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October 20 2014

zonkedpocket7405

Illegal immigrant fights to become California lawyer



In this Sept. 3, 2013, photo, Sergio Garcia poses for photographs in San Francisco. Garcia arrived in Northern California illegally 20 years ago and and has been there since. AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

SAN FRANCISCO Sergio Garcia arrived in the U.S. illegally 20 years ago to pick almonds in the field with his father. But that was not all he wanted for his life.

Working the fields and at a grocery store, he attended community college, studying to become a paralegal, and passed the California bar on the first try, a boast Gov. Jerry Brown, former Gov. Peter Wilson and nearly 50 percent of all first-time test takers can't make.

Now, still living in the U.S. illegally, he will ask the California Supreme Court on Wednesday to license him.

He has the support of the state bar and California Attorney General Kamala Harris. The U.S. Department of Justice, however, is trying to block his request.

The DOJ argues in court filings that granting Garcia a law license card would violate a federal law barring people in the U.S. illegally from receiving government benefits.

The agency argues the state Supreme Court and California bar officials use public money to license and regulate Garcia's practice.

The federal law was "plainly designed to preclude undocumented aliens from receiving commercial and professional licenses issued by states and the federal government," the DOJ said in court papers after the state's high court asked for the federal government's position.

"It was a real slap in the face," Garcia said.

The dispute is the latest high-profile immigration clash between state and federal laws. Usually, it's the Obama administration opposing state laws in Arizona and elsewhere thought to be anti-immigrant.

The Obama position surprised some, since it had recently adopted a program that shields people who were brought to the U.S. as children, graduated high school and have kept a clean criminal record from deportation and allows them to legally work in the country.

At 36, Garcia is too old to qualify for the Obama program. But he and the immigration groups supporting Garcia argue that he his is exactly the type of candidate the Obama administration had in mind when it adopted its program.

So the administration's flat-out opposition stunned Garcia, who self-financed his education at Cal Northern School of Law in Chico while working at a grocery store and publishing a self-help book in 2006.

"I was very upset by" the administration's position, he said. "I worked hard and have never been a burden to the state."

But legal scholars and others say Garcia faces a number of obstacles even if he wins his law license.

Garcia will have to work for himself because no law firm or other employers could legally hire him. And he may be automatically disqualified from representing certain clients and taking on some types of cases because of his citizenship status.

Green Mansions Golf Club

"Garcia is not qualified to practice law because he continually violates federal law by his presence in the United States," former State Bar prosecutor Larry DeSha told the state Supreme Court in one of the few "friend of the court" briefs filed opposing Garcia's licensing.

A similar case is brewing in Florida. That state's Supreme Court has so far refused to certify a person living illegally in the U.S. as a lawyer, but has not issued a final ruling. The California Supreme Court has 90 days to rule after Wednesday's arguments.

Garcia and his numerous supporters argue that he is deserving of his law license on legal -- and moral -- grounds.



21 Photos

The other border

Thousands of Central Americans pass illegally into Mexico daily, many on the first leg of a perilous journey towards the U.S.

State Bar officials and California's attorney general argue citizenship status is not a requirement to receive a California law license.

Garcia said he's deserving to practice law in the state for those legal reasons, plus the hard work and dedication he put into passing the bar examination.

Meanwhile, the immigration groups backing Garcia's bid in the Supreme Court say the man's narrative is exactly the type of immigrants the Obama administration had in mind when it adopted a policy last year to allow people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children to work legally.

Garcia first came to the U.S. with his family from Mexico when he was 17 months old. He returned to Mexico with his mother when he was 9-years-old and returned eight years later and applied for citizenship in 1994, sponsored by his father who is now an American citizen.

Garcia said there is nothing unusual about an application pending for so long and estimates it could take another five years to approve given the backlog of applications.

He said he doesn't fear deportation because of the national notoriety his case has received -- and the fact that he has formally notified immigration officials of his prolonged presence in the U.S.

What he does worry about is being barred from practicing law in California. In the meantime, he has supported himself as a motivational speaker and paralegal when he can find the work.

"There have been some dark days," he said. "But I'm looking forward to finally presenting my case to the Supreme Court."

© 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/illegal-immigrant-fights-to-become-california-lawyer/

September 23 2014

zonkedpocket7405

Kurdish fighters head to Syria to face ISIS militants



kurdinternal16161.jpg

Sept. 20, 2014: Turkish soldiers stand guard as Syrian refugees gather at the border in Suruc, Turkey.

BEIRUT -  Hundreds of Kurdish fighters raced from Turkey and Iraq into neighboring Syria on Saturday to defend a Kurdish area under attack by Islamic State militants. As the fighting raged, more than 60,000 mostly Kurdish refugees streamed across the dusty and barren border into Turkey, some hobbling on crutches as others lugged bulging sacks of belongings on their backs.

The large-scale displacement of so many and the movement of the Kurdish fighters into Syria reflected the ferocity of the fighting in the northern Kobani area, which borders Turkey. Militants of the extremist Islamic State group have been barreling through the area for the past three days, prompting Kurdish leaders to plead for international help.

Civilians seeking safety began massing on the Turkish border on Thursday. Turkey did not let them in at first, saying it would provide them with aid on the Syrian side of the border instead. By Friday, it had changed its mind and started to let in several thousand.

The numbers grew quickly as more entry points opened, and by late Saturday afternoon, more than 60,000 had poured across the frontier, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said.

Even by the standards of Syria's bitter war, it was unusual for so many refugees to flee in such a short time. Their numbers add to the 2.8 million Syrians who have become refugees in the past three years, and another 6.4 million who have been displaced within their own country -- nearly half of Syria's pre-war population of 23 million.

Many of those who came across Saturday cradled young children or carried them on their shoulders. Kurtulmus said some refugees were staying with relatives, while others took shelter in schools or tents.

"Kobani is facing the fiercest and most barbaric attack in its history," said official Mohammed Saleh Muslim, head of Syria's powerful Kurdish Democratic Union. The groups' members dominate the Syrian Kurdish group known as the YPK, which is fighting the Islamic State militants.

"Kobani calls on all those who defend humane and democratic values ... to stand by Kobani and support it immediately. The coming hours are decisive," he said.

On Friday, the president of Iraq's largely autonomous Kurdish region, Masoud Barzani, warned that the militant group's attacks on the Kobani area "threaten the whole entirety of the Kurdish nation."

The battle over Kobani is part of a long-running fight between the Islamic State group and Syria's Kurds that has raged across a band of Syrian territory stretching along the Turkish border from the north to the far northeast, where large numbers of Kurds live. The clashes are one aspect of Syria's broader civil war -- a multilayered conflict that the U.N. says has killed more than 190,000,

The YPK is viewed with suspicion by many Syrian rebels and their Western supporters because of perceived links to President Bashar Assad's government. That may be changing, however, as Kurdish fighters battle alongside some Syrian rebel groups against the Islamic State in northern and eastern Syria.

NATO member Turkey is wary of the group, which it believes is affiliated with the Kurdish PKK movement, a Kurdish movement that has waged a long and bloody insurgency in southeast Turkey.

Several hundred Kurdish fighters streamed into the Kobani area from Turkey, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Kurdish official Nawaf Khalil also confirmed the movement of fighters into Syria.

At least some of the volunteers looked to be PKK fighters, while others appeared to be eager civilians, according to Kurdish officials who insisted on anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak to reporters.

Some 600 PKK fighters also crossed from Iraq into Syria, heading toward Kobani, said a military official in Iraq's northern Kurdish region. That official also spoke on condition his name not be used because he wasn't authorized to speak to journalists. The PKK have a base in the Qandil mountains in the Kurdish region of Iraq.

Ethnic Kurds dominate a mountainous region that straddles Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey.

Syrian Kurdish fighters had been successfully fighting off the militants for the past two years. They even clashed with the Islamic State group's fighters in northern Iraq, carving a safe passage for thousands of embattled Iraqis of the Yazidi minority, whom the militant group sees as apostates.

But the tide changed in September as Islamic State group fighters began employing more powerful weaponry they seized from Iraqi soldiers who fled the militants' advance in June.

The U.S.  has yet to launch any airstrikes in Syria to stem advances by Islamic State fighters, but airstrikes in Iraq have helped Kurdish fighters there and the Iraqi army stem attacks by Islamic State forces.

U.S. Central Command reported five airstrikes against militants on Friday and Saturday, including one southwest of Baghdad that destroyed an Islamic State group boat carrying supplies across the Euphrates River. The four other strikes were northwest of Haditha, targeting armed vehicles, checkpoints and guard outposts.

The U.S. has now conducted 183 airstrikes across Iraq since the military action began in early August.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/09/20/kurdish-fighters-head-to-syria-to-face-militants/

September 04 2014

zonkedpocket7405

Tracking storm Sandy recovery | Reuters.com

NOAA ISSUES 5PM ET UPDATE :

BULLETIN

HURRICANE SANDY ADVISORY NUMBER 22

NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL182012

500 PM EDT SAT OCT 27 2012

...HIGH WIND WATCHES AND WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT FOR THE

MID-ATLANTIC STATES AND SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND...

...SIGNIFICANT STORM SURGE IS ALSO EXPECTED...

SUMMARY OF 500 PM EDT...2100 UTC...INFORMATION

----------------------------------------------

LOCATION...30.2N 75.2W

ABOUT 335 MI...540 KM ESE OF CHARLESTON SOUTH CAROLINA

ABOUT 345 MI...555 KM S OF CAPE HATTERAS NORTH CAROLINA

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...75 MPH...120 KM/H

PRESENT MOVEMENT...NE OR 35 DEGREES AT 13 MPH...20 KM/H

MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...961 MB...28.38 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS

--------------------

CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

THE BERMUDA WEATHER SERVICE HAS REPLACED THE TROPICAL STORM

WATCH WITH A TROPICAL STORM WARNING FOR BERMUDA.

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE BAHAMAS HAS DISCONTINUED ALL TROPICAL

STORM WARNINGS.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...

* SOUTH SANTEE RIVER SOUTH CAROLINA TO DUCK NORTH CAROLINA

* PAMLICO AND ALBEMARLE SOUNDS

* BERMUDA

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...

* SAVANNAH RIVER TO SOUTH SANTEE RIVER

IN ADDITION...HIGH WIND WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT FOR PORTIONS OF

SOUTHEASTERN VIRGINIA. HIGH WIND WATCHES ARE IN EFFECT FOR MUCH

OF THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES AND SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND. SEE STATEMENTS

FROM LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICES.

INTERESTS THROUGHOUT THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES AND NEW ENGLAND SHOULD

MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF SANDY.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA IN THE UNITED

STATES...INCLUDING POSSIBLE INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE

MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

FORECAST OFFICE. FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA OUTSIDE

THE UNITED STATES...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL

METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK

------------------------------

AT 500 PM EDT...2100 UTC...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE SANDY WAS LOCATED

NEAR LATITUDE 30.2 NORTH...LONGITUDE 75.2 WEST. SANDY IS MOVING

TOWARD THE NORTHEAST NEAR 13 MPH...20 KM/H...AND THIS GENERAL MOTION

IS FORECAST TO CONTINUE THROUGH SUNDAY. A TURN TOWARD THE NORTH IS

FORECAST SUNDAY NIGHT...FOLLOWED BY A TURN TOWARD THE NORTH-

NORTHWEST ON MONDAY. ON THE FORECAST TRACK THE CENTER OF SANDY

WILL MOVE PARALLEL TO THE SOUTHEAST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES

THROUGH THE WEEKEND...AND APPROACH THE COAST OF THE MID-ATLANTIC

STATES LATE MONDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS REMAIN NEAR 75 MPH...120 KM/H...WITH HIGHER

GUSTS. LITTLE CHANGE IN STRENGTH IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT COUPLE

OF DAYS.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 105 MILES...165 KM...FROM

THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 520

MILES...835 KM. NOAA BUOY 41013...LOCATED ABOUT 35 MILES...

SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF CAPE LOOKOUT NORTH CAROLINA RECENTLY REPORTED A

SUSTAINED WIND OF 47 MPH...76 KM/H...AND A WIND GUST OF 58 MPH...

94 KM/H.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 961 MB...28.38 INCHES.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND

----------------------

WIND...TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO

REACH THE TROPICAL STORM WARNING AREA IN THE CAROLINAS WITHIN THE

NEXT FEW HOURS...AND SPREAD NORTHWARD TONIGHT AND SUNDAY. TROPICAL

STORM CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE IN THE WATCH AREAS THROUGH TONIGHT.

GALE FORCE WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO ARRIVE ALONG PORTIONS OF THE

MID-ATLANTIC COAST BY LATE SUNDAY OR SUNDAY NIGHT AND REACH LONG

ISLAND AND SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND BY MONDAY MORNING. WINDS TO NEAR

HURRICANE FORCE COULD REACH THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES...INCLUDING

LONG ISLAND...BY LATE MONDAY.

STORM SURGE...THE COMBINATION OF A DANGEROUS STORM SURGE AND THE

TIDE WILL CAUSE NORMALLY DRY AREAS NEAR THE COAST TO BE FLOODED BY

RISING WATERS. THE WATER COULD REACH THE FOLLOWING DEPTHS ABOVE

GROUND IF THE PEAK SURGE OCCURS AT THE TIME OF HIGH TIDE...

FL EAST COAST NORTH OF CAPE CANAVERAL...1 TO 2 FT

NC SOUTH OF SURF CITY...1 TO 3 FT

NC NORTH OF SURF CITY INCLUDING PAMLICO/ALBERMARLE SNDS...3 TO 5 FT

SE VA AND DELMARVA INCLUDING LOWER CHESAPEAKE BAY...2 TO 4 FT

UPPER AND MIDDLE CHESAPEAKE BAY...1 TO 2 FT

OCEAN CITY MD TO THE CT/RI BORDER...4 TO 8 FT

LONG ISLAND SOUND...RARITAN BAY...AND DELAWARE BAY...4 TO 8 FT

SURGE-RELATED FLOODING DEPENDS ON THE RELATIVE TIMING OF THE SURGE

AND THE TIDAL CYCLE...AND CAN VARY GREATLY OVER SHORT DISTANCES.

GIVEN THE LARGE WIND FIELD ASSOCIATED WITH SANDY...ELEVATED WATER

LEVELS COULD SPAN MULTIPLE TIDE CYCLES RESULTING IN REPEATED AND

EXTENDED PERIODS OF COASTAL AND BAYSIDE FLOODING. IN ADDITION...

ELEVATED WATERS COULD OCCUR FAR REMOVED FROM THE CENTER OF SANDY.

FURTHERMORE...THESE CONDITIONS WILL OCCUR REGARDLESS OF WHETHER

SANDY IS A TROPICAL OR POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE. FOR INFORMATION

SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...PLEASE SEE PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE.

RAINFALL...RAINFALL TOTALS OF 3 TO 6 INCHES ARE EXPECTED OVER FAR

EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA...WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM TOTALS OF 8 INCHES

POSSIBLE. RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 4 TO 8 INCHES ARE EXPECTED OVER

PORTIONS OF THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES...INCLUDING THE DELMARVA

PENINSULA...WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 12 INCHES POSSIBLE.

RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF

5 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE ACROSS PARTS OF SOUTHERN NEW YORK INTO NEW

ENGLAND.

SURF...DANGEROUS SURF CONDITIONS WILL CONTINUE FROM FLORIDA THROUGH

THE CAROLINAS FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AND SPREAD INTO THE MID-

ATLANTIC AND NORTHEASTERN STATES BY SUNDAY.

NEXT ADVISORY

-------------

NEXT INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY...800 PM EDT.

NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...1100 PM EDT.

$$

FORECASTER BROWN

http://live.reuters.com/Event/Tracking_Storm_Sandy?Page=2

August 20 2014

zonkedpocket7405

Nudist Resorts Celebrate The 31st Annual Nude Recreation Week This July 10th 16th

http://www.brunswickislesgolftrail.com/quote.php Paris Casino Hotels A Blend Of Elegance And Recreation

July 27 2014

zonkedpocket7405

North Carolina Shark Attack Survivor Lucy Mangum, 6, and Family Describe Attack





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Lucy Mangum, 6, looked up at her parents and asked them to say a prayer for her after a shark bit her leg on a North Carolina beach.

Lucy told ABC News that she asked her mom and dad to pray for "my leg to heal."

Lucy was with her parents and sister at Ocrakoke Beach on the Outer Banks on July 19 when what they think was a tiger shark sneaked up from behind them and sank its teeth in Lucy's leg.

"I only saw its tail," she said. "I felt like ... it almost stayed there."

Lucy's mother, Jordan Mangum, immediately grabbed her daughter.

"I heard her scream so I immediately turned towards her and at that point saw the shark right next to her," Jordan Mangum said. "I ran over to her and at this point it hadn't really crossed my mind that she had been bitten, I just wanted to get her out of the water...I saw that she was injured pretty badly... it was a pretty big gash."

She crouched down and cradled Lucy, applying pressure to her wound.

"It was pretty surreal," she said.

The shark had bitten Lucy twice, once between the ankle and lower foot and once between the ankle and lower leg.

Her husband was farther out in the water but swam to his family when he heard their screams.

"I ran over and ... we got her up on the beach and we had Jordan move her hand and the entire lower leg...filleted itself open...It was a pretty significant wound and I noticed there was an arterial bleed there and I just realized right away we were going to have to get her to a medical center," Craig Mangum said.

Lucy was taken by helicopter to a hospital. The little girl is expected to fully recover and will begin undergoing physical therapy.

"She'll be in a wheelchair for a little bit but all of her pieces are there...she's going to walk and function pretty well, dance and run and play like she should," Craig Mangum said.

Experts say there are sharks of all kinds living off the coast, and in the evenings they move closer to the beaches, searching for food.

The Mangums plan to head back into the water once Lucy is able to, and they call what happened to Lucy a "fluke."

While they'll head to the beach, they said that they will go earlier in the day.

"We were told not to be at the beach...later in the afternoon and that's when we were on the beach...I think we'll stay out of the water during suppertime," Jordan Mangum said.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/north-carolina-shark-attack-survivor-lucy-mangum-family/story?id=14159069

July 25 2014

zonkedpocket7405

Rory McIlroy's dad wins big on 10-year-old bet on son



Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland playing with his father Gerry McIlroy during the pro-am event prior to the The Irish Open at the Fota Island Resort on June 18, 2014, in Cork, Ireland. Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

HOYLAKE, England - Rory McIlroy was not the only winner at the British Open on Sunday.

The BBC said McIlroy's father, Gerry, and one of his friends placed a combined bet of 400 pounds (now $680) in 2004 on McIlroy winning the British Open before he turned 26.

McIlroy was 15 at the time of the wager and is now 25.



Jessica Bridge, spokeswoman for bookmakers Ladbrokes, told the BBC: "Nine out of 10 times, these bets come to nothing, but on this occasion the punters definitely knew more than we did. And we can only doff our cap to their confidence and foresight."



The odds were 500-1, so Gerry looks to collect 50,000 pounds ($85,000) now that McIlroy has lifted the claret jug. He won by two strokes over Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler.

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/rory-mcilroys-dad-wins-big-on-10-year-old-bet-on-son/

July 21 2014

zonkedpocket7405

Check Here

June 24 2014

zonkedpocket7405

Trip to the Great Smoky Mountains



Although I planned my most recent trip to Gatlinburg, TN well ahead of time, I ended up making a number of changes in the last week.

My original plan was to take my sister and brother-in-law on an inexpensive nature trip that would only last 3 days and 2 nights. They cancelled on me at the last minute, so my mom and niece decided to go along instead.

Since my mom prefers shopping and Dollywood, we ended up staying 2 extra nights.

The first day we arrived around 2:30 on Saturday. This is the worst time to arrive in the Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge area. If you are going in on the weekend, I would suggest arriving either late on Friday night (after 9 pm) or early on Saturday morning (before 9 am).

We made the best of our 2 hour deadlock tour of Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. They were having an old car show all along the Pigeon Forge strip, so it was like driving through an antique LEARN MORE HERE car show.  Not so bad.

Once we arrived to Gatlinburg, and got checked into our hotel room, we headed downtown. We were in walking distance, less than a block from all of the gift shops and Ripley's entertainment adventures.

We walked around a couple of gift shops and then decided to take in an attraction. I let my niece pick which Ripley's Adventure we would see. She decided on Ripley's Haunted House Adventure.

Ripley's Haunted Adventure is number 8 in the world, we were told as we purchased the tickets. It turned out to be a good scare, and I didn't think we were ever going to get out of there. (Warning: If you have bladder control problems, be prepared.)

That evening we walked around many more gift shops and art galleries before deciding we could use a snack.

We wondered back toward our hotel and decided to stop at the "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" Bar and Grill. The bar had a live band which started at 9:00 o'clock. Since we were already in the restaurant area, we didn't have to pay the $5.00 cover charge. And my niece was allowed to stay in the restaurant area, even though she was only 18, as long as she didn't wander into the bar area. That worked out great.  The band was great and played a variety from classic rock to country.

The restaurant was a little understaffed so the service was slow. But the bar area upstairs, which I ventured into to smoke, seem to be staffed very sufficiently and had great service.

The next morning we walked down to the Log Cabin Restaurant for breakfast. We enjoyed the food and the service was great. Afterwards, we wondered through a few more gift shops trying to find souvenirs for the family.

By noon, we made it into the Great Smoky Mountains. We stopped at a couple of overlooks and riverside stops. We also stopped at the Mingus Mill and purchased some cornmeal and did the tour, which is free. The next time we definitely need to stop by the Oconaluftee Tourist Center on the NC side of the mountains, because I think we missed a thing or two there.

One great thing about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is that when Tennessee made the deal with the Federal government, they agreed there would never be a fee to drive through the park.

After driving through the mountains, we next made our way into Cherokee, North Carolina, and the Cherokee Indian Reservation there. We got to see real Indians, and if you wanted to pay $4.00 each you could see live bears.

We shopped all of the gift shops, and went into the gift shop for the museum. Even though we didn't take the tour, we learned a great deal from the curator.

In Cherokee, we found a great little riverview restaurant. The homemade cooking was delicious and the prices were amazing.

After our visit to Cherokee, we decided to head back toward Gatlinburg. The drive took about 1 hour through the mountains without stopping.

That evening we did more shopping in the downtown area and ate at the Shoney's Buffet. The food was a little dry because they had a slow day, but reasonable compared to anywhere else we would have ate.



The next morning we checked out of our hotel in Gatlinburg and headed toward Pigeon Forge. We ate breakfast at the Great American Buffet, which must be the best deal in town. Delicious food and great prices.

Then it was time to see Dollywood. Dollywood is filled with so many things, for people of all ages.

There you will find arts and crafts made right in front of your eyes, which include: a blacksmith, a coppersmith, glassblowing, a grist mill and more.

They only have a couple of rides for those who like high adventure roller coasters and such. The Tennessee Tornado and the Mystery Mine being two of them. Definitely not for the faint of heart.

They have a whole section of smaller rides for the kids, plus different water areas, rides, and such all throughout the park.

For those who smoke, even though you can't smoke just anywhere, there are a large number of assigned smoking areas.

There is food in Dollywood of all varieties. If you can't find what you're looking for, just walk to a different section and they're bound to have it. Everything from an all-you-can-eat buffet of country style dishes, to stuffed pretzels, and chili cheese fries.

By 5 o'clock that evening, we were wore out. We headed to our next hotel reserved in Pigeon Forge. Keep in mind, one could easily stay in one hotel, but since I had originally planned to go for just the nature I had found the cheapest hotel for 2 nights. But once, we decided my mom would go, I wanted to at least have a hotel in Gatlinburg (which is a little more expensive) for a couple of nights.

After arriving in our hotel, we decided to walk to the gift shops in the area. We saw funny sayings on shirts, old time photos that you could have made, and even 10X size bloomers you could give as a gag gift.



Pigeon Forge is full of many restaurants. We had our choice of BBQ joints, popular casual dining like Red Lobster and Olive Garden, or fast food. We opted just to walk to McDonald's for a snack.

The next morning we were on our way to Forbidden Caverns. Forbidden Caverns is about a 20 minute drive, just outside of Pigeon Forge, in Seveirville. The cover charge was $13.00 per person. The cave temperature is 58 degrees so we dressed in long pants and took jackets.

The tour was great. It lasted about 55 minutes. The cave tourguide included history of how the Indians had used the cave for shelter and also how the moonshiners had used the cave during Prohibition. There was even old scraps of a moonshine still which originally had existed, along with a still that the owners of the cavern had remade.

After the tour we headed back to Pigeon Forge. I had been looking forward to a place called "Wonder Works", an amusement park for the mind they called it.

The cost of admission was $19.95, and my mom was a little leery. But after offering to let her go to gift shops while we were there, she decided to tag along. This she did not regret.

This great little place is filled with amusement for everyone of every age. When you walk in you will go through a tunnel that reminds you of a haunted house. But that's very brief.

The kinds of things you find yourself with next are like a science museum, an art museum of the supernatural, an arcade, and a small amusement park all put together. My favorite was the 360, which is a bicycle ride floating on a swingset. You peddle as hard as you can and do flips across the set, 360's. It was excellent.

After many hours, and losing each other a couple of times. We decided we were hungry. As we headed down the Pigeon Forge strip, we saw a winery. Since it was our last day there, and we only had about an hour left before they stopped giving tours, we decided to stop.

We visited the Mountain Valley Winery. The tour, showing how they make the wine, and the free wine tasting only lasted about a half an hour.

Back on track, we decided to stop at the Olive Garden for dinner. We had a great time, relaxed and enjoyed our dinner. I decided since we were out of town to try something new, I tried the 5 cheese Rigatoni with shrimp. It was delicious.

After we arrived back in our rooms, everyone decided to stay in for the evening.

All in all, our trip to The Great Smoky Mountains, and the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area seemed to be a great adventure, even though we had been there a few times before.

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http://travel.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474977337174

June 17 2014

zonkedpocket7405

Seabrook Wins Residential Project of the Year at 2011 Pacific Coast Builders Conference



PACIFIC BEACH, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Seabrook, Wash., a New Urbanist resort town located on the Washington coast, announced today the town was the winner of three 2011 Gold Nugget Awards at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference. The 49th annual Gold Nugget Awards, held in San Francisco this past summer, recognized builders, developers, architects, and land planners with communities and projects in the United States and throughout the world.

The Pacific Coast Builder's Conference (PCBC) had more than 400 entries in 50 award categories for attached and detached housing designs, including affordable, custom and re-use, and renovation work. Also honored are diverse commercial, recreational, and specialty buildings, as well as a variety of land planning achievements.

The town of Seabrook took home the top prize of a Gold Nugget Award in the categories of "Community Site Plan over 20 Acres" and "Residential Project of the Year." Seabrook's Ultimate Beach House took home a Merit Award in the category "Single Family Detached Home over 3000 square feet on a conventional lot."

"To be named residential project of the year and best community site plan in the same year is an incredible feeling," said Casey Roloff, Seabrook's president and CEO. "I've always felt Seabrook's town concept was a special one, and being recognized in these two categories by the Pacific Coast Builder's Conference is an honor and serves as unparalleled validation to our team that we're part of something special."

The Award's judging panel included some of the top architects, planners, and builders in the industry. Nationally recognized marketing and market research consultants, publishers, and senior editors also serve on the judging panel, ensuring fair attention and analysis for each entrant.

Gold Nugget Awards Judge Tom Doucette of Doucette Communities in Tucson, Arizona, said this year's competition was exceptionally diverse, with winners coming from throughout the U.S. and internationally. "Creative ideas in design do not know boundaries," he said. "We found the variety and level of excellence to be particularly heartening this year."

With its relaxed and casual lifestyle, Seabrook includes beach cottages of all sizes and styles. It is home to a growing retail district that currently includes a gourmet grocery market, pub-style, family-friendly restaurant, pottery studio, logo wear shop, dog boutique, and photo gallery. And the town just unveiled its latest addition, an indoor swimming pool.

"Seabrook's uniqueness starts with our walk-able footprint that welcomes pedestrians and bicyclists to a mix of primary residences, second homes, and popular beach rental cottages that are built upon green building principles," explained Roloff. "Since our groundbreaking in 2004 we've put a strong emphasis on complementing the natural landscape by implementing a continuous system of preserved greenways, parks, and natural areas for residents and visitors alike to enjoy," he continued.

According to the Pacific Coast Builders Conference Web site, Gold Nugget winners share one common denominator: excellence and innovation in addressing complex design/build issues. Gold Nugget Awards Judging Chairman and show producer Peter Mayer said with the 2011 submissions the judging panel saw, "a spectacular overview of emerging design and planning trends in residential and commercial development."

http://www.visittopsailislandNC.com/

About Seabrook

Established in 2004 on the Washington coast, Seabrook is a growing pedestrian-friendly town, which currently has 200 homes with plans to expand to 303 single-family homes. Seabrook is home to 50 permanent residents and more than 35,000 vacationers each year through the cottage rental program. For more information visit www.seabrookwa.com or call (360) 276-0099 or to book a rental cottage visit www.seabrookcottagerentals.com

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20111212006542/en/Seabrook-Wins-Residential-Project-Year-2011-Pacific

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