From the monthly archives:

October 2009

A Real Wild Time—Part 2

by Alan Rider

In the previous installment, I pointed out that you don’t have to travel to remote corners of the globe to have an extraordinary experience.  Well, here’s another example of a genuine once-in-a-lifetime adventure hiding in plain sight at one of San Diego’s most-visited tourist attractions:

Let’s try a little word association.  When I say “San Diego,” you say what?
Anyone who’s ever visited America’s Finest City knows there’s no shortage of ways to fill in that blank.  But I’m thinking of one word in particular: Zoo.  After all, there are good reasons they call it the “World Famous San Diego Zoo,” not the least of which are some of the classic [...]

Read More →

A Real Wild Time—Part 1

by Alan Rider

A lot of folks mistakenly assume that having a truly extraordinary experience means spending a ton of dough or traveling to exotic locales.  Today’s post, the first in a two-part series, proves that ain’t necessarily so.

Considering I’m all about hunting down remarkable adventures, it’s probably not all that surprising that I generally tend to shy away from theme parks and similar attractions that cater to the masses. But my recent trip to San Diego reminded me that sometimes, with a little digging, it’s possible to turn up some downright extraordinary experiences even in the most touristy places you can imagine.

Case in point: SeaWorld’s [...]

Read More →

Treasure Hunting Time!

by Alan Rider

Just heard a report that the price of gold has reached an all-time high at over $1,000 per ounce.  Which got me thinking that maybe it was time to head back to Wood’s Creek in California’s Sierra Nevada gold country to see if I could dig up—literally—enough gold to give me a little extra walking-around money.

It also reminded me of another natural treasure I discovered nearly 20 years ago in the mountains northeast of San Diego.  Just past the sleepy little town of Pala (not quite as sleepy these days, now that the Pala tribe has opened a glittering new casino with a killer buffet) you’ll [...]

Read More →

Paranormal Activity Anyone?

by Alan Rider

Maybe you’ve heard about this new movie Paranormal Activity, which is supposed to be the scariest new movie to come along since The Blair Witch Project made us all think twice before heading into the woods with a video camera back in 1999.
Of course, watching a  movie like this is just one way to get that spooky feeling that makes a shiver run up your spine.  For a more authentic paranormal experience, I’d highly recommend you spend the night at St. Francisville, Louisiana’s Myrtles Plantation.
This grand 1796 antebellum home has seen so much tragedy over the past two centuries that it’s no wonder many paranormal experts believe it [...]

Read More →

So Much Hot Air!

by Alan Rider

Just a quick note for all those folks headed to this weekend’s 38th annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (October 3-11).  As cool as you think it is to watch from the edges of the field as 700 hot air balloons from 17 countries lift off—and it is among the coolest spectacles you’ll ever witness—you simply must spring for one of the balloon rides that go up in the middle of each morning’s mass ascensions!
Now I know what you’re thinking: You’ve been up in a hot air balloon before and, while it was great fun, you’re not sure you really wanna lay out the dough for another balloon ride.  Well, trust [...]

Read More →