Author Archives: akonecki

Road Trip! Esalen Hot Springs

I slipped off my bra and took a deep breath. Just the undies left. I hesitated a moment, then, feeling silly, yanked them off and stuffed them into my bag. All ready. Avoiding eye contact with everyone else disrobing, I grabbed my water bottle and towel and walked quickly outside. In the changing room surrounded […]

Road Trip! Eastern Sierras

Road Trip! Hiking Half Dome

I couldn’t help feeling like I’d cheated. An hour ago I’d boarded a shuttle to be delivered 3,214ft up from Yosemite’s valley floor to its granite peaks at Glacier Point. Winding up the road, I’d watched towering pines blur past the windows and quickly dissolve into the immensity of the glacier-hewn landscape. Stubborn clumps of […]

Church of 8 Wheels

If you can’t remember the last time you were on skates (or you do, but the last time was a less-than-sober Halloween night in college), it’s generally advisable not to go tearing about a crowded roller rink. This is particularly true when the roller rink is in fact an old church with only a theoretical […]

Sugarfina

…Sugar-whipped pillow fluff marshmallows! …A kaleidoscopic zoo of gummies! …Voltaic sours! …!!! My neurotransmitters were spitting and spewing platinum sugar sparks. A latent sweet tooth began quivering with anticipation as I gazed upon the neat little plastic cubes lining the shelves in neat little stacks. The tidy restraint seemed to add to the allure. Cubes […]

Road Trip! Friends of Nature Tourist Club

A runner in wraparound shades powered past me on the tips of his toes as I ploddingly stepped up, up, and up. Up through the forest dotted with homes snugged against the steep slope. Up past tinkling wind chimes and a pixie-sized Middle Earth garden display. Up and around a bend following an arrow rendered […]

Ocean Beach

Tuesday morning under a leaden sky rain drummed against the windshield, mingling with the waves rolling in beyond the break wall. In our apartment sat a blow-up mattress, two folding lawn chairs, and little else. There was so much to do—a refrigerator to fill; pots, pans, and plates to buy; and of course, jobs to […]

Communal Baths at Kabuki Springs & Spa

Hot air wooshes through my nostrils, ballooning warmly in my lungs. Fat beads of sweat gain critical mass and tumble down my skin in little rivulets, plinking softly onto the cedar bench. Cool sip of water. Eyes like hot jelly against closed lids. A final slow breath of heat and I head for the door […]

Chinese New Year Flower Festival

A fat pop! bursts through the crowd. A shower of confetti and curling metallic ribbon shivers and shimmers, alighting on heads and blanketing the pavement. A little boy clutches gleeful, greedy fistfuls of the streamers and dances madly about to the techno pop thrumming out of a nearby tent. I take a hunk of suckling […]

St. Mary’s Cathedral

Lines and geometry punctuated by color and light. Mathematics made sacred. Commanding notes swoop and swell, surging against the vertical sweep of architectural engineering, bolstered by orotund baritones. They gather and tumble, slowly building, building, fuzzing my spine, snatching my breath. Conjured by music, light shimmers and crystalizes, transmuted to form, to flesh. The notes, […]