TravelTuesday! Tuesday morning in Yosemite!

TravelTuesday! Tuesday morning in Yosemite!

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SEARCH “YOSEMITE” (in the Search Box at top of page^^^^^^^)

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Happy Cinco de Mayo! It’s May the 5th! Celebrate!

Happy Cinco de Mayo! It’s May the 5th! Celebrate!

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Mexico’s Independence Day (from Spain) is celebrated on September 16.

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A PLETHORA OF MARIACHIS!

Cinco de Drinko!
IT’S TEQUILA TIME! Tequila is the general name for a distilled beverage made from the blue agave plant, produced in the specific region surrounding the city of Tequila, 40 miles northwest of Guadalajara and in the highlands (Los Altos) of the central western Mexican state of Jalisco. Mexican law states that Tequila can only be produced in the state of Jalisco and in certain places in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit and Tamaulipas.

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TEQUILA!

The Champs! “Tequila” LIVE on the Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show on 3 May 1958
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uyl7GP_VMJY

 

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Tequila with Chips & Salsa!

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Blended Margarita

The two basic categories of tequila are mixtos and 100% agave. Mixtos use no less than 51% agave, with other sugars making up the remainder. Mixtos use both glucose and fructose sugars. Tequila is usually bottled in one of five categories:

  • Blanco (“white”) or plata (“silver”): white spirit, unaged and bottled or stored immediately after distillation, or aged less than two months in stainless steel or neutral oak barrels
  • Joven (“young”) or oro (“gold”): unaged silver tequila that may be flavored with caramel coloring, oak extract, glycerin, or sugar-based syrup. Could also be the result of blending silver tequila with aged and/or extra-aged tequila.
  • Reposado (“rested”): aged a minimum of two months, but less than a year in oak barrels of any size
  • Añejo (“aged” or “vintage”): aged a minimum of one year, but less than three years in small oak barrels
  • Extra Añejo (“extra aged” or “ultra aged”): aged a minimum of three years in oak barrels, this category was established in March 2006.
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Silver Tequila w/Limes

Pee Wee Herman performs “Tequila” from “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVKsd8z6scw

The Four Stages of Tequila:
2 shots “I’m rich!”
4 shots “I’m good looking!”
6 shots “I’m invisible!”
8 shots “I’m bulletproof!”

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Strawberry Margarita!

The traditional margarita uses Tequila, Cointreau and lime juice, though many variations exist and a large number of tequila drinks are made by adding fruit juice. The International Bartenders Association (IBA Official list of Cocktails) standard is 7:4:3, that is, 50% tequila, 29% Cointreau and 21% fresh lime juice

The standard margarita is a cocktail consisting of tequila, triple sec and lime or lemon juice, often served with salt on the rim of the glass. The drink is served shaken with ice (on the rocks), blended with ice (frozen margarita) or without ice (straight up).

Margarita:
1 ounce tequila
Dash of Triple Sec (or Cointreau)
Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
Pour over crushed ice and stir. Rub the rim of a stem glass with rind of lemon or lime, spin in salt. Take care to moisten only the outer rim and apply the salt on it. The salt should just coat the rim and never mix into the cocktail. Add fresh fruit or juice for more flavor!

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TEQUILA!

Tequila Sunrise:
3 oz (6 parts) Orange juice
1-1/2 oz (3 parts) Tequila
1/2 oz (1 part) Grenadine syrup
Pour the tequila and orange juice into glass over ice. Add the grenadine, which will sink to the bottom. Do not stir. Garnish and serve on the rocks in a collins glass.

Three-Amigos

The Three Amigos!

“Take another shot of courage
Wonder why the right words never come
You just get numb
It’s another tequila sunrise, this old world
Still looks the same”
~The Eagles “Tequila Sunrise”

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Viva Mexico! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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MEXICO!

CLICK TO SEE A LARGE PIC OF “THE REGIONAL CUISINE OF MEXICO”

“One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, more…
four tequila, five tequila, six tequila… floor.”

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“But there’s booze in the blender,
And soon it will render
That frozen concoction that helps me hang on…”

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Margarita!

“…Wasted away again in Margaritaville
Searchin’ for my lost shaker of salt.
Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame,
But I know, it’s my own damn fault.”
~Jimmy Buffet “Magaritaville”

DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE! HAVE A DESIGNATED DRIVER!

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Up Periscope! My Current Obsession!

Up Periscope! See the world through other people’s eyes!

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Times Square with Vicki Winters @mybigfatmouth

If you’ve been following my Blog you know that I’m currently obsessed with the Periscope App. And why shouldn’t I be? Yesterday in addition to the usual suspects I scope, I watched Vicki Winters (@mybigfatmouth) cruising Times Square in New York City; Anika (@LiterallyAnika) on Go-Pro Gyro-coptering above Dubai and then onboard a party yacht at the Dubai Boat Show; The Who performing LIVE in concert from the sixth row in Toronto, Canada (Thanks @Concertaholics); Ms. Lauryn Hill LIVE rehearsing in the studio in West Hollywood, California (@Jay_Rosado_215) and then Sunrise at Stonehenge from inside the circle on the Salisbury Plain in England (Thanks Dan Snow @thehistoryguy) with a handheld and a DRONE CAMERA! Here are some screenshots:

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Gyro-copter Take Off in Dubai with @LiterallyAnika

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Gyro-copter Flying Over Dubai with @LiterallyAnika

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Onboard a Party Yacht at the Dubai Boat Show with @LiterallyAnika

There’s a 12 hour difference between Los Angeles and Dubai, so Vicki was on in the morning and Anika was on in the afternoon. Then later on in the evening around 6pm Pacific Standard Time The Who LIVE from Toronto!

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The Who LIVE in Concert in Toronto, Canada with @Concertaholics

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The Who LIVE in Concert in Toronto, Canada with @Concertaholics

RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO SEE A LARGER PIC
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The Who LIVE in Concert in Toronto, Canada with @Concertholics

Later on at night, Jay was “slappin’ the bass” in rehearsals with Ms. Lauryn Hill and scoping from the studio. He is a really great musician and they were jammin’!

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@Jay_Rosado_215 with Ms. Lauryn Hill LIVE in Studio in West Hollywood

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Ms. Lauryn Hill LIVE in Studio in West Hollywood with @Jay_Rosado_215

The Piece-de-Resistance was a Sunrise Scope from Stonehenge, handheld from inside the stone circle (very rare) and a second drone camera airborne along with Q&A from an expert on the World Heritage Site:

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Sunrise at Stonehenge! Thanks Dan Snow! @thehistoryguy

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Sunrise at Stonehenge! Drone Camera! @thehistoryguy

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NOTE: The periscope videos expire after 24 hours, so I’m not posting the links.

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REPLAY: John Németh “Memphis Grease” Blues LIVE in Pasadena on Periscope:
https://ktch.tv/7wjD > https://ktch.tv/7wv3 > https://ktch.tv/7wk5

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Saturday Morning Sunrise in Ashland Oregon

Saturday Morning Sunrise in Ashland Oregon

The Road Trip continues! Leaving Ashland on Saturday morning I was treated to great weather and a wonderful sunrise! It rained Friday night/Saturday morning and washed the smoke from the fires away. It was smoky, cloudy and hazy all week during my visit, so waking up to blue skies and a beautiful dawn was a really nice way to end my stay.

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Saturday Morning Sunrise in Ashland Oregon

Saturday Morning Sunrise in Ashland Oregon

Just another beautiful day!

Saturday Morning (after the rain)

Good Morning! Saturday at dawn after the rain in Ashland Oregon

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All photos copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel

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Hiking in Maui and other Travel Answers about Hawaii

Hiking in Maui and other Travel Answers about Hawaii

Road to Hana, Maui (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Road to Hana, Maui (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Q: Best spots for hiking in Maui?

I’m looking to escape the cold for a bit sometime in the next couple of months. Where can I find the best hiking trail in Maui? Willing to drive far for a beautiful hike and I’m not worried about the difficulty or length. Thanks!

A: Hiking in Maui?

HIKE THE PIPIWAI TRAIL to Waimoku Falls in Hana, Maui

Waimoku Falls - Hana, Maui (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Waimoku Falls – Hana, Maui (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Take the long drive on the Road to Hana and continue to Haleakala National Park and the Seven Pools aka Pools at Ohe’o.

Come prepared and bring your towel, for a beautiful hike on the Pipiwai Trail through the tropical rainforest, across (dry) stream beds and into the bamboo forest. Eventually you’ll come to Waimoku Falls. It’s a beautiful waterfall, a wonderful journey and well worth the trip.

Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku Falls (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku Falls (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

NOTE: Don’t try to make the hike if there is heavy rain because there are flash flood warnings along the trail.

Top: Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku Falls Bottom: Road to Hana (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Top: Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku Falls Bottom: Road to Hana (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

While in Hana, be sure to visit the Hasegawa General Store and the Travaasa Hana (the original Hana-Maui hotel).

Hana Bay - Hana, Maui (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Hana Bay – Hana, Maui (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Q: Hiking in Maui? (part 2)

A: Wai’anapanapa State Park in Hana Maui is an amazing place!

Black sand beaches, beautiful natural sea arches created from lava flows and ocean weathering, and camping/picnic areas. Very nice hiking trails in the park along the ocean and lava cliffs!

Wai'anapanapa State Park - Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Wai’anapanapa State Park – Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Q: Tell me your favorite secluded beach in the islands?

My girlfriend and I are looking to explore some secluded beaches during our honeymoon to Hawaii. We don’t mind hiking into a remote area to visit a secluded beach. Can someone suggest some places we can explore? Secluded beaches on Maui?

A: The Road to Hana-Maui and Waianapanapa State Park Black Sand Beach.

If you take the Road to Hana you’ll come to Waianapanapa State Park and it’s black sand beaches and amazing polished lava rock shore.

http://www.hawaiistateparks.org/parks/maui/waianapanapa.cfm

Wai'anapanapa State Park - Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Wai’anapanapa State Park – Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Wai'anapanapa State Park - Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Wai’anapanapa State Park – Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Have lunch at the Travaasa Hana Hotel (which once was the original Hana-Maui Hotel)

Be sure to stop at Hasegawa General Store before you visit the Seven Sacred Pools.

Seven Sacred Pools - Hana, Maui (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Seven Sacred Pools – Hana, Maui (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

If you’re feeling adventurous there’s a great day hike to Waimoku Falls across dried river beds and through tropical and bamboo forests.

Drive the long road on the Piilani highway on the backside of Maui and visit the Palapala Ho’omau Congregational Church where Charles Lindbergh is buried before heading back to central or west Maui.

Hana-Maui Sunrise - Hana, Maui, Hawaii

Hana-Maui Sunrise – Hana, Maui, Hawaii

Q: Most remote beach?

A: Southpoint – Kalae on the Big Island Hawaii is a green sand beach and the southern most point in the United States.

p.s. You’re not supposed to drive your rental car down the dirt road.

Waikiki Beach - Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii - CLICK TO ENLARGE!

Waikiki Beach – Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Oceanfront Hotel?

We are staying 4 days in Honolulu and would love an oceanfront hotel without all the extra charges—ie. internet, parking, etc.  Can anyone recommend one?

A: A great value in Honolulu on the beach is the The Kahala Hotel & Resort Oahu.

It’s on the other side of Waikiki and Diamond Head, and far away from the major strip traffic, but close enough (10 minutes) to be convenient. You get free daily buffet, free WiFi and there’s NO RESORT FEES! Book direct with them online or by telephone. I always recommend telephone and get the name of the person you book with.

Great reviews on Yelp and TripAdvisor too.

See my other answers for more about Hawaii.

Hiking to Waimoku Falls in Hana, Maui, Hawaii

Hiking to Waimoku Falls in Hana, Maui, Hawaii

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Duke Kahanamoku Statue on Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Oahu (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Duke Kahanamoku Statue on Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Oahu (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

TBT: Magical MAUI Sunsets

Sunsets on magical Maui! 

Hawaii, USA – Magic Hour on the Garden Island. These pictures are only memories of the real thing… you really had to be there.

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Hawaii - Lahaina Sunset

Maui, Hawaii – Lahaina Sunset (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Lahaina Sunset - Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Lahaina Sunset – Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Magic Hour! Maui Sunset (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Magic Hour! Maui Sunset (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Magical Maui - Lahaina, Maui, HI

Magical Maui – Lahaina, Maui, HI (copyright 21010 JoshWillTravel)

What are your favorite memories of Hawaii? I took this sailboat picture during an evening dinner cruise out of Lahaina, Maui. When I see this picture I think about the blue Pacific ocean, tropical breezes, “umbrella drinks” and the beautiful sunsets.

BONUS: Sunrise in Hana, Maui

Hana Maui Sunrise - Hana, Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Hana Maui Sunrise – Hana, Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

 

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29-JUN-13: Yosemite Valley, Yosemite, California

Yosemite Valley

Yosemite, California

Sunrise in September (from picture point at the Wawona Tunnel)

Yosemite Valley, Yosemite, CA

Yosemite Valley, Yosemite, California

Photo copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel

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Rogue Valley Dawn – Ashland, Oregon

Rogue Valley Dawn – Ashland, Oregon

The Rogue Valley is a beautiful farming and timber-producing region in southwestern Oregon. Located along the Rogue River and its tributaries in Josephine and Jackson counties, the valley forms the cultural and economic heart of Southern Oregon near the California border along the 5 freeway. The largest communities in the Rogue Valley are Medford, Ashland and Grants Pass.

Rogue Valley Dawn 2 - Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 Joshua Weisel)

Rogue Valley Dawn 2 – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Read the Blog!> My Winter Trip to Ashland, Oregon
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1h

Use the links below to FOLLOW and LIKE us on other social media!

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My January Trip to Ashland, Oregon

Ashland, Oregon Visitor's Map

Ashland, Oregon Visitor’s Map

Ashland, Oregon is the home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (osfashland.org) and the theater season runs February to November.  I’ve visited Ashland regularly over the years during the OSF season and have seen many great theatrical productions (I’ll blog about those experiences in the future).  Without the tourists, the town is very quiet in December and January,  The purpose of my trip this time was to visit my father and stepmother.  He has health problems, I haven’t seen them in a long time, and my presence would enable her to take a little break from some daily “caregiver” duties.  So given the circumstances and the time of year, it was a very different type of trip this time.

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LAX  - Alaska Airlines/ Horizon Air - Los Angeles to Medford

LAX – Alaska Airlines/ Horizon Air – Los Angeles to Medford

I flew roundtrip Los Angeles, CA to Medford, OR.  The NON-STOP two-hour Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air commuter flight flies out of LAX and arrives in Medford, Oregon.  It’s the best way to get to Ashland from Los Angeles short of a private flight.  I’ve done the thirteen hour drive and it’s a LONG haul even stopping overnight along the way (and then there’s still the return trip) or you can fly and stop over in San Francisco, but that’s definitely NO FUN (and you never know about the weather in SF).  Depart 8:15pm on Saturday night, so there’s no line at Check-in, paid the CHECKED BAG FEE and got through Security relatively fast for LAX. I got stuck behind an Asian couple with too much stuff and had to laugh out loud as they tried to maneuver at least 10 plastic bins along with their carry-on bags and coats while trying to remove their shoes, belts, and personal electronics.  I had my bag and 3 bins (one for my personal electronics, one for my laptop and one for my shoes and coat) ready and quickly cleared through x-ray.  After passing the oppressive full body scan, I secured a seat and an electrical outlet at the “computer counter” in the waiting area at the gate until the flight boarded on-time.

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Alaska-Horizon Airlines LAX-MFR (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

 

The Theme from "Jaws" is playing in my head as I take my seat.

The Theme from “Jaws” is playing in my head as I take my seat.

Alaska/Horizon Air flies a small prop-jet plane and the flight is usually full.  There are two seats on each side of the aisle and they don’t recline.  There’s not a lot of space and there’s a lot of engine noise, so it’s a good idea to bring noise reducing headphones.  Definitely “no frills”, but there is snack and beverage service with complimentary Oregon wine and microbrew beer on the menu.  Just watch your elbows if you have an aisle seat!  My flight was full and as I took my seat I saw the two small children flying with their mother in the two seats in front of me.  The little girl was standing on the seat giving me the “eye” and the theme from “Jaws” started playing in my head.  I met and joked with the mother as I took these pictures.  Luckily, both children were quiet and slept the entire flight until we landed. The little boy didn’t want to wake up and threw a screaming tantrum as the plane taxied to the gate.  I’ll just say they got the door opened just in time…. .

A little angel?  Or an airplane nightmare waiting to happen?

A little angel? Or an airplane nightmare waiting to happen?

Medford Airport, Medford, Oregon

Rogue Valley International – Medford Airport (MFR) – Medford, Oregon

Arrived on-time at about 10:30pm at Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport (MFR), a small and very modern airport twenty minutes north of Ashland on the 5 freeway.  No problems at baggage claim and was picked up at the curb.  We drove to The Ranch with a side trip through the Burger King drive-thru on the way home.  The dogs were so glad to see me.  After eating, talking and getting settled in at the house it was time for bed.

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Rogue Valley Winter Sunrise 1 - Ashland, Oregon

Rogue Valley Winter Sunrise 1 – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Rogue Valley is a beautiful farming and timber-producing region in southwestern Oregon. Located along the Rogue River and its tributaries in Josephine and Jackson counties, the valley forms the cultural and economic heart of Southern Oregon near the California border along the 5 freeway. The largest communities in the Rogue Valley are Medford, Ashland and Grants Pass.

Rogue Valley Winter Sunrise 2 - Ashland, Oregon

Rogue Valley Winter Sunrise 2 – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Rogue Valley Winter Sunrise 3 - Ashland, Oregon

Rogue Valley Winter Sunrise 3 – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Woke up early and watched a beautiful Rogue Valley sunrise while getting a light dusting of snow.  The view from house is spectacular and the fog was nestled in the valley as the sun broke through the clouds.

Rogue Valley - Ashland, Oregon

Rogue Valley – view from the house – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Spent most of the time during the week with my father, driving him around, chilling at The Ranch and eating out.  When he had an appointment, I would find somewhere to go and something to enjoy.   We went for nice Sunday brunch at the Jacksonville Inn (www.jacksonvilleinn.com) and then a great steak dinner at Amuse Restaurant in downtown Ashland, with fresh beignets and a banana cream pie tart for desert.

Banana cream pie!

Delicious banana cream pie tart!  Amuse Restaurant – Ashland, Oregon

Lots of other good eating during the trip!  I would recommend any of these restaurants. Lunch: Tacos at La Tapatia Market in Phoenix (REAL Mexican food), Pizza and pasta at Pasta Piatti in downtown Ashland, and you definitely must try the $20 Cheeseburger at New Sammy’s Cowboy Bistro in Talent (reservations recommended and pre-order the burger because sometimes they run out).  Dinner: In addition to Amuse (excellent every time I’ve eaten there), BonsaiTeriyaki sushi in Ashland (good, but it can’t compare to fresh L.A. sushi), and an amazing dinner of chowder, steak, chicken, prawns with incredible bread pudding for dessert at Beasy’s in downtown Ashland.  They stayed open late to take our party of four and the food and wine was five star!

Sushi dinner at BonsaiTeriyaki - Ashland. Oregon

Sushi dinner at BonsaiTeriyaki – Ashland. Oregon

Dad and I saw “Parker” at the local cinema.  We went “antiquing” in Ashland, Jacksonville, Talent, Phoenix and Medford.  Lots of fun stuff for sale, but being mindful of both money and suitcase space, I was mostly browsing.  I did find a great deal on a nice cut crystal vase and bought it as a gift for my mother. I also found a great “out of print” cookbook for my stepmother.

Cut Crystal Vase - "Such a Deal!" - Ashland, Oregon

Cut Crystal Vase – “Such a Deal!” – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

We took a drive north to Center Point and visited Lillebelle’s Chocolates (located near the Rogue Valley Creamery and Rogue Valley Winery tasting room).  Definitely worth the trip if you appreciate amazing handmade chocolate ($$$).

Lillebelle's Chocolates

Lillebelle’s Chocolates – Center Point, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lillebelle's Chocolates

Lillebelle’s Chocolates –  Center Point, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

I walked around downtown Ashland and the railroad district in the afternoons, window shopping and browsing at the boutiques, bookstores, outdoor gear stores and gift shops.  The town was empty, everything was on sale and it seemed that I was the only tourist in Ashland,  One thing about shopping in Ashland is that each shop has it’s own “laid back character”, and sometimes that also describes the owner or the person providing the customer service.

Downtown Ashland - Ashland, Oregon

Downtown Ashland – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Ashland Library - Ashland, Oregon

Ashland Library – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2103 JoshWillTravel)

Ashland Springs Hotel - Ashland, Oregon

The Historic Ashland Springs Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Ashland is a pretty little town, with lots of historic buildings, lots of shops, great restaurants, the OSF and Lithia Park all in the heart of downtown.  There are lots of housing options for travellers: the historic Ashland Springs Hotel, the Lithia Springs Resort, and many hotels, motels and B&Bs that cater to the tourists.*

Lithia Park is beautiful anytime of the year, but winter is exceptionally beautiful in Oregon.  The weather was pretty good for January.  It snowed a little the first day.  Then it drizzled a little and it was cold and grey most of the time, but the sun did come out a couple of times during the week.

RIGHT CLICK AND OPEN IN NEW WINDOW TO SEE AN ENLARGED PICTURE!

Lithia Park - Ashland Creek - Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park – Ashland Creek – Ashland, Oregon

I went for a solo walk in Lithia Park and took some pretty pictures.  Ashland Creek was flowing fast because of the melting snow and for almost the entire time I was alone on the walking path. And it was wonderful!  Here’s a picture tour, CLICK TO ENLARGE!

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Elizabethan Theater - Ashland, Oregon

Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Elizabethan Theater – Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park is the largest and most central park in Ashland, Oregon. It consists of 93 acres of forested canyonland around Ashland Creek, stretching from the downtown plaza up toward its headwaters near Mount Ashland. Its name originates from the lithium oxide found in the stream water.  The park has two large green area, a bandshell for public musical performances, two duck ponds, a large playground, tennis courts, community buildings and, in winter, an ice skating rink. It also offers picnic areas and miles of hiking trails.  The park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Lithia Park - Ashland Creek - Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park – Ashland Creek – Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park - Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park – Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park - Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park – Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park - Ashland Creek - Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park – Ashland Creek – Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park - Duck Pond - Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park – Duck Pond – Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park - Ashland Creek - Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park – Ashland Creek – Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park - Ashland Creek - Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park – Ashland Creek – Ashland, Oregon

Had to get up very early to catch the return flight to LAX.  Cruised through Check-In, paid the CHECKED BAG FEE again and breezed through Security (no body scan or bad attitude in Medford) and waited for departure.

Medford Airport - Early AM

Wait, what?  TWINS?

Wait, what? TWINS?

Imagine my suprise when I was seated behind a nice lesbian couple with infant TWINS!  Again, a travel nightmare waiting to happen at 06:30 in the morning, but they both slept through the entire flight and didn’t cry at all!

Dawn out the airplane window

Sunrise, dawn breaks from the airplane window

The flight was only about half full and the seat next to me was empty, so I had extra room to try to stretch out a little bit.  I watched the sunrise out the window of the plane and landed on-time in Los Angeles at about 08:30am.

It’s a long hike from the plane to baggage claim at LAX, but I didn’t have to wait very long for my checked bag once I got there.  (TRAVEL TIP: get to baggage claim before your bag comes down the ramp at LAX!)  Didn’t have anyone pick me up because of the time of day and construction traffic on the 405 freeway.  Instead I had to wait 35 minutes for a “red shuttle van” in the carbon monoxide tank LAX calls passenger pickup.  Then I spent $40 and another 20 minutes circling the airport in the “red shuttle van” before heading out, and then another long 45 minutes on the freeway getting home.  I only tipped the driver $5 because of the time and because he was texting while driving.

I have mixed feelings about the trip.  It was great to see my father, stepmother and the dogs.  Ashland in January was beautiful!  Even good pictures don’t do it justice.  I had a great time and ate a lot fantastic food!  The difficult part was dealing with my father’s health.  I was glad to be home again and my dogs were so glad to see me!

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The Big Boy keeping watch

The Big Boy keeping watch at The Ranch (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(All photos copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel – taken with my Blackberry camera)