Island of The Blue Dolphin

  So there is the children’s novel being read in 4th grade now.  It’s Island of the Blue Dolphin written by Scott O’Dell and first published back in 1960.  It’s a timeless story about a young girl who was stranded on an island and had to fend for herself alone for 18 years.  It’s based on the true story of Juana Maria, a Native American, who was left behind on San Nicholas Island off the coast of Southern California in 1835. The young girl, Karana in the novel, was only 12 when she was left by her people who sailed to…

Cooking at the Getty Villa

Kongo headed to the Getty Villa on the Malibu coast on Friday to dine with the gods.  No really.  He attended a culinary workshop titled “Dining with the Gods” based on a real menu that would have been served up at a villa on the shores of the Gulf of Naples early in the first century.  The Getty Villa is inspired by the floor plan of the Villa dei Papyri owned by Lucius Calpurnius Pico Caesoninus.  Getty’s villa was built to house Mr. Getty’s extensive collections of ancient Roman artifacts.  The original villa, now partially excavated by archeologists, sat about halfway…

Old Los Angeles

In downtown Los Angeles, not far from the towering skyscrapers and iconic city administration building is a small, out of the way pocket of Old Mexico known as Olivera Street.  If you’re running short of curios for your next Cinco de Mayo party or just need to stock up on Día de Muertos costumes, you need to head to Olivera Street.  It’s also a wonderful excursion and opportunity to learn about the history of this behemoth city on the West Coast.

European River Cruise Basics

If you’re of a certain age and watch TV you have seen plenty of commercials about river cruising.  Long boats ply navigable rivers all over Europe.  Some companies are planning cruise itineraries on U.S. rivers too.  Like all travel options there are pros and cons.  This post examines Kongo’s take on river cruising in Europe.