Category: Travel

Birds of Costa Rica

Maybe it was the “Birds of North America” book that laid by my dying grandfather’s bed in his living room, or how we spent hours watching for and identifying birds through those windows … but I grew into my twenties fascinated by birds. Some day, I think, I’ll be a real birder. For now, I give you the Birds of Costa Rica, as I’ve been able to identify them.


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Driving in Costa Rica and what to do if you get a ticket.

On our route from the Carribean to San Jose, in an effort to make it around the mountain before total darkness (and unanticipated fog) I follow suit of fellow drivers and pass a slow truck–over a faded, double yellow line. A policeman uphill stands in the road to wave me off. “Una problemo?” I inquire…



Fourteen Highlights from Twenty Fourteen (mostly in photos)

Since I didn’t publish last year, I’m taking another new year as an opportunity to reflect and give myself a clean slate for all the writing that is to come from my new weekly challenge in 2015. :drumroll: My top moments and memories of 2014. 1. Babies. What’s not to love about Facebook turning into…



Days 8+9: Asea, a Birthday, Canada + a Gateway Dance

Thursday is finally a day of rest and another missed sunrise. While it’s hard to hide away on a boat of three thousand, I manage to find solitude on the back decks where the kids don’t flock and adults have seemed to tire. I haven’t found another book that I’m interested in reading, so I…




Day 7: Juneau, Alaska

We arrive at Juneau around 7am and are expected back on board by 11:30. The comedian the other night foreshadowed our morning when he said we’d be in and out before the city opens. Still, we decide to venture out for fancy coffee and a sky-lifted view of the city. $35 later we’re 3,800 ft…




Day 6: Haines, Alaska + Cabin Fever

Despite my best efforts, I don’t make it up for sunrise this morning. I do make it off the boat for an impromptu adventure in Haines. Faye and I are free until 5pm, when we’ll meet up with her family for an ‘off the beaten path’ tour. I’m itching for a hike or something out…




Day 5: Glacier Bay

It’s not until tonight that I realize the Princess Patter has sunrise listed, so I once again underestimate how early the sun rises this far North. This evening I’ll  be jovially mocked for rising early so as not to miss the glaciers (moving at glacial speed), though they claim to have announced that we won’t…




Day 4: Ketchikan, Alaska

I set my alarm for what I thought would be the sunrise, only to sleep in until the loud, british voice woke me up over the ship’s intercom to let me know we’d safely docked in Ketchikan. Having not seen much in the way of land for 2 days at sea, I excitedly turned on…




Day 3: At Sea – There is no District 12

There is no District 12. Bam! I forgot how fun reading fiction is. After watching The Hunger Games on Cruise TV yesterday, I decided that I’d look for the second book in the library and much to my luck, I found it. As expected, the book, Catching Fire, was a quick read and a perfect…




Day 2: Bridge + Learning from Teaching

Our first day at sea and I lose track of time mid-day, somewhere between the champagne and B52s with Faye and her father and the free mimosas at the Captain’s Ball. (We did not dress up.) Still, the words of a former stranger, now recent Bridge opponent, echo throughout my day. “Isn’t it amazing what we…




Day 1: Insights from a Change Junkie on a Cruise

I’ve never slept on a boat before. The Washington state ferry from Anacortes to Orcas Island was the longest I’d ever ridden on a boat before. Despite dozing off during The Hobbit, Wreck It Ralph raced me wide awake and I can’t fathom falling back asleep before taking an inventory of outside. Like standing on…




“Put a Bird on It” – visitors to Kaua’i

On my recent trip to Kaua’i, I spotted more birds than several of my visits to Maui. This could be due to the large number of roaming Red Junglefowl, or that once I started looking, I couldn’t stop. Of all the birds I did notice, it seems a majority were brought here over the past…




Maui: Day 2

Wednesday is my first full day on the island. I’m still on Portland time, so I rise with the sun, around 8 (6 Hawaiian). I join Paul on his “constitutional” – a 3 mile walk down the coast, past the really rich resorts including the Grand Wailea, where Oprah stays (or hosted a holiday party…




Maui: Day One

Notes from my first trip off the continent. Mahalo. Not sure what this word means, but the folks on Hawaiian can’t get enough of this word. A friendly gentleman tells me that tomorrow and Sunday will be the best days to learn how to surf and I’m not sure if this is truth or the…




San Fransisco in Pictures

Been a while since you’ve visited the city or never been? Check out some cool scenery and take a walk down impressive Mural Alley. And while you’re there, help me figure out some intriguing found plants. San Fransisco (and Outside Lands Festival) in Pictures.




Bury My Heart in San Francisco

No time to explain. The last time I sat down to blog I spilled coffee and killed my laptop. At the time, I had visions of expanding to music and technology and had some witty commentary on the gmail and at&t outtage. Now I sit across from Melissa in a secret garden, preparing to walk…




Family Fun, Black Butte and Bend

I’m alive. Just been lazy with the computer. Summer is just so much more fun spent outside, on the beach and in swimming pools. This week my uncle Paul invited me out to Black Butte, just outside of Sisters, OR. My friend, Kyle, and I drove out late Tuesday night so we could get in…




Talk to Strangers Road Trip

Febrary-April 2008 Wow, who would have imagined how much time it’d take to develop and parse through 30 rolls of film and over 1,500 digital photos? Fine, laugh away… Good news is that I’m slowly getting there and willing to share my portfolio and albums along the way. Just remember they’re not complete and I…




San Diego and Jack Johnson

Just a quick update that I’m alive and very well in southern California. My best girl from Portland, Elisabeth, met me here on Tuesday and since then we’ve managed to hit a couple of beaches, tour Wildstorm comics, an offshoot of DC and kill karaoke not once, but twice. My new favorite karaoke bar is…




Don’t Mess with Texas and Happy Easter

It’s true and I’m sad. After raving about the friendliness of Texan highways, I received my second speeding ticket this trip. And it gets worse considering I never received my renewed registration stickers and lost my ID in Austin. Oh, and the speed limit changed from 80 to 70 only 10 miles before. Warning all…