Entries by ArtasArtifact

Wanaka, It’s Where I Want to Be

Full disclosure. I am writing this while sipping a Ristretto cappuccino from Rust coffee shop next door to my local public library on a cloudy, blustery day in Portland OR. So, while I’ll “be” in New Zealand as I write, I’ll have to imagine this cappuccino is that amazing flat white I had while watching […]

Cruising down the West Coast Highway

As I write this, it’s Saturday in the Western Hemisphere, which means it’s Sunday in New Zealand, which in houses around the world means it’s Pancake Day. So today, I bring you, Pancake Rocks (oh, and Hokitika). Continuing our lack of synchronization with the good weather, we pulled out of Little Kaiteriteri on a full-sun, […]

Crafty Nelson

Aspects of New Zealand I will remember the most clearly and for the longest time will likely be first the astounding natural beauty of the islands and second the remarkable (seemingly) genuine kindness of its people. A key purpose of this trip was to seek out remarkable products made by remarkable people. New Zealand has […]

Oh My, Rock Oysters

As of the last post, Jeff and I had arrived in Auckland after a beautiful train trip up the center of the North Island. In one of those rare moments of great timing, our late arrival by train (given the electrical problems) resulted in an upgrade to a club level room, so we got to […]

Zipping through North Island, New Zealand

New Zealand, on fantasy destination list since before Sir Peter Jackson demonstrated to the world that he knew exactly where on this earth JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings could be found (but to be honest, those movies sealed the deal on just how magical these islands are) (and yes, I believe the New Zealand […]

Simply Singapore

More of a stopover than a full destination, nevertheless visiting Singapore was a much-anticipated destination for me. For years I’ve had in mind wanting to see one of the rapidly growing, mega Asian cities. Perhaps spurred by movies like Blade Runner along with all the sci fi and apocalyptic fiction I’ve read of late. Not […]

A Little Bit of Luxury

Several years ago I asked a glamorous and fun-living friend from Portland if she had any recommendations of the best luxurious places to stay in France. She immediately wrote back to say, La Chèvre d’Or (The Golden Goat) in Eze-Le-Village. I think the words “fairy tale” and “magical” were used as well. From that time […]

Three Themes in Provence

Provence, just saying the word makes me relax a bit and dream of “the good life”. Countless movies, glasses of rosé wine, and lavender products have probably contributed to that. And the area did not disappoint (though as noted before we missed the lavender fields by a couple of months… one reason among many to […]


It is October and Europe has moved fully into fall, so rather than tarry any longer in the north of France, our plan was to head south. From Paris we made it to Gare de Lyon and a TGV (high speed) train to Avignon. Trains here are such a comfortable and sane way to travel. […]