Archive for the General Musings Category

Ms. Knoepfle Goes To Washington

Posted in General Musings, Travel with tags , on January 19, 2009 by travelwizard


That’s right kids, I am heading to DC. I am joining the ranks of the 2 million plus other people expected to descend on our nations capitol January 20th. Oh.. what a glorious day! What a fantastic time to be an American. While I am slightly dreading the travel, commute and crowds that will surely accompany my journey, I am rife with excitement at being part of such a historical moment. While clearly this is a departure from the normal, much more important topics I tend to discuss on  my site (hardy har), I plan on writing a detailed description of the events in DC. I would love to throw in some info on a luxury DC hotel or two but frankly, the prices were so high, I was forced to bunk with my dear sis in nearby Burke, VA. C’est la vie, c’est la vie, that’s just the way it goes. Happy inauguration.


Oh! The Places You’ll Go..

Posted in General Musings on January 6, 2009 by travelwizard


2008 has come and gone. For the most part, it was a year most of us just as soon forget. Crippling economic woes,  financial scandals, everyday people confronting greater hardship, two wars, a deadbeat president – the list goes on and on. Despite all this, I am grateful for the year that has just passed. I was fortunate enough to travel to places of unspeakable beauty, that contain vibrant culture, tasty culinary delights and all around friendly people. For these things, I feel incredibly lucky.

It was a year of personal accomplishment. I traveled to 20 cities in three countries. I started Better Living Through Travel, got promoted at work, moved in to a new apartment and got a puppy. I can only hope that 2009 brings a simlar degree of personal prosperity ( oh please, please!) To begin the year and put 2008 to bed, I have compiled a “best of” list of my personal travels over the last year. See below for the result along with links to the posts over the last year. Here’s to wishing everyone a better direction in 2009!

Best Overall Hotel:

Castell D’Emporda – Costa Brava, Spain

Best Fine Dining Experience:

Cal Pep – Barcelona, Spain

Best Burger Experience:

Pie and Burger – Pasadena, CA

Best Culinary City:

New Orleans, LA

Best Flying Experience:

Virgin America: LA to DC

Best Hotel For Romance:

Milliken Creek, Napa, CA

Best Room With a View:

Thompson LES NY, NY

Biggest Bum Out Travel Experience: 

Getting robbed in Barcelona.

Best Hidden Gem:

Glen Oaks Motel Big Sur, CA

Hotel That Seemed Like A Good Idea But Turned Out To Be Sad Times:

Ojai Retreat, Ojai, CA

 Best Travel Tip:

Bring Ambien

Travel Ambitions for 2009:



Where do you aspire to go in 2009?

What to Do, What to Say

Posted in General Musings with tags , , on October 12, 2008 by travelwizard

It’s been a wild ride in the outside world this week. When I am not endlessly fretting about the impending presidential election, I am struggling to sort out what is going on in our financial markets. Somewhere between watching the Dow hover between “oh shit” and  “HOLY FUCK”, I had a minute to ponder how this impending recession (some say depression) will affect the way people (and me) write about travel. Is travel a need or a luxury? For me, it is a need. I need that inspiration that comes with every new city, country, hotel, culture and person you might meet along the way. When I don’t travel, I feel stagnent, bored and ansy. I truly believe that exploring a new place is an instant mood-lifter, a healthier alternative to say, pills? 

I am struggling a bit right now to find the balance of making this blog relevent in such uncertain times but I can only hope that people can see the value that travel holds. Some of the best experiences of my life, which have undoubtedly shaped my personal development, began in a single trip. I am sure many of you can say the same thing. I guess it is time now to get inventive as to where the money is spent. Perhaps it’s time to explore South and Central America, South East Asia and other places where our dollar still holds great value. Maybe we explore our country in depth, as America has some breathtakingly beautiful parts. As a Californian, I am always amazed at how much natural beauty surrounds me so closely that I rarely take advantage of. I suppose in conclusion, I will simply say that I will continue to blog about the things I appreciate most about travel, great food and amazing hotels. However, I will try to be mindful of our current sitution. I will just have to hope people come along for the ride!