Thursday, May 31, 2007


The kidnapping is going pretty well. All the camping gear stuff was a trick that Tina played on me to let me believe that we were going camping. Actually we didn't go camping. We got in a nice cabin at the edge of the forest. And even if I am still kidnapped, I got food, booze, rest, a shower in the morning. And just out of the shower, I got also the birthday cake ...... I love this kidnapping ... :D

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Tomorrow is my birthday and I have been kidnapped by Tina. She decided to make me a surprise and she ask me to take 1 day off and today she picked me up in the late afternoon. She just told me that we were going somewhere, and pick up the camping gears. I had to drive all the way, but she was just giving me directions. Just enough to get to the next intersection. Get on the PCH, Turn East on Artesia. Take 405 South. 110 North. 91 East. 215 South. 74 East ...... at the end we got around 8.30PM in a alpine village in the middle of the San Jacinto Mountains. Pretty nice. I really love to be kidnapped ... :O ... if it never happen to you so far ... I hope it will happen soon ... :D

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


This was a long weekend for us here in US. It was the memorial day weekend. And in Hermosa we had an other Fiesta Hermosa. I will miss the next one for the Labor Day Weekend because I will be in Alaska. And after that I will have to move to DC, so this was my last Fiesta Hermosa. Even if I don't particularly love to see Hermosa so crowded, I took also some pictures. The girl having the temporary tattoo done is Rene, Tina's niece. The rest are kind of random pictures I took during the day. I really enjoyed the booths selling framed pictures ...

Monday, May 28, 2007


Venice Beach is definitely the stereotype of the "Southern California Beach City". And this is why it attracts so many tourists. But it is just enough to hang around few days in here and you realize that it is not really the place where you want to hang out every day. But still it is great. And unique. Something that time to time I like to visit. Today Tina & I cruise here with our bicycles from Hermosa to here. And of course there is nothing like taking pictures of the humanity you can find here. If you love people, and I do, you have to love Venice Beach ...

... and of course if you come here you have to go to watch a basketball game on the beach. And if you want to have an idea of what is all about don't miss the movie American History X ... a great movie about LA and Venice Beach. And after you will have watch it, I am sure you will come here to watch a basketball match as well ...

Sunday, May 27, 2007


It is here on the beach. And it is in Santa Monica, CA. Not it is neither a monument to a surfer nor the last set of Pamela Anderson movie. They call it Arlington West. The name wants to connect to Arlington, the military cimitery in Washington DC. In a way it is shocking to see all these crosses on the beach ...... but, of course, what is really shocking is the read the death count of the war in Iraq. So get this. Up today from the begin of the war 655,000+ Iraqi died (and I can't even think how many were wounded), 3,444 military American personnel were killed (and 55,981 were wounded). To me it is a craziness. I can't think about it. And it is hard to look at the pictures of the people who died there or read their names ...

Saturday, May 26, 2007


I don't really like weddings, but this 2006 has been the busiest wedding year for me. Already 2 so far. And in this I was also one of the groom's men. The task was pretty easy, though. Just walk up and down with my partner bride maid and form a V around Bride & Groom. And, of course, I had the best bridesmaid ...... Tina with her new hairstyle was definitely the highlight of the wedding. For everybody she was just Imelda (Marcos). I am pretty sure that in the years everybody will remember this wedding like "the one where Tina had Imelda Marcos hairstyle ..." :D The other highlight were the flower girls, running all the time with the flowers ...... and at least for me the church location. It was located in one of this incredible LA Boulevards filled with Palm trees. The perfect set for a movie ...... now that I will have to move out from LA, I am sure I will miss big time the blue sky and the palm trees ... the good thing it that whenever I will miss LA, I will have just to watch a Hollywood movie and blue sky and palm trees will be back ... :D

Friday, May 25, 2007


Two weeks ago I got the news. My company had decided that by the end of the year I will have to relocate. At the begin they ask me to move to Dallas, TX. But after some bargain I managed to be relocated to Washington DC. Definitely more expensive than Dallas, but a much better place to live and to work, I guess. Even if I will miss big time the wonderful California lifestyle, I am excited. It is a new adventure for me. A big adventure. After the West coast with Seattle and LA it is now the time to move to East coast, I am moving to DC! And of course I am already planning it like if it would be a journey. Starting from the moving itself ... Tina and I want to drive all the way to DC ...Just 2,676 miles across all America. A real coast to coast journey. An other dream journey for me. I can't wait ... :D

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Nepal, Nepal, Nepal. It has always been in the top list of the places that I wanted to visit. And in particular the trekking to the Everest Base Camp is something I definitely want to do before I die. And this year seems to be the good year for a vacation there. My friend Celine is going there in October - December. And also Damien, the french guy that I met last year in Patagonia is going there in October. And maybe Jake. And maybe my friend Andrea. And maybe Carine as well. Definitely seems like this October will be the right moment for me to go to Nepal. October in Nepal. Yes. That's my plan. Today I finally got the Nepal Lonely Planet, and I am already reading it with so much excitement. October is still far away and I didn't buy yet the pretty expensive air ticket. But I am planning to do it next week. And of course if any of you wants to meet at the Everest Base Camp, just let me know. I will wait for you there. And if can't come, don't worry I will take some pictures for you and I will put them on the blog ... :D

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


I took this pictures few days ago in San Juan, Puerto Rico. And I really like it. Since I can remember I always wondered why the birds like to rest on the telephone and power cables. When I was a kid I dared to ask more, and I ask the same question to grown people. But I don't remember anybody really giving me a convincing answer. And still here they are, the pigeons on their preferred resting place ...But thinking about it, maybe there is a reason. They go there because it is the only place that the pigeons themselves didn't manage to spoil, yet. In that sense they are not very different from us (i.e. human beings). We are polluting the cities and after all, we go to rest as far as possible, where the pollution didn't spoil everything, yet.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Mekong. Or better "Mae Nam Khong" which translated in English makes "Kong, the mother of the waters". I didn't even know it was the name of one of the longest river in the world until 3 years ago. And since I saw it, during my trip to Cambodia, it has a special place in my heart. I saw how the entire life and culture and economy of millions of people is functional to the floods of this slow brown river. And I loved it. So when my friend Chris invited to the screening of a documentary about the first person who kayaked did it all the way from Tibet to Vietnam, I couldn't say no. So Tina and I went to this special screening of the movie "Exploring the Mother of Waters". Also Mick, the intrepid Australian guy who kayaked the river all the way from Tibet was there. Really an interesting documentary. the setup was nice. It was in Chris new home close to San Diego. And after the movie was projected has been so "refreshing" to share thoughts in the backyard in front of a warm fireplace ...The documentary was interesting but the real issue about this movie is that China is building a series of dams in its territory that will give a great economical return for China itself, thanks to the electricity produced, but is not taking int account the fact that the economy and life and culture of 20 millions people is in great danger. If you think that the Mekong river is crossing 7 countries (Tibet, China, Laos, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam) what China is doing is probably legally correct but ethically wrong. But of course nobody nowadays cares about ethics anymore. The strong wins, the weak looses. Mick with his documentary is trying to make people aware of what China is doing. I am not sure if he will make any difference, but at least he is trying to make the difference. And I definitely liked it. If you are interested you can check this link. It is the foundation that Mick co-founded. Mick has a dream, and I loved his work for this. I see so many people around me without dreams. They don't live, they just survive. While they have the means and the chances to follow their dreams. And that is killing me, day after day.

Monday, May 21, 2007


What is the best way to understand a new country? Local food. what is the best way to enjoy a new country? Local food. What is the best way to remember a country? Local food. Problem is that you have to find the right place to get local food. Puerto Rico is the capital of the Criolle food. The first day for breakfast I definitely found something healthy, but definitely not Criolle food ...... but during my days here, with the help of some local people, I managed to find some original criolle food. This is a typical meal.
... meat, fried banana and mofongo. Mofongo is the most typical food in the criolle cuisine and it is meshed green plantains seasoned with garlic, olive oil and pork cracklings. Really tasty. And difficult to forget. Like any local food.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Not sure why people travel. For me I always thought it was really the need to see new places. And that is definitely a big part of it. But it is not all. You can see the greatest natural beauties, you can visit the perfect art masterpieces. But what really makes a trip something special and unique is the people that you meet. I am always fascinated from the way different people live. The same has been during this trip to Puerto Rico. Coming from US, I have found so many differences in the way the people is spending their free time and in the way the people is approaching you. Here the people is definitely more aware that life is way too short to waste it trying to impress other people, like it is happening most of the time in US. I had really the impression that the way the old San Juan is built, gives much more chances to people to relax and to interact with each other. This is something that is definitely missing in US. Here in US most of the interaction between people, outside the work space, is in the bar or not existing at all. Everybody here live in their wonderful gated houses, very proud of the money that they spent for it. This reminds me of something that a Spanish teacher told during a class. In order to understand the difference between American and Mexicans (and for extension between North European and Mediterraneans - Latinos) you need to understand, the way they see their home ... an American will tell you "My home is my castle" while a Mexican will tell you "Mi casa, su casa" (i.e. my home is your home). Very true. Puerto Rico people has been very nice with me. I enjoyed very much to have them help me to visit the city of San Juan. Here also a couple of pictures on the way they like to enjoy each other company ...
and of course also here in Puerto Rico, people like fast and shiny and red cars ...

Saturday, May 19, 2007


An other day in the old city of San Juan. Today I decided to wander thru the tiny street of the city. It is still very hot, and more than that it is really humid. These tiny street are really a blessing. There is always some shade to enjoy, and there is also the architecture to enjoy. It is not probably the best architecture you can find in the Caribe. But it is definitely worth the visit. It was nice to go around, without any plan, and take pictures of these colourful buildings. Stop to some bar for a refreshment. Speak with the wonderful locals, always keen to give some suggestions. And leave again for an other city tour. That is the way I really enjoy a vacation. Just wandering without any real plan. So, here some pictures of the Old San Juan, Puerto Rico streets ...

I loved the colors and the high density of the buildings. It reminded me of the European cities. But of course San Juan, is not just tiny streets and small buildings. There are also the buildings of the power and the old monastery. These are definitely the most impressive to see, even if they are a little bit too "cold for me" ...And of course there are also nice statues all over the city. This is the one that I enjoyed the most ...

Friday, May 18, 2007


Puerto Rico, beach during the day and crazy nite life? Mmmmm ... maybe. But not for me. I have three days to spend here in Puerto Rico, and I am not planning neither the beach nor the nite life. Boring? Maybe. But I was really curious to visit the old city of San Juan (Viejo de San Juan). The city is today one of the UNESCO World heritage sites, and basically it was used to be a small city functionally built around the Spanish fort that was controlling the harbour. San Juan, Puerto Rico and Santiago de Cuba, Cuba were the two most strategic points of the Caribe. Whoever was controlling them was able to control the colonies of the New World. So Spain invested all the necessary money in order to make these two harbors safe. Spain ruled here from 1493 (Columbus landed here during his second trip) to 1898 (when US liberated / conquered Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Philippines and ended the Spanish colonial era). Anyways this city fort was a serious piece of civil and military engineering. England and Holland tried to conquer it more than once, but they pretty much always failed. Actually the English managed to conquer it for few months, but the diarrhoea defeated them, and they had to retreat. This diarrhoea story sounds like a joke, but apparently it is true. Reading about the history of San Juan, made me think a lot. And I concluded that, even if I don't like it, I have to admit that greed and fear are the two fuels of the human society. Good for me, I didn't just read and think all day, but I also took some pictures ...

Today the city forts are a US National Site. They are definitely nice, but believe me the heat today was hitting really hard on me. I was told by the locals that it is an unusual hot May. The good thing is that San Juan is definitely blessed by a continuous trade wind, and if you manage to find some shadow you can really relax and even feel it ... :)

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