February 2010

Emeril stirs something up at the 2005 South Beach Wine & Food Festival

Emeril stirs something up at the 2005 South Beach Wine & Food Festival

When the South Beach Wine & Food Fest kicks off this weekend and Emeril and Bobby and Paula and the Neelys start popping up all over town, I know you’re going to have just one burning question in mind,

“Where the heck am I going to take Anthony Bourdain for dinner that will prove to him I’ve got ‘Natural Born Foodie’ street cred?”

Let’s face it, you need a few places that are interesting, ethnic, and not easily overwhelmed by the thousands of starry-eyed FoodTV fans who will be swarming all over South Beach. You want a casual vibe (because Tony favors jeans) and a menu with a few surprises to keep things interesting between mugs of beer and drunken revelations about what iguana really tastes like… Read More »

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KimaraKimara 2

You can look like a glamorous New York City socialite, or just a fresher, prettier version of yourself when you drop by The Kimara Ahnert Makeup Studio on 113 Madison Avenue, which is within walking distance of the Marmara Manhattan and the Surrey hotels in the Upper East Side. Makeup artist Kimara Ahnert has worked with stars such as Catherine Zeta-Jones, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Isabella Rossellini, and she offers everything from make up lessons to facials to self-tanning applications. The studio almost feels like a lavish apartment with its plush Swiss robes and Louis XIV chairs. Read More »

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Boggy Creek in Central Florida

Boggy Creek in Central Florida

[Flickr/rwoan]

Outside of theme park mayhem, suburban sprawl, and superimposed, hyper-stacked tourist shops, Orlando boasts a number of amazing encounters with nature that will easily wow you, perhaps even more so than Orlando’s most famous attractions. Two are described below.

Boggy Creek Airboat Rides (2001 E. Southport Road, Kissimmee): Who knew that Florida’s best airboat experience was found in Central Florida? Contrary to the limited mobility of the shallow southern Everglades, the barrier regions of the Central Florida Everglades include large lakes, allowing airboats to easily reach speeds of 45 m.p.h. Read More »

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How do you save a baby duck in New Zeland? Chug free wine.

Across the country, Kimpton hotels have been winning fans with their free wine hours. Now, all that wine they are buying will do more than get you buzzed before dinner.

Sip wines that not only tantalize the palate, but do good for the planet. Kimpton Hotels has introduced a new wine program, “Wines that Care,” at its nearly 50 hotels nationwide, such as the Hotel Monaco in San Francisco, the Muse in New York City, and the Hotel George in Washington, D.C., among others.

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Flower in the Limahuli Gardens

Hibiscus Flower in the Limahuli Gardens, Kauai

Limahuli Gardens, a National Tropical Botanical Garden, offers a rare glimpse into an authentic Hawaiian cultural site amidst beautiful rare plants and flowers. The gardens are on the lower portion of the Limahuli Valley on the ma’uka (mountain side) of the road, a short drive from the Hanalei Colony Resort and only a 20 minute drive from the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas. Read More »

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Cioppino at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne

Cioppino at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne

Sunday morning. The weekend is almost over, but the best part has arrived. Time to gorge and indulge in the world’s premium delicacies, recap the weekends’ events, and get tipsy yet again! These amazing, over-the-top Miami brunches will leave you speechless by the presentation, stunned by the sheer variety, and a good two pounds heavier by caloric intake.

Cioppino at The Ritz Carlton, Key Biscayne (455 Grand Bay Drive): A serene backdrop of palm fringed turquoise waters; endless rounds of Prosecco and Bloody Marys; fresh Florida stone crabs; a full raw bar; global food stations representing everywhere from China to Mexico — this is heaven on Earth. And once you’re at the point of explosion, you stumble across an entire dessert room — yes, an entire  room — with 32 different sweets to end your feast!  This is a perfect starting point for exploring beautiful Key Biscayne and a highlight of any trip to Florida.

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The Zeum children's museum in San Francisco, CA

The Zeum children's museum in San Francisco, CA

Sure, the Exploratorium is fabulous. But if you’re looking for a less-crowded museum that’s not on everyone’s to-do list, here are three that are favored by San Francisco’s locals.

The Randall Museum (199 Museum Way): This city-owned museum is perched atop a fabulous overlook of the city. Inside, though, the kids will have fun learning about the Bay Area ecosystem, making LEGO models strong enough to withstand an earthquake, and playing in the model caboose and Victorian house. Read More »

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Lyndell's Bakery in Boston's North End

Lyndell's Bakery in Boston's North End

Boston’s North End is referred to by visitors as “Little Italy,” although never called that by Bostonians.  It has an Old World charm and feel that makes it a pleasure to roam the streets.  And it all centers around the food — especially Italian pastries. Locals are always arguing where to get the best pastry.  Usually, it comes down to the two best-known competitors:  Mike’s and Modern. Each shop has its own supporters insisting that’s it’s really no contest at all.  But there are other contenders as well vying for the title of “King of North End Pastry.”

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Whiskey Ward bar in New York City

Whiskey Ward bar in NYC's Lower East Side

Whether you like it on the rocks, with a little soda, cold, or warm, there is nothing better than a good glass of whiskey (or whisky, as Scots seem to prefer). New York City is home to a plethora of wonderful booze locales that serve up a mean glass of single malt scotches or fine whiskeys. These NYC bars feature an extensive selection of the adult beverage that is perfect to sip on a cold winter night.

The Whiskey Ward: Located just three blocks from the Williamsburg Bridge, this Lower East Side saloon is decorated with many whiskey jugs and barrels that really do a good job to set the drinking mood. The amazingly extensive list of whiskeys include bourbons, rye, Irish whiskey, single malts, un-chill filtered scotch, and many more. The scene is a mixture of serious sippers and amateur drinkers and the prices are reasonable. 121 Essex Street. Stay nearby at the Hotel on Rivington or the Thompson L.E.S.

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Pier at the Malibu Surfrider Beach in California

Pier at the Malibu Surfrider Beach in California

There are many wonderful day trips you can take during your visit to Los Angeles, and at the top of the list would be Malibu’s Surfrider Beach.  A twenty-minute drive up the famous Pacific Coast Highway from Santa Monica, it can be a great half-day or full-day trip.

The Pier separates the two areas of Malibu known as The Colony, to the north, and Carbon Beach, to the south. Here, you are welcome to walk the shoreline and sightsee–really, this is the best “star homes” tour in the city–and in addition to the surfers you’ll see the happy dogs running up and down the beach and neighbors visiting each other on the patios. The Pier itself is a beautiful place to walk, too; it can feel like you’re on top of the Pacific Ocean. Sport Fishing boats depart from here twice a day, taking visitors on a short boat trip to some of the best fishing grounds for sea bass, halibut, and rockfish. You can rent kayaks here, as well, and spend an hour or two on the ocean.

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