My São Paulo Five

My São Paulo Five

When I began preparing for a work trip to São Paulo, my expectations were quickly tempered: The city does not come up as a destination of choice. It is sprawling, congested, scruffy, expensive (many of the visitors are business travelers who stick to the ultra-luxurious hotels and restaurants), and not altogether coherent. There are more … Continue reading

Travel Theme: Pink

Travel Theme: Pink

It is almost time. It may snow next week, but — no matter. The trees are waking up, the earth sighs with its first blooms, the birds are looking for mates. Spring is about to burst. And in DC, spring means Pink, like Ailsa’s Travel Theme this week, the pink of the cherry blossoms. My … Continue reading

The King’s Golden Plover

The King’s Golden Plover

This week’s Photo Challenge is Object. Here’s mine — an object I almost overlooked: the golden plover of the Ahu’ena Heiau, the temple that Kamehameha the Great chose as his own when he returned to the Big Island a king of the Hawaiian archipelago in 1812. It perches atop Koleamoku, the god of healing, the tallest of the heiau’s carvings. … Continue reading

The Dancing Men of Puako

The Dancing Men of Puako

Thirty miles north of the tranquil Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park is another hidden gem, the Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve, one of the largest petroglyph fields in Hawaii. Over 3,000 k’i’i pohaku (images in stone) are tucked along the trails of the 233-acre preserve, quite a sight. It all starts modestly enough. From Route 19, enter the manicured Mauna Lani … Continue reading

WordPress Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

WordPress Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

This week’s WordPress’s Photo Challenge is Juxtaposition. Here are some images that sprang to mind: 1. Two soldiers lost in conversation at the Gettysburg 150th National Civil War Battle Reenactment 2. An idyllic statue of James and Dolley Madison against reconstructed slave quarters at their Montpelier estate 3. A colorful kite against the weathered walls of El Morro, … Continue reading

Gettysburg 150th National Civil War Battle Reenactment

Gettysburg 150th National Civil War Battle Reenactment

Costumed demonstrations at El Morro and Mount Vernon aside, I’ve never been to a large-scale reenactment. With Civil War sesquicentennial upon us, we thought we’d go big and head to Gettysburg, where annual battle reenactments have been drawing crowds for the past two decades. July 2013, the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, seemed like … Continue reading

Fishtrap and Turtles of Kaloko-Honokōhau

Fishtrap and Turtles of Kaloko-Honokōhau

We stumbled on it accidentally on our way to Mauna Kea and its dramatic sunset. A highway sign off Route 19 announced the Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park. It didn’t look promising — the Kona side of the Big Island is filled with large hotel developments, and this looked no different from afar, so we almost didn’t … Continue reading

Travel Theme: Fragrant

Travel Theme: Fragrant

I love this week’s travel theme from Where’s My Backpack: Fragrant. Just think of the fragrance, and the memory comes alive. The musty smell of fallen leaves is the foggy morning at Rijster Bosch, Netherlands: Warm aromas of hot cider and burning wood are this gentle sledding hill at the Blackwater Falls State Park, West … Continue reading

Turtle-spotting at Punalu’u Black Sand Beach

Turtle-spotting at Punalu’u Black Sand Beach

Tucked away along the Big Island’s southeastern tip (Hawaii’s rural Ka’ū District, just off Route 11, between mile markers 55 and 56) is the Punalu’u Black Sand Beach, the most accessible of black sand beaches on the island. The sand really is jet black, remnants of lava shattered as it touched the ocean — you will only … Continue reading

Cee’s Photo Challenge: Two’s Company

Cee’s Photo Challenge: Two’s Company

Cee’s photo challenge is Two. Here are mine: 1. A mountain and its reflection in the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, in winter 2. Two benches, shrouded in cherry petals along the Tidal Basin, last spring 3. Two fully open lotus flowers at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in summer 4. Bison, resting on Antelope Island in the Great … Continue reading

Travel Theme: Connections

Travel Theme: Connections

Ailsa’s travel theme challenge this week is Connections. Here are some of mine: 1. Locking eyes with an osprey at the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve  2. Reliving the past at George Washington’s Mount Vernon 3. Listening to sheep cry out to each other in the fog near Rijsterbos 4. Watching for our destination on the Grand Canyon Railway  … Continue reading

Travel Theme: Deep

Travel Theme: Deep

I have been gone for far too long from this little page of mine. Ailsa’s weekly challenge is here to the rescue: This week’s theme is Deep. Deep like the tunnels of San Cristóbal in Puerto Rico. Down-down they go to the  dungeon, with its walls peeling, grooves for explosives over your head, and–the centerpiece of … Continue reading

Hilo’s Magic: Sacred Stones and Waterfalls

Hilo’s Magic: Sacred Stones and Waterfalls

After soaring over lava, our afternoon in Hilo was a bit of a blur.  I remember the rows of colorful, two-story buildings, frayed, but cheerful, many dating back to the sugar boom of the 1920s; the smell of rain over the pavement; and lots and lots of leaves, primordial in their size and hues. Next … Continue reading