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Alcatraz Island Tour Review & Tips

Posted on Mar 1, 2016 by Tom Bricker  •  Points of Interest  •  13 Comments

Wondering if the Alcatraz Island Tour is worth it, or which tour of the former prison you should take during your San Francisco visit? This post provides info for getting tickets to visit Alcatraz, plus photos of the island, jail cells, and other random tips for making the most of your time on “The Rock.” […]

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Nara Dreamland: Bizarro Disneyland – Nightmare Edition

Posted on Feb 29, 2016 by Tom Bricker  •  Reports  •  13 Comments

Nara Dreamland is an abandoned theme park in Japan, which opened in 1961 and was inspired by Disneyland. Actually, inspired by is generous: it was a Disneyland rip-off. From Main Street to the Matterhorn to Sleeping Beauty Castle to the Jungle Cruise, it borrowed heavily from Disneyland. It was like a photo copy 100 times removed from […]

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Tips for Visiting Hollywood, California

Posted on Feb 28, 2016 by Tom Bricker  •  Tips  •  16 Comments

Hollywood. Tinseltown. Showbiz City. This post offers planning tips for visiting the neighborhood in Los Angeles that has a reputation as being the epicenter of the film business, a glamorous spot to rub elbows with celebrities. With the Oscars showcasing the glitz and splendor of Hollywood tonight, I thought this would be a perfect post […]

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Visiting Morro Bay State Park in California

Posted on Feb 27, 2016 by Tom Bricker  •  Tips  •  7 Comments

Like the ocean? Enjoy quaint little beach towns? How do you feel about huge rocks? If you’re a fan of these things, might I suggest Morro Bay State Park and the city of Morro Bay itself, home of the Morro Rock. If you’re taking a Pacific Coast Highway road trip, Morro Bay is a great […]

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Super Bloom at Death Valley National Park

Posted on Feb 25, 2016 by Tom Bricker  •  Reports  •  16 Comments

Due to an abnormally rainy fall, Death Valley National Park is in the midst of a rare Super Bloom with millions of wildflowers coloring miles of the park that are otherwise barren. This is due to a confluence of events: an El Niño-fueled October brought more rain to the park than it sees in an […]

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Reason 1,982 to Visit Canada: BeaverTails

Posted on Feb 24, 2016 by Tom Bricker  •  Dining  •  13 Comments

A review of a fast food restaurant? Really digging the bottom of the barrel to invent reasons to visit Canada, eh? Oh no, this isn’t just a fast food restaurant. BeaverTails is an institution, serving the pastries of the gods. With its signature combination of fried rodent tail and sugary goodness, BeaverTails aren’t just a […]

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Killer Sea Cave Shot or: Almost Being Killed in a Sea Cave

Posted on Feb 23, 2016 by Tom Bricker  •  Points of Interest  •  5 Comments

One of the many reasons why the California Republic is the greatest nation in the free world is its wonderfully diverse geography. I witnessed this firsthand a couple of weeks ago, shooting dawn and sunrise in the freezing temperatures of Yosemite National Park before finishing the day shooting sunset in 90-degree weather at El Matador State Beach in […]

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Yosemite Firefall Photography Tips

Posted on Feb 17, 2016 by Tom Bricker  •  Photography, Points of Interest  •  14 Comments

Yosemite National Park’s Firefall at Horsetail Fall is a natural phenomenon that can be seen for a couple of weeks each year in late-February, assuming ample water flow. This post highlights some of my tips for photographing the Firefall, based upon my recent trip to Yosemite Valley to see and photograph it. Made famous by […]

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Hearst Castle Tips & Review

Posted on Feb 10, 2016 by Tom Bricker  •  Points of Interest  •  10 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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Cabana Bay Beach Resort Photo Tour

Posted on Feb 5, 2016 by Tom Bricker  •  Hotels  •  18 Comments

Cabana Bay Beach Resort is the newest hotel at Universal Orlando Resort, and is the cheapest on-property hotel at Universal occupying the value/moderate price tier. After spending the day enjoying Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, I recently wandered over to the Cabana Bay, which is about a 10 minute walk from Islands of […]

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