More Travel

In August, the Bresslers went on our first two week vacation since Fianna was born (Feb. 2009). We used to take 3-4 weeks of vacation a year, so it was nice to get ‘back in the saddle’. Our destination... Tuscany, Italy. We’d been to Italy in 2002 and were looking forward to a return. Italy is a terrific place to vacation. Italians are nice folk with a good deal of respect for family, neighborhood & tradition. There is no shortage of historical sites either, which is a big plus in my book.

I'm a little behind, due to all the other work I've been doing on the site lately, but the weekend after our trip to Safari West with the Baers we took off for a 4 day trip to Yosemite. When I was much younger, I used to take many trips to Yosemite, Kings Canyon and other of California's parks. These were generally camping trips (tents or trailers). However, it's been a very long time. I'd guess that I haven't been back for at least 15 years.

Recently, our Family and the Baers (from SoCal) drove out to Safari West near Santa Rosa for a couple of days. About 30-45 minutes NW of Napa, we took our time getting there, stopping at a few wineries to kill time and relax before check-in. Safari West is an 'African Wildlife Preserve and African Tent Camp'. They have over 400 acres of open spaces, lakes, trees, dirt roads, and all that. They also have on-site lodging... big family size tents with all the frills (shower, sink, bed, electricity).

On Saturday, we started by going to the northeastern corner of Kyoto to see Ginkakuji Temple, also called the Silver Pavilion. In 1482, shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa built his retirement villa here. After Ginkakuji, we strode the Path of Philosophy, or Philosopher's walk, which is simply a a pleasant path besides an old canal that connects Ginkakuji with the vicinity of Nanzenji and lands you close to the Gion District (Geisha District). There are quite a few places of interest along the walk.

For the weekend, the plan was to see as much of Kyoto as possible. I wanted to start off in the mornings with a couple major sites and then spend the rest of the day wandering. I left most of the Kyoto sightseeing for the weekend for a couple of reasons, 1) I figured there'd be fewer people at Nara and Himeji during the week, 2) my brother Cody was going to meet us for the weekend and I wanted his help using the buses to get around Kyoto as cheaply as possible.