Hello world!

Winter in KY, Jan. 2016

Winter 2016 – photo by Reagen M.

Hello all!  It is about time that I started a travel blog; I should have started this years ago.  I’ll try to update this on a regular basis when I travel.  For now, feel free to contact me or ask any questions about any of the photos or destinations.  I hope you enjoy the blog!

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California All the Way / “Not Japanese”

Somewhere in Utah

Somewhere in Utah

When my friend Tony texted and asked if I was interested in driving with him across the country to San Francisco, I jumped at the opportunity.  I’ve never been to many of the central US states and driving across the country was always something I wanted to do. Tony is in the process of moving to Italy for a year and no longer needed his car–the idea was to drive from NYC to San Fran to sell his car to his mother-in-law and to pick me up in Louisville along the way.

The plan was to break the drive up into 4 days:  Louisville to Kansas City, KC to Laramie, WY, Laramie to Elko, NV then Elko to San Fran.  We were a little concerned with the Laramie snow forecast but it turned out to be a minor storm and all four legs of the trip went swimmingly.

I wish I had some super-thrilling stories to relay but spending most of the time in a car doesn’t typically yield much excitement.  Still, we did have a great time catching up and we did manage to visit many good restaurants and see some things that were a bit out of the ordinary—most notably, a hotel check-in gentleman dressed as a Christmas tree.

Highlights of the trip were:

  • Great barbecue at Jack Stack in Kansas City.
  • Tour of the Lincoln, Nebraska Capitol building.
  • Waking up in Laramie to a minor snow storm.
  • Finally seeing Kansas and Nebraska.
  • The long stretches of emptiness…which were mesmerizing in their own way.
  • Toki Ona restaurant (see more below).
  • Lake Tahoe.
  • Best of all was the Christmas party hosted by Tamaron’s (Tony’s wife) grandmother.  I want to thank Tamaron’s family for making me feel so welcomed and at home.

A special mention goes out to the Toki Ona restaurant in Elko, Nevada.  As we perused Trip Advisor for an eatery in Elko, we stumbled upon a review that described Toki Ona as, “Not Japanese.”   We weren’t sure if that was a contemptuous or flattering remark, but it caught our eye, nonetheless.  It turns out that Toki Ona is a Basque influenced restaurant—who would have guessed such a thing existed in small-town Nevada.  We shared a few dishes and were glad we did–portions were very large and the food turned out to be surprisingly good…definitely not Japanese!

As usual, here are some photos from the trip…enjoy:

Posted in California, Idaho, Kentucky, Midwest, Northwest, US, Utah, West, Wyoming | 2 Comments

Oregon and Washington 2017

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon Beach, Oregon

I am a little late in posting our Oregon and Washington trip update….we got back several weeks ago and haven’t found the time to organize the photos and recollections.  This time around, I organized the photos but I let 12-year-old Reagen M. write the details.  She was supposed to write about the entire trip but she only managed to make it through two days and then gave up.  So, without further ado, here are Reagen’s recollections of the first two days of the trip (with a few corrections from me):

“The first day we were there, we stayed at David’s sister’s house and really didn’t do much because we were tired from the flight and getting up so early.  On Saturday, we woke up and I played tennis at the Seattle Tennis Club at 9:00 AM.  It was a hassle because the tennis club had an all white attire dress code–or at least 2/3 white.  We were running around Friday night trying to find a white shirt and shorts.  We didn’t find anything and figured that we would just go to the pro shop and find something even though it was likely to be expensive.  We found out at the club that it only had to be 2/3 white and that my tennis dress from Athleta was fine.

After tennis, we went on a ferry to Vashon Island.  It was raining so we went inside a restaurant that was known for its biscuits.  Of course we all got a biscuit and they were very good.  Afterwards, we went into a couple of stores and then left.  On Sunday we ate breakfast at Kelly’s in Gig Harbor and drove to the Black Ball Ferry Line in Port Angeles. We didn’t plan to take the car on the ferry because our hotel was right across from the ferry terminal and everything was in walking distance.   The ferry was going to Victoria, Vancouver Island in Canada.  We got there and the hotel was really nice.  They had a lap swimming pool and the room was very nice and modern.

We woke up the next day and walked down to a breakfast place that David said got very good reviews.  It was called Cora’s and he got really mad because when we were almost there, a bunch of old people got off a tour bus and went right in front of us.  The food was fair but the drinks were good.  After breakfast we got back on the ferry and talked to an old guy.”

Well, there are the first two days as scribed by Reagen….scintillating stuff, right?  Hopefully she gets around to documenting the last 5 or 6 days of the trip.

Until then, I leave you with photos of our 8 day adventure:



Posted in Northwest, Oregon, Seattle, US, Washington | Leave a comment

Western & Southern Open – Cincinnati, OH

Garbine Muguruza signing autographs after her win

Garbine Muguruza signing autographs after her win

We drove up the road 90 minutes to Cincinnati to see the finals of the Western & Southern tennis tournament on an extremely hot day. We got to see a bit of the men’s doubles finals and all of the women’s and men’s finals. The women’s final turned out to be a dud as Garbine Muguruza stomped all over Simona Halep, 6-1, 6-0. The men’s final was a bit more competitive as we saw two good sets as Grigor Dimitrov defeated Nick Kyrgios, 6-3, 7-5. The bonus is that Reagen and I were able to get autographs from both winners at the end of each of their matches. A really fun event and I can’t wait to see the renovations to the Lindner Tennis Center they have planned for next year.

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More photos from Maine

Perfect day in Scarborough, ME

Perfect day in Scarborough, ME

Here are some additional pics from our recent trip to Maine.  Includes trip to Belfast, ME, some photos from our summer picnic prep, dinner at Portland’s Back Bay Grill (their #1 restaurant), a visit to an Armenian picnic and, finally, a quick trip to a beach in Scarborough. 

Posted in Maine, Northeast, US | 2 Comments

Maine 2017 – Vinalhaven

Vinalhaven, Maine

Vinalhaven, Maine

It’s great to be back in Maine again and this year we decided to continue our island tour.  This year we decided to head up to Vinalhaven which is a 75 minute ferry ride off the coast of Rockland.  The experience was phenomenal and included an overnight stay in a wonderful AirBNB home owned by Anne and her family from MA.  We were able to fit in a short hike, pre-dinner wine and cheese at the house followed by a great meal at a local restaurant called Salt. 

I know I always say that I will let the photos do the talking but this time it was really tough to take a bad photo….so I will definitely let them do the talking this time around.  I hope you enjoy!

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