Thoughts on Renting an RV

I wanted to see the solar eclipse last week, and as all hotels under the totality seemed to be sold out when I started looking earlier this year, we decided to to rent an RV and drive up to Wyoming. Here are the lessons I learned.

Driving it isn’t as hard as you think.
But that’s not to say there aren’t differences. There are things you need to keep in mind:

1) Mirror usage – there are blind spots you’re …

Review: Go Fork Yourself Podcast

As some already know, I’m a major consumer of podcasts. I get most of my audio news that way. I listen to as many history podcasts as I can, and a few on entrepreneurship and music.

The are surprisingly few good podcasts on food, especially with the potential demise of the Alton Browncast (it hasn’t released a new episode in a number of months).

One of the best food related podcasts is Go Fork Yourself, by Andrew Zimmern of …

Thoughts on Vancouver, BC

We decided to stay in Vancouver, British Columbia a night before and a night after our Alaskan cruise. Traveling from Austin, Texas to Vancouver and rushing to get on a boat in the same day didn’t sound like much fun. Neither did doing the opposite on the home.

And a delay in a flight out could mean missing the boat.

As it happens, the airlines know which days are departures and arrivals for the cruises, so the flights were much …

Thoughts on the Disney Wonder

As you can tell from my last few posts, the Wife, my 20-month-old daughter and I went on an Alaskan cruise with Disney last month. The seven night cruise started and ended in Vancouver, British Columbia, and included a day sailing through Tracy Arm Fjord and stops in Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan.

This was my second cruise, having been on a short Bahamas cruise with the Wife on Carnival. She has been on several other cruises, and it was Aubrey’s …

Photoblog: Juneau Whale Watching

The next shore day on our July 2013 Alaska cruise was Juneau. This was the day I’d been waiting for, as we were going on a whale watching excursion.

For years, seeing whales in the wild had been on my bucket list. We’d gone on a whale watching excursion in St. Lucia, but did not see any whales (although we saw a huge number of dolphin).

Knowing the huge number of humpback whales that feed in the Stevens Passage, I …

Photoblog: White Pass Railroad

The White Pass and Yukon Route railroad is a narrow gauge railroad between Skagway, Alaska and Whitehorse in the Yukon. Riding the line is a standard excursion for cruise ships porting in Skagway.

On our July 2013 Alaska cruise, we chose an excursion that took the train from Skagway to Fraser, British Columbia, Canada, and then took a tour coach back. This allowed us to differing scenery each direction.

The entire excursion took about 3.5 hours and was well worth …

Photoblog: Tracy Arm Fjord and Sawyer Glacier

In July 2013, the family and I took a cruise to Alaska. One off the days was spent sailing up Tracy Arm Fjord to see Sawyer Glacier.

We signed up for a room with a balcony so we could sit out there as the little one napped in early afternoon. As it happened, we were stuck on the balcony as we visited Tracy Arm.

I thought ahead and had my camera and lenses out there with me, so got quite …

Review: Shibuya in the MGM Grand Las Vegas

There are certain restaurants I visit just about every time I come to Vegas: the oyster bar within Harrahs, BLT Burgers (for the milkshakes) and The Egg and I.

Sorry Carnevino, I’m over you.

My latest addition to this list is Shibuya inside the MGM Grand. It’s by far the best sushi I’ve had east of California.

On my most recent trip to Vegas, I was actually staying at the MGM Grand, so it made perfect sense to visit Shibuya …

Photoblog: Cardiff

After the Scottish Highlands tour, our next stop was Cardiff, Wales. This meant a long train ride.

If we caught the 6:07am train out of Edinburgh, the ride was six hours long with only one change of trains. Otherwise, the trip would be much longer, with several changes.

We got our tails out of bed in time to catch the 6:07am.

We headed due west to the coast of England. In Crewe, we were to change trains for Cardiff.…

Photoblog: Scottish Highlands

After we explored Stirling Castle, it was back in the tour bus for the ride into the Scottish Highlands. Again, our tour guide did a great job telling stories the entire trip.

Our first stop was Doune Castle, which gained fame as the shooting location for several scenes in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I actually would have liked to have explored the place, but it was really just a potty break.

We stopped at a number …