Battle of Lexington and Concord

Background

In response to the Boston Tea Party, British Parliament passed the Intolerable Acts to punish the Americans in 1768 and commissioned Thomas Gage as the military governor of Massachusetts and commander-in-chief of 3,000 British regulars in Boston. Unfortunately Boston had become a hotbed of rebellion and greatly outnumbered the British regulars considerably. Thomas Gage often wrote the British Parliament asking for reinforcements.

At the time there was not a formal army in the colonies. However, there were militia units in every town near Boston. The militia units number roughly 10,000 men. Many of these men were called Minutemen since they would be ready in a minutes notice. The colonists had been forming these militia units since the seventeenth century to protect against Indian attacks. Many also fought in the Seven Years War, also called the French and Indian War, and were experienced in war. It is a myth that these were just ordinary farmers. While they were not British regulars, they were still well-trained and knew how to fight together as an individual militia unit. Each militia were generally local militias and were under the jurisdiction of the provincial government. When Thomas Gage dismantled the provincial governments in the Massachusetts Government Act, these existing connections would form the Massachusetts Provincial Congress for the purpose of resisting the British government.

Thomas Gage’s Secret Plan and Rebel Intelligence

Thomas Gage received orders from the Earl of Dartmouth to capture the Rebel cache in Concord and to apprehend the rebel leaders: John Hancock and Samuel Adams.

In order to protect the secrecy of his planned march, Gage sent out 20 messengers into the countryside. These men stayed after dark and questioned many of the townsfolk of the whereabouts of John Hancock and Samuel Adams. Unfortunately, this had unintended consequences because it alarmed some of the townsfolk. Lexington began mustering their militia long before they learned of the militia march.

Thomas Gage ordered Francis Smith to lead a regiment of roughly seven hundred men into Middlesex County to destroy all military caches. He was also commanded to just destroy the military stores and to not harm the townspeople. It was clear that Gage was not trying to start a war, but rather put down a small rebellion. Unfortunately his worst fears were true. As the regulars were marching through town by town they could hear the alarm guns go off and church bells ring throughout a hostile countryside. The colonists were mustering and the regulars would soon meet them at the Lexington Greene.

Lexington

The Captain of the militia in Lexington was Captain John Parker. Parker was rugged and handsome. He had the respect of his men and was not in good health. On this day he would fight bravely and lead his men well, but he would die six months later of tuberculosis in the Continental Army outside of Boston.

Early this April morning Parker had sent his men home and told them they would muster once his intelligence confirmed the British movement. One of his riders came back to tell Parker that there were in fact, no British to be seen. Later on that night another one of his couriers came galloping up to him with much anxiety telling him that the British were 30 minutes away on this side of the town of Menotomy. Parker mustered his men quickly. While his lines were falling into place, a British commander and his men came into view.

Commander Pitcairn and his men came into view. He did not have much control over his men which resulted in sloppy soldiering. His lines were not tight and his soldiers were undisciplined.

Parker tried to get his men out of the way of the British Regulars. Unfortunately, due to Pitcairn’s lack of leadership, his men became undisciplined. Pitcairn began shouting conflicting orders to the rebels and then to his men. He told the rebels to disperse and then told the regulars to keep them from dispersing. A shot was then fired and it is impossible to know who shot it, but it resulted in chaos. When the fog of war lifted the British had lost one soldier and another was wounded. The rebels had lost eight men and nine were wounded.

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Sardinia, Italy and the Adventure Travel of a Lifetime

Italy’s westernmost island is not often on tourists top-ten list when visiting the peninsula. In fact, some people confuse Sardinia with Corsica (a smaller island to the north belonging to France,  home to two famous twin brothers). Yet like many islands in this part of the world, Sardinia boasts a culture and history that makes it unlike any mainland Italian region as well as any other European country.  Today, Sardinia remains a true “emerald” of the Mediterranean Sea: full of luscious green mountains covered in thick forests, scored with plummeting rocky chasms, all of which make it a unique destination.

To give you an idea of magical week-long Sardinian escape, read on. The following villages are just a few highlights of this special travel:

 

Alghero

Hard to believe that Italy could have as much Catalan and Spanish influence as Alghero has, but this city was under Iberian rule starting in 1354. The original towers (built by the Genoa kings) were knocked down and the Spaniards built new looming defense structures. In 1720, when Sardinia was annexed by the Savoy Kingdom, Alghero remained primarily Catalan. Today you can still visit the seven towers still standing: among which the Torre de Sant Joan, the Torre del Portal and the Torre di Sulis have the richest history and the most Spanish influence.

 

Bosa

Set along the Temo river in western Sardinia, Bosa is picturesque with its XII century fortress overlooking the valley. Its 300 m perimeter walls enclose the sacrosanct N.S de sos Reg Nos Altos: a XIV century cathedral with some of the best preserved frescos from the 1300s. Bosa celebrates its Festa di Santa Maria del Mare on the first Sunday of August, with a boat procession, carrying a statue of the Madonna out to sea.

 

Oristano

Sartiglia is a festival in Oristano that comes from medieval Spanish practices. During the Easter celebration, a rider on horseback adorns Castilian medieval dress, garnished with flowing silk scarves and a round black hat. An androgynous mask is placed over the rider’s eyes. The objective is to thread as many iron rings with his saber while he rides through the wild crowds in the center square. Even the name Sartiglia comes from the old Castilian language meaning “ring” but also “fortune.” Thus the horseman with the most rings will win the contest and will also have the most prosperous year.

 

Gennargentu

This mountainous forest region contains the highest mountains on the island. Many of these geological formations are said to be some of the oldest in mainland Europe. With peaks high enough to accommodate skiers in the winter, this part of Sardinia is home to many endemic species of flora and fauna, and is a stunning contrast to the pearly beaches and azure waters so commonly associated with this island.

 

Guspini and Villamar

Guspini has been a mining village ever since the Phonetician conquest of Sardinia. Lead, silver and zinc were just a few of the minerals extracted from these dark caves which were the last residences for many ancient Roman citizens banished from the eternal city. In contrast, Villamar is decorated with stunning murals on many of the village walls. These paintings depict the Sardinian lifestyle in captivating images of daily life and the history of the islanders’ struggle.So come and enjoy these holiday villas.

 

Sant’Antíoco

This picturesque and historical city was first founded by the Phoenicians in the VIII century B.C, and is home to their tophet necropolis (burial ground for children). It served as a major municipal city for the Roman Empire and eventually became the isle of exile for Sardinia’s patron saint, Saint Antiochus, martyred in 110 A.D. in the mines of the island. These days the treasure of this minor island lies above ground in its sandy beaches and turquoise waters.

 

 

 

Budget Saint Tropez Travel Summer Family Vacations

Summer family vacations are awaited for eagerly throughout the year especially by the families who have school going kids. For such families, June, July and August are the ideal time to go on a long and leisurely vacation and you can opt for budget Saint Tropez travel, an ideal French commune in the French Riviera.
After choosing the destination for a family summer vacation, it is necessary to plan the traveling part of the vacation. Families can choose to go by air or by road. Air travel is faster and more expensive while travel by the road means there must be more time to stop and relax after every few hours. In the case of families traveling by a car, enough food, car games and other toys must be carried along to keep the children busy. In fact, no vacation trip is complete without the games and the music.
It is always better to book rooms in advance at the hotel or resort where a family intends to stay during its summer vacation. If the family is large or more than one family is traveling together, it is better to rent a fully equipped apartment or condominium. This proves to be economical as well as spacious. Sharing rooms is also a good way of saving money while on a vacation and is a great budget Saint Tropez travel option.

In case a family is traveling to a vacation destination by air, they must also book for a taxi or a shuttle service from the airport to the hotel. It is a distinct possibility that due to the vacation season, transport might not be readily available especially since the location in question is a popular vacation spot.
Summer family vacations are a time for bonding with the family by sharing common experiences. These can also be turned into family reunions thereby multiplying the joy shared by the families.
After choosing Saint Tropez, it is essential for families to make travel arrangements in advance, especially if they are going out of the country. It is also critical to make budget Saint Tropez travel reservations beforehand with a hotel or resort. It is necessary to choose a family resort that caters to the needs of babies, teenagers and parents alike.
Family budget Saint Tropez travel needs to meet some basic criteria depending on the age of the children. Parents prefer a resort that has ample outdoor space, where their children would have sufficient space to have fun. For young kids, a children’s program must be in place that is run by a well-trained staff.
It is a good idea to opt for budget Saint Tropez travel during the off-season as the resorts are usually free and offer attractive discounted rates. It is advisable to check if the hotel has adequate staffing for service and if standard facilities are offered during the off-season. Travel agents provide end-to-end solutions ensuring that everything from local cabs and flight tickets to accommodation, sightseeing and food is taken care of during the vacation.

Driving tips to avoid road mishaps while traveling abroad

There have been a series of reports recently about major road mishaps abroad and authorities have been reminding us of the safety considerations we must not forget when driving in other countries:

Speed

Driver slower than your usual pace back home. Remember that you will be negotiating with unfamiliar roads so extra caution is necessary. Follow the speed limits within towns, cities, and expressways. You will be facing hefty fines if you will be pulled over for over speeding.

Safety Kit

Research well ahead the list of items you need for your road safety kit when you travel abroad. Most countries will require the emergency reflective triangles and spare bulbs while others might even require you to have a breathalyser.

Accidents

When you are involved in a road incident, do not immediately admit any liability or fault, or apologize to another party. You will be most likely be blamed being the foreigner. Get the information of as much witness as you can and report the incident to the police. You also need to contact your insurer and take pictures of the damages to your vehicle.

Sleeps

Make sure you have stop overs instead of driving for long hours especially on empty highways. It will also be best if you can assign an alternate driver from your group.

Local traffic rules and practices

Be sure to do your homework and know the traffic rules implemented on your destination. Also research for common practices and etiquette on the road as practiced by local drivers.

Insurance

Most insurance companies will require vehicle owners to contact them if you are bringing your vehicle abroad. Most likely you will be covered but some will require you to upgrade you insurance during the trip.

Marvelous beaches in the French Riviera

Nothing is more fun in the summer than hitting the beach to enjoy the sand and water. Some of the nicest shores in the world is along the stretch of Hyeres to the beaches of Nice. The Corsica island also has nice shorelines. The access to these beaches will not cost you anything but you also do not have access to modern facilities so you have to bring your drinks, foods, towels, and your sunscreen.

Plage de Pampelonne in St-Tropez

This beach in St-Tropez is a nine-kilometer stretch of pristine, white sand. Plage de Pampelonne has attracted a good number of stars from all over the world who wanted to tan their skin to perfection. The rich and famous have also flocked into the most exclusive beach clubs nearby. Some parts of the beach are designated for nudists, while other portions are for families, and other parts for gays.

Iles de Lerins in St-Honorat and Ste-Marguerite

If you want to retreat from all the lights and glamour of Cannes, you can head out to the offshore islands of Iles de Lerins. This destination is composed of two islands. The smaller isle is the St-Honorat which has the Cistercian monastery. It is famous for its quiet and inviting beaches and isolated creeks. If you are into hiking through the woods, the Ile Ste-Marguerite is a perfect getaway for you.

Ile de Porquerolles in Hyeres

Take a boat from the Hyeres to Ile de Porquerolles, an island of vineyards, pine trees, sandy beaches, cycling trails, and walking paths. This island is said to be the inspiration of the author of the Treasure Island. You can rent a bike and head wherever you want. You can explore the silvery sands form lage Notre Dame, Plage de la Courtade, or Plage d’Argent.

Plage de St-Aygulf in Fréjus

The beach of St-Aygulf is enclosed by rocks and is located in Les Etangs de Villepey, a natural preserve. If you love bird watching, you can see more than two hundred kinds here. The best time to go is during spring when the gray herons are flying around and when the pink flamingoes hang out in the shallow waters.

Top Romantic Cities for the modern travelers

Although people may still find Paris or Venice romantic, we are not including them in this round-up of the perfect places for modern-day lovers and travelers. We drop the fairytale standard for calling a place romantic. There still should be magic but there should be something else.

Barcelona, Spain

If you want a city where everyone just starts to wake up at 8am, then this city is for you. You can get lost and yet be happy In this highly-dense and cultured capital of Catalonia. Just like Sydney and Los Angeles, you are a few minutes from the beautiful coastline. The government has banned nudity on its beaches since 2011, in case you are planning for such an adventure.

No two Barcelona trips will be alike with tons of choices of restaurants, bars, cafes, galleries among other attractions. The Barcelona architecture will also tickle one’s imagination.

Havana, Cuba

Havana still feels like 1959. Commercialism has not yet set foot on the city so if you think old stuff is pretty romantic, this corner of the globe is perfect for you. Romance is unavoidable if antiquity turns you and your partner on. You will also be surrounded by people who knows their art, their music, good food, and good life.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Put good view, arts, and sensuality in one equation and you will get Amsterdam. This city in the Netherlands also grants you the freedom to enjoy all of these. It is the Vegas for the professionals. It is a carnal place for those seeking some romance.

Argentina, Buenos Aires

You have a melting pot of South American and European culture in Buenos Aires. The place is all about passion without going overboard. It is all about expressing desire and locals can easily influence travelers in that aspect. Learn about tango, the love of football, and be amazed with how Argentina showcases its electrostatic sensuality towards life.