The Italy Rules are my set of guidelines for the first-time and infrequent Italy traveler. I have traveled to, lived, and worked in Italy frequently over the past 20 years. In this time I evolved from a curious tourist to hardened, salty veteran of the trials, travails, and pitfalls of one of the world’s most visited countries. One usually dreams of Italy for years before finally setting their foot into the proverbial boot. The dream usually crashes in much less time. This post is really for the traveler who has not been deep into the Amazon or climbed to base camps in Nepal. This post is for those of you who enjoy modern conveniences, large bathrooms, and the amenities of a comfortable Western life. For the most part, I am you. I love my big bed, my central heat and air, and my very fast wi-fi connection. However, Italy is reason enough for me forego these luxuries for a few weeks or months out of every year. [Read more...]
San Francisco Dogpatch - A Hipstamatic Tour is a portrait of a neighborhood right along the bay and down from Potrero Hill. The name is theorized to have been derived from either the proliferation of Dog Fennel that once dominated the area (and still grows in pockets) or packs of wild dogs that used to wait outside the slaughterhouses for scraps. Until recently I had spent little time in this hood say for the occasional Muni ride to a baseball game back in 2005. Now I have a good friend who calls the place home. Dogpatch is a “cool” place to be now with flashy new lofts, great restaurants, and many artisan shops. The beauty here lies in the abandoned warehouses along the water which still dominate the acreage of the area and are some of the most starkly beautiful places I have ever seen. [Read more...]
Here is The Blissful Adventurer 2012 Year in Review Haiku. Haiku was one of my most successful creative expressions here in the blog world in 2012 I want to share some of the best of the best with you all today for my final blog of 2012; easily the most successful year I have a had as a storyteller. [Read more...]
Friuli Friday Photos Finale is my final Friday blog of 2012. These shots are from an extraordinary spring adventure in Friuli-Venezia-Giulia and one from the Veneto just next door. We are in Northeast Italy here, in a land still seeking an identity after changing hands frequently in the 19th and early 20th centuries. I never would have thought I would have eaten the best sauerkraut of my life in Italy, and I did. Tall people, Fascist art, pork in a dozen ways on one plate, my kind of weirdness shared with friends. Nicolas Emery, the famous Rubicon explorer, his fiancée Giulia Laveto (aka juujee), and of course The Schmee were all present and on board for wine, food, and Friuli. [Read more...]
The Most Influential Blogs of 2012 is my tribute to some of the finest work on the web done by caring curators of quality and passion. These individuals and their work gives me cause to pause on my birthday today to celebrate along with them because of what their influence means to my work. For those of you looking to find truth in advertising, look no further than these fantastic sites. [Read more...]
The Blissful Adventurer – 2012 Blog of the Year
Imagine my surprise when I clicked on the link from Cara Olsen to her outstanding blog This Little Light and saw she had selected me among a few of her very talented peers as Blog of the Year for 2012. Cara herself had received the honor and as the protocol dictates shared her love and recognition with other writers she admires in the same vein. Cara, as many of my readers already know, is a novelist/blogger of exceptional mettle and integrity. Her work proves one can have faith and a firm grasp of the human condition and that they are not mutually exclusive. To be chosen by such a talented scribe is truly a blessing in these end of 2012 days. Thank you Cara Olsen. You are blessed and blessed with good taste [Read more...]
Sicily – Theatrical Friday Photos - Is a journey across the enigmatic island using photos that conjure emotions reminiscent of the theater. I am more and more returning to my theatrical roots and seeking inventive and resourceful ways to tell you my stories. This is one of them.
We left the airport at Trapani in a rented Fiat Punto our Garmin Nuvi GPS device had not been updated in 3 years, and roads in Sicily are museums for allied bombing runs from the 1940s. Then, there was this structure in its abandoned glory. Nino Rota played in my head and I fought the urge to look for sheep to herd. In reality I barely took enough time to stare at the gorgeous wreck before getting lost a few more times on the roads that go and go yet no distance ever seems overcome. [Read more...]
San Francisco Bay to Sausalito – Fun Photo Friday is my first post since Thanksgiving. As I am preparing to launch my newest travel venture, working on my book, and diving deep into the coffee, wine, and cuisine of San Francisco I am posting less frequently. At the same time I feel as though what I am lacking in volume I am subsidizing in quality content. I will let all of you decide that for me.
Today’s post chronicles an amazing day Juliet and I spent on the San Francisco bay and across the way in Marin county. We had the great pleasure of being guided by Shawndra McCrorey, an enormously talented wine professional working for an exceptional Italian wine import company, Zigzagando.
Shawndra showed us a side of Marin county we may not have found on our own and we are grateful to share these images from this truly Blissful Adventure.
I took the first shot above from the aft deck of our ferry from SF to Sausalito. I am likely more patriotic than most of my readers would know and while the country can often be so divided I am certain that America is alive and well here in the bay. [Read more...]
Hostess ceases operation and is closing for good. For a moment let’s assume this is true and that the company does not sell to some international conglomerate who lays off the union workers and re-stocks under a new LLC with cheap labor. Let’s assume the end is nigh for the dearest little snack cakes and the happiness I gleaned from their hydrogenated shells. Sure, Hostess and its subsidiaries might actually be a major player in the rise of disease, disability, laziness, and learning disorders in the US, but for this poor kid from small-town Texas, Hostess was freedom in every bite. [Read more...]