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The Real World



The real world

"I love sharing all that is genuine and true in my culture," says Karma Dorji of Sky Kingdom Adventures. Dorji is from Bhutan, that mountainous land smack dab between Tibet and India. His culture-slash-country is something straight out of the pages of National Geographic magazine, a mountainous country half the size of Southern California peppered with Buddhist monasteries and averaging 10,000 feet in elevation. Oh, and people still have abominable snowman sightings.

Bhutan is not Waikiki. Just 9,000 tourists passed through there last year. Tourism tends to be focused on small, guided groups. This is where Sky Kingdom Adventures comes in. With Karma's company, visitors make cultural connections otherwise unavailable. Each trip has a custom itinerary carved out for that specific group's dynamic. Visitors can jump on one of Sky Kingdom's vans or buses to check out Bhutan's animals, which include marmots (giant prairie dogs), yaks (super-hairy cows), and migos (yetis - aka The Abominable Snowman), as well as several rare species of birds. However, it's the whole Buddha on the d-low vibe of Bhutan that is the main draw, as Bhutanese culture is inseparable from Buddhism.

In the early 1600s, Habdrung Ngawang Namgyel built many dzongs, or fortressed monasteries. This king dude also established the Drukpa Kargyupa school of Tantric Mahayana Buddhism, which manages to thrive today even without Madonna's help.

If you'd like to see some of these critters, have high tea at 10,000 feet, or just meditate and leave the material world behind, check out Sky Kingdom Adventures at www.skyking or call 528-4186. They still have a few seats left for upcoming excursions.



San Luis Obispo is getting all MozArty as The Mozart Festival kicks in. As part of Mo' in SLO, several downtown businesses, including Urban Optics, SOHO Studio, Patrick James, and Barnes and Noble, are creating window displays to celebrate the wigged one, while Blue is mixing Mozart-inspired drinks such as Mo-tinis and Mo-garitas. ...

... The Central Coast Alzheimer's Association is throwing their Annual Summer Gala Fundraiser. This year's theme is "An Evening of Remembrance." No kidding. Supporters get to sample gourmet grub and melt to the sounds of harpist Chris O'Connell. Live and silent auctions will fill the evening, featuring trips, wine tours, and spa and golf packages. To support a really good cause, stop by the Edna Valley Vineyard on Saturday, July 9, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Or call 547-3830 for more information. Oh, yeah; they have a web site: ...

... "Raise the Chi, Raise the Value!" is the registered slogan of Holly Ziegler's Feng Shui Solutions. Holly has an extensive background in real estate, education, and feng shui, so workshopping come naturally to her. "Close More Escrows with Feng Shui" and "Feng Shui for Realtors" are just a couple of the classes she puts on for local real estate agents, homeowners, architects, and developers. She also consults by phone or e-mail. Get things moving by calling Holly at 888-869-2399, or move all that energy over to your computer and look up ...

... Downtown as a shoe-lovers' destination just kicked it up a notch as Romp opened its doors on Marsh Street. Owner Karen English is plying that niche of shoes most devotees have to drive miles and miles to get. She stocks stilettos, flats, and everything in between. Get this - every piece of footwear is hand-made and imported from Italy. Basically, buy it from here and you're guaranteed no one else at the party will be sporting the same pair of strappy sandals. Visit them at 785 Marsh St. or call 545-7667. 


Contributor Bryan Dickerson compiles New Times' Strokes & Plugs. E-mail him at


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