Morning Retreat at Kauai’s Hindu Monastery


One could say that visiting Kauai is a spiritual experience. Just being on the island really is a breath of fresh air for the mind, body and spirit. Among Kauai's abundant hidden gems is a (very) quietly tucked away Hindu Monastery and for me, no Kauai trip is complete without a morning there. While it's not a touristy place, all visitors are welcome to benefit from the peaceful and spiritual settings whether for reflection, Read More

The Iconic Griffith Observatory

Griffith_Observatory-south view

I practically grew up at Griffith Park in Los Angeles. I remember Earth Day celebrations in the park where I planted tree saplings with my Dad, walked the forest trails and became totally mesmerized by that giant swaying ball in the Griffith Observatory lobby. Seriously, I would watch it for hours trying to decide if it was swaying from the Earth's magnetic pull or rather some machine in the ceiling. While there is much to Read More

Authentic Old-Time Chicago: Vesecky’s Bakery

Veseckys Bakery Chicago

With my extended family hailing from the Chicago suburbs, I've come to appreciate one of the most thoughtful gifts you can send someone whom is from Chicago: edible treats from Vesecky's Bakery. If you're from Chicago and Vesecky's was not an institution in your family, it probably should have been and consider that hereby rectified. Vesecky's is a small, 100-years-old authentic Czech bakery in the Chicago suburb of Berwyn, Read More

Dramatic Skies in Hanalei Valley, Kauai

Kauai storm clouds over Hanalei valley

Our beloved "Garden Isle" would not be the lush and tropical island we know, were it not for it's heavy rainfall. The north shore of Kauai sees an average of 250 inches of rain per year which is over half of the recorded annual rainfall in the wettest place on earth (Mawsynram, India which sees 467 inches of rainfall per year). On a recent visit to Kauai I joined a small group with Kauai Photo Tours that began in the east Read More

Iceland: Landscapes That May Change Your Life

Iceland Travel Colin Feist

Talented photographer and friend of mine, Colin Feist, set out on a 10-day Iceland trip which he says changed him. After I watched his 4-minute film of the Icelandic scenery, it is abundantly clear why. It is some of the most evocative imagery I have ever seen. Do yourself a favor and watch it below. Iceland Filming Locations Iceland is one of those places that you have to be there in person to truly appreciate. In Read More

Secrets of the Paris Hotel Las Vegas

Paris hotel Las Vegas

From discounted rooms and show tickets, to the best views and best places to eat, please enjoy these lesser known tips to maximize your visit at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas. Get the Best Paris Hotel Rates Current promotions are offering $59/night but if you ever find a cheaper rate than what you find at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel website they will match it and throw in an extra 10% off. If you are staying for more than one Read More

Best Picnic in Napa

Rutherford Hill Winery Picnic

One of the best ways to soak up the scenery in Napa Valley is to have a picnic, and the best advice I can give you is to stock up at Oakville Grocery and head to one of the wineries mentioned below for some fantastic wine. Oops, did I say wine?  Lunch, I meant lunch. Oakville Grocery originally opened in 1881 and is the oldest continually operating grocery store in California. I always find fantastic new things to try, and Read More

Vegas Detour: Up Close with Wild Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep by Lake Mead

Next time you visit Las Vegas, take a short detour and enjoy a front row seat to watch grazing desert bighorn sheep in the wild, with a beautiful setting of Lake Mead in the background. At Hemenway Park in Nevada, just 30 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, these wild animals come down from the hills each day to feed on the lawns they have been frequenting for over 30 years. The size of the herd varies, but 40 to 50 sheep are a Read More

The Giraffe Whisperer – Safari West

Zebra Herd

As the hot sun beat down, I sat on the top deck of an old diesel safari truck when a giraffe approached and stopped about two feet from my face. I lowered my camera to get a better look at him and, curious about my face, I felt his breath as he tried to get a good sniff of me. Surely he smelled the wine I had just tasted an hour earlier in Napa Valley. I’m at Safari West, an authentic African wildlife preserve in Santa Read More