New Mexico – The land of enchantment and some cool funky shit.

This year I took dad to New Mexico for Father’s day. We headed to Albuquerque & Santa Fe, New Mexico with stops in Flagstaff, AZ, Winslow, AZ and a final stop in Sedona, AZ on the return ride home to Las Vegas. By car this trip takes about 8 to 9 hours to Albuquerque from Vegas so I feel better splitting up the drive and spending a night half way along the route. We considered driving to Kingman, taking an Amtrak and renting a sleeper room, but the cost didn’t justify the investment so road trip it was. Flagstaff is the perfect stop for such a short night trip. We stayed at a Courtyard Inn by Marriot which is well maintained and close to the 40 freeway exit. I ordered takeout BBQ and had some amazing chicken wings that you can see below in the gallery of photos. The next day we hit the road at about 11 am and drove an hour to Winslow to see, what else? The “Standing on the Corner” exhibit made famous by the rock & roll legends the Eagles. Needless to say the place is pretty cool, with several dining options and souvenir shops that you’ll most likely go into when you are there. We had tacos at BoJo’s that was served with rice and beans. The food was tasty, but it was time to move on to our destination. From Winslow to Albuquerque it’s another 4 hours of driving, but it’s a nice desert landscape with plenty of options to stop and buy Native Indian jewelry and visit the reservations. However, we just wanted to get to our hotel, eat and rest so we could explore Albuquerque. Keeping to our tradition of ordering takeout during the pandemic, we chose Italian. The place we chose is called Saggios. The restaurant is located at 107 Cornell Dr SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106. They have pizza, pasta, salads and also serve beer and wine. The location was just a few miles from our hotel at the Fairfield Inn and right across the street from the University of New Mexico. The next day I played golf at the University of New Mexico’s golf course which I’ll write about separately in another blog post. We ended up staying in Albuquerque 3 nights, then drove through the turquoise trail with a stop in Golden, NM and a final stop in Santa Fe. I wish we had more time, but we spent just one night in Santa Fe and it was time for us to drive back. Next time I visit New Mexico I would like to visit with a date and explore more of the dining options. In addition, I would like to learn more about the native Indian population since we didn’t get to do a lot of that. Until next time New Mexico! Thanks for having us and treating us to some good food and awesome photo opportunities.

Valley of Fire – A Nevada state park and awesome day trip.

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.

2020 a beautiful and dangerous rocky road! A year we will never forget.

Rocky Road

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!

Nevada & California 2020 Pandemic Travels – 4th stop Mammoth Lakes, California

Papa Bear

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.

Bali, Indonesia

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.

 

 

 

Gout – God’s gift to those who can’t say no

I’ve had gout for years and it wasn’t until recently that I had to take this disease seriously.  I’ve suffered flare ups from time to time that usually last a day or two, but this last occurrence which I am still dealing with has lasted almost 3 weeks now.   It all started with an ankle sprain on a trip to Costa Rica.  I had also broken my ankle several years ago and the trauma brought on from a twisted ankle made me believe that I had broken it again.  After a few weeks of healing I was fine, but during those weeks of healing and feeling sorry for myself I really turned up the calorie intake for foods I should be staying away from and over indulging in beer and alcohol.

Sure enough on a business event at a “Beer Fest” taking place at Lake Las Vegas, I felt a flare up come over me.  At first it was a little tingle in my big toe and then I could feel it swell up my foot.  The next day I took about 6 tablets of aleve and in about an hour the pain had gone away.  I decided I was good enough to play golf.  As I hobbled around the course hitting my shots, and taking photos, I felt fine, but when I got back to my room the pain erupted all over my legs and feet.  Gout had officially taken over.

Gout is a disease that creates too much uric acid for a person to digest.  The acid then forms crystal like substances that attack the joint of the person carrying the disease.  For most people the joint attacked is usually the big toe.  For me this is also the case, the joint on my left foot leading to my big toe is always where the flare ups begin.  Gout can also move to other parts of the body and also create swelling and discomfort.

Foods and beverages that are high in purines are what can trigger a gout attack.  The disease is also hereditary.  From my research the number one cause for a gout flare up is beer, then alcohol, then consuming foods high in purines, like beef, chicken, pork, seafood, and other proteins.  Also, some vegetables like asparagus, spinach, cauliflower, and mushrooms.  Basically all the things I like so for a person like me this is a drastic wake up call to change my habits.

For treatment while I’m dealing with this attack, my Doctor has asked me to eliminate all the foods and beverages I mentioned above  and also put me on daily doses of  Celecoxib and Allopurinol.  In addition, I have been given 4 days of pain medicine to numb the flare ups.

My best advice to you, don’t get Gout, and if you do don’t subject yourself to foods and beverages high in purines.  It’s just not worth it.

Here are some useful links:

The Mayo Clinic Gout Diet

Health Line Best Diet for Gout

 

 

 

 

Lake Tahoe on the Nevada/California border

After winning a contest to visit the Tesla Gigafactory, I found myself in Reno, NV with a few hours to kill.  I had never been to Lake Tahoe, and I had just enough bandwidth to drive there and back before the tour began.   The next thing I knew I was having breakfast,  snapping some amazing photos of the lake and the beautiful landscape that surrounded this majestic work of God.  I also saw an amazing golf course which I can’t wait to go back and play.  Please take a look at my photos below.