30 June 2011

r.i.p. bernhard j. pfeuffer

April 18, 1947 - June 19, 2011

27 June 2011

blog post: sometomes voluntourism is found in unsuspecting places

Read my latest post for Women on Their Way by Wyndham Worldwide about my recent trip on Aqua Expeditions M/V Aria: "Sometimes Voluntourism Is Found in Unsuspecting Places."

22 June 2011

16 June 2011

today's top three happy list

Peonies blooming in my yard

Manita (a.k.a. Mimi), the rescue pup I brought back from Guatemala, turning into such a sweet beast

Wine-on-the-deck-worthy sunsets in Seattle. It's nights like this that make all the winter months of gray and gloom absolutely worth it.

media mention: dog's life magazine

All paws up to Olivia LaBarre at Dog's Life Magazine for featuring my volunteer work with dogs at AWARE Animal Rescue in Guatemala in the Summer 2011 issue.

The article features several voluntourism trips around the world that involve helping our four-legged friends. It's a thrill and an honor to share ink company with Nola Lee Kelsey of The Voluntary Traveler and animal advocate extraordinaire. Be sure to visit dogslifemagazine.com/voluntourism or TheVoluntaryTraveler.com for more animal voluntourism ideas.

15 June 2011

read: tbex 2011 review by go, see, write

Usually, I'm the one who says what everyone else wishes they had the chutzpah to say. Well, Michael Hodson of the blog Go, See, Write beat me to the publishing punch with this spot-on review of this year's TBEX conference in Vancouver, B.C.

"When the guy running the local food cart knows your conference is unorganized, you have a problem" sums up TBEX's dysfunction, although I'd have to put co-founder, Kim Mance's tacky opening remarks pretty high on the list.  During the first few minutes of the weekend-long conference, Mance called out a travel blogger who had demanded the Presidential Suite at a nearby hotel. For free. I've crossed paths with plenty of travel bloggers who behave badly (ditto for PRs), so such a scenario isn't unfathomable.  But, there are two sides to every story, and whether this story is or isn't true, starting a conference on a note of public humilation for one of its attendees is pretty crappy.

Sure, there were many positives to attending TBEX, but for me, the most memorable interactions did not take place within the confines of the conference center. It was about the people and the place, seeing old faces and making new friends. Being in Vancouver for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals was an absolute thrill.  And for those moments, I am grateful. 

But would I do it again? Hmm...I doubt it.

read: is this the future of food guides?

"With the success of films like Food Inc., books such as Fast Food Nation, and shows like Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, people everywhere are starting to learn more about the food system. But what about the specific foods we eat?"

Read HuffPost Food article, Is This the Future of Food Guides? here.

01 June 2011

photos: aqua expeditions m/v aria - amazon, peru

Me with a turtle rescue from poachers

One of the dozens of species of wildlife we encountered on the Amazon River
Aqua Expeditions latest luxury cruise vessel, M/V Aria
View from my spacious suite (#206) aboard M/V Aria
Aqua Expeditions gives back to local rainforest villages/communities in many ways. One way is by offering $5 Toiletry, School Supply or Fishing (above) Kits for passengers to distribute during village excursions.
One of the four naturalists aboard M/V Aria.
Gourmet Peruvian cuisine aboard M/V Aria. Breakfasts and lunches were served buffet-style, while multi-course Tasting Menus designed by Peruvian Celebrity Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino spoiled guests each evening.
View from the dining room.
One of many stunning sunsets.
Children in dug out canoes near the city of Iquitos, Peru
Me and some children during a village excursion.
More super dreamy sunset magic
My suite aboard M/V Aria. Very luxurious with luxe linens, king sized bed, iPod docking stations, gorgeous black and white photography, modern decor, hardwood floors, rain showerheads, Peruvian bathroom products, in-room safe, robe and slippers and floor to ceiling windows.
Children of the rainforest
A local Pacaya Samiria National Reserve ranger and fisherman
Look closely! There's a three toed sloth in the branches.
Ranger Station #2 in Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
Beautiful reflection on a black water river.

Check out the rest of my photos from my trip with Aqua Expeditions on the M/V Aria here.