Amtrak Hacks for your next trip on the Northeastern Corridor (DC to NYC)

Graffiti in Philadelphia

Getting sick of driving on I-95 between New York and DC? It might be time to consider Amtrak. Yes, it’s expensive, and you won’t have a car when you get to your destination, but there are a lot of advantages to taking the train. I frequently take Amtrak between the DC and NYC and have a compiled a few hacks that you can use to make your trip along this route more pleasurable and lighter on your wallet. Booking Amtrak […]

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Kabul, Afghanistan (2007)

Kabul Afghanistan MMMC circus

I was going through my old photos on Google and Flickr and realized that I had enough pictures from my trip to Afghanistan in 2007 to create a blog post. Looking back, going to Afghanistan for a graduate school thesis research was probably not the best idea–I admit it, Mom–but it was an exciting and eye-opening trip that I will always remember. In the winter of 2007, Afghanistan (at least Kabul) was generally at peace. The Taliban insurgency had not […]

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Rock Creek Park (Beach Drive)

Rock Creek Washington DC

Rock Creek Park is my favorite weekend destination in Washington, DC. It’s beautiful, wild, not far from my apartment, and our dogs love it. Though DC is the most densely populated “state” in the country, there are sections of Rock Creek Park that look every bit as wild and unspoiled as the most remote corners of West Virginia. The park is huge. I can’t say I’ve explored even a quarter of its 2000 acres. I know the southern end of […]

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Reunion Tower Dallas

Just got back from a quick trip to Dallas. They say everything is bigger there. That saying is trite but my wife and I definitely saw some truth to it.  The highways were bigger. The food portions were bigger. Even the people were bigger. We arrived on Saturday night and went to dinner at Gemma, one of Dallas’s best restaurants if you use Opentable demand as a measure–I booked the reservation three weeks in advance and could still only get […]

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Sonoma and San Francisco

San Francisco Full House

I love wine. I love good scenery, and I love San Francisco. There aren’t too many other places in the country that are as beautiful as the Bay area and wine country. Novato, CA We were in California for a wedding. We stayed at a surprisingly nice Best Western in Novato, about 25 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Novato turned out to be a good base for exploring the area. The first morning, Emily and I used Yelp […]

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Atlantic City, NJ

Atlantic City casinos

Despite its troubles, I love Atlantic City. I’m not a big gambler, but I enjoy casinos. I like the colors, the lights, the noise, blackjack, the people watching. I don’t know why, but I do. The weekend I was up in AC for my brother’s bachelor party this weekend. 21 people came, a sign of just how awesome and well-liked he is. Washington DC is about 180 miles from AC but the drive took five hours because of traffic around […]

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Seychelles (Honeymoon Part 2)

Seychelles sunset on Mahe

We were in need of a relaxing end to our two-week honeymoon, so we chose a beach destination not too far away from Tanzania, the island nation of the Seychelles. Not many Americans go there since it’s on the other side of the world, but we were already in the general neighborhood so it made some sense. I knew of the Seychelles before so when our travel agent recommended it as option I was sold. Mahe, Seychelles We flew into […]

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Tanzania and Kenya (Honeymoon Part 1)

Giraffes in Tanzania

We just returned from our two-week honeymoon to Tanzania, Kenya, and the Seychelles (June 21 – July 5). It was the trip of a lifetime. The 1,800 pictures I took don’t, and the selection of them you’ll see below, are not enough to convey the beauty of Africa. I’ll split the post up into two parts: the first for Africa and the second for our island getaway to the Seychelles post-safari. Arrival Our door into Africa was Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro airport, […]

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Saratoga Springs, NY

Saratoga row houses

Emily and I just returned from a weekend in Saratoga Springs, NY for a our friends’ wedding, held in the beautiful 140 year old Canfield Casino, a Renaissance Revival masterpiece in the middle of Congress Park in downtown Saratoga. The wedding was really fun and families of both the bride and the groom were extremely nice. I’ve been to Saratoga a couple of times before and really like the downtown area and the old mansions that line the streets on […]

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St. Michaels, MD

St. MIchael's Talbot St

The summer’s approaching, so to get in the spirit Emily and I decided to head out to Maryland’s Eastern Shore to St. Michaels, MD, a quaint town about an hour and a half drive from Washington DC. Even before we crossed the four mile long Bay Bridge over the Chesapeake, I noticed the sand and pine trees characteristic of the coastline. I didn’t like driving over the bridge. It’s really high, the lanes are narrow, and there is no shoulder. […]

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