Murder. We were going to get murdered; I was sure of it. The dark and empty parking lot at the end of HWY 130 eerily reminded me with every rustle of the leaves of our precarious state. There we sat, in the middle of nowhere with no civilization for miles, in our rental waiting for our supposed tour guide at 3 AM in the morning. The flickering of a lonely light bulb in a sea of light poles with broken light bulbs sent chills up my spine. I clenched my fist firmly on the only available object that could be used as a weapon, a half empty coffee mug. Now and then my eyes played tricks on me and I would see a young girl in white pajamas strutting across the road and disappearing into the dense forest. I always joked that characters in horror movies deserve to die because of their stupid curiosity, always running into dark and ominous settings. But here we were, decidedly staying in this prophetic scene, hoping for the best.

We waited. No one came.

I got annoyed and grabbed the key to turn the ignition. A bright light shot around the corner and stopped my heart momentarily. Time stood still. Was this the bright light people always suggested before you leave the mundane world?

As the light inched its way closer to us, I made out a man rolling down the window. Who has manual windows anymore these days? Murderers! His beastly arm shot out. These windows better be bulletproof!

He waved and signaled for us to follow him. “Come on! Follow me!”

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Reading time: 6 min

I woke up to a little creature stepping with needle-like precision all over my body. Chester, our once tiny kitten, now pained us with his elephant legs with every step he took on our fragile body. It was 4:30 in the morning. I got up to give him his wet food. Purr Chan is spoiled. I know.

Normally, I would go back to bed, but not today. Today we’re driving to the Olympic Peninsula to camp at Lake Crescent. It’s a 4 hrs drive that includes a short ferry (if you don’t have to wait in the often-crowded ferry lines, that is). Ugh… why am I doing this again? I thought to myself. 4:30 in the morning is the perfect time to start thinking about all the “responsibilities” adulthood crams down your throat: a looming presentation to the regulators the Monday after the trip, a delinquent book to put together, finances to put in order, house repairs to complete, mountains to climb, oceans to swim across, cheeseburgers to devour, and so on and so on.

Despite the lethargic start, we managed to get to the ferry in time to watch it leave the dock. Perfect timing. Luckily, we scored a sweet spot at the front of the line, which, as a consolation prize, felt oddly satisfying. 50 minutes later, we drove aboard the Spokane (name of the ferry) and off we went.

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Reading time: 5 min

If you are thinking about where to go during your next holiday, search no more. France is brimming with picturesque sights which are bound to leave you breathless. I was lucky to visit Canal du Midi where my relatives live, and you will hardly find a better region in this beautiful area. This area stretches from Toulouse to the Mediterranean port of Sète. The moment you reach it, the scenery will fill you with everlasting joy and excitement.

The idyllic region of Canal du Midi boasts some of the most unique and breathtaking landscapes in the world. The canal has clear green waters with many contours which are bordered by numerous trees. Near the canal there are a lot of vineyards, and you can check out a few of them such as the Aude, the Herault and Corbieres. The canal meanders through little villages and fields full of sunflowers. There are many aqueducts and bridges to see. I immediately understood why this place was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 – simply stunning and worthy of preserving for generations to come. If you are visiting it for the first time, you will definitely be amazed by its magnificence. Even some of the old hands can find something new to admire. Every time I go there, there seems to be something new that leaves me absolutely enchanted.

canaldumidi2

how incredible is this?!

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Reading time: 4 min
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