Category Archive: United States

Choosing the Right Hawaiian Island

A trip to Hawaii is a dream vacation for many, but choosing the islands for a vacation is only the beginning.  Although the Hawaiian Islands are made up of many islands and atolls, along with smaller islets, when it comes to vacation, you’re probably talking about visiting one of the six main islands. Depending on what you want out of your vacation, frenetic levels of activity, rocking nightlife, or peaceful sandy beaches, you’ll want to choose an island that fits your personal preferences.  While sharing the basics of beautiful sun, sand, and surf, each island has its own special ambiance, so be sure to make the right matchup and have a perfect vacation in paradise. Here’s a brief rundown to help with your preliminary research. Hawaii, the Big Island:  This is the largest of the islands, and also the youngest […]

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Green Architecture Before its Time: Frank Lloyd Wright & Taliesin West

Frank Lloyd Wright is probably the best known American architect, with a body of work that has influenced and shaped the course of building in this country.  His former home, Taliesin West (pronounced Tally-ehssen) in Scottsdale, Arizona, has become the international headquarters for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, and is also open for public tours. Taliesin West was built in the mid-1930’s, and is an example of Wright’s concept of organic architecture — building that evolves naturally out of it’s location.  He design and built ecological sound, sustainable architecture long before it’s current popularity.  It’s no surprise then, that Wright, along with some architectural apprentices, gathered desert rocks and sand to build this showcase home that is both in the desert and of the desert. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is just another museum.  Part home, part museum, […]

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Pez Museum Puts Candy on Display

I enjoy museums, and try to get to one on a fairly frequent basis.  Art, history, science, culture — it all has appeal to me.  The the thirst for knowledge, information, or just seeing and experiencing something new is always a good time for me. And then there are other kinds of museums.  The quirky ones, the ones with all sorts of odd collections and exhibits, the ones that you secretly want to check out even if everyone else laughs at you. The Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia may very well fall into this latter category. Created by an Austrian candy executive in 1927, Pez is an abbreviation of the German word for peppermint (Pfefferminz), the original Pez flavor.  Originally the candy was sold in small tins, and marketed as an adult mint for people who were trying to quit […]

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Julia Child’s Paris

During the holiday season it seems like I watch lots of movies.  Whether it’s catching up on television, renting videos, or indulging in pay-per-view, it’s an enjoyable way to spend some lazy winter days.  Assuming you like the movie, of course. I like a variety of movies, but the ones at the top of my list are those that give me a sense of time and place.  Movies that make me want to be where the movie is, and sometimes even when the movie takes place. Earlier this week I watched Julie & Julia, a great movie, and one that made me long for a return trip to Paris soon. Julie & Julia was written and directed by Nora Ephron, and stars Meryl Streep as the famous chef Julia Child and Amy Adams as Julie Powell, a young, and somewhat […]

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