Thursday, April 30, 2015

My review of Carmel California - get 80% off The Art of Travel Photography with our The Great Courses coupon

Get 80% off The Art of Travel Photography with our The Great Courses coupon.

Traveling is so much fun, I love to go see all types of places, from beaches, to world historic sites, and even cities in our own country. You don't have to travel far to see something spectacular.

Places like Carmel California.

I love Carmel. It is one of my favorite places on Earth. The whole town surrounds itself with a cool vibe. It has a fantastic beach, with fantastic restaurants, and amazing hotels.

Dog-friendly restaurants, Carmel
The best part? It is a huge dog-loving town.

Some places say they love dogs, but really, they don't. It's often proven by the vast restrictions the town and its establishments place on dogs.

Carmel though is a dog-lovers paradise.

This is how my day looks in Carmel.

I wake up in my gorgeous bed and breakfast. The one I like in particular is Cypress Inn. Honestly, there is no other hotel to stay at in Carmel. Well, there are lots, but I highly recommend this one.

I wrangle up the dogs and walk to the beach through an idyllic part of town. Dogs can be off leash at the beach and I immediately unlock them and watch them barrel down the sand hill toward the water. We usually spend a good two to three hours there, walking the length of the beach, splashing in the water, and laying down in the sand enjoying the beautiful scenery and warm sun.

Hog's Breath Inn, dining at its best
Now it's time for lunch. I know what you are thinking, what about the dogs? Do you have to leave them in the car (a big no-no) or take them back to the hotel?


Most all restaurants in Carmel have outdoor seating that will also accommodate dogs. My favorite is the Hog's Breath Inn, owned by Clint Eastwood. Not only does the guy make great movies, but he has one of my favorite places to dine in all the world -- mostly because of how advantageous it is to have dogs there.

There is plenty of outdoor seating in a lovely setting. If you feel a bit of a chill, you can sit by the fire. Great drink selections, great bar food, and a great atmosphere. I like the fact the tables are spaced far enough apart that dogs can have a little bit of space. No shoving your dog under a table, wedged between your feet for protection.

Your dog will love the restaurant as much as you do.

Cottage of Sweets, Carmel
Once done with lunch, it's time to wander the streets. The downtown/main street area is very cute. There are some chain stores, but mostly, it is independent shops. Nothing worse than going on vacation and the shopping is the same Gap/Anthropologie that is everywhere else. Cute art stores, trinket shops, and my favorite -- a great candy store on the way to the beach from Cypress Inn.

The candy store looks like a little cottage. It is as cute as a button. They carry all kinds of sweets here. The fudge is on par with Mackinaw Island, Michigan fudge. In fact, Cottage of Sweets has been making their own fudge since 1981. That's pretty fantastic. No wonder it is on par with Mackinaw Island! One of their other specialities is licorice. They get it from all over the world, including Australia, Finland, Germany, Holland, England and Italy. All I'm saying is you definitely need to stop here as you wander around with your pups.

After you eat all that candy, you will need a nap. Time to go back to the inn with your pups. Take a nice long shower, crawl into bed, and enjoy and amazing nap. When you wake, all you have to do is trounce down the stairs with your dogs and get cozy in Cypress Inn's restaurant or lounge area and enjoy a cocktail -- with your dogs! I know I keep saying this, but the town really is dog friendly.

As you can see, you are really going to want to take your time on this vacation. There are so many great chances for photos. Make sure you take the best ones possible thanks to The Great Courses. Learn from a National Geographic photographer on how to capture the best light, the right frame, and what camera to use. Never take a bad photo again. Make sure your travel photos are as good as your vacation was!

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Monday, April 27, 2015

The Art of Travel Photography is now 80% off thanks to our The Great Courses coupon

The Art of Travel Photography is now 80% off with our The Great Courses coupon.

You know what I could go for right now, a nice margarita. I nice drink by the pool, looking out over the ocean. I don't have a lot of time for vacation right now, so some place close. Some place that I can do in about three days.

That rules out one of my more favorite types of vacations -- the site seeing type. You know, all the landmarks and such.

But a beach. I could do a beach.

Cabos San Lucas is close.  I say do that.

I like Cabos, it's nice. It's warm, the food is excellent, and laying poolside seems like such a great idea right now after such a long and hard winter.

All I want to do is eat, sleep, and bask in the sun -- and take pictures of the beautiful ocean.

That's why taking a lecture on how to take amazing travel photos will come in very handy. When you go on vacation you want to really capture what you see. The ambience of it all. I don't know about you, but whenever I try and take a photo of the sparkling water ... there's just something lacking.

No longer. With this course I will learn about light, how to frame a shot, and how to get perspective.

Try it out for yourself. Don't let your next vacation, whatever it may be, lose something when it comes to the photos that you take.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Get 80% off The Art of Travel Photography with our The Great Courses coupon

The Great Courses coupon
Get 80% off The Art of Travel Photography with our The Great Courses coupon.

I love traveling. It is just so enjoyable. There are so many places that I want to see, one of which is Thailand.

If I had to pick the food that is the most comforting to me, it would be Thai food. A trip to Thailand for me would be one where I ate my way though the country. I really, really want to try authentic Thai food.

What I like most about Thai food is the way that the spices, the curry, and the coconut milk make for a sweet and spicy combination. I love the way the culture uses vegetables. I love the unique flavors that the combinations cause.

This all being said, let's not rule out how extraordinary the beaches are there. With so much coast to offer, it is hard to even pick what beaches you would want to visit and which ones you would have to skip. Kata Noi, Phra Nang, and Sunrise beach are just a few can't misses. So much to do at the beach with stand-up paddle boarding, snorkeling, and just swimming - it's a once in a lifetime experience.

That's why taking pictures of every dish I eat, every fish I see, every beach I walk on is so important to me. Since it's a one time deal, I need to make sure I get my pictures right the first time around. That's where this course comes in. It will teach whomever purchases it the information and skills to obtain the perfect photograph. The lecture is taught by a world famous National Geographic photographer, so you know the information on how to succeed is there.

Never take a bad picture again with this course. Thailand ... here I come!

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Art of Travel Photography is now 80% off with our The Great Courses coupon

The Great Courses coupon
The Art of Travel Photography is now 80% off thanks to our The Great Courses coupon.

I love going on vacation. It is so amazing. Personally, I prefer to go see the sites. I love the architecture, the old mosques, cathedrals, and statues. I love Spanish steps, and water fountains. I love it all. I prefer this kind of travel over going to beach locations, but those also have their place.

One thing is for certain, I want to have the best keepsake memories that I can.

Part of the way I can ensure this happens is by taking good photographs of what I see. Not blurry ones, or ones where the lighting is so bad you can't even tell what you are looking at. No, I want crisp, clear photos. Photos that represent the height of the monuments that I am seeing. The details in the sculpture. The way the light reflects off of the Arc de Triomphe at night.

This lecture series will do just that. It will teach you, in six expert lessons, how to make the most of your travel photos. The course is taught by Joel Sartore, a National Geographic photographer. He has been to some of the Earth's most beautiful locations, locations not just in the U.S., but all across the world. In 2011 his photograph was voted the best photo of the year. Now that is the person I want teaching me how to take my photos for my future trip to Germany to see the Neuschwanstein castle. I have always, always wanted to see it.

I think this course is well worth it.

To learn more, go to

Thursday, April 2, 2015

80% off with our The Great Courses coupon - The Art of Travel Photography

Our new lecture series! The Art of Travel Photography. Check it out!

Interested? Of course you are! This lecture is also 80% off with our The Great Courses coupon. Just think of all the vacations you want to go on. You want to keep those pictures forever. You want to capture the magic of the moment, the sparkle in the water, the enormity of the structures and sites that you have seen.

Make sure today that your future pictures will be amazing.

For more information on the lectures, please check out