All posts tagged: travel

a nostalgic holiday experience in san francisco

I am a sucker for nostalgia and usually get very sentimental during the holiday season, like (I am sure) most people do. I miss the past and long for when life seemed a little simpler and less demanding, when families where closer and holidays really meant something and  Christmas shopping was truly a creative and rewarding experience rather than a search for the trends and holiday sales. In light of this topic, I can honestly say that although I cannot change what has happened to family and tradition, I can suggest  finding a piece of a reminder from the past and escaping there, if only for a day. I personally do this by taking a day  in San Francisco to go downtown and walk only through historic ( iconic)  retail stores  encompassing Union Square,  so that I can detox myself from the demands of modern-day shopping frenzy through  a “Westfield Mall”. I walk through Macy (no 4) and then cross the street over to Neiman Marcus (no 6) . Afterwards,  I cut through Union Square …

christmas gift idea for her – romantic getaway

I can honestly say, by the time a woman reaches  her 40s, it becomes  less and less  important to get a gift for her kitchen as it is to get a gift for herself. Sometimes, some women  are even willing to forgo a pair of diamond earrings for a week’s  getaway from their daily lives. So, just in case you have exhausted all your “gift idea” resources, consider surprising her with a romantic getaway (within your budget) to most anywhere in the world. As you know or may not, off-season travel (depending on destination) is  more likely affordable than during the high season . However, planning a vacation “gift” within a budget is often times  very challenging.  Calling a travel agent to arrange such a trip is priceless. 🙂 The reason I suggest working with a travel agent to plan a “gift” vacation is so that you can actually put the plan on hold with a small deposit, while you surprise your significant other with a gift certificate and deal with the reaction. Should she …

boutique hotel pick – Soho Grand Hotel – New York

There is nothing like visiting New York during the holiday season, in my opinion, to sort of reconnect with the past and do some good old fashion shopping and dining. In the midst of this romantic destination (only during the holiday season, mind you), I have included one of my favorite boutique hotel picks to consider, just in case you are up to the adventure. It is none other than the classic and mostly unique Soho Grand Hotel Enjoy and have a great weekend!

experiencing france through montreal canada

Outside of Paris, my second favorite place to visit in order to get my dose of French essence is Montreal, Canada. Although most of my visits there revolve around   family, I manage to sneak in a day to escape the norm and traditions just to reconnect with the city, in my own way. It isn’t difficult to feel as though you are in parts of France, while in Montreal, because every where you turn there is a reminder of the French culture. Whether in street signs or billboard advertisement, architecture and cobble stoned streets,  restaurants and cafes, bookstores and more, the make up of the city exudes a more Parisian feel than most any other place around the globe which is influenced (previously colonized) by French culture. One of my favorite times of the year to visit the city is in the Fall.  According to family, Montreal seldom sees sun and is often times more cloudy and rainy than the locals prefer. Plus the humidity in the Summer months is most unbearable outside air-conditioned …

hotel pick – petit ermitage – los angeles

Los Angeles is my playground and I frequent this particular destination about six to seven times a year. The fun thing about Los Angeles is that, you can never get bored, I mean while looking to  experience something new and different – such as a  hotel or a restaurant or a cafe, even designer boutiques and beauty salons. It is forever changing and just when you think you have a list of your favorites down, think again, the next time you visit, it may not be there or better yet, it has been revamped, redone or remastered just to entice  the visitors and locals alike. So, in light of this wonderful entry, I have included a bohemian themed boutique hotel so nicely named, in my opinion, Petit Ermitage located in West Hollywood.  A great escape from all the norms of hotel luxury. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

friday travel picks – le meurice hotel, paris

I love to travel and probably can do so six to ten months out of a year, if I had the chance. Having also had the wonderful opportunity of being a travel agent, I was fortunate enough to have access to most anything related to travel I can possibly imagine in order to plan other’s dream holiday or just fantasize about mine. So, in light of my love for travel,  I have decided to set aside  Fridays to include my vacation picks, whether hotels, spa’s or destination around the globe. For my first choice of quality hotel, I have included here the website to Le Meurice Paris (***** hotel) for that special anniversary, birthday celebration or honeymoon. Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

paris in black and white

What is it about photographs of Paris in black and white? Actually the only other place I can think of that looks amazing in black and white photography is New York. I understand you may disagree but from where I am sitting, those are my favorites. During the winter months I tend to become very nostalgic and will search for anything that feeds into my nostalgia.  Such as classic films, holiday shopping, Dickens’ Fair, listening to Edith Piaf  and looking through black and white photographs of Paris. So for the sake of nostalgia, I am including a postcard that I made of my favorite b&w photos of Paris. Enjoy!

wishful thinking for fall

Last days of summer and the first of fall, depending on which calendar you look at. It could be September 22 or 23rd but either way, it’s here, so quickly I must add and based on my mood these day, along with probably millions of other people, the transition is not a pleasant one. As I contemplate transitioning to a new career, experiencing a new life perhaps and the desire to relocate to another city, I continue to ponder over this photograph and wonder how wonderful  it would be to live in Paris for while… Either way, Happy Fall everyone.

museum envy or “transforming culture into a consumer product?”

While in Paris, enjoying the Louvre Museum on a rainy afternoon, I noticed the above poster hanging over the self-purchase ticket kiosk in the lobby of the museum. I actually stared at it for a long while and then decided to take a picture of it just to ponder over in the weeks to come and to remember to research the reasons behind the “project.” When I returned to the U.S. and shuffled through my photographs on my computer, in order to organize them, the above picture popped up, reminding me of what I had to do. As a  supporter of the fine arts and an avid museum goer, I must say I have trouble with this decision. I  believe this is the first time a museum is opening a “branch” and although the article I have included here justifies the means to the cause, or rather explains the reasons behind the decision, I have mixed feelings about the endeavor.  Perhaps I am wrong to think this way, but I strongly feel all things historical …

all things coffee

I didn’t start drinking coffee until I hit 40-somthing. I guess I was naturally hyper enough in my younger days and didn’t need the stimulant to jump-start me. But now, if I don’t have a cup of coffee in the morning, I simply cannot get in gear. I try some days to not have a cup and I am okay with it, but by the next day I feel it is somewhat crucial to down a cup. I love to explore unique coffee shops, especially while traveling and often times settle on out of the norm places, because of the type of coffee they use to create their blends, the style in which the coffee is served, and the ambiance and decor. The type of music emanating from their speakers helps as well. My  favorite coffee shops are of course throughout Europe, mostly France and Italy and while there, it is really difficult to turn any corner without seeing a unique coffee shop or coffee bar. What is most enjoyable for me is the fact, …