Looking for thoughtful, articulate travel writing? Yeah, this isn’t that.

My wife’s travel addiction has taken me, grudgingly, to many foreign lands. What follows are my own photographs, personal observations and incoherent opinions regarding the many cities and countries to which I’ve been dragged. Enjoy.

Photo of vineyards in Napa Valley, California

California is full of amazing, beautiful places, and few have the air of class and sophistication for which the Napa Valley is known. But is there any truth to that perception, or is it all just marketing and puffery? Find out if Napa Valley is really worth burning a week of vacation time as well as your life savings.

Prague, Czech Republic

The former Soviet Union turned Karl Marx’s naive, utopian dream into an oppressive and corrupt regime that finally prompted the “Velvet Revolution” in 1989. And since throwing off the yolk of authoritarianism, the Czechs have been “disinclined” to pass a lot of restrictive laws – so what more reason do you need to go?

Vienna, Austria

Everything I know about the world-famous doctor, Sigmund Freud, I learned from either Mel Brooks, SNL, or my “Intro to Psych 101” class in college. All credible sources, to be sure, but I still wanted to visit the place that birthed this sex-obsessed pervert– I mean, “highly esteemed intellectual.”

Budapest on the Danube

I don’t know a lot about the history of my own people let alone the history of pre-Medieval, Uralic-speaking tribes of Central Europe, but I do know a country of serious partiers when I see them. And when a nation spends almost its entire GNP on a single soiree, you totally want to stay friends with them.

Munich/München, Germany

When you think of Germany, you probably don’t think of Munich first. Or second. Or maybe even at all. Heck, you probably don’t think of ANY particular German city. If you’re like most Americans, you probably just think of Adolf Hitler. But guess where he got his start? That’s right, Munchen.

Phi Phi Islands

We’d heard that Phuket was very popular with tourists from all over the world. Despite that fact, we decided to go there anyway. But, to be honest, we didn’t need much convincing: “Wait, the place is sunny, humid, AND in Asia? Woo-hoo, let’s go get Malaria booster shots!”

Photo of Downtown Bangkok, Thailand

We watch a lot of Hollywood movies, so we expected Bangkok to be a horribly seedy place with a dark underworld of illegal activity where sexual deviants and unnatural acts are performed on every corner. Instead, it was an amazing city with great food and nice people. Obviously, we were pretty disappointed.

Clearwater Beach, Florida

A quick 20-minutes west of Tampa, Florida lies a full two-and-a-half miles of cocaine-white sand named Clearwater Beach. It’s an easily accessible, subtropical paradise that makes everyone who visits forget their troubles, worries and — judging from the tourists we saw — their fashion sense.