Blue Penguin Colony (Oamaru, NZ)

Oamaru is home to a colony of blue penguins that visitors from all over come to see. They’re endemic to coastal New Zealand and southern Australia, the smallest of 18 species at 43cm (17in) in length and 1kg in weight. Unusual too is the fact that their color is distinctively blue (and white), while all... Continue Reading →

Peri-Peri Chicken at Nando’s (Christchurch, NZ)

In a world awash in chicken restaurants, what makes Nando's, a chain with outlets throughout the world, so different? For one thing, it had its commercial beginning in a Johannesburg mining suburb. But, its uniqueness is not that the chicken preparation is South African, because it isn't, but that the marinade derives from a Mozambican-Portuguese recipe made with... Continue Reading →

Godzilla Invades Bellevue: Katsu Burger

The reaction wasn't nearly on the same scale as Paseo's passing, but the sudden closure last August of Katsu Burger in Seattle's Georgetown district triggered waves of lamentation among followers. The word was that owner Kajime Sato was stretched too thin between the burger operation and Mashiko, his sushi restaurant in West Seattle. The concept was to add Japanese flavors to the... Continue Reading →

Monterey Bay Aquarium (Monterey, CA)

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of the world's best. You could spend an entire day there if you have the patience to tolerate hordes of people who come from all over. My grandson did, as he is fascinated with sea life. The exhibits of jellyfish and tentacled creatures are superb, matched by the famed underwater 28-foot kelp forest... Continue Reading →

The Lone Cypress (Monterey, CA)

At roughly 250 years old, the much-photographed Lone Cypress sits on top of a granite rock that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. You can see it along the 17 Mile Drive that circles the Monterey Peninsula.

Santa Maria-Style BBQ at Far Western Tavern (Orcutt, CA)

For the past several years, it was a goal of mine to sample barbecued beef in the Santa Maria Valley along California's Central Coast. But, the opportunity never came for one reason or another during the long drives between Seattle and Los Angeles. Either the timing was not right or we were in a hurry to get... Continue Reading →

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