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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sokol Blosser Organic Cellar

What comes to mind when you hear the words organic wine? A dollar sign? A better quality product? Something exclusive? A new trend? More please? In my case I thought of the adjectives ‘sustainable’ and then quickly ‘expensive’, because many times organic is more pricey. Paying more, I expect a tastier, superior product, which then led me to wonder: Does wine from organic grapes taste better than other, ‘traditionally’ farmed grapes?

According to Alex Sokol Blosser, owner at the Dundee organic winery of the same name, the answer is no. Although Sokol Blosser vineyards use sustainable practices on their land, once in the bottle there’s not much difference between their wine now and their wine prior to going green. The pay off Alex explained, is in the land. He is confident that his family’s vineyards, which were among the first in the region when they began in 1971, will be producing quality grapes for many generations thanks to being certified organic.… Read more

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Waves crash on the beach at Lincoln City.

The Central Oregon coast is without a doubt home to some of the most stunning scenery you’ll see on the Pacific Coast.

Long sandy beaches just made for beachcombing. Salt-water taffy stores by the dozens. Seals splashing in inlets as the tide comes in. Clam chowder. Fresh shrimp. Tasty Dungeness crab. It’s impossible to have a bad time on the coast. Even storms become beautiful as angry waves crash on the beach.

The central coast from Lincoln City to Newport, a distance of less than 25 miles, will keep you as busy as you want to be for days.

Lincoln City

Lincoln City claims the D River is the world's shortest river.

Lincoln City claims it has the shortest river in the world within its boundaries. That would be the D River, just 120 feet long, as it journeys from Devil’s Lake to the Pacific Ocean.… Read more


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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I took a bite of the delicious, hot quiche I was enjoying in our fabulous Carson Ridge Luxury Cabin in Carson, Oregon and just about swooned with pleasure. Not only was the breakfast delicious in every conceivable way, but it was even packed in a large basket and hand-delivered with an ice cold carafe of orange juice right to our door. I was enjoying breakfast in my pajamas in one of the most luxurious cabins I have ever visited. Along with the sumptuous breakfast included in the rate for the cabin, we enjoyed our huge Jacuzzi tub, flat screen television, and huge King size bed.

No matter how magnificent your accommodations may be, doesn’t an included breakfast just add “the icing to the cake”? Or, in our case, “the syrup to the pancakes” like we enjoyed at Paulette’s Restaurant, located in the River Inn of Harbor Town in Memphis, Tennessee. Not only did we have a beautiful suite with a view of the sparkling river, but we could just saunter down to the restaurant and order anything we wanted right off the menu every morning.Read more


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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mother’s Day will be here before we know it and I can guarantee that most mothers would adore a getaway with you more than any other present you can imagine. Hotels and resorts are perfectly lovely, but there is nothing as comfortable, charming, and unique as a stay at a quality Bed and Breakfast location. Fireplaces, whirlpool tubs, comfy beds, and a full gourmet breakfast make them the perfect choice for that special trip. Here are some of my favorite choices – now make your own reservation!

Welcome to the Villa D’Citta!


1. Villa D’Citta in Chicago, Illinois: You will have plenty of choices for places to stay in the Windy City, but this gorgeous Chicago Greystone in the middle of the luxurious Lincoln Park neighborhood should be your first choice. Park in the garage (a former carriage house), then walk through the outside grotto and climb up the winding metal staircase up to a large, outside hot tub.… Read more

Monday, January 30, 2012






–Five Destinations from the Author–

1. Mayan World:

This year it’s all about the “Mundo Maya” or “Mayan World,” which is mostly centered in Guatemala, Belize, southern Mexico’s Yucatan region and Honduras. As the Maya calendar comes to a close at the end of 2012, the Mundo Maya gears up with spiritual celebrations and specialized tours focusing on Mayan culture. Trek through the emerald Petén jungle to the pyramids of Tikal or paddle a canoe through Mayan burial caves in western Belize to get to know the mysterious history of the Maya.

2. Sweden:







Thanks to the success of Stieg Larsson’s dark books and the movies that have followed, many travelers now have snowy Stockholm on their bucket lists. Why is Stockholm often overlooked by those traveling to Europe? Is it due to what an expensive Euro metropolis it is to visit?… Read more


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Thursday, May 12, 2011

In honor of the recent celebration of Earth Day, the government not shutting down in the midst of budget crisis, and the blossoming of spring and summer in general, it seems fitting to bring to attention a travel destination often overshadowed by international escapes and beach resorts:  Our national parks.  Offering some of the most breathtaking views in the country in nearly 400 different places, chances are there’s a national park close by.  Convenient, since many people (myself included) are looking for fresh escapes a bit closer to home as soaring gas prices spike the cost of faraway travel.

With that mentality, I found myself obsessed with Joshua Tree National Park last month.  About a two-and-a-half hour drive from the heart of Los Angeles (avoiding heavy traffic), Joshua Tree seems about a million miles away from the eight lane freeways and concrete jungle of city life.  Towering buildings are replaced by giant quartz monzonite rock formations, sidewalks turn into sandy trails, and the skyline is dominated solely by the natural silhouette of expansive desert scenery.  Schedules are based on sunsets and cell phones are non-existent.   That alone is a paradise I had forgotten.… Read more

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Visit Historic Barcelona Using Podcasts

Barcelona is an expensive city where museum tickets, meals, tours, and taxi rides add up fast. Here are some local tips for saving big time on sightseeing in one of Europe’s most dazzling destinations.

1-Free Runner Bean Tours:

This is a new tour concept in the city offering up free tours of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter and Antoni Gaudí hot spots. Your guide, who gives the tour in English a couple times a day, is paid only in tips. This could mean that you get an exceptional guide who puts his heart in it because he’s after a tip, or it could mean that the guides who work with Runner Bean aren’t too experienced. I haven’t taken a tour with them yet. Clearly it is necessary to tip the guide something for the two hour tour, but just how much is up to you. Most guided tours of the city start at about €20.00.… Read more