A visit to the Oregon Coast

Flew into PDX and was instantly greeted by 90+ degree heat and loved every minute of it. Hopped onto the "MAX" for a 1.5 hour ride out to Hillsboro to catch another ride out to the Coast which ended up being a 2 hour drive. Not bad considering I've never done it before so it was great kicking back and enjoying the ride. I have to say riding the "MAX" is soooooo much more enjoyable than having to ride BART!

Flew into PDX and was instantly greeted by 90+ degree heat and loved every minute of it. Hopped onto the "MAX" for a 1.5 hour ride out to Hillsboro to catch another ride out to the Coast which ended up being a 2 hour drive. Not bad considering I've never done it before so it was great kicking back and enjoying the ride. I have to say riding the "MAX" is soooooo much more enjoyable than having to ride BART!

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Visiting the Oregon Coast was definitely an awesome experience. I can see myself coming back to spend more time taking landscape photos and visiting every Nike Outlet in town!


Iceland #MyStopOver

This was my first time visiting Iceland and I can honestly say it was a pretty magical experience! Each day we had about 4 to 5 hours of daylight. The sun would rise around 10am and then start to set around 3pm. The weather was extreme, very very windy, cold, rain, sunshine, and even snow! I was prepared for the weather and besides it was all part of the adventure.
Yes... Food was a bit on the expensive side, maybe double to triple the price I would pay for a meal at home. (San Francisco) Iceland has been really working hard at promoting tourism and is now their #1 industry which is probably why you can find flights from San Francisco to Reykjavik for as low as $99 one way on WOW Airlines. We found a really great deal on Groupon flying with Iceland Air so decided to go with that. People were extremely friendly and we were able to get away with speaking English everywhere we went.
On our second to last night, the sky finally cleared up enough for us to go searching for the Northern Lights. After driving around for about 3hours we finally stopped by a light house at the end of the road. I went out to take a few long exposure photos to kill some time then ran back into the car to view the photos because it was freeeeeeezing! When looking at the photos I thought something was wrong with my camera because I noticed some green in the photo that I had not seen in the sky. It finally hit me that the Northern Lights were always there. I ran back out to photograph a few more photos to verify and sure enough "Lady Aurora" had made an appearance. I can't even describe what an amazing experience that was, especially when you're the only one out there experiencing it. The really cool thing was that for a few minutes I was able to finally see the Northern Lights with my own eyes. Lastly when I finally returned home, I received an email from Iceland Air that they saw a photo I had posted while on my trip and that they wanted to include it in their inflight magazine. Yep I'd definitely have to say that this was a very magical trip! Yet another one to cross off the bucket list!

The Journey to Nine Mile Jamaica

i-XWG3pkQ-XLBeing the HUGE Bob Marley fan I am, visiting the House of Marley in Nine Mile Jamaica was an item I had on my bucket list for a very long time! (Glad that's one item crossed off) The drive to the compound took about two hours from where we were located. The roads were rough and consisted of narrow lanes that ran along the mountains of Jamaica. I loved every minute of it! What's not to love when you're in a bus filled other fans just as excited as you are, and all singing to the tunes of Bob Marley?!? Good times, good times... and now for the photos: i-bhx9nvQ-XL

The view from Mt. Zion
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A photo of Bob Marley's meditation rock.
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Of course had to get a photo with our guide. I tell you, I was so excited/happy to be in Jamaica I was choppin it up with everyone! Nothing but love!
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Jerk chicken, pork with red beans and rice!
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These dogs definitely have the right idea... feeln' irie!
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"The Sun is Shining" ~ Until we meet again Jamaica
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24 Hours in Milan

24 hours in Milan Italy, the Fashion Capitol of the World. Unfortunately not by choice, we were unexpectedly booted from our flight shortening our stay in Milan. Normally something like this would be pretty upsetting to me, but it was all part of the journey. Besides the only goal I had was to explore and get lost with my camera, nothing makes me feel more alive than that!

i-BSJrHnv-XL The obligatory selfie in the hotel lobby. (Hotel NH Collection Milano President)

Hey Siri! One of the best things I did in preparation for this trip was to rent an international MiFi hotspot. If you plan on traveling abroad I highly recommend using one on your trip, unless you don't care about using public WiFi with the chance of getting your data compromised. I went with a company called XCom Global which only charged me $15 a day for unlimited usage.

An interesting restaurant sign to come across when you're actually an American.

Another good reason for getting the international MiFi is so you can use Yelp when you're starving! Here are a few dishes from Mozzarella e Basilico, first meal in Milan and it was damn good! i-8mvTQ5m-XL

Sausage pork with potato puree

Saphron risotto with prosciutto

The "Double Malt"

The signature risotto dish

Calzone wrapped with prosciutto

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Milan definitely has their share of interesting street performers. Although I did find some of the street vendors to be a bit annoying in the tourist areas. These were the types of people who would walk right up to you and nag you to buy a "selfie stick" from them.

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Duomo di Milano

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For dinner we heard good things about Da Vic – Ristorante Guerrini so we decided to call and make reservations. Good thing we did! We saw a few visitors like us get turned away because they were all booked, they even mentioned it was their last night in Italy. Da Vic turned out to be a great choice, the Chef/owner came out to greet us and talk to us for a bit which was really nice. I can't say enough about how great the food and service was. It's always a special feeling when you feel welcomed when you're so far away from home.

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Loved this dish so much I had to order it again.

i-DdkZZVZ-XLThis octopus was amazing and super tender! I don't take octopus for granted at all! Whenever I'm in Hawaii I'll spend my time spear fishing and free diving for these guys.

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Goodbye Milan it was a great experience, until next time!

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andrew@andrewwongphoto.com