Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana

Deep in the north of Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley lies the region's namesake. There, a fairly unassuming complex of adobe-style buildings sits immediately alongside major streets, and if not for a small sign, most passers by wouldn't know that from this area, one of the most populous areas in California was born. Mission San…

Armenian Culture in Glendale, CA

The line at Zankou Chicken in Glendale, California, a northern suburb of Los Angeles, is out the door, even during Covid and social distancing. Taped Xs on the ground indicate where we should stand to keep away from other customers, especially important since we are all salivating. Zankou is known for their rotisserie chicken, served…

Visiting the Mt. Wilson Observatory

Atop a 5,700 foot mountain overlooking most of Los Angeles lies a place most Angelenos have never been. Driving about 40 minutes up California Highway 2 - Angeles Crest Highway - from La Canada Flintridge into the heart of Angeles National Forest will bring visitors into a world seemingly incredibly distant from the city, and…

Olive Oil Tasting in Ojai, CA

I have been wine tasting at a vineyard in France, port tasting in Portugal, and beer tasting at the best brewery in Milwaukee. Tourism for food - and drinks - is a big part of my travel life, and having a small progression of different flavors to taste is a wonderful way to gain appreciation…

California’s Palms to Pines Highway

Palm Springs is hot in July. Very hot. Wearing my mask, I grab a double-double and a vanilla shake from California's most iconic burger chain, In N Out, and start up a winding road into the mountains. This road, California Highway 74 and turning into California Highway 243, is known as the Palms to Pines…

America’s First Freeway

When it comes to history, Los Angeles isn't really a place people think of. Sure, there's a legacy of filmmaking, and some remnants of Spanish and Mexican rule, but little here is iconic when it comes to historic sites. However, there is one "gift" that Los Angeles gave the country - and the world: the…

Why Mojave National Preserve Matters

There's a calming feeling for me, being out in the desert. The sky stretches from horizon to horizon, blue broken up by sparse clouds beckoning the mind and spirit upward. Few other people have crossed my path since exiting Interstate 15 in Baker, California, and the cares of the world seem far beyond my sight.…