August 24, 2018

Hiking Destinations in California

California charms dreamers: surfer kids rub elbows with the rich and famous. Hippies mind their own enclave away from the old money and nouveau rich. It thrives and flourishes in contradictions. Its varied landscape and terrain reflect the characters of the locals and visitors alike. It has the swells, the eclectic and fancy shops, and the beaches. It has everything, including the trails locals and visitors tread on — a necessary and quiet escape from a place that has everything. Robert Louis Stevenson State Park: Where the Wild Remains Wild It has been said that Robert Louis Stevenson State Park […]
August 26, 2018
Backpacking with a Book

Celebrating the Old in Santa Cruz

Once people stop celebrating the old — be it buildings, history, or culture — they cease to exist. Many places are guilty of this disappearing act. But Santa Cruz is different. The city’s vibrant culture is centered on its past. Santa Cruz is liberated, liberating, accommodating, and hip. And true to its Californian spirit, this is the coast where eccentric personalities meet millionaires, where surfers and Rastafarians are friends with old-money locals. Here are five vintage destinations that celebrate the past in Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz Harbor Walton Lighthouse: Where Light Guides
September 8, 2018
Backpacking with a Book

The Best Places to Witness Sunsets in La Mesa

A town in Southern California, La Mesa — some 9 miles from central San Diego — is known as the Jewel of the Hills. What used to be a small southwestern city is now a popular destination for its quaint character and lively downtown. One thing you absolutely must experience while there are the marvelous sunsets. Here are five places to indulge in nature’s artwork on the horizon in La Mesa. Mt. Helix: Where Solitude Reigns Image via Flickr by brianjbaxter No two sunsets are the same. And the one you’ll see from atop Mt. Helix is a testament to […]
May 4, 2019

DOWN SOUTH | I’d Rather Eat and Try to Understand

This was written five years ago. There was Agness. Now there is Erik Matti. There were angry Filipinos. Now there are angry Cebuanos. Last week, I was on a boat of mixed races: Filipino, Chinese, Korean, French, Belgian, and perhaps other races that I overlooked or forgot to ask. It was a happy, odd mix, I would say—a boat of strangers that sometimes ended up as Facebook friends or more often than not, started and ended as strangers.  Our boat crew was admirable: they took our pictures, provided a rough course on swimming for those who could not swim, complimented […]