Category Archives: North America

Five things I love about New Jersey

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I’ve lived in New Jersey now for about 4 years now. Like most hardcore New Yorkers, it’s been a slow process to get me to let go of this idea that I have to venture into the city for good food, entertainment, or activities.

I still get teased by friends for becoming “Bridge and Tunnel”, and I get it. There was a time I wouldn’t even date a boy if there was a bridge or tunnel between us. But what did I know?

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Highlights from Our Trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

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For those of us on the East Coast a trip to Mexico for a long weekend seems like a crazy idea. But, this is exactly what my family and I did. We headed out to Puerto Vallarta, on behalf of Expedia to try the new services being offered to travelers by Expedia Local Expert.

This new feature allows those booking their travel through Expedia to also plan and book their activities before they even arrive to their destination.

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Los Angeles from a New Yorker’s Point of View

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I have been to Los Angeles a lot more times than I ever thought I would. When asked, I have confessed to not being its biggest fan. It is spread out and difficult to navigate. The weather is wonderful, and its got some interesting areas, but the minute I get stuck in traffic or find myself needing to load an app and search for discount codes just so that I can get to my hotel or anywhere else in the city, that little bubble of affection bursts.

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New York City Eateries with Sabor and Soul

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If you do a Google search for brunch in New York City, you are bound to come across the growing complaints from long time city residents about how  it has become an all-day drinking fest, a form of binging sport lacking anything that resembles the leisurely Sunday gatherings with friends and family so many of us have known and loved.

But there are still places in New York that welcome that sense of community, places that seek to become that favorite spot you take your best friend to and look forward to visiting every weekend. Not so much for the trendiness, as much as for the good food and friendly ambiance.

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The People of Taos, NM

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Sometimes you visit a place that becomes difficult to describe in words. I remember visiting Santa Fé for the first time a few years ago, and the words I shared then and the ones that stay with me every time I talk about it is how the colors make it impossible to take a bad photograph there. How I understood why Santa Fé had this ability to draw artists and writers into its fold and inspire so many to take on a life of creativity.

Then I went to Taos and realized that in many ways the same is true here. When the Whiskey Sisters and I visited Taos the day was bright and the sky blue. It wasn’t as hot as I expected it to be, a bit warm, but comfortable.

As the day progressed I realized that what makes Taos are its people. Because of this, I decided that I would share my Taos experience by highlighting those who helped to shape it.

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Periyali: A Taste of Greece in The Heart of NYC

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Finding really great Greek food can be a challenge if you are in Manhattan. Venture into Astoria, Queens and you will have your pick, but Manhattan tends to be trickier…especially if authenticity is on the top of your list.

I recently discovered Periyali, on 20th and Broadway. That I discovered it, however, is a little late considering that Periyali has been a staple in the New York Greek dining scene since 1987 – a pretty big deal for NYC restaurants. It’s intimate, yet festive with pockets for more private dining to open spaces for celebrations, of which there were plenty on the night my husband and I dined there.

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Getting to Know The Lake Tahoe Region

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“Lake Tahoe is not a town, it’s a region in both the states of CA and NV.”

This was one of the first lessons I learned upon arriving to the area as a guest of the Squaw Creek Resort. Like most people, I didn’t really understand the geography of the area and, like most people, I had limited knowledge about how diverse the region was, or even that extends beyond the limits of one single geographic landmark. I flew into Reno, NV, which most people use to get to the area by plane, though I’ve heard Amtrak is also a fabulous choice if driving is not an option.

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Big City Flavors with Small Town Charm (Restaurant Review)

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One of the things I am most enjoying about my life in New Jersey is experiencing what happens when wonderful talents leave the bigger cities across the country and set shop in the smaller towns transforming communities into celebrated food destinations.

Cranford, NJ is a small town about 40 minutes west of Manhattan and named one of the best places to live in 2010, though I don’t know too much else about it. Andrea Carbine, a chef originally from Seattle, and her husband Jim, found this charming town to be a perfect place to pursue their restaurant business ventures and where they could cultivate their belief of making the most out of the ingredients nature provides you.

They have seen much success in their first restaurant, A Toute Heure, a bistro known for its ever-changing menu due to its seasonal focus. It is a local favorite having won multiple awards celebrating both its kitchen garden and executive chef Kara Decker. Entering its 7th year, it remains a must-have dining experience in the area.

Adding to their list of success, the Carbines have now also opened 100 Steps Supper Club and Raw Bar to meet the demands for such a dining experience in the community they serve, which until now meant having to travel to NYC or the coast for.

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Romantic Getaway to Rhinebeck, NY

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Things are getting a little busy here in the Cain household and all this snow hasn’t really helped much. My husband and I pride ourselves in taking time away together, but life has gotten in the way as of late.

That’s why on the one free weekend we managed to put aside for ourselves, we decided to take a short road trip to Hudson Valley for an overnight retreat. Lucky for us, it was also the warmest weekend in a long time. We ventured to Rhinebeck, NY.

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Romantic Getaway to Lake Joseph, NY

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My husband and I are celebrating 10 years of marriage. We celebrated this past weekend with him surprising me with a weekend getaway to the Catskill Mountains.

I won’t deny that my eyes teared up when he revealed his surprise, and all the research he had done to find our special romantic spot.

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