California wine drives

Wine. Don’t you just love it? That genius who found a way to make this beverage in northern Iran surely deserves to have a monument in our opinion. Now we are not advocating drinking, but neither are we probitionists. We believe a little moderation is key, like most things in life.

Some places in the world are blessed with the right combination of climate, soils and other geological attributes (water, landform etc) in which the fruit from which most wines are derived can flourish. Today we have wines from so many other fruits, but that is a story for another day.

You might have read in one of the back issues of our newsletter about where Shiraz wines hail from. Well, today we are sharing with you not that story, but one of our adventure into the famed California wine district of Napa. It has been unfortunate last year we saw so much damage in and around the area from the fires, and we hope it is recovering.

Responsible drinking.

That will be mentioned countless times and we are sure you agree with us. Do you need to go on a wine tour with some of the operators out there? Or can you craft out a DIY schedule for yourself? We did the latter and combined it with a dose of touristic activities. We really enjoyed the short road trip. Read the full transcript of our little drive here.

Have you wine toured Napa before?

What to see in SFO in 36 hours

Ah yes.

Walking the Golden gate bridge. One of the must dos when in San Francisco and the bay area right? You know the city was really windy to us. In fact, so much that even in the blazing sun of June we felt it could have been winter. Did you have that experience too?

And hilly. That was quite another thing. Because someone told us not to drive in the city. Why? Because it’s hard to find parking. Because it’s terrible traffic. Because there’s good public transport. So we took the well intentioned advise, parked the car in a garage downtown and walked, and took the tram where we could.

Well guess what?

After clocking nearly 20km (that’s ~12.5 miles), our legs were sore. Now they say something about Dutch ladies having really well toned ahem because they ride bicyles all the time. So what do San Franciscans have? Toned legs? You bet if you had to walk like that all the time since the trams don’t drop you right at the point you want to be all the time.

Our short story here tells you just a little of what you might consider if you only have a short time in the city while our journalog tells you what we did. What would be your choice of things to do?

Feasting on lobsters

We pride ourselves in finding some of the best deals when it comes to seafood. Not in our little red dot but outside of it. Because it is simply too high priced in our opinion, along with a basket of other things… but we digress. The point of today’s post is to share with you how you can affordably feast on some of the world’s best lobsters.

Yes. The world renown Boston lobster.

Now why they gave it that name we don’t know. And folks in Maine might dispute that… But we know these species of lobster with its large claws is native to an entire stretch of coast all along the New England states. So plentiful that at one time workers in this area would detest it! Yep, unions in the late 1800s actually contracted their employers to limit having lobster on workplace lunch menus to a maximum of twice a week… or something like that.

Incredible right? We probably won’t mind having them daily… heheh.

Can you hear our stomachs growling at the thought and sight of these lobsters? Are they really that good with butter oil all over them? Hmmm…. yum. Let us show you where you can find them and take delight in gourging on them. Ok let’s be civilized, refinely eat them off your hands. Not only did we have the lobster fresh, we also had them on rolls and on the go too.

Doesn’t this make you curious about our little adventure in sussing out the best lobster deals?

Beautiful southwestern US

We are very sure you have heard of the Grand Canyon. Afterall, with so many blog posts sharing with you what you can see, it would be pointless for us to add to in the form of a post. So we have decided to let you take your pick on what to read.

Did you recall the movie the Wild Wild West? Imagine riding that big spider ‘walking’ through monument valley’s mesa. Oh how we enjoy our stop there! You can drive into it around a circuit. Just remember that the roads are not only dusty but also tough to negotiate. Best with a SUV…

We did a fun road trip that spanned about 5000km or just over 3000 miles from Las Vegas to the south rim and rounding over the top via Moab. Read all about it here. Now if there is any advise we can dispense it would be to keep your rental fully stocked when getting out there. And that means gas (for the car not us) and water (for us not the car). Other than that, get your accommodations sorted if not camping under the stars…

Moab was base for a couple of days and we sprang to nearby Canyonland NP (here) and dead horse point state park. And we finally managed to touch Antelope Canyon (here) after an arduous morning’s drive dash.

Doesn’t this make you yearn to plan for a road trip like we did? If you did it, which parts were the one(s) you’d shout out about the most?

Viva Las Vegas indeed!

What happened in Vegas has to stay in Vegas right? Well yeah. Kinda set you off on a visual imagination of what can be doesn’t it? Just what would have to happen for it to not leave with you…

Now we are not gamblers. In fact, we detest it.

To be honest we expected more. The movies portrayed the casinos to be full of beautiful suave men and sculpted women. The blinking lights in the movies appear brighter and sparkles. To us the actual gambling sites were a little less glitzier than we envisioned. And we could not even find a nickel machine to try our hand! Because they seem occupied day and night.

So why would we spend a whole week – ie full 7 days in Las Vegas? Because there is definitely more to gambling and the flutter of the heart in sin city. Dodging ‘body snatchers’, seeking out free stuff to see and do, gourging on food, shopping and the bright lights… do you recall Percy being lost in the Lotus casino in the movie ‘Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief‘? This city might do the same to you.

Especially if time is not of an essence to you.

Read up here on what we did in Vegas that did not stay there! Did anything happen with you that needs to stay in Vegas? Oops. Did we ask you to share a secret?

Educational travel for children

In the past few years, our little red dot had been making strides towards childhood education. While the focus might had been on early childhood development, development for kids in their pre teens would be important too some contend. And we are not referring to enrichment classes such as music, abacus etc.

It was thus an interesting article (here) for us to chance upon again.

Now those of you with kids hear this. Before you run off and book the next journey, heed well to do sufficient research. For aside from ensuring that the experience will indeed be educational for your children, it should also be safe. For many of the places where these can be had are also in the third world. Not only would personal safety be a consideration but also risks from diseases caused by food and water.

Think about it. Imagine being able to facilitate your child to understand that in the wide world out there, that remains many many folks living in squalid conditions. Oh fortunate we they all are!

But would it be possible to also experience the same in your own home country? Chances are the answer being a big Yes! We are not sure about where you live. But in our little red dot, there remains pockets of poverty. Unbelievable but true and that is a sad fact of life. Perhaps that can be of consideration.

Do you have children? Well we don’t have any. We wrote about getting them to be a ‘travel agent’ too (here). What do you think about such an experience for them?