Monday, November 7, 2016

Hawaii in Fall 2016 Fall

Kay and I decided to spend a month in Waikiki during the the fall of 2016, staying in a one bedroom condominium on the 31st floor overlooking the Ali Wai Canal, a place we rented once before. Our place was a long city block from the beach where there was some decent snorkeling; and we could easily walk around the Ali Wai Canal, or around Diamond Head for some exercise. I also brought my foldable bike, a Bike Friday, which enabled me to explore most of the neighborhoods along the mountains from the Pali Highway to Kokohead. Our location gave me quick access to quiet neighborhoods away from the busy hustle and bustle of Waikiki, and from there I could easily cycle into the mountains or toward Kokohead to explore areas frequented by more locals than tourist. Staying active during our visit was important due to all the dine outs. Although we did eat in, one of the great things about visiting Hawaii is the food, a melting pot of Asian cuisines along with traditional local favorites, both old and new. Kay did her research generating a list of restaurants to try, some fine dining but mostly hole-in-the-walls. Including the restaurants we discovered while out and about, and recommendations from friends; there was more places than our days in paradise allowed. Staying active was important for our health and weight! Friends Dennis and Deb, whose daughter and husband recently moved to Waikiki, were also visiting the islands during part of our stay. Below are pictures from our trip which include visits to the Hawaii State Art Museum, Iolani Palace, and Mu Ryang Sa Buddhist Temple, as well as hikes to Manoa Falls, Diamond Head, and Waimea Valley. Below are a few favorites and the rest of the pictures can be found on Google Photos.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Cycle Touring in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Summer 2016

During late summer of 2016, Peter and I did a road trip to Rapid City, South Dakota to participate in a one week fully supported bike tour with 60 riders organized by the Adventure Cycling Association (ACA), in the Black Hills just west of the city. We were part of a subgroup of ten riders from California. Departing from home, our round trip odyssey took us through nine states: California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and Oregon. In total, during nearly three weeks of travel, we drove just over 4,000 miles and rode our bicycles 262 miles with over 16,000 feet of elevation gain. We visited; by vehicle, bike, and foot; the Great Basin NP, Arches NP, Montrose, Rocky Mountains NP, Deadwood, Wind Cave NP, Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Memorial, Mt. Rushmore NM, Badlands NP, Spearfish Canyon, Devils Tower NM, Little Bighorn Battlefield NM, the Beartooth Basin, Yellowstone NP, Bozeman, Missoula, Flathead Lake, and Steen Mountains of southeast Oregon. My thanks to the hospitality of Kurt and Cheri in Montrose, and Bill and Kathy at Flathead Lake for our much needed rest days. The ACA team lead by Kelley did an OUTSTANDING job running the bike tour and Ann's cooking was beyond my expectations. I highly recommend supported bike tours operated by ACA. Below are few pictures and here's a link to all the pictures on Google Photos including our road trip.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Spending Time with my Bro, July 2016

Spending time with my eldest brother and his wife at Mammoth Lakes in the eastern Sierras. While there, we rode the tram to the top of Mammoth Mountain, visited Mono Lake and Bodie State Park, and hiked the Devils Postpile National Monument and Rainbow Falls. Lots of nice dining options in Mammoth Lakes; our favorite was the gourmet dining at Skadi. Below are a few favorites and the rest of the pictures can be found on Google Photos.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Oregon Bike Tour 2016

On Memorial Weekend, nine of us left California for an 8-day vehicle supported bike tour in western Oregon beginning in Sutherlin, just north of Roseburg, with a counter clockwise loop north around Eugene, to the coast from Newport to Winchester Bay, and back to Sutherlin. Many thanks to Stew who organized this trip which included vehicle support, bike transport, hotels, route maps, and all the essential road food and water. The route was outstanding, along mostly rural and quiet countryside roads, and the group was fun, congenial, positive and all enthusiastic riders. Below are few favorite pictures. Uses the link below, bottom lower right, to see the all the pictures in Picasa. Cheers.

From Oregon Bike Tour 2016

Monday, April 25, 2016

Washington DC in the Spring of '16

This was Kay's first trip to Washington DC and my third visit, but we covered more ground on this trip than my previous visits combined. It was my first time touring the US Capitol, Library of Congress, Kennedy Center, and the National Cathedral. We were also very fortunate to be able to witness the reenactment of a Revolutionary battlefield at Mount Vernon, all thanks to Kay's research and planning. Our spring trip came with some spring showers and cooler overcast weather, but nothing that could hinder our activities as we went about by foot and subway. Just keep those umbrellas handy! Our only sunny afternoon became quite uncomfortably warm so we were glad when the clouds returned. The region has seen a lot of redevelopment since my first visit in the early eighties, so there was much to explore and a must-see for every American. Below are a few pictures from the trip. Below are a few favorites and the rest of the pictures can be found on Google Photos.

Saturday, March 19, 2016


After Auckland, we flew to Fiji staying at the Sofitel Resort and Spa in Port Denarau near the city of Nadi for three nights before heading home. After 26 active days, Kay and I decided to spend most of our time poolside, especially since it was too hot and humid to do much else. My only outing was a thirty minute boat trip to a snorkeling spot out on the coral reef breakers. Overall, our entire tour gave us a wonderful quick overview of Australia and New Zealand. If there's ever a future trip back, it would be on our own so that we could explore in more depth and at a slower pace. Below are some pictures from Fiji.

Our ocean front

The resort had a grand pool.

The only way to beat the heat is in the polo

Nights are a great time to sit out by the beach listening to the waves and feeling the breeze.

Port Denarau

How hot and humid was it? Condensation on my lens below.

The gang in Fiji

Sunday, March 13, 2016


We only had two nights in Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand, so we had to make the most of it. Although very metropolitan, I liked Auckland due to its smaller size, about one and half million people, hilly terrain and great active waterfront. Like other major cities we've visited on this tour, there is a strong Asian presence which means lots of Asian cuisine.

Robert, Glen, and Barbara bounce down the hillside inside an "ogle"

For "Lord of the Ring" fans, North Island is the land of the Hobbits where fans can visit the shire

Approaching Auckland along the harbor

Visiting the Auckland's Sky Deck, tallest in the Southern Hemisphere.

From the Sky Deck

The Sky Deck Tower is a great landmark when walking the city. You always know where you are.

Ferry Building and Terminal

Auckland at night

We hired a tandem on our free day and rode the northern suburbs across the harbor

City view from harbor

City view from Devonport


Flying from the South Island to Rotorua on the North Island along the Southern Alps. Two pictures from our turbo propeller airplane.

New Zealand's volcanic origins was clearly visible during our visit of the Whakarewarewa Maori village.

A guided tour of the living Maori village.

Dinner is ready by the time they get home for the day

Bathing pools; way too hot for me

Around the village

Carving illustrates the standard greeting of the Maori people

Looks like Yellowstone

Visiting a Kiwi park where are they trying to save the Kiwi bird. Eggs are removed from the wild, away from predators, and hatched in the safety of the sanctuary. When the chicks have grown in size enough to protect themselves, they are returned. Note the size of the egg.

Lake Rotorua near our hotel smells of sulphur

Dinner with the Maori

The greeting: are you a friend or foe