Wow Place #180: Sugarloaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

I won’t lie that I was a bit nervous before going to Rio. My friends who’d been there had warned me, “Don’t carry anything of value on your person. You WILL be robbed.” How’s that for a warm welcome to a country! On my first day of sightseeing, I heeded their advice and emptied my […]

Wow Place #179: Padma, Kyoto

As my winter New Zealand vacation looms nearer, the thought occurs to me that maybe I should pay all my bills early so I don’t get dinged with late fees. Particularly when it comes to my biggest bill, my estimated quarterly taxes, a part of me is thinking, “Why not just pay them now so […]

Wow Place #178: Star Trek Experience

For the most part, I try to write posts about places that still exist, locations you can actually visit. But occasionally, like today, I feel compelled to write about a Wow place that has, shall we say, bitten the dust. Call this, then, a “memorial” post for the Las Vegas Star Trek Experience. For a […]

Wow Place #177: Tenryuji Temple, Kyoto, Japan

Obviously, “skirt chasing” is not cool, but what about “kimono chasing”? I’m embarrassed to admit that this is exactly what I find myself doing when we arrive at Tenryuji. For some reason never fully explained to me, this stunning temple in Kyoto’s Arashiyama district is a supremely popular place for dressing up in traditional garb […]

Wow Place #175: Old San Juan

San Juan, Puerto Rico is not a great place for vegans. There are one or two restaurants here and there that might offer a vegan-like dish, but by and large, if you’re on a plant-based diet (as my wife and I are), you’re on your own. That’s what leads Donica and I to bring a […]

Wow Place #174: The Melkweg, Amsterdam

Although not much of an “evening guy” these days when traveling, more often than not preferring to sit in my hotel room at night, reading a book or watching a movie on my Ipad, there was, indeed, a time when I needed to get out and sample the nightlife. That impulse is what leads me […]

Wow Place #173: Hearst Castle

According to a recent article titled, The Future of Entertainment, “as traditional television becomes obsolete, the entertainment landscape will continue to evolve embracing interactive and personalized experiences.” I think this must be true, given all the unique diversions I keep seeing pop up on my daily news feed. “Explore a secret garden via VR glasses.” […]

Wow Place #172: Ronda, Spain

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” –Ray Bradbury There’s a special kind of wonder you feel at about age 21. It’s different from childhood wonder, when everything is new and playful, but […]

Wow Place #171: Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum, London

Until visiting the Otsuka Museum (Wow Place #4) in Naruto, Japan, I thought it was a fairly ridiculous idea to display copies of famous artwork in a gallery. Why see a fake when you can travel to the actual museum to view the original? The Otsuka, however, won me over with its accurate ceramic copies […]