Monthly Archives: May 2015

An Illustrated Map of Arizona

Wish I Were Here


It is said that Sedona has four vortexes of spiritual energy. They interact with a person’s inner self and can facilitate dramatic transformation. I visited Sedona twice. Both times, I felt a strange kind of vertigo. A squeamish bliss. Like that feeling you get when you have that one drink which pushes you beyond pleasantly buzzed and into the realm of drunkenness. As I drove away, the feeling transformed into intense nausea and a vicious migraine. It took me an entire day in bed to recover.

Arizona is a monumental territory in the cartography of my existence.


I took shelter for the night in Flagstaff during cross-country trips from California to Michigan and back. The Petrified Forest welcomed two different versions of myself – one broken in spirit, the other reborn. The massive Meteor Crater and wacky Tombstone were to be the last places my brother Billy and I would…

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Traveling in Romania: some myths, some tips, and something about gypsies

Picnic at the Cathedral

Before I went to Romania several people warned me it might be dangerous, that I should look out. Oh man were they right–why just the other morning a calf escaped and took off down the dirt road with his new wobbly legs splayed all about with dad and granny chasing after him. I mean, who know what might have happened to us.



While I acknowledge that a couple of weeks in Romania does not make me an expert on it’s culture, I strongly believe in having my own first hand experiences and I want to share with you what I learned.

First some myths:

Romania is dangerous.  Close encounters with runaway calves aside, Romania is not dangerous to tourists.  Sure, the area around the train station in Bucharest is a bit dodgy, but no worse than in any other European city.  And just like in the rest of Europe…

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Online Travel Has Many Problems, and Everyone’s to Blame

Dennis Schaal, Skift

A fascinating new study commissioned by the Travel Technology Association details how Delta Air Lines over the last few years has adopted a Southwest-like approach and has removed its fares and schedules from dozens of smallish online travel sites but also from bigger players such as TripAdvisor, CheapOair, Hipmunk, and Travelzoo’s,, among others.

Delta’s goal, along with parallel actions by other U.S. major carriers to limit distribution in a variety of sometimes-subtle ways to online travel agency sites and travel comparison sites such as Kayak and Skyscanner, is to keep fares artificially high by making it much more difficult for consumers to shop around and scrutinize competitors’ fares side by side.

That’s one of the conclusions of the report, Benefits of Preserving Consumers’ Ability to Compare Airline Fares, which was authored by Scott Morton, a Yale professor who served from 2011 to 2012 as deputy assistant attorney general for economics in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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how it all began

Low Fat Lafayette


Neither of us has ever been the healthiest of eaters. Sure, when we met many years ago, we were both in pretty good shape. My husband had always played sports and was active (not to mention he had an impossibly fast metabolism). I had played sports for most of my life and went on a serious exercise kick my senior year of high school and freshman year of college where I basically drank coffee and cans of V8 juice to sustain myself after spending hours at the gym. We grew up eating fried everything. Fried crawfish, fried fish, fried oysters, fried shrimp, fried oreos…you name it, we fried it. We grew up eating crawfish etouffee (aka crawfish drowned in crawfish fat over white rice), red meat, white rice, white bread, bread pudding, sugary sodas, salty chips, and processed everything. Don’t even get me started on the amount of alcohol we’ve…

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Little Laramie Trail, Wyoming

Pursuit of Life

 “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity”  John Muir



For our weekly Sunday hike, we drove up to the Medicine Bow National Forest west of Laramie, Wyoming to do some hiking. I knew the Snowy Range  Scenic Byway wasn’t yet open completely, but we had been itching to get up that way for a while now, so thought we’d at least check out the area for future trips.

After some research, we decided to hike the Little Laramie trail head, just outside of Centennial, WY. Here, there are about 8 miles of trails running along and near the north fork of the Laramie River. While, the trails lacked stunning high country vistas, the hike was pleasant enough with lots of mature pine forest and plenty of wetlands and croaking frogs to accompany.


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Venice. Italy.

Natalia Maks

Don’t you think that Italy is always warm and sunny during summer. I happened to be in Venice on rainy days. Sun came out a couple of times letting know that it’s a gift, and we should appreciate its appearance with more respect. ( I do, I do) I need to admit that I love to do photography on the days with less sun. The images come out much cleaner with less contrast, colors are brighter and have more nuances.


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