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Great AuPair

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Miami Offers Year-Round Perfection

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Miami, Florida is one of the world’s most popular vacation spots visited by tourists from all over the world – and for good reasons. From beautiful beaches to perfect warm weather year-round, this city has countless unique attractions you simply can’t miss. If you’re looking for a place that will keep you entertained, Miami promises never to have a dull moment. From sunrise to sunset there is something for everyone!

 

South Beach is the pinnacle of Miami. Day or night, July or December, it doesn’t matter when, it matters where. These aqua blue waters and white sand beaches provide the best place to catch a tan along Miami’s luxurious coastline. Ocean Drive offers a variety of shops, galleries, and nightlife that could turn your average stroll into a shopping spree, or an extravagant evening. Just one look at the art deco style buildings of the Miami skyline and the beautiful nature that surrounds it is enough to make anyone fall in love.

 

Food in Miami is top notch and guaranteed to fit any budget or lifestyle. The local Latino diners and high-class restaurants will leave your mouth watering for more. Eat like the locals do at a Cuban restaurant like Versailles or get dressed up and have a nice evening at Prime 112. Miami is home to countless flavors where you can broaden your palate and enliven your senses daily.

 

Located right near the Everglades, Miami is perfect for nature lovers, animal enthusiasts or those who want to experience the unique ecosystems of Florida. Take an airboat ride and see if you can spot some gators, turtles or iguanas, or camp in the Everglades RV Resort. For more natural beauty, you can also check out the many parks and botanical gardens Miami has to offer!

 

 

Miami is known for its variety of art and unique architecture. The Wynwood Arts District is without a doubt a sight to see. It’s home to over 70 art galleries, local shops, electric bars, and one of the largest open-air street-art installations in the world. There are art tours, gallery walks, food tastings, you name it. They also have block parties with live music and many other forms of entertainment. It’s a great place to celebrate a holiday or a day of art, entertainment, and fun!

 

Miami is home to many top-notch professional and college teams. If you’re a football fanatic you can catch a Dolphins game. You can also have some classic fun at a Miami Marlins baseball game, see a hat trick on ice at a Florida Panthers game, or you can shoot some hoops at the American Airlines Arena and watch the Miami Heat play. There is also a rumor that Miami may be getting a professional soccer team too!

 

Miami is the place to be for Florida festivals. Art Basel Week, Fashion Week, and Miami Music Week are some of the big hitters, but they only scratch the surface. You may want to check out some technology at Tech week or relax with some Caribbean tunes at Kaya Fest. Speaking of music, Miami is a music lover’s paradise with live music festivals of a variety of genre all throughout the year.

 

With the many sights to see and things to do, Miami is sure to keep you busy all year long!

 

For more information about the GreatAuPair J-1 visa program, visit www.greataupairusa.com. Families can call 800-604-2507 to speak with a GreatAuPair representative.  Au pairs can call 1-775-636-8302, or contact us on Skype at greataupair.com.


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Tampa, Florida – Treasure Awaits!

 

Why choose between the big city and the beach when you could have it all with a year in Tampa! With its vibrant nightlife, year-round warm weather, and coastal location, Tampa is a fantastic place for a new adventure. Whether you love to shop, try new food, immerse yourself in art, or attend one of the seven musical festivals held in this city every year, Tampa will not disappoint!

 

 

Busch Gardens:

Are you a thrill-seeker? If so, you have to visit Busch Gardens! With its live shows, animal encounters, and the best roller coasters in Florida, Busch Gardens is sure to be fun for everyone! As one of the top amusement parks in the country, it might be worth grabbing an annual pass so you can visit Busch Gardens and it’s nearby waterpark, Adventure Island!

 

Tampa Riverwalk:

Take a walk down this completely pedestrian pathway to the Florida Aquarium, the Tampa Bay History Center, the Tampa Museum of Art, or any of the exhibits on display year-round! You could even stop by the Straz Center for Performing Arts to see a Broadway play or Musical! There’s so much to do and see, it couldn’t possibly be done in just one day!

 

 

Gasparilla Pirate Festival: 

The Riverwalk is also home to one of the largest parades in the United States! Put on your pirate costume and be one of the hundreds of thousands of attendees that flock every year to the water for its Parade of Pirates, film festival, arts festival, road race, and live music festival. Likened to Florida’s version of a New Orleans Mardi Gras, this is a celebration you won’t want to miss.

 

 

Clear Water and Warm Beaches:

It’s always beach weather in Florida! Being so close to the coast, Tampa residents can head to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country with just a short commute. With options such as Fort De Soto Park, recently named one of the top 25 U.S. beaches, Clearwater Beach, and Caladesi Island, you’ll almost have trouble deciding which is the best location for a bit of sun bathing or water sports.

 

 

What’s Your Favorite Animal? Tampa Has It! 

 Animal-lovers will feel right at home in Tampa, where there are so many options for up close and personal encounters! Feed a giraffe right out of your hand at the Giraffe Ranch, or visit the Serengeti without leaving the comfort of Florida at the Safari Wilderness Ranch. Tampa is also famous for its manatees, who will swim right up to wave hello!

 

 

 

Flicks & Food Trucks Festival: 

Looking for something relaxed, fun, and free? Go grab a bite and see a movie at the Flicks & Food Trucks festival held every month on the 3rd Thursday! Take part in America’s food truck craze with your friends and try something new from one of the gourmet food trucks. As you can see, Tampa has something to offer for everyone!

 

 

For more information about the GreatAuPair J-1 visa program, visit www.greataupairusa.com. Families can call 800-604-2507 to speak with a GreatAuPair representative.  Au pairs can call 1-775-636-8302, or contact us on Skype at greataupair.com.


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San Diego – Amazing Hidden Gem of California!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

With its miles of glorious beaches, ideal year-round weather and countless cultural and historical attractions, San Diego is one of the most visited cities in the world! If you’re on the fence about where to spend your program year, here are some of the top reasons to choose San Diego.


Balboa Park:

Like no place else in the country, Balboa Park offers a magnificent combination of art, architecture, history and agriculture all in one park. From wonderful concerts featuring the world’s largest outdoor pipe organ, The Spreckels Organ, to tours through science, art and history museums, a day spent in Balboa Park is an unforgettable experience.

 

Coronado Island:

On the beautiful island of Coronado, you’ll discover a charming collection of shops, art galleries, fine restaurants and fun eateries surrounded by tree lined walkways, swaying palms and sparkling ponds. Across the bay is one of the best views of downtown San Diego. Developed 130 years ago as a haven for the rich and famous, this oceanfront community maintains an air of luxury. Admire the mansions, Duchess of Windsor Cottage and the Museum of History and Art, which highlights the relaxed and enriching atmosphere on the island.

 

Torrey Pines State Reserve:

Named after the Torrey Pine tree, this reserve is just north of La Jolla and is a lovely place to see indigenous wildlife in its native environment. With more than eight miles of trails, you can explore the serenity of Torrey Pines in the same atmosphere as the first settlers to California. Take a hike to Blacks Beach, popular with surfers. The Torrey Pines Gliderportoh is the only place on the west coast for visitors to go paragliding and hang-gliding.

San Diego Zoo:

One of the world’s most famous zoos, the San Diego Zoo offers hours of fascinating entertainment for people of all ages. Of the several thousand animals that live in the zoo, you’ll have an opportunity to see everything from Giant Pandas and Polar Bears to the Tasmanian Devil and African Wild Dogs—and so much more. The many hundreds of species include rare amphibians, birds, mammals, reptiles and insects that come from all over the world and are cared for in their natural habitats. As you walk through the lush pathways and thriving gardens that frame the zoo, keep in mind that much of the flora are exotic plants and vegetation. Spend an afternoon or the whole day and gain an understanding of the many beautiful animals that inhabit our world.

 

Gaslamp quarter: 

The heart of downtown San Diego is the historic Gaslamp Quarter. It’s a fun and busy area where you can find: shops, galleries, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, theaters, sporting arenas, conferences, concerts, Comic-Con and more. Head towards Horton Plaza’s outdoor shopping mall to find the likes of Macy’s, Victoria Secret and Claire’s or enjoy the baseball game at Petco Park.

 

Children’s Pool Sea Lions:

Another famous San Diego attraction is Children’s pool where you can observe seals and sea lions in their natural habitat. Silly, loud, ultra-lovable, and a little smelly, they are sure to bring a toothy smile to your face. Sea lions are often compared to being the dogs of the sea for a good reason. After all, they are smart, playful, and newborns are even called pups. They capitalize on San Diego coastline as prime real estate, colonizing rocky and sandy beaches during nesting season.

 

Beautiful Beaches:

San Diego is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. There are 70 miles of shoreline and a diverse selection of beaches to explore. If you like surfing, you’ll be in heaven; if you prefer getting lost in your thoughts on a secluded sandy stretch, you’ll also be in heaven. From La Jolla and Mission to Coronado and Pacific Beach, there’s a beach for you in San Diego.

 

For more information about the GreatAuPair J-1 visa program, visit www.greataupairusa.com. Families can call 800-604-2507 to speak with a GreatAuPair representative.  Au pairs can call 1-775-636-8302, or contact us on skype at greataupair.com.

 


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Honolulu – Tropical Paradise for Au Pairs

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

hawaii2 Do you want to live where most Americans only dream they could live? Islands ranging from a tropical climate, to snow skiing on the Big Islands 14 thousand foot peaks, Hawaii is one of the most ecologically diverse places in the world and seems too good to be true! If steady warm weather and only 90 rainy days per year is what you prefer, Honolulu is for you!

 

You have six beautiful islands to hawaii12explore. Each inhabited island has a different pace and culture, ranging from the city life of Honolulu on Oahu, to the largely native culture on Molokai. Where else in the United States can you both swim in warm water, snow ski and visit a volcano all in one day?

 

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Honolulu offers a wide range of land and water based activities including sports, swimming, surfing, windsurfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, camping, hiking, mountain biking, and even snow skiing or snowboarding.  A popular magazine named Honolulu the “fittest” city in the United States. The city offers year round activities such as Great Aloha Run, Honolulu Marathon, and Honolulu Triathlon.

 

Although Honolulu has no professional sports teams, it does have three venues for spectator sports such as baseball, basketball and volleyball at: Les Murakami Stadium, Neal Blaisdell Center Arena, Stan Sheriff Center and Aloha Stadium.

Howhawaii beach about a relaxing day at the beach? Waikiki is a beachfront neighborhood of Honolulu, located on the south shore of the island of Oahu. It was once a retreat only for Hawaiian royalty in the 1800’s. Today, the area is filled with large resort hotels and hosts many events each year, including surf competitions, outdoor performances, hula dancing and outrigger canoe races.

 

Help the kids find Nemo at Waikiki Aquarium! Listen for the extremely vocal Common Mynah bird at Foster Botanical garden, Lili’uokalani Botanical Garden, or Walker Estate!

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How about a day with your host family visiting the Honolulu Zoo? There are over 1,230 animals to see! Afterward, take a ride on Waikiki Trolley to see the sites throughout Waikiki, Honolulu and East Oahu; or plan to stay for a Snooze at the Zoo. Yes, they schedule overnight camping with activities – imagine the sounds of the animals during the night!

 

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Do you like natural history? The Bishop Museum displays the state’s largest collection of natural history specimens and the world’s largest collection of Hawaiian and Pacific culture artifacts.

 

Head to the Ke’anae Arboretum and botanical garden, to see the most colorful and unique trees on the planet. The bark of the Rainbow Eucalyptus tree changes color as it sheds, so no two are ever alike and each is constantly changing. You can drive along the Hana Highway west of Maui to see them or visit the arboretum for free.

 

Hawaii Mall

If shopping is your passion then you are in for a treat! Ala Moana in Honolulu is the largest mall in Hawaii and the 7th largest shopping mall in the United States with a total area of 2,100,000 square feet! Make sure you wear your walking shoes!

 

Diamond Head Theater is dubbed the “Broadway of the Pacific” and is the oldest performing arts center where music lovers go to enjoy live theater.

 

hawaii8Honolulu Museum of Art is the largest of its kind in the state, with over 50,000 works of art and is housed in First Hawaiian Center, the tallest building in Hawaii. You can enjoy two cafés, gardens, films and concerts at the theater as well as take a studio art class or workshop. Some events and certain days offer free admission to all.

 

Want to work on a language? The Hawaii Japanese School – Rainbow Gakuen holds its classes in Kaimuki Middle School in Honolulu, serving overseas Japanese nationals. In addition, Honolulu has other weekend programs for the Japanese, Chinese, and Spanish languages.

 

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No matter what you love to do, it’s impossible not to have fun here and create life long memories with your new host family! Come see what Honolulu has to offer!

 

For more information about the GreatAuPair J-1 visa program, visit www.greataupairusa.com. Families can call 800-604-2507 to speak with a GreatAuPair representative.  Au pairs can call 1-512-360-0499, or contact us on skype at greataupair.com.


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Washington, DC: Au pairs love our nation’s capital!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

 

WA 1If you love gorgeous rivers and forests, awe-inspiring historical monuments, and vibrant metropolitan culture, then the Washington, DC area is where you want to be.

 

There is no shortage of things to do with children any time of year, not to mention a diverse range of leisure and nightlife activities for young adults.  The greater metropolitan area consists of downtown Washington DC, which is surrounded by several cities, including Arlington, VA, and Bethesda, MD.

 

WA 2One of the most popular attractions in the DC area is the Smithsonian Institute.  With 19 museums that cover a wide range of subjects from art to space exploration, you are bound to find something exciting for both you and the kids.  Keep in mind that most of these museums are HUGE, so plan on spending a couple of hours at each.

 

 

WA 3Spectacular national monuments spread throughout the city are a “must see” when visiting the nation’s capital.  Some of the most popular sites include the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial Wall and the Jefferson Memorial.  A great way to see the monuments is to take a guided tour.  You will learn many interesting facts about US history, and be free from having to navigate congested city traffic.

 

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Another great choice for a daytime activity is to visit the three houses of government, the White House, the U.S. Capitol, and the Supreme Court.  These are all impressive feats of architecture and offer an informative window into the history of the nation.

 

 

WA 5Ready to take a break from the hustle and bustle of urban life?  Take a day trip to Great Falls Park and enjoy a variety of outdoor recreational activities, such as hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, cycling, and horseback riding.  Bring the children for a fun-filled adventure, or enjoy some free time and decompress surrounded by the majestic beauty of nature.

 

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Georgetown, Washington DC’s historic waterfront, is a great place to visit during the day or evening. If you love to shop, then you will be in paradise.  The streets are lined with a large variety of retail shops and restaurants of every nationality. Weekends can get pretty busy in Georgetown, so be sure to make a dinner reservation if possible.

 

The sites above barely scratch the surface of all the fun and amazing things to do in the Washington DC area.  It is a highly recommended city for au pairs due to its rich cultural diversity and huge variety of entertainment, culture, education, and leisure activities.  Complete your application today to start your journey.  You may find yourself in this amazing city before you know it!

 

For more information about the GreatAuPair J-1 visa program, visit www.greataupairusa.com. Families can call 800-604-2507 to speak with a GreatAuPair representative.  Au pairs can call 1-512-360-0499, or contact us on skype at greataupair.com.


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