Lava Viewing at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Posted on Mar 13, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Reports, Tips  •  60 Comments

Recently, we hiked out to see the “firehose flow” at Kīlauea Volcano’s Kamokuna ocean lava entry in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. This post is about our experience hiking out to the viewing area, along with some photos of the lava entering the ocean. I’ll also provide some lava viewing & photography tips, and recommendations for […]

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Paradise Cove Review & Luau Tips

Posted on Mar 12, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Dining, Points of Interest  •  18 Comments

In this post, we will review Paradise Cove Luau, and compare it to other luau options in Oahu, Hawaii. We’ll share photos from our experience, discuss whether we think the luau offered good value for money, and provide some other tips and thoughts about attending a ‘traditional’ Hawaiian luau in Oahu. If you’re like us, […]

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The Real Highlight of Wailuku River State Park (Hint: It’s Not a Waterfall)

Posted on Mar 11, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Points of Interest  •  9 Comments

Wailuku River State Park on the Big Island of Hawaii is well-known for Waianuenue (Rainbow Falls), a neat waterfall just outside of Hilo. From the parking area at Wailuku State Park, there is an easily-accessible viewing area that gives guests a view of the 80-foot Rainbow Falls, which derives its name from the frequent rainbows […]

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Hiking Switzerland: Bachalpsee Lake

Posted on Mar 8, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Reports  •  5 Comments

The hike from First (via Grindelwald) to Bachalpsee Lake in the Jungfrau region of Switzerland is one of the best “value” options for mountain experiences in the Bernese Oberland. It has a mountain lake, glaciers, breathtaking peaks, and even wildflowers. In this post, I’ll share my experience doing this hike, and what led us to […]

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Dole Plantation Review & Tips

Posted on Mar 7, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Points of Interest  •  23 Comments

The Dole Plantation advertises itself as Hawaii’s preeminent “pineapple experience” and one of the most popular draws on the island of Oahu, welcoming over one million visitors per year. In this post, I’ll share some of my photos from Dole Plantation, thoughts on whether it’s worth your time, and what’s worthwhile here. First, I want […]

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Seeing Space Shuttle Endeavour

Posted on Mar 6, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Points of Interest  •  9 Comments

The Space Shuttle Endeavour Exhibit at the California Science Center is one of the top things to do in Los Angeles, and an experience that I cannot recommend highly enough. In this post, I’ll share some of my photos and thoughts on the emotional (really!) experience of beholding Endeavour in person. Few things capture our […]

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Kiyomizudera Temple Photos & Tips

Posted on Mar 5, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Points of Interest  •  12 Comments

Kiyomizudera Temple in Kyoto is one of the most popular temples in Japan. This post features my photos from the Temple, plus tips and other assorted info about it. This Temple is another of Kyoto’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, and ranks as probably my second favorite site in Kyoto after Fushimi Inari Shrine. It was […]

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Should You Buy the Japan Rail Pass?

Posted on Feb 27, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Tips  •  10 Comments

This post offers details about the Japan Rail Pass, including whether it’ll be worth buying for your trip, and answers to frequently asked questions about its use. For starters, the JR Pass for foreigner visitors is a cost-effective “all inclusive” pass on the JR rail lines available for purchase outside of Japan. It allows visitors […]

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Himeji Castle Review & Tips

Posted on Feb 26, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Points of Interest  •  2 Comments

One of my all-time favorite experiences in Japan was our visit to Himeji Castle during cherry blossom season. In this post, we’ll detail our experience making a day-trip from Osaka to Himeji, as well as review the castle relative to other comparable places in Japan (including whether it’s worth your time if you have to […]

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Hogwarts Castle Photo Tour

Posted on Feb 23, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Photography  •  5 Comments

This post offers a photo tour of Hogwarts Castle at Universal Studios Japan, both inside and outside, to showcase this impressive feat of theme park design. This castle is home to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios Hollywood, and Universal Studios Japan theme parks. All of the interior […]

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