journals

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Cabins of the Smoky Mountains

A Crazy Day of Dune Bashing in Southern Qatar

Hundreds of tracks in the sand

I knew our drive out from Doha was going to be interesting as soon as we started our journey to the sand dunes from my hotel. Our driver, a large Omani soon crossed to the other lane of traffic and stunned an opposing driver by doing so. He had one hand on the wheel, one hand on his mobile and his eyes were looking somewhere else. Once he got off the phone he became quite liberal with the use of the horn and headlights - using both many times … [Read more...]

Artistry and Foodie Craft in Paso Robles

Crab Timbale—Avocado, Corn, and Robbins Family Mandarin Olive Oil

From a tastefully arranged table featuring delicious, beautiful food to an Art Deco-infused wine tasting at the top of Paso Robles, foodie visitors and locals to this exciting wine country can find rich aesthetic experiences in the midst of their gastronomic discoveries. The wine’s the thing, of course, but there’s so much more to experience in Paso beyond just wine tasting. Blending together foodie art with a tour of this northern San Luis … [Read more...]

Eating My Way Through San Juan

Condado Beach, San Juan

When I first started exploring Puerto Rico, I found what I was seeking: Caribbean beaches, stylish hotel rooms by the sea, a capital city with a pulsating beat and genuinely warm locals. What I never expected to find was a mouth-watering culinary scene. Contemporary Cocina Criolla is a fusion that mirrors Puerto Rico’s diversity and is a powerful lens into its history. Its predominate influences are indigenous Taíno blended with an ample measure … [Read more...]

Ozzywood: Extras at Ayers Rock

ayers

John M. Edwards lucks out on a lucrative commercial gig at Australia’s awesome Uluru (Ayers Rock)—but with one problem: he was not actually cast to be in it! Celebration of a nation! Celebration of a nation! Let’s make it great . . . In 88! Come on and give us a hand! --“Australian Bicentennial,” Mojo Advertising Co. I lucked out finally while on a much-needed “smoko” at the Alice Springs Abattoirs, where I worked for … [Read more...]

Foodie Paso Robles Comes Into Its Own

The Firestone Union

Just a few decades ago, sleepy Paso Robles, California, hosted no distilleries or craft breweries and only a few dozen pioneering wineries. Rodeos and pickup trucks were more pervasive than limos chauffeuring wine enthusiasts around this beautiful area in northern San Luis Obispo County. Today, vineyards abound in all directions and the overall “agriculture culture” remains strong in the fabric of this increasingly diverse community. When … [Read more...]

The ‘Gorges’ View, New York

WG1

Although there are so many places in other countries that are absolutely breath-taking, mind-numbing, and make you say I-need-a-picture-or-else-I’ll-never-forgive-myself, there are many beautiful places just in my home state, New York. And I’m talking nature, not Manhattan (which is a beauty in and of itself). In June 2014, my boyfriend Sarvar and I decided to venture upstate to a park called Watkins Glen State Park. It’s next to the village … [Read more...]

Visit Pearl Harbor and be moved

Pearl Harbor 2

It is hard to predict when the sadness and solemnity will hit you when you visit Pearl Harbor. For me it was when we set out on the Navy vessel across the channel that on a December morning in 1941 turned into hell on earth, a bloody chaos of explosions and smoke and fire and bombs.             December 7 is Pearl Harbor Day, and 2014 will mark the 73rd anniversary of the attack that brought the United States into World War II. Ceremonies will … [Read more...]

Bhutan: My Trek in Paro Chhu Valley, Jomolhari and my time in Thimphu

Jichu Drakye (L) and Tserim Gang (R) from camp at Lingshi.

April 6th, SFO–Osaka–Bangkok My flight at 1055 was to Osaka (KIX) with another flight continuing on to Bangkok (BKK). My flight is delayed by one hour. I arrive at the airport at 0955 but the check-in agent needs to see an onward ticket from BKK and does not know where Bhutan is - and has not heard about Druk Air either! It takes 30 min, even though there are few people in the check-in queue while he verifies Thailand entry requirements for … [Read more...]

Autumn Delight- Verde Canyon Hot Springs

Verde Canyon

Finally, time to relax and enjoy the last days of Indian Summer.  Sliding into a rectangular basin full of clean, warm mineral water, my arms and legs titillate happily.  As I lay my head back against the lip of the concrete tub to inhale the fresh, cool autumn air and take in the view of golden leafed oak trees and the Verde river meandering below the canyon.  Undoubtedly, this is Nirvana. This is my first time visiting Verde Canyon and I … [Read more...]

A Visit to the Marconi Museum in Tustin California

Gold plated rims on Oscar de la Hoya's truck

When one meets founder Dick Marconi for the first time, one soon realizes just how passionate he is for both the thrill of racing and the vehicles that he has acquired over the years. But it is not only all about his personal interests - as some private car collections can become. His passion goes much deeper than that and ultimately his goal with the museum is to leverage it as a vehicle to give back to the community and help raise funds for a … [Read more...]