There’s a seaside town along the Aegean coast where people traveling by land and sea converge. This is Kuşadasi – the gateway to Ephesus, a city once claimed by the Greeks and later by the Romans and that was one of the seven churches of Asia referenced in the Book of Revelation. Kuşadasi is a bustling port city that welcomes cruise ships carrying passengers from all corners of the globe and from all walks of life. More
Where to Stay
When you get off the tram line at Sultanahmet, walk past the Hippodrome, once the center of Constantinople’s (Istanbul) political and athletic life. As you walk through the Hippodrome you’ll pass the Obelisk of Thutmosis and the Serpent Column, an ancient Greek sacrificial tripod that was originally housed in Delphi. You can’t miss the Serpent Column since it’s right in front of the Blue Mosque on your left and is surrounded by fencing. On your right, you’ll see a hotel with an inviting restaurant in front of it. That’s not the hotel you’re staying at, but your Istanbul hotel is nearby. Keep walking.
It was August – the dead of the Brazilian winter. Cachaça-laced caipirinhas and Itaipava had been our drinks of choice while in Brazil, and the night prior, they kept us warm while drinking mid-street in Paraty’s historical center. Unrested and a bit hung over, we were up before the sun because even in the crisp weather, our search for a remote island fantasy was taking us to Ilha Grande, one of several hundred islands that comprise Brazil’s Costa Verde. More
While the beach is more my scene, my mother finds her peace of mind in the desert. There’s something about the dry heat, scenic mountains, and relative quiet that decreases her blood pressure and calms her normally Type-A, busy-body personality. Palm Springs has been my mother’s favorite escape from L.A. for as long as I can remember. So this past Mother’s Day, Jave and I decided to treat her to a stay at Marriott’s Shadow Ridge in Palm Desert. And of course we couldn’t leave my dad out of the plan. So he came along as an early Father’s Day treat and we incorporated a day of golf into our plans to sweeten the deal. More
Of all the places we visited in Brazil, Paraty was by far my favorite for reasons that you’ll read about in posts to come. And it just so happened that of the four guest homes we stayed at while traveling through Brazil, our accommodation in Paraty, Eliconial Paraty Pousada, was also my favorite.
After a day spent frolicking in a flower field, in celebration of our 5th anniversary, Jave surprised me with an overnight stay at Shutters On The Beach, a posh, beachside hotel in Santa Monica that I’d wanted to stay at for quite some time. You see, Shutters isn’t just any hotel – it’s the quintessential high-end hotel in L.A. known for its casual elegance. L.A.’s celebs and movers-and-shakers frequent Shutters, and while we didn’t see any famous faces during our stay, it wouldn’t have shocked us if we did. More
Whenever we travel, eight times out of ten, Jave and I will stay at a boutique hotel rather than staying at a big chain. I love boutique hotels because they usually offer a more local vibe which allows us to get a better feel for what life is really like in our destination. So when researching Santo Domingo hotels before traveling to the Dominican Republic, several factors influenced our decision to stay at Hotel Atarazana. More
Today my husband and I are celebrating five whole years of marriage! When we got married five years ago, we had a small wedding in Negril where Jave’s mom and his best friend were the only witnesses. We knew that we wanted to have a bigger ceremony with more friends and family in attendance, so we renewed our vows at the Tryall Club on our one year anniversary. More
When we were in Rio, as is the case with most of our travels, we wanted to stay in a neighborhood where we could get a taste of local life, short of staying in a favela. As I researched hotels in Rio, the bohemian community of Santa Teresa rose to the top of the list as the clear winner. After scouring TripAdvisor reviews for the ideal boutique hotel in Santa Teresa, Casa MangoMango sold me! More