Category: Year End Gallery
|December 31, 2017||Filed under Gallery, Year End Gallery|
The memories of 2017 curated in this year-end gallery reflect my resolve to explore and embrace the cultural diversity and natural wonders of our planet. From Mexico to Canada, middle America to middle Europe, I traveled as an American – and proud Californian – and tried to represent all of us who strive to not be xenophobic, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, anti-environment, etc.
I am deeply grateful for the privilege to be able to experience amazing places and events, and meet kind, generous people wherever I was. I am hopeful that next year brings more peace and happiness to our complicated and beautiful world. Happy New Year, 2018!
|December 25, 2016||Filed under Year End Gallery|
Happy Holidays! In 2016, I felt like I became more of a traveler and less of a tourist. I started to explore without firm itineraries, to commune more with locals and fellow globetrotters, to simply follow my personal compass. Below are some of my favorite moments of the year.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain
In these perilous times in the U.S. and elsewhere, these words couldn’t be more relevant. So, here’s to great travels in 2017. Bon Voyage!
Bolaven Plateau, Laos (pictured above). I welcomed the New Year in Laos. After the cool weather of Luang Prabang, it was a pleasure to soak up the sun and feel the tropical mist at one of the spectacular waterfalls on the Bolaven Plateau near Pakse, the gateway town to the idyllic Mekong River islands. (My blog on Luang Prabang.)
Hoi An, Vietnam. This central Vietnam town is full of charm — from the atmospheric Old Town, to the surrounding countryside criss-crossed by canals and rivulets, to the lovely beaches. I only booked one night before I arrived; I stayed for five. It’s that kind of place.
Hang En Cave, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam. A huge thank you goes to the fellow traveler in Ho Chi Ming City who raved about Phong Nha. Despite encountering river leeches on the hike in, camping in the 3rd largest cave in the world is beyond words.
Hanoi, Vietnam. I ate a lot of amazing meals in 2016, from intriguing street snacks to Michelin-starred restaurants. Yet, these fresh grilled sea scallops in the half-shell stand out in their absolute simplicity and deliciousness.
Hong Kong, China. Once in awhile, a splurge is definitely worth it. From my room at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kowloon, this skyline view across Hong Kong Harbor is one of the most beautiful in the world.
Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County, California. Less than an hour drive from my home is the Pacific Ocean and the stunning coastline. The 5-mile Tomales Point Trail passes wild flower meadows and herds of tule elk before literally dropping into the sea.
Miami, Florida. Located in the Wynwood Arts District in Miami, “Stop Wars” was painted by Brazilian mural artist Eduardo Kobra in 2015. It remains arresting, poignant and timely. (My musings on Florida.)
Havana, Cuba. Meandering on foot through the streets of Old Havana is the best way to soak up the ambience of this fascinating city. Every turn brings another visual delight. (My Havana blog and Classic Cars gallery.)
San Francisco, California. The 46th annual Pride Parade was held under brilliant skies this year. LGBT Pride Parades still matter. They bring joy to the participants and spectators, and they send messages of hope and inclusivity to the world. (My blog on Cuba Pride.)
Villandry, France. Of all the grand mansions in the Loire Valley, the grounds of the 16th century Chateau de Villandry outshine them all. Meticulously maintained gardens cover over 22 acres in various intricate themes and designs, including the above one just for vegetables.
Marseille, France. I had avoided this second largest city in France due to its reputation as a gritty and dangerous place. When I finally visited this fall, I found an attractive, vibrant city with a stunning Vieux Port, new art institutions, great restaurants and superb vistas.
Nice, France. Nice holds a special place in my heart for many reasons. The July terrorist attack spurred me to return for a visit to show that no cowardly act can detract from the beauty and spirit of the Cote d’Azur. Opened in 2013, the Promenade du Paillon pictured above is a welcoming public park that replaced a bus station and parking lots.
Antibes, France. A stroll along the 5-kilometer Le Sentier du Littoral offers a glimpse into the world of the uber rich. Despite the mega yachts and exclusive villas, Antibes is surprisingly approachable for the common visitor, especially in the convivial ancient walled town.
Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy. I was immediately mesmerized by the structures, textures, light and flow of this arts and culture complex, opened in 2015. It is well worth the effort to reach this remarkable (on-going) transformation of an abandoned distillery on the industrial outskirts of Milan.
Kenwood, California. With over 100 wineries in Sonoma Valley, I am always happy to return home from my travels to this little slice of paradise. I never tire of this amazing view of the Kunde Winery, especially when ablaze in late autumn colors. (My California the Beautiful gallery.)
|December 28, 2015||Filed under Year End Gallery||
Although I have been derelict in blogging since spring, I have continued to enjoy many perfect outings this year. I’d like to share with you images from some of my favorite 2015 experiences, beginning and ending in SE Asia together with a few USA adventures and a jaunt to Canada.
I hope to post more regularly in 2016 with photos and information about destinations near and far that “wow.”
Wishing you fantastic adventures in 2016!
1. Sublime Sunrise. Bagan, Myanmar.
2. Morning Market. Indein Village, Inle Lake, Myanmar.
3. Cave Worship. Saddan Temple, Hpa-An, Myanmar.
4. Evening Glow. Shwedagon Temple, Yangon, Myanmar.
5. Dusty Trails. Doi Suthep National Park, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
6. Of Oaks and Vines. MacLeod Vineyards, Sonoma Valley, Kenwood, California, USA.
7. Artfully Done. The Broad Museum, Los Angeles, California, USA.
8. Good Morning, Pinot Country! Youngberg Hill Vineyards & Inn, Willamette Valley, McMinnville, Oregon.
9. Fall Magic. Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, New York, USA.
10. Approaching Winter. Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
11. Temple Run. Angkor Wat 1/2 Marathon. Siem Reap, Cambodia.
12. Perfect Sundowner. Mekong River, Luang Prabang, Laos.
|December 28, 2014||Filed under Year End Gallery||
Happy Holidays to all my friends, family and fellow travelers!
Below are photos capturing 12 of my favorite 2014 experiences.
Wishing you fantastic adventures in 2015!
1. Winter Sea. Lost Coast, California.
2. Afternoon Meditation. Chiang Mai, Thailand.
3. Evening Jog. Near Sukhothai, Thailand.
4. Morning Hike. Koh Phi Phi, Thailand.
5. Cocktail Hour. Sky Bar, Bangkok, Thailand.
6. Golden Apsaras. Angkor Wat, Cambodia.
7. Dining Adventure. Siem Reap, Cambodia.
8. Wine Country Summer. Sonoma Valley, California.
9. East Coast Summer. WaterFire Festival, Providence, Rhode Island.
10. High Desert Grandeur. Ghost Ranch, New Mexico.
11. Monarch Beauty. Esalen Institute, California. (Photo from this year; link to previous year’s blog.)
12. 2014 Christmas Day. San Francisco, California.