Category: Favorite Posts

Finished My Novel & Best New Zealand Photos

Big news!

I finally completed my novel. It’s an 87,000-word historical fiction story entitled, THE PAINTER OF THE BARBARY COAST. It took years to research, write and rewrite, so I’m hoping it resonates with readers. I’ve already begun pitching it to literary agents.

Here’s a quick summary of what it’s about:

Continue reading “Finished My Novel & Best New Zealand Photos”
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.

Continue reading “Highlights of Milan, Italy’s Cosmopolitan City”

Couple at Gullfoss Waterfall in Iceland

Five Magical Days in Iceland – Highlights and Hákarl

More than half the people in Iceland believe in elves and it’s not hard to understand why. The Icelandic landscape practically lends itself to supernatural belief with its vast volcanic plains and tall mountains that appear to harbor something more mystical. In many ways, Iceland is a lot like Hawaii where I grew up. Both volcanic islands of fire and ice (Hawaii has some ice), they each host unique landscapes, a menu of mythologies, incredibly friendly people and unique cuisine. I quickly felt the familiarity of home.

Continue reading “Five Magical Days in Iceland – Highlights and Hákarl”

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Oh Hey That One Time I Went to South Korea

Right. Remember that time I went to South Korea, like, half a year ago? No? Well, maybe it’s because I haven’t shared anything about it until now (freelance work is tough). And since the travel blogging universe doesn’t need another travelogue about what I did someplace you may or may not have been to, I’ll keep the description short, so that you can enjoy all the pretty photos (hover over them for more info).

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Riding the Historic Double Decker Tram in Hong Kong

The sound of Tic Tacs rattling in their plastic compartments reminds me of the historic double decker tramways that run though Hong Kong island. I always had Tic Tacs on me when I was here as a kid, often the orange ones but sometimes also the white. This, in turn, reminds me of the heat, the dust, the lack of air condition and the principle of the phrase, “you get what you pay for.” Continue reading “Riding the Historic Double Decker Tram in Hong Kong”

36GB of Photos from Rome, Naples and Emilia-Romagna

Rome - Piazza Venezia and Il Vittoriano during the rain

I’m slowly trudging through the 36GB of photos taken during my Italy trip last May. If you’re interested in seeing some unique perspectives on Rome, Naples and towns within Emilia-Romagna, check out my Flickr page (I’ll go back and add descriptions and tags after I’m done uploading everything).

Here are a few shots from Rome that I like in particular… Continue reading “36GB of Photos from Rome, Naples and Emilia-Romagna”

Five reasons to visit Emilia-Romagna

While I wait for the restoration of Internet connectivity at my place after returning from Italy, I’m forced to leave all my awesome videos (like this one of the view from the clock tower in Brisighella or this other one of a horse-drawn carriage ride in a nature reserve in Savio) of Emilia-Romagna on my computer, lest I jam up the connection for everyone else in this cafe with large uploads.

I don’t want to be that guy.

Anyway, I’ve been reminiscing about all the great moments I had in Emilia-Romagna as a part of BlogVille. There are so many reasons to visit this beautiful region in Italy; here are my top five.

1. Food

A huge majority of Italy’s most delicious exports originate from Emilia-Romagna. There’s Modena’s balsamic vinegar, the great cheeses of Parma, prosciutto, lasagne, ravioli, tagliatelle al ragù (oddio!), Sangiovese wine and the amazing piadina. Along the coast, fresh seafood is in abundance, often served as a mixed platter of fried goodness. In short, it’s impossible not to get a little grasso here.

That’s Italian for “fat.”

Tagliatelle al ragù at Trattoria Renzi Continue reading “Five reasons to visit Emilia-Romagna”

Summer Nights in Rome - Shops along the Tevere

Romantic Summer Nights in Rome

After wandering Rome non-stop for a month, I thought I had seen all the romance the city had to offer. I’d seen the Centro Storico under a nearly supermoon, walked through the Spanish Steps in the rain, caught the sunset from Campidoglio and spent long nights in Trastevere.

But all this paled in comparison.

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