The United States isn’t called the world’s melting pot for nothing. Immigrants coming from all over the world have brought with them an immense variety of delicious foods to satisfy every palate. Here are just a few and where you’ll find them.
Creole or Cajun, this cousin of the paella is a mixture of rice, meat, shrimp and andouille sausage. In and around New Orleans, you’ll find it made with the panache of a celebrity chef or as a more down-to-earth concoction with fresh crawfish, crabs and, sometimes, a turtle.
Brisket of beef smoked in hickory, mesquite and oak gives Texas barbecue a unique taste that has been the delight of even heads of state. You can savor this quintessentially American dish anywhere from the big cities to small ranch communities. Continue reading
The Atlanta of Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara may be gone with the wind. However, the city that took its place is one of the most exhilarating places you can do house sitting in. Atlanta, the capital of Georgia, is ranked as a Global City, right up there with New York City, Tokyo and London. It has a diverse economy stretching into logistics, media, government administration, professional and medical services and higher education.
More than 35 million visitors troop to Atlanta every year to enjoy its museums, restaurants, festivals, parks, sports events and music.
It is the world’s largest aquarium with over 8.5 million gallons of water, 120,000 animals including hammerhead sharks, beluga whales, manta rays, penguins and bottle nose dolphins. The aquarium features exhibits and shows highlighting different marine environments. Continue reading
Posted in Places
There are a lot if you take the time to look around. A house sitting job is one way to discover many of the odd local festivals that take place in every corner of the USA.
Americans are known for a devil-may-care, anything-goes outlook on life. It’s no wonder that they’ve come up with some really odd festivals celebrating everything from the religious to the bizarre. You’ll love some of these unusual events.
National Hobo Convention
Held every second weekend of August in Britt, Iowa, the convention celebrates that knight of rails, the American Hobo. There’s a parade where hobos mix with marching bands, queens, grownups and children. Fun runs, Hobo King & Hobo Queen contest, Hobo Arts & Crafts Show and many more events liven up the country’s largest gathering of hobos, tramps and rail riders.
World Cow Chip Throwing Contest
Beaver, Oklahoma is the proud Cow Chip Throwing Capital of the World. A cow chip is, well, dried cow poop and the contest is about who can throw it farthest. Each contestant gets two chips and has to toss them barehanded. The contest has expanded internationally, with winners of local contests from Japan, Germany and Australia participating in the US championships for the world title. Continue reading
You can choose to do your house sitting in a Mile-High City or the Queen City of the Plains or the Wall Street of the West. Take your pick and you’ll wind up in Denver anyway. Denver, is the capital of Colorado and started as a frontier town catering to gold miners with saloons, gambling joints, livestock and trading stores.
There are more than 200 parks all over Denver, from small ones to the over-300 acre City Park as well as 14,000 acres of mountain parks including a mountain on which the Winter Park Resort ski area is located.
Aside from its many parks, Denver’s active music scene encompasses pop, jazz, folk, jam and classical genres. Famous music artists like Bob Dylan and John Denver lived in the city as did members of Earth, Wind and Fire, Axe Murder Boyz and Five Iron Frenzy among others. Continue reading
Indulge your passion for whale-watching by taking a house sitting assignment in these places frequented by whales. You can stay in the place for days, weeks or even months and be sure you’re there whenever the whales break the surface.
Watching whales in their natural habitat has become so popular that, in 2008, more than 13 million people around the world went to watch these magnificent mammals. The United States is one of the countries with many places in which to catch sight of whales. Here are some of the most popular ones.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
The eels and plankton in Stellwagen Bank are like magnets that attract whales to feed after a long winter in the tropics. From mid-Spring to October, you can see the Northern Humpback Whale, Fin Whale and Minke Whale as well as the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale. They’ve been known to play in harbors and approach whale-watching boats. Continue reading
How would you like to go house sitting on the edge of an undeveloped desert, surrounded by majestic mountains, in urban villages with a long, colorful history? Then you’ve got to set your sights on Phoenix. The capital of Arizona, Phoenix is the city with the sixth largest population in the United States. Located in the Valley of the Sun on the northern edge of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix is also the site of many parks, venues for the performing arts, museums and sports franchises.
Built around 700 CE by the Sinaqua people even before Columbus set eyes on America, these are well-preserved cliff dwellings of five stories holding 50 rooms. There’s a museum about the Sinaqua displaying the instruments they used to build the dwellings. You’ll find many artifacts like stone tools, bone needles as well as shell and gemstone ornaments attesting to the skilled artisanship of this ancient tribe. Continue reading
While there may be no house sitting opportunities in the Grand Canyon, there are certainly many in the nearest urban areas like Phoenix, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. A house sitting job in these cities will give you the opportunity to visit and explore the Grand Canyon in your spare time. You can save on hotel or lodging expenses and be in striking distance of one of the most awesome experiences of your life.
The Grand Canyon is aptly named: one of the world’s seven natural wonders, it took over a billion years in the making. Carved by the Colorado River, it is 466 kilometers long, 29 kilometers wide and has a maximum depth of more than 1,800 meters.
Every year, more than 5 million people from the USA and around the world visit the Grand Canyon to stare in awe at its magnificence and participate in many activities. Rafting, running and hiking are among the most popular sports for tourists. Every October, the Grand Canyon Ultra Marathon challenges athletes in a 24-hour, 126-kilometer race at the North Rim. Continue reading
Say “castle” and you normally think of Europe not the USA. But did you know that there are a number of colorful castles right in America’s own backyard? If towers and moats are your thing, here are some that should satisfy your medieval tastes while you’re house sitting.
Grey Towers Castle is part of Arcadia University in Pennsylvania. It was built from 1893 to 1898 by William Welsh Harrison, a sugar refiner, using Alnwick Castle in Northumberland as a model. It has 40 rooms replete with gilded ceilings, hand-carved woodwork of walnut and mahogany, tapestries and ornamental paintings. And, of course, you’ll find secret passages and underground tunnels. Continue reading
From sea to shining sea, there’s a continent of majestic, exhilarating, historic and simply poetic places throughout the USA. If you can’t manage to see them all, here are some places that should make it on every American house sitters list.
The French Quarter in New Orleans is about as exotic as you can get. The wild variety of architecture that “The Quarters” offers includes neon-lit nightclubs, ivy-draped French colonial townhouses, Creole cottages built on stilts, and pre-war mansions with intricate ironwork.
The Las Vegas Strip is entirely another world. In the middle of the desert, it features Venetian canals, a 1,148-foot tower, daredevil circuses, a Mob Museum and anything crazy you can think of under the sun. Even off the Strip, there are retro joints that are a sight unto themselves. Continue reading
House sitting is a great way to see new countries and cities while saving on hotel and lodging expenses. A lot of house sitters take the job just for this reason. Some, however, are lucky enough to get paid for it in the process. If you’re not one of those, there are other ways to make more than a few bucks when you’re on a house sitting assignment.
Travel is an enriching experience that people want to share, either in words, pictures, videos or items. When you’re house sitting, you get a chance to stay in a place for some time. This gives you the opportunity to move around, get to know the “natives”, participate in their activities and even make some friends.
If you’ve got an eye for pictures, there are a number of publications and online sites that pay for unique and interesting photographs of different places. Sites like shutterstock.com buy photos in JPEG of at least 4 megapixels and videos between 5 to 60 seconds. Walletboosters.com has a long list of sites that pay for photos and all you usually have to do is register as a contributor with the site that suits your purpose. Continue reading