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.
New Orleans is arguably the most unique city in the United States.
Settled by the French, ceded to the Spanish, turned back over to the French and eventually sold by Napoleon to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, one can get a sense of the city’s diverse background from the change in management alone. Add upon this the culture brought over by the enslaved Africans and the influence of the Native Americans and Caribbeans, and you’ve got Creole, a stew of diverse ingredients not unlike the city’s beloved gumbo.
Taking a break from procrastinating on my posts for Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Aruba, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Mexico (ugh), I present to you, in the meantime, the holiday magic of the Honolulu City Lights, an annual tradition on Oahu (where I’m from). It all takes place at Honolulu Hale (city hall) where a big Christmas tree is lit out front, and decoration and wreath contests are held within. So enjoy these photos with warm thoughts, wherever you are, while listening to the classic Hawaiian song inspired by the event.
One of the great clichés of travel writing is starting a story with an overly dramatic sentence meant to draw in the reader, so I won’t begin by mentioning the explosives mishap or firing a shotgun at dead cacti. But such was my Fourth of July in Austin, part of my lifelong quest for the quintessential American experience. Could anything scream red, white and blue more than Independence Day in Texas? I’ll get to that later.
Having a rough day at work? Winter blues got you down? Maybe this will help warm your spirits. Take a break from your routine with this compilation of photos I took during my time back home in Hawaii (specifically on Oahu, where I grew up, and Kauai). Photos were taken with my iPhone, as I left my DSLR in San Francisco, and originally posted online (hey, follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!).
Colonial Williamsburg is heaven for anyone even remotely interested in America’s past. The living-history museum covers 301 acres of land in Williamsburg, Virginia, not far from Jamestown and Yorktown, two other notable sites. Built with no small amount of funds and effort from the philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr., along with a number of community organizations, the town meticulously preserves the sights and sounds of Williamsburg right before the American War of Independence.
It’s that time of the year again! The Honolulu City Lights at Honolulu Hale (Honolulu’s city hall) are up for the 2014 Christmas season with the traditional Hawaiian holiday displays, the Christmas tree and wreath competition, and Santa Claus for all the little kiddies. Rides and food vendors line South King Street outside. There was even a new display this year, a whole family of carolers complete with a dog and a guy fishing. Check out the photos while listening to Keola and Kapono Beamer’s classic Hawaiian hit, “Honolulu City Lights,” a song about the city lights applicable any time of the year.
Orange October comes to a glorious end for our beloved SF Giants with a classic confetti-filled parade. Led by mascot Lou Seal, the 2014 World Series champs slowly (slowly) made their way down Market Street amidst a sea of adoring baseball fans. With three World Series wins in the past five years, San Francisco was more than prepared to host a proper homecoming celebration. The parade ended at Civic Center with a televised ceremony.