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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...]

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...]

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...]

Kayaking the Los Angeles River in the middle of an Urban Jungle!

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The River When you stand solitary on North Main Street next to the railroad tracks above the Los Angeles River all you feel is a deep sadness as you look down on a river that has been dramatically altered in a relatively short amount of time. You look down on a river that has been soiled by trash and has become a concrete waterway juxtaposed with brightly colored graffiti where those entrapped by the city, drugs, gangs and poverty … [Read more...]

Living large at Sandals LaSource on Grenada

Pool at Sandals LaSource in Grenada

Who wants to be a millionaire? Well, most of us. But most of us aren’t. You can, however, vacation like one at the new Sandals LaSource all-inclusive resort in Grenada. Or so it says in the resort booklet. That’s not a stretch. The resort opened in April 2014 to rave reviews, a beauty of an all-inclusive resort, luxurious, well-appointed and ideally located close to Maurice Bishop International Airport on the island’s southwestern corner. I … [Read more...]

A Trip up the Dalton Highway to the Arctic Circle

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We pulled out of Fairbanks at 7am sharp - under grey skies with a promise from the clouds of rain to come. It has been raining here the past few weeks and is an unusually rainy June. The clear and warmer weather is forecast to begin in a few days, after we have left. Today it was a trip up the famous Dalton Highway, a series of graded dirt and partial pavement at times road that heads north to Deadhorse and Prudhoe Bay, both located almost within … [Read more...]

A Sea to Sky Journey, Vancouver to Banff with Rocky Mountaineer

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In nearly 25 short years the Rocky Mountaineer has created a memorable experience incorporating some of the Rocky Mountain's finest scenery. A trip on the rails is one to enjoy, savor and spend quality time with loved ones - a chance to truly escape from the hectic fast paced life of the "real world". Few train rides on the planet can deliver such inspiring and jaw dropping vistas as the Rocky Mountaineer. The train follows historical railways to … [Read more...]