Road tripping with your pets

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Travelling with your pet can be very stressful for them long before the trip begins. They see the hustle and bustle of packing, the constant flurry of action, and changes to their environment. They have the ability to sense when something in their world is unsettled. Here are a few tips to make their journey to your new destination as easy and safe as possible…

1Make sure your pet is acclimated to traveling in the car before your journey. Take them for a few short trips to let them get the feel for car travel. Often pets only know going to a vet or groomer and associate being in the car with something they might not like.

Try to keep to your pet’s feeding schedule with the same food they are ac2accustomed to eating. It’s important to maintain the same schedule as much as possible to minimize  stress.

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The hills are alive in San Francisco…

Golden Gate Park – This park is one of the largest urban parks in the world and is truly a playground for all ages. In addition to the California Academy of Sciences which is home to an aquarium, planetarium and natural history museum, you can enjoy the de Young Museum, the San Francisco Botanical Gardens, the Conservatory of Flowers, the Japanese Tea Garden, and the Herschell-Spillman Carousel. Throughout the park you’ll discover gardens, playgrounds, lakes, picnic groves, trails and monuments. Plus, there are an array of cultural venues, events and sports activities.

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PIER 39 – Located along the historic San Francisco waterfront known as Fisherman’s Wharf, PIER 39 offers a bounty for your senses. This location affords spectacular views of the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, Alcatraz, Angel Island and the impressive city skyline. You’ll marvel at the sea lions that have made the pier their home. Indulge your senses with the famous clam chowder and sourdough bread. From shopping and dining to entertainment and attractions, PIER 39 has it all.


 The Cable Car Museum – The first cable car went into service on Clay Street in 1873. Located in the historic Washington/Mason cable car barn and powerhouse, the museum deck overlooks the huge engines and winding wheels that pull the cables. From downstairs you can view the large sheaves and cable line entering the building under the street. In addition to housing three antique cable cars from the 1870s, one of which is the only surviving car from the first cable car company, on display are historic photographs and the mechanical devices needed to operate the system.


The Presidio – What once a military post for over 200 years is now a natural park site and recreational wonderland replete with historic and architectural riches, amazing vistas, spectacular flora and fauna and a wealth of military accomplishments. The entire Presidio is designated as a National Historic Landmark with 470 of the 870 structures on the former post considered to have historical significance.



San Francisco Zoo & Gardens – Nestled against the Pacific Ocean, the San Francisco Zoo is home to over 1,000 exotic, endangered and rescued animals representing more than 250 species. In addition, the impressive gardens, abundant with native and foreign plants, are part of the conservation effort in place throughout the zoo. You’ll hear from the keepers and see the passion they have for the animals that will surely leave you with a lasting impression – one of caring, dedication and overall well-being for the animals.


Amusement Parks in Virginia

Virginia is for lovers… of roller coasters! Boasting some of the most scenic country and historical sights on the East Coast, Virginia also has some of the best amusement parks in the nation.

Adrenaline and roller coasters: have no fear (or maybe have a little fear)! Here are a couple of the best amusement parks in Virginia.

Busch Gardens

Perhaps one of the most recognized amusement parks in the nation, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, located in the Historic Triangle area, is renowned for its stunning grounds. It also earns its title with some very thrilling rides. Take, for instance, Apollo’s Chariot. Since its inception, the roller coaster has repeatedly earned its place among the top 10 steel roller coasters in the world, and with the first drop exceeding 200 feet, it’s easy to see why people keep coming back. Another ride, the Alpengeist, is the world’s tallest inverted roller coaster (riders’ feet dangle), and has been a fan favorite since it’s completion in 1997.

Lines for these and other coasters can get long which can get pretty grueling to wait in when the temperature’s high. To escape the heat, attendees should ride The Curse of
DarKastle. This cool, spooky ride utilizes some of the best 3D technology to give riders an immersive fright.

If roller coasters aren’t your thing, Bush Gardens also offers stage productions, musicals, seasonal events, depending on the time of year (including Bier Fest and annual Halloween attractions).

Kings Dominion
Kings Dominion
Another Virginia amusement park is Kings Dominion, located 20 miles north of Richmond, and close enough to Washington D.C. that tourists and political thrill-seekers should make the drive.

Some of the famous roller coasters at Kings Dominion include The Intimidator and the Dominator. A must for those who aren’t afraid of heights, The Intimidator falls a stomach-churning 305 feet in its initial drop. The Dominator is the longest floor-less, steel coaster in the world.

Strange attractions in Southern California

When people think of Southern California, they often conjure up endless summer, beach bodies, Hollywood, and a never-ending party. Despite its sunny disposition, however, Southern California is home to many strange and odd attractions—it’s like that saying: the brightest photographs have the darkest negatives. Here are a couple unique attractions that veer from the norm.

Haunted So Cal: The Whaley House
Compared to most places in the world, Los Angeles and San Diego are relatively young cities, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have rich, ghostly histories. The Whaley House, located in Old Town San Diego, is considered one of the “most haunted places on Earth.” Among many of the ghosts that are said to haunt the place, the most notorious is Yankee Jim, who was convicted of grand larceny and hanged in the gallows on the property in 1852. Although the Whaley House may seem like a tourist trap, the colorful tour guides and genuine creepiness of the place make it worthwhile.

Don’t have a cow: Crazee Burger
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San Diego has a great variety of craft cuisine and delicious eats,
but Crazee Burger, located in North Park San Diego, is one of the most diverse restaurants in the area. At this establishment, foodies venture out of their comfort zones and try exotic burgers  made from buffalo, ostrich, kangaroo and even alligator. Of course, regular beef patties are also available for the non-adventurists.

Just deserts: Joshua Tree National Forest and the Salton Sea
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For those wanting to escape the crowds and traffic of Southern Californian cities, the deserts to the east offer a wide assortment of strange sights and attractions. Joshua Tree National Park, a popular destination for Los Angelinos, is full of natural landscapes and vegetation that feel straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. Farther south, perhaps the strangest attraction is the Salton Sea. After an effort to turn the lake into a beach resort in the 1950s, the water inflow/outflow stagnated, increasing the salinity and diminishing the ability to support life. Now, the beach is covered in fish skeletons; ghost towns and abandoned structures surround the lake. Simultaneously haunting and beautiful, the Salton Sea offers a post-apocalyptic glimpse of the past.

11 Must Try Restaurants in San Francisco

Just like any world-class city, San Francisco offers a compelling range of delicious eateries of all varieties. With amazing food at every turn, you can find the dish of your dreams in some surprising places. San Francisco combines a mix of fresh seafood, homegrown favorites, and ethnic delights. Everyone will find a reason to smile with our list of the best restaurants just south of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Nopa# 11. Nopa (

Backed by local suppliers and the freshest ingredients, Nopa puts a modern twist on some simple favorites. This high-end retreat focuses on wood grilled dishes such as their sizzling flatbreads and smoked burgers. Don’t forget to try their signature cocktails.

tartine# 10. Tartine Bakery & Café (­)

Touting some of the best pastries in the city, Tartine is something special. Their fresh baked goods are a local delicacy. You’ll have to get up early and stand in line to taste one of their seasonal tarts or buttermilk scones.



house of prime rib1# 9. House of Prime Rib (

Considered a local landmark, HoPR reimagines the classic steak house. With a friendly, warm atmosphere and juicy fresh cuts of meat sliced right at the table, this is a dining experience to remember.

A "Purgatorio" pizza (foreground) - Spicy tomato sauce, 2 eggs, Pecorino Romano and a Marcherita (background) pizza - Tomato, fior di latte mozzarella, basil - photographed at Pizzeria Delfina in San Francisco, Calif. on Sunday, December 28, 2008.# 8. Delfina Restaurant (

Pasta lovers rejoice! Delfina has some of the best Italian dishes in the city including their mouth watering Bellwether Ricotta Cavatelli with marinated cherry tomatoes. You won’t find pasta fresher than this.

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Stay Safe When You Relocate

If you’rrelocating-to-albuquerquee relocating to a new city due to a job transfer or short-term assignment, heading to an unfamiliar area can be an exciting adventure, full of new things to discover. However, all cities have safety challenges, no matter how great the location. Here are some hone and travel safety tips that will help you enjoy your new location without worry.

emergency-phone-number-listKeep numbers nearby
Create a list of emergency phone numbers and place in a designated area. Include emergency numbers such as fire, police, poison control, hospital, etc. Also create a list of your work and cell phone numbers. If you have children, designate two other people to contact for help if you cannot be reached.

Know-your-neighborKnow your neighbors
By getting to know your neighbors and becoming familiar with each other’s basic schedules and routines, irregularities become more glaring. Noticing things that are out of place is the most common way for a member of the neighborhood to help local law enforcement stop crimes before anyone gets hurt.

Stoplight_Neoprene_Kids_Backpack-1Prepare the kiddos
Teach children their new address and phone number as quickly as possible.If an emergency should occur, your child should be able to communicate his or her first name, last name, address and phone number. There are many creative ways you can help children learn this information. Check out or
for some suggestions.

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5 Tips for a Smooth Job Transition

New Job

Changing locations for your job, or starting a new job in an unknown community, can be a stressful situation. Not only will you be moving to a new neighborhood, but you will also have to adapt to a new work environment, new colleagues, and potentially, a new corporate culture. These tips can help you successfully transition to your new job and workplace.

  1. Create a rapport with new co-workers: invite new colleagues to coffee or lunch offsite, where both you and your new connections will be relaxed. Be friendly and respectful, and allow others to do most of the talking, but be ready and willing to respond and participate in conversation.
  1. Establish expectations with your boss: Build your credibility, and quickly create value for your organization, by defining what a win is in your boss’s eyes. What does she expect you to learn and accomplish? How quickly does she expect to see results? The more clarity you build around these issues, the easier your transition will be.
  1. Show enthusiasm: In all the craziness of this big transition, remember to smile and be positive. While adjustments are never going to be completely seamless and it’s normal to experience some confusion and discouragement. Remember that these feelings will pass and keep a positive outlook, especially around coworkers. Showing enthusiasm for the job and being able to roll with the punches will make a huge difference in how you are perceived.
  1. Be reliable:  It takes weeks/months/years to build trust, but only a few minutes to lose it.  Don’t dig yourself a hole right off the bat. Show up when you say you will, do what you promise, and help others when possible.
  1. Avoid gossip! You’re too new to get involved with who did what at the last holiday party. Your first few months should focus on proving your expertise and establishing yourself as a team player. While it’s important to be congenial and engage in small talk, graciously leave a conversation when the topic starts getting a little too gossipy.

Everyone undergoing a job transition and relocation has an adjustment period to make, and experiences some bumps in the road. Keep in mind that you were hired or were asked to relocate because your skill set will be a huge benefit to the new location. Small things like not knowing where the copier is, or forgetting exactly how to get to your cubicle, are indeed small things that you will overcome in no time!

Do you have temporary housing needs for your transition? Let SuiteAmerica help make your move easy and stress free. SuiteAmerica Temporary Housing Packages include everything you need to get yourself started in your new apartment.

5 Places to Visit While Staying in Baltimore

Baltimore, Maryland

If you’re moving to Maryland for an extended stay or short-term assignment, you will find that there’s plenty to keep you occupied during your transition. Here are a few suggestions for places to visit while in Baltimore.

Visit the Baltimore National MuseumBaltimore Inner Harbor:
With a multitude of offerings, the Inner Harbor is “the” place to spend the day or evening. Experience family-friendly museums to exciting nightlife, take a cruise on the Bay, or enjoy a brew at one of the many taverns and pubs located here. For a free guide and more information, go to

National Aquarium Baltimore National Aquarium
The animals and sea life at the Aquarium are nothing short of awe-inspiring. Not just for fish, the Aquarium is also home to many “land lubber” species such as the Golden Lion Tamarin and a baby Two-Toed Sloth. Enjoy the 225,000-gallon tank in shark alley, or take a veterinary tour and learn more about how wild animals are cared for. You can even have a sleepover with the Aquarium’s dolphins! Learn more about the Aquarium or check out the webcams at

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5 Places to Visit While Staying in Portland

Portland, Oregon is known as The City of Roses, due to its climate – marked by both warm, dry summers and wet, cool-to-chilly winter days. If you’re relocating to this environmentally conscious city, you’ll have many opportunities to spend time in the great outdoors, or peruse its many eclectic museums. Portland is also known for its funky, quirky personality. Read on for our 5 favorite places to visit in this colorful city.

Columbia River GorgeColumbia River Gorge
Just shy of 300,000 acres, the Columbia River Gorge is a year-round recreational area offering countless outdoor activities. Bring your camera to capture the spectacular geology and numerous tumbling waterfalls. Indoor activities for those “uncooperative” weather days include wine tasting, art galleries an interpretive center, beer sampling, and museums. Visit the Gorge website and view the calendar of events at

9.InternationalRoseTestGardenInternational Rose Test Garden
Located in Washington Park, the International Rose Test Garden houses over 7,000 rose plants. Serving primarily as a testing ground for new varieties, the roses represent many parts of the world and are tested for color, fragrance, disease resistance and other attributes. It is the oldest continuously operating public rose test garden in the United States and exemplifies Portland’s nickname. Open daily, free admission. For hours and specifics, visit &propertyid=1113&action=viewpark

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5 UNIQUE Places to Visit in San Francisco


San Francisco has a multitude of well-known attractions. From strolling through Golden Gate Park to cruising across the bay to Alcatraz, you’ll have plenty to do to keep you busy.  However, escaping the crowds and seeing these lesser-known gems can make you feel uniquely connected to this great city. Here are five UNIQUE places to visit in San Francisco:

San Francisco Castro TheaterCastro Theatre
Watch a classic film in this lavish and intimate theatre. Built in 1922, Castro Theatre features a 1400-seat auditorium with walls covered in rare, decorative, wet plaster murals. Art Deco chandeliers hang from the ceiling, and the mezzanine and balcony are highlighted with mirrors framed in gold. Rare film posters hang in the lobby. Check out their special events or sing along with the Sound of Music. More information can be found at

Balmy Alley Murals
If you want to see a lot of public art but don’t have a ton of time, head to the Mission District’s Balmy Alley. Since the 1980s, the alley has been home to a rotating collection of murals, and today it’s the most concentrated collection of murals in San Francisco. Read more about this unique art project, or get tour information here:

Mount Sutro “Forest in the Clouds”
Located in San Francisco’s Forest Knolls area, the 900-foot slopes of Mount Sutro immerse visitors in thousands of eucalyptus trees, some of which reach 200 feet in height. Hiking here is unique from anywhere else in San Francisco. It’s heavily shaded, due to the tall trees. Walk through the misty trails of fresh, wet forest in its self-contained rain. On weekdays, there are usually few people around, so there’s a sense of isolation amid towering misty trees. Detailed information can be found at


Musee Mecanique
Accessible by F-Market Street Car, Musee Mecanique consists of one of the world’s largest privately owned collections of mechanically operated musical instruments and antique arcade machines. Here you’ll find the world’s only steam-powered motorcycle, antique picture machines, and mechanical fortune-telling figures. Play the coin-operated games, including some that are still only a penny! Free admission. Learn more at


Seward Street Slides
Located in the Castro, Two long, steep concrete slides are the main attraction at this Seward Stree Slidehidden gem. They’re not for tiny tots, nor for the faint of heart! If you decide to slide, please remember that the park closes at sunset. Bring a piece of cardboard and wear sturdy pants!



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