USA


Redondo Beach get-away packing

I’m back to living in my adopted hometown for a while, so you might not call that traveling. But LA is a major travel destination — and I am traveling within it this weekend! From Friday – Tuesday, I’ll be a guest of a friend in Redondo Beach. I get to show her all the tricks of the iPhone, see friends, and enjoy the beach air and all that Redondo Beach and the Redondo Beach Marina and Pier have to offer.

Wondering how I packed?


Don’t miss theater when you travel!

One of the nicest things you can do for yourself when you travel is to experience local theater. Whether it’s a small local theater group, a small traveling repertory group, a small drama theater, or a full-blown Broadway cast on tour — you can’t go wrong getting a taste of the local high culture. Theater downtown LA In my adopted home-town of Los Angeles, CA, I never miss an opportunity to see a show at the Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theater or its smaller Mark Taper Forum, both at the Music Center downtown LA. Busses go right to it and trains get you very close. (They have a 3rd theater in Culver City that’s also accessible by bus.) A show there is the perfect way to top off a day of walking around downtown. I’ve sat almost all over both of these theaters and I don’t think there’s a bad seat in either […]


Sailing in Austin, TX – WooHoo!

It’s been a while since I’ve sailed. My last sailing venture was at Roatan, one of the Bay Islands off of Honduras, and that didn’t actually include much sailing because their appeal for crew was really just an appeal for a wallet. But today I got to sail in the Beer Can Races at the Austin Yacht Club, on Lake Travis in Austin, Texas, USA. “Sailing in Austin?”— some people have asked, surprised. Yep! Austin, Texas doesn’t have ocean, but it does have Lake Travis. And, in summer the lake is warm and inviting for swimming too. (Unfortunately, it’s about 53′ less of a lake now than “normal” due to dry spells and water use — but those boats still able to launch still get to enjoy it.) So today promised to be the first of a lot of sailing for me for the next month while I get to call […]


Fav sculpture in Culver City, Los Angeles

This is one of my favorite sculptures in Los Angeles. As you can see, it’s film themed. No surprise. It’s actually in Culver City. It’s at the Veterans Memorial Complex. The parking structure you may glimpse through the first shot is parking for Sony Studios. Look closely and you can see a Culver City Green Bus. In the 2nd shot you can glimpse the US flag and the California flag below it. I love looking at the sunlight on it and the reflections in the water. There’s no grass or comfy seats around it though so I just stand and appreciate it when I come to meetings in the center here. Culver City has been home to The Culver Studios since 1918. You’ve likely seen some of the famous movies that have been filmed there.


Kayte Deioma’s Things to Do in Los Angeles

Whether you’re visiting Los Angeles, thinking of traveling to LA, or live in Los Angeles — if you’re looking for Things to Do in Los Angeles,  columnist Kayte Deioma’s guide to Los Angeles at About.com can help. Kayte’s been collecting and publishing information about events in Los Angeles to guide locals and visitors alike for many years. She’s got post after post about what you can do in Los Angeles. Her LA event listings are well-written: easy to read, full of the necessary information, and complete with links.


For travelers to Montana

If you happen to be heading to Montana… I recently “met” Lynn Kinnaman, a fellow writer, who has lived in Bozeman, Montana for much or all of her adult life and has written many an article and book about Montana. She is also the Editor of this small website that lists some upcoming events taking place there. So, in case it helps you in your travels: SW Montana Magazine — What we love (& you might not know) about Montana.


Marina Del Rey, new business class Hilton Garden with free wi-fi!

As I start writing this I am cozy on a nice suede couch in the earth-toned lobby of the newly opened Hilton Garden Inn (hotel) in Marina del Rey. And… get this — I can actually post this from the hotel because it actually allows guests to have wi-fi access for free. Now, you may be thinking…what’s the big deal about free wifi? So here’s how wi-fi tends to work in the USA. For some reason I have yet to understand, the more reasonably priced hotels offer free wi-fi for guests but the high-end hotels change from $10-$25 per 24-hour period for wi-fi. (At $25 it’s part of a “resort fee.”) Holiday Inn, a chain at which I have elected to stay at and hold events, led the way with access by offering free wi-fi since 2005. Business class hotels followed, and Hilton Garden Inn falls into this category.


Historic Route 66: 8 States to the Pacific Ocean

US Highway 66 was once THE way to cross the US from Chicago to Santa Monica, CA and arrive at the Pacific Ocean. You may have heard, “Get your kicks on Route 66” from the 1946 song written by Bobby Troup. Then the larger higher-speed roads were built and travelers stopped taking this route. Real travelers continued to choose roads such as this and actually get to see and know the USA instead of speeding past so much of it. When I drove across the USA myself the 2nd time, after traveling much of the world, I sure elected those real-life roads. I highly recommend those smaller roads whenever you have time. Anyway, the historic Route 66 log appears more and more on clothing and products. It’s got the appeal. And happily, towns along the route are helping people know about it. Google Maps even notes it in its directions […]


Free Trolley in Ventura, CA

People come up to Ventura to enjoy the harbor, the amazing Channel Islands, and the fresh breeze — and now the Ventura Trolley will make travel within the area a breeze. Ventura, California is about to become easier for travelers to visit this summer thanks to a FREE trolley system to take you between Ventura’s Downtown and Harbor Village. After living in Los Angeles for many years, I finally got up to the Southern-ish California coastal village of Ventura. I was there to kayak around the Channel Islands and their pristine beauty took my breath away and reinvigorated me at the same time. But while there, I also got to know downtown Ventura — and as I walked around I was sorry I had missed this lovely town for so many years. (I also learned Ventura has two great golf courses and that one is a true Links course. Soon […]


In CA Sprint LTE handles dual apps — even when one is real-time navigation

I write this from my home-base of Los Angeles, CA as I take a travel break and my travel is house/tech-sitting within various areas in LA. Sprint recently launched it’s LTE (Long Term Evolution aka 4G) network in Los Angeles, California, so I took a Samsung Galaxy Note II for a test run on a bus across town to see how it does. The bus was a local, but there was no traffic at this time of day, so we moved rather swiftly. The Note II is a rather large screen and has a split screen feature so you can view and use two apps at the same time. I placed the Maps app on the top and, well, Facebook, as the bottom app. Maps loaded immediately. I figured out how to set it to track my movement. (It’s not highly intuitive.) I did that first by Destination, later just […]


Thefts by USA, TSA

On Monday, December 10, 2012, TravelMole.com reported about a TSA agent leving JFK International Airport with iPads he stole from passenger luggage. The story is “TSA agent caught red-handed with stolen iPads.” Regarding action against the employee, the story says: Transportation Security Administration spokesman David Castelveter told ABC News that the TSA has “taken the steps to begin processing [Henry] for termination.” “TSA holds its employees to the highest ethical standards and has zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace,” said Castelveter in a statement. What I do not understand is why the TSA does not have a simple rule: You steal, you lose your job! Granted, the USA is a country where we stupidly are not permitted to say something negative if asked to give a job reference, so a second rule is needed: You steal, you lose your job and the theft becomes a criminal record! It is […]


US – Panama fair trade agreement has begun

As of Wednesday, October 31 United States and Panama are in an active fair trade agreement, a year after President Obama signed this historic bill (which had its start in the 2007 Bush administration). As Panama is home to the Panama Canal, the US has long been working with Panama. Exactly what benefits to each country will be remains to be seen. (There are many theories, projections of benefits, and worries on the US side.) The US gov’t website says, “The U.S.–Panama trade agreement will support American jobs, expand markets and enhance U.S. competitiveness.” it also says,”Now more than ever, America’s ability to create jobs here at home depends on our ability to export goods and services to the world….” I will be entering Panama as this agreement is new so I wonder whether I will hear of it from Panamanians and in shops. What I do know already from […]


Here by choice

A thought on a cold morning: I’m cold. But I’m here in NYC by choice so grin and bear it. Actually, I don’t have to grin. No one’s watching me. I am here because I wanted to be here. I can leave any time. Just deal with it. The flip side: I am back in my hometown, living in my beloved NYC energy, seeing great friends I have missed for a long time. I am so glad I am here!