lago di braies

Our starting point for Debbie’s and my hike through Italy’s Dolomiti mountains was Lago di Braies, a surreal spot of unbelievable beauty. There’s a hotel on the lake, but early that September morning, there were few guests ambling around its perimeter. There were a dozen or so hikers who, like us, were embarking on Alta Via 1. I just remember this calm quiet on the lake. Nothing disturbed its glassy silence. The mountains in the background served as sentinels. A dilapidated boathouse sat on stilts above the water. Half a dozen wooden boats gently bobbed against one another on one shore.…

paella valenciana

I don’t know about you, but when I’m not traveling, I’m pretty much homesick for all the places I’ve been. Food and culture in the US pale in comparison to my watercolor memories. But I’m fortunate enough to live in a city (San Diego) that has some pretty authentic global cuisine, including Spanish fare at Cafe Sevilla. Travel Pros, Unite! I’m a part of a meetup group called Travel Massive, a global organization that connects people who either work in travel (bloggers, travel agents) or who are simply enthusiastic about travel. We get to do all kinds of awesome things…

three palms

Do you ever see plants and feel like they’re animate? These three palms in Saint Augustine, Florida, seem like three gossiping sisters. I imagine the things they’ve seen, perched on the shore of the oldest city in America. Did they quake their leaves in fear when Sir Francis Drake sacked and burned the city? Did they crane their necks, trying to look inland to the railroads that Henry Flagler laid down before he started changing the landscape of the city with his various buildings? Did they say their goodbyes during hurricanes, sure they’d never see each other again? Do they…

borrego springs

Growing up in Arkansas, I was accustomed to gentle mountains covered in trees. Lakes, filled to the brim with sparkling water. All in stark contrast to what surrounds me in San Diego County. On my first trip to Anza Borrego Desert, just two hours northeast of San Diego, I was agog at how different the landscape was from what I was used to. Slot canyons made of sand that crumbled at the touch wound around like a psychedelic dream. Ancient riverbeds — or even ocean beds — lay flat below sharp craggy rockmountains. We camped that first trip. The camping,…