Sake to me: J&J editor Ron Donoho at Nobu San Diego.

Street-level travel stories interest me. What does that mean? It means interaction with people while you’re away from home base. Travelogues are one thing: Go here. Eat This. While it’s true that destinations have must-see sights, it’s also the case that travelers encounter people, and have experiential interactions with the locals. That’s where JUNKETS & JAUNTS aims to fit into the travel landscape.

Cases in point:

Huntington Beach. My story looks at the Surf City beach ethos, but focuses on a unique bartender who is unafraid to probe the depths of his and your soul. He reveals his own heartbreak over a loved one who took her own life…and then makes an amazing version of a Dark & Story, which he calls a Dazed & Confused.

Wisconsin Dells. I went mid-winter. Though the area’s indoor water parks are a revelation, I found myself writing about ride-share drivers and blackjack dealers who couldn’t fathom why a Californian left sunny SoCal to visit wintry Wisconsin.

Catalina Island. My family and I did it all–ferry rides, golf cart tours, zip-lines. But my favorite part of the story was when the island’s water main broke–forcing us to barbecue at our hotel…until we heard about how the hospitality industry came together to open one main street restaurant.

JUNKETS & JAUNTS is a passion project. I’ve been a freelance writer for a cornucopia of media outlets: Men’s Health, Men’s Journal, Maxim, Glamour and others. (Note: the Maxim and the Glamour articles were on exactly the same topic–just aimed at different genders.)

While executive editor at San Diego Magazine, I ran the travel section for a decade, and also freelanced travel pieces for Westways, Hemispheres,,, and business-travel pieces for Successful Meetings, where I was formerly a full-time senior editor living the sleep-when-I’m-dead life in New York City.

To be clear, not every story in J&J is a psycho-graphic study in attitudes and emotions. You’ll find a roundup of the Best Buffets in Las Vegas, and contests that give away travel gear. Even in these, though, a little fun and color is injected.   

Of course travelers want to know where to stay, where to eat and what the latest attractions are. Along the way, human beings cross your path–and that’s the narrative focus you’ll find here.

Please enjoy the trip,