Tag Archives: Travel

Enter Bermuda

I am back in the saddle again and a red eye to Bermuda is the best way break my traveling self in. Typical travel to Bermuda will include a flight to one of the many east coast cities that provide direct flights to this off shore colony.

Late Wednesday night I hopped on my plane and snuggled in my red Delta blanket, it felt like a few minutes later that the Captain announced our descent to Atlanta.I stumbled half awake to the other end of the Atlanta airport and found myself a yummy bagel and iced coffee. Random Trivia: How does a true New Yorker eat a bagel?

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I settled down at my empty gate for a long winters nap. Actually, this is one of the few times I have not been stuck in the Atlanta airport for more time than my layover. About an hour in to the wait my fellow travel companions started to appear. Lesley Carter of Bucket List Productions found my photo on Facebook and introduced herself. She was soon followed by Dave (Dave’s Travel Corner), Carolyn (Healthy Voyager), and Stefanie (Mommy Musings). I always cherish meeting fellow writers and travelers.

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Three hours I was stepping into the Bermuda sun. The air was warm and inviting. My first experience was with the friendly customs officer who told me to the difference between a dark & stormy and a stormy & dark. The amount of rum, do you know which is a splash and which is a a lot?

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Travel around Bermuda for visitors is by taxi, bus, or scooter. While waiting for more travelers, we braved the main road to get a closer look at the water. My driver was informative and friendly. He filled us in on the general facts of Bermuda.
1. White roofs, made of limestone, gather and filter rain water to fill each home’s personal water tank.
2. Scooters are not recommended unless you are an experienced rider and know how to drive safely on the left.
3. Bermudian hospitality consists of buying visitors a drink and then a few more.
4. Local business men dress traditional colonial shorts, knee-highs, collared shirt, tie, and blazer.
5. Most Bermudians shop off shore because of the high cost to buy imported goods.

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I settled into my large Gold status room at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess and took a cozy nap in my king sized bed. I woke up refreshed and ready for cocktails. Fairmont Hamilton has a sister property in the southern part of Bermuda, the Fairmont South Hampton. The hotels run a ferry between the two properties a few times a day. We caught the final voyage and floated into “The Dock” in The Waterlot Inn. This is one of the oldest restaurants on the Island and they know how to treat you right. The evening was filled with the sounds of water lapping against the dock, a talented ukulele player, and travel talk. I left dinner exhausted and fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

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Not bad for my first day in Bermuda and getting back to travel. Do you have any thing you’ve let slip away? It’s always a good time to jump right in.

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Thirsty Thursday: A Testimony to the Layered Complexity of Burgundian Styled Pinot Noir

The Wine Shepherd
Passionate Vigneron Marc Goldberg

Marc Goldberg first tasted the “magic” of Burgundy at 17, he courted his wife Maggie D’Ambrosia with a bottle of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti 1959, and a 1976 Hoffman Mountain Ranch Pinot Noir solidified their dream to make Burgundian-style Pinot Noir in the United States. Together with passion and a love for Pinot Noir the radiant couple started Windward Vineyard.

Marc describes himself as the Wine Shepherd. He believes the vineyard makes it and his job is to make sure nothing bad happens along the way. This may sound like a laid back approach to viticulture, but when dealing with the heart-break grape, Marc has his work cut out for him.

Maggie D’Ambrosia, Windward Vineyard Owner

Windward Vineyard strives to stay true to the monopole style of Burgundy. This means they put an umbrella of protection over the vineyard from start to finish. In order to put Monopole on the label Windward must have complete control of their vines start to finish, use only estate fruit, and never sell a grape.

Just Making Some Wine

The estate is a small 15 acre lot and averages 2000 cases a year. Small production and low yield is a specific technique used to coax the complex layers of Pinot Noir into a sensuous Burgundy. Their 2008 Estate Monopole Pinot Noir is a wonderfully balanced wine, very fruit forward with Windward’s signature peacock tail finish. The Estate’s youngest wine, a 2010 Monopole,opens with minerals and strawberry and lingers over your tongue. I have to admit that I would be happy to enjoy any vintage from Windward.

Newly Renovated Windward Truck

Over the years Marc and Maggie have received a number of accolades including 2012s Paso Robles Wine Industry Persons of the Year. After meeting them and tasting their wines it comes as no surprise. If they aren’t working with the grapes, you will find the couple filling the tasting room with warmth and hospitality. They understand the community of Paso and promote the sharing of knowledge in order to help the entire region grow.

Marc and Maggie started the Pinot & Paella Festival which gives 100% of its proceeds back to the community. It is a sold out event every June, featuring more than 20 Paso Robles Pinot Noirs and 20 local chefs. It is a great way to promote Paso Pinots, the Paso Robles AVA, and give back to the community they are blessed to be a part of.

Windward Vineyard is a must stop in my mind when traveling through Paso Robles. It is a unique offering found in the region. Anyone itching to try a bottle before they can make it to Paso can purchase a bottle or 10 online.

 

Beignets & Jazz

The husband and I are huge supporters of road trips. We spent last fall driving over 7,000 miles round trip; two months of work in New York City, visiting family, and a little sightseeing. Somewhere around 5,000 miles we ended up in New Orleans on a quiet Sunday Morning.New Orleans

Restaurants were just opening for breakfast in the french quarter and there was barely another soul in sight.

After breakfast, with the use of our smart phones and detective like search words, we were able to find Cafe du Monde. The cafe was featured in a doughnut special on the Travel Channel and we were dying to try them. The open air market was full of people and the air was full of Jazz. There was a trio blasting through the morning on the street corner and I finally felt like we were in The Big Easy.

The menu is easy; they only serve two things: drinks and Beignets. What is Beignet you might ask? A square of fried doughy deliciousness coated in powdered sugar. Need I say more? Oliver was so excited that I’m surprised there were only sprinkles of powder on his face.

If you can’t make it to Cafe du Monde anytime soon check out this post by cozywalls and make your own mouth-watering beignets in bourboned butterscotch.

Artillery to Frisbee

My goals for our most recent trip to San Francisco over the holidays were simple:

  • Quality Time with Family
  • Happy Tired Dog
  • Sight-seeing.

This was the second year we would visit Brien’s Aunt for Christmas and I was super excited to re-visit the Bay Area. She lives across the street from an amazing and giant park with a great off-leash area for pups. Happy Tired Dog check. My goal was to take Oliver out in the park long enough that he would sleep away the day and we could catch some more sights this time around. Aunt Maggie had an even better idea: Fort Funston. This park is a literal dog heaven.

Fort Funston
A beautiful dog sniffing his day away.

Rolling hills, no leash, and a strenuous hike down to the beach were exactly what Oliver needed. He loved the open space down on the beach and it was the perfect place for a good round of fetch. We were able to through the ball up the bluff and Oliver had a blast running half way up just to catch it. Aunt Mags was terrified he would fall right off the side.

Oliver fetching on the beach.

Today the barracks of Fort Funston provide a wonderful environmental education center for children, but in the 1900s it provided a home for the artillery of Battery Davis.

Battery DavisFort Funston is a must visit park in San Francisco. You can hike, play with your dog, hang glide off of 200 ft cliffs, and learn about conservation at its finest. For more information visit the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy site: http://www.parksconservancy.org/visit/park-sites/fort-funston.html

Maui, Hawaii: Captivated in Captivity

At the beginning of December I received a life changing text message.

Awesome Family: Would you be available to go with us to Hawaii at the end of the month?

Me: (panic attack, what do I do, this family is super nice and Hawaii Oh My God!, yes I can nanny for a week in Hawaii. Maybe I should say no, ahhh) Yes I would love too.

Oceanfront walk in WaileaThe arrangements were made and I would travel to Hawaii for the first time with an amazing family on my first travel nanny position. Nanny work is one of my many Jack-of-all-trade positions and traveling with families was something I had been dreaming about for the past 4 years.

I was so nervous about packing and carry on regulations, but a handy trip to the TSA website helped me out with all of my questions. The family had asked me to bring a few activities to do with the girls during down time and I was in need of some travel size everything. I packed card games that I bought from a dollar bin like crazy 8s, matching games, and old maid. I also picked up a foam craft kit that for $6 gave us the creativity to do make photos with the stickers or color whatever we wanted. The girls were super happy and since everything was under $10, I didn’t mind leaving them behind to make extra room for souvenirs.

This trip to Hawaii was more amazing than I could have imagined. I was constantly blown away by the food, the people, the beauty, and the weather. We stayed at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea, Maui. The resort was ocean side with multiple pools and activities. One of my favorite things was a wonderful walking path that connected all of the resorts and condos along the Ocean. Whenever I had time off this walk is where I could be found.

I was on the Island for work and so most of my time was spent at the resort. The children were old enough to enjoy themselves in the pool or at the beach, but a little to young to go on adventures like the Road to Hana or a Luau. This trip peaked my interest enough about Hawaii, that I am dying to return all of the Islands and explore the beautiful culture on the land and its people.I often felt like I was looking through the window at unattainable land.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the entirety of this trip and what I did experience is beyond any price point that I could reach at this point in my life. I am truly grateful for this once in a lifetime opportunity. I did have one night off to myself and I used it to walk a few miles to the mall and have dinner. I treated myself to a Hawaiian must: the Mai Tai.

It was so sweet that I had trouble finishing the whole thing, but after dinner I experienced my favorite part of Hawaii. The night sky. I don’t have a fancy camera, so I was unable to take any wonderful photos of the sky but during arts and crafts I made a great sand art rendition. I laid on the beach in darkness, listening the waves, and staring at the sky for hours. The only thing better than staring at the night sky alone, would be staring at the night sky with my husband. Hawaiin Night Sky

There is something so tranquil about Hawaii, which is strange because you are basically on a mountain of death. I fell in love with the essence of Hawaii and I am looking for someone to help me bottle it, please contact me if you have any suggestions. I am currently dreaming about moving there temporarily and it has definitely been added to a list of must visit. I owe the hubby a trip for sure.

Three Blogs I Enjoy Wandering

I often find myself wandering the blogosphere for new destinations, inspiration, recipes, and everything in between.

First up the fabulous ReFashionista. The first day I found her blog, I was so interested that I read every post. She inspires me to rethink rejected items and give them a chance. A description in her own words:

In a nutshell:

*Yay!  I’m helping keep clothing out of the landfill!

*Yay!  I’m helping women in need!

*Yay!  I’m using my creativity to do something more than a little nutty!

Next one of my favorite travelistas, Lesley Carter at Indulge. Every post is a new adventure and I can’t help being blown away by her courage and spirit. A little bit of indulgence:

Top 10 Favorite Cities Visited With 33 countries under my belt, I’ve experienced some of the most amazing cities that the world has to offer. From great beaches, climate, friendly people, personal interests, world-famous attractions, architecture, history, and culture, there are … Continue reading →

Last, but definitely not least  I submit for your eating pleasure The Spamwise Chronicles. Below you will find one of his many photos, that make me what to jump right into the screen and dig in.

In the dead of winter, sometimes you need to be a little creative, particularly when there’s a dearth of greenery. It’s these kinds of moments where you have a limited ingredient palette that I find the most challenging and the most rewarding.
courtesy of The Spamwise Chronicles

The three blogs I mentioned today are not my top three, but just a few of the many amazing writers I have discovered over the last few weeks.

I am still forming my ideas of what this blog should be and what I want to present and discuss. As readership picks up, I have realized that 3 posts a week will probably not keep people coming back consistently. I would like to put feelers out for contributors. Thursday will become share day. If you are interested please submit via email: boldwandering@gmail.com. I am looking for posts in adventure.