Palos Verdes, CA: Hiking through Pelican Cove Park

“But it’s not just the weather that’s different. The vibe is, too. Unsurprisingly, there’s no one here. (Last time we made the trip out there, there were four people total). There’s something somber and mysterious about standing here, just the two of us, visually isolated from the rest of the world.”

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Roundup: My favorite places to socially distance in Ventura

Ever since the pandemic broke out, I’ve been spending a great deal of time at home. When we do go out, though, it’s usually to a handful of places we know and trust. (Think: lesser-known beaches, wide-open picnic areas, gardens and hiking trails). When we do feel an urge to grab a bite to eat,…

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Death Valley, CA: Visiting during its hottest summer in 100 years

Have you ever smelled heat? The musk of molecules bumping into each other in a frenzy? Have you ever felt the rim of your nostrils prickle, the short, thin hairs along its walls catch fire? The nerve endings in your lips fire up, tingling even more than the last time you bit into something spicy…

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Roundup: Underrated, unique brands I discovered during quarantine

“If finding gems like pushBUTTON and Marcia (read: fresh attire that’s guaranteed to be a conversation starter) is something you like doing, too, here are a few of my favorites.”

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Paso Robles, CA: Sipping between the vines

“It’s miles and miles of empty, unforgiving desert before the earth’s cardiogram begins to slowly climb and fall again. We see the first signs of Paso Robles’ string of vineyards.”

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Agua Dulce, CA: Retreating to the Rock of Ages

“The ‘main rock,’ the one people rush to see first, points toward the heavens. You really can’t miss it. When I first laid eyes on the rock formations — named after Tiburcio Vasquez, a California bandit who used it as a hiding place from law enforcement — no part of me thought it looked earthly or natural.”

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Roundup: Low-risk socially distanced outdoor day trips

“We were hoping to get some fresh air, too, without having to worry about crowds and cross ourselves at the sound of a sneeze. We still wanted to explore, to (safely) step outside the familiar and to experience something new. So, without further ado, here are a few low-risk outdoor locations we visited in Southern California.”

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Florence, Italy: Remembering The Bardini Gardens

Note: I wrote this piece before COVID-19 brought so much devastation to Italy and the rest of the world. For weeks, I debated if posting this would be appropriate. How can I justify telling a story about a place you won’t be able to visit for a while? About a country that went through and…

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Rome, Italy: A List of My Favorite, Must-Do-Again Memories

A shadow shawls the playground of ruins like a protective parent. Everything is pallid, dark—except for a temple. The Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, which sits in Forum Romanum, was built back in 141 A.D. and later converted into a Roman Catholic church in the seventh century. It’s basking in a rusty, age-old golden sunlight…

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Santa Monica, CA: Exploring Santa Monica Proper, The City’s New Luxury Lifestyle Hotel

The bartender gracefully slides a crisp menu under my nose. I scan the cocktails, most of which tout ingredients that make my head loll slightly to one side. Dimmi? Dolin Dry? Lillet? Linie? I feel a little uninformed and ill-prepared to order a drink, but I try to act cool because that’s what you do…

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