Gold Digging Monkey

Kongo loves living in the Golden State.  There’s always a lot to see and do just about anywhere you visit here. Over this Memorial Day weekend he was in the Sacramento area and decided to explore the origin of the “gold” in the Golden State. It was all pretty much of an accident and involved an unlucky man named James Marshall. You might think the man who sparked the California Gold Rush would be anything but unlucky but Marshall managed to blow just about every opportunity he ever had. He was a carpenter and wheelwright who landed in California in…

A Day in Kyoto

There are 1,600 temples in Kyoto and the monkey was doing his best to see some of them. After mooring in the port city of Kobe, Kongo climbed aboard the bullet train (Shinkansen), the  for a quick ride to Kyoto. Bullet trains travel at speeds up to 200 mph and they are smooth, quiet, really cool. There are even airline-like stewardesses to keep you nourished while you zip along. The stations at Kobe and Kyoto are filled with teeming throngs of travelers, groups of school children headed out on field trips, and businessmen and women heading to important meetings further down…

Where the Sun Sets: Morocco Travel

Kongo recently finished a 10-day visit to Morocco. If this country is on your bucket list it might be worthwhile to read on.  Kongo will clue you in on his latest advice for visiting this magical country. Morocco is known as the place where the sun sets.  It’s the west.  In ancient times Morocco was literally the end of the world.  The Romans called it Mauretania and they had a thriving colony here until the middle of the second century.  Before that were the Berber tribes and they’re still here.  Portuguese and Spanish left their influence in the Age of Exploration…

Magical Marrakech: Morocco Travel

Mysterious medinas, magnificent mosques, palaces and squalor, snake charmers and water men.  Marrakech is a magical place that blends incredible sights, sounds, smells, and feelings. It’s sensory overload for western monkeys like Kongo. You have to go there. The monkey spent two days in Marrakech.  It should have been longer.  Actually the monkey succumbed to a bad cold (still recovering) on the second day so he needed a do-over but he saw quite a bit on the day he was healthy. Marrakech is one of the imperial cities of Morocco and was founded sometime in the 10th century.  It’s the…

Casablanca, Morocco

The monkey arrived in Casablanca this afternoon after a long non-stop flight from LAX to Paris with another connecting flight down to the Casablanca airport in Morocco.  Mrs. Kongo is dragging a bit even ensconced in the beautiful Four Seasons Hotel right on the Atlantic Ocean.  Kongo joins nine other intrepid travelers for a ten-day tour of Morocco where he will be traveling around the country, exploring mountain ranges, camping in the Sahara desert, and nosing around lots of medinas, oases, and souqs.  Of course it is Ramadan season so there is that and Betty, our tour organizer, put us…

A Visit with the Gipper

Today Kongo hauled himself over to Simi Valley (about ten miles from his treehouse) to finally see the Gipper.  That would be Ronald Reagan and his presidential library set on the top of a high hill overlooking the valley.  This was not a political visit.  Mrs. Kongo’s sister was visiting over the long weekend and it was on her bucket list.  Kongo is pretty much a democrat but that’s obviously not working out too well at the moment so, what the heck, might as well relive some of the glory years of the 1980s.  Kongo was a lot younger then,…

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.