A Trip around Southeast Asia Is Born

This month I was able to spend two weeks on vacation traveling to Southeast Asia.  Clearly, two weeks far from enough time in an area as diverse and rich in experiences as Southeast Asia but if I waited until I had ALL the time it merits, I may never get started.  An opportunity arose a few months ago to travel there in November with a good friend, anchored on a wedding that was to take place in Bali.  I had not taken a real vacation this year yet so I had the needed time off from work to go do it.  It also happened to be a good moment at work to take the time off.  As I discussed the possibility with my friend, it became clear we had similar interests whether it be in the things to explore, the way to travel (hotels, flights, etc.), and what we were hoping to get out of a vacation like this (R and R!).

travel, Bali, resort, beach, relax, W hotel, Seminyak, photo, sunset, clouds, sky, Samsung Galaxy S7, makestic

This is the picture of R&R!!

As usual, I opened a map to envision all the possible destinations outside of Bali.  We opted to spend the bulk of the vacation in Bali since there were going to be pre- and post- wedding events but then the balance of the vacation had to be solved.  I figured that if I never got to go back, there were two places I had to see:  the Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia, and Bangkok (made famous by Murray Head with his one hit wonder in the 1980s!).  We ended up doing those and adding Phnom Penh (Cambodia’s capital) and Singapore (our Asian entry/exit point in our travels) to the trip.  We were flying around a bit so Phnom Penh we chose because we could just take a car and avoid a plane; but then also seeing the infamous killing fields of Pol Pot and the Genocide Museum were a strong draw as we felt they were memorials that we had to see to grasp better Cambodia’s past.

Thanks to websites like TripAdvisor and Kayak, doing research and planning was not too hard (this is not a sponsored post, lol!).  The information in TripAdvisor was key in choosing hotels that fit what we were looking for (for example, a great property in Bali by the beach with a cool pool area).  Kayak I find easiest to use to compare and contrast not just airfares but routes – I had to solve the sequence of our destinations by ensuring I could find direct flights at the time of the day we wanted to leave or arrive at a given destination.  It all seems to have worked out well though at least one morning the departure was earlier than I really would have wanted – hindsight is 20-20, isn’t it?

The itinerary:

  • Bali:  5 days
  • Bangkok:  2 nights, 1 day (a FULL day!)
  • Cambodia: 3 nights, 3 days
  • Singapore:  2 nights, 1 day, and a few hours overnight at the airport
  • Delta airplane seat:  tons of hours!

So, in the next few weeks, I will be writing about each of these destinations and my favorite things.  A lot may have been on-the-beaten-path but there was some off-the-beaten-path that was spectacular and I can’t wait to write about it!


Happy 2016!

Just wanted to do a quick post in the last few hours of the year here to share my top Instagram pictures.  Some are very recent but it was cool to see some of the ones from earlier in the year – it seems so far away, like longer than a year.  Sometimes, that’s how things go, isn’t it?

In any case, here is my top 9 photos from 2015.  A good year in many, many ways; and a tough year in others.

May 2016 bring you many good things wherever you are!

travel, photos, Instagram, Nepal, Chile, Patagonia, Argentina, Lukla, Nepal, Ama Dublam, waterfall, Portland, Tampa, sea, sky, Fitz Roy

Argentina, Chile, Portland, Tampa, and Nepal all represented!

Postcards from Iceland: Dalvík

Dalvík, in the north of Iceland right at around 12 o’clock, is a small town of about 1,400 inhabitants on the western side of the Eyjafjörður fjord.  We drove through this fishing town on the way to our base in Akureyri as we rounded the peninsula where Dalvík sits on route 76 going east after visiting Hólar earlier that day.  Route 76 is not part of the famous ring road.  It is a very scenic road hugging the coastline and passing through a couple of charming small towns (Siglufjörður and Olafsfjörður) – a drive I would recommend.

We enjoyed some of the views around Dalvík and here I share some of my favorites.  What do these images remind you of?

Dalvik, Dalvík, Iceland, fjord, Eyjafjordur, fishing town, mountains, boats, churches, Canon EOS Rebel, photo, travel

Incredible landscape around Dalvík and across Eyjafjordur.

Dalvik, Dalvík, Iceland, fjord, Eyjafjordur, fishing town, mountains, boats, churches, Canon EOS Rebel, photo, travel

Dalvik, Dalvík, Iceland, fjord, Eyjafjordur, fishing town, mountains, boats, churches, Canon EOS Rebel, photo, travel

Fishing and fish processing are the key industries in Dalvík

Dalvik, Dalvík, Iceland, fjord, Eyjafjordur, Dalvíkurkirkja, fishing town, mountains, boats, churches, Canon EOS Rebel, photo, travel

Beautiful church (Dalvíkurkirkja) that must almost get lost in winter with it being white!


Dalvik, Dalvík, Iceland, fjord, Eyjafjordur, fishing town, mountains, boats, churches, Canon EOS Rebel, photo, travel

What seemed to be the main church stands out well against the mountains around the town


——– More on Iceland ——–

My itinerary for my week visit to Iceland

A stroll around Reykjavik

Hallgrímskirkja Church in Reykjavik

Þingvellir:  Where History and Nature Meet in Iceland!

The Blue Lagoon

Goðafoss:  The Waterfalls of the Gods

A Northern Town:  Akureyri

Whale Watching

Iceland’s South Shore:  The Dyrhólaey Peninsula and Vik

Photo Essay: Skiing in July

No, no, I am not referring to water skiing but to snow skiing!  Snow skiing in July, you may say?  Yes, in the southern hemisphere, in wonderful Chile!

A few years ago I was fortunate to work in Chile for a whole year and one of the many things I enjoyed was the closeness of the ski resorts in the Andes to Santiago, where I lived.  I got to go twice to Valle Nevado with a co-worker.  Though the distance is short, there is a stretch of the road with three dozen curves or so (they are numbered – for the impatient, I assume!).

So here are some photos from those July skiing days!

 Do you have a favorite place to go skiing?  I certainly enjoyed skiing in this awesome place but I do have a favorite elsewhere!

Photo of the Week: Orange Fire in Oslo

A few years ago around this time of the year, I went to Oslo for business.  And I ran into this beauty!

orange, tulips, Oslo, Norway, flowers, photo, travel, spring

20 Photographers-in-Action Shots

Like most travelers, I enjoy taking pictures of the places I see.  It used to be to show family and friends but eventually developed into more of giving myself a challenge of not only capturing images for my memories, but also seeing if I could capture anything unique or interesting as I explore the world via travels.  However, I am hardly unique in all this as this photo essay will show.  Among the interesting images that catch my attention is watching others photograph people or their setting.  So in what I hope will not be the only post of its kinds, here are “photographers in action.”

Let me know which is your favorite picture!

Scenes of Easter Mass at St. Peter’s Square

Photos of the Week: Ships Awaiting Canal Crossing – from the Air

The Panama Canal, of which I have written about before, is a marvel of engineering.  Not only the lock system but also the massive works required to create the channel and the man-made lake that serves as the holding pond for the ships in the middle of their passage.  Ships await passage in either side of the Canal, in the Atlantic or Pacific, as well as in that holding pond of a lake.

An uncle of mine was able to take two amazing pictures that capture “the scene” of ships waiting.  The ships look like ants – or tadpoles!

Panama Canal, ships, photo, sea, ocean

(Photo courtesy of M.J. Pabón)

Panama Canal, ships, photo, sea, ocean

(Photo courtesy of M.J. Pabón)

What do you think??



Photo of the Week: Bats on a Wall in Louisville

A few years back, I went to watch a friend do his first Ironman in Louisville, Kentucky.  During the bike ride, when we had ample time to kill, we went to the place where the Louisville Slugger bats are made:  Hillerich & Bradsby Company.  It was neat to see how the bats are made and see the history of these bats.

bat, Louisville Slugger, factory, sports, baseball

The bat wall!

Photo Ode to a Departing Winter

Yes, it is spring already in the northern hemisphere.  However, as the news just shared with us, there is at least one more cold spell before we are free-and-clear from winter (right around when this post goes out).  Winter in the U.S. this year was pretty brutal.  From Boston, to Chicago, to Atlanta, it seems to have been unusually “wintery” to say the least.  So this post is my goodbye to Winter 2014 – in photos from its visit to Atlanta

Atlanta, tree, snow, winter, photo, Samsung Galaxy

Heading out from the house

I went “sledding”…

winter, snow, sledding, Atlanta, Samsung Galaxy

The tracks of my “sled”

winter, snow, sledding, Atlanta, Samsung Galaxy

Twas a fast ride down

winter, snow, sledding, Atlanta, Samsung Galaxy

The tracks of my “sled”

winter, snow, sledding, Atlanta, Samsung Galaxy

The “sled”. Thanks, Rubbermaid!

Snow, Atlanta, street, winter, Samsung Galaxy

Snowy street

Atlanta, tree, snow, winter, photo, Samsung Galaxy

Loved my apple tree covered in snow

Atlanta, tree, snow, winter, photo, Samsung Galaxy

Atlanta, tree, snow, winter, photo, Samsung Galaxy

A beautiful field of snow

Atlanta, creek, bridge,winter, snow, photo, Samsung Galaxy

The creek that runs along that beautiful field of snow

Let’s bring color in – it isn’t all dark and white around here!

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Atlanta, red, color, winter, snow, photo, Samsung Galaxy

Holly bush brings color to my yard

Samsung Galaxy, photo, camera, winter, snow, Atlanta, Olympus

My Samsung Galaxy and I partnered for these Photo Ode photos (except this one!)

cardinal, Atlanta, tree, snow, winter, photo, Samsung Galaxy

A beautiful cardinal brought color on this white day in Atlanta

cardinal, Atlanta, tree, snow, winter, photo, Samsung Galaxy

Another view of the cardinal perched on my apple tree

With that beautiful image, I am ready to close the book on winter 2014 and hope for more winter color in 2015!

Photo of the Week: Viewing Venice from my Window Seat

Venice, Italy is such a unique place.  It is almost out of Disney’s mind.  But it is not.  It is truly unique and a sight worth seeing once in your life.  I have been fortunate not only to have seen it, but to have been there twice.  It can be a maddening place with the crowd of peers (read:  fellow visitors) but it is also a great place to get lost to get far away from the tourists.

In my second visit there, I actually flew from the U.S. direct to Venice.  And that gave me this incredible bird’s eye view of my destination from my window seat.  Forget jet lag, this sight can restore anyone’s energy!Venice, Venezia, Italy, Italia, landing, airport, travel, photo

Photo of the Week: Two Sides of the Coin

While visiting St. John Lateran in Rome, Italy, I ran into a group of tourists posing in front of the basilica (it is one of the four main basilicas in Rome, along with St. Peter, Santa Maria Maggiore and St. Paul Outside the Walls; however, it is the oldest and actually has the highest rank of the four).  Could not resist to capture -and share- the two sides of the “coin” I ran into…St. John Lateran, Rome, Italia, Italy, Roma, tourist group, photo, Canon EOS RebelSt. John Lateran, Rome, Italia, Italy, Roma, tourist group, photo, Canon EOS Rebel

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