“Pic of the Week”, August 28, 2015: Surf and Turf

01 Newport Beach Crystal Cove State Park

I love spending time in Newport Beach, one of the Orange County beaches in Southern California.  A major reason for this is beautiful Crystal Cove State Beach, a 3 mile stretch of natural beach just north of Laguna Beach.  I’ve walked the length of that beach many times.

One time while walking along the cliffs overlooking the beach we came across this artist who was doing a rather nice job painting the rugged coast.  The middle photo below shows his subject matter.

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.All Trips / Hawaii / North America

Hapuna Beach Prince Resort, Hawaii

043 Hapuna Prince 10-2014

One of my favorite places to travel is the Big Island of Hawaii.  Where else can you find the tallest mountains in the world, the most active volcano in the world, and a surreal landscape of lava flows, desert vegetation, coffee plantations and tropical jungle?  The Big Island and its welcoming, friendly people never cease to amaze me.

I try to visit or attend medical meetings on the island whenever feasible.  One of the meetings I enjoy and learn a lot from is held regularly at a wonderful resort known as the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.  This resort was opened on the Kohala coast (rainshadow side of the island) 20 years ago, twinned with the Mauna Kea Resort on 1839 …

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.All Trips / California / Southwestern USA

Crystal Cove State Park, Newport Beach, California

Crystal Cove State Park 3-2014 (7)

   
        “They call it paradise, I don’t know why.                   
        You call some place paradise, kiss it goodbye. ”

                                  The Eagles

There’s a lot of great reasons to visit sunny Southern California.  It has a near perfect Mediterranean climate with months of sunny dry days.  There’s lots of fascinating sights to see, like those centered around the movie industry and the many family theme parks (Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Legoland).  But you’ll certainly not find solitude here and there are very few “wide open spaces” left in the …

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.All Trips / Europe / France

A visit to Normandy: exploring the D-Day beaches

D-Day Beaches 2013-001a intro

True to its history, our visit to the coast of Normandy was cool, windy and wet — but that’s how it’s been for thousands of years.  Many an armada was delayed in leaving or landing on these shores because of inclement weather, including the D-Day attack which had to be postponed one day to June 6, 1944 because of poor weather conditions.

We spent two days exploring the D-Day sites, not an exhaustive visit but enough time to gain a perspective of the region you can’t get from books or films.  Our goal was to see the different fronts of the invasion and gain a first-hand understanding of the scale of the largest naval assault in world history.  And we came …

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.All Trips / Europe / Iceland

An all too brief visit of South Iceland

south-iceland-2013-001intro

Only a single day was left on this visit to Iceland, not nearly enough time but I did want my wife to see more of South Iceland.  Most travelers think the Southern part of Iceland has the country’s best and most dramatic scenery — from lovely waterfalls, recently erupted volcanoes, large glaciers (one with a very memorable glacial lagoon), to vast stretches of people-less space.

Of greatest importance was to get Sylvia on the back of an Icelandic horse and on a trail ride.  The staff at our hotel in Fludir recommended a nearby stable (one of dozens around South Iceland), so we headed there for the morning.  Sylvia had a wonderful ride on these small smooth-gaited horses (which she will …

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.All Trips / Hawaii / North America

The Valley Island of Maui: 1) Introduction and West Maui

West-Maui-2013-001-intro

There are few destinations that evoke more traveler’s fantasies than the Hawaiian islands; of these, Maui is thought by many as THE island to visit.  I have a genuine fondness for the Big Island, one of my favorite travel destinations, but Maui certainly is in the same league.  Most definitely worthy of your time and energy.

Hawaii is among the most remote places in the world, farther from any continent than most anywhere.  As such, it always takes many hours of flying (or an incredibly long boat journey) to get there.  For us it’s a six hour trip from Portland but it’s always a worthwhile trip.  As our plane approaches Kahului Airport from the south — as do …

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.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

Southern California is at its best in the winter

Southern California is at its best in the winter

Our family lived in Southern California for several decades before moving to Eastern Washington in 2004.  We enjoyed our life in the Sunny Southland but felt it was time to leave — and we have no regrets about this decision.  We still love to travel to SoCal, especially in the winter, as it is the best time of year to visit.  The temperatures are pleasant (usually mid-60s — while the rest of the country is chilly), the sky blue and dotted with fluffy clouds (not gray and opacified by smog), and the hills are lush and green (not brown tinder like they’ll be late summer).

We own a timeshare in Newport Beach, which we bought almost a decade ago.  The Marriott Newport Coastal Villas is a …

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.All Trips / Asia / Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: A Land Like No Other (Part 12) The Beaches

Sri Lanka — 12) The Beaches

Sri Lanka is intimately tied to the sea.  As a tropical island, only a few degrees north latitude of the equator, there are dozens of lovely warm beaches by which you can relax.  Some like to swim, some like to scuba dive or snorkel, some enjoy sitting in a palm grove or lying on a towel and listening to the sound of the surf hitting a coral reef or washing up on white sand.   I love the sea but am not a “beach bum”.  I’d rather explore as much of a destination as possible than be sedentary.   But for those who want a leisurely vacation on a tropical beach, Sri Lanka is an excellent destination.  It’s home to a large number of beach hotels and many fancy resorts which are mostly …

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