August 28, 2008

Spain road trip with Gwyneth Paltrow & Mario

I love Spain and I love road trips. Would you go on one with an actress and a chef? Even if it is filmed in HD? I'm not sure if I would....maybe if the proceeds were for a good cause.

August 26, 2008

Travel Maps or GPS

I'm reading that AAA is leaving the map business and folks are afraid, with the rise of GPS [global positioning systems] the travel map is dead.

My personal take is that maybe with the roadways in California and across the US so well mapped by Google Earth and the like, GPS in cars is actually better than a paper map. I certainly think that for many, it is safer. How many people do you see trying to steer and read a map at the same time, while driving down Highway 101 or 1? And with Costco selling the hand held GPS versions that talk to you while you drive, I bet the Highway Patrol would be glad to see paper maps go away.

My worry will have to wait until I see Michelin getting out of the map business. I love those big orange-red maps that are sold so that a country, like Italy or France, is sold in quadrants.

And I love the laminated city maps from Streetwise! They can get wet, they are concise, and they fold nicely for almost any excursion...bellisimo

I can't think of anything that can replace a colorful walking map of a new city that you are visiting. How many of these have you kept as souvenirs of your holiday?

clipped from
Spain Barcelona location map

blog it

August 24, 2008

Cody Wyoming and Yellowstone

We did a road trip a few years ago and discovered the joy of Yellowstone. We also enjoyed the majestic beauty of the Tetons and all the surrounding areas.

I must admit that if you go, do try and stay in the area for at least a week or more. We did and enjoyed both staying in Jackson as well as in the park of Yellowstone.

Staying in the area is worth it since you will have time to drive and see the entire park area and all the glory of nature and the wild and roaming animals. [be warned, you are responsible for each encounter with a bear or bison etc. they have the right of way and you have to get out of their path if one chooses to take a nap in front of your car]


So this photo is from a side trip to Cody just outside of the park at Yellowstone when we stayed the night at the Lake Hotel. It was so neat to see the sculpture at the near by museum and to buy a little Navajo jewelry.

August 22, 2008


I can't believe it has been almost four years since my first visit to the Big Island of Hawaii.

Volcano Village, Hilo, Akaka Falls, Waipio Valley and all of the Gold Coast. These are the few places that I just loved hanging out at while vacationing. This may be contrary to many visitors [...Pat] who arrive and go straight to Kona and never leave the shoreline, unless it is to pick up a mai tai....

What are your favorite spots?

August 19, 2008

Venice Sunsets

I absolutely loved the pink glass in the street lamps of Venice. While walking along the passeggiata [promenade] that bordered the Canale della Giudecca at sunset, I found this incredible serene atmosphere. The exact opposite feeling that I had while walking along the main canal near the Rialto bridge.

No wonder Woody Allen has a place on this side of town...

See what I mean


If you need a little motivation to get over to Venice yourself or if you just like Woody Allen or Goldie Hawn, enjoy this little clip...

August 17, 2008

Dreaming of Aladdin on the Big Island of Hawaii

Doesn't the bamboo look like a genie's lamp? I loved the parks on the Big Island of Hawaii. There were so many hanging orchids and groves of bamboo that sound almost like the ocean when the wind moves through them.


August 15, 2008

Row row, row your boat...

..gently down Lake Como! Here is a quintessential image from the area, a fellow out from a local rowing club getting his fresh air and exercise. Italian style...isn't it cool that you stand? And I love the shape of the you think they drape something over the top when it rains?


August 12, 2008

Edamame, perfect summer snack

clipped from
pods of edamame
In the hot and humid months in Tokyo, snacks are essential. You are hot. You are sticky. You feel grimy. And having a nice cool drink while eating a light snack outside in a garden setting is ideal, ne?

In the supermarkets I found lots of edamame, often still on the stalk. I never got tired of eating these tasty soybeans with a cold beer or yakitori! Yum and Yum. If you are interesting in learning more about them click here...

Here is the secret recipe:
  1. Cut or tear the beans off the stalks
  2. Take a hand full of salt and rub the pods between your palms
  3. Boil water
  4. After rubbing most of the baby hairs off of the pods with the salt, toss into the boiling water
  5. Wait about 10 minutes or less
  6. Drain
  7. Toss with more salt
  8. Cool off by waving a bamboo or plastic fan across the steaming bowl of cooked bean pods (that free one they gave you at the subway exit advertising the local radio station)

Enjoy!!! Oishiiiiiiiii

August 6, 2008

Shopping in Tokyo: Itoya

One of my absolute favorite places to go in Tokyo is the Itoya store in Ginza. You can find it by the giant red paper clip on the outside of the building when you rise out of the subway station.

The best part is wandering through the many floors filled with beautiful cards and the most amazing display of paper. Beautiful handmade paper. Writing paper. Card stock. All colors of the rainbow, thick texture or thin sheer sheets. And the pens...

August 4, 2008

Grassroots, Alternative Energy, Minifestos

A dear friend at Green Daily shared her minifesto, and here is mine. As a global citizen and fellow traveler, I believe we are all obligated to do our part to care for the world around us. The little steps we take can leave large footprints for future generations. Tell the world the reason why you think we must end our addiction to oil — in 10 words or less.

Share in the satisfaction by creating your own minifesto - set an example for other travelers.

August 1, 2008

Ohanabi Fireworks

Watching the fireworks display in Tokyo at the river near Asakusa along the Sumidagawa was a unique Japanese experience for me. We rode the subway in 90% humidity weather and sandwiched into train cars with enough people to fill a sardine can. People in the states can complain all they want about how full commuter trains are but they have not lived until they have experienced this.

Just ask me.
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