Sunset over Mountains at Lake Arrowhead

Lake Arrowhead_sunset over San Bernadino Mountains

Camera: Sony NEX-3N Iso: 200 Focal Length: 28mm Aperture: f/6 Exposure Time: 1/20 On the route between Los Angeles and Lake Arrowhead, along the CA-18 Highway, you'll have several chances to soak up the sweeping vistas of San Bernardino National Forest. As I watched the fiery sun fall below the horizon, "blue hour" lasted no more than five minutes, casting a moody blue light over the mountains. It was an appropriate end Read More

Crystal Cove, Newport Coast California

crystal_cove_binocuars

The coastal California getaway known as Crystal Cove is about as hidden as it gets; driving along the Pacific Coast Highway you would never know what awaits below unless you've been there. Each year, over 25,000 visitors stay here in California's last surviving historic beach community which flourished from 1935 to 1955. It is an excellent spot for families exploring the tide pools, cocktails with friends, passing through on a Read More

Ten Excellent Paris Tea Rooms

tea time in Paris_roses and pastry at Carette

Tea. Pastries. Paris. Here is my collection of the best Paris tea rooms:   Mariage Freres Parisian tea room first opened in 1854, having been France's oldest tea importer dating back to 1660. It's hard to miss with their dozen tea emporiums in Paris, four of which have tea rooms and 500 varieties of tea. The original tea room in the Marais has a calm atmosphere and colonial decor, where experts will help you choose Read More

Flavors of Indonesia: Balinese Cooking Class in Ubud, Bali

Rice fields in Ubud Bali

A town located in central Bali, Ubud is popularly known as ‘The Center of Art of Culture’. It was described to me as a town made up of small villages, each of which specializes in a different creative art: silver and jewelry, basket weaving, oil painting, batik and textiles, and some seriously amazing wood carving. I am so glad I didn’t hesitate when deciding where to spend most of my time in Bali. In fact, I extended my stay Read More

Off the Beaten Path in Paris: The Grand Mosque

Paris Grand Mosque mosaic fountain

With Paris being today's most popular tourist destination in the world, you wouldn't think there are any 'hidden' gems to speak of. I however, may have found one courtesy of my culture-loving Parisian friends whom I visited recently. Do you know of Le Jardin des Plantes, the 69-acre botanical garden in the 5th arrondissement? Across the street from that garden is a little oasis where we spent an afternoon sipping mint tea and Read More

Adventure Travel and Photography in Nepal

yak delivery train Nepal

While this scheduled post was prepared before recent earthquakes in Nepal, I thought you should see with your own eyes some of the beauty of this region and it's people. Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of those effected. Today we celebrate their people and culture, their guides, and the incredibly breathtaking piece of this planet they share with visitors from across the world. Intense and harsh landscapes, Read More

Magical Glass Domes of Paris, France

View of the Eiffel Tower from the Deli-Cieux café at Printemps Haussmann, Paris.

Paris will surprise you, even while letting you play out your fantasy of strolling through The City of Light or people-watching at Parisian cafés. For example, have you ever come across a place so beautiful that you wondered how on earth the locals pass by like it's just normal? These historic department stores in Paris are amazing hidden gems, and that's exactly how they made me feel. Few visitors know that beyond their Read More

Chicago’s Stunning Night Skyline

Chicago bean at night smurfit-stone building

Hi Friends! I've recently returned from Chicago where my nephew graduated from college (!). Together we went on a photography excursion to capture the beauty of the city at night. It's really the most stunning skyline I've ever seen. We had a lot of fun running around getting shots from the beach, bouncing bridges, rooftop bars, and the 100-story Hancock Building. Did you know that at night little bunny rabbits run Read More

Tiptoe Through the Tulips

Skagit-best-tulip-festival-red-yellow-residence-tulip-fields

This spring I made it to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Washington state, a must-see experience for anyone who loves nature. If you are doing a road trip in April, make sure this is on your list! Important note to Vancouver residents: it's only a 2 hour drive from Vancouver and is well worth the trip. Keep reading, because this isn't just a springtime getaway. I arrived there on a Friday afternoon in mid April (zero Read More

Kimono Fashion Show in Kyoto, Japan

fashion show red silk kimono

Travelers interested in Japanese art and culture will appreciate the Nishijin Textile Center in Kyoto, a large facility showcasing the techniques of Nishijin textile making, developed over 1,000 years of Kyoto's history. They also perform a fashion show featuring stunning silk woven kimonos with designs representing the current season. My visit was in January, so the kimonos above depict the winter season and transition into Read More