Havana Cuba’s Highlights


In 2012, we were fortunate enough to take an educational tour of Cuba. It was a formal-group-based cultural tour, and although we loved Cuba, the agency we worked through (Cuba Education Tours) sold us out to a group of travelling musicians whom we were forced to listen to time and time again (we believe they [Read more …]

San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum Han Dynasty Tomb Treasures

bell set

San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum’s March 2017’s exhibit provides 160 highlights of one of China’s most recently excavated royal tombs; that of the Han Dynasty’s Emperor Liu Fei who ruled from 183 to 127 BC. Divided among three rooms, the exhibit examines and provides examples of the broad range of items that were placed in [Read more …]

Live from San Francisco, It’s China Live!

2017-03-02 17.19.14

It was years in the planning and the execution seemed to take even longer, but the long anticipated China Live marketplace has finally opened in San Francisco. From our initial, very limited experience, it appears to be on the road to meeting or exceeding expectations. And that is before we have had a chance to [Read more …]

Auckland Restaurants and Hotel

As usual, we found some interesting restaurants while visiting Auckland New Zealand Harbourside Ocean Grill, located in the city’s Ferry Building, is a seafood-centric restaurant where we had three entrée-sized dishes, all of which were good. Whitebait fritter (with lemon and chive butter sauce and fennel was like a whitebait (baby fish) omelet; not quite [Read more …]

Waiheke Island


A 40-minute ferry ride from the Auckland Harbor is a beautiful island called Waiheke Island. We packed as much as we could into a Day trip. The ferry ride provided nice views of Auckland as well as providing evidence of the dozens of volcanos that created, and whose underlying faults still shake the region on [Read more …]

Auckland Art Gallery


Auckland Art Gallery was the only of the city’s museums that we explored while we were in New Zealand’s North Island. The exhibits were wide ranging. These included a couple galleries of European art from the 16thr through 19th centuries, one of European art from the late 19th to mid-20th centuries that provided a high-level [Read more …]

Auckland New Zealand

auckland Viaduct Center

Although we have spent a fair amount of time on New Zealand’s North Island on previous trips, our only stop on the North Island this year was confined to Auckland. Auckland is the country’s largest city and commercial center. It was also the place from which our plane to San Francisco departed (which was the [Read more …]

Eating and Sleeping in Central Otago New Zealand


Central Otago Restaurants We ate at 3 different places while visiting the central otago area: Mt Difficulty where we had a two-dish lunch. Joyce had broiled Gurnard (a mild, flaky, white/greyish fish) with scallops, asparagus and Kalamata olive and tomato salsa was good, but not especially memorable. Tom fared much better with the wonderful griddled [Read more …]

Touring Central Otago

Kawara Gorge 02

Although we visited New Zealand’s Central Otago primarily for its wineries, we also took a little time to briefly explore some of the region’s sights. Some of the most dramatic sights are impossible to miss. Central Otago’s desert-like mountainous landscape is incredible. You are surrounded by tall, jagged mountains: some sheer rock and others forested. [Read more …]

Central Otago Wine Region


After our fabulous Milford Trek, we decided that we needed to get back to some wine tasting while we were in New Zealand. Central Otago was calling us…….. New Zealand’s Central Otago Wine Country Central Otago is the furthest south of any wine region in the world (45 degrees south). It has the coldest and [Read more …]