Japan is a lovely country to visit and one of the most safe places in the world, but it seems to have been built by Japanese, for Japanese.
Hong Kong is a city that continues to reinvent itself. Literally. What they say about weather — if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute — applies to the Hong Kong skyline, and even more so to its harbor. With 7.1 million inhabitants and 55 million visitors per year, Hong Kong is busting at the seams. You’d think there’s nowhere to go but up, but you’d be wrong. There’s always out. Out into the water, that is. It’s called “reclaiming land,” which implies that it is the oceans that are imposing on Hong Kong, not the people.
You’ve never seen a Holiday Inn like this. That’s because it’s the first of its kind in the world — a 5-star version of the faithful franchise.
Like most big cities, Hong Kong offers two very different faces — the westernized hyper commercialism and the old school cultural experience. That doesn’t mean the old school cultural experience isn’t also quite capitalistic, minus brand names, 80-foot neon billboards, and credit card purchases. Do both and you just might understand both where this city came from and where it’s going, because the old school experience won’t be around for much longer.
The nation of Laos, which is tightly wedged between Thailand, Burma, China, Cambodia, and Vietnam, is chock full of breathtaking scenery and a fascinating culture with a hint of French influence. It’s easy to fly there.
Without stepping foot in a casino, there is plenty to entertain visitors of all ages. See for yourself why Macau receives 30 million visitors a year. It’s so much more than the Vegas of the East!
We spent Day 2 of The Great New Zealand Campervan Caper in modern port city of Auckland. We had no agenda and didn’t need one. Strolling from café to café, pub to pub, and exploring the wharf one boat at a time made for a pleasant and picturesque day. We enjoyed cappuccino and gelato at Valentino’s Gelato, savory mussels with Mojitos and beer at The Occidental, and an awesome Margherita at Pizza Fresco, because what’s better than a pizza with a rocket salad on top?
Absent the pretension of Dallas (well, mostly), Austin is not only a college town, but situated in some of Texas’ prettiest hill country, so sometimes we would just drive around enjoying the vistas around Lake Travis. From taking in a sunset at The Oasis restaurant to climbing Mt. Bonnell to stocking up on olives at the first Whole Foods ever, I was endlessly fascinated with Austin’s hipster-before-hipster-was-mainstream DIY vibe.
I’ve been to New York a dozen times, but never completely on my own. I was alone the first night, waiting for my friend Mandy to arrive from upstate on the train the next day. No problem. Have feet, will walk. I found the perfect midtown hotel from which to start my solo journey…
I took my first photography class in November and this is what resulted. The seasoned and snarky Zim of New York Photo Safari urged me to compose thoughtfully and push my angles. I am forever grateful. I highly recommend this class — it pleasantly filled my solo afternoon in Manhattan. And who can beat $100 for private lessons? (There was only one other person in my class.)