Author Archives: Tim Viall

Monterey; history and majesty for wintertime exploration

Monterey offers history, ocean majesty for wintertime exploration In recent years we’ve been up and down the California coast from Santa Cruz to the far end of Big Sur, but had not spent any serious time in Monterey. Last week we changed that, with a three day visit. Here, Monterey Bay is the star, with […]

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European river cruising; Nazis leave sobering legacy over Germany and its neighbors (part 3 of 3 parts)

The sobering Nazi legacy over Germany and its neighbors We recently returned from a 15 day cruise beginning in Switzerland, down the Rhine River, passing through part of France, a good portion of Germany, the southern portion of the Netherlands and into Belgium. A cruise a few years earlier took us from Vienna, Austria through […]

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European river cruising, Germany, Netherlands and Belgium, part 2 of 3

European river cruising, Germany, Netherlands and Belgium shine This week’s installment reports on the second week of our Romance of the Rhine and Mosel River cruise, aboard the River Harmony, a 330 foot, three deck European river cruiser carrying 140 passengers and crew of 36. The cruise is a “last-minute deal“ on Grand Circle Cruise […]

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River cruising through Europe, Switzerland to Belgium, part 1 of 3

Cruising through Europe, Switzerland into the heart of Germany, on the Rhine River! We have visited Europe three times in the last 20 years, starting with a free-wheeling “on our own“ nine day trip to Paris for our 30th wedding anniversary, then a Great Rivers of Europe cruise six years ago, and a small ship […]

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Dodge Ridge, Bear Valley ski resorts ready for ski season

Snow’s a-comin’; Dodge Ridge, Bear Valley ski resorts prep for ski season With the first winter snow a few days ago now closing Ebbetts and Sonora passes, and heavier winter storms forecast for the central Sierra over Thanksgiving, the two closest resorts to San Joaquin County are gearing up for another fun ski and boarding […]

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Road trip: in search of California’s covered bridges

Road trip: searching for some of California’s historic covered bridges As an 11 or 12-year-old, I remember my dad saying, on weekend drives, “let’s see where this road takes us”. Off we would go in a 1950’s stationwagon down an unknown country road to reveal its intrigue. And, one of my early memories of his […]

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New York City; The ultimate people watching trip

Visit New York City; the city never sleeps, providing the ultimate people watching trip We had not been to New York City for several years; armed  with air miles and Marriott points we booked a laid-back one week vacation for our wedding anniversary. Planning the ultimate people watching trip, we decided to focus on Times […]

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California coastal road-trippin’ offers fall delights

Big Sur or North California coastal road-trippin’ offers fall delights Fall road-tripping along the California coast; weather is often beautiful, summer crowds are gone, the ocean, rugged coast and adventure beckons. Here are two suggested road-trips, one south, one north of San Joaquin County. Each includes a one-way drive of three-plus hours, so, best to […]

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San Francisco’s undiscovered gems, on the cheap

San Francisco’s undiscovered gems, on the cheap (best breakfasts, crookedist street, wave organ, and much more)… San Francisco, that grand city by the Bay, is not known as an inexpensive destination. With hotels and motels going for $300/night and up, parking almost non-existent and pricey restaurants on almost every corner – the question comes, can […]

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Road tripping: fall foliage, wine-tasting and Sierra scenery

Road tripping: fall foliage, wine-tasting and Sierra scenery with a side of history. Here’s a day-long road trip just outside of San Joaquin County for fall foliage viewing, several wine-tasting options, spectacular Sierra scenery and several segues into history. As to planning, if you really want to get serious about fall foliage exploration, consult one […]

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