Gerry Kataoka


Gerry Kataoka

Instead of a long discourse on where I have been, how about I ask you to read something I have written that might interest you. And likewise, please share with me some of your best adventures and thoughts?
People ask, where is your favorite place? Two actually, the Amazon rainforest, and Angkor complex in Siem Reap. But then again, I enjoy many places, having been to all fifty of our United States. I love our National Parks.
I don't count places, but I do count experiences and friends.

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens » Pláka July 22nd 2021

Like Robert Frost's road less traveled, your travel costs can be reduced by three simple ways. I always try to book direct, use alternative travel, and use my reward points and miles whenever possible. Booking direct often yields a few nice surprises. One would be better availability of room choices, discounts, and upgrades. For instance, if you join Marriott Bonvoy, Marriott sends periodic upgrades to use with any reservation. So, why not get that larger, quieter corner room, rather than the small, noisy room near the ice machine or elevator? Most direct sites, like airlines, hotels, and excursions offer better cancellation or postponement options. When I booked a non-refundable stay in Munich for the Oktoberfest (it was cancelled in 2020 and 2021), I was able to salvage the reservation. I moved it forward another year, and ... read more
Lodging trends
Time list

I answer this question in the affirmative, a big YES! From Ann Jones of Shermans Travel: A 2021 url= in the journal of Tourism Analysis shows that frequent travelers are happier with their lives than people who don't travel at all. The study results indicate that respondents attaching personal importance to touri... read more
Happy travel
Morning vines

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney » Harbourside July 16th 2021

While I do not attend so many classical music concerts lately, I had enjoyed my visits to some of the world's most famous concert halls. These would include: Royal Albert Hall in London, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA, Wiener Musikverein in Vienna, the Bolshoi in Moscow, the Mariinsky in St. Petersburg, Carnegie Hall in NYC, Sydney Opera House, and the Hungarian State Opera House in Budapest. In no particular order, here are a few of my thoughts and experiences. My first real concert, other than the old San Francisco Opera House (before Davies Hall) was at Royal Albert Hall in London. We had to queue around the building for hours ahead of the concert. So, I found some friendly Aussies with beer and a deck of cards! The performance, which was both long and ... read more
London's Royal Albert Hall
Sydney Opera House

As you know, when I travel around this great world of ours, I always am asked, "Where are you from?" I say California, or San Francisco, and they go crazy, almost bonkers!!! Why? It is a state, and city EVERYone wants to visit. They know the City is a special place. I started visiting on a regular basis back in 1961, as a lowly freshman on an honor society trip. My how things have changed!!! Numero Uno of course, the food is fabulous, whether seafood, farm to table, "California" cuisine, and nouveau food truck. Second, is the wine, whether Napa, Sonoma, Lodi, Central Coast, or Temecula. Third, is the geographic diversity, the Pacific Ocean and the Sierras. What else can I possibly tell them? First, the fog, since the City has its own microclimate. We have ... read more
The Painted Ladies

One of the few remaining icons of old San Francisco, is John's Grill. I first became familiar with it, when my waiter , John Konstin, at Jack's on Sacramento Street bought John's in the 70s. Here is some interesting background. Nestled in a building two blocks from Union Square and not far from San Francisco’s big convention center and major hotels, John’s Grill has been hosting celebrities from all over the world for more than 100 years. It was created in 1908, only two years after San Francisco’s devastating earthquake. Indeed, John’s Grill was the first downtown restaurant to open after the quake. It quickly became a bustling anchor in the city’s multi-faceted life – hosting a beguiling and lively mixture of politicians, cops, journalists, entertainers, lawyers, business leaders and the just plain curious who wanted ... read more
Inside John's Grill
And some history

Europe » Croatia » Dalmatia » Dubrovnik July 7th 2021

Unless you are a dedicated cyclist like me, you probably have never considered a cycling trip, or better yet, a cycling cruise. Perhaps you might want to reconsider this option, particularly since electric bicycles are now an option. But stop and think about all of the fun "off bike" that you might have. First, and foremost is the social aspect of joining a group that is both fun and interesting. There is plenty of time to socialize, at happy hours, meal times, cycling breaks, and on board activities. And time to meet locals as well. Second, the food is a big attraction, both on board, and on shore. Meal times tend to be the highlight of the day. The stories tend to get exaggerated, and with the help of some adult beverages, louder and more interesting. ... read more
Sail Croatia is the best!!!

North America » United States » Arizona » Page July 6th 2021

Travel Pulse says these are among twenty underrated U.S. cities. These are the ones I have visited, by hook or by crook (that means on business not leisure). St. Louis The best part of St. Louis is the area called, "The Hill" or the Italian neighborhood. It is filled with great family style restaurants. My personal favorite is Cunetto's House of Pasta. When we (as a work group)went, which was often, we always told them it was someone's birthday. Why? Free dessert, usually an Italian cake or Cannolis. The Central West End was also a great dining destination. Forest Park is one of the better inner city parks. And the downtown area with the Gateway Arch and the baseball stadium is always busy. Flagstaff Northern Arizona is vastly underrated. It is close to several great attractions, ... read more
Bandon beach
Downtown Big Fork

Even though I end up watching (9am, ESPN) the annual 4th of July Nathan's hot dog contest, I will not eat any hot dogs this weekend. This contest cures me of my nitrite fix, and potential stomach cancer. But I plan to have my fair share of other good food. So, what do we eat for our fabulous Fourth? Over 74 million of us will do the traditional barbecue this weekend. They never publish how many new grills are sold each year. Most popular items to grill are burgers (85%), steaks (80%), hot dogs (79%), and chicken (73%). It seems they forgot seafood, ribs (both pork and beef) pork, sausage, and plant based products. Aside from Joey Chestnut, we consume over 150 million hot dogs. Americans spend more on condiments than chip and dip for their ... read more

Yes, I went in the sweltering heat of July. But it was well worth it, even better than the Capitol Fourth in DC. From 2018: Not only do I finally get to attend this great event, it is held on both July 3 AND July 4!!!! The poster says: Conductor Keith Lockhart directs the Boston POPS Orchestra at the Hatch Shell, on the Esplanade, performing the identical concert which will be played on July 4th minus the fireworks display. Seating for this free event is on a first come basis, it will be crowded, but not as much as on the 4th. This year's headliner is Rachel Platten, along with The Indigo Girls, Rita Moreno, and Rhiannon Giddens. Yes, I will miss both John Williams and the famous maestro himself, Arthur Fiedler. ... read more
Rita Moreno
Arthur Fiedler Bridge
The bandstand and Pops orchestra

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Lake Baikal July 2nd 2021

You probably want to hustle over to Japan, if not for the pandemic. Why? Not the Olympics. But for Cup of Noodles. We’re all familiar with Nissin’s classic url= Noodle brand for its plethora of affordable flavours that you can easily find at your local supermarket or convenience store. The original instant ramen is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with url= read more
Interesting cup noodles
Dessert cup noodles

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