Browsing Category "California"
It looks like a real winery...

Lessons from Temecula

By     |    Jan 24, 2012
Posted in: California, Wine     |    2 Comments

In Temecula, we learned the difference between a winery and a tasting room. Temecula is filled with tasting rooms, but we couldn’t find a single winery even though people were making wine everywhere. Let me explain. Temecula is one of California’s B-list wine regions. It’s not Napa or Sonoma or Paso Robles … it’s Temecula (pronounced like Dracula). It’s filled with too-nice tasting rooms and too-expensive wine, but it seems […]

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Thank you, farmers' market, for allowing us to make such tasty tacos.

Eating Our Way Through Los Angeles, California

By     |    Jan 20, 2012
Posted in: Bars, Booze, Beer, Etc., California, Food     |    No Comments

Full full full. We’re full of good food thanks to LA. Loved eating here. I think the food sold us on this town. Me at least. I could live here. We get LA. The farmers’ market in January with multiple varieties of avocado? Yum. The fresh fish and cheap wine? Yum. The traffic? Meh. Not so bad, really. Pick a neighborhood and stay in it, just like in Chicago. You can […]

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318 (Small)

Los Angeles: On Prejudices and Biases

By     |    Jan 20, 2012
Posted in: California     |    No Comments

Was I prepared to hate LA, or what?  Smog, driving everywhere, parking garages, sprawl, fake people.  I imagined a city dominated by the things I hate. But here I am, sitting on the beach just north of Santa Monica.  The waves are rolling in, one after the other, crashing, in a never-ending variety of colors and patterns.  Offshore I just spotted a school of dolphins and a seal.  I’m watching […]

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The contenders.

The $5 California Wine Challenge

By     |    Jan 19, 2012
Posted in: California, Wine     |    1 Comment

Our friend, Ellen, has a theory: $5 bottles of wine can be very good. Spend more, and you may get a good bottle, but it’s certainly not guaranteed. But failing at $5, that’s no big deal (that’s NBD, for the young’uns). And at $5 a bottle, that’s only about $1.25 a glass. Pretty good competition for the wine box. We took her advice and had a yummy bottle of $5 […]

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The official sign and trailmap.

We Go To Hollywood

By     |    Jan 19, 2012
Posted in: California, Hikes     |    No Comments

One of the things I really wanted to do in LA, as cliché as it sounds, was hike up to the Hollywood sign. I didn’t realize that you don’t hike up to the sign so much as you hike up the hill that the sign is on, but no matter. This is a great little hike that manages to be perfectly California.* To start out, there’s no parking lot, really. […]

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Downtown from one of the many trails that start/end at the observatory.

Observing LA From Above

By     |    Jan 18, 2012
Posted in: California     |    1 Comment

We’re in LA visiting Ellen, one of Paul’s high school friends.  We’ve visited friends across the country, and it’s interesting to catch them at different times of their places of residence. Some have lived in the same spot for a decade while others have just arrived.  Ellen has only lived in LA for two months, and she hasn’t had much time to explore, so we’re exploring the city together, which […]

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Tecopa hot springs from above.

A Failed-Flasher’s Guide to Death Valley Showers and Baths

By     |    Jan 17, 2012
Posted in: Adventure How To, California, Parks     |    No Comments

“Yeah, the Hearst Castle is amazing. The guest houses are four-bedroom mansions! Can you believe that? I’ve been there 10 times.” I’m getting travel tips from a gent that’s probably 60+ years old. He works in the area and just finished a night shift. I assume he works at one of the casinos in Pahrump, but I don’t get a chance to ask. He’s got old-man glasses and calloused hands. His glasses keep fogging […]

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Goodbye, badlands.

One Last Look at Death Valley

By     |    Jan 16, 2012
Posted in: California, Parks     |    1 Comment

Our posts from the last few weeks have been a little out of order.  Over Christmas, holed up in Las Vegas, we had hoped to catch up on our backlog and get back to the order of reality.  Guess what: it didn’t happen, and if anything we’re even more mixed up now than we were before.  After a strange Christmas in Las Vegas, where every day feels exactly the same, […]

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No pants needed in Tecopa, CA.

Taking a Bath in Tecopa, California

By     |    Jan 13, 2012
Posted in: California     |    3 Comments

I take the “no lewd behavior” posting as a good sign. This place seems well-run and professional, I think to myself. Creepy, well-run, and professional. It’s tough not to be a bit creepy when it comes to nude bathing. Clothing not optional. It starts with a shower and the showers have curtains. Well, actually, it starts with the decision to bathe (and before that, a trip to Tecopa, CA), then […]

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Badwater basin at sunrise.

The Best of Death Valley: Avoiding the Crowds at the Hot Spots

By     |    Jan 12, 2012
Posted in: California, Parks     |    2 Comments

Even though there’s plenty to do in Death Valley without visiting the named attractions, sooner or later you’re going to want to see these places too — after all, when you return to civilization, everyone in the know is going to ask if you’ve seen the Racetrack, Badwater, Scotty’s Castle, etc. (I’m also irresistibly curious about these places). There are a few things you can do to ensure you see the […]

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