The Animal Blog

17 Jul

Wonder Wheel

2 Apr


Dream vacations

4 Nov

If you are sitting at your desk, leaning back in your chair, wishing you could be somewhere else…. Where do you go? Where is your dream vacation?

Picture courtesy of

Some may dream of sailing off into the deep blue with just the wind at the sails. Soaring into the sunset on a silky smooth ocean with a glass of champagne in one hand, and their soul mate in the other.

What about a luxury beach front property with a pool and all the amenities in walking distance of a grocery store and 3 restaurants. There are properties starting at $250 a night for Villas that make every fantasy look like a black and white sit com.

I spent seven days in Jamaica, Falmouth to be exact at an all-inclusive resort that fed me Pina Colada’s for breakfast. I climbed Dunn’s River Falls and I have to recommend that everyone do that once in your life. Put it on your bucket list! I rode horses on the beach and visited the Rose Hall Great House:


Plan a day trip to this grand estate, former home of Jamaica’s white witch, Annie Palmer. She practiced voodoo and had three husbands who all died under mysterious circumstances. Legend has it she was a beautiful seductress who dallied with the hired help. The guided tour includes exploration of the house with its 18th-century decor and antiques. The tour ends with a visit to the dungeon, which has been transformed into a tavern. Walk the well-manicured gardens and see the palm trees beneath which Annie’s three husbands are said to be buried (see more at>

The price is right for traveling the world right now! If you can do it, take a boat to Jamaica and spend some time breathing in their culture. It is a life changing experience.

How to apply for a passport

30 Oct

First Time Applicants, you must apply in person if:

  • You are applying for your first U.S. passport or
  • You are under age 16 or
  • Your previous U.S. passport was issued when you were under age 16 or
  • Your previous U.S. passport was lost, stolen, or damaged or
  • Your previous U.S. passport was issued more than 15 years ago or
  • Your name has changed since your U.S. passport was issued and you are unable to legally document your name change

Get the full information from:


Important information about the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery Program

23 Oct

Important Notice about DV-2012: The online registration for DV-2012 DV Lottery begins noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT -4), Tuesday, October 5, 2010, and ends noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT -4), Wednesday, November 3, 2010.  See the Diversity Visa Lottery Instructions webpage for more information


The Congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program makes available 50,000 diversity visas (DV) annually, drawn from random selection among all entries to persons who meet strict eligibility requirements from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

Fraud Warning

Please Note: There have been instances of fraudulent websites posing as official U.S. Government sites. Some companies posing as the U.S. Government have sought money in order to “complete” lottery entry forms. There is no charge to download and complete the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form. The Department of State notifies successful Diversity Visa applicants by letter, and NOT by e-mail. To learn more see the Department of State Warning and the Federal Trade Commission Warning.

DV Lottery 2011 Status Check

DV Lottery 2011 Status Check is available for entrants (who previously completed online DV entry through the official website at  to check the status of their entry through the E-DV website at Entrants need to use their own confirmation page information from the time of their entry (October 2, 2009, to November 30, 2009), to check the status to find out if their Diversity Visa Lottery entry was or was not selected. To review applicable instructions for DV 2011 entrants, see 2011 Diversity Visa Lottery Instructions.

Lottery Winner Notification

Diversity Visa lottery applicants for DV 2010 and DV 2011 who were selected were notified by mail between May and July of the next year, following DV Online entry.  For DV 2012, entrant notification will be through the Entry Status Check at  See the DV 2012 instruction for more information about Entry Status Check. Lottery entrants selected are provided further instructions, including information on fees connected with immigration to the U.S. Those selected in the random drawing are NOT notified by email. The Diversity Visa Lottery Instructions “Selection of Applicants” section provides information about the DV timeframe and process.

Diversity Visa Lottery Results

Qualifying Occupations

The law and regulations require that every diversity visa entrant must have at least a high school education or its equivalent or have, within the past five years, two years of work experience in an occupation requiring at least two years’ training or experience. To learn more about qualifying occupations, see the Diversity Visa Instructions Frequently Asked Questions and the List of Occupations webpage.

Rewards For Justice

As you apply to come to the U.S., please take a moment to visit our Rewards For Justice program website to see how you can help in the continuing efforts for “secure borders” and “open doors”.

Resources from:

Additional Resources

Current worldwide travel cautions

16 Oct

Travel warnings:

Yemen, Lebanon and Iran

Travel alerts:

Europe – Terrorism, India and Bolivia

Be careful when you travel! Pay attention to the world around you!

Hong Kong

24 Sep

Renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbor, Hong Kong meaning “fragrant harbor” in English, is one of the top business travel destinations in the world. But you don’t have to be traveling business class to enjoy its splendors. Hong Kong is frequently described as a place where “East meets West”, balancing a modernized way of life with traditional Chinese practices such as feng shui. The fusion of east and west also characterizes Hong Kong’s cuisine, where dim sum, hot pot, and fast food restaurants coexist with haute cuisine.

Places to see on Hong Kong Island :

  • The Peak
  • Madame Tussauds
  • Hollywood Road, Cat Street / Man Mo Temple
  • Western Market
  • Lan Kwai Fong & SoHo
  • Golden Bauhinia Square & Special Flag Raising Ceremony
  • Happy Valley Racecourse
  • Jumbo Kingdom
  • Ocean Park Hong Kong
  • Repulse Bay
  • Stanley Market & Murray House
  • Aberdeen

Also check out their beautiful gardens:

  • Hong Kong Park / Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware
  • Hong Kong Zoological & Botanical Garden
  • Victoria Park
  • Kowloon Park
  • Tolo Harbour
  • Expo Promenade
  • Kadoorie Farm & Botanical Garden
  • Lions Nature Education Centre

A view from Hong Kong Island, looking north over Central district, the harbour and Kowloon