Category Archives: Europe

Setting out on a new French wine adventure!

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I am proud to announce that for the third year in a row, I will be working with Atout France as one of their wine ambassadors.

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For the Love of Turkish Coffee

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I am not a huge coffee drinker, in that I am happy to have coffee in the morning, but then not again during the day. I have been drinking coffee – mostly with milk and sugar – since I was a little kid. For us it was never consumed as a form of drug, but as a compliment to our breakfast of warm bread and butter before school. Being in the states sort of took me away from good coffee experiences, as it has only been in recent years that Americans have really invested time and effort in bringing good coffee to the table, though that experience can cost you a lot. My best coffee experiences are usually by chance or while on the road.

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Losing my breath in Athens, Greece

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It was early Sunday morning, and my last few hours in Athens. I made my way out of the hotel and to the metro to catch a glimpse of what everyone, visitor and local, had said I had to make sure to see before I left: the Parthenon.

In an effort to avoid the tour crowds that tend to take over the area later in the morning, I made sure to be the first one there. The climb up the hill was a peaceful one as I walked past the Acropolis museum and bookstore, past the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, and up the stone stairs to the temple of Athena.

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My Evening with Austria

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I arrived around sunset. The weather showed signs of early Fall and the sky was a colorful display of pinks, blues, and orange as it prepared to embrace the night.

I walked into a room full of the scent of delicious Austrian dishes in the making. The classical ballad of the orchestra played in the foreground as the tinkling of champagne glasses mixed with the laughter and conversations of friends, old and new.

The imagery of a vineyard promised an evening of full of Austrian greatness, even though our dinner was actually taking place in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

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

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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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Wine Adventures through The Loire Valley, France

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The Loire Valley in Central France is often called The Garden of France due to its many vineyards.

Celebrated for its architecture, wine, and historic destinations – many of which are UNESCO Heritage Sites – this is a beautiful area to visit if you love wine, nature, and don’t mind driving to get to either or both. That is because many of the towns that make up the valley, such as AmboiseAngersBloisChinonOrléansSaumur, and Tours, are not all easily accessible by train and to get a glimpse of their lovely castles and caves, as well as their vineyards and wines, you must do as I did and rent a car.

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Adventures Through Loire Valley, France

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Last year I was honored with the opportunity to do a wine tour in the Aquitaine region of France. My journey started in Bordeaux and took me to make wineries in and around the various destinations of the region as well (you can read more about that experience in Getting to Know Bordeaux).

I have been invited again on another amazing experience through one of France’s celebrated wine regions and over the next few days will be touring several destinations and wineries in the Loire Valley.

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Taking in Prague, Czech Republic

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Though I visited Prague for the first time a few weeks now while on a luxury tour with Insight Vacations, it has taken me a bit to really wrap my head around how I was left feeling about it.

Prague is a beautiful city, old and historic, artistic and cultural. It is largest city of the Czech Republic as well as its capital and that of Bohemia. On a Spring day, walking through Prague is a great experience. But just as the city is beautiful, its history is heavy, forcing you to take pause from all that has happened here and the lessons humanity can walk away with after touring the many museums and memorials.

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Falling in Love with Dublin, Ireland

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My excitement over my recent visit to Ireland seemed to have overflowed while going through immigration at the airport. Not really a place someone would enjoy, except that two things happened.

I was standing in line waiting for passport check when a foreign couple approached the line confused and apologetic to have gone through the wrong queue beforehand.

“Oh, no need to be sorry! You’re alright here now. Take a deep breath, no need to stress yourself out, not here. Not with us,” said the immigration representative directing everyone where they belonged.

I couldn’t help but think of how  differently that would have gone at my home based airport in NYC.

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Getting to Know Bordeaux, France

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I’ve shared so much already about my visit to Bordeaux and some of the neighboring wine regions. I even shared the beauty of Bordeaux at night, a magical moment during my travels there.

I spent a lot of time in Bordeaux walking around by myself, an intimidating notion at first which is exactly why, when given the option by my hosts, I chose to walk around on my own as often as possible. Turns out that it’s not very difficult to navigate this city of a little over 200,000 people. It very much felt and functioned like a central city would, but it was also friendlier, cleaner, and more laid back than a lot of major cities in Europe, certainly more so than Paris.

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