Desktop Calendar: March 2012

desktop calendar march 2012

Culture Fix: Byodo-in Temple in Hawaii

byodo-in temple hawaii

On the windward side of Oahu (that's the east side for the uninitiated island folks) lies a hidden cultural treasure, the Byodo-in Temple. Built in 1968 to commemorate the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii, the temple is a replica of one in Uji, Japan built nearly 1,000 years earlier. Even those who haven't been to Japan may recognize the temple, as it was the filming location for several Lost episodes, including the wedding of Sun and Jin in Korea. I stopped by recently for a quick tour and found myself enthralled with its beauty and serenity.

Artsmart Roundtable: Piranesi's Views of Rome

grand tour preudhomme
Grand Tourists painted by Jean Preudhomme in 1774.

Round the World travelers may act like they've stumbled on an original idea, but (and I hate to break it to them) what they're doing is sooo 18th century. Back in the day, British aristocrats set out on a tour of the sights of Europe and became part of the time honored tradition, the Grand Tour. What did tourists want to take home with them? Souvenirs and pictures of their travels, obviously. In Rome, these pictures were called vedute and the godfather of the vedute was Piranesi.

Photo Tour of Dominican Republic


palm trees

palms in puerto plata

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to tour the northern coast of the Dominican Republic on behalf of its tourism board. I fell in love with the colors, flavors, and the warm, kind people of the Dominican Republic. Hop on your virtual scooter (the transit of choice for many Dominicans) and take a ride across the coast with me for a sampling of what I experienced.

Click through for more photos.

Travellious Test Labs: Hoboroll by Gobi Gear

hobo roll from gobi gear

I love packing aids and am always on the hunt for something new that will keep me organized and save space in my bag. I've always loved the idea of compression sacks, the ones suited for sleeping bags or camping gear, but they quickly become a packing black hole and are not always so useful for packing for travel. The Hoboroll takes the compression sack and makes it organizer-friendly. It is the perfect solution for those who like to stay organized and want to pack light, even when they might not be so good at it.

Forget The Guidebook: Los Angeles

We think the web is full of great "travel guides," created by people who live and love the places we visit. Before you shell out a dime on a mass-produced book, check out these great blogs and websites before your next trip to Los Angeles, and get a taste of the city as locals see it.

Los Angeles, California is a huge city. It's hundreds of square miles of neighborhoods, highways, and beautiful sunshine. It's also home to countless foodies, music fans, taco trucks, and relentless lovers of their home city. To help you plan your next visit to the city of Angels, I've researched and found some of the best food, neighborhood, and culture blogs that the city has to offer (plus some other useful sites that you won't want to miss.)

Artsmart Roundtable: Frescoes, Wall Art, and the Test of Time


Fresco Restoration

Many people, when they first stand in front of a fresco, think that they're looking at a work straight from the hand of the artist. While there is some truth to that though, what many don't realize is that there are many other hands that have worked, manipulated, and restored the painting over the years. The next time you're standing in front of a fresco, admire the genius of the artist, but also think about the many ways that the painting has survived throughout the years.

CES 2012 Travel Tech Roundup


CES, the yearly technology extravaganza in Las Vegas, offers the gadget and gear lover an almost endless array of new toys to drool over. This year seemed focused on thin laptops, sleek tablets and smart TVs. But what about tech for the traveler, especially ones who already have all the laptops and tablets that they could want? I went searching through the products released at CES and found a few that could help keep your devices powered and connected while you're on the road, even better than ones I've seen in the past. Keep reading to see what I found.

Ten Travellious Destinations for 2012


hotspots 2012
Recently, I've been going crazy at the daily announcement of yet another "hot places to travel in 2012" list. Everyone is doing them and I can't help but wonder, what purpose do they serve? Are they the work of lazy journalists who aren't quite ready to ramp up to serious work in a post-holiday coma? Or are tourism boards pleading with the powers that be to get their name front and center? It's probably a mix of things and unless you're concerned with being travel trendy, they do little to inspire your travel plans.

Not wanting to be left out of the list making phenomenon and wanting to take a jab at the list makers, I decided to join the fray. My approach, however, is a bit different. Instead of basing a list on trends, reports and press releases... I went old-school. My vintage globe, eyes closed, a spin of the wrist and a pointed finger. Did you ever play that game as a kid? I landed in the water quite a few times and on cities that don't exist anymore (hey, I said vintage globe,) but in the end came up with an eclectic list of far off places. So, I present to you my Travellious list of completely random destinations to make you think about where you might head in 2012 and beyond. Read more.