As a fan of the show Portlandia, Oregon’s largest city inevitably crept up on my travel list. I allotted a weekend to explore the city and a few gardens, before continuing on my Pacific Northwest road trip. Even though I packed in as much as possible, I still felt like I missed out.
If you’re short on time, but want to see the very best of Portland, here are a few places to start:
New Orleans has some incredible homes, especially Uptown in the Garden District. And what say you about those French Quarter homes renovated by businessman Sidney Torres? Ridiculously nice. Some locals would say that the most exclusive real estate is a final resting spot in Metairie Cemetery. But for me, it’s a mansion and gardens in the outskirts of New Orleans called, Longue Vue.
I recently discovered two new joys of road-tripping: I-80 between Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and gas station potato chips. Not just any potato chips, but artificially flavored Italian Hoagie chips by PrimoHoagies. Do they taste like a hoagie? No. Yet, it makes your breath smell like you ate a footlong. How? Pennsylvania magic.
I spent the Christmas holidays strolling through SoHo, hailing cabs on Broadway and taking in the elaborate window displays down 5th Avenue. It was the eve of the New Year and the new decade, and I was feeling hopeful about what 2020 would bring. I was also feeling particularly proud of myself for having cleverly paired my New York trip with a quick jaunt to Bermuda. Culminating my vacation with my feet covered in pink sand was the gift I was most eager to unwrap.
Today I was supposed to be driving through Wyoming as part of an elaborate, multi-state road trip. From Yellowstone, my next stop would have been Grand Teton National Park, followed by Shoshone Falls in Idaho. But we all know what this year has done to our travel plans.
In the late nineties I cashed in a savings bond gifted to me by my godmother and used the $80 to pay for my first-ever flight. The trip was full of firsts: the first time I saw snow on the ground; the first time I got kicked out of a bar; the first time I saw the lights be turned on in a club to signal the end of the night. It was a thrill ride from the moment my cab drove on the sidewalk to when I stumbled into a comedy show headlined by Wendy Liebman to the simplest of delights of buying tulips at a corner shop.
After two decades, I returned to Boston. And in the span of a day, I rekindled my love for the City on a Hill. If you can spare 23 hours here, she may be able to charm you as well.
To be safe, I added a couple of dozen pounds or so to the real number. This is an answer I often lie about in the opposite direction, but because it was being used to calculate the flight-worthiness of a seaplane holding six people currently indulging night after night on a cruise vacation, I was content with bulking up.
The holiday season is officially in full swing and in the coming days travelers will descend onto congested highways and drab airports to journey to their childhood home or to the home of a marquis family member. I’ll be on a hero’s quest of my own, but nowhere near my hometown. So, on the off chance that your destination is somewhere in South Florida, please consider making a stop on my behalf to the croqueta captial of the world, Hialeah.
The first time I stepped foot here, I wept as if I were looking up at the Sistine Chapel…and I wasn’t even inside the Venetian. Everything was so far-fetched and over the top, yet so perfect at the same time. Is that a real life lion in the middle of a casino? Yes. Is that my waiter rappelling while holding a bottle of wine? Yes. Did a volcano just explode on Las Vegas Boulevard? Yes. Is that really Minnie Mouse doing something obscene to Sponge Bob’s nose? Yes.
Photo Credit: Tony Webster from Minneapolis, Minnesota – Halifax Harbour Sunset Skyline, CC
Mother Nature surely puts on a show in these parts. Local Nova Scotians are accustomed to a life alongside rugged coastlines, colorful fishing towns, rolling green hills and sparkling waters. Its beautiful capital, Halifax, not only encompasses this beautiful scenery, but also her Haligonians (Halifax locals) are quick to show her off to you.
Bermuda conjures up images of beautiful homes with its unique white roofs, crystal clear waters, iconic shorts and, of course, the pink sands that make their beaches more idyllic than your average tropical paradise. These pretty-in-pink beaches are all found along the island’s south shore between Horseshoe Bay Beach (my personal favorite) and Warwick Long Bay Beach. But what gives the sand its rosy hue? It’s the result from the blending of crushed shells, coral and calcium carbonate called red foraminifera.