Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Spanish Honeymoon

A friend is going to Barcelona, Sevilla and Madrid on her honeymoon and requested my advice. I told her:

In Barcelona, definitely go to Parque Guell, the Sagrada Familia, the Picasso Museum (one of my favorite art museums in the world...and I've been to MANY as the daughter of two artists), and of course, the beach. Definitely go to the Alhambra (amazing!!!!) in Granada, when you're down in Andalucia. In Sevilla, check out the huge mosque (soak up all you can about Spain's rich history of the Christians/Jews/Muslims while you're there...they call the interaction for so many years the "convivencia,"...it's really fascinating). Along those same lines, if you can while you're down in Andalucia, go to Cordoba and see the Mosque there - it's pretty cool (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Mosque_of_C%C3%B3rdoba) and maybe the Jewish Quarter, which is nearby -- I think it's the largest in Europe.

In Toledo, wander and get lost around the little streets - it's a fabulous little ancient town. In Madrid, check out the Palacio Real, go to Plaza Santa Ana and have some tapas outside in the big square, go shopping at El Corte Ingles (Spain's biggest department store) in Plaza del Sol (the center of the city), relax outside and walk around Retiro Park (maybe rent one of the paddle boats and go out on the pond in the middle?), go to the Prado Museum, and go out ALL night! If there's a Real Madrid soccer game while you're there, that could be really fun too. Spaniards love their futbol. For nightlife, I suggest Palacio Gaviria, it's this really cool huge club in what used to be a palace in the middle of Madrid. Just beware --- drinks are $$ there!

Must Do's for Spain (anywhere you go): drink some Rioja red wine and sangria, eat some tortilla espanola, and enjoy the blue skies and SUN.

***Would you add anything?***

Friday, July 3, 2009

Breakfast at Wimbledon

Made a delicious breakfast and now back in bed to watch Andy Roddick play at Wimbledon. Someday, my mother and I will make it to this famed tennis tournament. Bring on the strawberries and cream!

Photo by Sanchom

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Photo Highlights from Colorado

Climbing rocks at Garden of the Gods:
Beautiful view:

Jody (my gracious Denver host/guide) and me with the bride-to-be:

After a delicious dinner at Mountain Sun in Boulder:

Red Rocks. I need to return for a concert here. What a gorgeous music venue:

The stairs at Red Rocks. We did these FOUR times:

Cara and Andrew's beautiful wedding - set at an amphitheater at the top of a mountain in Boulder:

Syracuse University reunion with the bride:

Redhead "sisters" at the reception:

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Where to next?

"Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life." -Jack Kerouac

My upcoming travels:
-July: The Hamptons, Jersey Shore
-August: Vancouver/Whistler, The Bahamas
-September: Germany

Friday, June 26, 2009

Mile-High City

Greetings from lovely Colorado. Walked through Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs yesterday (photo), then had some authentic Mexican food at a local hole-in-the-wall spot with killer margaritas. Today's game plan: Working out at Red Rocks, hitting up the Denver Art Museum, shopping downtown, followed by a pre-wedding BBQ in Boulder.

More photos to come!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sentiment of the day

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -- Mark Twain

Go Federer!

Spending a lovely Sunday morning at my parents' house, enjoying homemade quiche (my mother is a regular Martha Stewart), hot tea, and watching the French Open on NBC.

He just tied Pete Sampras for career Grand Slams (14). Can't wait to go to the U.S. Open in August!

Vancouver...Oh, how I adore thee.

My second business trip to Vancouver was just as exciting as the first. I came to the conclusion that I could truly live in this city someday. It has the perfect mix of laid-back atmosphere, health-consciousness and art and culture. Ahhh, just call me Zen Meredith.

We stayed at the new Shangri-La Vancouver, the luxury resort company's first North American property. I've never in my life experienced such service. As soon as you arrive at the hotel, an employee in reception excorts you up to your room for a unique in-room check-in experience.

Source: Shangri-La

Ever seen the moment in The Holiday (yep, just referenced that blockbuster of a movie) when Kate Winslet lays in her bed at the house she's staying at, realizes the buttons next to her head control the black-out curtains, the music, etc...and she squeals with delight??

...Yes, that was me.

The buttons by my head controlled the regular curtains, the black-out curtains, the electronic "do not disturb" message, the lights, etc. And to top it off, the room was bigger than my entire apartment in New York. It was pure bliss.

During my stay in Vancouver, I got a sneak peak of the facilities for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. And let me tell you, the Games are going to be amazing. [More to come on this]

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Welcome to Miami

Each year, my childhood friends and I get together for a girls' weekend reunion. Our friends travel to one location from North Carolina, Maryland, New York and New Jersey. This year's reunion was set in gorgeous Miami, Florida. My childhood friend's sister's fiance's family (yes...I'm sure you had to read that a few times to grasp the connection) has a huge condo right on Miami Beach and they offered it to us for a long weekend. I was shocked when we arrived -- the place was enormous and spotless and they even left us keys to their Prius!

This was the view from the balcony:

The first day was cloudy and chilly, so we made the most of our (rare) quality time together by whipping up some spicy Mexican food and catching up each others' lives.

We stopped by and wandered around the new Fontainebleau Hotel, which was a convenient six blocks from our home for the weekend. Even on a Sunday evening, the Blue Bar and LIV Nightclub were packed. What do these people do for a living? Nobody has to work on a Monday?

We headed to South Beach to explore for a day and, at the recommendation of my sister-in-law, we stopped by beachside bar "Wet Willie's" to check out the impressive selection of frozen drinks:

Such a great, relaxing trip. Over the course of the four days, I was able to catch up with old friends, explore a new city and complete an entire novel. What more can you ask for in a girls' getaway?

Monday, March 9, 2009

A very busy spring...

My upcoming travels:

March: Vancouver (work meetings)
April: The Bahamas (Weather Conference)
May: San Francisco and L.A. (work events)
June: Colorado (for Cara's wedding!)
July: The Bahamas (press trip)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Angie needs the best job in the world

Tourism Queensland will pick one lucky travel and social media-savvy person to promote the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef (and I thought MY job was cool!)
The winner will be employed by the tourism board for six months and will live on the beach in Australia in a 3-bedroom house = if Angie wins, my next vacation will DEFINTELY be to Queensland, Australia.

Angie made the top 50 out of more than 34,000 applicants from around the world. Please give her some love and vote for her (every day, with every email address you have)!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Clean air in Europe?

I distinctly remember shopping at a mall in Madrid that allowed customers to smoke freely inside. You'd buy a dress for a night on the town, and it would already smell like smoke when you put it on! Those days are long gone...http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28876293/

Photo by Jo Naylor

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sentiment of the Day

Photo by Diario de un Pixel
"If adventures do not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad." -Jane Austen