“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.” – Seneca

Quote

Lucius Annaeus Seneca (often known simply as Seneca; ca. 4 BC – AD 65) was a Roman Stoic philosopherstatesman,dramatist, and in one work humorist, of the Silver Age of Latin literature. He was tutor and later advisor to emperor Nero. While he was later forced to commit suicide for alleged complicity in the Pisonian conspiracy to assassinate Nero, the last of the Julio-Claudian emperors, he may have been innocent. (Wikipedia)

Ahhhh…. Playa del Carmen, México

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10 Biggest Parties Around the World

Happy Friday !

Same bar, same crowd tonight?

Desire something a bit more exciting ? Then check out this article on the 10 Biggest Parties in the World !

I can speak from experience that Songkran (World’s Biggest Water Fight) in Bangkok, Thailand, and La Tomatina in Buñol, Spain, (World’s Biggest Food Fight) are amazingly good times.

Put them on your ‘Freedom Year’ list !

Saludos from Mexico City !

Anthony

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10 Biggest Parties Around the World

by on MAY 15, 2008

(see original article here from Matador Network)

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Photo by grahammclellan

Mardi Gras? Carnival? Octoberfest? The Running of the Bulls? Been there. Done that.

EVERYONE KNOWS ABOUT these parties. They’re great. They’re famous. But most people go to them once and never come back. Let’s talk about parties where the same people return year after year.

In no particular order, here are our top 10 must see parties:

La Tomatina

What: Nobody is really sure how it began- practical joke? A harmless food fight between two merchants? A prank? No one knows but this messy fiesta has been a strong tradition since 1945. On the last Wednesday in August, about 30,000 people descend on this little town to participate in the world’s largest food fight. Never had that massive cafeteria food fight when you were younger? Well, here’s your chance.

When: The last Wednesday in August.

Where: The tiny town of Buñol in the Valencia region of Spain

Bring: Throw-away clothes and goggles! Tomato juice in the eye stings!
Learn more

Full Moon Party

What: Legend has it that the Full Moon Party started as a birthday party in the 80s. The backpackers decided to come back again and again. Soon word spread and every month, backpackers would head to KPG to party.

Over the years, the hippy party morphed into a 20,000 person festival. Even in the low season, the party still sees about 10,000 visitors. Many people will tell you that it’s lost its charm over the years but for a serious dose of all night (and all day) partying in Thailand, this is place to get it.

When: During the full moon, every month

Where: Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand

Bring: Your drinking shoes, a red bull, facepaint, and clothes you don’t care about.
Learn more

Burning Man

What: Looking for the ultimate arts extravaganza? Burning Man is for you! An 8 day festival that culminates in the burning of a 72ft wooden man, this festival is where you can cut loose. Each year has a theme (this year, it’s “American Dream”) and last year 47,000 people decided to join the fun.

When: Starts 8 days before the American Labor Day, September

Where:
Blackrock Desert, Nevada USA

Bring: Everything BUT money! Burning Man runs on a full barter system and the only things you can buy are water and ice. Aside from the obvious supplies you’d take camping, other essentials include sunblock, a Camel Back and goggles. MOST importantly, bring something that allows you to participate–that’s what Burning Man is all about.
Learn more

Songkran

What: Songkran is the Thai New Year. It’s a spiritual festival designed to cool you down and wash away the sins of the previous year. What better way of doing that than by committing a few new ones, right away? Songkran takes place all over the country with everyone embarking on possibly the world’s largest water fight.

When: Mid-April

Where: Anywhere in the land of Smiles (Bangkok and Chang Mai have the biggest parties)

Bring: Anything you don’t mind wearing only once, a water gun, extra water, and a good attitude.
Learn more

Glastonbury Music Festival

What: A 3 day music festival designed to celebrate the earth, music, and the arts, this festival brings in people from all over the world. Last year’s event had over 177,000 people and 700 musical acts.

When: The last weekend in June

Where:
Pilton, England

Bring:
Tickets, a tent, sleeping bag, food, and whatever else you “need” to have fun.
Learn more

Holi

What: Similar to the Thai holiday of Songrkan, Holi is a two day Hindu spring festival that occurs in northern India. The first night is marked by bonfires, and the second day is spent pleasuring your inner 2nd grader by splashing colored flour and water over everybody. It’s a celebration about renewal.

Photo: FaceMePLS
When: The full moon in March.Where: India

Bring: Red, orange, and green flour, lots of water, clothes you don’t need!
Learn more

Bay to Breakers

What: It’s supposed to be a 7 mile foot race but instead it’s a 7 mile costume party and keg race that goes through downtown San Francisco. It began in 1906 to keep people’s sprits up after the earthquake and locals are still keeping that alive, in force! Over 70,000 people, congregate downtown in costumes (or nothing at all) and shopping carts filled with kegs. A little Mardi Gras + a little Halloween college party = a lot of fun.

When: The third Sunday in May.

Where:
San Francisco, California

Bring:
A crazy costume and lots of beer!
Learn more

Australia Day

What: Australians love two things: beer and bbqs. No day brings out the best in these two than Australia Day, when Aussies celebrate the first European settlement on the continent of Australia. Aussies, a normally festive bunch, kick it up a notch all over the country with bbqs, music, and beer. From the cities to the towns, Aussies are out in full force. If you don’t already have an Aussie friend to take you under his/her wing, head to a beach with beer and make some new friends! Most Australians would love nothing more to break in a newbie!

Photo by Scootie

When: January 26

Where:
Anywhere in Oz!

Bring: Your Australian pride, a case of Carlton draught or Coopers, and something for the grill.
Learn more

Queen’s Day

What: The normally reserved Dutch cut lose to celebrate the birth of their Queen. Originally to celebrate the birth of Juliana, the day now celebrates the birth of Beatrix, whose January birthday makes it cold to party. All over the country, the Dutch head outside with their beer and music, flood the streets in orange, and cruise up and down the canals in revelry.

When: April 30th

Where: The Netherlands (Amsterdam has the biggest party)

Bring: Anything orange!
Learn more

Calgary Stampede

What: A 10 day rodeo that attracts over a million visitors during its course. The festival features a parade and is the largest event in Canada. But don’t come to watch the rodeo, come for the party! The throngs of people who flock to Calgary are there for the revelry, the beer, and the girls (or boys).

When: Second week in July

Where:
Calgary, Alberta

Bring: Your best cowboy outfit and a tolerance for country music.
Learn more

Festivals – World’s Largest Water Fight — Songkran in Thailand (April)

A Quick Guide to Songkran 2011 in Thailand
(www.cnngo.com

Where to splash, where to catch some culture and where to stay if you want to avoid the madness completely

By Moragot Kongkiatkul 11 April, 2011

SongkranIf you’re sticking around Bangkok for Songkran, hit Khao San Road for some of the wildest Thai New Year water battles. Warning: You are 100 percent guaranteed to get wet.
The Thai new year — aka Songkran — kicks off this week, plunging the country into a non-stop fest of splashing, partying and all-out chaos.You either love it, or you hate it. If it’s the latter, get out of the country altogether. Or stay in Bangkok, as the city is blissfully free of traffic.The biggest Bangkok Songkran parties swamp Silom and Khao San roads, though splashing and festivities take place all over the city.

What is it?

Songkran marks the beginning of a new solar year and the summer season in Thailand. It’s Thailand’s most popular festival, starting officially on April 13 (though some cities start celebrating a couple of days earlier) and lasting between three and five days, depending on where you are in Thailand.

Traditionally, families and friends celebrate Songkran by visiting temples and splashing water on each other to wish each other good luck.

Over the years, it’s evolved into a nationwide water fight and a fantastic reason to travel and party. Most employers let their staff take time off over Songkran.

Where to celebrate

Residents in some Thai towns splash water in the streets for just one day, which is picked by local officials. So check before you travel. Other towns extend it into a full week of ceremonies, water fights, concerts and other festivities.

Here are four of several big festivals going on around Thailand that will give you a dose of both watery chaos and traditional culture.

Songkran Festival, Chiang Mai (April 12-15, 2011)

Chiang Mai is the wildest place to celebrate Songkran in Thailand. It starts with an opening ceremony that includes a colorful procession around Chiang Mai city.

Pour some Thai scented water on a Buddha image and elders, check out some traditional Lanna cultural performances and join in the massive water fights taking place on every just about every street.
Things really get wild at night, with the celebrations continuing well into the morning.

Old City Songkran Festival, Ayutthaya (April 13, 2011)

Songkran

Songkran isn’t just an excuse to party. In Chiang Mai, devotees walk in a procession, carrying a Buddha statue, to mark the Thai New Year.

This year, Songkran festivities at the ancient capital of Ayutthaya will be celebrated around the island city and ancient moat of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya. The festival focuses on the ancient customs and traditions of Songkran that have been observed through the centuries. Visitors can join residents in traditional Songkran merit-making activities to seek blessings for the New Year.

The ancient city of Ayutthaya is also famous for its elephant corral. If you don’t mind getting drenched with water mixed with a bit of pachyderm snot, join the elephants and their mahouts for some Songkran battle action.

Other popular Songkran highlights in Ayutthaya include the Miss Songkran Beauty Contest and the Grand Songkran procession.

Si Satchanalai Songkran Festival, Sukhothai (April 13-15, 2011)

Residents of the historic town of Sukhothai are also celebrating Songkran in the traditional Thai way at Traphang Thong temple in front of the Sukhothai Historical Park and Phraya Litai Memorial Plaza, Sukhothai.

There’s a traditional market in the town square and a retro-style floating market and temple fair. Most people will be dressed in Thai costumes. Click here for more info.

Nong Khai I-San Grand Songkran Festival (April 12–15, 2011)

Most of the events going on as part of the Nong Khai Songkran Festival take place at the Pho Chai temple and Hat Chomani near the Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge that spans the Mekong River.

What makes this festival unique is that Songkran celebrations are a combined Thai-Laos effort, with rituals, cultural performances, folk games and cuisine reflecting the area’s shared heritage.

A highlight of the festival is the procession of the Luang Pho Sai Buddha image, a long-standing tradition which is still being observed to this day.

If you’re not a Songkran veteran, read our list of four things to keep in mind before you head out onto the streets, including the rules of engagement and some safety tips.

For more on Songkran visit www.songkran.netwww.tourismthailand.org and www.tatnews.org

Top 50 Ultimate Experiences — Tour a United States Navy Fast Attack Nuclear Submarine

BadAss Experience — Tour an Active Nuclear Submarine

When I was in Hawaii this summer, I was fortunate to get a tour of the USS Pasadena – a Fast Attack Nuclear Submarine.  (btw, still in active service).  Yea, this baby has torpedoes and tomahawk missiles!

USS Pasadena - US Nuclear Attack Submarine "Anytime, Anywhere"

Pasadena provides the Fleet Commander or Task Force Commander a multi-mission platform. This vessel has unlimited endurance due to the nuclear propulsion plant, advanced sonar, torpedo, cruise missile, and mine delivery systems, a combination of speed and stealth due to quieting and the capacity to fulfill numerous missions. (wikipedia)

Notice the sailors folding the US flag on deck

USS Pasadena

Armament: 4 × 21 in (533 mm) bow tubes, 10 Mk48 ADCAP torpedo reloads, Tomahawk land attack missile block 3 SLCM range 1,700 nautical miles (3,100 km),Harpoon anti–surface ship missilerange 70 nautical miles (130 km), mine laying Mk67 mobile Mk60 captor mines (wikipedia)