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”

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”

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”

The Travelproper Logo Story

Paris's fashion museum, where the Lanvin exhibit was on display last year.
The Palais Galliera or fashion museum.

You may or may not have noticed my new logo depending on how long you’ve been visiting this website. The idea for the red-orange logo started with a visit to the Palais Galliera, the fashion museum, in Paris for the Lanvin exhibit last year. I went for the first time with my friend Alexis and I was absolutely enthralled by the clothing on display, all original designs by French Haute Couture designer Jeanne Lanvin (1867-1946). The drapey, elegant and even edgy pieces, one long black dress had metallic studs on the shoulders, were simply the most beautiful pieces of clothing I’d ever seen. Continue reading “The Travelproper Logo Story”

Finding Peace After Paris in the Realm of King Ludwig

Work on Neuschwanstein Castle started in 1868.
Work on Neuschwanstein Castle started in 1868.

I watched the news of the Paris terrorist attacks unfold from my apartment in the Marais with a mix of sadness, horror and disgust. It’s a cliché to say it but I’ve never felt so much like it could have been me. Just that morning my mom and I ate breakfast in the 10th Arrondissement near where one of the shootings took place. I had so many questions. Continue reading “Finding Peace After Paris in the Realm of King Ludwig”

A Great 2 Hour Tour of the Louvre

The Napoleon III Apartments at the Louvre.
The Napoleon III Apartments at the Louvre.

By Justin Chiotti

The Louvre experience is amazing, inspiring, and, let’s face it, overwhelming. You’ll find yourself breezing past masterpieces on your way to other masterpieces. Don’t worry, it’s natural and unavoidable to feel this way– it would take over two months to see the entire museum if you spent one minute at each piece. So, if you don’t have 65 days to spend in the Louvre, but would love to see the famous works, this tour is for you. Continue reading “A Great 2 Hour Tour of the Louvre”

Slideshow: 12 French Festival Foods that Put Hotdogs to Shame


I’ve always loved food festivals. I think it started growing up in Portland, Oregon. Once a year we’d head to The Bite, a summer food festival on the waterfront featuring many of Portland’s best restaurants. I would gorge myself on Ethiopian food and berry shortcake layered with vanilla ice cream.  When I started spending more time in France, I was curious how the most food-obsessed culture on earth would execute an outdoor food festival. Would the food be mediocre and over priced as so often happens in the U.S. or would there be foie gras, truffles and excellent wine? I’m happy to say the latter is true especially at Fêtes des Vendanges de Montmartre, a food and wine festival that celebrates the harvest of Clos Montmartre, the last active vineyard in Paris. Click above for a slideshow of dishes from the event that runs through Sunday in Montmartre and keep your eyes peeled for these specialities at food festivals and markets throughout France.

What is your single favorite festival food? Please let me know in the comments!

A Marais Walking Tour

Place des Vosges.
Place des Vosges.

By Justin Chiotti

Situated on the right bank, the Marais is one of the most historic and beautifully preserved areas of Paris. Marais is French for marsh or swamp and the area was first drained and settled by the Knights of the Templar in the 1300s. Today, the Marais is home to aristocratic mansions from the 1600s, one of Europe’s most beloved squares, and a baguette “tradition” that has taken top honors in the city.

Continue reading “A Marais Walking Tour”

Slow Food & Living Market at the Rosewood London

Just one of the unique products sold at the Rosewood London's weekly farmers market.
Just one of the unique products sold at the Rosewood London’s weekly farmers market.

Make no mistake, The Rosewood London in Holborn is a luxury hotel, but it’s a luxury property that does things a little differently. It offers cabaret nights in Scarfes Bar, a gourmet take-away food shop and now a weekly Slow Food & Living Market in the Edwardian hotel’s inner courtyard. This, I think, is a brilliant idea. Not only does it give hotel guests exposure to the most beautiful, artisanal products the UK has to offer like locally made mead and Isle of Wight tomatoes, it serves as a community gathering place in London’s Midtown neighborhood, which can be somewhat staid on weekends. Reach more about the market in my story for Robb Report here.

World’s Most Visited Castles

The grounds of Topkapi Palace in Istanbul.
The grounds of Topkapi Palace in Istanbul.

I’ve always loved visiting castles and palaces. For me, getting lost in the history, the intrigue and the lives of those who once lived there is the ultimate escape. Writing about the 20 most visited castles and palaces in the world, which range from a palace in Istanbul to fairytale-like Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, for Travel & Leisure was a dream assignment for me. To see who else made the list click here.