Archive for the ‘united states’ Category

A week in Florida, and finally getting to do the drive through the Keys from Miami to Key West

Sunday, March 11th, 2012
Smather's Beach, Key West

Smather’s Beach, Key West

It’s starting to seem like visits to the tropics are becoming regular occurrences, and I certainly can’t complain about that! After 3 weeks in Costa Rica over the holidays, we recently returned from a week in South Florida. A cousin got married in Miami, and while normally these wedding jaunts back East are whirlwind travels, this time we decided to take our time and spend 6 nights there; 3 in the Keys, and 3 in Fort Lauderdale. [Note: weddings or other family gatherings are perfect events to turn into mini vacations!]

We flew into Miami on a red eye, picked up our rental car, and headed south to the Florida Keys, destination Key West, southernmost point in the Continental US. This drive through the Keys is one that I’ve been looking forward to for years, so having […]

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Riding the Amtrak from San Diego to Portland

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011
View from Amtrak south of Santa BarbaraView from Amtrak south of Santa Barbara

JUNE 24 – I had previously taken the Amtrak from San Diego to New York City, and though it was a long and uncomfortable trip riding in coach, it didn’t change my view on traveling by train. Since then, I have always wanted to make the trip up the West Coast by Amtrak. I would have loved to go all the way to Seattle, but as it happened, we were planning a trip to Portland, Oregon, so only going as far as Portland would have to do. So it was settled, we booked one way coach Amtrak tickets to Portland, and then booked our return flights on Southwest. Incidentally, the total price for train plus one way airfare came to within $5 of what round trip airfare would have cost, so […]

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Las Vegas for a weekend

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010
The pool at Monte Carlo, Las Vegas

The pool at Monte Carlo, Las Vegas

I spent the past weekend in Las Vegas with my girlfriend and some of her friends. Aside from the fact that we both got sick during our stay (which sucks because getting sick is something that rarely happens to either of us), we still had a really great weekend. It’s a bit ironic because typically Vegas wears you down quickly, but after this trip I came back relaxed and mildly rejuvenated, except for my lingering sniffles and head congestion.

The drive out from San Diego was quick and easy, we left Saturday morning and had the smoothest ride I’ve ever had heading out that way. There was pretty much no traffic at all. We got in around 3:00PM and checked into our room at the Monte Carlo. The Monte Carlo wouldn’t […]

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Bicycle trip from San Diego to Phoenix (NEW)

Friday, June 18th, 2010
Riding along the US / Mexico border

Riding along the US / Mexico border

Day 1 – San Diego to Alpine We left at about 9:30am from Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach after a few goodbyes, and were riding a high heading out of the city. We made some good progress, stopped for a pizza lunch, then hit the road again. Our last 20 miles were a serious uphill battle, and around the time our weary and not yet road accustomed legs nearly gave out, we had completed 50 miles and reached the Ma Tar Awa RV Park just east of the Viejas Casino. We were too late to check in, as the office had already closed, but we saw someone cleaning who let us slip in on the agreement that we would pay our dues in the morning. It wasn’t quite dark yet, […]

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Mammoth Lakes’ Bluesapalooza, Beer and Blues Festival

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010
John Lee Hooker Jr onstage, Mammoth Lakes, Beer and blues festival

John Lee Hooker Jr onstage Mammoth Lakes, Beer and blues festival

AUGUST – The Bluesapalooza Beer and Blues Festival is a welcome getaway for anyone who enjoys the outdoors, beer, live blues music, or any combination of the three. Even though we’re located a good 6 hour drive away in San Diego, we decided it would be a good weekend trip to head up to Mammoth for a great weekend of relaxation. In case you’re not familiar with this event, it happens once a year at Mammoth Lakes, usually around the beginning of August, and takes place outdoors at Sam’s Wood Site.

The setting is actually quite spectacular. Somehow a stage is set up in a small clearing, and then the beer tents and spectators take their places in and around the trees. So […]

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Weekend in Idyllwild at the Quiet Creek Inn

Thursday, April 8th, 2010
Quiet Creek Inn cabins

Quiet Creek Inn Cabins

This past weekend I was surprised by my girlfriend with a getaway to the mountains in Idyllwild, where we stayed at the Quiet Creek Inn. It was a quick, one night getaway, and though I would have loved to be there for a week, even taking a day or two away from home is a great way to relax. For those that don’t know, Idyllwild is a quiet little mountain community located in the San Jacinto Mountains, about 100 miles northeast of San Diego, and 100 miles southwest of Los Angeles. It sits at an elevation of 5300 feet, and is a great place for hiking and camping. From town, you have access to trails that take you up to Tahquitz Peak which is somewhere around 9000′ and San Jacinto Peak which is higher at 10,800′. I’ve […]

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Colorado Beer Road Trip – Boulder, Fort Collins, and Denver

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009
Beautiful Colorado Rockies

Beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains

MARCH – After descending over the Rocky Mountains on one of the more bumpy flights I’ve ever had, we arrived in Denver on Friday morning. The plan was to check out the major cities of Colorado over the next four and a half days, and while we were at to sample a lot of the great breweries and pubs in the area as well. It turned out to be a sort of impromtu beer tour, but that worked just fine because it gave us direction and motivation to keep moving along. So to get started, we picked up the rental car and then headed straight to Boulder, which was the place I was looking most forward to seeing. I had only driven through Colorado, without ever having spent any time there, so this was all new […]

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Amtrak Train cross country from San Diego to New York

Friday, January 2nd, 2009
Santa Fe Depot, Amtrak, San Diegocross country train trip, Santa Fe Depot, Amtrak Station, San Diego

Santa Fe Depot, Amtrak, San Diego

Since writing this article I’ve also taken the Amtrak from San Diego to Portland

DECEMBER – Most people I knew at work thought I was crazy to take a trip like this, but I had a good time and would still do it again, though making a few changes.

The trip was by Amtrak, and originated in San Diego (Santa Fe Depot) with the final destination being New York City. I took the Pacific Surfliner from San Diego to Los Angeles, then the Southwest Chief from LA to Chicago, and finally the Lake Shore Limited from Chicago to Penn Station in New York City. To make it even more interesting, I declined a ride to the train station from my beach apartment and […]

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