A billowing pile of smoke was rising from the fire we had lit inside the antique wood-burning fireplace that was housed inside the authentic, hand-made old-fashioned log cabin we rented in South Lake Tahoe through Airbnb. I could feel my eyes begin to water as the white indoor clouds reached the vaulted, lodge-pole daring ceilings upstairs.
“Maybe we should open up a window?” My friend was attempting to stifle the smoke in the fireplace after trying to circulate the heat from the flames around the living room.
“Yeah, maybe that’s best,” I coughed. I took a quick look upstairs to possibly open up another window. I couldn’t tell at first if we had killed our other friend, who has asthma and was lying in a bed upstairs until I heard the sounds of snoring from underneath the comforter return to their normal steady rhythm. (more…)
“So, why on earth are you in Canada if you’re from California?” The young man was standing just outside the Toronto Eaton Centre passing out flyers for something or other when he struck up a conversation between my sister and myself. We were heading toward the crosswalk and on our way to grab a couple of Canadian beers and pizza.
My sister turned to the guy with the flyers again. “We just wanted to visit for fun.”
The real reason falls somewhere between my sister’s weird obsessions with the Great White North and my desire to travel the entire globe. Canada was not my first choice, but I was curious to see how America’s hat actually lived. (more…)
Sleep deprivation can do wonders for those who have a fear of heights. I had earned my title of the walking dead the day before my recent trip to Seattle, Washington by attending a birthday dinner after work for a friend who lives nearly 100 miles away in Palm Springs. It was great to catch up and chat, but my scheduled 7:00AM flight out of Santa Ana made me question all of the choices I have made in my life.
Needless to say, 10 minutes after takeoff my sister and I were slumped over passed out in our still upright airplane seats. It was a refreshing 2 and a half hour nap that go us ready for the weather that went from a mild SoCal 65 degrees to a frigid Northwestern 32 degrees in Washington.
The first family road trip, that I can remember, happened sometime around the age of eight or nine. I was handed a Kodak disposable camera and carefully tried to ration the allotted photos that could be taken on the wind-up-operating device. However, because I was only eight and had no experience with cameras and didn’t feel like using the view finder, I quickly went through the film reel by taking terrible pictures with thumbs partial blocking blurred views of ordinary trees from the inside of a moving car. (more…)
The four of us stared down at the black sludge bubbling up from the short blades of green grass that had been blocked off with black iron gates. A small gust of wind had picked up a smell, of what seemed like burned tire rubber, and found its way into our nostrils. I instinctively moved my feet around a bit as if to sidestep the process that was taking hold underneath my boots.
“This all seems very unsafe,” I said as I continued to look down at the ground that was pushing up this dark liquid from decades passed. The ground at La Brea Tar Pits looked like some sort of horror scene nestled between the picturesque LACMA and LA Brea Tar Pits museums. (more…)