48 Hours in Santa Barbara- Get Going, Get Seeing and Get Doing

Santa Barbara holds the distinct honor of being named the American Riviera, and for good reason. With its gorgeous coastline, local wine region, Mediterranean architectural charm, expansive sandy beaches, world class lodging and dining, and overflowing bougainvillea, there is much to experience. It's a short two hour drive from Los Angeles and just about thirty minutes before entering the Santa Barbara region, you'll get a beautiful view of the pacific coastline right from the highway.  I like to take Cabrillo Boulevard, [...]

Vancouver On A Whim

  The offer was on the table; fly in to Seattle, rent a car and head north to the beautiful city of Vancouver, British Columbia. I only had 24 hours to decide. It would mean wrapping up two days of business in half the time, but how could I let the opportunity go by? I arrived early in Seattle at the SeaTac airport and met my husband at the curb; he a perfect chauffeur and me, the navigator, headed towards [...]

Fresh Pasta in 7 Easy Steps

In Italy, there is saying, “Buon cibo, buon vino, buoni amici”, which translates to "Good food, good wine, good friends;" a perfect description for a night of fresh pasta making. One thing for sure, when you experience fresh handmade pasta, nothing will ever substitute for the taste, texture, and pureness of this Italian staple. I learned this truth a few years back while visiting Florence, Italy, where I tried my hand with fresh pasta making at Giovanni’s Food & Wine [...]

Magical Venice

We arrived in Venice when the lights of the night were in full force and never considered the evening could rival the day for beauty in this amazing city.  A waterbus ride confirmed a palatable magic along the shimmering waterway of the Grand Canal and offered views of several highlights on the main channel. The next day we found ourselves wandering Venice for over 10 hours. It's easy to do, as there were bridges beckoning to be crossed, alleyways to [...]

24 Hours in Florence is Simply: Not. Enough. Time.

What can be accomplished in 24 hours? A lot if you choose to “do" instead of sleep! We arrived early evening in Florence, dropped the suitcases in our room and hightailed it out of the hotel toward the city center. Given we had been to Florence a few years ago, we knew the area well enough to get to the beautiful Arno River from our hotel and then take a very quick walk around the town to see the Ponte [...]

Cinque Terre, Let Me Count the Ways…

When I mentioned to friends I was planning a trip to Italy, just about everyone who had previously been to Italy uttered the words, Cinque Terre. I did some research on Cinque Terra UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the region looked amazing! Quaint villages (in Italian, Cinque Terre translates to "5 Lands"), beautiful crystal clear blue  water, beaches, and a national park offering unique hiking trails…it all looked totally worth adding to the travel itinerary. La Spezia, a working man’s [...]