.All Trips / North America / South Carolina / Southeastern USA / Travel Talk

Jestine’s Kitchen, Charleston, South Carolina

06 Jestine’s. Okra gumbo

In the past decade or so, Charleston has emerged as a food/foodie travel destination.  On an extended weekend visit to Charleston, we enjoyed superb food every single meal.  Most everything is fried and a little “heavier” than we’re used to, as you’d expect in the south, but we ate well and I’m sure we got onto our planes as we departed somewhat heavier than when we arrived.

One of the more memorable meals we enjoyed in Charleston was at Jestine’s Kitchen, named in honor of Jestine Matthews (a great southern cook).  This restaurant was recommended by the hosts of our B&B accommodation, and also is a recommended by the best online source of great “American food,” roadfood.com.  Jestine’s …

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.All Trips / North America / Oregon / Pacific Northwest / Washington

The Amazing Columbia River Gorge!

Columbia River 3-2006 020  Oneonta Gorge  Beacon Rock in distance.

One of the most scenic road trips anywhere in the world is on the Oregon side of the Gorge, on the Columbia River Highway (I-84), between Portland and the Dalles.  Besides a smooth drive on the freeway, an excellent diversion here is to head up the old Historic Columbia River Highway, a narrow road that twists its way through the mountains and cliffs, past dozens of waterfalls, including the beautiful 620-foot (190 m)  Multnomah Falls.

The Columbia River is one of North America’s longest, at 1200 miles (1930 km) long, starting in southeastern British Columbia, Canada.  The Columbia River Gorge was carved by glacial floods (especially the Missoula Flood) thousands of years ago and is the only sea-level passage through the Cascade Mountain range.  …

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.All Trips / Argentina / South America

Nowhere is a Place: Visiting Patagonia, 2) Laguna Nimez Nature Reserve, El Calafate, Argentina

031 El Calafate Laguna Nimez Nature Preserve 2-2014 001 Hawk

My first Patagonian post was an introduction to the travel hub of El Calafate. Today’s post focuses on the town’s best attraction.  Situated about a mile from downtown El Calafate, very close to the hotel we were staying at, Laguna Nimez Nature Reserve is a beautiful place worth exploring.  It’s especially a prime stop for bird-lovers, but also offers a nice easy hike in a natural setting.  The Reserve is situated at the edge of a great glacial lake, Lago Argentino, and adjoins a suburban neighborhood.  It contains two lagoons, Laguna Nimez and Laguna Secundaria.

The Reserve is fenced off and you enter through a small visitor center where a modest admission fee is charged.  Signage outside the …

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.All Trips / Europe / Wales

St. David’s Cathedral, Wales

03 St. David Cathedral 13

St David’s Cathedral (in Welsh: Eglwys Gadeiriol Tyddewi) is in Pembrokeshire county, the most westerly point of Wales.  The cathedral was built a beautiful spot, lying low in a valley near the ocean, and is an historic place.  Most consider it the finest cathedral in Wales and if you’re in the area, it’s certainly worth visiting.
A Brief history of St. David’s Cathedral:
 A monastic community was founded at this site by St. David, who was its Abbott, and there’s been a church here since the 6th century AD.  St. David died in 589 AD, but his community and the church he started live on, despite many hardships.  St. David is very dear to the Welsh — he’s their …

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.All Trips / Europe / France

Saint Chapelle: A Kaleidoscope of Colors

02 Saint Chapelle

Not nearly as large, well-known or frequently visited as its big sister only a few blocks away (Notre-Dame Basilica), Sainte-Chapelle was hands down my favorite church in Paris.

Sainte-Chapelle (sant-shah-pel) is a truly magnificent site, in my opinion one of the best attractions in Paris.  Situated in Palace of Justice complex (under high security because it adjoins the French Supreme Court) on historic Ile de la Cite’, the island that birthed Paris, the Gothic Church was built by pious King Louis IX in the 13th century. The king had purchased priceless relics of the Passion (including the crown of thorns and a fragment of the cross) from the Byzantine emperor, and wanted an appropriate place to display these relics, …

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.All Trips / Hawaii / North America

“Pic of the Week”, January 30, 2015: Saddle Road, Hawaii

POD 04 Saddle Road Mona Kea

I love a scenic road-trip!  One of the greatest short drives in America is Saddle Road, which crosses between the dry and wet sides of the Big Island of Hawaii, across broad lava flows and the saddle between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, the world’s largest and tallest mountains respectively (base of Mauna Kea is 19000′ below sea level; the part above ocean is 13796′ high).  The drive is best done on a clear day, especially in the morning as it often clouds over in the afternoon.  It’s a windy road but of good quality.  It used to be that not all car rental companies allowed you to take your car rental across it, but the road is so good now …

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.All Trips / Hawaii / North America

Wahiawa Botanical Garden, Oahu

00 Wahiawa Botanical Garden

I’m fond of exploring parks and libraries in the cities I visit, for different reasons.  Libraries are fun because I love and collect books, and because the quality of a city’s libraries tells me a lot about that city’s priorities.  Parks are places of escape, especially appealing in largest busiest cities because I quickly tire of wall-to-wall concrete.  An oasis of green is an amazing balm for the soul.

While visiting Oahu recently we  stopped by the Wahiawa Botanical Garden situated in a small town on the outskirts of Honolulu (and a convenient stop on the way to the Dole Plantation or the North Shore).  It’s one of five small parks under the supervision of the Honolulu Botanical Gardens and is …

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Europe / Ireland

National Museum of Ireland: Archaeology, Dublin

026 Dublin National Museum of Ireland Archaeology — The Tara Brooch, 8th century, Meath Co

Today we’ll pay a visit to the Museum of Ireland: Archaeology, situated on Kildare Street.  The Archaeology Museum is housed in an elegant dome-capped building designed by Thomas Newenham Deane and his son, Thomas Manly Deane, and was opened in 1890.  There are thousands of items on exhibit in the museum (from a collection of more than 2 million artifacts) outlining the unfolding history and treasures of Ireland, a country so very rich in history (less so in treasure).  Despite the extensive collection, the museum is well organized.  It’s easy to navigate and fun to explore.  You’ll need at least a half day for an introductory visit — much longer if you want to linger and thoroughly study the things you’ll …

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