North America

Reports from our travels around North America.

3 sights in Oaxaca Mexico that almost make up for it not being on a beach.

The Oaxaca Valley(s), no beach in sight. Before moving to California, I had never even heard of Oaxaca, Mexico. And, what I had heard about the place didn’t seem compelling enough to make me want to visit—like ever. Arts all ...
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Guerneville, CA: Get away from everything (including cell coverage).

Not every vacation destination we choose is some exotic location in a far-flung corner of the globe. Sometimes, we’re just too lazy to make proper travel plans and, instead, just look for a decent place within a couple of hours ...
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Clearwater Beach: Where the sand’s as white as the people who go there.

Pure white sand beaches. (It kinda looks like blow.) 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, tropical paradise that makes everyone who visits forget their ...
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Redding, California: It’s close to a lot of other, better places to visit.

Having read that a famous architect had designed an interesting bridge in Reading, I suggested to my wife that we drive there for our anniversary. Now, my wife generally loves to travel, but the thought of spending five hours traversing ...
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Hawaii, The Big Island: Probably not the Hawaii you’re thinking of.

When we first made plans to visit the Big Island of Hawaii (nee Hawai‘i), we didn't know much about the place, like the fact that you put an upside-down apostrophe between the last two ‘i’s. But we’d been to Honolulu ...
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There’s lots to do in Mazatlán, Mexico and lots of reasons not to do any of it.

We didn’t pick Mazatlán, Mexico as a destination for its deep-sea fishing, sailing or any of the other things you can reportedly do there. We picked it for all the things you don’t do there. Namely, put on pants or ...
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Cancun: It’s not all beer chugging and wet t-shirt contests (dammit).

We hadn’t originally planned our two-week vacation to Mexico for its affordability but — when weeks later I found myself unemployed (like the rest of the planet) — it seemed like a prescient choice. Regardless of its favorable exchange rate, ...
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San Jaun, PR: Where so many speak Spanish, you think you’re in California.

Planning a vacation in a foreign land can really be a pain, what with finding lost passports, figuring out currency exchange rates, and overcoming language problems (ours). Frankly, it sometimes makes sense to not even bother. That's how we ended ...
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Cabo San Lucas: A spectacular paradise we’ll probably never go back to.

If you don’t fish, golf or drink there is literally nothing to do in Cabo. And since we rarely golf and almost never fish, drinking was the only option left open to us. Cabo is like Las Vegas only without ...
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Alaska, the final frontier: These are the voyages of the cruise ship Mercury.

Okay, let’s dispense with the whole “cruise” issue right up front — a lot of snobby, pretentious jerks think cruises are tacky, low-brow experiences exclusively for people who’ve never before seen saltwater up-close. And, being snobby, pretentious jerks ourselves, we ...
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Costanoa, California: If you hate camping, you’ll love this place.

It was that time of year again. So we had to think of something to do for our fifth anniversary and, since life had been going along pretty well up until now, we thought “Hey, let’s screw it up by ...
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Vancouver, British Columbia: You know, Canada’s good city.

I’ve been to Toronto, I’ve been to Montreal, I’ve been to Quebec, and I’ve liked all of these Canadian cities, except for Montreal which is annoying for the same reason France is (I don't speak French). But I was unprepared ...
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San Francisco, CA: Thoughts on the West Coast of America.

What can I say about the City by the Bay? It’s very cool, and I mean that literally. After spending the last year and a half in the balmy tropics of Florida, San Francisco was a rude awakening. Sure the ...
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Lake Tahoe, Nevada:

Lake Tahoe, Nevada: Recalibrate your idea of what the color blue looks like.

My wife’s mother came to town recently, and we stupidly drove the four hours up to Lake Tahoe. It’s only about 200 miles northeast of SF, but it took us 4 hours to drive through the damn mountains due to ...
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Gilroy, CA: Garlic capital of the world and most vampire-free city in America.

Do you like garlic? I mean, really like garlic? I mean, like it so much you don't mind people gagging at your mere scent? Would you bathe in the stuff if you could? Then you've got to go to Gilroy, ...
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