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Hearst Castle Tips & Review

Posted on Feb 10, 2016 by Tom Bricker  •  Attraction Reviews, Cool Spots  •  2 Comments

Hearst Castle in San Simeon is a popular and easy stop on a California road trip up Pacific Coast Highway. Is it worth the time and money, though? In this post, we will consider those things, and I’ll offer some tips for visiting, along with some photos I took on our recent tour Grand Rooms Tour […]

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Newport Beach’s Corona del Mar

Posted on Jan 22, 2016 by Tom Bricker  •  Cool Spots  •  6 Comments

Corona del Mar is an affluent area of Newport Beach, California. South of the main harbor, CdM has beautiful, jagged coastline that puts its beaches among the best in Southern California. A lot of the best coastline is difficult to access here, as there’s almost no public access between Crystal Cove and Little Corona Beach. […]

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Merry Christmas from Crystal Cove!

Posted on Dec 26, 2015 by Tom Bricker  •  Photos  •  2 Comments

Well, Merry belated Christmas, that is. Yesterday, we headed to Crystal Cove State Park to see some of the vintage-inspired holiday decor and enjoy a “traditional” white (sand) Christmas. I think it’s going to take years to get used to trading in the snow and evergreens of the Midwest for the beaches and palms of Southern California, […]

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Colors of Christmas at Montage Laguna Beach

Posted on Dec 10, 2015 by Tom Bricker  •  Photos  •  4 Comments

It’s Christmas season in Southern California, which means two things: palm trees covered in lights and gorgeous sunrise and sunset skies! After a week of traveling when I landed at LAX last night, I decided to check the weather and noticed conditions were predicted to be ripe today in Laguna Beach for a nice sunrise. […]

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Things to Do in New York City at Christmas

Posted on Dec 4, 2015 by Tom Bricker  •  Travel Tips  •  4 Comments

Miracle on 34th Street. Elf. Home Alone II. New York City has been the setting of numerous memorable (well, maybe not the last one) Christmas films and television specials, and for good reason: the city comes alive during the holiday season. New York City always has a frenetic energy, but the falling temperatures and snow […]

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Nature’s Neon in Shinjuku, Japan

Posted on Dec 1, 2015 by Tom Bricker  •  Cool Spots, Photos  •  1 Comment

Shinjuku is an interesting ward within Tokyo, Japan. By day, it’s a business district, where salarymen carrying suitcases, wearing trimly-cut suits scurry from meeting to meeting. It’s not all concrete and towering buildings, as people enjoy the natural world in Shinjuku Gyoen, one of the largest parks in Tokyo. As day turns to night, it’s […]

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Winter Hiking Packing List

Posted on Nov 29, 2015 by Tom Bricker  •  Gear  •  4 Comments

Planning a winter trip to a place with cold weather? Wondering what to pack to stay warm for your hike or photography expedition? This post has you covered! Growing up in the snow belt of Michigan where the “Lake Effect Snow Machine,” as our local weatherman typically called it and attending college just south of […]

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Christmas in Paris

Posted on Nov 28, 2015 by Tom Bricker  •  Travel Tips  •  6 Comments

Christmas is beautiful in Paris. Everything you can imagine: romantic, lavishly decorated, and a bit on the cold side. On our first visit to France, Christmas celebrating was in full swing when we were in Paris in mid-November (since there’s no Thanksgiving, I don’t think anyone gets miffed by Christmas starting in November), and it […]

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The Zen of Bonsai Rock at Lake Tahoe

Posted on Nov 27, 2015 by Tom Bricker  •  Cool Spots  •  2 Comments

If you’re looking for a serene spot to enjoy or photograph the sunset at Lake Tahoe, there are few better locations than Bonsai Rock. It’s one of the hidden gems of Lake Tahoe, and a really unique photo location. This is because the distinctive feature of this location is a large rock with some plant […]

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My First Winter Day in the Sequoia

Posted on Nov 26, 2015 by Tom Bricker  •  Photos  •  1 Comment

Every tree calls for special admiration…Were they mere mechanical sculptures, what noble objects they would still be! How much more throbbing, thrilling, overflowing, full of life in every fibre and cell, grand glowing silverrods—the very gods of the plant kingdom, living their sublime century lives in sight of Heaven, watched and loved and admired from […]

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