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South America, Trip Reports

My Easter Island Trip Report

August 23, 2012 • By

easter

Easter Island is known for the strange statues that dot the landscape and the vast mystery surrounding how they were made and moved and why they were toppled over.

But for the uninitiated, that’s literally the extent of the layperson’s knowledge of the land known as Rapa Nui by the residents of the most remote island in the world.

What makes this mystical island even more special is discovering it through the eyes of Rapa Nui Travel, a local tour company which was arranged by Ecotours Chile Private Tours. We hit the ground running our first day when a rep came to our hostel to give us a schedule of events for our two half day tours and one full day tour that we had booked.

Each Easter Island tour was made special by the two guides that had an obvious affection for their work. We were picked up from our hostel on time every day and never ran behind schedule. Our complete and absolute comfort took precedence and their thorough knowledge of the island’s history was evident.

Both of our guides (Frieder, a German native and Tongariki (sp) a 6th generation Rapa Nui) were kind, affable, intelligent and took the greatest pleasure in sharing their vast knowledge with us. There was no question too silly to ask because you always felt that they eagerly anticipated each one of them. With few exceptions, we pretty much covered the entire Island. Just driving through the various sectors was an exercise in tranquility.READ MORE


Inspiration, Travel Advice

See, The Reason Why I Don’t Travel Is…

February 5, 2012 • By
travel

Looking out at the city of New York from the top of Rockefeller Center

What is holding you back from seeing the world?  It’s not as if the desire isn’t there.  There’s something nagging at you that you can’t quantify; it can only be felt, not seen.  It has no basis in reality.  It just hovers above and paralyzes you to the point where you take no action to achieve those dreams and just brush them aside.

People think that dreams should remain as such.  It should be a lovely flight of fancy where we allow it to invade a small space in our mind and then snuff it out quickly as if the thought never existed.

That is the mythology.  We don’t give credence to such fantasies because we consider ourselves unworthy of having good things to come into our lives,  It is never a conscious thought but it is borne out in our actions of self sabotage.  How do these detrimental acts show themselves in our daily lives?READ MORE


North America, Reviews, Travel Advice

Riding The Rails Of The Verde Canyon Railroad In Sedona, Arizona

January 22, 2012 • By

Without a doubt, the expansion of the western states would have slowed to a crawl without the assistance of the railway system plowing its way through the plains. Today, most of those trails are fleeting memories, but some still live on in the form of the Verde Canyon Railroad.

There have only been a few times in my life that I’ve ridden a train, actually, I can count that number using one hand and still have a few digits left over. I guess I’ve always just wanted to get to my destination faster than what the rails could take me. When I got the chance to check out the Verde Canyon railroad as their guest during my trip in Sedona, Arizona this past June, I was ready to pull the train whistle myself and shout, “All Aboard!”.

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Reviews

A Review of the Atlanta Travel & Adventure Show

December 11, 2011 • By

When you have decided that travel is an integral part of your life, it’s the natural order of things to do all that you can to learn your craft from people who know a whole lot more than you do.  So, when I’d heard that a new travel show was coming to Atlanta, I had to check it out.

This type of show is primarily aimed at travel agents who want to learn more about different destinations that they may consider promoting for their clients’ future travel plans. However, as a travel blogger, I felt it was necessary to stay on top of what’s shiny and new in the world of travel and pay them a visit as well.  Rest assured that these shows are open to the public at large so there is a lot of great information here for people who are planning class reunions, family vacations or honeymoons to peruse.

The Atlanta Travel & Adventure Show was exhibiting at the Cobb Galleria on October 22 & 23 for the first time, so my daughter and I made sure that we would be in attendance.  The parking was free and the entry fee was $15.00 at the door, but we scored a pre-show discount online of $8.00.

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City Views, North America

Travel Photo Thursday – Highway 89

December 8, 2011 • By

It’s been awhile since I’ve participated in this event, so I wanted to come back with a bang.  This amazing shot was taken during a drive along Highway 89 in Jackson Hole, WY.  There are times when you are so glad to be alive just to witness pure unspoiled beauty such as this.

The air was fresh not a whiff of smog to be found and the temperature was warm but never muggy.   If I was asked to describe this scene in one word…..it would be “Redemptive”.  It’s like a new beginning to yesterday’s woes; a promise of a better day.

With the Grand Tetons seemingly holding up the sky and embracing the rolling fields of color, we had to take a moment to exit our car and absorb this phenomenal view.


North America, Reviews, Trip Reports

Bucking ‘n Bronco’ n In Wyoming At The Jackson Hole Rodeo

November 25, 2011 • By

You know the old saying: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. The same holds true when visiting the wild west. Not because someone would challenge you to a duel in the town square, but because you’d want to experience everything that makes a particular region special or unique. We were invited to attend the Jackson Hole Rodeo and absolutely jumped at the chance to experience something so exciting and new. We took a few short videos to illustrate exactly what happens when attending such an event.

As usual, the bull wins!

This bull is in therapy for anger issues, not that I blame him.  Wouldn’t you be upset if someone was always riding your back?

Warm-ups before the games began. I was surprised to see so many kidlets in the rodeo.

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City Views, North America, Trip Reports

36 Hours Of Fun In Historic Downtown Savannah, Georgia

October 29, 2011 • By

We wanted to get out of town, the problem was deciding where and how far could we go on such short notice. My sister had never been to Savannah and it had been over a decade since Carisa and I’d seen it, so we decided to go for it. After a four hour pre-dawn drive, we arrived in the city around 10 am just in time for our first activity, the Grayline Trolley Tour that we scored for $15.00 pp.

It was a great way to get an overview of the city so that we could investigate it fully later on in the day. We were enjoying the sights and sounds of this cultural gem until we happened upon the funeral of Troy Davis, the man who was executed days earlier despite a world-wide outcry against it.

It dampened the mood, undoubtedly, but we decided to stay focused on what was destined to be a world-wind of activity for the three of us. Immediately after our hop on hop off tour, we decided that one time around the bend was enough for us. We knew that it was getting close to ‘supper time’ (southern vernacular for lunch) so it was time to stop by the Lady and Sons eatery to try their 15.99 buffet(drinks and dessert included).

The Lady’s reputation certainly preceded her because we were warned to come by early in the day to make reservations for lunch and/or dinner due to the overwhelming demand for a table there. Still we were fortunate because we only had a two hour wait given that we gave no prior notice of our arrival.

We decided to kill some time by walking across the street and spending probably too much money purchasing souvenirs from a store that sold its goods for half off. I’m willing to bet that the half off sale is a perpetual event, but it was worth the effort. After one and a half soul-killing hours we walked over and luckily was told that a table was ready.READ MORE


North America, Reviews

Learning to FlyFish with Will Dornan, the Snake River Angler, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

October 9, 2011 • By

Unrealized childhood dreams.  When it came to the subject of fishing that was mine. My dad was in the habit of taking each of his children to the local lake for fishing lessons. I eagerly awaited my turn but it never came. Fast forward to the present and the opportunity to learn how to fly fish presents itself in freaking Jackson Hole, Wyoming, no less!

I jumped at the chance to realize something that I thought I’d missed out on. I wanted to experience the sport and would be taught by none other than Will Dornan, a well-known fisherman from Jackson Hole who has over 30 years of experience under his belt.

He owns the well-established Snake River Angler, a full service fly fishing shop and guide service. Be aware that there are many ‘guides’ in the area. However, they are limited to a very narrow part of the Snake river because they do not have permits to work as official guides. On the other hand, the legitimate guides like Will can work the entire length and breadth of the river located in the beautiful Grand Tetons.

snake river

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North America, Reviews, Trip Reports

Rafting the rapids with Dave Hansen Whitewater in Jackson Hole, WY!

September 13, 2011 • By

Boyhood visits with his parents to Jackson Hole made an indelible impression upon young Bud Chatham. So much so, that he made a resolution to continue his family’s tradition as a young adult. Life and circumstances took him to other places, but his heart was firmly ingrained in a little town in Wyoming.


He never forgot the rolling mountains dotted with Cottonwood trees that clustered along the riverbanks; nor could he get the exotic wildlife and expansive parcels of land out of his system. Once he decided to permanently settle there, he started out working odd jobs on his uncle’s campgrounds, Snake River Park KOA. After putting his in his time toting that barge and lifting that bale, he along with his wife, Kelly, purchased the campgrounds. Continuing his quest for world domination, they purchased the legendary Dave Hansen Whitewater eight years ago.

What’s the legendary Dave Hansen Whitewater, you ask? Well, he’s a guy…obviously. But what makes him uniquely special is that he was the first to get permission to raft down the Snake River. He started his company in 1967 and became one of the first owner’s of a commercial whitewater rafting company in Jackson. He is responsible for naming two of the humongous rapids on Snake River, the big kahuna and lunch counter probably because he was the first to live to tell about it. Dave worked side by side with Bud for one year as they transitioned ownership of the business.READ MORE


North America, Reviews, Trip Reports

A Review Of The Orchards Inn Of Sedona

July 12, 2011 • By

I’d had a particularly busy day having taken a short day tour of the city of Sedona, purchasing a few souvenirs, visiting parks and taking a ride on the Verde Canyon Railroad.  It was getting late, so I figured it was as good as time as any to make my way to my next hotel, the Orchards Inn of Sedona.  At first glance, I thought it was positioned in a weird spot.  It was set back a couple of blocks from the main drag on Hwy 89A and it was literally two blocks from the Best Western hotel that I stayed at.

It was a unique complex, I would hazard a guess that it had been an apartment complex in another life.  It was expansive, yet welcoming and check-in was easy enough.  I have to admit that I’m no fan of apartments, in fact, hate could be used to describe my feelings toward it.  They must have soundproofed the rooms, because you don’t hear the usual rumblings from next door as I had expected.

I was given my keys and told that a buffet breakfast would be served every morning in the Taos Cantina restaurant located right in front of the hotel on the main highway.  Interesting tidbit: If you booked your room via Expedia, you would have to pay the regular 9.99 charge for breakfast.  If you booked directly from them, the breakfast was included.

I guess their position is you’ve already gotten a great deal on the room, you could at least spring for breakfast.  The good news is that paying 9.99 for that  breakfast was a steal!  They had everything that you could imagine: juices, pancakes, cereals, fruit, eggs, bacon, sausage, coffee….it was a pretty huge spread that gave no one a reason to leave hungry.READ MORE