I’ve finally found a tournament that I might like as much as the US Open. The BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells was amazing. Serena’s return was an absolute tear-jerker and my favorite moment, but watching the game’s best players from the front row of the outer stadiums was a very close runner-up. Don’t know what took me so long to get down to SoCal to check this out.

 

Ana Ivanovic

 

Victoria Azarenka

 

 Stan Wawrinka

 

Sam Stosur

 

Taylor Townsend

 

Heather Watson

 

Ivanovic

 

Sloane Stephens

 

Yulia Putintseva

 

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez

 

Azarenka

 

Thanasi Kokkinakis

 

Azarenka

 

…and, of course, Serena.

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Since the very first time I saw a picture of Tiger’s Nest (Taktsang Palphug Monastery), Bhutan has been at the top of the list of places I’ve wanted to visit. We began planning the trip this summer, and based on how fantastically thorough our tour company (Bhutan Scenic Tours) was throughout the process, Serene and I expected great things. From the moment we touched down in Paro until the morning we were dropped off for our return flight, Bhutan over-delivered in just about every way. The country is more beautiful than we’d imagined, even after having seen hundreds of photos. The people of Bhutan were more welcoming that we expected. And our guides, Rinzi and Tandin, were absolutely amazing. And in a stroke of 100% dumb luck, Serene and I actually met and had a private conversation with the King and Queen of the country!

Several friends have asked how we managed to wrangle the visas and other logistics for the visit. It was easy. There seems to be a lingering perception that visiting Bhutan is both cumbersome and expensive compared to visiting other countries. Neither is true. This was actually one of the easiest to plan and most affordable international destinations I’ve ever visited. I couldn’t recommend it more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My first trip to Berlin took place over Thanksgiving. Gavin (a friend for the last 20 years, Northwestern classmate, and Brooklyn roommate) and his family showed me a great time…which basically meant that we hung out at his incredible office (SoundCloud; not pictured), walked the frigid streets of Berlin, sat in his neighborhood cafe, had a great time playing with his kids…and CHRISTMAS MARKETS. Man, I love a Christmas Market.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brandenburg Gate, Brooklyn-style

 

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Patagonia has been #1 on my wish list for more than a few years, and in October I was fortunate enough to spend a week there. Torres del Paine, one of the jewels of Chilean Patagonia, was my home for 6 days. I hiked nearly 70 miles and encountered, among other things: the most volatile weather I’ve ever seen (imagine a ten minute walk that includes a blizzard, a downpour, bright sunshine, and 50mph winds), my first glacier (so much larger than I’d imagined), a solo midnight run-in with a puma…ALSO much larger than I’d imagined and not pictured because, you know, I had the wrong lens on the camera…and one amazing view after another. The pictures tell the story much better than I could.

 

One of the many penguins of Magdalena Island

 

Punta Arenas, once one of the world’s busiest ports (until the completion of the Panama Canal)

 

The Towers…stunning, even through cloud cover.

 

Consuelo, one of the incredible guides at EcoCamp

 

It wouldn’t be a trip without some southern hemisphere star trails. This is a composite of 75 shots, each 3 minutes long.

 

My guide said that he first saw this cow skeleton alongside the trail in November of 2013.

 

 

 

Punta Arenas. Moments later, I may or may not have posed for a selfie in front of this building;-)

 

A river crossing on the way to the Towers

 

This kelp goose stood like this for at least 5 minutes. This is a female; males are white with black beaks. I never saw a goose solo…always in male-female pairs.

 

This is like visual onomatopoeia: it LOOKS as windy as it was (nearly 60mph), but even when there is no wind, the trees look like this.

 

Diego was a fantastic guide. Oh, and thats part of a guanaco jaw that he’s holding. Guanacos are all over in Torres del Paine. They’re also friendly and not very intimidated by humans; so its kind of noteworthy (and ridiculous) that I didn’t photograph a single one (alive).

 

An iceberg from Grey Glacier

 

 

 

I shot this picture while wearing at least 4 layers. I was still a little chilly.

 

 

Joaquin, another guide. It was only his second week on the job, but he, like all the others, was amazing. I’ve never encountered guides who knew so much about the culture, history, geology, flora, and fauna of a place.

 

 

 

 

I promise that the water is actually this color.

 

Where there’s a condor, I’m told, there is often a puma.

 

 

Grey Glacier up close

 

 

 

 

Salto Grey

 

Hiking into the French Valley

 

 

EcoCamp. A fantastic place to call home for a week.

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