Archive for July, 2010

What hot deal for you: TaylorMade R7 Draw Irons is on sale for you only 399.99USD

Friday, July 30th, 2010

TaylorMade r7 Draw Iron Set  on sale in Discount Golf Clubs

 

 

The new TaylorMade r7 Draw irons are the latest distance innovation from TaylorMade. Engineered with the same Inverted Cone Technology that has made their drivers #1 on Tour, these irons feature Draw Weighted Technology to remove weight from the cavity area at the toe and position the CG back and closer to the heel. An expanded COR zone provides increased yardage, especially on mis-hits. This revolutionary design makes the new r7 Draw irons more forgiving and more workable than ever before.

 

Futures:

 

  1. Delivers more power and superior ball flight for more distance. 

  2. Draw-Weighted Technology helps square the clubface fast at impact to promote a draw by moving weight from the cavity area at the toe, moving the CG back, and closer to the heel. 

  3. Ultra-deep and wide cavity creates super-low and deep CG for high launch and long carry. 

  4. Wide and cambered sole glides over turf to increase playability from all types of lies. 

  5. Inverted Cone – Higher COR and ball speed on mishits 

  6. Unique dampening web soaks up harsh vibrations. 

  7. Maximum Offset – Makes it easier to square the face at and through impact

 

FLEX OPTIONS Regular, Stiff/Firm GRIP TaylorMade Rubber Composition HAND Right IRON CONSTRUCTION Cast MATERIAL Steel MODEL R7 PLAYER Men SET COMPOSITION 4 thru Sand Wedge STOCK SHAFT Other TYPE Cavity Back

Review:

 

These clubs have been fantastic for me!!
when i bought these from a pro shop in chester i never knew what they would do for me. when i bought these i played off 20 i now play off 9 and all because of these irons. well done taylor made!!

I have mixed feelings about these clubs. I got the last march for $200, a great price. When I first got them, they were a huge improvement over my rac os’s. I hit them 10 yards farther and a bit straighter. My focus was just on hitting a straight shot, instead of working the ball. Since, my handicap has dropped from a 22 to a 13 and the shafts have become too light. Even more than other clubs, the wrong flex effects the ball fight drastically. I now can only hit a huge hook. I cannot work the ball at all, and the clubs are a bit too forgiving, if thats possible. You get absolutely no feedback on misses. This has caused me to get lazy with my swing. These clubs would be fine if you are not still growing, unlike myself. I would probably recommend these clubs to people who shoot in the high 90s and are not truly interested in improving your swing. Kids should stay away from these clubs.

 

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DESTINATION: MARIN COUNTY, CALIFORNIA

Friday, July 30th, 2010

The kids and I planned a hooky day right before the Christmas holidays. Right before the East Coast contingent would arrive. We knew we would do our fair share of typical sightseeing – which is always a pleasure. Shopping in Union Square, a trip to Napa to see Coppola’s latest excesses manifest themselves at the old Inglenook winery, and good food and drink galore. But today it was destination Marin. The only question was where.

In the 26 years I have lived in Marin County, I have taken hundreds of day trips around the county with my husband and kids. With all due respect to the Philadelphia suburbs I hail from, I could only muster a few in all the years I lived there. One could only visit Valley Forge so many times and even the Amish country and quaint New Hope got stale after a score of repeat trips – and these meant a trip outside my county. County actually didn’t mean much back there.

In Marin, it’s everything. It’s the bond that holds this incredibly diverse band of municipalities and unincorporated areas together. It’s a very tangible feeling of membership into an extraordinary piece of land bounded by the ocean and the bay and infused with hundreds of miles of meandering open space that is of paramount importance to all of its residents.

Today we opt for a trip to Mount Tamalpais, the imposing mountain that hosts hundreds of trails, lakes, waterfalls and wildlife. It is cold and clear as I make my left turn at the “2 AM” Club in Mill Valley to head uphill. It’s the only way I know to get there, and I don’t know how I know this way, but it always gets me there. We are treated to a unobstructed climb – in warm weather the narrow road holds competing traffic and bicyclists. We plan to eat lunch at the Mountain Home Inn, a mainstay for fantastic food and views year-round.  We refuse to be daunted when my son locks the keys in the car, so we eat slowly while waiting for AAA to come. Oversized hamburgers and mesquite grilled chicken sandwiches are extra delicious, as is the tomato soup I am still trying to replicate. We agree as we always do, that we should spend the night here sometime and ask the hostess about the rooms. She gives us a few keys and we explore a few of the one-of-a-kind cozy rooms until she rings us that our car rescuer is here. The inn and the rooms are as friendly as she is. We agree on Room #1 for a future date.

Back in business, we drive to the top parking lot and hike our way to the peak in record time. It dawns on me that Marin County is the best place in the world if you like to eat great food and then hope to work it off.  I remember doing the same thing in the Austrian Alps – after a trip into one of the many magical towns like Kitzbuhel and St. Anton, we would head back up the mountain to our lodge, making a stop halfway up for a beer and a mouthwatering sausage sandwich. A mere snack before dinner. I lost about 5 pounds after a two-week vacation. My kind of diet. My kind of vacation. Very Marin, too.

From the top of Mt. Tam you can really comprehend the amazing topography of Marin County – a sliver of green hills and valleys between two majestic bodies of water. We pick out Tam’s smaller sister, Mount Burdell in Novato, some 15 miles or so away and our home town, then look for more well known landmarks, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, The Transamerica Tower in The City and the rolling Marin Headlands. Westward we look down on Stinson Beach and we decide that’s our next destination.

It’s a quick, breathtaking drive down the mountain as we land at Marin’s largest strip of southern-California-like beach. It’s a mecca in the summer but today there are just a few dozen beachcombers. We run for a mile in the crystal clear air, chasing sea gulls. We run past a sign advertising “Shakespeare on the Beach” and we plan to attend a performance next summer. Our friend is the Director of the Marin Shakespeare Company, and we frequent his talented performance closer to home at a fern-covered amphitheater on the campus of an old college – but a production on this beach sounds like great fun.

We decide to head back to Novato, Marin’s most northern city via the water, up Highway 1, which ultimately can wind you up and down the coast to Oregon if you are so daring. But first, we follow a security truck marked “Sea Drift” – we have always wondered how one enters this toney enclave that sits between the ocean and a scenic spit. We find all sorts of quaint beach cottages as we make our way to the gatehouse, and we make great plans to lease one for a week this summer.

We pass the Bolinas Lagoon with seals sunning themselves at every turn, pass the rolling horse ranches, through miniscule Dogtown and into the town of Olema. Another one of our favorite places to eat near the beach is the Olema Inn and we talk about stopping for some oysters – but we are still full. I tell the kids about shooting a commercial for the Inn – and how each room is decorated with comfortable European charm to complement the tasty food. Another place we will spend the night some day.

Now on to Point Reyes Station, the tiny West Marin town that we stop at on every return trip from any one of our favorite beaches. Today there isn’t much produce at Toby’s Feed Barn – in summer you can stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables as well as other locally produced goodies. The Station House Café provides top notch dining here, and in summer, if you make it up the road through the Point Reyes National Seashore, you’ll get to Drakes’ Beach Café where the fish and chips are shouting fresh inside, and barbecued oysters and corn-on-the-cob are simmering outside on the grill. Today however, we happily settle for huge chocolate chip cookies, hot chocolate and expresso at Café Reyes, tucked in behind our favorite antique shop where we find a few small Christmas gifts. We have been looking for red chili pepper lights that I want to hang in my kitchen and one small shop has them hanging in the window. We are disappointed to learn that they only have green ones left and we all concede this just won’t do: we buy more gifts instead.

We feel as though we have been to several different worlds today and it’s only four o’clock: mountains and beaches and numerous small towns, and as usual, we’ve just hit a few of the spots Marin County offers us.

I think of our other exploits just in Sausalito alone. The nefarious Sam Z, a colorful character, who often held court at the still-hopping No Name Bar and owned quite a bit of the town, was once our landlord when we owned an athletic shoe and apparel store across from his famous waterfront eatery, “Zack’s,” now the Paradise Cafe. Sam let me shoot some commercials on Richardson Bay in front of his establishment for an East Coast client, and the kudos were impressive – but what seemed like the Riviera to them was just a few clever angles, easy to find in Sausalito.

My friend Tony is another unlikely Sausalito scion  – a transplanted Chicago musician, he operates an enormously successful women’s sportswear business from his Sausalito base while also buying and restoring a mammoth waterfront design complex, a movie theatre, an office building and a restaurant. Locals keep an eye out for his “sample sales “along with those of a few other manufacturers headquartered nearby. It’s always a treat too, when scores of local artisans, some his tenants, open their doors and show off their unusual works.

But that’s for another day. We head back over the Nicasio hills where movie mogul George Lucas has his environmentally low-key, technologically high-octane compound. It’s said he is illusive, but I’ve been behind him in line at the Taco Bell drive-through in Novato, and ate lunch a few tables away at the Marin Brewing Company in Larkspur. My neighbor Harlan, fitted him and his then girlfriend, Linda Ronstadt for glasses at his optical shop in San Rafael. His understated image precisely mirrors Marin County.

We make one final stop as we head into Novato, to the Marin French Cheese Company, also known as Rouge et Noir. Made on-site, you can’t find better brie anywhere.  The absolute truth. Also camembert and schloss. We buy six flavored rounds ripe for eating and head to our town. This super family-oriented city of close to 50,000 is home to numerous leading high technology companies, yet maintains a small-town feel that is reflected in its “old town” shops, excellent schools and active park and recreation department and more. In summer, Novato hosts the annual Festival of Art, Wine and Music. Once a small, local affair, it now brings in huge crowds from all over. I don’t know how he does it but an insurance agent and amateur musician in town, has managed to consistently book great acts to satisfy every musical taste.  I think Novato is an incredible place to raise a family, to work, to shop and to dine. It has a flavor, as uniquely it’s own as any of the places we visited today.

Once again, “destination Marin” is a great success. I wonder what our next escapade will be. I know it will involve great food, beautiful vistas and some outdoor activity – on a hill, at a beach or a festival, on one of the bays – on bike or foot or boat, with a tennis racquet, a golf club or even an umbrella.

Copyright January, 2010

Christine Scioli

All Rights Reserved

Christine Scioli owns Zan Media, a film and video production company, http://www.zanmedia.com with her husband and daughter.

Cheap Dorset Holiday Accommodation

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Dorset is mainly a rural county with a traditional English countryside. The Dorset Down’s surge diagonally across the entire county and make for exceptional walking country, with outstanding scenery and views. The natural beauty covers the best part of the county. The towns and villages tend to be small but pack astonishing historic buildings and delightful traditional thatched cottages.

The coast is breath taking with a gradual change in terrain from east to west. The cost offers sheltered bays, striking rock formations and long pebble and sand beaches. The atmosphere varies from the quite and serene customary harbour tows at Lyme Regis to the more lively and exuberant seaside resorts at Bournemouth and Weymouth. Areas such as Poole Christchurch and Portland provide a large variety of water sports hotspots along with a large number of cycle trails for the cyclist enthusiasts. The CoastlineX53 bus service provides regular services to and from the coast. Much of eastern Dorset is covered by heathland. This habit is now a scarce site, but in Dorset due to the National Nature Reserve, its boasts some of the most widespread heathlands in Europe. Dorset is said to be a walkers delight with an extensive network of footpaths and long walking trails along the county and coast.

The Jurassic coast, which extends 95 miles is a World Heritage Site, the coastline reveals the story of 185 million years of history. Along the way there are astounding rock formations and fossil that make up the Dorset coast. Dorset has many beaches along its coast, which include popular beaches in Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth. There are mix of fine golden sand and sparkling shingle beaches in the area. Dorset also offers some of the finest destinations for surfing, sailing and diving, with Poole and Portland harbours leading the way. There is a large number of watersports available in most areas of Dorset. You’ll also find some fascinating diving bays in the area of Dorset revealing more of the splendid Jurassic Coast.

Dorset is superb for golf breaks. The natural Dorset heathland creates the look of a traditional golf courses, with well kept fairways and greens. With a large number of Golf courses in the area you will never be left wanting. For fantastic views while golfing try the gorgeous cliff top Bridport & West Dorset Golf club. Dorset has pride in it fresh local produce. A lot of the small towns in Dorset are historically market towns and the traditions from these pastimes can still be seen today. The holiday season sees a large number of festivals across Dorset, from folk and music festivals, Georgian fairs and the fossil festival at Lyme Regis.

If nature still calls, why not visit Monkey World. It is a massive sanctuary spanning 65 miles. The reserve has a vast amount of the ape species in its borders, from chimpanzees to Ring Tail Lemurs. There are picnic areas, a café and a gift shop. There is also an adventure playground to keep the kids happy. If its history you like why not take a look at the Dinosaur museum, a place to revisit the glory days of those giant creatures. If you would like a less scary trip also see the Teddy Bear Museum with a huge collection of teddy bears. Tutankhamen’s tom and the Terracotta soldiers exhibitions house some of the most fascinating artefacts in history, if you are in Dorset then check these out you will not be disappointed.

Maui: A Family Vacation Destination

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Located on the southwest side of Maui, the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui overlooks the amazing waters off of Polo Beach. The beach here is the center of all water activities such as snorkeling, sailing, kayaking, and even windsurfing.

Visitors here can play on any of the Wailea Golf Club’s three championship golf courses or enjoy a game of tennis at any of the 14 courts the tennis center offers. Parents that are tired can get some much deserved personal time with a massage at the Spa Kea Lani.

The resort accommodations are either suites or villas, so there is no need to squeeze your entire family into a tiny room. There suites here are a minumum of 840 square feet and offer a separate living room and marble bathroom with a separate tub for soaking.

The private two levels villas here are minutes away from the beach and are between 1,800 – 2,200 square feet as well. The villas are ideal for larger families as they offer a full service kitchen and a private courtyard with a plunge pool and barbeque for grilling out.

Keiki Lani is also the hotel’s activity center for kids as well. It’s a state licensed facility for children between the ages of 5 and 13, giving parents a break from watching their kids. Here, children can enjoy painting coconuts, building sand castles, exploring the tide pools, learning how to dance hula, and even making real flower leis. The activity center can accommodate up to 19 children, so be sure to call ahead and reserve a space for your children.

Rates The rates for stay start at $325 per night for a suite. One of the benefits of a family vacation here is the special deals that are almost always available. The Fairmont Kea Lani Maui has several packages available for family vacations.  

If you are planning to explore the island with the kids, you’ll save a lot of money by taking a package that includes a free rental car. This way, you can explore the island at your will without having to worry about paying any extra money.

For a family vacation, Maui is truly a one of a kind destination. There are many different things to do here for everyone in your family, even if they are indeed hard to please.

Once your family experiences Maui and everything there is to offer, you’ll never look at beach vacations the same way again. Maui has that kind of power – especially when it comes to warm weather and pleasing people from all over the world.

Visit the Facts About Tea website to learn about yarrow tea and fat burning tea

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What Can A Carnival Cruise Offer The Experienced Traveler?

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

If you’re considering a cruise, whether it’s to Alaska, the Caribbean or anywhere in between, sail on a Carnival cruise line. Carnival cruise lines know how to entertain, and work hard to provide activities and services that will keep young, old and in between happy while sailing.

A Carnival cruise ship is literally a floating resort with plush accommodations, first class restaurants, spas, and shopping experiences. Carnival cruise ‘Fun ships’ sail from many ports to over 60 destinations, including Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico, the Panama Canal, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada and New England, even to Europe. For those wanting to see Alaska, Carnival cruise lines sail to Glacier Bay and both Northbound and Southbound Alaska. For those wishing to hobnob with old tales of pirates and treasure in the blue Caribbean, ports in the Eastern, Southern and Western Caribbean are ripe for the plucking. Carnival cruise trips to Mexico sail to Baja and the Mexican Riviera and the Bermuda leg offers a Cruise to Nowhere, if you’re daring enough.

Carnival cruise lines offer both standard and luxury appointments, providing a first class sailing experience for budget travelers or those with bottomless pockets. The finest in dining, entertainment and travel ports of call are the best that a cruise line has to offer, and Carnival cruise vacations have one of the highest user ratings of major cruise lines. Carnival cruise lines don’t just offer great destinations however, but moderately priced cabins for singles or families. Don’t even think about having to sleep on an uncomfortable bunk or berth either, because Carnival cruise lines have installed ‘Carnival Comfort Bed’ sleep systems in all the ships in their globe-trotting fleet. The younger crowd is kept entertained with the new Carnival cruise ‘Club 02′, designed specifically for travelers between the ages of 15 and 17. It’s the new ‘hot spot’ on the ship for those who don’t want to hang out with the parents but want to make friends, dance to the latest music and play video games. The club is staffed with fun and energetic employees who know what your kids want and how to offer it to them.

Want to bring your golf clubs along? Carnival cruise lines offer a V1 Digital Coaching System that will help cure any ailment to your golf swing from the convenience of the ship deck so that you’ll be ready to play once you hit the ports. No matter what you like to do, Carnival cruise personnel will try to provide it for you. Day and night time entertainment keeps passengers enthralled and happy between ports of call, with dancing, singing, and other venues geared for all age groups and tastes.

A Carnival cruise adventure offers events and event planning help if you have special needs or larger groups of people in your traveling party. Online, Carnival cruise lines offer tips, suggestions, and messages posted from other Carnival cruise adventures. The Carnival cruise line’s official website is easy to navigate and offers answers to just abut any question that could possibly be asked about the Carnival cruise vacation experience.

Ready to discover the magic of a Carnival Cruise for yourself? Find out more about the fun of a Carnival Cruise at http://theCoolestCruises.com.

Top 5 Reasons To Live In Knightdale, Nc

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Located in Wake County, you will find the town of Knightdale, which holds a history involving an agricultural location that was once situated on the railroad. During the 1990s, the town experienced an increase in population due to its associations with Research Triangle Park. Some consider the town a suburb of Raleigh, which is the capital of the state. Below you will find a couple of reasons highlighting the interest attached to the town of Knightdale.

Recreational Outlets

Both the youths and the adults of the town are exposed to a variety of recreational outlets involving all of the seasons. In the spring, baseball and softball open up to the kids and adults of the town. The summer season offers league basketball, while the winter features adult basketball leagues and many other activities that take place at the Knightdale Recreation Center. The center provides a cure for boredom with self-defense, yoga, hip-hop, photography, and swim classes.

Good Communication with Residents

Knightdale is a town that is known for maintaining good communication with their citizens. Weekly updates on the progress of their hometown are conveyed through an online newsletter. The town website also keeps residents thoroughly informed on the latest news, headlines, and decisions that government officials have made. Citizen driven programs are also encouraged and offered by the town.

Great for Kids

Knightdale is a great place for kids to live because they are offered a wealth of attractions and activities that both enrich and entertain their lives. For instance, youth sports clubs provide kids an outlet with Knightdale Soccer and Knightdale Football. Boy Scout Troop 347 also holds various events for the interested.

A Wide Range of Local Businesses

The businesses situated in town allow residents to satisfy their needs as they search for the perfect dinner or seek out a place to gain rest and relaxation. Knightdale is home to the Appearance Salon and Spa; Castle Farms; CiCi’s Pizza; Joy Hamilton Photography; Knightdale Academy of Gymnastics; and the Wil-Mar Golf Club.

Random Perks

While some people enjoy the busy atmosphere of a large city, others enjoy the calm of a smaller population. With these types of towns (where everyone knows your name) random perks may arise. For example, towns like Knightdale offer events, such as Spring Cleanup, where town residents receive yard waste and bulk item pickup for free on a designated week of the year.

The author would like you to visit Knightdale, NC Real Estate Buyers Agent and Raleigh Real Estate.

Luxury Homes at Davidson County, North Carolina

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Let us look at the history of Davison County. For hundreds of years the location was a hunting route for Native Indians and later for Europeans. Before 1700 Sapona Indians lived on the banks of the Yadkin River that is now the western border of the county. The region was then settled by the Germans and the English. The settlers were attracted by the land, the forests and the streams. Davidson County as it is today was created from the Rowan County in 1822. It is named after the Revolutionary War general William Davidson. In the mid 1800’s gold and silver were mined in the county. Originally the county had only two villages, Lexington and Clemmonsville. The settlement developed later. The 522 square mile county is now a modern and progressive society. You could easilt find and buy a luxury home at Davidson County, North Carolina.

Davidson County has something for everybody. For those interested in art, there are art galleries. The Childress Vineyards is a good destination for those who like wines. There is a Richard Childress Racing museum for speed lovers. The region features the Boone’s Cave Park, an ideal destination for a trek or for a picnic. There are two museums that depict the history of this region. The High Rock Lake is an excellent spot for water sports. There are many places to shop at. The region is known for its handcrafted furniture. And the best attraction fir foodies could be the Lexington type of barbeque.

All these factors should have you feeling very comfortable while buying a
luxury home at the Davidson County in the center of North Carolina. The county also has a few large employers for people in search of local jobs and good school and college facilities for those concerned with educational facilities for their children.

When you look for a house in
Davidson County, you might compare floor plans, photographs and prices available from the agents. You have the option of buying new home or of looking for a resale. There are many planned communities to choose from. Your luxury home could have a country club or a golf club kind of setting, according to your preferences.

When you look for a luxury home, you will probably find a club neighborhood to be the right choice. A luxury home at Davidson County will have access to a golf course and to a pleasant social life. Other than security, the landscape is impressive. The locations have proximity to stores. Elders can go to the nearby church and schools for the kids are accessible. It also has safe playgrounds, swimming pools and, indoor and outdoor sports facilities.

For the given price, a luxury home at the Davidson County, North Carolina is definitely a dream buy.

About Author: Planning to buy Luxury Homes in Davidson County, Winston Salem area, Lewisville, Clemmons, Buena Vista, Advance, Pfafftown, Rural Hall or either in Forsyth County, Davie County, Surry County, Stokes County or Rockingham County of North Carolina, contact Arshi Paul. You can reach Arshi at (336) 287 7193 or by visiting our website:
http://www.nc-homes-search.com/.

Empty Nesters – a More Diverse Group Than Ever

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Retirement.  Florida.  Golf.  Boredom.  What do these terms have in common?  Not much, according to a mountain of recent studies of the lifestyles and demographics of aging baby-boomers.  Today’s “empty-nesters” are a more diverse group then ever before, taking advantage of their newly found free time and discretionary income.  They’re changing the way we think about the second half of life, living out their dreams and fulfilling life goals.

The notion that life after the children leave necessarily means loneliness and boredom has been swept away.  That myth, it seems, grew from 1960s research on women being treated for depression, according to My Turn, a 1997 book by author Patricia Gottlieb Shapiro.  Shapiro researched the lives of 45 women whose children had “left the nest” and discovered that most felt a sense of relief and freedom.  Other scientific studies have found similar results.

Nearly one-third of America’s population (75 million people) are considered “maturing baby-boomers”, a very large and relatively affluent group that is looking for much more from the “after-family” years than rocking chairs and meals-on-wheels.

Sales Of Bermuda Shorts Plummet

You’ve got to look harder to find empty nesters these days because they’re not living where you’d expect them.  BUILDER Magazine (www.builderonline.com) commissioned research in early 2000 to study the housing goals, preferences, and priorities of people aged 45 and older and came up with some eye-opening results.

“Mature Buyers” (the home-building industry’s term) it seems, aren’t planning to flock to the Sunbelt in droves.  While climate is still an important consideration in choosing an after-family home, it ranks below proximity to family and friends.  Only one-third of respondents planning to move in the next five years will head for another region of the country; of the remaining local movers, one-half won’t go farther than 25 miles from their current homes.

What, No Shuffleboard?


Mom and Dad aren’t much interested in living with folks their own age, either.  Only 18% of the future movers in the BUILDER survey say they plan to move into “age-qualified” communities, where a minimum age is required for admission.  Instead, they’d rather be around people of all ages, especially children, and away from “old folks”.  That’s understandable – we’re talking about a younger, healthier, wealthier, more mobile group.  They’re determined to remain independent for as long as possible.  And medical research validates their lifestyle choices – activity has a direct impact on long-term health.

For the increasingly smaller (though still very large) group choosing golf-course communities in the Southwest and Southeast, outdoor activities are easy to come by year-round.  The group staying closer to home, however, works a little harder to find the kind of mentally and physically stimulating avocations they demand.  They’re finding that tonic in community activities, volunteer work, and startup businesses.

The growth of the “aging-in-place” group demands that the design professions closely scrutinize the effects of an aging population on the design of after-family homes.  There are two general categories of home environment to consider – the newly built home for the group intending to move and the existing home to be remodeled for changing uses.

Wanted: Smaller (and better) Nest


OK, you’re living in a 4-bedroom 2-story colonial home in the Midwestern United States, and the kids have (finally!) graduated college.  You’ve probably figured out by now that you’ve got about two bedrooms too many.  There are ten years left on the mortgage, and the cost of heating the big family home has gone way up.  Your life has suddenly changed, shouldn’t your home?

For many in this situation, this is a chance to upgrade to a higher quality (but smaller) low-maintenance house.  And many after-family couples have the money to do it.  A survey by Kemper Funds reveals that almost 6 in 10 affluent empty nesters (incomes over $50,000 per year) have at least $5000 a year in additional spending money once they’ve written their last tuition check.  A smaller group finds themselves with $10,000 or more.

While some folks are indeed using the post-tuition windfall to build or buy new, a growing number are staying put – they like where they live and intend to stay there as long as they’re able.

Second Life For The Family Home


The transition from family home to after-family home is easier in some existing houses than in others.  At my residential architectural practice, we often design new homes that are to varying degrees prepared for changes in the occupant’s lifestyle.  A recent project for a young family includes closet space that can be converted for a future elevator, should the need arise.  But even in homes where the lifestyles of future empty nesters haven’t been considered there are numerous changes that can make it easier to continue living comfortably for many years.

While some of the more dramatic changes fall into the remodeling category and involve large areas of the house, many modifications are small and isolated to specific rooms.

Moving Downstairs


But let’s get the big changes out of the way first.  Can the house be adapted to one-level living?  This is often the first consideration of after-family couples.  Trudging up and down 15 or 16 steps several times a day doesn’t sound much like leisure living.  Often a study or living room can be easily converted to a first floor bedroom, or perhaps the after-tuition windfall is enough to allow the addition of a complete first-floor master suite.

Since privacy from the children is now a moot point, removing a few doors can make circulation through the house easier and make better use of the entire level for everyday living.

Simple Steps to Ease Everyday Life


The homeowners, with little more than simple hand tools, can often make smaller changes themselves.  Doorknobs, for example, can be replaced with simpler-to-operate lever handles.  Luminous light switches can be installed in bedrooms, baths, and hallways.  Matte finish paint, flooring, and countertops reduce glare.  And a programmable thermostat need only be set once – even those of us with good vision have trouble with those tiny levers and numbers!

Bathrooms are usually relatively tight spaces for adults of all ages but a number of small changes can make big improvements.  A seat in the shower helps decrease bending over to wash; grab bars on the shower walls make using the shower safer; and an anti-scald shower valve has obvious benefits.

Higher countertops, lever faucets, and a phone jack can also help keep the bath functional and safe later in life.

Now We’re Cooking


Everyone has experienced the transformation of the kitchen from utility to social space as our home lives have become less formal.  We eat, cook, relax, and entertain here – it’s the center of the house.  Nowhere in the house is it more important to adapt space to changing needs and again, small modifications can make all the difference.

Most kitchen improvements are designed to reduce the need to bend at the waist and eliminate reaching over obstacles.  A side-by-side refrigerator, for example, is much easier to use than a model that requires reaching deep into a bottom freezer.  Pull-out shelves in the lower cabinets and adjustable shelves in the upper cabinets have a similar positive effect.

The kitchen is an obstacle course, really – full of tools and appliances that sometimes seem poorly designed for adults of any age.  Decorative cabinet knobs and pulls, while pretty, can be difficult to grasp.  They’re quickly replaced, however, with hardware designed for ease of use.  And here’s something that works for everyone once the kids have grown – a cooktop with front-mounted controls.

Just Like Home


As more and more empty nesters choose to stay in their existing homes, they’re finding a fulfilling life in familiar surroundings.  It’s a positive trend that should be reinforced by designing new homes with the flexibility to accommodate changing families.  And many existing homes are easily remodeled to keep the new empty nesters close to the diversity of life experience and the exposure to people of all ages that many of them prefer.

But hey, that doesn’t mean you can’t visit the Sunshine State once in a while.  Don’t forget your golf clubs.

I have over 20 years? experience in the field of architecture and have designed homes and buildings across the country.


I see my work as much more than just designing homes – I see residential architecture as an expression of a social art; an art with a strong responsibility to culture and environment, expressed in its enrichment of family life and by its contribution to community.


I truly love my work, and look forward to sharing the excitement of the custom design process with you.


Richard Taylor, AIA

President

Richard Taylor Architects, LLC
Residential Architects

Carnival Cruising Deals

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

A Carnival cruise ship is literally a floating resort with plush accommodations, first class restaurants, spas, and shopping experiences. Carnival cruise ‘Fun ships’ sail from many ports to over 60 destinations, including Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico, the Panama Canal, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada and New England, even to Europe. For those wanting to see Alaska, Carnival cruise lines sail to Glacier Bay and both Northbound and Southbound Alaska. For those wishing to hobnob with old tales of pirates and treasure in the blue Caribbean, ports in the Eastern, Southern and Western Caribbean are ripe for the plucking. Carnival cruise trips to Mexico sail to Baja and the Mexican Riviera and the Bermuda leg offers a Cruise to Nowhere, if you’re daring enough.

Carnival cruise lines offer both standard and luxury appointments, providing a first class sailing experience for budget travelers or those with bottomless pockets. The finest in dining, entertainment and travel ports of call are the best that a cruise line has to offer, and Carnival cruise vacations have one of the highest user ratings of major cruise lines. Carnival cruise lines don’t just offer great destinations however, but moderately priced cabins for singles or families. Don’t even think about having to sleep on an uncomfortable bunk or berth either, because Carnival cruise lines have installed ‘Carnival Comfort Bed’ sleep systems in all the ships in their globe-trotting fleet. The younger crowd is kept entertained with the new Carnival cruise ‘Club 02′, designed specifically for travelers between the ages of 15 and 17. It’s the new ‘hot spot’ on the ship for those who don’t want to hang out with the parents but want to make friends, dance to the latest music and play video games. The club is staffed with fun and energetic employees who know what your kids want and how to offer it to them.

Want to bring your golf clubs along? Carnival cruise lines offer a V1 Digital Coaching System that will help cure any ailment to your golf swing from the convenience of the ship deck so that you’ll be ready to play once you hit the ports. No matter what you like to do, Carnival cruise personnel will try to provide it for you. Day and night time entertainment keeps passengers enthralled and happy between ports of call, with dancing, singing, and other venues geared for all age groups and tastes.

A Carnival cruise adventure offers events and event planning help if you have special needs or larger groups of people in your traveling party. Online, Carnival cruise lines offer tips, suggestions, and messages posted from other Carnival cruise adventures. The Carnival cruise line’s official website is easy to navigate and offers answers to just abut any question that could possibly be asked about the Carnival cruise vacation experience.

The Author is an expert writer for various travel writing such as kingfisher airlines, kingfisher Booking and Kingfisher red

A Look at Carnival Cruise Lines

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

If you’re considering a cruise, whether it’s to Alaska, the Caribbean or anywhere in between, sail on a Carnival cruise line. Carnival cruise lines know how to entertain, and work hard to provide activities and services that will keep young, old and in between happy while sailing.

A Carnival cruise ship is literally a floating resort with plush accommodations, first class restaurants, spas, and shopping experiences. Carnival cruise ‘Fun ships’ sail from many ports to over 60 destinations, including Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico, the Panama Canal, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada and New England, even to Europe. For those wanting to see Alaska, Carnival cruise lines sail to Glacier Bay and both Northbound and Southbound Alaska. For those wishing to hobnob with old tales of pirates and treasure in the blue Caribbean, ports in the Eastern, Southern and Western Caribbean are ripe for the plucking. Carnival cruise trips to Mexico sail to Baja and the Mexican Riviera and the Bermuda leg offers a Cruise to Nowhere, if you’re daring enough.

Carnival cruise lines offer both standard and luxury appointments, providing a first class sailing experience for budget travelers or those with bottomless pockets. The finest in dining, entertainment and travel ports of call are the best that a cruise line has to offer, and Carnival cruise vacations have one of the highest user ratings of major cruise lines. Carnival cruise lines don’t just offer great destinations however, but moderately priced cabins for singles or families. Don’t even think about having to sleep on an uncomfortable bunk or berth either, because Carnival cruise lines have installed ‘Carnival Comfort Bed’ sleep systems in all the ships in their globe-trotting fleet. The younger crowd is kept entertained with the new Carnival cruise ‘Club 02′, designed specifically for travelers between the ages of 15 and 17. It’s the new ‘hot spot’ on the ship for those who don’t want to hang out with the parents but want to make friends, dance to the latest music and play video games. The club is staffed with fun and energetic employees who know what your kids want and how to offer it to them.

Want to bring your golf clubs along? Carnival cruise lines offer a V1 Digital Coaching System that will help cure any ailment to your golf swing from the convenience of the ship deck so that you’ll be ready to play once you hit the ports. No matter what you like to do, Carnival cruise personnel will try to provide it for you. Day and night time entertainment keeps passengers enthralled and happy between ports of call, with dancing, singing, and other venues geared for all age groups and tastes.

A Carnival cruise adventure offers events and event planning help if you have special needs or larger groups of people in your traveling party. Online, Carnival cruise lines offer tips, suggestions, and messages posted from other Carnival cruise adventures. The Carnival cruise line’s official website is easy to navigate and offers answers to just abut any question that could possibly be asked about the Carnival cruise vacation experience.

Learn about pond bacteria and pond edging at the Pond Problems site.