Growing up, Los Angeles (and in general, Southern California) stood out to me as this Rivendell-esque type of place. It resonated with me much more than many other cities, since it was home to so many things I only found in bits and pieces elsewhere, from beaches to mountains to celebs to Disneyland. And when I visited Los Angeles at age 11 it didn’t disappoint, even if our cab driver drove off from the Getty Villa without my mom.

So at the end of last summer, just months after my 30th birthday, I packed up all of my things in my car and fulfilled a travel dream I’ve always had of driving the length of the Pacific Ocean coastline from Seattle down to Los Angeles. However, when I arrived in Los Angeles, I found myself never wanting to leave, and I haven’t, nor do I have plans to, as I have an affinity toward Los Angeles and creating a home life here like I’ve felt no other place. That’s right, this good ‘ole boy who grew up in rural North Carolina went Hollywood.

Read More

Anyone who follows me or knows anything about me knows that I love Vegas. But those who really know me also know that I’m not a club or casino guy. Maybe I’ll throw a $20 on the Blackjack table and put my winnings on the num. seven horse, but to me, the best of Vegas is found beyond the doors of its casinos and night clubs. There are a lot of places around the world that you can play Blackjack or get jiggy with it, but it’s not just anywhere that you can visit a speakeasy, ride in the world’s largest observation wheel, drive a bulldozer, or fly an airplane. Because these days, what happens in Vegas, goes on Instagram. So with that in mind, today I share a round-up of some of my favorite photos from Las Vegas.

Read More

I follow the sounds of a harmonica and banjo as I walk through the doors of Glacier Park Lodge, a 101-year-old lodge at the edge of Montana’s Glacier National Park. Greeted by a Rocky Mountain goat in front of me and three-story tall Douglas-fir columns towering above me, a fire crackles in the far corner as a male/female duo strums and sings “Wagon Wheel,” which only seems appropriate for this trip to Montana, since the song is about a hitchhiking journey through Middle America. A small group, both young and old, gathers around the couple, listening intently, while behind me, sitting around coffee tables are couples, families and kids engaging in a variety of activities, including games of Scrabble and Checkers, reading books and handwriting letters. The nostalgia and simplicity of the moment stops me dead in my tracks, where time seems to stand still, as a destination’s arts, culture and landscape intersects in a way that few destinations do.

Read More