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.)
I had never stumbled upon Pershing Square before but I couldn’t resist the turn-of-the-century charm of neon lights. Food wasn’t bad either. I felt like I was lunching in the dining car of a locomotive.
Shooting at Grand Central Station is a no-brainer. It’s both a fully functional transportation hub and an architectural masterpiece. Shout-out to my friend Mandy, who made me look good despite not being a professional photographer. I feel very “Sherlock” in this trench, which is always a good thing. So glad Benedict Cumberbatch and Co. are back on PBS with Season 3. It’s all the wit, arrogance, and genius of Sherlock Holmes without the gratuitous violence of “Elementary” (love Jonny Lee Miller; hate the gore).
Cairns city center is a hip metropolis jam-packed with shops and cuisine of every kind. Walking around downtown Cairns affords opportunities to shop, dine, and even swim in the manmade lagoon (the surrounding ocean contains stinging jelly fish so heed warning signs). Pick up plump, red strawberries at Rusty’s Weekend Produce Market, then stop to…
Must-see & do in Big D
Lose Your Voice at a Mavs Game My brother Gabe, an avid Mavs fan, and I enjoyed every minute of the Kobe-less Lakers vs. Mavs at American Airlines Center. It’s a beautiful Deco-inspired stadium in downtown Dallas with first class accommodations. There’s truly no bad seat in the house. I splurged on seats that allowed me…
Since Tokyo is often a layover on international flights to and from Guam, make the most of your time to experience the sights, sounds, and flavors of this cosmopolitan Asian city.