What is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier?
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, also referred to as the Tomb of the Unknowns is a monument erected as a dedication to US service members who lost their lives and could not be identified by their remains. Located in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, the monument overlooks Washington DC from atop a hill.
The monument is constructed of a white marble sarcophagus and has three Greek statues sculpted into it that each represent a different virtue: peace, victory, and valor. Also, there are six wreaths that represent the six major campaigns of World War I and an inscription that states: “Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God” as Congress allowed an unidentified soldier to be buried there in the early 1920’s.
Later on, three other soldiers were also buried in the same tomb, from WWII, The Vietnam War, and the Korean War. However, the Unknown of Vietnam was only a part of the memorial for a short time as DNA testing advances allowed scientists to identify the remains as belonging to Michael Joseph Blassie during an exhumation in 1988. Regardless, the Vietnam Unknown Soldier monument remains empty and the inscription now reads: “Honoring and Keeping Faith with America’s Missing Servicemen, 1958-1975.”
Another thing to note about this memorial is that it is guarded 24/7 by Tomb Guards who protect the monument rain or shine. These guards serve the section of the infantry known as “The Old Guard,” which is the oldest unit in the army and has been serving the United States since the 1700’s. It is an incredible honor to become a Tomb Guard as they work 24 hour shifts and live beneath the monument in the guards quarters when they are not working. There is also an important ceremony that happens called the Changing of the Guard, during which the acting Tomb Guard marches forward 21 steps and alternates facing north and east. The guard then places his weapon on his shoulder to signify the protection of the monument from threat.
If you are interested in witnessing the beauty of this incredible dedication to American loyalty and servitude, join us on March 27-30th as we visit Washington DC, and all that it has to offer. To learn more about this trip, click here.
Cheap and Eco-Friendly Travel - Bus Tour Edition
Recently the threat of climate change has become a prevalent issue, with many people showing concern for the future prosperity of our planet. These concerns are valid as every day we continue to advance technology and mass consumerism, we increase our global carbon footprint. As this happens, serious consequences will continue to arise for the environment. It is more important now than ever that we work together to reduce our individual carbon footprint and save the eco-systems that thrived before human life took root.
If you’re wondering what exactly a carbon footprint is, it is simply the levels of greenhouse gas emissions that an individual allows to enter the atmosphere at their own fault. It has been noted by multiple sources that these emissions have a direct effect on the temperature of the planet, leading to melting ice caps and rising sea levels. This is not only bad for the environment, but also bad for us. Entire cities could become submerged by the rising sea levels and cease to exist.
That being said, not all hope is lost! We as a global community have been banding together in the name of saving the planet. Each individuals carbon footprint makes a difference, meaning making slight changes to your lifestyle such as turning off lights when you leave a room, or reducing waste can reduce your carbon footprint drastically. That being said, one of the most effective ways to make a positive impact on the environment is changing the way you travel. In fact, one of the best ways to conquer the massive amount of carbon dioxide emissions put into the world, is by choosing a different form of transportation over another, such as bus tours.
The standard inter-city tour bus, like the ones we use at ShortTrips.ca, hold 55 passengers. When comparing this to the average capacity of a car being 5 passengers, it is evident that the more people that choose to travel by bus rather than car, the more positive effects we will see.
While of course it is impossible for one’s carbon footprint to be reduced to zero, there are many small, easy, and fun changes that can be made to reduce the strain placed on the environment. Taking a bus tour is one of the most fulfilling changes you can make to the way you travel so you can continue to explore the world for years to come.
Best sights to see when visiting Toronto
Since we are a Toronto-based bus tour company, it is fair to say ShortTrips.ca is well accustomed to the GTA and all that it has to offer. If you are visiting the area from out of town, here is where we believe are the best tourist spots to hit up before you go!
1. Bata Shoe Museum
Shoe lovers unite! Bata is the most renowned North American shoe museum with over
13, 000 artifacts. Explore history and pop culture through 4 different galleries and seasonal exhibitions.
2. Casa Loma
Built in 1914, Casa Loma is a beautiful example of Toronto's rich culture and history. Located in midtown Toronto, this castle was built by Sir Henry Pellatt and remains in its original condition as a heritage landmark. Tour the castle on your own or participate in their new escape games!
3. Aga Khan Museum
This museum displays the intellectual contributions of Islamic, Iranian, and Muslim heritage with beautiful artistic and cultural exhibits. The Aga Khan Museum was opened in 2014 and was built by a prestigious architect to represent the beauty of open dialogue about religious expression in Toronto.
4. Ripley's Aquarium
Explore the realm of Canadian and international aquatic wildlife! With over 20,000 species and many different shows and activities, it is easy to spend an entire day at this Aquarium. This location also features the longest underwater viewing tunnel in North America for all your photo ops!
5. The Half House
What a sight to see! This architectural feat is a result of tension between development workers and property owners that lead to the remarkable tearing down of half the house. Now it has become a popular photo destination for tourists from near and far. Read more about the history of the Half House here:
6. Distillery District
This foot-traffic only zone is known for the prevalent 19th century buildings and architecture that remain from old whiskey distilleries. The streets are cobblestone and reminiscent of a small European village. This district features many trendy shops, restaurants, boutiques, and galleries.
7. TIFF Bell Lightbox
This cultural hub in the downtown Toronto core is a destination for all things art, film, and culture. Encompassing 5 floors, this venue is a magnificent place to take in some thought provoking entertainment. You can see film's all year round, and if you're lucky, you'll be able to swing by during Toronto International Film Festival.
8. What A Bagel
With their first location opening in 1997, What A Bagel now has multiple locations across Toronto where you can enjoy bagels and other baked goods. What separates this bakery from the rest is their famous rainbow bagel that has been featured in many local news outlets.
9. The Monkey's Paw
This cute and indie store stocks special books, artifacts, and historical works. You'll also find the world's first vending machine for books.
10. Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library
Featuring the largest collection of rare books and manuscripts in Canada. It is a part of the University of Toronto but is open to the general public for interaction and examination. They also hold special seasonal exhibits from time to time.
What is a Murder Mystery Dinner?
Maybe you've heard about the hype through friends, or maybe you've seen a post on Facebook. Either way, it seems like everyone is talking about "murder mystery dinner parties," so what are they? And why should you go?
Luckily, no one is really being murdered at these parties, at least not in real life that is. A mystery dinner is a type of dinner theater, where the play is more interactive and immersive than a typical performance. In fact, many of the locations that host these mystery dinners forego the stage and opt for having the actors sit down with the diners and behave normally, which only adds to the façade.
Now the fun part comes when dinner is over and the diners become involved in the classic whodunnit style mystery, wherein the viewers are a part of the solution. The diners come together to play characters and forward the plot. The main difference with one of these performances is the audience participation that is involved. Typically, diners will interrogate suspects and put clues together to solve the mystery themselves.
Do you think this sounds like fun? Well we just so happen to stop by at the Victorian Mount Hope Mansion for a theatrical interactive dining experience. According to their website, here's what the night entails: Meet and mingle with intriguing guests to the Mansion and be sure to take note as they visit guests table side while they dine. After enjoying a four-course meal and tastes of the mystery that is thick in the air, everyone will assemble in the Mansion's Theater Room for a time of interrogation, hilarity and the answer to the question on everyone's mind!
If you are looking for a short weekend getaway, try a bus tour!
Have you ever found yourself wanting to get away for a weekend? Do you spend your work weeks doing the same tedious daily routine? Do you want to experience some excitement and travel the world, one weekend at a time?
Bus tours might be for you!
At ShortTrips.ca we offer unique bus tours and weekend getaways, all departing from the GTA. Travelling by bus is a great experience for EVERYONE. We welcome all age groups from kids to seniors, while also accepting solo travelers and larger groups!
Travelling by bus is an eco-friendly, budget-friendly, stress-free, and flexible way to tour whatever destination your heart desires. If you're on the fence, check out our past reviews to hear what our clients have to say about us!
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