December 31, 2007

Walton, Nebraska

December 29, 2007

Grand Canyon near Point Sublime

December 28, 2007

December 23, 2007

December 20, 2007

Yosemite in Winter

A morning walk across a bridge brought us this beautiful view of the river in Yosemite Valley.

December 19, 2007

Winter in Yosemite

Yosemite Falls in January..

December 17, 2007

Amazing Reefs in Australia

Coral reefs are a unique wonder that the earth is losing. I think seeing them from this height illustrates their magnitude and impact.

We hope all who see this photo will be inspired to do their part when they travel. And protect the coral reefs in Australia and elsewhere. Thanks S.K. for these photos from your helicopter flight!

December 16, 2007

Wild West

Look what we saw while staying at Yosemite Lodge....

December 14, 2007

Lost in Translation

This scene is on the busy streets of Tokyo, which I miss sometimes. You can get lost in Tokyo so easily. There are lots of shops, high rises and new sights to overwhelm a seasoned traveller.

I have lots of photos to post on Japan, but today I wanted to post this video clip. It translates the whispered words of Bill Murray to Scarlett. Finally! I am so happy. Watch it if you want to be inspired to travel to Tokyo and if you were always curious what he said.....enjoy!

December 13, 2007

December 11, 2007

Koala in Australia

My special roving photographer strikes again! Thanks S.K.

December 10, 2007

Heart Reef, Great Barrier Reef

Beautiful photo from Australia and S.K.

December 9, 2007

Aloha Santa!

Christmas in the town of Koloa on the island of Kauai, Hawaii!

December 8, 2007


The little piggies running here are from the mountains around Tucson, and they are called Javalinas. They are similar to a boar and often wander down into the neighborhoods of Tucson looking for food.

December 7, 2007

Australia's beaches

Whitehaven Island at high tide...lovely snap by S.K.

December 5, 2007

Naps are a treat when traveling

One of the best ways to savor a vacation or any excursion is to simply settle down for a snooze. A sweet luxury that allows you to relax and soak up your new surroundings.

Thanks S.K. for sharing this.

December 4, 2007

Boat houses at Morninton Peninsula

Guess which intrepid special friend and traveler has been down under recently?

Hint: Thanks S.K.

December 3, 2007

The New Acropolis Museum!

clipped from
New Acropolis Museum
It was the biggest prize in architecture - and its creator took on earthquakes, hostile locals and 104 court cases.

Amazing isn't it? The visit to Athens to see this would be a cornerstone of my travels.

...a geometrical marvel dedicated to the celebration of antiquity - was funded by Greece's ministry of culture and the EU. The building is complete, though its display of magnificent Athenian art, some 4,000 ancient artefacts in all, won't be finalised until next summer.

December 2, 2007

Paddle Cactus

Also known as Nopales Cactus, you can eat them!

December 1, 2007

Picacho Peak State Park

The prominent landmark Picacho Peak rises majestically 1,500 feet above the Sonoran Desert floor about 35 miles northwest of Tucson just off Interstate 10. Hiking, camping and picnicking are the preferred pastimes here.

(I took this photo from Interstate 10 as we drove by)

The origins of the landform are apparent, as the peak is surrounded by an extensive lava field. The place name is redundant: "picacho" means "peak" in Spanish.

The park is known for beautiful wildflowers that appear in April and early May following a good showing of the seasonal winter rains.

November 30, 2007

Doug McConnell and OpenRoad TV

One of my favorite hosts that drives a Jeep around the Bay Area backroads, is now hosting a new online travel site and video blog called

There are lots of great stories and resources for places around the Bay Area and around the country! I guess you can teach this old dog new tricks! Good luck Doug!

November 29, 2007

I'm a Pepper

This is how they decorate Southwestern style for the holidays. Very colorful against the desert background.

November 28, 2007

Chef's Garden

Some yummy kale from the hotel garden we stayed at in Tucson...

November 27, 2007

Saguaro at night

Up close and personal, the saguaro cactus knows how to protect itself in the Sonoran desert.

November 26, 2007

Desert Living

The many snow birds that come to Tucson for six months live here in the cute mobile home park. They are very friendly and easy to spot with their out of state license plates.

November 25, 2007

Cactus at night

Out walking at night, we captured a different view of the desert.

November 24, 2007

Santa Catalina Mountains

Aren't the mountains pretty? I love the colors here. This is one of a few ranges that surround Tucson.

November 23, 2007

Purple Cactus

We spent Thanksgiving in Tucson, Arizona. Here is one of the lovely cactus along the drive onto the hotel property.

November 13, 2007

Aussie Tea Tree

Have you ever seen this shrub before? It is Australian Tea Tree but this photo was taken in California not Australia or New Zealand where it is a native plant.

I read that Leptospermum is the same plant used in the oil for aromatherapy. Nice!

November 12, 2007

November 11, 2007

Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrowers

I just spent a few hours wine tasting in Lodi, California. Yes, Lodi. For those of you who are from the Bay Area and know the Central Valley, you may or may not be thumbing your nose at me right now. Sniffing into your hand and muttering "what did you drink, swill? Rot gut?" Actually, no. We did not.

This area is sort of like Napa about 40 years ago, or Anderson Valley about 15-20 years ago. However since they do not yet have the branding or public relations of Napa and Sonoma, their wines and vineyards are still relatively unknown outside the area. Here are two of the better places we tasted some yummy red wine at:

November 10, 2007

November 9, 2007

Destination: The Ferry Building

I love the Ferry Building in San Francisco. It is located at the base of Market Street, along the Embarcardero. One of my favorite things to do is wander the long hall, stopping at the various shops and see what sort of new gift ideas I can come up with for the holidays. All of the vendors there are top shelf.

Photo credit: S.F. Castellanos

I highly recommend stopping by here any day of the week. You can get here many different ways, but if you have the time a very S.F. way to arrive is by historic streetcar. The F Market line that runs along Market Street is a slice of history. This municipal line runs nothing but vintage trolleys from around the world. My favorite is the bone shaking Milano streetcars. They are orange, LOUD and have varnished wooden bench seats inside. This adds a fun element to your journey since the shaking of the trolley car with the slick varnish can cause you to vibrate down your row until you bump up against a fellow passenger. For you singles, rather than being embarrassed, this could be a way to meet locals or other tourists.....just a thought.

November 8, 2007

A Day in Barcelona

If I had a day in Barcelona my top five would include walking the Las Ramblas, enjoying tapas, going to the Gaudi park (known as Parc Guell) with its incredible colors and waiting in line for a tour of the Picasso Museum.

My Top Five things to do:

  1. Picasso Museum
  2. Tapas for lunch
  3. Parc Guell
  4. La Ramblas stroll
  5. Tapas again for dinner!

Did you know tapas means a portion of food, a nibble usually savoury, it can be anything from olives to meat balls. In England tapas used to be the pickled eggs and roast potatoes some pubs served on Sundays. Until 20 years ago it was very common for a bar to give one tapa for every drink you bought, and in some parts of Spain they still do that.

November 7, 2007

Puerta Vallarta

This is a great winter getaway though we went over Valentines..a walk along the malecón is wonderfully relaxing..enjoy the shopping in the markets too! Where we stayed we encountered little yellow birds that would fly into a pepper bush near our apartment and eat only the red ones! They did it so fast that I was amazed they could miss the green ones. Hey, when I'm on vacation without television, I will take any form of entertainment.

We also took the bus south the see where they filmed Night of the Iguana, and John Huston's spot.
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