August 6, 2014
When my daughter, Emily, announced she had one week off of work this summer when all kid activities are cancelled due to an annual sailing race, my mind immediately started working. “What will you do?” I asked casually.
“Annabel and I are thinking of going away somewhere”, she answered, referring to a friend she met three years earlier on a summer community service trip to Costa Rica.
Emily is leaving for college this fall. Knowing that this could be an ideal opportunity to spend quality time with her, I blurted out, “Would you and Annabel want to go away with me and Dad? Somewhere we could do some high adventure?”
I held my breath, and within seconds she said, “Yaaaa!” She texted Annabel who responded in kind. And that is how I lured my 18-year-old daughter to come away with us. Yes, we’d be sharing her with a friend, though it seemed the ideal strategy for getting her to travel with us and we happen to be very
fond of Annabel.
To make the package as attractive as possible, challenging outdoor activities would be key. Planning a trip for 5 days and 4 nights, Read More→
Tags: adventure, Aspen, bicycling, college, drink, food, hiking, paragliding, rafting
July 27, 2014
For much of the past 25 years, when I heard someone mention Puglia, I could only think back to the music-filled and pasta heavy restaurant in Manhattan’s Little Italy, where I once threw my husband a memorable and ruckus birthday party before we were married.
All that changed a few years ago when I met my friend Antonello Losito, founder of Southern Visions Travel, and heard him boast about the beauty and food of his native region, Puglia, situated in the heel of Italy’s boot. “You must come to Puglia to see for yourself”, he urged. He listed the reasons why, and I listened.
I can now say firsthand that Puglia is a trip worth making. With only six days to explore, my husband, Rich, and I made the most of our time, splitting our six days between the Adriatic coastline area south of Bari and the historic city of Lecce further the south.
With the help of Southern Visions, we spent our first two days bicycling, equipped with titanium bikes and self-guided directions that the company provided. Biking along the flat coastline – ideal for adapting to the new time zone – proved leisurely and scenic
beyond my expectations. Read More→
Tags: adventure, bicycling, cooking, food, Italy, Puglia
December 8, 2013
When the email arrived from my 20-year-old daughter, I realized she’d learned a few things about travel planning. The subject line read “Argentina”, and the attached Google doc was titled: “Our Plans”
Nicole was spending the fall semester of her junior year studying in Buenos Aires, and my journey to visit her would last six days, three in her newly adopted city, Buenos Aires, and three in the southern region of Patagonia.
Her itinerary covered our three days in BA, with each day’s plans listed is chronological order. “Brunch in Palermo at either Voulez-Vous or Bartola”, read one event; “Cemetario and MALBA museum (Av. Pres. Figueroa Alcorta 3415)” was proposed for another. There were addresses, reservation times, neighborhoods pinpointed and even links so I could choose between restaurants.
Upon my morning arrival, I headed straight to the hotel where Nicole, my roommate for the following three nights, was waiting. The Hub Porteño, a cozy and elegant 11-room boutique hotel, is made to feel like a home rather than a hotel. Situated in the tony section of Recoleta with its beautiful galleries, cafes and parks, the hotel’s concierge (our favorite was Martin who takes his job very seriously) emerges from a hidden office when he hears people gathering by the elevator or in its neighboring “living room”. Read More→
Tags: Argentina, Buenos Aires, horseback riding, Patagonia
December 4, 2013
My father was Romanian. My mother is French. As a child, I heard many stories about life in their native lands.
I was fortunate to journey with my mother to France several times, visiting the homes, towns, and the convent in which she lived as a hidden child during the war.
While my father spoke lovingly to me about the mountainous region of his native Transylvania, he was afraid to go back and see what had become of the country, ravaged during the political reign of Nicolai Ceaușescu. He did return eventually, after Ceaușescu was no longer in power, and found his hometown, Brasov, and the surrounding region as lush and charming as he’d remembered. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it there until after my father’s death.
It was very important to me to share my parents’ heritage with my three children, Nicole, Emily and Simon. The legacies would always a be a part of me, and now them, and I felt as if they’d understand their heritage more if they stood in the steps where their grandparents once played, went to school, and so on. We traveled to France.
Tags: Brasov, family, genealogy, New York Times, Romania, Roots
November 6, 2013
When I signed up for a culinary walking tour of Astoria, I’d expected to learn about the neighborhood while ducking into some of its Greek restaurants. While I am happy to report that some Greeks do remain, I found instead an enlightening mélange of cultures and cuisines from mozzarella-making and baklava to feta and falafel.
After reading a recent New York Times Real Estate section cover story, I now know that Queens is on its way to becoming “the next Brooklyn”. It was only a matter of time until the young and hipster-ish were priced out of their neighboring borough to the southwest.
Led by Renee Cohen, the chef and brains behind CuisineArts, the tour took a food-loving pack of 12 women on a four-hour walk around Astoria, Queens, and inside some of its most authentic cafes, restaurants and markets.
The adventure began at the Omonia Café, where our group gathered and learned about the area’s history. Renee talked about Astoria’s background, and more relevantly about the recent changes in the neighborhood and the fusing of cultures. As we sipped our coffee and tasted Omonia’s homemade baklava and spinach-feta pie, Read More→
Tags: food tour, Queens