colorado vacation destinations

Colorado is internationally famous for the skiing/snowboarding, rock climbing, hiking and winter sports.  For this reason Colorado vacation destinations are not only in the two biggest cities: Denver and Colorado Springs but also Aspen and the rocky mountains.

colorado vacation destination aspen-mountain

colorado vacation destination aspen-mountain

Aspen – “With four world-class mountains within the area, Aspen boasts the most diverse selection of terrain and on-snow experiences in Colorado. The best part is: A ski pass is valid at all four of our mountains!” 

I remember being in Australia and receiving the obligatory question, “Where are you from in the US?”

My typical answer: “I am from California, but living in Colorado.”  To which the young Aussie replied, “Oh, I love Colorado.  I was on vacation there and lived in Aspen working at a sky resort.

colorado vacation destinations Rocky Mountains

Colorado vacation destinations Rocky Mountains

Rocky Mountains – Colorado has the MOST 14,000+ foot mountains in the United States.  It has a total of 53 mountains over 14,000 feet (4200 meter mountains)!  For this reason, Colorado is a mountain climber paradise.  Half the state is the “rockiest” part of the rocky mountains.  It has the highest average elevation of any state.

Rocky Mountain National Park is located in Colorado.  Rocky Mountain National Park is ALL mountains with inspiring skylines, beautiful wildflowers, abundant with multiday backpack trips and climbing adventurers for every level of hiker.

 

 

 

How to Get a visa for USA

How to Get a visa for USA

1/5 of all the worlds Immigrants come to the USA annually according to US census study. immigroup.com listed the US as the 5th most immigration friendly places in the world behind Canada, Germany, Singapore and Australia.  I would disagree and say that its number one! Immigrants and the children of immigrants are the most successful in the USA.  The US is a nation of immigrants.  The USA is FAR from perfect but the “American dream” is still alive and well for those willing to work hard, dream big and never give up.

how to get a visa for USA

courtesy of footage.shutterstock.com

There are two categories of Visas for the US:

  1. Immigrant Visa
  2. Non-immigrant Visa

The Non-Immigrant US Visas refer to people who just want to visit the US but have no intention of becoming a citizen.  So categories would include:

Tourism & Visit B “Visa Waiver Program” ESTA Application

Business B Visa Waiver ProgramESTA Application

Employment EHLOPITN/TDJ

Study & Exchange FMJB

Immigrant US Visas are for those who have a plan to stay and become a citizen.

Immigrate “Family” “Intercountry Adoptions” “Employment Diversity Visa”

US Immigrant Visas

The chart below contains different purposes for immigrating to the United States, and the related immigrant visa categories for which information is available on this website. Select a visa category below to learn more:

Immediate Relative & Family Sponsored

Visa Category

Spouse of a U.S. Citizen

IR1, CR1

Spouse of a U.S. Citizen awaiting approval of an I-130 immigrant petition

K-3 *

Fiancé(e) to marry U.S. Citizen & live in U.S.

K-1 *

Intercountry Adoption of Orphan Children by U.S. Citizens

IR3, IH3, IR4, IH4

Certain Family Members of U.S. Citizens

IR2, CR2, IR5, F1, F3, F4

Certain Family Members of Lawful Permanent Residents

F2A, F2B

Employer Sponsored – Employment

Employment-Based Immigrants, including  (preference group):

  • Priority workers [First]
  • Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability [Second]
  • Professionals and Other Workers [Third]
  • Employment Creation/Investors [Fifth]
  • Certain Special Immigrants: [Fourth]
E1
E2E3, EW3C5, T5, R5, I5S (many**)

Religious Workers

SD, SR

Iraqi and Afghan Translators/Interpreters

SI

Iraqis Who Worked for/on Behalf of the U.S. Government

SQ

Afghans Who Worked for/on Behalf of the U.S. Government

SQ

Other Immigrants

Diversity Immigrant Visa

DV

Returning Resident

SB

Important Notes:

*K Visas – Listed with immigrant visas because they are for immigration related purposes.

About this chart – This chart is a list of many immigrant visa categories, but not every immigrant visa category.

**Refer to the Foreign Affairs Manual, 9 FAM 42.11 for a listing of all immigrant visa categories.

US Non-Immigrant Visas

The chart below contains many different purposes of temporary travel and the related nonimmigrant visa categories available on this website. Select a visa category below to learn more:

Purpose of Travel

Visa Category

Required: Before applying for visa*

Athlete, amateur or professional (competing for prize money only)

B-1

(NA)

Au pair (exchange visitor)

J

SEVIS

Australian professional specialty

E-3

DOL

Border Crossing Card: Mexico

BCC

(NA)

Business visitor

B-1

(NA)

CNMI-only transitional worker

CW-1

(USCIS)

Crewmember

D

(NA)

Diplomat or foreign government official

A

(NA)

Domestic employee or nanny – must be accompanying a foreign national employer

B-1

(NA)

Employee of a designated international organization or NATO

  G1-G5, NATO

(NA)

Exchange visitor

J

SEVIS

Foreign military personnel stationed in the United States

A-2
NATO1-6

(NA)

Foreign national with extraordinary ability in Sciences, Arts, Education, Business or Athletics

O

USCIS

Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Professional: Chile, Singapore

H-1B1 – Chile
H-1B1 – Singapore

DOL

International cultural exchange visitor

Q

USCIS

Intra-company transferee

L

USCIS

Medical treatment, visitor for

B-2

(NA)

Media, journalist

I

(NA)

NAFTA professional worker: Mexico, Canada

TN/TD

(NA)

Performing athlete, artist, entertainer

P

USCIS

Physician

J , H-1B

SEVIS

Professor, scholar, teacher (exchange visitor)

J

SEVIS

Religious worker

R

USCIS

Specialty occupations in fields requiring highly specialized knowledge

H-1B

DOL then USCIS

Student: academic, vocational

F, M

SEVIS

Temporary agricultural worker

H-2A

DOL then USCIS

Temporary worker performing other services or labor of a temporary or seasonal nature.

H-2B

DOL then USCIS

Tourism, vacation, pleasure visitor

B-2

(NA)

Training in a program not primarily for employment

H-3

USCIS

Treaty trader/treaty investor

E

(NA)

Transiting the United States

C

(NA)

Victim of Criminal Activity

U

USCIS

Victim of Human Trafficking

T

USCIS

Nonimmigrant (V) Visa for Spouse and Children of a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) V (NA)

Renewals in the U.S. – A, G, and NATO Visas

(NA)

 

Best Romantic Getaways in U.S.

Best Romantic Getaways in U.S.

There are thousands of places all over the US that couples can go for a romantic vacation.  But it really depends on what the couple is into.  It depends on what the couple considers “the best romance getaway in U.S.”.  What are you getting away from?  Are you getting away from the city?  Are you getting away from country life?  What ever the case, there are so many States to choose from with lots of romantic locations to enjoy.

Some couples enjoy the outdoors, being away from crowds and in touch with nature while others want to be in the middle the lights and sounds of city life.  So we will cover each of these types.

 Here is a list of Best Romantic Getaways in U.S.

Niagara Falls – One of the most beautiful falls in the world lies between Buffalo, New York and Ontario, Canada.  Before the majestic beauty of the falls are restaurants and shops that loving couples can enjoying.  Getaway and escape on a boat rides that drifts right in the mists of the falls where lovers can embrace… Niagra Falls will become VIAGRA Falls!

At Niagara Falls, take a tour of the American or Canadian side of the spectacular falls.

  • 4 to 5 hour Niagara Falls tour

  • Ride on the Maid of the Mist boat

  • Visit famous Niagara Falls attractions including Horseshoe Falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls

  • View the Falls atop the American Observation Tower

  • Explore the adventurous Cave of the Winds

Cost: $89USD

You can also take a helicopter ride over the falls: Cost: 150USD

There are also Jet boat tours for those wanting to getaway from the monotony:

  • Open jet boat ride on the Niagara River

  • Niagara Whirlpool

  • Scenic views of the beautiful Niagara surrounds

  • Entertaining guide with comprehensive narration

Cost: 65USD

More info a romantic getaway in the US Niagara falls

Napa Best Romantic Getaways in US

Napa Valley – Unless you are a wine lover you may not have heard of one of the most romantic outdoor vacations in Northern California, Napa Valley.  It is considered “Wine Country”.  They take you on a wine tasting tour that will leave you tipsy.  What can two lovers do with so much wine?

 

What is a romantic getaway without getting crazy drunk on the world’s best wine?!  Napa Valley has more than just wine.

Napa Valley also has MUSTARD!  Thats right, MUSTARD!  I know you are thinking, “DimeTravel, who the fuck cares about mustard?!”

YOU SILLY, SILLY foolz.. I am talking about the NAPA VALLEY MUSTARD FESTIVAL.  There has not been one in a few years but as famous Governator said it will “be back”.  Beyond the Mustard and Wine, you have fine dining at places like le “French Laundry”.

There are lots of tours of the Napa Valley country side.  Its very classy and not all of them are cheap for the average American:

Wine Train: 115 – 200USD per person

Napa Valley Balloon Rides: 169 – 200USD per person

For a much more affordable tour you could try the bike tours:

http://www.napavalleybiketours.com/

 

Fisherman Wharf - Best Romantic Getaways in US

Fishermans Wharf – Peir 39 is probably the most visited part of California’s bay area.  San Francisco offers a very beautiful coast coastline.  Its a great scenic place for a romantic getaway and I doubt you will get better pictures anywhere else in California short of a National Forest.  Fisherman’s Wharf is the highlight of the city second to only the Golden Gate bridge (a must see if you are in the bay area).  There are amazing, strange and unique shops along the pier, there are street performers and artist that make a living on their talent alone.  What I loved most about Fisherman’s Wharf was the food!  If you and your loved one are into sea food, you will fall in love with some of the freshest and most abundant catches on the West Coast of the US.

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia – If you like the outdoors then one of the best places to visit is Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park.  You can take a romantic vacation and be blown away by a natural wonder and all have very cheap:  between 26 and 30 USD for the average tour.  

Learn more here:  http://triggerpit.com/2012/01/25/sequoia-the-ancient-giants/

Lake Tahoe Reno - Best Romantic Getaways in US

Lake Tahoe & Reno – When people think of places to go in Nevada, the first thing they consider are the bright lights of Las Vegas.  And if you have not been to Las Vegas then its definitely a must see and can be ver, very romantic indeed.  But what you may not know is that the North part of Nevada is a place with a different kind of romance.  You have nature, skiing, and kayaking.  You can still get the casinos up north.  If you are into gambling, bright lights and city than Reno has everything you cherish.  If your idea of escape is nature and being away from crowded streets then try Lake Tahoe.  Between California and Nevada you have about 6 ski resorts in Lake Tahoe.  You have spectacular shows, hiking, casinos, and MUCH MORE

http://www.visitinglaketahoe.com/

Disneyland (LA)

California Adventure Cars

images form LA California Adventure Radiator Springs

Its expensive. Its crowded. BUT its something you MUST do once before you die. Here are some of the pros and cons of Disneyland LA.  *note: Disney is actually in Anaheim, CA which is close to LA. 

Pros:

Brilliance of the imagineers.  The level of detail and design in every attraction is something you have to experience to appreciate. StarTours for example has about 10 mini shows in the line to the actual ride. Each mini story line integrates into the actual ride. Its hard to find that kind of detail at any other theme park. Each attraction attempts to emerse you into the theme with music, sound, site and even smell.

Ferris Wheel Disneyland

Disneyland Wheel Disneyland

Its legendary. No matter what age you are, you will more than likely a fan of at least one of the Disney movies. With all the classics like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Mickey Mouse, and now the entire Star Wars franchise, they have something for everyone to enjoy.

Its great for kids! If you take kids to Disneyland its something they will never forget. Its a memory that they will cherish because something in that total experience will resonate with them. Its just magical to kids.

Its convenient in L.A.  Disneyland in L.A. is extremely convenient. With great weather year round and fairly cheap hotels and stores in the surrounding park area, its a great choice if you want to keep prices low and happen to already live in North or South America.

Disney California Adventure Pro and Cons

California Adventure vacation

Disney California Adventure.  Another bonus of being at Disney LA is California Adventure. Its a completely different theme park equal to or greater than Disneyland. If you have two days, its worth spending once day in Disneyland and one day in California Adventure. If you are there one day, you can get a Park Hopper ticket to go to both for the day ($200).

 

 

 

CONS:

Lines, Lines, Lines! At the peak of the day, the lines are waaaaaay too long. You can wait as long as 3 hours in a line for a ride that lasts 5 minutes.  If you are with kids, they may get restless.. its very brutal for kids.  But you can avoid this by getting FastPass. It will schedule you for a ride.

$$$$$! The food, the swag, souvenirs, services, parking, hotels (in Disneyland) will cost you up to 4 times more than what you might pay at a normal store in Calfornia. Now keep in mind that California is notoriously among the most expensive of all states. If you spend 9.99USD for a hat in a convenient store in L.A. that same hat will cost 20 – 30 dollars in Disneyland. If you spend 9.99USD for a hoody at Walmart, that same hat can cost 30 – 60 USD in Disneyland. The food is even more ridiculous! A lousy hotdog, bun, small bag of chips and NO DRINK will cost 7 – 8 USD. If you have a large group, this price can quickly turn into 100 USD.

Even with all the lines and prices, its worth going to see in your lifetime. The level of detail and quality of theme park is unmatched. If you want to save money, don’t spend as much INSIDE the park, bring lunches, stay outside the park, bring extra batteries and plan on spending as little as possible inside Disneyland. Once you are in, all rides are free but the lines will make you have to budget your time because its only open from 9am to 10pm. So make sure you get a FastPass.

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