Boycotting Venice, Hanoi and Centipede Moonshine

I think that's a clickbaity title if I've ever come up with one, no?

I arrived back from Germany this week and think I'm getting the hang of this constantly traveling, wrangling jet lag thing. I was able to get back into my routine fairly quickly. The end of my trip was spent in Berlin, where I reconnected with a good friend from high school who happened to be visiting at the same time. Berlin is a captivating city: naturally counterculture, intensely livable. I wish it were an option for us!

I am currently at Portland International Airport, waiting for my flight back to San Diego. I spent the weekend in the Tualatin Valley, checking out quirky hotels, good coffee, local food and the wonders of Oregon pinot noir. It was a treat being able to taste so much Oregon pinot & riesling, something they're known for, right on the heels of having tasted all this pinot & riesling in Germany, something that country is known for, as well. 

This was another fun week for publishing. I had my very first byline at The Independent, one of the UK's largest digital publications. The city of Venice recently announced they would try to enact charging for entry into Piazza San Marco. Having witnessed similar measures in Barcelona, I think it's a bit ridiculous and doesn't adequately address the crush of tourism. I managed to sufficiently piss off the "Save Venice" internet mob, who seemed not to read the details of my piece--but are you even publishing real opinions if half the internet doesn't come after you for it? Nonetheless, I stand by it and I'm glad I wrote it.

I also had a small contribution to this Thrillist roundup of places you need to visit before you turn 30 (HA!). I wrote about Hanoi, Vietnam, where I lived for a time when I was 21.

I also wrote a short story for Roads & Kingdoms, about the centipede/marijuana/deer horn/overproof rum hooch I sampled while in Grenada a few months ago.

T-2 weeks until Salt & Wind Baja trip liftoff! Tomorrow it's off to Tijuana and Valle de Guadalupe for our final "trip before the trip."

Here are some snaps from my trip to Germany:

 

Dresden Philharmonic at the just reopened Kulturpalast Dresden

Dresden Philharmonic at the just reopened Kulturpalast Dresden

The Bauhaus-style exterior of the Kulturpalast Dresden

The Bauhaus-style exterior of the Kulturpalast Dresden

Frauenkirche in Dresden

Frauenkirche in Dresden

Schloss-Proschwitz winery in Meissen, Saxony

Schloss-Proschwitz winery in Meissen, Saxony

Ruedesheim, Germany

Ruedesheim, Germany

Assmannshausen, Germany

Assmannshausen, Germany

Lunch at the Meissen porcelain factory (on Meissen porcelain!)

Lunch at the Meissen porcelain factory (on Meissen porcelain!)