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[Crater Lake National Park, July 3, 2019] You may have seen that instantly recognizable Crater Lake photo – a little cone-shaped island in the middle of the bluest of lakes. That was the image I had in my mind from the many photos of Crater Lake I’ve seen, but I was still excited to see it for myself. Crater Lake was born out of the ashes of the volcano that stood in… Read More

[Bend, OR, July 2, 2019] I couldn’t resist not planning something around the long weekend for July 4th. I picked Crater Lake National Park in Central Oregon because it is fairly easy to get to from LA and, due to its remote location, would not be too crowded on a holiday weekend. I figured I’d pop over to Portland to visit some friends while I am at it and voila – a… Read More

[Channel Islands National Park – Santa Cruz Island, Jun 9, 2019] I am so fortunate to live in California, which boasts nine national parks – one more than Alaska! The closest to Los Angeles are Joshua Tree and Channel Islands. I’d finally visited the smallest of the Channels islands last year. I was supposed to go to Santa Cruz island, the biggest of the five, but a fire broke out there just… Read More

[Istanbul, Turkey, May 25, 2019] And just like that, it was the last day of our trip! It’s always hard to believe when that day comes. Time seems to fly by while at the same time my normal every-day life seems so far away! It rained again overnight but we decided to leave the umbrellas at home – it was a pain to carry them around all day yesterday, and the weather… Read More

[Istanbul, Turkey, May 24, 2019] A gloomy, rainy morning sky greated us on our full first day in Istanbul. Luckily, it was not cold. We borrowed some umbrellas from our hotel and headed to Hagia Sophia, the most easily recognizable Istanbul landmark. The current structure is the third church built at this site in the 6th century by Byzantine Emperor Justinian, the previous two having been destroyed. It remained the largest cathedral… Read More