Unanchor Blog: Heart of a Local Travel
Imagine creating a place for you and your friends where you can play, work, and raise a family, add an 1880s vibe and you have Pioneertown. Created in 1948 by Gene Autry, Roy Roger, and friends, Pioneertown was meant as a fully functioning, 1880’s themed movie set for actors of the day to work and live. While its heyday may have expired, a visit to Pioneertown is still a must. This desert oasis is a quick 20-minute drive from Joshua Tree or about an hour from Palm Springs. Make a day trip or spend the weekend exploring. Either way, you won't be disappointed.
We temporarily moved to Yucca Valley on a whim. Where is that you ask? 45 minutes east of Palm Springs and adjacent to Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California. We knew it would be remote, but truth be told, it was a little jarring when we got there with a very monotone color pallet, surprisingly cold temperatures, and a lot of rundown strip malls. We are restaurant and bar people. Love to cook, but love to explore a city by wining and dining. At first glance, this is not the place for such things, but after a little exploration and we found some amazing winners.
A walk through Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz, one of Dubai's very well-hidden but not-so-secret spots. This area is a uniquely wonderful gem that takes you into the art district of Dubai. Your senses will be wowed by the great mix of art galleries, restaurants, and arthouse cinemas.
The island is wild; waterfalls cascade down steep mountainsides, valley floors are covered in gigantic ferns, and rivers wind their way to the coast. You don't often get to experience the untouched remoteness of a place like you do when exploring the interior of Tahiti. Tahiti hiking is simply awesome! Here are our 3 favorite hikes.
For three days, three dives a day we dove Sipadan, North Point, Barracuda Point, Hanging Garden, Southpoint, and Drop Off Wall. Watching little clown fish play like school children in the coral. Games of hide and seek ensued. The coral was beautiful. Some coral danced in the current while others pulsated in and out like they were breathing. The delicateness of the coral fans looked so fragile, yet they held strong against the current.
There’s something so mesmerizing about the little town of Banff that attracts over 4 million people every year. Maybe it’s the breathtaking views, or maybe it’s the smell of that crisp air between the mountain ridges, or maybe it’s something that simply can’t be explained in words. Whatever it is, I promise you this, a day in Banff is one you will never be able to forget.
Real talk here, not all travel is lovely. The last couple of weeks have been incredible but I have to admit, fatigue is setting. Sometimes places smell. The smell of sewage and rotting trash permeates your nose and becomes the norm. The sight of begging kids becomes too much. Guilt matched with sympathy immediately takes hold.
As lunch ensued the boat started its journey into the bay. As we dined, limestone islands passed by the windows. Each one awed me more than the last. I was surprised by the lack of birds. Frankly, Vietnam lacked birds altogether which was odd, but I wasn’t sad about it either. I was surprised and delighted all in one to see that lunch was dominated by Vietnamese cuisine. I was also surprised by how good it was. After dining, we changed into our suits and settled in for the rest of the ride. We drank beer and watched as the sun danced off the water and along the islands. I took so many photos as each island was more and more beautiful.
Whew, just returned from 3 days of motorcycling through the Mai Chau area of Vietnam, which was extraordinary. In some ways, the most incredible thing is that we exited the experience (mostly) unscathed. There were a couple of near-misses, but we both ended up with our bodies intact. This may sound like the expected outcome, and I suppose in some ways it is, but having just come through it, I can assure you it’s not the only outcome on the plinko board.