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Family First » russia http://familyfirst.com Servings Families Online since 1998 Fri, 02 Oct 2015 20:25:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 Fun Facts about Dadshttp://familyfirst.com/fun-facts-about-dads.html http://familyfirst.com/fun-facts-about-dads.html#comments Sat, 18 Jun 2011 14:47:42 +0000 http://familyfirst.com/?p=8109 post thumbnail

Dad, dada, daddy, padre, papito. Tomorrow’s the big day for dads around the country – Father’s Day.

Here are some fun facts about the demographics of fathers all over the world based on information from the collaborative family history site Geni (www.geni.com).

  • ·         The average number of children per father around the world is 3.5.
  • ·         The male to female ratio is 51.7% to 48.3%.
  • ·         The country with the most children per father is Malaysia at 3.8 children per dad.
  • ·         The country with the least children per father is Russia at 2.4 children per dad.
  • ·         Jose is the most common name for men who are most likely to be fathers.
  • ·         Ryan is the most common name for men who are least likely to be fathers.

According to www.history.com, the United States started celebrating Father’s Day in 1910, a few years after we started celebrating Mother’s Day (quid pro quo).  It didn’t become an official holiday until 1972. It is always celebrated on the third Sunday in June.

It was started in Spokane, Washington by Sonora Smart Dodd whose father was a Civil War veteran who raised her and her five siblings after her mother passed away during childbirth. June was chosen because her father’s birthday was in June. She got the idea while sitting in church, listening to a sermon about Mother’s Day.

Have a happy, safe Father’s Day!

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Irish Heritage Tours Bring Family Home to the Emerald Islehttp://familyfirst.com/irish-heritage-tours-bring-family-home-to-the-emerald-isle.html http://familyfirst.com/irish-heritage-tours-bring-family-home-to-the-emerald-isle.html#comments Tue, 01 Mar 2011 15:30:39 +0000 http://familyfirst.com/?p=7238 post thumbnail

It’s March! The month of the year where we remember one specific heritage – The Irish. 

Over 40 million Americans, or about 15% of the population, claim some sort of Irish heritage, which gives many of them the perfect excuse to have a beer or two on St. Patrick’s Day.

Why not celebrate this tradition on the Emerald Isle?

CIE Tours International is one of the oldest tour companies around; it’s been around almost 80 years.  The New Jersey company’s CEO, Brian Stack, knows a thing or two about putting together a good tour of Ireland. He’s a native!

The tour company offers many kinds of tours and not just to Ireland. Besides their coach tours which allow travelers to move from place to place in a luxury escorted coach, they also offer the option to drive yourself from place to place or hire a chauffeured car for private travel. This gives families a lot of flexibility and eliminates some of the worry of traveling with smaller children.

Besides tours exclusively of Ireland, CIE also offers Ireland and Britain tours, Scotland, England, Italy, Eastern Europe (including Russia), and multi-country packages.

They offer many options within Ireland itself. While on the new  “Irish Heritage” tour, your family will spend time hitting the high points of Ireland including Dublin, Shannon, the Ring of Kerry, the Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty and the luxurious Dromoland Castle, a five-star hotel in, of course, an ancient castle.

Dinners are included for six of the nine days you will be traveling, and includes a medieval banquet at Bunratty Castle, built in the 15th Century. The trip takes you to the beautiful Killarney, nestled in between lakes and mountains.  See Waterville, Charlie Chaplin’s favorite holiday spot, kiss the “Stone of Eloquence” (aka, The Blarney Stone) at Blarney Castle and then on to Dublin, among other places.

Other Irish tours include their 4-night “Taste of Ireland,” The longer “Jewels of Ireland” which is 15 days, among others. A very popular tour they offer is the Britain and Ireland Grand Tour which takes begins in London, moves to Scotland, then the group takes a ferry to Ireland for several days, and finally back to London.

The tours are all-inclusive, meaning there are no “up-sells” in the packages. While you aren’t forced to do any of the suggested activities, the only extra money you would need for trips like this would be for drinks and souvenirs. Stack says the advantage with this is that you don’t have to worry about exchanging currency.

Many multi-generational families take these trips. Stack says people want to take these trips all together because older generations often have a closer tie to the family’s Irish heritage. The stories they can tell while on the trip will make for life-long memories for the younger generations.

While March is not as good as June, when the weather is very mild and the days last from 4:30 am to 11:00 pm due to the longitude, it is a great time to be there for the St. Patrick’s celebrations. There’s still time to book a March trip to experience the emerald holiday. Check out their website today at www.cietours.com/us/ for more information.

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River Cruising Vacations Offer Families the Trip of a Lifetimehttp://familyfirst.com/river-cruising-vacations-offer-families-the-trip-of-a-lifetime.html http://familyfirst.com/river-cruising-vacations-offer-families-the-trip-of-a-lifetime.html#comments Fri, 04 Feb 2011 16:52:32 +0000 http://familyfirst.com/?p=6971 post thumbnail

If King Charlemagne were alive today, he’d be happy.

One of his dreams was to connect Amsterdam with the Black Sea via the river-ways.

 He would have had to wait a while. The river systems were finally all connected in 1999. From that, a new way to travel has risen in popularity – river cruising.

AMAWATERWAYS was one of the pioneer fleets to offer families luxury cruises on the rivers of Europe. In 2002, they leased several ships and the business thrived. By 2006, they had their own fleet of ships, custom-built for the Western traveler. Their all-inclusive packages for Europe’s rivers, Russia and the Mekong River in Asia offer trips of a lifetime for grandparents, parents and children.

The way towns were built before mass transit was around the river, so as soon as you hop off the dock, you are in the heart of the city, according to Gary Murphy, Vice President of National Accounts for AMA. Murphy is a travel industry veteran, formerly serving as the president of Brendan Worldwide Vacations, a premier touring company founded by his father, Jimmy Murphy.  The elder Murphy founded Ama along with Rudi Schreiner and Kristin Karst, both cruise industry executives.

Whereas the big cruise ships can carry over 5,000 passengers, AMA’s 12 ships hold between 150 and 200 people each, depending on the route.  It gives your family a chance to meet others from around the world and spend time together. It’s like a moving hotel room that follows you down the river while you explore the shore towns.

For most European routes, the ships move through a lock system (think Panama Canal on a small scale), so the ships’ maximum width is 38 feet wide.  The trips range from 7 days to 21 days, sailing through multiple countries.  One trip starts in Amsterdam and ends in Budapest – 10 countries in all! Besides all over Europe, they also sail from Moscow to St. Petersburg and through 5 Asian countries along the Mekong River.

All trips include shore excursions, meals, beer and wine for dinner, champagne for breakfast, in-room internet and movies and much more. Each room has a river-side panoramic view and is equipped with full-appointed private bathrooms.  Each ship also has two lounges, one for getting to know others and a quiet, aft lounge for reading and relaxing.

Meals are served in a dining room with breakfast and lunch offering menu options and a buffet. Dinners are five-course creations with choices of chicken, beef, lamb, fish as well as vegan offerings and even kosher options. There is not an orthodox kosher option available, however.

Gary notes that when you take shore excursions with the big cruise lines, you arrive at a shipping port and usually must take a cab into the actual city you are visiting. So besides the expense of that cab, most cruise lines do not cover shore excursions in the cost of the cruise – that’s additional.

Once you step off the river cruiser, you have many choices for your daily adventures. Ama employs local tour guides who provide you with a tour of the cities or local attractions. If you would rather explore on your own, most European trips offer bicycles for self-touring. Gary says most of the rivers have paved pathways running parallel to the shore that were originally built for the horses that pulled the barges along the rivers before combustion engines.  He says you can either meet the ship for lunch or keep riding and hop back on at dinner.

Families have a ton of flexibility too. Gary says if some are up for a hike, they might hike up to a castle while others may opt for a cab. Both groups meet and take the castle tour together and then enjoy lunch as a family. If someone wants to stay on the ship for the day, there are tons of relaxing activities there too, including a pool on board!

He recommends the trips for children ages 10 and up simply because it is a smaller ship and the children really need to be able to control themselves and understand proper behavior.  Loud voices and running up and down the narrow hallways is not going to make friends on these small ships.

Their newest route is along the Mekong River in Asia and it has blown away expectations. Gary says they are already building two new ships to handle the demand. The cruise starts in the Yunnan province of China and ends in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).  These cruises are also among the most affordable.

Gary says one of their most popular itineraries is an 11-day Christmas Time trip that starts with 3 nights on shore in Prague, Czech Republic, then catch the boat in Nuremburg and sail to Salzburg, Linz, Melk and Vienna, and other towns, before arriving in your final destination of Budapest, Hungary. All the while, you are stopping at the Christmas Markets in each town for gingerbread, crystal and other gifts. When you arrive in Budapest at sunset, you sail by an ancient castle, lit up on the mountain side, and all passengers enjoy champagne and Mozart on the top deck. Heavenly!

Gary points out one of the best parts of river cruising, besides not having to carry your luggage all over, is that the itineraries are planned for you. You don’t have to spend hours sifting through travel sites and Fodor manuals to figure out what to do on your vacation. It takes the headache out of vacation.

So if you are ready for a life-changing experience, check out the AMA website and find your dates now.

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NASA is Created, July 29, 1958http://familyfirst.com/nasa-is-created-july-29-1958.html http://familyfirst.com/nasa-is-created-july-29-1958.html#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2008 00:36:58 +0000 http://familyfirst.sandbox.infomediainc.com/?p=3872 On October 4, 1957, Russia laid down the gauntlet to the rest of the world.
That;’s when Sputnik was launched, the first satellite.
Backyard stargazers watched the shiny little object orbit the earth, and amateur radio operators were able to listen to its beeping signal.
The US responded the next year with a stroke of President Eisenhower’s pen.
On July 29, 1958, NASA was born.

Today’s FamilyFirst pick is the Wired magazine article on the historic moment.
NASA has enriched my own experience of growing up. Baby Boomers delighted to see images of man in space, and the ultimate that July night in 1969: to see man walk on the moon.
Since then, NASA has given us unimaginable returns on our tax dollars, really a pittance compared to, say, the money we spend on weapons.
The Hubble Telescope alone has completely changed the way we look at the universe.
Enjoy the article, which revisits the day NASA was born.

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Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, Performed With Tesla Coilshttp://familyfirst.com/tchaikovskys-1812-overture-performed-with-tesla-coils.html http://familyfirst.com/tchaikovskys-1812-overture-performed-with-tesla-coils.html#comments Sat, 23 Jun 2007 00:49:26 +0000 http://familyfirst.sandbox.infomediainc.com/?p=3557 Pyotr (Peter) Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born on May 7, 1840. He is one of the most famous Russian composers, for good reason. He was GOOD!
Composers enjoyed rock star like status in their time. And Tchaikovsky was well known and, for the most part, well loved among his countrymen.
Perhaps his most famous composition is the 1812 Overture, commemorating the unsuccessful French invasion into Russia, and the subsequent withdrawal that devastated Napoleon’s Grande Armée, an event that marked 1812 as the major turning point of the Napoleonic Wars.

The 1812 Overture is often performed with cannons, as they play a part of the elaborate, magnificent musical presentation that Tchaikovsky created.
It sounds good in most of the diverse ways it has been performed. But you have probably never seen it performed with Tesla coils.
Today’s FamilyFirst pick is a YouTube presentation of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture performed on Tesla coils.
You’ll have to see it to believe it. And I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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PolarHusky.comhttp://familyfirst.com/polarhusky-com.html http://familyfirst.com/polarhusky-com.html#comments Sat, 06 Jan 2007 00:03:11 +0000 http://familyfirst.sandbox.infomediainc.com/?p=3405 It’s been a weird winter. They’re playing golf in Michigan (real golf, not that snow kind), but we’ve been freezing our wazoos off in the midsouth.
Today’s we’re taking a look at a place where winter is WINTER!
The site is PolarHusky.com. It’s the official siite of the GoNorth! Project. They’re all about studying the Arctic, and educating students in the process. Here’s their mission in a nutshell:

Over the five-year span of the project, GoNorth! expeditions will circumnavigate the Arctic to observe, experience, and document traditional ecological knowledge and collect previously unknown in-situ environmental realities – while collaborating with K-12 students and teachers in state-of-the-art online learning environments.
The site is designed to be used in a classroom environment. But that doesn’t have to stop the general public from enjoying it as well.
These folks have made a lot of expeditions. Their next one is to Chukotka. Chukotka, in case you didn’t know, is WAY north of Siberia! It’s Russia’s most northern point. Better make sure you have your longjohns packed.
How do you get around under such conditions? Dogsled, of course. A well-trained team of dogs is essential to your survival, as is being aware of how to deal with things like 80 MPH winds, blinding snow, and the avoidance of frostbite.
Enjoy reading the exploits of this dedicated bunch of scientists who are freezing their tails off so our students can learn about the Arctic!

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The Richard M. Nixon Presidential Materialshttp://familyfirst.com/the-richard-m-nixon-presidential-materials.html http://familyfirst.com/the-richard-m-nixon-presidential-materials.html#comments Tue, 07 May 2002 12:00:00 +0000 http://familyfirst.sandbox.infomediainc.com/?p=1740 One of the most influential presidents of the 20th century was Richard M. Nixon. For over 20 years, between 1953 and 1974, he was either the Vice-President or President of the United States. Today we continue our tour of presidential libraries by looking at his.

During his administration, great strides were made in our international foreign policy. Nixon was the first President to visit China and Russia. He made moves to end the war in Vietnam, as well as dealing with ongoing problems in the Middle East. At this site, you will be able to view all aspects of his political career, including the time he spent in Congress and as Vice-President under Dwight Eisenhower.

No matter how you feel about the way his presidency ended, the accomplishments of his time in office are still being felt today. Enjoy your tour of this very educational site.


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Environment News Servicehttp://familyfirst.com/environment-news-service.html http://familyfirst.com/environment-news-service.html#comments Thu, 07 Oct 1999 12:00:00 +0000 http://familyfirst.sandbox.infomediainc.com/?p=864
One of the most serious problems that our civilization faces these days is the environment. What we are doing to it, how we are preserving it, and most importantly how are we teaching our children what to do about it. Today’s FamSite looks at a site that keeps the news and events of our changing world in focus, and in front of us for all to read.

Called the Environment News Service, it is a site that publicizes news, events and research that impact not only the United States, but other spots in the world as well. Current stories include ones covering the US and Russia opening up an environmental/nuclear hot line, hospitals choked with smog victims, timber sales in forests, and fuel efficiency standards in automobiles. There are also archives of past articles, as well as links to environmentally safe business, travel and shopping site.

So visit this site, and become aware of what is going on in the world around us. It may surprise you.


]]> http://familyfirst.com/environment-news-service.html/feed 0 Richard M. Nixon Presidential Materialshttp://familyfirst.com/richard-m-nixon-presidential-materials.html http://familyfirst.com/richard-m-nixon-presidential-materials.html#comments Tue, 26 Jan 1999 12:00:00 +0000 http://familyfirst.sandbox.infomediainc.com/?p=654 One of the most influential presidents of the 20th century was Richard M. Nixon. For over 20 years, between 1953 and 1974, he was either the Vice-President or President of the United States. Today we continue our tour of presidential libraries by looking at his.

During his administration, great strides were made in our international foreign policy. Nixon was the first President to visit China and Russia. He made moves to end the war in Vietnam, as well as dealing with ongoing problems in the Middle East. At this site, you will be able to view all aspects of his political career, including the time he spent in Congress and as Vice-President under Dwight Eisenhower.

No matter how you feel about the way his presidency ended, the accomplishments of his time in office are still being felt today. Enjoy your tour of this very educational site.


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