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AOL Travel publishes my article, ‘Whiskey Makes its Mark in China’

AOL TravelAs part AOL’s cocktail week, AOL Travel published my article

Whiskey Makes its Mark in China”

The article idea came about while on a press trip with the Ritz-Carlton and Cathay Pacific a few years ago. It was fun revisiting my travel to Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Thanks to the PR people at both companies for making that trip happen.

AOL.com has 12.7 million daily unique visitors.

Photo: Courtesy AOL Travel

A Chinese journalist—and Google Translate’s—take on the Everson family’s Thanksgiving

A Chinese journalist (and Google Translate's) take on the Everson Thanksgiving

Chengdu kitchen into the American family to experience the Thanksgiving Day dinner

Remember last Thanksgiving when my family hosted seven Chinese journalists? I just found one of their recaps online:

chengdu.cn: Chengdu kitchen into the American family to experience the Thanksgiving Day dinner

Of course, it’s in Chinese. And I can’t read Chinese. So I ran it through Google Translate. The results aren’t quite What’s Up, Tiger Lily?, but the translation has some hilarious moments. I’m not going to bother to correct Google Translate, as it might hurt my SEO. I’ll just let you, gentle reader, guess where it might have gone wrong.

“Chengdu kitchen into the American family to experience the Thanksgiving Day dinner”

(reporter Zhong Jiang) in Beijing on November 25 in Louisville, USA reported fragrant pumpkin pie, roast turkey, sweet honey, warm and hospitable family. U.S. Eastern time on November 24 date, the day is Thanksgiving Day, Ben Wang in Louisville, Kentucky, United States, was invited to Zach Everson house guest, with Thanksgiving.

11:00 However, the reporter went to Zach Everson home, he is the editor in chief of the LOUISVILLE.COM site is also a freelance writer, he writes tourism and culture of the manuscript, once Wall Street Journal and other media writing. His wife, Margaret, was a lawyer, has served in the cabinet of George W. Bush, George W. Bush, now is the assistant prosecutor. They have a two-year-old daughter, wife and now six months pregnant. Home zach Everson is a small detached two-storey, located in the affluent area of the housing area of about over 200 square meters, is said to be two years ago to spend more than 30 million U.S. dollars to buy. This house was built in the 1930s, there are already 80 years old.

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Meet Toastmaster’s April 2012 cover model: Me

The Great Wall of China is around 2,300 years old, but it's never looked better than on the cover of the April 2012 issue of Toastmaster

The Great Wall of China is around 2,300 years old, but it's never looked better than on the cover of the April 2012 issue of Toastmaster

A few months back, travel writer Beth Blair interviewed me for a Toastmaster magazine article on Toastmasters who are travel professionals. (I was a member of the organization, which promotes public speaking skills, from 2006 to 2008 and found the experience invaluable.) A few weeks later, Beth asked me if I had any pictures of myself on the road that the magazine could run. It took a while to find some in which I didn’t have a drink in my hand or a zit on my forehead, but I passed along four or five to her.

In late March, Beth emailed me once more:

Subject: Holy cow!

Well, you are famous. Toastmasters put your photo on the cover of the magazine! See attached. [In your case, see above right.]

The Toastmaster editors used a photo of me walking the Great Wall of China on a press trip to Beijing with the Ritz-Carlton as the cover shot. Thanks to Melanie Nayer for taking the picture and making me feel so comfortable in front of the camera that I forgot I wasn’t wearing pants (kidding, well, not about my appreciation). More than 270,000 Toastmaster members living in 116 countries read the magazine each month.

You can read a .pdf of Beth’s article, “Professional travelers: How they developed the confidence to explore the world” here (I’m quoted on pages 17, 18, and 19).

Thanksgiving 2011 menu at my home: one turkey, four pies, and seven Chinese journalists

Happy Thanksgiving 2011 from the Eversons—and guests.

Happy Thanksgiving 2011 from the Eversons—and guests.

A 23-month-old + a pregnant wife in third trimester + vacationed with my parents in September + seeing my folks at Christmas = 2011 was going to be the first of my 35 Thanksgivings that I wouldn’t spend with my parents. Instead, my wife, daughter, and I were going to celebrate at home in Louisville, just the three of us.

As is often the case though, a Thanksgiving dinner picks up some stragglers. In our case, it was seven Chinese journalists and their two interpreters.

The group came to our area through the  World Affairs Council of Kentucky/Southern Indiana (I’ve met with other groups it sponsored). In addition to Louisville, the  journalists were visiting New York City; Washington, DC; Minneapolis; and San Francisco.

Representing Chinese media outlets like Time Weekly, Chongqing Sina, Shenyang Evening News, China Daily, and Chengdu.cn, they photographed and jotted notes about how my wife prepared Thanksgiving dinner. I informed them that while many American men help prepare the meal, I’m not one of them (although I let them know I’d be cleaning up afterwards).

Visiting a local home is often a highlight on my travels; hopefully they found their experience here likewise. One journalist fell asleep on the couch during our Thanksgiving—so clearly they had no problem getting acclimated with the traditions of this North American holiday.

2010 travel highlights: Beijing, the Big Island of Hawaii, and a new travel buddy

A trip to San Diego in June marked my daughter's first dip in the Pacific Ocean.

A trip to San Diego in June marked my daughter's first dip in the Pacific Ocean.

Just over a week into 2010, I became a dad. During the year I realized though that any concerns I had about parenthood—and my new editor-in-chief gig at Louisville.com, which I also started in January—impacting my travel were unfounded.

Here are my travel highlights for 2010 (and while my daughter didn’t go on all of these trips with me, she did make it to 14 states and Washington, DC in her first year):

  • In February I visited the Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach and wrote about its teen club for Air Canada’s in-flight magazine, enRoute, and one of my rare visits to a spa for UpTake.
  • A road trip to Milwaukee and Chicago in March marked my daughter’s first trip out of Kentucky; I talked about the experience on a podcast for UpTake and mentioned our Chicago hotel room’s wonderful view in enRoute.
  • As much as I enjoy traveling, it’s nice when a big event comes to me. In May it was the Kentucky Derby, which I wrote about for BlackBook and oversaw Louisville.com’s best week of traffic ever (November’s Breeders’ Cup did well too).
  • While family was the focus of my June visits to San Diego (brother’s wedding) and Kamiah, ID (to see my grandmother), I wrote about San Diego restaurant Jsix’s chef’s kitchen experience for BlackBook.
  • In June I made it back to New York City for TBEX, a travel bloggers conference, and finally got to meet in person a lot of folks I’d only known on the tubes. They were terribly disappointing exceeded high expectations.
  • Coming from a small family (no aunts or uncles), my wife’s family’s annual reunion just outside of Morgantown, WV is a can’t miss—I’m serious.
  • In Columbus, Ohio for my brother-in-law’s wedding, I stayed in a hotel where James Thurber use to live.
  • In August I flew to the The Big Island of Hawaii on assignment for enRoute to take a fine art photography class with Photo Safari Hawaii.
  • Later that month Las Vegas was the destination for another enRoute assignment, this time to take a poker lesson from two-time World Series of Poker champ Mark Seif.
  • I wrote about looking out over Gerald Ford’s grave site from my hotel room in Grand Rapids, Mich. for UpTake and visiting the art fair with the world’s largest prize (if not the best art) for Gridskipper.
  • On Columbus Day weekend we trekked to Watoga State Park in West Virginia for another of my wife’s family reunions (it’s a big clan).
  • At Thanksgiving I returned to my hometown of Reading, Mass. for the first time in 17 months, the longest I’d ever gone without a visit; I reviewed the accommodations at my parents’ house for UpTake (executive summary: meh).
  • For the second year in a row, I visited China with the Ritz-Carlton (this time it was Beijing); I won’t complain if trips to China with that hotelier become an annual tradition. Culinary highlights already have been posted on Gridskipper.
  • It was fantastic to get back to Washington, DC and see our friends. I wrote our stay at the Ritz-Carlton, Washington DC about for UpTake.
  • For the third time in four years, both my wife’s family and mine gathered in the neutral playing location of Deep Creek Lake Maryland for Christmas.