Vietnam – Day 5 – Saigon – Family History

Today's goal was to dig deep to learn more of my family roots and seeing how they might have lived.  What amazed me when asking my parents how I should find their childhood homes, they both rattled addresses perfectly from memory.  In spite of the sweltering heat, we made our way outside of our hotel's neighborhood in search of the

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Vietnam – Day 2 – Saigon – Friends & Family

Upon our arrival to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)/Saigon, we found customs to be a breeze.  This was the case as we obtained Vietnam Visas in advance while in the U.S. from a travel agency.  If you're in the market for one and are located in Southern California, visit Cali Travel & Services. Personally, I find hot weather to be

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Vietnam – Homecoming Introduction

My parents emigrated to the United States in the early 1980s after the fall of Saigon to the communist North.  Through treacherous circumstances as "boat people" refugees, they made their way to Southern California.  A Vietnamese community in a diaspora made this foreign land home, and it was even christened Little Saigon in honor of the former capital of South

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Channel Islands

My favorite holiday has and will always be Thanksgiving.  It's not only the food but also the family that makes it so special.  This is the only time of year that my family from Washington and Colorado gets together in California for a full week of fun that ranges from theme parks, escape rooms, movies, and of course, the annual

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Glamping in Sequoia

We enjoyed our Sequoia camping trip so much last year that we decided to do it again with the same crew!  As some of us are not considered "outdoorsy", we took a different approach.  We brought along the amenities of a gourmet restaurant and the comfort of our living rooms.  With our chef on hand plus Rich's outdoor movie theater,

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Palm Springs

With the exception of Coachella five years ago, we had not spent much time in Palm Springs.  It seemed due time with it being only two hours away from Los Angeles.  We packed our swimsuits and hit the road to escape the city traffic.  The drive itself was interesting as we passed by windmills and dinosaurs.  This California dessert is a

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Museum of Ice Cream

I scream, You scream, We all scream for ice cream!  The famous Museum of Ice Cream came to Los Angeles.  Think Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory meets ice cream.  You get to scratch a banana wall where it smells like bananas - instantly, I mustered up by best pretentious Veruca Salt impression and voiced, "Snozzberries!  Who ever heard of a

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Storming Seattle

News spreads fast, especially news of our one day trips!  We usually get a few hours to pounce on cheap flight deals so it was a pleasant surprise when we had eight friends unhesitatingly purchase their flights to join us.  Rich and I have visited this gloomy city before on our way to Alaska but it's so much more intense to storm

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3.26.16 – Air, Land, & Sea

As an anniversary gift, Rich surprised me with my first ever hot air balloon ride!  We spent the weekend taking in not only beautiful views of La Jolla from thousands of feet above, but also of the beach where we poked around the tide pools.  Rich even got splashed by the waves.  We then met up with some friends to

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