30 articles Articles posted in Holidays

Sweet Burritos (Camping Recipe) – #campfirecooking

When I was a kid, the vast majority of the holidays we went on were of the camping variety. The south of England is pretty packed with family-friendly places to camp and on years that we couldn’t afford a big holiday, we’d still get taken for the odd night camping here and there, which felt like such an adventure. Unless you’re camping on a  site with great facilities, campfire cooking can take some thought and preparation – it’s unlikely you’ll have refrigeration beyond a cool box (which doesn’t stay cold forever) so finding food which won’t perish without a fridge is essential.

Just recently, Simply Hike got in touch and asked me to create a campfire cooking recipe. Anyone who reads this blog will know that I’ve been eating a low carb diet for around six months now, but I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to try to make something sweet, decadent and TOTALLY off plane! Here’s my recipe for sweet burritos:

Sweet Burritos #campfirecooking

Sweet Burritos (Recipe) - #campfirecooking
 
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A sweet take on a burrito
Author:
Recipe type: Campfire Cooking
Ingredients
  • Flour tortillas (I used special ones with a foldable end)
  • Bananas
  • Mini marshmallows
  • A bag of giant chocolate buttons
  • Tin foil
  • Cast iron pan
Instructions
  1. Place your pan on your campfire or camping stove and allow it to get hot
  2. Tear off a strip of tin foil which is about the size of an A4 sheet of paper
  3. Place your torilla on the foil
  4. Peel a banana and place it in the middle of the tortilla
  5. Sprinkle mini marshamllows down one side of the banana
  6. Line your choloate buttons along the top of your banana
  7. Wrap your tortilla, remembering to fold the bottoms in first to create an enlosed pocket
  8. Wrap your tinfoil tightly around the burrito and place it in the hot cast iron pan
  9. Cook it for a minute at a time on each side, turning frequently
  10. You'll know it's cooked when you give the burrito a squeeze and it feels squishy inside!
  11. Eat around the campfire!

Sweet Burritos #campfirecooking

This is honestly the sweetest, most indulgent thing I’ve eaten in months and it was SO worth it! It’s the perfect dish to top off a whole day of camping and will definitely help you to drift off into a cosy slumber when you crawl into your tent at bedtime. And don’t worry about all of the calories, because you’re bound to burn it off with all of the walking/tent erecting/other activities you’ll do whilst on your camping trip! This recipe can also just as easily be made a home on the hob, so don’t feel like you have to wait to make it!

Do you have a favourite camping recipe? Do leave me a comment below as I’d love to hear all about it.

 

Making Holidays Simpler

As you’ll know if you read MTW regularly, we’ve yet to take the girls away on holiday. Having an elderly dog makes it basically impossible, but we’d love to take them away sooner rather than later and are lucky enough to live close to an airport which flies to some really great, family-friendly destinations. I’ve been doing some research on how to make family holidays easier to manage and thought I’d share some of them with you here:

Know the Lingo

I’m not suggesting that you get yourself fluent in the language of the place you’re travelling to, but having SOME knowledge of the language is really important. I find that, here in the UK, language education is woefully lacking and according to a survey conducted by Holiday Autos Car Hire, over a quarter of Brits don’t bother to learn ANY language before they go on holiday, and just under a quarter said that they only holiday in resorts where they know people speak English. It’s all well and goo d until you find yourself lost or in an emergency and completely unable to communicate, when knowing a bare minimum could really help.

Know The Etiquette

When I was 16, I went on holiday to Malta. I stayed in an area which wasn’t really full of holiday makers and I wondered why the locals looked disgusted with me when I left the flat in a bikini top! I was young and naive, failing to realise that this wasn’t really the done thing in a fiercely Catholic country, but had I bothered to read up first I’d have worked out that bikinis should be limited to beaches and touristy areas. This kind of knowledge is absolutely essential in some countries and could be the difference between staying safe and not.

Have Your Papers in Order

When Husband and I went to the Maldives, we didn’t realise until the last minute that we’d need to purchase a visa to stay there once we got to Male airport. All of our money was in travellers cheques and it was only by luck that we managed to change some up to enable us to get our visas. Knowing what paperwork you need to either gain entry, or in case you need healthcare, is vital.

Provisions?

When travelling with young kids, it’s essential to know what you can buy once you get there and what you need to take. Are things like nappies, wipes, formula milk and kid-friendly snacks readily available or do you need to pack these before you go? Getting to a foreign country and realising you can feed your kids or buy them nappies is a huge disaster!

Medications

If you don’t speak the native language, the prospect of finding medications like Calpol or Nurofen to give to your kids can be really daunting. From not knowing what to ask for to the potential of giving the wrong dose, it’s a minefield which can be easily avoided by packing your own. Take a First Aid kid along with paracetamol, antihistamines and anti-inflammatories and you’ll have most of your bases covered.

Do you have a holiday tip you’d like to share? Leave me a comment below!

Can You Be A Tourist In Your Own City?

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While the idea of a summer holiday may be the thing that keeps most of us going for much of the year, sometimes, it’s just not feasible. It might be a financial concern or just not being able to justify the time off work, but the fact remains: this year, you’re staying home.

This doesn’t mean that you have to abandon all plans for a little fun and exploration, though. In fact, it gives you the perfect opportunity to be a tourist in the most unique way: touring your home city.

How Much Of Your City Do You Really Know?

Do you know –

  • The local history of your city? How it came to be founded, how it’s changed, how it’s adapted as the world has altered around it?
  • The best bars, restaurants, museums, places to go and things to experience?

Have you ever:

  • Spent a day just wandering around your city for no specific purpose? You have no errands to run, no one you have to rush off and meet, no specific time you have to go home. Just wandering around, exploring hidden back streets, browsing in shop windows?
  • Sat in a coffee shop for hours on end for no real purpose enjoying the feel of being out and about?
  • Ventured on a day trip within a few hours of your city to a local site of interest, be it historical, a theme park, or just an experience day?

If you’re anything like the rest of the populace, then chances are, you haven’t done any of those things. You’re too busy being bogged down in the minutiae of your usual life. You don’t browse; you go for a specific purpose. As for sitting down for a coffee and soaking up the ambiance – why would you do that in public when you can get go home and do it?

The interesting thing is that all of the above have one thing in common:

You’d Do Them On Holiday

Think about it: if you travelled to a foreign country, you’d think the above were a great way of spending your time. You’d explore, take your time, wander with no specific destination in mind. You’d soak up the local history, for sure – in fact, you might know more about the history of a foreign city than the place where you live!

So Why Not Be A Tourist At Home?

If you can’t get away for a full holiday this summer, then being a tourist without leaving your own city is the perfect solution. It’s also full of benefits that can make visiting a foreign land a pain. For example, you can go home to a bed you know you’re going to like rather than putting up with a poor hotel mattress; you can buy a scooter to explore on, rather than paying the extortionate rental fees; and you already know the language so you don’t have to worry about getting lost.

While it might not be the summer holiday of your dreams, that doesn’t mean spending a summer truly exploring your home city can’t have its advantages as well. Every city has a story to tell – isn’t it about time you listened?

Why Bermuda is a Top Family Holiday Destination

Usually when we think of Bermuda we think of Honeymooners and young couples soaking up some quality R&R time. However Bermuda is much more than just sun, sea and sand so today we are taking you through the activities and things to do in Bermuda that make it a top holiday destination for families.

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Exploration

There is so much to explore in Bermuda and so much to do that will keep the kids happy and entertained. Heading to the Bermuda Aquarium, museum and zoo promises a top day out for kids and parents alike. It showcases over 200 species of indigenous fish in both open ocean environments and coral. The zoo also offers the children to get up close and personal with with weird and wonderful creatures and animals from all corners of the World.

The crystal caves of Bermuda are one of the most impressive things you’ll ever show your children. The crystal caves are one of the largest caves on the island and can be accessed by walking across a pontoon bridge over Cahow Lake, which is a 60-foot deep lake surrounded by breath-taking stalactites and stalagmites that have been forming over the last 30 million years.

Get Those Bathers On

With so many water activities available in Bermuda there’ll barely be a moment when your kids aren’t out of their bathers. Aside from just beach and pool activity, there is actually an opportunity for you and your kids to swim with dolphins. Dolphin quest allows children to swim, play and touch with beautiful bottlenose dolphins, whilst the highly-trained dolphin trainers will educate your family all about the crucial roles humans play in maintaining and improving their marine home.

Snorkel Park Beach is one of the top destinations in Bermuda for snorkelling and there are many different snorkelling schools down there that can take children off in groups to explore the underwater part of the island.

Knowing which are the best beaches is crucial when heading to Bermuda. Horseshoe Bay Beach is most certainly one of the most beautiful, with its long sweeping white beaches. It’s a family favourite for its long stretches of beach and peaceful nature.

Heading to the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse for an afternoon is a great idea also, as it offers breath-taking, panoramic views. You have to climb 185 steps to get to the top but the incredible vantage point the lighthouse offers is well worth the climb.

Get Caught Up in the History of Bermuda

Bermuda has a rich history and is a fascinating place to explore all the wonderful monuments and interesting buildings and museums.

Make sure you check out the St. Catherines Fort, which dates back to 1612. It’s a really fun place to take the kids as it’s one enormous real life fort that they can play in and explore.

If your children are interested in weaponry, there is a fantastic weaponry museum showcasing historical artefacts of British military operations. If the children get a little hot and bothered seeing the sights, then luckily Tobacco Bay Beach is a mere five minutes walk away where there is some fantastic snorkelling for the family to cool off.

So, as you can see Bermuda is much more than it seems, and has so much to offer for families travelling to the beautiful island for their family holiday.

Thinking of Foreign Lands

Just recently, Husband and I have decided that we really need a holiday. It’s been over a decade since we’ve left the UK and the girls have never been away, so it’s definitely time to get packing! We’ve got a few ideas of where we’d like to go as a family, and I thought I’d share some of them with you:

Malta

I’ve been to Malta twice myself, before marriage and kids, and I think it’s basically the perfect short-haul destination for families. There are cities, beaches, historical relics, brilliant shops, restaurants, activities, and everything is family friendly.

Paris

Before Husband and I ever met, we actually both went to Paris at the exact same time without even knowing it, and it’s somewhere we’d both love to revisit. I think we could make a really great family break out of it, combining time in the city to see all of the sights, as well as a couple of days at Disneyland! Agoda is a great place to look for good deals on accommodation around Disneyland Paris.

Iceland

Iceland is somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit and there are SO many things I want to see there, from the Blue Lagoon to the rugged volcanic landscapes. Polar bear spotting and Northern Lights trips would be such an amazing experience for the girls and taking there somewhere which isn;t one of the ‘ordinary’ destinations really appeals.

Ibiza

I never made it to Ibiza in my clubbing days, but I’ve heard and read a lot about it as a family destination and it actually sounds perfect. There’s LOADS to do and apparently the northern side of the island is much quieter and more family-oriented. I’d still be tempted to watch sunrise at Cafe Del Mar, though 😉

Lake Garda

Another place which seems perfect for families is Lake Garda. There’s loads to do for families, like watersports and sightseeing, and there’s a real edge of luxury cool which would appeal to most grown ups. Mediterranean countries always have a real acceptance of kids in restaurants and public places too, which makes eating out as a family so much easier!

Where is your favourite place to go as a family? Do you have any destinations on your family bucket list? Do leave me a comment below as I’d love to hear all about it.

Brilliant Family Holidays In Europe For The Adventurous

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If you’re from an active family, a quiet, relaxing resort holiday might not be your idea of fun. You probably prefer the call of the wild, getting your hands dirty and your feet wet to lazing on a sun-lounger or paddling tentatively in the sea. Here are just five family holidays around Europe which have an adventure at their heart and adrenaline as their fuel, but which are suitable for families of all ages.

Cycle Austria

The great thing about a cycling holiday is that it’s completely adaptable. Each family member can have a bike, or you can mix it up with kiddie saddles, trailers, and even tandems. There really is no better way to experience the stunning scenery than by bike, though. Around the mountains in Tyrol, Austria, there is something of a cycling holiday revolution going on. There are hilly, fast-paced routes, or more sedate and flatter trails for following, depending on what you fancy, and the scenery is nothing if not dramatic. Comfortable accommodation and other fun sights make this a great introduction to the world of adventure holidays.

Undertake an Arctic expedition

If you’re not scared of a bit of cold weather, the northernmost parts of Europe are amazing adventure holiday destinations. From husky sledding to whale watching, Santa Claus to the Northern Lights, there are active breaks for all the family, and you’re all guaranteed to fall in love. Kids love the snow, and there’s plenty of it up there for making snow angels and having snowball fights. The scenery is out of this world, and so is the adventure.

Explore the Highlands

If you want to stay a little closer to home, head up to Scotland for some great outdoor adventures. Ziplining through valleys and treetops, kayaking and sailing in monster-infested lochs, and abseiling through waterfalls are all the order of the holiday, so if your kids are little adrenaline junkies, this is the trip for you. And once they’re done scaring the life out of mum and dad, the landscape is great for a stroll, a picturesque bike ride, and a good meal in one of the traditional local pubs.

Canoe the Norwegian coast

If you’ve got yourself some water babies, why not explore the beautiful watery world of the Norwegian coast in summer? The fjords and valleys are green and fresh, full of wild flowers and incredible animals. You can kayak or canoe, or if you feel safer, stick to dry land and walk. There are even some great campsites, if you really want to be at one with nature.

Surf Cornwall

Sticking to closer to home again, Cornwall is a great compromise for outdoorsy kids and more indoor-loving parents. Get them booked into a surf school for the day at Newquay while you enjoy a coffee in one of the cute little cafes, or cycle the Camel Trail, before visiting idyllic little seaside villages such as Port Isaac, and feasting on the amazing fish and chips.

Adventure holidays are a great time to burn off steam and gather new experiences, and there are some amazing opportunities right on our doorstep in Europe.

Best Kid-Friendly Hotels in Las Vegas

Mobile slot games are becoming more and more popular among men and women across the globe. They can be played anywhere and anytime. It is a possibility to not only spend a nice time but make some additional money. But how can one keep playing mobile slot games when going to a vacation with a family?

Well, when planning a family trip to Las Vegas, one should clearly understand that a number of hotels there is really huge. Therefore, it takes some time to find the best and most interesting one for both parties: parents who can enjoy gambling and children who will be entertained 24/7. With this being said, here are the 3 most popular casinos in hotels that are worth your attention due to their multiple family friendly amenities e.g. pools, theme parks, beaches, rooms with a kitchen, performances, gaming zones and so much more.

Circus Circus

Circus Circus is a hotel-casino, one of the largest entertaining places in Las Vegas that belongs to the MGM Mirage Corporation. It consists of multi storey tower blocks and a Motor Lodge villa not far from the casino that is connected to the hotel. It was one of the very first gambling places in the city that are targeted on family vacation – while parents are playing favourite slot machines or card games, kids are busy with everyday free performances, games, prizes and of course an awesome and mind-blowing theme park.

Nowadays, this kid-friendly hotel offers rest and entertainment in a unique and largest theme park in America, where the most popular attractions are located.

Mandalay Bay resort & Casino

Mandalay Bay resort is simply created for rest with children when visiting Las Vegas. It is situated on the south of Las Vegas and therefore, can boast of such attractions as a beach, amazing pool area that consists of a lazy river, a wave pool and a beach where one can suntan, swim and just enjoy the time in a family circle. Apart from exclusive pool areas that are located outside, you will come across a shark tank inside the hotel. Kids will definitely be impressed looking at various types of sharks, piranhas and dozens of other fish kinds. The hotel offers different kinds of entertainment even depending on a kid’s age and preferences. For instance, some can enjoy the time swimming, sunbathing and playing on the beach, others can go to various performances including Cirque du Soleil, etc. Meanwhile, parents can spend a great time gambling in a casino.

Excalibur Hotel & Casino

Excalibur is considered to be one of the best family friendly places in Vegas. And the grounds for that are pretty simple- both parents and children are provided with a wide range of opportunities to have the most unforgettable and unbelievable time ever. Kids will 100% love the King Arthur-themed park, Fun Dungeon, carnival games, prizes and many other things inside the hotel. When going outside, you will be amazed at multiple pools, waterfalls and waterslides. What else could children wish for? Yet, this is not all Excalibur is ready to offer. After hours of games and swimming in pools, it is time to take kids to the medieval dinner show. They will see fighting knights, guards who protect the kingdom, try medieval cuisine etc.

Thanks To The Southern Hemisphere, It’s Always Summer Somewhere

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere  – the US, Europe, Russia – then you’re used to things getting cold in the winter, especially if you live in Canada. But while we suffer through the winter blues up north, there are a bunch of people having barbecues and partying down south.

The great news is that people who live in the north can put this fact to good use. Why spend months wallowing in misery in freezing temperatures, while half the planet is literally bathed in sunshine and enjoying warm, tropical weather?

Here are some southern hemisphere locations, from Australia to Brazil, that will get you and your kids craving a vacation before the end of March.

Check Out The Sunshine Coast, Australia

For the Australians, Christmas and New Year are a time to put on the sunscreen and head to some of the country’s magnificent beaches. Among them is the Sunshine Coast, an idyllic stretch of coastline running along Australia’s Eastern seaboard. Here, you’ll find big Pacific surf that’s had the chance to build up a lot of energy during its journey from the coast of South America.

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Pro tip: don’t go during the holiday season as the beaches will be full.

Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

If you’re fed up with the cold weather, consider packing your family’s bags and jetting off to the Ipanema Beach in Rio for one of the best winter sun holidays you can imagine. Here, the average temperature during December and January hovers around 38 C, making it one of the warmest places in the southern hemisphere (you might need to find somewhere that sells tower fans!). Carnivals run from February to March, and the streets are crammed full of party goers and people looking to have a good time.

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There’s plenty for the kids to do along the Ipanema beach too, with regular soccer games, barbecues and ice cream vendors. Beach access is free, and the vendors along the promenade sell everything you might need.

Easter Island, Chile

Easter Island might be claimed by Chile, but it’s also one of the most desolate places on Earth. Temperatures here during December to March usually start in the low 20s and rise from there.

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One of the most fascinating things about Easter Island is the human presence, despite its enormous distance from the coast of South America. Here there are more than 20,000 archaeological sites to explore, the most famous of which are the moai statues built by migrants who traveled from the mainland more than 2,200 years ago.

The island, though small, is also prime real estate for people who love adventure. The majority of the island is covered by the Parque Nacional Rapa Nui which has ample opportunity for family-friendly activities like cycling and horseback riding. There’s also a chance to go hiking up to the island’s main volcano as well as snorkeling in its fertile shores.

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Access to the park is currently around $10. The only airline with service to the island is LAN Chile, which flies from the Mataveri International Airport. Staying on the island costs between $100 and $200 per person per night.

 

Exploring The British Isles: Ultimate Staycation Destinations

If you’ve been reading any lifestyle news at all lately, you will know that staycations are on the rise. More and more people are shunning expensive holidays abroad in favour of staying on their home ground. But it’s not simply a ploy to save money on your yearly break. Many of us underestimate the beauty and fun that our own country can provide, on the same level that we appreciate visiting other cultures. After all, sometimes it can be quite rewarding to get back in touch with your own culture again. But what if you fancy doing a ‘semi-staycation’? This is the kind of holiday where you still stay on home turf in terms of the British Isles, but the destination is more than just a couple of hours drive away. Here are our top picks for a staycation that’s far away enough to feel like a holiday – but still easy to get to.

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Glasgow

When most people think of Scotland, they think of Edinburgh. After all, it’s said to be the cultural capital (as well as the actual capital) of the country. Huge events such as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival draw massive crowds year in, year out. But, if you want a more authentic Scottish experience, why not give Glasgow a try? It’s a much more cultural place than people think, full of quirky eateries, great museums and of course, lots of distilleries. The Kelvingrove Gallery is a must-visit and the stunning Loch Lomond is just a short drive away. If you’re based in the South of England, the only problem is getting to Glasgow. But don’t automatically think you need to take the car or train. You can compare cheap flights to find a plane that will take you there from a nearby airport. It’s much easier when you have young children, and potentially cheaper too!

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Dublin

If you’re looking for a lively, vibrant staycation, look no further than the Irish city of Dublin. Easily accessible by either plane or ferry, it’s a great option for a weekend break – but there’s so much to do, you could easily stay for a week! The busy district of Temple Bar is a must see, with many pubs open until the early hours all playing traditional Irish folk music. But, if you are hoping to get a good night’s sleep, it’s best to stay slightly further out of the city centre – there are plenty of rentals available at reasonable prices. If you’re up for a bit of general silliness, take the kids to the National Leprechaun Museum – yes, it really exists! Children are also permitted to the world famous Guinness Storehouse – but they’ll have to make do with a soft drink!

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The Isle of Wight

If you’re looking to get off the mainland for a beach-focused holiday, look no further than the Isle of Wight. The largest British island is situated just off the South coast, a mere two hours away from London. As well as beautiful beaches and generally good weather during the summer season, the Isle of Wight is also known as the ‘Dinosaur Island’ due it’s rich fossil heritage. So, if your children are fascinated by prehistoric history, get them on the famous Dinosaur Trail. There is also an adventure park with gardens and plenty of other outdoor activities, ranging from golf to extreme water sports!

Awesome Things To Do In Cambodia With Kids

At first glance, Cambodia might not seem like the most obvious holiday destination for families with kids. Once you delve deeper, it becomes apparent that there is a whole host of cool activities for both adults and children. The tourism scene is at an all-time high at the moment, so it’s become a lot safer to travel there. From temples to trains, there are so many opportunities to inspire your child’s (and your own) sense of adventure, here are just a few ideas.

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Temples

Cambodia’s temples, such as world famous Angkor Wat at Siem Reap, are beautiful and mysterious constructions that will awaken a child’s imagination. Visitors are encouraged to be respectful of the monuments but also to get hands on – many temples allow children to climb and scramble, and play hide and seek.

Floating Villages

For those who don’t suffer with seasickness, take a boat tour around a traditional floating village that line all of Cambodia’s waterways. See how native Cambodians lead their lives and experience the sights and smells and the water markets. Children will love to spot the differences in their own way of life with the lives of the natives.

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Dolphin Watching

Cambodia is rich in wildlife, both on land and in the water. It isn’t every day that kids get to see real life dolphins in the wild. A cruise along the River Mekong through the jungles is a sure-fire way to get them excited. Click here for more information on the Meekong River cruise.

Landmine Museum

For older children, a day trip to the Landmine Museum at Siem Reap is an immersive and interesting way to learn about the history of the people of Cambodia and their struggles. It tells the stories of locals who had to clear landmines after the conflict, and the people who cared for the injured. A very educational day out.

Elephant Rides

What child wouldn’t love a ride on the back of an elephant? Once they’ve had a go, they’ll definitely want another. These experiences are available all over the country, and most hotels will be happy to book them for you.

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Bamboo Train

Near Battambang is a disused French railway that people now use as a sort of train system to move personal belongings, and for locals to ferry tourists around. Platforms made out of bamboo are loaded with goods and people, and a small motorbike engine is used to power it along the tracks. It makes for a very exhilarating experience for anyone who is brave enough to give it a go.

Street Markets

The street markets of Cambodia are bustling hubs of the cities. There is so much to entertain here, from skewered fried spiders to crazy fruit and vegetables. The markets at Phnom Penh are particularly famous for the huge range of things to see and eat.

Just remember, it gets really hot in Cambodia, so a hotel with a pool and shade is recommended so that you can retire in the midday sun and cool off.