Travel

Travel stories, tips, photos, videos. Featuring west coast destinations, luxury resorts, and weekend getaways to Napa, Sonoma, San Francisco, Carmel, and Baja California Sur.

Travel Tips: How to take photos and videos inside the Sistine Chapel while touring the Vatican in Rome, Italy

Waking Up the Vatican tour photos and videos

This quick travel hack explains how you can get around the usual rules and be allowed to shoot photos and videos without restrictions in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican in Rome, Italy. Note: unfortunately it does come at a cost. Planning on touring the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel? First off, that's a great idea. As I discovered this summer...

Wine Review: Grgich Hills 2014 Cabernet, because you get to do what you get to do

Wine Review: Grgich Hills 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Sometimes little things deserve a celebration. Sure, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve are all grand occasions and worthy of uncorking something special. But why not take some time out every now and again to recognize an everyday accomplishment, however minor? In this case, that would be the completion of a video edit and delivery of our...

What’s Happening: Taste of Sonoma at the Green Music Center (Wine Events)

Sonoma Wine Country Weekendvideo

Labor Day weekend is almost here which means a lot of things. Your whites will (supposedly) be done for the season. Your work (hopefully) takes a backseat for some quality time with family and friends. And (almost as important) you get some breathing space and time to finally uncork some of your favorite bottles of wine. But there's something even...

Latest Short Films: Vatican, David Lynch, 3 Days in Sonoma (Video)

Red Room - David Lynch Festival of Disruption, Los Angeles, 2017

Filmmaking is a chance to live many lifetimes. Join the adventure on Stark Insider.

Why I chose Viking’s ‘Portugal River of Gold’ cruise for my 100th country trip (Part 2)

Picturesque Porto A few hours later we arrived in Gaia, a short-over-the-bridge walk away from Porto, where all the river cruise vessels tie up. Being on this side of the tracks meant that not only were we afforded stellar Porto city views, but we were also surrounded by famed port cellars such as Graham’s, Dow’s, and Taylor’s. Porto at night is...

Why I chose Viking’s ‘Portugal River of Gold’ cruise for my 100th country trip (Part 1)

This year not only was Portugal voted “The Best European Travel Destination” but they also received 20 other awards at the 2018 World Travel Awards ceremony. Also, this year Viking River Cruises was voted the World’s Best by Travel + Leisure readers (for the third time running) and has been recognized a whopping nine times since the inception of the...

Travel Review: Waking Up the Vatican in Rome, Italy (Video)

Waking Up the Vatican reviewvideo

A special Stark Insider report and video, documenting the new "Waking Up the Vatican" tour. With Clinton and Loni Stark in Rome, Italy. They call it a once-in-a-lifetime experience. After the two hours were up, I'd have to agree -- this is not mere hyperbole. "Waking Up the Vatican" (Video) is a new tour offered by organizers at TripAdvisor (Viator) and...

In Photos: Touring the breathtaking USS Hornet Museum in Alameda

Awe. Simply awe. That's the only word I could summon when touring this massive aircraft carrier. Taking a mere 16 months to build, the USS Hornet has become one of the country's most decorated ships -- in 1991 it was designated a National Historic Landmark. For $20 you can explore the ship and enjoy several docent-led and self-guided audio tours (engine...

Top 10: Best Cameras for Shooting Vacation Videos

Panasonic GH5 with Atomos Ninja Inferno Hands-on Review - First impressions

If you're headed on vacation and want to take high quality video here's a top 10 list of cameras that are worth your consideration. From $199 all the way up to $2,998 (USD) there's many great choices if you're looking to shoot videos on your next vacation. Yes, you can use your smartphone. Most top end Androids and iPhones produce pretty...

Best tripping, sipping and savoring around the San Juan Islands Pt. 2: Orcas Island

Time to board the ferry for the scenic ride to Orcas Island, or as the locals call it “the Emerald Isle”. A diverse green playground, Orcas is known for having the highest mountain in the San Juan’s, the gorgeous 5,252-acre Moran State Park with 38 miles of trails for you to hike, bike, or horseback ride through, and it’s...