The Design Tourist travels to Healdsburg California, the Hospitality Heart of Sonoma County Wine Country. We’ll tour several Sonoma County vineyards as we sip and savor this epicurean Eden with its earth-friendly ethos and learn about the county’s efforts to have all its vineyards certified sustainable in just a few years.
We signed up for the Margherita to Portofino six-kilometre Italian hike adventure on the Emerald Princess, the elegant 947-foot-long, 3,573-passenger cruise ship we're calling home for a week. The port we've pulled into is Genoa, Italy.
The Chobe river acts as the northern boundary of Chobe National Park, Botswana’s first national park, and joins four countries: Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia. It’s the region’s heartbeat – a year-round, life-giving source of water.
Join KITI Contributor Debbie Stone on a journey to Namibia, on the trail of the hidden five. “The tour revealed another sand dweller, the Fitzsimmons Burrowing Skink. These slithery lizards typically forage later in the day when the sand is of a more suitable temperature. “
As the sun rises and paints the landscape fiery orange, I finally grasp the sheer magnitude of Bagan’s ancient monuments from my bird’s-eye perch in a hot air balloon. It’s an otherworldly skyline, dotted with pagodas, temples, shrines, stupas and monasteries as far as the eye can see.
Welcome to Greece? If you were blindfolded and transported to Tarpon Springs, Florida you might well think you were in the land of Aristotle, Homer and Plato. That town of about 25,000 inhabitants claims a higher percentage of residents of Greek heritage than any other place in the United States.
Wandering the hilly, narrow cobblestone streets in our home base of Montalcino, Italy, a Medieval city of interlocking passageways, steps and alleyways curving around and through and behind and beyond the main square, I reminded myself I was walking through history spanning eight hundred years.
A half a kilometer off the west coast of O'ahu, Matthew Solomona is in the midst of an esoteric explanation of why the water is so blue. It has something to do with the Pacific Ocean being a prism that captures and concentrates the wavelengths of all the azure in the visible light spectrum. It's very informative. But really, all we want to do is submerge ourselves in this aquarmarine stuff. So, my wife and I and our 15-year-old daughter grab the snorkel gear provided on the Hawaii Nautical catamaran tour and take the plunge.
Under the gaze of the Alhambra Palace, and on soil trodden by poet Federico Garcia Lorca, the two hundred year old La Casa Grande de Zujaira sits proudly. I stand looking through the original metal gates at part of the ‘big house.’ Now split in two, the imposing white house, with its clock built by Gustav Eiffel’s apprentices, rests majestically with its terraced garden sprawling at its feet.
There’s nowhere quite like Cape Town, the jewel of South Africa. This fascinating city is a meld of cultures, history and landscape, crowned by the magnificent Table Mountain. Often regarded as synonymous with the “Mother City,” (Cape Town’s affectionate moniker), this landmark is the single most welcoming icon to its people, as well as to travelers from around the globe. Named a New Seven Wonders of Nature, the mountain is one of the oldest on earth, six times older than the Himalayas and five times older than the Rockies. It forms part of the Table Mountain National Park, which extends all the way to the Cape of Good Hope, the most southwestern extremity of Africa.
Ancient tortoises, deserted beaches and travelling by catamaran are the highlights of this island-hopping holiday in the Indian ocean. Tyson stretches his wrinkly, 120-year-old neck as an invitation to stroke it. It feels much like it looks: dry and leathery, yet utterly wonderful. T
Just like many days and nights before, the aroma of Conch Butter Sauce, Souse and Potato Salad, and many, many, other traditional Caribbean dishes wafts through the air. Like magic, the aroma beckons you, leading you to the heart of Estate Princesse, right off Northside Road to the Cast Iron Pot in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. And the man behind the magic, no other, then award-winning, Chef Burton Peterson. Peterson who once worked in the famed Waldorf Astoria in New York, is no stranger to creating eventful and intricate dishes for U.S. Presidents, celebrities, royalty, and brides. This is probably why the Cast Iron Pot possesses an air of seclusion that makes you feel like royalty from the moment you enter the main dining area. You know you have officially arrived to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, when you’ve had a meal or two, at the Cast Iron Pot.
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With cruise season here, many folks who love that mode of travel will be taking to the season mega-ships that resemble floating ‘round-the-clock buffets and offer shore excursions too brief to provide a real sense of the destination. Others will opt for vessels and itineraries which provide very different experiences. They include Civil War buffs Tom and Elaine Preston, who take to shore to wander through reconstructed forts and trenches where one of the most important battles of that conflict was fought. Betsy and Andy Cross follow a machete-wielding guide as he clears a path through a dense rainforest that covers an area the size of India. Fun, rather than tropical foliage, attracts Lauren Davis and Jim Goodman to a Go-Kart race track, a ropes course and an exhilarating water slide.
Quebec’s French-Canadian allure is integrated with countless immigrant populations that have made this a prosperous area with an energetic blend of people and cultures. Despite being a family travel writer that lives on the East Coast of the United States, I had never visited our friends to the North. Our family decided it was time to go and explore this stunning area with our children Anna Cecilia (8) and Luca (5). A mere ninety minute flight from our home city of Washington, D.C., we had to find out what marvelous Montréal and it’s Eastern Townships were all about.
Although I would never intentionally seek out a taxi without a windshield, of course, I’m glad the only cab I could find to take me from Santo Domingo de los Colorados in Ecuador to a hummingbird preserve a few miles west didn’t have a windshield, nor windows either for that matter. My two-dented-doors vintage cab made Columbo’s battered old wreck look like a sleek new Jaguar.
It's a most undignified way to roll up to former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's favourite restaurant. We arrive at Lucca, in Sacramento's leafy Midtown, hooting and hollering on one of those 15-person party bikes that resembles a bar on wheels.Usually, Sac Brew Bike's tours hit rambunctious pubs. But, our group has chartered the party bike to peddle the eight blocks from Sac Brew Bike's bar and headquarters to fine-dining Lucca.
Elizabeth and Andy Beyer’s drive along California’s Sonoma Valley Wine Trail was a lifelong dream. They satisfied their love for the beverage during tastings at favorite vineyards. It was food that tempted Mary and Roger Nicholson to visit Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou. They sampled traditional dishes like fresh-from-the-sea food and lip-smacking desserts.
Everyone has heard of Colonial Williamsburg with its dozens of buildings from the late-17th to mid-19th centuries. But it's not real, folks! Although few people have heard of New Castle, Delaware, it has almost as many buildings from that same era and real people live there. Okay, they're not dressed up like Revolutionaries, but the history there is even more...well, historic. It’s a genuine Colonial town but without the colonists.
Humans have developed a fascination for things we cannot explain. Our nature is to reason, that is what separates us from the animal kingdom.How do you explain that feeling that bristles the hair on the back of our neck? The alarm goes off, your heart starts beating quickly, your senses sharpen, your legs are ready to run and yet we always want to know more.
As self-imposed exiles go, this one is exquisite, sexy, opulent and indulgent.My wife, Kerry, and I are holed up in one of the new, sumptuous over-the-water bungalow at Sandals South Coast Resort in Jamaica, and, we don't want to leave. So, we don't. We sequester ourselves in a four-day cocoon of over-water coupledom to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.
For the record, Switzerland does not have a royal family and is actually as close as you get to a direct democracy in this day and age. But these are just details. If there was a Swiss royal family, I imagine they would live in a modern castle like The Dolder Grand, with Warhol and Dalí paintings hanging casually on the wall.
Enjoying our first dinner during a group tour of Sicily, we turned to our guide and told him that the meal was excellent. This being Sicily, the reply was not all that surprising. “You can steal my money but don’t touch my food,” Alessio remarked. He followed that remark by claiming: “If lunch or dinner doesn’t have at least five courses, it’s just a snack.” I suspect the largesse ahead of us was a paltry morsel.So yes, food plays an important role in the lifestyle of Italians. Very important. Portions often approach gargantuan in size. And growing, harvesting, cooking and eating hold a place of near reverence in their daily lives.
Sandwiched between other spectators on a wooden bench, I nod my head enthusiastically to the six-piece jazz band tearing it up at New Orleans’ Preservation Hall. New Orleans celebrates its 300th anniversary in 2018, and I’m in Louisiana’s largest and most diverse city to fight my obsessive need to associate everything with 1980’s pop music. (Especially Van Halen.) If I can’t broaden my historical knowledge and musical appreciation in the Mississippi River mecca for everything from Cajun and Creole cuisine to Mardi Gras partying, there really is no hope for me.
The "wonderfood" of the future? Are you a food lover? Mexico City is famous for its tasty food, history, color, and crowds.
“Huerto Roma Verde” in the heart of México City, in Colonia Roma Sur, hosts “El Bonito Tianguis”. A highlight of the fast-growing annual event is “Insect Feast Festival 2018” each June to enlighten people about pre-Hispanic food through entomophagy gastronomy or insect-eating.
Sometime between being shot out of the waterslide like a cannon ball and jumping off the top deck into shimmering Shuswap Lake, we declare houseboating our new favourite way to vacation.
But, of course, there will also be simple lounging in the sunshine, awe-inspiring vistas around every bend, soaking in the top-deck hot tub, barbecuing on the front deck, outdoor showers on the back deck, wine at twilight and sleeping like a baby as the water gentle laps against the boat.
Mangoes are beloved in Nevis, but nobody buys them. They don't have to. Nearly ever Nevisian has a mango tree or three in their backyard and even if you don't have one, in the summer it literally rains mangoes and people can't give them away fast enough. There are officially 44 different kinds of mangoes in Nevis; the Amory Polly, Julie and Long mangoes are just a few of the most prized. Known throughout the Caribbean as St. Kitts' smaller, more luxurious sister island, Nevis has the laid-back luxury you'll crave after tiring of the ritz and glamour of St. Barts. Here you can chase monkeys barefoot or sit by the pool sipping an iced almond milk latte. Just one road circles the whole island, an easy 45-minute drive to circumnavigate.