The hits keep coming, don’t they? While the world was reeling from the COVID-19 effects, my beloved former home of Nashville suffered one of the most devastating tornadoes in recent past. Fortunately for me, my friends and colleagues are okay, but there are so many people who were not as lucky. The scenes of the utter destruction, splintered buildings, razed businesses that were once so lively and vital to this town are heartbreaking.
If there’s something I know about the city of Nashville, it’s that it is resilient. When I moved there in 2014, they had near completely recouped from the horrible floods in 2010. I know the community will come together and rebuild and be back better than ever. If you can, consider donating to cmft.org.
Until then, I believe in you Nashville, and here’s my little love letter to you
there is a house in new orleans, they call the rising sun
Well now that the Super Bowl has been won by Kansas City (GO CHIEFS), we can all move on with our lives, and move onto the next party. This is Mardi Gras of course!
Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday is February 25 this year. This is the Carnival celebration that starts after Three Kings Day and ends the day before Ash Wednesday. For us non-Christians, this day refers to eating rich, fatty foods before Lent fasting begins. No one throws a party like the Crescent City, and this bonanza of a holiday is the grandest boum of them all. No one throws a soiree like New Orleans.
Laissez les bon temps rouler…
south beach bringing the heat
I had every intention of writing a new blog post on Sunday to post today. That did not happen as I spent the day devastated over the news of Kobe Bryant’s tragic death. Kobe was one of my childhood idols, as a kid who grew up in Southern California, he was everything. The greatest Laker to have ever played. An icon who was more magic than Magic even. Kobe Shaq early 2000s was the most dominating Little Big duo of all time, and I’ve had many great memories watching those games and championships.
We broke down all the games, bought the jerseys, reveled in the parades. I always imagined Kobe as an elder NBA statesman, ushering in young talent of the league, he had seemed untouchable and invincible. And the unexpectedness is maybe what hurts most, because he had so much ahead of him. His daughter and the other victims as well. It’s senseless, it’s so sad and it hurts. RIP Kobe.
Based on Kobe’s philosophy, the Mamba Mentality, he would’ve probably said well, life goes on, let’s get to the next stage. And that stage happens this weekend in Miami at Super Bowl LIV. And perhaps that’s what we should do, LIV it up because tomorrow is certainly not guaranteed for any of us.
Welcome to Miami…
What do Kansas City & Nashville have in common? Well, they are both cities in which I have lived, and they’re also home to the two teams that will face off in the AFC Championship game this weekend. It’s very exciting (read: EXCITING OMG HOLY S). I, of course, am rooting for the Chiefs, as I have been to far more Chiefs games than Titans games, but it would soften the blow of defeat if the Titans pulled off the upset.
I’ve written extensively about these two cities, KC here, here and, here and Nashville here and here (try to visit them in alternating years), and seriously, if you haven’t visited them, where have you been? Both cities top travel lists of great American destinations, so what are you waiting for?
Chiefs x Titans, a battle for the ages, and a battle for my heart.
Prince Edward Island, Canada is the smallest province in the great white north. What it lacks in size, it makes up in character, history and abundance of amazing seafood.
That’s right, the home of P.E.I. mussels. Sweet, tender, they’re a great little representative for this region of Canada. The whole island is very charming and idyllic, with farms and vast greenery. It is the very picture of rustic, pastoral tranquility with a sea salt mist.
put a little mussel into it
Vermont, known for Ben & Jerry’s, the Green Mountains, Bernie Sanders, and so much more, is arguably the most beautiful state in the US to enjoy fall foliage (I will probably say this about each state I visited).
You may have noticed that I was gone for a few weeks (or maybe you didn’t and in that case, my feelings are hurt); I was on an epic cultural roadtrip through New England, and I definitely forgot to schedule posts (smort). But I’m back, baby, and ready to share some pictures of autumn with y’all.
Trust me, when you get older, you will be thrilled by simple notions such as leaves turning different colors.
nothing gold can stay
Indianapolis is a place you hear about constantly if you’re a sports fan. From the Indy 500 to Larry Bird (Reggie Miller, if you’re in my age group) and Peyton Manning SB team of 2007, the “Hoosier State” capital is hallowed sports ground. It has been the bullseye of the news cycle lately, notably for the retirement of Colts QB Andrew Luck.
I can honestly say beyond sports, I didn’t know much about this city, other than the fact that it seems like I know a million people from there. Impossible, since it is the 17th most populous metro area in the country with about 2 million in population, but their residents certainly infiltrate everywhere else in the Midwest. Indy is about the size of Kansas City, and similar in many ways. There are great neighborhoods, a friendly sense of community and an unmistakable pride in their hometown.
Gentlemen (and gentle ladies), start your engines…
Love a good pun. Pronounced hway (not really exactly right don’t @ me) not hugh like the color or Grant, this very proud city was the former Imperial capital of Vietnam until the end of the Nguyen dynasty in 1945. I’m sure you’re familiar with what happened next. Vietnam has three regions, and this is the largest city in the central region (see previous posts on Hanoi and Saigon/HCM).
Hue was the stop after Hoi An, my favorite on the Vietnam itinerary, and I think I would have enjoyed it more had I NOT GOTTEN SICK on the way there. I made a rookie travel mistake that you will read all about after the jump. Hot tip: don’t drink foreign beverages.
right hue, wrong hue
One post obviously was not enough to cover the trip of a lifetime (literally, because the travel ban just happened a few weeks ago), so here’s a continuance of my very thoroughly journaled trip to Cuba’s capital city.
join the Havana Club
If you’re familiar with this blog, you may remember that I have not been to a Disney Park for 16 years.
Well I’m proud (?) to say that streak has been broken.
I was cajoled by my nephews (14 & 11) into going to D-land for the new Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge land that recently opened at the end of May. This was a momentous occasion, and the really only thing that warranted a special visit. I will say that not much else has changed at the happiest place on earth since I last stepped foot inside, and maybe that’s a part of its charm (especially for millennials).
may the force be with me…