Archive | June, 2013

Big Wines on Small Change

Grand Oz Wine Husch Vineyards

We even got a taste of this limited edition bottle during our free tasting at Husch Vineyards

It didn’t take us long to spend the money we saved passing up pricey Napa Valley wine tastings. While we left Napa without purchasing even a single bottle, we didn’t come away empty-handed in another of California’s great wine regions.

The Anderson Valley is more off the beaten path than Napa and Sonoma, further north and harder to reach but well worth the effort. In fact, the effort is part of the fun. Driving from the coastal town of Mendocino we followed a beautifully winding, redwood-lined road that was as much a joy to drive as it was breathtaking to observe.

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Trash Collecting

Glass Beach, Fort Bragg, California

Sea Glass. The colorful, translucent pebbles prized by beachcombers the world over is garbage, or at least it once was before the sea reformed it into something beautiful.

Long ago these precious-looking stones were just ordinary glass from ordinary bottles and jars. That was before some asshat tossed them into the ocean, of course. Once there, the glass was broken and pummeled by the constantly churning surf into rounded, milky stones.

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In Defense of Travel Tours


Tours can allow even independent minded travelers to do things they otherwise could not.

We’re independent travelers who, as a rule, don’t generally sign on to packaged tours. But like all rules, this one is made to be broken.

The conventional case against travel tours is well stated in a recent blog post by Wes Nations (a.k.a. Johnny Vagabond). It’s a view you’ll see time and again in the travel blogosphere: go your own way, flexibility above all, get lost, immerse yourself, avoid the crowds. It’s all great advice, and advice we take to heart, but it really is only half the story.

The other half recognizes that real people face real world constraints in their travels. Tours, despite their well known drawbacks, can play an important and even necessary role in easing those constraints – even for self-proclaimed independent travelers. Here’s how: Read More…

Delightfully Offbeat di Rosa

DiRosa Museum, Napa California

A chair whimsically perched on stilts sits on the edge of Winery Lake, one of some 2,000 works of art at the di Rosa. Tucked among the vineyards in the Napa Valley, the collection is considered the most significant holding of Bay Area art in the world.

A visit to the di Rosa is not a traditional museum-going experience. Guided tours—the only way to see the full collection—combine indoor and outdoor viewing in various areas of the property, once home to vintners and art enthusiasts Rene and Veronica di Rosa, the collection’s founders. The eclectic assortment features everything from painting and sculpture to ceramics and video, created from the 1960s to the present.

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Glen Canyon Dam Bridge

Glen Canyon Dam Bridge

Coconino County, Arizona

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