Seal Beach Southern California

It was three years ago this month that both my best trip and best decision to date saw its final moments on a beach in Costa Rica. Seven months prior, in my “home” of the Carolinas, following several years of struggle that came to a head with a divorce, I sold and gave away everything that couldn’t fit into a backpack, quit my job to start my own business as a freelance writer, and set out to travel the world. Life had lost its luster. In honesty, I…

I stand in the corner of the room, watching inconspicuously as each kid follows the same pattern: walking up to the door, removing their shoes, stepping inside, and then bowing. But I quickly observe their routine change. After each one bows upon entering, they notice someone new in the room, a visitor (yours truly), who isn’t from their country, no doubt appearing awkward in an oversized karategi (karate training uniform). They each then proceed to walk over to me, reaching out their hand, and with a huge grin on…

Anyone who knows anything about me knows there is one things I like. Alright, throw in seersuckers, food trucks, and boozy milkshakes, and maybe there’s more than just a couple things that stand out about my interests. However, anyone who follows me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram knows that I love sunsets, but not just any sunset, interesting vantage points of sunsets, such as reflecting off my revered aviator sunglasses. Since today on Twitter is the weekly FriFotos, with a theme of “mirrors,” it seemed only appropriate to…

Ugh. I hope you don’t have to drive much. I have a hard time seeing you there. I sure as hell hope you have a car to get around. Aren’t the highways just a perpetual parking lot? These are some of the remarks I get when I tell people that I’ve recently moved to Los Angeles. While L.A. certainly has its fair share of stereotypes, the most prominent ones seem to be about getting around Los Angeles. Outsiders’ remarks about L.A.’s public transportation, parking, and driving make it…

I pulled the heavily-laded SUV to the end of the driveway and paused momentarily, looking through the rearview mirror at the ranch-style house sitting behind me. I sighed, as my eyes welled up, and a flood of memories came to mind. In that house was (probably) where I was conceived, played my first game of Duck Hunt, received my first spanking, got picked up for my first date, beat my father for the first time in basketball, got my first concussion (from playing indoor basketball that resulted in…

“Should we get the margarita in the yard test tube or the strawberry daiquiri in the plastic guitar?” My friend and I went back and forth for a couple minutes, even asking the bartender about specific portions and alcohol levels. It didn’t matter that we weren’t going to drink the entire thing, or even half of it, and it didn’t matter that it would potentially be our worst investment of the trip (Depending on how the next game of pai gow went). What mattered is that it would…

At the end of 2010 I found myself saying that 2010 had brought out both the best and worst in me. So last year after I said that 2011 was the best year of my life , I knew the pressure was on for this year; and 2012 didn’t disappoint, as this past year, without a shadow of a doubt, was the best year of my life, putting even more pressure on 2013. Some of the highlights of 2012 included finding some semblance of home in San Francisco, living in…

There’s such serenity to this moment. My legs dangle off the dock as the sun begins to set over the water, with a family of ducks floating underneath my feet, small boats cruising by ever few minutes, the occasional fish jumping out of the water, and a couple of swans on the far side of the banks awaiting food from passerbys. I close my eyes as a sense of calm and gratitude sweeps over me, giving me chills on this warm summer day. There’s nothing that unordinary about this moment, as…

As I felt the water begin to now permeate both my socks and shoes, I considered the significance of what I was doing. Just the fact that I had packed an umbrella, let alone been walking around with one, was of great importance. Yes, as a matter of fact, I do try to live and travel to places that are rather absent of rain. I then stopped in my tracks, not because the rain had stopped, but rather because the breadth of this moment finally struck me. I…

Where should I go wine tasting when I visit San Francisco? That’s the question I get asked more then any other by people visiting California. Travel to most of America and it’s all about where to eat and what to see, but in California we’re fortunate to have such a thriving wine culture. I often tell people to tap into that culture and history beforehand by watching movies like Bottle Shock and Sideways, or better yet, watch me show you how to look like a wine drinker (Just…