My Latest Espresso Adventure

I know the plan for June was to cut back on the coffee, but the Victoria, BC trip with the Coffee Club of Seattle was already scheduled. My espresso mini guide is up on INeedCoffee. 5 Espresso Saturday in Victoria, BC Unrelated to coffee, I love a good user interface. Victoria utilizes boxes at crosswalks […]

Vancouver 2012

Last weekend I returned to Vancouver, Canada for a weekend of massive espresso consumption. Actually, I had so much caffeine on Saturday that I had trouble sleeping and I never have trouble falling asleep. Sure I might have light sleep or wake too early, but falling asleep is never a problem. The reason is most […]

Back From California

During my short trip to the Los Angeles area, I stayed at the most unique hotel I’ve ever slept at: The Queen Mary. This luxury cruise ship was built in 1936. Lots of famous people traveled on it. During World War 2 it transported troops to Europe. In 1967, the City of Long Beach bought […]

Travel Maps 2010

2010 ended without me being able to add a single new state or country to my travel maps. My only travels this year were to the Olympic peninsula and Portland, Oregon. visited 32 states (64%) Create your own visited map of The United States visited 12 countries (5.33%) Create your own visited map of The […]

Portland Coffee Adventures

My guide to the Portland, Oregon espresso scene is now finished. Head over to INeedCoffee if you want to read Portland Espresso Vacation. As if living in Seattle with all its wonderful coffee isn’t enough, we are fortunate to have Vancouver to our north and Portland to our south. Many coffee professionals cite these 3 […]

Back From Portland, Oregon

My only other visit to Portland, Oregon was when I drove from San Diego to Seattle in 2007. Since then the coffee scene has exploded down there. I will post a full report on INeedCoffee later. For now, I’ll post a few non-coffee related photos. Khao Muu Daeng/Muu Krob from Pok Pok Rose Test Garden […]

Where Was I?

I am back from my trip. Where did I go? Below are two photo clues. Bonus clue: I stood out as a tourist because I wear bright colors and have no facial hair.

Talk Me Down, Safe and Sound

If you live in Seattle or plan on coming here for vacation, I highly recommend taking the Seattle Underground Tour. It is 90 minutes long and full of fun history on how the city got started. Most of my photos did not turn out, so I found some better ones from Flickr. The tour is […]

Coke Zero in Thailand

This post has been moved from Coffee Hero. It was originally written on January 12, 2010. Even though I quit drinking Coke Zero in 2008, I make an exception when I’m in a hot place far from quality coffee. So in 2009, I drank Coke Zero in Thailand, Cambodia and New Orleans. Coke Zero is […]

Coffee (Land) Mine

This post has been moved from Coffee Hero. It was originally written on November 14, 2009. This voluminous monster is what I got when I ordered an espresso in Bangkok. My first impression is that Seattle does Thai food better than Thailand does coffee. UPDATE: It appears I misplaced the espresso photo when I moved […]

Coffee Bean Chair from Argentina

This post has been moved from Coffee Hero. It was originally written on January 25, 2010. I was going through photos from my 2006 trip through South America and I found this photo that I had completely forgot about. This coffee bean chair was inside a Buenos Aires mall. Notice that every chair in the […]

Marco Polo Didn’t Go There

Two years ago I read the travel book Vagabonding, which I enjoyed. I was pleased to discover the author had written another book. Marco Polo Didn’t Go There: Stories and Revelations from One Decade as a Postmodern Travel Writer (Travelers’ Tales Guides) by Rolf Potts is a collection of travel stories. Most of the stories […]

Planes, Trains and Elephants – My 2009 Asia Trip Overview

Early in my 4 week trip to Asia, I discovered that slow upload speeds would prevent me from posting my travel blogs in a sequential timeline. Now that I have all my posts finished (finally), I can assemble them in order with links. I bolded the more important posts. At the end of the post, […]

Fearing Black Canyon Coffee in Bangkok, Thailand

While looking for espresso as I explored the streets of Bangkok, I found a sign inside a shopping mall pointing me in the direction of a place called Black Canyon Coffee. With a logo that seemed more fitting for Arizona than Thailand, my interest was peaked. I walked in the direction the sign was pointing, […]

Chiang Mai, Thailand

It seems I missed a post. I posted about the cool things I did in Chiang Mai, such as the Thai cooking class, elephant training and playing with tigers, but I didn’t mention the town itself. Chiang Mai was just my speed. Even though I loved exploring Bangkok, I prefered the much smaller city of […]

Seattle Iced Latte in Bangkok?

This post was moved from Coffee Hero. When I spotted this “Seattle Latte” in the cold drink section of a Bangkok 7 Eleven, I knew I had to try it. It was a sweet tasting drink, which wasn’t too painful considering how hot and humid it was in Thailand. Did it taste like a Seattle […]

Elephant Training Video and Photos

The long awaited video and photos to my day of elephant training are finally ready. Enjoy my gracefulness! This highlight video was made using Windows Live Movie Maker, which I just downloaded and am still learning how to use. Elephant Training in Chiang Mai, Thailand Photo Gallery For Elephant Training in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Birdy Ice Coffee is Just Nasty

This post was moved from Coffee Hero. If I had to pick the worst coffee related beverage I tried in while traveling in Asia, I’d say it was Birdy Robusta Ice Coffee. Now this is something I’d never consider drinking back home, but since I was in Coffee Explorer mode, I figured I’d give it […]

A Holiday in Cambodia

How did I end up in Cambodia when my original travel plans only included Thailand? It was me discovering what type of traveler I am. The thought of spending two weeks on the white sand beaches of Thailand may sound like paradise to many, but I got bored quickly at the beach. I needed a […]

Cambodian Landmine Museum

The sad history of Cambodia involves land mines. Lots of them. I read an estimate that there may still be 2 million land mines buried in throughout the country. And no one bothered to document where they were placed. As a result, people are still being killed andmaimedtoday. While in Cambodia, I saw quite a […]

Travel Maps 2009

Now that we are at the end of 2009, it is time to update my Travel Maps. This year I added Louisiana to my USA Map. visited 32 states (64%) Create your own visited map of The United States And on the World map, I added Cambodia, Malaysia, South Korea and Thailand. visited 12 states […]

A Rainy Day in Seoul, South Korea

On the return flight home to Seattle, I had a 12 hour layover in Seoul, South Korea. Urban hiking in 41F rain felt a lot like Seattle. Like Kuala Lumpur, Seoul has an airport which connects right into a train/subway system. I was able to get to the heart of downtown Seoul in about an […]

Coffee Hunting in Seoul, South Korea

Yesterday I had a 12 hour layover in Seoul, South Korea. Instead of hanging out at the airport, I decided to venture into the city and seek out some coffee. Before heading out, I got a good espresso from Caffe Pascucci. That provided enough fuel for me to leave the airport and make my way […]

I’ve Got Seoul and I’m Super Bad

What do you do when you have a 12 hour layover in Seoul, Korea? Hang out in the terminal or go exploring? Explore! It is time to put allthat cold weather training to use. Once I step outside the terminal (minutes from now) it will be 41 F. Good thing I dropped $2.50 on a […]

Arrived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The adventure continues. I arrived in Kuala Lumpur late last night.This is an awesomeairport. The KLIA Ekspreshooks right into the terminal and drops you off in the center of the city, which is a 28 minute journey. Once at the center (KL Sentral)you can takea train orget a prepaid taxi. This is the slickest arrival […]

My Return to Bangkok

For those keeping score, I left Cambodia and returned to Bangkok for a night before flying down to Malaysia. Before returning to Seattle, I will go back to Bangkok for one more night. I will get around to posting on Cambodia, but probably not until I return to Seattle. Cambodia was an amazing experience. I […]

Ko Samui, Thailand

After escaping the hell known as Patong Beach, I headed for the quieter beach setting of the island of Ko Samui. Although the vendors were still pushy, it was far less than Patong. If you only have a few days to spend on the beaches of Thailand, I’d go to Ko Samui instead of Phuket. […]

Phuket, Thailand

The prime vacation destination for Thailand is probably Phuket. That should have been a warning. I did not care for Phuket. It was loud and the vendors were beyond obnoxious. It was probably my mistake for staying at Patong Beach. Once I got away from Patong, the rest of thePhuket was much better. Patong is […]

Posting Bottleneck From Thailand

I am behind on my trip blog posts. The primary reason is the upload speeds in Thailand (to my American servers) are horrific. This means the photos are being uploaded at a painfully slow rate. Most are failing. Unless I get faster upload speeds soon, I may need to do mini-galleries here and then work […]

One Night In Bangkok and the World’s Your Oyster

How about 5 nights then? I was told by several people that had visited to Thailand to get out of Bangkok as soon as possible. It is dirty, loud and not representative of the real Thailand. I had low expectations for Bangkok. The only reason I scheduled 5 nights there was so I could meet […]

Off to Thailand

I am off for a 4 week trip to Thailand (Nov 12 – Dec 10). This is my first trip to Asia. In 2006 I met a retired British school teacher in Auckland, New Zealand. For over an hour he told me how wonderful Thailand was. The food, the people, the beaches and everything else. […]

Some Good Travel News For Me?

Last December, I learned that my super common name was on the “naughty list” at airports. From the post Osama MAS Laden: Guess what common American as apple pie name is now on the governments watch list? Mine. American Airlines has confirmed that my name is on the naughty list. Being on the watch list […]

Vancouver – Nice and Beautiful

Writing about travel is the hardest thing for me to do. I’d rather hack out 500 words on the stupidity of Ben Bernanke. It pains me to use terms like “nice” and “beautiful” to describe a trip. That is so boring. I think that is why it has taken so long for me to get […]

New Orleans 2009

Well I am finally getting around to posting on my trip to New Orleans. I arrived on the Sunday before Fat Tuesday and left Thursday afternoon. This was a great way to see the city both during the chaos of Mardi Gras and the normalcy just afterwords. From 1994-1998, I lived in the Tampa Bay […]

Off To New Orleans

See you all in a week. I’m going to Mardi Gras. Photo A rainy day on Bourbon Street, New Orleans by Flickr user And all that Malarkey

Travel Maps 2008

No new countries or states to check off the map this year. In February, I will attend Mardi Gras and be able to check off Louisiana. visited 31 states (62%) Create your own visited map of The United States visited 8 countries (3.55%) Create your own visited map of The World

The Lovely Ladies of Texas?

When I arrived at my gate at the DFW (Dallas Fort-Worth) airport, I walked past a stunningly beautiful woman. Magazine cover quality. Two minutes later, a better looking woman walked by. And then a third. My only trips to Texas have been confined to airports, so I have no idea what exists past the security […]

Paying to be Considerate

Whenever I fly, I check my bag in. The reason is I detest all those people that abuse the carry-on policy. One small bag became one small bag plus carry on. Then the bag got larger. Women would not count their purse as a carry on. Grab a bag of McDonalds and a 32 oz […]

Osama MAS Laden

Guess what common “American as apple pie” name is now on the governments watch list? Mine. American Airlines has confirmed that my name is on the naughty list. Why did my parents have to slap me with the most common baby name for 43 consecutive years on top of my surname a Smith? If my […]

Thoughts on ThanksMAS Travel

I am now back from my ThanksMAS trip. All was well in Ohio. Now I’d like to bore you all with my airport stories. My original post got too long, so I broke it into three parts. Osama MAS Laden Paying to be Considerate The Lovely Ladies of Texas?

Will 2009 Be The Perfect Year to Travel?

With the exception of a summer road trip to Vancouver, I really didn’t travel at all this year. Seattle is amazing during the summer and I had just moved to Queen Anne, so I really didn’t see a need to leave town. Now that the days are only about 12 minutes long, I’m itching to […]

Smile When You’re Lying

Just like I did in 2007, soon I’ll be assembling my Best Books of 2008 list. I’m almost certain this one will make the list. Smile When You’re Lying: Confessions of a Rogue Travel Writer by Chuck Thompson is a very funny travel book. The author trashes the travel writing industry and then tells a […]

Columbus and New Orleans Trips Planned

I have two upcoming trips planned. Trip one is ThanksMAS. I will be in Columbus for ThanksMAS between December 11th and December 16th. All my Columbus readers now have fair warning. Trip two will be my first Mardi Gras. I will be in New Orleans from February 22nd through February 26th. Photo New Orleans – […]


The 4-Hour Workweek exposed me to the idea of working on road. Although I’m pretty good at working remote, more instruction was needed on the traveling part. Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts is a collection of essays and tips written for those considering living on the […]

Returning to Columbus, For a Weekend

I got tired of waiting for my high school reunion planning committee to set a date for my 20th (now 21st) high school reunion. Guess I’ll catch them at the 25th. I’m heading back for a long weekend from Thursday April 17th through Tuesday April 22nd. Family, friends, Ted’s Montana Grill, Donatos Pizza, Staufs, etc. […]

The MAS o Menos Bike Race

I was testing to see if Google had starting indexing my new WordPress blog and I stumbled onto the Desert Sports web site, which talks about the MAS o Menos 100 bike race. It is a 100 K race on mountain bikes near the Big Bend National Park in Texas. This race is calling to […]

Culture Shock Japan

On my short list of places to visit next is Japan. My first step in learning about a new country is reading the Culture Shock! book for that country. CultureShock! Japan: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette (Culture Shock! Guides) by P. Sean Bramble by P. Sean Bramble is the best Culture Shock! I’ve […]

Waking Up in Costa Rica

What is the best thing to read on a cold wet January day in Seattle? Maybe a book about how much cheaper and warmer life could be in Costa Rica. Moon Living Abroad in Costa Rica (Living Abroad) is by Erin Van Rheenen and she sold me on Costa Rica. Although I seriously doubt I’ll […]

Back From Canada Eh!

Vancouver was an amazing city. Think San Diego with frostbite. Actually it’s downtown is further built out than San Diego. Despite the rain and cold temperatures, I was able to get some good photos. And I now have a new favorite coffee house: Caffe Artigiano. Great food, Clover and my new favorite drink the Americano […]

Not Much of a Culture Shock

After reading the Culture Shock! books for Chile and Cuba, I thought I’d read the one for Vancouver. My first trip to Canada is in a week. How shocking is the Vancouver culture? Judging solely by the book Culture Shock! Vancouver: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette (Culture Shock! at Your Door) by Cuek-Cheng […]

Longing For Cuba

A few weeks ago I read the Culture Shock book on Chile. Before I read the book, I really wanted to visit Chile. After reading the book, I still wanted to see that country, just not as much as before. How did I respond to the Culture Shock book on Cuba? Culture Shock! Cuba: A […]

Two Types of Travelers

I’ve noticed that people that travel tend to fall into two camps. 1-People that go to the same places they know and like multiple times. 2-People that always seek out a new place to visit. I’m clearly in the second group. As much as I liked Maui or Buenos Aires, I have many more places […]

The Most Dangerous Places in the World

Over a month ago I stumbled upon the most interesting travel book I’ve ever seen. This book isn’t about places to snorkel in Hawaii or New England bed and breakfast locations. This was a book on traveling to the most dangerous locations in the world. Robert Young Pelton’s The World’s Most Dangerous Places: 5th Edition […]

High School Reunion Update

Turns out the planners of my high school reunion came to the same conclusion I did in my High School Reunion Dilemma post. In that post I stated: My 20 year high school reunion is scheduled on the same day as the Ohio State – Michigan game. You could not have a picked a worse […]

Culture Shock Chile

Last year before I went to South America I did minimal research. Basically I just checked to see what the weather would be like, got some vaccinations and read the travel bulletins provided by the State Department. I wasn’t prepared enough. Culture Shock! Chile: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette (Culture Shock! Guides) by […]

Travel Maps 2007

The countries in red indicate places that I have traveled to. There still is a slight chance I’ll get to add Canada before the end of the year. visited 7 countries (3.11%) Create your own visited map of The World And here is my USA travel map. Notice my aversion to states in the Central […]

Bailing on Guavaween

The streak will end at 12 years. Looks like I won’t be attending Guavaween this year. Since 1995, I’ve spent the last Saturday in October in Ybor City, Florida celebrating Halloween. Every year the cost for me to attend the event gets greater and greater. In the 1990s, I would drive in and find a […]

High School Reunion Dilemma

For the last year or so I have been waiting to attend my 20 year high school reunion. Since the 10 year reunion took place in the summer, I expected the 20 year would also be in the summer. This summer I kind of mentally blocked out a weekend that I would fly back to […]

Bainbridge Island

Monday I took the ferry over to Bainbridge Island. This was the first time I had ever taken my car onto a ferry. That was the highlight of the trip. The island was pretty boring. The next time I go to Bainbridge, I’ll just be passing through on my way to Olympic National Park. Photo […]

Putting Around Pike Place

Today I went exploring downtown Seattle. I seemed to find more things than I did back on my first visit in May. Having never tried Russian food, I had to try a pirozhki at Cafe Yarmarka. It was pretty good. The last time I was down by the original *$, I didn’t order anything. Today […]

Discovery Park in Seattle

Today we braved the rain and did some city hiking in Seattle’s Discovery Park. We took the light house tour. On the way home we finally found a good Mexican restaurant in Seattle. Legacy Comments Joe Dude! Awesome! When I was 18 I moved with my family to Virginia. NO GOOD MEXICAN FOOD. NO REAL […]

Agent Cooper I’m in Twin Peaks

Just east of where I’m living now is Snoqualmie Falls, Washington. This is where Twin Peaks was filmed. Before I left the house, I had a plan to run around taking pictures of the locations used on the TV series. It had been 15 or so years since I saw the show, so I decided […]

Impressed by Portland Oregon

Despite the fact many of the downtown streets are torn up for a construction project, I really liked downtown Portland. Lots of cool neighborhoods and a waterfront. It is also a city that is committed to a quality beverage. It’s the home of Stumptown Coffee, which roasts one of the best espresso blends in the […]

Pacific Road Trip

We leave Saturday morning for our move to Seattle. Movers will be taking most of our stuff. We are driving our own cars the 1250 miles. Thankfully I have satellite radio. My car will be loaded with essential items. Those include some clothes, my PC and my espresso machine. That way if our movers overshoot […]

New York City – July 1999

My first visit to New York City was July 4th weekend in 1999. The temperatures were around 100 degrees and everybody stayed inside or left town. My first NYC experience and there was nobody around. It was a ghost town. Photo Gallery For New York City – July 1999

Guavaween 2007

Who thinks about Halloween in early June? I do. Not familiar with Guavaween? Read my Guavaween 2006 post. Guavaween will be on Saturday, October 27th this year. It is held in the Ybor City district of Tampa, Florida. Of course I’ll be there. So far The TailGunner and I are coming. We will arrive Friday […]

Channel Islands – Santa Cruz

Yesterday we visited the Channel Islands National Park. This National Park just outside of Ventura, California does not have an entrance fee like most parks. However, you will need to hire an outfitter to take you to the island which is 20 miles off the coast. We went to the island of Santa Cruz with […]