The Italy Rules

Sicily - The Blissful Adventurer

Cathedral – Mazzara del Valo

The Italy Rules are my set of guidelines for the first-time and infrequent Italy traveler. I have traveled to, lived, and worked in Italy frequently over the past 20 years. In this time I evolved from a curious tourist to hardened, salty veteran of the trials, travails, and pitfalls of one of the world’s most visited countries. One usually dreams of Italy for years before finally setting their foot into the proverbial boot. The dream usually crashes in much less time. This post is really for the traveler who has not been deep into the Amazon or climbed to base camps in Nepal. This post is for those of you who enjoy modern conveniences, large bathrooms, and the amenities of a comfortable Western life. For the most part, I am you. I love my big bed, my central heat and air, and my very fast wi-fi connection. However, Italy is reason enough for me forego these luxuries for a few weeks or months out of every year. [Read more...]

San Francisco Dogpatch – A Hipstamatic Tour

The Blissful Adventurer - San Francisco Series

Abandoned Warehouse Through A Broken Barrier

San Francisco Dogpatch - A Hipstamatic Tour is a portrait of  a neighborhood right along the bay and down from Potrero Hill. The name is theorized to have been derived from either the proliferation of Dog Fennel that once dominated the area (and still grows in pockets) or packs of wild dogs that used to wait outside the slaughterhouses for scraps. Until recently I had spent little time in this hood say for the occasional Muni ride to a baseball game back in 2005. Now I have a good friend who calls the place home. Dogpatch is a “cool” place to be now with flashy new lofts, great restaurants, and many artisan shops. The beauty here lies in the abandoned warehouses along the water which still dominate the acreage of the area and are some of the most starkly beautiful places I have ever seen. [Read more...]

2012 Year in Review Haiku

One of my favorite icons on earth.
One of my favorite icons on earth. (copyright The Blissful Adventurer)

Here is The Blissful Adventurer 2012 Year in Review Haiku. Haiku was one of my most successful creative expressions here in the blog world in 2012 I want to share some of the best of the best with you all today for my final blog of 2012; easily the most successful year I have a had as a storyteller. [Read more...]

Most Influential Blogs 2012

The Blissful Adventurer - Most Influential Bloggers

True for me and these fine bloggers

The Most Influential Blogs of 2012 is my tribute to some of the finest work on the web done by caring curators of quality and passion. These individuals and their work gives me cause to pause on my birthday today to celebrate along with them because of what their influence means to my work. For those of you looking to find truth in advertising, look no further than these fantastic sites. [Read more...]

The Blissful Adventurer – 2012 Blog of the Year

The Blissful Adventurer - Blog of the Year

The Blissful Adventurer – 2012 Blog of the Year

Imagine my surprise when I clicked on the link from Cara Olsen to her outstanding blog This Little Light and saw she had selected me among a few of her very talented peers as Blog of the Year for 2012. Cara herself had received the honor and as the protocol dictates shared her love and recognition with other writers she admires in the same vein. Cara, as many of my readers already know, is a novelist/blogger of exceptional mettle and integrity. Her work proves one can have faith and a firm grasp of the human condition and that they are not mutually exclusive. To be chosen by such a talented scribe is truly a blessing in these end of 2012 days. Thank you Cara Olsen. You are blessed and blessed with good taste :-) [Read more...]

Hostess Ceases Operation – The End of My Childhood

Hostess Ceases Operation - The Blissful Adventurer

Hostess Classics – Memories Wrapped in Cellophane

Hostess ceases operation and is closing for good. For a moment let’s assume this is true and that the company does not sell to some international conglomerate who lays off the union workers and re-stocks under a new LLC with cheap labor. Let’s assume the end is nigh for the dearest little snack cakes and the happiness I gleaned from their hydrogenated shells. Sure, Hostess and its subsidiaries might actually be a major player in the rise of disease, disability, laziness, and learning disorders in the US, but for this poor kid from small-town Texas, Hostess was freedom in every bite. [Read more...]

IMO Thursday – Why Risotto is my Zen

IMO Thursday - The Blissful Adventurer

Risotto alla Carbonara

IMO Thursday this week sets out to explain a bit of my passion for risotto and blissful experimentation. A few days ago the phenomenal Italian wine writer and philologist Jeremy Parzen posted a wonderful article on the origins of La Carbonara. In the article Jeremy goes down a few theories of how the famous pasta with bacon and egg sauce got its name. As always I was intrigued by Jeremy’s excellent research and interesting way he makes the communication of facts so easy to follow and entertaining. [Read more...]

The Grape Harvest – Italy Travel Fiction Part 6

The Grape Harvest Part 6 is the continuation of my Italy Travel Fiction segment that I began in April. This is a 7-10 part series following Mike, a newly successful author along his travels in Italy. Do not let the innocuous description steer you away from this story of introspection, compulsion, and deviance. Here are links to the first 5 chapters.

Parts - One - Two - Three - Four - Five

The Grape Harvest - Piedmont Travel Fiction Part 6

The Sacrament

Previously - Mike fired another round through the bridge of the German’s nose and he died. At that moment the iPhone text tone sounded and the message said “have you finished your business Dad? ready for that walk?”

He stared at the message all too aware that Viola was wandering through the vineyards with the winemaker and waiting on him to join. 4 gunshots although muffled a bit by the thick walls and the annoying bathroom exhaust fan were more than a little obvious. In the quiet space that exists only in the most fleeting moments Mike knew he had to go. Viola would have to forgive her father again for an unannounced departure which gave him a sad pause. [Read more...]

IMO Thursday – Vanessa Trevino Boyd is a Wine Star!

IMO Thursday - Vanessa Trevino Boyd is a Wine Star

Vanessa in Word Mode

This week’s IMO Thursday – Vanessa Trevino Boyd is wine star and Beverage Director at Philippe Restaurant + Lounge in Houston, TX. She oversees one of the city’s most thoughtful wine lists and this past April she was awarded ‘Best New Sommelier’ by Food & Wine magazine. So why then am I lauding this young woman when she clearly has plenty of allies? Because she is a dear friend and she goes about it the right way. At the end of the day choosing wines for a restaurant is no different from choosing great ingredients for the establishment’s kitchen. One must trust the supplier and sample the goods. I have seen Vanessa meticulously smell and taste limes before making a margarita. I have watched her cut tomatoes and inspect their every nuance before placing in a salad. In June of this year when she came to Colorado to work the Aspen Food and Wine Festival we sat down for lunch at one of the most recognized restaurants in the area and within minutes the sommelier on duty (also the GM of the place) was asking Vanessa’s opinion on a myriad of wine related subjects because she remarked on the quality of the wine and the provenance of some of the produce.  [Read more...]

Top 25 Italy Moments (20-19)

Top 25 Italy Moments 19-20

Gorilla Photography 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is part 2 of my abridged Top 25 Italy moments from the past 19 years. As I drew these together I knew it would be about people and circumstances much more than just the place itself. Italy, it seems, provides the canvas for which to paint amazing images. I read many of my fellow bloggers’ posts and it is amazing just how close we all are in our assessments of things and yet how much diversity exists in our varied experiences. Now, on to the countdown:

[Read more...]