CRIMEA: FOUR REASONS TO GO*

*I swear that neither the Russian government nor my place of employment have paid me a kopek for the 10,000 words I have written about how “Crimea is Awesome” – though on second thought they should totally comp me this vacation. So, why did I go? I had specific goals for this vacation: regain some…

CRIMEA, Day 18: Gone Fishing

I didn’t really know what to expect. I had been fishing before – pike fishing in the forest streams near Moscow and deep-sea fishing for 8-lbs somethings in the Atlantic. But what would the Black Sea bring? Whatever it was that I was not expecting, this was… something else. Left and right tiny silver creatures…

CRIMEA, Day 17: Koktebel, Kara-Dag and Port

Port. Home. Safe haven. Comfort and protection from the Forces of Nature. Sounds about right. Port pretty much saved my life in Crimea because… RAIN AGAIN I know I mentioned this before, but let me expound on the subject a bit. A month before I came to Crimea everyone was freaking out because the region…

CRIMEA, Day 8: Yalta and Swallow’s Nest

Yalta, a city on the southern coast of the Crimean peninsula, is the resort capital of the region. For some two hundred years it has been referred to as the Nice of the Black Sea/ Russia/ Soviet Union, as thousands of summer vacationers descended on it every year from all over Russia/ USSR/ former USSR…

CRIMEA, Day 5: Pirates and Dolphins

I love boats. Anything involving boats is a perfect vacation activity. Crimea understands that well. At least half of sightseeing excursions involve boats, whether you’re heading out to swim in a secluded lagoon, to taste the finest Massandra wines, or to visit the summer palaces of Yalta. If you’re in the mood for a less…

CRIMEA, Day 4: Writer’s Heaven

I think I found my ideal writing spot. You know, the kind of place most aspiring writers envision when looking for excuses as to why they have not yet completed that groundbreaking, best-selling, critically acclaimed expatriate novel/ coming of age romance/ dystopian epic. If only we all had a little room with a view of…

CRIMEA, Day 3: Restricted Access

The first ass-kicking came right away, courtesy of my host town, Novy Svet. Novy Svet, which translates as “New World” or “New Light,” is a large village/small town (population: 1100) on the south-eastern coast of the Crimean Peninsula. It is situated among juniper and rock pines on the crescent of an incredibly picturesque Green Bay…

STATE OF THE RISING SUN

Thanks to jet lag, I got to watch the sunrise every morning in Florida; thanks to my awesome location, I got to do it from my bed or balcony. And moving on to high noon and evening, the view did not disappoint. Florida skies — simply breathtaking!

VENICE OF AMERICA

NYC of Asia. Paris of the Baltics. Venice of the North. Generally I am not a fan of anything being described as [something similar] of [a different setting]. This kind of qualification is not just lazy — it does a great disservice to both places. It takes the place being described seem like a lesser,…

FLORIDA, Day 1 in Numbers

Sunrises watched: 1, courtesy of jet lag Miles walked: 8, mostly along the beach, from Pompano to Fort Lauderdale proper Steps walked from my patio to the waters of the Atlantic: 30 Fake breasts spotted: 3 pairs Real sharks spotted: 1 baby one, being flipped around by very strong surf Non-Bud Light beers consumed: 3…