AirBnB: The First B is for Beautiful

My dad gets really excited when when modern, gig/sharing-economy type organizations come to Buffalo, which is my hometown and where he still lives. Years ago, when Buffalo got food trucks, he called right away to let me know. Around the same time, the city was redoing the harbor to make it a place for festivals and a place people want to spend time in general. He thought a combination of those two amenities would make me consider moving back there. Then Buffalo got bicycle sharing and then Uber, and he called me each of those times to let me know how cool Buffalo was becoming. I’m happy for Buffalo. I love that city. But the taxes and lack of good jobs and the snow…oh my god the snow. The gray, miserable, long, icy, humid winters. No. I just can’t.

But I digress.

My dad’s latest report was about AirBnB. It’s been active in Buffalo awhile, but the Buffalo News ran a story over the summer about locals’ good and bad experiences with it. He was certain I had used it before, which I have, and wanted to compare my experiences with what the paper was reporting. And so I thought, why stop with the conversation with my dad? Why not share some of my good and bad experiences here? Continue reading →

Yurt in Talkeetna, Alaska (July, 2015)

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While You Are There: Try not to get eaten by a bear while you are taking care of business in the doorless outhouse. I mean, isn’t that the dream, to be able to watch the birds flying around and the rain splashing on the ground while you are getting rid of the non-nutritious parts of last night’s dinner? Well, you can also take in nature while sitting on the covered porch. Less adventuresome, but still pleasant. Also, take the Hurricane Turn Train. This is the perfect place to stay the night before and after that journey.

Why It’s On My List: Because it’s a yurt. Because it has everything you need inside. Because it’s not anywhere near as remote as it looks. Because it’s romantic. Because of the outhouse.

For this year’s A-Z Blog Challenge, I’ve decided to showcase 26 of my favorite places in the world. I’ve only been to 22 of the 196 countries, so I’ve got some more travelling to do, but these places are well worth a visit.

Kachemak Bay State Park, Alaska (July, 2015)

While You Are There: Hike. And try not to get eaten by a bear. And if you make it back to Homer, enjoy the restaurants on the spit.

Why It’s On My List: Everything I saw in Alaska was stunning, but this park has the added bonuses of having to take a water taxi (or plane) to get there and having to a use a hand tram, which is really heavy and difficult to pull, to get across parts of trails. The water taxi driver dumped me off at the trail head and basically said “Good luck, I’ll meet you at the pickup point at 5pm.” And then I was off into the wilderness. You have to figure out where the pickup point is and how much time you are going to need to get there. And, of course, the glacier views were magnificent.

For this year’s A-Z Blog Challenge, I’ve decided to showcase 26 of my favorite places in the world. I’ve only been to 22 of the 196 countries, so I’ve got some more travelling to do, but these places are well worth a visit.

Tanka, July 12th, Soldotna

a bear paw thrashes

beneath the surface, missing

salmon from the lake

later splayed on styrofoam

because bait evokes no fear

 

Memories of a trip to Alaska, told in tanka. Tanka follow a syllable pattern of 5-7-5-7-7. The middle line serves as a turning point, so that if you read just the first three lines, there is a different tone than if you read just the last three lines.

Tanka, July 7th, Talkeetna

their soft drum on pine

builds symphony with songbirds

spattering raindrops

collide against plexiglass

a discordant ballyhoo

 

 

Memories of a trip to Alaska, told in tanka. Tanka follow a syllable pattern of 5-7-5-7-7. The middle line serves as a turning point, so that if you read just the first three lines, there is a different tone than if you read just the last three lines.