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McMinnville: The Sonoma of Oregon Wine Country?

Chuck and Ben Franklin in McMinnville, OR
Chuck Thu, 2015-11-05 07:00
(Above: who doesn’t love a town with a bronze statue of Benjamin Franklin?) Don’t you love how people compare places this way? Bruges is the Venice of the North, Buenos Aires is the Paris of South America, Turkey is damn good eatin’ , and so on (ok, well that last example is just my November-inspired opinion). After spending a few weeks in Oregon wine country we might be inclined to characterize the tiny little town of McMinnville as “The Sonoma of Oregon Wine Country”. Insofar as they make wine nearby and it’s a town, then the metaphor sticks. But then again, the same is true of thousands of...

It Was 1965

Made In 1965
Chuck Mon, 2015-11-02 07:00
Long Blog Alert. You’ve Been Warned. Today is my birthday. I’m 50. Without fanfare, and without want of fanfare, I’m passing the half-century mark in the English countryside. I’ve finally—after a month—caught up with Lori. For another 11 months, we’ll share our age again. When Lori’s 50th rolled around a few weeks ago, I realized that she and I are not alone. In fact, all our old high school classmates are enduring the same milestone this year. This got me wondering what was going on back in 1965, the year that we all share as our birth year. As my birthday present to my fellow ‘65ers, I...

The Stunning Central Oregon Coast

Cape Meares Lighthouse, Oregon
Chuck Sun, 2015-11-01 07:00
We've heard that the Oregon coast is a beautiful place, but sometimes you just have to go and see for yourself. What we found is no doubt one of the most beautiful places on earth. After we left Seattle we had four days to fill before we were to be in Salem. Looking at the map, the obvious destination is the Oregon coast. With a bit of Google Maps photo surfing and hotel research we settled on home basing in Lincoln City. It seemed a nice, central location, convenient to Salem when we would be ready to leave. From there we could explore south to Newport and north to Cape Meares. We...

The Theo Chocolate Factory, Seattle, A Local Recommendation

Theo Chocolate Factory Tour, Seattle, WA
Chuck Sat, 2015-10-31 07:00
When you’ve visited a place many times—lived there for over 9 months, actually—you’ve seen pretty much all the touristy places there are to see. That's the case with us and Seattle. The Space Needle? Yep. EMP? Yep. Pike Place Market? Of course. Whale watching? Need you ask? So what’s the nomadic travel blogger to do? It’s time to discover some of the lesser-known places. We’ve always liked to tour interesting local businesses; it comes from the nuns taking us throughout elementary school to tour the Colonial Bread bakery…oh, the smells! Some other tours that come to mind are the Corvette...

We Were Interviewed for The Expat Chat Podcast!

Chuck Fri, 2015-10-30 07:00
A few weeks back we received an email inquiry wondering if we'd like to be interviewed for a podcast called "The Expat Chat". We've never really thought of ourselves as expats, but insofar as we've spent more of the last 18 months out of the states as we've spent in, I guess we qualify. So we said, "Yep, count us in." One thing we've definitely learned is that the know-how of full time perpetual travel can come from unexpected sources. How true expats--those who pick up roots from their home country and set down roots in a different country--do what they do has taught us a few things. So...

Whale Watching in the Puget Sound

A Killer Whale (Orca) in Puget Sound
Chuck Thu, 2015-10-29 07:00
Whale watching in the Puget Sound is a must-do when you visit Seattle, but it’s an exercise in expectation setting. While you’ll be guaranteed to see whales (or your money back!), if you’re expecting them to be jumping over your boat in graceful arcs, or “posing” for photos by treading water Sea World style, then you’re going to be disappointed. I shouldn’t say that. It is possible, of course, that you’ll be delighted by frolicking and playful whales bounding here and there like unicorns. But don’t expect to cash in on that guarantee if that’s not what you see. If your expectations are for a...

The Best Things To Do On The Seattle Waterfront

Pike's Place Fish Market, Seattle
Chuck Wed, 2015-10-28 07:00
Other than the places we’ve lived—namely South Mississippi, Atlanta, and on the streets of Disney World—the place we’ve spent the most time is Seattle. Even with all the time spent in the Emerald City, we always like to head to the Seattle waterfront, and when we returned this year we made no exceptions. In fact, we went twice. The Seattle waterfront isn’t a single attraction. Technically, it’s not really even an attraction but a neighborhood. There are quite a few other Seattle attractions, like the Space Needle and the EMP (Experience Music Project), but this blog is about the waterfront...

Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier, Washington
Chuck Tue, 2015-10-27 07:00
As we summited Mount Rainier, the sun broke through the thin, wispy clouds, bathing our faces in warmth. The four of us—we were accompanied on our Rainier expedition by dear old friends Ty and Laurie—stowed our climbing gear away and enjoyed the peacefulness of the peak recovering some of our energy by nibbling on some flax seed bars. Before we began the long, arduous descent, we readied our bodies and minds with yoga and Vishnu meditation. And if you believe that, I have a corner of Mount Rainier National Park to sell you. Mount Rainier The most climbing we did the day we visited Mount...

The Rules of Travel Blogging, and a BIG Announcement

Mount Rainier, Washington
Chuck Sat, 2015-10-24 07:00
There are three rules of travel blogging. Rule #1 : You must travel. Rule #2 : You must write about your travels. Rule #3 : Rule #1 takes precedence over rule #2. So it is with our travel blogging lately. Two months plus in travel time have passed since our last report , three weeks or so in blogging time, the difference being the lag between when we visit a place and then write about it. As that lag gets out of hand when rule #1 trumps rule #2, we have a lot of catching up to do. Since that blog from Oregon, we moved on to the Seattle area, where we couch-surfed with old friends for a couple...

On Oregon, And A Second Chance for Portland

Oregon's Central Coast
Chuck Sat, 2015-10-03 07:00
Way out west, just before you drive off into the Pacific Ocean, is an idyllic land, not too hot, not too cold, ocean beaches reaching up to mountain peaks, where they dance and brew beer and grow grapes and make wine. There’s a healthy blend of liberal cities and conservative everywhere-else-land. It ties Washington for the highest concentration of volcanoes in North America, but—I suspect—they flow with milk and honey instead of lava. We’re talking, of course, of Oregon. This state gets our vote for the most beautiful state in the union. It’s true we haven’t been to all of them, but we’ve...