More posts by Ryan Bender

Fisherman’s Wharf

fisherman's wharf

San Francisco’s Piers Offer Something for Everyone

And we mean everyone. With all there is to do here, Fisherman’s Wharf is jam-packed with shoppers, diners, tourists and those looking for a stroll by the bay. Located on the northern tip of San Francisco, the Wharf is bordered by Ghirardelli (yes, that Ghirardelli) Square, near Pier 45 on the west side, and Pier 35 on the east side.… Continue Reading →

Links We Love: Vol 22

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Rent A Bike In Amsterdam

windmill amsterdam

Go Dutch And See The City On Two Wheels

When you get off the train at Centraal, the first thing you see is bicycles. Kids biking. Old folks biking. Moms with babies on their laps biking. Men texting and smoking and biking. The only suckers using their own two feet to get around are foreigners like you, so it is high time you get on a bike and ride.… Continue Reading →

Palacio Real

Spain’s Royal Palace In Western Madrid

No trip to Europe would be complete without a visit to at least one palace. Visiting these larger-than-life residences gives you a chance to see how the Kings and Queens of yore spent their spoils of war and New World gold. No expense was spared, but if you think you would like to trade places, just remember where the bathroom is.… Continue Reading →

The Presidio

golden gate bridge

Presidio is Spanish for “Fort”


After you take the Cable Car from Union Square to Fisherman’s Wharf with a throng of tourists, you may be disappointed with the view. Here is the beautiful San Francisco Bay with Alcatraz in middle and the Golden Gate Bridge to the left, and all you can see is an In and Out Burger and stores hawking catchphrases on t-shirts.… Continue Reading →

t’Hotel

t'hotel amsterdam exterior

The Cutest Hotel In Amsterdam

Ok, there isn’t an official ballot, but if there ever is, our money would be on t’Hotel. While you are walking along the cobblestone sidewalks from the train station to your hotel gazing over the impossibly cute canals, you look at all the canal houses from the Dutch Golden Age.… Continue Reading →

Amsterdam Museum

Amsterdam Museum, Historical Museum in Amsterdam

The Story Begins When The Amstel Was Dammed…

The Amsterdam Museum should be your first stop on your first visit to Amsterdam. (Note — if you are looking in a pre-2011 guidebook, this museum was previously known  as the Amsterdam Historisch Museum.) Why go there first? Well, when you arrive in Amsterdam, the beauty overtakes you.… Continue Reading →

Pannenkoekenhuis Upstairs

Small Restaurant, Big Pancakes

Yes, we know it shows up in all of the guidebooks but that should not scare you away. Pannenkoekenhuis Upstairs is nothing short of charming. After you find Grimburgwal 2, you immediately ascend some pretty steep (though typical by Dutch standards) stairs and find yourself in a room that would be described by a real estate agent as “cozy.” This is the entirety of the Pancake House Upstairs.… Continue Reading →

ABC Bookstore

American Book Center in Amsterdam

Anglophone’s Paradise in Central Amsterdam

Towards the end of your trip to Amsterdam, after a couple of long layovers and train rides, you suddenly find you are out of things to read. You breezed through your paperbacks and magazines, and you watched all the movies you put on your iPad.… Continue Reading →