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MESMERIZING MARIN HEADLANDS

If I don’t tell you where this place is, you’d probably think I’m in a remote beach in Ireland, New Zealand or Kauia. But it’s actually just a stone’s throw away from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco- The Marin Headlands.

Not many people know of this place … tourists cross the Golden Gate Bridge, park their car and stop there to take photos of the bridge. In a way, I am sure locals prefer it this way. I’ve visited San Francisco over 20 times before I discovered this place through my friend Francis Rualo

It’s a mesmerizing gem of a park that is equally stunning as the Golden Gate Bridge. Have a look … but don’t tell anyone of this secret place.

(Press the HD button and sound for better viewing)

 

1,100 CAR LOOP: IT’S NOT A TOY, IT’S ART

Chris Burden’s Metropolis II is an breathtaking kinetic sculpture (If you’re into toys like me, it’s breathtaking!). It is like every young boy’s dream come true.

This sculpture featured at Broad Museum in Los Angeles is modeled after a fast paced, frenetic modern city. Steel beams form an eclectic grid interwoven with an elaborate system of 18 roadways, including one six lane freeway, and HO scale train tracks. Miniature cars speed through the city at 240 scale miles per hour; every hour, the equivalent of approximately 100,000 cars circulate through the dense network of buildings.

A collector bought the installation for “millions” of dollars, but was gracious enough to loan it to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for display over the next 10 years. Thanks Mr Millionaire. We appreciate it!

CARS

 

 

Sound of Music Tour: One of my favorite things

250A1732Sound of Music is our family’s favorite movie. We love it so much that during my first trip to Salzburg, Austria a few years ago, I researched all the important addresses used in the movie and drove to a few of them. The trip took a scary turn when I ended up in the wrong part of town and my car got stuck in a small, deserted, muddy road and it started getting dark and cold.

So when my family and I visited Salzburg for the holidays recently, they suggested we take the official Sound of Music City tours run by the Salzburg City Tours (http://www.salzburgcitytours.com). The tour, which has been Salzburg’s most popular tour for over 35 years, lasted about 4 hours at only 40 euros per person. It was worth every penny! We all had an amazing time, and we learned a lot of facts about the movie that were not available online. The guides were very funny, helpful, enthusiastic and knowledgeable (and we even sang songs from the movie on the drive to the different locations.)

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EISERNER STEG: LOVERS’ LANE IN FRANKFURT

I was walking across a bridge in Frankfurt so I can photograph the financial district of the city when I started noticing that the tourists were taking photos of the bridge railing instead of the city skyline.

There were thousands of padlocks all along the bridge from people all over the world telling their story of why they were there; to announce an engagement, profess their love, celebrate an anniversary, announce the birth of a child, or to remember a loved one. Eiserner Steg have become a symbol of ever lasting love for romantic couples.

The bridge also offers amazing views of the city’s skyscrapers on one side and historic buildings on other side.

Someday I will profess my love to my future husband on this bridge … after all, fairy tales do come true (And it can happen to me!).

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LIVE ON THE EDGE, KIWI STYLE

While my American friends were celebrating a peaceful Thanksgiving in the US, I’ve decided to sign up for “Dart River Cruise.” I thought- “Wow, how relaxing.” Little did I know that this is what Dart River Cruise is.

The ride lasts for about an hour and 15 minutes at a speed of 50 miles per hour (I’m pretty sure it can go even faster). The river is quite shallow and has lots of twists and turns, with massive boulders at each turn. Dart River is in a very windy valley, and the boat has no protective glass or seatbelt.  As you can see, I was very calm. (NOT!)

To experience this, visit www.dartriver.co.nz/ and live on the edge.

 

MORTUARA BIRD SANCTUARY CRUISE. SOUNDS AMAZING!

Cruised the majestic Marlborough Sounds aboard E-Ko Tours’ vessel on a scenic journey to Mortuara Island. Their catamaran boat was so comfortable and their staff were so knowledgeable and friendly (they even made us hot chocolate, tea and shortbread cookies for the trip- YUM!). We saw some dusky dolphins, fur seals, penguins, king shag (one of the rarest birds in the world), yellow crown kakkariki, saddleback and numerous sea birds from the deck of the boat- what a great experience!

As part of the tour, we hiked up Mortuara Island where the view was spectacular! This tour is a MUST! To book, go to www.e-ko.nz

You won’t regret it! It’s a life changing experience!

 

Harvesting the world famous New Zealand mussel

Any Kiwi will recommend you try New Zealand’s famous green-lipped mussel (or sometimes simply called the New Zealand mussel). That’s because you can only find them here in New Zealand and everyone’s proud of them.

While on the water taxi to my hotel in Raetihi, I asked the driver what makes them so famous and he offered to take a detour to take me to his very own mussel farm. “You should have a taste,” Pete insisted.

After our short adventure, he gave me all the mussels and told me I can give it to the hotel chef at Raetihi Lodge and they can prepare it for me in time for lunch.

WHAT AN AMAZING DAY! I had an amazing lunch and met an amazing guy- thank you Pete! (Kiwi hospitality at its finest).