Japan part Ni: kyoto, nara, osaka

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In honor of Sakura, the internationally renowned spring cherry blossom season, we continue our journey through Japan.  Next destination: Kyoto.  One of the most magical cities in Japan, it feels like you’re a character in a novel from eons ago when you’re here.  Literally, if this city does not make you feel like you’re in Memoirs of a Geisha or Shogun, then Sayonara, Felicia.

Kyoto has a dark magic feel to it, the city of geishas.  You just know there’s secrets hidden in the dark, wooded architecture.

If these rice paper walls could talk…

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weekend in la la land

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Growing up in Southern California, I spent some time in Los Angeles, but never actually lived there.  So, that makes me a total tourist whenever I come to town, and I love it.

It’s sun-kissed, starry-eyed and there’s literally everything you could ever want.  There’s beaches, top education, sports, movie stars, museums, shopping, innovative food and technology.  There’s perfect weather and beautiful bodies, it’s the epitome of the glamorous life.

I love LA.  (we love it).

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weekender in Omaha

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Omaha is not just something Peyton Manning yelled a lot while he quarterbacked for the Broncos.  It’s also a lovely metropolitan area in the corniest state the Midwest–literally, not figuratively.  It is comfortable, young, hip, and up and coming. So up and coming that Facebook is going to open some sort of offshoot HQ there in the next few years.

I had briefly traveled to the Cornhusker state for a weekend years ago, but one of my favorite friend couples lives there, so I visited Nebraska’s most populous city again to hang out with their family.  It’s a very family friendly place, and you can see why it’s becoming more and more popular amongst young couples.  The pace of life is decent, there’s a lot of industry and tech moving into the area, and proud Nebraskans are opening up cool restaurants and shops all over the city.

Omaha, Omaha set hut!

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3 days in the wilderness: Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Jackson Hole, WY

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I am a fan of national parks.  I love them.  They are our national treasures, and I think they are the best thing about this country, by far.  American National Parks feature various ecosystems, geological formations, showcasing the topographic wonders of this country while always continuously championing conservation efforts.

Yellowstone was the first National Park in the United States and one might say it’s the granddaddy of them all.  It was signed into law by Ulysses S. Grant in 1872 and covers a vast land area over Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.  Yogi Bear also lives here.

Just kidding, I know he lives in Jellystone.

Let’s go get us a pic-a-nic basket…

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2 days in Kruger National Park

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Going on safari in South Africa was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Seeing these magnificent animals up close was thrilling and surreal and I still can’t believe I’ve had this opportunity.  It’s fun to look at pictures, but the reason I work hard is to get out and see this beautiful world we inhabit amongst so many other beautiful creatures.  It’s easy to get caught up in ourselves and in our everyday routines, but traveling opens your mind and reminds you that there’s a bigger picture out there.

South Africa is an incredibly beautiful country, with distinct terrains and landscapes, and to best experience it, make sure you see everything from Cape Town to Johannesburg (you’ve come this far).  And you certainly can’t miss Kruger National Park, home of the Big 5 animals: lion, water buffalo, leopard, rhinoceros and elephant. Formerly used as a term to denote the most dangerous animals to hunt, it is now thankfully used to delineate the most exciting animals to shoot with cameras only.

I bless the rains down in Africa…

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