After talking about visiting Yosemite for long enough, availability aligned, and we made a reservation for three weeks later. We left on Friday right after work. So by the time we had arrived, it was long past dark. The climb through the mountains and the following descent to the valley floor were obvious as we drove, but all the majestic beauty had simply faded into black. The valley walls that John Muir, champion and protector of Yosemite, had described as “mountains in size,” and “so compactly and harmoniously arranged … that the Valley, comprehensively seen, looks like an immense hall or temple lighted from above.” Those walls would have to wait, at least until the next morning. Or so I thought. Mother Nature had other plans.
I travel a lot for business and for pleasure, and my most frequent destination (by far) is Dallas, Texas. This isn’t news to anyone who’s been reading here for a while. Dallas is home. Newer readers might not know that I even tried to maintain two homes for a little while — one in Dallas and one in San Francisco. I wasn’t ready to let go of Dallas, but I craved more time in San Francisco.
Ultimately, I came to the conclusion over the course of many months that living this split life wasn’t workable for me. Now I live in San Francisco full time, but I still get back to Dallas quite a bit, usually every 6 to 8 weeks. All this back and forth convinced me that I needed to find a way to make my travel to Dallas simpler.
February is celebrated as a month filled with love and romance, but because I’m somewhat ambivalent about Valentine’s Day itself, I’ve decided to skip it here and write about Paris instead. If there’s a more romantic city in the world, I haven’t seen it yet. I’ve visited Paris a handful of times since my first trip for my 20th birthday while studying…
On our last night in the canyon before heading back to solid cell service and reality via Phoenix, we decided to postpone dinner to watch the lingering sunset at Mather Point. Having spent four days in the bottom of the canyon away from the crowds, we didn’t mind enjoying the sunset with throngs of other tourists at Mather Point — the first viewpoint you can stop at from the South Rim entrance of the national park. I came to the Grand Canyon as someone who wasn’t automatically moved by this desert landscape. My one previous visit had been a quick, wave-at-the-canyon kind of trip. So this time I wanted to understand what all the fuss was about.
“When a great adventure is offered, you don’t refuse it.” ~ Amelia Earhart
When a good friend suggested I join her on a backpacking trip into the Grand Canyon on our shared birthday, I jumped at the chance. It was just what I was looking for — a refreshingly a new type of adventure.
This was my first backpacking trip, sleeping in tents and going without showers for four days. Right from the get-go, Teri told me the trip would involve carrying 30-35 lb packs on the 10 mile hike from the trailhead down to the campground and back up the canyon walls, an elevation of more than 2000 feet. Then she gushed about how excited she was to see Havasu Falls and how she’d been wanting to take this trip for 20 years. I knew exactly nothing about Havasupai and Havasu Falls.
Spending Thanksgiving in San Francisco this year meant less time devoted to travel and much more downtime. Last weekend that led to catch-up phone calls with family across the country and lots time for reflection, almost an early year-end review.
Early in the year, I started keeping track of what I was grateful for using an app called Lift. I really enjoyed the act of stopping for a moment (often on the bus) to think about what I was grateful for on that day, in that exact moment. I didn’t over think it either. It was more of a stream of consciousness exercise.
Somehow, I’ve kept up the habit for most of the year with intermittent streaks of more than 30 days in a row. (Right now, I’m on day 34 of a new streak!) It hadn’t occurred to me when I started doing this how much fun it would be to look back on the year through this lens.
There’s a fine line between scary and exciting. The first feeling that starts to bubble up in the pit of your stomach is the same, but it can easily go either way from there.
I say that I travel to see and learn about new places, immerse myself in a new culture, and meet interesting new people. That’s all true. I’d happily travel around the world just to see a beautiful piece of art or to try a specific dish in the region where it’s originally made, but my real motivations are much deeper than that.
After two failed attempts, I finally made it to Tahoe last weekend. It was beginning to get embarrassing to have to admit that I hadn’t been yet, after two full years of living in San Francisco. The disbelief in people’s eyes was genuine (a bit ridiculous, but genuine), and I was excited to finally see…
It’s not hard to like Portland. It’s almost automatic actually. Even if you never leave downtown, the people are incredibly friendly, the food is great (more on that), and there’s never a dull moment. If you do happen to leave the city and venture out to enjoy some of the beautiful scenery nearby, you may never want to…
This year before heading to WDS 2014 I was bound and determined to see more of Portland and at least a couple of the beautiful spots nearby. So I arrived a couple days early to explore on my own. After my painfully early flight touched down, I picked up my rental car and headed directly…