Tips for Visiting Sedona, Arizona


Guest Post By: Margie Miklas
Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

Famous for its red rock formations and natural beauty, Sedona is a popular travel destination in the southwest United States, with over four million tourists each year.  Known world-wide as a spiritual and natural healing center, Sedona attracts tourists throughout the year. Its many art galleries, boutique shops, fine restaurants, wineries, and film festivals provide plenty to do when visiting this Arizona city.

Oak Creek Canyon Sedona, ArizonaKnown as "Red Rock Country," Sedona is surrounded by mountains of stunning red-rock.  Just north of the city is beautiful Oak Creek Canyon, a river gorge known for its picturesque scenery. Second to the Grand Canyon, the Sedona-Oak Creek canyon area is the most visited destination in Arizona.

Oak Creek CanyonSlide Rock, Sedona Arizona

The steep walls of red rock make Oak Creek Canyon a gorgeous site to enjoy just while driving the corridor between Sedona and Flagstaff. Numerous hiking trails and campsites exist along the way, as well as other recreational opportunities. One of the most fun activities for people of all ages is Slide Rock, a natural water slide in Slide Rock State Park.  Swimming is available here as well for those not so adventurous. Very popular on weekends during the summer, if you do not arrive early, you may have to wait for a parking spot.

Spiritual Mecca and Natural Healing

The natural beauty here inspires many to seek   holistic healing and therapy here. Considered to be the new age and metaphysical center of the southwest, Sedona draws thousands of tourists each year to experience inner tranquility through meditation, retreat, and other encounters. Since 1987, Sedona became known for inner healing and spirituality.  One reason for this is the belief that vortexes exist here. Vortexes are spiritual locations permeated with energy which facilitate prayers, mediation and healing.

Art Galleries, Wineries, Shopping, and more

Art is a main focus in Sedona and over forty art galleries and art studios exist in this city of just 10,000 residents. To the south and southwest of Sedona, in the Verde Valley, nine or ten wineries are located in the Arizona Wine Trail, and many offer tours and wine tastings. Some of the finest restaurants and boutiques are located here, and the Native American influence is felt with the selection of jewelry, sand paintings, candles, and more. To shop and in this upscale area is enjoyable. I had some of the best Italian food from a restaurant which, unfortunately, no longer is here. The chef was even kind enough to e-mail me his special recipe for meatballs.

Each year at the end of February Sedona hosts a nine-day-long international film festival, with a reputation as "The Fest to Impress." Always a big hit, the Sedona International Film Festival already is taking ticket orders for the 2014 event, which will be its 20 year anniversary.

I have been to Sedona several times and look forward to a return visit. I highly recommend Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon as a must-see on your next trip west.

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

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Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

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Blowing Rocks Beach in Hobe Sound, Florida

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

Florida is known for its beautiful beaches and one of the best is Blowing Rocks Beach in Hobe Sound. I honestly never knew that Florida had beaches with giant rocks like these. After living on Florida's east coast for more than twelve years I can't believe that that I didn't know this beach existed.

Located on Jupiter Island along AIA, Blowing Rocks Beach is reached through Blowing Rocks Preserve, operated by the Nature Conservancy. This beach was named because of the rocky shoreline consisting of Anastasia limestone. It is the largest on the east coast and actually looks live lava rock only the color is brown. Anastasia limestone is a type of sedimentary rock that was likely formed in the Pleistocene Age, approximately 120,000 years ago.

Surf and lighting Hope Sound FloridaAlthough this type of rock extends from St. Augustine to Boca Raton, the amount at Blowing Rocks is the largest on the entire Atlantic coastline. What is so unusual about it is the fact that usually this type of rock appears underwater or underground rather than on land. This rock is also known as coquina, named for the Spanish word for cockleshell. If you look at the rocks closely you can see fragments of shells, coral, and small fossils.

Cave Rock Hope Sound FloridaThe beach here is particularly magnificent during high tide when waves crashing against these rocks can cause the surf to rise up to fifty feet heights in the air. A friend had recommended that I go at high tide and I am so glad I stayed for it and was able to witness first had these incredible sights. I even got wet trying to set up my tripod in just the right spot. I will definitely be back here especially when the winds are even stronger and the tides even higher.

Access is though a path at the Blowing Rocks preserve where there are no more than twenty parking spots. A request for a $2 fee by the honor system is listed on a sign indicating to deposit the fee inside a metal tube. The preserve is open from 9-4:30 at which time an attendant comes and closes the access to the beach.

I loved being there and loved the opportunity to capture some of the beauty of nature with my camera. Walking on the rocks can be treacherous and there areas where you do not have to actually go on the rocks. To get to where I wanted to be though I was on the rocks and you can assured I was treading very carefully.

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

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A Day At Avalon Beach on Florida’s Treasure Coast

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

The water is that magnificent shade of turquoise green, the waves are rolling in one after the other, and the wind is so strong it knocked down my beach umbrella twice. I love the beach and today I am at Avalon State Park on North Hutchinson Island, Florida along Florida's Treasure Coast This beautiful place has over a mile of undeveloped natural beach.

The soft light brown sand feels good on my toes and the beach here is wide even at high tide.    A few feet higher than the beach high on a ledge above me, the sea oats are blowing in the wind. Not many people are here today although the temperature is 78 degrees and the sun is shining without a cloud anywhere on the horizon.  A couple of fishermen are here and a few groups of senior citizens who are either retired or on vacation. One is using crutches and another has one of those beach wheelchairs with the large inflatable grey wheels.Avalon Beach Hutchison Island, Florida

I could stay here all day listening to the waves with my eyes closed and feeling totally relaxed. This is the next thing to Paradise and I am fortunate enough to live here, only about a half hour away.

Avalon Beach Hutchison Island, FloridaThe beach at Avalon State Park is part of Florida's state park system, so there is a fee to park here in one of the forty parking spaces and use the beach. It goes by the honor system according to a posted sign on a metal post. The sign indicates to take a blue envelope from inside this metal "station" and insert $2, then tear off the section designated to hang from the rearview mirror of your car. The envelope then gets deposited into a slot in this station.

Covered Shade Area Avolon Beach Hutchison Island, FloridaNext to the parking lot is a covered pavilion and under it are four picnic tables. Two charcoal grills are also here. Restroom facilities are located at the other end of the parking lot, and although there is no lifeguard here today, a red flag is posted warning of strong surf. Avalon State Park in Fort Pierce is located in St Lucie County Florida on Florida's scenic Highway A1A, four miles north of the north causeway.

How nice this is in the second week of February when I know that the northern part of the country is dealing with snow and cold temperatures. Since I grew up in Ohio I understand only too well about northern winters. I'll take this Florida beach any day of the year.

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

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Dolphin Research Center in the Florida Keys


Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

I had no idea just how much I would enjoy the Dolphin Research Center on Grassy Key, just  east of Marathon in the Florida Keys until a recent visit. I spent an entire day there and cannot wait to return.  What a cool place this is.This educational and entertaining attraction is definitely worth the $25 admission fee.

The Dolphin Research Center  is a not-for-profit education and research center in the Florida Keys. It is the home of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions. Seventeen of the twenty-five dolphins were born at the center and two are rescue dolphins, one from the Gulf oil spill. Besides providing a home to these animals, the DRC assists marine mammals in distress including manatees.

Dolphin Research Center Florida KeysOne of the prime areas of focus at the DRC is research and it is ongoing, and a number of the studies have been published in professional journals. Cognitive and behavioral research of the dolphins is the primary type of research conducted here, and it is done continually, even with visitors present. While I was there I saw three staff members documenting observations of a baby dolphin who had just been born five weeks previously. They were noting behaviors of the baby dolphin as she swam with her mother and the nanny dolphin, a common situation.

Dolphin performing, Dolphin Research Center, Florida KeysThere are various programs if you want to really get involved with the dolphins. There is the Swim with the Dolphins program and  several different interactive Dolphin Encounter program, depending on your interests.

What struck me the most while spending the day watching the various interactive presentations with the dolphins and their trainers was the attitude of every single staff person working there.  All of them were genuinely happy and they treated the dolphins as well as the visitors with a level of respect that is seldom seen. From the CEO down the ladder, everyone was knowledgeable and enthusiastic about what they do. I had the opportunity to meet Mandy Rodriguez, the CEO who has worked here forever according to him. Not only was he down to earth but he spent time to talk with my group and have a conversation. Peggy McGill, VP of Finance and Administration also was most cordial, informative, and very pleasant.

Dolphin Research Center Manatee rescue vehicle, Florida KeysI learned so much that day about dolphins and their abilities and their intelligence. The day was not just fun but very educational as I went from lagoon to lagoon to see the different things going on. The center has paid staff and quite a number of volunteers, about 100 people in all, and they truly love working with these animals.

I would highly recommend a visit to this special place anytime you are going to the Keys. I can't wait to get back there and spend another day learning about the dolphins. They are truly amazing animals and this is truly an amazing place.

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

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Spend The Day At Florida’s Navy Seal Museum


Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

If you are looking to spend a few hours at a cool museum, don't miss the Navy Seal Museum in Fort Pierce, Florida. Located at the south end of North Hutchinson Island on A1A, the Navy Seal Museum is a place where you can truly enjoy yourself for several hours. Not only will you be entertained and educated at the same time, but you will leave with a tremendous sense of pride in America.

I have visited the museum twice, and each time I learned so much that I didn't know about the Navy seals. This is one museum that is definitely worth more than the $8 price of admission. Volunteers staff the museum, and many of them are previous military men and women, and some are even former Navy Seals.

Navy Seal Museum, Fort Pierce, FloridaWhat I was so intrigued to see was the actual lifeboat from the Maersk Alabama. This is the lifeboat that was hijacked in 2009 by Somali pirates. Three of the pirates held the captain hostage for four days on this lifeboat until Navy Seals killed all of them and freed the captain. It was chilling to actually see the bullet hole in the side of the lifeboat.

Maersk Alabama lifeboat Navy Seal Museum, Fort Pierce, FloridaThe museum features numerous displays and exhibits, videos and movies. The weapons collection alone is very interesting even to someone like me who knows nothing about guns.  Videos run on various screens giving the visitor an inside look at some of the training involved in becoming a Navy Seal. Various collections of uniforms and equipment from over the years are displayed according to different eras.

Navy Seal Museum outside exhibits Fort Pierce, FloridaThe Navy Seal Museum is the only museum in the world which is dedicated exclusively to the preservation of the Navy Seals and their predecessors, the “elite warrior of Naval Special Warfare.”  The ground where the building is located was the original training grounds for the Navy Frogmen during the years 1943-1945. The U.S. Navy's Underwater Demolition Team, formed in 1943, was actually the predecessor to the Seals, which were not formed until 1962.  From 1945 through 2005, about 48,000 men went through UDT and Seal training, but only 8,000 became UDTs and Seals.

Every November in celebration of Veterans Day the Navy Seal Museum has a three day celebration called the Muster, where they feature guest speakers, a 5K run, live music and food, aerial demonstrations, and other fun activities for the entire family.

Hours of the museum are:

Tuesday Saturday 10-4
Sunday 12-4

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

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Enjoy the Beach at Honeymoon Island State Park in Florida


Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

Honeymoon Island is one of my favorite beaches in Florida. When I lived on the Florida Sun Coast this was the closest beach to my house, maybe about a ten or fifteen minute drive. I know how lucky can one be right? Located in northern Pinellas County at the far west end of the Dunedin Causeway, Honeymoon Island remains a pristine paradise. Once known as Hog Island, this  is one of a handful of Florida’s undeveloped barrier islands, most commonly known for its natural beauty and preservation of nature. With over 2,800 acres and four miles of shoreline, Honeymoon Island always ranks at or near the top as Florida’s most visited state park.

Fishing at Honeymoon Island Beach, Florida

History of Honeymoon Island

This island officially became part of the Florida state park system in 1982 and was named Honeymoon Island State Park. The story surrounding its name is quite interesting. In 1939, a New York developer named Clinton Washburn bought the island for only $30,000. He proceeded to built 50 palm-thatched bungalows, and in conjunction with Life magazine organized a contest for newlyweds. The winning prize was a two-week “honeymoon” in the bungalows, and that is how the island was named.

The Beach

For beach lovers like me, the main beach area is designated for swimming, and is equipped with bathhouses and restroom facilities. The beach can be rocky at times, but is hardly ever crowded, which makes it so nice.   The south section of the beach has been designated as a pet-friendly beach and aptly named Doggie Beach by the locals. All dogs must be on a six-foot leash at all times and in the parking lot, there is a special area to bathe your animals, a watering hole, and of course a cleanup bag dispenser. The northern end of the beach is ideal for walking and shell collecting, and at low tide, you can walk out onto a sand bar, where I have frequently found sand dollars during the late summer months. A more remote section of the beach has also been an attractive spot for nude sunbathers.

Honeymoon Island from a boat, FloridaNature Trails

The park allows visitors an opportunity to commune with wildlife, as it has numerous hiking and nature trails. Don't miss the new nature center with   exhibits on ecology and educational interactive displays.


Fishermen enjoy the southern end of the island, where they typically catch snook, redfish, and pompano. Nature lovers can experience amazing sights from an elevated observation deck, and there is a nature trail with nearby picnic pavilions and grills.  

Snack Bar

There is even a small cafe, known as Café Honeymoon, which features snacks, beverages, and suntan lotions. You can rent water sports equipment such as   kayaks, and umbrellas and beach chairs.

The park entrance fee is $8 per vehicle for up to eight people. It's a great beach to spend a day on Florida's Gulf Coast.

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

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Spend a Day in Historic Ybor City in Tampa


Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

Ybor City is the historic area of Tampa, comprised of Cubans, Spanish and Sicilians, and they still hand roll cigars there. There is no place quite like this anywhere and is one of Tampa's most popular tourist areas. It's definitely the place to be for night life  especially for the young crowd, but during the day there is plenty to see and do too.

On a recent visit to see my friends in Tampa we spent a day in Ybor City and I even talked to the few of the old cigar makers as they sat in their storefront windows rolling the tobacco leaves.  Not many of them are left compared with the days when cigar manufacturing in Tampa was a thriving business.

Columbia Restaurant Ybor City, Tampa, FloridaIn the fourteen years that I worked in Tampa, I had never eaten at the Columbia Restaurant, which is Florida’s oldest restaurant, dating back to 1905.This family owned and operated restaurant   is  also the world’s largest Spanish restaurant. My friends and I had a fantastic lunch there with authentic Cuban bread, plaintain chips and garbanzo bean soup. Everything was excellent and I was glad I suggested going to Ybor City for the day.Ybor City Cigar shop, Tampa, Florida

Florida is very casual and even in the evenings most restaurant patrons dress in capris and flip flops, sometimes even shorts. The Columbia takes pride in everything it does and the waiters are dressed in white jackets or tuxes, even for lunch. With fifteen different dining rooms and an inventory of 50,000 bottles of wine, the Columbia exudes old world charm and is synonymous with Ybor City.

Cigar Maker, Ybor City, Tampa, FloridaBrowsing around the streets was fun, checking out the hookah bars and specialty shops along 7th Avenue. My favorite part of street shopping though was seeing the cigar makers hand rolling cigars, and being able to stand next to them and observe this dying art. I was fascinated and they were pleased for the attention.

Cigar manufacturing used to be the main industry in Tampa until the depression, after which demand for hand rolled cigars decreased and machine made cigars took over. Today only a few cigar shops still operate in Ybor City, and who knows how long these will last? If you want to have an opportunity to see this first hand, head to Tampa and spend a day in Ybor City. If you still have some energy after that, check out the night life while you are there. It can be pretty crazy!

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

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Visiting Epcot Center’s France Pavilion

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

Epcot Center in Walt Disney World is huge and you really need more than a day to see all of it. It is divided into two sections, the World showcase and Future World. The World Showcase features pavilions from different countries and on a recent day trip there I enjoyed the France Pavilion. As with all the country pavilions, Disney makes sure that everything is very authentic in representing the country and France is no exception.

The imposing Eiffel Tower makes you think you might be in Paris and Disney used the original blueprints to make a structure to one tenth the size. It is impressive to say the least. As I approached the entrance to France I was amused with a live show of two mimes and spent about twenty minutes being entertained by them.  Not only were they mimes but they were comedians as well as gymnasts and acrobats. Billed as Serveur Amusant, these two were hilarious and fun for all ages.

Epcot France Pavilion Mimes Walt Disney WorldOne of my favorite features here is inside a theater, where an eighteen minute film, Impressions de France, is presented on five screens in 220 degrees resembling 360 Circle-Vision. With aerial views of scenes from all over this beautiful country I felt as though I were flying over the cliffs of Normandy and castles in the Dordogne Valley. The film is a beautiful travelogue of the best places in France. Although it is the same film since Epcot opened 30 years ago I enjoyed it immensely, especially since I have recently been to France.Epcot France Pavilion French Restaurant Walt Disney World

The young people working here at the   France Pavilion are friendly and speak fluent French naturally. I couldn't help feel as though I were in France while I was here, although the ice in the drinks quickly gives it away that this is America and not Europe.

Of course the outdoor streets lead to shops with authentic French wines, soaps, and naturally pastries and breads. The lines in the boulangerie and patisserie are never short but worth the wait. I couldn't leave there without sampling a croissant! At the Plume et Palette French perfumes with names like Givenchy, House of Guerlain, and Chanel create pleasant scents for those strolling inside.

Epcot France Pavilion Pastry and Bread shops Walt Disney World

The France Pavilion just opened a new restaurant, Monsieur Paul which is upscale but a little less formal than the former Bistro de Paris, which it replaces. Les Chefs de France, a family-friendly restaurant is patterned after a Parisian brasserie, and has been here since the beginning. The bakery is expanding and will   soon be opening in its new form, Boulangerie Patisserie Les Halles, in January 2013. The renovation includes new ovens and an additional 90 seats were added to accommodate the demand for these delicious sweet treats.


Don't miss the France Pavilion on your next visit to Epcot Center at Walt Disney World.

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

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The Cost of Living in Paradise

Guest Post: Ruth Elayne Kongaika

There is so much to do and see in Hawaii. Hiking, swimming, golfing, cruising and gardening are just a few things that can be done almost year round. Family and friends visit as often as they can to escape icy winters in the mainland. There are mainly two seasons in Hawaii, the dry season and the wet season.

Beautiful scenery, temperate weather, and beaches abound! Temperatures rarely go below 70 degrees Farenheit. Living in Paradise definitely has some perks but, unfortunately comes with some extra costs. Hawaii is a group of islands in the middle of the huge Pacific Ocean.  Because of the distance from exporters, extra shipping costs are attached to groceries and most items ordered online or brought in from Asia or the mainland United States. Milk is currently nearly $5.00 a gallon since it is imported.Square foot garden in Hawaii Copyright Ruth Elayne Kongaika

Median home prices in Hawaii are half a million for a very basic house plan. The cost of housing can be two or three times as much as on the mainland. It is also usually smaller than what most people on the mainland are used to. Monthly rental costs for a studio only is around $1,000 per month. Rentals with bedrooms and amenities are usually $1,500 plus monthly.

The moist salty air of the islands is perfect for rusting just about everything. Vehicles and appliances seem to suffer the most. Also, mold and mildew can form quite easily especially in places where it is warm and moist like the kitchen and bathrooms. This can be harmful to your health if the mold is allowed to grow. It takes extra effort and chemicals to keep this under control. All of this can up to extra costs for appliances, vehicles and maintenance.

Since the weather in Hawaii is fairly good all year round, the insects and other pests love Hawaii too. To avoid infestations by termites, cockroaches, mosquitoes and other creatures, frequent treatments are required. It is less expensive to control invaders than to get rid of them.Kids playing at Hukilau Beach on the North Shore Copyright Ruth Elayne Kongaika

Food items go bad quicker in Hawaii.  They must be stored inside plastic air tight containers. If the package is left open for chips, cereal or other snacks, the crispness will not last. Electricity needed to run air conditioners, appliances and technology can be very costly. The average charge per kilowatt hour is 30 cents. During the hotter summer months, electricity bills rise as people try to keep cool with fans or air conditioners. Hot showers are a luxury for some. Many homes have installed solar panels to help solve this problem. Wind farms are popping up around the Hawaiian Islands.

Traffic on the island of Oahu can become very frustrating, especially close to Honolulu. There is only one main road going to the North Shore of Oahu, which can also be totally cut off if there is an accident or an electricity pole falls down on the road. If there are surf competitions at Pipeline or Waimea, traffic can come to a halt as drivers gawk at the huge waves. Gasoline is around $4.00 a gallon (2013).

Waves on the North Shore of Oahu Copyright Ruth Elayne Kongaika.jpgIt is wonderful to have sandy beaches and palm trees close by, but living in Paradise does come with increased cost. Prices in Hawaii are some of the highest in the nation.  Fortunately, there are WalMarts, Costco and Sam's Clubs where deals can be found. Despite the cons of living in a Hawaiian paradise, many people make daily sacrifices to stay here.


Ruth Elayne Kongaika was raised in the mainland, USA, and has been traveling in the South Pacific for the past forty years. She tries to capture the beauty of the islands through her photography, painting and writing. She has a blog which shares some of her art and favorite subjects at:



The Greatest Writers Who Called San Francisco Home

Jack Kerouac Sna FranciscoFrom the infamous 1906 earthquake and the Golden Gate Bridge to Alcatraz and exorbitant real estate prices, San Francisco is well-known for several fascinating reasons. What you might not realize is that many of the greatest 20th century writers have drawn inspiration from what is arguably the most beautiful city on the West Coast. Here is a handful of some the most prominent scribes to have honed their craft in San Francisco.

Jack Kerouac

Born Jean-Louis Kerouac on March 12, 1922, Jack Kerouac is probably the most influential poet/novelist to emerge from the Beat Generation. The father of spontaneous writing, Kerouac wrote about subjects many others in his generation wouldn't dare discuss, including drugs, poverty and Catholicism. His works included “The Dharma Burns,” “Mexico City Blues,” “Desolation Angels” and “On the Road.” Kerouac was born in Massachusetts, although he spent a large portion of his working life in the North Beach area of San Francisco. While there, look for Jack Kerouac Alley — a one-way stretch of road that was once a regular hangout for Kerouac and his friends during his many trips to the area.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Dubbed the inaugural “Poet Laureate of California” and founder of the famous City Lights Bookstore, Lawrence Ferlinghetti is a name many in the literary world often associate with San Francisco. Born in Yonkers, New York, in 1919, Ferlinghetti eventually made his way to the Bay Area in 1951. His first few years in the city were spent teaching French and penning now-famous critiques of artists and painters in the San Francisco area. In 1953, he opened the landmark City Lights Bookstore, which later became a publishing company that exposed the masses to some of California's most famous poets and authors, including Allen Ginsberg. Ferlinghetti's most famous work “A Coney Island of the Mind” was published in 1974 and has since been translated into nine languages.

Hunter S. Thompson

Best known for his novels and pieces published in Rolling Stone, Hunter S. Thompson was the granddaddy of the 1960s California counterculture and the creator of a writing style affectionately dubbed “gonzo” journalism. Born Hunter Stockton Thompson on July 18, 1937, in Louisville, Kentucky, Thompson led a typical suburban, middle-class existence during his adolescent years. After a short stint in jail and a brief career in the United States Air Force, Thompson began travelling extensively across the United States. San Francisco's burgeoning subculture became a favourite topic of Thompson’s, and eventually the writings evolved into some of his greatest works like “Hell’s Angels” and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream.”

Amy Tan

Well known for her best-selling novel, “The Joy Luck Club,” Amy Tan is a Chinese-American author who was born and raised in Oakland, California. The natural struggles and complexities of mother/daughter relationships is a major theme in many of Tan's works, including “The Joy Luck Club,” which is set in San Francisco. Today, Tan is still living in the Bay Area and spends most of her time touring, writing and playing in the Rock Bottom Remainders alongside Stephen King, Dave Barry and Mitch Albom.

Planning a Literary Tour of San Francisco

There are a handful of formal literary tours available in San Francisco, several of which will guide you through a few of the aforementioned authors’ residences and former haunts. If you're planning to sign up for a walking tour, begin by researching the company offering the experience, including pricing, availability and the itinerary. Above all else, remember to wear a comfortable pair of shoes and bring along an umbrella and plenty of water before attempting to brave San Francisco's notoriously inclement weather and treacherously steep hills.

You've enjoyed your literary tour of San Francisco but aren't sure if you can afford to lodge in such an expensive city. Luckily, there are a variety of San Francisco hotels to choose from that won’t break the bank. You might even stay in the same room occupied by Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti or any of the other famous writers who passed through the city.

Image from Flickr’s Creative Commons

About the Author: Brian Short is a guest blogger and established poet from Montreal. He's currently residing in San Francisco and working on his sixth collection of poems dedicated to the Bay Area.

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