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: Turkey, 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 three 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 » California » Napa March 13th 2019

Have you ever noticed that most other wine regions compare themselves to the Napa Valley? For good reason, Napa Valley wines are still the gold standard. And while these other areas have excellent, even award winning wines, Napa is the glamor name through the years. I much prefer Napa Valley as well, just because of familiarity, and comfort. I know where to go, and what to eat. I have cycled through the Valley since the 70s. I love the vibe, despite the ridiculous prices of both wine and tasting options. Go online, and it is not unusual to find wine tasting options at some Napa wineries over $100!!!!! But best travel buddy, Mike and I were just talking this morning about this. Why are they doing the money grab? Because they can. They get visitors from ... read more
Afternoon at Domaine Carneros
Po Boys at Hog island

North America » United States » California » Oakland March 12th 2019

Once a year, I pony up the greenbacks to attend a Golden State Warrior game at Oracle Arena in Oakland. Curiously, I wonder how much the tickets will be next year at the new Chase Center in China Basin? I have a difficult time understanding how people can afford tickets, much less season tickets. I will not say how much we paid for the seats, but I have seen one way flights to Europe for less! So, I only go to one game a year, with my buddy, Big Bob. I watch the rest on TV. I became a Warrior fan back in the 60s. My first NBA game was probably the best game I have ever seen. Why? Our Dubs, with Wilt Chamberlain, played the multi time world champion Boston Celtics, led by local legend ... read more
Our big star, Steph!!!
Anthem time and our flag

From Lonely Planet: Sometimes we travel because we have to; perhaps we need to spend Christmas with relatives who live on the other side of the world or we have meetings in cities that aren’t our own. But most travel isn’t involuntary. Instead, we travel because we want to or because we want to explore someplace new. Because work is too much and url= we need an escape. Because we got a good deal on flights. Because we want to see url= April in Paris. But is it possible to have too much of a good thing? Can this... read more
Spell addiction
Travel or a beer??

North America » United States » California » Reedley March 7th 2019

The famous Blossom Trail here in Fresno County officially begins this weekend. I will personally commemorate it by riding my bicycle on Saturday's Blossom Trail Ride. The official Blossom Trail begins in February and runs through March. Nine valley cities participate in this annual event, including my hometown of Kingsburg. The peak bloom period runs only about three weeks. In general, pink blossoms are peaches, and nectarines. White blossoms are almonds, plums and apples. Some basic highlights of the trail include: Simonian Farms, at the corner of Clovis and Jensen Avenues. This fruit stand started back in 1901. Heading east, the Blossom Trail Cafe sits just outside of Sanger, on your way to the Sierra foothills. In the little hamlet of Centerville, the Fruit Station is a good first stop. As a bonus this year,... read more
The Ride map
Peach blossoms are pink

Asia » Malaysia » Penang March 2nd 2019

I just love the title of this email. What does it refer to? Food, of course! Both in the U.S. and around the world, we have encountered food that is so different, mostly culturally distinct, and often, downright strange. The one that stands out for me is the king of fruit, the almighty durian. I tried it on a Kuala Lumpur street corner about a decade ago. I gagged, wanted to spit it out, and must have looked like I was going to barf. They say it takes several tries before the taste is acquired. It has not happened for me, and after three tries, I give up. Much like Andrew Zimmern on Bizarre Foods, the gag reflex is just too strong. We have tried cuy or guinea pig twice now. Once in Cuzco, Peru, and ... read more
Guinea pig aka cuy

North America » United States » Hawaii » Kaua'i » Lihu'e February 26th 2019

It really does cost more to live in the land of beaches and sunshine. "Households in Honolulu spent $66,100 for housing in 2016-2017, about 11% more than our national average. Food was the next highest expenditure, with 15.4% of household budgets, compared to 12.7% nationally." Yet, when we visit, we find hotel rooms for about the same cost as any large city in the U.S. And we spend far less on food, since we tend to "eat local" most of the time. We also do a barbecue or two while here. I notice car rentals have increased the most, followed by gasoline, and entrance to parks and entertainment. After many visits, I do not see visiting Hawaii as any more expensive than other large American cities. Again, getting from island to island is expensive, as are ... read more
Called slippahs in Hawaii
Soon to land in Kauai
Our fmaily dinner and BBQ

North America » United States » Hawaii » Kaua'i » Lihu'e February 25th 2019

We made it home earlier this morning, 3am to be exact!!! First thing, after some Peet's Coffee, was a trip to Elaine's Pet Resort to pick up Lexi. And what a greeting we received!!! She jumped all over the place, taking at least 5 minutes to settle down enough for her collar, halter, and leash. I am not sure who was happiest to see one another. Elaine's dressed her up for Valentine's Day. I am not sure how they got the tutu and beads on her. That is a difficult task! Almost two weeks away from her is too much. We are glad to be back home with her. And glad to be home. Visiting three islands of Hawaii is both fun, and tiring. But not complaining, as we got to see many dear friends, some ... read more
Lexi V day 2019
uniqlo celebrates multi ethnic Hawaii

North America » United States » Hawaii » Lanai February 25th 2019

From CBS, and other news media outlets: Hawaii is ending the sale of sunscreen containing two chemicals believed to harm coral reefs. Gov. David Ige on Tuesday signed legislation which makes Hawaii the first U.S. state to enact a ban on oxybenzone and octinoxate. "This is just one small step toward protecting and restoring the resiliency of Hawaii's reefs," Ige said at a signing ceremony for url= bill, which takes effect in 2021. He said the state would need to continue other efforts to protect coral, including fighting invasive species, pollution from land runoff and climate change. Sunscreen containing oxybenzone and octinoxate will only be available to those with a prescription from a physician. Others will ha... read more

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