Best Paris Day Trips (Besides Versailles)

Paris offers so much to see and do, you’d be forgiven for never setting foot outside of the city, particularly if it’s your first visit. However, if you’re visiting for the second or third time, I strongly encourage you to take a day trip. Paris is surrounded by beautiful countryside and château with stunning architecture and intriguing history. While Versailles is popular for a reason, you can avoid the crowds by visiting the following sites (with the exception of Giverny which is quite popular). Continue reading “Best Paris Day Trips (Besides Versailles)”

A Seafood Lover’s Road Trip in the Pacific Northwest

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and it is one of my favorite places to visit. The food is incredible and the area is stunning with its rivers, mountains and endless green trees. When I go, I visit my favorite haunts, see friends and family and manage to get in a bike ride or a hike. On a recent trip, I did things a little differently and approached my visit more like a tourist than a local. Continue reading “A Seafood Lover’s Road Trip in the Pacific Northwest”

Hotel Dispatch: The Suttle Lodge

During a recent trip to Bend, my sisters and I decided to sneak away for a night at The Suttle Lodge along with our husbands and babies. After hearing the restaurant served fish and chips as a sandwich, it was on my to do list. The lodge in the Deschutes National Forest is located near Sisters and was reopened by the same group behind the Ace Hotel in Portland in September 2016. Continue reading “Hotel Dispatch: The Suttle Lodge”

Where to Eat in Italy

The entrance to the restaurant at Il Falconiere.

People often ask me where to eat in Italy. This isn’t as easy of a question to answer as you might think. While Italy is one of the world’s great culinary destinations, I’ve had a lot of disappointing and frankly forgettable meals there. Italian Michelin star restaurants, in particular, have left me wanting. It’s possible to stumble upon an incredible meal, but more often than not you find yourself famished so you stop at a little trattoria. The proscuitto and melon is good and the setting, like sitting at a cafe on the Piazza del Campo in Sienna, makes the food taste better than it actually is. Continue reading “Where to Eat in Italy”

Paris Hotels for Different Personalities

Those who travel to Paris theses days are spoiled for choice when it comes to accommodations. Thanks to a flurry of new boutique hotels, apartment rentals and a much anticipated luxury hotel unveiling, there has never been a wider variety of options in the city and great choices exist in every quartier. Each stay described here is unique and appeals to a different type of traveler. Here’s how to decide which one is right for you. Continue reading “Paris Hotels for Different Personalities”

South America with Baby

Justin and Wylie at the Vines Resort at sunset.

I had a baby in September and as you might expect, Wylie had a passport appointment within a few days of being born. My husband and I didn’t want to do an international trip too early, though, so we cured our wanderlust with a few West Coast road trips during the fall and planned a trip to South America for right after Christmas. Wylie would be just under four months old, a sweet spot we’d been hearing for traveling with baby, and we wanted to take advantage of it. The holidays were a whirlwind and I had a cold by the time our trip rolled around. Continue reading “South America with Baby”

A Video Guide to the Marais

The Marais is my favorite neighborhood in Paris. It includes the 3rd and 4th arrondissements and offers 16th century architecture, Israeli street food and wonderful shopping. The Marais is also one of the rare parts of Paris that is lively on Sundays but know if you go that day you will encounter large crowds. I recommend visiting midweek when shops are open, but it’s a bit more quiet. Here is a video guide to the area. Continue reading “A Video Guide to the Marais”

What You Need to Know Before Visiting the Alhambra

Last spring, my husband and I spent two weeks traveling through France and Portugal. Justin had to return to San Diego for work, but we were so close to southern Spain, I decided to stay another week by myself. I have always wanted to visit the Alhambra and the Generalife, the complex of palaces used by the Kings of Granada as summer residences. The site’s Moorish architecture, sumptuous gardens and hilltop location backed by the Sierra Nevada mountains appeared to me in photos like a sort of Shangri-La. Continue reading “What You Need to Know Before Visiting the Alhambra”

Copenhagen Mini Guide

Since the U.S. election, I’ve been thinking a lot about Copenhagen. My husband and I visited with friends last fall. Denmark is one of the world’s happiest countries and when in the capital city it’s hard not to notice how content the residents are despite the dark, dreary weather that persists for much of the year. Dane’s pay some of the highest taxes in the world and while the prime minister has made remarks that it’s not a planned socialist economy residents do get access to child care, state-guaranteed medical and parental leave from work, free college tuition and free health care. Continue reading “Copenhagen Mini Guide”

New York City Guide

Central Park

When I go to New York I stay up later than usual, walk for miles and eat and eat and eat. I find the pulse of the city infectious and it gives me energy I didn’t know I had. December when the city seems like a holiday movie set is my favorite time to go, but there are good reasons to visit in every season. Central Park is probably most beautiful in fall when the leaves range from burnt red to bright yellow. In the springtime as the days get longer and the weather finally thaws New Yorkers seem to be in a particularly good mood and summer is the best time to snag good hotel deals and visit rooftop bars. When I visit the city I often think to myself “I could live here.” Maybe if I did some of the romance would wear off so until then I will make the most of every trip. Continue reading “New York City Guide”