FEbruary 2017 featured photos
With over five and a half miles of trails and over 1,000 taxa of plants, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is the perfect place for an afternoon stroll. Walk through several featured environmental zones: arroyo, canyon, desert, manzanita, and redwood. The garden includes a tea house, nursery, and garden shop.
Going to Vietnam changed my life. Before our taxi blasted its way through the traffic-clogged streets of Ho Chi Minh City, my sensory perception of the universe was on a muted wavelength. Much like doing psilocybin mushrooms (I can only imagine), Vietnam heightened my senses: colors were brighter, noises louder, smells and tastes more pungent. It sounds cliche, but the country was on a wavelength completely different to the chilled-out vibes of the California coast I've lived on for the last twelve years.
I wrote a long explanation about the different kinds of cultures that went into the making of Puerto Rican food and then my blog ate it. A good reminder to write blog posts in Google docs before copying and pasting them into squarespace. What a waste of time and energy.
I knew next to nothing about Puerto Rican cuisine before I stepped off the plane in San Juan and I still know little. An amalgamation of Taino, African, Spanish, and Indian influences, Puerto Rican food heavily features pork, plantains, rice, beans, and fresh fruit. Maybe you've heard of mofongo, fried mashed plantains served with just about anything under the sun, or lechon, the roast pork available from roadside eateries; there's an entire highway dedicated to the stuff.
Puerto Rico is a wonderful destination for getting away from the winter blues or want to experience the Caribbean without a passport. You can get as immersed in the culture as you like or you can eat from the incredibly nostalgic Sizzler salad bar. Don't forget, this is not entirely the U.S. and some things are different. You might see graffiti painted "Yankees go home!" and union and pension protests. Puerto Rico is not quite the United States and it's not quite its own country. It will be interesting to see what becomes of it in the upcoming years, especially under the Populist Trump regime.
I do not hate children or think they should be kept out of public spaces. I want to breed some day. I can understand that it is hard to manage your children on a plane, especially long haul flights. Babies will scream, toddlers will tantrum, elementary age children will run up and down the aisles, and teens will listen to their music too loudly. That's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about parents who bring their children on long flights and refuse to control them.
When a man of a certain age, and it's never men in my own generation, tells me to smile, I feel they are telling me how to feel, to suppress how I am currently feeling, invalidate those feelings, and that I am supposed to be cheerful and grateful they have deigned to speak to me. I do not feel like fucking smiling after I've gotten one hour of sleep and have been traveling for the last twelve hours. I want to sip my watery mojito, eat my shitty tourist food, and read my fucking book.
After two months with back-to-back international destinations and the (fun!) exhaustion of the holidays with, I wanted to stay fairly local on the west coast. This doesn't mean I didn't have a great month of traveling, and I visited with friends I'd been missing and explored a city I'd never been to before and have wanted to go to.