Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island is on a path to destroy the town of Pahoa, home to 950 people. I visited the volcano in 2011 with Photo Safari Hawaii, on assignment for Air Canada’s enRoute. My article explores what it’s like to take a photo lesson on an active volcano. The videos show a little slice of life there—especially the last one, which is of a local resident explaining life on the volcano. At the end of the post is a gallery of photos from my lesson.
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Congrats to Spafax and Air Canada! CNNgo named enRoute the world’s best in-flight magazine, saying it’s “basically what an in-flight should (and could) be.”
Photo: Courtesy CNNgo
Purchasing art’s proven trying for me: despite numerous visits to galleries and art fairs with the hope of buying an original piece, I’ve never been able to pull the trigger. And I’m yet to figure out how to snag one of those Caravaggios out The Vatican.
So recently I headed to the The Fairmont Dallas for its Art Immersion Apprentice Trip and talked with Brian Embry, director of the Ross Akard Gallery, and Hobbes Vincent, the hotel’s then-artist-in-residence (attention luxury hoteliers: if you need a writer-in-residence, I’m your guy) before exploring Dallas’s surprising amount of burgeoning arts districts.
An account of my trip runs in the February issue of onAir, Air Canada’s frequent flyer newsletter, which has 3.8 million subscribers, and as a web exclusive for enRoute, Air Canada’s in-flight magazine:
Shortly after returning to home, I used what I learned to buy this painting by Louisville artist Bart Galloway:
Thanks to Mike Taylor at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Katie Norwood at The Fairmont Dallas, and Erica Martinez at Jackson Spalding for arranging my visit. And thanks to Brian and Hobbes for their insight (and bar recommendations).
Now, to find a good framer in Louisville…
A couple websites recently posted travel-related photos I took:
- The Purple Passport’s profile of the Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach’s Eau Spa by Cornelia (read my writeups of the spa for UpTake here and the teen lounge for Air Canada’s enRoute here)
- canadaDOLCEcanada’s post, “Canada Dell’est: Quebec,” included two photos of the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac I shot while on vacation in Quebec City
I’m happy with how my web exclusive for the June 2011 issue of Air Canada’s enRoute: “Gladiator Training in Rome: From mere mortal to warrior? It’s all in a day’s work” turned out. But if you require more of a visual than my text and photo provided, watch this installment of ABC’s Travel Now with Karen Schaler:
Karen provides an insightful overview of the Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts’ offerings, but if you just want to see me run around a gladiator ring all scared, it’s at 2:47 and 3:43.
The 3.8 million travelers who subscribe to Air Canada’s frequent flyer newsletter, onAir, got a special treat this month–namely a photo of me in a tunic, getting my culo kicked (at right). The picture accompanied an article I wrote for it, which also was a web exclusive for the June 2011 issue of enRoute:
Thanks to Barbara Manto and Loredana Capobianco at the Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts for sponsoring my visit and David Semanoff at Quinn & Co. for organizing it. And thanks to the gladiators at Gruppo Storico Romano for the instruction. (I’m happy to report that since my visit I’ve honed my skills and have slayed three lions and 16 Christians.)
Photo: Courtesy David Semanoff or Karen Schaler (I can’t remember which of them I lent my camera to while I was in the arena)
When I visited Hawaii’s Big Island during a six-week stay in the state in 2008, I had just one disappointment: I never saw an active lava flow (stupid nature, you erupt when I want you to). When I returned last August on assignment with Photo Safari Hawaii for enRoute, Air Canada’s in-flight magazine, however, the Kilauea Volcano cooperated. (Yes, that’s the same Kilauea Volcano’s that’s spewing lava 100 feet in the air today—that might be a bit too much cooperation.)
In February’s issue, I wrote about my day-long private photo ecotour with Photo Safari Hawaii:
Brian Ross, a fine art photographer and Photo Safari Hawaii’s owner, and Sian Olsen, one of his guides and the owner of Kohala Kayak, were not only excellent photography instructors, but their deep knowledge of the Big Island impressed as well. They were good company for 13 hours.
I’d taken a photography class previously with the Smithsonian Institution, but it centered on the mechanics of using the camera and got tedious. While they customize the experience for each group, Brian and Sian focus on the composition of fine art photography. This approach proved a lot more engaging—and provided plenty of fantastic photos of the Big Island, home to 10 of the Earth’s 15 types of climatic zones and the most diverse weather of any similarly sized area of land on the planet:
You can follow our travels on this map from the Hawaiian Style Cafe in Waimea, where I had a, um, great Hawaiian-style breakfast and turned on the MotionX iPhone GPS app at 7:28 a.m., to the Fairmont Orchid hotel, where I was dropped off at 8:52 p.m.
Access to the area where the lava from Kilauea Volcano was flowing was cut off during certain hours except for locals, some of whom still had houses there. One said we were with him and a security guard, who knew otherwise, let him drive us to where the lava was flowing.
It takes a certain type of guy to live near an active flow: in this case, think if Francis Ford Coppolla had cast Jack Nicholson as Dennis Hopper’s character from Apocalypse Now.
And it takes a different type of guy altogether to cultivate vegetation and create walking paths on top of the Kilauea’s volcanic ash: think Adrian Brody on speed playing the littlest nerd in Revenge of the Nerds.
In addition to Brian and Sian, mahalo to the Big Island Visitors Bureau and Jessica Ferracane and Becky Ryan at Irondog Communications for coordinating my visit, Jaisy Jardine at the Fairmont Orchid, and the local who got us close to the lava flow.
enRoute‘s Higher Learning section focuses on “an international crash course in anything from cheese making to scuba diving to ranching, told from a personal perspective but in such a way that it teaches the reader about both the activity and the place it’s taught. It’s a two-page section, 450-words (in English and in French) and includes a sidebar with suggestions for where to stay and eat.” If you have ideas for similar experiences, please let me know.
Photos: Zach Everson and courtesy Brian Ross and enRoute
Videos: Zach Everson
Map: Google Earth via MotionX iPhone GPS app
Mark was a fantastic teacher during our session at Caesars Palace last August, so much so that I left the poker room up $55 when I played on my own the next day (your results may vary). Winning money at poker was a new experience for me, I enjoyed it greatly, and I hope to do it again.
It’s mentioned in the itinerary section on the last page, but it merits repeating: if you’re looking for a dining splurge in Vegas, eat at Bradley Ogden in Caesars. It’s joined the pantheon of meals that I stay up late at night thinking about.
The piece ran in enRoute‘s Higher Learning section, which focuses on “an international crash course in anything from cheese making to scuba diving to ranching, told from a personal perspective but in such a way that it teaches the reader about both the activity and the place it’s taught. It’s a two-page section, 450-words (in English and in French) and includes a sidebar with suggestions for where to stay and eat.” If you have suggestions for similar experiences, please let me know.
In addition to Mark, much thanks to Naomi Strasser and Sherri-Lyn Brown at Aerial Communications Group and Brandy Bell at Harrah’s Entertainment for coordinating my visit. (And thanks to my daughter for crawling for the first time two hours before I left for Vegas. If it’d been two hours afterward, I probably would’ve quit travel writing and just entered Bloomingdale’s executive training program.)
I got the idea for the piece after a visit to Chicago’s Hotel Monaco in March (you can read my description of that room at UpTake).
I got the idea for the article after a visit to the Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach in January (you can read an account of my trip at UpTake). It’d been a while since facilities for teens were something I cared about–and it’ll be a while before they’re a factor in my vacation plans again–so clearly I wouldn’t have had this idea for an article if I hadn’t been on the press trip and seen that resorts were offering activities for teens that surpassed sticking them with a glorified counselor and their way uncool younger siblings (not that being seen with my little brother was ever a drag).