Don’t Ever Forget It

pacific coast big sur sunset shadows

Sometimes when you are away from home or otherwise entirely consumed by a project, you think about how much you love your family and friends and what you would do for a big hug and just a few minutes with them.   Remembering some of my favorite moments helps me cope with it. I'm betting that you have a moment you absolutely loved... when the sun was shining on your face, maybe in the arms of someone you love or with best Read More

My First Vancouver Winter

Seagull footprints on the bottom right!

My first Canadian winter arrived this week! It was late, but undeniable. Vancouver's winter doesn't compare to most other parts of Canada or even the world, but the snow came down for 2 days straight and that was plenty. And yes, even this is extreme by my standards because I live in Southern California. I saw the one thing I hoped for, because I knew I would not see it anyplace else: boats in the marina covered in snow! Read More

Rare & Vibrant Sea Life in Bali

pink and purple ghost pipefish in Bali

My friend Jason left Los Angeles several years ago looking for the ultimate island lifestyle. He became a professional diving instructor in the Philippines and travels in search of the best diving the South Pacific has to offer. He found a real hidden gem in north-eastern Bali, a place called Amed. To this day, Jason is the happiest person I know. Once in a while I enjoy a peek into his world, so I thought you might, Read More

Ruins at the Ocean Shore in San Francisco

San Fran Sutro Baths Road Trip West Coast Shore Flowers  Artistic

On my west coast road trip I came across Sutro Baths, definitely something I wasn't expecting. Looking over the ruins was fascinating to me, and a bit eerie at the same time. The baths opened in 1896 as the world's largest indoor swimming pool establishment. Through an elaborate system of pools, tunnels and pumps, swimming pools were filled by ocean tides! Two acres of glass arched over steam-heated pools, restaurants, a Read More

Lake Hollywood, The Road Less Traveled

Hollywood sign from the path at Hollywood Lake

Hollywood Reservoir, also known as Lake Hollywood, is a definite hidden gem. Most people visit for the paved, flat, pedestrian trail extending a 3.2 mile loop around the perimeter of the reservoir. It's enjoyed by joggers, walkers and bicyclists every single day.  The walk is peaceful and you'll see some great views of Lake Hollywood, Los Angeles and the Hollywood sign. Most people who visit for the first time ask Read More

Why Owls Bring Good Luck

Close up of japanese owl

I just returned from Japan where I noticed that in modern Japanese culture many people carry an owl charm. Apparently they do this because the owl symbolizes luck and protects them from suffering.  Through history in ancient Greece, Asia and America, owls have been a symbol of wisdom and magic. They are also unquestionably gorgeous, and mysterious in my opinion. But why are they lucky in Japanese culture?  Here's the Read More

Sweet & Savory Recipe: Moroccan Bastilla the Easy Way

moroccan bastilla pie

When I started getting interested in cooking, I signed up for a local cooking class with my mom. The only class available was for Moroccan cuisine. Not only did I have no idea what Moroccan cuisine was, I had never cooked a meal in my life. Heck, I even screwed up boiling eggs. It was the New School of Cooking in Culver City, and we turned out several yummy Moroccan dishes. I was surprised. One dish stood out as my Read More

Los Olivos Wine Tasting Getaway

Los Olivos Carhartt Tasting Room Exterior Wine Country Getaway Discounts

I just got home from visiting Los Olivos, a town in the Santa Ynez Valley just 2 hours north of Los Angeles.  I love the quiet there; the great food and wine keep me coming back. I had some great 'firsts' on this visit and I wanted to share them with you. I think these gems are definitely worth checking out. I finally got to check out the Carhartt Wine Tasting Room in Los Olivos. This is a popular one with the Read More

World Famous Apple Pie – Weekend in Julian, CA

Julian Famous Apple Pie Local Fruits Best in Town San Diego Travel Destination

  Julian is a little town in the mountains about an hour from San Diego, California. It is especially picturesque if you are lucky enough to get a bit of snow, pretty common in the winter season. Actually, Julian has become a very popular getaway destination, one reason being that they have four distinct seasons. Julian was a gold mining town in the 19th century. It's actually a registered California Historical Landmark. Read More

Ten Reasons Québec is the Winter Wonderland of Your Dreams

Mont Tremblant Quebec Canada

This is the photo that ignited my day dreaming and caused me to book a trip to Quebec. I spent weeks chasing down the photo and getting permission to use it because hope you too, will feel the charm that it's oozing. One of the greatest places to visit in the winter is Québec City's Old Town; what a true fairytale destination. It's no surprise that CNN ranked Québec City among the top ten places in the world to celebrate the Read More