Category Archives: Hotels

Warm Escape to Puerto Vallarta

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I’ve traveled quite a bit in my life. Near or far, I’ve never needed an excuse to get away. But for some reason I’ve always held the mindset that if the flight is more than 5 hours I might as well go to Europe, which has kind of guided my choices as far as traveling is concerned. (But honestly, who could resist the allure of Europe?) Mexico was never on my radar. Perhaps because it has always seemed so close? I don’t really know why I never seized the opportunity to visit our neighbor to the south but boy am I sure glad I did last week. A little sun and sand is just what this city girl needed so I packed my bags and headed south to Puerto Vallarta.

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The Best of Venice, Italy’s Floating City

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The first time I went to Venice was in the middle of summer and it was awful.

The humidity was debilitating, the heat at the turn at every corner seemed like a punch in the stomach. Though I appreciated its uniqueness, and enjoyed being there with my son, I did not really appreciate it for all it was.

My second trip, in early Spring, was a completely different experience. Days were a comfortable warmth, with a cool chill wave every so often. The skies were clear and though there are always tourists in Venice, there were pockets where we could totally avoid them and enjoy the scene.

Last time I visited, I was in and out in 24 hours. This time we stayed around for a few days. The combination of weather, slow pace, and low tourist season made it fun to explore and understand why so many people walk away completely in love.

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A day in The City of Love, Verona, Italy

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Two hours from Milan and Venice, and only a little more than an hour from Brescia, where we were staying, is the city of Verona, best known for being the home of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Juliet’s House will be the place you will want to visit first upon arrival (though doors to the museum don’t typically open till mid-morning). Even when we arrived to the city early on a weekday morning, a mop of tourists had already gathered in the courtyard of where the real-life Cappello family once lived. There’s a statue of Juliet at the foreground where people wait in line to grab her bronze breast because supposedly it makes the one doing so lucky in love. My husband and I passed on this chance, confident that we were going to be OK either way. Watching people anxiously line up to do so, with women as well as men happily posing for photos with the boob of a statue in their hand was, however, the comical introduction to our day in Italy’s City of Love.

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Three beautiful days in Brescia, Italy

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One of the greatest gifts I received as a young traveler to Italy was the opportunity to learn about Brescia. Brescia is about an hour and a half from Milan, in the region of Lombardy. Not many people I have spoken to about my time there as a young adult know where Brescia is, much less even heard of it. It has always been for me, especially as my intro to Italy, a secret paradise, my own little haven. Though the distance from Milan is short, it feels like it is worlds away. Brescia, considered one of the most ancient cities in Italy, is a favorite just as Northern Italy remains my favorite area of the entire country to visit.

I also have family there, which might influence it all a bit too, and it was a wonderful experience for me to return to such a special place in my heart with a husband and kids in tow. I spent the first few hours in complete awe of the fact that this was a moment when my past and present were coming together in the most beautiful way possible. 

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Weekend Getaway to Cortland, NY

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Nestled in upstate New York, just 30 minutes outside of my old stomping grounds of Syracuse (go Orange!), lays the quaint, historic city of Cortland. A winter ski destination and close in proximity to the wineries of the Finger Lakes, it was the perfect little weekend getaway for a fun father/daughter road trip.

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Weekend Getaway to Los Cabos, Mexico

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After several trips to really cold destinations, I needed an escape to somewhere warm. I didn’t realize how much I needed this escape until I arrived to the warmth of Los Cabos, Mexico. When I arrived to San José del Cabo airport I felt the weight of winter, or maybe it was the many layers of clothing, lifted off my shoulders. The beautiful sound of Spanish filled the air, sprinkled with the English of the many tourists that visit here regularly. In a weekend’s time, I would get to enjoy two very different hotel experiences and lots of sunshine.

The airport is a direct 5-hour flight from New York and Newark airports, though the area is mostly visited by residents in the nearby Arizona and California states. The airport is easy to navigate – though it’s important to remember to stay clear of the aggressive vendors right outside the security doors before you exit the airport. I really can’t stress this enough. It’s best to book your car service/shuttle through your hotel reservation, all of which will be waiting for you outside of the airport, not before (regardless of what any vendor there will say). Avoid being tricked into sitting through a timeshare presentation and you should be OK to start your vacation.

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3 Romantic Days at Mont-Tremblant

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Located in the Laurentian Mountains northwest of Montréal in Quebec, Canada, is the year-round ski resort, Mont-Tremblant. It sits on the shores of Lake Tremblant and not far from the Mont-Tremblant National Park.

It has also become a destination favorite since our recent romantic weekend getaway there. From Newark  and La Guardia airports, it’s about a 5 hour flight, with one stop, on Air Canada and about a 7-hour car drive from NYC. In other words, it is really close, although once you arrive, you feel like you are a world away.

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Girlfriends Getaway to Lake Placid

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There are a lot of promises we make to ourselves about how we want the new year to evolve. What can we add, take away, improve on.

For some of us, one of these promises is to be a better friend. It’s something I always strive for too and like to compliment with either nights out for dinner together or, even better, with little retreats somewhere fun.

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Romantic Aruba Escape

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Around this time of year, after my husband and I have spent months planning and organizing family get-together and outings, I start to long for a little escape for just us two. My husband’s preference for warmer climate tends to draw us to the beach and few are as accessible and as quick to get to as the beautiful island of Aruba.

Because Aruba is such a small island, it’s easy for us to map out our trip, rent a car, and cover favorite spots that include romantic little retreats.

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The road to Seville in photos

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I kicked off my road to Seville from the beautiful city of Lisbon and from where my journey through rich culture, colors, and food would continue.

On the day I headed out it was raining and it would rain throughout most of my Iberian road trip with Insight Vacations, but the chilly air, foggy mornings, and rainy days didn’t damper the beauty of all that I saw an experienced. Here is that journey in photo.

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