Rip tides can turn fun beach vacations to nightmares

In less than two weeks, rip currents have taken the lives of at least 11 people.
Rip Tides Can Turn Fun Beach Vacations Into Nightmares

MISSISSIPPI (WCBI) – It is one of the most popular vacation spots for people in North Mississippi and West Alabama, but there are dangers in the water from Fort Morgan to Panama City Beach.

First responders said there have been multiple drownings.

In less than two weeks, rip currents have taken the lives of at least 11 people. Data shows rip currents kill more people than tornadoes or hurricanes. Even if you are a good swimmer, you are no match for a rip current.

A popular hotspot for the Fourth of July weekend, Panama City Beach, has had emergency workers respond to 70 swimmers in distress over ten days.

Columbus Fire Search and Rescue Caption Damon Estes has been caught in a rip current before.

“Luckily, I had a flotation device with me,” Estes said. “It’s kind of nerve-racking experience you all of a sudden get swept away from the shore which is your safe zone.”

The water can look calm in one minute, but all of that can change in an instant.

“The big thing with that is paying attention to the beach flags if you’re going to the beach area,” Estes said. “They’re gonna have flags that tell you the green or obviously the red is closing the beach and stuff like just a level to be on alert. So, that’s gonna be an important aspect that’s gonna help you stay safe and know the risk of a rip current. We have to remember that drowning is a silent event. Movies make you think people are hollering and stuff, but they’re not. If you’re drowning, the last thing you’re gonna do is waste your breath. If someone is in a safe location

Read the rest

Here’s how 10 minutes of mindfulness can help make or break a family vacation

When we dream about summer vacation, we imagine the good stuff: Warm days, cool breezes, with lots of laughter and good vibes. And time off is definitely good for our health, yet it’s not always smooth sailing.

The divide between our expectations and reality can create dust-ups, especially when unpredictable circumstances and temperamental personalities collide to throw us off course.

Maybe the kayak outing is disrupted by storms, or perhaps, mealtime turns chaotic with differing preferences or lack of cooperation. With big groups or families, this may be par for the course. On my recent week off, we had five consecutive days of stormy weather, my husband got strep throat and we had an ER visit due to a health scare with my dad. (He’s fine, thankfully.)

It’s not what I’d anticipated, and I found myself feeling a little jangly.

“Vacations and holidays are challenging, says Dr. Michael Irwin, of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. “I have firsthand knowledge,” as do many of us, he says. Whether it’s tension over where to go, what to do, or who’s cooking – personalities and agendas can collide to create strife.

“Mindfulness has helped incredibly,” Irwin says about his own personal experiences. You can start the day with certain expectations, but when it doesn’t go your way, “it’s like, oh, well, this is what’s happening, and ok, I’ll give up my expectations,” he says.

“A meditation practice brings you back to being aware in the moment,” Irwin explains. When someone ticks you off or says something off-kilter, “instead of responding in a reactive way, it can allow you to go with the flow, which is just being present to what is happening all around you,” he says.

You can notice your thoughts and feelings, but you don’t have to

Read the rest

Here are hassle-free vacations fit for 2024 long weekends!

MANILA, Philippines — With the number of travel makers at an all-time high, booking your vacation in advance is becoming more important.

Flights, hotels and entry to certain tourist locations are selling out months in advance, so planning early not only saves you from the stress of holiday planning, but also your hard-earned cash.

Saving on flights and accommodations allows you to channel your resources to local experiences which greatly enhance your trip.

So, there is no better time to plan your 2024 vacations than now. Armed with dates of the recently announced 2024 long weekends, here are some ideas to kick-start your 2024 travel plans.

January 1 – New Year’s Day
Catch celestial ballet of light dancing across Icelandic sky

Myrdal Church in Vik, Iceland is one of the best places to catch the Northern Lights.

Photo Release

The Northern Lights, or the aurora borealis, is a phenomenon where waves of green, yellow and purple lights dance across the sky.

It has captivated people for centuries and the best time to see them is usually from November to February, when the skies are darkest and the nights are the longest.

For an extraordinary experience, travel to Vik, Iceland with Insight Vacations. It is Iceland’s southernmost village with black sandy beaches bordering the Atlantic, a volcano and a glacier to the north.

Here, the perfect location to watch the northern lights is the charming, red-roofed Vik I Myrdal Church that stands above the village on a hill.

March 28 to 30 – Holy Week
Enjoy mild temperature and lively atmosphere in Spain

Dive into culture at the best flamenco show in Seville on Trafalgar’s Spanish Wonder.

Photo Release

With the coldest winter months now done and dusted, March is when Spain begins to come alive.

The rising temperature makes

Read the rest

PSA: Pinoy wanderers hike spending in vacations abroad

Ma. Stella F. Arnaldo / Special to the BusinessMirror

FILIPINOS are leaving the Philippines and giving in to their wanderlust for tourist destinations abroad.

According to the Philippine Tourism Satellite Accounts released by the Philippine Statistics Authority’s, outbound tourism expenditures surged by 88.6 percent to some P190 billion in 2022, from 2021’s P100.4 billion. Outbound tourism expenditures refer to the spending of Filipino visitors while traveling outside the country. It may include expenses of same-day visitors as well as overseas Filipino workers, and thus fall under “imports of goods of services” in the country’s balance of payments.

Last year’s outbound tourism expenditures were 44 percent short of the level in 2019, prior to the pandemic, which reached close to P342 billion.

In an interview, Aileen Clemente, president of Rajah Travel Corp., said the most popular holiday spot for Filipinos continues to be “Japan, still our number one. This is followed by other Southeast Asian neighbors—Singapore and Bangkok. Then of course, Hong Kong.”

Tips for traveling abroad

However, she said the vacation sports in the Western Hemisphere are not far behind. Filipinos are also traveling to “Europe, the United States, and Canada, especially given that if you have a US visa, it won’t be difficult for you to go to Canada.” Rajah Travel is the local agent for Insight Vacations, an exclusive collection of premium guided tours and cruises, a brand under the The Travel Corp.

She noted that international travel is still not back to 2019 levels in terms of the number of transactions, “but definitely way past 50 percent.” She attributed this to the continued limitation of international flights “because of the lack of pilots, crew, and planes. You really have to book very early to get good rates. Even getting visas for some countries takes some time,” Clemente

Read the rest

LLRC offers many group fitness classes | News

SHELDON—For the last few weeks, many of the participants in Live Healthy Northwest Iowa 2023 have been hitting the gym, and while that is common, it’s not the only workout offered at the Northwest Iowa Lifelong Learning and Recreation Center in Sheldon.

There are a number of group fitness classes offered at the LLRC throughout the week such as aerobics, strength and balance, cycling or barre, to name a few. All of the group fitness classes may be found on the LLRC’s website at

“We have a pretty robust offering of classes,” said Greta Giese, the director of Live Healthy Northwest Iowa and the LLRC. “There’s something for everyone, and there’s early morning, midmorning and after-work options. No matter what your schedule is, there’s a time for you. No matter your level of workout or type of workout preference, you can find a workout that can be a good exercise routine for you.

“Nobody should be afraid to jump into one of our classes. All of our instructors are great at modifying for newcomers or adding things for those who are more experienced.”

The website also is where you may preregister for classes, which allows you to get additional information and alerts if the workout has to be canceled.

Here is a list of the group fitness classes offered by the LLRC


  • Barre (5:30-6:30 p.m.): A low-impact workout that focuses on muscular endurance with high repetitions and small movements using a ballet bar to do all of those movements. It is taught by Carrie De Groot.
  • Water Aerobics (8-9 a.m.): Held at the indoor pool at the Holiday Inn Express. You get in a great workout while exercising against the resistance of the water. “Doing jumping jacks is more effective in the water than in the gym
Read the rest

Dubrovnik ranked in the top five most sustainable holiday destinations for 2023

A new year brings new opportunities to travel and explore every nook and cranny of the globe, whether it’s Europe or beyond, there are plenty of amazing options around the world.

One thing we sometimes forget to consider when planning the perfect trip is how environmentally friendly our destination and journeys can be.

Therefore, has ranked the most sustainable destinations for 2023, they looked at factors such as the climate impact of a round-trip flight, the number of hotels offering EV charging stations and the number of vegan restaurants.

They also completed this ranking in 2022, allowing us to visualize how much the ranking has altered in the past twelve months.

Dubrovnik ranked in the top five most sustainable holiday destinations for 2023 have completed a ranking of the most sustainable holiday locations around the world for 2023. This is the second year in a row they have completed this report, allowing for comparisons between results. 

To do this, they analyzed factors such as the number of hotels offering EV charging stations and the pollution level in each location, the climate impact of a round-trip flight and the number of vegan restaurants. Each destination was then given a score out of 100 and ranked accordingly.

As ranked these cities last year, we are able to make comparisons between the two rankings. 

The top five most sustainable holiday destinations for 2023 are: 

  1. Majorca (Spain)

Majorca ranked top of the ranking as the most sustainable destination scoring 84 out of 100 points. The island has an abundance of beaches, resorts, and an impressive 222 nature spots to choose from.

  1. Ibiza (Spain)

Ranking in second place, Ibiza scored 80 out of 100 points. Like Majorca, the island boasts one of

Read the rest

Community raises concern over development, rezoning, annexation proposal in Leland

LELAND, NC (WWAY) — A proposed development in Brunswick County could bring hundreds of multi-family luxury apartments along Highway 133, which is also known as River Road Southeast.

Monday night, the first of two pre-application meetings was held in the Holiday Inn Express in Leland.

Caviness & Cates Home Builders is seeking to develop the multi-family project on 29 acres of land located at 964 River Road SE.

Along with the proposed development, the developer is requesting a conditional zoning of the property within the Town of Leland.

Ward and Smith, P.A. on behalf of Caviness & Cates, presented conceptual stages of the location from its current state to what the builders envision for the development in the future.

At the beginning of the meeting, there was a brief overview of what the multi-family development would feature, including a yoga studio and a pool among other luxury amenities.

The buildings are intended to be 3-stories tall and have over 300 units, with an estimate of 10 units per acre.

With two vehicles per unit, the parking lot would hold over 600 vehicles, adding traffic to what the community says is already a dangerous road.

Some people attending tonight’s meeting voiced concerns about the impact the proposed development would have on the surrounding area.

Mary Katherine, a concerned Leland resident, says, “I’m not against development, I’m for responsible development. One of my biggest concerns is 133, how wide it is, safety concerns on the road, the effect on the environment, water run-off, flooding, (and) being able to access Wilmington emergency services.”

There was a man in attendance at Monday’s meeting who almost lost a son in a car accident on River Road SE. He was concerned that the road is already dangerous, and that adding more traffic means more accidents.


Read the rest

Why paying a fee lets you skip airport security line (VIDEO)

Airport security lines are almost a given when traveling.

The Sept. 11 attacks led to the creation of government agencies like the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, and federal regulations tightened up security in the aftermath.

Since then, how people get through security has continued to evolve. While they have figured out how to use state-of-the-art scanners and other technology, one very visible problem has stuck around.

“Here we are, 22 some odd years later, where we’re still trying to figure out how to keep the line short,” said Jeff Price, a professor of aviation at Metropolitan State University of Denver. “We’re still trying to figure out how to keep them moving. A lot of people don’t understand that moving the lines quickly is not just a efficiency function and a passenger experience element; it’s also a security element because the more passengers I have packed into a public area waiting to go through the screening process, the more vulnerable I am to things like suicide bombers, active shooters.”

Price knows this firsthand from his past experience as an assistant security director at Denver International Airport and as a manager of a smaller regional airport. He told Scripps News there are a few distinctions within security.

Most airports rely on the TSA to administer the process. A handful, including San Francisco and Kansas City, rely on private contractors, but they all adhere to tight TSA guidelines, making them all look the same in operation.

But the lines can look very different depending on the airport and how much a person is willing to pay.

A sign warns travelers not to bring guns through a TSA checkpoint.

Record number of guns seized by TSA: Here’s which airports fared worst

The agency reported that it confiscated 6,542 firearms in 2022. That’s an increase of 570 firearms over 2021.

Read the rest

Popular Ride at Adventureland Is Now Closed For Good

Officials with Adventureland theme park tried their best to find ways to keep a popular ride safely operating. But in the end, the safest decision was to just shut it down for good.

KCCI reports letter

The Raging River ride has had a checkered past but really came under intense scrutiny after an accident during the summer of 2021. In July of that year, KCCI reports that Michael Jaramillo died while riding the attraction with his family. A raft capsized, trapping the family underneath the water. Michael’s brother and father were also injured. KCCI reports that the Jaramillo family has a lawsuit against the previous owners of Adventureland, seeking nearly $100 million in damages. The lawsuit contends that the Iowa Division of Labor should have found 17 safety violations on the Raging River prior to the deadly accident.

My family took many rides on the Raging River during our family trips to Adventureland. But after the accident in 2021 that claimed the life of Michael Jaramillo, we never rode it again. I’m guessing other park patrons felt the same way. Adventureland is making the right move here. Get rid of something inherently dangerous, and focus on the rides of the future.

The Restaurants & Stores Iowans Want to Come to the Corridor

If you could bring any chain restaurant or store to the area, which would it be? Here are some of the most popular responses from Iowans!

The Lions and Dogs of Brucemore Mansion

Howard Hall and his wife Margaret moved into Cedar Rapids’ Brucemore mansion in 1937. Over the course of 14 years, they owned three lions, all named Leo. Below are photos of those lions, and the family’s German Shepherds.

Read the rest

Facing my fears and flying above seagulls on the island of Mljet

Ah, that island, that Mljet! Without doubt my favourite destination in the south of Croatia is a magical green island that seemingly floats on the turquoise sea. It is an island that very quickly stole my heart, it was love at first sight. And it is an island that, unfortunately, I haven’t had much chance to visit in recent years due to work commitments. So when the opportunity to visit and indeed work on the island for a few days reared its head I grabbed it with two hands.

I had thought I had seen everything there was to see and experience on the former home of Odysseus, I was wrong. So the reason for my escape to Mljet was to film some promo videos. Now, whilst the island is incredibly photogenic, a supermodel amongst Dalmatian islands, many visitors don’t dive deeper into the island and discover its hidden gems.

mljet view 2022

Hence some promo videos. One of these was entitled “active & adventure.” “There is a couple near Polače that do kayaking, hiking and abseiling tours, maybe you should meet them,” stated my contact on Mljet. And so I did. OK, kayaking and hiking not a problem, but I hope that the abseiling isn’t too extreme. Tea and Lukša were the adventure couple, and this hard-working pair live in a tiny bay away from the world, imagine of Robinson Crusoe got married and you’ll see the picture.

“A short kayak ride of 15-minutes to a deserted inland and there we’ll go abseiling,” said Lukša. “Maybe 15 minutes for you,” I joked. “Your arms are the size of my legs,” I added. We jumped into out kayaks and set sail. I took so getting used to but once I had the hang of it I have to admit that I enjoyed it.

Read the rest