Dean Clough

January 15, 2024

Portico Darwin: The Travel Issue


<3 Minute Read

Before beginning the normal nonsense, a reminder that today is a national holiday, honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I say this every year around this time, but what would America look like today if JFK, MLK, Malcolm X, and RFK had lived out their full lives?

On to that normal nonsense I mentioned.

In what will be a shocker to no one, rather than simply send out an announcement that Travel Guide 2023 is now available, I decided to make it a thing. 

Of course I did, and I even had DreamStudio whip up some new art for the occasion.

Today, I look back at 2023's destinations, share some juicy stories and/or photos from them, and also preview where we're heading this year.

Bragging?  Of course.  But perhaps my narcissism will motivate you to go somewhere? 

New or old, it doesn't matter, as long as it's travel.  Or does it?

To help you dig deeper:

* = Travel Guide 2023
** =
Travel Guide 2022
*** =
Travel Guide 2021

2023 Destinations and Links
This list includes every meaningful trip I took during the year, including repeat visits.
  • Downtown Sonoma*
  • Houston
    • Re-living my Casa Integration glory days with my initial work at Dr. Shelly Murphy's new high-rise
  • Houston
    • Rodeo, and also the beginning of the end of us and a particular husband
  • Tamalpais Valley
    • Our anniversary - this seemed like a good idea to overnight here; it was fun, but we wouldn't return
  • Oceanside**
  • Sonoma Coast*
  • Belen
  • Las Cruces***
  • Houston
    • This visit was to finish the install at Shelly's swank new high-rise condo
    • But it was also the final straw
    • Here are some fairly amazing photos of an empty Murphy Villa, now listed for sale at almost $4 million; many, many memories here, like this, from 2007, with Bulleit Bob, in the bar
  • Mendocino/Andersen Valley***
  • Paso Robles*
  • Cabo Pulmo*
  • Mt. Davidson Manor 
    • A neighborhood in SF, sure, but we housesit for Byron Browne IV and Louise Lederhosen whenever we can, for good reason; the house isn't bad, either
  • Metro NYC*/**
    • It is safe to say nobody - and I mean f'ing nobody - wants to see or hear any more from me on this subject; but just in case, here is the original Travel Guide and its Addendum - together, they hopefully offer a useful - if massive - missive on how to have fun in New York City

Déjà vu, all over again.  I've written about this, the quandary about whether to travel to new places, or return to old favorites.  That is why the post today is called The Travel Issue.

And guess which we've chosen for this year?  These are already booked, or they might as well be.

  • Downtown Sonoma*
  • Tupper Lake**/***
    • Another solo winter trip and following in my father's footsteps, although a visit to the hunting camp this year is doubtful
    • And because of the story above, I've been relegated from Murphy Manor to the heretofore unmentioned Murphy Meadows,  which is more than fine; it is her original (and human-scaled!) home on the water in Tupper Lake

  • Tupper Lake**/***
    • Another spring trip, and again it'll be Murphy Meadows, and it will again be more than fine 
  • Belen/Las Cruces***
  • Mt. Davidson Manor
    • While they're on their gee-whiz and über fatcat African safari this July, we'll be running the show at their luxe home for three whole weeks
      • #hookersandblow
  • Breckenridge
    • The Nikki Vale - Baron Belgium nuptials!  In the Rockies in the summer - can you say Diamond Certified
  • Lake Garda**
    • It's only 2 years after our last visit, but it will be OK
    • We've invited another couple to join us, but they probably wouldn't like it
  • Dolomites**
    • See Garda, Lake
  • Rome

Ho, hum!  Been there, done that . . . and so glad we did, and will again.

What's your theory on the travel issue?  Only new places, only old, or a mix? 

Us?  Well, let's just say we have a hard time not going back to places like Rome, our favorite city of them all.

I can feel a Travel Guide for the Eternal City coming on already . . .


Thank you for reading this newsletter.


Let's go full OK, Boomer and while the title of the album itself is a lie (see above), the song "Do it Again" is perfect for today.  Here is Steely Dan and the Textbook Can't Buy a Thrill.

Fun Fact:  This one is such a dinosaur (it was released over 50 years ago, in 1972) that ABC still was in the record business at the time.  Fast forward 5 decades and now they're barely in the TV business . . .

About Dean Clough