Cote Cuisine

What to See, Eat, & Do in the Champagne Region of France

There is a difference between simply drinking a glass of champagne at home and drinking a glass after having toured the champagne house from which it comes from. Not to say that it tastes bad, just that it seems to taste better – or so is my belief after having toured the Champagne region of France this past summer.

Of course, I say all of this jokingly but also in part to express my deeper appreciate for this delightful bubbly since my trip.

The region of Champagne, which was established long before the bubbly was even produced, located in the Northeast of France, a little over 2 hour drive from Paris. 

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Fall Fun: Circle Line Cruise to Bear Mountain

The chill is in the air and depending on where you are, you can already start to see the leaves changing. I love this time of year, and though I am a huge fan of the beach, sand, and warm sun during the summer months, Fall has always been one of those seasons that makes my heart happy.

My family and I enjoy taking the weekends to road trip in search of apples and pumpkins, and just take in the colors of the season.

Though autumn hasn’t officially started, we kicked it off a little early during Circle Line’s Bear Mountain Cruise of the season.

It’s a lot of everything I love: experiencing a destination by water, enjoying a beautiful day out, and beer festivals.

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Inspiring Travel with Findery

For the past couple of years I have played around with a new app called Findery. I was approached to test it out, play with it, use it, and share what I thought. In the age of Instagram, Pinterest, and Foursquare (now Swarm), it’s difficult to imagine what another location based social media with visual capabilities could offer. With Findery you have these things, but a bit more enhanced for a better audience experience.

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Behind the photos: El Amanecer (The Sunrise)

Every time I visit Mexico I discover something new, or am able to see it in a new way. I have fallen in love with this country, and get excited every time I have the opportunity to come here, because no matter how many times I do, I am able to experience in a way I never did the last time I visited.

I had never gotten up to watch the sunrise, and though I am not a morning person, I have to say, it is something worth doing more than once during a visit here, especially if you are on the beach.

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Protecting and Saving My Photography

Next to my desk, protected from the sun, dust, cold, and pretty much any other environmental hazard (I hope), is a malfunctioning hard drive that will no longer read the contents saved on it. In this hard drive, which I begged the Apple folks to return to me when they replaced it with a new one, are endless photos taken over a period of several months which I saved nowhere. Sounds horrifying, doesn’t it? Believe me, I type this and my hands start to tremble.

I’ve called a few tech support people who might be great at retrieving the contents, but the quote for such a task as been about $700-$800. Not an easy pill to swallow, nor cash I have readily available, thus why the hard drive still sits there, untouched, with my beautiful photos, unattainable.

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Photographing The Planet D

One of the things my parents always told me when I was growing up was that nothing in life is free. As immigrants to this country, they knew first-hand that to achieve anything worthy of pride and merit, you had to work hard for it.

My parents raised me to see that the rewards that come from having committed yourself to a goal are greater than the instant (and quickly fading) gratification of having been given anything you didn’t really have to make much effort for.

As a professional travel blogger, I am often reminded of these lessons because though it may seem at times that this “lifestyle” is full of freebies and perks, the truth is that the most solid, most valuable, most significant opportunities and experiences – and yes, even the most lucrative ones – are often a result of the hard work, time, and effort that has been put into your brand beforehand. Though at times it may seem as if these things are just falling from the sky for some, there is a lot behind the scenes that has happened long before anyone ever gets there.

During my years in this profession, there are few bloggers that I have met that are representative of this example and two of those bloggers are Debra and Dave from The Planet D.

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Experiencing a citizenM NYC Hotel Stay

There was just no way that my husband and I were going to take on the new school year without rebooting.

No. Way.

So we did what we always do when we need to get in touch with our more romantic, more fun selves. We left our kids for a night away in New York City.

We chose to escaped to the new citizenM hotel in Times Square, which opened only recently this past April 2014. The hotel may be new to Times Square but it isn’t new overseas, with a strong presence in Europe and with plans to expand around the world.

Saying Goodbye to The Last Days of Summer

Goodbye to The Last Days of Summer

I can’t believe that summer is almost over. It just seems to have flown by. Normally, around this time of year, most parents are excited about the beginning of school and there have been days during this summer when I have been there too. But most of the time I want to hold on just a bit longer. I want more time. A few more days of lazy mornings and happy, laughing children in pajamas. Of carefree days of pancake eating afternoons and late night movie watching in the middle of the week.

I want more time of stargazing and rock climbing, of sea shell collecting, and fire fly chasing. 

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Vacationing on Le Boat

This year has been full of amazing road trips adventures. I have always said that one of the reasons I enjoy road trips so much is because of all the things you can see that you wouldn’t otherwise were you on a plane. The road trip through the Southwest that I took with my girlfriends on an RV was a great way of turning the fun of road tripping and camping into one fun experience with friends.

While in France, and in between road trips, I took the experience to the next level with Le Boat. Le Boat are boat vacation rentals that you can sleep in, cook in, hang out in – much like an RV – except your journey takes you along the canals of the European destination of your choice. On this trip, some friends and I ventured through most of the Canal du Midi taking off near Carcassonne, for a taste of the life on a boat.

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A Staycation Full of New York City History

The fast changing pace of New York City makes it easy for those who visit, and even some of those who live there, to miss details of its history. It’s easy to walk past a landmark and not really notice its significance for being there, or into a restaurant and not even know about events that might have taken place years, if not centuries, ago.

New York City is not the oldest city in the state – that title belongs to Albany, founded in 1614, making it the oldest settlement North of Virginia. But it’s pretty old.