Month: August 2016

Spectacular Hong Kong skyline from Victoria Harbor waterfront

While my wife and I were wandering along the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade during a 17-hour layover in Hong Kong (we were on our way home to San Francisco following an adventure in mainland China), I became entranced. I, like most others out that night, could not tear my gaze from the colorful and dramatic skyline of Hong Kong Island across the busy waters of Victoria Harbor.

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Sea to Summit UltraLight Insulated Mat a comfy travel solution

Backpacking anywhere in the world is a great way to escape the everyday life on your travels. But these days there are parts of everyday life I don’t want to leave behind – like a little sleeping comfort with as little carrying weight as possible. The Sea to Summit UltraLight Insulated Mat is a superior solution that manages that fine balance between ultralight and comfort when you are traveling, by foot, by car, by plane, or however (P.S. Don’t forget the Air Stream Dry Sack Pump to inflate it, but more on that later). The Sea to Summit UltraLight...

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Wagging Bambi tails at Jardin des Plantes in Paris

Paris is a city that is filled with parks – more than 400 — from postage stamp size ones on street corners to sprawling green spaces, like the Jardin des Plantes with its 28 hectares (69 acres) that were first planted in 1626. The most beautiful thing about this plant-filled wonderland for visitors? It’s free.

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‘You don’t go to Tucson to eat pizza’ and other Baty blues wisdom

Traveling blues guitarist Charles Baty (“Little Charlie and the Nightcats”) and his fellow musicians with the Golden State-Lone Star Revue are on the road yet again – now in the Southwest, Northwest and California (wait, where did that one gig in Illinois come from?) This round, he and band members Mark Hummel, R.W. Grigsby, Wes Starr and Anson Funderburgh will be not only turning clubs into hot blues joints, but also some outdoor festivals.

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Creative, tasty meals at Ogi Deli in Elko, Nevada

When you’re driving along Interstate 80 across frequently spectacular yet periodically desolate Nevada desert, eatery choices can be, well, less than inviting. So when we first found this amazing deli in Elko – now called Ogi Deli, but it was “2 Dames and a Deli” when we discovered it – we were utterly delighted.

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Historic Gold Rush town Michigan Bluff off beaten path

Situated at about the halfway point of the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, Michigan Bluff is a California Gold Rush town so tiny nobody even bothers to count how many people live there. Could be about 20. Give or take. An old mining hamlet that once teemed with thousands of gold-seeking pioneers, this is what they call in true Old West cowboy slang a “one-horse town.” No, there’s not much there, but that’s what makes it charming and worth a stop for a hike or a walk when in the Sierra Nevada Gold Country.

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Haunting history on Berlin Underground tours

Underground city tours always seemed to be a tourist come-on to me, but then I discovered Berlin Underground tours. Not a for-profit business, not a tour that drops you off in a gift shop, not a tour that starts in a bar and highlights raucous partying, this is the real deal in Berlin’s Underground.

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GSI Commuter Javapress travel coffee mug

All-in-one press travel coffee mugs can sometimes be awkward to use with that press rod handle that sticks out of the top – or, after pressing, sits in the middle of the mug. “Intrusive,” as GSI calls it, and that is so right. For efficient packing of a travel coffee mug in suitcases or packs, it’s nice to also fill empty spaces, like mug interiors, for example with your bagged tea or ground coffee. How nice it would be to eliminate that rod in the middle. Thanks to GSI for “perfecting” this press concept, making the Javapress Mug ($22.95)...

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