A Birthday Trip to Italy: Part III – Rome
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but one day was all we had to shoot the iconic sights and find the best restaurants. Fortunately I have been to Rome a few times before and know the historic center reasonably well so I knew exactly where I wanted to be to get the photos I wanted. The unfortunate thing is that one never knows when the monument or cathedral you want to shoot is going to be covered in scaffolding and being restored or cleaned. (more…)
The Famous 21 Club Burger
After the recent program was over and the group we were hosting left town, we stayed in the city for the weekend to recuperate. Some flights didn’t depart until mid afternoon so by the time we saw everyone off and changed hotels, it was time for a very late lunch. Just a few blocks away from our hotel was the iconic 21 Club and since neither one of us had ever been, we decided to go try their famous burger. Who knew we were in for a special treat, and I don’t mean just the burger.
The Perfect Ending to the Perfect Trip
Twenty Years in Paris – Part V
Call me a softie, a romantic at heart, or perhaps at the point in my life when I have crested the hill and begun what I hope to be a very elegant and gradual descent down the other side. Don’t get me wrong, I still love scuba diving, James Bond movies and the occasional leap off the top of a 2,000 foot tall mountain with nothing but a hang glider silently soaring over the beaches of Rio de Janiero. But sometime after my 40th birthday I noticed my priorities were shifting.
The obsession for the latest clothes, cars and cache has given way to experiencing life to the fullest every day. Life’s lessons learned have been punctuated by just how short life actually is. (more…)
Fun in Phoenix
Phoenix is a city of contradictions. It is a desert city but a river runs through it. Lush green golf courses are surrounded by powdery dry, dusty landscapes. Mile after mile of flat land, with occasional mountains rising from nowhere, form a most interesting topography not often seen throughout the United States.
A neighbor to Phoenix, Scottsdale is an upscale suburban area that is part oasis and part arid mountains scattered amid the hot, dry landscape. Adjacent to Camelback mountain is The Camelback Inn, a JW Marriott resort and spa. The property is very large and comprised of several two story guest room buildings scattered around the meticulously manicured gardens.
I can only imagine what the water bill must be at a resort like this in the middle of the desert. The grounds are very nicely maintained and (more…)
Playa del Carmen – What a Difference a Day Makes!
Waking up the next morning in the quiet, gorgeous condo we found the previous day through Airbnb.com, it was hard to believe that we had gone from such a ridiculous situation to such tranquility in just a few hours. The condo’s owner, who lives in Dallas, arranged for his local manager to meet us at the unit and let us “check in” at noon after high-tailing it out of the hip, young, trendy place where we clearly did not belong.
We quickly stocked up on staples for a weekend in Mexico. Beer, wine, some Scotch and munchies to nibble on. The one bedroom condo (more…)
Trumpets on the Mexican Riviera
We paid dearly for the hotel’s car to pick us up from the airport in Cancun for our 55 minute transfer to Playa del Carmen. Having been to Mexico several times before, and even fallen prey to two of the biggest tourist scams in the country, we knew it was better to be safe than sorry since we wouldn’t need a rental car for our long weekend stay in Playa. Paying off police officers who stop tourists in rental cars on their way to the airport only fuels the corruption fires that burn throughout Mexico.
The atmosphere on the flight to Cancun was even more festive than a flight to Las Vegas. After all, nobody is flying to Cancun for business. Everyone is headed for a vacation and many of us began our libations (more…)
California, Here I Come!
It’s the time of year when frequent fliers check their mileage balance to be sure they will have enough miles to qualify for elite status for the following year. I have already earned my Gold status for next year but my partner was going to be a few miles short.
The purpose of a mileage run is to fly somewhere, preferably on a sale fare, strictly (more…)
National Park Accommodations
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I discovered a major source of photo opportunities I had yet to tap. The United States National Parks. There are some amazing visual treats just waiting for a creative eye and a camera. Finding great light takes some research, planning and luck with Mother Nature, but all of the major natural wonders are well documented which makes the research relatively easy.
Any type of travel requires basic logistics–food and lodging. What I am learning is that most national parks are not located near large cities. In fact, every park I have been to so far has been (more…)
Airport Run and Haute Dogs
Top Chef contestant Richard Blais has opened his third restaurant in Atlanta. The first two are both called FLIP and are both gourmet burger boutiques. His newest restaurant is called HD1 and serves gourmet “Haute Dogs.”
We needed to make a dry-run to the rental car center at Hartsfield International Airport to be sure driving instructions were correct for several folk who are coming to town this week. On the way back (more…)
Where the Stars Eat
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was recently asked to accompany a group of corporate executives to New York where they would ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange. I was documenting the trip and helping to make it as much fun as possible.
It was quite an amazing experience being on the floor of the Stock Exchange. The history, energy, and hundreds of millions of dollars that are made and lost every day was a thrilling experience for me. I was not allowed to use flash (more…)
Southwestern Fare in the Southeast
On a steamy August Saturday night in Atlanta, what would be better than some spicy Southwestern food to help counteract the dog days of summer? On this evening we decided to pay a visit to Nava, one of the Buckhead Life Group restaurants. I was a little suspect of how one could make a liquid cocktail described as a Jalapeno Margarita taste spicy. Believe me, someone figured it out. So far we were off to a great start that evening.
Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I’m a sucker for lobster. If it’s on the menu, it’s on my table. That evening it arrived in the form of an appetizer. (more…)
Amazing Vegetable Details in Vietnam
One of my first impressions of the people of Vietnam was that they were mostly very hard working people who often make little money yet remain cheerful and friendly. They seem happy to take on tasks that Westerners would typically scoff at. Talent, ingenuity and a little love were evident in many of the details I saw while visiting their country.
The edible garnishes were simply awesome! Keep in mind that each and every dish served at this restaurant in Hoi An was accompanied by (more…)
Hot Time in The City
When the temperature reaches 104 in Times Square and the sidewalks measure 147 degrees of heat radiating up in your face, outdoors is really not the place to be. On a recent trip to New York City, the heat was so intense that any respite from it was indeed welcome. Unfortunately all too many of the taxis in NYC don’t exactly offer much in the way of air conditioning.
The main focus for this trip was shooting photos of the group I was accompanying as they rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange. Most of the three day program was indoors so the temperature (more…)
Floating Markets in Vietnam
Chelsea Dresses Up
It is so refreshing to see a city as vibrant and full of life as New York renew itself and remain the center of the universe from so many perspectives. The restaurants are cutting edge, technology is invented and some of the most creative minds in the world live there. As the world’s population increases and demographics shift, New York has done a wonderful job of going with the flow, instead of trying to swim up stream like so many other cities do.
Chelsea and the Meat Packing District are prime examples. It wasn’t long ago that Chelsea was anything but (more…)