Westward in Comfort and Style

There were bad decisions made that fateful night in 2010, right TMO?

The last time Blondie and I went camping, biblical rain showers mixed with a shallow bowl-shaped campsite caused our little haven beneath the trees to become a giant pain in my swamp-ass. That next morning, after a near-mutinous and soggy night, we packed up everything in silence and, upon arrival at our place in the city, we deposited the sodden muddy fabric of our camping kit directly into the dumpster. That, according to Blondie, was the end of that BS – no more sleeping on the ground – that was Summer 2010.

Since then, our many outdoor ventures together have been cabin or lodge based – usually near a bar –  and that seems to suit us both as we like a bit of pampering and a stiff drink after a day of adventuring (who doesn’t?). Our most recent trip to Big Sur was, however, a departure from the norm in that we were going to get back into a tent, but this time a tent with a bed and lights and a sink with fresh running water. Yes, we decided to give glamping a try.  Ech! Personally, I cannot stand the moniker “glamping” as it implies that this old mountain man has gone soft, but in reality it is a cloth cabin with a comfortable bed that is great after a long day of being outdoors. Depending on the campground, you still get to do all the fun campfire stuff, you still need to be vigilant about forest creatures running off with the Doritos (seriously, guard those chips), and, in our case, you still get to be nestled into a mountain niche under a tall stand of coastal redwoods, but you get to do it all with comfort and style and there is absolutely nothing wrong with comfort and style.

Please read on to find out more about our first foray into the luxe-camping life and check out all of the pretty photographs that I made for you… Continue reading

A Week in Phuket: Briefly

I want to go back to Thailand.

I want to go back to Thailand.

It’s the afternoon Golden Hour here in Dalian and instead of roaming the streets looking for good shots I am sitting at my desk happily writing about something we did last month – or has it been two months? It doesn’t matter really. The combination of age and Asia has conspired to make the time go faster for us since we’ve arrived in China. Neither Blondie nor I are used to the amount of daily input we are getting from our new surroundings. In Texas I had to find things to do with friends in order to write this blog (we know how well that went, don’t we), but here I can’t go for groceries without having at least two paragraphs ready to cram in my journal. Does it sound like I am showing off a little? Am I employing the humble brag beyond the appropriate threshold? Yes, Yes I am, but I assume you don’t check in on Afield to hear about how well I am doing in Chinese Class (ech, not great – it’s giving me dreams about junior high math), or that Blondie works more hours than most teams do (Teams!). So, I will get on with it and show you some of the sights from our recent trip to Thailand, Phuket to be exact. Continue reading

South of the Equator – West of the Date Line

Bula! Unlike the last few adventures to Iceland and the American West our most recent trip focused more on relaxation rather than activity. We decided early on in the planning process that we should go on a beach vacation, and we ended up choosing Fiji – Namale to be exact. If I were to go into detail about the people, the resort, the luxury, the phenomenal service, the amazing entertainment, and the fact that were one of just eight couples there at the time I am afraid this post would seem like a 2,000 word treatise on bragging. What I will say about Namale is this – do whatever it takes (sell the house/car/kids/farm) to get there and stay as long as you can.

Blondie’s goal for the trip was to Relax and read and repair the damage that her high-stress gig causes and mine was to experience the beauty of the place and really look around rather than peer at everything through the viewfinder. Luckily for you I can only sit still and read, and snorkel, and drink for so long before I get the itch and head off somewhere to make some pictures. Here is but a small selection of photographs that I took during our travels to and stay in Fiji. I may post a few more in the future because there were a lot of good ones. Please click any photo to see its full-sized version.

The urban sprawl of the LA area is remarkable at night. Here we are just about to land at LAX before our long flight across the pacific.

The urban sprawl of the LA area is remarkable at night. Here we are just about to land at LAX before our long flight across the pacific.

Continue reading