Category Archives: USA

USA, Miami – an evening and day hanging out and about

I for one didn’t really appreciate that Miami had a river – well it does! And we ate there last night – first a few drinks at a delightful bar and restaurant call Kiki’s and then my first taste this trip of stone crabs – there will be more to come for sure. Here is Kiki which is also a good spot for sunsets and yacht watching

Then next day another shopping center – my favorite so far I think as it has a mix of high end and affordable places to shop and once again is open air – it is The Shops at Merrick Park.

Finally on to Vizcaya – an old mansion and beautiful gardens build by John Deering of International Harvester fame. He obviously had a lot of money but also good taste so walking around this place is like being in Italy most of the time as you can see – yet is is in Coconut Grove Miami. Worth a visit and we may go back for their evening event held once a month where the gardens are lit up for guided walks.


USA, Miami

Spending some time in Miami with my friend Beth. I ventured downtown to explore the area on foot (not many people walk anywhere in this part of the world). I used the free People Mover to get me where I wanted to go which was to walk around and check out buildings and outdoor sculptures. I saw quite a few but some areas are a bit dodgy – would not do this at night!

Also visited the Perez Museum of Art. He is a wealthy Cuban who has built this place close to the waterfront. It is small but quite interesting and has a great restaurant and shop.

At the other end of the spectrum I caught up with an old friend Klaudia in the shops in Bal Harbour. This is a very ritzy indoor and outdoor shopping Centre with only top end stores – so for window shopping mostly but we had a nice lunch there.

And close by to Brickell where I am staying there is one of the last designs for a building by Zaha Hadid – I think it is going to be spectacular when finished – and no doubt expensive too

Puerto Rico- two days in downtown San Juan

Visiting PR for the first time in 15 years and of course after the recent devastating hurricane. Decided to stay downtown in the capital of San Juan at the converted convent hotel – El Convento. Lovely old building and very central for walking to all the interesting spots. Very limited damage from the hurricane to be seen in San Juan – just the odd lamp post that no longer has a lamp – but flying over on arrival it was easier to see some areas that still need to be repaired.

There are lovely colonial style buildings all around the capital – basically pick a colour and you will find a building to match. These buildings really give the place character.

Given Puerto Rico is a cruise port (I’m picking one up shortly for the Caribbean) there are also plenty of opportunities for cocktails on rooftop bars and shopping as well as taking in some of the Art Deco Buildings

And if you’re into history then the castle and fort area along the seafront make for a nice way of getting some exercise.

USA, Alaska – After some more scenic cruising – flew on a spectacular 90 minute seaplane journey. 

Cruising in Alaska

Views from our seaplane in Alert Bay BC. Quattoon waterfalls

Yes it is small but a seaplane is a perfect way to view Northern BC

Cruise now over. Looking forward to reunion with my old Hong Kong Bank of Canada mates in Vancouver and next stop is Chemainus and Tofino on Vancouver Island. 

USA, Alaska, Glaciers – who knew ice could be so fascinating and beautiful?

You might think a day cruising around two glaciers (Holgate Glacier and the Kenai Fjords) might be boring but you’d be wrong. It was mesmerising and I never got tired of just staring and staring.

Hope you agree?

Glaciers at Holgate and Kenai Fjords

Braving the Alaskan summer and holding a crystal clear piece of glacier ice

Ice on the Ocean – pretty cool

USA – Small town Alaska – loads of character And so much nicer than the usual cruise ship towns

I can see why people come to Alaska for two years and stay for 20, especially when they go to places like Haines and Wrangell and Sitka – the smaller towns (some with a permpop of 2500) with loads of history (gold, fur, fishing and a slug of Russian ownership too). Maybe not so delightful in the Winter! Try a cruise that takes in some of these smaller places. 

Wrangell, Alaska

Haines, Alaska

Sitka, Alaska

Or you get places like this – too many ships in the sea!