Recent Travel Highlights

Shreyas

Bengaluru
StayDo
Shreyas, Bengaluru, India
A peaceful room
Shreyas is a hidden gem in Bangalore that offers yoga/wellness retreats that allow you to learn more about the benefits of yoga, relaxation and being in nature. There are about 13 rooms at Shreyas and I stayed in the one called "Shanti" also known as peace...and peaceful it was! It was nestled in the coconut trees, you could hear the birds chirping and was the perfect place to get a restful sleep.
A peaceful room
1 experience

Al's Car Rental

Providenciales and West Caicos
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Al's Car Rental, Providenciales and West Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands
Heading to North and Middle Caicos? A reliable rental car is key.
If you're planning a visit to the two largest islands in the Turks and Caicos chain, you're gonna need a car. Al's Car Rental is a great option. I've rented from him twice and, based on my own experience (and the experiences of others I've talked to), his outfit is very reliable. To book, simply give him a call a few days before your visit. He'll confirm your reservation on the spot, if he has availability. Departing from Provo: Take the ferry from Walkin Marina to Sandy Point Marina on North Caicos. If you let Al know what time you'll be arriving, he'll have your car waiting for you at the marina for no additional charge. When you depart, you can drop the car off at the same location, right next to the ferry dock. Handy. I've rented two SUV's from Al, and on both occasions the vehicles were delivered to me clean and in good running order. I must note that pretty much any rental you get on North Caicos is going to have a few dents and/or little touches of "character." This ain't Beverly Hills, mind you. The roads can be a bit bumpy, especially along the causeway that links the two islands (read: pothole paradise). The vehicles here undergo some wear and tear, so if you notice a cracked tail light on the car you're about to rent, don't get your undies in a bunch. Embrace it. It's all part of the island experience. Oh, and the big, white Suburban that was ours for the day took us to some of the prettiest, most dramatic coastline you'll find anywhere. Don't forget your camera.
Heading to North and Middle Caicos? A reliable rental car is key.
1 experience

Venice

Los Angeles
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Venice, Los Angeles, California
Iconic Venice Beach
If nothing else, arrive at Venice Beach just in time to marvel at an iconic, picturesque, Los Angeles sunset. I live in the neighborhood and never get tired of coming down to watch the surfers, skaters, and revel in the eclectic vibes that makes this neighborhood so charming.
Iconic Venice Beach
1 experience

Loncheria Alexi y Giovanni

Isla Mujeres
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Loncheria Alexi y Giovanni, Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Eat Breakfast like the Islanders
As far as I can tell the cook here, Leonora is the queen of the market. She lovingly teases everyone that walks by and knows most of their orders. I went back both mornings for her chilaquiles in salsa roja and I went for lunch one day too. Don’t forget to check out the market. Open for breakfast and lunch. On Guerrero near the post office. Grab a coconut on the way there and your hangover will be cured.
Eat Breakfast like the Islanders
1 experience

The Goodland, a Kimpton Hotel

Goleta
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The Goodland, a Kimpton Hotel, Goleta, California
Boho chic lodging
We stayed at the Goodland during a weekend wine tasting getaway from Los Angeles; it had all the details of a boho boutique hotel, from the bocce ball in the courtyard, vintage record player and woven chairs in the room, to the eclectic curated common area with backgammon, pool, hanging plants, and shelves of collectibles. A fun and hangout in contrast to all the more coastal/shabby chic hotels in the area.
Boho chic lodging
1 experience

Gjusta Bakery

Los Angeles
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Gjusta Bakery, Los Angeles, California
Fresh bread of Venice
Another place reaffirming Venice Beach as one of the hippest hangouts in Los Angeles, Gjusta's casual industrial design and mouthwatering counters of freshly baked breads, smoked fish, colorful salads, and heaping desserts will put you in a jam of what to order.
Fresh bread of Venice
1 experience

Carkeek Park Beach

Seattle
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Carkeek Park Beach, Seattle, Washington
Carkeek Park on a Gray Day: Classic Pacific Northwest
Carkeek Park in northwest Seattle has a series of trails lined with mossy trees and ferns, a beach of driftwood and rocks, and an active railroad track that parallels the beach. Visit Carkeek on a gray, wet day and you'll experience a classic Pacific Northwest setting.
Carkeek Park on a Gray Day: Classic Pacific Northwest
1 experience

Amsterdam-Noord

Amsterdam
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Amsterdam-Noord, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Biking Escape from the City
Whether you want to or not, biking the dikes outside the city is an experience not to be missed! Marty and I did get a bit lost and ended up with only about a hour to actually bike on the dikes, but riding around Amsterdam-Noord opened our eyes to a part of Amsterdam I would love to explore more. The dike is first lined with quaint little homes on one side and a gentle river inlet on the other before fields open up after the homes and the river turns to open ocean. If you persevere you can take the dikes from village to village and enjoy the more country side of Dutch culture. There is a free ferry behind Central Station, where you can rent bikes, to cross the Amstel River. The bike rental places will give maps of the biking routes and directions to the ferry.
Biking Escape from the City
1 experience

Boneshaker Books

Minneapolis
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Boneshaker Books, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Dreamy and Radical
Boneshaker Books is an all-volunteer run, collectively owned radical bookstore where you can browse the latest fiction alongside radical classics by Assata Shakur and Malcolm X. There's an adorable children's section as well! Check out their meeting room and the community events they host.
Dreamy and Radical
1 experience

Vellore

Vellore
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Vellore, Vellore, India
Culture at a Local Fresh Market in India
While visiting the Christian Medical College & Hospital, two of us skipped out one day and visited the local market. Shocked the clerk at the hotel front desk asked us two or three times if we would rather visit the more touristy markets, but we were determined. At first we started out on a main street and were a bit disappointed, but when my friend pointed down a dark, but promising alley our impression changed dramatically. Once we were fifteen feet down the alley all the color, smells, and culture of India swirled around us in a wonderful, heady mixture. The friendliness of the Indians really showed in their excitement to show us their products and told us what to see next. One young boy spotted my camera when were were still quite far away and shouted until we came his way. Jabbering excitedly he explained that he wanted his picture taken in a dramatic charades. Thrilled by his enthusiasm I snapped quite a few photos and let him show them off to the vendors close by. Many of the vendors insisted on getting their pictures taken and I was obliging. We visited the fresh produce section, the meat market, the spice section, and general services (tailor, metal worker, etc.) All this time the smells of spicey fried crab, fresh made dosas, and fruit filled the air. The local India market experience is one I highly recommend. That was the moment that the richness of Indian culture showed itself.
Culture at a Local Fresh Market in India
1 experience

STORY

New York
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STORY, New York, New York
Story
For a modern-day shopping experience, look no further than Story, a boutique that rotates themes and products every four to eight weeks. Founder Rachel Shechtman said rotating editorial features in magazines inspired her to start the store, which features both local artisans and larger brands. And not only do the products rotate, the store is redecorated to fit a new theme with each switch. Past stories have included Love, Made in America, Home for the Holidays and Style.Tech. The space also maintains an experiential element. Not only does the store offer activities while shopping, like a ping pong table set up in the store for a wellness theme, the store also hosts themed events throughout the year. Image courtesy of STORY.
Story
1 experience, added to 1 List

Museum of the Moving Image

New York
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Museum of the Moving Image, New York, New York
Museum of the Moving Image
The Museum of the Moving Image is a fresh and interactive tribute to film, video games and digital imaging. The space, next to Kaufman Astoria Studios in Astoria, Queens, is jam-packed with memorabilia, and informative and experiential exhibits. Film buffs will love MoMi’s “Behind the Screen” exhibit, which studies each step of the filmmaking process. The Museum hosts a wealth of special programs. Children and adults alike will enjoy the array of playable classic video games and projects like adding sound effects to movie scenes and creating stop-motion animation. Admission is $12. Photo by Jason Eppink/Flickr.
Museum of the Moving Image
1 experience, added to 1 List

Aldo Sohm Wine Bar

New York
Drink
Aldo Sohm Wine Bar, New York, New York
Aldo Sohm Wine Bar
Le Bernardin's award-winning wine director Aldo Sohm and acclaimed Chef Eric Ripert opened a wine bar with a downtown feel in a Midtown location. Aldo Sohm offers a small lunch and dinner menu of light fare, but of course the main focus is wine. The space is casual with couches, a communal “sommelier table,” and a private tasting room. Budding sommeliers can reserve wine tasking classes and Aldo Sohm offers monthly themed tasting flights to sample new varieties. During lunch hours the space is usually quiet, but grows crowded by 6 p.m. The menu has many high-end selections, but also more affordable bottles under $50 and glasses around $10. Aldo Sohm is the perfect place for a fun and casual night out. Image courtesy of Aldo Sohm Wine Bar.
Aldo Sohm Wine Bar
1 experience, added to 1 List

PH-D Rooftop Lounge

New York
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PH-D Rooftop Lounge, New York, New York
PH-D Lounge
PH-D is one of my favorite upscale clubs in New York. The rooftop lounge offers stunning views of Midtown Manhattan and its celebrity clientele makes it a place to see and be seen. The bar is chic and plays thumping pop music throughout the night. The cocktail menu is fantastic, though drinks are not cheap. Located at the top of the Dream Meatpacking District hotel, PH-D is a place to dress to impress. Image courtesy of PH-D Lounge.
PH-D Lounge
1 experience, added to 1 List

Dear Irving

New York
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Dear Irving, New York, New York
Dear Irving
Inventive cocktail bar Dear Irving was inspired by Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” and each of its four rooms is decorated to send guests back to a previous chapter in New York history, including a 1920s Art Deco room, with an elaborate beaded curtain, a 1960s mod room, a Victorian parlor, and an 18th century French room, compete with gold leaf and chandeliers. The group behind Raines Law Room speakeasy, The Peacock, and The Shakespeare created this glitzy bar whose cocktail menu is also inspired by different time periods. It includes original recipes, like the Hero of Little Venice, a grown up root beer float, as well as takes on classic cocktails, like the Gibson and the Paloma.
Dear Irving
1 experience, added to 1 List

Cosme

New York
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Cosme, New York, New York
Cosme
In October 2014, Chef Enrique Olvera opened his much-anticipated New York restaurant Cosme, which offers an inventive dining experience in the Flatiron District. The spacious restaurant is a short walk from Langham Place, Fifth Avenue, and features modern Mexican dishes with locally sourced ingredients and housemade tortillas. But guests should not come expecting standard chips and guacamole, Chef Olvera is known for utilizing creative and sometimes surprising ingredients in his dishes. Menu items include burrata, salsa verde and weeds, and occidental purple corn pozole, pork jowl, lettuce, radish, Mexican oregano. The eclectic menu items are meant to be shared, and certain Mexican specialties, like dried chiles, beans and heirloom corn are imported from Mexico. Chef Olvera’s Mexico City restaurant Pujol has gained world fame for his fresh take Mexican food, and Cosme offers more stellar options. The bar also pours a wide variety of mezcals and tequilas. Photo by T.Tseng/Flickr.
Cosme
1 experience, added to 1 List

Shake Shack Grand Central Terminal

New York
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Shake Shack Grand Central Terminal, New York, New York
A Burger Staple’s New Home in the City
Hungry commuters now have New York burger favorite Shake Shack as an option in Grand Central Terminal. On weekdays the location serves Shake Shack’s popular egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches, previously available only at JFK airport, fro m 7-10:30 a.m. Even better, the location also serves a special blend of Stumptown Coffee to perk up your commute. Other Shake Shack staples, including hand-cut fries, shakes, and frozen custards, are also available throughout the day. Like any Shake Shack, this location is always packed, but is well worth the wait. Photo by Shinya Suzuki/Flickr.
A Burger Staple’s New Home in the City
1 experience, added to 1 List

Sweet Chick

New York
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Sweet Chick, New York, New York
Sweet Chick
Believe it or not, New York City has amazing fried chicken spots, and Sweet Chick on the Lower East Side and in Williamsburg is a gem among them. One of my favorite dishes is their weekend-only special chicken and “foieffles”—fried chicken, duck fat maple syrup, and waffles with foie gras packed inside them—and many of their other specials are similarly creative. Menu items include “sloppy duck” sliders and crawfish hush puppies. The restaurant is informal, friendly and perpetually crowded. Image courtesy of Sweet Chick.
Sweet Chick
1 experience, added to 1 List

Kokopelli Camping

Serramonacesca
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Kokopelli Camping, Serramonacesca, Italy
Simple pleasures in Abruzzo
Picturesque olive groves and dramatic mountains surround the Kokopelli camping in the little known to foreign visitors region of Abruzzo. This small camping site is open all year round and is a perfect place for those who like simple pleasures. The British couple Jacqui and Kevin, who run the Kokopelli, are happy to take their guests out snowshoeing in winter and hiking in summer. You can set up your tent anywhere you want on the property. You can also stay in a self-catering room or a retired VW Camper that comfortably sleeps four. There are beautiful large bell tents available for rent for those who like a bit of glamping.
Simple pleasures in Abruzzo
1 experience

Villa Ferraia

Castello di Tocchi
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Villa Ferraia, Castello di Tocchi, Italy
Wintering near Siena
The magnificent Villa Ferraia is located about 20 minutes from Siena. To reach it I had to drive for a few kilometres on an unpaved road in the woods. I stopped a few times: once to let a fox to cross the road, then, a minute later, to look at two fallow deer running between the trees. The villa has been lovingly restored by Vittorio Cambria who turned a 13th century borgo on the Tuscan back roads into a luxurious retreat. Vittorio came up with a fantastic idea to offer wintering programmes for the guests who come between November and April. Apart from the sauna and cold-water swimming pool with a view of the forest, guests can spend their time in the astronomical observatory with the astronomer in-residence, explore Tuscan hidden gems on a horseback, take cooking lessons, paint or work in the organic garden and green house. The food at Villa Ferraia is cooked by Stefano, who turns humble local produce into delicious Tuscan dishes that you will never forget. He showed me how to make the best gnocchi I have ever tasted in Italy. Vittorio Cambria says that he wants his guests to embrace the ancient Roman concept of “otium”, which means withdrawing from one’s daily business and immersing yourself in pleasure, quiet time, contemplation and learning new things.
Wintering near Siena
1 experience

L'atelier en Ville

Bruxelles
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L'atelier en Ville, Bruxelles, Belgium
Creative & Funky Multi-use Warehouse
While shopping the vintage & antique stores on Rue Haute, we ducked into what we thought was a coffee shop and were surprised to discover that only only could you purchase a delicious muffin and frothy chai latte, but you could also browse funky art, purchase wonderfully crafted furniture and check out the latest fashions in the boutique. We loved this space for it's great open floor plan and industrial design.
Creative & Funky Multi-use Warehouse
1 experience

Abarrotes Delirio

Ciudad de México
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Abarrotes Delirio, Ciudad de México, Mexico
Delicious Deli and Excellent coffee
This little gem was recomended to me by my hosts in Mexico City and it's an excellent find. Part bakery part cafe it has a selection of fantastic morning bakes and selection of juicy meats and cheeses for sandwiches. Great vibe and even better coffee.
Delicious Deli and Excellent coffee
1 experience

Sagardi BCN Gotic

Barcelona
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Sagardi BCN Gotic, Barcelona, Spain
Perfect Pintxos for Your Palate
Sagardi is another Basque restaurant...they're actually a chain which also operates Orio. Much like Orio, Sagardi serves up pintxos...those delicious little tapas served on a piece of baguette and speared with a toothpick. While Oriol's location near Santa Caterina is more modern, Sagardi's location on Carrer Argenteri is more classic. Lots of wood. Bar tables and stools. Busy atmosphere. Lots of locals. Like Orio, this restaurant is consistent in their quality. You'll appreciate their fresh food and the restaurant's lively atmosphere. Also, their Argenteria location is just a short walk to the memorial plaza and a sculpture commemorating the sacrifice of Catalán rebels who fought against enemy forces in the early 1700's
Perfect Pintxos for Your Palate
1 experience, added to 1 List

La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc

Phú Quốc
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La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc, Phú Quốc, Vietnam
La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc
In addition to 70 rooms with private balconies, La Veranda Phu Quoc Resort features 02 restaurants, a lounge bar, swimming pool, water sports and day spa. La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc boasts a beautiful selection of indulgent, superbly appointed rooms including spacious garden rooms enveloped by lush greenery and exotic flowers and beachfront suites with private balconies and stunning sea views. From the comfortable loungers at the La Veranda Phu Quoc, the visitor can be forgiven for confusing the movements of their soul with the waves of the ocean. Because this boutique luxury resort to the south of Vietnam, in a French colonial style, creates a traditional and elegant atmosphere.
La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc
1 experience

Orio BCN Gótic Restaurant

Barcelona
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Orio BCN Gótic Restaurant, Barcelona, Spain
Wonderful Pintxos
Orio is a Basque restaurant, serving up delicious tapas/pintxos originating from Spain's most famous culinary region, Pais Vasco (Basque Country). We've eaten here several times. The reason why we like this restaurant is that their location have a wonderful atmosphere and their food is consistent in taste and quality. You'll have a hard time finding loads of fried food here, a characterstic normally found at low-budget "tapas" restaurants you'd find in other parts of the city. One of our favorite tapas at Orio is the sobrassada with honey, a delicious little dish in which the chef puts mildy spicy sobrassada (kind of like a chorizo pate) on top of a piece of baguette, then drizzles the heavenly creation with honey. It gives you the perfect mix of sweet and spicy. You'll find that Orio has a wine list, a group menu and they also have pintxos, bite-sized tapas speared with a toothpick and bursting with flavor. The Carrer Ferran location is cozy and tight, while the location across from the Santa Caterina market is more spacious and tranquil.
Wonderful Pintxos
1 experience, added to 2 Lists

Taller De Tapas

Barcelona
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Taller De Tapas, Barcelona, Spain
An Unexpected Delight
We stumbled across Taller de Tapas as we were exploring the Born neighborhood one afternoon with friends. Owned by an Argentine company, the restaurant's food is a little more expensive than what you'd find in other places but the quality of the food matches the price. You might see some reviews which bash Taller with accusations of being touristy (you'll see tourists there) and impersonal (waiters put in orders with mobile units) but, coming from someone who has eaten at quite a few places in Barcelona, if you happen to stumble in to Taller de Tapas after a day of exploring you won't be disappointed. The chorizo is a highlight - very smoky, very rich.
An Unexpected Delight
1 experience, added to 1 List

Snack

Chūō-ku
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Snack, Chūō-ku, Japan
Drink (and Stuff Your Face) with the Locals at Hidden Italian-Japanese Izakaya
Snack is the kind of secret little drinking hole that Japan has perfected. Tiny one-room bars/izakayas where the customers all know not only the staff but eventually, after a few sakes, each other as well. Owner and head chef Kazuyuki Kuroki, aka Kazu, speaks English well and his impressive sake, shochu, wine, and spirits offerings, combined with his impressive cocktail and chef skills, have earned him a justifiably loyal following. His food menu changes regularly depending on what's fresh and whatever inspiration happens to strike his fancy at any given time. The dishes are primarily Italian but usually inflected with hints of Japanese. Previous highlights include oysters au gratin, uni cream pasta, and a fried shrimp curry. Kazu does so well with canned sardines (pictured) you'd be forgiven for thinking he's actually an Eastern European Jewish grandmother in disguise. Most miraculously, Kazu preps and cooks every dish from a tiny alcove the size of a small oven and stovetop roughly the size of a Monopoly board. And you've gotta try Kazu's homemade つけもの (tsukemono, or pickles)! Snack is that local friendly place where you'll show up for just one drink insisting on being full after having eaten a huge dinner, then end up staying until 5 in the morning and devouring one of everything on the food menu. It's on the second floor of the building next to gaijin watering hole Bar Zerro. Stop by one night between 6 PM and 4 AM or so and you'll understand what I mean...
Drink (and Stuff Your Face) with the Locals at Hidden Italian-Japanese Izakaya
1 experience
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