Off to Vienna

Hey there friends!  I’m off again here in a few days to Wien (Vienna) Austria!  I’m so excited to enjoy this wonderful old world city in the Fall!  Visiting Schonbrunn Palace, eating Tichy Eis, learning to Waltz, going to the dozens of coffee shops, visiting the museums!  EEEEKKK!  So excited!  Here’s a little video to wet your whistle!

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Pebble Beach Beauty

I came across this video today and it reminded me of my time in Pebble Beach.  I wanted you guys to be able to see some of the things that I saw while there.  Beautiful place!

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Exploring Pebble Beach and Malibu

Greetings, from Southern California! I am writing to you from Pebble Beach. I visited Malibu a few days ago, and both areas are gorgeous. Pebble Beach has a lot of amazing golf courses, so naturally, I decided to play eighteen holes. Now, I am not the best golfer, but I was determined to explore all areas of Pebble Beach. As I teed off, I watch my ball fly in the sky towards the edge of the course, which is marked by a cliff. I hopped into my cart in order to continue my quest to the first hole, but I found myself distracted by the beauty of the course. It sits along the edge of the coast and it was hard not to stare at the beauty of the waves as they crashed below. The colorful sky and vast ocean serve as the perfect background, and it honestly took my breath away.

After finishing my golf game, I decided to relax by the pool to catch a few rays and enjoy the sunny day. My strawberry sangria was the perfect touch to my amazing day. I sprawled out on my lawn chair and watched the jet skiers tear through the waves. Although there were cliffs, there were also small beaches below for those who wanted to have a taste of the ocean. There were two pools to accommodate the amount of guests that the resort normally has, but it was peaceful.

Pebble Beach is amazing, but Malibu was also a great experience. Malibu is one of California’s high-end areas. It was expensive in most areas, but in order to reach the more affordable stores you have to do some research. I kicked off my Malibu trip with a visit to Zuma Jay’s Surf Shop. As I entered the store, the locals explained that this surf shop had been around for fifty years. I scanned through the old photos of the shop’s history and managed to pick out a board, as well as a wet suit. I had six-hour rental, which was plenty of time for me to surf. I headed over to Zuma Beach and zipped up my wet suit. I entered the cold, Pacific water and jumped on my board to surf for the next few hours. The icy water embraced my body every time I was knocked off of my board, and unfortunately, it was not a very hot day. After getting thrown around in the waves, I headed back to shore and grabbed a quick bite to eat at a beach side bar. My meal consisted of crab cakes, rainbow trout, and vegetables. I strongly encourage anyone who travels near the coast to taste the local fish because it is unusually amazing!

Pebble Beach is more of a quiet golf town, whereas Malibu is a city that is full of shopping and has more of a surf-vibe. Both of these places are a lot of fun to visit, but I have to keep moving along the coast. Until next time!

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Into the Desert

Hello, once again, from Nevada! For the next several days of my journey, I was determined to visit Nevada’s prime desert locations. There are a ton of parks that I missed the last time I came to Nevada with my family. So I sat down and planned out a massive six-day excursion in to the wilderness in order to explore the full beauty of Nevada.

I started my desert trip by heading in to the Valley of Fire. By the way, it is the largest and oldest park in Nevada. I decided to follow the advice of a family member and camp for one night in the valley. The energy that this place extruded was inspiring and radiant. During the day, I captured a few photographs of the beautiful red rock formations and the valley, itself. I stumbled upon ancient trees and Indian petroglyphs. Seeing the 3,000 year-old petroglyphs was humbling. I felt as if I was standing in the heart of America’s frontier.

Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada

Knowing that I was standing exactly where the Indians stood made me appreciate my experience much more. They used this land to survive and respected its resources. After a long day of hiking, I pitched my tent with my other group members and cooked some hot dogs and s’mores over the fire. When I put the fire out, I sat right outside of my tent and embraced the beauty of the night. I looked up at the stars in the sky and saw constellations that I’ve never seen before. I heard the wildlife in the distance and felt the wind creep against my skin as it dived within the valley. Being in the Western desert makes your realize exactly how many stars there are in the sky. When you live in the city, you just don’t get the same effect.

In the morning I awoke at the break of dawn. Seeing the sunrise over the barren landscape was spectacular and I could not wait for what was in store that day! I moved on to the Spring Mountains where I stood at the tallest peak and saw a bald eagle soar as it screeched in order to capture its prey below. Later that day, I made my way over to Lamoille Canyon, which is in the Ruby Mountains. The Ruby Mountains are in Northeastern Nevada. This canyon was unlike any other canyon that I have ever seen. It had gorgeous waterfalls and avalanche chutes.

The next day, I continued my journey to Great Basin National Park. This park is known for its ancient bristlecone pines. I stood in a valley of the park and admired the beauty of the pines with the mountains as their backdrop. The mountains appeared to be almost purple with a clear blue sky behind them. Great Basin National Park is definitely a sight to see. While embarking on visits such as this one, I always manage to connect with my inner self. Standing in a quiet land and becoming one with nature certainly allows the mind, body, and soul to heal.

Now, on my last night in Las Vegas, I definitely had to make it memorable!  Some friends of mine were in town to party and go to a concert, so we met up and decided to get s&%$-faced up and down the famous Las Vegas Strip.  Well, as I told you in my last blog, I had already found the right limo company for a good traveling party, so I called them up again.  Let me tell you what…this time, the only way I could describe this amazing vehicle was that it was a Presidential Limousine!  LUXURIOUS!  We were so impressed with the ride.  We had a great night.  Spent a lot of time in the casinos…but I came out ahead!  Until next time Nevada!

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Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam

Greetings from Nevada! The minute I stepped off of the airplane, I could instantly feel the hot, dry air. The sun beat down on my skin when I was waiting for my hotel shuttle right outside of the terminal. Cacti and desert-like vegetation filled the landscape and I knew I was going to have to try my best to stay cool throughout this entire trip.

As I transitioned from Las Vegas to the Hoover Dam, I left the city behind for open roads and a deserted land. Upon arriving at the Hoover Dam, I grabbed lunch at the café. Just outside of the café was a copper monument for those who built the dam. I could immediately tell that this place had a lot of history. Before I departed for my tour, I captured a few pictures of the dam, itself. This enormous concrete wall towered over the valley, and I was standing at the top of it. I peered over the guardrail edge to the hundreds of feet below and tried to imagine being among the thousands that constructed this structure. I started feeling extremely dehydrated after only being in direct sunlight for ten minutes and ran to grab some water. I can’t stress how important it is to always have water while visiting Nevada!

After I captured my photographs of the dam, I walked over the dam into the visitor’s center, and my tour began. I was among about thirty other people in my group who took the one-hour tour of the facility. We traveled down thirteen stories during the duration of the tour and seeing the large turbines that the dam spins in order to provide power to the city made me realize exactly how much power this dam produces. It’s quite amazing what mankind can accomplish! At the end of the tour we walked out on to a small overlook that extends across the bottom of the dam. I looked down at the running water and had to tilt my head all the way back in order to see the top of the dam.

Hoover Dam and Bridge

After visiting the dam, I jumped in the car and traveled to Lake Mead. Lake Mead is directly on the other side of the Hoover dam; therefore, it was extremely convenient. When you get to Lake Mead, your eyes are full of excitement due to the amount of color that your surroundings provide. The red sand and rock around the lake seem highly unusual for a tourist who is not used to visiting the West. The turquoise water pops out of the landscape due to its contrast. I decided to rent a jet ski and rip around the lake for a few hours and it was a blast! When the sun’s rays beat down on your body, it’s always refreshing when the cold water splashes your skin. I didn’t want to leave that lake, but I will most definitely be going back again!

So, LAST night, I decided to get a little crazy and I was looking for a limo service in Las Vegas.  I came across this really great company called Limos On The Strip and they hauled my drunk butt up and down the strip all evening hitting up the different clubs and casinos.  I may have just met a couple of ladies that went around with me as well!  Those kind of stories won’t make it on here though…because my Mom needs to recover…not have a heart attack!  Hittin’ up the desert tomorrow!

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San Diego

Hello from San Diego, California! San Diego has always been a place that I wanted to visit, and I can’t believe that I am here. As I flew into San Diego’s airport, I saw the Coronado Bridge and multiple sailboats. I couldn’t wait to get out of the plane and explore “America’s Finest City.”

I arrived at the Sheraton after taking a taxi from the airport and I immediately headed to Balboa Park. Balboa Park is home to the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Natural History Museum, the San Diego Air and Space Museum, and the Museum of Photographic Arts. I managed to see hundreds of pieces of gorgeous art while visiting dozens of animals at the zoo. Balboa Park has beautiful architecture with its glass domes, and archways. I sat on a bench and admired the reflecting pond full of green lily pads and pink pointed flowers after a long day of touring museums. If you love museums, Balboa Park is the place to visit!


San Diego at Sunset

The next day, I headed downtown to do some shopping and grab a bite to eat. The shops and restaurants are set up along the coast. You can feel the cool breeze of the water as you move from one store to another. I grabbed a cup of chocolate ice cream and sat on the grassy area that served as a park for the locals. Kids played catch with their families, as others walked their dogs. I laid down on the grass and looked up at the clouds in sky. I saw the dozens of colorful kites as they swayed in the wind. There was something calming about this place, but I had to head back to the hotel and get ready for the next day.

My next San Diego adventure was at Mission Beach. Because I love to surf, I rented a board on the beach and jumped into the cold ocean. This beach was unlike any other that I’ve been to. As I walked out with my board into the water, the water was clearer than I expected and it took a while to get to deeper water. I constantly scanned the water for sharks, but luckily I had no encounters! I sat on my board with my feet in the water, waiting for the perfect wave and listened to the seagulls above. The sun was hot so the freezing water was easy to get used to.

After I wrapped up my day of surfing I had a pulled pork sandwich at a beachside bar called “Sands.” People strolled up and down the beach, and skateboarders skated by as well as bikers. It seemed as if everyone was in slow motion and life was just happening around it all. I discovered that there was a roller coaster that had been around for decades. I rode it in fear because it was old and wooden! My trip also consisted of touring the USS Midway and visiting the Gas Lamp District.

There is so much to do in San Diego but so little time. I wish I didn’t have to leave but it’s time to move onto my next destination. Until next time!

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Into the Weeds

WOAH!  It’s been a long time since I posted, and I am sure that some of you who told me you were going to follow my exploits are wondering if I fell into the La Brea tarpits or drowned in the Pacific…  Here’s what happened…I veered off course and went into the weeds.  Well, not really…just read.

I was just beginning to enjoy myself along the lovely Pacific when I got an emergency call that my Mom had been taken to the hospital.  I caught the next flight back home and have been camped out with her for the last couple of weeks!  I am not going to go into details about what happened, but rest assured that she is better now and will be fully recovered within the week.

It’s a good thing that my travel plans were open ended and not reliant upon bookings!  So, I came back to the Los Angeles area to spend a little bit more time by the beach.  Then, I made my way to San Diego, which I will tell you about in another post!

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Los Angeles

Greetings, from Laguna Beach! As I woke up this morning, I dreamt about my previous day in Hermosa.

Hermosa Beach is my favorite place in Los Angeles. It gives off the relaxed feeling of being on vacation at all times. If I could describe it in one statement it would be: “toes in the sand, drink in the hand.” I rented a paddleboard that day and battled the crazy waves. Surfers of all ages were ripping through the waves and reading the ocean as the swells slowly built up. Young kids played in the sand making sand castles and motes. Folks strolled along the shore picking up seashells and other pieces of treasure that washed up. I saw people kayaking in the distance as I balanced on my board and soaked in the sun. After I finished my day at the beach, I decided to grab some dinner along the coast.

As I walked down the sidewalk, I saw numerous surf and skate shops, full of boards waiting to be taken by their next owner. I came across a skate park that was full of skaters who practiced underneath the lights. I found a local burger joint where I mingled with locals and followed their advice to walk along the beach at night. I walked by the pier and saw small fires in the distance. The coast is full of tiny caves where people light small campfires, play music, and share stories.

The next day, I decided to rent a red mustang and head up and down the coast, taking in the beauty of this state. As I approached Laguna, I decided to stop and watch the sun set in an area that let cars pull off. I leaned against the mustang and looked at the waves crashing on the rocks below. The water would reach levels of forty feet up the cliff. I watched the sea foam be taken out to tide as the orange, pink, purple, and yellow sky faded in the distance.

Laguna Beach is definitely the place for a young to middle-aged crowd. As I took my mustang up and down the coast, I noticed a lot of expensive cars such as Bentley’s, Lamborghinis, Mercedes, and BMW’s. The area, in general, is a site to see. The streets are well groomed with perfectly trimmed grass medians, colorful flowers, quaint shops, and expensive houses. I stopped for lunch at a restaurant on top of a cliff and as I waited for my order, I walked out onto the patio. The patio over looked the beaches that were covered with volleyball nets and people walking up and down the shore. Surfers jumped on their boards and tested their skills as they neared the rocks.

Although Hermosa Beach and Laguna Beach aren’t too far from one another, they give the avid traveler two different experiences. Hermosa is definitely more laid back and Laguna Beach tends to burn a hole in your pocket, but they are two of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. Until next time!

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Chicken Monkey and Lizard Lips

What’s goin on people?!  This is Brady, and I am OFFICIALLY back on the web!  I got so lucky and found this amazeballs domain to bleed out on…  I can’t wait to share what’s goin’ on in my life…

So, I am about to jump off on a tour of the Western US, and am pretty excited about it.  I am going to try to chronicle my journey over the next few weeks with all the places I am going to visit.  Hoping to hit every state from the Rockies going west, not including Alaska or the Aloha state.  Will definitely hit a bunch of cities and hopefully a bunch of small out of reach gems – those are my favorite.  Like for example this little ice cream parlor alongside the river in Three Rivers, CA.  Amazing wild berry ice cream…can’t wait!

Chicken Monkey and Lizard Lips are my pet names for my niece and nephew.  I just spent the last couple of weeks helping out my sister and hanging out with the kiddos while she took some time to work on some projects that needed to be taken care of.  LOVE THOSE KIDS.  They light up my world like a city on a hill.  I take those memories with me as I embark on this journey.

I sit here on the porch with them on my last day before I take off.  Watching them run around the yard.  Listening to the laughter.  Enjoying the lingering smells of charcoal from our outdoor barbecue.  Admiring the massive pile of firewood.  Watching the chicken, Gertie, flit about the yard.  The plants longingly peeking their blossoms into the sunshine.  My brother-in-law casually strumming his guitar to Coldplay, Stevie Nicks, George Strait, and James Taylor.  Feeling the breeze drift against my face.  Hearing the laughter.

These are the joys I carry with me.

Treasures in my heart.

I know one day I will have a family of my own.  Children that will run circles around me.  Tugging at my shorts.  Saying, “Dad.  Dad.  Dad.  DAD!” while I laugh and visit with other adults.  First, I guess, I better find a pretty lady to spend the rest of my life with.  Brunette, Blonde, Redhead, Black hair, I don’t care.  What matters more to me are the things that you can’t see.  The burdens that she carries and how she reacts or responds to them are much better indicators of the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with, than the shape of her body or the color of her hair.  Maybe, I will find a match in my travels…

I take off tomorrow from here in Charleston.  It feels like it will be a world away when I land in Los Angeles.  City of Angels yet so far away from the angels in my life.

Wish me well on my travels.  I look forward to using this as a journaling platform for my travels.  Los Angeles, here I come.  You aren’t ready for me…

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