From the category archives:

Adventure, Travel & Tours

Suite Life at the Ritz Carlton in Downtown Los Angeles

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We live 12 miles west of downtown LA, so why book a suite for two nights in a Ritz Carlton so close to home? (1) We paid a pretty penny for the package on a charity auction because (2) July 4th weekend, we could watch the entire city’s firework displays from the rooftop pool AND […]

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Visit Iceland. 10 Convincing Details For Fretful Travelers

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Iceland. Look on a world map UP THERE, waaaay above Canada and to the East. Not that big thing… that is Greenland. The little island next over. Just touching the Arctic Circle. It doesn’t occur to many Americans I’ve talked to that this would be an enticing destination. No wait, I take that back… People […]

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Traveling to Iceland and Greenland? Here Are Things You’ll Wish You’d Packed. BONUS: What You Can Leave at Home

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At the end of our trip to Greenland and Iceland, I polled our fellow travelers:  “now that you know what you know, what items do you regret not bringing (OR someone else would regret)?”  Of course, you already know to pack binoculars, backpack, underwear, etc.  This is an awesome insightful list of collective experiences.

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Visit Twentynine Palms for a Peaceful, Easy Feeling ~ Road Trip

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Twentynine Palms is an anomaly. You have to crave a whole lotta “nothing” to choose to drive three hours to a hot, dry, dusty and seemingly inelegant place. OK, now that the SNOB is out of me… time to GUSH about this tiny, peaceful, clean, spiritual space.

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Myanmar Cultural Tidbit ~ Yellow Face Paint is Beautiful

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Myanmar is Burma with a new name. And it’s on the brink of becoming more “new world” now that foreign travel to this Asian country (west of Thailand, on the Bay of Bengal) is opening up. Which will probably wreck it, my guess. Let me spread some Myanmar charm while I can… people paint their […]

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How to Not Be a Jerk On Valentine’s Day

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You forgot.  Or worse… forgot to CARE.  Either way, that significant other is probably expecting something on Valentine’s Day.  Pull out the keyboard – you’re going to make a “gift certificate.”

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Dining Changes Afoot at La Jolla’s Special Place ~ La Valencia Hotel

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I’m really mad at Chef Daniel Barron. He runs the kitchens at the La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla, California. I’m mad because he won’t share.

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La Valencia Hotel: Beds, Baths and Way Beyond Awesome

La Valencia Hotel Two Nights Girlfriend Getaway

This Girlfriend Getaway road trip was southbound from our Westside digs to the tony San Diego enclave of La Jolla. In a nutshell, these mini-vacations are three “women of a certain age,” hell bent on a little “me time” away from family, with an extra dose of GIRLY. Destination: the breathtaking La Valencia Hotel.

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Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta – Do’s and Don’ts

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It’s the world’s largest gathering of hot air balloons, and you literally stand amongst them all in a field, blowing up, flying into the sky (as well as ride ‘em) day after day after day.  The Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, October.

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Breaking Bad Tour – An Albuquerque Phenom

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Larry followed the TV show Breaking Bad from start to finish.  I gave up after season 3.  It creeped me out.  But now, having taken the Breaking Bad Experience in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I’ll get through the last two seasons on DVD with a lot more interest.  Hey, I’ve seen the CAR WASH now!!  The […]

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Ojai Valley Inn and Spa. As In, Aaaaaah

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Faithful readers of this blog might be gobsmacked to learn of our stay at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa.  I am renowned for frugality. And this is a 5- star destination with a decidedly pricey reputation. How our four-day visit came about was kismet; it allowed me the chance to tell YOU, dear readers, […]

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Get Thyself to Umbria ~ Plan A Little, Not A Lot

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Umbria is Italy’s heartland region.  Best to start with the book – Sustenance, by Elizabeth Wholey.  This little tome is the most useful tool you’ll find to wrap your head around this area of Italy’s farmers and food producers. Foodie Alert! Umbria is “the new Tuscany.”

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When Larry Cooked Like a Real Italian

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Montone, Umbria, Italy — Our cooking class instructor assured us this was THE Umbrian recipe to master – a lemony olive oil cake. Chef Judith Klinger of Aroma Cucina put Larry to work in her killer Italian kitchen in Montone. Husband/partner Jeff Albucher was attentive dishwasher, bartender and M.C., regaling us in Umbrian history and […]

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