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Cabins of the Smoky Mountains

ARIA Las Vegas: A Thousand Ways to Say “Wow!”

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When I first arrived at ARIA Las Vegas, I was a mite rough and dry, like the cotton candy you see in those cocktail glasses below. It took only an hour or so before I was flowing with a glow, feeling much as you see in the second shot, that cotton candy in a better mood. The ARIA is transformative—and a little magical—like that: I spent three days there and couldn’t stop saying “Wow!” (And I said that at night too.) I was part of a media … [Read more...]

Travel Massive October, Los Angeles

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The latest Los Angeles Travel Massive was held poolside at the Sofitel in Beverly Hills. I've been to the mega shopping complex, the Beverly Center across the street a number of times (one of Los Angeles's premium and very profitable shopping centers) but never actually visited Sofitel. Travel Massive Los Angeles is co-chaired by MaryAnn of JetSetExtra and Arnette of Round the World Girl. I've attended these meetups several times in town - … [Read more...]

Rudkobing, Denmark… Wedding Destination?

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Red doors welcome guests into warmly decorated homes, basket bicycles sit in front of flower gardens, cozy houses are perched along rocky streets, a colorful market full of fresh goods and happy people and a harbor full of boats waiting to leave for new adventures - all await visitors in the charming town of Rudkobing, Denmark. Rudkobing, located on Langeland Island also hosts many sports and nature related activities similar to other Nordic … [Read more...]

Los Angeles Food & Wine 2014

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  Now in its 4th year, 2014's Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival did not disappoint with a stellar lineup including top Chefs Michael Chiarello, Fabio Viviani, Michael Voltaggio, Nancy Silverton, Graham Elliot, Masaharu Morimoto, Ricardo Zarate, and Pierre Gagnaire. Set amidst downtown Los Angeles, this is a four-day epicurean event where guests come to taste the city's finest in food and drink. This year Celebrity Cruises, the … [Read more...]

Connecting with Locals and Experiencing Village Life in Thailand

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When I travel I try to take advantage of meeting locals and seeking out home stay opportunities. Rather than seeing a country from just my own perspective, often times more superficially, staying with locals allows one to see and experience a country through their eyes. I find experiences more rewarding and despite the usual communication barriers I discover they are also intrigued with my perspectives and are curious about my own travels. My … [Read more...]

Exploring Song Kul, Kyrgyzstan

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Waking up late at night and stumbling out of our Yurt we were overwhelmed by the clarity and brilliance of stars in all directions - the Milky Way stretched nearly from horizon to horizon and millions of little lights shone so clearly without any distractions of nearby cities. Earlier this year we saw the same awe inspiring sight from the Outback of Australia but here the brightness of the galaxy was even more clear because of the high elevation. … [Read more...]

Skiing vs. Snowboarding

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Skiing and snowboarding are two of the main activities that can be enjoying on a ski holiday and both of these exciting winter sports are offered by most ski resorts around the world. People who have never tried skiing or snowboarding may be a bit nervous about getting started and unsure of which to go for. Here are some tips for which type of winter sport to choose on your next winter holiday. Getting to grips with skiing Skiers are … [Read more...]

Trolling Humans for Whales, and Other Divine Madness from the North Country

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The Mad Hatter: “Have I gone mad?” Alice Kingsley: “I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.” The Mad Hatter: “There is a place. Like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger! Some say to survive it you need to be as mad as a hatter. Which luckily I am.” This seems crazy. In the stern of a Mark V Zodiac on the Arctic Sea I’m slipping into a dry suit, fitting into … [Read more...]

The Surprising Sensual Pull of Providence

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The red retro BILTMORE sign glistened through the rain-pelted floor-to-ceiling windows of the top floor of Providence’s recently renovated 1922 grande dame hotel.  Its simple brashness was striking against the blue-grey sky and russet-brick building on the late-April evening.  Inside all was toasty as waiters served cocktails and crostini, the pledge of a delicious dinner ahead. Chef Kevin Hale kept the promise.  Named one of Coastal New … [Read more...]

Writing from a Yurt at 3000 Meters in Kyrgyzstan

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As I write this the temperature is falling dramatically, and the familiar mountain bone chilling air permeates everything. This Kyrgyzstan Yurt is spacious - there are seven of us sprawled out on various mats on the floor. The locals tell us it takes 2-3 hours for four men to setup one Yurt. The insides are colorful with thick canvas and blankets forming the walls. A circular portion of the ceiling opens up for fresh air and sunlight during … [Read more...]