Page 3 of KLPC Travel Blog Posts

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul November 23rd 2014

Many have used the colloquialism "East meets West" to describe cities like Hong Kong and Taipei as a marriage of the Orient and the Occident, but while it's cliche to portray anything as such, nothing holds truer to that mantra than Istanbul. Nowhere else on the planet can you find geography, politics, religion, and race from both hemispheres mold into an amalgam that is the metropolis present today. The people here don't appear quite Arabic, but they aren't quite European; the cuisine isn't exactly Middle Eastern, but it's not exactly Western; the places of worship aren't fully Islamic in architecture, but neither are they Christian. Confused yet intrigued at the same time, Kristina and I were excited to explore Tripadvisor's top destination for 2014. Formerly known as Constantinople, this city was the capital of four empires--Roman, ... read more
Spice Market
Hagia Sophia
Turkish Lanterns

Europe » Switzerland » North-East » Zürich » Zürich November 23rd 2014

The word "Switzerland" invokes images of the Alps, cheese, banks, and watches made by a non-existent Army. Delve deeper and you'll find this landlocked country has more to offer than material goods, for its people and history have cultivated it into one of the wealthiest nations on Earth. And no city in Switzerland is more prototypically Swiss than Zurich, which perennially ranks as the richest and having the best quality of life in the world. Pair that with a low tax rate, impeccably clean environment, and extensive public transportation system, and you've scared Paris and London into scrambling to reestablish themselves as a global hotspot for visitors and residents. Zurich has also benefited from Switzerland's firm doctrine of neutrality. It survived two World Wars, all the while being smack dab in the middle of the action. ... read more
Augustinergasse off of Bahnhofstrasse
A town strung with lights and adorned by Christmas trees
Conditorei Schober

The University of North Carolina was the first public university to open in America, sharing claim of the "oldest public university" title along with the University of Georgia and the College of William and Mary. It's considered one of the eight "Public Ivy" schools, meaning this campus is a showcase of argyle socks and walking advertisements for Vineyard Vines and Southern Marsh. And with the likes of Michael Jordan and Mia Hamm having passed through these halls, these grounds are some of the most sacred in collegiate sports. Pair that strong school spirit with an indelible sense of tradition and UNC makes for a world-class educational institution, albeit a little pretentious. A visit to this college town will convince you the students are color-blind, for any apparel not baby blue is strictly prohibited. Men's basketball is ... read more
63,000-Capacity Kenan Stadium
The Yogurt Pump
Sup Dogs

North America » United States » Illinois » Chicago August 30th 2014

The land of Abraham Lincoln, Al Capone, Bill Murray, and Walt Disney. With a guest-list this stacked, Chi-town packs a bunch so you'd better be prepared to see and do a lot. But in fairness to the minnow-cities of America, it's unjust to list the famous citizens of Chicago, for everybody who is anybody had to have stepped foot in this metropolis at one point or another, whether they dropped straight from the womb or simply made their name here. It's also why O'Hare Airport is the second busiest airport in the world and the Windy City has more highways passing through it than any other in the country. It's cemented its reputation as the foremost expert on improv comedy, known as a hotspot for jazz and blues, and is the breeding ground for skyscrapers with ... read more
Michigan Ave Bridge
Sue at the Field Museum
Buckingham Fountain

As the famous British philosopher, Francis Bacon, once said, "Age appears to be best in 4 things: old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read." While Napa Valley may not be the oldest wine producing region in the world, it has rapidly ascended to the reputation of being the best. Gone are the days when you needed to jetset across the pond to Tuscany or Bourdeau for some quality vino, because a mere hour drive from nearby San Francisco lands you in the ripe soils of the Valley. Modern day Napa may enjoy a heavy dose of tourists flocking to the area for some hard grape juice, but the region hadn't always relished in the limelight as it does today. Pioneer and settler, George Yount, is ... read more
Castello Di Amorosa grounds
Castello Di Amorosa
Winetasting at Castello Di Amorosa

Originally a Spanish fort, San Fran's population boomed during the Gold Rush of 1849 when the prospect of riches lured settlers westward. Along with them came the sourdough bread so sought after by tourists today, denim jeans for workers made internationally renown by Levi Strauss, and famous chocolates manufactured by Ghirardelli catered to the laborers. The construction of the Transcontinental Railroad attracted Chinese immigrant workers who subsequently settled into the oldest Chinatown outside of Asia, while the Great Depression initiated the building of one of America's biggest civil engineering projects, the Golden Gate Bridge. The City by the Bay was also the epicenter for the Counterculture movement in the 60s when hippies flocked to the Haight-Ashbury district during the Summer of Love in 1967 and gays moved into the Castro neighborhood. The city also witnessed the ... read more
Pier 39
Palace of Fine Arts
View of Alcatraz from Fisherman's Wharf

The City of Angels is a deceptively optimistic name for a place with one of the highest unemployment rates and poverty level for a metropolis in the United States. With a median family income of under $50K a year, but a median home value of $500K and the 9th highest cost of living in the country according to Kiplinger magazine, L.A. is anything but angelic. The melting pot that is this town makes it the most diverse city in the country and the 3rd most populous in the world, so get ready for heavy traffic congestion only nasal sprays can relieve and smog that rivals China's. But the variety of citizens who inhabit this forsaken place also injects a certain character that is so quintessentially L.A. Couple that with great year-round weather, awesome proximity to the ... read more
Getty Villa
TCL Chinese Theater

North America July 25th 2014

Sin City, despite its rebellious reputation of boobs and booze, had quite humble roots. Its origin as the site of a Mormon fort and rest area for the Hoover Dam construction workers slowly transformed into a Mecca for gamblers, elopers, and the Mafia during the 20th century, making it one of the most popular destinations in America. But even if you're not looking to quickly tie the knot or become an overnight millionaire, the blitz and glitz of Vegas is still worth a visit, especially because the airfare is ridiculously affordable during the summer. Since gambling is not a priority for Kristina and me, this itinerary is geared towards the average traveler without a Swiss bank account. The best free activity is touring the hotels on the Strip, which are a sight to behold and if ... read more
The Wynn Theater
The Buffet at Wynn
Gondola Rides at the Venetian

At almost 300 miles long, 18 miles wide, and over a mile deep, the Grand Canyon is a sight to behold. So breathtaking was the landscape that the Pueblo Indians proclaimed it a holy site, thus attesting to the magnitude of its grandeur. While most visitors enjoy this Natural Wonder of the World in a day (often using Las Vegas as a jumping point) you cannot truly absorb its beauty in an afternoon, so plan an extended stay at a nearby hotel for at least a couple of days. But if the wild isn't your thing and you merely intend to check this off the bucketlist--as was the case for Kristina and me--prepare to arrive at the park by noon to allow for sufficient time to explore. If Sin City is the starting point, you must ... read more
Powell Point on the Red Route
Maricopa Point on the Red Route

North America » United States » Virginia » Williamsburg June 22nd 2014

Part of the Historic Triangle of Jamestown and Yorktown, Williamsburg has an endearing personality and oozes colonialism to its fullest. While neither the most vivacious nor the most breathtaking, it makes up in history for what it lacks in superlatives. This place played an integral part of our nation's development and was Virginia's first capital, before it was relocated to Richmond where Kristina and I currently attend school. Williamsburg is a short 50-minute drive east of Richmond, providing a quick reprieve from the city hustle to a serene community that transcends time. A large effort was put forth in the early 1900's to conserve the unique aura of this city, even prompting John D. Rockefeller, Jr. to finance the construction of Colonial Williamsburg, which is now the most popular tourist attraction in Virginia. This and Merchant ... read more
The Cheese Shop
Wythe Candy & Gourmet Shop
The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg

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