Ocean views, crocodiles, iguanas coati-mundi(raccoons) and one hell of a practice facility the Reserva Conchal Golf Club should be on your bucket list in Costa Rica if you enjoy golf as much as I do. This is a Robert Trent Jones designed layout that offers golfers a fantastic experience and challenge for players of all levels. My favorite hole is the number 4 par 5 that faces directly into the pacific ocean. The view is just spectacular off the tee and gets better as you approach the green. I was lucky enough to be one of the only golfers on this course during a nice, but very steamy hot day. I really enjoyed the golf cart as it had a terrific GPS system and also the staff in the bar & clubhouse who treated me like a king. You can book a tee time by calling or on their website, and you will receive a discount if you are a hotel guest at the W or Westin resorts. The Reserva Conchal is ranked 2nd in Costa Rica according to Top 100 golf Courses and you can find the Reserva Conchal at Playa Conchal Guanacaste Cabo Velas, 50308, Costa Rica.
From the moment you drive into this property you can tell you are in good hands. Greeted by a security guard at the gate and making your way up the winding drive it becomes clear that the W Conchal has it all for the seasoned veteran traveler who prefers the finer things in life. Park your car in valet, it’s included in your stay and the bell service is top notch, friendly and ready to cater to your needs. The reception desk is located in an open air lobby with an enormous center bar and a pool behind it with a swim up drink station and also a Dj spinning relaxing tranquil beats. Take a look beyond the pool for breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and Playa Conchal. The setting is quite comforting to say the least. There are 3 towers in this hotel with elevators and easy access for the handicap. If you need assistance with your party, you will need to reserve a wheelchair or request one upon your arrival as I had to for my dad. Have a welcome drink in the lobby as you wait to check in and just enjoy the process. We were upgraded to an ocean view double queen room with a sizeable balcony. These rooms retail for over $500 a night depending on the season, but you might just book a standard room and see if you get lucky with a complimentary upgrade. Our bathroom was enormous and was all windows that you can leave covered or uncovered while you shower above the jungle. The hotel offers 24 hour room service, a gym, sauna, and steam room. You can also find a beach club, just steps away from the ocean which comes with a restaurant that offers Caribbean cuisine. The W also shares the hotel grounds with a neighboring Westin which is an all inclusive resort and an awesome golf course that I will write exclusively about in another blog post. There is also a ton of wildlife that you will hear and see. I was lucky to spot several Howler monkeys on a walk down to the beach, a coati (Costa Rican racoon) on the golf course, and a ton of green and black iguanas. You can reach the W Reserval Conchal at Reserva Conchal, Guanacaste 50308 Costa Rica and book rooms at Nomadic Nolan’s Travel Site.
Like most things in life I saw this park on Facebook and thought it would be a great trip for my dad and I to explore the beautiful red rocks of the Valley of Fire. I have driven by the entrance several times unknowingly on the way to Mesquite and Southern Utah in the past. This time however, was a full deep dive into one of Nevada’s hidden gems. Just off the 15 N interstate on the way to Salt Lake City from Las Vegas, the Valley of Fire exposes it’s magnificent landscape for park attendees. Admission is $10 or $9 with a veterans discount and the park closes at sundown. I got out of the car several times to take short hikes around the natural wonders and snap photos. I was fascinated by the red sand that is extremely fine like the white sand found at Pebble Beach located in and around the rock formations. The park also boasts ancient hieroglyphs from long lost tribes of the southwest and many unique rock figurations including an arch that is quite simply cool. My dad and I made the trip in late March and it wasn’t hot at all. After several hours in the park we decided to stop for a bite to eat at a restaurant named The Inside Scoop. The food portions were most generous and the milkshake was killer. I highly recommend this day trip for locals and tourists looking to get away from the strip. You can find the Valley of Fire at 29450 Valley of Fire Hwy, Overton, NV 89040.
It started off as a new decade, a glimpse into uncharted territory . An election year, a leap year, and the year of the rat in the Chinese Zodiac. I found myself starting a new business,. Nomadic Nolan’s Travel and kicked off things with a trip to Mexico City to give a review of North America’s largest metropolis and explore my roots. On that trip, Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash on my last day before returning home. I remember getting a work out in at the hotel gym and shedding tears while I exercised. As expected I had great food in Mexico, and went to the ancient city of Teotihuacan to visit the pyramids. A few weeks later I went to Miami for more business and had great Cuban food. Then came March and along came Covid. Our economy was floored, months of lock down and gaining weight. I spent many days wondering when things would be normal again. Things got worse, then got better and then we were somewhat free again during the summer. I decided to take road trips with my dad. We visited some of the greatest parks and attractions in the SW United States including Zion, The Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, Sedona Arizona, Lake Tahoe, Mammoth Lakes, Bryce Canyon and I played golf at some of the most epic courses these eyes have ever seen. The Lakers won the NBA title, and the Dodgers won the World Series. Joe Biden defeated Trump. I made a trip to LA to play Wilshire country club with my good friend John and saw my friends Ryan, Dave & Jenny while I was there. Drewski was in the mix and Rachel Rach was there to have some fun too. I even made it to Hawaii to see Jamonica, Mike, Kayla, Aden, and Vanessa. CJ, Chris and Garrett were there for me this year and countless others reached out to me to see how I was doing. 2020 was a time for growth, a time of reflection, a time of conspiracy, a time of fear, and a time of appreciation. There are so many things that happened that I am thankful for in 2020 and as bad as things were, there were so many wonderful bright spots I will never forget… Cheers to all of you and Happy New Year! Let’s have a great 2021. God bless you all from Nomadic Nolan!
Mammoth Lakes is about a 3 hour drive from South Lake Tahoe and was one of our surprise stops since we didn’t plan on going here. The drive is quite beautiful and scenic. We took the NV highway 207 and then the 395 south which is pretty much a straight shot south from Tahoe. I was able to find a decent rate on a hotel room at the Empeiria High Sierra and there was a great little BBQ spot down the street that my dad and I ate at called Uncle Jimmy’s. After checking into our hotel we went for a drive into the mountains and discovered a plethora of activities that people were enjoying including horse back riding, mountain biking, fishing, camping & taking photos. Mammoth Lakes turned out to be one of my favorite spots on the trip to take pictures which I have included below. After our drive I took off on foot for a walk around town to check out the local shops & Golf Course called Sierra Star. As I was walking I ran into some people that spotted a bear which made me quite nervous so I decided to cut through the golf course to get back to the hotel. All in all Mammoth Lakes is a nice quaint sleeper town and I would love to go back and engage in more outdoor activities.
We woke up early and left Tonopah for South Lake Tahoe on Tuesday morning June 30th… On our way out of town, we stopped for some photos at the Clown Hotel. The drive starts to get interesting around Walker Lake, then again as you near Lake Tahoe on the Nevada 207 West. Other than that expect a rather desolate drive. As we drove into Tahoe, climbing the massive winding highway, we were looking for something to eat before we checked into Harrah’s at 3 pm. We found the perfect place near the beach named Jimmy’s Restaurant which is nestled at the base of the Landing Tahoe Resort and Spa. We ordered fish tacos with Australian Sea Bass and the Caesar salad with blackened shrimp that were absolutely out of this world. I would go back just for the shrimp they were that good. After our meal we checked into Harrah’s and we were happy to see all the precautions the hotel was taking to address Covid 19. Everyone was required to wear masks, there were temperature checks upon arrival, and some amenities were closed like the valet, room service, and housekeeping during the stay. The staff took good care of us and got us a room on the 11th floor with amazing views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding forest. The hotel is a solid 3.5 and could use some additional upgrades, but overall it was a good choice for our stay… Harrah’s Lake Tahoe is located right on the Nevada/California state line and the address is 15 US-50, Stateline, NV 89449. To be continued.
I recently launched a YouTube channel that focuses on travel tips, life hacks, and recommendations about restaurants, hotels, things to do, and golf courses from travels around the world. I just uploaded a recent highlight video from a trip to Mexico City & Teotihuacan. Take a look…
One year ago today I was on a flight home from Sydney, Australia to join my colleagues at Tesla to sell through the holiday season and try to reach a new milestone in sustainable energy. A month and half later I was laid off with a severance and decided to capitalize on the separation by taking another trip to Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Thailand, Bali Indonesia, and Singapore. When I returned I had another job working from home and I was let go from that company after just 3 weeks. So I decided to take my dad to Costa Rica and visit my friends Keith, Tim and Veronica and their kids. When I returned from this trip I had another job waiting that lasted through the summer and I got to go to Venice, Florida for training. Needless to say this company dissolved and I received another severance. It was after this layoff I realized God was trying to tell me something and I knew it was time for another trip. This time around the world. I reached out to friends I knew around the planet and asked if I could visit them.
My dream was coming true, I got responses from Gökay Akin in Turkey, Ehab Maher Maamoun in Egypt, Annie Vu in England, and Mayko Chwen Wang in France. I wasn’t able to see all of them due to scheduling conflicts, but I did have the blessing to see Gokay and Ehab on two of the most epic journeys I have ever experienced. I coined this trip the World Tour where I would document as much of my trip as possible and eventually put together a novel. I also took thousands of photos that I will edit and share with the world because this was my wish come true. I traveled to 12 different countries including England, Wales, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, The Vatican, Turkey, Egypt, The United Arab Eremites, Thailand and Singapore. I took 16 flights, 2 trains, 2 ferries, 2 speed boats, numerous taxis, ride shares, buses, subways, and walked hundreds of miles around the world.
Below you will find photos of my last year with pictures of my friends and places I have been. Please enjoy them and remember the moral of my story is life isn’t always what it appears to be, opportunities present themselves in many different ways. It’s a choice we have when we decide what we do with our time. Choose wisely and you can also make your wish come true.
Arriving at the Densapar airport in Bali, Indonesia gives you quite the feeling of tranquility as the facility is rather large, modern, and not as busy as many others throughout S.E. Asia. One thing I did love about this airport is that I was fortunate to meet a new friend, our driver Oka. Not only did Oka drop us off at our hotel in Seminyak, he was our guide during our entire trip. He drove us to the site where you can purchase the world’s most expensive Luwak coffee. Oka also took us on an ATV adventure ride, to the monkey sanctuary in Ubud, to the beach, golfing, and he even hung out with us at the clubs. I cannot tell you how grateful I was to meet him. My friend Hector and I stayed at The Haven Bali hotel in the Seminyak region of the island which included a daily breakfast buffet, wonderful all you can eat dinner options, an awesome pool, and a free shuttle to the Double Six beach located on the southwest side of the island. One of the most memorable moments was getting to the ocean and having a light rain cool us off, followed by a dinner and hookah at the La Plancha Beach bar and restaurant. We also went to the clubs in Seminyak including the famous and funky La Favela which is surrounded by other night venues like the Red Carpet Champagne Bar. I will not however, I feel the better night life options can be found in Kuta Beach. Finally, if you are a golfer like me I highly recommend playing the Bali National Golf Club near Nusa Dua Beach. Bali National is one of the best courses I have played on the planet and I’ve played some great ones. Whatever you decide to do in Bali let, please let me know if you need a driver as I am sure Oka would love to take you on a tour of this beautiful island in Indonesia.