Gerry Kataoka


Gerry Kataoka

Travels to all continents except Antarctica. Preference for do it yourself trips, meeting locals, and learning local customs and food. I have been doing a daily travel diary through email for the last several years(mostly Asia), and received many compliments from friends. I plan to visit the following in the years to come: Eastern Europe, eastern Canada, and Bolivia. I drove most of the length of Chile with my golf buddy in September 2009. Several African countries and safaris in 2012. The Trans Siberian Railway was completed in May, 2014, from Vladivostok to Moscow, and on to St. Petersburg. I have played golf all over the planet as well. I have been to Wimbledon and rank it behind only the Masters golf as the best sporting event in the world. I have also become more interested in our great national parks, like Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands, Glacier, Teton, Yellowstone and Yosemite here in the U.S. I have completed my quest to visit all fifty states, with Michigan as number 50. I also enjoy train travel, having crossed the US five times, as well as taken the Trans Siberian, Cuzco to Machu, Canadian Pacific, and the Aurora Winter Train (Alaska). I may start on the eastern Canadian provinces, and all of the countries in South America. I am also looking for volunteer opportunities overseas now that I am semi-retired. I enjoy writing about my travels, and sharing with others who cannot travel. I also take tons of photos, which I publish.

Recent trip to Antelope Canyon, near Page, AZ was a revelation. The Navajo guide actually had me taking Ansel Adams like photos for a couple of hours. You must go!!!! South Africa and Tanzania just completed in 2012, followed by the Trans Siberian Railway in May 2014.

I also completed my "sports-fecta" with events like the Kentucky Derby, Olympics, Super Bowl, Wimbledon, Masters, Indy 500, NCAA Final Four, World Series, and NBA Finals. I also follow my favorite sports teams around the country. What is next?

North America » United States » Georgia » Atlanta » Midtown December 7th 2019

Only in Atlanta would any decent person get caught in a tea room, right? Well, this is not just any tea room. This is an Atlanta institution, called Mary Mac's Tea Room. As their website says, they have been setting the standard for southern cooking in Atlanta for over 70 years. So much so, that the Georgia House of Representatives passed a resolution in which Mary Mac's was declared to be Atlanta's Dining Room. So, why is this place so special? Though I have been here a few times before, thanks to my lifelong Atlanta pal, Ken Bob, Mary Mac's is worth a revisit. First, how many historic places in the world are located on Ponce de Leon Boulevard? And just down the street from the historic Fox Theater? It is the last of sixteen tea ... read more
Many side dishes
Great southern style meals
Mary Mac's, an Atlanta institution

North America » United States » Georgia » Atlanta » Midtown December 2nd 2019

It is not often I go to an NBA game in a place other than the Bay Area. I have been to NBA games, mostly Warrior games in places like Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, Boston, and now Atlanta. Why? I am not sure. For one, the Hawks last won an NBA Championship back in 1958 when they played in St. Louis. They even had the famous Celtic coach, Red Auerbach as their coach at one time. The moved to Atlanta in 1968. They own the second longest championship drought, only after the lowly Sacramento Kings. Ted Turner bought the team in 1977, mostly for programming on his new cable TV channels. He also bought the Atlanta Braves baseball team for additional programming. Their biggest star through the 80s was Dominque Wilkins and their coach, the erstwhile ... read more
Two time MVP, Steph Curry
Champs visit Obama

It has been over 30 years since I spent any time at all back east during the winter. This should be rather interesting and different. Not just sitting outside (in the cold rain) for the Niner-Raven game, but just negotiating my way through the turmoil of DC in winter. It is enough of a mess in the White House, and all that noise. So, no visits, as if I was invited anyway. But it might be best to just stay inside and take a deeper and more thorough visit into the Smithsonians. I love them anyway, and the cold weather outside is a great excuse to stay inside. So, I need to pack clothes for the game. And I need to pack for traipsing around DC. And I need clothes that I am comfortable wearing. And ... read more
DC Zoo Christmas
Nations xmas tree

North America » United States » Maryland » Baltimore » Inner Harbor December 1st 2019

What do I know about Baltimore? In my childhood, I learned it was the childhood home of the great George Herman "Babe" Ruth. Later, I was accepted to graduate school at Johns Hopkins University in the early Seventies, but opted to go to UC Berkeley instead. Well, I am headed to Baltimore for a totally different reason today. I never thought I would, but I am going to a San Francisco Forty Niner away game at the Baltimore Ravens. And a reunion with my old buddy, Dirty Pat, who I met at the Super Bowl in Nawlins in 2013. Yes, he is the same Dirty Pat who I visited in Bucharest, Romania last May. He invited me to join him, his buddy Mark, and 60,000 other Ravens fans. They say the redevelopment of the harbor in ... read more
Camden Yards
Famous Johns Hopkins University

North America » United States » New York » New York » Queens November 27th 2019

We have all been on the flight to or from Hell. I was on such a flight just in September to Washington, DC. I ended up with a window seat, since my original seat did not recline. My seat, as it turns out, was "broken" and would not recline. The couple in my row were about as "spread out" as can possibly be in a confined space. I think they brought just about everything they owned, and placed it either under the seat, or on top of themselves! It was just another flight from hell. Most of the time, the flight from hell (FFH) involves a long international flight, over the ocean, considerable darkness, and very few amenities. And always in coach, always on a terrible airline, and always seated next to the most obnoxious people ... read more
Always carry snacks
I hope for an upgrade

North America » United States » California » Los Angeles » Hollywood November 26th 2019

I tend to use the terms Southern California and Los Angeles interchangeably. And I am not speaking of the myriad of freeway interchanges. We often refer to LA, SoCal, or LALA Land as one entity. The actual city of Los Angeles is really just a part, a rather big part of the SoCal scene. Most of us know Los Angeles as the entertainment capital of the world. You may remember the great Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show. He actually moved the show from New York City, the Big Apple, to Los Angeles! The nerve of the guy. On a real understated note, the area has more than 100 museums. To balance out the culture, there is the ultimate tourist trap in the universe, the Hollywood Walk of Fame. About 2,614 stars are imbedded in the ... read more
UCLA, one of the most beautiful college campuses in the world
LA Olympics, I went in 1984!!

North America » United States » California » Los Angeles » Hollywood November 24th 2019

The famous words of Sargent Joe Friday (played by Jack Webb) on Dragnet resonate when visiting Los Angeles. It was one of the first "police" shows on TV back in the Fifties, when we got our first black and white TV. But there are more facts to LA than meet the eye. In perhaps the ultimate oxymoron, Los Angeles has more museums per capita of any city in the world! A total of 841 museums can be found throughout this metropolis. Perhaps the best one, the Getty Museum in Brentwood, is also free (though there is a parking fee). The building itself cost $1.3 billion to construct, and it houses 230,635 pieces inside. Of interest, and creating quite a spectacle, 300 goats are used each year to munch on the surrounding grass on the hilly property. ... read more
Joe Friday (Jack Webb)
Olympics twice in LA

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin November 17th 2019

If you are at all similar to me and my travel habits, you sprint the opposite direction when the word "free" is placed in front of anything. We all know about the "free" timeshare presentation, or the "free" historical walking tour, or the "free" meal in exchange for your undivided attention for 90 minutes, right? Well, I have done several free walking tours over the years, in places like Berlin, Dublin, Hanoi, Tokyo, Boston, Bucharest, Mexico City, Addis Ababa, and perhaps others that I cannot recall. The results are somewhat mixed, depending primarily on the quality of the guide, the subject matter being studied, the weather, and the size of the group. Now, it turns out some of the big travel companies are doing the same. They carefully screen applicants, putting them through a rigorous qualification ... read more
Walking Berlin
Walking Times Square

North America » United States » Utah » Bryce Canyon November 13th 2019

What is a hoodoo? It is a pillar of rock, usually of fantastic shape, left by erosion. A hoodoo can also cast a spell. Our visit to Bryce Canyon National Park was highlighted by the hoodoos surrounded by the beauty of southern Utah. About ten million years ago, forces within the Earth created then moved large blocks known as the Table Cliffs and Paunsaugunt plateaus. Rock layers on the Table Cliffs now tower 2000 feet above corresponding layers on the Paunsaugunt. Ancient rivers carved the tops and exposed the edges of these blocks, removing some layers and sculpting formations in others. The Paria River and its tributaries still carve the plateau edges and steep slopes of the Paunsaugunt Plateau, on which lies the national park. Any photos you have ever seen, do not portray the hoodoos ... read more
Love the snow on the red rocks
Love the Hoo Doos
And a hiking paradise

North America » United States » Utah » Snowbird November 12th 2019

Growing up, all is knew about Utah was the Great Salt Lake, copper mines, and Mormons. Over the years, having done both business and adventure travel there, I have gained a better appreciation for the state, its people, and its incredible natural beauty. Their national parks are among my very favorites. So, let's get the trivia out of the way first. Salt Lake City-all three words have four letters. Utah (our 11th largest state) was acquired by the US in 1848 (in a treaty ending the Mexican War), right around the time of the Gold Rush. Utah has 11,000 miles of fishing streams, and 147,000 acres of lakes and reservoirs. The "Ute" tribe of Native Americans gave the state its name, Utah. Ute means people of the mountains. The Great Salt Lake is the largest lake ... read more
Famous pando
Snowbird, a great ski resort

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