View of Genoa

Discovering the Mysteries of Genoa

Genoa’s been around. Since the establishment of the Republic of Genoa (Genova, in Italian) in 1005, this major Italian port has been a power in the Mediterranean, fought with that other seaside republic called Venice, participated in the Crusades and was the inadvertent entry point of the Black Death into Europe in the Middle Ages (rats!). Today, the city remains as important as ever, serving as Italy’s busiest port.

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2019 SF Pride Parade

Photos from the 2019 San Francisco Pride Parade

Is there a more beautiful parade than the Pride Parade? Not likely. This celebration of love and inclusiveness brings out friendly people, vibrant color, and, apparently, wonderful weather. Music, dancing and endless amounts of smiling faces make up this parade lasting around six hours or longer.

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Amsterdam – Canals, Color & Light

Whether you’re a fan of baked goods or just getting baked, one finds diversity in diversions in Amsterdam.

In the morning, as sunlight bursts across the canals and bending roads of the central Jordaan, bakeries of the district offer fresh delights like warm stroopwafels, while pancake houses serve a multitude of sweet and savory flapjacks. Flower markets sell their colorful seeds and plants, recalling a time long ago when the Dutch lost their minds in speculative tulip trading.

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Yuushien Garden in Matsue

Best of Japan Photos – Nature, Shrines & Cartoon Cats

Pardon the inconvenience.

I’ve been working on a novel with most of my time, so I’ve been left with little opportunity for updates. This post on traveling in Japan, for example, is half a year late, as my trip there took place during the cherry blossom (sakura) season in spring.

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Samuel Adams Statue and Faneuil Hall

Exploring Colonial History in New England and Canada

It was likely Esther Forbes’ Johnny Tremain that turned me into a Revolutionary War-era nerd when I was in elementary school. Something about the patriotism and the coming-of-age, call-to-adventure nature of this old-school YA book made this gem of historical fiction resonate with me.

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Toronto City Hall

Scenes of Toronto – A Downtown Photowalk

The first time I visited Toronto, the Smashing Pumpkin’s Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness was charting and Continental Airlines was still actively losing our luggage. Needless to say, I was a kid. I remember marveling at the red brick buildings (we don’t have many of those in Hawaii) and admiring the expanse of flat land on which the city resides.

Casa Loma, the historic castle-museum and garden, was a highlight of the trip, as was a visit to see mummies at the Royal Ontario Museum and a lunch buffet in the revolving restaurant atop the CN Tower. The Ontario Festival was happening near the Medieval Times, with which I had a strange, pre-The Cable Guy fascination, as children often do.

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Milan Duomo

Highlights of Milan, Italy’s Cosmopolitan City

The last time I was in Milan was also my first visit to a police station. Bag snatched after all these years of vigilantly visiting Italy, it undoubtedly yielded the most stressful night I’ve spent in the country. On the plus side, the officer said my Italian was really good.

It’s my belief that we should endeavor always to undo negative memories and refresh them with positive ones, and so I subsequently decided on a return trip to Milan for a month-long stay to better know Italy’s cosmopolitan heart. I wanted to change the narrative of my experience with the city.

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Teatro Greco di Akrai (Greek Theater of the Akrai) in Palazzolo Acreide

Palazzolo Acreide & the Ancient Greeks in Sicily

It’s the 8th century BCE. Colonists have arrived in Sicily from Corinth, a city-state between Athens and Sparta, to establish settlements. On this southeastern part of the island, across the Ionian sea from the motherland, rises the great capital city of Syracuse. Allied with Corinth and Sparta, Syracuse will one day help dominate Magna Graecia, growing as large as Athens in the 5th century BCE.

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