Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pick of the Week

I've been doing this since early last year when I got my iPod Touch. Starbucks had this promotion to its loyal patrons: Every week (Tuesday) they've been giving away free music through iTunes. You just have to go to a Starbucks coffee shop (purchase not necessary) and pick a card with all the information about their song pick of the week. At the back of this card, you can find the download code that you will use in iTunes just like iTunes gift card. I thought this promo was over last year since some of the Starbucks shops that I visited no longer have this Pick of the Week cards on display. Yesterday was I guess a blessing because in the store that I went, I saw a bunch of cards that were still on display on their counter for all the people to pick. Cards that were not picked up in the previous weeks can still be found together with the current choises. I actually picked 9 different cards yesterday and I've downloaded all of the them. Their song choices actually covers a wide range of music genre, from country to rock to pop and even the classics.
I could say I'm not a coffee addict but coming to Starbucks just for a free music complemeted with a free Wi-Fi (by the way) is worth the time.
Go visit a Starbucks location someday and try to look for those cards.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Closing In To Nature – Desert Escapade

Earlier this week I had the rare opportunity to be close to nature by visiting the Delights Hot Springs Resort in Tecopa, California and a side trip to China Ranch Date Farm.

Hidden in the seldom-explored reaches of the Mojave Desert lies an oasis, widely known for its peaceful atmosphere and therapeutic natural artesian hot spring mineral water. The Tecopa California Hot Springs are widely considered to be of the highest quality hot spring in the United States, a reputation being held for centuries. It is located some 75 miles West of Las Vegas or about 90 minute drive through the desert landscape. The resort that we went has private hot springs bath, cottages, trailers and motel rooms for rent. The water is maintained at 99 – 104 degF. Soaking my body in this hot water gave me a relaxed feeling all over. If you go online to their website, more information are available about the mineral content of the spring water, their amenities as well as the detailed directions on how to get there. They even accept online reservations. Follow this link to Delights Hot Springs Resort.

On our way back, we made a side trip to another beautiful oasis in the middle of the arid landscape of the desert. The hidden oasis of China Ranch Date Farm is a family owned and operated small farm near Tecopa, California. It is about 85 miles West of Las Vegas, Nevada. Just imagine a lush greenery in the middle of the Mojave Desert near south of Death Valley, with towering cottonwoods and willows, wandering stream, date palms and abundant wildlife. The ranch offers home grown dates as well as other California varieties. They have delicious date nut bread, muffins and cookies as well as their vanilla date smoothie which I tried as well as some unique gifts from their gift shop. When I was there, I also noticed a small museum which houses old historic pictures and artifacts from around the area. According to their website, China Ranch offers more than just dates and dates products. You can purchase palm trees and varieties of cacti for home and office landscaping. They can even rent out some of their properties for still photography and film productions. Follow this link to China Ranch Date Farm for more information.