March 2, 2015
It’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 (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:
The 11th century Place Jemaa el-Fna is straight out of the movies—a large plaza filled with musicians, Read More→
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→
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→
July 18, 2013
There are few things as thrilling as rolling on the river – whitewater rapids crashing against your raft, pushing and shoving as you fight to control the force of the water by digging your paddle deep into the river. It was our first time on northern California’s Tuolumne river, a wild and scenic waterway that begins in Yosemite National Park and then surges through a canyon, forming 18 miles of class IV+ rapids.
The trip we took was organized by rafting outfitter OARS, and introduced us to three
days of not just exhilarating rapids, beautiful hikes and pristine swimming holes, but also to the joys of craft beer and cheese tasting (more on that later).
There were 19 guests in our group – a few families, some cycling buddies and one couple – along with three rafting guides and four additional boat people to take all that food, beer, camping equipment and a minimal amount of clothing down the river with us.
Days were spent rafting through rapids, with names like Hell’s Kitchen, Surf City and Steamboat. Eli, the guide on our boat and the lead guide on the trip, Read More→