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Recent Travel Articles

Milo, the Paddle Boarding Dog of Maui: A Photo Essay

Milo pulling in his paddle board on Wailea Beach

On my trip to Maui earlier this month I was playing in the waves of the Pacific when I spotted a chocolate lab astride a paddle board with his owner. I swam a bit closer and chatted with the dog’s owner and was introduced to Milo, the paddle boarding dog of Maui.

Milo even brings in his paddle board to shore. Check it out in this short video clip I shot on my iPhone 5s:

Milo in action

Milo shakes it off

Like most labs, Milo works for tennis balls

Milo’s owner keeps two tennis balls tucked into her bikini bottoms for times when Milo falls off the board and decides to swim off. Labs are genetically engineers to retrieve tennis balls.

Milo’s face in action is one of fierce determination

Milo at work

Milo probably needs a Go Pro camera to capture his true awesomeness, but I thought I’d share these images with my blog readers just for fun.

Another day at the office for Milo

I met Milo on beach at the Andaz Maui. He made a lot of friends that day.

The Andaz Maui Beach Crew has paddle boards for humans too

Paddle boarding is good fun and a great core workout. Fortunately the beach crew at the Andaz Maui has paddle boards for human guests and stand up paddle board lessons along with other fun beach activities.

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Is it Worth It To Go Watch the Sunrise at Haleakala on Maui?

First glimpse of the sun at Haleakala

If you’re visiting Maui for the first or 15th time and looking for things to do, someone is going to suggest going to see the sun rise at Haleakala. The concierge at the Andaz Maui suggested I leave at 2:30 am and “bundle up” because temperatures (and wind) up at the 10.000 foot crater summit can be very chilly before dawn.

Crater Coffee: your last chance for a cuppa before Haleakala

The drive from Wailea was 90 minutes and pretty easy. The road to Haleakala is not as well paved as the more heavily traffic tourist roads on the island, but the winding part (full of hairpin turns) was only after I entered the park.

Plan a pit stop at Crater Coffee (open from 3-7 am ) for your last chance for caffeine fix, pastries and bathrooms. The coffee is good and service friendly and convince you it was worth it to get up so early.

Clouds before sunrise

I arrived at the parking lot at the summit an hour before sunrise. The stargazing was incredibly. Watching the clouds shift before dawn was mesmerizing. I headed to the far side of glass visitor hut at the summit, so that the hut would buffer me from the wind. I shot this time lapse video of the sunrise on my iPhone 5s using the Sunrise and Sunset preset on the TimeLapse App.

Is it worth it go see the sunrise at Haleakala? Totally.

The changing colors and shifting clouds are all part of the Haleakala sunrise show

If getting up early doesn’t work for you, some people prefer to come to watch the sunset. You can check sunrise and sunset time for Haleakala here.

The parking lot at the summit after sunrise

There are also several tour companies that offer bikes for you to bike down the crater after sunrise.

I loved how this guy’s blanket makes him look like a superhero

My advice- don’t miss the sunrise. It’s unforgettable. It was well worth the effort. NOTE: mobile phone service is spotty once you enter the park.

The glass shelter at the summit of Haleakala

Haleakalā National Park

Address: Kula, HI, United States (Directions)

Open 24 hours

Phone: (808) 572-4400

You can check out the weather forecast for the crater summit here.

Daily passes are non-transferable and are valid for 3 days including the date of purchase:

Private Vehicle: $10.

Motorcycle: $5.

Per Person: $5.

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Sunset Time Lapse Video at the Andaz Maui Resort at Wailea

Sunset view from the Andaz Maui at Wailea

I’ve been spending the past few days at the lovely Andaz Maui at Wailea. It’s been several years since I’ve visited this island, and I’ve been getting into the Aloha Spirit. The sunsets here are quite beautiful so I made this time lapse video to share a little virtual sunshine with my blog readers.

I shot this video using the TimeLapse app for iPhone

The Andaz is modern, fun, and has a outstanding restaurant, Morimoto Maui. It’s so good I’ve eaten there several times and will do a full post on it at a later date.

Enjoying the sunset from my balcony at the Andaz Maui Wailea

Andaz Wailea Maui at Wailea Resort

3550 Wailea Alanui Drive

Wailea, Hawaii, USA, 96753

Tel: +1 808 573 1234

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Where to Eat in Rome: Il Giardino dell’Eden

Light, crispy and delicious Frutti di Mare at Il Giardino dell’Eden

On my last visit to Rome, I stayed at the Hotel Eden, which is one of my all time favorite properties in Italy’s Eternal City. I arrived prior to check in time and my room was not yet ready, so I headed up the the Eden’s rooftop bar and restaurant, Il Giardino dell’Eden for lunch.

The gorgeous view from the Giardino dell’Eden

I ordered the calamari, which I thought was steeply priced at €30. After tasting it, I decided it was worth every euro cent. The portion was large enough to share, and the calamari was so lightly crispy and delicious, especially when squeezed with fresh lemon. It was a hot summer day in Rome, so I also ordered an Aperol Spritz, my favorite Italian cocktail.

Aperol Spritz at Giardino dell’Eden

I can also recommend he zucchini blossoms stuffed with ricotta and taleggio cheese (€20). Both the spaghetti cacio e pepe (€18) and the mezzi rigatoni all’amatriciana (€20) are excellent if you’re in the mood for one of the famous pastas Rome is known for.

The menu at Il Giardino dell’Eden

Il Giardino is not cheap, but the spectacular view, great service, and delicious food make it well worth the price of admission.

NOTE: I’ve written about this restaurant before because I consider it one of the Great Rooftop Bars of Rome.

Il Giardino dell’Eden

Hotel Eden Rome
Via Ludovisi 49, Rome 00187, Italy
Telephone: +39 0647812761
Lunch 12:00 pm- 3:00 pm
Dinner  7:30 pm -11:00 pm

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Griffith Park Now Offers Shuttle Service to Hollywood Sign Viewpoint

The Hollywood Sign

The Hollywood Sign is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Los Angeles. Now the Department of Recreation and Parks have made it a little bit easier to get a clear shot of the Hollywood Sign by offering a shuttle service on weekends (and selected holidays) from Griffith Park to a viewpoint of the Hollywood Sign and then on to the Observatory.

Hiking trails overlooking Griffith Observatory

The shuttle costs $10 for adults and tickets must be purchased online here so be sure to book before you go. You’ll also want to pack your zoom lens, as the viewing point offers a clear view, but there is still quite a bit of distance between the shuttle’s viewpoint on Mt. Hollywood Drive and the sign itself.

View of Downtown Los Angeles from Griffith Observatory

The shuttle service also stops at the trailhead for a hiking trail that will get you even closer to the Hollywood Sign, approximately an hour and 15 minute hike to the closest viewpoint you can reach by foot. After 20 minutes at the viewpoint, the shuttle continues on to the Griffith Observatory where you all get killer views of downtown Los Angeles (especially on a clear day).

Early morning view of downtown Los Angeles as seen from Griffith Park Observatory

The shuttle service to the Hollywood Sign viewpoint is expected to run through the end of 2014.

Griffith Observatory Shuttle Service info can be found here.

Griffith Observatory
2800 East Observatory Road
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(213) 473-0800

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