A Wedding with Chihuly – Phoenix, AZ

A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege to attend my cousin’s wedding in Phoenix. I was super excited about going to see all of my family as well as taking my first trip since returning to the US. I was pleasantly surprised when I found Chihuly present throughout the wedding reception!

Dale Chihuly is a blown glass artist. I fist learned about him on the Travel Channel, and shortly after, saw his work at the Bellagio in Vegas and Atlantis in the Bahamas.



Atlantis in the Bahamas

Credit: Dale Chihuly Web Site


Bellagio in Las Vegas

Credit: Dale Chihuly Web Site

As you can see, Chihuly is famous for blown glass in vibrant colors and shapes, often interwoven in large masses. I have always found blown glass to be beautiful and Chihuly’s work is extremely impressive. 

For the last 6 months or so, Chihuly’s pieces have been exhibited along the desert blooms at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. While the garden itself is lovely, inserting Chihuly’s pieces made it extraordinary. During the day the pieces glistened in the sunlight and at night they glowed over the cacti. We were in for quite a treat without even knowing it!









The Chihuly Exhibit has ended in Phoenix, but based on the Desert Botanical Garden’s web site, it seems that it has occurred several times. Keep an eye out for it’s return and don’t miss this amazing mix of modern glass sculptures and desert flora.


Visiting a Shrine or Temple During the New Year

In Japan it is tradition to ring in the New Year at a shrine or temple – no big parties there! Just family time and praying for good fortune in the upcoming year. Last year in Kobe, I didn’t realize just how important it was for people to visit a shrine on New Year’s Day until I got caught in the foot traffic leading to the Ikuta Shrine. All car traffic had been stopped due to the number of people visiting the shrine and food vendors lined the path. It was amazing to see the crowd!


Travel slogan jamaica

Fun Fact Friday – Tourism Slogans

The Guardian recently released a list of humorous travel slogans from around the world. Here are some of the funnier ones:

Travel slogan jamaica


Photo Credit: The Guardian

Latvia – Best enjoyed slowly

New Zealand’s Hutt Valley – Right Up My Hutt Valley

Israel – Size doesn’t matter

Anguilla – Feeling is Believing

Greece – You in Greece

Grenada – Live the Rhythms of Spice

Slovakia – Little big country

Panama – It stays in you


Visit Bangladesh before tourists come


The Story Behind the Picture – Helena, AL


I was fortunate enough to grow up in the great state of Alabama. Now some of you may be shaking your head wondering how I could call Alabama a ‘great state.’ Well, you wouldn’t understand unless you’ve lived there. While ‘Bama gets a bad rap due to its history, primarily during the Civil Rights Movement, there are still some great things about the state: the people are friendly, the food is good, it’s not densely populated, most people have a yard, many people don’t lock their doors and everyone asks about your family. These are all positives for me.

I was in Alabama in 2010 for LJ’s wedding celebration and by this time I had made the best purchase of my life: my camera. I wanted to capture some of what felt like home. Well, for year’s I had passed by the sign for the Cherokee Campground and never thought anything of it, but this particular visit it really struck me that Jesus and a Native American were on the same sign. While Alabama has all those good qualities I listed, it still has quite a few quirks that make it truly ‘Bama!


Fun Fact Friday – Beijing’s House of Poo



Photo Credit: CNN

I am no stranger to themed restaurants: I’ve been to a cat cafe and a butler cafe while in Japan; but I definitely draw the line at a toilet themed restaurant.

CNN reported on the House of Poo restaurant in Beijing, China. The seats are all toilets and your food is served in mini toilets. (ugh!)

For the full article follow the link.



Photo Credit: CNN


starbucks train

Starbucks Store on a Swiss Train

Gizmodo reported earlier this month that as of November 21, a train servicing the Geneva area would open a Starbucks on its train. We’ve seen Starbucks served outside traditional stores for quite some time now, so what makes this one different? Starbucks is officially taking over an entire car, making room for 50 patrons to enjoy their train travel while enjoying their favorite Starbucks signature drinks in a mobile Starbucks store. Fingers crossed this trend catches on!

starbucks trainPhoto Credit: Starbucks

starbucks trainPhoto Credit: Starbucks