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Rainforest Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance

butterfly in the rainforest

The Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior.

Rainforest Alliance also supports and promotes certification in sustainable tourism as a tool for improvement and market competitiveness and we work together with local certification schemes form the countries we are working with. We are leading the Sustainable Tourism Certification Network of the Americas as a way of facilitating the communication between programs and also standardize a minimum of criteria acceptable in order to be part of the network and recognized as a verifiable program. We are currently working in the second edition of a catalog that includes all the certified businesses in the continent.

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Travel Tip For Today

Bring one pair of comfortable walking shoes as well as a pair of sandals or Tevas. Before you leave home, break in your new shoes so you're not uncomfortable on the road.

Dad, mom and daughter, the all american family

The Family Travel Blog

Travel advice, deals and other tidbits from our professional travel writers, families on the go and special guests!

Happy Holidays

The holidays are approaching and as with all things 2009 has brought to us, we find ourselves taking a different approach. Around Northern California, this seems to be the year for holiday trips close to home, similar to our Thanksgiving trip to Santa Cruz where the weather was smashing. It’s also the year to enjoy home made treats and homegrown pleasures. The concept of reducing waste and recycling really came of age in 2009, and we are implementing that by using creative wrappings in our office. Old maps, comic books, the Sunday comics and posters are all fodder for Santa’s’ elves. We are trying to buy items only made with recyclable materials and as little packaging as possible. One of our clever editors is recycling her Holiday cards from years past to create beautiful holiday gift cards to illuminate simple white, colored tissue paper wrapping. Make your holiday parties easy to recycle by placing recycling bins next to each of the garbage cans so everyone can take part in the effort. For our holiday party, we are having a Christmas cookie exchange, featuring wonderful recipes from North American innkeepers.

Christmas Jam Cookies

¾ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup sugar
1 large egg (well beaten)
grated rind of 1 large lemon
1½ cups flour
1 cup raspberry jam

Cream together the butter and sugar, then slowly add the egg and lemon rind while mixing thoroughly. Stir in the flour and then chill in a refrigerator for approximately one half hour. Scoop out large teaspoons full of dough and roll them into balls. Place the balls of dough in very small muffin pans or in small paper baking cups on a cookie sheet. Form a cavity in the center of each ball of dough and fill the cavity ¾ full with raspberry jam. Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until the jam holds its shape when touched. When cooked, remove the cookies from the oven and top with ¼ teaspoon of raspberry jam.

Grandma Paterno’s Holiday Tea Cookies

½ cup sugar
5 cups flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
7 eggs
½ cup oil
grated orange peel to taste
pinch of salt
½ teaspoon vanilla

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Add eggs, orange peel, vanilla and oil. Mix well. Roll into logs approximately ¾" thick and approximately 4-6" long. Pinch ends of logs together, forming a crescent shape.

Bake at 350 for approximately 20 minutes or until light brown. Let cool, then dip in icing:

Mix confectioner's sugar and fresh lemon juice together (the mixture should be thick like molasses). Dip the top of each cookie in icing and add a shake of candy sprinkles.

We are washing down the tasty treats with delectable sparkling punch & fresh hot cider.

However, for my evening party, we will be finishing the evening with Hot Buttered Wedge Woods.

Hot Buttered Wedgewood

2 ounces almond liqueur
twist of orange peel
1 cup hot tea, cider, or apple juice
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon whipped unsalted butter

Pour almond liqueur in a mug. Fill with hot tea, cider or juice. Add butter and orange peel twist. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Holiday Seasoned Sparkler Recipe

1- 12 ounce bag frozen dark, sweet, pitted cherries
1 liter (33.8 ounces) non alcoholic sparkling cider, well chilled
2 cups cold cranberry juice cocktail
1 cup cold unflavored seltzer water
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Thinly sliced lime for garnish

Place frozen cherries in a small punch bowl (the frozen cherries eliminate the need for additional ice). Add cider, cranberry juice, seltzer and lime juice. Stir gently to combine. Serve in punch cups - garnish with a lime wheel.

Check out all of travel deals and specials for December and January at

Most towns with a few B&Bs have open house tours, check with your local inn to see if that’s the case in your town and by all means join in. Enjoy in a delightful evening of merriment and get some wonderful holiday decorating ideas for to warm up the home this holiday season.

Enjoy this wonderful month of December with close friends and loved ones. May the holiday cheer fill your homes with abundant happiness.

Best to you and yours,



Thank you that is such wonderful advice...we too have had many family vacations that have started out with trips to explore possible new colleges and have ended up being such fun with all our family involved. You can certainly see some wonderful and unexpected sights on these road trips.

Jane Smith, Virginia.

Thank you Pamela for all your ideas. You have inspired my wife and I to take a long road trip this summer while taking our son to his new college. We are planning a different route there this time and hope to take in the many wonderful sights along the way there.

Mallard Cross, Oregon

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