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Home / Videos / Video| Best stops on California’s Pacific Coast Highway

Video| Best stops on California’s Pacific Coast Highway

Updated: October 29, 2014
By: Ian Yacobucci

Trip highlights along the most beautiful costal drive in the world California, USA

Highway 1, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway, is one of the best drives in the world.  Winding along California’s Pacific coast, this top costal drive is a must visit for car enthusiasts, adventurers, and people who love the outdoors; heck, it’s for everyone!  Here you’ll discover the must see stops along Califonia’s costal route, which is the perfect place to road trip.  Some of the must see destinations along Highway 1 include Big Sur, Anthony Molena State Park, Juliet Pfiefer State Park and seeing elephant seals along the costal.   Don’t miss out, get there as soon as you can and get excited with this video

Happy Travels,

Yak

Home / Travel Photography / Beyond the lens / Travel Photo| Horse riding in Mongolia

Travel Photo| Horse riding in Mongolia

Updated: October 24, 2014
By: Ian Yacobucci
Gobi desert family

MINI GOBI, MONGOLIA – APRIL 6, 2012  Father and son prepare a horse saddle for a ride near the Mini Gobi Desert, Mongolia (Ian Yacobucci/Borderless Travels)

Like father like son:

The relationship between family and nature are deeply connected in Mongolia.  Mongolia might be the last country with truly wild horses, the horse population four times the size of their human counterparts.

With roughly four million horses and one million people it seems natural that the relationship between horses and humans would be so close. Mongolia’s weather extremes that reach 30 degrees Celsius in the summer can get as cold as -30 when winter comes, which creates a unique environment where families are reliant on the natural world around them.

Home / Travel Tips / Travel photography tips for incredible photos

Travel photography tips for incredible photos

Updated: October 15, 2014
By: Ian Yacobucci
Sample freeze frame photo shot with an SLR camera.

Sample freeze frame photo shot with an SLR camera.

Travelling with an SLR? This travel photography guide will guarantee you come home with the best travel pics.

In today’s digital age anyone can become an expert with a digital camera. Automatic settings make it easy for any user to create great pictures. But for the traveling photographer who wants control of their camera, and come home with travel pictures that are sure to impress their friends and family, manual is the only way to go.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you capture the best travel photos. If you’re tired of letting the camera control your pictures it’s time to take action so you can capture that perfect sunset, portrait or action shot. Whether its surfing costal South Africa, taking in a sunset or trekking in the Philippines, with these simple tips you’ll be ready to capture the perfect images you’ve always wanted.

Shutter Speed and Aperture

These five tips will help you capture the images you want by controlling the aperture and shutter speed. Remember, in order to meter properly you are going to have to adjust both the aperture and shutter speed. These tips will help you get the pictures you want letting you control the shutter speed an aperture. Regarless of whether you’re using manual, shutter speed priority, or aperture priority using these presets will get the results you’ve been longing for.

Freeze action – Shutter Speed 1/500 – 1/1000

To get that perfect image surfing, cliff jumping, or cruising along a busy street on a scooter a fast shutter speed is what you need. In order to freeze an action shot try to use the above shutter speeds. Remember to adjust the aperture in order to meter correctly preventing under or over exposure. You can also use a fast shutter speed to capture a clear picture of a crashing wave or freeze frame a waterfall. With this setting your action shot options are limitless.

A misty waterfall shot in Rain mode.

A misty waterfall shot in Rain mode.

Rain – Shutter Speed 1/60

Forget rain, how about a misty waterfall or a crashing wave. If you’ve ever wondered how professionals get those flowing images of a river, waterfall or crashing wave, blurring the rushing water to create a whispy effect try using a slower shutter speed. If you want to capture water droplets falling on an object this shutter speed will do it. Have some fun practicing and see what you get.

Use the 'f-stops' to focus on your subjects.

Use the ‘f-stops’ to focus on your subjects.

Close up – f4-5.6

Wondering how to get that perfect close up shot try using the f-stops above. These settings will allow you to capture the image clearly while slightly blurring the background. The larger the f-stop or aperture the more clear the background will be.

The 'who cares' aperture is great for landscapes or architecture.

The ‘who cares’ aperture is great for landscapes or architecture.

Who cares – f8-11

To capture those landscapes or architectural gems try using a “who cares” aperture. If you’re not trying to show depth use an f-stop between 8-11 to get that group shot or mountain shot. Using a “who cares” aperture is also good to keep as a preset. After taking a picture you should always go back to your preset. Using a shutter speed of 125 and aperture of f10 you will guarantee that if you need to take a quick image your camera will be ready and you won’t be stuck fiddling around.

Show Depth – f22

If you want to show depth in your image capturing something in fore, middle and background than an aperture of f22 will do the trick.

Rules

  • Fill the Frame – Stop trying to get all that background in the picture. If you want a great image zoom in and fill the frame. Show your audience what you’re seeing don’t distract them with all the background stuff.
  • Minimize Distractions – Check your background for distractions. If you’re taking a portrait shot an there’re telephone wires in the background you’re going to take away from the person in the picture. Minimize those distractions and I’ll guarantee you’ll make that person look really good.

Metering

Metering takes practice, in order to meter properly you need to let the perfect amount of light into the camera. Adjusting your aperture and shutter speed will allow you to control this. But where do you point your camera to meter correctly. These five rules will help you meter correctly for the five most popular landscape shots.

  • Sunny – meter the sky
  • Sunrise/Sunset – meter side of the sun
  • Dusk – Meter the dusky sky
  • Costal/Lake – Meter reflection (water surface)
  • Green (forest) – expose -2/3

Depth of Field

All in focus – focus 1/3 into the picture (5ft)

If you have an old camera like me sometimes getting things into focus can be a bit of a challenge. Often I find myself flipping on the manual focus and working from there. If you’re stuck, and the automatic focus isn’t giving you what you want, try to use manual focus. I’m always taking classroom shots and the automatic focus sometimes zones in on one student and blurs the others. When trying to get everyone or everything within your image in focus concentrate on making 1/3 of the image clear or 5ft into the picture.

Have fun!

Yak

Home / Travel Photography / Beyond the lens / Travel Photo| Mountaineering Indo-Nepal Border

Travel Photo| Mountaineering Indo-Nepal Border

Updated: October 2, 2014
By: Ian Yacobucci
Rathong Pass view

Himalayan Mountaineering Institutes base camp at Chowrikiang overlooking the Rathong Pass – West Sikkim, India

 HMI base camp:

Standing overlooking the Rathong pass at Chowrikiang, the location of the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute’s base camp, one can’t help but appreciate the vast natural world we live in.

Training with the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute was one of the most challenging yet fulfilling experiences of my life.  It changed me as a person by challenging my global view, introducing me to amazing people, and physical challenging me in ways I never would have thought possible.

Standing in a place like this one can’t help but look behind me towards the Rathong Pass where a seven day trek will bring you to the small hamlet of Yoksum; a 7 hour drive from Darjeeling.

With no connections to the outside world training at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute was the longest I’ve disconnected from technology, something that seems to be harder and harder to do as it is ever present in our lives.

Learn more about mountaineering with the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute 

Home / Travel Talk / Interviews / Anna Everywhere: secrets to blogging, studying & traveling the world

Anna Everywhere: secrets to blogging, studying & traveling the world

Updated: September 29, 2014
By: Ian Yacobucci
Ana everywhere ecuador

Ana Everwhere standing an egg on the Equator in Ecuador

More than just someone who travels around Anna Lysakowska shares her experiences combing traveling with work in order to progress her career development while experiencing what it’s like to live in different countries as an expat.

Borderless Travels caught up with Anna in Amsterdam, Netherlands where she’s currently living and working at Flipit.com as well as a writer, traveler, translator, and blogger at AnnaEverywhere.com.

While supply teaching at an all girl’s Catholic school in Toronto, Canada I asked them what they wanted to know; here’s what they came up with:

With degrees and diplomas from multiple universities, including studies in journalism, fashion marketing, Dutch studies, international law, and Latin American studies, how has education played a role in your work and travel experience?

First of all, studying allowed me to travel more by simply putting me in the place where I studied and also by giving me scholarships that allowed me to fund my short-term trips. Did my diplomas help me to get various jobs? Probably, but most of the time I treated the university as a longer project while pursuing other types of work such as marketing. Don’t get me wrong, studying helped me a lot, but there is a huge difference between a theory gained through studying and practical work experience.

What strategies did you use to fund your education and how do you fund your travels?

I’m simply always working, anytime and anywhere I can. I’m currently working full-time along with some freelancing projects on the side so this is the source of my money.

As a journalism and fashion-marketing student what did you learn that you directly apply to your blog and personal businesses?

I think I’m still learning how to manage my blog (especially time-wise) and make it more known. Ironically when I travel I have less time to write, because I constantly want to do things. A writer once said that if you want to write a book go live in a boring place – I think he was right.

With all those studies why did you keep changing your area focus?

I actually believe I was working towards the same goal. It might seem like I’ve been changing my focus a lot, but if you look at it in a different light, that isn’t the case: I started from history and art history, followed by journalism (along with a brief romance in Dutch studies) and fashion marketing. I was able to use all of this knowledge to become a travel writer because every place has its own history and culture. After living in Latin America and getting involved in a lot of political issues I used the opportunity to study International Law and Latin American Public Policy at Leiden University in The Netherlands to go back to Mexico and conduct my research. My attempts resulted in the publication of my book about Mexican abortion laws.

You have a lot of education what is the most important thing you’ve learned?

Funnily enough that studies are not enough! ;) I saw a lot of well-educated people studying with me, who had no idea what they wanted to do with their lives. I guess studying and living abroad has made me face so many difficult situations I had to overcome to move any further.

Ana Everywhere Amsterdam

Ana Everywhere in Amsterdam

 In all the countries you’ve worked and lived how did you adapt to the way of life and culture there, and what did you do to get to know people?

I think the most important for me was learning a local language. In some countries, such as Argentina, it was particularly difficult. I was vegetarian at the time and when I moved there I spoke no word of Spanish. Noone spoke English and even when I finally told my host family that I don’t eat meat they treated me like some sort of exotic species that doesn’t want to have bacon on my eggs.

Unlike many travel bloggers who live a nomadic lifestyle why do you choose to stay in one place and share your experience as a working expat?

I’d say there is a huge difference between just visiting a place and living somewhere for a bit longer. You get to know people, culture and how the real life can be somewhere only after you get to know the place as an expat. Do I actually stay in one place? I guess not. For instance, this year even tho I’ve been based in the Netherlands I was able to visit Marrakesh, London, Warsaw, Tokyo, California and I’m still planning a trip to Asia at the end of the year.

How do you juggle relationships (family, romantic, and friendships) with all your travels?

I have a very small family so keeping up with them isn’t much of a problem because combine traveling and living, I am usually in a specific place for a moderately long time so having a romantic relationship comes naturally. Friendship is the hardest of the three for me to manage and it’s not surprising that my friends are spread out all over the world. I try and talk to my close friends often and we visit each other semi-frequently.

What struggles do you face as someone who is constantly traveling and working around the world?

First of all that I can never organize a proper birthday party, because all my best friends are spread around the world ;) I guess in some countries, like for instance in Holland, finding a job is tough, so getting settled becomes a bit more complicated. However, with a lot of patience and hard work everything is manageable.

Ana Everywhere Zimbabwe

Ana Everywhere walking lions Zimbabwe

Of course, what would an interview with a travel blogger be if we didn’t ask those hard hitting travel questions.

What’s drawn you to traveling?

Growing up, everyone told me that a girl from Poland going out and traveling the world on her own was a ridiculous idea. While I had always been somewhat interested in travel out of general curiosity, I think the fact that everyone discouraged me when I told them I wanted to do it pushed me to travel more than anything.

 What has been your most memorable travel experience?

My most memorable travel experience has got to be when I volunteered at Zimbabwe’s Antelope Park to work with lions in April 2010. I got to help raise lion cubs and take them for walks.

Many travelers have a travel trinket what’s yours and what do you collect things from different countries?

It might sound a bit stereotypical, but I collect key-chains and earrings. Why? I don’t know, I guess it just happened. As a young traveler I used to bring different items home from every place I visited, but in less touristic countries there was not much to buy, so I randomly picked a few handmade key-chains and eventually I realized I have quite a collection. I’ve always been a big fan of earrings, so I was buying them anyway – my favorites are the ones I bought in Fiji.

 

Ana Everywhere in California

Ana Everywhere kissing a dolphin in California

Anna Lysakowska is a blogger at Anna Everywhere. She has visited more than 45 countries and lived in 7, including Mexico City, Boston, London, Cape Town, Florence and Leiden. She studied journalism at Harvard, international law at Oxford Brookes and obtained her Masters in Latin American Studies from Leiden University. Since 2013 she has been residing in the Netherlands where she works at a marketing company, but this doesn’t stop her from traveling. Connect with her through FacebookTwitter and Google+.

Home / South America / Ecuador / Ecuador’s Amazon: life in the world’s lungs

Ecuador’s Amazon: life in the world’s lungs

Updated: May 1, 2014
By: Ian Yacobucci
Rio Napo

Sunset over Rio Napo – Napo Province, Ecuador

There’s no TV, cellphones, or internet in the Amazon; only satellite phones (if you’re near a lodge).  Stores here  are usually in the form of markets or a small room in a local persons house where you can get a few essentials.  Life is different in the jungle, slower, and for those who live here the Amazon presents it’s own challenges.

From all my travel experiences the Amazon is the noisiest place on earth! At night and through the early morning hours you hear a thousand and one animals and insects communicating at the same time. And the humidity, oh the humidity! In the Amazon it feels like you are never dry, between light or heavy rainfall, the heat, and the dense humid atmosphere the Amazon is a forest like none I’ve ever experienced.

It’s alive and when you kill part of it, it comes back with a vengeance and speed that is incomprehensible. Primary forest (original Amazon forest hundreds of years old) is so dense that it’s hard to imagine anyone navigating their way through it, secondary forest (abandoned farms or cut down areas that have started to grow back within the last 1oo years), and tertiary forest (where cacao and other plants are farmed and harvested in pockets within the jungle) make up the region of the Amazon where I was visiting.

Sumaco Volcano

Sumaco volcano Amazon Rainforest Napo Province, Ecuador

Napo province is a few hours south east of the Ecuador’s capital, Quito. Tena, the region’s largest city of 30 000, is about three hours away from where I was visiting with an all-boys school from Los Angeles, California. To get to the lodge and community we were staying with you had to take a 20 minute boat ride down the Rio Napo.

The Rio Napo is special because it never looks the same twice no matter where you are. Day by day it rises and falls from the highland rainfall as if breathing. Some days you’ll see an island in the middle of the river and the next it’s gone.

Along the river banks of the Amazon you’d never be able to find peoples communities, farms, or markets unless you lived along places like the Rio Napo. Walls of jungle line the riverbank as exotic colourful birds flutter from tree to tree while the turgid muddy waters of the Rio Napo flow towards the ocean fiercely, a speed that would scare even the most experienced swimmer.

Our time in this region of the Amazon was spent on the boarder of the Amazon Rainforest just past the Andes. My job during our visit was to lead a service learning trip in a community known as Mondana where the organization Free the Children was helping develop an alternative income project for the community.

Between days of building a Chosa (traditional palm leaf roof building) and exploring the region we had opportunities to see how local agriculture worked in the Amazon as well as explore some of the jungle.

Farming in the Amazon is not easy. Before you can even start planting you need to find a plot of land near a clean spring water source (for drinking) and clear the jungle as thick as butter. Once that’s done you have to fight back the jungle that is constantly trying to take back your land and watch that crops like corn don’t rot in the high humidity.

For many who farm in the Amazon, subsistence farming with small crops that are sold at local markets provides families with what they need to survive. It’s not an easy life and the work that goes into farming organically without modern technology (because petrol is expensive and not easily accessible and the high humidity destroys pretty much all metals) is hard work.

Some of what locals grow includes corn, cacao, citrus fruits, palm hearts, grubs (an Amazonian delicacy). Most communities in the region of the Amazon I was working in speak an indigenous language called Kichwa. They also speak Spanish which they learn in school.

Amazon Corn

Picking corn in the Amazon Rainforest Napo, Ecuador

Most people in Ecuador are Roman Catholic a result of the extensive evangelization by the Franciscans during the Spanish colonization of the country. Arriving on Easter weekend our group (coming from a Jesuit high school) were invited to spend the Easter Sunday mass with the community of Mondana.

During the celebration a few things stood out to me. First was the congregation, which was composed primarily of women and children from Mondana (since the men were off working far from their families). The second was that during communion (when the congregation goes up to receive the “body of Christ”) no one from the local community went up.

Later I discovered that the priest services up to 60 communities in the region and hadn’t been to Mondana in more than 3 months. This meant that parishioners could not go to confession and as a result weren’t able to receive communion as that would be a sin.

As the mass was going on I couldn’t help but attempt to put my feet in the shoes of the indigenous people who probably stood listening to the foreign sounds, and looking at deities they didn’t recognize, hundreds of years before me.

Amazon Flower

Insects on a flower Amazon Rainforest Napo Province, Ecuador

Life in the Amazon is slower; probably because it’s too hot to move fast. Yet there’s a rhythm to it, a pace that the people, plants and animals move to. For those who live in the Amazon they can tell the time by the sounds that the insects and animals make, they can find insects and plants that seem camouflaged to the naked eye, and they know how to use the jungle for everything from health to hunger.

Though my time in the Amazon was short there’s no doubt in my mind that I will one day return to explore it more deeply. To be honest, there’s probably no end to the things you can learn in the Amazon and each day brings new insights and experiences.

A friend once told me that if you look at a spot in the Amazon once you’ll see something new, look twice and you’ll see something you didn’t see the first time, look three times and you’ll find something you missed, look four times and you realize there’s no end to what you’ll see. This lesson, like the Amazon itself, will say with me forever.

Happy Travels,

Yak

 

 

Home / Travel Talk / Ian's Travel Thoughts / Is travel the answer to the 20-something crisis of existence

Is travel the answer to the 20-something crisis of existence

Updated: April 2, 2014
By: Ian Yacobucci
Making friends in the Philippines

With a traveler mindset you can make new friends anywhere :D

You did it! You did what every teacher and parent told you to do; you reached for the stars, followed your heart, and worked to achieve your dreams.

Perhaps you’re one of the top 3% of the world population who spent at least one semester going to post secondary education. If it clicked for you and you made it through, now you have a diploma, a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, or maybe even a doctorate putting you in the top 1%.

School wasn’t for you; screw it. You went right to work, apprenticed, found a job that paid twice as much as your friends who wasted their time studying things they’ll never use, and now, just like the rest of us, you’ve come to realize you’re not where you expected to be.

The reality for many 20-somethings is that they’re not as happy as they should be. Perhaps you’re the one who has a job you dislike more days than not, didn’t meet the soul mate you were supposed to marry and settle down with, realized that growing up meant debt, car insurance, rent, a mortgage, and buying more and more stuff that you don’t even use.

With all the luxuries so many of us are afforded in western countries, its amazing to think how many of us are unhappy, confused, wondering if there’s more to life, and thinking about how great it would be to just pick up leave and travel the world.

Why shouldn’t you get out there and experience life? Life wasn’t meant to be spent sitting behind a desk on a computer by day followed by the same number of hours glued to your smart phone by night.

In today’s modern world, we’re so busy that we don’t even have time to meet people; in turn creating social lives that revolve around binary interactions translated by a computer.

Which brings us all to the ultimate questions we keep asking ourselves at work, during our gruelling commutes, at dinner, all day every day, day in and day out. The questions that need you to stop making excuses. The questions that only saying “yes” will answer.

Will traveling make me happy? Will it cure the disappointment of real life? Will it change my life for the better?

Just the other day you saw a friends Facebook post that read, “loving life” with a picture of them swinging from a jungle vine into crystal clear blue water with a bunch of fun loving people who’s smiles were so big they looked like freakin’ bananas, and you wished you could be there.

The best part about being alive today, is that if you want to experience life on the road traveling the world without a care, you can. To be honest, travel probably won’t change your life in the way you expected, but that’s the beauty of if.

There’s no guarantee that if you travel life’s disappointments will be gone because life isn’t always easy. That being said, you will be a different person because you’ll learn.

You’ll learn that the world is a big place with different people, cultures, foods, and natural wonders.

You’ll learn that we as a global population have more commonalities than differences.

You’ll learn about the simplicity of life and that you don’t need more and more stuff to make you happy.

You’ll learn that sleeping under the stars is a beautiful thing that shouldn’t be scary.

You’ll learn that sharing a meal with new friends and talking about life is just as good as the craziest party you’ve ever been to.

You’ll learn to respect and understand everyone’s differences and celebrate their uniqueness.

You’ll learn that people are inherently nice and that love is all around us.

You’ll learn who you are as a person, and if you’re lucky, what you really want to do with your life.

You’ll learn how to listen; to yourself, to people, and to the world.

You’ll learn that money is important but it shouldn’t be your only priority.

You’ll learn that living a life with love, friendship, community, learning and new life experiences is worth more than any object.

You’ll learn why the saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover” exists.

You’ll learn to break down stereotypes.

You’ll learn that it’s okay to wear the same unwashed clothes for weeks a time.

You’ll learn that you can live out of a backpack comfortably, that you don’t need technology, and that just sitting somewhere can be inspiring.

You’ll learn to trust, love, and be a part of something you never knew existed; something that’s bigger than all of us.

You’ll meet new friends, new loves, new foods, new cultures, new places and new people.

And when you come home…

You’ll know who you are. You’ll know how to listen, love, and trust yourself. And most of all, you’ll know that life is a journey that’s different for everyone, and that’s a good thing.

So go out and travel, or stay home and be happy with what you have. Just stop making excuses for why life isn’t what you thought it would be, and start figuring out ways to change your perspective!

Happy Travels,

Yak

What have you learned from traveling?

 

 

Home / Videos / Video| Bourbon dippin’ & tastin’ tips Maker’s Mark Kentucky

Video| Bourbon dippin’ & tastin’ tips Maker’s Mark Kentucky

Updated: March 26, 2014
By: Ian Yacobucci

Experiencing Maker’s Mark Distillery Kentucky

After an incredible tour of my favourite Kentucky bourbon there was no better way to finish things off then dipping my own bottle of Maker’s.  Since every bottle of Maker’s Mark bourbon is hand dipped to give it the signature red wax top, I figured it wouldn’t be right to head back to Canada without one.

On our tour I met Mindy, our stellar tour guide, who took me through the dipping process before I tried it out for myself.  Not only did dipping give me appreciation for the skill and precision it takes employees to do this, it made my experience at Maker’s Mark unique and gave me a great story behind the bottle I brought home with me.

Once you’re bottles been dipped and it’s home you’re probably going to want to taste it so here’s a little advice to give you a full experience.

How to taste bourbon

Smell

Instead of breathing in through your nose use your mouth.  This will take away the strong alchohol scent and allow you to smell the nuances in the bourbon

Taking your first sip

1. Make sure the bourbon touches your whole tongue so you can truly appreciate the full flavour of the spirit
2. Wait three second
3. Swallow
4. Wait two seconds
5. Breathe in slowly
6. Repeat

Home / North America / USA / Bourbon virgin no more thanks Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar

Bourbon virgin no more thanks Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar

Updated: March 19, 2014
By: Ian Yacobucci
OKBB

Nothing but smiles at the Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar in Covington, Kentucky…liquid gold u’ll do that to ya

Let me first start off by saying that before my visit to Cincinnati, I knew nothing about the glorious liquid gold drink that is better known as bourbon.  As a matter of fact, I was a bourbon virgin.

Arriving in Cincinnati after a several hour drive to visit with fellow travel blogger, and self-proclaimed bourbon aficionado the Shamelss Traveler, there was only one place to go.

And so, shortly after introductions and a tour of his place it was time to venture into the heart of Cincinnati. First stop, Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar in Covington, Kentucky.

If you’re wondering how the heck I ended up in Kentucky when I was heading to downtown Cincinnati let me shoot a little geography your way. Downtown Cincinnati is right on the northern border of Kentucky, and located just across the river from Covington, where you’ll find the greatest bourbon bar in the world!

Rebel Yell

Great bourbon even better price at the Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar in Covinton, Kentucky

Bourbon, which I got to know as liquid gold, is Kentucky’s greatest export (sitting just in front of Abraham Lincoln and George Clooney). If you’re new to bourbon, like me, or a bourbon connoisseur visiting the Cincinnati area your first stop needs to be the Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar; especially after a long drive.

More than a bar, OKBB is an experience. With hundreds of bourbon whiskies to choose from, OKBB’s staff are experts when it comes to bourbon and offers something for everyone.

Sitting at the bar, I met whisky expert Tayor Renfroe who introduced himself with the classic bartender greeting of, “what can I get you guys”.

With little to no knowledge about bourbon I had no idea what to order, so I told him I came all the way from Canada just to be here; so began my introduction to the wonderful world of bourbon.

As soon as he heard I was from Canada, and uninitiated when it comes to bourbon tasting, he decided to bring me on a bourbon journey back through time, a journey that would change my pallet and preferred spirit forever.

Taylor took me on what he called a history of bourbon tasting tour where he specially selected several bourbons to outline the spirits rich history in America. With only a few samples from their massive whisky collection he taught me how to taste bourbon as he intertwined its rich history from pure corn whisky to the best American bourbon of 2013.

OKBB selection

History of bourbon tasting tour at the Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar in Covington, Kentucky

Not only that, but he explained what made each type of bourbon unique while helping me find what I liked best by providing a wide range of whiskies to taste.  Lucky for me, our tour ended with a Four Roses 2013 limited edition single barrel bourbon that was outstanding (a sold out everywhere bourbon that I was ecstatic to get a chance to try).

Even better was the price thanks to my buddy Shameless who treated this canuck to a night out (in all honesty the price was very reasonable and I can’t wait to go back again).

By the end of the tour I was hooked and ready to venture deeper into bourbon country. Thanks to Taylor and the OKBB, I was armed with the basics of bourbon know how, and got to test my newly honed taste buds on the Kentucky bourbon trail.  So next time you’re there, say “hi” from Borderless Travels, and have a drink for me ;)

Happy tasting,

Yak

Visit the Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar on Facebook
Call at (859) 581-1777 or have a drink @ 629 Main St. Covington ky 41011

 

Home / North America / USA / Highlights of San Francisco in a day

Highlights of San Francisco in a day

Updated: March 17, 2014
By: Ian Yacobucci
San Francisco Skyline

San Francisco skyline taken from Vista Point across from the Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco, California

As the Bay Bridge unfolded before me, its metallic suspenders twisting and turning in the sky like the folding’s of a fresh white bed sheet, I had trouble keeping my eyes on the road. With the shimmering blue San Francisco bay to the right, a bright sunny sky above, the city revealed itself before me as if I was unwrapping a candy that I’d been waiting for all day.

I was mesmerized by San Francisco’s beauty, as the white facades of the buildings dotting the hillsides came into view like shiny specs of sand on an endless beach. Seeing the city one begins to understand why authors like Jack Kerouac and Hunter S.Thompson lived it, loved it, wrote about it, and made the city part of their lives. It’s because there’s something special about San Francisco that grabs hold of you, spoils you, and brings the realization that this will not be the last time you visit.

San Fran Cable Car

San Francisco cable car

“I’m going to San Francisco,” I said to my parents only a few weeks before my flight touched down in neighbouring Oakland. I was visiting for a job interview, and decided to make a short trip of it. San Francisco was the first stop, but I only had a short time there since my mom, who was joining me on the trip, wanted to drive the Pacific Coast Highway down to San Diego before flying home. This meant that I had to see what I could of San Francisco in a day.

First stop, North America’s oldest China Town. This twenty block community of authentic Chinese shops, restaurants, supermarkets and places of worship is located right in the heart of downtown San Francisco and a great place for photography. I went down for some authentic Chinese food and would recommend the same,  Just make sure you research restaurants before you go, as there is a lot of choice and not everywhere is great.

Visiting San Francisco wouldn’t be complete without a ride the world’s only manually operated cable car from Union Square to Fisherman’s Wharf. Hop on and enjoy the ride because the cable car will take you through the winding hilly streets of San Francisco, which offers some spectacular views of the city. I had my camera at the ready and enjoyed the ride by chatting with the incredibly knowledgeable operators.

When you arrive at Fisherman’s Wharf take some time to explore Aquatic Cove (small beach area and pier) just down the way from where the cable car drops you off. If you walk down the pier you can capture a great picture of Alcatraz.  Next to Aquatic Cove I also hiked up Black Point to Fort Mason Meadow, which is a spectacular park.

Alcatraz

View of Alcatraz from Aquatic cove near Fisherman Warf in San Francisco, California

If you love to walk, like my mom and I, Fisherman’s Warf is the perfect place to speed through since it’s worth seeing but super touristy. After Fisherman’s Warf you can continue on to Pier 39 where you’ll get to see the Elephant Seals as they lounge and bark on the floating docks in the pier. Next to where the seals hang is a concourse filled with restaurants and shops, but I’d recommend heading to the sailboat filled docks on the East side of Pier 39, where you’ll get a great view of the Bay Bridge, the San Francisco Bay and Berkeley.

After Fisherman’s Warf continuing to walk down the Embarcadero is great and I’d highly recommend stopping at Pier 23 Cafe for a pint, live music, and some grub. The local atmosphere is really laid-back and the food is fantastic (I had the happy hour Oysters). It was by far my favourite restaurant on the Embarcadero and wasn’t very expensive.

Of course, a trip to San Francisco wouldn’t be complete without a drive across the Golden Gate Bridge. For the best photos of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge visit the Marin Headlands just up the way from Conzelman Rd. If you’re a photographer, you won’t want to miss this place at night! You should also go to Vista Point, which is easy to access from the bridge and has a great view of both San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.

In the end, I only scratched the surface of San Francisco, but my time there was well spent. There was certainly plenty more to see and do, but I felt like what I did experience gave me a good perspective of why San Francisco is one of America’s most iconic cities and a place that deserves to be on every travelers list.

What’s your highlight of San Francisco?

Happy travels,

Yak

For more information on everything San Francisco check out San Francisco travel’s official website