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Making Macarons and Pastry in Paris

Visitors to Paris (Americans in particular), and even the odd Parisian, go gaga over the things, oohing, ahhing, and salivating over the sugary confections through shop windows, so I have decided to find out first-hand just what the fuss is all about on a pastry cooking class organized by our friends at Viator.

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June 3, 2010 by | 2 Comments

New York’s 9/11 Ground Zero Museum Workshop

While few people chose to travel in pursuit of tragedies, occasionally a tragedy helps put a destination into meaningful context. No where is that more true than New York City. The attacks of September 11, 2001 are easy to overlook nowadays; New York is healing, moving on, looking forward not back. And yet 9/11 was (and remains) a defining moment of modern New York. You cannot appreciate the city and everything it has endured, without confronting the gruesome reality of the attacks, the death and destruction, the heroism of Ground Zero’s rescue workers, the courage and resilience of everyday New Yorkers.

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June 1, 2010 by | 2 Comments

Best Things to Do and See in Toronto

Great restaurants. The Hockey Hall of Fame. The Toronto Blue Jays. A TV- and movie-friendly skyline (who knew Detroit Rock City, Good Will Hunting, and Police Academy 1 – 4 were all filmed here?). Toronto is Ontario’s capital and the largest city in Canada; so please, let’s show the city some respect. It’s diverse, culturally enlightened, and easy to reach. Its downtown is also small (in a good way) and manageable with numerous quirky neighborhoods and ethnic enclaves keeping the city from getting stale and predictable.

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May 24, 2010 by | 0 Comments

Maui: Just the Ticket for Beach Novices

Maui seemed suspiciously easy. It could be reached in five hours via a non-stop flight from San Francisco, on the airline that awards me bonus miles for my travel. There would be no issues with language, immigration, food, water, weather, currency, or driving on the wrong side of the road. What wasn’t there to like, other than the possibility that the inviting stream we had waded into would gather speed and carry us over a lovely waterfall and into oblivion.

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May 21, 2010 by | 2 Comments

Things to Do in New Orleans: Uptown Jazz to Carrollton Crawfish

This is where dreams of New Orleans become reality. There I sat in a timeless bar, in the cradle of jazz music, listening to a screaming clarinet player, propelled by a drummer, stand-up bass, piano and banjo. Time and space ceased to exist as the music, beer and crowd flowed into a singular composition we call New Orleans. It was a perfect opening night because we’re here for the French Quarter Festival, a festival that celebrates the culture of New Orleans.

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May 11, 2010 by | 0 Comments

Astoria, Oregon: Maritime History Meets Beer

Lewis and Clark couldn’t wait to high-tail it out of the area back in 1806 when they set up their winter camp near Astoria. Then again, they didn’t hang around until spring when the flowers bloom, the sun shines, and the Columbia River glistens and shines. At least it did the weekend we visited. If you want a quick getaway to the Oregon coast at an affordable price, Astoria, Oregon, might be your ticket.

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May 10, 2010 by | 4 Comments

San Francisco: Weekend Getaway

Welcome to San Francisco, that exotic city of hills where east meets west, high tech lives with crunchy granola and bohemian culture births movements and culture known around the world. The Beats, the Hippies and the Summer of Love flowered here as well as music from the Grateful Dead to The Dead Kennedys. The cities fabled attractions are seen on countless postcards and TV programs; Fisherman’s Warf, Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge and the famed cable cars. But we’ve done the tourist trail on previous trips. This time we’re exploring neighborhoods.

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May 7, 2010 by | 0 Comments

Washington DC: A Contemporary Architecture Tour

No surprise, Washington DC is a city deeply rooted in American history. Its urban fabric is adorned with grand monuments and patriotic memorials, often cast in severe neoclassical forms to highlight their historical prominence.

This doesn’t mean Washington DC is stuck in the past. In fact there’s a growing collection of buildings here that speak the architectural language of today.

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April 27, 2010 by | 0 Comments

Things to Do in Vancouver, B.C.

In a surprisingly compact city such as Vancouver, it’s possible to cram an awful lot into one day. David Whitley goes from crashing space shuttles to nerve wracking suspension bridges and top-quality microbrews on his hunt for Vancouver’s top things to do (now that the Olympics are over, alas!).

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April 12, 2010 by | 3 Comments

Highbrow & Lowbrow in Downtown Nashville

Would you prefer bourbon sipped neat in an oak-paneled bar or longnecks in a rowdy honky-tonk? A fine arts museum in an art deco building or country music museum in a building shaped like a piano? In downtown Nashville, you can go highbrow or lowbrow all within a few blocks.

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April 6, 2010 by | 1 Comment

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