7 Underwater Landmarks You Can Visit

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIP TRIVIA)

 

7 Underwater Landmarks You Can Visit

There are landmarks all around the world that excite, delight, and pique your curiosity. It doesn’t matter if the landmarks are human-made, naturally occurring, or even on dry land—they are sure to be impressive, and when they’re underwater, you’ll be wrapped in a quiet enveloping silence that is sure to leave you in awe.

Chuuk Lagoon – Micronesia

Credit: Chris Holman / Shutterstock.com

A shipwreck that will excite even the most casual wreck enthusiast, Chuuk (also called Truk Lagoon) was a stronghold of Japan during WWII. It was bombed in 1944 and now boasts a ghost fleet of 60 ships and almost 300 airplanes. Inside the ships, a guided snorkeling tour can highlight some of the forgotten gas masks, ammunition, and guns, all settled on the sea floor. This underwater site is also home to reef sharks and a colorful array of ships.

Green Lake – Styria, Austria

Credit: Janik Rybicka / Shutterstock.com

Up until mid-June, you would not know that Greek Lake is actually one of the most sought-after underwater sites for snorkeling tours. In June, snow from the Hochschwab Mountains melts, and this Austrian park transforms into an underwater gem for a few weeks. The lake, which is generally just a meter deep, becomes 12 meters deep. Trees, benches, and picnic tables all become submerged for a short time every year. This meltwater lake doubles in size every year when the snow from the Karst Mountains also melts. A snorkeling tour will make you feel like you are in a forgotten world since the entire park is submerged.

Yonaguni Monument – Okinawa, Japan

Credot: Yong Hoon Choi / Shutterstock.com

No one can quite decide the origin of this underwater site, but one thing is for sure – it is exciting and captivating. When first discovered, Japanese divers thought it might be a temple. Standing almost 90 feet tall in the East China Sea, snorkeling explorers discovered solid rock slabs shaped like a pyramid. Years after its discovery, no one is quite sure what the underwater site actually is, but it is delightful all the same.

Jacob’s Well – Wimberly, Texas

Credit: RobertDowner / iStock

Even though it’s known as one of the most dangerous places in the world to dive, Jacob’s Well is a popular summer attraction. Inside the well, there are four chambers. The first is a straight-down, 30-foot dive; the second is deeper at 80 feet; and the final two chambers are generally reserved for only experienced divers.

Underwater Post Office – Vanuatu

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The world’s first underwater post office is nine feet underwater and almost two hundred feet from shore. When you are ready to mail an underwater letter, schools of shimmering fish and other exotic marine life are your post office companions. Though the post office sustained some damage in 2014, it is still operational. Just look for the yellow mailbox and you can mail a waterproof postcard to just about anywhere in the world.

Neptune Memorial Reef – Key Biscayne, Florida

Credit: Linda Bucklin / Shutterstock.com

With plans to become the world’s largest human-made reef, this underwater site takes being buried at sea to a completely new level. It has been modeled after the famed underwater city Atlantis and has stone lions guarding the entrance. Since its inception, there have been almost 1,000 placements of cremated remains mixed with concrete and placed into the reef. At full capacity, this reef will be able to hold 125,000 sets of remains. This snorkeling tour is not for the faint of heart, but it is sure to be memorable.

Vaersenbaai Car Piles – Curacao

Credit: Sascha Caballero / Shutterstock.com

No snorkeling vacation would be complete without a visit to the candy-colored island of Curacao. Along the island’s southern coast, there are plenty of easy dives and snorkeling options. What sets this island apart from all others are the innumerable classic cars sunk off the coast. Classics from the 40s and 50s were junked and sunk with large heavy-duty cranes in an attempt to create a barrier reef. Though the reef did not flourish, the cars remained, making this an excellent photo opp for an underwater site tour.

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Former Florida Mayor Stole $650,000 From Charity Sentenced To 51 Months In Prison

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN NEWS)

 

(CNN)A former Florida mayor was sentenced to 51 months in prison Friday after defrauding the charity United Way of more than half a million dollars.

Guy Thompson, a former mayor of Milton, a city northeast of Pensacola, last year pleaded guilty to 20 counts of wire fraud and three counts of tax evasion in the case, according to court documents.
Between 2011 and 2018, Thompson was able to embezzle a total of $652,000.61 from United Way of Santa Rosa County while he served as executive director of the charity, court documents said.
Thompson deposited donations to the charity into his personal bank accounts — without telling anyone at the charity’s chapter about the donations — and used the money to make mortgage payments and to buy a beach condominium, according to the documents.
Ryan Cardoso, an attorney for Thompson, said the former mayor is “repentant and committed to making amends.”
“Words cannot express the remorse and sorrow that Mr. Thompson feels in this case,” Cardoso said in an email to CNN.
Thompson was also ordered to pay back the embezzled money, less the some $220,000 seized from his bank accounts.
Thompson was mayor of Milton for 20 years and was on its city council for 16 years, according to CNN affiliate WKRG. He was head of the United Way chapter for 39 years, the affiliate reported.

6 States That Get the Least Snow

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

6 States That Get the Least Snow

If you love the sun and warmth, you are probably looking to avoid snow on your vacations at all costs. To secure the best odds of avoiding a chilly snowfall, consider planning a trip to one of the states below. These states receive the least amount of snow each year.

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Georgia

Georgia

Credit: Sean Pavone/ iStock

How much snow Georgia sees depends on what area you visit. Some locations in northern Georgia can see up to as much as three inches of snow each year. If avoiding snow is your goal, you are better off sticking to central and southern Georgia, where less than an inch of snow a year is the norm. The higher snow totals in northern Georgia are due to the Northeastern mountain region.

Mississippi

Mississippi

Credit: Sean Pavone/ Shutterstock

If avoiding snow is your goal, many areas of Mississippi are bound to deliver. The Gulf Coast and southern regions of Mississippi all see an average of half an inch of snow or less each year. Central Mississippi is most likely to get less than an inch of snow, but northern Mississippi can occasionally get up to two inches.

The Gulf Coast of Mississippi is a popular vacation destination. The winter months offer high temperatures in the 60s. Cities throughout the Gulf Coast, such as Biloxi and Gulfport, offer a variety of holiday events throughout the winter months. Are you a country music fan? Consider checking out Martina McBride’s The Joy of Christmas tour that kicks off in Coastal Mississippi each year.

Another great winter event in coastal Mississippi is Mardi Gras. While the event may be more commonly associated with Louisiana, Mardi Gras has a 300-year history on the Gulf Coast. There are numerous Mardi Gras events that take place beginning in January and into February.

Alabama

Alabama

Credit: Sean Pavone/ iStock

The Alabama Gulf Coast and southern Alabama are a great escape from winter flurries. Most cities in these regions average .2 inches or less of snow a year. When it comes to Mother Nature, however, surprises are always possible. Some cities in Alabama have seen record snowfall amounts of over 13 inches.

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Louisiana

Louisiana

Credit: Sean Pavone/ Shutterstock

Average snowfall throughout Louisiana is an inch or less, making this a consistently snow-free destination. Winter highs are likely to hover in the mid-60s. In addition to its temperate climate, Louisiana has one impressive draw for winter traveling: Mardi Gras!

Mardi Gras has been openly celebrated in New Orleans since the 1730s. The Mardi Gras traditions began in France and then spread to French colonies. It was brought to New Orleans by a French–Canadian explorer in 1702. The traditions and celebrations have slowly grown overtime to become what New Orleanians call the “Greatest Free Show on Earth.”

The Carnival season begins on January 6, or King’s Day, kicking off a long stretch of celebrations and events. The date of Fat Tuesday changes every year and is always the day before Ash Wednesday. Bacchus and Endymion are two of the biggest parades of the season and happen the weekend before Fat Tuesday.

Florida

Florida

Credit: Sean Pavone/ Shutterstock

Summing up the average snowfall in Florida is pretty straightforward: none. In fact, it has only snowed in Florida 16 times in the entire 21st century. The reason snow is rarely seen in Florida is because the temperatures don’t drop low enough. The average high is in the mid-60s. The consistent weather and lack of winter precipitation make Florida a great destination for vacationing. In fact, Florida is the number one destination in the United States for Canadian transplants, and one in four residents in Florida are seniors.

Florida is home to a number of attractions that make it a desirable vacation destination. One of the most well-known is Disney World, and some of the winter months are the least busy at the park. Consider planning a trip in early to mid-December or January to mid-February. If you are looking for something a bit different, consider a visit to the Kennedy Space Center or Everglades National Park.

Hawaii

Hawaii

Credit: Shane Myers Photography/ Shutterstock 

Much like Florida, Hawaii’s average yearly snowfall is non-existent. It also boasts highs in the 80s and lows in the upper 60s. Weather like this should certainly make you consider saying aloha to Hawaii in the winter months. The only place you are likely to see snow in Hawaii is at the top of the state’s three tallest volcanoes.

The hardest decision about a winter trip to Hawaii is likely to be which island to visit. One big draw for Hawaii in the winter is surfing, with many popular competitions taking place along the North Shore in Oahu. Kauai, the Big Island, and Maui also offer great surfing opportunities in the winter months. If you are looking to avoid rain, consider visiting Oahu’s Waikiki Beach, Kihei on Maui, or Kona on the Big Island. These beaches are traditionally the driest during the winter season. No matter which island you choose, it is likely to be a pleasant tropical getaway in the midst of winter.

Deadly shooting at Pensacola naval base

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Deadly shooting at Pensacola naval base

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39 min ago

Sheriff says suspect used a handgun

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said that the suspect in the naval station shooting used a handgun in today’s attack.

Morgan would not confirm other information about the shooter including his name or whether a room on campus was raided as part of the ongoing investigation.

38 min ago

Acting Navy Secretary: “These acts are crimes against all of us”

Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly released a statement about the two separate shootings that have occurred at naval bases this week.

Modly’s statement addresses today’s fatal shooting in Pensacola, Florida, as well as Wednesday’s shooting on the Pearl Harbor naval shipyard in Hawaii as well as an incident in Little Creek, Virginia.

“These acts are crimes against all of us,” Modly said in the statement.

Read the full statement below:

“Our entire Navy and Marine Corps team is struck and deeply saddened by the attacks within our own naval family over the past several days, at Little Creek, Virginia last week, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on Wednesday, and today in Pensacola, Florida. These acts are crimes against all of us. Our prayers are with the families of the fallen and with the wounded. It is our solemn duty to find the causes of such tragic loss and ceaselessly work together to prevent them. Let us make concerted efforts to care for the families of those lost, and those wounded, visibly and not. Let us shepherd them through these first moments of despair, and make them, and our greater Naval family, whole and strong. “

42 min ago

Suspected shooter was in aviation training, official says

The suspected gunman in today’s shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida was in aviation training, Capt. Tim Kinsella said at a news conference.

About the shooter: Five US defense officials and another person familiar with the investigation told CNN a member of the Saudi military training at US Naval Air Station in Pensacola is the suspected shooter in today’s incident.

At least four people were killed, including the suspected gunman, in the shooting.

43 min ago

Captain: There was “real heroism” today

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said there is going to be a lengthy investigation following today’s shooting.

“You can be proud of your community, and you can be proud of your Navy,” he said.

“We are in recovery mode right now,” Morgan said.

NAS Pensacola Commanding Officer, Captain Tim Kinsella, said he is “in awe” of the responders during the shooting, saying there was “real heroism” today.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the uniform I wear,” Kinsella said.

Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson said this is a tragic day for the city. “This is a community of great resiliency,” he said. “The city will bounce back and be stronger.”

33 min ago

Florida governor on the shooting: “This is a dark day for a very great place”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said “this is a dark day for a very great place,” noting he is a Navy veteran.

DeSantis mentioned the suspect’s ties to the Saudi Air Force and said he spoke to the President about this connection.

Authorities are speaking at news conference right now about the shooting.

You can follow along here or watch it live in the video player above.

1 hr 22 min ago

Officials are allowing some personnel to exit the base

Some personnel will be allowed to exit the installation via the west gate, according to posts on the Naval Air Station Pensacola social media accounts.

The base is closed until further notice.

NAS Pensacola@NASPCOLA

All non-essential personnel on the western side of NAS Pensacola main side, including the museum, the airfield, etc, proceed to the west gate to exit the installation. If you are on the east side of the Interior Command Posts on Taylor or Radford, remain sheltered in place.

FBI takes over the shooting investigation

The FBI has taken over investigation into the shooting at the Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida, according to an FBI spokesperson.

The FBI’s Evidence Response Team has arrived on site and has begun processing the scene, a law enforcement source told CNN.

What we know about the shooting: A total of four people died in the shooting, including the shooter, who has not been identified. Several other people were injured.

Two deputies from Escambia County Sheriff’s Office “negated” the shooter, according to the sheriff. One was shot in the knee and the other in the shoulder, but both are expected to make a full recovery.

1 hr 58 min ago

Saudi national suspected in shooting at Pensacola naval air station

A member of the Saudi military training at US Naval Air Station in Pensacola is the suspected shooter in today’s incident, according to five US defense officials and another person familiar with the investigation.

The investigators are looking into whether it was terror-related, but it is early in the probe.

CNN has reached out to the Saudi embassy in the US and has not heard back.

2 hr 45 min ago

This is the second shooting at a US naval base this week

The fatal shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida this morning is the second shooting at an American naval base this week.

On Wednesday, a US sailor killed two civilians and himself at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii.

Investigators have yet to identify motives in either shooting.

2 hr 21 min ago

Officials will give another update at 1 p.m. ET

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office will hold another news conference about the shooting at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida at 1 p.m. ET.

Officials just wrapped up a news conference about the shooting at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, this morning.

Here’s what we know so far:

  • The timeline: Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said officers received notice that there was an active shooter at 6:51 a.m. local time.
  • 3 people and the shooter were killed: A total of four people died in the shooting, including the shooter, who has not been identified.
  • 11 people were shot: Officials said a total of eleven people were shot. Eight of them were transported to a local hospital, where one of them died.
  • Deputies engaged the shooter: Two deputies from Escambia County Sheriff’s Office “negated” the shooter, according to the sheriff. One was shot in the knee and the other in the shoulder, but both are expected to make a full recovery.

What we don’t know: It’s still unclear if the shooter was military personnel. Officials have also declined to answer questions about the weapons used by the shooting and the specific building in which the shooting took place.

3 hr 46 min ago

Sheriff: “Crime scene was like being on the set of a movie”

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said they received the call about the active shooter at 7:51 a.m. ET.

The sheriff said they are in the middle of the investigation, and cannot provide much information. However, he said, “walking through the crime scene was like being on the set of a movie.”

The two officers who negated the threat are in the local hospital, both shot in the limbs. They’re expected to recover.

“We do have several deceased and several wounded,” Commanding Officer Captain Tim Kinsella at NAS Pensacola said.

The active shooter has been neutralized. The base is shut down until further notice.

Mayor of Pensacola, Grover Robinson called it a “tragic day” for the city of Pensacola, “We are a military town.” The mayor asked residents to stay away from that side of town.

3 hr 50 min ago

11 people were shot

A total of 11 people were shot this morning at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola.

Four of those are deceased, one of whom was the shooter, Escambia County’s Chief Chip Simmons said.

Eight people were transported to a local hospital, where one of the injured died.

There are currently three others inside the building who are deceased.

Commanding Officer Captain Tim Kinsella at NAS Pensacola said the shooting happened in a classroom building.

3 hr 54 min ago

Sheriff: Deputies engaged the shooter

David Morgan, sheriff of Escambia County, said two deputies engaged the shooter, and “It was a member of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office that did negate the threat.”

The two officers were shot during the exchange with the gunman.

Morgan said that one deputy was shot in the arm and another was shot in the knee. “Both expected to survive,” Morgan said.

Shootout involving hijacked UPS truck in Florida leads to four deaths

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)

 

Chase and shootout involving hijacked UPS truck in Florida leads to four deaths

“This is what dangerous people do to get away, and this is what people will do to avoid capture,” the police chief says.
By Alex Johnson

Four people were dead after a UPS truck was commandeered following an attempted armed robbery on South Florida’s glitzy Miracle Mile, leading police on a two-county rush-hour chase that ended in a hail of gunfire, authorities said.

Two people suspected to have been the robbers, the UPS driver and an uninvolved nearby motorist were killed 20 miles away after the nationally televised freeway pursuit, said George Piro, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Miami field office. Two other people were also killed, he said.

The incident began in Miami-Dade County at about 4:15 p.m., when two people tried to rob a jewelry store on the Miracle Mile, the downtown stretch of Coral Gables that is home to many glamorous stores and restaurants, Piro said.

The suspects exchanged gunfire with a jewelry shop worker, who was being treated for undisclosed injuries, Coral Gables Police Chief Ed Hudak Jr. said. At least one bullet hit a window at City Hall, where no injuries were reported, he said.

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The robbers then hijacked a nearby UPS truck, abducting its driver, Hudak said. Alerted by a silent alarm that had been triggered in the jewelry store, a fleet of law enforcement vehicles gave chase in a pursuit that was broadcast across the country.

The chase was “terminated” 20 miles away in Miramar in Broward County, Hudak said.

News helicopter video appeared to show a person falling out of the truck after several shots were fired.

UPS said it was “deeply saddened to learn a UPS service provider was a victim of this senseless act of violence.”

Hudak said: “This is what dangerous people do to get away, and this is what people will do to avoid capture.”

“In matters like this, it is just difficult for all of us, not just in law enforcement but also in society,” he said.

The FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives joined state and local police in investigating.

Woman and 2 kids in SUV die after collision with Amtrak train in Florida

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE USA TODAY NEWS)

 

Woman and 2 kids in SUV die after collision with Amtrak train in Florida

John Pacenti, Jodie Wagner and Julius Whigham II
Palm Beach Post

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A woman and two children, apparently heading camping, died Saturday when their SUV was struck by an Amtrak train at the entrance of the Corbett Wildlife Management Area in suburban Jupiter.

The victims were identified by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday morning as Valery Jo Rintamaki, 58, of West Palm Beach, and Trystan Prestano, 10, and Skylar Prestano, 8, of Wellington.

The railroad crossing had no gate and the tracks were just about 25 yards from the turn off Beeline Highway. There was a yield sign and two railroad markers but a driver entering Corbett was shielded from oncoming trains by brush.

Photos from the scene: Train collides with SUV in Florida

Rintamaki, driving a Subaru Outback, was traveling west on North Grade Road after turning left from Beeline Highway, and then slowed as she began crossing the railroad tracks, the sheriff’s office said. She failed to yield for the westbound train, which collided with the left side of the SUV.

Camping gear was strewn at the site of the collision along with the Subaru’s bumpers.

The northbound Amtrak train was carrying 200 passengers with a final destination of New York City. The impact of the crash pushed the SUV about a half mile before it came to rest, a mass of twisted wreckage.

“It sounded like a shotgun going off,” said Earl Megonigal, a check station operator at the wildlife management area. “Then we heard the train stopping and ran up there and saw all the car parts.”

Palm Beach County Fire Rescue said crews responded at about 2 p.m. to the scene at the 18000 block of Beeline Highway. There were no reports of injuries to any of the Amtrak’s passengers and crew, Capt. Albert Borroto, spokesman for Palm Beach Fire Rescue said.

Fire Rescue called in a special operations unit to extract one of the deceased from the Subaru and crews began removing the vehicle shortly before 7 p.m.

After the car was detached from the front of the train, crews were seen making repairs with a welding torch in preparation for the train to continue its trip.

The Amtrak’s passenger cars were lit up, silhouetting the train against the swampland as all passengers remained aboard. According to a tweet from Amtrak, the train was back on the move shortly after 8 p.m. and “operating approximately 6 hours late.”

Amtrak said in a statement that Train 92 was traveling from Miami to New York when it made contact with a vehicle on the tracks. There were no reported injuries to the 200 passengers or crew, said Amtrak spokeswoman Christina Leeds.

Megonigal said that previous crashes involving trains at the Corbett crossing have prompted calls for improved safety measures.

“Everybody has been saying for years we need some sort of crossing gate,” he said.” It’s dangerous there. Trains come flying by. ”

5 U.S. Town Names That Will Crack You Up

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

5 U.S. Town Names That Will Crack You Up

Have you ever wondered why some towns don’t have more appealing names? For example, there’s a city named Bland in Missouri and one called No Name in Colorado.

That said, you’re probably grateful that you don’t live in Slickpoo, Idaho, for obvious reasons. Regardless of where you make your home, you won’t be able to help smiling when you learn the names of these five American towns.

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Two Egg, Florida

Two Egg, Florida

Credit: TARIK KIZILKAYA/ iStock

This city is certainly a good egg – two of them to be exact. Two Egg is actually an unincorporated area in Jackson County, Florida. It doesn’t have a city government, so no one pays taxes or has access to municipal services.

The area was developed in the early 20th century, and one of its first businesses was a sawmill built by the Allison Company. In honor of the company’s contribution to the region’s economic growth, the city was named Allison. However, the newly-birthed city didn’t keep the name for long.

When the Great Depression hit, jobs began to disappear and people started to barter for their daily needs. As legend goes, a mother often sent her sons to trade two eggs for sugar at the general store in town. Eventually, the store came to be known as a “two-egg store.” As time progressed, even visitors began calling the town Two Egg.

The name, however, testifies to the resilience of the American spirit. At a difficult time in history, it represented the rugged optimism exhibited by the Greatest Generation. Two Egg officially made its way to the map of Florida in 1940.

In terms of popular culture, the city also has other claims to fame. Actress Faye Dunaway is from the region, and the area is said to be the roaming grounds of the Ghost of Bellamy Bridge.

Intercourse, Pennsylvania

Intercourse, Pennsylvania

Credit: Elysiumm/ iStock

The name of this town almost certainly gets laughs from everyone who hears it. While it may not be obvious from the name, this town sits in the heart of Amish Country in Pennsylvania. It’s surrounded by Amish farms, and the shops sell a variety of handmade Amish quilts, furniture, toys, and crafts. These attractions make it one of the top tourist destinations in Pennsylvania Dutch Country.

However, none of the above explains how Intercourse got its name. Don’t fret; we’re getting to it. The town was originally known as Cross Keys. It didn’t get its more colorful moniker until 1814. There are three prevailing theories as to how Intercourse was named, although none are as racy as its name indicates:

Theory One: The town had an old racetrack named “Entercourse,” and in due time, the name evolved to “Intercourse.”

Theory Two: Intercourse may have been a reference to the town’s location at the intersection of Routes 340 and 772.

Theory Three: The city may have been named as a nod to the close fellowship enjoyed among its communities of faith. Such social cohesion was vital to the region and may have been reflected in the town’s name.

While the town of Intercourse is certainly worth a visit, you don’t need to go there to find out what it looks like. Instead, check it out in scenes from the 1985 movie “Witness,” starring Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis.

Humptulips, Washington

Humptulips, Washington

Credit: James Wheeler/ Shutterstock

This oddly-named town and its associated river is located near the Washington coast and gets a surprisingly high amount of traffic. Highway 101 passes through the town, taking tourists and travelers to Washington’s beaches or the Olympic National Forest. So, the odds are high that the name Humptulips has drawn many laughs from tourists over the years.

While the name combines two oddly-paired English words, its origins are not Anglo-Saxon. The name originated thousands of years ago and is actually a Salish word of the native Chehalis tribe. “Humptulips” actually translates to “hard to pole.” It was used to describe the Humptulips River, which was “hard to pole” or a challenge to navigate, due to downed timber in its waters. While this explanation makes sense, other sources claim the word really means “chilly region.”

So, if you ever find yourself in the city, let the name “Humptulips” remind you of the region’s proud native history — after you enjoy a good laugh, of course.

Hell, Michigan

Hell, Michigan

Credit: Sswonk/ CC BY-SA 3.0

It turns out that you can go to hell – you just have to plan a trip to Michigan to get there. Hell, Michigan, is actually located near Ann Arbor in the southeast region of the state.

The town was first settled in 1838; it only had a grist mill and general store then. The founder, George Reeves, was in the habit of paying farmers for grain with home-distilled whiskey. There are several legends about the name’s origin, however. The one embraced by locals is that farmers’ wives used to claim (tongue-in-cheek) their husbands had “gone to Hell again” when they visited Reeves during harvest time.

Meanwhile, others speculate that German visitors once described the town as “so schön hell,” which translates to “so beautifully bright.” Yet another theory involves Reeves, who allegedly said “I don’t know, you can name it Hell for all I care,” when asked what the town should be called. No matter the origin, the town officially became Hell, Michigan, in 1841.

Today, the town has fully embraced its notorious name and even leverages it as an important source of revenue. For example, anyone can pay to be the Mayor of Hell, Michigan, for one hour or one day.

Boogertown, North Carolina

Boogertown, North Carolina

Credit: Pgiam/ iStock

Sure, it’s a bit immature, but we’re willing to bet you couldn’t stifle a smile when you heard this one. While the name of this town sounds more like a playground taunt, it actually refers to the stories of boogeymen who haunted the forests of a North Carolina town.

No boogeymen ever existed, of course; it was just an invention of crafty bootleggers looking to keep townspeople and authorities out of the woods while they made moonshine.

So, where is this comically named town located? You’ll find it in Gaston County, North Carolina, just outside of Charlotte. The vibrant area boasts plenty of exciting events and activities for visitors and residents alike. If you’re game, consider hunting for boogeymen yourself at night.

Tallahassee Florida: Woman Doused In Gasoline Inside Taco Bell, Set On Fire

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)

 

Tropical Storm Nestor Spawns Tornadoes In Florida

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)

 

Image:
A camper rests on top of a boat trailer and the corner of a home as Tropical Storm Nestor passed the area on Saturday in Kathleen, Florida. Nestor was downgraded Saturday after it spawned a tornado that damaged several homes.Luis Santana / AP

The tornadoes caused power outages for thousands of customers across central Florida.

“Hurricanes have seen damage, but never have I seen a tornado do something as bad as this,” a resident told NBC News affiliate Telemundo 49 in Tampa.

Officials warned residents of 6- to 8-feet surf and rip currents along Florida’s Gulf Coast.

“As #Nestor moves north, storms associated with this system are still producing dangerous beach conditions across the Gulf Coast, and in areas of the Atlantic Coast,” the Florida Division of Emergency Management tweeted. “Pay attention to beach warning flags and do not swim in dangerous conditions.”

The storm could get a slight second wind Sunday when some strengthening is expected, the weather service said.

When it was still a tropical storm Friday night, Nestor bore down on the northern Gulf Coast with high winds, surging seas and heavy rains. At one point, it had threatened to hit an area of the Panhandle devastated one year ago by Hurricane Michael.

5 U.S. Cities Stuck in Time

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

5 U.S. Cities Stuck in Time

Some cities are immune to change. These places make time travel feel possible, offering glimpses back into different eras. From historic cities with cobblestone streets to ghost towns that can’t seem to move forward, here are five U.S. cities stuck in time.

New Bedford, Massachusetts

Credit: Dan Logan/Shutterstock

In 1765, a Quaker merchant named Joseph Rotch identified New Bedford, Massachusetts, as a prime location for his business. Located along the Atlantic Coast, with a deep harbor and easy access to Boston and New York, he believed New Bedford to be the perfect candidate for a top-notch whaling port. Rotch was correct in his assertion — during the 19th century, this Massachusetts city became the whaling capital of the world. New Bedford is still known today as The Whaling City and its identity is entwined with the million-dollar industry that once profited from its shores.  From the mansions built by the captains of industry on County Street to the flagged bluestone sidewalks, much of the city is unchanged from when it was first built.

Inquisitive visitors should stop at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. And although whaling is no longer permitted, the citizens of New Bedford still make their living on the water, with commercial fishing as one of the top sources of income.

Pacifica, California

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Pacifica, California, is a mere 10 miles from San Francisco, yet it feels a world away. A beachside haven that has changed little since its incorporation, this foggy surf town is surrounded by two sections of Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Pacifica was originally formed in 1957 when officials merged nine different communities to create one larger city. Although city planners envisioned growing Pacifica to 100,000 residents, these lofty plans never came to fruition. Much of the surrounding area became preserved land during the 1970s, which protected it from the rampant development happening elsewhere in the state. The result? Pacifica remains much the same as it was when it was incorporated, with stunning beaches perfect for surfing and acres of pristine public lands.

Some change, however, has found its way into this picturesque beach side community. In the past couple of years, new plans have been passed to turn Palmetto Avenue into a downtown area, making it more appealing to visitors and residents alike.

St. Augustine, Florida

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The oldest continually occupied city in the U.S., St. Augustine, Florida, was first established by Spanish settlers in 1565. Today, remnants of Spanish culture remain untouched in this historical gem of a city. From Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, a 330-year old fortress built by the Spanish, to the well-preserved Plaza de Constitucion, visiting St. Augustine is like stepping back into the well of history. The Colonial Quarter harkens back to the days when Spanish was spoken on the cobblestone streets, including live black smith and musket demonstrations.

St. Augustine’s most famous piece of architecture, however, is the Lightner Museum. Originally built as the Alcazar Hotel in 1888, the establishment closed during the Depression; it was later bought and renovated by Otto Lightner in 1948. Today, the restored museum includes memorabilia from the Gilded Age, in addition to rotating art exhibits.

Galena, Illinois

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Although it is commonly referred to as “The City That Time Forgot,” considering Galena a “city” is a bit of a stretch. For all intents and purposes, however, this well-preserved gem has rightfully earned its place on this list. Once the busiest port on the Mississippi River, Galena became a mining town in the mid-1800s when a lead ore mineral called “galena” was found in the surrounding area. The newly born city, named for the mineral that put it on the map, eventually became a political, industrial and cultural hub. Abraham Lincoln gave a speech from the second-floor balcony of a Galena hotel and even Ulysses S. Grant called it home for a spell.

Today, the town holds the magic of yesteryear, with its immaculate Victorian homes and brick architecture on Main Street. The city also draws scores of tourists looking to grasp onto the charms of days gone by, and with its working blacksmith shop and many historical sites, this feat is easily achieved.

Detroit, Michigan

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Detroit, Michigan, truly looks like a city frozen in time — but which time exactly? When Michigan Central Station opened in 1913, the train station was a shining example of Beaux-Arts Classical architecture and the tallest train station in the world. But when the station closed in 1988, it stood vacant for 30 years, a sad reminder of Motor City’s former glory. In an effort to move Detroit forward, Ford bought the train station last year, with plans to revitalize the building and bring the workforce back to the area. Still, the city is often referred to as a ghost town, with its fleeing population, abandoned homes and empty skyscrapers. In this sense, Detroit seems to be stuck in the early aughts, as it certainly hasn’t made any large strides since the collapse of the auto industry. With dreams of Detroit’s revival on the horizon, this is one city we hope isn’t stuck in time forever.

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