Tag Archives: wine

Return to the Finger Lakes Wine Country, NY

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One of the places that I have continuously returned to over the years and still manage to find something new is at the Finger Lakes, NY.

It’s about a 5-hour drive from my New Jersey home, but a wonderful escape that feels a world away from my everyday life. My family has gone with me over the years, but I think on this last trip the area really managed to carve a special place in my kids’ heart, so much so that they didn’t want to leave.

What I have come to love about the destination is not just the beautiful outdoor experiences one can have there, but also the community. Whether I am spending time with a farmer working at a local orchard or winery, or with an artist in residence at the Corning Museum of Glass, that sense of pride and community that I feel every time I am there is the thing that makes us feel so welcomed, so at home, and so in love with this place.

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Romantic weekend getaway to the Hamptons, off-season

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While sitting here planning and booking our summer escapes, the kids summer camps and activities, and seeking out all the potential available during the summer months, it’s easy to ignore that 1) I am in desperate need of a vacation and 2) there are some really great options now.

For example, the Hamptons is a fabulous escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The warm beaches, the bars and eateries, the activities hosted all throughout this seaside community and its neighboring towns. Things tend to pick up mid-June and continue on well into September.

However, if what you are needing is something more of a quieter escape without the traffic or the crowds, the area delivers that and more during the off-season as well. It’s true that most businesses are seasonal and not open during these months, but that isn’t to say you will have nothing to do.

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Highlights of Dijon, France

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It was a beautiful summer day when I arrived to Dijon, France. I quickly dropped off my bags in my hotel room at the trendy, Michelin rated Le Chapeau Rouge, slipped into some comfortable walking shoes and headed out. I hadn’t been to this beautiful city in two years but I remembered how much I enjoyed walking through it. I also noticed how much it had changed during that time.

Trams were now operating across the city and more areas had been renovated and designated as pedestrian-only. It felt airy and open.

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Highlights of Mâcon, France

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One of the things that I have loved in visiting France over the years is that no two cities are ever completely alike. Sure, there is the architecture and food and of course language, but even these are influenced by elements unique to its historical past and region. Even the language is different throughout the country. I haven’t learned to identify the differences, but my French friends swear that they can tell where a person is from based on their accent. Just like in the U.S., just like in so many places.

Mâcon is one of those places with unique traits that make it different from other cities I have visited. Though the colors of the shutters and buildings may remind visitors of Southern France, Mâcon is considered part of the Saône-et-Loire region in Burgundy.

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Adventures in Burgundy!

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I am excited to announce that I am heading back to France!

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Day trip to Newburgh, NY

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Along the Hudson Valley and about an hour and a half from New York City (with no traffic) is the city of Newburgh, NY.

To see it on its surface, one might see what most people refer to as “up and coming”. However, look deeper and you will see a historic city, with much of its architectural structures dating as far back as the 1800s. Some of them definitely need some TLC, but anyone who loves history will truly appreciate it all. 

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Rhone Valley, France: Road Maps and Photo Tour

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Every time I visit a new destination in France I think that I have seen the one that beats them all, until I visit another. I’m learning that it’s difficult to compare regions with each other because they are all so different and each have something beautiful to offer. I am also learning that it is incredibly easy to make room in my heart for many parts of France.

What I most loved about the Rhone Valley, besides its fabulous wine, is the sweetness of its fruits and the smell of lavender and herbs in the summer breeze. If you are a food lover this area along with cities like Avignon and Lyon are an absolute must visit.

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Electric Bike Tour through the TerraVentoux Winery

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There are so many fun ways to experience a winery. Tasting the wine, is of course, top of the list. But how about a bit of easy bike riding through the vineyards as well?

Now, before the shock of “drinking and riding” hits you, let me know that the riding is on an electric bike (minimal effort) through the mainly dirt roads of the beautiful Mont-Ventoux valley with a wonderful guide and some, very light tastings of the best TerraVentoux wine.

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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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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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