Tips to Conduct an Effective Drug Testing Program

The main purpose of conducting a drug testing program is to ensure that the dangerous habit of drug abuse is completely eliminated among the people. But to achieve the desired positive results, the program should be effective. And for effective implementation of this program, there are certain aspects to be taken care of. Here are a few tips that enable effective implementation of the program.

Explain the importance:

Teachers, parents, employers or any other personnel conducting the drug testing program should make it clear to the suspects that the purpose of the program is to ensure better and healthy living of the individual. It is their duty to explain the benefits of detecting and preventing the drug abusing habit. By doing so, the individuals will be encouraged to take the test without any inhibitions.

Determine the best method:

Drug testing methods are classified into different types depending on the sample used – hair, saliva, urine and blood. Of these methods, choose a method that is convenient. The convenience of the test should be judged in terms of ease of conducting and effectiveness in giving reliable results.

Be aware of drug detection windows:

Knowing drug detection windows is important for effective implementation of the program because, the drug detection periods vary from sample to sample and from drug to drug. For example, in case of amphetamines the drug detection period is 1 to 3 days in urine, 24 hours in blood, 90 days in hair and 0-24 hours in saliva.

Implement preventive methods to avoid sample alteration:

There is a probability that the suspects adulterate or manipulate (alter) test samples. Hence, make sure that the testing area/room does not contain any kind of materials/solvents which can be used to adulterate the test sample. It is also important that while collecting test samples, the donors should be monitored.

Use reliable test kits:

The effectiveness of the program is also dependent on the effectiveness of the equipment. Since testing at schools or workplaces requires on-site testing tools, drug test kits are recommended. These kits can also be used for home drug testing as they ensure privacy of results. These kits are cost effective, fast, safe, accurate and reliable. They are of different types based on the specimen used (saliva, urine, hair, etc.) and the design of kits (cups or strips). FDA approved kits give accurate results as they abide by the SAMHSA cut-off levels.

An effectively implemented drug testing program not only fetches accurate results but also plays a vital role in eliminating the habit of drug abuse.

Romantic Tours in Malaysia – Packages for Couples That You Should Not Miss

Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway or a perfect place to go for your honeymoon, romantic tours in Malaysia is a great choice. Going out on holidays with your partner is always great for the relationship. This is why you need to make this vacation a great one since most couples today do not have the time or the luxury to spend a vacation outside of the country.

Beach Honeymoon

If a quiet beach honeymoon is what you are after, then there are plenty of those in Malaysia. For instance, Pangkor Island is a dreamy place for a beach holiday with your partner. Other than the magnificent natural scenery, you also get to see historical sites and experience the unsurpassed beauty of the beach in this side of the world.

While you are at it, you can also enjoy other activities that Malaysian beaches are known for. Stay occupied and entertained by jungle trekking and wind surfing among others. If you and your partner are the creative type, you might want to try batik painting.

You can also set a candlelight dinner or verandah brunch as part of the honeymoon suite. Your partner will surely love the romantic gesture as you relax and unwind with each other’s company.

Nature Adventure

If there is one thing tours in Malaysia are known for, it is the amazing natural beauty of the mountains, forests, and beaches. In other words, it is the perfect place to get back to nature and experience the simplicity of life.

Cameron Highlands is one of the greatest attractions for tourists who love physical activities such as hiking and jungle trekking. If you do not like physical activities, you can simply enjoy a candlelight dinner or afternoon tea in the area.

You and your loved one should also try the Mandrayu touch, which involves an hour of Jacuzzi session in open air. Nothing beats relaxing in a Jacuzzi with your partner while beholding the scenic view of Cameron Highlands.

There are plenty of places to visit here as well. You may want to see the Bee or Butterfly farm as well as the tea plantations which are great views for your eyes to feast on. More importantly, you will appreciate the fresh air and the simple but magnificent scenery.

Culture and Heritage

If you want to experience Malaysia culture and heritage with your partner, there are plenty of places you need to visit. There is the traditional Bidayuh Village which is a three hour tour from Kuchin to Sarawak. This part of the tours in Malaysia showcases the different customs and cultures of different ethnic groups in the country.

You may also want to include Kuching City in your historical tours in Malaysia since it is the perfect introduction to the rich history of the country. You may also want to visit the Batu Caves and the historical Malacca in Kuala Lumpur.

Shakespeare on Addiction: Sonnet 129

Something interesting happens every time I teach Shakespeare’s Sonnet 129. I’m reasonably certain the term “sex addiction” didn’t exist in his day – and neither did 12 step groups for it, with Elizabethans turning up in their flamboyant garb – but that doesn’t mean that the problem, and its attendant degradations, didn’t exist. Just ask Shakespeare about his Dark Lady.***

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame

Is lust in action; and till action, lust

Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,

Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,

Enjoy’d no sooner but despised straight,

Past reason hunted, and no sooner had

Past reason hated, as a swallow’d bait

On purpose laid to make the taker mad;

Mad in pursuit and in possession so;

Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;

A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;

Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.

All this the world well knows; yet none knows well

To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.

Why am I thinking about sonnet 129? Shakespeare’s sonnets beg for interpretation, and it’s not just because they are formal masterpieces that we should, as intelligent folk, feel compelled to dissect for dissection’s sake. No, there’s more to them than that. His sonnets are relevant today and I’m going to show you why.

A few years ago, I came across an hour long documentary made about Vancouver’s notorious downtown eastside. The area has been ravaged by an influx of drugs and its victims, earning it a reputation for being something of an elephants’ graveyard: it’s where addicts go to die. The film was called Through a Blue Lens and was shot, mostly, by two beat cops who wanted to portray the lives of the addicts living there. It’s not a warm and fuzzy film about drug addiction, but it’s not condemnatory either. Here’s an excerpt:

The plight of those living in that part of Vancouver became a minor cause célèbre in 1999, in part because The Globe and Mail published a photo essay of its denizens that left a lot of Canadians gasping. It made us aware, in a none-too-gentle way, that we had inner city problems just as bad as some cities south of the border. Vancouver’s port is a gateway for the drug trade and it seems at least some of these drugs don’t travel far: they form the lifeblood of those immiserated souls living in the downtown area.

So why look at Canada’s Skid Row when we’re talking about Shakespeare? It’s because his definition of addiction is one of the best I’ve ever read. It’s relevant today and that’s because when addicts talk about their suffering, they report (albeit less eloquently) many of the same things. And when I say things, I mean they report having many of the same feelings and experiences described by Shakespeare. Those haunting sounds of agony — the addict’s anguish — are distilled, painfully and thoroughly, in this poem.

It begins:

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame

Shakespeare believes we forfeit our spirit – our soul – when we engage in addictive behaviour. The expense, or the price of the addiction, is paid with it. Waste here is used literally (implying that lives are wasted by addiction) and also symbolically to denote a place. This double meaning is made obvious by the use of the preposition in, as “in” a waste of shame. Waste as a place bookends neatly with that other inferno, hell, mentioned in the closing couplet.

Lust is Shakespeare’s drug of choice and the belief is that it was aimed at the infamous Dark Lady, that promiscuous creature that had Shakespeare, and others, utterly intoxicated.

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame

Is lust in action; and till action, lust

Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,

Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust

What are the signs of Shakespeare’s enslavement? The form of a sonnet is strictly prescribed: it is made up of three quatrains — three groups of four lines — and a closing couplet. The rhyme scheme tends to alternate lines, meaning the first line rhymes with the third, the second with the fourth, etc. The lines are usually made up of phrases that go towards forming sentences. However, in this quatrain, the last half is simply a list of adjectives or adjective phrases, enumerating Shakespeare’s agonies. And these agonies are stated strongly, with words like murderous, bloody, savage and extreme.

This is a man in the throes of an obsession, an obsession that won’t even allow him to form coherent thoughts; instead he spits out a list of adjectives to convey his feelings. Shakespeare the wordsmith created this list for a reason. It’s there to denote a burst of feeling that can’t be contained.

But does this fury of Shakespeare’s capture the state of those sad and emaciated souls wandering the downtown eastside? I would argue it does and the key word here is shame. Ask any active addict how they feel about their life and you are bound to discover, underneath the anger and street braggadocio, a deep and murky well of it. That shame is what keeps them using; it’s what keeps them from wanting to feel.

After Shakespeare establishes his narrative voice, he turns to the cyclical nature of his malady. In the second quatrain, he states:

Enjoy’d no sooner but despised straight,

Past reason hunted, and no sooner had

Past reason hated, as a swallow’d bait

On purpose laid to make the taker mad;

Here we see the structural and thematic rendering of the cycle of addiction. Let me translate: the addict no sooner enjoys (uses) her drug when she starts to despise its consequences straight (right away). However, beyond all reason she continues to hunt for it, and again, as soon as she consumes it, she hates it beyond all reason because she can’t stop. Then Shakespeare expands the subtle animal imagery and lays blame on suppliers and enablers. Her drug is like a trap laid on purpose and it makes her, the taker, mad. Mad here is being used in the British sense of the word, meaning insane.

It’s usually at this point in my class that I stop and ask students to think of an activity, any activity, they do to excess. Do they spend too much time online? Eat too much of the wrong kind of food? Text incessantly? And it’s also here that I tell them my own little story of addiction, the one that had me frequently rushing to the neighbourhood corner store, in Toronto, when I was a student.

I had an addiction and it was to Swedish Berries, those soft red candies that taste heavenly but are of no nutritional value whatever. These darlings came in handy at midnight when I had an essay to finish and needed a sugar boost. However, the problem was that I didn’t know when to stop. The store sold them in bulk and I didn’t have the discipline to buy only a few. My reasoning, as I stood in front of that bin and ladled in scoop after scoop, was that I would save some for later.

Right.

So I would eat them until I felt sick and this process, over the last two years of my undergrad degree, repeated itself more times than I care to remember. But it was the sequence of events in this process that was important. I would come to the realization it was late. I knew I had to keep working but didn’t want coffee. Then I would think: Hey! Swedish Berries! Great idea! And I would haul myself off to the store, come back and eat way too many of them. Only afterwards would I say to myself: “Did I really have to scarf down that whole bag?” Or: “Good idea? What was I thinking?”

So too goes the cycle of addiction: there is the chase, the consummation and the aftermath. In other words, the anticipation, the imbibing and the remorse. This cycle will be expanded upon in the next quatrain.

Mad in pursuit and in possession so;

Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;

A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;

Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.

The first quatrain establishes, through the use of enumeration, Shakespeare’s lo
ss of control. The second establishes the cyclical nature of his addiction. This last is significant because it does not provide new information. However, it does repeat the three part cycle and repetition in Shakespeare is always significant: he uses it to let us know we need to pay attention. Here we are told, again and with more emphasis, that an addict is mad while chasing the drug and mad while consuming it. And of course it is that madness — that inability to reason — that starts the cycle all over again.

But take a look at the second line. Shakespeare reverses the order of the cycle: he starts with the aftermath: had, moves to the consummation: having, and then moves to the first stage of the cycle, the chase: in quest to have. He does this to create the impression of a back-and-forth motion: the addict moves forward and backward, forward and backward, ad infinitum. Why? Because that’s what happens when one becomes addicted: life stalls.

At the start of this article, I said something interesting happens every time I teach this sonnet. Here it is: after I read it out loud, I tell my students to look closely at the panhandlers, especially the young ones, when they pass through the Atwater metro, the metro that services Dawson. I almost always get the same reaction: the class goes silent, the flow of air in the room stops, and these young people, with their futures ahead of them, pay closer attention. This suffering, rendered so poetically by Shakespeare, is only steps away.

And it happens elsewhere. When I drive home, I stop at a busy intersection leading onto the highway. That’s where I often see a young woman, her blonde hair in dreadlocks, holding up a sign asking for spare change. I always give her some and now she knows to come to me. If the traffic light permits, we may even exchange a few words.

I’ve been criticized for doing this — “she’ll just spend the money on drugs” is what I hear — but I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know how we can stop people from “committing suicide on the installment plan,” as a good friend of mine puts it.

Shakespeare didn’t know either, but luckily for us, that didn’t stop him from looking deeply into that darkness and writing about it anyway.

***I will be, for the sake of brevity and compression, be referring to the narrator as Shakespeare.

What Clients Want From An Article

Writing has emerged as one of the most preferred freelance career options for people who have good language skills. By writing online, a person can now make good money. However, it needs to be understood that not everyone can write articles that will be accepted by the online clients. What the online media needs is a writer who can follow some basic writing rules so that the articles that are written by him or her meet the purpose.

In most cases, writers are needed to write online articles that comply with certain rules and standards that will make the client’s webpage rank higher. This is perhaps the most important and basic purpose of article writing. The clients therefore look for writers who understand SEO and other such techniques that make the article more visible thereby making the online business of the client more prominent over the World Wide Web.

Here are the basics that a writer should know about what a client looks for in the articles:

1. Uniqueness – The first aspect about writing articles for clients online is to maintain uniqueness. The fact that you have been paid for the articles you write is a reason enough to understand that you are being paid for your efforts to research on the provided topic and write and not to copy from the information already or readily available on the internet. There are various tools that help you to check the originality or uniqueness of the article you have written. The most popular being Copyscape. It is unique and original content that will be ranked higher and help your client increase the visibility of his online business.

2. High quality – The next important thing about the articles that you write is the quality. It is important to keep in mind that the language you choose to write the article in should be very familiar to you. If you are writing articles in English, you need to be sure that you write flawless articles which are perfect in English grammar and thought flow. This applies to writing articles for clients in any other language as well. No matter how unique or SEP streamlined your article is, the client will always want to pay for articles that have good content so that the readers get attracted to it.

3. Keyword-rich content – When writing for online submission or online publishing, it is important to understand that the articles that help the webpage or blog rank higher are always that are preferred. This means, that you need to have a proper understanding of what keywords you need to use in your article and the keyword density you need to follow. In most cases, the clients will state the keywords and keyword density. It may help you even further if you are able to o some keyword research using tools like Google AdWords to further enhance the visibility of your articles by the search engines.

Writing articles for online clients to get paid is definitely an easy way to earn some passive income. However, it is important to get some basic training on content development to enhance your exposure and understand the above parameters better.

How to Promote a Cake Decorating Business

Promotion is an important aspect of a business. Even those who are working on small home businesses such as a cake decorating business have to think of the best ways who to promote it to others. Customers have to be aware that delicious and beautifully decorated cakes are available for them to order and to enjoy eating. Business owners who are able to provide the best quality products will in no time gain more customers. People who are able to get the chance to order can see their great designs and they may also enjoy excellent taste of their cakes. They will then recommend it to others.

Another way to promote a cake decorating business is to make use of networking. Business owners can tap the various groups or associations that they are currently involved in. They may be able to let them know about their cake decorating business especially when there are special events or occasions that are being celebrated. The different people in their network have their own networks as well and those who are in business may have the chance of being known to them through the promotional campaigns that they can launch via their own network of family members, friends, neighbors and other groups where they are a member of.

Aside from exposing the cake decorating business to the personal networks of the owners, they can also extend its exposure to the industry. Those who are in the cake business may work with wedding photographers, dressmakers as well as caterers and other business owners who provide the best services to clients who need them. They may also enter agreements to those whose business is to organize various events like birthdays, anniversaries, weddings as well as other important occasions. Wedding planners for example need dependable individuals or business enterprises that can provide them with the best designs and the best taste for wedding cakes.

Although spreading the name of the business through word of mouth is very effective, people who are into the cake decorating business also have to make use of a website. Most prospective customers today rely on the internet to find what they need. It would be easier for them to find out about those who are offering great cake designs for special events. Business owners have to provide all the necessary information about the things that they are offering to their customers. However, they should also be ready to accommodate them and meet their needs whether they have placed the order personally or through their website via online placing of order. These are some effective ways to promote products especially for those who are in the cake decorating business.

The Flavorful Delights of Israeli Cuisine

It figures I’m about to start a culinary journey on Israeli cuisine while being exceptionally hungry. In my mind’s eye (and a grumbling stomach) I can see the comfort foods of my youth; foods that might make some people in the world ask, what on earth is that?

There’s no easy way to pigeon hole Israeli cuisine, a blend of cultures from Eastern Europe to the shores of Northern Africa and the far reaches of Asia. Each distinct region has brought Israel to the forefront the very best of their tasty dishes, making the act of eating in Israel a vacation all its own.

Many of you might have already heard of some traditional Israeli dishes. Ashkenazi cuisine comes from the folks from Eastern Europe. These are the same folks that give us some wonderfully sweet pastries, yet gave us borsht and gefilte fish. Go figure.

Sephardic foods come from countries like Spain and Morocco, food like the savory pastry known as bourekas, made with puff pastry filled with cheese and spinach, just to name a few.

I’m getting ahead of myself–I should’ve talked about breakfast first. It is the most important meal of the day, right? Most hotels in Israel are quite proud of their Israeli breakfast, which many promote in order to get you to stay there.

Oh no, my American friends, this isn’t your bacon-laden, side of home-fries meal. Look around, you’ll find bowls of fresh fruit, salads made with finely chopped tomatoes, fish, eggs, bread, and yogurt.

Now that I think about it, almost all of Israel’s dishes center on fresh produce. This even includes the ever popular falafel; fried ground chickpeas stuffed in a pita served with Israeli salad (tomato, cucumber, onion) and tahina.

Oh tahina, a sesame sauce that makes everything taste better. Not that the world’s best street food like falafel can’t stand on its own, mind you.

I think the only thing more popular than falafel is hummus. Made with ground chickpeas, often served with pine nuts or a smatter of olive oil, it is generally eaten with just pita. Hummus is so popular in Israeli cuisine it seems to be a culinary staple, no matter what meal it is.

Food in Israel might be fresh and tasty, but it means nothing if not shared with family and loved ones. That is, unless, you’ve gotten a Moroccan and Tunisian fighting it out over who makes better couscous, a dish made from semolina flour with lamb or chicken simmered with veggies on top.

One of the best ways to enjoy Israeli food with the family is a hafla. This is a traditional Bedouin meal of salads and kebabs with Bedouin pita (known as fatir) served as you lounge on soft pillows drinking mint infused beverages (like tea or lemonade).

Food is so ingrained in Israeli culture so that if you’ve been invited into someone’s home, they will try to feed you. And it’s an insult to refuse–so eat up.

Food even has its superstitions. One lady friend who was going to have a baby mentioned in passing that she was “craving” falafel, only to be handed an entire container of them by her Israeli neighbor soon afterwards, simply because it was “wrong” to refuse a pregnant lady any food she wished for.

You could go on forever talking about food in Israel, and spend another lifetime talking about beverages in Israel. Great, now I’m even hungrier than when I started.–someone pass the falafel, please?

Quito Gastronomy: Where To Eat To Ensure An Amazing Vacation

One of the best things about taking a vacation is all of the delicious new foods that you’ll get to try. If you’re lucky enough to experience Quito travel, don’t forget to plan where to eat in order to sample the best of Quito gastronomy. Here are just a few of the many different restaurants that the city offers. From gourmet meals, to quick serve cafes, there’s something for everyone.

Looking For A Quick, Family-Friendly Breakfast? Try Crepes And Waffles

Crepes and Waffles is one of the area’s best-known chain restaurants and it’s possible to find locations throughout the city. Customers can choose from savory or dessert crepes and nearly everything in between. Meals here are inexpensive, around $10, and the large variety means that there’s something for even picky eaters. If you’re there for dessert, make sure to try a crepe topped with ice cream, as many locals and tourists report that the restaurant’s ice cream is the best you’ll find on Quito vacations.

Got A Little Room In Your Budget? Choose Barlovento

Barlovento is a bit pricey compared to other Quito gastronomy experiences, but visitors to this restaurant report that the cost is well worth it. Barlevento offers seafood with a decidedly Ecuadorian flair and favorites include coconut seafood stew, crab spring rolls, ceviche, empanadas and the paella. The restaurant is located across from one of the city’s biggest hotels and is a popular choice with both locals and tourists.

Want To Try Italian? Head To Pavarotti Ristoranti

Just because you’re not in Italy, there’s no reason not to try an Italian restaurant. One of the best ones to visit during Quito vacations is Pavarotti Ristoranti. Many of the dishes here come with an Ecuadorian twist, so don’t be afraid to order something a little out of the ordinary. Some dishes that the restaurant is known for include the calamari ink pasta, sea bass, veal, spaghetti carbonara and breads served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping. Prices here are slightly more expensive by Ecuadorian standards, however, they’re on par for quality meals in other countries. Pavarotti Ristoranti is located across the street from Swisshotel and the World Trade Center.

On A Budget? Try Porky’s Restaurant

If you’re looking for fast, quality food with a small price tag, Porky’s Restaurant is the place to be. Here you’ll find a three-course menu that changes every day, which means that patrons could visit every day and receive something different. Meals here cost just $3 and include a soup, a main dish, a dessert and even freshly squeezed juice. Although the menu is limited, guests can choose from fish, beef or chicken and each dish is made with healthy cooking methods and ingredients.

Other Quito Gastronomy Choices

Other popular restaurants to try in between your Quito tours are Baalbek, Suvlaki, Café Plaza Grande, Zazu, Noe Sushi Bar and La Petit Pigalle. With so many different types of cuisine, travelers are sure to find something to fit every taste bud.

Cruises Are a Great Option for Your Honeymoon

Cruises are actually a wonderful place to take a honeymoon. There are several reasons that they are great for this event in your life.

One of the great things about cruises is that they are almost all-inclusive. You can order room service anytime, you can order and eat as much as you desire at meal times. However, alcoholic beverages may or may not be included. You have access to pools, spas, and other amenities. The ship will take you to the shore, and you then have the freedom to explore and take excursions. If you do not want to spend any extra, you do not have to do so. Excursions cost, but you could choose to just enjoy the boat’s amenities that are included.

People may figure that cruises will cost a large amount. It is true that they can be costly, but for what you get they are well worth it. If you watch for specials, you may be able to get a good price. One thing to remember with cost is that your airline flight is not likely included. That is really the only transportation cost you will have unless you need to pay for a shuttle from the airports.

As you think about cost, try not to get overwhelmed. Just break it down. If you decide you want to go on a cruise, start having 20 dollars put in your savings account every week. By doing this, you should be able to pay for your honeymoon within four or five year’s time. The amount you save may actually exceed what you need. If you do not have five years before you are getting married, break it down in a different way. If you need to put it on credit, then you will know that you should be able to pay it off in less than seven years if you include the interest. To lucky ones, your honeymoon might be given as a wedding gift, and in these cases, you will not have to pay for anything except the extras.

There is a downside to many things, and that is the case with cruises as well. If you are prone to getting seasick or motion sick, then you might have a problem going on a cruise. If you believe you might have a problem, see your doctor. He or she should be able to provide you with something to help or a suggestion for something over-the-counter. You may or may not struggle if you get medication. There is a doctor on the ships, so if you end up having a major problem, they should be able to help.

Do not let a fear of cost or seasickness keep you from considering cruises as an option for your honeymoon. Sit down with the one you love, if you know them yet, and talk about it. If you have not yet met someone, maybe now is the time to start saving for the future.

All-Inclusive Caribbean Resorts – Top 3 Choices

This article will discuss the top all-inclusive Caribbean resorts to help you decide which one will best suit your needs for your vacation. While the destination itself is beautiful, everyone’s taste is different and you’ll want to choose a resort and its location that will make everyone going happy. If you want to take a break from your life, or escape for a romantic trip, or maybe your planning your honeymoon an all-inclusive resort is a great answer since you don’t have to think about a thing when you arrive. Everything is taken care of for you, it is the ultimate in luxury and many of these are family friendly resorts as well.

Curtain Bluff in Antigua: The beautiful beachfront setting is a great location and offers free extras including scuba diving and deep-sea fishing. There are gardens and a 25,000 bottle wine cellar, some people may find this location stuffy, others will love its privacy. There is Continental dining/dancing with live bands, a waterfront spa, two restaurants on-site and 72 rooms and suites. Some facilities include a championship tennis center, a water sports center that is fully equipped for scuba, deep-sea fishing, windsurfing, paddle boarding and more. Be warned however that it is located atop a bluff so it might not be the best location for older travelers.

Almond Beach Village in Barbados: With the motto “It’s all for You. About You”, you know already this location has you in mind, which is what one wants on a trip. The Village is 32 acres on a mile-long beautiful beach. There are rooms and pools located at the north end of the property that are reserved for adults. Located at the south end you’ll find junior and one-bedroom suites that are perfect for families with children from kids to teens. There are many activities available including golf, failing, water-skiing and shopping excursions to Bridgetown. If adults on vacation wish for more they can get on a shuttle and go to Almond Beach Club that offers even more options.

Bitter End Yacht Club in British Virgin Islands: If you love sailing than this hotel is the one for you, located in a marina in the North Sound this resort includes the use of everything from small sailboats to kayaks and windsurfers. So if you are one who loves to dwell in the water, than this resort is for you. You can sign up for lessons at the resort’s sailing school if you like, or if you’d rather just lounge away in a beachfront or balcony that is always an option too. With hotel bars to socialize in or private rooms to relax in this resort is perfect for just about any appetite. The pros of this location include all of the water sports and great diving opportunities, the cons… expensive rates and a lot of stairs.

There may be many all-inclusive Caribbean resorts, but the top three are included in this article for a reason. They are the best and offer just about everything anyone would want, even if your travel partner wants something different from you. So if you want a place to relax, or a place to socialize, or a place to simply enjoy the beauty of the water you are next to, one of these resorts will be what you need. For a honeymoon or a weekend away, one of these Caribbean resorts should fit your needs.

Woodstock CT Historic Homes: Roseland Cottage

Beautifully situated across from the Woodstock town green is Roseland Cottage built in 1846 by Henry Bowen with its colorful array of flower gardens. A classic example of the Gothic Revival architecture that was just becoming popular in the mid 19th century characterized by a steep roof line crowned with ornamented chimney pots, intricately detailed gables overhanging diamond leaded window. The siding has always been painted in a vibrant coral pink that has given the cottage its popular name as the “Pink House.”

Henry Bowen grew up in Woodstock and built a successful dry goods business in New York City specializing in silks. He and his wife Lucy enjoyed summers away from the city and Roseland Cottage was their country house where they entertained friends and powerful political connections including four United States Presidents. Henry and Lucy Bowen had ten children and Woodstock with its rural atmosphere and Henry’s long family history rooted in the area was the perfect retreat from the summer heat and congestion of the city.

Joseph C. Wells was the architect commissioned by Bowen in 1845 to design the 6,000 square Foot Gothic Revival Cottage for his growing family. The layout and design were deeply influenced by the principles of Andrew Jackson Downing who was a leading 19th Century landscape architect. The grounds include a garden house, carriage barn, an icehouse and aviary, but most notably an extensive 3,000 square foot boxwood parterre garden.

After 1850 when the Bowens began spending each summer in Woodstock, they planted the garden that graces the front of the cottage. It’s comprised of 600 yards of boxwood hedge surrounding twenty-one beds of spectacular annual and perennial flowers that have been a central feature of the cottage and Woodstock ever since.

According to family legend, Roseland Cottage was named after the family’s favorite flower, the rose, and it has always been painted pink. A scientific analysis by Historic New England identified thirteen shades of pink in the layers of paint over 160 years with the current coral pink being the color in the 1880’s that’s consistent with other decorative details in the restoration of the house.

Bowen was a political activist, an abolitionist and early supporter of the Republican Party which was the liberal party at the time that fielded the first abolitionist presidential platform in 1856. His dry goods business went bankrupt leading up to the Civil War due to his anti-slavery activism which caused irreconcilable differences with his Southern clients. He refused to support the Fugitive Slave Law and told Southern clients they could “Buy my goods – not my principles.”

After his business failed, he co-founded a successful insurance company, as well as founding and becoming editor of a popular anti-slavery newspaper, The Independent. With this newspaper, he became an important player in politics as the Republican Party grew stronger throughout the later part of the 19th Century.

Lucy Bowen tragically died from complications of giving birth to their tenth child in 1863. Henry remarried two years later Ellen Holt who became a loving mother to his children, and gave him a son. As his family continued to grow and his children had grandchildren, Bowen expanded Roseland Cottage and purchased lots surrounding the cottage until in 1870 the property was approximately six acres.

Beginning in 1870, Henry Bowen began hosting Fourth of July Independence Day parties as a way of promoting patriotism that drew hundreds of distinguished guests and thousands of attendees every year for the next twenty-five years. Four United States Presidents including Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Harrison, Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley took part in these festivities.

The Fourth of July parties eventually grew to be so big that Bowen purchased sixty-acres in Woodstock to develop a public park to host the celebrations. Roseland Park featured a windmill that pumped water from the lake into 3 marble fountains with statues, there were fields of hitching posts for the “parking” of the horses that people rode in on.

It had a two-story bathing shed that were changing room where you could rent a woolen bathing costume weighed 20 lbs when wet, with a band-stand above it where bands would play music to the gathered picnickers. Roseland Park was first opened in 1876 during the centennial celebrations and in keeping with Bowen’s will has been open to the public ever since.

Roseland Cottage is open to the public between June 1 and October 15. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1992, and widely regarded as one of the best preserved examples of Gothic Revival architecture in America makes Roseland Cottage one of Woodstock, Connecticut’s most important historic homes.