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I AmSterdam

amsterdam1.jpgWhen I visit a new city, I have a habit of doing this thing where I go completely nuts trying to see everything. Consequently, upon arriving back home, my body raises the white flag, forcing me to make up for all of that lost sleep. So, after everything I did in just three short days in Amsterdam—dim sum in the Red Light District, a chef-prepared meal on the canals’ snappiest boat, the city’s best cheese tasting, a shot of herring, the Van Gogh Museum, a six-hour meal at The Dylan Hotel’s Michelin-starred Vinkeles, the city’s newest Marcel Wanders-designed hotel, the Anne Frank Museum, a mind-bending art-space-slash-hotel, and an unfortunate run-in with a sassy cyclist (of course)—it’s no surprise that I just about went into hibernation upon returning home. Pity so much action rendered so few photos. But, alas, sometimes life is meant to be lived rather than documented. more»

Ships Ahoy!

final_dwwnewcruise-1.jpgThe first time I went on a cruise, I disembarked with the mostly-correct notion that ocean liners are for old people with more interest in the 3 o’clock waffle station by the pool than the daily ports-of-call. So when I agreed to write a piece for Robb Report about the return of luxury to cruising, I first had to convince myself that it was even true. My plan of action included reading David Foster Wallace’s A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again (well, maybe that part was just for kicks), followed by jumping on board the new Oceania Riviera for its maiden voyage from Monaco to Barcelona. Somewhere between the ship’s Canyon Ranch Spa, its Wine Aficionado wine cellar, ten restaurants, a Bon AppĂ©tit culinary school, and yes, a plethora of ridiculous poolside snacks and cocktails with umbrellas, I decided that my first cruising foray—along with its geriatric guests—wasn’t the only ship experience out there. Rather, my second go-round was totally age appropriate and, yes, even luxurious. By the time we docked in Barcelona I was a convert—maybe not for every trip, but at least a few more before I hit retirement. more»

Swiss Hit

_dsc4724b.jpgA few highlights from last month’s quick trip to Switzerland: cafes on Lake Geneva; a ski lodge in Verbier; mastering the art of deboning a fish; a facial at Valmont Spa; eating my weight in Swiss chocolate, wine, and cheese; a hike to a glacier; and chasing a herd of sheep until I got the right shot. more»

Ode To Barcelona

_dsc3518b.jpgThe views from Barcelona’s Hotel Arts are, to put it mildly, impressive. Which made it all the more challenging to hit the ground running and see everything I wanted to see in the 24 hours I had between docking at Port de Barcelona and catching a flight home. Nonetheless, my awesome travel companion, Sam, and I managed to make the obligatory stroll down La Rambla, visit the chocolate museum, saunter past my favorite MirĂł sculpture, check out the former-bullfighting-arena-turned-shopping-mall, sip mojitos in El Raval, peruse the boutiques in Born, do handstands on the beach, have a soak in the hotel’s hottub under the famous Frank Gehry fish, and hit a few of the necessary GaudĂ­ landmarks. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—I want to live in Barcelona! more»

Deeper Shade of Blue

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These types of posts are so time consuming but, really, a collage just looks so much better than any one photo—especially when almost every imaginable shade of blue seems to play into nearly every shot. I surprised myself by enjoying Ibiza the most out of all of the islands visited on my Mediterranean journey. Corsica was just ok, Sardinia was so not my speed, and Formentera and Porquerolles were sweet but perhaps a bit too quaint. I didn’t don any glow sticks or stay out until sunrise, but Ibiza’s street life and sangria were about as good as it gets. more»