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The Awe-Inspiring & Breathtaking Lake Bled in Slovenia

May 23, 2015 by  

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Lake Bled, one of Slovenia’s most popular tourist attractions, is not overrated. Not one little bit. Picture this: You’re in the Julian Alps. A fairytale medieval castle with Romanesque tower, drawbridge and moat sits perched up high, overlooking a calm glistening lake rippling only by the flap of a duck wing or the dip of a kayak paddle. A small island home to a church and legends sits in the center of it all, while al fresco cafés and ambient paths create an enjoyable outline. Let me set this beautiful scene through photos: lake bledlake bledlake bled This all being said, there are certain experiences at Lake Bled that are extremely overrated. My trip to Slovenia was a solo trip, and traveling off-season meant the hostels were pretty empty and there weren’t many tours running. Basically, I’d been having essentially a silent retreat and aside for a few locals through homestays, the only phrases I’d uttered recently were “espresso, please” or “the big slice with pepperoni.” So, when the bus dropped me off at Lake Bled and I found other lost English-speakers, I was immediately excited. Two were from Miami studying abroad in Prague, Lauren and Kirlos,…

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Tiffen Filters For Cream of the Crop Photos

May 22, 2015 by  

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Photography buffs know that polarizers can make their ordinary shots look magical, providing color and contrast enhancement to an image. One of the issues I often face is a cloudy sky where the light is diffused and yet its glaring behind me or around those clouds, making it impossible to get a well balanced shot. Reflected light often shows up as whitish glare that washes out color in an image. A polarizer corrects this problem producing deep, dramatically blue skies. It also removes glare from non-metallic surfaces, such as windows and water. Color saturation in general, especially outdoors, can be improved significantly. I’ve been wanting to test out the Tiffen polarizer for some time and recently, they sent me one to test out on the road. Note that the below polarizer is sized to fit my wide angle lens on my Camera 7D.
 
Let’s start with a shot that I nearly gave up on in the Caribbean earlier this year. As soon as I arrived at the Santa Barbara Resort in West Curacao, I immediately wanted to go for a walk through its grounds, but before I set up, I do what I always


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All Things Farm-to-Table in Canada’s Prince Edward Island

May 22, 2015 by  

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cooking class pei An island surrounded by the abundant fruits of the sea and a landscape of rolling hills and little patchwork farms make up the culture of Prince Edwards Island. This combination of fishermen, farmers, and small town feel make PEI the perfect destination for culinary adventures. They call PEI “The Gentle Island” but after a few days of exploring the island I thought it should be renamed the “Culinary Island”. Filled with restaurants and seafood shacks that source everything locally, not because it’s the ‘in’ thing to do, but because that’s what you do when you live on an island. It really is the ‘perfect storm’ of PEI food all coming together on a small island; a foodie’s dream destination. As you drive around the island you see little vegetable stands placed at the end of driveways, sometimes manned by the farmer or kids, and sometimes it’s just self serve and a little money box is left for you to place your money. In addition to vegetable stands, you also see hundreds of churches on the island. Each little community has multiple churches; white wooden buildings that remind you of small town life. In…

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Absorbing the Beauty of Sedona’s Red Rock by Helicopter

May 21, 2015 by  

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Imagine seeing some of the most beautiful canyons you’ve ever seen from high above the sky in a helicopter? Sedona Grand Canyon Air Tours allows you to do precisely that, floating above Arizona’s most beautiful views. If you haven’t been to Sedona, it makes for a great side trip if the Grand Canyon is on your list — simply head south out of Flagstaff and be prepared to hit some of the most amazing views you you’ve ever seen. Located at the airport, there are a variety of tours you can choose from, all of which include a jet-powered copter experience above Sedona’s famous rock formations. Tours are narrated by pilots so you can better understand the history and geology of what you’re seeing in real time. Below are random views I breathed in from the front seat of a helicopter on my hour long tour. The most basic tour is something they refer to as the Bear Wallow Run, which takes you on a 20 mile journey pass Lee Mountain before gliding past a set of canyon peaks they call The Three Nuns, Chapel of the Holy…

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The Annual Summer San Francisco Street Food Festival

May 20, 2015 by  

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It’s never too early to put La Cocina’s seventh annual ~SAN FRANCISCO STREET FOOD FESTIVAL~ on your calendar. This year, the festival is happening at Pier 70, where it’s moving after six years in the Mission. This year, La Cocina has partnered with Noise Pop and The Midway to bring the festival to Dogpatch.
sfsff_2015_poster.jpg Since they’ve got more space, the festival will be even bigger this year (in 2014 more than 80 vendors participated and there were more than 50,000 attendees) and will last for two days, Saturday August 15th and Sunday August 16th. While they haven’t released the final vendor list yet, look for lots of La Cocina businesses like Bini’s Kitchen and Zella’s Soulful Kitchen, along with local chefs and restaurants like 4505 Meats. There will also be live music and other entertainment, as well as plenty of beer, wine, and cocktails. We’ll keep you updated as more details emerge! Pier 70, 20th St. at Illinois.


Meet the Luxurious & Feature-Rich Buick LaCrosse in Action

May 20, 2015 by  

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Ahhh yes, Buick!! You all know the name, but how many of you drive one? And, if not, why not? Truth be told, I grew up with Buicks around me — in fact, a Buick LeSabre was the very first car I drove regularly when I got my permit at the ripe age of 16. Yes, we were a GM family. My grandmother had the Buick LeSabre which she began to share with me when I got my license and my grandfather drove a Chevy. It’s funny, but in a quick search for what LeSabre’s looked like at the time, somehow I don’t remember them being quite so square — it’s astonishing how things have changed in 30 years! Above, the 2015 Buick LaCrosse 1SL AWD with Baroque Red Metallic exterior color and Alloy Wheels — Photo credit: © General Motors. That memorable burgundy Buick LeSabre saw a lot of action back when. My grandmother, who was no fragile flower when she got behind the wheel, was known for her heavy foot and I certainly wasn’t timid around cars either — after all, two cousins owned mechanic shops, my grandfather collected old cars and also drove a truck…

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Gloucestershire England’s Cheese Rolling Event

May 20, 2015 by  

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  england_glouster_cheese-rollEvidently the next best thing to eating Dutch cheese is running after it as it rolls down a hillside in England. Yes, that’s the premise of Cheese-Rolling At Cooper’s Hill In Gloucestershire, set for May 25, 2015. The cheese of choice is Gouda, chosen not only for its round shape but because Gouda, Netherlands, is twinned with Gloucester, England (that’s the English term for Sister Cities). The cheese is rolled — and contestants chase the cheese round (for practical reasons, it’s likely to be Double Gloucester rather than actual Gouda) down the almost 45-degree slope. There are other contests, some uphill, some down. Some all men, some all women, some for kids. But the prize is always cheese. Last year, the final cheese rolled was a Gouda brought from the Netherlands by a team of Orangemen — and it was shared with the crowd after the event. For reasons best known to bureaucrats, the event is controversial (it’s considered dangerous to both participants and spectators), and it’s true that there have been some sprains, broken bones and other injuries. Yet, the event thrives (more than 5000 spectators line both sides of…

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Colorful Italy: From Bologna & Modena to Fishing Villages

May 18, 2015 by  

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Even though I spent the bulk of my time in Italy eating glorious handmade pasta and sipping on Sangiovese, I had to walk all of this deliciousness off somehow, right? A few of my favorites, along with some city shots, are below. Ravenna city guide

Bologna

Bologna was the first stop on my week-long Italian adventure. The city is known for it’s creative food scene and for a slew of top-tier universities. It’s easy to walk around the city center and several of the streets are pedestrian-only. From Hotel Commercianti Art Hotel, all the main attractions were within five minutes walking distance and the train station was a slightly longer stroll at 20 minutes but nothing a city-slicker can’t handle. In fact, it’s quite easy to take a day trip from Bologna to several other northern Italian cities like Modena and Ravenna. Cities to visit in Northern Italy I snapped this next photo right in front of our interactive pasta-making class with Il Salotto Di Penelope. Their little joint is just off a main road and the change from bustling Bologna to…

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