Life Coach. Writer.

Mindful in Morocco

March 2, 2015

IMG_7826It’s hard not to be mindful of your surroundings in Morocco—the North African country that seems to emanate a wondrous overload of the senses. The sights, smells, tastes and sounds can be overpowering and beautiful, startling and thought-provoking.

In a country where the terrain ranges from snow-capped Atlas mountains and the vast Sahara desert to the serpentine streets of Fez’s medina IMG_5655(old city) and the nearly 1,000 miles of Atlantic coastline, your senses are frequently on high alert. As they well should be.

On a recent trip to Morocco, our group had the good fortune to trek amidst the natural beauty of Mount Toubkal, feel the warm golden sand of the desert dunes, smell the aromas of animal skins at a tannery, and savor the flavors of many a sumptuous tagine. Thanks to the help of travel outfitter Quivertree, who helped us plan our trip and provided us with our amazing guide, Lahcen, our journey was filled with a varied exploration of Morocco’s fascinating offerings—heavy on adventure and a good dose of culture.

Here are a some of our trip’s highlights:

Marrakech

The 11th century Place Jemaa el-Fna is straight out of the movies—a large plaza filled with musicians, Read More→

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Savoring the Tastes of Puglia

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→

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On a Gîte in Southwestern France

October 2, 2012

IMG_1435For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to stay on a gîte – the French word for a holiday vacation home, often on a farm or vineyard. When a colleague mentioned she knew someone who’d opened a gîte on a vineyard near France’s southwestern city of Carcassonne, I immediately inquired.

A few months later, there I was with my teenage daughters, Nicole and Emily, riding the three-hour train from Paris to Montpellier, where we picked up a rental car and drove an hour and a half to Chateau Cânet, a working wine and olive oil domaine in France’s Languedoc region.

Upon our arrival, we were greeted by a lovely summer intern named Anna, who gave us a tour of the grounds – the swimming pool, tennis IMG_1472court, ping pong table, barbeque – and showed us around our accommodation, a quaint cottage with two bedrooms, a kitchenette and a private outdoor patio.

Chateau Cânet is the dream project of its proprieters, Floris Lemstra and Victoria Lemstra-Bake. With their two children and two large dogs in tow, they manage every aspect of Cânet’s 250 acres, its wine and olive oil production and its nine gîtes which accommodate 42 guests. Read More→

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