrain from signing any paperwork or sending money until you know for sure exactly what is involved. In short, reading the fine print and understanding the cancellation policy can help in making your vacation far more enjoyable. Having unexpected complications that arise due to misunderstandings in paperwork can distract from the overall vacation experience.
It is also important to always have an emergency contact person listed in case someone is hurt or injured while on vacation. Taking simple precautions long before anything ever happens is the best way to minimize the effects of any type of injury or accident that may occur while on vacation. Families should also pay particular attention to safety precautions when renting a home that has a pool included. Children can easily fall into a pool quickly resulting in a life-threatening situation. Play it safe and always consider all safety precautions when renting a vacation home.
Art Related Activities And Other Local Events
Finally, one vacation rental tip that will make your weekend getaway or long-term getaway all the more enjoyable is to take full advantage of all that the area and the region have to offer. The Internet provides the perfect opportunity to learn more about an area and what is available in terms of restaurants, shopping, art activities and other local events. Taking a vacation to an entirely new level sometimes simply means enjoying your vacation destination to the fullest. Tour guides and other similar services can help vacationers arrange full day outings and other types of tours that can greatly enhance the vacation experience. Contact Signature Vacation Rentals today for Phoenix long-term rentals and short-term rentals.
Getting The Most Out Of Your Travel Experience
In today’s modern world traveling has become a fact of life. Whether for business or for pleasure, traveling is deeply ingrained in many people’s lives these days and is a regular and routine event that occurs several times every year. With that said, there are a few basic and easy strategies that can be integrated into typical travel plans in order to greatly maximize the overall experience. Most importantly, travel can be fun and interesting.
Sitting Next To Someone Interesting
One of the best ways of making the most of any travel adventure is to simply strike up a conversation with new and interesting people. Talking to strangers and making new friends is a great way to enhance the overall travel experience. More often than not people will jump at the opportunity to talk with others while traveling. From sitting next to someone interesting on an airplane to talking with other guests in a hotel, the possibilities are endless with regard to making new friends while traveling. The most interesting part of talking to others is that much can be learned in this way.
Enjoying Local Cuisine
Another great way to get the most out of any travel experience is to take full advantage of local foods and traditions. Enjoying local cuisine and locally prepared foods can go far in immersing one’s self in the local culture. This is a way of connecting with those around you in a place that you have never visited before. Best of all, taking full advantage of local foods will usually result in a unique and delicious experience that will not soon be forgotten.
A Time That Is Set Aside For Relaxation
Finally, while technology provides many advantages that were not available a few short years ago, one way to truly get the most out of any vacation or travel experience is to avoid staying overly connected with smart phones, mobile devices, tablets or even laptop computers. Traveling is a time that is set aside for relaxation, enjoyment and growth. Electronic leashes that keep travelers connected to work, and other obligations can only result in a distraction to what would otherwise be an incredibly relaxing time. Make the most out of your vacation by simply leaving electronic devices at home or in the hotel room. Contact Signature Vacation Rentals today for the best Phoenix vacation rental opportunities.
Becoming A Better Traveler Through Better Etiquette
Traveling is a form of artistic expression that many believe becomes better when good etiquette is practiced. In fact, having good etiquette when traveling can go far in making any travel plans more enjoyable, more relaxing and more rewarding. Best of all, good travel etiquette simply means greater opportunities in terms of meeting new people and enjoying new experiences. As such, most experts would agree that a little etiquette goes a long way in making travel more pleasurable for all involved.
Flight Cancellations And Flight Delays
One great example of good etiquette for those traveling is to never become aggressive or angry when events happen that are beyond your control. For example, flight cancellations and flight delays are a fact of life. When these types of events do indeed happen it is best to relax and consider the alternatives. Many airlines are able to quickly and easily rebook passengers so that they may arrive at their destination close to their original arrival time. Best of all, delays and cancellations are a great time to talk to others and to get to know people more personally.
Simply Slowing Down
With regard to air travel, etiquette sometimes means doing simple things such as always boarding with your zone. When using the space under the seat located directly in front of you it is a good idea to be careful not to disturb the passenger occupying that seat. Sometimes simply slowing down and being a little more methodical can be highly effective at making the whole travel experience more enjoyable and friendly. Even something as simple as checking with the passenger behind you prior to reclining your seat can be priceless.
The Middle Of The Night
Another good tip is to avoid slamming the door of your room in a hotel. This is especially true in the early morning hours or late at night. Nothing can be more disparaging than being awoken by a slamming door in the middle of the night. Respect your neighbors while staying in a hotel by always striving to be quiet and courteous regardless of the time of day or night. Even elevators can have certain levels of etiquette that should be considered. For example when facing an overcrowded elevator simply choose to wait for the next car. Contact Signature Vacation Rentals today for the best in Phoenix vacation rental properties.
What To Do If Your Travel Plans Get Interrupted
Today traveling is more convenient and more organized than it has ever been in the past. However, there are still times that flights are canceled, flights are delayed and other unexpected events such as bad weather are experienced. This can have a direct impact on travel plans. When this happens it is important to follow a few simple tips and guidelines as a way to reduce the inconveniences associated with interrupted travel plans.
Original Arrival Time
For example, one of the easiest ways to handle a wide range of inconveniences that sometimes occur while traveling is to simply maintain a positive attitude. Rather than becoming frustrated or angry over a flight cancellation it is far more productive to work with the airline to come to a solution. In many instances, airlines will offer rerouting that can easily allow a passenger to arrive at their destination within a few hours of the original arrival time. This is quite impressive considering that airlines transport millions of people every year.
VIP Programs And Clubs
Another great way to reduce the impact of interrupted travel is to take full advantage of VIP type programs offered by many airlines today. This allows travelers to enjoy extra benefits while at the airport. An example of this is being able to use VIP rooms and areas of the airport that are quieter and that offer additional amenities. These areas reserved for members of VIP programs and clubs can help in relieving the stress associated with flight cancellations and flight delays. Maintaining membership in VIP clubs that airlines offer is simply a smart strategy for those looking to travel in a more relaxed and enjoyable way.
Achieving The Desired Results
Another great strategy for reducing the inconveniences that are often experienced when a flight is canceled or delayed is to avoid standing in long lines once a flight has indeed been canceled or delayed. A better approach is to step out of line and contact the airline via their 800 toll-free phone number. This is a more effective way of achieving the desired results with regard to reaching your destination as close to your original scheduled arrival time as possible. Re-booking can be easy, convenient and effortless when you choose to contact an airline by telephone. Contact Signature Vacation Rentals today for quality Phoenix vacation rentals and Phoenix property management services.
Taking Advantage Of Modern Technology When Traveling
Traveling for both business and pleasure has gotten much easier in recent years thanks to the many advantages made possible by modern technology. From being able to have Internet access virtually anywhere in the world to being able to use GPS to navigate more quickly and efficiently, modern technology has simply made traveling easier. Best of all, having access to all that this type of technology offers is easy and affordable.
Delays Or Cancellations
One example of all that technology makes possible with regard to traveling is being able to check flight status from virtually any type of mobile device or computer while on the road. Smart phones, and tablets all provide quick and easy Internet access so that travelers can conveniently check on flight status. In fact, many airlines even offer what is known as push technology where flight information can be sent to passengers with regard to delays or cancellations. This is a great way to reduce the likelihood of inconveniences associated with delays and cancellations.
Avoid The Hassles
The photographic power of smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices has taken amazing leaps in recent years. Using a phone to take a picture of the number on an airport parking space is a nice little trick to make retrieving your car when you return much easier. Avoid the hassles of wandering up and down rows and rows of cars looking for your vehicle by simply following this easy tip. Even taking photographs of food menus or other unique discoveries while on a trip can go a long way in cataloging all that you experienced while on vacation.
Geo-tagging is another unique advantage that modern technology and Internet connectivity makes possible. Many restaurants, points of interest and other locations worth noting while on vacation are often geo-tagged and can be easily accessed via GPS found on today’s modern mobile devices. Travelers can even do their own geo-tagging as a way to tag certain locations worth revisiting at a later time. Using the mapping technology available today on mobile devices is a good way to determine what a taxi fare might be long before jumping into a taxi. These are just a few simple ways of taking advantage of modern technology when traveling. Contact Signature Vacation Rentals for Phoenix property management and Phoenix vacation rental services that are beyond compare.
Car Rental Tips Worth Considering
As a traveler, having a good car rental strategy is important to ensuring a smooth and easy vacation experience. From short-term excursions to long-term corporate stays, either way rental cars play an important role in today’s travel world. As such, there are a few simple tips and tricks as well as good ideas worth considering the next time you choose to rent a car while away from home. Take advantage of these simple guidelines and make your trip far more enjoyable and much less stressful.
Car Rental Market
For example, have a good idea going forward of what size car you will require while on your trip. From SUVs to jeeps and luxury cars as well as even convertible sports cars, the possibilities are endless in today’s car rental market. Once you have determined which type of vehicle will be best for your particular needs it is than simply a matter of shopping around to find the best deals. Searching online is often one of the easiest places to look for deep discounts on car rentals. It is also a good idea to check for coupons and coupon codes when searching online.
Bargains And Coupon Deals
Another great tip when planning to rent a car is to consider all the organizations that you are somehow affiliated with that offer discounts on rental cars. This can include AAA, employers and even credit unions. This is a great way to further lower the cost of a rental car even on top of existing discounts, bargains and coupon deals. It is also important to avoid renting cars from airport locations, as this is typically a premium service that will only add to the total cost of your rental car. Know the restrictions with regard to the car you are renting and plan ahead with regard to insurance concerns.
Avoid Additional Fees And Always Fill Up
Finally, it is important to fully inspect a car internally and externally before picking up a car and after dropping a car off. Any damage will ultimately be charged to those renting a car if it is not documented before hand. Try to always return a rental car on time to avoid additional fees and fill up the tank prior to returning. Rental car companies charge a premium when they fill the tank themselves. Contact Signature Vacation Rentals today to learn more about saving money when you travel and more about Phoenix vacation rentals.
Luggage Packing Tips For Corporate Travelers
Traveling can be a fun and exciting time for both families and corporate travelers. However, heeding a few simple guidelines with regard to packing can go a long way in making a trip even more relaxing and less stressful. For example, regardless of the type of hotel or corporate housing that you may be planning on occupying, carrying luggage can become tiresome if it simply weighs too much. Limit the amount of items that you carry for a more carefree vacation.
Wear The Heaviest Items
Corporate travelers that have years of experience when it comes to traveling have learned to be practical and always pack light. Seasoned corporate travelers typically follow a simple strategy that if it doesn’t fit in a carry-on suitcase, then it probably isn’t really essential. Using a careful and strategic packing plan can go a long way in lightening the load while on a corporate excursion. Another great strategy for lightening the load while traveling is to wear the heaviest items while in route such as on an airplane. This frees up space in luggage for other more important things.
Always Have A Carry-On When Traveling
Heavy coats, bulky items and other space consuming clothing can easily be filed away in the hotel closet once you arrive. This strategy includes even the type of shoes that will be worn while in route. Choose the largest and bulkiness shoes or boots that you will wear throughout your corporate travels to wear on the day that you are traveling to your destination. Most importantly, always have a carry-on when traveling regardless of the length of the trip or the mode of transportation. A carry-on can make all the difference when traveling.
Carefully Repack For The Trip Home
Follow these simple tips and guidelines and enjoy a more carefree travel experience every time. One additional great idea for making a travel experience more stress free is to travel to your destination with plenty of empty space still remaining in your luggage. This is a great way to make room for purchases that are made while on your corporate travels or vacation. Once your travels come to a conclusion and you are headed home it is easy to carefully lay all your belongings out and carefully repack for the trip home. Contact Signature Vacation Rentals today for Phoenix vacation rentals that are inspiring and impressive.
In the Movie “Back to the Future”, when Doc Brown tells Marty McFly that the only way to get him home from 1955 is to harness the power of lightning in order to charge up the flux capacitor in the Delorean it would have been a much easier endeavor had they been in Tucson. Tucson, AZ is considered to be one of the top places in the U.S. for seeing amazing lightning.
In fact we literally “catch” lightning here; statistically speaking anyway.
The National Lightning Detection Network is Headquartered in Tucson, AZ. The sytem consists of over one hundred remote sensing stations across the United States that instantly detect the electromagnetic signals of lightning strikes. The NLDN is able to send the data collected from these sensors to the Network Control Center operated by Vaisala Inc. here in Tucson. The Network Control Center is then able to process the data from the sensors and communicate the lightning strike’s location, time, and polarity to users of the network all over the world.
Of course there are plenty of folks who will argue that Florida is the lightning capital of America, and it is true that Florida receives a greater number of “Cloud-to-Ground” Flashes (Weather-ese for what we think of as a traditional lightning strike) but the Sonoran desert has a particular atmosphere conducive to being able to easily see lightning, as well as photograph its phenomenal presence. These conditions include the fact that Tucson is surrounded on all sides by substantial mountain ranges.
When the storm clouds hit the mountains they are slowed down and the mountains also cause the cloud banks to sit higher,they also allow a photographer to sit higher and capture a wider swath of sky. In addition, because of how the storm plays out in ‘pockets’ it is easier for a photographer to know where to aim in order to get a good shot.
Another factor in Tucson’s impressive lightning is the amount of precipitation found in the valley during the storm. Because the valley is a depression it holds moisture exceedingly well and this can cause lightning to gain a different color than the white or blue it would normally take on. One of the most commonly seen alternate colors is Pink. Pink Lightning is a particular favorite of “Lightning Chasers” (folks who travel around in attempt to capture lightning strikes on camera), as it looks especially dramatic in pictures.
Couple all of these elements for creating lightning with the Sonoran Desert’s unique backdrop of Saguaro Cacti, Bluffs, Ocotillo, and Famous Sunsets and you have a photographers recipe for the Perfect Storm.
Photographers like Adam Hartnett, who has been taking full advantage of this year’s active monsoon season.
We asked Adam a few questions about his experience with Tucson’s Lightning.
How long have you been doing photography?
“I have been doing it one way or another since I was a young. I took a photography class my freshman year of high school, back when we still developed film in a dark room, and have been actively taking photos ever since. I do it mostly as a hobby, but have sold a few prints here and there.”
Did you start taking an interest in lightning as a subject right away or did that come later? What first ‘sparked’ your interest in trying to capture lightning in photos?
“The way I got into lightning was more about my interest in our sunsets. Tucson is famous for its sunsets, as you know, and I happened to be out trying to photograph a particularly great sunset with the monsoon clouds and as it set, the clouds grew pretty quickly, as they do here, and the lightning started. The storm was still a bit distant from where I was and so I stuck around and started shooting the lightning. I had never done it before and didn’t really get a lot of great pictures, but a few of them came out surprisingly well and I was pretty much hooked. I don’t follow it around per say, but I’m always ready with a camera during the [monsoon] Season.”
What do you think makes lightning a fascinating subject and what is unique about photographing it in and around Tucson?
“I think lightning has always held a certain fascination for people. I mean it is this huge jolt of electrical energy that is both beautiful and terrifying. It can cause a lot of damage, it’s so powerful. I think that is one of the reasons you see it in ancient mythologies so much. You have this giant phenomenon in the sky and don’t really know quite what to make of it. There is something very spiritual about the force behind lightning and it’s place in nature. In Tucson, I think, that with the monsoons, we are just so fortunate to have the right kind of conditions to get some really large strikes, and lots of them. Even if you don’t get every shot you have a lot of opportunity of trial and error. As I’ve gotten more experienced with it I have an easier time of getting what I want out of a shot, but Tucson is a great place for hobbyists and beginners to try their hand at it.”
Have you had any particularly ‘Striking’ experience with photographing lightning? Any close calls with being hit by it?
“No, luckily I can usually get the types of photos I take while the storms are still relatively far enough away from me that I don’t feel much danger. I did have an experience once where I had gone up towards Sabino Canyon and was pulled of this shoulder for quite some time taking photos. It hadn’t been raining particularly hard, but it had been pretty steady. When I was ready to leave I encountered a pretty flooded area and had to sit in my car for a while until the water died down, the wash that ran across the road had become a raging river.”
If you were to give advice to fellow aspiring lightning photographers what would it be?
“I would say to not get discouraged. Lightning is a tough subject because of the conditions and obviously because of it’s speed. Play around with it and have fun. Try different exposure settings and remember that you aren’t going to necessarily get amazing shots the first few times you try it, but you could, and that’s part of the fun too, the unpredictability of lightning. Again, in Tucson, it’s great because you have a lot more opportunity that a lot of other places.”
If You would like to see one of nature’s most amazing light shows then don’t shy away from Tucson during the summer. While it can get hot, the monsoons definitely cool it down, and provide for one of the most ‘electrifying’ experiences in America.
For information on where to stay during your visit or for more information and photos of Tucson’s Monsoons and spectacular lightning click on the links below.
Smart Tips For Seasoned Business Travelers
Those that have traveled extensively over the years have learned basic survival strategies for travelers that can go a long way in making a trip far less stressful. For example when traveling it is always good to consider alternative airports as a way to get to your destination or to get back home. When weather conditions change or flights are canceled and alternate airport a few miles away can often make all the difference in keeping your travel plans on track.
Carry A Cell Phone Headset
Another great tip for traveling with less hassle and less inconveniences is to simply keep all electronic equipment fully charged. Many airport waiting areas offer a wide variety of charging stations and charging options. Electric outlets are widely available throughout airports to allow travelers to recharge everything from laptops to cell phone batteries and other types of mobile devices. A smart way to make travel more enjoyable is to always carry a cell phone headset. A cell phone headset can assist in making common tasks easier to manage.
Make Copies Of Important Documents
Business travelers would be well served by getting into the habit of making reservations for accommodations that are tailored towards business travelers. This allows those on business and away from home to take full advantage of a wide range of business related services including fax and Internet access. Another great way to maximize the business travel experience is to always make copies of important documents such as passports. Photo IDs and other forms of identification should be copied and kept in a safe place. Playing it safe in this way can pay off in the long run if something becomes lost or stolen.
Frequent Flyer Programs
Finally, one of the greatest advantages available to business travelers is in becoming a frequent flyer or a member of a VIP club that most airlines make available today. Frequent flyer programs offer many advantages to travelers such as being able to earn free flights and other free benefits. Frequent flyer membership also will typically offer a wide range of other advantages such as early boarding, standard seat upgrades and better standby list positioning. These are just a few of the smart tips that business travelers can take advantage of when traveling in a corporate capacity. Contact Signature Vacation Rentals today for Phoenix corporate housing and vacation rentals.